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Showbiz - Alfie Boe reveals how he found fame accidentally! Money - As winter approaches, it’s time to get ‘energy wise’ and save money Travel - On safari in Uganda Fashion - Dress like a Duchess for less - Kate’s outfits available on the high street Health - The good life - be good to yourself and live happier Beauty - Strictly and Britain’s Got Talent judges reveal beauty must-haves Property - 50 shades of grey... Books - We review two new titles hot off the press Big Screen - Hope Springs - Life begins for a fifty-something couple Gardening - Get ready for Winter and think about next Spring! Gadgets - A look at DAB radios Coffee Break - The Knight’s Move Challenge and more Competitions - Win tickets to Panto and a chance to win a water butt! Food - Ramsey talks about his latest TV shows and gives us 3 tasty recipes Interview - We talk to local man Rick Fry about his unusual career Motoring - Latest news and focus on the sexy Audi R8 Entertainment - Actress Sue Johnston talks about her return to Corrie Entertainment - What’s on Listings and details on local events

Countdown to Christmas!

Just the word ‘Christmas’ mentioned at this time of year is usually met with groans from the people I speak to, but I’m not really sure why. Have we all had enough of Christmas? Or perhaps our expectations of it are too high as we put pressure on ourselves and our family to make it a ‘success’. Perhaps it’s become a huge financial burden that we could do without, especially in these days of austerity.

I’m not sure whether people’s reaction to the word ‘Christmas’ has always been so apprehensive or negative and I must admit to finding it a little sad. I wonder whether in having succumbed to media and retail pressure to make our Christmas celebrations ‘extra special’, that we’ve lost the true meaning and value of Christmas? We’re constantly being told by marketeers and advertisers how our Christmas should look and feel and perhaps Christmas has lost it’s real identity and ability to connect with each and every one of us.

Aside from the religious perspective of Christmas, we seem to have forgotten what Christmas was about for the generations before us who weren’t the victims of multi- million pound advertsiing campaigns. For them, it was less about spending lots of money and more perhaps about spending valuable time with the family. I wonder if we were more concerned with this, that we might have a more positive impression and experience of the festive season. Before the Christmas adverts make it to our screens and we embark on our annual spending splurge, why not resolve this year to have a traditional Christmas and get back to what made it special for the generations before us? What special family activities could be planned that would make Christmas special this year?

Until the next time, Jason Harris, Editor

The views and comments expressed in Life Begins magazine are the views of the contributors and not that of the publish- ers. Life Begins magazine, IMS limited and its associated websites cannot be held responsible for any misinterpretations or errors in its editorial coverage. Adverts are supplied in good faith and Life Begins Magazine, IMS Limited and its associated websites cannot be held responsible for the products or services offered and advertised in its publications. The ASA (adver- tising standards authority) exists to regulate advertising and if you wish to complain about any particular product or service advertised then you should contact the ASA directly, they can be found at or by calling 020 7492 2222 Life Editor:

begins... Jason Harris

Advertising: Brian Case Sue Mitchell Linda Davy

Artwork: Jason Harris Kim Freeman

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