Gutted: Mind Charity shop in Bermondsey ‘Closed down’

The Mind Charity shop in Bermondsey, Southwark, appears to have suddenly ‘closed down’. All the staff, volunteers, clothes and nik naks have gone. It is now a ‘shell’.

There is no sign outside the shop apologising to loyal customers, and no notice of any refurbishment. Customers were not warned this would happen, and staff, if they knew, did not let on. Maybe it was news to them too. If it has moved elsewhere, there is no notice. It’s all a bit of a mystery. The Charity Communications team has not provided any response.

The shop has recently had new management, after the previous management had gone. New volunteers have been drafted at the shop over the past few weeks.

There were minor changes within the shop since then and there had been positive ideas for improvement and change. So it all has come a bit of a terrible shock to locals who enjoyed having a chat with the staff and buying some clothes for themselves, gifts, collectables and toys for their children. It is going to be difficult to find a replacement as there are limited places in the town selling inexpensive clothes and quality cards. The Sue Ryder Shop nearby is also closed due to a power problem.

Throughout Mind there has been a financial overhaul, with harsh audits from ‘the top’ and drastic cuts that have seen major changes within the charity.

UPDATE: Good news, it is to re-open on 10th August 2017 https://beaulieusnewsblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/mind-charity-shop-bermondsey-to-re-open-10th-august/

Why don’t Men in the UK use much Aftershave?

I really wish men in the UK wore more aftershave, and not just for ‘special occasions’ or for ‘masking’ horrid things.

It was really noticeable when I worked in a hotel and we had guests from all around the world, particularly from France, who wore aftershave.

You walk in the street these days, and when you walk past some men, they either smell of nothing, which is really boring, smoke, pungent alcohol or cannabis, which to me, stinks of the bitter, stale aroma of dead rats (trust me, coming from a farm, I have smelt this!). It super compounds the problem when you walk past pairs or larger groups of men, stinking of smoke, garlic and onions, cheese, pizza, chicken legs, kebabs, alcohol and cannabis. Some their waft comes from their cars which can be smelly with smoke and food. There is a huge cloud of pong by them. When all these whiffs go together, it goes, er, ‘superstench’.

When you get a guest who smells of good quality aftershave, and not of huge splashes of it which can make them ‘look slimey’ particularly if wearing a blue suit, you feel that he has taken care of himself, feels ‘dressed’ and that he cares that he doesn’t stink badly when he is out in public areas. It creates a good impression. (Of course, he generally uses the good quality types of aftershave, not the ones you remember, such as the ‘honking ones with the cheesy names’ from 70s. However, sometimes, I have to say, there could be some good ‘cheap finds’ but you have to hunt really hard.

We women buy aftershave a lot for our men, but we notice that the bottle remains disappointingly full, a year after we have given it to them. There’s some really good products for men in the market now, many that have more natural incredients; my favourite aftershaves come from Penhaligans in Burlington Arcade. They are a reasonable price for the quality and the thought that goes into it. Aftershave isn’t just for ‘sex panthers’, it is for every day use too, not just the boudouir. The right aftershave, I think, is great for confidence and self-esteem. I have noticed in that in the UAE, they love aftershaves and they sell a huge variety of them and they often have interesting and well designed bottles. My ‘adopted half brother’ who was from the UAE, loved to put reddish type of perfumed ointment on his feet. I don’t know what it was exactly, but he showed a bit of pride.

Now, I can understand that sometimes some men can’t wear aftershave, for various reasons, such as they are allergic, cannot wear it at work or on the tube. But the vast majority appears not to be wearing any from what I can tell. Are they seriously worried that they may be ‘beaten up in the toilet or streets’ for wearing aftershave?

I like perfume on women, though not the overpowering or tacky kind, like Poison, and it is nice walking past them, but here in the UK, you almost wretch as some men here do pong, you can smell their breath, their skin, and stuff they have been smoking. It creates a bad impression.

Come on men, wear some decent aftershave, and use breath freshener, while you are at it. Even Fido the Old English Sheepdog, with his special deep-flea treatment, probably smells a lot better than some men. It really doesn’t have to be that way!

Glastonbury Interview: Some teenage revellers ‘minutes from death’, says Good Samaritan festival goer

One regular Glastonbury goer is shocked how many young people have been really sick and vulnerable when visiting Glastonbury, mostly due to drugs and alcohol poisoning.

He was telling me that one young woman was so drugged up that she was left by her friends in a puddle face down. Her so-called fair weather friends at Glastonbury just deserted her. Fortunately he had Mental Health First Training and knew what to do, and had managed to help save her.

He also said that at Glastonbury many security guards were not keeping an eye on reveller’s health and didn’t get any help for those clearly ill and had to step in when one reveller was extremely ill. Many security guards at Glastonbury are not even first aid or Mental Health First Aid trained and haven’t a clue what to do. They didn’t call for help at all.

The Good Samaritan (who was not Christian BTW), that there were not enough First Aid tents within the area, just outside, and this caused a lot of problems. Glastonbury is huge. And a heatwave makes it worse. He said the limited First Aid stalls were not designed for those who have mental health problems, when there clearly huge mental health drug issues still at Glastonbury.

He was disgusted at the number of revellers who stepped over, picked on for fun and ignored those who were clearly vulnerable and ‘out of it’. It was strange that many Glastonbury festival goers completely ignored people who are clearly suffering.

When he tried to help the young person who had fallen down in the puddle, he got abuse from his own ‘friends’ who were annoyed that he was helping her, as it was ‘inconvenient’ to them. Yes, he even got abuse. He ignored his ‘friends’ and continued to help her. The selfishness of many people at the event was staggering. Ironically many of them appear to be Corbynites by the level of press videos. You would think they would actually care about their own kind!

He said that when some people are out of it, they should talk to the person calmly, get them to focus on you all the time, and say their name until they come round from their ‘trip’, though this could take hours. If no one does this, they will be out of it and vulnerable again.

At one Glastonbury festival he went to, he was horrified that a woman had been attacked at the festival by a sex predator. There are people going round the festival deliberately ‘targeting’ young and vulnerable revellers.

He said that each visitor this year was security-checked for seven minutes, but he thinks this was more for ‘terrorism-related’ issues, but this must have ‘freaked out’ the regular drug dealers who prey on thousands of Glastonbury visitors each year.

He believes that there should be Mental Health First Aiders at Glastonbury that and that security guards should get First Aid training at the very least.
Parents should really know what is happening there. I would also back this up, but I would also add that nowadays there are many Drug & Alcohol Free Festivals people can go to instead, and have a good time, rather than a bad time, and possible death. These ‘healthier festivals’ seem to be growing all the time. Being ill and vulnerable is not fun. Saying No to drugs is the best thing and know your alcohol level so that you are always in full control. Looking after your friends, and not deserting them would be a good thing too. There is a big Elephant in the Room at this festival. This is something that is being ‘ignored in the mass media’.

Many young people, not all, are still very vulnerable, wanting to try new things, but they don’t have the knowledge as my own nephew has experienced, as he was killed trying drugs at eighteen last year. They still don’t ‘get it’. Many young people take stupid risks, because they are pressurised by ‘flash friends’ who desert them when they are in trouble. You can have a good time without them.

The media may have got a Glastonbury freebie and ‘had to write about something, so they ended up writing about Jeremy Corbyn, and the litter (though this is a good thing), but perhaps they should visit the overwhelmed First Aid tents and also speak to the police, to find out some real news and see if their professional journalists can help make the Event a safer place for all.

USEFUL LINKS

DRUGS AND SUMMER FESTIVALS: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/summer-music-festivals

DRUGS SEIZED AT BRITISH FESTIVALS https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/may/21/music-festivals-drugs

DRUGS AND FESTIVAL ORGANISERS’ RESPONSIBILITIES: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/meghan-ralston/music-festival-drug-use_b_3653830.html

ALCOHOL FREE FESTIVALS https://www.everfest.com/magazine/8-alcohol-free-festivals-that-know-how-to-party

MAN KILLED AFTER SUSPECTED REACTION TO TAKING DRUG KETAMINE, A TRANQUILLIZER FOR HORSES TAKEN AT GLASTO(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/glastonbury/10930469/Glastonbury-man-dies-after-suspected-reaction-to-ketamine.html

LICENSING: Contact Somerset County Council http://www.somerset.gov.uk/

In Kent, however, there is a big alcohol problem with the young so much so that one Alcohol & Drug Free Festival in Headcorn, has had to be cancelled due to ‘lack of interest’ http://www.kentonline.co.uk/weald/news/drink-and-drug-free-festival-cancelled-40996/ Some people in Britain are unable to have ‘fun’ without alcohol. drugs and all the horrible stuff that goes with it.

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: https://bringyourdogtoworkday.co.uk/ for details.

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

LONDON:

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. Horse.com 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 http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/grenfell-disaster-black-cab-and-uber-drivers-join-charge-to-help-victims-as-londoners-unite-in-a3566316.html

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.

image

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:-

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/danielle-aikin

https://www.gofundme.com/2p7yad8

http://linkis.com/justgiving.com/f5P6g

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!