London: Icecream Van in Southwark Park, a ‘Pollution Hazard’

The engine of the icecream van in Southwark Park, in Bermondsey, has been belching out toxic fumes all throughout the summer.

The van has been emitting fumes for hours on end, very close to an outdoor café, which is popular with young children and families and is right by a children’s playground.

The air is so thick that some café users complained to me of headaches, breathing problems and a ‘bitter taste’ in the mouth. Experts say that toxic black carbon is particularly bad for babies (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4503306/Britain-s-ageing-ice-cream-vans-belching-pollution.html).

The Park is owned by Southwark Council, which is Labour-run. Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, is keen to reduce fumes in London.

Southwark Park, is a lovely park, but it is such a shame that the air round part of area is so bad.

The icecream van should be moved to a more suitable location.

Watch this space for Updates on the situation.

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.

London: Press Complaint: #Grenfelltowerfire Stop Tabloids Identifying Vulnerable People #Respecttheirprivacyingrief

I was disgusted to see tabloids naming the person who owned the fridge that caught fire in the Grenfell Tower fire. This included The Sun, The Daily Mirror and The Daily Mail, others also followed suit.

As a citizen journalist, there’s a fine line between telling an important story and putting vulnerable people at risk. It is extremely insensitive. This man is in grief and shock and he is not allowed privacy in such a time. This is inhumane. What kind of world are we in?

This will cause extra psychological trauma to the person, who not only could get PTSD but could be at risk of suicide, which will also affect the rest of his family too, if he doesn’t have a good support network. He has a child too. As a writer, we have to stand up to unethical behaviour like this.

Maybe they took the photo from a Facebook account, and tabloids would say, “well, it’s ‘his fault’ he made it public”Come on guys, you have degrees in journalism, surely you have some common sense. Why aren’t the police protecting this guy too?

I am a citizen journalist who has an interest in trauma and mental health. Perhaps these journalists should have some Mental Health First Aid training and learn about mental health. Even they themselves, may need counselling and could be vulnerable too after witnessesing this. I wonder if they are getting any help? Anyone who experiences such overwhelming trauma needs a lot of support, love and self-care, not ‘shaming in the media’ so media organisations can get huge profits.

Several members of the public, both in the UK, and worldwide, have complained on various forums about their behaviour. Some professional journalists, seem to have no duty of care to those they write about. Some QCs online are also disgusted.

If I knew him, I would offer him a cup of tea and a chat, and try and get him some trauma counselling. It will take years and years to deal with that. I hope he is surrounded by ‘friends’ that don’t sell him’ to the gutter media’.

If you are a professional journalist reading this, come on, show some balls and tell your boss to ‘stick it’ if they make you identify a vulnerable person like this.

To make a Press Complaint
: https://www.ipso.co.uk/make-a-complaint/

For those who need help after the Grenfell Tower Fire, here are some useful numbers

Mind Charity (for Mental Health) 0300 123 3393

Child Bereavement Uk, if parents etc have lost a child. UK Tel 01494 568 900

Cruse Bereavement Care 0808 808 1677

Winston’s Wish (The Charity for Bereaved Children) FREEPHONE
08088 020 021

The Guardian complain about identifing the person but flash up the Daily Mail with their tweet identifying him, here (which is ironic). https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/jun/16/mail-online-story-about-alleged-cause-of-grenfell-fire-prompts-more-than-1100-complaints?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+theguardian%2FIOlg+%28Media+%7C+The+Guardian%29

Ironically if the Royals behave badly, the Press censors their photos. Identifying vulnerable people is ‘an attack on the poor, the superrich who can afford gaggling clauses.

Homemade Mango Yoghurt & ‘Rum’ Ice Lolly – Review

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This was recommended to me by a Kentish woman who works at a fruit stall in England. Sometimes we swap recipes. Instead of milk, I used almond milk which I thought would be healthier. It gels the ingredients well together. I used a couple of lolly moulds.

INGREDIENTS (eyeball)

Ripe mango – chopped

Natural Yoghurt

To sweeten: Sugar or honey

Almond or Oat Milk

Drops of rum flavouring (sometimes Eastern European shops have this)

METHOD
: Just mix up!

Review: 9/10 Very nice! It was slightly cheesy at first, but in a nice Icelandic Skyr way. Far nicer than the ones in the shops too. Personally I preferred a bit of sugar, but that’s me. The lolly took about 10 minutes to eat. I gave one to my friend, who also enjoyed it. I find the ice lollies in the shops far too rich for me, and they’re not very fruity.

Tip: Some chopped almonds would be fun to add and would work very well with the almond milk.

Self-Care: My Visit to Hampton Court to Recover from Personal Trauma

DSCF7078I have been having difficulties dealing with family trauma recently and my mind was full of obsessive thoughts. I found it very difficult to escape them. 

For a few days I tried to process them, keeping my distance from the trauma and speaking to friends.

One of my ‘self care’ ideas was to do something I enjoy, which would be interesting and relaxing  and nothing too taxing. So on Bank Holiday Monday I went to Hampton Court, a place I haven’t been for years.It also brought out fond memories of good times, rather than times I am going through now.

I did a bit of photography and walking. I also took notice of the flowers, in particular the wisteria and tulips. Inside I enjoyed the paintings and stories of the people who lived there.

The landscape was gorgeous. I sat in the ground having a picnic and fed the birds.  It wasn’t very crowded despite it being Easter which made it less stressy. The rooms were nicely done and some even had some relaxing music in the rooms which was very helpful. The staff were great too and helpful.   Being near the water fountains was also great for the mind.

I came out feeling a lot better than before and I highly recommend a change of scene,  a bit of mindfulness when you are going through a hard time, and visit Hampton Court.

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You can get a 2 for 1 offer if you go by trains and you pick up a leaflet at the train station. (I didn’t get a free tip with this article)

I am not going to colour my hair anymore – Going Silver with Pride

As I am middle aged, my brunette hair is starting to go slightly ‘salt and pepper’. On seeing this, most women because of ‘pressure’ would normally try and colour it up, but I now think, why should we be ashamed of going silver? It is normal. We should be proud that we have lived long enough to have these sparkly hairs?

Yes, I think it is great to go ‘natural’. We’re not stuffing ourselves with chemicals that could risk all sorts of cancers.So, not only am I going to shampoo my hair with toxic products from shops, I am not going to colour my hair either. I love the sense of rebellion against consumeristic society, and nasty organisations that are trying to sell us this toxic stuff.

Colouring your hair in middle age seems to be  a very old fashioned thing to me.It also shows peope have self-esteem issues. Sometimes it makes people look much older and the hair looks horribly flat, frizzy and dry.  It also feels fake. I now much rather grow old ‘gracefully’. Harsh colours look wrong on our skin as we get older. Even then, there are lot of young people who have some gray hair, so it is not necessary an ‘old age’ sign.  I want my hair to be more healthy, and I want to ‘be authentic’. I want to save loads of money too.

I am seeing  a lot of people online look fantastically stylish with silver hair now, and they look far more comfortable and confident too. They are embracing their silve. Some women are even growing it when society says ‘we should not’. Good for them.

I am really looking forward to this journey of discovery.  I am already bored of my brunette hair. Bring on the  silver hair on and all the  uber chic hair styles.