The Daily: Mary Berry
Thursday, 17 January 2013

The Daily: January 17

Written by Camilla Hayselden-Ashby
Want happy children? Make them play with pastry... not Play-Doh!
Growing up I was very fortunate to have a mother who encouraged me in the kitchen; I helped with simple baking such as fairy cakes as soon as I was old enough to hold a wooden spoon. Sadly this practice is becoming uncommon. Mary Berry, presenter of The Great British Bakeoff, has spoken out about the lack of cookery education in schools. For working parents it is often little time to teach little ones how to cook and many mothers lack confidence to do so having received little training at school themselves. Berry says "The truth is most children love nothing better than cooking. Making yummy biscuits beats playing on a computer game." With levels of obesity rising it is more important than ever to teach children how to make simple and nutritious meals as food is such a vital part of a healthy lifestyle.

Sleeping bag that promises to banish your cellulite
The dreaded 'orange peel' skin of cellulite is one of many women's greatest body hang-ups. Even if you are in good shape it is difficult to banish and people go to great lengths to get rid of it. Caffine creams, fat-busting lotions and self-heating gels have all been promoted as treatments but have limited success. However, a new treatment claims to change all of this. The Body Balancer looks like an inflatable sleeping bag and is effectively a giant pair of trousers made up of more than 24 inflatable air pockets. Pushing air through these pockets mimics the effect of manual lymphatic drainage massage, encouraging the body to get rid of excess fluid. The treatment has a medical pedigree, having been originally developed to treat lymphoedema. As well as helping dimply skin it promises to help eliminate toxins, improve skin appearance, aid digestion and relieve aches and pains.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Joanna Trollope launch reading fund
The Duchess of Cornwall is among a prestigious list of supporters for a new philanthropic drive to "change the story" for the country's most vulnerable and disengaged children through reading. The Children's Reading fund aims to inspire greater literacy in children aged four to eleven. It has been created by reading and writing charity Booktrust (which Duchess is a patron of) and names author Joanna Trollope among its supporters. Bookseller Waterstones and best-selling author James Patterson, in association with Random House, are joining forces for the campaign, which is fronted by characters from children's literature such as Roald Dahl's Matilda. The Duchess has said of her motivations for supporting the fund "Sadly, there are too many children in our country who have not been given the chance to discover the exciting new worlds books can open up, and having loved books all my life I feel passionately that I want others to share that passion too."

Buckingham Palace reveals the Queen's gift list
Next time you're struggling to select a gift for the woman who has everything take a inspiration from her majesty's loyal subjects. Buckingham Palace has released a list of gifts received by the Queen in 2012. These ranged from the quirky and practical to the elaborate. Items on the Royal thank you list included a hand-made tea cosy featuring the Queen and her corgis, 78 portraits and a dog bed in the shape of a crown. The Royal Household's menagerie was also extended with gifts of baby llama and adoption rights to a baby Asian elephant. Three separate thrones were received; two made from willow and one from Chinese enamel. Other national gifts were 60 rose bushes from the Isle of Man, a sports shirt from the High Commissioner and, from the Noongar Advisory Group, a "wooden carved spear-shaped item". The Commonwealth Office renamed a part of the Antarctic territory in her honour.

Are married women better drivers than single ones?
It's well known that women tend to be safer drivers than men. Without all that testosterone pumping inside us we are less inclined towards speeding and reckless driving. However, new figures released this week by the Watson car insurance index have shown that single ladies are paying more for their car insurance than those who are married. In the final quarter of 2012 single women ages 21-25 saw premiums rise by 8.6 percent where as those with a spouse benefited from a 1.5 percent decrease. Dave Meader from Direct Line car insurance says ""During different stages of a driver's life, their choice of vehicle, attitude and ability behind the wheel changes. Our data suggests those who are married, tend to be more experienced drivers, buy less powerful and safer vehicles; they may also have children so their driving habits change."

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