Tuesday, June 26, 2007


To read about my favourite things, check out Diary from England's post in the Meme Carnival over at my fellow blog villager Tony's blog, The Lives and Times

There are lots of other interesting carnival posts from other bloggers too. They make interesting reading. If you have a spare minute, pop over and have a look.


Kate and Gerry McCann released 50 yellow and green balloons last week to mark the 50 days that have passed since the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine. Balloons were released simultaneously in several countries of the world in remembrance of Madeleine and other missing children. Time goes by so fast. It’s hard to believe that Madeleine has been missing for over 50 days and still the agony continues for her devastated parents. Kate and Gerry have had an audience with the Pope, as well as travelling to other countries in Europe, in the hope of finding their missing daughter. Added to this a heartless, anonymous hoax letter sent to a Dutch newspaper claiming to know where the little girl’s body was buried, only added to Kate and Gerry’s agony. Now we hear that there have been several sightings of a girl matching Madeleine’s description in Malta. Everyone in Britain is praying for Madeleine’s safe return. Every time we hear of another sighting, we all hope that it will be the one which will lead to Maddy’s safe return home.

The campaign to find Maddy was given a boost after pop star Robbie Williams was pictured over the weekend wearing a Find Madeleine t-shirt featuring a picture of the little girl, whilst watching boxer Ricky Hatton’s title fight in Las Vegas. Meanwhile police were following up on the latest sightings. We can only hope and pray that one of these sightings will lead to Maddy being reunited with her devastated family.


I’m looking forward to seeing the new Will Smith movie, “The Pursuit of Happyness”. People define happiness in different ways in their lives. Now it seems scientists have solved one of life’s great mysteries and discovered a formula for happiness. The formula is:- Happiness = P + (5xE) + (3xH). Apparently the P stands for “Personal Characteristics”, which includes your outlook on life, how resilient and adaptable you are. E stands for “Existence”, and is related to friendships, your financial stability and health. H stands for “Higher Order” needs and covers your life expectations, ambitions, sense of humour and self esteem. It sounds complicated to me but apparently it was worked out by psychologists after interviews with more than 1,000 people. Apparently happiness in Britain is in decline. However there is some good news on the horizon. Tony Blair is on his way this week. That should put a smile on a few people’s faces!

Monday, June 25, 2007


It’s a well known fact that Britons love their soaps with Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Eastenders being amongst the most popular. However according to the results of a survey published on the ic Wales website, 47% of British people know more about their favourite soap characters than they do about members of their own family! Interesting!

Sunday, June 24, 2007


A postal strike is looming with Royal Mail facing its first national strike in 11 years after talks over pay and job cuts with postal workers have broken down. The Communication Workers Union announced that its members would go on strike for 24 hours on 29th June with possible further action to follow. The strike will cripple postal deliveries across the U.K. Royal Mail have announced they will try and resolve the situation but workers argue the postal service are intent on cutting services, jobs and pay and are refusing to negotiate.


According to a recent survey, half of Britons admit that they couldn’t survive without e-mail. 30 to 40 somethings are more hooked on e-mail than teenagers with 44 per cent admitting it was “vital” to them. Forty one per cent of teenagers said e-mail was a “must have” item. I must admit I’m quite hooked on e-mail myself and I always get a buzz when someone sends me an e-mail. A lot of my friends e-mail me to confirm social arrangements. Yes I’d definitely agree with the results of the survey. E-mail is a wonderful invention. I personally don’t know how I ever managed without it!


It seems that Britain’s toilets are being used as refuse bins according to the results of a survey by Keep Britain Tidy. Over half of people questioned admitted to flushing refuse items down the toilet, with women being the biggest culprits. Apparently over a third of Brits believed that the U.K.’s sewage system was more robust than those in Europe. However toilets in Britain are only designed to deal with human sewage and toilet tissue. Any other items flushed will cause blockages and flooding. Fast food boxes, razor blades, paper cups, chunks of metal and lengths of cloth and rope are amongst items of rubbish flushed down every year. Wrongly flushed items generate litter on Britain’s beaches and can also lead to expensive plumbing bills for householders if they cause blockages.


An advertising standards agency has banned advertisements encouraging Britons to “go to work on an egg”, even though thousands do. Their argument is that the ads don’t encourage healthy eating and fail to promote a varied diet and so cannot be allowed to be broadcast! Surely the same can be said of breakfast cereal ads but there are still several being shown on t.v.

Eggs are recommended by nutritionists as being healthy and good for us, one of nature’s superfoods, rich in protein in vitamins. The fact that they are high in cholesterol is a myth. They do contain some cholesterol but this is largely broken down by the body. Most people can safely eat up to 10 eggs a week. Eggs are also a low calorie food and good for slimmers. Eating a boiled egg for breakfast is a good way to fill you up and stop you snacking until lunchtime. For recipe ideas using eggs, click on the link shown below.

Egg Recipes

The egg industry had planned to revive the “Go to work on an egg” ads, originally broadcast by Tony Hancock to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the British Lion mark, a mark stamped on eggs to show their quality and freshness. You can view the “banned” ads by clicking on the link below:-

Go To Work On An Egg

Saturday, June 23, 2007


I couldn’t believe it when I heard about the driver who managed to eat spaghetti whilst steering a 40 ton lorry with his knees! It seems that other motorists became concerned about his erratic driving skills and rang the police. A police helicopter which was sent to investigate, discovered the lorry driver with a pan of spaghetti in one hand and a fork in the other and no hands on the wheel! They were horrified to see him controlling the vehicle with his knees! Unbelievable! The driver was convicted of dangerous driving and is presently serving an 8 week prison sentence.

He obviously needs to study the Vatican’s 10 Commandments for motorists which were unveiled this week. The Commandments contained in a document called, “Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road”, cover many aspects of driving including road rage, avoiding rude gestures behind the wheel and respecting speed limits. According to them, “cars tend to bring out the primitive side of human beings, thereby producing rather unpleasant results”. I’m sure we would all agree with that!

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Still on the subject of birthdays, the Queen celebrated her official birthday this week with the Trooping the Colour ceremony. Thousands of flag waving spectators lined The Mall, cheering as The Queen and Prince Philip made the carriage ride from Buckingham Palace to the parade ground.

The Queen has already celebrated her birthday in April but historically the monarch has an official birthday in Summer as well. The tradition of two birthdays goes back to the time when if monarchs were born in Winter, the weather was deemed unsuitable for outdoor events so a second “birthday” had to be created for them. Unfortunately when this tradition came into being, they didn’t count on how unpredictable the British weather can be. Fortunately the grey overcast skies, which later turned to rain, did nothing to dampen either her Majesty’s spirits or those of the cheering crowds, as the Queen took the traditional salute in the Trooping the Colour parade at nearby Horse Guards. The Queen performed her duties with the usual poise and composure we have come to expect from her many years as our sovereign. Long may she reign over us!


Apologies for lack of posts this week, I've been busy celebrating yet another birthday. It came round so fast, I can't believe I'm another year older. It's unfortunate but there we are! This year has gone by so fast already. It's a true saying, "Time and tide waits for no man - or woman!"

P.S. I really appreciate all the e-mails I get from readers of this blog. Many thanks for those. I'm a bit slow picking up my e-mails this week so if you haven't had a reply, please bear with me, I'll be getting in touch with you soon.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Princes William and Harry have given their first U.S. tv interview to publicise the 1st July Wembley stadium concert they have organised in their mother’s memory. In the interview with NBC news reporter Matt Lauer, the Princes stated that their biggest ambition is to continue Princess Diana’s legacy. Harry who is normally shy and retiring, did most of the talking during the interview, stating that the past 10 years since their mother’s death had gone by really slowly for both him and William. William stated that the pain of Diana’s death has never gone away for either of them. The Princes also gave a warning to any prospective partners. When they were asked if their positions as second and third in line to the throne make it difficult to form relationships, William replied that they both came with “a lot of baggage!”

Both boys are certainly a chip off the old block. Diana would be very proud of both of them. The boys are a credit to the Royal family. They should be grateful that Diana was their mother and instilled such great values and lessons into both of them. The interview is due to be broadcast in the States next week but eager viewers can see a preview on Today Show which will be released this Friday.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


According to a report from the Commons Home Office Affairs committee, Britain is the crime capital of Europe. It has the highest level of assaults, above average rates of pickpocketing, car theft and robbery and is the most burgled. Apparently the report showed that there is more than a one in five chance of becoming a victim of crime in the U.K., more than any other country in the European Union. So now we know!


Liver cancer kills nearly 3,000 people in the U.K. every year. There are currently no licensed drugs available to treat it in this country. However this situation is about to change after British scientists made a major breakthrough this week, bringing new hope to liver cancer sufferers. Medical trials conducted at five British hospitals with the drug Nexafar have shown “incredibly exciting results” in improving the survival rates of liver cancer patients according to researchers. The drug is already licensed to treat kidney cancer.


Researchers have discovered that over 4.5 million mobile phones are lost or damaged every year in Britain. The majority it seems are left in taxis and pubs, whilst thousands go to a watery grave, having been accidentally flushed down the toilet!


Under plans announced by the Environment Minister, David Miliband this week, millions of British householders will be issued with a free device which monitors how much electricity household appliances such as washing machines, are using at the touch of a button. The clever little device also records how much money the appliances are costing to run and how much energy is being wasted. The idea is that the gadgets will encourage people to use less energy, slash their utility bills and also help to save the planet. The free monitoring devices will be available from energy suppliers next year with priority being given to poor families and pensioners to apply for them. As world leaders met this week at the G8 summit in Germany to discuss climate change, David Miliband stated that it was just as important for people to tackle global warming in the home as it was for polluting nations to cut carbon emissions.

I think in theory this system will be a good idea as it will help people to see in monetary terms how much the wasted energy is costing them. This is definitely the way forward for householders to tackle climate change. I personally think for many people if they see that wasted energy is hitting them financially, they will be more likely to switch off things like dvd players left on standby, which in turn will help the planet. I'm looking forward to getting one of these monitoring devices myself. What a good idea!

Thursday, June 07, 2007


The London 2012 Olympic logo was launched this week, amidst widespread ridicule and criticism. Some people believe it looks like graffiti and resembles a swastika, whilst others have said it resembles Japanese comic book art. A group of people on the social networking site, “Facebook”, said they knew a monkey that could create a better logo! Even the Mayor, Ken Livingstone is said to believe the logo is a big waste of money and a non-starter.

The controversial logo cost £400,000 and took a year’s research including consumer testing. Credit card company and official Olympic sponsor Visa have given the logo their seal of approval, despite calls for it to be scrapped. Fortunately the cost of the doomed logo hasn’t come from the taxpayer but from sponsorship. The animated logo has already been pulled from the website after reports that it’s flashing images triggered epileptic fits in a number of people.


According to a recent survey by The Childrens Soceity, it seems that todays parents are too afraid to let their children play out unsupervised, because of fears for their safety. 43% of parents believed children shouldn’t be allowed to play out unsupervised with their friends until they were at least 14 years old, despite the fact that they themselves had been allowed to play out with their friends when they were young. It’s not surprising really, when you consider what sort of world we now live in. When I was growing up, times were different. I have happy childhood memories of being able to ride my bike and play out safely. I grew up in a quiet country area, where all the neighbours knew one another and our house was in a cul-de-sac and free of traffic. Unfortunately those times don’t exist any more. It’s a shame for the children but for their own good at the end of the day.

Experts who conducted the survey as part of the Good Childhood inquiry warned of the importance of letting children have the freedom to play out and make friends, with some childhood friendships lasting a lifetime. They interviewed children who told them that being able to play out and have friends was central to a good childhood. Some children preferred to discuss problems like bullying with friends rather than their parents. I think it’s all about striking a happy medium. It would be so sad if children missed out on one of the happiest times of their lives because of the sort of world we now live in.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Surprise, surprise, people who chatter loudly in public on mobile phones have topped a poll of annoying gadget users. Apparently other mobile public pet hates include hearing ringing mobiles that aren’t answered, people taking mobile calls during a meal, phones ringing in meetings and annoying ringtones. The poll was conducted by electrical retailer Comet. It seems people also dislike having to listen to other people’s music coming from their headphones. Love them or hate them, it looks like mobiles are here to stay, even if they do sometimes ring at inopportune moments! I remember once hearing a mobile ringing during a church service. I couldn’t believe my ears!


As the 1st July smoking ban looms, a poll has revealed that one in five smokers believe the ban on smoking in public places will help them to quit. From 1st July, smoking will be banned in public places, including pubs, clubs and workplaces in England. Anyone caught lighting up in a public place after this date will face a £50 fine. A pill which can help people to stop smoking is due to be available on the NHS within weeks.

Meanwhile smokers who seek refuge outdoors will face fines of £80 if they drop cigarette butts in the street as part of a drive to keep Britain tidy. The annual bill for tidying up cigarette butts from our streets is currently £200million.


Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band celebrated its 40th anniversary this week. The album, described as the most influential ever, was a break from the norm for the Beatles as they ditched their usual attire of suits and instead wore costumes and took on the roles of band members. It brought together a vast array of different musical styles, culminating in the 1967 “summer of love”. A special public event is taking place on June 19th at Leeds University to examine the social and cultural impact of the album and to question why it still continues to hold a fascination for new audiences today. It’s hard to believe that 40 years have gone by since the Fab Four recorded the groundbreaking album at Abbey Road studios in London. Time flies!

For more information on visiting Liverpool and the Beatles, click on the link below:-

Experience Liverpool and The Beatles

Saturday, June 02, 2007


I had the pleasure of seeing Cats at the Manchester Opera House this week. It was an excellent show. Based on the poetry of TS Eliot from his “Old Possums Book of Practical Cats”, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s show did not disappoint. Everything about the show including the costumes and the songs were excellent. The basic storyline involves the cats meeting up one night of the year at The Jellicle Ball and on this special night, a wise old cat called Old Deuteronomy decides which cat will make the journey to be re-born into a new Jellicle life. As the story progresses, we meet lots of interesting characters along the way including Mr Mistoffelees, a cat with magical powers and the villainous Macavity. I found myself wanting to sing along to some of the songs. Cats is one of the world’s best known and best loved musicals. Go and see it soon. You won’t be disappointed. To find out more, follow the link below:-

Cats - The Official Site


Harry Potter author JK Rowling has given the go-ahead for a theme park dedicated to the boy wizard. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will give Harry Potter fans a unique chance to experience the environment of their favourite character. The park is expected to open at Universal’s Orlando resort in 2009 and will feature scenes from the best selling books, including a life-size Hogwarts school. In addition Potter fans will be able to walk around the fictional snowcapped village of Hogsmeade. JK Rowling announced this week that she had seen the plans for the new theme park and they looked, “incredibly exciting” and she didn’t think fans of the books and films would be disappointed.


One of my childhood favourites the Curly Wurly has been voted Britain’s second greatest chocolate bar, with Cadbury’s Dairy Milk coming in at No. 1. I remember the Curly Wurly bar. It was a delicious favourite from my childhood. I loved the chewy caramel bit in the centre. I haven’t had one in a long time and I don’t think they are around anymore. Hearing about them always takes me back to my schooldays!


Like most women, I love shoes and the thought of wearing or buying new shoes always gives me a buzz. It seems I am not alone. A tv psychologist has discovered that buying a new pair of killer heels is good for women’s health. Apparently their heart rates increase when they find the perfect pair of shoes, to such an extent that it is equivalent to taking part in a vigorous workout or an aerobics session. The psychologist explained that, “Shoes have a draw to women as they are emotionally evocative items”. I would definitely agree with that!