UNASHAMEDLY AUTUMNAL… 🍁 FU LOVES LEICESTERSHIRE #31

So that’s it. We’ve put it off as long as we could, but the central heating is well and truly on. We may have even lit a log fire or two over the last couple of weeks…In that spirit, this FU Loves edition is unashamedly autumnal with warming recipes, cosy interior trend tips, plans for perfect Halloween parties and even, dare we say it, some Christmas pre-planning.  Sorry!

I know that many of us are not looking forward to the coming dark nights, but why not take a leaf out of our Danish cousins’ book and embrace the lifestyle concept of Hygge? It has no literal translation in English, but is best summed up as a feeling of cosy contentment, well-being, reflection and a focus on enjoying the simple things in life.

So, if it’s raining, put on your wellies and go splash in the puddles. If it’s a cold night, turn off the lights, light a fire and enjoy a glass or two of Merlot, whilst you listen to the logs crackle and watch the flames dance.  No fire then no problem, why not snuggle under a blanket with hot chocolate and a new book or dig out your old vinyls, grab your hairbrush and sing along until your hoarse.

Close the curtains and get out the board games, start scrapbooking and organise your photo albums whilst you wait for something delicious to cook in the kitchen. Thick stews with dumplings or jacket potatoes with skins crisped just right in the oven. Baked apples and ice cream, custard and syrup sponges; who cares about calories, just walk or shiver them off! Wrap a scarf around your neck, pull on your gloves and take a trek through falling leaves and across frost dusted grass, before coming home to hot chocolates, boozy Irish coffees or a piping hot mug of tea with those you love.

We all have so much to look forward to, let’s keep focusing on that and make this an autumn to remember – for all the right reasons.

Take care,

Jon, Kevin and the #FUFighters


OBLIGATORY BAD JOKE

Thanks to Covid, only six of the dwarves are allowed to meet up.

None of them is Happy.


VOLUNTARY ACTION LEICESTERSHIRE FOCUSES ON THE FUTURE WITH ITS FIRST VIRTUAL CONFERENCE

If you remember back, VAL was integral in mobilising an army of volunteers at the height of lockdown, working with the City and County Council to recruit an additional 2,400 people to be part of a volunteer bank?  However, six months on, the organisation recognises that now is the time to focus on how to get the sector back on its feet and futureproof VCSE organisations as much as possible, which is where this year’s Future Focus theme stems from – find out all about it here.


WHERE THERE’S A WILL… WILL AID MONTH; YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

If 2020 has taught us one thing, it’s to prepare for the unexpected.  Covid-19 has shown us first-hand that there are many things we can’t control.  But, the flipside of this is that there are also things we can – and making a Will is one of those.  November is Will Aid Month and if you haven’t got your Will in place, or it needs a freshen up, this could be a perfect opportunity to get your affairs in order. We spoke to Dodd’s Solicitors to find out what is involved in writing a will and how to take advantage of National Will Aid Month – find out here.


BAKING BOXES LAUNCHED FOR CREATIVE KIDS

Just in time for GBBO fever, Britain Loves Baking has launched a fun new range of single recipe kids baking boxes containing everything Junior bakers need to create simple sweet treats from scratch. Boxes are delivered directly to your door and each box has all the dry ingredients you need (and they’ve all been pre-measured out), so the only ingredient you need to add is an egg – find out more here.



CAN’T FLY; WON’T FLY: DIGITAL FEAR OF FLYING COURSES LAUNCHED BY BA

With 1 in 10 people having a fear of flying, the recent travel restrictions have provided the perfect get out clause for many. For those looking to make changes in 2021, British Airways is bringing its renowned Flying with Confidence course to the comfort of customers’ homes for the first time ever – are you ready to take to the skies? Find out more here.


CHATSWORTH GETS READY FOR CHRISTMAS

A high-point in our annual pre-Christmas celebrations, we’re thrilled to hear that Chatsworth House will be open for A Happy Christmas this festive season with tickets for timed visits now available. With limited numbers to ensure safe social distancing throughout the route, The State Rooms and Sketch Galleries – usually closed during the winter season – will also remain open, extending the normal Christmas route and providing a one-off opportunity to experience the Devonshire Collections in these spaces, beautifully dressed for the festivities. Find out how to book your tickets here.


CHANCELLOR’S CHANGES TO JOB SUPPORT SCHEME EXPLAINED

Following on from the Prime Minister’s announcement, we saw the Chancellor unveil a package of measures that are designed to help businesses continue to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.  With the furlough scheme due to come to an end on 31st October, Nucleus HR’s Toni Robinson looks at the implications for employers here.


SOUNDCAFE SECURES FUNDING FOR FUTURE SERVICES

Leicester’s Soundcafe has been awarded a grant of £20,000 to help support the running costs of the charity’s safe, creative spaces for people who are homeless, vulnerable and socially isolated in Leicester. The grant has been allocated by the Henry Smith Charity; a Trust that aims to bring about lasting change to people’s lives helping them benefit from and contribute to society. Find out how they’ll use it here.


BUILDING SOCIETY HELPS CHARITY WITH HOMEWARE FOR HOMELESS

ESBS has partnered with Leicester’s Action Homeless to provide homeware starter kits to those the charity has been able to secure permanent accommodation for. Following the Coronavirus outbreak, Action Homeless is placing a greater focus in finding permanent homes for those in need, working with landlords across Leicestershire. A crucial part of this process is supplying homeware to ensure the new tenants can settle right into their new accommodation. Homeware kits contain items such as a toaster, kettle, bedding, and other household essentials.


NEW OUTDOOR ESCAPE GAME ANNOUNCES MORE LIVE DATES LEICESTER AND COVENTRY

A new interactive outdoor escape experience is coming to Leicester and Coventry next month with free tickets on offer for NHS workers. The Big Escape Live has been created so that hundreds can play the GPS activated game while social distancing and following the rule of six – get involved here.


DISCOVER CURIOUS CURES AND MEDIEVAL MEDICINE THIS HALF TERM

Sadly, they can’t promise any scientific miracles this Half Term at the King Richard III Visitor Centre, but they can introduce visitors to their medieval medic who has a whole medicine cupboard full of curious cures – find out more here.


KUKU NOMINATED FOR TRINITY OF AWARDS

Co-Founders of KuKu Connect, Stephen Goddard and Philip Brooks-Stephenson, have been recognised for their support to businesses across the region during the Covid-19 pandemic with nominations for 3 awards including the national Best Business Awards. They’re still hosting their Wednesday online cocktail hour – catch the next one here.


HAVE FAITH! PALOMA RETURNS WITH NEW ALBUM AND TOUR

Paloma Faith has announced the details of her fifth studio album, Infinite Things, which comes out on 13th November, along with details of a nationwide tour that will see her visit  Birmingham, Symphony Hall on the 24th and  25th September and Leicester’s De Montfort Hall on 20th October.

Paloma wrote most of the songs for ‘Infinite Things’ before the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world, then we went into lockdown, and she ripped them all up and started afresh. She spent her downtime creating, learning to engineer her own music and just thinking about the world. The enforced downtime was ‘creatively fruitful’ and gave her the space to take stock of her frenetic career and decide what is meaningful to her. She is emerging from lockdown with a new sense of her priorities which has seen her reconnect with her roots steeped in creativity.

We chatted to Paloma last year and she was an absolute delight! Read our interview here.


SPEEDY WINTER WARMING RECIPES!

Keep cosy in winter with our simple, seasonal recipes. From pasta to soup, we have something you can make in 30 minutes or less – get them here.


TIMELINE CELEBRATING 35 YEARS OF LOROS OPENED BY FOUNDING VOLUNTEERS

Two of the women instrumental in setting up LOROS returned to the hospice earlier this week, some 35 years on. LOROS Hospice’s first ever chair of trustees, Barbara Keene, and first President, Lady Clarissa Palmer, played a key role in establishing LOROS and opening the in-patient ward in September 1985. The pair, who were visiting LOROS to open a timeline to commemorate its 35th anniversary, recalled the anxiety with which people viewed hospices in those days, and the fear they had to overcome to get support for LOROS. Read their incredible story here.


TREATS NO TRICKS AT M&S FOR HALLOWEEN AT HOME

One of the things that Jon our Editor has been most upset about with lockdown is the cancellation of Halloween, which has meant that his legendary Halloween house party is on hiatus for another year – last year was cancelled for a house move.  So, instead, 2020 will become the year of Halloween-at-home, centered around family feasting and creating the ultimate ‘fright in’!

M&S have stepped up with a Halloween range that’s better than ever including vegan-friendly Petrifying Popping Candy Brain – an EPIC jelly centerpiece with candy that pops for over an hour; Toffee Apple Bangers and delicious Halloween Burgers, made with 100% British beef and topped with a spooky smiling face.


NOWHERE TO WEAR YOU DESIGNER TOGS? IT’S TIME TO STYLE UP YOUR KITCHEN WITH D&G

In a time when we are spending far more time in our own homes, many are reflecting their style in their interior rather than their wardrobes. Smeg’s iconic collaboration with Italian fashion powerhouse, Dolce & Gabbana, transports high fashion from the runway to the home. With appliances adorned in D&G’s Sicilian-inspired prints and bright bursts of colours, the designs are a celebration of both brands’ rich Mediterranean heritage. Prices start at £499, www.smeguk.com


GOING GREEN: EMERALD-TONED UPDATES FOR YOUR HOME

The cooler months and longer nights leave us all craving the feel-good bloom of a spring scene. Rolling green fields and blossoming branches are one of the sunny seasons’ many pleasures. But, cloudy autumn days needn’t leave life lacking in healthful greens; just a few emerald-coloured updates will inspire your home with a bright and energising new freshness writes Ellis Hoxton- read her tips to make your home green and gorgeous here.


THIS WEEK’S MOTIVATIONAL QUOTE

Sometimes the strength within you is not a big fiery flame for all to see. It is just a tiny spark that whispers ever so softly ‘You got this. Keep going.’

– Jazz Zo Marcellus

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