Kent: Passengers on South Eastern Railway take their dogs to work today

It is National #Takeyourdogtowork day which is great for mental health in the workplace, and gets the dog out too, and, of course, immensely spoiled.

I was pleased to see some railway passengers taking their beagle to work this morning, on my way to London Bridge. The lady took the dog after 10am and avoided the crowded rush hour so he was quite comfortable.

Hope to see more and more people take their dogs to work, perhaps more often than a day, to help animal welfare charities and reduce workplace stress and sickness. It also makes the workplace more fun and ‘human’.

To take part next year, keep a note of this website: for details.

England: “Because it’s Tradition”, we do weird & stupid things.


I always find that State Opening of Parliament fills me with nausea. We have this cringeworthy spectacle for an unelected woman to make a speech in Parliament, a supposed democratic institution. (hello?) Is it just me to thinks this is weird?. The mass media never talk about this. It is like the elephant in the room.

Then I also get annoyed that the soldiers in their bearskin hats are outside Parliament in a 32C heatwave, and are not being allowed to take them off ‘because of tradition’. It is just ‘not good form’ to do that. So soldiers are expected to faint instead. What kind of culture are we in? The class system is plain stupid. What kind of army leaders do we have? What, a ‘real soldier’ doesn’t take his bearskin off? The Queen didn’t seem bothered at all that they were very uncomfortable. Well, she is of a different generation. After all these years, they still make soldiers keep them on. Why don’t soldiers stand up to this nonsense – they are probably court martialled if they do, or bullied.

Even 91-year-olds like the Queen should not be out in a heatwave, on the ‘hottest day of the year’ and the NHS encourages us all to ‘check on their neighbours’ and to keep out of the sun from 11-3pm. Haven’t we forgotten that we are human? In countries like Spain, they have siestas for times like this, but no, we English go ‘out in the Midday Sun’ as the song says. And a lot of the time, we don’t even wear hats either to protect us from the high UV levels, which again, the Government warns us out. Some Brits have second degree burns because they don’t even use any sun protection, unlike people in other hot countries.

What about the emergency services who are inundated with people ignoring Government public health heatwave advice? Why don’t public health warnings apply supposed old people like the Queen? Why couldn’t the Queen just get Prince Charles do her job, at least she wouldn’t be out in the heat getting roasted? No, the Queen has to be out in a heatwave at 91 years old, ‘because it is tradition’, and even then, she’s stubborn enough to be out there during this time because ‘she wants to’.

I understand that the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, has been taken to hospital yet the Queen would appear to be at the State Opening of Parliament, instead of being with him during the day. And, after that, she even went to Ascot in the heatwave. All because she cannot upset ‘tradition’.

Horses should not be racing on the hottest day of the year either, and she is supposed to be a horsewoman. advise “Know your horse and signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke can happen anytime your horse is exposed to excessive heat that his body cannot handle. Heatstroke can happen if exercising in hot conditions, but be aware that it can also happen if standing in a hot stall or trailer.” I am at a stables, we keep our horses cool, and none of them have even been out riding in the heat today. The racing industry can be appalling and greedy. The Queen should not be encouraging racing in this weather too. Why not have race times only in the cooler part of the day, or would that ‘not be tradition’? I would rather ‘blow tradition’ than have a sick horse to attend to. I don’t hear anything from the vets at Ascot, maybe they are gagged or are ‘enablers’ of the greedy racing industry in a heatwave, after all, they get a free day out at Ascot.

There comes a point in life that doing the ‘right thing’ is taking the time off work for family reasons, health reasons and animal welfare, this is more important than ‘being on show’. Some traditions are plain stupid, and even more so, in a heatwave. Being a younger generation than most of the old fogies who carry on making these stupid rules, I make my own stamp, by standing up to it and questioning it.

Some people who do ‘challenge things’, actually comes from kids. Recently a academy school banned kids from wearing shorts during a heatweave, so the boys wore skirts as a form of protest and got lots of media coverage. Why can’t boiling soldiers all together, in a band of brothers’. and make a stand, why can’t horse grooms make a stand for their horses? Even the journalists are made to wear suits in a heatwave, ‘for show’, which is ridiculous too. Sometimes were Brits are a bunch of wimps and won’t say boo to a goose!

We have to question our culture, but adults never seem to learn, and that’s a tradition too!

++ Note I am typing this in a library, keeping cool with fans.

Company Greed: Taxi Companies charging Full Rates for Grenfell Fire donors

An unnamed taxi driver driving into Notting Hill has been charging people full price to whose who have been giving large donations to the Grenfell Fire survivors to avoid getting ‘abuse from his company’.

The Metropolitan police say that 17 people were killed, including children, in the devastating Grenfell Fire, in Notting Hill, London, this week.

UPDATE: 15/5 Some cabbies are offering discounts or their services for free unlike the cabbie who charged £37.00

Britain’s Culture of Lazy Chefs – “No Cooking”

One of my pet hates is lazy restaurant cookery and lazy Chefs.

I saw it all at an independent Kent hotel I worked at, where the cook, who was called ‘Chef’ used to reheat food bought in by a  nationwide frozen food company.

He proceeded to use packets of gravy granules (riddled with chemicals) for traditional Sunday Carvery, and for breakfast he served hotel guests and tourists scrambled egg made with egg powder, the stuff Britain used in World War Two rations. I mentioned this to him and of course, he made my life a misery thereafter!  He never used any garnish either and used tons of salt. The Hotel Manager supported this lazy culture, and said the Chef could ‘do no wrong’, and despite  his swearing and filthy moods. He was treated like a God.

Of course, these are just a few of the lazy things I saw going on, though he must have done a lot more lazy things.

Another ‘Chef’ at the same hotel absolutely hated it when any tourist asked for porridge, as she couldn’t be bothered to clear up the pan and tried to discourage people ordering it. This was accompanied by swearing, eyes rolling and deep sighs.

I spoke to one kitchen assistant who said that in a Sevenoaks country pub in Kent where he  works, they use a machine to even cut up the parsley and the results look ‘absolutely terrible’ but ‘it’s quick’. He also said their Chefs used to chop up potatoes in squares, rather than peel them and they used to keep it quiet from the managers who hated financial waste.

When he worked at a private Tunbridge Wells golf club, at a Lions event, they had a ‘German meal’. This  ready made meal was brought in from an outside company, from a brochure,  in a plastic packet. All the ‘Chef’ had to do was to serve the cold sausages, cheese, pumpernickel and biscuits onto a plate. No cooking involved. The Lions gave the Golf Club lots of tips for their ‘special meal’ and probably as the Golf Club also gave them loads of wine  Customers are regularly being swindled by the greedy restaurant trade.

Salads are positively dreadful these days, same whitish lettuce, a couple of cherry tomatoes and slices of red onion, the same ‘ready made side salad’ you see everywhere, next to a baked potato.

When I cook at home, I like to take pride in my work, the finishing touches really add to it. Food has to look delicious and I like to see effort, passion and new ideas. Just where has all this gone?

Some of the cafes you see in Kent, still have have 1950s menus and have never been changed. It is apple pie every day of the week for  years. Lots of cafes have come into their area, but still they have not made any changes. And yes, the cafe is often pretty empty now.

Chefs are trained to cook properly and plan decent menus, why is that some don’t do any this when they get a job in the restaurant or hotel? Let me know your experiences.


Photo: Imported  from Belgium and sold in Britain, “Instant Egg White”, a boost for Britain’s Lazy Chefs

Crowdsourcing for Good Samaritan Katie Cutler raises over £5,000 in hours for whopping Claire Barber PR bill

Good Samaritan and beautician from Gateshead, England, dubbed ‘The Angel of the North’, Katie Cutler,  23, raised nearly £330,000 for Alan Barnes, a disabled pensioner who was mugged by thugs. He managed to buy himself a home with the money.

Unfortunately, she faced a massive bill of nearly £7000 from public relations company @Claire BarberPR. She also is having to pay for legal costs as she is now getting a solicitor.

There have been several fundraising pages for her, a Justgiving and a Gofundme account:-

Beaulieu helped raise the fundraising profiles with free social media coverage. Always good to get nice people in the world. Young people can often get a bad rep in the media.

Never mind getting a job on some reality programme, go into politics Katie, you have made more of a difference than many politicians have. You have done a lot to inspire people of all ages.

Thanks to all those who are spreading the word and have chipped in, even if it is a small amount.

 Since this article was posted, my own blog stats has spiked too. I am getting many viewers from overseas, including Japan, Spain, Germany and the United States. Furthermore several of ‘Katie supporters’ have been blocked by ClaireBarberPR on Twitter including myself!