Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Plans by Channel 4 to show graphic photos of Princess Diana dying in the aftermath of the Paris car crash have been met with disgust and outrage. Channel 4 plan to broadcast the sickening photos showing Diana’s last moments as part of a documentary, “Diana: The Witnesses in the Tunnel”, on 6th June to mark the 10th anniversary of her death. The insensitivity of the media is unbelievable and yet another attempt to cash in on Diana's memory. To show images of this nature will cause unnecessary pain and heartbreak to Princes William and Harry who have repeatedly called on the media not to publish such upsetting photos of their mother. Last Summer an Italian magazine caused worldwide condemnation when it published a photo of Princess Diana dying in the wreckage of the car crash.

Meanwhile actress Keira Knightley is the hot favourite to play Princess Diana in a movie about her life. The movie will be based on a controversial book, "Diana and the Paparazzi" and the film’s producer is hoping the movie will follow in the footsteps of Helen Mirren’s movie, “The Queen”, and be a box office hit.

Monday, May 28, 2007


Alcoholic drinks are to carry a government health warning by the end of next year. The government has made an agreement with the drinks industry that all drinks will carry details on the labels of the safe drinking levels for men and women. In addition they will carry details of how many alcoholic units each drink contains. The new rules have been brought into force after official figures revealed that over 7 million people are hazardous or harmful drinkers. Binge drinking is now a major public health concern in Britain.

The labelling decision comes hot on the heels of the Department of Health last week advising pregnant women and those trying to conceive to drink no alcohol at all, after it was revealed that many pregnant women believed it was still ok to drink as long as it was a small amount.


Britons are the world's second biggest tea drinkers, behind the Irish, consuming 165 million cups a day. Researchers have discovered that drinking tea is even better for you than drinking water. It contains antioxidants and doesn’t dehydrate you. Three or more cups of tea a day can cut the risk of heart attacks whilst other benefits include bone strengthening and protection against dental plaque, one of the main causes of tooth decay. All the more reason to have a nice cup of tea!


Researchers at the University of Bath claim that results of Maths and English tests are linked to the length of pupils’ fingers. They believe that parents can predict their children’s exam performance just by looking at their hands. Apparently pupils with shorter ring fingers tend to be more literate and better at English, whilst their peers with longer ring fingers tend to be more numerate and better at Maths. Interesting.

Meanwhile a survey reveals that more and more people in the over 50’s age group are learning how to use Ipods, mobile phones and computers, after inheriting their children and grandchildren’s “cast-offs!” Apparently kids are passing their “old” gadgets onto their parents and grandparents when they upgrade to new, more sophisticated ones!


Good news for women everywhere with the launch this week of the world’s first adjustable high heel shoes. The shoes which were launched in the U.S. four months ago are now available for the first time in Britain from Zappos.com. The 3¼ inch heels transform into comfortable 1 inch flat shoes in seconds. A steel rod inside the stiletto heel can be pulled out and tucked into a hidden cavity under the arch of the shoe, without having to take them off. The shoes are made of Italian leather and come with a £150 price tag! What a great idea but I don’t think many women will buy them at that price!


As someone who suffers with sensitive teeth, I was interested to hear of a new toothpaste which will be available in Britain at the end of the month. The wonder toothpaste claims to be the first on the market to actually treat the cause of sensitive teeth by re-building tooth enamel. Described by one dentist as a “unique product”, Arm and Hammer’s Enamel Care Sensitive contains a liquid form of calcium, a key component in tooth enamel. The calcium plugs tiny holes in the enamel and stops dental nerves becoming exposed and painful, ending the agony of sensitive teeth.

It sounds good in theory, but like all new inventions could be too good to be true. Recent research has linked calcium to Alzheimer’s and motor neurone disorders. Too much calcium can also cause nerve damage. However for people who suffer the daily misery of sensitive teeth, the benefits of this toothpaste will no doubt far outweigh the risks. I’ll probably give it a go myself.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Royal Mail is celebrating the launch of the last book in the Harry Potter series by launching a series of stamps featuring the boy wizard. Images from the covers of JK Rowling’s seven Harry Potter books will appear on 1st class stamps, with the crest from Hogwarts school and its four houses appearing on a special set of five stamps. The stamps are being developed via a special licensing agreement with Warner Brothers and Bloomsbury. They are due to be launched on 17th July, four days before the seventh and final Harry potter book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” is due to go on sale in the U.K. The Royal Mail said it was "proud to commemorate and celebrate an illustrious British author and a true global publishing phenomenon".

Meanwhile JK Rowling is due to give a moonlight book signing to mark the publication of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”. The author will be meeting eager Potter fans at London’s Natural History Museum on 21st July. The event is due to begin at midnight and will last until dawn.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Famous tea clipper, the Cutty Sark has been severely damaged by a mysterious fire. A symbol of the British Empire and a famous London landmark, the Cutty Sark was popular with tourists and historians alike, whilst she was dry-docked in Greenwich.

Fire broke out in the early hours of the morning and quickly spread through the timber and iron ship causing extensive damage. Firemen arrived to find huge flames and thick black smoke shooting up high into the sky. The blaze was eventually brought under control, revealing a mass of charred timbers on the deck of what was once the world's fastest tea clipper. Police are treating the blaze as suspicious and have appealed for witnesses.

A fund has been set up to restore the fire damaged vessel The ship's website crashed after being inundated with donations from wellwishers eager to see the Cutty Sark rise from the ashes and be restored to its former glory once again.


Sunday, May 20, 2007


Missing Madeleine!

Madeleine McCann was abducted from Praia Da Luz, Portugal on 03/05/07.

If you have any information about her whereabouts, please contact Crimestoppers on

0800 555 111 Please help

The international number for Crimestoppers is +44 1883 731 336. People with information about Madeleine can call anonymously.

Diary From England will be displaying the special banner shown at the top of the page, in a bid to help find Maddy. If you have any friends or relatives in Europe, particularly Spain and Portugal, please e-mail across a copy of Maddy's photo.

To read the background behind Maddy's disappearance please go to the link shown below:-

  • The Hunt Goes On For Missing Madeleine

    The Queen and Prince Philip will be celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary later this year. To mark the occasion, Buckingham Palace will be staging an exhibition to celebrate their 60 years of marriage. Archive films of the Queen’s Wedding in 1947 will be shown. Behind the scenes preparations for the ceremony will also be made public for the first time. The Queen’s wedding dress will feature in the exhibition, together with the dresses worn by her mother and grandmother. Some of the Queen’s jewellery collection and military uniforms worn by Prince Philip and the Queen’s father, King George V1 will also go on display. The Queen and Prince Philip will be the first reigning monarchs to celebrate 60 years of marriage. The exhibition will open on 28th July and will be held until 25th September.


    According to a recent study, surfing the net has now become a mainstream activity for the British public. Apparently young women have taken over from young men as the main internet users in the U.K, whilst men over 50 are the largest male group who surf online. Surfing the net is certainly addictive, with e-mail being a popular form of communication. When my computer went down recently, I was lost without it. How did we ever manage without all this technology!


    Still on the subject of guns, I was shocked to hear that an 11 month old baby has been given a firearms licence in the U.S. Apparently the child’s father applied for the licence over the internet and it was granted with no questions asked. The baby’s granddad has since bought him a shotgun for when he’s older. It’s a sad and frightening sign of the times when somebody can get hold of a gun so easily and just goes to show how stupid the U.S. gun laws are. It’s no wonder you hear of so many shooting incidents. It’s such a trigger-happy society we live in now with guns too easily available, particularly in the U.S. The pro gun lobby there believes it’s every citizen’s right to carry a gun. They don’t stop to consider what happens when they fall into the hands of some crazy person.

    Also violence is everywhere around us, on tv, in the movies, on the net and on computer games, helping to shape youngsters into disturbed and unbalanced individuals. Is it any wonder we live in an increasingly violent and menacing society?


    Hundreds of British police officers are set to be armed with taser stun guns. Under the current system, only firearms officers dealing with armed suspects are allowed to carry them. They are used as a “non lethal” option of dealing with dangerous criminals where in the past the only alternative would be to shoot them. However the Home Office announced this week that it was planning to extend their use to all police officers, who will be able to use them when they face threats or violence. The 50,000 volt devices work by temporarily disabling a suspect.

    However the plans for more wide taser gun useage have angered human rights groups who say tasers have been linked to many deaths in the U.S. and Canada. The Home Office stated that no deaths have been linked to their use in Britain. Independent medical research is currently being carried out to see whether the guns do cause any serious injury. One of Britain’s top police officers volunteered to be shot by a Taser in a bid to convince the public they are safe. A special police video shows him collapsing to the floor in excruciating pain after being shot. He says, “It hurt like hell!”, after being helped to his feet by two other officers. The Home Office are hoping to start trials of the Taser guns in September.

    Friday, May 18, 2007


    The Ministry of Defence announced this week that Prince Harry would not be going to serve with his regiment in Iraq. The decision has provoked a backlash of criticism from parents whose sons have been killed in Iraq. Many parents believe that the Ministry of Defence is sending the message that Harry’s life is more important than theirs and if it is too dangerous for Harry to go there, then it is too dangerous for the other troops to be there as well.

    Harry is said to be bitterly disappointed, although he does understand and accept the decision that has been taken. A Statement released by Clarence House stated that Harry’s thoughts are with his troops and the rest of the battle group in Iraq. However the decision was taken as it was thought Harry and his regiment would be exposed to too much risk, after agents uncovered an Al-Qaeda terrorist plot to kidnap or kill him. Harry was due to be in charge of eleven soldiers and four reconnaissance vehicles.

    Thursday, May 17, 2007


    A lifejacket belonging to one of the survivors of the 1912 Titanic disaster has been sold at auction for £60,000 by Christies in London. The jacket belonged to Laura Francatelli who was secretary to a society dress designer. She left the jacket to her nephew in her will. The jacket was autographed by Laura and some of the other survivors of the tragedy. Included with the jacket was a letter written by Laura detailing her rescue from the doomed vessel. Hundreds of people were killed in the Titanic disaster when it sank on its maiden voyage after hitting an iceberg.


    I couldn’t believe it when I heard about the toddler whose grandmother was fined because the 18th month old little girl dropped two crisps on a pavement in Crawley, West Sussex. Passers by were quite amused by the whole incident and looked on in stunned amazement as the child’s grandmother was approached by two council litter wardens carrying clipboards. One of them informed her that she would be fined for littering and handed her a notice. The grandmother (who was waiting for a bus with the little girl and her mother when the incident happened), asked the wardens what litter they were talking about as it was only a couple of crisps that a toddler had dropped. On reading the notice she was shocked to see that she had been fined £80! She appealed against the fine which the council decided to waive due to the extraordinary circumstances involved! I can understand how we all need to do our bit to keep Britain tidy but this sounds like bureaucracy gone mad!

    Wednesday, May 16, 2007


    Many readers have remarked that some of my posts are done at odd times of the day and night! No I don't suffer from insomnia! The time settings on this blog have never been right since day one. As I'm not very technical, I wasn't sure how to fix them. Thanks very much to BizWhiz over at
  • Tips For New Bloggers

  • for your help and advice. All the settings are now correct so you should see posts at normal times! Tips for New Bloggers is a great site for people like me who are not technical. There are a lot of useful tips and advice over there. I'm not surprised this site is No. 1 over at Blog Village.


    Tony Blair is planning a trip to the U.S. as part of a globe-trotting farewell tour after announcing he will be resigning from office on 27th June. After a decade as Prime Minister, Mr Blair is finally bidding farewell to no. 10. However he is poised for an even more lucrative career and is set to earn a staggering £40m from book deals and lecture tours in the wake of his departure – nice work if you can get it! President Bush will play host to Mr Blair next week when he makes his last official visit to the U.S. Tony Blair has faced staunch criticism at home for his backing of Bush and the U.S. invasion of Iraq and actually referred to this in his resignation speech, saying, “Hand on heart, I did what I thought was right,” and “I accept that mistakes were made”. Critics believe that it was because of this that Mr Blair resigned from the premiership earlier than expected.

    Meanwhile the race is now on to find Mr Blair’s successor with Chancellor Gordon Brown being the hot favourite to fill his shoes. We can only hope that whoever succeeds him, does a better job than Mr Blair for the sake of everyone in Britain.


    One of my favourite films is The Sound of Music. I like some of the songs from the film, particularly the one about, “My favourite things”. Here are a few of my favourite things that I’d like to share with you.

    My favourite meal:- It has to be a traditional Sunday roast – very popular in England – and always a favourite with me!

    My favourite perfume:- Estee Lauder Beautiful

    My favourite book:- My all-time favourite is “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens, a classic British novel. My current favourite is Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code”.

    My favourite colour:- Pink

    My favourite flower:- Stargazer lilies – I love them and they have a special fragrance all of their own

    My favourite film:- My all-time favourite has to be Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swayze.

    My favourite fruit:- Banana – eating two every day helps lower blood pressure and keeps you healthy

    My favourite season:- Autumn – I love it when the leaves change colour. I grew up in the country and have always loved trees.

    Hope you enjoyed reading about some of my favourite things! If you wish to share yours in the comments that’s fine with me.

    Tuesday, May 15, 2007


    Scientists at the Universities of Exeter and Glasgow have discovered a link between carrots and staying youthful! Apparently Carotenoids which give carrots their orange colour help to slow down the ageing process. According to the experts who tested their research on male stickleback fish! eating Carotenoids (found in carrots), made the male fish live longer and boosted their sex appeal! Whether it has the same effect on humans remains to be seen! All the more reason to eat your carrots!

    Sunday, May 13, 2007


    Diary From England will be taking part in the upcoming Meme Carnival being held at:-


    and also the Education Carnival being held over at:-


    Still on the subject of Education, I have been tagged by Kilroy to answer the following questions as part of his Education Meme. So here goes:-

    What was the name of the teacher that was most influential in your life from grades K through 6?
    My answer: My English teacher Mr Ilett.

    What subject did you favour in high school?
    My answer: English (Language & Literature – I like my books!) and German

    Did you attend a university and if so did you attain a degree?
    My answer: No and no. I opted out of my original plan to become an English teacher and embarked on a Secretarial course at college instead.

    Do you learn best through books, by watching or hands-on?
    My answer: Through books.

    Has education been an ongoing process for you? How do you feel about that?
    My answer: Yes I love learning new things. I think life is a constant learning process. I have a great interest in complementary therapies and am hoping to take a course in either Aromatherapy, Reflexology or Indian Head Massage in September.

    What seven people are you tagging to do this?
    My answer: Sorry can’t think of seven people who have time on their hands to do this at the moment, but if anyone is visiting me and wishing to add their answers in the comments box, that’s ok with me.


    The hunt for missing British toddler Madeleine McCann has gripped the nation this week, with prayer vigils being held all over the country. The little girl’s parents Gerry and Kate McCann have vowed to leave “no stone unturned” in the search for their daughter who went missing whilst the family were holidaying in The Algarve region of Portugal.

    Gerry and Kate were staying at The Mark Warner Holiday Complex in Praia De Luz a self-contained holiday village, with their children (two year old twins and Maddy 3). The couple had decided to celebrate the last night of their holiday by going out for a meal at a tapas restaurant, a few hundred yards from the apartment complex where they were staying. The couple have come under fierce criticism for not taking advantage of the holiday complex’s babysitting service, preferring instead to keep returning back to the apartment to check on Maddy and her younger brother and sister, at regular half hourly intervals. It was on one of these check-up visits at 10.00pm, that Kate returned to find Maddy’s bed empty, the apartment door and window were wide open, with signs of a forced entry to the window shutters. The other two children were still sleeping in their beds.

    Little Maddy has now been missing since Thursday 3rd May and there are fears that she may have been taken across the border into Spain. There are many theories as to what happened, with one being that she was being watched for several days before being snatched by an international child abduction gang. The media have focused on reports of two men and women with a little girl being caught on CCTV at a petrol station, driving a car with a British number plate. We can only imagine what this poor child’s parents, both doctors, must be going through right now. Described by a family friend as "living for their children and loving them to bits", they will probably regret not using the complex's babysitting service for the rest of their lives, but it can be argued that in the safe and supposedly secure environment of the holiday village, you can be lulled into a false sense of security. The holiday village is promoted as a safe and family friendly environment. Also leaving children to be cared for by strangers is not always the best thing either. To lose a child in these circumstances must be one of the worst things that can happen to a family. It was little Maddy’s 4th birthday yesterday. The special Dr Who birthday cake that she asked for is all baked and ready, a poignant and sad reminder of what would have been a happy family occasion. We can only hope and pray for Maddy's safe return. Businessmen and others including Richard Branson and writer JK Rowling have pledged large sums of money for information leading to her safe return. The reward being offered is now up to £2.5 million. Also footballer David Beckham has been on tv making an emotional plea for Maddy to be returned to her family. Madeleine's aunt and family have urged the public to join in their poster and e-mail campaign to help find the little girl. In the meantime, the search goes on and the wait continues for her distraught parents.

    Wednesday, May 09, 2007


    I couldn’t believe it when I heard about Jesse Courtney, the little boy from Albany, Oregon who complained about a popping noise in his left ear. It seems that a couple of spiders had set up home in his ear canal! His doctor looked inside the ear and thought he saw something but was as astonished as Jesse when he syringed the ear and two spiders were flushed out, one dead and the other still alive! Jessie’s doctor presented him with the spiders (both now dead) in a glass jar as a souvenir of his experience! It just goes to show you don’t know what you’re carrying around!


    It seems everyone is searching for the fountain of youth! Every year women spend millions of pounds on so-called wonder treatments, lotions and potions claiming to banish wrinkles and promote younger looking skin. Now it seems there is a treatment available that actually does work and scientists have proved that it does in fact repair sun damage and reduce the depth of wrinkles. Boots No. 7 Protect and Perfect serum became an overnight sensation after it was featured on the BBC’s Horizon programme, with some women camping outside their local Boots store to get their hands on it, as new deliveries arrived.

    The product promises younger looking skin within four weeks and at £16.75 gives much better results than other more expensive creams. Within days of the product being featured on Horizon, sales soared and Boots online store reportedly sold one bottle every 10 seconds! Boots production staff have been working round the clock to meet demand for the product with customers being restricted to buying one 30ml bottle each. The No. 7 cosmetic brand is well known in the U.K., having been on the market since 1935.

    Monday, May 07, 2007


    Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen has beaten off stiff competition from Johnny Depp to win the role of Freddie Mercury in an upcoming movie about the Queen star’s life. Sacha Baron Cohen certainly bears an uncanny resemblance to the late singer, with his handlebar moustache and tight chest-baring outfits. The comedian famous for his controversial role as a Kazakhstan journalist is reportedly delighted at winning the coveted role of Freddie, having modelled Borat’s look on him.


    The Queen has fulfilled a lifelong ambition by visiting the Kentucky Derby, one of America’s premier horse races, whilst on a week long tour of the U.S. Her Majesty was warmly greeted by the crowds as she began her first U.S. visit for 16 years, with a visit to Richmond, Virginia. Many people were eager to catch a glimpse of the real-life monarch made famous by Helen Mirren in her Oscar-winning movie, “The Queen”. Celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz has produced an official portrait of The Queen to mark her visit to America. The imposing photo was inspired by a Cecil Beaton photo of Her Majesty taken over 40 years ago and shows the Queen sitting in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace, dressed in a pale gold evening dress, fur stole and diamond tiara.

    Whilst in Virginia, The Queen paid tribute to the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings saying that her heart went out to them and had a private meeting with some of the survivors and bereaved families affected by the tragedy. The Queen and Prince Philip also toured Jamestown, celebrating its 400th anniversary as the first English settlement in the Americas.

    U.S. President George Bush and his wife Laura are due to welcome the Queen and Prince Philip to the White House today, where a special banquet will be held in their honour. The Queen will then be delivering a keynote speech before heading off to a garden party at the British ambassador’s residence.

    PHOTOS:- Courtesy of BBC Website

    Sunday, May 06, 2007


    Calling her cakes names like Robin tarts, Pig tarts and Paradise slices has landed baker Val Temple in trouble with her local Trading Standards. The 60 year old grandmother and cakemaker who runs a bakery in Weymouth, Dorset was stunned when council officials ordered her to rename some of her most popular cakes as their names were “misleading” to customers. The offending cakes include Piggy tarts and Robin tarts (fun little cakes which have little sugar paste pigs and robins on top of them) and Paradise slice (a slice containing almonds, sultanas and cherries). The council’s argument is that Piggy tarts don’t contain pig, Robin tarts don’t contain the red breasted bird! and Paradise slices don’t come from Paradise!

    Val says she has been making the popular cakes which are different and fun, for over 20 years and has never had any complaints from either customers or Trading Standards until now. Val has now changed the names of the Robin and Piggy tarts to Novelty cakes and Paradise slice to Almond, Fruit and Nut slice but says that customers still call them by their original names. Council officials insist that they were right to step in as customers have a right to know what is in food. That’s all very well but this just sounds like bureaucracy gone mad! With so many British delicacies ambiguously named, liked spotted dick (a pudding containing currants) and Toad in the Hole (yorkshire pudding with sausages) – who knows which will be the next one to come under scrutiny! Val’s bemused customers have suggested that she should create a new cake in honour of the petty council officials and name it, “Nutty as a Fruitcake!”


    Thousands of shoppers lined the streets of London for the launch of model Kate Moss’s fashion collection at Topshop’s Oxford Street branch on Monday evening. Kate delighted the crowds as she appeared in the shop window posing alongside the mannequins as eager fans snapped photos of her on their mobile phones.

    Kate Moss’s designs include clothes, bags, shoes and belts with prices ranging from £12 for a vest top to £150 for a cropped leather jacket. Apparently the inspiration from the designs has come from pieces which Kate already owns. Groups of 150 shoppers at a time were allowed into the store for 20 minutes during which time, they could buy up to five items, mainly to discourage people from selling the designs on Ebay. Despite this several items from the collection appeared on Ebay within hours of going on sale, before the collection went on general sale at Top Shop branches nationwide.

    Thursday, May 03, 2007


    In a speech to business leaders this week, Prince Charles warned that we need to act, “very rapidly indeed” to avoid environmental disaster. The Prince likened the battle against climate change to World War II, saying, “We can do it. Just think what they did in the last war”. Prince Charles has always been a big supporter of green issues and in the past described climate change as, “the biggest threat to mankind”.

    Wednesday, May 02, 2007


    Some of the people I tagged have e-mailed me to ask how they go about creating a Jackson Pollock picture and posting this to their blog. I must admit when I did this I had an advantage as I have Paintshop installed on my p.c. However there is an easier way to do this. As many of you know I'm not a very technical person but have got some help and advice on this from my fellow Blog Villagers Tony
  • The Lives and Times
  • and Roy
  • For Your Success

  • So here goes, let the fun begin!

    First of all you need to go onto the Jackson Pollock website and create your masterpiece!

    Next hit the "Print Screen" button on your keyboard.

    Then open the Microsoft Paint programme (this is a pretty standard tool that comes with Windows) by going to Start, Programs, Accessories, Paint.

    Then in the Paint programe, do Edit, Paste

    Left click on the rectangular box, you will see the word SELECT appear and a cross on your cursor.

    Using your cursor, draw an outline around your painting (this is to cut off the explorer address bar and neaten up the drawing.

    Once this is done, hit File, New, answer No to Save Changes question.

    In the new window, hit Edit, Paste and as if by magic, your masterpiece will appear!

    You then need to do File, Save As, give your design a name, and click on the little arrow next to the "Save as Type" box and save in JPEG format.

    Your Jackson Pollock masterpiece is now ready to be posted and proudly displayed on your blog.

    Hope you find these instructions helpful. I tried them out myself and they do work. I learnt something with this as well and had some fun at the same time. Many thanks to Tony and Roy for their help.