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>
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On this day in 1964 the Italian government announced that the Leaning Tower of Pisa was in serious danger of collapse. Should an earthquake or storm be severe then this was a likely scenario. They asked for suggestions on how to save one of Italy's best tourist attractions, the work to save the Tower did not start until 1999 and was completed in December 2001.
At least they didn't correct the lean!!
26th February 2021
Who doesn't like a bacon sandwich, I know I do!
So today is National Bacon Day and the word “bacon” goes back to languages from before the 12th century. Especially from the French word “bako,” the German word “bakkon” and the Old Teutonic word “backe,” all of these refer to the rear of the pig. During the 16th Century, the word “bacoun” was used to refer to pork of any variety. It was in the 17th Century that the word “bacon” was only used to refer to the salted and smoked pork belly that we know today. So enjoy your bacon today and any other day you like!
25th February 2021
On this day in 1902 — John Holland an Irish engineer was granted a patent for his submarine. Holland developed the first submarine to be formally used by the U.S. Navy and the first Royal Navy submarine.
The Royal Navy "Holland 1" is on display at the Submarine Museum in Gosport England.
24th February 2021
With the recent announcement by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson it is looking as though this years fair will be cancelled if only by a few days!
Step 4, no earlier than 21 June: - It is hoped all legal limits on social contact can be removed.
"We hope to reopen nightclubs, and lift restrictions on large events and performances".
In the meantime, the vaccination programme continues, with the announcement of a new target to offer a first dose of the vaccine to every adult by the end of July.
The fair was cancelled during the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak and again last year, the only times in it's 250 year history!
Keep up to date with the progress HERE
23rd February 2021
On this day in 1878 the first “Woolworth’s Great Five Cent Store” was opened in New York. The company become one of the largest retail success stories of the 20th century, the original Big Apple business failed. It was only when a new store was opened in Pennsylvania the following year that the wonder of Woolworth began to take off.
The man behind it all was Frank Winfield Woolworth and his UK venture proved to be even more successful and profitable than the US, by the mid 1920's a new Woolworth's store was opening in Britain every 17 days.
His UK operation outlived the US stores but its failure in 2008 was far more dramatic, it went from normal trading in 800 stores to complete shutdown in just 41 days.
What a shame, now I have to buy my "Pick & Mix" at Wilko's!
22nd February 2021
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that he would announce more details today about Britain’s route map out of the COVID lockdown and plans to ease restrictions.
"On February the 22nd, we will be setting out in as much detail as we can about where we see the dates, what the timetable could be, the earliest dates by which we want to do what - you remember what we did last year - setting out a route map, we’ll do that again,” he said. So fingers crossed for some safe compromises.
21st February 2021
On this day in 2001 - England announced the start of Foot and Mouth disease.
The outbreak of foot and mouth disease in British pigs prompted a government ban on exports of meat, milk and livestock and threatened extensive damage to the country's farming industry.
Over 6 million cows and sheep were killed in an attempt to halt the disease with Cumbria being one of the worst affected areas with 893 cases. It was also the first year in it's history that Appleby Horse Fair was cancelled the second of course in 2020 due the COVID pandemic. We wait to see if Appleby Horse Fair 2021 happens or not!
20th February 2021
On this day in 1986, it was announced that a tunnel under the channel would be built jointly by France and Britain. This new underground link between Britain and France was commonly known as the "Chunnel" which combines the words tunnel and channel.
Interestingly, the project had originally been drawn up back in the early 1800's by Napoleon, he commissioned the original blueprints for his project and finally in 1994 the project was completed. The rest as they say - is history!
19th February 2021
On this day in 1924 Lee Marvin was born. Known for his film roles, distinctive voice and premature white hair, Marvin initially appeared in supporting roles, mostly villains, soldiers, and other hard case characters.
My favourite film Paint Your Wagon is a 1969 Western - musical film starring Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood, and Jean Seberg. The film is set in a mining camp in the Gold Rush era California. It was directed by Joshua Logan. Watch the film clip below with Marvin singing the hit song "Wand'rin' Star"!
Sadly he died on 29th August 1987 (aged 63) from a heart attack.
18th February 2021
Not that we need an excuse to crack open a bottle of our favorite red, white or even rose at the end of a long and stressful day! But then nothing should stand in the way of celebrating Drink Wine Day. After all, a glass or maybe a bottle of wine is truly the greatest antidote after a demanding day!.
From connoisseurs of wine from around the world to those that enjoy the odd glass on a night out or on an evening in with friends, Drink Wine Day is definitely something to celebrate.
17th February 2021
On this day in 1972 the British Parliament voted to join the European Communities, as it was then known, later to be called the EU.
And ironically 48 years later we left the European Union to go it on our own, the rest as they say is history (in the making)!
16th February 2021
As Valentine's Week continues here are some humorous jokes.
Did Adam and Eve ever have a date?
No, they had an apple!
The bed bugs who fell in love -
They're getting married in the spring.
Knock, knock. Who's there?
Olive. Olive who? Olive you!
How can you tell when a squirrel is in love? It goes nuts.
How did the telephone propose to his girlfriend?
He gave her a ring!
15th February 2021
Today (1971) marks 50 years since Decimalisation, when we changed from 240 to 100 pennies in a pound and lost the farthing (quarter of a penny), halfpenny, threepenny bit, sixpence, shilling (twelve pence), florin (two shillings), half crown (two shillings and sixpence) and the "ten bob note" (ten shillings) The penny or it's new equivalent stayed with us and is still around today. So RIP old coins!
14th February 2021
Be my Valentine, so come on lads and lassies get proposing!
Valentine's Day, also called St. Valentine's Day, when lovers express their affection with cards and gifts. Given their similarities, it is likely that the celebration originated in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February.
But it's not all hearts and flowers -
On 14th February, around the year 270 A.D - Valentine, a holy priest in Rome under Emperor Claudius II, was executed. Valentine was arrested and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, where he was condemned to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. Ouch!
13th February 2021
Today marks the anniversary of the Apology to Australia’s Indigenous peoples in the House of Representatives by former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, apologising for past laws, policies and practices that have impacted on Australia’s First Nations People, particularly members of the Stolen Generations. The Apology was broadcast across Australia and was the start of equal rights for the Aboriginal race.
12th February 2021
Interesting old film from British Pathé dating back to 1952.
11th February 2021
On this day in 1990 Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years of imprisonment in South Africa. Referred to as the father of the nation by South Africans, Nelson Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist and politician who served 27 years in prison. After receiving his freedom in 1990 he became the President of the African National Congress from 1991-97 before he was elected the first black President of his country after the election in 1994.
For his services to activism, he was awarded over 250 honours, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Soviet Order of Lenin.
He died on the 5th December 2013 at the good old age of 95 from a lung infection. RIP
10th February 2021
Well who'd have thought it! National Umbrella Day sounds a bit shady, but today we honor the humble but most useful invention, the umbrella!
Not only does an umbrella keep us dry in the rain, but it also shades us from the heat of the sun. They can be a fashion accessory, decorate cocktails, part of a dance routine or just a walking stick! Remember Steed in The Avengers, he was never without his trusted umbrella. Or this dance routine below -
9th February 2021
Better known as Bill Haley (and the Comets), he is considered to have made popular the genre of "rock 'n' roll".
Haley (an American) became famous in the early 1950's with his group the Comets, they recorded classic rock songs such as "Rock Around the Clock", "See You Later, Alligator" and "Shake, Rattle and Roll". Haley died 9th February 1981 and sold more than 25 million albums in his short life (55 years), he became known as the "Father of Rock 'n' Roll". Enjoy "Rock Around The Clock" below.
8th February 2021
Continuing our theme on Valentine's week, today is Propose Day.
It's the time of year when couples all around the world celebrate their love in a more official manner than usual.
"You're not someone I want to be with, you are someone I can't be without. Stay in my life forever."
"Don't marry someone you can live with - marry the person you can't live without!"
And my favourite -
"You don’t love someone because they’re perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they’re not."
7th February 2021
Rose Day is the start of Valentine's Week, on this day couples show their love and appreciation with a spray of roses, especially red roses. And of course roses bring, freshness, fragrance and the everlasting beauty of love. So come on lads (and lasses) buy your other half a beautiful bouquet of red roses and show your undying love for the "one you love"!
As you have a week to plan this, forget the petrol station on your way home and support your your local florist and order a really special and beautiful bouquet and maybe some chocolates or another special gift, or perhaps this poem by Robbie Burns. -
O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June.
O my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I.
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:
6th February 2021
Bob Marley was born on this day in 1945, a Jamaican singer, songwriter, and musician. One of the pioneers of reggae, he fused elements of reggae, ska, and rock steady. Marley's contributions to music increased the awareness of Jamaican music worldwide and made him a global figure in popular culture. Marley became known as a Rastafari icon, he is also considered a global symbol of Jamaican music and culture and identity.
In 1977, Marley was diagnosed with acral lentiginous melanoma, and died from his illness in 1981, his fans worldwide expressed their grief and he received a state funeral in Jamaica.
5th February 2021
Sixteen years ago In 2005 I had the privilege to film a documentary about Ainlee Ryalla Duffy and her family in Lincolnshire as they went about their everyday Romany Gypsy life still living in wagons.
Ainlee was "born on the straw" over 56 years ago, In this film we filmed Ainlee and her family still living the traditional life of a traveller, and in harmony with mother nature.
Filmed over several weeks it shows a life very different to most !
An interesting and informative film breaking down barriers and stereotypes about Romany Gypsy culture. A short sample video clip below. More information HERE
4th February 2021
Born Vincent Damon Furnier on 4th February 1948, Alice is an American singer, songwriter, and actor whose career spans more than 50 years. With a distinct voice and controversial stage shows, including pyrotechnics, guillotines, fake blood, reptiles, and baby dolls. "The Godfather of Shock Rock", Alice has built his shows on horror films and vaudeville, a macabre and theatrical brand of rock designed to shock his audiences!
Also today is seventeen years since Facebook was founded.
Enjoy the topical song by Alice Cooper "School's Out"
3rd February 2021
Second World War veteran Captain Sir Tom Moore, who inspired the nation in lock down by raising in excess of £33 million pounds for the National Health Service , has died aged 100, his family says.
His daughters Hannah and Lucy said: "It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear father, Captain Sir Tom Moore". "The last year of our father's life was nothing short of remarkable. He was rejuvenated and experienced things he'd only ever dreamed of." A credit and inspiration to us all and a sad loss, my condolences and love to his family. RIP Sir Tom.
2nd February 2021
Captain Sir Tom Moore has been admitted to hospital with coronavirus, his daughter said.
The 100 year old veteran, who has raised nearly £33 million for the NHS, was taken to Bedford Hospital after needing help with his breathing.
His daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore said he had been treated for pneumonia over the past few weeks and last week tested positive for Covid-19, although her father was not in intensive care.
Good luck and best wishes, make a speedy recovery Sir Tom.
1st February 2021
National Freedom Day which is always observed on February 1st, celebrates freedom from slavery. It also recognizes that America is a symbol of liberty. The day honors the signing by Abraham Lincoln of a joint House and Senate resolution that later became the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. President Lincoln signed the Amendment outlawing slavery on 1st February 1865. It was not ratified by the states, however, until later on 18th December 1865!
31st January 2021
Something to make you smile!
Do you remember this sketch from the Dave Allen Show in the 70's on the BBC. Classic comedy at it's best, enjoy.
30th January 2021
Born on 30th January 1951, Phil Collins is an English drummer, singer, songwriter, and record producer, he is best known as the drummer and singer of the rock band Genesis and for his solo career. Between 1982 and 1990, Collins scored three UK and seven US number-one singles in his solo career. His hit's include In the Air Tonight", "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)", "One More Night", "Sussudio", "Take Me Home", "Two Hearts", "A Groovy Kind of Love" (featured in the film Buster), "I Wish It Would Rain Down", and "Another Day in Paradise"!
29th January 2021
Rory Charles Graham born on this day in 1985, better known as Rag'n'Bone Man, a British singer and songwriter, known for his deep baritone voice.
His first hit single, Human, was released in 2016, and his debut album of the same name was released in 2017.
Interestingly his name was inspired by watching repeats of the British sitcom Steptoe and Son!
Enjoy the video of his hit song "Human" below -
28th January 2021
On this day in 1986, the United States space shuttle "Challenger" exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Florida, killing all seven astronauts, including a schoolteacher chosen as the first American civilian to travel in space.
The Space Shuttle fleet were grounded for nearly three years during this time various safety measures, rocket booster redesign, and a new policy on management decision making for future launches were implemented.
RIP - Francis R. Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Ronald McNair,
Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Gregory Jarvis &
27th January 2021
Today is the day for everyone to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution, and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.
Between 1941 and 1945, six million Jewish men, women and children were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. Their attempt to murder all the Jews in Europe, shook the foundations of civilisation.
The Nazis targeted anyone they believed threatened their ideal of a ‘pure Aryan race’, including Roma and Sinti people, disabled people, gay people, political opponents and others.
Find out more on the HMD UK website HERE
27th January 2021
On this day in 1926 John Logie Baird, a Scottish scientist, gave the first public demonstration of a television system in London.
The BBC commenced the first public broadcasts in London in 1936 and regular television broadcasts began in the United States in 1939. In 1944, Baird gave the world's first demonstration of an electronic color television display.
And the rest as they say is history!
26th January 2021
Did you have a great Burns night?
Robert Burns the National poet of Scotland was born on 25th January 1759 in Ayrshire, Scotland and died 21st July 1796 in Dumfriesshire, famous for lyrics and songs in Scots and in English. He was probably most famous for "Auld Lang Syne" and his rebellion against orthodox religion and morality.
The "Selkirk Grace" is a personal favourite and well known thanksgiving said before a meal, it is usually given after guests have sat down to enjoy a Burns Night supper and before the first course is served.
"Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit".
25th January 2021
On this day in 1961 Walt Disney's animated film 101 Dalmatians, based on an adaptation of Dodie Smith's 1956 novel and directed by Clyde Geronimi and Hamilton Luske is released in the United States.
The film tells the story of a litter of Dalmatian puppies who are dognapped by the evil and cruel Cruella de Vil who wants to use their fur to make into expensive fur coats.
But dogy parents, Pongo and Perdita, are determined to save their children from Cruella, but also rescuing 84 extra puppies also destined for coats, bringing the total of Dalmatians to 101.
The film was also re-made and re-leased in 1966 starring Glenn Close as Cruella de Vil.
24th January 2021
On this day in 1965 Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill died at the age of 81. British statesman, army officer, and writer, he was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, during the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955. But did you know he is credited with the "Onesie", yes Churchill had a variety of "siren suits", which he called his romper suits, including sombre, military-style suits, as well as more extravagant pin-striped and velvet varieties. The primary purpose was simply so Churchill could slip it over his clothes in the event of an air raid.
The photo below shows him in one of his onesie's.
23rd January 2021
In these difficult times and the news full of doom and gloom something to make you smile!
If these dogs don't make you smile, nothing will - enjoy.
22nd January 2021
On this day in 1879 The British garrison of 150 troupes held off 3,000 to 4,000 Zulu warriors. Eleven Victoria Crosses and a number of other decorations were awarded to the defenders!
The Battle of Rorke’s Drift took place in South Africa and is remembered as one of the world’s most remarkable military engagements!
The truth is not quite so palatable, after the British invaded and declared war on the Kingdom of Zululand the Zulu's rightly defended their territory. On 22nd January at 4.20pm, 4,000 Zulu warriors began to attack the station, their intermittent attacks were to last for almost twelve hours. At the end of the attack and with muskets against spears around 500 Zulu warriors lay dead or wounded, whilst the British sustained 17 dead and 10 wounded. The battle was glorified in the movie "Rorke's Drift" with Michael Caine, released in 1964 (picture below).
In my opinion, not our finest hour, or twelve!
21st January 2021
Hugging, is one of the easiest ways to show affection, it is something we do with our loved ones all the time. However, we don't do it enough these days, "Hugging Day" aims to encourage people to hug more, whether they know the person or not (COVID rules apply).
So if you can, hug a loved one and share the love!
20th January 2021
So on this day in 1971, Marvin Gaye released the Single "What's Going On" about police brutality, - some things never change!
The lyric is as poignant today and especially with recent deaths and the Black Lives Matter movement.
"Mother, mother - There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother - There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way - To bring some loving here today, yeah!
Ironically he was shot dead by his father, Marvin Gay Snr in 1984, the day before his 45th birthday at their house in Los Angeles after an argument!
Listen and watch Marvin singing "What's Going On" HERE
19th January 2021
Born on this day in 1946, today is Dolly Parton's birthday (yes 75) an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actress, author, businesswoman, and humanitarian, but best of all known as a singer of country music. Born Dolly Rebecca Parton in Pittman Center, Sevier County, Tennessee she has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
My personal favourite was released In 1974, - "I Will Always Love You" and went to number one in the country chart. Her success is legendary as both a singer and actress as well as many other accolades. So happy birthday Dolly here's to many more!
18th January 2021
On this day in 1973 John Cleese had his final episode on "Monty Python's Flying Circus" aired on BBC TV.
The first episode was filmed at the BBC on 7th September and premiered on 5th October 1969, with 45 episodes over four series from 1969 to 1974.
One of my most memorable episodes was the Four Yorkshiremen sketch which you can watch below (no stereotype here)!
17th January 2021
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama was born today (January 17th) in 1964. An American attorney and author she was the First Lady of the United States and perhaps better known as the wife of the 44th President, Barack Obama.
In her role as first lady, Michelle served as a role model for women and worked as an advocate for poverty awareness, education, nutrition, physical activity, and healthy eating. She supported American designers and is considered a fashion icon.
A very clever and talented woman!
16th January 2021
Here's a video of horses playing in the snow to entertain and cheer you up, enjoy!
15 January 2021
Yes today is National Hat Day so you can keep your hat on!
We wear hats for many reasons, hats protect us from sun and rain and others are worn for ceremonial or religious reasons. So whatever your hat, deerstalker, trilby, skull cap, fedora, flat cap, cloche, derby, or sunhat -wear it with style!
14th January 2021
On this day in 1979 United States of America President Jimmy Carter suggests Martin Luther King's birthday should be a holiday.
Remarkably, it was several more years and untold discussion before the bill was finally passed. Fifteen years later and only after King’s death the proposal for a holiday in his memory, was signed by President Reagan!
13th January 2021
On this day in 1962 Chubby Checker's song "THE TWIST" is credited with starting the Twist dance craze, the song reached number one in the charts but had previously also been at number one on 19th September 1960.
So come on - lets twist again - like we did last summer!!
12th January 2021
Ladies and gentlemen did you put on weight over Christmas? Try the new “FROZEN” diet and watch the weight melt away.
Roger lost a stone in just 24 hours and you could too. With the FROZEN diet relax and let it go, let it go, let it go! 🤣
11th January 2021
On this day In 1838 the first public demonstration of telegraphy messages were sent using dots and dashes at Speedwell Ironworks in Morristown, New Jersey by Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail.
Long before telephones and radio existed, messages were sent along telegraph wires (between telegraph poles) with a system of dots and dashes for each alphabetic letter and number and of course words.
This was how messages were sent between people and cities with Samuel Morse's "Morse code" and the start of modern day telecommunications.
10th January 2021
No not me but Sir Roderick David Stewart.
Yes today is Rod Stewart's birthday and he is unbelievably 76 years of age! Stewart is one of the top selling music artists of all time, he has sold over 250 million records worldwide and had ten number one albums as well as 31 top ten singles in the UK, six of these reached number one.
His career began in 1962 when he took up busking with a harmonica and he is still going strong today!
So happy birthday to Sir Rod and enjoy the video from 1978
9th January 2021
Perhaps the words of this song sum up yesterday and perhaps today!
"Oh, the weather outside is frightful But the fire is so delightful.
And since we've no place to go Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow".
Well it's been snowing all day here in Leeds and the roads and paths are treacherous, but since I've no place to go.........
Stay safe and warm and here is a joke borrowed from the web!
8th January 2021
Born in 1935, today would have been Elvis Presley's birthday.
His first single, "Heartbreak Hotel" released in 1956, was the first in a list of number ones that reshaped American music and made Presley the undisputed "King of Rock and Roll".
Sadly he died on 16th August 1977 but his legacy and vast music catalogue lives on. Enjoy the video of Elvis singing -
"Always on my Mind"!
7th January 2021
So today Lewis Hamilton will be celebrating his 36th birthday and his second celebration in seven days as he was knighted in the Queen's New Year Honours list.
He also gained a seventh drivers title at the Turkish Grand Prix in November now equalling Michael Schumacher's championship record. So well done, congratulations and happy birthday Sir Lewis Hamilton.
6th January 2021
Some jokes sent to me by a friend to share with you!
Dr, Dr. I keep thinking I'm a supermarket.
Dr - How long has this been going on?
Ever since a was Lidl!
Mt friend reckons he's going to make a fortune flying people about in his invisible aeroplane.....I can't see it taking off.
What do you call people who are afraid of Santa?
5th January 2021
By the time you are reading this, we will already have begun our second lock down!
You cannot leave your home except for certain reasons, like the last lock down in March.
These include essential medical needs, food shopping, exercise and work for those who cannot work from home.
All schools and colleges will close to most pupils from Tuesday with remote learning until February half term.
Early years settings such as nurseries may stay open and End-of-year exams will not take place this summer.
Find out more here - BBC
4th January 2021
All those silly facts you have acquired can finally be put to good use when you amaze your friends with your general knowledge! Trivia day is the day to share all of those silly little facts that almost nobody knows (or wants to), making this day a fun and interesting one to spend with friends or family.
The famous trivia game, Trivial Pursuit, is thought to have inspired people’s fascination with trivia and competing to see who knows more odd facts about geography, history, art, science, sports and entertainment.
So now is the day to impress your friends!
3rd January 2021
On this day in 1977 Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs incorporate Apple Computer, Inc. At it's headquarters in Cupertino, California, Apple designs, develops and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. Best known for it's Iphone, Ipad and Apple Mac computers it is one of the Big Five companies in the U.S. technology industry, along with Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook.
The rest as they say is history!
2nd January 2021
I've decided my New Year’s resolution is to stop procrastinating.
Think I’ll start tomorrow!
Knock knock, who's there? Abby.
Abby who? Abby New Year!
I have decided to quit all my bad habits for the new year!
But then who likes a quitter.
What's a New Year's resolution?
Something that goes in one year and out the other.
Breaking news - the man who stole a calendar on New Year's Eve, has just got 12 months!
And finally - An iPhone and a firework were arrested at a New Year's Eve party.
One was charged, the other was let off.
1st January 2021
On this day in 1 981 - Greece was admitted into the European Union and forty years later to the day, the UK left!
Well let's hope 2021 is a better year for all of us and we get rid of this awful virus once and for all.
Best wishes and a happy, safe and prosperous new year to all my friends and customers.
31st December 2020
What are you doing for New Year's Eve? Well it looks like we will all be playing "Billy no mates" a "bored" game for one household!
A Downing Street spokesperson said - "We've been clear, the PM has said previously it's important that everybody continues to follow the guidelines and do everything they can to reduce the transmission of the virus". Seriously though, we must all stay safe, protect the NHS and protect our loved ones! So, have fun, make cocktails, dance, video call and sing Auld Lang Syne all in the safety of your own home.
See you all next year and thanks for supporting my little blog.
30th December 2020
Well if you're still off work, spare a thought for those hard working Mp's recalled back to the House of Commons today!
The Speaker has granted the request from the Government to recall MP's back to the house at 9.30 am to debate the EU agreement with the UK.
Mind you, the house will then be suspended again to await the approval of the House of Lords acceptance of the EU future relationship bill.
And whilst the House of Commons bar will remain closed throughout, I'm sure your MP will be looking closely at what he or she can claim on expenses, not a bad job if you can get it!
As you can see in the photo below our elected representatives certainly treat Covid and social distancing with respect!
29th December 2020
On this day in 1952 the 1st transistorized hearing aid went on sale in Elmsford, New York. The cost was a $229.50 (about £170.00) and the hearing aid from Sonotone used two vacuum tubes and one transistor made by Germanium Products Corporation.
This was cutting edge technology in 1952!
28th December 2020
Well who knew? If Boxing Day falls on a Saturday, the following Monday is a substitute bank holiday. Which means a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses will be closed. So happy Boxing Day, again, or is it?
27 December 2020
Yes, today is called Fruitcake Day and it celebrates the humble fruit cake that we all seem to love or hate! Traditionally used for wedding cake and of course Christmas cake with or without icing, fruitcakes have an incredibly long life, they can remain on the shelf for many years and still be safe to eat. The record possibly being held by a piece of a fruitcake baked in 1878 belonging to a family in Michigan and still edible!
26th December 2020
Good to see many companies have given their staff the day off for Boxing day, from Aldi to Home Bargains and Wickes the list is extensive! And after this dreadful year they certainly all deserve it. Well that's all from me today, after yesterday and too much food and sitting about I'm off for a brisk walk around Harewood House. Stay safe, warm and well.
25th December 2020
A merry Christmas to all my customers, have a lovely day and I will leave you with Roy Wood and Wizard's Christmas song -
"I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday"
24th December 2020
I hope you're all ready for Christmas and whilst this year will be challenging under Covid regulations I hope you all have a very happy Christmas. Let's hope next year is a better one and the vaccine allows us to return to a more normal life!
Merry Christmas to all my friends, customers and anyone who knows me. Stay safe and well and I hope Santa brings you all you deserve, as long as you've been good this year!
23rd December 2020
On this day in 1888 Vincent van Gogh a Dutch post-impressionist painter cut off his left ear with a razor, after an argument with another painter Paul Gauguin, and then sent it to a prostitute for safe keeping.
In a decade, he painted over 2000 artworks, including approximately 860 oil paintings, most of which he painted in the last two years of his life!
Sadly he was not a commercial success, and his subsequent suicide at the young age of 37 came after many years of mental illness, depression and poverty.
Although he died in poverty, Van Gogh's works are now among the world's most expensive paintings to have ever sold!
22nd December 2020
On this day in 1882 Thomas Edison created the first string of Christmas tree lights, not the LED type we use today but the old tungsten filament variety where you could spend many happy hours tracking down and replacing the faulty bulb!
So this year whilst you are enjoying your Christmas tree lights remember to think of Thomas Edison, America's greatest inventor!
21st December 2020
Jupiter and Saturn will be the closest – only 0.1 degrees apart – on the day of the solstice (today).
The Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions happen every 20 years, the last one was in 2000, but these conjunctions aren’t all created equal. This years great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will be the closest since 1623 and the closest observed since 1226! This years extra close Jupiter-Saturn conjunction won’t be seen again until the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction on the 15th March 2080.
For all of the above reasons, Jupiter and Saturn are now a sight you really shouldn't miss!
Find out more here
20th December 2020
On this day in 1957 at the age of 18 Elvis Aaron Presley received his draft papers to join the US Army for his National Service.
He was legally expected to serve two years of active duty in the military, and then four years in the reserve. But as he was in the process of filming King Creole, the Memphis Draft Board granted Elvis a deferment until 20th March 1958, so he could finish the film production.
Presley returned from active duty to the United States two years later on the 2nd March 1960, he was honorably discharged three days later with the rank of sergeant!
19th December 2020
What's your favourite Christmas song? I have two - "Merry Christmas Everybody" by Slade and "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" by Roy Wood & Wizard. My choice has probably a lot to do with my age as both of these were released when I was in my late teens and I remember dancing with mates at the local pub!
Both released in December 1973 with Slade taking the top spot of number one in the charts and Wizard reaching number four.
Interestingly Slade from Wolverhampton and Roy Wood and Wizard from Birmingham only 17 miles apart and both in the Midlands. Well I leave you in the capable hands of Slade, Merry Christmas everybody!
18th December 2020
Well only seven days till Christmas day, although it doesn't seem like it! Last minute shopping or perhaps you've only just begun, on the high street, online or perhaps just waiting for Santa.
Well however you you celebrate let's make it a good one!
17th December 2020
Orville and Wilbur Wright are widely accepted as being the first to invent, build and fly the first airplane. Many people had attempted to conquer flight in the past, but most flights were generally short and uncontrolled. All this was changed by the Wright brothers when their flight from North Carolina took to the skies on 17th December 1903. In fact they made four flights defying the laws of gravity, the first of these flights, shown below, lasted an amazing 12 seconds, at an approximate speed of seven miles per hour and an altitude of 120 feet. At the time an impressive and historical event which set the standard with their three-axis control system still used today.
Up, up and away!
16th December 2020
On this day in 1966 the Jimi Hendrix Experience released it's first single, "Hey Joe" in the UK.
After television appearances on shows like Ready Steady Go and Top of the Pops, "Hey Joe" quickly climbed the UK charts and on 29th December peaked at number six!
15th December 2020
On this day in 1944, Glenn Miller, band leader and a best selling recording artist of his time went missing, presumed dead when his US Army plane disappeared over the English Channel.
Known for such recordings as "In the Mood", "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "Moonlight Serenade", "Tuxedo Junction" and my favourite "Little Brown Jug". Enjoy the rendition of "Little Brown Jug" with the Glenn Miller band below!
14th December 2020
Energy Conservation Day is observed every year on 14th December, the day focuses on making people aware of global warming, climate change and encourages efforts towards saving energy and ultimately our planets resources!
Well that's all for now as i'm running out of energy, will the last person to leave please turn the lights off!
(Image Credit: JobRefreshers.com)
13th December 2020
Here you are, some Christmas cracker jokes!
What did Adam say the day before Christmas?
"It's Christmas Eve"
What does Father Christmas do when his elves misbehave?
He gives them the sack!
Why did no-one bid for Rudolph and Blitzen on eBay?
Because they were two deer!
And even more jokes here, courtesy of WalesOnline -
Christmas cracker jokes.
12th December 2020
The day to enjoy poinsettias as they are a popular feature in many households on the run-up to Christmas. Today honors Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, an American diplomat who introduced the plant into the USA. He (Poinsett) served as a member of Congress and as secretary of state for war, he died near Statesburg, SC, 12th December 1851.
These red and striking plants became popular as houseplants in the mid-twentieth century, poinsettias are actually native to Mexico and Central America. As they usually bloom in December, they became a natural Christmas plant and have become the traditional flower for December.
11th December 2020
Some humour for today - Ho, Ho, Ho.
Answers on a postcard!
10th December 2020
Opened on the 25th February 1995 by Gordon and Margaret Boswell, the museum has the largest collection of Romany wagons and carts in the UK that is open to the public.
A unique experience for all the family, containing one of the country's finest collections of Romany Vardo's (gypsy caravans & carts) and Wardesko kola (harness) etc.
Sadly the museum is closed at this time due to Covid restrictions but hopefully will be open at Easter next year (please check before travelling).
More information here on their website.
In the meantime take a trip around the museum here with this short video clip.
9th December 2020
Born on this day in 1934 - Judith Olivia Dench.
Well known for her acting roles in - Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love and M in several James Bond films, she has received over six Laurence Olivier Awards for her contributions to the theatre. Described as a "National treasure" and a British acting icon!
8th December 2020
John Lennon died forty years ago today, aged 40!
An English singer, songwriter and peace activist he gained fame as the founder, co-lead vocalist, and rhythm guitarist of the Beatles.
At approximately 10.50 p.m. on 8th December 1980, after a recording session, John & Yoko returned to their Manhattan home in a limousine. As they exited the vehicle and walked through the archway of the building he was shot twice in the back and twice in the shoulder at very close range by Mark David Chapman. Lennon was taken in a police vehicle to the emergency dept of Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 11:00 p.m. His massive legacy lives on in his music and as a peace activist.
7th December 2020
"A date which will live in infamy", was how President Franklin D. Roosevelt described a sudden and unexpected attack on the United States naval station by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on 7th December 1941.
Japan aimed to prevent the US Pacific Fleet from interfering with its military actions in Asia. On the same day as the deadly and unprovoked attack, Japan invaded Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong and attacked the Philippines, Guam and Wake Island.
The air attack killed 2403 Americans and destroyed a number of battleships and other hardware, as well as important facilities at Pearl Harbor. It outraged the American people who responded by immediately declaring war on Japan. Adolf Hitler then responded by declaring war on the United States on 11th December, bringing America firmly into the war.
Some may say that the United States took their revenge On Japan on 6th August 1945, when an American B-29 bomber dropped the atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima killing 80,000 people and again three days later, a second bomb on Nagasaki, killing an estimated 40,000!
6th December 2020
St. Nicholas Day is today, Saint Nicholas lived in the country of Greece, a couple hundred years after the birth of Christ and today we celebrate Saint Nicholas and his life. He was well known for giving to people in need, especially children.
The Christmas practice of hanging up a stocking originated with Saint Nicholas, as the ancient legend states, Saint Nicholas was known to throw bags of gold coins into the open windows of poor homes. After a bag of gold fell into a children's stocking, news traveled fast and children soon began hanging their stockings up by their chimneys, hoping that St. Nicholas would repeat his generosity!
In the 1800's the spirit of St. Nicholas' life became our tradition of celebrating Christmas with Santa Claus and his kind generosity to children. Ho, Ho, Ho, merry Christmas!
5th December 2020
Born on this day in 1901 Walt Disney became a legend and pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced numerous developments in the production of his cartoons.
In the early 1920's he set up the Disney Studio with his brother Roy and of course the character Mickey Mouse in 1928 - followed by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, Pinocchio & Fantasia in 1940, Dumbo 1941, and Bambi in 1942 and the show reel of successful movies and his legacy continues till this day!
4th December 2020
A Tale of Safe & Well from WYFRS -
It's a pleasure to present our Christmas parody 'A Tale of Safe & Well'. ✨
🎤Performed by Firefighter Jon Arey & featuring Abi Austin with the Fixby Songbirds.
🎄Have a fantastic Christmas from everybody here at WYFRS & stay safe throughout the Festive season.
👍 Special thanks to The University Of Huddersfield for use of their studio & song production.
🙌Parody of the original song by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl.
Find all of our Christmas Safety information here - STAY SAFE
3rd December 2020
1984 - "Do They Know It's Christmas" a song written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure and sung by Band Aid is released in the UK.
The record quickly becomes the fastest selling single in UK chart history, selling a million copies in seven days and passing three million sales on the last day of 1984.
The original version of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" has sold 3.8 million copies in the UK to date and raised £8 million within twelve months of it's release!
2nd December 2020
Boris Johnson has confirmed that England’s lockdown measures will end today (Wednesday 2nd December) but the nation will immediately enter a new three tier system of restrictions.
The new restrictions are a tougher version of the measures put in place in October, although there could be a temporary easing of measures around the Christmas period, at least we all hope so!
England’s tier system will be reviewed regularly in line with the government's latest data and they have a legal obligation to keep measures under continuous review. In the meantime let's all stay safe and well and with a vaccine on the horizon it looks like the end is now in sight!
1st December 2020
Only 24 shopping days till Christmas and we are now in the December countdown! Let's hope this awful pandemic is in decline and we can all meet up with family and friends over the festive period. Will it be a White Christmas this year?
Sadly, probably not - "we are more likely to see snow between January and March than in December, with snow or sleet falling an average 3.9 days in December, compared to 5.3 days in January, 5.6 days in February and 4.2 days in March!
And finally -
How does Good King Wenceslas like his pizzas?
Deep pan, crisp and even, Ho, Ho, Ho!
30th November 2020
Born on this day in 1874 - Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was a British statesman, army officer, and writer. He was Prime Minister of the UK from 1940 to 1945 during the Second World War, and from 1951 to 1955. Apart from two years between 1922 and 1924, Churchill was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1900 to 1964 and represented a total of five constituencies. Ideologically an economic liberal and imperialist, he was for most of his career a member of the Conservative Party, as leader from 1940 to 1955. A great orator and leader, one of his many famous speeches -
"I would say to the House... that I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: it is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: it is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival". The rest as they say is history!
29th November 2020
Thomas Edison was one of the greatest inventors and designers in history, inventor of the first light bulb, the motion picture camera and the phonograph - the first to actually reproduce a recorded sound.
He demonstrated his new apparatus on this day in 1877, having announced its invention several days before. As he turned the handle, and to the amazement of the assembled audience the machine said - "Good morning, how do you do, how do you like the phonograph?". Hence the machine spoke for itself, and introduced his phonograph to the world!
28th November 2020
1770 - On this day, a frail young boy (12 years old) stepped voluntarily into the naval world of disease, fear and uncertainty, but with a determination to make his mark in the world. He was the sixth of a typically large family (11 children) born to the wife of a vicar in the rural village of Burnham Norfolk.
His name, - Horatio Nelson and he was to become one of England’s greatest military leaders and a national hero.
One of his most stunning victories came in 1798 when, he commanded 14 ships, Nelson destroyed a French fleet of 17 ships in the Battle of Aboukir Bay at the mouth of the Nile.
His last and most famous victory came on 20th October 1805 when the French and Spanish fleets took to sea off the southern coast of Spain and the Battle of Trafalgar took place. Napoleon Bonaparte aimed to crush the British Navy and invade the country.
Before the battle began Nelson sent his famous signal to his ships, “England expects that every man will do his duty.”
They certainly did, 22 ships of the 33-strong Franco-Spanish fleet were destroyed, while the British lost not a single ship. The Battle of Trafalgar crushed Napoleon's hopes of establishing naval superiority over Great Britain.
But Nelson paid the ultimate price for his victory, he was shot by a French sniper as he stood on the deck of his ship, "Victory". Taken below decks, he died 3 hours later, he was 47!
Although a great man and national hero, Nelson was a small, standing only 5ft 4in tall and of a slight build, surprisingly suffering from seasickness all his life!
27th November 2020
1944 - At around 11.00 a.m. on this day, what is generally considered to be Britain’s largest ever explosion occurred. Referred to as the “forgotten disaster” it is believed to have caused the deaths of at least 70 people. Approximately 4,000 shells detonated at RAF Fauld arms depot near the village of Hanbury, Stoke-on-Trent, the village was totally destroyed. The explosion left a crater with a depth of 100 feet and 250 yards across and is still visible south of Fauld, It is now known as the Hanbury Crater.
A nearby reservoir containing 450,000 cubic metres of water was destroyed in the explosion, along with numerous buildings including a complete farm. The subsequent flooding caused by the destruction of the reservoir added to the damage and death toll by drowning!
On 13th September 1990, 46 years after the explosion, it was announced that a stone was to be erected in memory of those who died, it was paid for by the public because Hanbury Parish Council did not have the necessary funds!
26th November 2020
Happy birthday Tina Turner 81 today. Born Anna Mae Bullock on this day in 1939 "the Queen of Rock" started her long career as one half of the duo the Ike & Tina Turner Revue before launching her solo and highly successful career.
She has sold over 100 million records worldwide and is one of the best selling recording artists of all time!
Interestingly Tina has a Guinness world record for the largest paying audience (180,000) in 1988 as a solo performer which is not surprising with massive hits like - Private Dancer, What's Love Got to Do With It and of course "Simply the Best", which she certainly is!
25th November 2020
Can't believe this was 2013 (seven years ago today)!
Disney release the Original Motion Picture Sound track for the film "Frozen" it went on to receive a Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media in 2015 and Billboard Album of the Year 2014. Staring Elsa, Anna and Olaf the film achieved significant commercial success, grossing 1.280 billion dollars in worldwide box office revenue, including $400 million in the United States and Canada and $247 million in Japan. It went on to surpass Toy Story 3 (another Disney film) as the highest-grossing animated film at the time. By January 2015, Frozen had become the all-time best-selling Blu-ray Disc in the United States!
Altogether now - "Let it go, Let it Go"...............!
24th November 2020
On this day in 1991 the world lost Freddie Mercury (Farrokh Bulsara) from Bronchopneumonia a complication of Aids.
A multi-talented singer, songwriter, record producer and lead vocalist with the rock band Queen, the flamboyant stage image and his four-octave vocal range made him one of the greatest singers in history! As front man with Queen his short and controversial life (45 years) was certainly full of excess, fun, laughter and lot's of talent.
His song "Barcelona" with Montserrat Caballe and Queen's huge hit "Bohemian Rhapsody" have gone down in rock and roll history.
RIP Freddie 1946 - 1991, enjoy the massive talent of Freddie in the video below.
23rd November 2020
Well who knew that the humble cashew nut has it's own day!
The favorite snack and party nut is recognized each year on 23rd November on "National Cashew Day".
The popular cashew nut is seed harvested from the cashew tree, the tree originated in Northeastern Brazil, however it is now widely grown in tropical climates for its cashew apples and nuts.
Interestingly the cashew nut causes fewer allergic reactions than other nuts and especially peanuts!
Whereas peanuts, pecans, walnuts, and other nuts are sold in the shell, due to the toxic nature of the cashew nut’s shell, this is not safe.
Well who doesn't love a cashew, well you'd be nuts not to!!
22nd November 2020
On this day shortly after noon in 1963 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated as he rode in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas, Texas.
Excited people lined the streets and waved to the Kennedy's, as the car turned off Main Street at Dealey Plaza at around 12.30 in the afternoon.
As it was passing the Texas School Book Depository, the sound of gunfire filled the plaza, bullets struck the president's neck and head and he slumped over in the seat.
The car sped off to Parkland Memorial Hospital just a few minutes away, but little could be done to save the President. A Catholic priest was summoned to administer the last rites, and at 1.00 p.m. John F. Kennedy was pronounced dead!
Subsequently police arrested Lee Harvey Oswald and his arrest, trial and guilty verdict have been the topic of conspiracy theories ever since, the rest as they say is history!
21st November 2020
Well to get you in the spirit for Christmas and ready to put your tree up, here are some Christmas cracker jokes!
*How much did Santa pay for his sleigh?
Nothing – it was on the house!
*What did Frosty the snowman say to the angry carrot?
“Get out of my face.”
*How did the Christmas bauble know that she had an addiction to Christmas? - She’d been hooked on Christmas trees all her life.
*What do you call a blind reindeer? - No-eye deer.
*What do you call people who are afraid of Santa?
And finally -
Why did no one bid for Rudolph and Blitzen when Santa put them on eBay? - Because they were two deer!
Good luck with the decorations, mind you - to start so soon, you must be crackers!!
20th November 2020
World Children’s Day was first established in 1954 as Universal Children's Day and is celebrated on 20th November each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children's welfare.
This is an important date as it is the date in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
It’s time for generations to come together to re-imagine the type of world we want to create. On 20th November, kids will re-imagine a better world, what will you do?
Find out more here:
19th November 2020
International Men’s Day seeks to raise awareness about mental health issues in men, as well as other health and societal issues, by encouraging men to open up and communicate with others. The traditional ideas of what masculinity means in society is changing, and needs to change, if vulnerable men are to be protected from these harmful conditions.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of forty-five. This is the case in many countries worldwide, including the UK, USA, Australia, and Russia. In term of statistics it seems that more women are diagnosed with depression more often than men but that men are more likely to commit suicide!
Learn more & donate here:
18th November 2020
If your looking for a Christmas present for this year have a look at our Appleby Horse Fair 2020 DVD, packed with six hours of Appleby Horse Fair film spanning sixteen years (2004-2019).
This triple DVD set will keep you on the edge of your seat with the most exciting and compulsive viewing you will ever see!
Have a look at my website and watch a short video clip for a taster of what's to come!
Ready for immediate despatch and priced including postage.
Appleby Horse Fair 2020 DVD
17th November 2020
Well today we have two contenders for the 17th November!
National Epilepsy Day is observed today to focus on the epilepsy disease, its symptoms and prevention. Epilepsy is a central nervous system (neurological) disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness. Anyone can develop epilepsy it affects both males and females of all races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.
And - "International Students' Day" is an observance of the student community, held every year. Originally commemorating the Czech universities which were stormed by Nazis in 1939 and the students who were subsequently killed and sent to concentration camps, now marked by a number of universities as a nonpolitical celebration of the multiculturalism of their international students.
Find out more about Epilepsy and how you can help here:
16th November 2020
Well this one was a surprise for me!
The Brevig Mission is a tiny ocean-side settlement in Alaska which, in 1918, had 80 adult inhabitants. During the five-day period starting November 16, 1918, 72 of them were killed by the influenza pandemic then raging across the world.
The pandemic, commonly referred to as "Spanish Flu"
was to cause possibly 50 million deaths, some estimates claiming a global death toll as high as 100 million!
Those between the ages of 20 to 40 were the most vulnerable, the virus so savage that a victim might show no symptoms in the morning but be dead by nightfall!
Three more pandemics would occur before Corona virus would send the world spinning in 2020. They were - the 1957 H2N2 pandemic “Asian flu” causing 1.1 million deaths worldwide; the 1968 H3N2 pandemic “Hong Kong flu” with 1 million deaths; and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic "swine flu” with up to 575,000 deaths.
The photo below from 1918 could so easily have been taken today, note the sign "wear a mask or go to jail"!
15th November 2020
Last Sunday, my wife asked me to pass her lipstick to her...
I mistakenly gave her a glue stick, she still hasn't spoken to me since!
So a Sunday School teacher asks her class where Jesus is.
Little Susie says, “In Heaven!”
Little Amy says, “In my heart!”
Little Johnny says, “In my bathroom!”
Perplexed, the Sunday School teacher asks little Johnny why Jesus would be in his bathroom.
“I don’t know, I just hear my dad every morning banging on the bathroom door and yelling ‘Jesus Christ are you still in there?!"
An old married couple are in church one Sunday..
when the woman turns to her husband and says - “I’ve just let out a really long, silent fart. What should I do?”.
The husband turned to her and says - “Replace the battery in your hearing aid.”
And finally - Why couldn't the lifeguard save the drowning hippie? He was too far out, man!!
Well on that note, it's goodbye from me and it's goodbye from me - have a peaceful Sunday.
14th November 2020
If anyone can help out a friend in his hour of need, please donate below. Joe Hodgson owns and runs Joe's Owl Encounters & Exotic Mobile Zoo and is having a tough time generating enough money to feed his birds and animals.
"Founded in 2014, Joe's Exotic Animal Rescue that provides a permanent home to a large variety of unwanted and neglected exotic animals from all kinds of backgrounds."
Have a look at his website (link below) and please help with a donation, no matter how small it will all help Joe and his sanctuary. Please - Donate here
13th November 2020
Why is Friday the 13th unlucky? Well, the truth is that no one's sure where the exact origin of the superstition comes from.
The number 13 and Friday both have a long history of bringing bad luck - and it's the combination of the two that makes the day the most feared. Some hotels will not have a room No 13, while a lot of high rise buildings don't have a 13th floor, jumping straight from 12 to 14, and some airlines also don't to have a row 13 in their planes too. Many think that the reason for the number 13's bad luck comes from the Bible - Judas, who betrayed Jesus, is thought to have been the 13th guest to sit down to the Last Supper! Well what ever the reason - be careful out there.
12th November 2020
It all started on the 12th November 1933 when a photo taken by Hugh Gray of "something in the loch" was brought to worldwide attention. Evidence of its existence is anecdotal, with a number of disputed photographs and sonar readings. Gray had taken his Labrador dog for a short walk that day and it is believed that the photograph depicts his dog fetching a stick from the loch! Many have suggested that the photo is of an otter or a swan. The original negative was lost, however in 1963, Maurice Burton came across two lantern slides from the original negative and when projected onto a screen revealed an "otter rolling at the surface in characteristic fashion". One thing is certain, whether a monster exists or not it has certainly been instrumental in the number of tourists visiting Scotland and indeed Loch Ness! Maybe one day we will discover the truth about this mythological and extremely Shy creature!
11th November 2020
Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11th November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne (France) at 5:45 am and the end of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, this took effect at 11.00 in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918!
The first Armistice Day was held at Buckingham Palace, with King George V hosting a Banquet in Honour of Georges Clemenceau the President of the French Republic during the evening of 10th November 1919. The first official Armistice Day was was held the following morning in the grounds of Buckingham Palace on the 11th November 1919, which included a two-minute silence as a mark of respect for those who died in the war and those who survived.
Download your poppy poster and please make a donation to the Royal British Legion - "Money kindly donated during the Poppy Appeal supports veterans, Forces personnel and their families who have served and sacrificed throughout the generations, providing aid in many forms – from bereavement support to homelessness and everything in between. It funds crucial charity work for those in need". Please donate here:-
10th November 2020
On this day in 1969 saw the Muppeteer and Filmmaker
Jim Henson launch Sesame Street with characters like Kermit the Frog, Cookie Monster and the Grouch. Later the "The Muppet Show" was launched on TV in 1976 and continued till 1981. From this success the big screen was next with big films - "The Muppet Movie" in 1979 with those much loved characters Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Gonzo which have since become legends and part of popular culture. Sadly Jim Henson died unexpectedly of streptococcus pneumonia at the age of 53, RIP.
Enjoy the genius that is Jim Henson and the Muppets musical gang with their rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, possibly better than the original!!
9th November 2020
On this day in 1970 The Goodies made their television debut on the BBC with their zany sense of humour. The Goodies was the creation of Graeme Garden, Bill Oddie and Tim Brooke-Taylor. Having had a big audience for their children's show, "Broaden Your Mind", they were let loose on a series with the simple premise that the trio were an agency offering to do "anything, anywhere, any time" - a premise they abandoned as soon as they could, leaving behind a tale of three very different men, all living in a giant office-cum-laboratory, usually either completely broke or amazingly rich, and always coming up with whacky schemes.
Enjoy the short Goodie film clip from the 1970s!
8th November 2020
Born in 1946 Roy Wood is an English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, he was well known in the 1960s and 1970s as member and co-founder of The Move, Electric Light Orchestra and Wizzard. Altogether he has had more than 20 singles in the UK Singles Chart, including three UK No 1 hits and recently accepted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 as a leading member of Electric Light Orchestra. Is it too early to mention Christmas? Well his most famous and a big favourite of mine is the seasonal Wizzard single "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday". Roy Wood currently lives in the former Howard Arms public house in Cubley, Derbyshire, so happy birthday Roy Wood and let's hope it isn't last orders for this multi-talented artist!
Click to enjoy - See My Baby Jive on Top of the Pops in 1973
7th November 2020
Lets support our armed forces this year and give them a boost! - From the Royal British Legion website - "Like so many things this year, the Poppy Appeal has had to adapt to the threat of Covid-19. We're calling on the public to support us like never before, because every poppy counts".
"As millions of people across the UK are now unable to leave their homes to find a poppy, and with collectors unable to carry out face to face collections, we've unveiled a range of new ways for people to show their support remotely".
Please donate here and support our service men and women-
The Royal British Legion
6th November 2020
Ever wondered what life is like living on a narrowboat ?
The everyday life of Graham, Vera and Meg (their dog) living on Penny Peace a narrowboat on the canals.
In this programme I spent 6 days living with them as we travelled the Peak Forest and Macclesfield waterways, it includes the Bosley Locks and the Harecastle Tunnel.
A look at a very peacefull and different lifestyle away from the rat race of modern life.
Programme 120 minutes DVD at only £9.95 including postage.
Have a look at a short video clip here:- LIFE ON A NARROWBOAT
5th November 2020
We all remember and celebrate the 5th November 1605 when Guy Fawkes or Guido Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives his co-conspirators had placed in a cellar beneath the House of Lords. in Celebration of the fact that King James I had survived an attempt to end his monarchy, people lit bonfires all over London, and a few months later, the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act enforced an annual public day and holiday of thanksgiving for the plot's failure. It seems rather odd that we celebrate an act of terrorism, whereas in fact we commemorate it's failure by burning an effigy on a bonfire of one of the plotters "Guy Fawkes" or the guy!
Guy Fawkes was caught, tortured and eventually confessed to his part in the plot to blow up the House of Lords.
Prior to his execution on 31st of January, Fawkes fell from the scaffold and broke his neck, thus avoiding the horrific pain of being hanged, drawn and quartered!
4th November 2020
On this day in 2008 history was made as Barack Obama became the first person of biracial or African-American descent to be elected President of the United States. And now the race is on again as Donald Trump and Joe Biden fight it out to reach the Whitehouse and gain (or retain) the American Presidency! Whilst you're reading this you may already know who that is likely to be, but vote counting may take days or even weeks before we know the result. In 2000 it was a month before George W Bush was declared the winner after a Supreme Court ruling, so don't hold your breath!
3rd November 2020
On this day in 1957, the Soviet Union sent a dog named Laika into space on board the satellite Sputnik 2. The satellite weighed 1,120 lbs and was packed with scientific instruments and a cabin for Laika, the small stray dog taken from the streets of Moscow.
Unfortunately this was a suicide mission for Laika, the satellite was never designed to return home and the Telemetry data beamed back to earth showed that Laika survived the launch and four days in orbit but then died when the cabin overheated.
Other sources say overheating occurred and the death of the dog only five or six hours into the mission.
The poor deceased dog did return to earth on 14th April 1958, when it re-entered the earths atmosphere after Sputnik 2's batteries died.
Many people reportedly saw a fiery trail as it flew over New York and reached the Amazon region in just ten minutes during its re-entry.
Three years later cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (Soviet Union) was the first person to reach space on an orbital mission — and return safely back to Earth!
RIP Laika the poor stray Russian dog who became a space pioneer, legend and the first person into space (if a dog is a person)!
2nd November 2020
As the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces a four week lockdown across England to try to keep Coronavirus at bay here are some jokes to make you smile:-
Why are atoms like politicians? - Because they make up everything!
Why are pirates called pirates? - Because they arrgh!
What do you call a pony with a cough? - A little horse!
Why do cows wear bells? - Because their horns don't work!
A website said I needed a password eight characters long - I picked Snow White and the seven dwarfs!
What do you call a small mother? - A minimum!
And if you think these are bad watch Tim Vine live at the Apollo below!
Enjoy, stay safe and well and above all try to smile as we will get through this, Mike X
1st November 2020
James Richard Steinman born on this day in 1947, is an American composer, lyricist, record producer, and playwright.
His work includes such albums as Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell, (one of the best selling albums of all time), Bat Out of Hell II, Back into Hell, and albums for Bonnie Tyler. His most successful chart singles, Tyler's - "Total Eclipse of the Heart", Air Supply's "Making Love Out of Nothing at All", Meat Loaf's "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)", the Sisters of Mercy's "This Corrosion" and "More", Barry Manilow's "Read 'Em and Weep" & Celine Dion's cover of "It's All Coming Back to Me Now".
In 2004 Steinman suffered a stroke and lost the ability to speak and had to learn how to speak all over again.
Long may he continue to produce chart topping music which we all love and sing along to, happy birthday Jim Steinman!
31st October 2020
But where did it all begin?
Halloween dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, the Celts lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland and northern France, here they celebrated their new year on 1st November.
Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, was a holiday observed on 31st October the evening before All Saints (or All Hallows) Day. This celebration marks the day before the Christian feast of All Saints and starts the season of "Allhallowtide", which lasts three days and ends with All Souls Day.
Celts believed that on the night before the new year (tonight), the area between the worlds of the living and the dead became less defined and a way for ghouls, spirits and ghosts of the dead to crossover over into the world of the living. Spooky, spooky!
Interestingly, one quarter of all the candy sold annually in the United States is purchased for Halloween celebrations - but then the american's make a big thing of Halloween (remember the film ET)!
Whatever you do tonight, stay safe, wear a mask (if needed) and observe social distancing & as the comedian Dave Allen used to say "may your god go with you"!
30th October 2020
On this day in 1873 Phineas Taylor Barnum better known as P. T. Barnum who's circus "The Greatest Show on Earth" debuted in New York City. You will know him from the recent film "The Greatest Showman starring Hugh Jackman as P T Barnum.
And the other great showman - Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou better known as George Michael who in 1987 released his debut album "Faith" which to date has sold a massive 20 million copies worldwide and numerous accolades. But more impressivly he has sold 200 million records making him one of the world's best-selling artists of all time. So arguably two of the worlds greatest showmen have something in common!
29th October 2020
The very first electronic message was sent by a programmer Charles S. Kline on the 29th October 1969 from a University in California, Los Angeles to Stanford Research Institute.
Where would we be without the internet (well not reading my blog), it's hard to imagine today’s world without it. Today offers us the chance to celebrate the pioneers who built the internet and to reflect on how our world has changed, for good or bad, you decide. Happy Internet Day!
28th October 2020
I have always liked James Blunt, actually Blount but changed as an easier to pronounce stage name (who knew)!
He wrote this song (from the Once Upon A Mind album) for his father, Colonel Charles Blount who has stage four chronic kidney disease, James revealed the illness during the making of this emotional music video with his dad.
The lyrics - 'I'm not your son, your not my father, we're just two grown men saying goodbye. No need to forgive, no need to forget, I know your mistakes, and you know mine'.
"It's an incredibly emotional song and one that tells him he's much more than just a father - he's my friend and I love him dearly,"
James said - "I got to make this video with him, which for me, is fantastic because I've just got to capture him on film but there I was, on set, with a crew crying on set and me crying my eyes out and the only person not crying was my father saying 'hang on what are you all doing I'm still here!"
James has two young boys which he says inspired him with the lyrics - "It's my turn to chase the monsters away". "I was only able to write that as a lyric because I have my own little children, and understand what it is they're afraid of."
Watch this emotional but "beautiful" video (another Blunt Song) right to the end, which had me in tears (doesn't take much) - so have your tissues ready, you have been warned!
Watch the video here:
27th October 2020
Beautiful hand made model vardos, drays, Bowtops, USA Gypsy trailers & wagons with incredible detail. John can make to order or choose from his stock selection, each one takes hours and hours of painstaking work with absolute attention to detail as you can see in the selection of photos below!
If you would like more information please go to John's Facebook page here:- John A C Golightly
26th October 2020
On this day (26th October) 1972 Edwin Land introduced the first truly instant camera the Polaroid SX-70 at an event in Miami Florida. The camera was a single lens reflex produced by the Polaroid Corporation and each photo pack contained 10 photos as well as a new battery (enough for the 10 photos) so you never had a flat battery. This was a revolution in photography the instant photo popped out of the front of the camera and developed in your hand within ten minutes (depending on ambient temperature) you then removed the backing paper to reveal your "instant" photo". I owned a later version of this camera the SLR680 which I used to take a photograph of customers hiring expensive equipment as an insurance policy for its return.
Also known as the Land camera after its developer Edwin Land, it was produced between 1972 to 1981 and in 2008 Polaroid ceased manufacture of "instant film" and hence the demise of the format, RIP.
25th October 2020
You have to smile at this Border Collie photo, ewe can't pull the wool over this lad (or lassies) eyes! Taken from Facebook so credit to the author (unknown)!
24th October 2020
Love this photo of Gordon & Margaret Boswell on their way to Appleby and cooking around a camp fire (yog). Gordon sadly no longer with us but Margaret is still continuing with the family museum in Spalding, hopefully it will be open next year (check before travelling)! Link here The Gordon Boswell Romany Museum