We come to the end of another year, Christmas is upon us and the kids have finally broken up from school. it’s been a long couple of terms since September and everyone is either really tired or full of cold. Make sure you enjoy this break whether you celebrate Christmas for the religious or the fun reason, or not at all. We all deserve a small break somewhere over the next couple of weeks, because before you know it, we’re all, full, fat, fed up and skint - I know, I’m such a kill joy! But, I truly hope you all have the best time with your friends and family, and if you know someone who is going to be on their own this Christmas, please invite them in, even if it’s just for a drink. The most important thing over Christmas is to show a bit of kindness and it doesn’t always have to come in the shape of a gift.
This year, I have made a real effort to make it a plastic free Christmas. A lot of my presents are bought from local makers, or i've made a few myself, split things and made a couple of gifts. I have then wrapped them in paper and twine or festive material which I bought from Leeds Market, and I'm hoping that next year, it will be reused and returned. My crackers and table settings are plastic free or reusable and all the chocolate tubs I have been given, which there are many and they've already been eaten; isn't this what the lead up to Christmas is all about though? Some ideas for you on how to use re-use yours so they don't become single use plastic.
It's truly been another great year at TMD HQ, I've had more members than ever before, and we've created a new App. and it’s brilliant to be working with even more new ‘independent’ businesses that have come into Garforth, than ever before! 2020 is going to be a great place for Garforth to grow, eat, drink, shop and be with family and friends. Let the local fun begin.
In March 2020, our first repair café will finally get off the ground. I can also look to start other projects too; my mind is never quiet. I have always wanted to bring an element of usable Art to our town, and as we have so many talented local artists in Garforth, I hoping to tap into their world to see if there is anything we can collaborate on together. January is also the start to the work for Garforth Feastival 2020, our 4th year. Lots to discuss and do, and as we decide and finalise, information will be shared, so keep a look out.
I'm hoping to get the Podcast more off the ground too, with our original idea of podcasting with local people we know, including the lovely lasses at Cielo - so keep watching for updates and podcasts.
I am always open to suggestions for The Main Deal, so if there is anything you feel I could do, add, change, make happen, just email me firstname.lastname@example.org I'm all ears and here to do the good stuff, because we can.
Please look to our App or Facebook page for all the up and coming events over the next week – and don’t miss out on Cielo Sings carols with Garforth Jubilee Brass Band and Ian’s mobile Christmas Farm and Carols on Saturday from 1-4pm
Nice to hear two of our Chip Shops are being taken on by new owners this week, Hilltons and Central Fisheries, we wish them both good luck and I hope at least one of then take on the North West opening times - 11pm please, sometimes you just want a portion of chips for supper!
When January is here, please don't forget about our local businesses. January through to February can be difficult months for our shops, as we all eat what’s left over for as long as we can and we count the pennies until January pay day. So when you do need to go out for the odd item or 2, remember local, first. You can always think ahead to our local fitness and health professionals – If you want to make it your ‘New Year’ goal to look after yourself better, check out our ‘Keep me fit and Healthy' Category for all your wellbeing needs.
Like me, are you the organiser of Christmas, Santa and the chef? I feel all I do is stand up, all day, as we have 6 for Christmas Day and 8 for Boxing Day! However, I would much rather cook than wash up afterwards, so I do my best to use every pan in the house! Cook well, enjoy local and drink a few!
The blog will be back on Friday 10th January in the roaring 20's – enjoy, be kind, love lots
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Well what a week, another one gone in a blink of an eye. How does it go from Monday to Friday in a flash? Do you think it’s to do with the nights being dark so early, that the day seems over so quickly? It needs to slow down, we don’t want Christmas over in a flash too.
This week, I have had the unfortunate, ‘it’s-going-round-everywhere-schools-are-closed’ bug, yes, the lovely Norovirus, what a lot of fun that’s been! I didn’t think vomiting could be so violent. Luckily, all is well on that front, now I just have a cold to deal with! I’m just hoping it’s all out of the way before Christmas, I have a lot to do in 12 days. Now, wash your hands people.
Well, we can’t leave the elephant in the room any longer. BoJo is in, some may clap, some may weep, some may drink…lots; but if Kelvin Fletcher doesn’t win tomorrow night’s Strictly, I’m considering a move to the Netherlands! Now can we just get on with Christmas
It was so great to hear Luke Flear's, new single, 'Alive' released last Friday, a real catchy tune (if that doesn't make me sound like a parent) Stream from one of your favourite devices, but take note with Alexa, you have to say FLEAR very clearly!! Sticks and Stones have also been in the studio again and their new songs, to add to their own collection should be released soon - so watch out for this. What great local talent we have.
A little Christmas helper - some gift ideas you might not have thought of - be surprised
Dumouchel do evening classes such as chocolate and bread making, check out their website and ask what’s coming up www.dumouchel.co.uk
The Gin Shack – Lots of great gins and glasses, great hamper gift sets, www.ginshack.co.uk
Quirky Ales – Brew school - https://quirkyales.com/brewschool/- not only is it local, but there’s lots included on your brew school day for the man or woman in your life who likes good ale – Quirky have also just released some, ‘Merch’, have a look on their Facebook to see all.
Baby classes and Local activities – book online for your son, daughter or friend who have a baby? There’s baby massage, baby yoga, baby signing, baby swimming and activate Storytime and sensory classes for all – check with Flutterbabies, Bumps and Babes, Find Your Voice – lots of great local classes as well as booking classes with Katherine at Funky jives for mums, dads and toddlers to do classes together https://www.themaindeal.co.uk/local-activities.html
Garforth Community Choir – You can book a taster session or a full term - all details and prices https://www.themaindeal.co.uk/garforth-community-choir.html
Pre Book a holiday with Natalie Varley our local Travel Counsellor and her team - all you're needing is a deposit at this stage - imagine your partner opening that surprise on Christmas Day! https://www.travelcounsellors.co.uk/natalie.varley
Restaurant Vouchers – why buy one for the big chains when we have so many great places to eat in Garforth, you can buy vouchers for all of them, including a breakfast voucher or a coffee voucher – think outside the big chain cards!
Hair and Beauty – now these may be an obvious, but do you know you can buy vouchers from them ALL – we have so much choice, from nails to aesthetics, from tanning to piercing https://www.themaindeal.co.uk/make-me-beautiful.html
The Flowerhouse Garforth - not just great flowers, wreaths, table settings and beautiful flowery gifts as well as cactus and succulents and lots more for you too https://www.facebook.com/theflowerhousegarforth/
Few Gifts and RAW Family Design – you can buy something really unique at their gift shop near Tesco’s, including local business crafters and makers and local artists too. Or book onto one of their up and coming workshops www.fewgifts.co.uk You can have something printed on an item of clothing or 'merch' by RAW. https://www.rawfamilydesign.co.uk/
Smartypants Art with Kirsty - you may have seen lots of Kirsty's facebook posts were people have been out on a night and day time events (one coming up in January) for a painting and proscecco - I can highly recommend
Ladies Clothes shops – don’t forget we now have 3 choice of ladies-wear with our two new ships, Lilypops Boutique and Room 94 Boutique as well as the lovely Dorothy Anne’s. Items of clothes to buy, shoes, boots, bags, jewellery, nightwear, underwear, accessories and gifts – which means, as its local, if you don’t get it right, it’s easy for the gift receiver s to take it back and change it!
Refill & Go – is not just about filling up on produce, they also do fabulous gift options too, such as Chilly bottles, bath bombs, take to work items, things to eat as well as things for the Christmas Table and selection boxes– all plastic free of course
Sue Carroll Psychic Medium – Sue has been our local Medium for a long time and has a great reputation, she does one on one personal readings and group bookings too – has your family or friend every mentioned about always wanting to have a reading done?
Personal Training Sessions or a book of 10 classes – all of our local fitness classes, personal trainers and gym, such as Gymophobics all do vouchers including our Slimming World classes, check out our link https://www.themaindeal.co.uk/keep-me-fit--healthy.html
Dental treatments – our local dentists offer teeth whitening and some, aesthetics. Has your partner or loved one been going on about wanting straighter teeth? You can organise a free consultation and perhaps money towards their new year, new teeth, listen to my, ‘short midweek podcast’ travel, thoughts, new biz and this gift idea.
You can search for all of the above here on our website. Hopefully I have given you a few ideas to go on with, should you be scratching your head this year for something different!
As mentioned last week – all our events are now on our easy to downloadable App
Just save it to your home screen and it will sit nicely with all your other Apps.
I see the planning application is now in for the new Bar Café, The Assembly, which I mentioned in our podcast the other week – details here, https://publicaccess.leeds.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=Q1M8TLJBKHO00 Always great for a nosey of the layout – fingers crossed for another place to be
We walk, we talk, we stop, we eat – locally
Our last blog of 2019 next week, until then, have a great week
It appears that some of you like to read the blog! Don’t worry, I won’t take offence that a lot of you prefer reading than hearing my scouse dulcet tones and the fact it was perhaps longer to listen than read. It was something to try and I still like the idea of a podcast, but perhaps I may do this during the week with more people joining in, as a little addition to the blog! So here goes, you have it back as a written form, give me a high five!
Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat or I might!
As one of many women in the world, I handle a lot of everything! I work full time, run a house, a family and then some bloke added Christmas, I know it’s not all down to Jesus; well, it is, but Santa can take some of the blame too! Juggling work, school jumpers, 'just a £1' donation, Christmas plays, carols, gifts, themed events and disco’s, then I have to add the presents, decorations, food and then family arriving to deal with. I love Christmas, but equally find it quite stressful and I don’t see myself as a stress head. I only have one brain and there are many tabs open, and some of them are frozen! This year I am planning on being out of of the office a little earlier, which is also an advantage with the Thomboys breaking up later this year. I will officially be out of the office from 16th December, but don’t worry, we don’t go quiet until Christmas Eve!
I heard on the news this morning that people should stop buying Christmas jumpers because of the amount of plastic used to produce them. That’s very understandable but what I always want to know is, rather than moaning about a problem, can we have a solution first, and instead of jumpers, what could we wear as an alternative - what would you come up with as an alternative to a Christmas jumper?
Awful news, to hear about an attempted and then two full on hit, burglaries this week. Anytime this happens is awful. To have some opportunist; this is me being polite, come into your house and take your things, but Christmas is even harder as people start preparing for the big day there's more to take! Luckily the one opportunist that attempted to get into a house didn’t release the homeowner was in, so she caught a picture of him and it’s now given the police a better opportunity to look for a complete scum bag, idiot in red trainers, sorry, my politeness left...! At this time of year, it’s rife for little buggers, please make sure all your windows and doors are secure, I know it may feel I’m trying to teach a grandma to suck eggs, but a lot of people still don’t have the basics of security in their home, and it could potentially give burglars easy access.
If you feel you need better security or just some advice, call our local experts
David - Mr Smith Locksmith - https://www.mistersmithlocks.com/
Dean – Garforth Security – Alarms and CCTV https://garforthsecurity.com/
Always think, you may need to pay £150 excess on your home insurance should you broken in to, but you could spend less on added security on your windows and doors.
We’re nearly at 200 people who have download our new App, don’t miss out, be in the know with what’s local https://themaindeal.glideapp.io/ click here and save to your home screen, and then you cn easily access the power of knowing what's going on locally. Click on events to find out what’s coming up between now and February
Out Out, locally
The Podger is now back open. Last night I was invited to the soft opening, to see, taste and share with you, some details of their new refurbed pub. Jackie and Mark and the team have been working really hard getting it ready for todays opening, especially as they’re now offering a breakfast menu too. The photo’s will give you an idea of how they have made great changes, and made The Podger a place you want to be with your friends, family and your dog! Yes, part of the pub will be dog friendly. Another great venue to walk to, have a bite to eat and walk home – being local is getting..... good.
You can see the full menu online https://www.sizzlingpubs.co.uk/food
Our Repair CAFÉ – Great news
Finally, we have a new venue that will host, Garforth’s Repair Café and finally, I can get this up and running – the lovely team at Few Gifts have been our olive branch and we will be holding our first session at the end of March 2020, we wanted to get the bad weather out of the way and we can also have the much needed help from the fabulous volunteers, at Leeds Repair Café joining us. So please keep an eye on our Facebook page (LINK) and you can follow what’s happening in the lead up to our first one
I paid a visit to the library this week to meet the Garforth Knit and stitch group – each year, they come up with a theme for their Christmas display, and oh my goodness, you should go and see it, it’s fantastic. We have some very fabulous and talented local ladies – Here's a little glimpse of their Cinderella themed knits, go in and see the whole story and their knitted Christmas Decorated tree too! - Love a local
I’m hearing, ‘word on the street’, that one of our new establishments (soon to open) has had a bit of trouble, just about to get their license through and then there’s been an objection – it all sounds very naughty and a bit sneaky how it has been done too! I hope this gets sorted asap and we can see another new eating and drinking establishment open, the more offerings we have the more impact we will have on day time footfall, it’s a no brainer. Choice is what we want and need to get a good night time vibe on our main street and to keep people spending money locally!
Off on our Zumba Christmas do tomorrow – well it would be a bit sad if I had one of my own in this small office!
Until next week
My name is Christine Thom, I came to live in Garforth nearly 22 years ago; you may have seen me around ?