The power of face to face

Why should you trust me?

Last week I received a call from a lady who made a recent enquiry to find someone to do some work in her garden.  Scuseme sent her the details of three tradesmen with whom she got in touch before appointing one of them.  However, she told me that she had recently been ripped off and therefore felt vulnerable.  So, in order to avoid making the same mistake, she was carrying out her own checks.  If that gives you peace of mind, then please feel free, but scuseme has done the legwork as I share below.

Her first line of enquiry was to ask me, as the owner of scuseme, how I check my tradespeople. (more…)

Every day is Mother’s Day

mothers day scuseme

A Mother’s Day Treat

When my husband first met my mum, it was just before Mother’s Day.  Cheerily Mum asked him, “I hope you’ve got something special planned for your mum?”

Nick’s answer, “No I haven’t; I don’t really do it” was met with stony silence.  This was a big mistake but Nick however, quickly redeemed himself with some quick thinking.  He said sincerely, “Because I think of every day as Mother’s Day.”

It was cringy but got him out of a sticky situation and more importantly into mum’s good books. And since we have been married, my different expectation of this occasion has been drilled into him.

The small gestures, from breakfast in bed and a tidy house mean so much, but imagine waking up to these treats on Mother’s Day.  Whether you’re treating yourself or expect to be spoilt, here are some ideas to inspire you and make your Mother’s Day very special indeed.

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High winds and destruction

4 key things to check at home after high winds

Storm Gareth has left a trail of destruction in the UK.  The East of England has not experienced as much damage as in the North, but walking around Cambridge the signs of storm damage are evident.

Let’s hope that the worst has passed, as high winds can damage and weaken buildings.  However, prevention is better than cure and carrying out regular maintenance can save you a lot of hassle and costs.  Take a look at what our experts have to say and get in touch to discuss any problems that have come as a result of the recent adverse weather. (more…)

Hilary Cox Condron – community glue

What exactly does a community artist do?

Hilary Cox Condron is a community artist and engagement worker.  Intrigued at what this means?  Read on and find out how this vibrant and remarkable woman, who Dave Doggett, ex-Chairman of Cambridge United, describes as the ‘community glue’, uses and teaches art to motivate and empower people and galvanise the communities they live in.

I have known Hilary for several years, mainly through her involvement in community initiatives.  So it’s good to take time to talk through what she does in Cambridge.  As a result I discover there is much about her that deserves our respect and support. (more…)

How to keep your bike safe and secure in Cambridge

Clever bike safety & storage solutions 

If you live in Cambridge, chances are you’ve got a bike.  And if you have a family or live in shared digs, you’re likely to have lots of them.  And unless you live in more salubrious accommodation, you’ll probably have quite limited storage space.  So how can we keep our bikes secure, tidy and out of the way (or if it’s your prized possession, in full view of everyone).  Wandering around the streets of Cambridge provided lots of inspiration: here are a few ideas. (more…)

15 beautiful dog walks in and around Cambridge

dog walks in Cambridge scuseme

Dog walks in Cambridge you’ll love

As regular readers of my blogs may know, I have two dogs: Sugar, a 13-year-old Jack Russell-Golden Retriever cross (yes, I know, the mind boggles but she’s gorgeous) and Roscoe, my three-year-old Springerdor.  They get me out every day for their much loved dog walks in Cambridge that does me as much good as it does them. My morning walk fulfils many needs, for example,  exercise, catch up phone calls, seeing friends, listening to podcasts, or simply a bit of quiet head space.

Over the years I have discovered many lovely walks, some where the dogs can rush around off lead, or others which offer a gentle stroll. All the walks offer something special.  But, what I most love about them, is that they take me into open spaces where I can connect with nature and take in a bit of peace and landscape.  Whether a dog owner or not, I hope you discover somewhere new to walk in Cambridgeshire. (more…)

Cambridge Carbon Footprint

low carbon living

Low-carbon living in Cambridge

There seem to be few good news stories about the environment nowadays.  The media highlight daily some new crisis that leaves us feeling powerless and overwhelmed.  So it was refreshing to meet Alana Sinclair who, through her charity Cambridge Carbon Footprint that has, since 2005, been inspiring hundreds of Cambridge residents to make their own contribution in what she hopes will see a cultural shift in the city and beyond. I spoke to Alana about this big ambition.

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Cambridge Cookery: classes, café and community

Cambridge cookery school

Community cafe, bistro & so much more

Tucked behind Hills Road Sports Centre is Cambridge Cookery (once the Cambridge Cookery School). It has been operating successfully for over 10 years, running cooking classes and events for business as well as the domestic market.  In 2015 it opened as a community café and bistro and rapidly assimilated within this new residential area.  A conversation with founder and owner Tine Roche revealed a pin sharp philosophy behind the café and the cookery school, one that supports their food and cooking ethos, but also defines the wider role food can play in driving a more sustainable way of life.  (more…)

How to prevent falls in the elderly living at home

Prevent falls in the elderly

Create a safe home for the elderly

At scuseme we receive lots of calls and enquiries from people who want to make their homes safe.  A number of these are from older people who live independently.  As we head into our later life, we become much more vulnerable to an injury in the home.  Sadly, falls are the most common cause of death from injury in the over 65s.  However, there is much we can do to proof homes against the risk from falls and precautions we can take.

It is a common misconception that accidents among the elderly are usually falls on stairs or in bathrooms. Injuries and dangers throughout the home can happen in many ways.  Although pitched at the elderly, this list has value for anyone looking to make sure their home is as safe as possible.  If you need help, all scuseme tradespeople are personally vetted.  Many are DBS checked and we even have some who are Age UK certified.  At the end of the article you can find details of free services in Cambridge for help and support. (more…)

Doppleganger Burger – New vegan restaurant opens in Cambridge

vegan restaurant

Veganuary on the rise

Meat free Veganuary is growing in popularity.  The health benefits are a tonic for post-Christmas guilt, and the environmental impacts from land hungry and carbon intensive livestock farming are another incentive.  I’ve taken on the challenge this year.  Many Cambridge eateries include a vegan option on their menus.  Indeed, in May 2018, the British Restaurant Awards voted Stem + Glory vegan café the best restaurant in Cambridge.

Doppleganger Burger pops up

Tapping into this growing excitement for plant-based food, Alfy Fowler set up Doppleganger Burger in September 2017.  Such is his passion he soon secured investment to set up his own restaurant on Regent Street. Doppleganger Burger restaurant opens on Tuesday 22nd January.  Having used scuseme for the fit out, I have been following the building project closely.  Alfy talked to me about his journey to becoming a vegan restaurateur. (more…)