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Seedlip’s copper-still-distilled, non-alcoholic spirits

The Oldie

For the summer reveller who isn’t enticed by the alcoholic cocktail, Seedlip’s non-alcoholic spirits may be a tasty alternative. Pair your choice with your favourite mixer, ice and a citrus slice for a winning formula. The bottles stand out on the shelf with their beautiful botanical illustrations.

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Buy: A Book Safe

The Oldie

This is the most unassuming of safety boxes. It is big enough to fit pieces of jewellery, cash and important documents inside, yet small enough to neatly disguise itself as a dictionary on your bookshelf. The safe comes with two metal keys.

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How to waterproof your canvas shoes

The Oldie

For gardeners and dog walkers, this trick is essential. All you need is beeswax and a hairdryer. Start by buffing the beeswax all over the shoe then simply use the hairdryer to set the wax. Voila! No more soggy shoes.

Revive a tired bee

The Oldie

With the bee population declining, it is important we do what we can to help. In order to revive a tired bee, mix two tablespoons of sugar (never honey) with one tablespoon of water in a small dish and place near the plants that the bees frequent.

Nottinghamshire: The School of Artisan Food

The Oldie

If you fancy learning how to make your own cheese or cider, head to the School of Artisan Food. Set in the picturesque Sherwood Forest, the school has a whole range of food-related courses with helpful and knowledgeable tutors.

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London: Adult learning courses at City Lit

The Oldie

Based in Covent Garden, City Lit has a wide range of courses from philosophy to wine tasting. It offers more than 5,000 courses every year, so there is something for everyone. Senior concessions available – see website for details.

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London: Heatherleys School of Fine Art, Chelsea

The Oldie

Artist Rose Wylie didn’t get her big break until she was in her seventies, so if you fancy your chances at artistic fame or simply want to explore a hobby, Heatherleys has a wide range of courses. It was founded in 1845 and its alumni include the likes of Walter Sickert and Evelyn Waugh.

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London: Crossbones, Southwark

The Oldie

Here at the Crossbones burial ground lay the 'outcast dead'. An estimated 15,000 bodies were buried here over hundreds of years. The site is a small yet fascinating insight into London's rich history. Keep in mind you won't be there for more than 20 minutes, but it is well worth a visit.

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TV: Talking Pictures TV

The Oldie

Unearth the great and forgotten of British film. From kitchen-sink dramas to obscure thrillers, the channel runs 24 hours a day, so there is always something to tune into if you’re feeling nostalgic. See the website for more information on where to watch.

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'The Ethos - Because Life is Better Together' by Adam J Jackson

The Oldie

'The Ethos' explores how 'the later years of life can be richer, more fulfilled and more rewarding than any others' according to writer and former solicitor Adam J Jackson who based the book on his experience at 'Sun Park', a holiday resort dedicated to the over 50s in Lanzarote. 

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Online: Special Occasion Outfits

The Oldie

If you have a special occasion coming up that you need an outfit for, this is a brilliant website for inspiration. It trawls through a range of shops to create outfits that cater for the mature woman. The website is particularly good if you're stuck for wedding guest styles!

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Nationwide: Animal Aunts

The Oldie

Animal Aunts is a pet-sitting service. Each pet-sitter is personally interviewed by the company and requires at least four detailed references. Whether you're away for the day or a little longer, the sitter will come to your house so that your pet’s routine is not disturbed.

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Online: Ocado Smart Pass

The Oldie

Ocado Smart Pass is a great way to ease the burden of the weekly food shop. Pay a small monthly fee to receive free delivery and save 10 per cent on many brands. Plus, they carry your shopping into the house.

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‘Railways & the Raj: How the Age of Steam Transformed India’ by Christian Wolmar

The Oldie

The Indian railway system was built 150 years ago and is one of the largest in the world. Christian Wolmar delivers a concise analysis of the British Raj and how the railways were used, so effectively, to establish control over India.

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‘The Best of AA Gill’ by AA Gill

The Oldie

Adrian Gill died some years ago, but his brilliant way with words lives on in this wonderfully witty anthology of his work.

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‘Fire on All Sides: Insanity, insomnia and the incredible inconveniences of life’ by James Rhodes

The Oldie

The concert pianist James Rhodes, in a follow-up to his 2014 biography, Instrumental, examines the cyclical nature of the depression from which he suffers. The graphic detail with which he explores his life is at once unnerving and awe-inspiring.

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‘Adventures of a Young Naturalist: the Zoo Quest Expeditions’ by David Attenborough

The Oldie

Combining three of his books published in 1956, 1957 and 1959, the UK’s favourite naturalist, David Attenborough, takes us on a hindsight tour of his early career. His charming and witty prose make the book beautifully easy to read.

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‘Gorbachev: His Life and Times’ by William Taubman

The Oldie

Taubman’s book is the first biography in English to treat Gorbachev with the magnitude that he deserves. Taubman explores his dedication to democratic socialism, and how he failed to see that the openness and restructuring he desired were so incompatible with the Soviet system.

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‘Lady Fanshawe’s Receipt Book: The Life and Times of a Civil War Heroine’ by Lucy Moore

The Oldie

Moore’s book gives us an enlightening insight into the life of Lady Fanshawe, whose knowledge of herbs allowed her to cope with infections and illness during one of the bloodiest and most dangerous periods of British history.

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‘The Uncommon Reader: A Life of Edward Garnett’ by Helen Smith

The Oldie

The Uncommon Reader draws us into the world of writer, critic and editor Edward Garnett, a man who struggled to create, but was such an inspiration to others. Smith gives a good account of Garnett’s internal struggle, between his penchant for modernism and his loyalty to his publisher-employers.

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‘The Medici’ by Mary Hollingsworth

The Oldie

Hollingsworth’s book is forensic in its grasp of detail. Tracing the family from its early days in the 13th century, she gives a far broader history of the family than most – who tend to focus on the most-celebrated of the Renaissance Medicis.

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‘Auntie’s War: The BBC during the Second World War’ by Edward Stourton

The Oldie

Stourton exposes the vital role that radio played during the war, from the speeches of Churchill and de Gaulle, to Richard Dimbleby’s description of the liberation of Belsen. An intriguing book, full of eccentrics, mavericks and anecdotes.

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‘The Age of Decadence: Britain 1880-1914’ by Simon Heffer

The Oldie

In this new book, Heffer rejuvenates the stories of many familiar faces, from HG Wells to AE Housman, from Churchill to Mrs Pankhurst. Heffer’s enormous and revealing book undoes some of the ‘towering misconceptions’ about the pre-war years – no calm before the storm, but upheaval and unrest.

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‘Till Time’s Last Sand: A History of the Bank of England 1694-2013’ by David Kynaston

The Oldie

In his new book, David Kynaston gives us a broad, enjoyable, human history. No grand narrative or theory is put forward, but he captures over three centuries of murder, fraud, bankruptcies and eccentric clerks.

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‘Chaucer’s People: Everyday Lives in Medieval England’ by Liza Picard

Ferdie Rous

Liza Picard’s splendid book is an absorbing and revealing companion volume toThe Canterbury Tales. It sheds light on the tiny details that Chaucer takes for granted.

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