AboutMyGeneration Newsletter June 2013

AboutMyGeneration Shoots
Information, Inspiration, Motivation

Hello and welcome to the AboutMyGeneration June Newsletter

This month we have lots of articles relevant to the over 50s covering topics from gardening to travel and food to investing in jewellery, and we also welcome a new contributor.
Amanda Fisher, our new contributor, goes to Portsmouth to see the fascinating new exhibition about the Tudor warship Mary Rose. Chris Hurley has been on the brand new cruise ship Norwegian Breakaway and had a very jolly time while Liz Gill made the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and after walking over 100 kilometres in Northern Spain thoroughly deserved her pilgrim’s certificate.
We have news of a trip to Switzerland which retraces the steps of Thomas Cook who organised the first package tour to the country 150 years ago this June. I have just returned from Amsterdam and will be talking about this next month but, in the meantime, we are giving you a preview of the newly opened exhibition, Van Gogh at Work which I saw and is well worth a visit.
Chris Hurley has been very busy reviewing the latest household appliances, making the house sparkle with the eco friendly Karcher steam cleaner and test driving the very powerful cordless vacuum cleaner, the AEG Ultrapower. There is also a chance this month to win this great new cleaner. It hasn’t been all hard work for Chris, as she took time out to watch and review the DVD version of this year’s TV sensation, Broadchurch.
Pat Richardson continues her series of Clippings from a Small Garden and this month suggests flowers and plants you can grow that make ideal table decorations. If you are thinking about marking a special anniversary with an eternity ring, diamond expert, Vashi Dominguez offers some invaluable advice on investing in this timeless gem. And if you want to invest in an overseas property without the hassle then the Holiday Property Bond may be just the solution. 
I have been out and about sampling the delights of some restaurants in London, going back to Clapham, location of my first flat, to try the superb pizzas and other delights at ECO and I also experienced a little bit of Paris at Brasserie Blanc, the stylish French restaurant on the Southbank.
London’s Theatre Land continues to have lots of tempting offers for plays and musicals, so check out the AMG Theatre Club.
If you are looking for friendship, or maybe more, then AMG’s over 50s dating site, The Later Dater, could be just the place to find that special someone in 2013. www.thelaterdater.com
Our sister website, www.theculturalvoyager.com, is dedicated to cultural travel. You will find information and reviews about exhibitions, festivals and events across the globe as well as news on holidays with a cultural theme.
Editor Chris continues along her Road to Recovery sharing her thoughts and experiences after being diagnosed with breast cancer, please feel free to mail her if you want any support with the effects of your treatment.
And don’t forget to take a look at this month’s competitions. Silver Travel Advisor is giving away three prizes: a break on a narrow boat for up to 10 people, a mini cruise for two on the Cruise & Maritime Voyages ship Discovery and three nights in a cottage in the grounds of historic Combermere Abbey. We have AEG’s latest cordless vacuum, the Ultrapower  to win, copies of baking doyen Mary Berry’s latest cook book and three month’s supply of Ateronon, tablets to keep your complexion in top condition and your heart healthy.
We are still keen to build the number of ‘Likes’ on our Facebook pages, so we would really appreciate you going to www.facebook.com/aboutmygeneration and www.facebook.com/theculturalvoyager then clicking the Like button.

Best wishes
Peter Morrell and the AMG Team 

New This Month

El Camino de Santiago
Liz Gill makes the pilgrimage along the famous Way of St James to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, northwest Spain. The city is home to the shrine of Saint James the Great, now the city’s cathedral. 
We are being driven in a taxi from Santiago airport to Sarria. The ride is smooth, the driver is smiley and the Galician countryside is lush and lovely. But we are feeling distinctly uneasy. We don’t say anything but we don’t need to. Our expressions say what we’re both thinking: this seems a very long way indeed and we have to walk it all back.
Maureen, (known as Mo), an old friend, and I are going to walk the last 100 kilometres or 62 miles of the Camino de Santiago, the ancient pilgrims’ path to the great cathedral believed to house the remains of St. James the Apostle. There are several paths and some of them stretch for hundreds of miles into France, Portugal, Germany, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia. You can even start in Norfolk. But the last 100ks on foot or the last 200ks by bike or on horseback are the minimum you have to do to get your official pilgrim’s certificate or compostela.
To read Liz’s day by day account of her pilgimage click here…
Clippings from a Small Garden
Travel writer Pat Richardson shares the pleasure of her own little corner of heaven to come home to. This month Pat talks about plants which are grown to come indoors
Some foliage plants earn their place in my garden because they look good with flowers in a vase – and that’s a good enough reason for me!
Bamboo and lilies, for example, were made for each other. I also grow a tall, feathery bronze fennel – Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’ – to cut and couple with roses. Bluebells look great with a little lime-green foliage – which is why I grow spirea Magic Carpet.  Two more favourites – Heuchera Plum Pudding with its deep burgundy leaves, and Euonymous fortunei emerald ’n’ gold – are good all-rounders. And herbs aren’t restricted to my kitchen: a mixed bunch in a jug makes a great dinner table centrepiece, and usually includes fragrant rosemary with its lavender blue flowers.
To read all about plants grown to come indoors in Pat’s Clippings series click here…
The Cultural Voyager
AMG’s sister website
AboutMyGeneration’s sister website, The Cultural Voyager, is dedicated to bring you the latest news on the world of cultural travel. How have we defined culture? It’s whatever you want it to be, from visiting an art gallery in Venice to listening to jazz in New Orleans’ Preservation Hall. It’s all about what interests you.
You will find listings of events across the globe, reviews of exhibitions and festivals and the latest travel information. So if you are inbound to the UK or outbound to the world you will find timely, relevant information to make your trip culturally richer
If you are driven by culture as a major part of your vacation experience then go to www.theculturalvoyager.com
Steaming ahead with the Spring Cleaning
Chris Hurley joins the steam cleaning revolution
While cleaning is definitely not my favourite activity, blasting through the kitchen grease and dirt with the latest steam cleaning appliance from Karcher could almost be described as good fun.  The real bonus was that my husband was impatient to share the action too and he has rarely been spotted wielding a mop or broom.
For both health and environmental reasons I have always favoured cleaning without chemicals and invested in my first steam cleaner many years ago.  But it was such a performance getting the appliance set up, so bulky and heavy to carry around and it took such an age to produce steam that the dream machine was soon gathering dust at the back of the garage.
To read how you can make your home sparkle click here…
The Mary Rose Museum – A voyage of discovery
Amanda Fisher gets a fascinating insight into Tudor maritime history at this newly opened exhibition.
If you’ve never visited the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth, go there this summer – it’s a treat that has been well worth waiting 468 years to enjoy.
As you enter into the dockyard’s latest exhibition space – the Mary Rose Museum – you’ll be transported back to the decks of the 16th century battle ship, to experience life alongside the 500 seamen, sailors and soldiers aboard the most famous Tudor man-of-war in England – fresh from an expensive refit – as she sets sail to attack the French fleet massing in the English Channel.
To read Amanda’s report about this new exhibition click here…
Road to Recovery
Chris Hurley, AMG’s Editor talks openly about her recovery from breast cancer
Chris has used the words ‘nothing can prepare you for the devastation of a cancer diagnosis’ in many a piece that she hs penned about the disease.  Now that it is has happened to her she knows just how true that is. She says felt like she had been hit by a tidal wave and was clinging to the wreckage to keep herself afloat.
After getting over the initial shock of being told she had cancer, she wanted to learn as much as she could about what was in store and the best way to cope. She wanted to speak to others who had been through the same thing and come out the other side still smiling.  Since then she has indeed learnt a lot about being a cancer patient and would like to share that information with others who may be setting out on the same path.
She may have learnt a lot but she is still a cancer novice, so if you have cancer, or have experience and information to share, she would be delighted to hear from you.  Please email her chris@aboutmygeneration.com or leave a comment on any of the posts.
To read the “Road to Recovery’ blog click here…
The Holiday Property Bond
Over 1,300 wonderful holiday homes to call your own
Wouldn’t you like to own a holiday home in a beautiful spot, where you could escape for a really relaxing break as often as you choose? The Holiday Property Bond gives you something even better – the opportunity to take a financial interest in over 1,300 superb holiday homes throughout the UK and Europe and use all of them for your own holidays, rent-free.
HPB can be particularly attractive to people who are retired or approaching retirement and want to make the most of their leisure time. Depending on how much they choose to invest, some investors (or ‘Bondholders’, as they are known) are able to get away on holiday two, three or even more times a year.
For more information and to request a brochure click here…

Brasserie Blanc Southbank Review


Peter Morrell gets a reminder of times in Paris at this restaurant with a distinctly Gallic flavour.

My daughter went to university at the Sorbonne in Paris and had a flat in the shabby but lively 18th Arrondissement, so for some time I had a convenient pied-à-terre in the city and got to know many of the restaurants. One of my favourites was the bustling and historic Chartier on Rue du Faubourg-Montmartre in the 9th. Here a good atmosphere, simple but flavoursome food and reasonable prices have kept the place busy since 1896 and the brasserie style of decor is a source of constant fascination.
It is very difficult to find a similar style of place in London but I think that French Chef, Raymond Blanc has cracked it with his mini chain of Brasserie Blanc restaurants. There are seven branches in London and another 12 in places as diverse as Bristol, Leeds and Portsmouth. They have just announced a new spring menu so I recently went to the branch on the Southbank to try it out.
To read the full review click here…
The AMG Theatre Club

London Theatre at unbeatable prices
Westendtheatre.com has set up a special Theatre Club for AboutMyGeneration that brings together their latest offers and discounts on West End shows, plus special theatre and dinner packages and hotel and theatre breaks.
Click here… to find out how you can see great West End shows at bargain prices
A little bit of Manhattan at Sea
Chris Hurley previews NCL’s brand new ship Norwegian Breakaway during its brief stay in the UK before its New York debut.
At the very first glance, Norwegian Breakaway makes a big statement.  It is massive; its eighteen decks towering over the quay and its cruise theme – the best of New York – emblazoned on the vessel’s sides in brightly coloured artwork by Peter Max.
Accommodating 4,000 passengers will obviously require quite a lot of room and on board it feels very spacious with a majestic atrium linking three decks buzzing with entertainment and eating experiences.
My stateroom is very bright and airy; there’s a big walk-in rainwater shower with lots of jets, his and hers wash-hand basins and a balcony just big enough to enjoy a nightly sundowner. Not that one would want to spend too much time in the cabin.  Breakaway is packed from stem to stern with things to do and I didn’t have time to see them all on my whirlwind tour.  But here’s a summary of what you can expect to find on board.
To read all about this fabulous new ship click here…

Making light of domestic chores
Chris Hurley reviews AEG’s latest cordless vacuum – the Ultrapower.
Describing a vacuum cleaner as revolutionary sounds somewhat exaggerated but things are definitely changing when it comes to the way we clean our floors and carpets.  AEG is one of the pioneers of cordless cleaning and its Ergorapido stick vacuum that we tested a while ago was one of the first to set domestic goddesses free by combining a lightweight, efficient  machine with the convenience of cordless technology.
The AEG Ultrapower goes a step further with promises of more powerful suction, longer run times and quicker charging times, and we recently put these claims to the test.
To read the full review of the AEG Ultrapower click here…
Diamonds are forever
As well as a declaration of love diamonds are a wise investment. Diamond expert, Vashi Dominguez offers guidance on choosing an eternity ring.
A continuous line of gemstones representing an everlasting love, the eternity ring, has been a staple of romantic jewellery since long before the introduction of the modern channelled diamond design we are most familiar with. Diamond jewellery can be a great way to invest in something for your future and is also a beautiful heirloom piece to be handed down. So, where do you start when browsing for a diamond eternity ring to celebrate a special wedding anniversary?
Eternity rings are a popular gift to mark special wedding anniversaries and other milestones for married couples.  Rings designed especially for this purpose come in a wide range of designs, from classic yellow gold full eternity rings to more modern, multi-gem set half eternity rings. The more traditional (and costly) designs usually have multiple small diamonds set into a platinum, white or yellow gold band or have the top half (face) of the ring set with stones; the latter type is often referred to as a half-eternity.
To read more about this investment with a difference click here…
Follow in the footsteps of the world’s first package tour
It was 150 years ago that Thomas Cook took his first group to Switzerland
In the group of people that Thomas Cook took to Switzerland was Miss Jemima Morrell who carefully chronicled the entire trip. This was a quote from part of her diary
Huge mountain masses rise perpendicularly above us, whose summits are cushioned with the greenest verdure and sprinkled with stray chalets, the summer houses of the solitary cowherd. Surely, thought we, such grandeur as this cannot be surpassed!
Starting in the idyllic mountains of the Valais, above the River Rhône, this historic tour takes full advantage of Switzerland’s renowned rail system to reveal the very best of the Alps as you follow in the footsteps of Jemima Morrell on a spectacular journey.
To read how you can be part of travel history click here…

If you missed it first time, you can now watch Broadchurch on DVD
Chris Hurley catches up on one of this year’s most successful TV series.
If like me, you were one of the few people on the planet that didn’t get to see Broadchurch first time around, its release on DVD will give you a second chance to find out what all the fuss was about.
Now I have seen it, I can understand why everyone was glued to their TV screens. I was hooked from the very first episode, drawn in by a drama that is incredibly emotional as well as being a compelling murder mystery. The eight-part thriller, written and created by Chris Chibnall, explores what happens to a small community when it suddenly becomes the focus of a major police investigation.
To read all about this compelling TV series click here…
ECO Clapham Review
Peter Morrell goes back to his old neighbourhood and finds a world of difference.
I moved to London in the 1970s and as an impoverished management trainee working in Westminster had to find accommodation in a cheap area that was close to where I worked. Cue, would you believe it, a flat just off Clapham High Street, now one of London’s most expensive property hotspots. So I was fascinated to go back after all these years and found the place to be unrecognisable.
I don’t know when this massive transformation happened but one of the restaurants that must have been in the vanguard of this change is ECO. Founded twenty years ago it’s now an institution on Clapham High Street. Arriving at ECO the buzzy atmosphere on the street is even more evident inside, with cool music and a very sociable and friendly French manager.
To read all about this Clapham institution click here…
Van Gogh’s sketchbooks on display in Van Gogh at Work
Just one of the items in the new exhibition to mark the recent re-opening of the museum.
Of the many sketchbooks that Van Gogh must have had, only four have been preserved. They are in the collection of the Van Gogh Museum, and three are now included in the anniversary exhibition Van Gogh at work. This exhibition is accompanied by a unique publication: the first-ever facsimile edition of all four sketchbooks.
The original sketchbooks provide an intimate glimpse into the painter’s life and working methods, with sketches in pencil, pen, ink and chalk, personal notes, addresses and lines of verse. The first sketchbook dates from Nuenen and the fourth from his final days in Auvers-sur-Oise. The other two contain work and notes from Van Gogh’s years in Nuenen, Antwerp and Paris.
To read all about this fascinating exhibition click here…
The Later Dater – Join for free
AMG’s over 50s friendship and dating site gives you access to 150,000 members
The Later Dater website is aimed specifically at people over 50 who are looking for romance, friendship, love and companionship. There are already more than 150,000 likeminded people on the database who live throughout the UK, so you may be closer than you think to your ideal partner..
When you join The Later Dater this is what you get: Video Profiles – Who’s Online – Instant Messaging & Video Chat – Articles & Newsletters – Blogs / Diaries – Searching – Virtual Gifts – Personality Profiling – Horoscopes – Web Cam Profile Photos
So what are you waiting for you can join for free? Go to www.thelaterdater.com to find out more

Top Tips from Top Chefs
Peter Morrell asks the top chefs for their advice on how you can become a better cook at home
As the food editor of AboutMyGeneration Peter spends a lot of time eating in restaurants, watching cooking demonstrations and talking to chefs. Watching them prepare food, cook it and then to eat it is a constant source of pleasure. When he is at home he tries to emulate that restaurant taste, so every time he meets a chef he asks him or her one simple question.
What advice would you give to an amateur chef to help them consistently cook better food at home?
The feature has now been completely re-designed to make navigation much easier. 
To read all the tips click here…


Silver Travel Advisor June Prize Draw

Silver Travel Advisor June Prize Draw
Enter the Silver Travel Advisor June Prize Draw to win one of three Great British Breaks. This month you have a great choice – the sea, wonderful inland waterways or in the countryside!

Silver Travel Advisor is where you can find a wealth of information, impartial reviews, hints and tips about travel for the over 50’s. A team of experienced Advisors (retired travel professionals) are on hand to answer queries (for free), and you can share your own experiences too.
It’s free to enter the prize draw with Silver Travel Advisor
Win a 3 or 4-night break with Black Prince Narrowboat Holidays for a group of up to 10 people
Enjoy a relaxing experience with Black Prince Narrowboats from canal bases across the UK, sleeping  from 2 to 10 people.   You can choose from a range of modern, award-winning boats which include central heating, TV / DVD, fully equipped kitchenette, bedrooms and bathroom.
Win a mini-cruise for two from Hull or Newcastle with Cruise & Maritime Voyages
Get together with a partner for this overnight cruise aboard Discovery. After a superb five course dinner, take your place in the Carousel Lounge for a wonderful show followed by the late night cabaret. Leave the ship after breakfast. Choose from a mini cruise from Hull or Newcastle.
Win a 3 night break at Combermere Abbey for up to 4 people with breakfast hamper
The collection of stunning 5* eco-friendly Combermere Abbey Cottages in rural Shropshire are located in walled gardens within the grounds, that include woods and parkland, of this unique privately-owned, twelfth century estate. Activities include woodland and lakeside walks throughout the estate, tennis and cycling. Dogs are welcome too.


To find out how you can win these fabulous prizes click here…
Closes 30th June 2013
Win the revolutionary AEG Ultrapower cordless vacuum cleaner

Win the revolutionary AEG Ultrapower cordless vacuum cleaner

Ultrapower is the most powerful vacuum cleaner in the AEG cordless range. It takes cordless cleaning to the highest level yet, and is quite simply in a class of its own for performance and run time.
AEG are the pioneers of cordless cleaning and their latest appliance, the Ultrapower is really quite exceptional. Strong suction power, with long run times and quick charging combined with the aerodynamically designed floor nozzle guarantees superior performance.
Designed for both a good thorough vacuum all round the house or for super-quick and effective instant clean-ups, the Ultrapower is the perfect addition to any household. Whether you are cleaning up a few crumbs or have longer, tougher jobs, like dirt or gravel in the hall, mess from a spilled plant pot or thick carpet cleaning, the AEG Ultrapower can cope. It cleans for up to 60 minutes on one charge, long enough to easily clean your whole house without having to recharge the product. If you wanted to clean for even longer, a booster battery pack is available for you to double the cleaning time to 2 hours.  It takes just four hours to recharge.

To be in with a chance of winning this great prize click here…

Closes 7th July 2013
Win the Mary Berry’s Cookery Course Book

Win the Mary Berry’s Cookery Course Book

A step-by-step masterclass in home cooking
Mary Berry is one of the UK’s best-known and most respected cookery writers and bakers. She is widely known for being a judge on the hit BBC2 TV programme The Great British Bake Off, and as a result has appealed to a whole new generation of cooks.
Mary Berry’s Cookery Course is the ultimate kitchen companion for home cooks keen to perfect their skills and learn how to cook some of Mary’s favourite recipes under her expert guidance. Whether you are a complete novice or want to take your cookery skills to the next level, let Mary teach you everything you need to know.
From soups and starters, to main courses, bread, puddings and cakes, each chapter starts with a master recipe designed to build and hone those essential skills. With lessons for classic dishes such as Leek and Potato Soup, Chargrilled Salmon Fillets and Mary’s famous Victoria Sandwich cake, clear step-by-step photography guides you through each stage with her cook’s notes to ensure that you can’t go wrong.

For your chance to learn from this cookery legend click here…

Closes 7th July 2013
Win a 3 month supply of Ateronon
Win a 3 month supply of Ateronon
There’s a secret to achieving smoother, more youthful looking skin, and it has nothing to do with expensive creams. It’s all about lycopene.
While the health advantages of lycopene are widely known, this key nutrient, found in tomatoes and red fruits, also has proven benefits to achieve healthy skin, promoting firmness and elasticity, as well as supporting healthier eyes.
The European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics published a study that found people who had a lycopene rich diet had higher levels of carotenoids, strong antioxidants that help reduce inflammation, which can have a positive effect on ageing skin. Additionally, lycopene contributes to protecting your retina from damage from the sun, which can lead to a gradual loss of vision over time.
Ateronon is a one-a-day lycopene supplement, with a patented formulation that contains the equivalent of one kilo of Mediterranean tomatoes cooked in olive oil. In capsule form, Ateronon is the most easily absorbed lactolycopene supplement on the market, meaning it’s more easily used by the body than just simply eating tomatoes.
For your chance to keep your body in tip top condition click here…

Closes 7th July 2013


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