Saturday, August 30, 2008


It seems the majority of Brits including myself are addicted to the internet. According to the results of a recent survey by supermarket chain Somerfield, most Brits are so addicted to the internet that they forfeit their evening meal. The majority of the people surveyed said they preferred to munch on crisps and chocolate, whilst surfing the net and considered it more important to update their Facebook profile than eat a healthy meal! No wonder there is so much obesity in this country. A third of net surfers blamed their unhealthy habits for piling on the pounds. The majority of Brits spend an average of two and a half hours a day surfing the net. It seems that we have now become a nation!

We have certainly come a long way over the last few years, with the invention of computers and the digital age but unfortunately it seems that for many people, spending so much time online and not getting enough exercise has meant their health has suffered. I personally love spending time on the computer and can’t imagine life without one. My computer was in for repair recently and I really missed little things like picking up my e-mails every day. I was crawling the walls and couldn’t wait to get it back! My work is also computer based so consequently I spend quite a lot of time on there. However I take regular exercise and eat a balanced diet and would never forfeit eating a healthy meal, taking exercise or seeing friends or family to spend time online. At the end of the day, I think you just have to get your priorities right and strike a balance. Computers are great but they can be quite addictive for young and old alike. A U.S. study recently found that 6 per cent of internet users are addicted to surfing, whilst British psychiatrists recently found that between five and ten per cent of online surfers are internet addicts. Apparently net addiction is now a rising problem similar to other addictions like gambling, alcohol and drugs! Scary! So now we know!


It seems that even the Queen is suffering the effects of the current credit crunch. She has dropped down to 12th place in Forbes list of the world’s richest monarchs. King Bhumibol of Thailand has topped the list with an estimated fortune of £19billion. Wow! Whilst the Queen is the 12th richest monarch in the world with an estimated fortune of £350million. Forbes say their estimate of the Queen’s fortune includes fine art, a stamp collection given to her by her grandfather George V, jewels and property. However many of the assets associated with the Queen, including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Crown Jewels are not actually her property but belong to the nation. The true value of the Queen’s personal property which includes Sandringham, has never been revealed. A Buckingham Palace spokesman insisted that the Queen’s personal wealth has always been “grossly exaggerated”.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


It was a golden weekend in more ways than one for Britain’s athletes at the Beijing Olympics as they gained a staggering 17 medals, including 8 golds in just two days. Swimmer Rebecca Adlington was amongst them, taking her second Olympic victory with a new world record in the 800 metres freestyle on Saturday, whilst blonde sailing trio Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson battled the bad weather to win the Yngling race. Team GB’s successful weekend was described as, “the greatest in British Olympic history” and puts them in third place in the medals table. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown praised Britain’s Olympic athletes, saying, “We are immensely proud of what they have achieved and inspired by their performance”. Meanwhile the Queen recorded a personal message of congratulations to Team GB, saying that she had followed their endeavours with great interest and admiration. All of the athletes are great role models for Britain’s children and we can only hope that seeing Team GB winning will encourage them to take part in different kinds of sports.

The Beijing closing ceremony and official Olympic handover was watched by millions across the U.K. whilst London hosted its own free concert to celebrate the occasion. The Olympic flag was handed over to London Mayor Boris Johnson in preparation for London hosting the games in 2012.

Picture:- Courtesy of Yahoo News


It looks like red telephone boxes, once a popular site in England, may soon be making a welcome return to our towns and villages. British Telecom are now giving town councils the chance to adopt the red boxes to stop them disappearing from our streets altogether. Councils will have to pay £250 for a box without a working phone or £500 for one that contains a phone. They have until 1st October to make up their minds. Unfortunately the popularity of mobile phones (or cells as our American neighbours call them!) has meant the disappearance of many phone boxes from our high streets. In many areas they have now become obsolete. However there are some areas of the country where councils would like to keep the red boxes for cultural and heritage reasons. Kersall, a village in Nottinghamshire successfully battled against plans to remove their much loved red telephone box. The village prides itself on having the best kept box in the world. Residents put fresh flowers in it and even decorate it with lights at Christmas!

Red telephone boxes were a popular site in England when I was growing up, with their crown insignia and domed roof. Many foreign visitors saw them as a national icon and a symbol of our British heritage. Singer Tom Jones missed the “green, green grass of home” so much that he went as far as having a red telephone box shipped over to his American home. The box now takes pride of place in his back garden as a fond reminder of his British roots. The modern silver boxes that replaced them just didn’t have the same appeal.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


According to a recent report by one of Britain’s largest building societies, cheques which were once used as a popular alternative to cash, will cease to exist in the next twenty years. It seems that more and more Britons prefer the convenience of using debit and credit cards. Also as more people purchase goods and services on the internet, the usage of cheques is now in steady decline. I personally can’t remember the last time I wrote a cheque. In these recession hit times, many people prefer the convenience of buying goods on credit cards and spreading the cost over a period of time. As well as offering convenience, credit cards also offer a certain amount of security as purchases are often insured when paying for them by credit card. However there are so many different credit cards out there that finding the right one can be quite a daunting task. is the ideal site to compare the various different cards and deals available and features some of the best on-line credit applications on the internet. The site features many different types of credit cards available to suit your individual requirements, spending style and credit score and allows you to compare credit card suppliers quickly and easily online to find the best deals available. If you have previously been refused credit or have a bad credit rating, don’t despair you can still compare bad credit card deals and find the right card for you and help to build, rebuild or re-establish your credit rating by making on-time payments and maintaining an account balance below the credit limit.

There has never been a better time to take advantage of some of the great card deals out there. As the credit crunch bites, we have all become more choosey about our cards and want the best deals and rewards for our money to make shopping even more enjoyable. With the average Brit carrying 1.4 credit cards, many people like myself can’t imagine life without one. The plastic explosion even looks set to threaten cash with the Bank of England issuing twenty five per cent fewer banknotes since 2001.

So what are you waiting for log onto and get yourself a great credit card deal now.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I would like to say a big thank you to Linda aka The FootnoteMaven for awarding me the BFF (Blogging Friends Forever) award. I’m actually a new visitor to Linda’s websites Shades of the Departed and FootnoteMaven. Shades of the Departed
is a unique and beautifully designed photography blog showcasing many rare and old photographs, whilst FootnoteMaven is an interesting genealogy blog where Linda shares stories about her ancestors via interesting posts and treasured rare photos. As some of my readers know I’m very interested in tracing my own family tree and this is definitely something I look forward to doing in the future.

In turn I would like to pass this award onto Alastair, a Vicar and fellow Brit at New Kid on the Blog for his well written and interesting posts on everyday life and what it means to be a Christian in today’s busy society, Sank from Old and In the Way for his wonderful and sometimes very funny articles, some of which wouldn’t be out of place in fishing or boating magazines, Sandy from Writing in Faith for her beautiful and inspirational blog with its heartwarming posts and wonderful photos, Jackie from The Vegan Diet and Herbs 'n' Oils for the great recipes and wonderful, interesting posts. Both blogs hold a great wealth of information for those wishing to live a healthier lifestyle like myself,

And last but not least Kalafudra, a new visitor to my blog whose based in Vienna, one of my favourite European cities.

Please feel free to copy the award shown and display it on your blog. I have made so many friends in the Blogosphere. There are many more people I would like to pass this award onto – five is not nearly enough! I know some of you visit the same blogs I do so I'm sure between us we can ensure the award gets passed on to anyone whose not on my list.

The rules for passing on the award are:

1. Only five people are allowed to receive the award.
2. Four of them must be followers of your blog.
3. One has to be new to your blog and live in another part of the world.
4. You must link back to whoever gave you the award.

Monday, August 25, 2008


It’s official! For the first time ever, there are now more pensioners living in Britain than children. According to recent figures released by the Office of National Statistics there are now over 11 million pensioners in this country and 52,000 more pensioners than children under 16. Better nutrition and healthcare has meant that many people are now living longer with the over 80’s age group being the fastest growing. Government ministers are now struggling to find a way to fund the growing costs of social, health and nursing home care for Britain’s ageing population. The NHS is already restricting access to drugs which could benefit sufferers of Alzheimer’s and other conditions amidst fears that the financial strain could cripple the health service. I personally believe that this is very wrong. The age of people suffering from conditions like Alzheimer’s is irrelevant. What is important is that these people have worked all their lives and paid their taxes, some have even fought for this country in the war and the system is letting them down badly. I personally think this is a disgrace. They shouldn’t have to be the sufferers because the health service is in dire straits. Help the Aged, a charity representing the elderly in Britain, warned that the government must face up to the prospect of an ageing population and make a firm commitment to improve health services which enable people to stay healthy and independent for longer. I quite agree. Britain’s pensioners deserve nothing less.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I can’t believe how fast this year is going by, only another couple of months and soon it will be Halloween again. Halloween is originally derived from the Celtic festival of Samhain, a time that marks the end of the Summer and the beginning of the Winter. Nowadays we associate it with people dressing up in Halloween costumes and going trick or treating. One of my personal favourite ways to spend Halloween is to go on a ghost walk where a guide takes a group of people on a walk around supposedly haunted parts of a town or city and tells spooky tales about it. It’s fun and great exercise too! One of my favourite Halloweens was spent at a place called Pendle Hill, home of the Lancashire witch trials. I took this spooky picture with my own fair hand. This witch is a permanent fixture and popular tourist attraction at the Barley Mow restaurant there.

When I was growing up, we never celebrated Halloween over here in England, even though it has always been a popular holiday in the States. It’s only in recent years that Halloween has become more popular in this country. Halloween has now become a million pound industry in Britain and we are fast catching up with our American neighbours. Halloween is now the most profitable time for British retailers after Christmas and Easter. The scariest thing is how much we now spend on Halloween in this country with a staggering £25million being spent on pumpkins alone. Wow! Most of the 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. However we are still a long way behind our American neighbours where the Halloween industry is worth a staggering £4.7billion!

Whole supermarket aisles are now dedicated to Halloween novelties as people shop for Halloween themed food and drink and decorations for their houses. Some people even want Halloween themed outfits for their pets! It’s a shame that teenagers in some areas of the country have chosen to spoil the holiday by knocking on people’s doors and demanding money with menace! Aside from that Halloween is a fun holiday and a great chance for children and adults alike to dress up in their Halloween outfits and go trick or treating.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Following in the footsteps of the successful Harry Potter books, “What’s Your Story” a limited edition collection of short stories featuring an 80 word Harry Potter prequel by J K Rowling has broken all records to become the fastest selling short story collection of all time. Over 10,000 copies were sold on the book’s first day of release with some bookshops selling out of copies by lunchtime. The Harry Potter prequel is one of thirteen short stories featured in a story card book by various authors including Doris Lessing, Nick Hornby and Margaret Atwood. The short stories were originally written on A5 card as part of a charity initiative to raise money for Dyslexia Action and English Pen, a charity which promotes understanding through literature. Each story has been described as a “small masterpiece” but Waterstones have no doubt that JK Rowling is behind the book’s success as eager Potter fans have snapped up the majority of copies when the books went on general sale at branches of Waterstones up and down the country. The original Harry Potter story card handwritten by JK Rowling, which tells the story of the young boy wizard’s father James and his friend Sirius Black as youngsters was sold at auction by Sotheby’s raising £25,000 for charity. Eager Potter fans are now looking forward to JK Rowling’s next publication, a series of fairy tales entitled, “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” which is due to be published in December.

Meanwhile Potter fans will have to wait a little while longer for the release of the next instalment of the boy wizard’s adventures. “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince” was originally due for release in November but has now been put back for release in July 2009. Warner Brothers blamed the Hollywood writers' strike for the delay and said it had been put back to guarantee them a Summer blockbuster in 2009. I’m sure eager Harry Potter fans like myself will be counting the months down to its release. Can’t wait!


The London Evening Standard have made a public apology to The Queen after claiming that her husband Prince Philip was suffering from prostate cancer. Acting on Prince Philip’s instructions, Buckingham Palace took the unprecedented step of issuing a public denial, confirming that the story was untrue and they would be making a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission.. The palace confirmed that the 87 year old Duke, who is usually in robust health, was not suffering from prostate cancer and described the newspaper report as a “serious breach of his privacy”. The Palace has always maintained the fact that members of the Royal Family are entitled to their privacy just like the rest of us and quite right too. I personally believe that’s even more important when it comes to personal health matters. The London Evening Standard had previously claimed that the Duke had been diagnosed with prostate cancer after being admitted to hospital with a chest infection earlier this year. The Palace said they welcomed the newspaper’s apology which stated that they unreservedly apologised to Prince Philip and his family for making this distressing allegation and breaching his privacy.

A member of the Greek Royal family, Prince Philip was born in 1921. He’s 86 years old and has been married to The Queen since 1947. The Duke of Edinburgh is only the fifth consort to a reigning Queen in British history and gave up his navy career to support the then Princess Elizabeth when she became Queen. The couple have four children and eight grandchildren. Both the Queen and Prince Philip are great-great grandchildren of Queen Victoria. Apart from carrying the title of The Duke of Edinburgh, he also carries the titles of The Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich.


I laughed when I heard that pork pie sales are down as health conscious Brits ditch them in favour of healthier fare! Pork pies have always been seen as a quick and tasty snack but it seems they have now become the latest victim as Brits fight the war against obesity. New figures show that British shoppers are buying fewer pork pies than they did a year ago. I’m pretty health conscious myself and try to eat a healthy balanced diet but I don’t think I could ever manage to give up the pork pies. I particularly enjoy them with salad in the Summertime. I tell myself that eating them with salad makes them that bit healthier! I think like most things in life, they are ok as long as they are eaten in moderation. The most famous English pork pies come from Melton Mowbray and they’re delicious! If you fancy having a go at making your own pork pies, click on the link shown below and Delia Smith, one of Britain’s favourite tv cooks will show you how.

Old-Fashioned Raised Pork Pies Recipe from Delia Online


Admiral Lord Nelson has been named the greatest British military hero of all time in a recent poll. Lord Nelson who lost an eye and an arm in battle is best known for leading his men to victory at the Battle of Trafalgar and losing his own life in the process. Nelson beat other famous military leaders including the Duke of Wellington to gain the coveted title. Nelson became a national icon in 1805, famously inspiring his men to victory in the Battle of Trafalgar, with the immortal words, “England expects that every man will do his duty”. A brilliant naval commander, he was well known for his bold actions, often disregarding the orders of his superiors. If you’re visiting London, you can find Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square. It’s a magnificent monument to one of Britain’s best loved heroes. Field Marshal Montgomery, famous for his victory at El Alamein came in at No.2 in the poll, whilst the Duke of Wellington famous for his victory at Waterloo, came in at No. 3. On another note, at least a quarter of the people questioned couldn’t name any British military heroes of the past and didn’t know who was the best one. Shame on you!

Monday, August 11, 2008


According to the results of a “Save our Seaside study by Travelodge, one in ten British kids have never taken a British seaside holiday or been on a British beach. More children than ever it seems hold passports nowadays, preferring to pack their buckets and spades and head for beaches abroad rather than at home. Many five to twelve year olds were unable to even point out some famous British seaside resorts on a map. It’s a shame, when the weather’s good, a British seaside holiday can be a lot of fun and in these cash-strapped times is a lot cheaper than going abroad on holiday. In years gone by, people didn’t take foreign holidays like they do now, preferring instead to take their holidays in this country. As a child, I remember my grandparents telling me how much they looked forward to spending their Summer holidays by the seaside in Blackpool as they lived in Manchester, a big city. How times have changed!


Have you ever wished you had a title? Ever wondered what it would be like to be Lord of the Manor and master of all you survey? Well now’s your chance to find out! David Piper, an entrepreneur and eccentric British Lord who describes himself as “Lord of the Manor of Warleigh”, is selling off his title and property on internet auction site Ebay. A bidding war has already started to gain the coveted title of “Lord”. However don’t bother bidding unless you have a lot of spare cash to hand. Bids have already been received in the region of £3million and upwards! Wow! Some people must be really desperate for a title!

So what can one expect to receive for that amount of money? Well included in the price is an art collection, two Bentley cars and a nine bedroom house in Plymouth. David Piper is selling up as he is moving down to London to receive treatment for advanced prostate cancer. This isn’t the first time the eccentric Lord has hit the headlines. He was in the news in 2002 after placing a lonely hearts ad in an international newspaper to find the girl of his dreams and receiving over 2,000 replies. The lonely hearts Lord is offering to introduce the successful bidder to some of his potential suitors as part of the package.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is planning on setting up his own tv channel in a bid to boost his flagging popularity with the voting public. The special tv channel, “No. 10 TV” will be accessed through the 10 Downing Street Website, which is currently undergoing a revamp. Online viewers will be able to see tv footage of Gordon Brown going about his day to day activities. Mr Brown is following in the footsteps of Conservative leader David Cameron whose WebCameron site has proved immensely successful, giving viewers a glimpse into both his private and public life.

Gordon Brown recently set up his own modern version of Prime Minister’s Question Time on video sharing website You Tube, after being accused of being out of touch with the digital age and also the youth culture of today. David Cameron once accused him of being, “an analogue Prime Minister in a digital age!” But not any more! Gordon Brown is now fighting back with his own tv channel. Wonder if we’ll be able to watch any soaps on there! To view the official No. 10 Downing Street website, click on the link shown below:-

Official No. 10 Downing Street Website


As the credit crunch bites, many British families have been forced to cancel their sunshine holidays abroad and spend the Summer in Britain instead. This is probably one of the main reasons why sales of fake tan have been soaring recently. Many companies, particularly St Tropez, the fake tan brand used by Victoria Beckham are reporting increased sales of at least 20% as many cash-strapped Britons are opting to get a sunshine glow from a bottle rather than going abroad. According to St Tropez, many Britons prefer to treat themselves without breaking the bank. As some of my readers know, having very fair skin, I never tan and just burn if I stay in the sun too long. I try to stay out of the sun as much as possible and remain pale and interesting rather than brown and bronzed! The only time I get a tan is usually when it comes out of a bottle. I have used St Tropez in the past but my current favourite is Johnson’s Holiday Skin body lotion. It gives a nice natural looking tan and is much cheaper than St Tropez. I recommend it.


It is rumoured that Prince Charles is planning to organise a big concert to celebrate his landmark 60th birthday on 14th November. The concert will be broadcast on ITV1 with many big name stars appearing. It is believed the concert will also feature some classical music artists to reflect the Prince’s love of classical music. The Prince may even coax Sheila Ferguson and The Three Degrees, his all-time favourite pop group out of retirement to appear at the special bash. ITV bosses are said to be busy finalising details of the concert which will be studio based rather than outdoors. Master of the Queen’s music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies is said to be preparing a special piece especially for the occasion. However it’s extremely unlikely that Prince Charles will be involved in its performance, even he did once play the cello. The Prince joked to Sir Peter that he gave up the cello when he joined the navy. ITV1 have worked with Prince Charles in the past, broadcasting the Prince’s Trust 30th Birthday concert in 2006.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


According to the results of a recent insurance company survey, many Brits are not at all worried about the ongoing global credit crunch with the majority saying that it was unlikely to affect either them or their lifestyles. Nearly 50% of people said they would not be cutting back on their spending. Not surprising really as Britain is known as the credit capital of Europe. Brits have twice as many credit cards as their European neighbours, with the average Brit carrying 1.4 credit cards. With the rising cost of living and the current economic climate, people enjoy the flexibility of being able to pay over a long period of time for goods and services.

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Sunday, August 03, 2008


It seems very few British kids are nature lovers, with the majority preferring to spend their time slumped in front of a computer screen playing computer games rather than going for a walk out into the countryside. It’s no wonder childhood obesity is so common these days. It’s such a shame. They don’t know what they are missing. I spent my childhood growing up in the country and loved every minute.

According to the results of a recent BBC Wildlife Magazine poll of 9 to 11 year olds, half of children are unable to spot and identify oak trees, bluebells or bluetits, whilst two thirds of them have no idea what a frog looks like! Unbelievable! It sounds like something needs to be done urgently to spark children’s interest in nature and the environment they live in. Maybe school projects or more emphasis on teaching children about nature and wildlife in the classroom is needed. If these youngsters have no interest in the world they live in now, it’s unlikely they will be interested in nature or preserving wildlife and the environment when they grow up.


It was interesting to see Princess Anne wearing the same dress to Lady Rose Windsor’s wedding that she had worn some 27 years ago to Charles and Diana’s wedding. Lady Rose is the youngest daughter of The Duke of Gloucester, a cousin of the Queen. The Princess Royal has always been quite frugal, often wearing the same outfit on more than one occasion. She once remarked that economy was bred into her and her parents believed that things were not to be wasted. I’m sure the Princess is very pleased with herself that she can still fit into the same size 10 dress she wore 27 years ago! Not many women are so lucky. Her love of horse riding has obviously paid off and helped her to keep slim and toned. We can only hope that newly wed Lady Rose and her husband have better luck in their marriage than the ill fated union of Charles and Diana. Let’s hope that dress wasn’t a bad omen for them!