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Archive for the ‘news from around the world’ Category

This is a really old article, but sometimes my random and accidental keywords take me to interesting places. I also tend to follow a string of articles, clicking from one link to another.

I recently read this article and thought I’d share it with you. It will be interesting to revisit this in what is now only 9 years time and see how much has transpired.

In the meantime, a couple of those predictions are already heading in the right direction, and one of those mentioned, teetered perilously close to the edge of an abyss – the prediction was almost too close for comfort.

I wonder what you think?

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I was watching a programme on Blaze this morning; Ancient Aliens, and they were talking about the discovery of a place called Gobekli Tepe. It was fascinating, so I decided to do a bit of research, and found this article.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/gobekli-tepe-the-worlds-first-temple-83613665/

I find I simply have to share it, its so amazing. Archaeology is such a fascinating career and I often wish I could be reborn as an archaeologist 😄😄

Maybe my next life eh!!

Meanwhile, I often wonder what we would find if we just dig up everything. If you take London for instance, its an ongoing treasure trove.

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Let me start off by saying “I hate plastic!”. Strong words, but I do, especially soft, non-reusable, single-use plastic. Personally I think the manufacturers of the stuff should now be sued for negligence (of the planet), wilful destruction (of the environment) and ‘man’slaughter of our animals and sea creatures. There have been so many innovative ideas and new materials created to replace plastic, that the manufacturers no long have an excuse. But of course, that’s not taking into account the oil industry, and the hedge-fund industry. They stand to lose billions of dollars if we stop making plastic.

The issue of soft, disposable, non-reusable plastic and the pollution and destruction they cause/d has been common knowledge and widely spoken about, written about, advertised and poor David Attenborough has been banging his head against the proverbial brick wall for years now. I understand that plastic has it’s uses and certainly the medical industry benefits hugely from soft pliable plastic, but that like other such industries should be the exception.

Think about all those MEGA TONS of plastic rubbish that gets exported from China to the west each year…all those plastic toys that break within a few weeks and even days…all the novelty toys, the junk that comes out of christmas crackers…that stuff all ends up in landfill or rivers or the ocean. We are quite literally choking the life out of our planet with junk. There is NO ‘away’. Just because we bin it or toss it, doesn’t mean it’s gone…it’s there for centuries.

Cheap plastic products from China

If you live in a Western country, or any other country for that matter where you have a TV or access to a smart phone – YOU KNOW THAT PLASTIC KILLS. Think about the high incidence of child cancer in recent decades, and getting worse. About breast cancer, and bone cancer and any other cancer you can think of. I remember in the 70s maybe 1 in 10 people got cancer, now it’s 1 in 2!! Read that again ONE in TWO people now get cancer. Every year we donate millions to fund cancer research, to find a cure. This too has been going on for decades…they haven’t found ‘a cure’, they manage to cure a lot of people, but there is no cure for cancer per se. If they spent those millions on finding a solution, an alternative to plastic or the hundreds of deadly chemicals sprayed on our food each year…then we may get somewhere.

#5 🥺🥺🥺

And that’s not taking into account the effect on our oceans…vital to our continued wellbeing. We’ve seen the footage of the whale trying to swallow the plastic bin, we’ve seen the endless number of whales and dolphins and seabirds and fish washed up dead or dying on our shores with kilograms of plastic in their gut. The sheer agony those creatures must have suffered is beyond comprehension.

And then there’s the fishing industry – destroying the very place they depend upon for their livelihoods.🤬🤬🤬🤬

And yet…..

Death by plastic

I subscribe to the UK Rivers & Canal Trust newsletters and when I can, I contribute financially to support their work.  I recently received this newsletter:

Every year an estimated 14 million pieces of plastic rubbish end up in and around our canals and rivers. Sadly we can’t clear all of this plastic up, so 500,000 of those pieces are washed out into the ocean, becoming part of a much bigger global problem.

If everyone who visited one of our waterways picked up just one piece of plastic, the water and towpaths would be clear within a year.

Pledge to fight plastic in your area

We’re (the Canal trust) asking if you and your family can make a pledge to do a litter pick along a towpath near you. We understand it might not be possible for you to meet up, or to get out and about right now. So please do wait until it’s safe and make sure you follow national and local government guidance. You can also read through our safety tips to get yourselves prepared.

This is plastic collected off a UK beach – 1 beach!!

It seems extraordinary to me that even after all these years, so much plastic pollution is still ending up in our waterways. Much as I despise how the manufacturers like to shove the responsibility for the pollution onto our shoulders (if there wasn’t any plastic…), we too have a responsibility to avoid buying the stuff. That said, its easier said than done. Its virtually impossible to buy anything without some form of plastic either attached to (clothing, shoes etc), wrapped in (food, magazines, products etc.) or transported in (think Amazon plastic wrapping). There are an uncountable number of ways plastic is used in our daily lives.

It’s a big fight, it’s a good fight, it’s a depressing fight because no matter what, no matter how much we ‘pick up’ today, tomorrow there will be more.

Death by human pleasure

But it is a fight we need to continue.  I remember in 2018 when my daughter was pregnant with her son, my 1st grandchild, I used to spend hours on the beach every day I was home between bookings, picking up 1,000 pieces of plastic. I never left, no matter the weather or my physical discomfort until I’d picked up 1000 pieces. And yet, 2 years later….

The above images were all taken during some of my walks along the Thanet (Kent) coastline in November year, the last 3 images from Pegwell Bay. This area is home to spectacular bird life and designated as a protected area under UK and EU legislation and is also considered a world class wetland.

If that is what is littering the tide line, I shudder to think what is entangled in the wild grasses and mud flats that get covered each day by the tide. The area where the birds that inhabit this area nest.

The Nature Reserve is a Ramsar Site of International Importance and yet its inundated with humans plastic pollution. On the day I was there, besides all the plastic in the above images, on the side of the pathway there was a pile of dog poo bags. 🤬🤬🤬 What is it with dog owners? Why don’t they dispose of the bags in the bins provided or take them home? And let’s not even think about cigarette smokers who throw their disgusting butts into the streets, on the beaches or out their car windows wherever they are. It’s ALL pollution

Will there ever be an end to this horrendous situation we humans have caused?

It is actually just disgusting and we are all responsible.

I just wish there was a solution, but so long as money and profit is more important than people, and people continue to buy convenience products in plastic, there is no hope.

It’s extraordinary…we supposedly put a man on the moon and yet we can’t solve the problem of pollution.

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May we never see you again

Trump’s presidency: a lesson in the true meaning of ‘American carnage’ | Donald Trump | The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/19/donald-trump-reality-tv-presidency-dark-legacy

“And beyond that he is, in my view, the most horrible human being who has ever sat in the Oval Office. In addition to being the worst president, he’s a terrible person. What a combination. I hope we’ve learned this lesson. This ought to remind all Americans what happens when you make a mistake with your vote.”

And thank the dear lord he’s on his way…..hopefully never to he seen again

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I wish I could share this story a million times, so that a million people could see it, perhaps share it to a million other people, so that a million people could stop polluting and dumping their trash.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CKJaIAMg2Qj/?igshid=q2ovcp9ov3hb

With my frequent lengthy walks, and long distance walking, I see trash along the sides of the roads, in the hedges, the fields, and bizarrely even in trees. Its disgusting.

As he says, ultimately those people who dump their trash along the roads and elsewhere, are hurting themselves.

Fly-tipping at its worst

Edit: if you want to see what Curtis is up to, he’s on Instagram under creekrunner242 What a hero, and he turns the trash into art 👏👏👏

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European Movement

I subscribe to the European Movement and their emails to keep up to date with the impact of Brexit on Britain. It’s not a pretty picture…the lies and falsehoods of the 2016 campaign are now being laid bare for all to see, but the protagonists will continue to obsficate and prevaricate and misrepresent the facts/reality. Of course their leader is REALLY damn good at that, a past master I’d say, and an expert.

Brexit Reality: How’s it looking?

Brexit Reality: How’s it looking?

Brexit One Week On

A week ago the UK fully left the EU. The moment we all campaigned against, warned about and feared the consequences of became reality – and it’s every bit as bad as forecast.

Here are just some examples of the impact of Brexit in just its first week:

  1. Several UK companies have paused trading with the EU and some have given up entirely
  2. Many EU businesses have stopped deliveries to UK customers because of Brexit
  3. €6 billion of EU share trading has moved away from the City and is lost for good
  4. The loss of passporting rights on January 1 has put the financial services sector (7% of the UK economy) at risk
  5. The cost of sending a package from the UK to the EU has risen dramatically – up by more than £100!
  6. New customs declarations mean more red tape and higher costs for UK businesses
  7. More costs, paperwork, delays and limits on travel to the EU, including a reduction in free healthcare and the return of roaming charges
  8. The UK on January 1 repealed the EU directive on cross-border tax arrangements, risking more tax avoidance and lower tax revenues
  9. British musicians touring Europe will now face increased costs and paperwork, and more red tape to cover equipment and crew
  10. Not Lovin (Brex)It! Due to supply chains following Brexit, there have already been food shortages, including at McDonald’s

The response of Brexiters to all this has, of course, been to bury their heads in the sand, ignore what’s actually been happening and try to claim some ‘Brexit bonuses’ – claims that, of course, fall apart, as outlined below.

“Brexit Benefit” Claims v The Reality:

  • ‘Benefit’ 1: “Brexit has enabled UK to axe the ‘Tampon Tax’”

Reality: The Free Periods campaign group said it was “misleading” for the UK government to say Brexit was necessary to eliminate VAT on menstrual products. Ireland does not have VAT on sanitary products, and an EU-wide ban will be implemented soon.

  • ‘Benefit’ 2: “Brexit means we can now ban Pulse Fishing”

Reality: France and Belgium have already outlawed the practice in their territorial waters. The UK could have done the same when it was still a member of the EU. An EU-wide ban comes into force on July 1 2021.

  • ‘Benefit’ 3: “After Brexit we can have free ports”

Reality: There are more than 80 special economic zones, or free ports, across the EU, so they could have been done pre-Brexit. And in any case, they are of limited value, and can often be a haven for money laundering and tax evasion.

  • ‘Benefit’ 4: “There will be no non-tariff barriers after Brexit”

Reality: From English fish merchants and Scottish seafood exporters to hauliers crossing the Dover Straits, British businesses are unable to trade as smoothly as before, with new barriers meaning some companies will be unable to export at all and others are being turned away at ports.

  • ‘Benefit’ 5: “Because of Brexit, freed from EU rules, we were able to approve vaccines quicker”

Reality: The Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine approvals took place within the framework of EU rules, while the Moderna vaccine has already been approved by EU regulators – but because of Brexit, its availability in Britain will be delayed until April.

This is a bad deal for Britain

As the realities this week show, this bad deal for Britain leaves us in a worse position than we held as a member of the EU. It is the first ever trade deal to increase barriers to trade. It turns us into rule takers rather than rule makers. And we have lost our precious, life-changing rights to freedom of movement.

If you want to find out more about what we have lost by leaving the EU, the EU has released this handy scorecard outlining the brutal reality of everything we have lost as a result of Brexit.


If you are not already a member, please join, and help us build back our relationships with the EU and get back those rights we have lost:JOIN THE MOVEMENT


Please help us make our collective voice as loud as possible – share our Brexit Realities and ‘Brexit Bonus’ myth-busting blogpost with all your friends, family, and colleagues.

Promoted by Hugo Mann on behalf of European Movement UK, The Cursitor, 38 Chancery Ln, Cursitor St, Holborn, London WC2A 1EN

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I’m still really upset at the miscommunication of my vote. I have to think about that very carefully for the future. Guilt is not any easy bedfellow.

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I was researching some carvings on the portico if a church I visited a couple of days ago and came across this article. Absolutely love this story. Clever man 😃😃😃

An Art Historian Discovered a Cheeky Self-Portrait That a Stonemason Left as an Easter Egg Inside a Famous Spanish Cathedral 800 Years Ago

https://news.artnet.com/art-world/art-historian-discovered-secret-stonemason-self-portrait-800-year-old-cathedral-spain-1920189

If you’ve walked to the Cathedral in Santiago you’ll know why this is such a fascinating find….

If you haven’t walked to the Cathedral in Santiago…..why not!!! Start planning 😉😄😄

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My daughter sent me this fascinating article about the Aboriginal society of Australia. I love reading this kind of information, and enjoy that science can be used for the good. I thought you might find it interesting.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/dna-tests-suggest-aboriginal-australians-have-oldest-society-planet-180960569/

The Smithsonian magazine have some really interesting articles, as well as tv programmes on the Smithsonian channel.

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I’ve always liked Andrew’s videos and how he tells a story. This video is part of a series of 8 and the rest of the series can be found on YouTube. This video also features 2 Irish pilgrims. I wonder what the future holds for Andrew. His Camino journey isn’t over. Like what you see? […]

Weekend Watch #77 – A Christmas Gift from Beyond the Way

And following right behind my last shared post is this….

Having walked the Portuguese Camino in 2017, I’m always drawn to other people’s stories and experiences, and there is one for every pilgrim who walks a Camino, regardless of which one it is.

This post also brings me to a brief conversation I had with my daughter yesterday after seeing the images of the flooding and damage caused by our current storm; Bertha.

Being an imperfect human, I complain from time to time about my dissatisfaction with my difficulties at work, how it’s so mentally draining, about not having my own home…a place I can return to instead of the next b&b or guesthouse.

And then you read or hear about events that overtake the lives of others, and you realise that there is always someone else worse off…a mother trying to shelter her children and find food after a devastating earthquake, families losing their homes and belongings during a flood.

I try to remind myself that despite the difficulties and frustrations of my life, that is just what they are…and they’re neither life threatening or devastating.

And I am reminded just how fortunate I am and have been.

Have you walked the Camino in Spain? Or any pilgrimage in another country….

camino sustantivo, path, road; journey; way.

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New Year’s holidays are always the most magical moments of the year, with fabulous, cheerful and kind atmosphere.   Santa is a symbol of this joyous holiday, very popular in every country and he has lots of different names like Santa Claus, Ded Moroz,  Father Christmas,  Saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas,  Saint Nick, Kris Kringle and many more.  The modern […]

Santa around the world.

A lot of work has gone into this post, and I’ve certainly learned something.

Thanks Angela for such an informative review of a traditional figure 🎅 its always fascinating to find out where traditions begin and how they develop.

Merry Christmas one and all 🤶🏻🎄🎊🎉🎁

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