BBC Springwatch fans gutted that coverage of Monty, Britain’s nominated ‘National Bird’, was turned down by the programme

‘The BBC had a recent meeting about Terry Taylor’s tame robin ‘Monty’ who has been extremely popular with his antics, and has become a social media celebrity on the BBC Springwatch Facebook fan page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2357918724/?fref=nf

Terry reacted on Facebook  in upper case letters, “MONTY HAS BEEN TURNED DOWN BY THE BBC. They had a meeting yesterday to discuss Monty, and decided the Monty story was not what they wanted”.

 

Over 400 BBC Springwatch fans have viewed his post with  many writing in telling Terry how unhappy they were with the BBC’s poor executive decision.

The Robin has been nominated as ‘Britain’s National Bird’  after a poll in 2015 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33090043 and http://www.votenationalbird.com/ . The project was launched on BBC Springwatch

UK: I donated blood and it was used!

I am a proud Blood Donor.

So far I have donated 18 pints and I have a Bronze Card.  It was a  colleague who inspired me to be one.

Over the last few months, it has become a lot more exciting as the NHS send you a text message letting you know where it has been  used. I was told that my blood went to a patient or patients at Tunbridge Wells Hospital.  It all becomes real and you can imagine the drama going on and me helping the patient out, perhaps with a team of other blood donors.

I plan to make a necklace noting how many donations I have made, and plan a Location Map of where my donations have gone. I am also going to buy a plant for each donation so I have a Blood Donation garden.

Here are some of my tips for newbies:

  1. Drink enough water or liquids  beforehand, but avoid caffeine.
  2. For women, make sure you eat plenty of foods with iron or take iron supplements. You can be turned away with low iron (I was once)
  3. Take a friend or someone to come along for the first time, I didn’t, but it can be nice.
  4. You get snacks like crisps and biscuits which is great afterwards
  5. I don’t like needles much, so I just look away.Really, it is just like a pin prick.

Review: Natural Hair Shampoo/Conditioner – ‘No Poo’ or Coconut Milk method

I chose to cut out chemical shampoos and conditioners by going ‘No Poo’ or mixing Dr Bronner’s Castile  Liquid Vegetable Soap, Essential Oils and whole Coconut Milk.  A lot of shampoos these days tlook ‘healthy’ on the front of the container, but you only look at the ingredients on the back and they are often riddled with artificial nasties and you don’t need any of these to  have healthy hair.

I gave away my shop bought shampoos and conditioners (the ones that I could) since 1 January 2017.   I wanted to help the environment, avoid cancer,  to reduce  plastic clutter and waste and save the pennies, as well as to improve my dry hair. Castile soap can be used for a whole range of things too, not just hair shampoo which is a real bonus too.

It is amazing how many toxins we are using these days in our hair products. It is such a delight not to shop at Superdrug and Boots for hair shampoos any more. I am even dumping hair dye because of the toxins too.

Shop bought shampoos with all their chemicals are designed to strip your hair of its natural oils, which is the worst thing. No wonder people are shelling out on  more products to deal with dry hair. Hair companies love this.

My hair now feels a lot healthier. One of the best things is that it is less frizzy, particularly, in humid weather. It is much more manageable.Shop bought products had really wrecked my hair, even the so-called sensitive ones.

I have mostly been using Dr Bronner’s Castile Soap, with peppermint essential oil and coconut milk, and occasionally going ‘No Poo’, which is just water, scrubbing the scalp and combing, during the week with no ill effects.

I read that it is better for your scalp to have some kind of anti-bacterial product every so often which I think coconut milk and essentials oils have.

When I go ‘No Poo’ my hair is much easier to manage the next day and isn’t so heavy and oily.  When I use coconut oil, it can be a bit of a nightmare the next morning after I have slept in it, although it feels much healthier after a bit of a comb. Having fine hair can make my hair a bit lanky with coconut milk but what I may do is add more Castile Soap and use less coconut milk and see what happens.

However, I love the luxuriant feeling I have when I have just washed and dried my hair when I use the Castile/coconut formula. And a few days after, it feels healthier, though a little heavy.

I think the night before work or an event,I will use  the ‘No Poo’ method but other times, use the coconut milk. I may add a bit of olive oil to give my ‘No Poo’ hair some lustre.

Generally I am very happy with it, and I love the smell of natural peppermint in my hair, it feels really fresh and non-chemically. When I go to the hairdresser next, I am looking forward to seeing what she says about the condition of my hair. I am not colouring it anymore so it will be even healthier.

I am currently making apple cider vinegar with the ‘mother’ to condition my hair, but this will take ages though to make so my review on this won’t be for a while.

Someone suggested I try using ‘mud’, as apparently the iron age people used that. This will be interesting, particularly as Bermondsey mud is probably contaminated with all sort of nasty stuff, including car and HGV engine oils. Maybe my hair will glow-in-the-dark.

 

 

 

Youtuber Review: Louise Pentland, aka Sprinkle of Chatter

I enjoy watching a few Youtubers and every so often I will highlight a favourite Youtuber.

I am not normally into  ‘fashionable Youtubers’ but there are a few I do enjoy.  For three months I have been watching the goings on at Sprinkle of Chatter Towers.   Louise has been on Youtube for years now, with Sprinkle of Glitter and Sprinkle of Chatter, so quite a dab hand. She talks about everyday things, family and relationships as well as lifestyle issues. She is a single parent, which is a bit sad as she seems to be a nice person.

Here is why I enjoy watching Louise’s Videos

Good Stuff:

  1. She has a dry sense of humour
  2.  She is not afraid to be a girly woman and having a bit of fun
  3.  She has ups and downs like all of us
  4. She ends up in surreal situations like  in the UN
  5.  She does somewhat  bonkers interviews
  6. She looks after Darcey well, giving her lots of attention
  7. She can talk about every day stuff without it being tedious.
  8. You can watch her videos with a mug of hot chocolate, on a rainy day and put your feet up (hyggelig)
  9. I got her book from the library which I enjoyed.  I still remember how pink and sparkly it was.

The Bad

She didn’t reply to my posts, but may be because she has so many viewers. I don’t think it is because she is rude.

I can’t believe how tidy her house is, it is so scary!

Coping with Dry January 2017

I don’t generally drink at all, though like many of us we have temptations when people ask us if we would like one.

I have had only had one person this January asking me whether would I like a brandy with my mince pie but that is about it.  My friend also is doing Dry January and we are supporting each other. He doesn’t really drink much either. Dry January is pretty easy for us.

I have been mostly drinking teas and coffees.  I have also gone to apothecaries and specialist London teashops to get loose tea and I enjoy making my own home made tea. I don’t miss alcohol at all and nor non alcoholic wine, and it saves me money. Trying new teas makes my taste buds better.  My friend says that my skin looks great, even though I am in my 50s, and I have hardly any wrinkles.

I have been saving orange rind to make orange flavoured teas but I learned today that it is could cause cancer. I may have to do more research on that.

Last year, I did Dry January and I got a free meal from Strada and a non alcolholic rose. I hope they do the same this year, the meal was excellent.

I have also got a Drink Water App which encourages me to drink water throughout the day. It seems to go off all the time! We all need to drink more water than we do.  I also don’t mix with drinkers or heavy drinkers and avoid a lot  of social networking. I like mixing with ‘doers’ rather than people who just go round chatting and gossiping.

As Millwall supporter, the culture is to drink, but I have never been one for the culture.

Well done to all of you who do Dry  January, you are awesome.

 

London: About time we had Women Only carriages on the Tube

There has been so much violence and sexual assaults on trains and tube trains in London. This has proved that many males are unable to control themselves.

Males nowadays are brainwashed with hardcore porn and seem to be unable to control their urges. It is all very well saying men should control themselves, they should, but some are so opportunist that they can’t. They are risk takers, willing to risk their job and family over a sex assault and a fight.

So, there comes a point that we women need to make a stand against male violence and have our own women only carriages. Other countries do this already like Iran, Japan, Mexico and Brazil and these are just some of them.

My colleague was sexually assaulted on London’s tube network and I remember that she came to work in tears. I have been verbally abused on the train by a group of , and drunk males can be very intimidating and unpredictable. I had this middle aged male touching himself next to me on a crowded train.  I was so shocked I couldn’t move, but I would now. He reminds me that we do need women only carriages.

Some women may not want to use the women only carriages but they will have the choice. I want the choice to use a women only carriage.  I don’t want the fear of violence, abuse, theft and sexual assault when I am travelling. Nothing is every done, as people at the top are still men.

 

LInk to Guardian article on Women Only Carriages https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/aug/26/women-only-carriages-train-passengers-react-to-jeremy-corbyn-idea

Discussion on BBC Newsnight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28h_iz650CE

My friend has to go to Heathrow during the #Tubestrike

I only found about the #tubestrike on Monday 9 January today. ThIs is going to mess up my friend’s travel plans to  Heathrow  Airport on Monday for Chinese New Year.  He  found it really hard to even get flights out during this time as most of the seats were already booked. 

He has given up even trying to get there on Monday on the Piccadilly Line so will go up on Sunday morning, the night before. It will be a lot easier than faffing around getting buses and taxis early on Monday, and battling room with tourists and commuters. Still, it is annoying. The tube strike will start on Sunday 8th January from 6pm and last 24 hours, Zone 1 tube stations will be closed.

I don’t like tube strikes or rail strikes as they affect the economy and disruption people travelling to hospitals, jobs and visiting relatives, some being elderly. And I say this as an Ex-TSSA member and delegate.  Then after the #tubestrike there will be another travel strike, this time Southern Rail staff for three days this week. Most of the staff I expect are Labour supporters and they don’t seem to realise that striking like this just gets travellers’ backs up, even if, in some ways, they do agree with them. Why can’t they find another way, without upsetting the punters? At the end of the day, these strikers are supposed to be ‘at war’ with their employers but they are also ‘at war’ with those who are paying their wages.

2017 My New Year’s Resolutions

Here goes, folks. I like to give myself realistic and positive goals.

  1. To declutter my house. I tend to keep stuff just in case I need it. However, I realise that I don’t use a lot of my clothes and craft stuff. It is taking up a lot of space and I want more space this year. Also because I store a lot of stuff, I buy stuff again because I can’t find things. I also want to get more coat hangers too and keeps things more tidy.
  2. Borrow a Doggy from Borrowmydoggy to help an owner walk their dog and for me to have more exercise and get more experience with dogs.
  3. Go on a floristry workshop and practice some new techniques.
  4. Ban chocolate,coca cola and porky scratchings from my house and get people who see it to remove them. These are my weaknesses!Imust only have them on special occasions.
  5. Take part in Dry January and raise awareness to others. This also means you could get free meals too and some sponsors give you benefits
  6. Take part in Bullyonline campaigns, Alcohol Concern, Domestic Violence issues, Personal Safety, Road Safety and anti drugs campaign charities.
  7. Make my own granola breakfasts and actually eat it
  8. Cook more and try new things
  9. Improve massage techniques to improve wellbeing
  10. Be more minimalistic – help the planet, save money, create more space, have more me time
  11. Lead a more hygge lifestyle
  12. Support Lush as they do some excellent products
  13. Continue to make my own beauty products without toxins and raise awareness
  14. Take up Nordic Walking (I have already bought some poles)
  15. Ramble more locally along the footpaths and do a lot more walking. Join walking groups
  16. Listen more. People like to be listened to.
  17. Have no technology days or evenings.
  18. Read a novel,  and make time for this. I have been struggling to make time for reading. Hopefully, having a more minimalistic lifestyle it will be easier.
  19. Go on free tours in London’s Museums and learn more about history
  20. Make more crafts to give away for Christmas
  21. Buy things over the year for Christmas to save money
  22. Mix with people who lead a positive lifestyle
  23. Do more art and crafts
  24. Continue to look after the wild birds
  25. Have a more healthier lifestyle and inspire others
  26. Eat more fish
  27. Read more poetry
  28. Read to other people
  29. Sometimes do nothing
  30. Improve my computer’s memory by clearing up old files
  31. Watch more ‘feel good’black and white or colour movies
  32. Go to the Buddhist centre more often and read more Buddhist literature

UPDATES to follow

I love writing thank you letters

Writing thank you letters is an important part of my culture.
My aunts and parents have always written thank you letters and we always enjoyed receiving them in the mail.

This year is no exception; birthdays and Christmasses, I have always written them. It is a incrediblly hyggelig thing to do too.

I love choosing the type of stationery and cards and I like them to be really special, after all, they are a family keepsake. Throughout the year, I look out for nice stationery. I always avoid the lazy and tacky, ready-made printed cards; they look so boring.I come from a family of letter writers so we like to make a bit of effort. Lazyiness really shows up in letter writing. A letter can say so much about someone, and even their family. Not writing one comes across as thoughtlessness. selfishness and laziness (of course, if people are disabled etc, I can make exceptions).

People find it hard to afford presents these days and they are also very busy, so it makes things extra nice for them when they get a thank you letter of appreciation. Like me, they probably love the pretty stamp,the handwriting style, the choice of pen they used and the design of the letter and the choice of words.

I find it dreadful that many British people nowadays don’t bother to write thank you cards and some even send a naff, soulless text. It looks really bad on them. Your thank you letter, I think, is ‘your own PR’ which  can last generations.

We all need a little bit of thoughtfulness in our lives and it is so important to keep up such a warm tradition.

British Culture: People with Poor Lifestyles Choices are seen’National Treasures’

George Michael died at 53 on Christmas Day. Once again, another pop star has died far too young.

However, I was never really a fan of his ‘piped music’ or his lurid lifestyle but what really gets me is that he is regarded as a ‘national treasure’ for his music ignoring the fact that he chose to drug drive. He could have killed other people, including his friends and relatives in such an act. He just didn’t care.

As a straight edge person, I find the tributes annoying and bizarre. Sure he did some good things, but stepping into the driving seat whilst under the influence of drugs is one the worst things anyone can do.  There is no excuse for such a selfish act.

In Britain, we often glorify those who have lead toxic lifestyles. It even becomes one of their little ‘quirks’ after all, ‘none of us is perfect’ which Brits often say on the forums. You see this all the time, from adulterous footballers to ‘cheeky chappy’ actors, who get up to criminal activities, their talent for acting or football seems to override almost any bad behaviour, no matter how criminal. Henry VIII is a good example. He chopped off his wife’s heads yet royals are glorified. There are some exceptions like Rolf Harris, which some Brits are finding it hard to come to terms with, so I expect it depends on what kind of crime they get up to.