MIKE'S BLOG

Mike's blog, daily updates and interesting news items! 

Welcome to my daily blog.

Author

Mike Barrett

First published (welcome to my new blog)

 (23rd October 2020)

Welcome to my blog which I aim to update daily with news items, stories and helpful information, oh and lots of humour so remember to check back regularly. If you would like to contribute with a news item, story or anything of interest please use my contact form here>
Articles may be edited, shortened or not accepted by the moderator as deemed necessary!

Filming for Appleby!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 7th August 2021

Will be out and about filming for Appleby Horse Fair this week and next, although it seems to be very quiet out there on the roads.
Might be the COVID effect or the fact that it's school holidays, we will see!. So don't worry if my blog goes AWOL again, see you at Appleby or on the road - and remember to stay safe!

Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 6th August 2021

On this day in 1945, the United States of America dropped an atom bomb on Hiroshima, Japan — the blast killed more than 70,000 people and destroyed most of the city—in an effort to hasten the end of World War II. Three days later a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, the two bombs killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of the dead were civilians, and remain the only use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict.
Japan surrendered to the Allies on 15 August, six days after the bombing of Nagasaki effectively ending the war.

India Pale Ale Day!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 5th August 2021

Let's raise a glass and celebrate India Pale Ale Beer Day, today celebrates the appreciation of one of the world’s most popular craft beers, using social media to spread the word!
If you haven't tried India Pale Ale before, today is the perfect excuse for you to do so, but be careful as India Pale Ale has high levels of alcohol. So cheers and enjoy a glass of IPA, or two!

Happy birthday Barack Obama!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 4th August 2021

On this day in 1961 Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. The 44th president of the United States (2009 to 2017) and the first African American to hold this office.
In 2009 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation"!

Appleby Horse Fair!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 3rd August 2021

Only nine days to go until the Appleby Horse Fair and you may see me out on the road filming. Catch up with you soon!

Ah, I missed Yorkshire Day!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 2nd August 2021

How did that happen? Well yesterday was Yorkshire Day and I posted about Friendship Day but then I suppose Yorkshire Folk are the most friendly people you will find, so close enough I guess! So I celebrated with a pint of Old Peculier (my favourite tipple) from the Theakston brewery in Masham North Yorkshire. Can I point out that Old Peculier is the one on the left and not me, Cheers!

Another month, hello August!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 1st August 2021

Today is Friendship Day and was originally founded by Hallmark in 1919, It was a day for people to celebrate their friendship by sending cards to each other! Unfortunately by 1940 the market had died a death and eventually disappeared altogether. But then in 1998 Winnie the Pooh was named the world’s Ambassador of Friendship at the United Nations (you couldn't write it) and in April 2011, the United Nations officially designated 30th July as International Friendship Day, that said most countries celebrate it on the first Sunday of August (today)!

It's the weekend again!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 30th July 2021

The weekends come around far too quickly for my liking and only two more sleeps and we start a new month.
August is the eighth month in the Gregorian calendar and is the last month of summer, great!
The meaning of August comes from ancient Rome - Augustus comes from Latin  “the venerable one” or “the great one.” It was the title given to the first Roman emperor, Gaius Caesar -  the Roman senate decided in 8 BCE to name a month in honor of the emperor, they chose the old Roman month of Sextilius and renamed it Augustus. So now you know!

Happy birthday NASA!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 29th July 2021

On this day in 1958 and after criticism for letting the Soviet Union launch the first man made satellite to orbit Earth (Sputnik 1 - on 4th October 1957), U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the legislation that created NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). To infinity and beyond!

Starry, starry night!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

28th July 2021

On this day in 1890 the Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh, one of the greatest post-impressionists, died in Auvers-sur-Oise, France two days after shooting himself in the chest!
After his death he became one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art, although during his lifetime he was not commercially successful and his suicide at thirty-seven came after years of depression and poverty. 

What's up Doc!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 27th July 2021

On this day in 1940, Warner Brothers released the Looney Tunes animated short film "A Wild Hare", with the debut of Bugs Bunny as his popular incarnation, more basic versions of the character had appeared in earlier cartoons.
Below we see the long suffering Elmer Fudd, portrayed as a Mountie, earnestly attempting to detain Bugs Bunny. According to several posters attached to forest trees, he was wanted "dead or alive" (preferably dead), enjoy the cartoon (1942 version).

I Can't Get No Satisfaction!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 26th July 2021

Happy birthday Sir Michael Philip Jagger, 78 today. Frontman and one of the founding members of the Rolling Stones, Jagger's career has spanned six decades. Described as "one of the most well known and influential frontmen in the history of rock & roll". His recognizable  voice and lively performances, along with Keith Richards guitar technique, has been the trademark of the Rolling Stones throughout their long career.  In 2003, he was knighted for his services to popular music.

It's the weekend!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 24th July 2021

Away for a few days so see you back here soon!

Back to Black!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 23rd July 2021

Today we remember Amy Jade Winehouse who died ten years ago today. Amy's life was sadly controlled by her by drug and alcohol addiction, she died of alcohol poisoning on 23rd July 2011, at the age of only 27. After her death, Back to Black, originally released in 2006 became the UK's best-selling album of the 21st century and ranked Winehouse 26th on their list of the 100 Greatest Women in Music. She achieved many accolades in her short lifetime including the first British woman to win five Grammys. Her legacy lives on with her back catalogue of music and a bronze statue in Camden Town, London unveiled in September 2014 (see below).

Flight of fantasy!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 22nd July 2021

On this day in 1933, an American aviator Wiley Post completed the first solo flight around the world - he covered 15,596 miles in 7 days, 18 hours, 49 minutes.
Also known for his work in high-altitude flying, Post helped develop one of the first pressure suits and discovered the jet stream. On August 15, 1935, Post and American humorist Will Rogers were killed when Post's aircraft crashed on takeoff from a lagoon near Point Barrow in the Territory of Alaska.

My opening gambit!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 20th July 2021

Today is International Chess Day, a game played by millions of people around the world, it is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga sometime before the 7th century.
International Chess Day is celebrated every year on July 20th, it is the day the International Chess Federation (FIDE) was founded, in 1924. Celebration of this day was proposed by UNESCO in 1966, and it has been celebrated ever since, checkmate!

England lockdown rules to end today!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 19th July 2021

As we all wake up this morning, light at the end of a very long tunnel! Today almost all legal restrictions on social contact will be removed, but the prime minister said it was vital to proceed with "caution", warning "this pandemic is not over". There will no longer be any limits on how many people can meet and the one metre-plus distancing rule will be removed. But we still need to be careful and protect others, so  take care out there.

Back soon!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 17th July 2021

On my way to the moon, well ok maybe not. It's the weekend and what a lovely weekend it is, sunshine, sunshine, sunshine!
So see you back here on Monday, have fun and don't get sun burnt.

To infinity and beyond!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 16th July 2021

On this day in 1969 the spaceflight Apollo 11 blasted off from NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Four days later two of its astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, became the first people to set foot on the Moon (as far as we know)!
The Eagle has landed  - “That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Racism and still it goes on!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 15th July 2021

On this day in 1966 a West Indian gentleman who was refused a job at Euston Station was later employed there after managers overturned a ban on black workers! Seems hard to believe now that you could be refused a job on the colour of your skin irrespective of your skill or qualifications. But sadly racism is still happening today as it was back then, we have seen it's ugly head recently against the England team. 
So please let's treat people from all backgrounds equally and not judge others on their race, religion, colour, sexual orientation or any other difference unless of course it's a positive reason.

Billy the Kid!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 14th July 2021

On this day in 1881 Billy the Kid (William Antrim), one of the most famous outlaws in American history was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett aged only 21. Billy the Kid was quick with his gun and his temper, and was an expert at escaping from small-town jails. Legend says Billy the Kid killed 21 men in his 21 years, but that is probably an exaggeration - the exact number of his victims is unknown, but probably numbers between four and a dozen.

Live aid, 36 years ago - wow!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 13th July 2021

On this day in 1985 the benefit concert Live Aid was broadcast simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, the event was watched by an estimated 1.5 billion television viewers and raised millions of dollars for famine relief in Ethiopia. The concert got under way with Status Quo and "Rockin' All Over The World”!

Football's not coming home!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 12th July 2021

Well, it's all over now and after 120 minutes it went to a penalty shoot out which sadly was in Italy's favour!
England did their best but at the end of the day it wasn't good enough and our hopes were cruelly dashed.
Commiserations to the England players.

Football's coming home!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 11th July 2021

I hope you will be watching the match this evening at 8.00pm, England Vs Italy - 55 years of hurt - never stopped me dreaming!
Enjoy the Three Lions (Football's Coming Home) official video below to get you in the mood. Good luck England, you got this!

U.S.A. Telstar Launched!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 10th July 2021

On this day in 1962, Telstar, the world's first communications privately sponsored satellite was launched into orbit. The Telstar communications satellite relayed the first live transatlantic television signal and the worlds first telephone call transmitted through space on July 23rd!

Happy birthday Tom Hanks!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 9th July 2021

Born on this day in 1956, Thomas J. Hanks an American actor whose cheerful manner made him a natural for starring roles in numerous films. In the 1990's he expanded his comedic portfolio and began portraying lead characters in dramas. From Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Saving Private Ryan and  more recently "Sully" he never fails to impress and entertain. Happy birthday Tom!

Happiest equines love to snort, says study!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 8th July 2021

The snorting of air through a horses nose has normally been connected with clearing phlegm, flies or other pollen.
But now French researchers say that these nose blows are a key indicator of what's going on in an equine's life.
They found horses living in relaxed environments produced far more snorts than those in stressful conditions.
Read more of the BBC article HERE

Fred Dibnah MBE RIP!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 7th July 2021

On this day in 2004 Fred Dibnah, the Bolton born steeplejack, steam enthusiast and later TV presenter, arrived at Buckingham Palace to receive his MBE from her Majesty the Queen. He planned to drive his much loved traction engine into the palace grounds, but was refused, as the Royal Parks Agency feared that its weight would damage the surface of The Mall. A blue plaque commemorates his life at his former home, now a heritage museum, on 121 Radcliffe Road, Bolton.

The Beatles!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 6th July 2021

On this day in 1957, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were introduced to each other when Lennon's band, the Quarrymen, performed at St. Peter's Church Hall in Woolton, Merseyside.
They would go on to form the Beatles with George Harrison and Pete Best, later replaced by Ringo Starr (1962). With estimated sales of 600 million units worldwide, they hold the record for the most number one albums in the UK Albums Chart.
The rest as they say, is history!

It's the weekend!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 3rd July 2021

I will be away from my desk for the weekend and busy with family, so enjoy your weekend and stay safe.
See you all again on Monday!

World UFO Day!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 2nd July 2021

Keep your eyes on the sky tonight, because the truth is out there.
World UFO Day takes place on the 2nd July every year, it was founded by UFO spotter Haktan Akdogan. The first World UFO Day took place in 2001 and spread awareness among people to look and watch the heavens for unidentified flying objects.
The best way to celebrate World UFO Day is watching UFO movies and discussing with your friends about the possibility of UFOs or alien life. So good luck with that!!

It's July!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 1st July 2021

Well today is the first day of July and a new month with easing of restrictions on the 19th expected and some return to normality!
So another step in the right direction and I'm sure we all can't wait!

999!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 30th June 2021

On this day in 1937 the world's first emergency telephone number was launched in London. The number (999) was chosen because it was easy to find and easy to explain for a rotary dial phone, the position of the hole for 9 (one up from 0) meant you didn’t have to be able to see in order to make the call.
The number was introduced in central London, after an incident where a resident of Wimpole Street had tried to call the fire brigade about a nearby fire in which lives were lost, but the caller had been held in a queue by the operator.

National Camera Day!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 29th June 2021

Everything comes into focus today, as we celebrate National Camera Day, the day commemorates photographs, the camera, as well as their invention. A camera has enabled us to record and replicate memories, events, and people and places. Before the the camera was invented, the only way to document what we saw was a painting. Capturing an image of a person or place in a drawing took time and skill. Very few people can perfectly draw the likeness of someone, let alone capture the essence of an event.

Matt Hancock, they say a day is a long time in politics!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

2 8th June 2021

Mr Hancock quit on Saturday after the couple were caught on camera kissing in his Whitehall office, breaking social distancing guidelines.

It is understood that the father of three has left his wife of 15 years, Martha, while his relationship with Ms Coladangelo is described as "serious".

Boris Johnson replaced Mr Hancock as health secretary with former Chancellor Sajid Javid, but Mr Hancock's actions and those of the government are continuing to come under scrutiny.
So who next?

Limited service!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 26th June 2021

Busy over the weekend but here are some jokes to keep you going -
Why do we tell actors to “break a leg?”
Because every play has a cast.

Helvetica and Times New Roman walk into a bar.
“Get out of here!” shouts the bartender. “We don’t serve your type.”

Did you hear about the new restaurant that's just opened called Karma?
There’s no menu: You get what you deserve.

How does Moses make tea?
He brews!

What do you call a pony with a cough?
A little horse.

Michael Jackson RIP!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 25th June 2021

On this day in 2009, American singer, songwriter and dancer Michael Jackson, who was renowned worldwide as the “King of Pop,” died at age 50 from a lethal combination of sedatives and propofol, an anesthetic.
He leaves a great legacy of music as one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with estimated sales of over 350 million records worldwide!

The Gordon Boswell Romany Museum!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 24th June 2021

The Gordon Boswell Romany Museum will re-open this Friday (25th June) and every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until the end of September, please support this fantastic and historical record of Romany past. More details on their website HERE

Battle of Bannockburn!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 23rd June 2021

On this day in 1314 the Battle of Bannockburn began, a decisive engagement in Scottish history whereby the Scots defeated the English, regained their independence, and established Robert the Bruce as Robert I.

Windrush Day!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 22nd June 2021

Today the UK marks Windrush Day, on this date the Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks in 1948, carrying with it more than 1,000 passengers from the West Indies who would transform British culture for the better!
The call for an official Windrush Day began with Patrick Vernon, who wrote in the Guardian in 2010 that the date represents ‘a powerful and iconic symbol of the rise of modern-day multicultural Britain’. Vernon began a petition to have June 22nd recognised as a national holiday in 2013 but it wasn’t until 2019 that June 22nd was officially observed as "Windrush Day", giving us a chance to honour and commemorate the Windrush Generation and their legacy.

The Summer Solstice!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 21st June 2021

Today is the longest day of the year,the summer solstice is the day when the sun travels its longest path through the sky and reaches its highest point. Due to the tilt of the Earth on its axis, the North Pole is shifted almost directly toward the sun, hence the long hours of daylight. Sadly this also means it's all down hill to winter from today!

Father's Day!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 20th June 2021

Today is Father's Day so let's wish all our dad's a lovely day!

Blog archived!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 19th June 2021

As my blog was getting rather long I have decided to archive older posts for faster viewing and loading. To see my older posts head down to the bottom of this page and simply click - "view older posts" where you can go back to 24.10.20 (my first blog).

Drink-drive limit introduced!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 18th June 2021

On this day in 1965 the government  announced it will introduce a blood alcohol limit for drivers. Anyone found  driving whilst over the set limit will be penalised in the hope it will deter drivers from drink driving and make roads safer. And In 1967 the breathalyser was introduced as a way of testing a person's blood alcohol level.
And the rest as they say is history!

Five feet!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 17th June 2021

On this day in 2008  a fifth severed foot is washed up on a Vancouver beach. The first two feet were found on the beach in August of 2007, but then a third and fourth arrived in February and then May of 2008. Some of the feet were found with running shoes on, and by 2010, at least ten feet had been found between Vancouver in Canada and Washington State in the U S. No obvious explanation has ever been found for the grisly discovery, although there are many different theories - including that the feet belonged to mafia victims, the Asian tsunami in 2004 victims, or passengers missing from a 2005 plane crash.
Or  perhaps you have your own theory!

First woman in space!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 16th June 2021

On this day in 1963, former textile worker, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina V. Tereshkova became the first woman into space, she was launched into orbit onboard the spacecraft Vostok 6 and completed 48 orbits in 71 hours! Moscow Television broadcast the first pictures of Valentina just ninety minutes later and thousands of jubilant women celebrated in Red Square, Moscow.

Beer Day!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 15th June 2021

Today is Beer Day and the best way to celebrate is just raising a glass, tankard, bottle or can and toasting those that make this moreish brew possible. Whether it is at a bar, club, pub, or even your favourite restaurant, it's easy enough to find a place to enjoy a pint or two with family or friends! So let's raise a glass and celebrate Beer Day, enjoy!

COVID easing!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 14th June 2021

Today the government will announce if further easing of COVID restrictions can take place on the 21st June. Due to the Delta (Indian) variant the consensus is that this will be delayed for another four weeks to allow for further vaccine roll out.  But we should know today!

It's the weekend!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 11th June 2021

Yes, it's the weekend and the weather is looking good with temperatures of 19- 26 degrees on Sunday (In Leeds)!
So enjoy whatever your doing, family, friends, gardening or an away day. But remember, even if you have had both jabs, stay safe and keep others safe.

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month.

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 10th June 2021

June is Gypsy Roma and Traveller History Month -
Gypsy Roma and Traveller History Month (GRTHM) was established in Britain in 2008 as a way of raising awareness of these communities and their contributions to society, and to offset negative stereotyping and prejudices.
The aims of the GRTHM are to: -
Promote knowledge of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History, Cultural and Heritage.
Disseminate information on positive Gypsy, Roma and Traveller contributions to British Society.
Heighten the confidence and awareness of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people to their cultural heritage.
Celebrate Gypsy, Roma and Traveller culture and heritage.
Find out and join in - HERE

Back to the future!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 9th June 2021

Happy birthday Michael J. Fox, 59 years old today. 
Best known for his role as Marty McFly in the Back to the Future film series, he was also awarded multiple Emmys for his role on Family Ties. He was sadly diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at only 29 years old, but kept it a secret from the public until 1998. In 2000, he created the Michael J. Fox Foundation, dedicated to Parkinson's research.
Photo below with Doc. Brown (Christopher Lloyd) - on the left.

Happy birthday Gaynor Hopkins (Bonnie Tyler)!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 8th June 2021

Born on this day in 1951 Bonnie Tyler is a Welsh singer, known for her famous husky voice. Tyler became known with the release of her 1977 album The World Starts Tonight and the singles "Lost in France" and "More Than a Lover". my personal favorites are "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "Holding Out For A Hero"!

The Great Plague of London!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 7th June 2021

In 1665 and 1666, the last terrible outbreak of bubonic plague to sweep  England swept through London the capital. The outbreak was smaller in scale than the Black Death of the 14th century, but still killed 100,000 people - nearly a quarter of the city's population in eighteen months. By September, nearly 7,000 people a week were dying, many were thrown into mass graves. The true death rate was probably much higher, since the deaths of the poor were not recorded.
Disaster struck London again in September 1666, when much of it was destroyed in the Great Fire of London.

Bring out your dead!

AWOL AGAIN!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 3rd June 2021

Out and about for a few days (weather permitting) so blog may be QUIET.  Cheers!

Happy anniversary Queen Elizabeth!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 2nd June 2021

On this day in 1953, the 27 year old Elizabeth II, the oldest daughter of King George VI, was crowned queen of the UK at Westminster Abbey, having taken the throne after her father's death in February 1952. Our 95 year old queen has served her nation for 68 years and still continues to do so.
Long Live The Queen!

1st June - the driving test!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 1st June 2021

On this day in 1935 the compulsory Driving Test was introduced for all drivers in England who began driving on or after April 1st 1934. The voluntary test was introduced by the Road Traffic Act in 1934, the first person in Britain to take the test and pass their driving test was Mr R.E.L.BEERE, his test took place on the 16th March 1935. The son of Mr BEERE still has the certificate Number 00001 signed on behalf of the (then) Minister of Transport. All drivers buying a provisional driving license must now display ‘L’ plates on their car and take a driving test to get their full license. Below is an early driving licence!

Thanks for looking

Happy birthday Gaynor Hopkins (Bonnie Tyler)!

Author

Mike Barrett

Published

 8th June 2021

Born on this day in 1951 Bonnie Tyler is a Welsh singer, known for her famous husky voice. Tyler became known with the release of her 1977 album The World Starts Tonight and the singles "Lost in France" and "More Than a Lover". my personal favorites are "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "Holding Out For A Hero"!