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Book worms, book lovers and World Book Day

Book worms, book lovers and World Book Day – let’s get our children reading for pleasure.

Most of us have a favourite children’s book and what it is depends upon what was popular when we were young, or what we read to our own children. The Hungry Caterpillar, The Famous Five, Mr Men, The Railway Children, Harry Potter, or Danny, Champion of the World…. What would be your favourite character?

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Alfie Bowen, fine art photographer

Anyone knowing Alfie Bowen from Worlingham ten years ago would never have imagined that he would now be a successful fine art photographer. His autism and mental health problems meant that, after he was bullied at his main-stream school and only managed three weeks at university, he was isolated and suicidal. Now he is represented by a prestigious agency, Da Vinci Fine Art, and his work is sold to collectors around the world, as well as across the UK.

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Turning Over a New Leaf for the New Year

Most New Year’s resolutions are, quite frankly, rather boring. It may be good to lose weight, get fit or give up smoking, but for most of us the good intentions will have faded by the 31st of January, if not before! Rather than abandon the idea of making a fresh start with the dawn of the new year, why not try to make a resolution that is enjoyable and more likely to last longer than the usual pledges? Here are a few ideas to get you thinking, and most are free or inexpensive.

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Christmas cooking with kids

Christmas cooking with children

The levels of anticipation are high and excitement levels are soaring as Christmas approaches. When they have written their present list for Santa, drawn a Christmas card for Grandma and helped to decorate the tree, one way to use the waiting time productively is to do some seasonal cooking with your children or grandchildren.

Here is some advice on how to make cooking with children a success:

1. You can cook with even the youngest children but remember basic hygiene and safety.

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Artist, Colin Moss

Visitors to Christchurch Mansion or Norwich Castle might well spot one of Suffolk artist Colin Moss’s drawings, paintings or lino-prints, everyday scenes from the 1950’s-1990’s, whether it is a man picking up his dropped chips, workers leaving Ipswich factories, or drinkers in local pubs. At the Imperial War Museum, however, it is Colin’s war work that they value.

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Peter Heard, artist

Peter Heard has taken a photo of every painting he has ever done since he started in the early 1970’s. He now has 1,040 images safely stored on his computer. The original works of art are displayed in hundreds of homes, including those of some famous names, people like the late Jackie Collins and Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, He has thirty-seven of Peter’s paintings and also, for several years, commissioned Peter to paint his Christmas card, featuring a car from his collection, with Father Christmas aboard.

Twinning with Europe... and beyond

In the past twin towns have had a very high profile. Drive into a town and the welcome sign often says “Twinned with….” In 2019 we don't seem to hear so much about the initiative. Has twinning with a European town become more difficult with the current state of politics in the UK? Missing from the carnival parade this year in my own town of Felixstowe, Suffolk, were the usual representatives, in their distinctive costumes and a fire engine, from Wesel, in Germany.

Photographing Children

Photographing children

Let’s start a campaign to bring back photo albums. Most people take digital photos and every family has hundreds of images but nowadays we store them on our phone, computer or on a “cloud”. A couple of favourites may be printed off and framed for display, but most pictures are rarely looked at again. There can be few greater pleasures than sitting on a rainy afternoon, reminiscing, as you leaf through the pages of a photo album. Professional photographers have their own views on this…

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