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What an amazing summer we are having!  If the seasons so far are anything to go by, we should be in for a spectacular colour show this autumn with leaves in blazing hues as we approach the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.  For most of us, September is the month of change, often more so than January.  Although some will return to familiar settings after the holidays, many will be starting something completely new for the very first time: nursery, school, college, university or work, and will be understandably apprehensive.

Life goals and directions of travel will have been pondered over during the well-deserved break, as our busy minds had time to reflect.  If there are major lifestyle changes to be made, perhaps you could find inspiration from Samantha Parkin on pages 8-9 or Sharon & Bernie Hammond on pages 18-19, who have fulfilled their lifetime ambition of becoming their own bosses?  The Muddy Stilettos winners on page 56 show successful ventures awarded, and Charlotte Croser can take pride in celebrating her fifth anniversary after making her leap of faith with Jollys Toys in Thrapston on page 24.  Maybe you are looking for something a little less drastic?  To take up a new hobby or rekindle a new?  On the pages ahead you will find plenty of incentives with art, history or language classes, badminton, Nordic walking or Northamptonshire skittles, see page 94.

Literature features high on the agenda in the months to come.  Althorp House hosts its 15th Literary Festival, see page 36, and Oundle Festival of Literature launches its autumns season with three very English titles on pages 62-63.  On page 40, you can read about three influential 19th century women who exceeded all expectation running country estates, including Lady Mary Isham of Lamport Hall.  Concerts, theatre productions and cinema screenings will increase in frequency as we turn activities to the indoors, but we can still enjoy our wonderful countryside at the Nene Valley Festival, the Dahlia Festival at Kelmarch Hall, see pages 42-43, and discovery tour and apple weekend at Lyveden, see page 58.  Have a wonderful autumn!






Vivi Sant Cole

Village Connect

Hillcrest House

Church Hill



NN14 1AH

Tel: 01536 744700