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Tuesday, 5 September 2017


There's a small American town 2,500 miles away from the Mexican border which has be designated English as its official language !! (Don't blame them, it's a lovely language).

'Jackson' is in New York state and has a population of 1, 700 of which most are white with just a handful of Spanish speaking farm workers.

But apparently inhabitants were determined to protect their English speaking heritage after condemning the federal government for not acting.

And although the town has no shops, schools or even a church all business must be conducted in English.

Another nearby town called Argyle (sounds more Scottish to me) has passed a similar resolution while another, Easton, will debate the issue next month.

Unfortunately even though supporters claim the moves high light support for curbing immigration and preserve the culture which many fear is under threat in some states, the New York Civil Liberties Union wants the laws all to be repealed.

Saturday, 2 September 2017


What is it about us Brits that we are so obsessed with the weather.

Every time we go into a shop we comment on the weather, we chat about it on the phone, while out walking a dog, over dinner in a Restaurant. In fact, we just don't stop talking about it.  A survey has shown that we spend nearly six months just 'talking' about the weather.

Apparently the British in particular are obsessed with the English weather.

It's one of the most common ways to start a conversation, and I feel sorry for the check-out staff at supermarkets which must listen to people talking about the weather all day long.

We spend almost five times a day talking about it and spend longer discussing it, then on sport or work!

Women talk about it more than chatting about their men, love lives and gossip.

Even Twitter gets 500,000 'tweets' about it, and as for older people, well we have three times as many conversations about it and still believe in old wives tales, such as, cows sitting down (rain comes) something I 'always' say and the family make fun of me and of course, red sky at night is legendary.

These findings prove that we are a nation who is totally obsessed with the weather and with our unusually cold winter, millions of conversations at the moment are about the weather.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017


Many fashion traditions were broken during the 1960s, especially those in the United Kingdom. But the most famous street of all in London which housed independent fashion boutiques and designers was 'Carnaby Street'.

According to wikipedia, by the 1960's, Carnaby Street proved for followers of both the Mod and hippie styles. Many independent fashion boutiques, and designers such as Mary Quant, Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin, Lord John, Merc, Take Six, and Irvine Sellars were located in Carnaby Street as well as various underground music bars such as the Roaring Twenties in the surrounding streets.

With bands such as Small Faces, The Who, and Rolling Stones appearing in the area to work (with the legendary Marquee Club located round the corner in Wardour Street), shop, and socialize, it became one of the coolest destinations associated with the Swinging London of the 1960's.

Harry Fox and Henry Moss opened the first ladies boutique in Carnaby Street called "Lady Jane" in 1966.

The Carnaby Street contingent of Swinging London stormed into North American and international awareness with the April 15, 1966 publication of Time magazine's cover and article that extolled this street's role:

The Carnaby Street website now
Children's Fashion
Hair, Health & Beauty
Home & Lifestyle
Newburgh Quarter
Kingly Court

Thursday, 24 August 2017


Woman's Weekly has been running for over 100 years and is still one of the best selling women's magazines on the market.

It had everything a woman could want in the publication from fashion to weight loss.

Some of the advice was on recipes where housewives could earn a 'half a crown' by sending in their favourite recipe.

Readers offers were a little bit different from ours nowadays, with an offer of an 'ABSOLUTELY FREE' booklet of powder leaves, used to scent gloves and handkerchiefs with every purchase of a 2d packet of Oatine shampoo or toilet soap.

Fashion tips were ones we should learn from with for 6d, women could send off for a dress pattern of their choice (they mostly made their own).However, waists in those days were a small 26"!!!

Their answer to weight loss to keep slim was by taking a treatment called Antipon, which, they said contained 'vegetable ingredients of a quite harmless nature' and promised would shed 'between 8oz and 3lbs in the first 24 hours!( I could do with some of that).

Some of these vintage women's magazines have been selling on ebay for quite a lot of money with a vintage Vogue fetching nearly £50. Whenever I go to a charity shop I always look to see if they have any put away in a corner somewhere but I have only been lucky once.

Saturday, 12 August 2017


Did you know that according to Wikepedia fish and chips first appeared in the 1860's and by 1910 there were more than 25,000 fish and chip shops across the UK, and by the 1930's there were over 35,000. The National Federation of Fish Friers say that there are now 8,500 fish and chip shops across the UK.

Historic UK site says that the potato is though to have been brought into England from the New World of the 17th century by Sir Walter Raleigh although it is believed that it was the French who invented the fried potato chip.

In 1839 Charles Dickens referred to a 'fried fish warehouse' in his novel, 'Oliver Twist'. The first fish and chip shop is believed to have been in Mossely, Lancashire in the North of England. It was sold from a wooden hut in the market and then later transferred to a permanent shop which had an inscription on its window which said ' this is the first fish and chip shop in the world'.

Towards the latter part of the 19th century and well into the next century, the fish and chip trade expanded satisfying the needs of the growing industrial population of the UK. Then the steam trawler brought fish from all over the North Atlantic, Iceland and Greenland and the steam railways meant the fish was distributed easily around the country.

Apparently in 1931 fish and chips became so essential in the British diet that one shop in Bradford had to employ a doorman to control the queue at busy times. Even the Territorial Army enjoyed it with special catering tents erected at training camps in order to give them fish and chips before battle.

The National Federation of Fish Friers said that in 1999, the British consumed nearly 300 million servings of fish and chips which equates to six servings to every man, woman and child in the country. The British Fish and Chips is by far the nation's favourite take-away.

Monday, 7 August 2017


Discover in this stunning portfolio of award-winning photographs, a celebration of British life in all of its most captivating forms. Interest in photography has never been higher, with high end digital cameras now available to all and sundry as well as expert photographers who regularly document around the world. The British Life Photography Awards exist to celebrate that interest, that expertise and the very best of British reportage, documentary and street photography.

This book collects the winners and celebrates the best of the rest, with hundreds of eye-opening images giving a thought provoking, beautiful and refreshing view of life in the UK today.

Available from Amazon at only £1.29 for hardcover version of it.

Thursday, 3 August 2017


Do you have Royal Blood? Wouldn't you love to know if you or anyone in your family has any royal blood in them.

Well if you go to Ancestry you can soon find out if this is possible. On the Ancestry website it says that according to a new study of unique last names from around the world, moving in or out of the upper class doesn't take just a few generations, it takes centuries.

So, anyone could have royal blood in their family. If you have a unique surname, or even if your last name is Smith, Ancestry can help you find out where your ancestors worked, how well they were educated, and how long they lived - all signs, according to researchers, of their place in the social hierarchy.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017


We are so lucky in the UK to have so many beautiful towns and cities which many have stunning scenery but my favourite of all time is Windermere and Bowness-on-Windermere in the breathtaking South Lakeland.

Some fascinating facts about Bowness and Windermere - did you know that Charles Dickens is said to have frequented the New Hall Inn in Bowness.

In 1895, Windermere became ice bound for six weeks, making it possible to walk across from one side to the other.

The two towns of Windermere and Bowness were the second area in England to have electric street lighting.

Apart from the obvious scenery and rides on the lake there is still plenty to do in Bowness and Windermere with the famous World of Beatrix Potter and Blakewell overlooking the lake, one of the finest arts and crafts houses in the country.

With immediate access to the waters Windermere and Bowness attract many holiday makers but for me personally it's the views along the lake where you can stop and picnic or walk along the pathways which excite me most.

Year after year in all weathers from snow, rain, fog and deep sunshine it never fails to impress me and I have always said that if I ever won the pools I would immediately try and buy a holiday home in the Lake District.

Sunday, 30 July 2017


The kids are out, it's summer break season and as usual the typical British weather is letting us down left right and centre. So where can you take your kids to keep them happy during the summer holidays? My top picks on days out when the weather is bad are -

Aardman Animation's superb exhibition where you can discover the workings of the world in this inspiring museum in Bristol. Just going on the website will get you excited. They are an award-winning animation studio creating film, broadcast, advertising and interactive entertainment.

Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden is an award-winning museum which tells the story behind one of the world's best-loved storytellers, with the chance to see Dahl's famous writing hut. You can have lunch in Cafe Twit and enjoy amazing shops in the village. They say 'The Museum, aimed at 6 to 12 year olds, features three interactive galleries. Boy gallery looks at Roald Dahl's school days while Solo gallery houses his original Writing Hut. The Story Centre puts your imagination centre-stage with fantabulous activities to inspire the writer in you.'

For all petrolheads head to Beaulieu where this museum has the history of motoring with lots of cards on show, plus the chance to see how a crash dummy works and get a glimpse of the great F1 speedsters. Beaulieu has a bursting events calendar throughout the year which you can find on their website.

Head to Nottingham to see the City of Caves which dates back to the Dark Ages. This underground network of caves offered shelter during air raids in the Second World War and will intrigue visitors of all ages.They say that you will 'Discover a hidden world beneath your feet and tour our ancient network of caves at your leisure. You will be given a hand-held audio set to guide you on your way. You’ll hear stories of the caves and how they were used in years gone by. Your journey will take you around the winding passageways of Nottingham’s largest network of sandstone caves. Come and explore how the caves were used as dwellings, cellars, WW2 air raid shelters and even a medieval tannery.'

Go to Northumbrian coast and take a trip on the Serenity Farne Island Boat Tour at the Seahouses Harbour to enjoy the scenic Farne Islands, home of puffins and grey seals, and look out for the dolphins on the way. 'Serenity Farne Islands boat tours sail all year round to the Farne Islands, one of Britain’s most spectacular wildlife habitats! '

How about checking out the Loch Ness Monster by visiting the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition at Drumnadrochit where they have six themed rooms all telling their own version of the Nessie story.

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