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Tip: How to get a cat to swallow its medication

Alfred Watchley

We have a sickly rescue cat who requires plenty of medication, only he isn’t fond of taking it. Someone at our local pet shop recommended we rub the pill in butter first to make it more appetising and slide down his throat easier. Problem solved.

Tip: Online shopping discount codes

Trevor Littleboy

 

When buying something online, it is always worth doing an internet search for discount codes (eg ‘Boden discount code’) as various sites often provide them. The codes usually give you 10 per cent off or free delivery. There aren’t always discounts available but it is definitely worth a try. 

Tip: How stop sand from clinging to your body

Coralie Purves

Nowhere is safe from the sand when you're at the beach. But to relieve the discomfort of having sand on your body, bring along some talcum powder and apply it liberally. It works by absorbing excess moisture, making it easier for the sand to fall off your skin.

The Wight Military and Heritage Museum, Isle of Wight

Trevor Littleboy

The museum houses standard military memorabilia, so it may only appeal if you have a particular interest in that sort of thing. However, it also provides support to ex-service personnel, disadvantaged youth and the unemployed – which is what makes this place worth mentioning. 

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UNWRPD: Live Plastic Free

Hamish Charlton

Have plastic-free alternatives delivered to your door. The idea is to make the plastic-free, zero-waste lifestyle as convenient as possible. The concept is currently in the process of being tested by a closed group, but the idea is so strong that it’s well worth knowing about now.

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Tip: Make your match last longer

Thea Dale

If you are lighting multiple candles or lighting a hard-to-reach wick, then forget using a load of matches and quick-to-burn rolled up paper. Instead,  use one match and light a stick of spaghetti – very convenient.

‘Normal People’ by Sally Rooney (Faber)

Rich Davey

Sally Rooney’s second novel is as good as her first. She’s been dubbed the Zadie Smith of her generation and millennial fiction’s ‘most important voice’. This novel is rare in that it has united discerning critics in praise and topped charts as a ‘book of the week’ practically everywhere. 

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Books Are My Bag

Alfred Watchley

A nationwide campaign to celebrate bookshops, this collaboration between publishers, bookshops and authors is the biggest ever to ensure that bookshops on the high street will survive and thrive. A series of famous ambassadors grace the campaign trail: Grayson Perry, Lily Cole and Caitlin Moran.

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Linnean Society Treasures Tour

Lucy Blanchette

The Linnean Society of London is the oldest biological society in the world. It frequently holds Treasures Tours which cover the history of the society as well as the likes of Darwin. The guided tours last about an hour-and-a-half. 

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A trick to get rid of wasps

Coralie Purves

A way to discourage wasps is by inflating a brown paper bag and hanging it nearby. They will think it’s a nest, and swerve. Not foolproof, but a drastic improvement for anyone whose breakfasts have been disturbed or who has been stung.

Tumbling Bay in Oxford, for Open Air Swimming

Hamish Charlton

This open-air bathing pool, where the water is fed by the Thames, is a beautiful old Victorian pool which you’d never know was there, since it has been half-reclaimed by nature. Visit to paddle, enjoy, and take carenot to be swept away! Ideal for wild swimming enthusiasts.

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carterscollectablesuk

Jane Morton

CartersCollectablesUK comprises Steve and Jane Carter and we are based on the Isle of Wight, with our dog Lily. In 2004, after moving to the Island, we decided to expand our interests in antiques, and vintage and collectable items, and we set up CartersCollectablesUK. We collect for ourselves and have a wide range of interests in antiques which includes ceramics, wood, vintage and antique jewel...

Tip: Keep Wildlife Safe from Bonfires

Ruby Scott

In autumn, lots of wildlife is looking for shelter for the coming winter months. Due to this, a good tip is to build your bonfire close to the time of lighting (instead of establishing it over days or weeks), as animals may shelter in your creation and meet an unfortunate fate come bonfire night.

Visit: Pembrokeshire Coast National Trail

Ferdie Rous

The Pembrokeshire Coast is around 186 miles in total, with some of it being quite arduous. For a more leisurely route, I suggest the walk between Green Bridge and Saint Govan’s Chapel. It is around three-and-a half-miles of stunning coastline. 

Buy: Citric Acid

Coralie Purves

Citric acid has become a staple in our household due to its many uses. We live in an area with hard water so limescale is a big problem for us, but citric acid is a cheap solution. It can be used to descale the kettle and washing machine, and even clean the toilet. 

Send a Mean Mail

Edith Warren

This sounds unappealing – but, actually, it’s rather funny. Its cards are inspired by the way best friends talk to one another. The cards come with genteel shades overlaid by a few vitriolic words – along the lines of ‘It’s always about you’, ‘You’re not that ill’ and ‘My Mum made me write this.’

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Visit: Elizabeth Gaskell’s house, Manchester

Lara Akeroyd

Elizabeth Gaskell lived at the house in Manchester from 1950 to 1865; during this time she wrote many of her most famous novels. The staff are friendly and their enthusiasm for Gaskell is infectious. There is also a tea room, but note that they serve just drinks and cake.

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Buy: Liquid soap flakes

Hamish Charlton

Liquid soap flakes are really good for delicate items, such as cashmere and silk, which call for handwashing. They are just as good (if not better) than the fancier, more expensive cashmere shampoos.

St Catherine’s Oratory, Isle of Wight

Lucy Blanchette

St Catherine’s Oratory is Britain’s only remaining lighthouse that dates back to the medieval period (c 1313) and the second-oldest – after the Roman one at Dover. The story of why it was built makes it all the more special. A must visit if you are on the island. 

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Ethical Fashion by Hapuska

Ferdie Rous

Incredible feathered, bejewelled collars and headpieces. Ideal for a carnival, fancy-dress party or a pick-me-up. Great colours, textures and so gloriously handmade. Hapuska also makes jewellery but it’s the headpieces that are most enchanting.

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Tip: Repel animals from your plants

Charles Fergusson

To stop pesky animals nibbling and trampling on your plants, sprinkle cayenne pepper around the soil and the animals will keep well away. 

Museum of Witchcraft and Magic – Boscastle, Cornwall

Lara Akeroyd

The museum exhibits all sorts of folklore- and occult-related artefacts. It is set within a small cottage, surrounded by a picturesque harbour. Check the website first, as it recommends when the least busy times to visit are.  

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Marks & Spencer: Marks in Time, Leeds

Jonathan Finchley

This is, in essence, the Marks and Spencer museum, but – trust me on this – it is actually quite interesting. Yes, it documents the journey of Marks & Spencer, but it also is a brief trip through social history.

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Tip: Using a vacuum cleaner to find lost items

Charles Fergusson

If you have lost something small such as an earring, a really helpful tip is to get a pair of stockings and tie the end of them to the vacuum cleaner nozzle. You then turn it on and scan the area, anything you find will be caught in the fabric.

London: Leighton House Museum, Kensington

Mary Canon-Belle

Leighton House is the former residence of Victorian artist Frederic, Lord Leighton. Designed by George Aitchison, the house is now a museum housing Leighton’s work. I recommend you go to see the building itself, as it is an architectural delight and the elaborate décor is stunning.

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