British actress Helen Mirren is hotly tipped to win an Oscar for her role in The Queen. In addition the Prime Suspect star has also been voted the world’s sexiest older female film star in a Lovefilm.com poll. Helen Mirren has always been one of Britain’s finest actresses. Well done to her!
Well done to Shilpa Shetty on winning Celebrity Big Brother! The crowd cheered and cried, “We love you Shilpa” as she emerged from the house. Poor Shilpa had a difficult time at the hands of racist bullies Jade, Jo and Danielle. But thankfully she came through to win the show and quite rightly so. Shilpa has more talent, class and beauty than her three tormentors put together. We can all learn a lesson from the generosity and humility Shilpa showed when talking about the people who made her life a misery in the house. If everyone behaved like this and showed so much tolerance towards others, then the world would be a better place. At last Shilpa is out of the house, with a very bright future to look forward to and lots of lucrative offers in the pipeline. She can finally put this whole sorry saga behind her.
I couldn’t resist showing this photo of cute baby polar bear Knut. At only two months old Knut is the first baby polar bear to be born at Berlin Zoo for over 30 years. He spent the first few days of his life in an incubator after his mum rejected him and his twin (who sadly died). But after lots of tender loving care from his keeper, Knut’s weight is now up to a healthy 8.6 pounds and he’s doing well.
As some of you know, I had the pleasure of going to see the musical Mamma Mia on Thursday night. The story centres around a girl on a Greek Island who is about to get married and invites three men to her wedding, in the hope of discovering which one of the three is her real dad! The story is told through the use of Abba songs. Abba were Sweden’s best export and had a string of chart hits with the likes of Mamma Mia, SOS and Dancing Queen. They are one of the most enduring pop groups of all time and are as popular today as they’ve always been. The show is really well done with superb performances by all the cast. It's a great feel-good musical show. Very enjoyable. The show is world famous and has toured all over the world. Go and see it if you get a chance. You won't be disappointed.
Royal Bank of Scotland customer Declan Purcell, like the majority of people in this country, was sick of paying high bank charges. When his local bank refused to refund over £3,000 worth of charges Declan believed he was owed, he gave them a taste of their own medicine by sending in the bailiffs! Stunned customers and staff couldn’t believe their eyes as bailiffs seized computers, office equipment and a drawer filled with cash. The branch manager was told that the items would be taken and sold to cover the debt unless the bank agreed to refund Mr Purcell’s money. It was only when the manager assured the bailiffs that the charges would be refunded that they agreed to leave. It’s nice to read a story like this and see that even banks are not above the law. Bully for you Declan!
British kids eat more sweets and have more sugary drinks than children in any other country in Europe, according to research revealed this week. Many kids skip breakfast, preferring to spend pocket money on sweets and junk food. Childhood obesity is now a growing problem with more and more children now being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, something that was unheard of 10 years ago.
I was interested to read a letter in my local paper written by a local woman resident of a nearby neighbourhood. The resident had seen two young joyriders "racing" cars down the road whilst walking her dog. They then shot off onto a nearby housing estate. The woman then saw a police car coming down the road with sirens blaring. She stopped the police car and asked if the two policemen in the car were looking for the two young boy racers as she had seen them turning into the housing estate. One of the policemen replied, "No we don't know anything about that. We're just rushing to get to MacDonalds before it closes!"
On another note, Home Secretary John Reid has come under fire by requesting that courts don't send non-violent criminals to prison as the prisons are too full! Whatever happened to the attitude that if you commit the crime, you must do the time. It seems there is now no deterrent for criminals anymore. Soon we will be living in a society where criminals rule and they can do as they like. Is it any wonder law and order is breaking down in this country? I rest my case.
Britain's Chancellor Gordon Brown has been voted 97th sexiest man in the world in a recent poll for New Woman magazine. Brits reigned supreme as British band Take That came in at No. 1, hotly followed by new James Bond star Daniel Craig at No. 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp at No. 3. Young Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe also made it onto the list at No. 32. Well done to all of them!
Diary From England will be taking part in the Blog Village Carnival. Why not come over and join Blog Village today. It’s a friendly community of fellow bloggers and will vastly increase your readership. I’ve made a lot of new cyberfriends there.
Carnival entries are limited to BLOG VILLAGERS and blogs that are directly linked to BLOG VILLAGER blogs. All you have to do to enter is submit a post on the subject of Family. The BLOG VILLAGE Goes Gonzo Carnival is hosted by
Still on the subject of technology, mobile phones are a wonderful invention, if used responsibly. One of my pet hates is people who fail to switch off their mobiles at the cinema or theatre, despite being given prior warning to do so. I think there is nothing more distracting than hearing somebody’s phone beep in the middle of a play or film. I even heard somebody’s phone ring at a church service once! Unbelievable!
Another thing that really irritates and annoys me is the number of people who use their mobiles whilst driving risking their own lives and other people’s as well. I see them regularly when I’m on the road. It’s just like they couldn’t care less. Despite the death of young Trinity Taylor (who was killed when another driver ploughed into her car whilst using his mobile phone), and others like her, things haven’t changed that much. I’ve always thought there should be stiffer penalties introduced. So I was pleased to hear the Department of Transport announcement that from the end of next month anyone caught using a mobile whilst driving will automatically get three penalty points on their licence and a £60 fine - double the current level. In addition the government is launching internet, radio and television adverts highlighting the dangers of motorists using mobiles. So will these new stiffer penalties make any difference to drivers who continue to openly flout the law by using their mobiles whilst driving? I certainly hope so, for the sake of my life and everyone else’s on the road. Only time will tell.
Love it or loathe it, I have to admit that technology has made our lives a lot easier. Friends who live a long distance away e-mail me to stay in touch. Having the computer is a real bonus. Last time it was out of action, I was crawling the walls to get back on there! I was having withdrawal symptoms! Seriously though it does make life a lot easier sometimes, especially being able to order things over the net.
My microwave oven died on me last week and I can’t believe how much I’ve missed it! It wasn’t just a basic microwave, but the combination kind that grills and has a convection oven on there as well. It’s so handy when you don’t want to use the big normal oven for small basic meals when you come in from work. Everything was just so much quicker and easier when I had it. I especially like my porridge (or oatmeal as the Americans call it) done in there. It’s so quick and easy when I have to get to work. I tried it the conventional way, boiling it in a pan with milk. It just took too long and I don’t personally think it tasted as nice. So guess what I’m going shopping for at the weekend – a new microwave! I’m counting the days till I get it!
The typical British family has undergone a dramatic change in the last century. Large families are a rare occurrence with many families averaging 1.5 children or none at all. With more women than ever working long hours, it is increasingly difficult to strike a balance between work and family life. Sitting down together at a dining table for family meals is now a rare occurrence for many British families, with many not possessing a dining table and preferring to eat meals on their knee whilst watching tv. There are more obese children and adults than ever before in this country, as many live off ready meals and junk food. Cancer and heart disease are two of Britain’s biggest killers too, with bad diet being a major factor. Families don’t communicate like they used to. Could this be why we have so much youth crime in this century, as kids join gangs and seek attention from their peers outside the home?
Is it any wonder that there are more and more single people raising children now? So many marriages end in divorce these days. Not surprising really as couples are under pressure from all sides, pressure from bosses at work, emotional pressure of not spending enough time at home and financial pressure of working to pay the mortgage and bills. Modern life is quite often a rollercoaster ride of stress and pressure with Britons working longer and longer hours. We’ve come so far but maybe sometimes we need to take a step back and remember what’s really important in life. With rising divorce rates and family life breaking down in the 21st century, are we really better off? Maybe our ancestors could teach us a thing or two.
First the discovery of a chewing gum that can make you slim and now scientists in the US have discovered that laughing for just 15 minutes a day can help you lose weight! Apparently the amount of energy used laughing at comedies such as The Office, is the same amount used to walk half a mile. Laughing makes the heart beat faster and gives various muscles a workout. Now we know the answer to losing a few pounds – watch a comedy dvd – one of my personal favourites is Mrs Doubtfire!
It was a good night for Britain at this year’s Golden Globes ceremony with British talent scooping nine awards! Helen Mirren won two Best Actress awards for her roles in Elizabeth and Elizabeth 1. Sacha Baron Cohen won Best Actor in a movie comedy for his controversial movie Borat. Hugh Laurie was named Best Actor in a television drama for the second year running for his portrayal of a hospital consultant in House. Jeremy Irons was named Best Supporting Actor for his role in Elizabeth 1, whilst Elizabeth 1 took the award for Best Television Movie. British writer Peter Morgan scooped Best Movie Screenplay Award for The Queen. Newcomer Emily Blunt was named Best Supporting Actress in a tv drama for her role in BBC series Gideon’s Daughter and last but not least Emily’s co-star Bill Nighy scooped Best Actor Award for the same programme. Well done to all of them!
Many of us love to watch soaps like Neighbours and Coronation Street, wishing that we lived amongst friendly neighbours in close knit communities like Ramsay Street and Coronation Street. However it seems that such a street exists in this country. St Ives Mount in Leeds, Yorkshire has been voted Britain’s friendliest street. Children can play out safely in the crime-free neighbourhood. Apparently the street’s residents get on really well together and go out of their way to help one another, a refreshing change in this day and age. With the rising crime and violence in this country, reading about a street like this restores your faith in human nature.
British reality tv show Big Brother has hit the headlines this week after tv regulator Offcom received over 30,000 calls from viewers condemning the racist bullying of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty. The show caused a major diplomatic and political incident as effigies of Big Brother bosses were burnt in India and Gordon Brown’s current tour to promote British trade in India was overshadowed by the row. India’s External Affairs Minister has confirmed she will be making a complaint to the British government. Culture Minister Tessa Jowell condemned the show for promoting racism as entertainment. Shilpa Shetty was reduced to tears by racist taunts and remarks made by housemates Jade Goodey and her pals Danielle Lloyd and Jo O’Meara. After a heated argument with Jade, Shilpa asked fellow housemate Cleo Rocos why she was so hated and detested. Shilpa said that she was representing her country and asked Cleo if this was what today’s UK was like. It’s a shame that Shilpa has been given such a bad impression of this country by such a narrow minded group of individuals. Fortunately Jade and her friends represent the attitude of only a small minority of people in England. The majority of people like myself abhor racism and believe in equal opportunities for all. Watching the behaviour of Jade, Danielle and Jo towards Shilpa made me ashamed to be British. It’s a disgrace and more importantly incidents like this set a very bad precedent. They send out the wrong message entirely to viewers, namely that it is acceptable to pick on people because they are different and ridicule their culture and everything they believe in. Surely Channel 4 cannot condone this sort of behaviour. To class this as entertainment in a multi-cultural society like Britain is totally unacceptable.
Soon staying slim may be as easy as chewing a piece of gum. A new hormonal chewing gum is being developed by British scientists which will help cut the number of deaths from obesity. The gum contains pancreatic polypeptide, a gut hormone which mimics the action of the stomach when it feels full. It is hoped an injectable form of the hormone will be available within 5 years and the chewing gum soon afterwards.
Advertisements have appeared in newspapers throughout the world this week asking people if they can trace their ancestors back to 1066 and if they had a claim to the British throne! The advertisements are part of a quest by English Heritage to trace historical heirs to the British throne. Genealogists are asking respondents on www.english-heritage.org.uk/hastings to supply documentary proof along with the name of their most likely "gateway ancestor". They claim that if William had not taken the throne in 1066, the course of history could have been very different. Interesting!
Footballer David Beckham announced this week that he will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season to join major league soccer team L. A. Galaxy. The former England captain is set to sign a five year contract reportedly worth £128 million. Nice work if you can get it! Good luck to him!
Gales and rain have caused chaos across Britain this week, leaving thousands of homes without power. One man was killed after a tree fell onto his car in Somerset. Severe weather warnings have been announced for the whole of the country as the bad weather seems set to continue.
X Factor and American Idol judge Simon Cowell caused controversy this week when he branded music legend Bob Dylan “boring”. He went on to say that if he had 10 Dylans in the final of American Idol, he wouldn’t get 30 million viewers. However it seems Mr Dylan’s fans think differently. Unlike today’s "one hit wonders" and “here today gone tomorrow” wannabees, Bob Dylan has stood the test of time and is as popular now as he’s always been. The record sales speak for themselves.
The seventh and final instalment of the Harry Potter series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” has reached no. 1 in the Amazon online book charts before it has even been published! Fans of the young boy wizard have been eagerly reserving their copy of the new book in a bid to discover the fate of their hero. Harry Potter author J K Rowling has already hinted that Harry could die in the final book of the saga.
Britain has become the dumpsite of Europe, throwing more waste into landfill sites than any of its European neighbours. The Local Government Association believes that makers of single use items like batteries, disposable cameras and nappies should contribute towards the cost of their disposal. With the cost of landfill sites becoming increasingly costly, they also believe that the government should give councils the power to charge householders for the amount of rubbish they put out. Critics believe this will lead to more people dumping rubbish in the streets and fly-tipping rather than paying the extra charges. Maybe the answer is that we should all be more conscious of the rubbish we put out and take that extra few minutes to separate things like papers and bottles from general household rubbish. If everyone in the country took the time to do this, it would make a big contribution towards saving the planet and the rising costs of landfill sites.
Meanwhile Tony Blair is continuing to do his bit to save the planet by announcing on Sky TV that he isn’t prepared to give up his long haul holidays. The PM has come under fierce criticism from his own advisers over his complete failure to lead on climate change.
£7 million of taxpayers’ money is being wasted to show civil servants where to put their pens and keyboards. I’m sure a lot of people in this country could make suggestions as to where they could put them! Apparently the exercise of putting black tape in position on desks is to enable the service to work more efficiently. Sounds like a load of rubbish to me!
A cookery book written by one of Britain’s first celebrity chefs over 300 years ago, has been discovered inside a trunk at a house in Derby. However the recipes including "How to Boil a Pike in City Fashion" and "A la Mode Ways of Dressing the Head of Any Beast" may not be to everyone’s taste! The book, a rare find, is up for sale and expected to bring £1,000 at auction.
As many Britons embark on exercise programs in a bid to recover from the excesses of Christmas, Brighton has emerged as the healthiest city in Britain. It has the highest level of health food stores, yoga clubs and personal trainers, according to a recent survey. The level of obese inhabitants is below the national average with Brighton residents living to an average of 78 years! So now we know!