Diamond Jubilee- What to watch…

May 28, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The Diamond Jubilee is set to be the biggest national celebration since the Royal Wedding in April 2011. So it comes as little surprise that live footage will be on the television and radio over the weekend.

Most television channels including BBC, ITV and Sky have chosen to return to the correspondents who covered the Royal Wedding. Huw Edwards and Sophie Raworth are at the helm of the BBC’s Diamond Jubilee coverage. Phillip Schofield and Julie Etchingham will be taking the reins at ITV and Dermot Murnagham, Eamonn Holmes and Sarah Hewson will be reporting for Sky News.

You’ll be able to watch live footage throughout most of the weekend on all channels so stay tuned!

What to watch Dimaond Jubliee

What I’m looking forward to watching over the Diamond Jubilee weekend.


Watch to watch in the run up to the weekend.

  • The Queen and I – ITV 8pm tonight- Ordinary people sharing their personal encounters with The Queen over her reign.
  • A tribute to the Queen by Prince of Wales– BBC 1 8pm 1st June- A personal tribute from Prince Charles which includes unseen images and home movies of the Queen.
  • Elizabeth: Queen, Wife, Mother– ITV 9pm 1st June- Alan Titchmarsh presents a touching documentary for the Diamond Jubilee. This documentary gives a personal insight into the Queen by her closest family including Princes William and Andrew and Princess Anne.

Top Coverage Tip: Remember that most news channel including BBC, ITV and Sky News will be keeping up to date online coverage of the Diamond Jubilee with special news updates, Twitter Feeds and Facebook statuses.

Davy Jones of The Monkees dies aged 66

March 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Today brought sad news of another untimely death as Davy Jones of The Monkees passed away at his home in Florida yesterday aged only 66.

The only British member of The Monkees Davy Jones was adored for his cute looks and tongue and cheek personality back in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

Davy Jones

Davy Jones of The Monkees

Like many people I have very fond memories of gathering around the television set as a teenager to watch The Monkees TV show where Davy Jones and band mates Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael Nersmith would perform their now famous pop songs- Daydream Believer was a favourite of mine.

Cited as the ‘American Beetles’ the era of The Monkees was an fantastic time and I’m sure that many people will agree that Davy Jones played a huge role in entertaining young people across the world. A very sad loss indeed.

Work Experience Schemes

February 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The government’s work experience scheme has been under fire this week with several companies including Burger King, Waterstones and Sainsbury’s pulling out of the initiative after it received heavy criticism from opponents who have branded the programme as ‘slave labour’.

The premise of the scheme is to give unemployed 16-24 year olds experience in a working environment for 2-8 weeks. Although participants don’t receive payment for their work, they do continue to receive benefits and in some cases job prospects are available at the end.

But concerns have arisen after it was announced that employees who didn’t attend their work placements would have their benefits docked. Further sparks have flown as opponents argued that leading companies should not expect people to work for no payment under any circumstances.

sainsbury work experience placements

Sainsbury's have pulled out of the scheme

As a business owner myself I firstly have to say that I am a support of the work experience scheme as I strongly believe that people should contribute to society and ultimately work for their benefits. Secondary I believe that work experience is a crucial part of a young person’s life as it’s an opportunity to learn new skills and gain confidence in your own abilities.  

Although my business isn’t involved in this particular scheme we do actively take part in work placements with schools in the local area, welcoming pupils into the work place for several weeks each year.

This process is extremely enjoyable for me and the team as it’s an opportunity to work with bright young people. But it’s also incredibly time consuming and takes a lot of effort for all involved to create a worthwhile experience. An element which I think people should bear in mind when slamming companies who are willing to take on unemployed youngsters.

Tesco work experience

Supermarket Tesco have adjusted their Work Placement policy

I’d personally like to see more compassion shown towards the hundreds of young people who take on unpaid internships, where big brands often use innovation ideas from talented young graduates to their own advantage. I believe that this is a real example of exploitation in young people and an issue that should be addressed.

I hope that people will come around to the work placement scheme and truly take the time to consider the scheme’s benefits- experience in a new environment, opportunity to network and ultimately the prospect of a career as the scheme could change a young person’s life forever.

I’d be interested in hearing your views of the governments work placement scheme…

Costa Cruising Disasters

February 28, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Only six weeks ago news broke that the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia had collided into rocks off the Italian coast. As the ship slowly sunk, finally laying on its side submerged in the shallow water, passengers and crew members were forced to evacuate. 

To date the Concordia disaster has claimed 25 lives and sadly there are still people missing. More distressingly the Concordia captain, Cpt. Schettino is suspected of abandoning the liner during the disaster, which has caused great anger amongst many who believe that the disaster could have been avoided.

Unbelievably Costa Cruising has suffered another blow as the Concordia’s sister ship, Costa Allegra was forced to issue a Mayday signal yesterday after a fire broke out in the ship’s generator room. The fire cut all power supplies to the liner causing it to be left stranded, drifting in the Indian Ocean.

Sunken Costa-Concordia

The sunken Costa Concordia

The Allegra, which was only days into its tour of the Indian Ocean, Red Sea and Mediterranean, was feared to be targeted by Pirates last night. However, the vessel has been recovered and is currently been towed to the Seychelles with all passengers and crew members safe and well.

An experienced cruiser myself I have great sympathy for all passenger on board both the Costa Concordia and Costa Allegra as they must feel tremendous uncertainty about cruising. A way of travelling which I have utterly enjoyed for many years, and know is a firm favourite amongst many, specifically older people.

Although I’ve never personally cruised with Costa I do question the future of Costa Cruising. With two significant incidents in such a short period of time I wonder if Costa will be able to withstand the aftermath of the Concordia and Allegra disasters. Further I’ve speculated if cruising in general will suffer as a result.

Costa Allegra

Costa Allegra

Hopefully the latter won’t happen as cruising is a real joy when all goes to plan. I think it’s important to remember that there is a huge variety of cruise liners all with tremendous history, exceptional service and style.

My advice would be to do a little research and get recommendation from people who have cruised before. I could recommend plenty of liners – all depending on what you want from a cruiser- but I’d stress that all cruise ships have strict safety procedures to prepare passengers for any eventualities so there really is no great need to worry.

Read my cruising blog for more inspiration.

Assistance Dogs- Canine Partners

February 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Recently I’ve noticed a rise in negative media attention surrounding dogs and their owners. Today I read a distressing story about an elderly gentleman who has sadly died after been attacked by his neighbours pitbull.

At the cash point

As a dog owner myself, I understand how much time, attention and effort is needed for dogs to acquire the calm and friendly temperament which most owners desire. However, it would seem that proper training and perseverance with such is being ignored by some making devastating events inevitable.

So when I was browsing news sites yesterday and came across the story of Bryon, the golden Labrador who is able to assistant his owner Kate in all manner of ways, I was delighted to finally see a positive and uplifting story about dogs, who are indeed ‘ A Man’s Best Friend’.

Bryon is an assistance dog who is specially trained to help Kate with everyday tasks from manoeuvring her wheelchair, helping her cross the road, collecting items from supermarket shelves, loading the washing machine and even getting cash out of a cash machine.

More than just a friendly pet, Bryon is able to answer over 100 commands and has become a life line and source of independence for Kate, whose mobility has been reduced due to a long term health condition.

bryon washing up

Bryon washing up!

Responsible for Bryon and hundreds of other assistance dogs is Canine Partners, a charity organisation who are dedicated to training dogs and pups, who will go on to enhance the of life disabled people across the UK.

I was lucky enough to see a demonstration by Canine Partners at Naidex 2011– an industry exhibition which showcases homecare, mobility and rehabilitation products. The demo, which involved two Canine Partners assistance dogs, was spectacular. Showing not only the extraordinary skill and intelligence of the dogs but also how much enjoyment they are able to share. As I’m sure you can imagine the show was most popular amongst exhibitors.

bryon washing machine

Bryon loading the washing machine

I think it’s really is worth taking note of how training a dog with simple commands can make a big difference. I’m not suggesting that all dogs should become assistance pups, I know my own are a little too boisterous for that, but simple obedience rules can help a lot and avoid further unruly dog attacks.

My thoughts on Norwegian attacks and Amy Winehouse death

July 25, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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amy winehouseThe attacks which have taken place in Norway this weekend are truly devastating. Reading the news and hearing of such terror is unimaginable. We can only hope that as a nation Norway find comfort from the support from around the world, after such tragedy.

My thoughts are with those 93 people who were innocently caught in such tragedy, and of course to their family and friends affected by such loss.

This weekend also brought more sad news as singer Amy Winehouse was found dead at her London home. Although her cause of death is yet to be confirmed, it’s well known that the singer lived a troubled life. At 27 years old and with such talent it is sad to see a loss of life. We can only hope that she will be remembered for her remarkable voice and musical achievements.

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