Local Business Heroes - Momenti Studios

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A beautiful, relaxed photography studio in the heart of our lil ol' town, specialising in makeover shoots and pamper parties and run by the sunny Christina.

What brought you to Colchester? What is your background? I lived in sunny Cyprus for ten years where I ran my own successful photography business covering mainly weddings and outside portrait sessions! Last year I decided to move to Colchester which is where my  family is originally from with my five year old little girl. Why did you decide to start an independent business in...
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Arts - Exhibitions at The Minories and Firstsite, plus the launch of The Independent Artists Community

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Two fascinating new exhibitions launching this weekend, both telling the history of our region in unique ways, and the birth of a new Colchester artist collaborative network. Man, Colchester's got skills!

You Can't Beat A Woman is a Heritage Lottery funded exhibition which previews this Sunday, June 17th from 2:30 to 4:30pm and then runs until Saturday 30 June at The Minories. It's a multidisciplinary exhibition recounting the story of the founding of refuges in East Anglia and East London for women suffering domestic violence: It tells the story of the tenacious grass-roots campaigners who...
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Local Business Heroes - The Ethical Emporium/Shakers Dairy-Free

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Alex and Kev are bringing a double whammy of ethical independent business to the lanes of our lil ol' town, with a vegan-friendly food and product cooperative and a dairy-free dessert diner: Alex tells us all!

What brought you to Colchester? What is your background? Myself and hubby Kev moved to Colchester 6 and a half years ago from Brentwood. We liked the town, its culture and diversity and felt we and our 4 children would have a better life here. Kev got cancer within a year of moving here and we have spent the last 6 years dealing with that (twice) whilst trying to survive financially and...
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Events & Community - Saturday, June 16th

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Start planning your weekend now and the week will pass by pronto! This Saturday in particular the CO postcode area is positively packed with a plethora of community-run events so you can perfectly plan your day. If you can't pinpoint something to please... well, are you even percipient?!

Well, well, well, where do we start?! Summer's arrived and brought with it such a host of lovely sociable events, all right on our doorsteps, that you are sure to have your fancy tickled by at least one! Let's kick off gently with a traditional summer fete at Nayland Primary School from 10am to 12 noon with games, refreshments and stalls, followed by a one-day pop-up circus, at Woodland...
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Wellbeing Week - Nature & Outdoors

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Getting outdoors not only means a bit of exercise and some Vitamin D but spending time in nature has been proven to reduce tension, help you sleep and promote creativity. Lucky then, that our lil ol' town not only boasts some stunning green spaces, but lots of opportunities to get dirt underneath your fingernails!

The jewel in Colchester's crown is our glorious Castle Park, so beautiful in every season. We also have the stunning Beth Chatto Gardens nearby as well as Abberton Reservoir and Fingringhoe Wick. All perfect places to take a stroll and have a breather. If you'd like to get more hands on, however, head along to meet the Big Friendly Gardeners based at Highwoods Country Park's BIG Garden. The...
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Wellbeing Week - Making Friends & Community

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It's well-documented that loneliness can cause depression and can even shorten your lifespan, but making friends as an adult can be... well, tricky. The positive impact on your wellbeing can be huge, though, so consider getting involved with one of our lil ol' town's social groups or community activities.

Being integrated into your community and the strength of your social networks can help combat loneliness, reduce stress, even ward off dementia: The key is to find people you feel connected with and that might require reaching out, but with all the health benefits you’ll get, not to mention the pleasure of company, it’s worth the effort. A prime example of this is the inspirational Warm...
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Wellbeing Week - Healthy Living

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OK, we all know that if we look after ourselves we feel healthier, happier and have higher self-esteem, but it's hard to keep up with all the trends in nutrition, movement and exercise and sometimes it feels overwhelming. So a good way to give yourself a boost is by trying to make just one new healthy habit, and our lil ol' town has lots of options to help you on your way.

I'm a prime example of a gymphobe - ever since my school days the thought of any type of organised sport has made me develop a nervous twitch! As someone who comes out in a cold sweat at the thought of breaking a sweat, I was pleasantly surprised when I forced myself to attend some family yoga classes with my 10-year-old in a bid to be a better role model for her. The classes, run by the...
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Wellbeing Week - Getting Creative

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Getting lost in a creative activity is like yoga for the brain - it can help in recovery after illness or injury, decrease the chances of getting dementia, create community, improve coping skills and help to keep you calm. What more reason do you need to get stuck in to one of Colchester's plethora of creative activities?

You don't need to be able to paint like Michaelangelo or compose like Mozart to reap the benefits of immersing yourself in a creativity. According to Harvard even doodling has been shown to improve memory, reduce anxiety and help critical thinking! So even if you don't see yourself as a creative person, it may well be worth your while to try your hand at one of the many creative activities our...
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Wellbeing Week - Volunteering & Giving

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Giving is goooood. Research shows that those who give money, time or skills to charitable causes feel more positive, more grateful, closer to their community and even have lower blood pressure! Here's some great causes that Colcestrians are championing in our lil ol' town that could do with your help.

When we give to others, we don’t only make them feel more benevolent to us, we also feel closer to them. From personal experience the Colchester Life team can attest that getting involved in the community leads you to perceive others more positively and more charitably - the more you look for the good in people, the more it is evident. Two independent studies in America have shown that giving...
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Wellbeing Week - Mental Health & Body Positivity

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Mental health issues are all too common in women and men. Thankfully we are, as a society, increasingly open to discussing our struggles, and there are more and more resources available. Our lil ol' town has some shining examples of ways to tackle common issues, and some inspirational people working to raise awareness in innovative ways.

It's very true to say that for women in particular mental health and wellbeing is influenced heavily by how we feel about ourselves and our bodies. No matter how dismissive you are of our collective fixation with physical 'perfection', no matter how much you detest the toxicity of 'women's' magazines and the tabloids' 'sidebar of shame', even the most enlightened women find it hard not to let...
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Recycling & Zero Waste Week - Plastic Free Colchester

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A recently created Facebook group has captured the recycling and zero-waste zeitgeist in our town, and is bringing together proactive, like-minded residents, who want to make Colchester plastic-free!

One of the founders of Plastic Free Colchester, Claire Rodie, tells us more: Where did the idea for 'Plastic Free' come from and what is your vision? I had already been part of a few ethical living groups on Facebook and I found a UK wide zero-waste group which I found hugely inspiring. I read about lots of different and simple ways in which I could make changes to my own lifestyle to...
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Recycling & Zero Waste Week - Colchester Cloth Nappy Library

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Currently in the UK about eight million disposable nappies are thrown away every day, but Colchester Cloth aims to reduce that by offering parents a'n-appier' alternative!

Rachel Green is launching Colchester Cloth this Sunday, April 22nd, at the Recycling and Zero Waste Exposition at Firstsite, organised by Repair Reuse Recycle, with the support of Colchester Life! She tells us how it all came about: Where did the idea for the Nappy Library come from? I have two daughters, my eldest is 4 1/2yrs and my youngest is 10 months. I was pregnant with my first...
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Recycling & Zero Waste Week - Vintage & Upcycled Clothing

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What is vintage clothing if not recycled? Reusing and upcycling clothes is big business as well as good for the planet, and our lil ol' town is full of textile warriors!

What comes to mind when you hear 'vintage clothes'? Stylish? Funky? Original? All fair adjectives, but perhaps you don't immediately think that by buying vintage clothes you are actually doing the planet a favour as well as your wardrobe. Because, of course, what is vintage if not simply recycled clothing?  Every year an estimated 300,000 tonnes of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK...
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Remarkable Colcestrians - Dylan B. Christopher

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Did you know Colchester has its very own Overture? We really do! We talk to the remarkable Colcestrian who composed the unique and original composition for symphony orchestra - the sharp-suited musician, composer & teacher that is Dylan B. Christopher.

We would love for you to tell us about yourself, Dylan. I am a freelance pianist, self-employed music tutor, and classical composer living in Colchester. How did you end up living in Colchester? I came to Colchester in 2007 to study at Colchester Institute. Originally from Rainham, Greater London, I came to study here under the advice of my sixth-form teacher Sue Rowley. Colchester...
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Local (Baby) Business Heroes - Little City & Tiddlers2Wigglers

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Two entrepreneurs are making their mark in Colchester with baby businesses that offer local parents something different.

The current surge of so-called 'mumpreneurs' is a reaction to the difficulties so many women face upon returning to work after having children. Regular 9 to 5 jobs (which, let's face it are more often 8:30 to 6:30 jobs!) don't offer the kind of flexibility primary child-carers need and too often the only recourse is to start up your own business. That's exactly what these two Colcestrian mums...
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Local Business Heroes - Nail Art ID Lab

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There's a few options for nail art lovers in our lil ol' town but the lovely Shirley offers something a bit different - cutting-edge Japanese style nail fashions. And if you like your nails to dazzle then you'll want to get a Colchester Life card ASAP to take advantage of her umissable offer!

What brought you to Colchester? What is your background? I grew up in Colchester but left the town when I was 18 to pursue my education and career in London. I recently moved back with my husband and 2 daughters after living in Shanghai for 5 years.  Both my husband and I previously worked in the fashion industry. I was a business development coordinator and my husband was a brand director...
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Competition - The Thing That Came From Over There! by Gonzo Moose Theatre at The Mercury

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Win four tickets to the Saturday night performance of this rip-roaring comedy adventure, inspired by the horror movies of the '50s!

The critically acclaimed trio that make up Gonzo Moose Theatre are bringing The Thing That Came From Over There to Colchester. It's a fast-paced rollicking ride, mixing paranoia, suspense and hilariously gruesome deaths - and we have four tickets to give away! With comedy and thrills galore, the show features visual gags, verbal wit, giant puppetry, and even a little bit of live music. We...
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Community/Events - Surfers Against Sewage: Under the Sea and Wivenhoe RRR CIC: Recycling Expo

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Two innovative events coming up in Colchester that aim to reduce waste, pollution and landfill and promote a greener, more sustainable environment.

Whilst living in Thailand for a year, Lou of the not-for-profit event company Toodle Lou, used to spend her Sunday mornings cleaning the local beach. The amount of rubbish, plastic and litter that washed up every day convinced her that Toodle Lou's next fundraiser should be for Surfers Against Sewage. Surfers Against Sewage is a grassroots movement that has grown into one of the UK’s most...
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Local Business Heroes - The Lavender Hut Florist

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Beautiful, unusual bouquets and arrangements, budget-friendly wedding packages, silk flowers and bespoke items - The Lavender Hut is an indie florist that does it all - and our cardholders get free delivery!

What brought you to Colchester? I have lived in the Colchester area most of my life, but am now based in Fingringhoe.  Tell us about your business. I started floristry as a hobby at evening classes & loved it so much I decided to take the two-year course to become fully qualified. I worked for a local florist for 10 years before deciding to take the plunge last year and set up my own...
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Local Business Heroes - Flower and Flame

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Just in time for Mothers' Day we are delighted to introduce you to an indie business providing stunning, long-life floristry and slow-burning, luxury candles. (And shhhh, don't tell Mum - our cardholders get 5% off all orders!)

What brought you to Colchester? What is your background? Love brought me here! My partner is from Suffolk and I grew up in South Wales. I was working in London when we met so moving to Colchester was our middle point. I feel right at home here. The beautiful countryside and stunning town is something really to be proud of. Why did you decide to start an independent business in...
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News and Previews - Comedy, Circus & Mother's Day!

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We've made it through Snowmaggedon, so shake off that cabin fever and get yourself out to enjoy what Colchester has to offer!

Lots going on in our lil ol' town, Colcestrians, and as always, something to appeal to everyone. Let us put you in the know! First up, a comedian at the ever-reliable Arts Centre this Wednesday who breaks the usual 'Mock the Week' mould. Yes, Simon Evans has been on Live at the Apollo and written for 8 out of 10 Cats, but he's not your average left-wing maverick. In the eloquent comic’s...
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Comedy Preview - Interview with Patrick Monahan, Colchester Arts Centre

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We chat to Britain's 'hardest working comedian', on marathon tour again, hitting the Arts Centre on Sunday with his third autobiographical show, Rewind Selector 90s.

Irish-Iranian funnyman Patrick Monahan won the TV show dubbed 'the X Factor for comedians', Show Me The Funny, in 2011, and has been touring pretty much non-stop ever since. We managed to grab him for a very quick chat, ahead of his new show, recalling life as a teenager in the '90s and contrasting the more innocent era to that of teenagers today, which comes to Colchester on Sunday, February...
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Local Business Heroes - RemRen Photography

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Perfectionist Michael runs RemRen Photography, offering vibrant, beautiful images of your event or celebration - with 10% off for Colchester Life cardholders!

What brought you to Colchester, Michael? I have lived in Colchester now for 4 years. I settled here with my family after I completed university and had my first child.  Why did you decide to start an independent business in Colchester?  I decided to start an independent business in Colchester because I saw a great opportunity. I have been doing photography as a hobby for over 10 years...
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Community - Colchester Happiness Project

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The Colchester Happiness Project aims to bring together people from all walks of life who want to play a part in creating a happier society for everyone. Join them at their relaunch this Friday, Feb 23rd.

Part of the Action for Happiness movement for positive social change, the Colchester Happiness Project, which has been on something of a hiatus, is relaunching this Friday, February 23rd, with an event at Colchester's only 'happy cafe', the Harris + Hoole in Highwoods.  The woman behind the relaunch, Sandra, is a bouncy, engaging woman with an infectious smile. She explains the concept behind...
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Foodie Friday - Turtle Bay Review

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Having let the Caribbean restaurant settle in to its High St location, Colchester Life went back to see if it's living up to the earlier promise our Phoebe experienced on its preview night.

I must admit, I wasn't expecting to be over-enamored with Turtle Bay, for a number of reasons. I'm not big on very spicy food (I know, right?), I generally don't like chain restaurants and I was expecting to be overcharged for average food. Well, aswell as my dinner, I must eat some humble pie. I LOVED it! A warm welcome was given the moment we walked in the door, despite the place being...
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Arts Review - As of Yet Untitled, The Minories

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Running until Feb 24th, the 2nd Year BA Fine Art students of UCC present a eclectic exhibition of some promising work.

We've long thought The Minories is a little gem of a gallery - always something interesting to look at, the kind of place you can pop into to while away half an hour before an appointment in town or spend a whole afternoon immersing yourself in the current exhibition, browsing the unique hand-made locally produced gifts and enjoying a snack or meal in the lovely tearoom gardens. Currently...
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Local Business Heroes - Responsibly Sourced

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We talk to the lovely Zahira, owner, designer, creator and model of the Responsibly Sourced brand - original handmade and upcycled clothing, plus custom embroidered bespoke pieces, all with an ethical provenance. And now offering 20% off your first order for Colchester Life cardholders!

What brought you to Colchester? What is your background? I was born and raised in Colchester. Living here for 22 years I have gained a good understanding of the town, and after completing Art and Design Level 3 and a foundation degree in Fashion and Textiles, I knew that working with clothing was something I wanted to pursue. Why did you decide to start an independent business in...
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Remarkable Colcestrians - Toby Freeman of the Robin Cancer Trust

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A Colcestrian who has campaigned tirelessly to raise funds and awareness for testicular and ovarian cancer since the death of his older brother, has been recognised with a national honour.

Toby Freeman, aged 28, lost his brother, Robin, to cancer in December 2011. Robin was diagnosed with germ cell cancer in January 2011, and passed away aged just 24. What struck the family when Robin was diagnosed was the lack of information available to the public on germ cell cancers. Following Robin’s death, his family set themselves the mission of raising awareness of these forms of...
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Local Business Heroes - Sam Ross Yoga/Raspberry Swirl Massage

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Two holistic indie businesses for the price of one! Samantha Ross's vision has always been to help people to make positive changes in their lives. And for Colchester Life cardholders, a spectacular offer to help you on your journey!

What brought you to Colchester? What is your background? I have lived in the Colchester area most of my life although I moved away to attend university I came back after graduation. I have enjoyed several different career paths on the way to owning my own business. I’ve worked in various residential and supported care settings and also worked with adults with learning disabilities. I...
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Foodie Friday - Review: Middleton's

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Colchester Life's Sarah and Pete braved the Saturday night crowds to try dinner at the newly refurbished North Hill eatery.

Middleton's reopened late last year, and visiting on a Saturday evening contributors Sarah and Pete were unsuprised to see that the restaurant was heaving. A warm welcome awaited them however from staff members Mia and Steph; indeed Sarah was very impressed throughout with the attentive and efficient service, with no long waits, tap water brought to the table without having to ask, and servers...
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Community/Charity - Helping People In Need In Colchester

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A group of volunteers quietly and consistently reaching out to homeless people in our town, providing necessities and support.

For over two years now, every Wednesday (and that is EVERY Wednesday) at about 7:45pm a small group of volunteers gather in front of The Entertainer toy shop. If you haven't happened to walk past at this time, or stumbled upon their Facebook page, you would never know about the amazing, generous and much-needed work they carry out. Katie, her mum, Julia, Christina, and a few other core members...
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Events - A Wave of Wonderful Well-Being Workshops

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Colchester offers a plethora of opportunities to look after our mental health - we've rounded up some of the most interesting and relevant events and workshops coming up locally.

We all know it's important to look after our bodies with good nutrition and physical activity, but in the hustle bustle of our everyday lives it's often difficult to find time to evaluate our emotional well-being. Luckily our lil ol' town has come up trumps with some really interesting and worthwhile workshops which aim to help us balance and enhance our mental health. First up is Goals 2018,...
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Charity/Arts - The Secret Art Sale

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A chance to buy a totally original piece of art for just £40 – the artist will be a secret until it’s yours, so you could even land something by a big name! But more importantly (for your karma!), you'll be helping raise money to support the Colchester Hospital Cancer Centre campaign. It's defo a win-win!

At the first Secret Art Sale on Friday and Saturday, 2nd and 3rd of March at The Minories you can buy a totally original piece of art for just £40 – the artist will be a secret until it’s yours - so choose something you love! Your piece could be by a famous artist, a celebrity or someone who’s going to be the next big name. Artists have donated a small painting, drawing, lino-cut,...
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Arts - New Geographies, Open Call for Artists

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New Geographies aims to create a new map of the east of England with an open call for artists to submit ideas which encourage us to think about unexplored or over-looked places. With over 20 locations in the CO postcode area nominated, our lil ol' town provides plenty of inspiration.

New Geographies is an Arts Council England funded project to create a new map of the East of England based on the stories of unexplored or over-looked places. The map forms the basis of 10 major site-responsive art commissions across the East of England, to be delivered over the next two years.  The project aims to make art part of the everyday for more people, provide opportunities for...
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Charity/Community - The CHUFT Blanketeers

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Sister Sarah Sands has something of the angelic about her - not content with her daily work at Colchester General Hospital, she also runs the Blanketeers - a group of dedicated knitters and crocheters who meet to combat loneliness, support the recently bereaved and create beautiful blankets for patients receiving end of life care.

Tell us a little about you, Sarah I am 38 and have been nursing for 20 years now. I am currently ward sister on the cardiac unit, I have always worked in cardiology. After qualifying at Broomfield Hospital I was lucky enough to go and work in New Zealand and then Australia for 3 years. I love cardiology but also have a personal interest in palliative care.  Where did the idea for the...
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Arts - The Unfamiliars Scratch Lab: On Beginnings, Feb 23rd, Sip and Tuck

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A rag tag group of creatives come together for the first of a series of scratch lab events to celebrate and disseminate the wonderful work being made in and around Colchester.

Carl Denham and Gemma Garwood, the Unfamiliars' Creative Directors are on a mission to expand creative horizons and provide a platform for all the amazing and important work going on in our lil ol' town. With the ultimate aim of a dedicated arts festival in Colchester, the Unfamiliars envisage a sort of mini fringe festival, using unexpected and pop-up venues, to support and promote...
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Theatre Review - Snow White & the Seven Dwarves, Mercury Theatre

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Our local theatre puts together a panto cast of comedy gold - oh, yes, they do!

When I was little my grandparents took my brothers and I to the pantomime at the Mercury Theatre every year - I remember those experiences as being the most magical of my childhood. So when I moved back to Colchester in 2015, after more than 20 years away, introducing Bean to the joys of screaming, "He's behind you!" at the top of your lungs was high on my to-do list. Later than usual this...
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Gig Preview - New Town Kings NYE Party at the Arts Centre

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The ska-reggae collective, described variously as 'truly delightful', 'astonishingly chilled out' and 'the best of Brit reggae', bring an epic live set to their hometown to ring in the New Year!

Ska-reggae collective New Town Kings are a self-confessed 'band of upstarts' who emphatically blend old-school Jamaican rhythms with a fresh dose of UK-inspired ska. And this New Year's Eve the nine-piece band will be demonstrating their expert ability to create party-fuelled ska anthems, with offbeat guitars and swirling horns aplenty, at the ever-reliable Arts Centre. Hailing from... you...
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Review - Children's Theatre: Goblin's Peter & The Wolf

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The ever reliable Arts Centre plays host to this musical adventure, with shows until Dec 31st

While we all love a good pantomime at this time of year (and the Mercury's casting in recent years is absolute comedy gold), it would be a shame if that is the only time we take our kids to the theatre. Luckily we Colcestrians have a gem of a resource in the Colchester Arts Centre, which has an eclectic kids programme throughout the year including music, puppetry, mime and dance. This year's...
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Community - Kind Coats

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Fay Sibley set up last year's Colchester Coat Exchange, and its success made her and Sarah Fletcher determined to spread the idea. Now Kind Coats is aiming to reach 100 locations across the UK. Let's help them spread the word!

Tell us a little about you, Fay. I am 31 years old and live in Colchester. I work for the Health Innovation Network which is part of the NHS and before this I trained as a paramedic and worked for the London Ambulance Service.   Where did the idea for Kind Coats come from? Kind Coats builds on the success of the Colchester Coat Exchange which we ran last winter. The idea was originally...
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Local Business Heroes - Ginger & Fraggle

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Cards with a wicked sense of humour, prints with tough love... ahem ..motivational messages - Holly from Ginger & Fraggle's beautiful and unusual hand-crafted items will certainly make you giggle!

Tell us about you, Holly. I was born in Colchester. I moved away years ago for university, but I came back to settle here as it’s where my family are and family is super important to me. I’m an ex-art student – art and creativity has always been my passion, ever since I was a little girl. I’d kind of lost touch with it throughout my career so it’s nice to have an outlet again. Tell...
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Art - Rose Finn-Kelcey Exhibition and Grayson Perry Talk

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Deborah gives her verdict on the Power for the People exhibition running at Firstsite until March 4th, and was lucky enough to bag a seat at the talk by Grayson Perry at the Town Hall!

Rose Finn-Kelcey was one of the most innovative and exciting artists of her era. Born in Northampton and growing up in Buckinghamshire as part of a large family, she worked in London with various forms of media including performance art, sculpture, installations, video and sound, photography and paper cut-outs.  She passed away in 2014 of motor neuron disease. I wasn’t entirely sure what to...
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Events - The Poetry Brothel, Colchester

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The oldest literary form meets the oldest profession in England’s oldest recorded town, tonight at the Three Wise Monkeys!

A few years ago poet Alex Toms read an article about the New York Poetry Brothel and was smitten with the idea of its theatricality and the way the audience has to actively participate - so different from conventional poetry events. Based in concept on the fin-de-siecle bordellos in New Orleans and Paris, many of which functioned as safe havens for fledgling, avant-garde artists, The Poetry...
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Foodie Friday - Review of Turtle Bay

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Our new food reviewer, Phoebe, went along to the preview night at the Caribbean restaurant and bar on Wednesday, and found this addition to our High Street to be a colourful mix of spice, strong cocktails and fun!

This week I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the first of the ‘new wave’ of chain restaurants hitting Colchester’s High Street.  Turtle Bay is a Caribbean restaurant and bar based on the High Street close to Fenwicks and sandwiched in between the upcoming Wagamama and Five Guys restaurants and it certainly brings a new flavour to the town centre. The décor is vibrant and...
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Christmas in Colchester - Weekend Itinerary

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It is a BUMPER weekend of Christmas shenanigans in Colchester so to make sure you get around all the good stuff, here's our suggested itinerary!

Friday, December 1st Are you an artist? Love comedy? A thrill seeker, perhaps? Or would you just like to get trashed after a long week... ahem, we mean, drink responsibly in super stylish surroundings?! Colchester can offer something for everyone, but you may have to make some hard choices... Tindalls, our lovely art shop on Trinity Street, is holding one of their regular Artists Open Evenings...
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Review/Preview - A Night of Dirty Dancing/Forbidden Nights, Charter Hall

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Funnily enough, it didn't take much persuading to convince Colchester Life contributors Teresa and Silvia to have a girly night out at the Dirty Dancing Tribute at Charter Hall recently, and if good-looking muscle men a la Johnny float your boat too, then we have the perfect event coming up!

A Night of Dirty Dancing - The Ultimate Tribute Show took place at Charter Hall on November 18th. We sent along new contributors Teresa and Silvia to give us their verdict. Teresa, a born and bred Colcestrian, and Silvia, who moved here from her native Spain four years ago, have one thing in common (besides a penchant for iconic '80s dance movies, of course) - neither had ever been to Charter...
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Events - Secret Vintage World's Cocktail Party Opening Night, Friday, December 1st

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A stylish night of retro fun, ahead of the 2-day pop-up vintage department store at 37 Queen Street, and Colchester Life has FIVE tickets up for grabs!

The annual Christmas event held by Secret Vintage World is entering into its fifth year in Colchester, and this year they are curating a pop-up department store with vintage, retro and alternative traders from across the region, plus live music and entertainment to curate the perfect vintage department store for just two days, on December 2nd and 3rd! But before the fair Secret Vintage...
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Arts Preview - Get Therapy, by Danielle Imara, Wednesday 29th November at the Arts Centre

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The indomitable Anthony Roberts worked to bring this true story of addiction, eating disorders and depression told through a mixture of dance, song and dialogue to the Arts Centre, and although we hate to admit it, his taste IS impeccable - searingly honest, refreshingly upbeat, we're looking forward to this one! (And as it's a Wonderful Wednesday event, it's pay-what-you-can-afford. Marvellous!)

The writer of Get Therapy - Danielle Imara - was more or less ordered by her doctor to go into group therapy after becoming addicted to anti-depressants and, from her own perspective, happily accepting the situation. The experience triggered the writing of a show infused with positivity. "Although it seemed necessary to point out some of the sad and difficult experiences people have, I wanted...
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Social Enterprise - Repair Cafe at 15 Queen Street

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Wivenhoe Repair Reuse Recycle CIC's work delivers a triple whammy of benefits for the planet - reducing landfill, saving energy and imparting skills. Shake their hands at the Repair Cafe this Saturday!

The unflappable Chris Blomeley is the brains behind the Wivenhoe Repair Reuse Recycle CIC, and he's a very handy man to have around! The organisation's stated aim is to help people in Essex and beyound repair, reuse and recycle their household items, but this translates into a number of services, all of which will make you think, "That's bloomin' genius!" This Saturday the CIC will be at 15...
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Events - Christmas at the Minories

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Cutting-edge designer textiles and fashion, unique gifts, and a Christmas Market Extravaganza - this year The Minories has it all!

The Minories, run by the Colchester School of Art, is a place where imagination and creativity can flourish. It provides a venue which can help emerging and established artists and makers promote and sell their work. All of the items in their shop are by local creatives, many with associations with Colchester School of Art, both current and former lecturers and students. The Minories...
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Remarkable Colcestrians - Rebecca Hamilton, Search for a Song Winner

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Remember the competition run by the creators of Larry the London Bus to find a road safety jingle? Well, UCC's Rebecca Hamilton only went and won it!

A little while ago we blogged the Search for a Song competition run by Larry the London Bus and Friends' creator. Larry, and all his friends, live and work in the City, and each story is based on an actual London bus route. The books and apps educate youngsters on a whole array of current topics, from historical and modern landmarks, through to sport and religion, but the series also aims to...
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Arts Review - The Life of Julie Cope, by Grayson Perry at Firstsite

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Our arts reviewer, Deborah Suzanne, attended the packed opening night of this coup of an exhibition, and was enchanted by its colour and vibrancy.

Julie Cope is an Essex everywoman and this new exhibition at Firstsite is a tribute to the people that Grayson Perry grew up with. Perry's use ofcolour, textiles and the spoken word brings vibrancy, adventure and beauty to an ordinary life, and explores the character and qualities of Essex. The narrative that runs through this exhibit about the fictional Julie Cope and her trials and...
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Arts Preview - The Life of Julie Cope, Grayson Perry

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Yes, an exhibition by THE Grayson Perry, opening Friday 17th November, at Firstsite and running till Sunday 18th February 2018.

The show is made up of four large-scale tapestries, as well as material related to A House for Essex (2015), the building designed by Perry in collaboration with the architect Charles Holland. An ornate ceramic-clad, gingerbread-like edifice, A House for Essex serves as a secular chapel to the memory of a fictional Essex woman, Julie Cope. Situated overlooking the scenic Stour Estuary in the...
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Foodie Friday - Caffe Sala Vegan Night Review

Caffe Sala is one of my favourite places to go to in town for a coffee and cake. So when they announced that they were opening in the evening for a one-off vegan night I was really excited - and it didn't disappoint!

Colchester is a great place for vegans to eat out at the moment.  Caffe Sala's daytime menu has something to please everyone; veggies and meat eaters alike. But for one night only everything on the menu was vegan.  When we arrived it was dark and the cafe looked so cosy from the outside.  We were seated and offered some nibbles of olives and bread. Caffe Sala was licenced for the evening...
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Charity/Community - Men to Le Barre in support of MIND

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Le Barre, who run fitness classes based on the principles of Pilates and ballet, have come up with an innovative idea to raise money for MIND, the mental health charity... because men, you can do ballet too(tu)!

Mental health is very much in the news these days, and while that makes it a little easier for us all to speak up about our struggles, often it's men who find it the most difficult to do so. The startling facts are that just over three out of four suicides are by men and suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under 35.  MIND is working to raise awareness of mental health issues in...
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Arts Review - We: You, Me at Firstsite

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Running until November 19th, Deborah tells us about her experience of this group exhibition, put together by emerging artists and fledgling curators.

I attended the opening at Firstsite of We: You, Me a group exhibition curated by JMC Anderson, Charlie Bryan and Laurie Taylor Straiton which brought together artists exploring narrative, environment and gender in their work. This fits in perfectly with the idea of ‘Identity’, which is a subject close to Firstsite’s heart this year. Gender Redo is inspired by the 1990 work by Judith...
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Arts - Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir, Arts Centre, 25th October 2017

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New York’s award-winning wild, anarchic anti-consumerist gospel shouters and planet-loving urban environmental activists return to the UK, spreading the word of Earthelujah!

Hallelujah!  Your saviour is at hand. If you’re concerned about global advertising, multinational control, climate change, the threat of nuclear war, supermarket domination, and all the constant controversy caused by the US President’s outpourings, this is for you. If you’re not, this is REALLY for you! Award-winning wild anti-consumerist gospel shouters and planet-loving urban...
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Arts Review - H2DANCE Strangers and Others

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Our latest recruit, Deborah, gives her verdict on last week's immersive dance performance at the Arts Centre.

We make judgements every day and with these preconceived ideas we have on the judgements we make, we alter our social interactions. Strangers and Others, created by performance and choreographers Hanna Gillgren and Heidi Rustgaard and their company H2Dance, is a performance piece that takes these ideas and plays with the audience. Only there is no audience really – because the audience are...
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Arts - Strangers & Others, H2 Dance

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A new immersive piece from award winning maverick performers and choreographers H2DANCE - two shows, tomorrow, October 18, at the Arts Centre

Strangers & Others is a playful performance without performers. Instead the audience are the protagonists in a show that asks how can we come together to co-exist and create understanding and empathy between social groups and cultures? At a time when global events seem to lead to increasingly fractured and isolationist societies, community and integration seem more important than...
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Local Business Heroes - Mermaiding UK

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Professional mermaid, Carla, is a photographer and entrepreneur who sprinkles a little narwhal dust wherever she goes!

Carla Watkins moved to Essex to be nearer her family following a break-up, but found herself falling in love with the creative community in Colchester and now lives in Wivenhoe. Being beside water, you see, is a must for this photographer and entrepreneur, as she is also a professional mermaid! And Colchester, she says, is the perfect place for it - rivers and the coast so nearby and full of...
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Community/Events - The BIG Apple Day, Highwoods Country Park, Sept 23rd

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The BIG Garden gets its appley ever after!

Do you remember, dear readers, that last year, at about this time, Bean and I had attended Apple Day at the BIG Garden in Highwoods Country Park, and we were concerned for its future? Well, I am delighted to report, ahead of this year's Apple Day on Saturday, that, thanks to some sterling work by the volunteers, the Big Friendly Gardeners, and the wonder that is Wayne Setford, the future looks...
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Comedy - Paul Foot: Tis a Pity She's a Piglet, Sept. 21st at the Arts Centre

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In his first new show in two years, the master of surreal comedy joins forces with a Camembert piglet join forces to tackle the big issues, such as terrorism, immigration and Ant 'n Dec.

Fans of comedy will need no introduction to Paul Foot - a man often described as a sublime and original comedy genius. In between regular outings at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and collaborations with other big-hitters, such as Noel Fielding and Russell Brand, Paul has found time to get back on tour with the show that offended a thousand piglets. Ahead of his date at the Colchester Arts...
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Arts/Events - Pop-Up Art Market and Open Studios

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Part of the Essex Summer of Arts, a chance to view and buy original pieces from local artists, and explore the history of our newest creative space, all in one day!

This Saturday, 16th of September, two venues in Colchester's cultural quarter will be hosting events perfect for art lovers. Firstsite is the location of a pop-up market where you will have the opportunity to buy directly from regional artists, artisans and makers. Perhaps you're after an original print for a newly decorated room, a unique gift for someone special, or a one-off just for you?...
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Community/Charity - Auld Nag's Folly Pantomime Horse Race

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Why the long face? This Sunday Colchester will see our first ever pantomime horse race. Oh, yes, we will!

Age Concern Colchester have come up with the genius that is the Auld Nag’s Folly Pantomime Horse Race, generously supported by Fisher Jones Greenwood Solicitors. For the past few months teams have been making, shoeing, grooming, breaking-in and training their very own pantomime horse, with help and guidance from Age Concern, all in preparation for Sunday’s events.  The High Street will...
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Local Business Heroes - Style Junki

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Style Junki's Melanie Kelly gives upcycled furniture the love it needs to become a bespoke showstopper

The artist behind Style Junki grew up in the small Essex village of Finchingfield, and has fond memories of visiting Colchester as a child. Wanting to move somewhere with more space once her son left school, she says her fondness for Colchester and its friendly, arty atmosphere made choosing a new location a no-brainer. Always creative, Melanie's first few upcycled furniture pieces were made...
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Local Business Heroes - Sam Kelly, Photographer

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There's a lot to love about our beautiful town, but sometimes it takes a fresh view to discover it. Meet Sam Kelly, a photographer new to Colchester, who tells us, in his own words, why he believes it's the perfect place for his business.

We came to Colchester one year ago to start a new chapter in our family's life. Our son was due to finish secondary school and the town in which we lived, we felt, lacked the variety and opportunity that we needed to move our lives forward.  Coming to Colchester has really changed our paths for the better, the town is vibrant and full of interesting places to discover, you can't get bored...
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The Classic Shaver - Mews Barbers - Church Street

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Do you own a beard? I don't mean 'wear' or 'have' a beard, I mean 'own'. I thought I did. Like many modern gentleman my decision to have a beard has stemmed from the recent trend for a rugged, masculine appearance.

Beards are seen as fashionable and hipster, but do we know what to do with them? I was under the impression that I did, but truth be told, I was probably making it up as I went along. It should be simple to grow a beard- don't shave, and many men do just that and end up with the resulting facial hair. Attitudes to men's grooming has changed enormously in recent years. You only need to take a...
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Kids - Book Review: The Bag by D.J. Cattrell

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The popular Colcestrian children's author has released his new book, the sequel to The Bucket. Colchester Life's youngest member gives her verdict!

D.J. Cattrell (Jason to his friends) doesn't want to educate kids - he wants to inspire them, and believes giggling should be compulsory in any syllabus! As well as conducting story-telling sessions and encouraging kids to perform poetry, he writes magical novels for children that are proving extremely popular. The second, The Bag, has just been released. Colchester Life's youngest member,...
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Kids' Workshops - 'Summer Shorts' Digital Filmmaking

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Summer holidays are looming, and while there is a proliferation of sports and theatre options for kids, if your child is less outdoorsy and would prefer to be behind a camera than in front of it, it can be hard to find something they'll enjoy - until now!

Have you got a budding producer, location scout, lighting technician or documentary maker on your hands? Looking for something interesting and affordable for them to do over the summer holidays? Then read on! CreaTech Academies run summer academies where your child can learn brilliant new digital skills such as filming, editing and digital post-production.  And while we all know digital...
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Community - Rice & Spice Festival

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What is Colchester's 2nd annual diversity festival made of? Why, rice, spice and everything nice, of course!

The second annual Colchester Rice and Spice festival is taking place at Firstsite this Sunday, 9th July from 12 to 5pm The festival brings together Colcestrians from many diverse communities to celebrate the richness of our local culture through food, music and dance. The volunteer-led event is being organised by the Colchester Multi Ethnic Forum, an informal group that brings people together...
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Colchester Food and Drink Festival - 24th June

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The ever popular Colchester Food and Drink Festival returned to Castle Park last weekend, packed with hoards of hungry Colcestrians, keen to try the delights on offer from a variety of local businesses.

We were among those crowds, looking for treats to tempt us and tempted we most certainly were, having stumbled across a business we had been hearing loads about on social media, the Norwegian Bakers. The Norwegian Bakers incorporate vegan ingredients (though they are not an exclusively vegan baker) within their baking to produce a delightful array of cakes and breads. We got rather excited and...
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Arts/Community - Colchester's BIG Sunday

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It's back, and bigger than ever! 600 performances across 19 venues, and it's all FREE!

Colchester's BIG Sunday will take place this Sunday, July 2nd. The free family festival was started as a direct result of the unavoidable cancellation of the well-regarded Colchester Free Festival, leaving a vacuum in our town's annual festival calendar. Dorian Kelly (the man behind the movement) felt something had to be done to showcase the incredible music and arts that make Colchester the...
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Arts & Crafts/Community - Yarn Lovers Monthly Meet-Up

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Knitting is the new yoga - but as an added bonus to the therapeutic benefits, you end up with a beautiful, unique item! Whatever your yarn passion, this new monthly group welcomes crafty Colcestrians.

Erin Summers Norman believes firmly in the benefits of yarn crafts - crochet is her weapon of choice to beat stress and anxiety and, she says, it's helped her through tough times, dealing as she does with a chronic and debilitating illness. On bad days Erin is bed bound, but she's never idle. She teaches crochet privately and sells her gorgeous creations online, but she got to thinking,...
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Learning/Community - Colchester Festival of Lifelong Learning

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Whether you're 16 or 60+ Colchester offers a plethora of adult education opportunities. Come along this weekend and start on a journey of learning something new!

Did you know Colchester is lucky enough to have an organisation dedicated to learning in adult life? Called Learning Never Stops, the charity is made up of local educators and historians (and a certain well-known ex-mayor!) and evolved out of their involvement in Greyfriars when it used to be an adult education college. The trustees believe fervently in the benefits of lifelong learning and...
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Arts/Community - Living Library

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'Borrow' someone fascinating and learn how they live their life at Young Art Kommunity's meaningful event tomorrow.

Kei Patrick is a young Wivenhoe resident volunteering with the Young Art Kommunity in his gap year. Inspired by an event he attended when visiting Oxford, Kei has organised a Living Library, which will run tomorrow, Saturday, June 24, from 10:00 to 17:00 at Firstsite. In this library the books are living people, talking about their own life experience. 'Readers' can ask questions that are...
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Arts - Interview with Ed Gold ahead of his Other Worlds exhibition at Firstsite

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Friday, June 16th sees the opening of Colchester-educated photographer and documentarian Ed Gold's Other Worlds exhibition at Firstsite. With searing honesty he opened up to us about his life and work.

A self-taught photographer, Ed Gold began documenting people and communities whilst working as a farm labourer in Essex in the 1980s. He did a degree in design at the Colchester Institute and an MA in Interactive Multimedia at Central St Martins, but in 2001 he began taking photographs full-time. His major exhibition opening at Firstsite tomorrow is made up of 100 photographs taken over a...
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Competition - Search for a Song!

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Students from UCC compose road safety jingles for new children's book series

Godfrey Obwoya and Rebecca Hamilton are students in their final and penultimate years respectively at the University College Colchester's BA (Hons) in Film Music & Soundtrack Production. They are also finalists in a competition launched by the creators of Larry the London Bus and Friends. Larry the London Bus and Friends is a new children’s book series that teaches children about the...
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Community - The Great Get Together

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We have far more in common than that which divides us - let's get together as a community to prove the late Jo Cox right.

This Saturday, June 17th at GO4 Cafe at the Rec and this Sunday, June 18th at Firstsite, Colchester will hold two of the more than 100,000 events being staged throughout the UK, to bring the entire community together and breathe life into the words of the late Labour MP Jo Cox: We have far more in common than that which divides us. Paella in the Park is a collaboration between Emmaus...
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Community - Frock Swap!

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Get shot of all the clothes you have gone off or (ahem) grown out of, and get a lovely new (to you) outfit instead!

If you operate a one-in, one-out system when it comes to your wardrobe (and if you don't, now's a good time to start!) then Saturday's event at the marvel that is the Arts Centre will be totally up your alley! Mother and daughter team (and Colchester ward councillors!) Jessica and Lesley Scott-Boutell came up with the idea. "Most of us have items hanging in the back of the wardrobe that...
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Events - Weird and Wonderful Wedding Fayre

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Getting married but don't want the meringue dress and disco reception? Then be at the Town Hall on Sunday, for a chance to source some weird and wonderful alternatives!

From the team behind Secret Vintage comes the unique and alternative world of weddings! Hosting its inaugural event on Sunday 4th June in the iconic venue of Colchester Town Hall, the Weird and Wonderful Wedding Fayre was born in response to the requests of both shoppers and traders alike.This inaugural event will bring a whole new world of wedding possibilities to the many vintage,...
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Foodie Friday - Exotic Meat/Vegan Canapes and Cocktail Night at Wild at Spirit

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What to expect from this meat/vegan combo evening? We thought we might be drawing comparisons with Channel 4's 'The Island' but in reality the canapes were intricate, the flavours exotic and the cocktails heady...

The evening cost £25 each, which included a cocktail on entry - particular favourites of the Colchester Life team, were 'Dark and Stormy', a spiced rum and ginger combination and the 'High Tea Martini', a Vodka and Gin based drink, served with a dash of elderflower, cucumber and apple. 10 courses of canapes followed at intervals throughout the evening. Vegans and veggies, don't be put off by...
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Events/Community - Nothing New & Bazaar at The Minories

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Running alongside the ever-wonderful Bazaar this Saturday is a spring market with a difference, selling only pre-loved items creatively recycled, upcycled or repurposed to be given a second life

Like many people in Colchester the Minories are really keen to reduce the impact they have on our environment through waste and consumption, so when it came to planning their annual spring fair they decided to do their bit to help. Now in its third year Nothing New is a fair with a difference, selling only goods that have been recycled, upcycled or pre-loved. The...
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Arts - Letters to Windsor House, Sh!t Theatre

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We talk to the pair behind the performance piece coming to Lakeside Theatre next week which shines a timely light on the comi-tragedy of the lives of Generation Rent.

Colchester-born Rebecca Biscuit and long-time friend and collaborator Louise Mothersole live and work together in an inner London Borough, renting a flat from a 'dodgy' landlord in the regally named Windsor House. When ominous-looking post piled up on their welcome mat addressed to numerous previous tenants, the pair discovered that, under certain circumstances it is not in...
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Arts - How To Survive A Post-Truth Apocalypse: Interview with Francesca Beard

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Lies, lies and damned lies! Colchester Life talks to the ‘Queen of British performance poetry’ ahead of her new show at the Colchester Arts Centre on May 24th, and asks, as democracy dissolves into satire around us, how can we possibly know what is true?

Francesca Beard thought she had already written the vast majority of her crossover theatre/spoken word show, when suddenly in the last year, lying went truly mainstream. Did she have to do a lot of rewriting, I wonder. “Yes, it was a real labour of love," she concedes. "On top of the personal, the philosophical issues, came the zeitgeist of Brexit (“Vote ‘Leave’ to release £350...
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Events/Community - Sofar Colchester

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Sofar is a global network of artists and music lovers who are bringing the magic back to live performance, and Colchester, with its history of creativity, is helping it thrive.

Sofar Sounds started in 2009 when 3 friends, Rafe, Rocky and Dave, attended a gig and found that, with people chatting loudly, clanging glasses and holding up their phones, no-one was really paying much attention to the music. Certain that they weren’t the only ones who went to a performance in the hope of actually listening to the music, they decided to host an cosy gig in a living room in...
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Foodie Friday - Jolly Cakes and Bakes

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We love Foodie Friday here at Colchester Life, and whether you're crazy for cupcakes, or partial to a pasty, today's local business can deliver - with love!

Tatiana Cavalcante is a big-hearted Brazilian with Italian heritage, who spent 10 years in Brighton, working in catering firms big and small, before making a move to Colchester – a town she describes as beautiful, open-minded, family orientated and full of history. (Oh, Tatiana, you had us at ‘beautiful’!) Tatiana’s plan was always to have her own catering business where she could...
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Local Business Heroes - Aster la Vista

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Bespoke floral decorations for events and the home, with a discount for Colchester Life cardholders... Wait, have we missed Mother's Day?!

Gwyn Bilby was made redundant two years ago, but rather than feeling sorry for herself she decided to use her new found freedom to retrain in her real love of floristry. And voila, Aster la Vista was born (and let's face it, who doesn't love a flower-based pun? No? Ok, take it or leaf it. No, really, I don't want to be the bud of jokes. OK, I'll stop now, once and...
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Events/Community - The Trinity Street Festival

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Back by popular demand! A day of free fun in arguably Colchester’s prettiest street, full of great independents! What’s not to love?

It’s official – the street closure signs have gone up: Trinity Traders,the association of independent businesses that line beautiful Trinity Street, has long been an example of what a difference indies can make to a town, with their efforts for Colchester in Bloom and their support and promotion of each other and Colchester itself. Last year’s one-day event, the very first...
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Events - The Secret Vintage Fair

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The location has been revealed, the stallholders are retro-ready and the burlesque dancers have curled their bangs! The Secret Vintage Fair is well and truly back and Colchester Life will be in the mix!

Annnnnd they're back! The Secret Vintage fair is back in Colchester this Sunday, at the Town Hall from 10:30am to 4pm for their usual vintage shenanigans and more! As always they've pulled together over 50 traders selling the finest vintage and retro clothes, accessories and homewares they can lay their hands on. Some are even coming from abroad just for the...
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Community - Jane's Walk

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A long weekend of free walking tours, organised and led by local people, to encourage us to explore, reimagine and celebrate our neighbourhoods.

This May 5th-7th will see Colchester host our 7th Jane’s Walk event (which leaves us all the more shamefaced that until recently we had no idea it existed!) It’s definitely time for us get involved in this wonderful, worthy initiative that sees local people, of all ages and backgrounds, devise and lead walking tours that can focus on almost any aspect of a neighbourhood, and on almost any...
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News & Reviews - Updates from our Recently Featured Arts, Events & Social Enterprise Blogs

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Colour at The Minories, exposure for JaJaJa Books, opera tickets from Colchester Classics, support for Find Your Spark & Colchester Life at the Vintage Fair! Wow!!

The Colchester Life family grows every week, it seems, and there is so much to update you on, gentle readers, that we've decided to create a mega blog, to make sure we don't miss anyone out! First up, you'll remember we previewed the Between Things exhibition at The Minories recently. Well, we attended the opening and we loved it! This is a show full of colour and texture. You move through...
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Local Business Heroes - Fit4Life

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A fitness company where all levels are welcome, which promises massive results (and 10% off all sessions to Colchester Life cardholders!) is launching a new 60-day concept on May 1st.

Fit4Life run group fitness classes which offer the additional benefit of the expertise of personal trainers. This system, they say, means that clients get much more out of each session than if they were to go to a larger gym, which can often a bit soulless and can certainly be intimidating to those of us who aren’t natural gym bunnies. Fit4Life is made up of Steve and Marty, who are...
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Competition - Essex’s Best Youth Tourist Attraction 2017

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The search is on to find Essex’s Best Youth Tourist Attraction, and if you're aged between 16 and 25 you could be the one to spread the word about Colchester, and grab yourself some prizes into the bargain!

Essex Business School at the University of Essex is celebrating the launch of its BSc Tourism Management degree with an exciting competition for 16 to 25 year olds, offering a prize package of summer days out worth up to £500. Budding photographers, and fans of the fantastic tourist attractions around the county, are invited to post a pic of their favourite Essex place to visit...
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Competition/Local Business Heroes - Colchester Classics

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Partial to Puccini? With a 10% discount for Colchester Life cardholders and an EXCLUSIVE competition to win tickets to see La Boheme, Liz is a gal you'll want to get to know!

This year Colchester Classics is celebrating 11 years as a classical music service to clever collectors and those just starting their love affair with music, choirs and concerts. Founder Liz Leatherdale is a Colcestrian with an impressive classical music heritage and a passion for providing great, personal service to help people on a journey of...
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Vegan Week - The Den and the Best of the Rest...

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Colchester's original 100% vegan cafe has blazed a trail for all these other enterprising vegan businesses.

The Den at Twenty-Three, the very first vegan cafe in Colchester, was opened in 2015 by husband and wife team, Jennifer and Rob. Their aim was and still is to show how diverse vegan food can be, and that a vegan diet can still include the food you may have loved as a kid, such as burgers, cake and ice-cream! While they still face...
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Vegan Week - Tea by the Sea

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Need a little vitamin sea? Beach hut hire with a difference, plus vegan afternoon teas, created by Eden Living

Colcestrian Joanne Penny grew up in her parents' restaurant and hotel, cutting her teeth as 'Chief Sampler' for the Italian chef, and moving on to work in catering and customer service for all sorts of events and celebrations. As a home cook for her three children Joanne was always keen to use organic, home-grown and locally-sourced ingredients. When her daughters...
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Vegan Week - Wild at Spirit

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This new whippersnapper of a coffee house in lovely Eld Lane boasts an ice-cream parlour and fresh breakfasts & lunches - and it may just save a few relationships!

Are you a vegan whose partner is comfortably carnivorous? Or perhaps you're a meat-eater but you're dating a vegetarian you'd like to impress? Well, dear reader, newbie in town, Wild at Spirit may just be the place to score you some brownie points. More than just a cosy little coffeehouse, Wild at Spirit, which opened just two months ago, offers good quality vegan and vegetarian...
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Vegan Week - Organic Alex

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Don’t just survive, thrive on a plant-based diet, with the help of vegan catering and coaching from raw vegan specialist, Organic Alex – with bonus exclusive recipe!

Born in Suffolk and educated in Colchester and Ipswich, Alex Cave returned from a life in London to our town 17 years ago. With an interest in healthy living he began running an organic wholefood shop and his customers soon nicknamed him ‘Organic Alex’. When he qualified as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach at the end of 2015 it seemed like the perfect moniker for his new vegan catering...
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Arts/Events - Dr. Phil's Health Revolution at the Arts Centre & Between Things at The Minories

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We can hardly keep up with all the amazing stuff going on in Colchester lately! So much so, we’ve had to combine two fantastic events into one bonus blog (and on the day of rest too… ah, well, eternity in hell was pretty much a certainty anyway!)

Get a health check with a difference this Thursday, April 13th at the Arts Centre. Dr. Phil Hammond comes to Colchester with his funny, thought-provoking and extremely topical show, Dr. Phil’s Health Revolution. (That’s the English Dr. Phil, not the big, bald Texan guy who says things like, “Well, you’re just meaner than a junkyard dog, ain’t ya?”) Described by the...
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Events/Kids - JaJaJa Books presents Ranvir Cannot Hear

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Got curious little ones? Then you’ll want to be at the GO4 Café @ the Rec on Good Friday, for a delightful, inclusive event.

Is there no end to the talents in our town?! Genevieve Yusuf may be exotically named but she’s a born-and-bred Colcestrian who after a few years of living abroad and across Essex has returned to roost with her young family in a town she feels has a great sense of community and opportunity. Genevieve is the founder of JaJaJa Books, a company that holds a dominant place in a niche market...
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