British Summertime is now officially over and Wintertime has officially begun with dark nights and dark mornings. On a positive note, everyone gets an extra hour in bed but the downside is experts are predicting burglaries will soar by 25%. Unfortunately, burglars love the dark nights and see them as a window of opportunity to break into our homes. That's one of the reasons why I think security lights are always a good idea at this time of year and a good deterrent. It is also a good idea to join your local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme if you have one. These schemes are great and bring members of the community together to support a common cause.
When I was growing up I often wondered why we altered the clocks here in England. One of my readers asked me the same question. Apparently it originally began during the 1st World War, to enable people to get to munitions factories in daylight. Interesting!
The government has announced that from next year all 12 year old girls will receive vaccinations to prevent them developing cervical cancer in later life. The vaccine aims to kill the human papilloma virus, one of the main causes of the disease. Critics argue that the vaccine will encourage under-age sex in young girls. However health professionals and Cancer UK welcomed the new measures as a revolutionary new way of beating cervical cancer. The Health Minister Ann Keen stressed that the jabs were about preventing cancer not to encourage promiscuous behaviour in youngsters. A Department of Health professor said the new initiative would help “generations of women for years to come”. Over 2,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year in Britain. The vaccination programme is due to begin next September and will save hundreds of lives a year. Good news for everyone.
Many parents are putting their children’s eyesight at serious risk by not taking them for an eye test. Experts estimate that between one in ten children have an uncorrected eyesight problem by the age of twelve. This can lead to learning problems and permanent long-term damage to a child’s eyesight.
According to a poll by Specsavers opticians, many parents are afraid of the high cost of glasses and also the expense of an eye test. The majority of parents didn’t realise that eye tests and glasses are free to children on the National Health Service. Many parents also worried that their child would be teased at school if they wore glasses. However characters like Harry Potter have made wearing spectacles fashionable amongst children. All the more reason to take your child for an eye test.
Veteran British actor Christopher Lee was in the news this week, after the cape he wore in his role as Count Dracula was discovered in a London fancy dress shop. The shop owner confirmed that the cape wouldn’t be hired out again after the actor confirmed it was the genuine item. The cape is thought to be worth in the region of £25,000. Meanwhile the coat worn by Christopher’s co-star Peter Cushing in his role of Van Helsing has also been discovered and is currently being valued.
The search is on to find the place in Britain that people are most proud of. As part of the government’s “Connect to your Council" Campaign, everyone is being encouraged to log onto their council website and cast their vote in an online poll. There are 10 beauty spots to choose from on each of the 104 council websites, which cover every area of the country. Apparently Silverstone (home of motor racing), Peterborough Cathedral, The Lake District and Wigan Pier are amongst the entries for the “Pride of Place” poll. My vote would definitely go to The Lake District, a beautiful part of England.
It was a sad defeat for the England rugby team in Paris. The team were gracious and stood proud in the face of defeat. But never mind, at least they had Princes William and Harry to console them and offer words of sympathy and support. Prince William reassured our players by saying, “What a game. We gave it everything. We should be proud.” Prince William and Harry also helped the team to drown their sorrows, enjoying a mammoth drinking session with them, which left both Princes so drunk, they could hardly stand.
The two princes have come under fierce criticism for their drunken behaviour after the World Cup Final. Prince William was photographed smoking and having a bottle of vodka poured down his throat. One of their party announced that both brothers were, “completely bladdered”, as if this was something to be proud of. The two Princes were in Paris as guests of the Rugby Union and ambassadors for the Royal family and for Britain. As such we expect them to behave in a certain way and set an example to the rest of us. The eyes of the world were on them, yet they didn’t seem to care that they were letting Britain and themselves down with their drunken behaviour, which has raised serious concerns about their future roles in public life. Both boys have had a privileged upbringing being born into the Royal family. They had a difficult childhood losing their mother so young, but that is still no excuse for their behaviour. At the end of the day, the British public is unforgiving and expects Royalty and especially the heir to the throne to behave in a certain way. If their mother Diana had been alive, she would have been the first to remind both William and Harry that with privilege comes responsibility, a responsibility to behave with a certain level of decorum at all times.
It looks like the traditional Brussels sprouts will be off the menu for a lot of British families this Christmas. Unfortunately the terrible floods over the Summer months have left many acres of crops rotting in the fields creating a shortage and pushing up prices to shoppers. Sprout production is currently down by 15 to 20% leading to possible shortages as Christmas approaches. Reduced supply has meant shoppers paying increasingly higher prices for both cabbages and sprouts. I love sprouts and don’t think Christmas is the same without them! Bah Humbug!
I've been tagged by my cyberfriend Jackie from Herbs 'n' Oils and The Vegan Diet for the following Meme, "Curious To Learn More About Me?" Well here's my response:-
N – NAOMI is a Bible name of Jewish Hebrew origin. I was the only Naomi at school and it was a very unusual name back in the sixties when I was born. The most famous Naomi’s in those days were the yachtswoman Naomi James and writer Naomi Jacobs. Naomi Campbell has made the name more popular in recent years.
A – AUTUMN is one of my favourite times of the year. As some of my readers know I grew up in the country and I’ve always loved trees. I love it when the leaves change colour.
O – OATS. I always try to eat a healthy diet and love to start the day with a bowl of porridge. Oats are really good for heart and circulation and good for lowering cholesterol too.
M – MICE. I know some women are scared of mice. But they don’t bother me at all. When I was growing up, one of my schoolfriends had a couple of pet mice. We used to hold them and let them run on our hands. They were cute.
I – IRELAND. I’m part Irish and have Irish ancestry. My great granddad on my Mum’s side was Irish. Ireland is definitely on my list of places to visit in the future.
Here are the “official” rules for this Meme: # Players must list one fact, word, or titbit that is somehow relevant to their life for each letter of your first or middle name. # When you are tagged you need to write your own post containing your first or middle name using facts, word, or titbit. # At the end of your post choose one person for each letter of your name to tag. # Don’t forget to leave a comment telling them ,they’re tagged, and to read your blog. # If I’ve tagged YOU, please join in on the fun!
A well known high street pizza chain has come under fire this week for the high salt content in its meals. Pizza Hut has been named the worst fast food chain for high salt levels by the Consensus Action on Salt and Health. According to researchers, children enjoying meals there as a half-term treat are in danger of going four times over their recommended daily salt allowance.
More alarming, researchers also found that some meals from other fast food chains are also concealing shockingly high levels of salt. These findings are worrying to say the least. Eating too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which in turn causes heart attacks and strokes. The recommended maximum daily salt intake is 6g per day for adults, 5g per day for children aged 7 to 10, 3g per day for 4 to 6 year olds and 2g per day for 1 to 3 year olds. Maybe it’s time to consider making homemade treat foods like pizza. It’s certainly a healthier option as you can “hide” some vegetables in there, which children wouldn’t normally eat and pizza bases are readily available in supermarkets.
The Bank of England has accidentally circulated up to forty £10 notes which are blank on one side due to a misprint. Apparently the notes still count as legal tender and are selling on Ebay for £260 each!
Brighton is leading the fight to save the planet by becoming the first city in Britain to ban the use of plastic bags in its shops and supermarkets. The city council is encouraging retailers to issue customers with re-usable bags instead and also to cut down on packaging materials. An estimated 17.5 billion plastic bags are given away by supermarkets in Britain every year. Many of these end up in landfill sites whilst millions of others are dumped on our streets, in parks and on our beaches.
Plastic bags can be lethal to wildlife and take up to 1,000 years to break down and rot away. To reach EU targets, Britain must make drastic cuts to the amount of waste it sends to landfill sites by 2020. It looks like Brighton has made a postivie step in the right direction. Let's hope that other cities in Britain follow their example. Using a re-usable bag to do the weekly shop is one of the small ways we can all help to save the planet.
Growing levels of obesity in the U.K. are thought to be responsible for the sharp rise in the number of people being diagnosed with Diabetes. Diabetes U.K. is warning of an epidemic as new figures show the number of people being diagnosed with Diabetes has risen by about 70,000 in the past year alone. Around 80% of the people diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes are overweight. The figures also show that over 750,000 people are suffering from Diabetes and don’t realise it. Frightening!
I have Diabetes on both sides of my family. My dad suffered from it and also my maternal grandmother, so I know I could be at risk of developing it in the future. Also suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome puts me in a high risk group too. As a result I’m more conscious of my own diet and health. To see if you are at risk of developing Diabetes, you can take the two minute, “Measure Up” test by going to:-
With Halloween fast approaching, it looks like pumpkins will be in short supply and there will be a shortage of Jack-o-lanterns this year. Unfortunately Britain’s wet Summer weather has had a devastating effect on pumpkin crops. The traditional plump orange pumpkins have been replaced by scrawny green tinged squashes, which haven’t ripened because of the bad weather.
As a result, prices of pumpkins are set to rise and many shops could sell out quickly. Most pumpkins sold in the U.K. are used for lantern carving. However pumpkin is delicious in recipes too. I tried pumpkin pie many years ago on a visit to the States. It was delicious. I have also had pumpkin soup which is nice too. Probably the best advice to anyone wanting to buy a Halloween pumpkin is to buy one early and if it’s green, put it in the window to ripen in time for the big night! Happy Halloween everybody!
Did you get a chance to look at the England Goes Gonzo Carnival posted at Diary From England? There are some great posts on there. It's well worth a visit. To find out more, click on the link shown below:-
One of my friends sent me an e-mail about a Dorito loving seagull. It was so funny I wanted to share it with you!
A seagull in Scotland has developed the habit of stealing crisps from a neighborhood shop. The little bird has turned to a life of crime to feed his craving for cheese Doritos!
The seagull (nicknamed Sam by the locals) waits until the shopkeeper isn't looking, and then walks into the store and grabs a snack-size bag of cheese Doritos. (He's obviously got good taste!)
Once outside, the bag gets ripped open and shared by other birds.
The seagull's shoplifting started early this month when he first swooped into the store in Aberdeen , Scotland , and helped himself to a bag of crisps. Since then, he's become a regular. He always takes the same type of crisps .
Customers have begun paying for the seagull's stolen bags of chips because they think it's so funny. It's true what they say - animals do the funniest things!
Several British newspapers have refused to publish photos showing Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton, after the Prince complained of the agreesive and threatening behaviour of paparazzi who pursued the couple's car as they left a London nightclub. The Press Complaints Committee has urged newspaper editors not to publish pictures of the Prince which were taken as a result of harrassment.
It's almost like history repeating itself with Prince William and his girlfriend being pursued by paparazzi in the same week in which the inquest into his mother's death began. Princess Diana died in the Paris car crash whilst fleeing paparazzi on motorbikes who were in hot pursuit. You would think that lessons would have been learnt from this but apparently not. Members of the Royal family deserve their privacy just like the rest of us and should be allowed to live their lives without the constant intrusion of long lenses. I have great respect for the newspaper editors that shunned the paparazzi photos. At the end of the day it comes down to money and the photos taken are put up for sale to the highest bidder. Maybe if more newspapers had shunned the photos of Diana, she would still be alive today.
As some of you know I studied Employment Law as part of my college course, when I was a student. My company are currently recruiting for some new staff. A colleague and I were talking the other day about how Employment Law has changed in this country over the years. For example job applicants now no longer have to either reveal their age or put their date of birth on a C.V. (resume). I think that’s a good thing. Many employers were becoming far too ageist and discriminating against older people. Also certain “personal” questions relating to marriage, family, religion, smoking, etc, are now off-limits and can no longer be asked at interview. Times have certainly changed and definitely for the better.
I always remember one interview I went to many years ago as a first-time job seeker. The interviewer asked me if I was Jewish and told me that his company didn’t usually employ Jewish people as they wanted too much time off for festivals and holidays! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! (The name Naomi is Hebrew Jewish and also a bible name). I couldn’t believe that people had that sort of attitude in this day and age! On another occasion, a few years ago I went to an interview and the person interviewing me looked a bit surprised when I walked in. She said to me that she hadn’t expected me to be white. The interviewer said, “Oh I thought you would be black as Naomi Campbell is black!” I remember thinking what a stupid statement that was. I couldn’t believe that companies would entrust interviews to people like that! It doesn’t give prospective candidates a very good impression of the company when you hear comments like that. Times have certainly changed a lot since then.
I'd like to say a big thank you to Janey Loree and her mum Phyllis over at PJ's Paper Doll Cut Outs for the lovely badge that they have created for me as their official PJ's International Correspondent. I'm now proudly displaying this on my blog. It's in the left hand column underneath the Flickr album and just above the Blogburst logo. Janey and her mum created this badge for me as a thank you for the help I gave them when they were researching their English paper dolls Queenie and Peppy.
It was my pleasure to help. 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 like toys that are educational for children as well as fun to play with, so I'm always happy to help and support PJ's in any way I can.
STOP PRESS On the drawing board are paper dolls from COSTA RICA, BRAZIL, POLAND, EGYPT, IRELAND, SCOTLAND & ITALY! If you are a blogger and you are from any of those countries, PJ's would love to hear from you. In return for any help and information you can give them regarding creating the new range of dolls, you too will be rewarded with a lovely badge to proudly display on your blog.