Sunday, September 30, 2007


If you speak English as a first language and knowing French for an upcoming trip or move would help then using Internet resources to translate English to French could help you learn. You might not be able to bring an online English-French dictionary around with you, being able to translate English to French on a website can be useful.

Sponsored by For Your Success

Hello and welcome to the England Goes Gonzo Carnival!

I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who has sent over submissions. I do appreciate your support. Also a big thank you to Roy at For Your Success our carnival sponsor and also my co-host Kilroy at Fear and Loathing - The Gonzo Papers for creating the great carnival banner and also for both Roy and Kilroy's help in promoting this event. Thank you also to Eileen aka Cybercelt over at Advertising for Success , Rosemary aka Dirty Butter and all the wonderful friends I've made over at Blog Village for their carnival promotion help. It is much appreciated.

There are some great posts here and I hope you will enjoy them as much I have. Please remember when leaving comments to let people know you are visiting from the England Goes Gonzo carnival.

Without further ado, let the carnival commence!

As your hostess, I’d like to open the carnival by sharing with you some British Traditions and Images from my own blog Diary From England

Sank from Old and In the Way learnt about some of these on a recent trip to England, when he visited Nantwich in Cheshire. You can read about his sometimes humourous experiences of life in England in Damn Yanks where Sank also mentions about having Welsh ancestors.

It's surprising how many Americans, Canadians, Australians and many other nationalities of people in the world have their roots in the U.K. I've always wanted to trace my family tree and probably will one day. It's just finding the time. I know I have some Irish and German ancestry. Maybe that's why German was my best subject at school. Tracing your family tree has become big business. There are tv programmes devoted to the subject and all over the internet there are sites offering to help you for a price. Alastair a Vicar and fellow Brit from New Kid on the Blog gets a lot of people visiting him who are trying to find their roots. Alastair discusses the subject in A Sense of Identity

Cybercelt from Texas RV Travel Blog would love to visit the U.K. one day preferably in an RV (Recreational Vehicle but better known as a Motorhome to us Brits!) and invites us all to join her on a fantasy RV trip to the U.K. in RV Travel in the United Kingdom . There are certainly a lot of wonderful places to see in England. An RV is definitely one of the best and most comfortable ways to travel.

Janey Loree from PJ's Paper Doll Cut Outs would like to introduce you to Queenie and Peppy in A Couple of PJ's Paper Dolls with English Influence . There is a link to a great Earl Grey cookies (biscuits to us Brits!) recipe on there too. As some of you know, I am PJ's International Correspondent! and was happy to help Janey with some of her research when Queenie and Peppy were created. PJ’s specialise in creating books of handmade paper dolls. They also sell a lot of other interesting and educational items for both children and adults alike if you'd like to go over and pay them a visit.

I'd like to share with you a special post I did at Diary From England regarding an enquiry I had from Janey on The Origin of the British Bobby . A couple of people missed this when it was originally posted. So I thought now would be the perfect time to give it another airing.

At a time when the government is encouraging everyone in Britain to recycle and become more aware of global warming issues, I was interested to read Cybercelt's post from Advertising for Success about a green bank in the UK that she favours in Banking with a Conscience . It's always good to hear when large business organisations take an interest in the environment and set an example to us all. Cybercelt describes this organisation's business methods as being safe, sustainable and ethical, all words we like to hear.

Whilst on the subject of the environment, I bet you didn't know that according to a recent New York Times article, it is four times more energy-efficient for Londoners to buy lamb imported from the other side of the world than to buy it from a local producer in England. Sounds hard to believe but apparently it's true according to Cybercelt from Losing Proposition who publishes the surprising details of this New York Times article in Foods that Travel Well .

As most of my readers know, I love Harry Potter and am one of the boy wizard's greatest fans. In my opinion British writer JK Rowling's fictional character of Harry Potter is definitely one of England's greatest exports! Many other readers share my view, including Marsha from Family Adventures who travelled all the way from Italy (where she was living at the time) to see the first Harry Potter movie in English. Travelling to London Marsha was able to take in some of the sights of our capital city during her trip. Read about her experiences in Harry Potter in London

Speaking of exports, another great British export is The Beatles. The Fab Four as they are affectionately known by millions of fans around the world are as popular today as they've always been. Kilroy, my co-host and a Beatles fan himself, from Fear and Loathing - The Gonzo Papers has dedicated a couple of his photos to them in A Day in the Life . (Yes apart from organising great carnivals Kilroy is a talented photographer as well!).

After the Beatles split up, both Paul McCartney and John Lennon went on to form successful solo careers. One of my favourite John Lennon tracks was, "Imagine". It was No. 1 in the music charts here for several weeks. John Lennon's murder came as a shock to a lot of people including myself. Like Princess Diana's death, most people can remember where they were and what they were doing the day it happened. John Lennon's death was a terrible tragedy and a great loss to his millions of fans around the world. Fortunately we still have the legacy of his music to keep his memory alive. Anthony from The Lives and Tims of Anthony McCune shares his memories of John Lennon in John Lennon - A Day in the Life If you are a Beatles fan and ever get the chance to visit England, The Cavern Club in Liverpool where the Beatles were discovered is well worth a visit.

Aloha_50 from In Praise of the Female Form would like to share some photos with us all of his favourite English Rose. No it's not me! Only joking! The photos actually feature English Rose Elizabeth Hurley. You can see them by going to What I dig about England Liz Hurley .

As more and more British companies set up business on-line, Cybercelt from CoolAdzine for Marketers highlights a U.K. Web Design Firm housed in a unique building. This company's premises are certainly different. They were built in the 1300's using stones reclaimed from a Roman fort! Click on the link to find out more.

Many great films have been set in England over the years. Janey Loree from Notes that Touch the Heart tells us about one of these in Random Harvest . Random Harvest is based on a novel by James Hilton and is a truly wonderful picture that tugs at your heart strings with a great ending.

London is one of my favourite cities. There is so much to see and do there. Shakir Hasnain from The Crimsonflaw Lived to tell the Tale would like to share a poem with us, which is set in the city of London in Waif .

The Gatekeeper from Pieces of Me was lucky enough to spend a day in London as a child and still has fond memories of the wonderful sights and sounds of our capital city. You can share her memories in The London Mystery

Kilroy would like to share with us a photo featuring a piece of artwork exhibited around London in The Next Dive will be a Triple Gainer with a Full Twist from his other blog The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Things I've Found in the Blogosphere) .

My grandmother was a great John Wayne fan. I used to sit with her and watch some of the Duke's old films when I was growing up. You may be surprised to learn that "Harbour Lights", the background theme used in John Wayne's 1940's movie, "The Long Voyage Home", actually originated in England. Janey Loree from The Fisher Family Singers tells us all about it in Song History - Harbor Lights . You can also hear Janey and her dad singing the song.

Hopefully this country's fortunes will change for the better now that we have a new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who we're all hoping will put the Great back into Britain, something his predecessor Mr Blair took out. I like Gordon Brown and I'm sure he'll do a good job of running the country. Cybercelt from Endangered Spaces Blog also likes our new Prime Minister and tells the world in Another World Leader Steps up to the Plate

Gordon Brown hails from Scotland, a near neighbour of England. England, Ireland and Scotland form the British Isles or Great Britain as they are also known. I spent many happy caravanning holidays in Scotland with my family when I was growing up. Marion Acres from The Herbal Connection knows quite a lot about Scotland as her partner Graham hails from there. You can read Marion's Scottish-themed post at Scottish Dreaming . There are some great Scottish photos posted on there too.

Speaking of photos, I'd like to end this carnival by sharing some photos I recently posted at Diary From England . They were taken in the beautiful English Lake District. You can view them at The English Lake District . There are some interesting links posted there too for your enjoyment.

Well that's all for now. I'm off for a well deserved cup of English tea. I hope you've enjoyed the England Goes Gonzo Carnival and hope to see you at Diary From England again in the future.




Check out Diary from England's post over at the second Gonzo Blog Rodeo being hosted by RomanceWriter at Aspiring Romance Writer . The carnival is up and running now and there are some great posts. To go to the Rodeo, click on the link shown below:-

A Second Gonzo Blog Rodeo

Don’t forget I’ll be hosting my own England Goes Gonzo Carnival over here at Diary From England on Monday 1st October. I’d like to take this opportunity of thanking my cyberfriend and co-host Michael (aka Kilroy) from Fear and Loathing - The Gonzo Papers for his help in designing this great carnival banner.

Please note that you don't have to be from England to include a post in this carnival. I'm just looking for posts that are "related" to England. As my blog is mainly centred on life and news from England, that is the theme. I will welcome posts from British and foreign bloggers alike. All I ask is that you submit an England related post please. Maybe you have lived, worked or vacationed in England, have English ancestry or could write about life in England, or what you like or dislike about England. I hope I can count on your support and you'll join me to help make the carnival a success. I would ask everyone to get their posts across to me by 11.59pm Fri 28th Sept, so you have plenty of time to think of a good one.

Please e-mail all posts to:-

(Don't forget the dot between naomi and stevens!)

Simple Rules:

1. You can submit one post per blog; however many blogs you have.
2. If you have more than one blog, you'll need to use a different post from each one. No repeats.
3. Only English language posts will be accepted.
4. No posts containing bad language or profanity please.

Please submit entries in the following format:

...Your name as you want it to appear in the post
...The Title of your blog
...Your blog URL
...The Name of the post
...The URL of the post

I'm accepting posts from now onwards. Look forward to hearing from you!


Wednesday, September 26, 2007


The Queen is currently experiencing a staffing crisis at Buckingham Palace, having advertised five times already to fill servant vacancies without success. Courtiers blame a combination of long hours and poor pay for lack of interest in the posts. In addition staff are expected to travel with the Royal family wherever they go in the country, whether it’s Sandringham, Balmoral or Windsor. Former staff have likened working at the palace to the tv series, “Upstairs Downstairs”. Oh dear!

One would think that the esteem of working for the Queen of England would be enough to attract lots of potential job applicants. After all there is a certain status to being a British butler. But it seems this is not the case. Certainly British jobhunters have no interest in working for her Majesty. As an equal opportunities employer, the Queen has offered the vacancies as being open to all nationalities. Applications are currently flooding in from Polish applicants eager to work as Palace butlers for a £20,000 a year salary. Certainly for somebody who has just arrived in the country and needs a job with accommodation, it is a good opportunity. According to recent figures, more than a million East Europeans have made Britain their home.

It’s not surprising there is a lack of British applicants. British butlers are in great demand abroad at the moment, particularly in the States, where ex-palace staff or super butlers can earn £100,000 salaries. Many have left Britain tempted by lucrative job offers from millionaire employers across the pond. The palace has recently ditched tradition by employing its first female butler.


British boyband Take That are the new face of Marks and Spencer (M & S) menswear. The boys, Gary, Howard, Jason and Mark will be featuring in a new campaign to promote a variety of looks from the store’s Autograph range. The group said: "It’s brilliant to be working with such a strong British brand as M&S and to be the faces for the new autumn Autograph campaign.”

M & S will also be sponsoring Take That’s forthcoming Beautiful World tour. It is hoped that the band will help to boost the fortunes of the store’s menswear range in the same way that Twiggy, Myleene Klass and Laura Bailey successfully promoted the female range.


England has a special place in a lot of people’s hearts including mine. As soon as you hear Big Ben’s chimes and see the red buses and black cabs, you know you’re in England! Singer Tom Jones missed the “green green grass of home” so much that he had a red telephone box shipped over to his American home which now takes pride of place in his back garden, a nostalgic reminder of his English roots. Sadly the famous red telephone boxes have now been replaced by newer more modern looking boxes. With the invention of mobiles, phone boxes are now a rare site in England. Thankfully some red postboxes still remain. For most Brits there's no place like home or Blighty as it’s affectionately known!

There’s definitely something special about sitting back with a cup of English tea. It never tastes the same when you go abroad. Also favourite things like HP sauce, Bisto gravy granules, Marmite and Cadburys chocolate are virtually unheard of in some parts of the world. One of the things I particularly like about England is the fact we have a Royal family and a Monarch to rule over us. Despite having just celebrated her 80th birthday, the Queen shows no signs of slowing down and is still one of the hardest working members of the Royal family.

England is also the land that gave us Shakespeare and many other famous writers including Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Barbara Taylor Bradford and Harry Potter’s creator J K Rowling. Screen icons Elizabeth Taylor and Bob Hope were both born here. Lots of great bands have also originated here including The Beatles, The Rowling Stones, Queen and Oasis

People often ask me, when you think of Britain, what images and symbols come to mind. I’d like to share the following with you, all things which I believe symbolise the heart of Britishness.

One of the most famous is the bowler hat. It’s one of those epitomes of being British. Traditionally in the old movies, British men were always seen wearing bowler hats. They gained their name because of their shape (like a bowl) and also because they were made by a hatmaker called William Bowler. Not a lot of people know that. Many famous Britons wore them, including Patrick McNee (better known as the archetypical English spy John Steed from the New Avengers), Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel (the Brit born half of the Laurel and Hardy comedy duo). Even today bowler hats are frequently seen being worn on the streets of London, part of the city gent’s unofficial uniform, often teamed with a black rolled umbrella.

The British Bulldog is another great symbol of the British Empire. It symbolises the very essence of Britishness Bearing a striking resemblance to Winston Churchill, one of the greatest leaders of our time and still held in high esteem by many Brits, the British Bulldog symbolises the very essence of Britishness. He stands firm, is unshakeable in the face of adversity, loyal and reliable. He’s also individual and very nice when you get to know him, like myself and most Brits. Not at all like the “stiff upper lip” image that a lot of people have of the Brits. We Brits have a sense of humour and are approachable, despite what a lot of people think.

Whilst the Americans have Uncle Sam, we have John Bull. John Bull is a fictional character created by John Arbuthnot, a Scottish author who wrote satirical political pamphlets featuring him as a traditional Englishman. The character struck a chord with readers and has been popular ever since, even featuring in a 1916 British Army recruitment poster. John Bull is used to personify the British nation and is always depicted as a portly, elderly gentleman dressed in breeches, boots and full riding kit, complete with Union Jack waistcoat.

“Rule Britannia, Britannia Rules the Waves” – this song is still sung every year on the BBC’s “Last Night of the Proms”. The image of Britannia, a young woman in a neo-classical gown, wearing a helmet, with a trident in one hand and Union Jack shield in the other is the symbol of British nationalism. The image originates from Roman times, when the Romans named their newly conquered land, just across the sea from Gaul, Britannia. The image of Britannia was actually featured on coins at that time and has continued to feature on some British coins to this day. Britannia became a popular figure in the early 1700’s when England, Scotland and Wales were united to form Great Britain. Britannia was immortalised in the famous words of the song, “Rule Britannia” in 1740. James Thompson wrote the song and set it to music by Thomas Arne.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Scientists have warned that a crippling tropical disease which has already infected 200 people in Italy, causing one death could be heading from Britain. Chikungunya which has already taken a foothold in Europe, causes fever and crippling muscle pain and is spread by mosquitoes. Health officials stated that it is the first time an outbreak of the disease has been confirmed outside the tropics. There are fears that a succession of mild winters and warm summers could allow the disease to spread to France, Switzerland and the U.K. United Nations scientists have warned that rising world temperatures, a result of global warming, could bring more tropical diseases to Europe in the future. A very worrying prospect.

On a lighter note United Nations scientists also stated that global warming is improving the quality of wine and making it more alcoholic as rising temperatures have led to bumper crops of grapes and increased their sugar content. At last a positive side of global warming!


The British banger (sausage) is under threat as farmers struggle with the rising costs of pig feed. Wheat, the main ingredient in the feed has increased in cost from £70 a ton to as much as £200 a ton in some areas. Supermarkets have been warned that unless they are prepared to pay farmers more for pork supplies, they will face shortages of British home produced pork, bacon and sausages.

If the supermarkets do accept the price increases then they will have to pass these onto the consumers who can expect to pay more for pork products. Farmers believe that shoppers will accept increased prices but supermarkets believe that demand for the products will drop. Bangers and mash is a popular British institution. However many British sausages contain a very low pork content, I personally believe it is hard to justify high price increases. Some German sausages which are sold in supermarkets here have a higher pork content, taste much better and are much better value for money. Another alternative is vegetarian sausages which also taste good, especially the Linda McCartney ones. Maybe now is a good time to think about trying them.


I couldn’t believe it when I read that Scalextric, the popular motor racing set has just celebrated its 50th birthday. Time goes by so fast! I remember my brother having one of these popular racing sets when we were children. Thinking about it always brings back many happy childhood memories. My dad bought it for him as a present but spent quite a lot of time playing with it himself! In fact it was so much fun, I used to play with it too and so did my Mum. Quite a lot of our school friends had Scalextric sets too.

There was always a sense of exhilaration and excitement as you revved up the cars and sent them spinning round the track! Even our dog used to wag his tail excitedly as the cars went whizzing round! I remember my Mum giving us stern looks as she tried to do the hoovering and the track was always in the way, so we had to dismantle it whilst she cleaned. That was all part of the fun and then we took it in turns to set it up again. It’s a shame that with the advent of computer games, not as many children play with Scalextric sets now. They were so much fun and good family entertainment too – a good way of bringing the family together. Today’s children don’t know what they’re missing. Happy birthday Scalextric!


While buying business phone systems for your workplace might not cost as much as steel buildings it's still a very good idea to read up on business phones before you invest money into a phone system that doesn't work, just as you would for buying copiers if you aren't familiar with them.

Tens of thousands of Britons are expected to purchase the eagerly awaited IPhone when it hits our shores later this year. The IPhone has proved to be incredibly popular in the States with over a million phones already being sold since their launch in June. The hi-tech phone has all the features of the popular IPod and also features broadband access.

Apple expects to sell 10 million of the phones worldwide next year. Described by experts as not just a phone but a fantastic piece of technology, the phone would have to be something special to warrant its £269 price tag! However it seems the high price tag is no deterrent and many gadget-loving Britons will be adding the phone to their Christmas list.


Footballer’s wife and Spice Girl Victoria Beckham is set to make a cameo appearance as herself in the hit U.S. comedy show “Ugly Betty”. Victoria will be featured in a wedding-themed episode of the popular series. I love “Ugly Betty”. It’s one of my favourite U.S. shows. I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new series.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


As some of you know, I quite often receive funny e-mails from work colleagues and friends. I wanted to share this one with you. It reminded me of an interview I saw on a breakfast tv programme here the other day. A British policeman was being interviewed on the show. He had decided to leave the force to take up a policing job in Canada as he was disillusioned with his job in the police force here.

He was basically saying that he originally became a policeman and joined the force to catch criminals. However there is now so much bureaucracy and red tape that he spent most of his time in the office sorting out paperwork and filling in forms rather than being out on the streets catching criminals. Is it any wonder there is so much crime on the streets of Britain ! This cartoon actually seems quite relevant and would be funny if it wasn’t such a true reflection of the state of modern policing in Britain today.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Nostalgic Britons would love to turn the clock back and return to life in the 1950’s, according to the results of a recent survey. Many have fond memories of the post war decade which signalled the end of rationing and the popularity of “I Love Lucy” and Elvis Presley. Most British people would like to see the return of local grocer’s shops, red telephone boxes, milkmen (whatever happened to them!) and post offices. In addition they would like to see more bobbies (policemen) on the beat and even the return of the rag and bone man (now that is nostalgic – I can remember my grandparents talking about him!) Street fundraisers, speed cameras and parking meters came top of the list of Britons’ pet hates of modern life. A spokesman for the supermarket chain that commissioned the survey said it proved that even though today’s society appears to have it all, clearly the good, old fashioned values of half a century ago are much more appealing.


British archaeologists are excited at the discovery of a 1,000 year old Viking ship underneath a Merseyside pub carpark. The ship was originally discovered in the 1930’s by a team of builders. However the foreman on the site told them to re-bury it as he was afraid of its discovery holding up the work.

After hearing rumours about the burial of a Viking Ship, a Nottingham University professor used special radar imaging equipment to pinpoint its whereabouts and to determine the exact dimensions of the vessel. The professor was delighted to discover a boat shaped object which he believes to be a Viking transport ship. The boat is buried in waterlogged blue clay, the ideal environment for preserving material almost indefinitely. The professor is now hoping to raise enough funding to pay for an excavation at the site.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


I was sorry to hear of the sudden death of Anita Roddick, who died this week of a massive brain haemorrhage at the comparatively young age of 64. Anita revealed last year that she was suffering from Hepatitis C, contracted after a massive blood transfusion, following the birth of her youngest daughter. Anita was an inspiration to all of us, with her tireless campaigning for social and environmental issues. Together with her husband Gordon, she founded the Big Issue magazine which is sold in Britain to help homeless people.

But Anita is best known as founder of The Body Shop. Founded in 1976, the small business selling toiletries made from natural ingredients soon grew to become a global phenomena, with stores all over the world. Anita campaigned for green issues through her business. Customers were given a discount if they brought back empty bottles to be re-filled. Recycling was something that was virtually unknown at that time. In addition Anita’s products were all manufactured using Fair Trade ingredients and the company was against animal testing. Prime Minister Gordon Brown described her as, “A true pioneer and an inspiration to women throughout the country”. Anita received a Damehood in 2004. and caused controversy when she sold The Body Shop to L’Oreal last year, a company which is still involved in animal testing. As her health deteriorated, Anita sold the Body Shop to enable her to spend more time on the causes closest to her heart. She will be sadly missed by us all. I love The Body Shop’s products. One of my friends bought me a lovely Moonflower toiletry set which I’m using at the moment. To read more about The Body Shop, follow the link shown below:-

The Body Shop

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


British model Naomi Campbell is launching a star-studded catwalk show to raise money for Britain’s flood victims. She has joined forces with model friends Yasmin Le Bon, Jodie Kidd and Elle Macpherson and the Rotary Club of Great Britain to launch the “Fashion for Relief” event. British designers Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen have also been invited to take part. Naomi stated, “As a British model, in my home town in London, I am honoured to be able to put on and be involved in this kind of show".

The show is due to take place at London’s Natural History Museum at the end of London Fashion Week on 20th September. What a great idea and a wonderful initiative by somebody in the public eye. So many British families have suffered so much with the heavy rain and floods this year with many losing their homes and possessions and some poor people losing their lives. The cost of the devastation is estimated at three billion pounds. This is a wonderful gesture.


I smiled when I heard that Harrods department store had hired their very own slithery security guard, in the shape of a deadly Egyptian cobra for the launch of their exclusive luxury haute couture shoe collection on Monday. The cobra’s task was to protect the luxury shoe collection which included a pair of ruby, sapphire and diamond encrusted sandals with a £62,000 price tag (Wow do people really pay that much for a pair of shoes!). A Harrods spokesman stated that the slithery security guard had just been hired for Monday’s launch and won’t be around all the time. I’m sure the collection was very secure. With a deadly snake like that around I’m sure everyone would be treading carefully!

Photo:- Courtesy of Yahoo News

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


The parents of missing British toddler Madeleine McCann arrived back in Britain on Sunday after being named by Portuguese police as formal suspects in her disappearance. It is now over 100 days since little Madeleine was abducted and the Portuguese police are still no nearer in finding Madeleine or establishing exactly what happened on the night she disappeared. Like a lot of other people in Britain, I personally don’t believe Maddy's parents were responsible for her disappearance. The McCanns and the press have made much of the fact that the Portuguese police have dragged their heels on this case and shown up a lot of flaws in the ongoing investigation. The police didn’t raise the alarm and alert border guards to the fact that the little girl was missing until several hours after she was reported missing, giving any child abductor plenty of time to get across the border and out of the country. This was just one of many flaws in the investigation. The McCanns themselves, frustrated at the lack of progress, launched a high profile publicity campaign across Europe,in a bid to find their missing daughter.

Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann have been through so much since their daughter disappeared. They have suffered enough without the harassment from the Portuguese police and untruths being written in the press about them as well. The couple’s guilt at leaving their children alone in their holiday apartment, whilst they went for a meal on that fateful night will remain with them forever. Now it seems the Portuguese police have had enough of the case and just want to wash their hands of the whole matter. The McCanns have been pushing them to work harder on the investigation and both they and the press have highlighted just how little the Portuguese police have done to find their missing daughter. The Portuguese police have no suspects so the only way they can bring the case to a close is by using Kate and Gerry McCann as scapegoats and blaming them for Maddy's disappearance. The danger is that whilst all this is going on precious time is being wasted, time that could be used to find the real abductor of Madeleine. It would be so sad if the public forgot about this little girl. It's all very sad and the saddest thing is that if the parents weren't involved and Maddy is still alive, the danger is that some people will be writing off the case and not continuing to keep the little girl in the public eye. Meanwhile Madeleine's parents now have the added worry and expense of hiring lawyers to clear their name, so that they can then get back to the most important task of finding their missing daughter. Mr McCann wrote in an emotionally-charged blog entry: "We always hoped that we would not have to return without Madeleine and could never have imagined the possibility that we would do so as suspects in our own daughter's disappearance". Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time.


Today we remember all the brave men and women who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks, the day the world changed forever. We will never forget the events of that terrible day, they will be etched in our minds forever. Our hearts go out to those who lost their loved ones that day. They are gone but certainly not forgotten. May they all rest in peace.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


National Trust properties all over the country opened their doors for free yesterday to celebrate National Heritage day. Some buildings are usually closed to the public or charge for admission, so it was a good opportunity for many people to discover some of the wealth of famous and historical properties around Britain for free. In addition genealogists were on hand at some buildings as part of a National Trust initiative to help and encourage the public to trace their ancestors and build their family tree. The National Trust is a great British institution which protects and opens to the public historic houses and gardens, as well as castles and other architectural treasures. It is also a charity which operates, completely independently of government funding, relying on donations, membership fees and funds raised from various events to keep up its work. To read more about the National Trust and find some good ideas for great days out in England, including how to become a member, follow the link shown below:-

The National Trust


Thousands of mourners gathered at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral this week for the funeral of murdered schoolboy Rhys Jones. The 11 year old had been on his way back from football practice when he was shot and killed on a pub carpark. Merseyside police have so far arrested 17 people in the course of their investigations but so far nobody has been charged with Rhys’s murder. The police have appealed for witnesses to come forward.

My heart goes out to this poor boy’s family. This was such a terrible waste of a young life. This young boy had his whole life ahead of him and it was so tragically cut short. This case just highlights what an increasingly violent place Britain is becoming. Every day it seems there are reports of shootings and gun and gang related crime on the streets of lawless Britain, with some youngsters treating guns like a fashion accessory. Last week a home office minister called for more people to be given the full mandatory jail sentence of five years for carrying a gun. There are also plans to set up a special taskforce and national police unit to tackle gun crime in some of England’s major cities. We can only hope the initiative will bring an end to the spiralling rate of gun and gang related crime in this country.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is set to reprise his role in the controversial play Equus, when it opens on Broadway later next year. The actor confirmed this week that he was terrified at the prospect of taking the play to Broadway, as he believed the American audiences to be a lot more discerning than the London ones.

I personally don’t think Daniel has anything to worry about. He got rave reviews from his co-stars and critics when he made his West End stage debut in Equus, appearing naked in the lead role of a tortured teenager in the gruelling psychological thriller. I’m sure Daniel will have no trouble in wowing the audiences on Broadway too. Daniel is currently promoting his new movie, “December Boys”, his first non-Potter film which is due to be released this month.


A ban on livestock movements around Britain has now been lifted after last month’s outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Surrey. The strain of the disease was similar to a strain found in a laboratory, however it is still not clear which of the two research laboratories in nearby Pirbright the disease originated from. It is thought the outbreak of the disease was probably caused by a combination of heavy rain, leaking drains and building work taking place at the research facilities. The Health and Safety Executive believe that waste water containing live virus leaked out of drains contaminating the soil, which in turn contaminated wheels of vehicles travelling from Pirbright to nearby farms.

Experts are now satisfied that the disease has been eradicated from Britain.
Unfortunately this is no consolation to the farmers affected by the outbreak. At the height of the crisis, lifestock movements were restricted around Britain and hundreds of animals culled, costing farmers millions of pounds. The Farmers Union condemned the laboratory leak and stressed systems must be put in place to ensure that something like this never happens again.

Monday, September 03, 2007


Devon has been voted the best place to live in England in a recent survey by Country Life magazine. It is certainly a lovely place. I remember spending a happy childhood holiday there once. Devon has lovely scenery, wildlife, historic buildings and a low crime rate and delicious cream teas too. No wonder it was voted the best place to live in England!

Here are a couple of links so you can discover the beauty of Devon for yourself:-

Discover Devon

Beautiful Devon

Happy surfing!


Prince Harry echoed all our sentiments, when he touchingly described his late mother Princess Diana as, “Simply the best”. Prince Harry and his brother Prince William marked the 10th anniversary of their mother’s death with a poignant memorial service, which they had organised to celebrate her life. The Princes were joined by other members of the Royal family, including the Queen and their father, the Prince of Wales for the service held at The Guards Chapel in London. Diana’s sisters and brother Earl Spencer were also there with other members of the Spencer family. The Duchess of Cornwall was absent from the service, pulling out at the last minute, amidst criticism that it was inappropriate for her to attend.

Diana, Princess of Wales was the people’s Princess and the Queen of all our hearts, we will never forget her. Prince Harry moved the congregation to tears when he described her as, “the best mum in the world”. Harrods' owner Mohamed Al Fayed remembered the Princess and his son Dodi who also died in the Parish car crash, by holding a two minute’s silence at his Knightsbridge store. Meanwhile French wellwishers are calling for a statue to be built in the Princess’s memory, above the Pont D’Alma tunnel where Diana tragically lost her life.

Pictures:- Courtesy of Yahoo News

Saturday, September 01, 2007





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I spent a very enjoyable day in the Lake District over the Bank Holiday weekend. I took some photos and thought I would share them with you. My Mum and I travelled on the steam railway from Haverthwaite to Lakeside and then got the boat from Lakeside and sailed on Lake Windermere into Bowness. It was a very enjoyable and relaxing day. The scenery is always wonderful in the Lake District. Some of you may have seen the film "Miss Potter". Bowness on Windermere is home to the World of Beatrix Potter, a popular tourist attraction. The Steamboat Museum and St Martin's Church, built in the 15th century are also well worth a visit.

Bowness is a very picturesque and bustling town, popular with all ages. There is something here for everyone with activities ranging from walking and horse riding to sailing and water skiing. There are wonderful views from Bowness up into the mountains and across the lake. If you are planning a trip to England, Bowness is well worth a visit. To read more about this beautiful town, follow the link shown below. I've added some more interesting Lake District links too for your enjoyment. Happy surfing!

Bowness On Windermere

The Haverthwaite Steam Railway

Windermere Lake Cruises

The World of Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter's Lake District

Lake District Holiday Cottages

You can also see more photos in the Flickr album. You can find it underneath my profile and above the Blogburst logo in the left hand column of this blog. This is a new addition to the site. Hope you enjoy it. I’m hoping to add more photos in the future.