Your town. Your life. Your magazine.

ROBIN by Charlie Millward, winner of Bournside School Photography Competition.
Last month's cover photograph was by Abby Gregory

What's in this month's issue

  • Community News & Stories

  • TV Recommendations & The Reading Room

  • Meet Our New Members

  • News, Reviews, Features & Articles

  • Style

  • Wellbeing

  • Home & Garden

  • Arts & Culture

  • Cover Photo Competition

  • Meet Local Business Owners

  • Coupon Codes & Special Offers

  • Useful Numbers

Birds by Morgan Gilbert

Note from the editors.

Happy Spring to you! At the time of writing we are still in lockdown and determined to make this issue as bright, bouncy and refreshing as we can, in line with Springtime and all the hopes and new beginnings it brings. New shoots are making their way through the soil to find the sunshine as the new season is birthed. Children in gardens will be playing and laughing again, birds singing, blossom blooming as Nature does what it always has, year after year, century after century. After a gloomy winter it's high time for Spring to unfold and show us what it's got. In this issue we have optimistic articles and talented local makers as well as all the usual jolliness, information and interest we can find. The front cover image is by Charlie Millward, the winner of the Bournside photography competition. Charlie won a delicious family brunch delivered by Cotswold Breakfast Factory.

We intend this mini magazine to be a bright little gift that lands on your doormat and lifts your spirits, especially on grey days. If it's still a bit damp and chilly this is our way of offering you something free and chirpy! To new beginnings! x x

The ‘Spring is Sprung’ Rhyme by Anonymous (Not by Ogden Nash or Spike Milligan!!)

Without fail, I hear the word ‘spring’ and this pops into my head…

Spring is sprung, the grass is riz
I wonder where the boidies is
They say the boid is on the wing
But that's absoid, I thought the wing was on the boid!

I have always thought that this poem was by the wonderful Spike Milligan, but have discovered today that it pre-dates him by AGES. I’ve got to say I am rather shaken by this news, but having spent way too long trying to prove myself right – I guess I’ll have to bow to the knowledge of Captain Google. Everyday’s a schoolday! Do you have a favourite poem or song that takes you into a season? Or, do you know who actually is responsible for penning my favourite? Please let us know!!

You can find us on Instagram @CheltenhamNoticeboard



Adam & Katie's Secret Wedding

Meet the Carswells

Adam Carswell and Katie Dobson slipped away to Salcombe in Devon for a secret wedding ceremony with just a few members of family. This beachy location was perfect for them as it's one of their favourite places in the whole world. During the process, their girls Ruby and Liberty were very excited to have each gained a step-sister. After trying several wedding dresses since their engagement, Katie remembered a dress she'd once purchased from eBay as an objet d'art to hang in an alcove in her old bedroom. She searched for it in her wardrobe and thought 'this is the one!' During lockdown she sat for hours and embellished it with hundreds of beads and sequins, every single one sewn on by hand. Katie believes that 'all brides should feel comfortable and wear whatever outfit makes them feel beautiful'. Well she certainly did look beautiful, as you can see in this gorgeous image captured by James Fear at Fear Photography.

Jess A Little Creative designed a print for the happy couple to echo the sentiments on the back of Katie's denim jacket that said 'Covid can't cancel LOVE' and Esther Bate-Williams did a lovely drawing for them.

Carlos & Helen's Wedding

When they met, Helen worked at 131 and Carlos was living in Bristol and working a corporate job which he hated. After realising that they wanted to spend all their waking hours together they set up their own business Las Tapitas, providing authentic paella and tapas with Spanish flair.

'We finally decided to go ahead as we'd been engaged for four and a half years and chose the date that would have been Helen's Dad's 72nd birthday. We got married in Warwick (closest place that was taking bookings), only Helen's mum and her friend came as witnesses. The ceremony was simple but touching. Then we came home and celebrated together with Charlie our pup, who did our first dance with us to November Rain from Guns&Roses ;) and we ate sushi and octopus carpaccio. We're planning a celebration for our first anniversary on 19 December 2021 (save the date :). Hopefully some of Carlos' family can visit for that, then we plan to go on honeymoon next January doing a long road trip from here across the South of France and then around Spain!' Carlos & Helen Rodoreda Torres

Las Tapitas website: www.lastapitas.co.uk

Hannah & Michael's New Baby

This gorgeous little man made his way into the world towards the end of 2020. He's so handsome! His mum Hannah, The Mindfulness Coach, said...

'I'm so grateful to have become a Mother to baby Dax. His cheeky little grin makes my face light up every day. Of course, like with everything there are challenges, like the long sleepless nights where he just wanted to be held. I know he won't always want his mum and one day he'll think he's too cool for a cuddle. Plus there are the additional pressures of lockdown but I remind myself every day that this is just temporary and soon my son will be able to meet his Nannie and Pops.'

Happy 21st to Safie

My old school friend Sally Clark recently left her long term position as Manager at the LINC Shop on Bath Road, to take over a new business venture - a B&B - with her partner Leroy. Their daughter Safie celebrated her 21st birthday in lockdown - in fact there aren't many people who haven't had a lockdown birthday (my son's had two because his birthday falls in March). Safie had a delicious meal cooked by her parents. Her Nan, who is in their bubble, joined them at the B&B for dinner along with Safie's younger brother. Safie is training for a career in nursing.


Life Saving Treatment for Emily

Emily Balfour is a bright, funny, kind and giving young woman who is suffering immensely due to having a condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS). Emily's deteriorating health is now tragically threatening her ability to live a normal life, so her friends and family are fundraising for treatments that are not available on the NHS to manage Emily's symptoms and prevent rapid deterioration of this condition, which will be completely disabling, or even life threatening if left untreated.

'EDS is a rare genetic condition that affects connective tissue, which unfortunately has no cure as of yet. Connective tissues provide support in skin, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, internal organs and bones. As a result, EDS can often affect the whole body. For Emily, having EDS, alongside other debilitating associated conditions, now affects all aspects of her life. She has suffered years of chronic pain, chronic fatigue and severe hypermobility in all of her joints, which has resulted in frequent joint subluxations and multiple dislocations. This has already required major surgery. Despite struggling through years of health problems, Emily has persevered to achieve her goals, and is studying English literature at university. She has a passion for creative writing and film with aspirations for a future in these areas.

Sadly, Emily’s condition has deteriorated over the last few years, becoming increasingly severe and systemic, affecting her heart, nervous system and now, most worryingly, her brain and spine. She has developed a number of conditions which often go alongside EDS, including Chiari Malformation, which means the lower part of her brain is falling through the opening at the base of her skull, Cranio-Cervical Instability (CCI) and autonomic dysfunction. Together, these co-morbid conditions are causing neurological symptoms, including increasingly significant problems with her vision, hearing and cognitive function, alongside increasingly debilitating pain. These days painkillers do little to help. All of this is making it increasingly difficult for Emily to do day to day things. Her symptoms have become life altering and she is becoming increasingly restricted by her illnesses. Sadly, the progressive deterioration in her health, is now affecting Emily being able to continue her studies, threatening everything she has worked so hard to achieve. Without intervention, Emily’s condition will cause even further degeneration and can lead to permanent disability.

Despite the seriousness of the difficulties it causes, EDS is known as one of the ’invisible’ diseases, as people can look OK on the outside, even though they are suffering from severe symptoms. Many people with EDS remain undiagnosed for years and specialist services for the condition are very limited within the UK. A petition was recently sent to parliament requesting government investment into the understanding and treatment of EDS within the NHS. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/212713

People like Emily need to fund costly private investigations and private treatments to manage their illness. Moreover, those who need neurosurgery for Chiari malformation or CCI have to somehow find a way of funding the tremendous cost of having this done abroad, as the specialist surgery suitable for EDS patients is only available there. Having exhausted the options available on the NHS, Emily is now at a point of needing to travel abroad in order to try to manage her condition and critically, to prevent further deterioration. Emily is hoping that innovative treatments being developed in America may help stabilise and improve her condition. Money donated will go towards ongoing treatments within the UK to manage Emily's condition; funding consultations with doctors abroad who are experts on CCI and Chiari Malformation in EDS patients and funding innovative treatments abroad for CCI and Chiari Malformation, including travel costs. Unfortunately it is no longer an issue of determination, as her condition makes the present unbearable and threatens to take her future. Please help make life manageable and give hope to Emily who has so much potential. Any donations, however small, would be really appreciated.' Emily's friend Rachel Parry

Fundraising website link: www.gofundme.com/f/life-saving-treatment-for-emily


Image from Vulture.com

Small Axe - Lovers Rock

BBC iPlayer

Small Axe is an anthology of five films by British filmmaker Steve McQueen. Lovers Rock is all about a party or 'blues' which makes you feel you are more a guest in the room than a fly on the wall. It's set in 1980 with exuberant outfits and a euphoric atmosphere, with an outstanding a capella singsong to Janet Kay's Silly Games which feels spontaneous and rapturous. (I made rum cocktails to watch this film and join in with the party vibe - Ed.)

The Guardian says that the filmmaker 'shines a sociopolitical spotlight on London’s West Indian community from the mid-1960s to the ’80s. These are McQueen’s people: Born in 1969 to Caribbean parents who were among those invited to settle in Britain after World War II, he has woven his own memories and family stories into a vibrant tapestry of immigrant dignity and determination.'

'One of the most transfixing movies of last year.' Vulture.com

Image from Deadline

Emily in Paris

Netflix. Review by Jo Betteridge.

Ohhh Emily how I miss you. At first you got right on my wick, but I soon warmed to you. And like an overly friendly holiday waiter, you’re gone without a backwards glance after just one short season.

If you loved ‘Sex in the City’, chances are you’re going to absolutely adore its younger, greener cousin ‘Emily in Paris’ (once you’ve got past her irritating niceness). Emily (Phil Collins' daughter in real life) arrives from the American mid-west to head up the Paris office marketing team of the magazine she works for, and, quelle surprise, the chic Parisians are having none of her gauche American ways. Cue textbook grande-madame-threatened-by-endearing-rookie tension, culminating in Insta Icon status for Emily and her picture-perfect selfies.

Je ne sais pas pourquoi - maybe I lack Francophile finesse? - but I was captivated by the Insta-perfect chickflick-filtered view of Paris that grated on so many. I loved the clothes, the champagne and mostly the cosmopolitan street-side café bars. I’m not going to ‘do’ any spoilers, but the champagne chateau episode was a bit close to the knuckle. If the brother was a sister and the girlfriend was a boyfriend, there’d be rioting in the streets. Just sayin’.

Most of all though, I loved this Neflix tweet: “Friendly reminder Emily in Paris is supposed to be pronounced with a French accent so ‘Emily’ and ‘Paris’ rhyme,”. Pretentious, non?

Image from Deadline

Image from Netflix

Virgin River

Netflix. Review by Laura Stokes of www.meredelalune.com.

If ever there was an antidote to all things Covid it’s Virgin River.

Filmed against the breathtakingly stunning backdrop of beautiful Vancouver (although it’s set in California) this feel good romantic drama series – based on the books by Robyn Carr - hits all the right buttons; cosy, small town vibes, a will they – won’t they love story, fascinating local characters, intrigue and some medical dramas thrown in too.

Virgin River follows our protagonist, nurse Mel Monroe, as she moves from big city life to small town living. Following her own personal trauma, glimpses of which are revealed via a sequence of flashbacks, Mel settles (somewhat awkwardly) into her role as nurse alongside the town’s longstanding doctor, a suitably obdurate Dr Vernon Mullins. Along the way Mel meets her potential one true love, US marine veteran now local tavern owner, Jack Sheridan, and we follow their budding relationship. There are ups and downs and it’s safe to say the story lines are somewhat predictable, in a comforting kind of way, but the bottom line is that this is wholesome, feel good, beautifully shot TV. The scenery is to die for, the storyline hits juts the right level of cheesiness and on the whole it’s just the ticket for these troubled times. Who wouldn’t want to up sticks and live in a tumbledown log cabin (beautifully restored by said love interest) enjoy marvellous sex, a whole lot of adventure and excitement whilst slowly – but steadily – integrating into an idyllic small town with all its drama?!

(Doesn't Mel have great brows?! - Ed)

Image from Telly Visions
Beatie Edney as Prudie the Housekeeper - Image from Poldarked.com



I remember the old Poldark series (1975 onwards) being on when I was little - Nanna used to love it. I became aware of the 2015 series of Poldark when I saw smoulderingly attractive Aidan Turner photos being shared on Instagram. Ah, he's alright, I thought. Nothing to write home about. But I was wrong. Once I got stuck in to the series with my husband we both became fully invested in his portrayal of Ross Poldark, galloping around the cliffs, beaches, forests and fields of 18th Century Cornwall and doing full justice to his character in the most fetching Georgian attire. I won't give away the plot about a love interest... but the period costumes for the ladies are just as striking.

The story is taken from 12 novels and shows the trials and tribulations of a set of people you come to deeply care about. The old aunt is a real hoot - watch out for her. Interesting fact: Beatie Edney who plays Prudie, Ross's troublesome and lazy housekeeper, was Heather MacLeod in the 1986 film Highlander.

It's also a tale of love, loss, mixed messages, feudalism and rivalry. The scenery is outstanding and there's a backlog of five whole seasons - hearty entertainment for the whole family. We are bereft now it's over. Even watching the fabulous Bridgerton (review in next issue!) I turned to my husband and whispered "Do you miss Poldark?"

"Yes" came the solemn reply.

Original Poldark - Image from BT TV
Highlander - Image from Pinterest
Highlander - Image from JungleKey.com
Beatie as Prudie - Image from Mirror.co.uk


If you'd like to order a copy of Ditch Your Inner Bitch,
contact Jo Betteridge on

Ditch Your Inner Bitch

I AM Good Enough Programme by Jo Betteridge

Review by Sue McFadden

'Quite simply this is the book/workbook I didn’t know I needed until I found it and realised how working on my perception of myself and the things I wasn’t happy about could be dealt with by looking at things as if I were my own best friend (or Cheerleader as Jo would call me) and ditching my Inner Bitch! Jo is so open, frank and honest about her ups and downs and her humour, positivity and determination to be a better person and to help others be the best they can is heart-warming and encouraging from start to finish. The book isn’t wishy washy psychology but gritty and funny, a lot like life, and I promise it will help you feel better about yourself, guided by Jo and with a little commitment. More than ever I think most of us, men and women alike, need to be able to feel our own self-worth and not beat ourselves up about how imperfect we are - we are after all imperfectly perfect and unique and we need to appreciate our skills and recognise our weaknesses and this is what Ditch Your Inner Bitch helps you achieve.'

Get 50% off and transform your life for just £27 at https://payhip.com/b/cx6q using voucher code LIFESTYLE50!


by Ani King

Night and day conspire deafeningly

in a clash of nebulous fire.

Day hesitates; night falters, knowing

she must blight day’s glowing melody

And they stare, blinded, at their ephemeral creation,

their convergence, suspended in the sky,

balanced on the horizon, their tones blended,

soon to die

Then, part, for the sad thread of Time

is mercilessly unwinding.

They part like lovers afraid to touch,

lest they shatter the other with their passion.


The Big Clean Dudes

We are happy to announce The Big Clean Dudes, your local heavy duty cleaning company. We are always being asked for carpet and upholstery cleaning recommendations, so these are the dudes to book next time you need that service.

Call Pasha on 07920402020 for your quote. The Big Clean Dudes are at your service for all the heavy duty jobs. No job is too big or too small for The Big Clean Dudes. Please contact them for a free, no obligation quote. (We really hope he does turn up in a Superman cape! - Ed)

They can quote the job online, over the phone or if you prefer they can stop by and give you a free, fair and honest quote.

  • Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning

  • Solar Panel Cleaning

  • Gutters, Fascias and Soffits Cleaning

  • Pressure Washing

  • Garden Fencing and Panels (repair and replace)

  • Window Cleaning

  • High Reach Vacuuming

Website: https://thebigcleandudes.co.uk

Roxim Cakes

Heavenly Cakes for Cheltenham

Homemade cakes, sweets and cookies. Cakes are decorated to mark a special celebration such as a birthday or wedding. We can also mark national or religious holidays or create something special be used to promote commercial enterprises. Free delivery within a three mile radius of GL51.

Whether you're after a moist chocolate sponge cake, a fragrant vanilla or a rich chocolate fudge cake, we can make delicious and beautiful cakes for your special occasions.

See menu and order from Just Eat here:

Cotswold Breakfast Factory

Your local breakfast factory in Cheltenham. Fresh and delicious breakfast and brunch delivered to you via Just Eat.

  • English Breakfasts

  • Continental Breakfasts

  • Bagels, Croissants & Panini

  • Omelettes & Frittatas

  • Vegan & Vegetarian Options

  • Hot & Cold Drinks

Order from the menu here: https://www.just-eat.co.uk/restaurants-cotswoldbreakfastfactory-cheltenham/menu

Hannah Galliers - The Mindfulness Coach

I work as a coaching professional who specialises in helping career driven working mothers balance both their working and family lives. I've helped coach my clients in a way that utilises both their heads and their hearts. I first learned about coaching when I hit a roadblock in my own life and was struggling to move past it. The techniques I developed were so successful that friends and family began asking me for help with their own challenges. This motivated me to turn my newfound passion into a full time career. If you have any questions about my methods, or would like to schedule a consultation, please get in touch today. You are welcome to join my Facebook group 'Your Daily Dose of Positivity' and my website is here: www.mymindfulnesscoach.co.uk

Aspey Energy

A warm (literally) welcome to Aspey Energy!

Matthew Aspey and his team are ready to help us all go SOLAR powered and cover everything from solar panels, renewable energy, electric car charging, heat batteries, hot water saving... if you have dreams of being able to live 'off grid' then Matthew is your man.


Electrical and Renewables Engineers

We are renewable energy experts who create bespoke solutions for everyone from designers to developers, from home-owners to homebuilders.

We’re passionate about what we do and how we do it, whether it’s installing solar PV panels and EV charging, or monitoring your energy usage to find the right battery storage solution for you.


  • Solar panels and storage batteries

  • Electric vehicle charging points

  • Heat batteries

  • Electric install including smart home technologies


  • Domestic of all types

  • Industrial facilities

  • Volume housing projects

  • Eco pods and outdoor lighting


Koloshi Kitchen

A harmony of food and spice.

Koloshi restaurant in Charlton Kings is known for its regional subcontinent cooking, combining high-quality fresh products with sophisticated flavours to create refined Indian dishes. Chef Azad Hussain and his team have mastered the art of Indian regional cuisine over the years. Koloshi Kitchen has opened its takeaway branch in Grosvenor Street for your convenience, to deliver gorgeous South Asian meals in the Cheltenham area.

The BRAND NEW additional location is 8 Grosvenor Street, Cheltenham GL52 2SG, where The County Kitchen used to be. Phone 01242 511773 or visit www.koloshikitchen.com/order-online to place your order.

Ginger Health Coaching

Meet our very newest directory member, Heather Savage...

Are you ready to start your journey of transformation to health and happiness?

My name is Heather and I am the founder of Ginger Health Coaching. I am a certified transformational health and life coach.

  • Are you feeling overwhelmed or stressed?

  • Are your burnt out or on the verge of burn out?

  • Are you feeling stuck in a rut and want to get your life back?

  • Are you lacking in energy and feeling tired all the time?

  • Have you had enough of trying to juggle everything and want to find some balance in your life - for you and your family?

  • Are you struggling with emotional eating?

  • Would you like to feel better about yourself inside and out?

If you would like to feel:

  • Calmer

  • More positive

  • More confident

  • More energy

  • Less tired

  • More balance in your life

  • Fitter and healthier

  • Greater self esteem

I offer a variety of programmes and bespoke one-to-one coaching to help give you sustainable results and help you get your life back.


Cheltenham Children's Choir

Have fun with singing!

Choirs are a fantastic way for everyone to share and enjoy music and singing. Cheltenham Children’s Choir is aimed at all children who love to sing. The Children’s Choir meets in three groups – ‘Little Lyrics‘ for 5-8 year olds, ‘Vocalise‘ for 8-11 year olds and ‘Harmonise‘ for 11+. During lockdown restrictions we will be continuing with Zoom Choir! Although we know this is our second choice (the moment we sing together in person will be magical), we had so much fun at Zoom Choir, singing safely in 2020. We are continuing the virtual fun in 2021. For all groups, the aims are to help children understand a little about music, make a great sound and most of all, HAVE FUN.

Website: amber-smith.co.uk/cheltenham-childrens-choir

Also... Musicality is a choir for adults who just want to sing! Inspired by Cheltenham Children’s Choir, there is no experience necessary to join us. You might be an expert ‘shower-singer’ or have a good knowledge of music – it really doesn’t matter, the focus is on fun and enjoyment. We rehearse on Thursday evenings between 8pm and 9pm. Musicality is £20 for five weeks and is open to all. To register, please complete the short registration form found here: https://amber-smith.co.uk/musicality-registration-form

CBT & Counselling

Hadassah Townend is a qualified Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and is a member of the BACP and BABCP Associations. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that emphasises the important role of ‘thinking’ in how we feel and how that affects what we do.

Your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, often trapping you in a negative spiral. CBT helps you stop these negative cycles, breaking down factors that are making you feel depressed or anxious so that they become more manageable. It shows you how to change these negative patterns to improve the way you think and feel.

During our therapy sessions we work together toward finding strategies that will achieve your specific goals. I will help you learn to observe your thoughts and beliefs and then to identify and understand their link to your thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

'I can’t recommend Hadassah highly enough. My daughter started to meet with her during her second year of college. At the time she was suffering from anxiety and depression, and would hide away in her room, isolating herself. Hadassah’s compassion and empathy has turned her life around. My daughter completed and passed her A levels, and started at her first choice of university. She has returned to being a vibrant, confident person, taking part, and enjoying in all aspects of university life.' Ms K, Worcestershire

Hadassah's website is www.cbtandcounselling.co.uk.

F E A T U R E S, A R T I C L E S & T I P S

Gloucestershire Soprano sings to 100,000 people in Taiwan

In December, most of us were hunkering down ready to try and make the best of a largely socially distant Christmas with more restrictions to follow. Gloucestershire-born soprano Mary-Jess, however, was getting ready for the biggest performance of her life.

Mary-Jess, winner of the Chinese X Factor and singer of the Downton Abbey theme song, was preparing to sing to a crowd of over 100,000 people in Taiwan. “It honestly felt like I was playing Glastonbury, something I never thought possible during this crisis” said Mary-Jess.

Upon arriving in Taiwan, she released her fourth album ‘Live in Concert’ from the locked room of the quarantine facility, and when freedom was granted two weeks later, she performed to 100,000 people, with 2.3 million watching on TV. She was even invited to sing at the Taiwanese equivalent of The House of Lords; “It was incredibly special,” said Mary-Jess “I sang a traditional Chinese folk song called Mo Li Hua (Jasmine Flower), which is included on my Live in Concert album. I felt truly honoured to be invited to perform there!”

The main message in this adventure is one of optimism for the future as Mary-Jess explains: "Taiwan has given me so much hope. It was incredible to see a glimpse of what could be possible for us in a post-Covid future. Taiwan reminded me that it won’t be like this forever and now I’m looking to the future with a renewed sense of optimism. For that, I’m so very grateful.”

Mary-Jess’ latest album, ‘Live in Concert’ is available from iTunes, Amazon and from www.mary-jess.com where there are also free songs available.


The Fashion Storm

by Stylist Sarah Cross @myvosuk

It’s been a quiet year for fashion as functional and indoors-y clothes took over to reflect the needs and mood of the world pandemic. BUT (capital letters completely necessary) where there is a lull a storm is sure to follow. The Fashion Storm is going to be huge and fab-u-lous darling.

Just think footwear, accessories, and hair dos alone - each will have a renewed purpose as restrictions ease and we are allowed to step out more freely and be away from our homes. Every Spring we are keen to see nature's signals - colourful shoots, brighter skies, yellow rays of sun - all of which lifts our mood. This year Spring will feel even more significant to us which in turn is sure to be echoed in our wardrobe choices. Colour and bold shapes will surface like a kaleidoscope of butterflies as we emerge from our safe, elasticated, slouch wear chrysalises.

Here are my 5 predictions for Spring 2021:

Oversized Boyfriend Blazer/Coat (with shoulder pads)

Choose your colour from sugary pastels or dark tones from the neutral palette, such as charcoal. Create a long line silhouette, add 80s-inspired shoulder pads, and watch this shape elongate your legs! If you dare, pair with pleather shorts or rock this look with a slim leg trouser. Experiment with dress jewellery and footwear to dress this up or down for an effortlessly chic aesthetic.

White Knee Boots

Your slouch wear doesn’t have to be completely redundant - sleek it up, chic it up, look effortless, look sexy... by adding the 60s style, classic go-go dancer inspired white knee-high boot. Taking its inspiration from the Youth Revolution in the mid-century, this Nancy Sinatra-approved look is a chic way to elevate your outfit. Wear with mini skirts, polo necks, leggings and yes, your safe slouch wear too.

Camel & Yellow

Heading back to the 70s and taking the classic light brown and yellow to a new dimension, aka camel and buttercup. Mixing and matching these shades adds depth to your ensembles, no matter the clothes you prefer to wear. Try a light brown suit or coat with a yellow fine knit or a tan T with camel flares. This subtle yet flattering combination is the hottest look to try this season.

Blue Accessories

Why blend in when you were born to stand out? Update your existing go-to outfits by adding something blue. This easy style secret works with monochrome, black and grey outfits and has an unlimited amount of options you can try throughout the season. Just think how many shades of blue there are.

Folk Inspired Coats

Intricate detail, embroidery, lace, tapestry and an ooze of sumptuousness all in one coat is exactly what is required on a Spring day or evening. The folk-inspired coat looks great with a monochrome black or brown ensemble or choose it in a series of colours for a bright and interesting choice. This trend looks fantastic on every body type.

These 5 key trends offer a style solution for EVERYONE no matter what your uniform is. How? Each of these trends can be introduced to your existing wardrobe, giving you an instant upgrade and a newfound love for all your items which have been inadvertently neglected for a year. Take your pick or try all 5 and enjoy causing a Fashion Storm.

I would love to see your take on these trends. Post your pictures on Instagram and hashtag #myvosuk or send to hello@myvos.co.uk

Love Sarah x


I Imagine

by Naif Pierre, Author & Artist

'I imagine' is a column where I talk about my local inspirations and heroes, my work process, challenges and interests.

I imagine if I could look inside my own head, it would resemble something like candy floss. Not the wispy pink clouds of seaside holiday dreams, but imagine someone dropped the car keys in the candyfloss machine. Then add in a bit of carpet fluff for good measure. That's usually the starting point for a lot of my work.

That said, how do candyfloss-brained writers get any work done you ask? My answer - with the support of a wider community. In this case I would like to focus on my Gloucestershire community and how it has enabled me to achieve far more than what I could possibly do on my own.

What has Gloucestershire got to do with a manuscript about two children in medieval West Africa? Firstly, I completed the first draft in the family history library in Cheltenham while heavily pregnant with my daughter. I used the library's loans system to borrow obscure books and research papers to embed the story in a believable time and place.

Even before I'd finished my first draft, I'd enlisted the help of a local book club to give me an idea of how my writing style would be received. Turns out, it wasn't very good at all. Bless them, these patient volunteers even managed to finish reading all the way to the end! A friend in the reading group even gave the novel its title.

I joined a women's writing group which prior to lockdown met at the Suffolk Anthology, Cheltenham's best bookstore in my totally unbiased opinion. That's not to mention the informal network of parents who helped with the school run when I had deadlines to meet. Having been longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Writing Competition 2019 and the SI Leeds Literary Award 2020, I have had fantastic exposure from Cheltenham Business & Lifestyle Magazine and Lives of Colour, both successful Gloucestershire-based businesses supporting local talent and enterprise.

The point my candyfloss-brain is trying to make is that connection makes even the most cotton-ball-minded individuals stronger and more resilient. In the throes of a global pandemic, it has been incredibly challenging to connect with one another, but technology at least makes this possible. I encourage you, dear reader, to be hopeful and reach out to a trusted person... and seriously remember to take that vitamin D! If all else fails, close your eyes and imagine fluorescent pink candy floss at the seaside, cavity and calorie free...


The Fear

by Janie at Janie Whittemore Intuitive Therapies

I spoke with a client who, although she was happy with her life situation, felt as if she was walking around with a big lump in the middle of her chest. We talked about this, what it could mean and why it was there. It turns out that she had fear. This fear had enclosed her whole heart. It felt like a brick wall built right there in the middle of her chest. Pulling and dragging and weighing her down.

But why was it there? She couldn't really work it out. Her life had been difficult in the past, but now everything seemed to be falling into place. New relationship. Great kids. Usual difficulties surrounding Covid and home schooling, but other than that she couldn't understand why she could not feel happier. We checked back to when she might have felt this same heart feeling in her past. Immediately, she recalled something.

As a child, she'd had a small accident at home. Her mother was working, so she rang her and asked for help - but her mother explained she couldn't come. This was distressing on many levels.

This lovely lady hadn't realised it, but from that day she had built a wall of protection around her feelings, so that she could never feel let down, abandoned and afraid ever again. The fear she had felt on that day being injured, compounded with the panic of not being rescued meant that she had hardened her heart. Closed up against trusting and asking for help. And now as an adult with children of her own, she still carried the weight that blocked off her heart and felt like stone. So we worked together. And after half an hour the wall was gone. The point is, if we harden our hearts to potential pain, we will not experience all that life has to offer. A part of us does this for protection – we may even realise this is what we are doing, while we make up all sorts of reasons why someone isn’t right, or a job isn’t good enough.

But what else is this protecting you from experiencing? The richness of life. The potential of a million good things you may not see. How is that serving you? To be heart-centred is to be openhearted, to truly engage with life, even at the risk of more pain. We can't experience any change for the better if we are gripped by fear. Fear makes us contract and diminish ourselves. Studies have shown that eventually this can even affect our physical body. Taking responsibility for oneself and one's actions is key. Understanding that in fact we don't need to be rescued any more, that we are in charge and we make all our own choices is so empowering. It can help to break down that wall, and free you to fully experience all the highs and lows of life. This is what it is to be human. To be free to choose. Your beautiful strength lies in your vulnerability.

love Janie x

2020. Wow!

by new columnist Laura Stokes from Mere de la Lune.

I think we can all safely say the last 12 months have been the most bizarre in all of our living memories. It’s easy to get swamped by the cacophony of negative news. I know that, for a while, I had to turn off social media and limit how much news I was absorbing; it got to be too much and was causing me to spiral down into a little trough of despair and, as a parent, I couldn’t afford to wallow in that trough for long.

As 2020 drew to an end I gave some thought to all that had gone before and was pleased to discover that I could honestly say I’d had a good year.

*I was fully present for my kids for the first time in years – no place to be, no demands on my time, no outside pressure, no constant clock watching.
*I discovered the kindness of friends and strangers.
*I learned to relax (possibly took to it a little too well!).
*I learned to set boundaries.
*I discovered I have the most awesome neighbours and live in a great community.
*I realised that we have enough.
*I was reminded that my family are my world and I cannot wait to see them again.
*I started a new business (Mere de la Lune) with my fabulous daughter.

We’d spent hours doing nothing but shootin’ the breeze, we’d had a blast making TikToks, we adventured in our neighbourhood, we went on SO many walks, we argued (not as much as I would’ve thought), we FaceTimed family and friends (thank heavens for technology) and we’ve appreciated the small things: delicious food, the joy of creating art, the beauty around us, having precious time together…

Yes, we’ve missed those we can’t see. Yes, we’ve been hit hard financially. Yes, 2020 didn’t go as we had planned. But man, we’ve also had some really good times!

If you’re feeling low (because, let’s face it, lockdown in summer was a whole different ball game!) please reach out to someone. Try and get out, even for a short walk. Call a friend. Make food. Count your blessings.

This too shall pass.

The website for Mére de la Lune is www.meredelalune.com and it's @meredelalune on socials.


We asked Mark Cuzner of The Cheltenham Post a few nosey questions...

1. Are you Cheltenham born and bred?

Yes born in St Paul’s Hospital Cheltenham.

2. How did you get into journalism?

In 1992 I went travelling to Australia to see my grandparents and on my return got a job working for The Echo. I also worked for Cheltenham News and Gloucester Citizen but that’s how I got started.

3. I hear you have an interest in sport?

Love all sport, big fan of cricket and football and four years ago was asked if I would like to be an Associate Director of Cheltenham Town. I love watching my son play.

4. Are you a good cook - what's your signature dish?

Yes love to cook, I would say my signature dish is a good old traditional Sunday roast.

5. Where do you like going to eat out in Cheltenham?

I love eating out... I just love eating.

6. What has been your most important lesson in life that you could share with our readers?

Always be kind, and have time for people in any walk of life; never trust anyone who does not respect nature and does not like animals.

7. Which charity is closest to your heart and why?

A tricky one as all charities do fantastic work. Locally I have a soft spot for Cheltenham Animal Shelter as I am a huge animal lover; nationally Acorns Children’s Hospice - they care for children who have life limiting and life threatening conditions. I am so grateful that my children are grown up and have had healthy lives.

8. How old were you when you had your first crush?

I was 16 - she was my French teacher at school, Miss Laroche. The teaching assistant Miss Lombard was pretty fit too.

8. Who is your best friend?

I have lots of good friends some I have kept since school however my best friend is my wife Anna.

9. Favourite cocktail.

Cocktail? For a short drink on a hot day/night you cannot beat a G and T.

10. Favourite holiday destination and why.

I love Majorca, in particular Alcudia, many memories. Two hour flight, beautiful sandy beaches and fantastic climate.

The Cheltenham Post website is cheltenhampost.co.uk.

H O M E & G A R D E N

Emma recommends Good Life Gardens. So do we! Elaine & Matt come and do our garden every couple of months to keep it looking neat and pretty.

Wild About Gardening

Emma Reuvers is a keen gardener who has set up her own business Wild Edge Garden Design to help people achieve their dream garden without charging the earth. (See what we did there?)

A Herb Garden

February is an exciting time in the garden as the first daffodils make an appearance and new buds burst into life. Early spring is the perfect time to think about re-invigorating an existing garden border, creating a new planting or replanting old and tired pots or containers.

The best planting schemes are those that are multifunctional. When choosing new plants consider not only how they look, but how they benefit garden wildlife and how they benefit you. For this reason I love a herb garden. The ultimate multi-functional, low maintenance space. With the right mix of plants, a herb garden will provide year round interest. The flowers of most herbs are a source of nectar for many important insects.

Shrubbier herbs, such as rosemary and sage, provide habitat for birds and small mammals and even a hiding spot for slow worms. If you choose perennial herbs you won't need to replant every year. The soil remains undisturbed to create a self-sustaining system that supports millions of tiny microbes, hundreds of earthworms and the plants themselves. As a bonus herbs are beautiful to look at, often scented and useful to us too. A large number of easy to grow herbs can be used in cooking, simple medicines (like healthy tonics and tinctures), DIY beauty products and even to create dyes for fabrics.

Diagram shows a simple herb garden plan for a sunny, free draining site.



Bournside Photography Competition

Students of Bournside School sent in some wonderful images as entries for a photography competition. Cheltenham Noticeboard Facebook group members voted for their favourite, which is on the cover of this Spring magazine issue. The winner was this gorgeous robin in song, by Charlie Millward who is in Year 10. As well as having the front cover, Charlie won a family brunch which we ordered from The Cotswold Breakfast Factory to be delivered to them on a Saturday morning. Charlie said"we all really enjoyed it!"

We've done our best to include as many runners up photographs as we have space for.

Ellie Townsend

Emily Johnson Y9

Asia Pastrovicchio Y8

Emily Johnson Y9

Emily Johnson Y9

Emily Wilkin Y8

Ben Millward Y13

Phil Cork Y7

Morgan Gilbert Y12

Rose Bullingham Y7

Jamie Tenn Y11

Asia Pastrovicchio Y8

Abby Gregory, whose photo of the dogs in coats was the on cover of our last issue, sent in these beautiful horse images.

Readers' Photography

John Hopkins, who offers free photography to businesses in our network, sent in this great shot of a squirrel enjoying a feast from the bird table.

John can be contacted by email at jb-hopkins@hotmail.co.uk.


Piggies on the Move

Piggies on the Move is a Guinea Pig Rescue and Adoption Service based in Gloucestershire. You are welcome to get in contact if you know of an animal in need or are interested in providing a lovely forever home.

🐹🐾How to Adopt🐾🐹

1) Message the Page regarding the piggies you are interested in.
2) Provide photos of accommodation. Accommodation must be a suitable size for the number of piggies and MUST meet the minimum requirements. We follow RSPCA guidelines but bigger is always better! Staff at pet stores may not provide correct information. NOTE: Only 1 level counts towards the size requirement as piggies need room to stretch out and run around on one level.
3) Fill out and return our rehoming questionnaire.
4) We will not re-home a piggy to live on its own. They are very social animals and must be kept in pairs at minimum.
5) Thoroughly do your research on them, they may be small but require a fair time commitment, daily cleaning, cuddles and access to an outdoor run that should be at least 4ft x 6ft.
6) Their primary carer must be an adult.

Here's the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/piggiesonthemove

A R T S & C U L T U R E

Claudia Naen

We're lucky to have such talented, imaginative people in this area and because of social media we get to see work that we couldn't otherwise discover. Claudia Naen says: "I am a textile designer by heart and have been moving towards clothing and building up my own slow fashion brand these past few months." Her clothing line is called Tapuh Clothing and new collection called Homebody is coming out soon.

Here is more about Tapuh clothing in Claudia's own words...

Hello, my name is Claudia Naen and I am the designer and fabric maverick behind Tapuh clothing. Tapuh clothing is my sweet love letter to my family and friends, my love for clothes as an expression of freedom and, well, mostly to my love for fabrics. I studied in Textiles Design and graduated with a specialism in knit, all the while learning about patterns and sewing in my spare time.

I have never felt such freedom as making my own wardrobe and whilst it is not 100% me made there’s a big portion that is. During lockdown the two things that kept me going were getting dressed in the morning and sewing a garment to wear for the next day. I believe clothes are much more than to keep you warm or cool or covered; they are an incredible expression of oneself and for me are my daily saviour. If I am at a crossroads in life, doubting my abilities or feeling low I know making up an outfit will make my day significantly better.

I look to Tapuh to continue this feeling to others to the best of my ability. I want everyone to feel empowered in their clothes whilst still feeling comfortable and flexible to do whatever they wish that day. I hope you are all as excited as I am for this journey and I thank you all for the support already.

For all bodies, all shapes, all sizes - let’s wake up and feel ourselves 🌸

Claudia's website is https://www.claudianaen.co.uk.

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/tapuhclothing.

Greetings Cards Save Primary School from Collapse

Since July 2020, by selling handmade greetings cards, Olivia Cowell has managed to raise over £5000 for a primary school in Kenya which she volunteered at in 2019.


The Warners Motor Group has been selling and servicing cars in Gloucestershire for 100 years. Brothers Cecil and Harold Warner established the firm in 1920. Harold's son Norman followed in their footsteps and by 1968 his son Michael took the reins. The business remains in family hands and today Marc Warner along with Mark Jones and Chris Smart are at the helm of the business, retailing and servicing cars across three sites in Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury.



The Big Clean Dudes

'Only messaged them for a quote late last night not expecting a response. Next thing I knew, someone was working on my windows by lunch time, also came back to clean the carpet. Did an amazing job for a very competitive price, super friendly and most of all was very conscious about having doors open while my kitty was around. Thank you The Big Clean Dudes for an early Christmas present, you are the best! 👌' Cecile Romien

Cheltenham Lifestyle Directory

'I’ve been getting very good leads already. I owe you a big bottle of drink. You guys are amazing!' Pasha from The Big Clean Dudes

Cheltenham Lifestyle Directory

'I do appreciate your luxury advertising. This is perfect. Thank you so much for helping me to promote my products. You are stars!' Roxsana, Roxim Cakes


Community & Lifestyle

Cheltenham Animal Shelter
01242 523521 gawa.org.uk

Gloucestershire Constabulary
101 for non-emergency enquiries; 999 for emergencies. www.gloucestershire.police.uk

Mark Wijesinghe Bathrooms & Boilers 07717 741075

Property - Morgan Associates Ltd
01242 514285 www.morgan-associates.co.uk

Ollie's Lock & Safe Locksmiths
07725 338705 besecure-locksmiths.co.uk

Business & Legal

Hooble - a helping hand with technology. Special offer web domains.
0333 577 6060 www.hooble.co.uk

Rosie Reynolds Marketing
07967 832856 rosiereynolds.co

The Growth Hub
01242 715400 www.thegrowthhub.biz

Festival Law for Personal Injury and Medical Negligence compensation claims. 01242 633775 festivallaw.co.uk

The Divorce Manager - matrimonial law specialist for amicable divorce.
0800 294 0452 thedivorcemanager.co.uk

C O U P O N C O D E S & S P E C I A L O F F E R S

Some of the local businesses listed in our directory have added a coupon code giving our readers a special discount.

Visit the Coupons page to find out what they are: www.cheltenhamnoticeboard.co.uk/home/coupon-codes-special-offers


Thank you for your support, making it possible for us to keep this magazine, our groups and social media platforms going. We LOVE working with our advertisers and are proud of every single one of the www.cheltenhamlifestyle.co.uk www.cheltenhamnoticeboard.co.uk www.iwork4uglos.co.uk directory members. Thank you, readers, for inspiring us to create something interesting and useful, and the lovely feedback from previous months. Give us a shout if you want to advertise in the Summer issue.