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Escape to the Chateau’s Dick and Angel’s new series of Make Do and Mend

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Dick and Angel Strawbridge are back on our screens with a television show that sees them help families with DIY dilemmas.

Fans of the couple have followed their journey transforming their derelict property as part of Channel 4’s Escape to the Chateau.

Now they are back in their new series of Make Do and Mend to share the skills they’ve learnt along the way with other families taking on DIY projects.

Dick and Angel Strawbridge are back on our screens in their new series of Make Do and Mend

Dick and Angel Strawbridge are back on our screens in their new series of Make Do and Mend

TV viewing: The new series of Make Do and Mend starts on Channel 4 this evening at 9pm

TV viewing: The new series of Make Do and Mend starts on Channel 4 this evening at 9pm

Dick said: ‘It has been great fun working on this year’s series. It has been wonderful watching our contributors grow in confidence and we all share the pride when the job is done. 

“‘Make Do and Mend’ came from the mountains of emails we received last summer asking for guidance on a real mix of projects.

‘In addition to sharing a bit of knowledge on “how to,” we’ve discovered that most people just need a bit of support and a nudge in the right direction. 

‘Encouragement, and helping them harness their imagination, has produced some amazing results. 

‘We believe everybody can do anything, you just have to give it a go, and all those we’ve worked with have proven us right.’ 

Make Do and Mend sees the couple help other families with their challenging DIY dilemmas

Make Do and Mend sees the couple help other families with their challenging DIY dilemmas

Fans of the couple have followed their journey transforming their derelict property as part of Channel 4's Escape to the Chateau

Fans of the couple have followed their journey transforming their derelict property as part of Channel 4’s Escape to the Chateau

During the show, we see Kate, 36, a retail manager, and Erik, 35, a coffee roaster, want to bring back a sash window back to life.

British-born Kate and Swedish Erik met 11 years ago when they both worked for the same retail fashion company. 

A few years ago, they set up a new life in Gothenburg. They loved their Scandi lifestyle but when their daughter came along three years ago, they headed back to Britain to raise a family and found a rented property.

They both worked two jobs and grafted away until they could afford a deposit for their dream home – a four-bedroom Victorian fixer-upper.

Kate and Erik called on Dick and Angel to help fix a sash window on the spacious landing
Two out of the four floors of the period property are almost completely finished

Kate and Erik called on Dick and Angel to help fix a sash window on the spacious landing

The house was falling apart with holes in the floors and leaks, but the couple soon learned new skills such as plastering

The house was falling apart with holes in the floors and leaks, but the couple soon learned new skills such as plastering

Erik moved in first in late 2019 to make sure the house had a functioning kitchen and a bathroom before Kate and their daughter joined him a few months later.

The house was falling apart with with holes in the floors and leaks. But the motivated couple didn’t let the project daunt them, and they learned new skills such as plastering from YouTube.

They are slowly restoring the glory of their period home with two out of the four floors almost completely finished.

They’ve only recently sorted out a bedroom for themselves and had previously been sleeping with cardboard boxes stacked high around their bed to keep the heat in.

Making a change: The landing has a beautiful period sash window as its centrepiece

Making a change: The landing has a beautiful period sash window as its centrepiece

In the middle of the house is a landing with a beautiful period sash window as its centrepiece.

The window had the potential to be a focal point in the house, but the sash window wasn’t fully operational, and they had no idea how to fix it.

The show sees them calling on Dick and Angel to help restore the window to its former glory.

Dick and Angel wanted to restore its sash mechanism so it can be opened and closed with just a fingertip.

They loved the potential of the landing area surrounding it and thought they could help transform it from a dead space into something that is both functional and magical. 

Susanna inherited a wardrobe from her grandparents, where she houses her shoe collection in plastic boxes

Susanna inherited a wardrobe from her grandparents, where she houses her shoe collection in plastic boxes

Susanna has a passion for shoes but had no idea where to start in creating her dream shoe closet

Susanna has a passion for shoes but had no idea where to start in creating her dream shoe closet

The TV show also sees Susanna, 56, call on help from the Strawbridges with a DIY dilemma.

The librarian inherited a wardrobe from her grandparents, where she houses her shoe collection in plastic boxes. She wanted to turn it into her dream shoe closet.

Susanna lives in Wales and has a passion for shoes. She always loved the wardrobe as a child but it has seen better days. 

Susanna started stripping the varnish off but gave up after only doing the front. It was in serious need of a re-vamp.

Susanna wanted to create a shoe closet, but had no idea where to start. During the show, she allows Dick and Angel to can come to her rescue.

  • Escape to the Chateau: Make Do & Mend starts this evening – Thursday June 24 – at 9pm on Channel 4

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Orange warning in place for five counties on west coast

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Violent storm force 11 winds are expected off the west coast as Storm Barra approaches on Tuesday morning.

Met Éireann has upgraded its marine weather warning to red, the highest category, on Irish coastal waters from Galway Bay to Bantry Bay from 3am on Tuesday morning to 11pm tomorrow night.

A status orange warning is in place on land for the counties of Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Cork from 6am on Tuesday morning until the same time on Wednesday morning.

Counties included in orange warning could see damaging gusts of up to 130km/h which will head to high waves, high tides, heavy rain and storm surge.

The rest of the country will be under a status yellow warning for the same period with the possibility of localised flooding.

Met Éireann head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack told Newstalk Breakfast that the storm system is developing rapidly over the Atlantic at present and will hit Ireland’s western seaboard on Tuesday with strong gale force winds which will quickly extend across the country.

There will be heavy rain turning to sleet and snow on higher ground, she warned.

Met Éireann will meet with gardaí, local authorities and emergency services this morning to update the progress of the storm and provide advice on what precautionary measures should be taken.

“It will be a pretty horrid day,” added Ms Cusack who advised against cycling.

The high winds and heavy rain will continue throughout Wednesday but they will have moved on by Thursday.

On RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, senior meteorologist Liz Walsh warned that trees could be knocked down during the high winds. She also advised that outdoor street furniture should be taken in or tied down and cautioned that Christmas decorations could be damaged.

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Coronavirus rules for driving tests spark complaints

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Claims of rude testers, of not being allowed to cough and having to drive with windows open due to Covid-19 were among the complaints received from people who failed driving tests recently.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), which oversees driving tests nationally, released a sample of the 1,505 complaints received since the start of last year under the Freedom of Information Act.

New figures show the driving test centre in Cork had the highest pass rate with 75 per cent of people passing, while the lowest was Charlestown in Dublin with a 42 per cent pass rate.

One person complained he had told his tester he had asthma and might need to cough because he had recently changed inhalers, causing irritation to his throat.

“I was advised that if I coughed at any stage, the test would be over immediately. This was difficult to control while under exam pressure and added a huge amount of unnecessary stress and pressure,” the individual complained.

Another individual complained their tester said if their face mask slipped “a little bit from my nose” while driving, the test would be ended.

“I’m in shock how he treated me that day,” said the complainant.

Another learner driver who failed said their car was hot and “very uncomfortable” because the tester said the hot air de-misters had to be kept on to prevent the windows fogging up because the back windows had to be kept open due to Covid-19.

One complainant said the tester seemed to have prejudged the test when they spotted a small stain on the driver’s seat as the car was supposed to be “spotless”.

‘Anxious’

“The tester was clearly taking it too far. I was complying with all Covid precautions as I had just Hoovered and sanitised the car and it was simply a mark on the seat.”

There were general complaints beyond Covid-19 issues. One person complained about feeling “anxious” because the tester was “sitting there shaking his head”.

Another said their tester repeatedly shook his head and sighed several times, and then made notes on the score sheet, which was “extremely off-putting and really unfair”.

Another driver said the tester was “extremely condescending and patronising” and mocked their answer to a signpost theory question about an “unguarded cliff edge”.

“We don’t drive along cliff edges in this country,” the tester was quoted as saying.

The RSA has been dealing with a backlog of driving tests due to the pandemic.

The centres with the next highest pass rates were Clifden (71 per cent), Killester in Dublin (70 per cent), Birr, Co Offaly (70 per cent) and Cavan (69 per cent).

The test centres with the next lowest pass rates were Dublin’s Churchtown, since closed (44 per cent), Nenagh, Co Tipperary (44 per cent) and Mulhuddart (45 per cent) and Raheny (46 per cent), both in Dublin.


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Former US presidential candidate Bob Dole dies aged 98

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Bob Dole, the long-time Kansas senator who was the Republican nominee for president in 1996, has died from lung cancer. In a statement, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, founded by Dole’s wife, said: “It is with heavy hearts we announced that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died earlier this morning in his sleep. At his death at age 98 he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years.”

In late February, Dole announced that he had advanced lung cancer and would begin treatment. Visiting him, President Joe Biden called Dole his “close friend”.

On Sunday the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, like Biden a Democrat, ordered flags at the Capitol to be flown at half-staff.

Born in Russell, Kansas in 1923, Dole served in the US infantry in the second world war, suffering serious wounds in Italy and winning a medal for bravery.

His wounds cost him use of his right arm but he entered state politics and soon became a longtime Republican power-broker, representing Kansas in the US House of Representatives from 1961 to 1969 and in the Senate until 1996. He had spells as chairman of the Republican National Committee and as Senate minority and majority leader.

In 1976 he was the Republican nominee for vice-president to Gerald Ford, in an election the sitting president lost to Jimmy Carter. Two decades later, aged 73, Dole won the nod to take on Bill Clinton.

Against the backdrop of a booming economy, the Democrat won a second term with ease, by 379 – 159 in the electoral college and by nine points in the popular vote, the third-party candidate Ross Perot costing Dole support on the right.

Dole received both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest US civilian honours.

In the Trump years and after, Dole came widely to be seen as a figure from another time in Republican politics.

On Sunday, the political consultant Tara Setmeyer, a member of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, tweeted: “I cast my first ever vote for president for Bob Dole in 1996. A war hero with a sharp sense of humor ? another piece of a once respectable GOP gone.”

However, Dole remained a loyal Republican soldier, telling USA Today this summer that though Donald Trump “lost the election, and I regret that he did, but they did”, and though he himself was “sort of Trumped out”, he still considered himself “a Trumper”.

Dole called Biden “a great, kind, upstanding, decent person”, though he said he leaned too far left.

He also said: “I do believe [America has]lost something. I can’t get my hand on it, but we’re just not quite where we should be, as the greatest democracy in the world. And I don’t know how you correct it, but I keep hoping that there will be a change in my lifetime.”

On Sunday, Jaime Harrison, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, said: “Sending heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family of Senator Bob Dole. We honor his service and dedication to the nation. May he Rest In Peace.”

– Guardian

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