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July Newsletter

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Inside this month

A unicorn in a tutu?

Taryn Kneen introduces her super awesome company Noodle Doodle - making beautiful handmade dolls and gifts.

Cool Koala

Local mum Laleh Refiei has created a beautiful and practical range of nursing covers for the discrete London bruncher.

Pedal for the Homeless

T&T VIP Heidi Russenberger invites you to participate in the Queen Eleanor Charity Cycle to support the work of Connection St Martins.

Recipe - Long & Slow Pork Belly

It's BBQ weather. Give this simple to prepare recipe a go.

Scroll down to read or click on the cover to download a digital copy.

Greetings T&T VIPs!

I love London in the summer. Warm weather and blue skies plus a busy programme of awesome things to see and do

make this city the best place to be in the world.

Summer in London 1967

This month we welcome some great local content from people in Putney: Heidi Russenberger invites you to participate in a charity bike ride to support homelessness charity Connection and Taryn Kneen and Laleh Refiei introduce their ​​brand new small businesses. Its wonderful to see the creativity, drive and ambition in our local community.

Entrepreneurship is a subject very close to my heart. It is wonderful to see so many people in our community seizing opportunity, overcoming adversity and carving out their own path in life.

Philosophically, Epictetus touched on the subject of business start ups in Discourses…

“But what does Socrates Say? ‘’Just as one person delights in improving his farm, and another his horse, so I delight in attending to my own improvement day by day.’”

-Epictetus, Discourses, 3.5.14

Starting your own company is really popular these days. With the Internet and technology available there has never been a better time and more support to follow your dreams.

There is no question, building a business from scratch can be an immensely rewarding pursuit. It’s why people put their whole lives into doing it, working countless hours and taking countless risks.

But shouldn’t we be just as invested in building ourselves as we would be to any company?

Like a start-up, we begin as just an idea: we’re incubated, put out into the world where we develop slowly, and then, over time, we accumulate partners, employees, customers, investors and wealth.

Is it really so strange to treat your own life as seriously as you might treat an idea for a business? Which one really is a matter of life and death?

While pondering that question this month we hope you find time to feed your body and mind here at Tried & True. We look forward to seeing you soon! RK JULY 2017

Noodle Doodle - T&T VIP Taryn Kneen turns adversity into beautiful unique gifts

Taryn Kneen

Born in South Africa, I first came to London aged 20. My first visit lasted 13 years! A few years ago, my husband and I left well-paid jobs in Marketing and set off on a new adventure in South Africa. I was working with a Non Profit teaching local people in the townships to knit when, aged 37, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer and in an instant, everything changed. I had to dig deep, but I am grateful, happy and alive.

When I was going through chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries, I wanted to do something to keep busy and so Noodle Doodle - Handmade Happiness was born. Surrounded by my friends who were having babies, I wanted to give them gifts that were something extra special, with a handmade touch and of course, were guaranteed to make people smile. Hence my slogan: Handmade Happiness.

My homegrown business is named after my furkid, Noodle. She makes me smile every single day. This is how I want people to feel when they buy dolls from me. I have an extensive range of dolls for every occasion from baby showers, to mobiles and rattles, bunting and more! My most popular items are my Unicorn, Mermaid (pictured) and Super Hero dolls. You can't help but smile at a magical unicorn in a tutu!

Soooo cute!

Take a look at my range on

I love life in Putney. The open green spaces, the best yoga studio (THOY!) and of course, Tried & True! Putney is filled with animal lovers and this gives me the opportunity to follow another passion, spending time with animals. I offer a dog walking service in the area so that I get to give love to other people's fur kids when they are away or busy with life. Walking a dog, a good cup of coffee, doing yoga and working hard equals a grateful, happy life. TK

My Little Koala

One of our local mums, Laleh Rafiei, has recently launched a business called, My Little Koala, which makes breastfeeding covers in lovely,100% British cotton fabrics. The nursing covers provide new mothers with a bit of privacy so that they feel more comfortable feeding their baby in public places (e.g. cafes, restaurants etc) and helps them to get out and about more often.

My little koala nursing covers.

The idea came to Laleh from her personal experience while she had a young baby who needed frequent feeding and she couldn't find a stylish nursing apron on the market. Combining her love for quality, pretty fabrics and her business background, she set out to create practical breastfeeding covers with pockets and an adjustable neck strap in beautiful breathable fabrics.

The nursing covers would make a thoughtful baby shower present or gift for any new mum.

You can browse the range and purchase for next day delivery on amazon. Check them out at or search “my little koala” on amazon.

Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride - support Connection at St Martins to support London's homeless

Crossing the ford into Geddington

Last August, a dozen cyclists spent a weekend visiting old crosses, getting soaked to the skin, fixing punctures, following a vintage fire-engine, and exploring the lesser-known canals around Milton Keynes. This may have been partly due to the quintessentially British conviction that any hardship can be endured in the hope of endless cups of tea; but it was mainly in the belief that cycling from Lincoln to London would help thousands of homeless people turn their lives around.

The Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride follows the route of the Queen Eleanor crosses: twelve crosses erected by Edward I in memory of his wife after her death in 1290. The ride raises funds for the Connection-at-St-Martin’s, a homelessness charity located close to the site of the final cross at Charing Cross, London.

The Connection is one of the busiest homelessness charities in the UK. Central London attracts thousands of people, who wish to start their lives over or believe there are more opportunities available to them here. If these do not materialise, people find themselves vulnerable to homelessness. The Connection provides a range of specialist services, all under one roof, to help people address their homelessness and make the necessary steps away from the streets so they can re-enter society and live ‘normally’ again.

Since the economic crisis and introduction of austerity measures, street homelessness and street violence have risen inexorably, making the work of the Connection even more vital. Every day, up to 200 people find their way to the Connection’s Day Centre, for food, warmth, showers and laundry, companionship; and every night 45 people (and many more in really cold weather) stay in the Night Centre. But more importantly, anyone who attends gets practical help so that they can start to tackle the complex issues that have made them homeless and to begin to turn their lives round, whether through housing and benefits advice, job search, volunteering, or creative group activities.

I’ve ridden the Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride the past two years, and plan to do so again this year. The reasons for cycling are as varied as the cyclists. Some are regular cycle-commuters, some only cycle at the weekend in good weather, some have pulled their bike from the shed and dusted it off specially for the ride. Some come for the chance to meet new people, to see new places, or for an excuse to eat vast quantities of cake; I cycle because I know that the Connection’s work is a life-line for hundreds of people but depends on donations for financial support. But at the end of the ride we all agree that the weather, punctures, and sore muscles were worth it.

Following the Geddington fire brigade

So if you need an excuse to get back on your bike, get fit, meet new people, or spend the August bank holiday weekend raising vital funds (with added bragging rights in work the following week), sign up for this year’s ride: or or contact

Want to help, but don’t feel able to cycle the whole way? Day cyclists are welcome; we’re looking for someone to help with driving in the support team; and sponsors are especially valued!

Practice Ride

There will be a practice ride on Saturday 22nd July, starting at 9:30 outside St Martin’s in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, going along the Thames and out to Bushy Park before returning to Putney for lunch and a chance to learn more about the work of the Connection and the Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride. It will be a distance of about 33 miles with a mid-morning break. Everyone is welcome, whether or not they have signed up/plan to sign up for the Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride. If anyone would like to join us for the practice or would like any further information, they can e-mail me:

Sweet Smokey BBQ Pork Belly

Here at T&T we are all about the BBQ and all about the belly. If you’ve got a lazy afternoon around the BBQ planned why not wow your guests with this luscious smoky low and slow BBQ pork belly dripping with finger licking goodness.


¼ cup sweet BBQ rub (recipe follows)

2 cups apple juice

½ cup bbq sauce

2kg slab of pork belly, skin removed and scored.


Get the grill going and preheat to about 110 C. Prepare a foil bag of pre-soaked wood chips. I personally like a mesquite hickory mix.

Using a sharp knife score the top layer of fat on the pork belly in 1 inch squares. Don’t cut too deep, just barely into the​​ muscle. Season liberally with the Swwet Rub on all sides.

Place the seasoned belly and the foil bag on the grill and smoke until the internal temperature reaches 75C (about 6 hours). Baste with apple juice every hour while cooking.

Once the belly reaches 75C, remove from the grill and wrap in foil with ½ cup of apple juice. Seal the edges of the foil completely and return to the grill until the internal temperature reaches about 95C.

Carefully remove the belly from the foil and drizzle with the apple juices from the foil. Return the belly to the grill and brush with BBQ sauce. Cook on the grill for 10 more minutes.

Remove the finished pork belly to a cutting board and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. You can shred like pulled pork or slice into cubes to serve.

Sweet BBQ rub (makes ½ a cup)

¼ cup dark brown sugar

1T coarse sea salt

2 t cracker black pepper

2t smoked paprika

2 t garlic powder

2 t onion powder

1 t ground mustard

½ t cayenne pepper

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