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James West

BUSHY TALES: DRINK SHOP DO

A glass of wine in one hand and a pot of glue in the other, two sisters-in-law – Daisy Solomons, 72 and Susan Solomons, 73 – get stuck into making a piñata rabbit. Q. How are you connected to Age UK Islington? Daisy: I volunteer at Age UK. Susan: Through Daisy. I’m ...

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CRAFT WORK: DRINK SHOP DO

A former Victorian bath house used over the years as a brothel, rave den and sex shop is now inspiring a new generation to get crafty over a cheeky cocktail. Drink Shop Do is a design shop, café and bar set up by school friends Kristie Bishop and Coralie Sleap. ...

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YVE’S BOOK CLUB REVIEW: WASHINGTON SQUARE BY HENRY JAMES

Washington Square was one of two books by Henry James discussed at a recent meeting of Yve’s Book Club. First published in 1880, it is apparently based on an anecdote from her own family that the British actress Fanny Kemble had told James. In his version, transferred to New York, ...

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POIGNANT POETRY

The Trees by Philip Larkin The trees are coming into leaf Like something almost being said; The recent buds relax and spread, Their greenness is a kind of grief. Is it that they are born again And we grow old? No, they die too, Their yearly trick of looking new ...

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ANITA GRACIE: BLOOMIN’ MARVELLOUS

Whether planting, pond dipping or even den building, gardening is a wellbeing prescription which gets you healthy without having to get on a treadmill in the gym, says green fingered Anita Gracie. “Getting outdoors is extremely good for everybody, and especially elderly people. You can be as energetic as you ...

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ANDY MURPHY: MAKING CONTACT

Andy Murphy, CEO of Islington Age UK is driven by the need to make things better. We met Andy at the newly opened Contact Centre on Manor Gardens to talk art, heart and redesigning the way we treat later life. “It’s better if people know us before there is a ...

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GRIPPING STUFF

Giving gardeners a helping hand PETA UK’s ergonomically designed garden tools bring accessibility to this hugely popular pastime, helping many who otherwise might not be able to participate. Their range of gardening tools bring “more work for less effort” to all keen gardeners. Must have products for those with wrist, ...

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SAMIR SINGH: MY TURF

Samir Singh is Islington born and bred. He’s also a lifelong Arsenal fan. By combining his love of the Gunners and passion for history, he’s helping us to discover Islington’s past.   Samir Singh grew up in the flat above the post office his dad ran on Green Lanes, near ...

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WAR OF THE ROSES

A spring chicken braves the botanical battleground armed with pruning shears, trowel and lashings of back rub. My Dad ruined gardening for me. While you may associate the wonders of springtime with the smell of freshly mown grass and fragrant flowers, my scent associations are a mix of menthol, camphor, ...

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MICHAEL HAYLE: THE HOUSE DETECTIVE

How much do you know about the people who lived in your house years ago? Michael Hayle’s ambition is to uncover the name of everybody who’d ever lived in the Victorian-built house he shares with his wife in N4. “It’s important to be connected to the place you are in,” ...

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WORD FESTIVAL: LOVE LETTERS

The Word Festival is an exciting programme of activities, events and workshops exploring the pleasures of reading, writing and freedom of expression in Islington. Now in its 5th year, Islington’s annual Word Festival will take place between 1-30 June 2016. Designed to encourage residents across Islington to develop enjoyment in ...

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NEW YEAR, NEW YOU: FRESH STARTS

Happy 2016! As we all vow to do a whole host of things most of us will not follow through on, we’ve compiled 10 suggestions that we think you can achieve if you put your mind to it. 1. FIND LOVE There’s no age limit on love, and today with ...

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SUSAN OUDOT: THROUGH THE HOLE IN THE WALL

Susan Oudot, a writer on ITV’s Coronation Street, has made an evocative film of Islington life between 1935-75, designed to help trigger childhood memories. “I often wished I’d asked Mum and Dad about things, but both my parents are dead now, but I still have my aunts and uncles around, ...

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CONFIDENCE TRICK

Never Be Afraid of Anything Again (Including Shark Attacks). Really? I used to be relatively confident. I distinctly remember giving a speech at my daughter’s wedding which – sweaty palms and cotton mouth aside – I managed to plough through without having to imagine everyone else in the room naked. ...

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KING’S CROSS

Redeveloped, reimagined and reinvigorated. It’s time you rediscovered this area of London. If you used to know King’s Cross – maybe even avoided it – you are in for a jaw-dropping shock. The 67-acre site demands to be explored now it has poshed-up warehouses converted into shops, restaurants and an ...

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