4 Books to Help You Achieve Dry January

How to Quiz Alcohol in 50 Days by Simon Chapple

Do you feel trapped by alcohol? Do you find yourself thinking about drinking too often? Do you put alcohol ahead of the most important things in your life? If so – here’s some good news. You can quit drinking, and it’s not as difficult as you think.

The Alcohol Experiment by Annie Grace

 It’s YOUR body. It’s YOUR mind. It’s YOUR choice. If you’re reading this right now, you’re questioning how much you drink. Maybe you know you drink way too much and you want to quit. Or maybe you’re just curious. No matter where you are on the drinking spectrum, you’re not alone.

This Naked Mind by Annie Grace

Millions of people worry that drinking is affecting their health, yet are unwilling to seek change because of the misery and stigma associated with alcoholism and recovery. They fear drinking less will be boring, difficult and involve deprivation and significant lifestyle changes. ‘This Naked Mind’ offers a new solution.

The 30-Day Sobriety Solution by Jack Canfield and Dave Andrews

‘The 30-Day Sobriety Solution’ offers the answer to anyone who feels their drinking has become unmanageable. Inspired by Canfield’s work in self-esteem and success training and developed into a programme by Dave Andrews, it integrates positive psychology, neurolinguistic programming, cognitive therapy, meditation, positive self-talk and the correction of negative self-perceptions, amongst numerous other techniques.

To reserve these books or search for others visit https://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/libraries.

Debbie’s Santa Craft

You will need:

White card or paper

Red card or paper

Cotton wool

Crayon to draw eyes (I could not resist using googly eyes but we advise that younger children draw them)

Rounded Scissors – If you do not have rounded scissors ask your adult to cut out all the shapes for you first. Then you can have all the fun sticking it together. If you are very little then you could just ask your adult to draw the Santa shape on the card or paper and you can stick on cotton wool etc or just colour in Santa.

Non toxic glue stick

Cut a circle from the white card. Cut a hat shape as shown above from the red card. Cut a circle from red card for the nose.

Stick the hat onto the circle of card, covering about 1/3 of the circle

Stick on the nose and draw the eyes.

Glue a round ball of cotton wool to the end of the hat and a strip of cotton wool to the bottom of the hat. Glue a beard of cotton wool to your Santa and he is finished.

As with all small parts, care should be taken – especially with preschool children.

Debbie’s Christmas Craft let’s make a Snowman!

Snowman for Older Children

You will need:

2 sheets of white card

Black card

Assorted buttons (or small circles of card)

Pipe cleaners or ribbon

Googly eyes (if you have them)

Glue

Rounded Scissors

Using one of the pieces of white card, cut two circles, one smaller than the other. Then fold the edge of the larger circle underneath about 2 cm. Stick the two circles together as shown below.

Cut a hat shape from the piece of black card.

Stick the hat onto the head. It doesn’t have to be straight.

Decorate your snowman. Glue on googly eyes if you have them, if not draw the eyes on. I used orange buttons glued on top of one another to make a nose. If you don’t have buttons then draw a nose on. The mouth was made from black card cut with a hole punch and glued on.

The scarf was a glittery pipe cleaner bent to shape and glued on. You could also use ribbon, or even draw the scarf on. Stick buttons onto the body of the snowman; any colour and number can be used. If you don’t have buttons, then draw them on.

Decorate the hat with the second pipe cleaner, or ribbon, or whatever you have. There is no limit to your imagination. Use the second piece of white card to make a support for your snowman to stand up.

Enjoy making your snowman!

Due to the small parts used, care should be taken if there are preschool children in your household.

Debbie’s Snowman Craft for younger children

You will need:

1 sheet of white card

Black card

Scraps of card or paper, any colour for decorating

Cotton wool balls

Non toxic glue stick

Rounded Scissors – If you do not have rounded scissors ask your adult to cut out all the shapes for you first. Then you can have all the fun sticking it together. If you are very little then you could just ask your adult to draw the snowman shape on the card or paper and you can stick on cotton wool or just colour in the snowman.

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Using one of the pieces of white card, cut two circles, one smaller than the other.

Fold the edge of the larger circle underneath about 2 cm. Stick the two circles together as shown.

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Cut a hat shape from the piece of black card.

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Decorate your snowman. Stick cotton wool balls onto the snowman. Cut out eyes, nose, mouth, buttons and a hat band from scrap paper/card and stick on as shown. Stick the hat onto the head. It doesn’t have to be straight. There is no limit to your imagination.

Cosy Christmas Reads for the Festive Season

The gleam of the fireplace, twinkling lights and soft Christmas jumpers…the holiday season is officially here! This year, things are a little different and you might be spending more time at home over Christmas and in the weeks following. Whether you’re busy with family round or keeping things a little quieter, we think everyone should have some time to settle in with a cosy book and a hot drink this festive season. So, here are some fiction titles to keep you warm and jolly over the holiday.

On the beautiful remote island of Mure, The Rock – the rambling, disused hotel on the tip of the island – was Coltan’s passion project before he died. With Flora’s help, Fintan is going to get the hotel up and running in time for Christmas, transforming it into a festive haven of crackling log fires and delicious food. Can they pull it together in time for the big opening and will Flora help her family find happiness this Christmas?

This enchanting mix of historical drama and romance cordially invites you to the wedding of the year! When fiercely independent chambermaid Nancy Nettleton first moved to London and the Buckingham hotel, the last thing on her mind was finding love, let alone falling for the debonair demonstration dancer Raymond de Guise. As the band strikes up in the Grand Ballroom to celebrate Nancy and Raymond’s wedding, one thing is certain – this will be a Christmas to remember.

Britain’s much loved saga author, Rosie Goodwin is back with her signature warmth, wonderful characters and unforgettable drama. When Opal Sharp finds herself and her younger siblings suddenly orphaned and destitute, she thinks things can get no worse. But soon three of them – including Opal – are struck down with the illness that took their father, and her brother Charlie is forced to make an impossible decision.

When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change. The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?

Sally Suggs is working tirelessly to bring in enough money to keep bread on the table especially when her father, a skilled rag-and-bone man, falls ill and Sally takes up his trade. But this is a man’s world and competition is fierce, and Sally’s rival Finn Kelly always seems to be one step ahead. Her family’s one valuable possession is their horse, Flower, yet with no one to protect them, London’s underbelly of black-market traders circle closer. Sally needs to find help in the most unexpected places if they are to survive…

Everly Lancaster always dreamed of leaving behind her hometown in rural Illinois. When a massive snowstorm hits, Everly’s mother urges the workaholic to come home for Christmas, but she hesitates to return to the life that she tried so hard to escape. Searching for other holiday plans, Everly tasks her assistant with booking her a cruise – an ideal escape. She embarks on a week-long tour of the Amazon guided by charming naturalist Asher Adams, but slowly realises just how important her relationships are to her. Can she make it home in time for Christmas Day?

And if you can’t get to your local library, here’s some digital options available to borrow for free with a Hillingdon Library card. Find out more here.

With Christmas coming up, Bo can’t wait to head to the snow-fringed fjords of Norway and the picturesque and remote hillside farmhouse that will be home for the next few weeks, Bo’s determined to enjoy a romantic Christmas under the Northern Lights. Everything should be perfect. But the mountains hold secrets from the past and as temperatures plunge and tensions rise, Bo must face up to the fact that a life which looks perfect to the outside world may not be the life she should be living…

Standing on London’s Victoria docks with the wind biting through her shawl, Rose Munday realises she’s been abandoned by her sweetheart. With no money and no family left in London, Rose must go to work. Finding herself a position as a typist in a slowly modernising London, Rose’s future begins to take shape in ways she would never have foreseen. But London is a treacherous place for a young woman, and what initially seemed a brave decision, might just be a dangerous one…

By Dilinna