Lucy Cooke shares her story with The Guardian in support of Macmillan Cancer

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Our lovely Lucy Cooke explains how breast cancer was a positive experience for her, as now she’s a lot healthier thanks to the joys of gardening.

Cooke explains: “I spent most of my time worrying. When I became ill, it became clear you don’t have to. I could see these two paths and I was determined to be as positive as I could and, to be honest, it wasn’t as hard as that sounds.

“Being around animals a lot of the time definitely releases oxytocin and relaxes you. Gardening has also helped me. It’s the connection with nature that I find meditative – tending and looking after my vegetables. I’ve just bought a cottage in Hastings. There are allotments nearby with a sea view and that for me is the ultimate of happiness.”

Link to the full article here.

Escape to the Chateau: DIY Returns to Channel 4

The fourth series of Escape to the Chateau: DIY started on Channel 4 last Monday, 9th April at 4pm. The show will air Monday to Friday until 4th May. 

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Dick Strawbridge and Donna McDougal 

This 20-part spin-off series to ‘Escape to the Chateau’ stars Dick and Angel Strawbridge, as they meet British chateau owners in search of the “dream”.

Dotted throughout every nook and cranny of France, these ambitious Brits attempt to renovate and convert their French castles into fairy-tale homes and money-making businesses.

This is a lively, entertaining observational documentary series that shows the ups and downs of sixteen plucky expats pursuing their chateau dreams.

Escape to the Château: Dick and Angel’s tips on renovating in France

Renovating any sizeable property is certainly not a job for the faint-hearted, as anyone who has watched the Channel 4 programme Escape to the Château will know. The programme follows happy-go-lucky Dick and Angel who, in 2015 swapped their east London flat for an abandoned 19th-century château in Pays-de-la-Loire.

Read the full article here.

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Sophie Faldo to build HMS Belfast Cake

The oldest surviving Second World War veteran of HMS Belfast, John Harrison, has described the dangers of serving at sea, facing German magnetic mines and treacherous Arctic conditions.

And the first “certificate for wounds and hurts” issued on the warship has been revealed by the Imperial War Museums, which owns and runs the vessel as a museum moored near Tower Bridge on the Thames in London.

They will even be able to even enjoy a slice of nine-tiered cake, inspired by the ship and made by Sophie Faldo, the 2017 winner of the Great British Bake Off and a serving officer in the Army.

Read the full article here.

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Ella Al-Shamahi Talks Life and Comedy – Hush Blog

Paleoanthropologist, National Geographic explorer, Neanderthal specialist, archaeologist and stand-up comedian… Ella Al-Shamahi’s career so far sounds like the start of a great joke, but fossil hunting in hostile, unstable regions of the world can often be far from funny. Luckily Ella has a knack at communicating science through comedy and using it as a way to cope with the darker side of her day job…

Read the full article here.

 

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Lucy Cooke: The Intrepid Explorer – Daily Mail

Lucy Cooke, 47, is a documentary producer, presenter, author, National Geographic explorer and founder of the Sloth Appreciation Society. She lives in London.

My most precious possession is a Tasmanian wombat poo, shaped like an Oxo cube, that I keep in a display case. Wombats mark their territory on logs so, were it round, it would roll straight off. After decades travelling the globe, evolution still blows my mind. I love the freaks and ‘otherness’ of nature – how weird and wonderful it is.

Read the full article here.

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Lucy Cooke reveals the secret lives of animals in her latest book – as featured in The Daily Mail

Why do so many birds disappear in the winter? These days, it’s a question the average eight-year-old could probably answer.

For centuries, though, it was one of the great unsolved scientific mysteries. In the mid-1600s, an Oxford-educated academic did suggest that birds migrated — but, less impressively, he thought their destination was the Moon.

Otherwise, the consensus was that the birds hibernated, and that the reason we didn’t see them doing it was because they slept at the bottom of rivers and lakes. As late as 1801, an American scientist sought to prove this once and for all by the simple process of throwing some weighted-down swallows into a nearby river.

Sadly, after he’d pulled them back up, he was forced to report that they were ‘reduced, not to a state of suspended animation, but of absolute death’.

Read the full article here.

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You’ve been drinking wine wrong: Joe Fattorini reveals the 20:20 rule – Daily Mail

White wine is served chilled, while red is best at room temperature – or so the mantra goes.

However, an expert has now blown this rule out of the water, with a new theory which states quite the opposite.

Joe Fattorini, presenter of ITV’s The Wine Show, has revealed the correct way to serve your red wine is in fact briefly chilled, while white should be left to warm up before drinking.

Read more here.
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“Before Glitter and Glue Sticks, ‘Craeft'” – Alexander Langlands in the New York Times

As daily life becomes increasingly virtual, it might seem like a paradox that making things by hand is suddenly big business. Stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby feature aisle after crowded aisle of sequins, tassels, imported papers, chenille stems and pompoms. Etsy, the e-commerce platform for selling homemade goods, features nearly two million active sellers serving 30 million eager buyers. Busy creators produce one-offs using 3-D printers in “maker spaces” at major research universities as well as your neighborhood’s progressive elementary school. All this activity was worth $44 billion last year, according to the Association for Creative Industries, a group that was once, in cozier times, known as the Craft and Hobby Association. Part therapy, part self-expression, our homely obsession with crafts is poised to take over the world.

Read the full article here.

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