Royal Mail vintage Christmas posters

December 9, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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With both family and friends scattered across all corners of the globe remembering to send Christmas cards in plenty of time is really important to me.

Yesterday I came across a feature on The Telegraph website which illustrates how the Royal Mail have prompted the nation to get their Christmas post sent early for many, many years with posters campaigns dating from the 1930’s.

Christmas Post Posters 1

The vintage posters, the first of which was created by British artist Graham Sutherland in 1934, are a real pleasure to view and show how the Royal Mail used visual imagery and a simple slogan ‘Post Early for Christmas’ to get the message out there.

Interestingly the selection of poster shows the development of style and design throughout the years. But ultimately the simple message has remained the same ensuring that no one missed the Christmas post.

Christmas Post Posters 2

Today the Royal Mail use online tools to help with our Christmas post, which are great resources and incredibly practical. However, these digital resources don’t seem to have the same impact of the vintage posters, which so wonderfully capture the time period of which they were created.

Tower Bridge construction photographs revealed

November 30, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Yesterday I was amazed to see these fantastic photographs of London’s Tower Bridge when it was in the mist of been constructed in the 1890’s.

The photographs were unbelievably found in a skips by a caretaker who later took them to the London Bridge Museum. Astonishingly the museum told the man, who wishes to remain anonymous, that they had plenty of old images and wouldn’t require his. So he simply took the images home and stored them under his bed.

Tower bridge 1

 It wasn’t until he mentioned his collection to his London Tour Guide friend five years later that the value and sheer brilliance of the images emerged.

The 50 strong collection of sepia photographs which beautifully documents the development of one of London’s most recognisable landmarks is now considered to be a rare snapshot which has great historic value.Tower Bridge 2

Tower bridge 3

  See more images on The Telegraph.


Health Lottery – What’s your opinion?

September 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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As a businesswoman in an industry which deals with mostly older people health care and well-being are often avenues which I consider when thinking about my customers. For the team and I it’s important to know what other services are available to this demographic so that we can pass such information on.

We read lots about charities, organisations and foundations which offer services under restricted budgets and rely heavily on volunteers and other people’s time and money. So when I read an article earlier today about media mogul Richard Desmond’s new lottery venture I was interested to learn more about it.

Titled ‘Health Lottery’ it works much like the National Lottery as each ticket costs £1 and prize money is dependent on how many matching numbers you have. Similarly to the National Lottery, Health Lottery is set to donate profits of ticket sales to charities across the country. However, these charities will be exclusive health care based. With funding getting ploughed into community services which local health groups decided is most deserving or indeed of such.

The Health Lottery has promised to offer its funding to a wide range of charitable services including young carer services, further training in healthcare and services targeted to elderly people who maybe suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia and other aging illnesses.


To me it all sounds a little too good to be true; health service organisation and charities receiving funding so exclusively. So I wasn’t surprised to read what the critics had to say about Desmond’s latest product. And that’s basically that his gesture of good will is in fact somewhat disappointing.

Unlike the National Lottery who donates 28p per £1 lottery ticket, Health Lottery will only donate  20p from each ticket to a charitable cause and won’t be expected to pay further in ‘lottery duty’ of which the National Lottery do.

Although these figures may not sounds too far part on a one ticket basis The Telegraph revealed calculations which put the differences into perspective. As if ‘Health Lottery sold £250 million tickets in its first year, it will donate £20 million less to good causes than if the same sum had been spent on the National Lottery’  begging the question as to who will profit from such a difference?

On the surface the Health Lottery seems like a fantastic chance for the public to donate to a good cause in a really simple and if they’re lucky, rewarding way. However, it’s really saddening to read that the Health Lottery doesn’t live up to the expectation that its competitors have already set and ultimately charities will lose out.

Health Lottery ticket go on sale on 29th September 2011.

My thoughts- The rioting across England.

August 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The rioting across London, which has now spread to other areas of England, is devastating to view.  News reports showing burning buildings of businesses and homes, shops being looted and innocent lives left in turmoil by people who seem to have little respect for society is truly tragic.

With strong police presence in all affected areas it is hard not to ask the questions what is going on and why hasn’t this callous violence been stopped?

I am glad PM David Cameron has returned from his summer holiday to assess the trouble. People need to feel safe again I hope that he can quickly achieve this.

Aaron Biber

I’m struck by the news footage and feel ashamed that such behaviour has happened in the UK. One photo I saw on The Telegraph says it all. 89 year old Aaron Biber looks at the remains of his barbershop in Tottenham. It is a heart breaking scene. Terrifyingly those responsible for these outrageous riots are mostly youngsters who are holding their own communities hostage with mindless and disgraceful behaviour.

Aaron Biber2

I think that we need to be strong now. We cannot accept these dreadful acts of criminality, which are bringing hysteria to the streets of England. We need to ask ourselves how in our modern, caring society can people behave in such an appalling manner, and why do these people believe that violence, theft and intimidation is acceptable.

For up to date news on rioting – click here.

Southwark Circle- A new approach to social care.

July 26, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Having worked in the mobility industry for many years I have come across a variety of concepts which aim to make the lives of elderly people better. However, it is rare to discover something different. Having read about Southwark Circle in The Telegraph online yesterday I got an instance sense of ‘wow, what a great idea’.

Southwark Circle is a simple concept with two main aims; simply to get people together and provide practical help on an accessible basis.

Founded in 2009 Southwark Circle is exclusive to the community of Southwark borough in London. Two years later it has a sturdy membership of 860 and provides genuine, forward thinking social care for the community.

southwark  circle

With such a huge following it’s hard not to question what the Circle’s magic ingredient is. Why do over 50’s (this is their target audience) want to become apart for Southwark Circle and what makes it different from any other social community group?

I pondered these questions and the truth is the answers are really simple. For a start the social calendar for member is fantastic. In July alone members could visit The Imperial War Museum, watch a cricket match, visit the theatre to see The Railway Children, enjoy an Indian meal and that’s only naming a handful of activities.

Secondly the Southwark Circle works on a ‘token’ basis; members purchase tokens valued at £10 which can be exchanged for a social event. Alternatively members who may need the help from Southwark helpers can pay for an hours labour with their tokens. Helpers can do anything from change a light bulb to help your send a text.

Basically, members fund their involvement and needs on a token basis- making taking part and receiving help easy and hassle free.

southwark circle members

What makes Southwark Circle more successful is its outlook. Brilliantly they never mention age or remind their members that the average age of a member is 69. The concept realises that people don’t want to be reminded about growing older, however, they do desire the social care which comes naturally with aging.

Additionally, Southwark Circle encourages members put on their own social events with people they have met through the Circle. Celebrating the fact that members can find genuine friendships from the scheme. A true triumph as the average member falls into the shocking statistic which says ‘3.1 million over-65s have no contact with a friend, neighbour or family member in any one week.’

Described as ‘a pioneering scheme that improves old people’s lives socially as well as practically’, Southwark Circle tackles aging and the system of social care head on. I think that it is a much needed modern approach, with simple aims and fantastic outcomes. The Circle concept is set to be spread out across the country, and I can’t think of anything better for an aging and often isolated population.

Should there be a drinking limit for the 65+ generation?

June 24, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I am sure that many of you have read about new studies claiming that people aged 65 and over should limit themselves to drinking 1.5 units of alcohol per day.

The studies from the Royal College of Psychiatrists claim that this is the safe limit of alcohol for the aging generation. But the question is should we be told our limits or are we wise enough to know when enough is enough?

The general consensus would seem to agree with the latter. That people in this age bracket have enough experience and knowledge about themselves, and their personal ‘limits’ to judge their own alcohol consumption.

65+ alcohol limit

Should an limit be put on alcohol for the 65 plus age group?

To suggest such limits seems a little out of touch with reality. 1.5 units of alcohol is less than a standard glass of white wine and a little over half a pint of beer. With this in mind the reality of people stopping enjoying a glass of wine with dinner or a pint in the pub is unlikely and even a little patronising.

Although, I do agree that understanding the affect alcohol can have on health at any age is of great importance. Maybe the claims should have avoiding using the term ‘limit’ and instead suggested that the 65 plus age group should enjoy in moderation.

I read a great article  on the Telegraph These ninnies are actually driving me to drink’ which offers a tongue and cheek approach to the new claims.

Patchwork quilting becomes a trend

June 14, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Back in January I blogged about patchwork quilting, a hobby that I have enjoyed for years. Quite surprisingly, I read an article in The Telegraph this morning, which claims that patchwork quilting is in fact a new up and coming trend.

I was really happy to read the article as it sheds light on the delights of quilting and enlightened me on some interesting facts which I was unaware of.

Rightly so the appeal of quilting is creating something unique. However, I wasn’t aware that during history quilts have been used to convey many different messages. From the 1690’s seamstresses uses quilting to express their feeling as an alternative to a diary. And later American Civil War slaves used customised quilts to give guidance to fellow slaves who were on the run for freedom.

quilting The messages that many quilts hold are so personal and unique that they tell the most magnificent stories. Maybe this is what persuaded the V&A to hold a quilt exhibit last year; allowing people to discover the tales behind the many different fabrics and stitches.

To think that modern artists such as Tracey Emin and Grayson Perry, who have tremendous amounts of respect within the arts are also taking to quilting is quite something. As although their pieces might be considered as controversial it is great to see that the craft of quilting is truly being recognised. Here’s to my favourite hobby patchwork quilting!

Read the article‘Unravelling secrets in crafty stitchwork’ The Telegraph.

Hay Festival- Art & Literature festival

May 31, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The Hay Festival brings together the most influential figures in Art and Literature. This year’s festival sees Nobel Prize winner VS Naipaul, actor Rob Lowe, broadcaster Chris Evans, Ceramic Artist Emma Bridgewater and children’s author Jacqueline Wilson plus many more.

Hay Festival

Held in Powys, Wales 2011’s Hay festival has really caught my eye, and I was happy to read the latest news that the Duchess of Cornwall will be attending today’s event. The Duchess will read to a group of children, tour the festival and make a speech about her passion for literature and the arts.

Camilla, who is a patron of the Hay Festival, is keen to encourage the younger generation to pick up a book and enjoy literature. She has said that her love for reading steams from childhood, where her father would read to her. Similarly Camilla read to her own children and now takes great pleasure in treating her grandchildren to a bed time story.

camilla hay festival

Much like the Duchess I love to read- I recently invested in an E-Reader, which is a fabulous way to carry a huge variety of books. It also was the perfect holiday accessory. I am hopeful that my passion for reading will also be inherited by my own grandchildren. As books are a perfect gift and I regularly send over new bedtime stories to Italy for my grandchildren to enjoy.

Hay FeverIt’s great to see ‘Hay Fever’ for teens, tots and inbetween- I’m really looking forward to hearing which under 13 years old wins the 500 word writing competition after hearing some much about it on Chris Evans BBC2 Radio Breakfast show. The lucky winner is set to be announced on Friday 3rd June, a great chance to find some wonderful, young talent.

Once described as ‘The Woodstock of the mind’ with art, literature and culture all coming together to inspire and encourage there is something for everyone, and the Hay Festival is a great way to celebrate literature!

 I’m following the event on The Telegraph for regular updates- click for more information.

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