Saturday, January 31, 2009

Guess who?

These pictures are!

Thanks Dickiebo, queen victoria??? I like the royalty bit though.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Isn't she a lovely little girl sleeping beautifully in her bed?
Yes, I hear you cry, she is.
No-one can deny she looks peaceful and serene, for you see, she is.

She appears to be merely dozing but she is not in her bed, she is in her glass coffin.

Her name is Rosalia Lombardo, she is Sicilian and is only two years old.
She died of pneumonia in 1920.

No-one could understand how anyone could preserve such a young body and for so long, well, the answer seems to be a mixture of formaldehyde and water, that kills bacteria, Alcohol along with the arid conditions in the catacombs, would have dried Rosalia's body and allowed it to mummify. Glycerin would have kept her body from drying out too much and salicylic acid would have prevented the growth of fungi.
However the main ingredient was in fact zinc salts, this petrified Rosalia's body.
Zinc gave her rigidity, you could, in fact, take her out of the casket, prop her up and she would stand by herself.

Now I must admit that I find this fascinating, I love anything to do with mummies, how they are preserved and for so many years, but these are adults and they wish to be preserved because that is their belief.

Rosalia is two years old and had no choice.

And, I must admit that is what I find a little upsetting and disturbing.
Whether it is because it is a child I really don't know, but when I first saw this picture, I ooohed and aaaarhed at it and then I read that she was in fact, dead.
This put a very different perspective on it.
I don't know what you thnk but while I was looking at her, I kept thinking,
"Wouldn't it have been better if they let her go?"
You see, it's this 'trying to keep her' that is bothering me.
Her parents will not let 'her go.'
We can all understand that, but,a death in the family, happens to a lot of people (unfortunately) they loose their child, be it boy or girl, but you have to let them go.

I keep thinking about what the parents are thinking of?
Are they trying to show the whole world what a beautiful little girl she was?
Is it their way of grieving?
Are they trying to share their grief with the whole world?

Whatever their reason I cannot help but feel this beautiful little girl cannot find her place until she has been let go. It's like she is in no-mans land. Neither here nor there.

Does that make any sense?
I hope you understand what I am trying to say.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Guess who?
p.s. please excuse the lady in the photo, she is a friend of my mums and even my mum could not remember why she is in these!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

more unusual churches

Here are some more unusual churches.
1. Top.
Paraportiana church, Mykonos, Greece.
This Paraportiana church is one of the most famous architectual structures in Greece.
It's name means second gate because it was built on the site of the gates of the medieval stone walls.
Some parts of this church dates back to 1425 and the rest was built during the 16th and 17th centuries.
2. Bottom.
Green Church. Buenos Aires. Argentina.
A parish church known as the "Huerto de Olivos" meaning "Garden of Olives."
3. Middle.
Borgund Stave church. Norway.
Stave churches have been very usual all over medieval Northwestern Europe but now you can only find them in Norway.
It is the best preserved of Norways 28 stave churches. This wooden church has not changed since it was built in the 12th century.

Friday, January 23, 2009

These are the most unusual churches we have ever seen.

1. Top left. Goreme, Turkey.
We are not sure when this was built but it is definitely ancient.
The Cappadocia valley where this church stands is very popular for it's rocks. The people of this village also carve out houses, churches and monastries.

2. Middle. Duomo (Milan Cathedral) Italy.
This church looks massive and strong and almost evil and scary. Though that could just be the angle of the photograph.
But it is utterly amazing.
3. Bottom. Halligrimur, Iceland.
This church is very unusual. It is 74.5 metres (244ft) tall. It is the fourth largest architectural structure in Iceland.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

19th January 2009

There were over 4million people to see this historic event, Barack Obama, the first black President of the United States of America.

"My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.

I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and co-operation he has shown throughout this transition."

"Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath."

"The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit to chose our better history, to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation, the god-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."
"We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to it's people and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan with old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lesson the nuclear threat, and roll back the spectre of a warming planet."
"We will not apologise for our way of life, nor will we waver in it's defence, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering the innoncents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken, you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you."
"Our challenges may be new, the instruments with which we meet them may be new.
But those values upon which our success depends- hard work, honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiousity, loyalty and patriotism- these things are old.
These things are true."

During his speech the television cameras scanned the millions of people there, many of whom were openly crying, and I was rather emotional myself to be honest.
The speech went on for about 20 minutes, these are just a few paragraphs I have picked out, to be honest they were my favourite part of his speech. However, there was one thing I thought of when listening to Barack Obama, it was that he reminded me of two people.
1. J.F.K.
2. Martin Luther King.

With a mixture like that I don't think you can go to far wrong.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I haven't posted for a while and there is a reason for that. I was going to tell you about my grandfather, my mother's father, who was in the Grenadier Guards.
I have some photos of him but I really wanted to show you the silver spoons he won for shooting.
They really are worth looking at.
My mother has them, and she lives in Oxford,so next time we go and visit I will photo them and show you all.
Here are some beautiful butterflies to show you for now.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I was just looking through all your blogs , as I do every day, when it hit me that a lot of bloggers haven't posted for a while. Now, I am not including those that have not posted since christmas because I believe that is usually due to the work load at this time of year.
I know I have made a list on my blog site but that is just a few of them, I keep my blogging friends in 'favourites' at the top of the page. Purely because it is easier to call them up, so to speak. So, I went back to the page and went through all the police blogs and this is what I found:

33 police bloggs still in action.
10 police bloggers that has not blogged for a while.

The 10 police bloggers that have not posted for a while are:
Dad to be ( has not blogged since) 27 may 2008
Another bloody grumpy copper 15 aug 2008
Another constable 15 oct 2008
Carry on constable 12 nov 2008
Gazzateer 14 Apr 2008
Bobby dazzler 24 may 2008
Franky fact 9 Jun 2008
P C Plod 9 Jun 2008
TUPC 11 nov 2008
Wannabe 19 Jun 2008
We know that TUPC has finished and so has Wannabe, but what's happened to all the others?
You feel that you know them even though you have never met them.
I really miss them.
I also have 16 other non police blogger friends.
Keeps me busy and I love it.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Well, I've just put the christmas decorations away, two christmas trees.
That's all the decorations we have now, it just makes it feel like christmas, and to be truthful, that's enough. There's just the two of us.
We always leave it till the 12th day. (Jan 6th) before we take them down as geoff's parents did the same when he was a child so he has continued with the same tradition.
I do actually enjoy christmas it's the new year I'm not bothered about. I don't mean I don't look forward to a new year as I do, but it's new year's eve itself I'm not bothered about. We stay in as it's not worth even trying to go out for these reasons:
1 One of you can't drink because of driving.
2 Everyone else gets blotto.
3 Everyone gets very loud and boisterous.
4 Can't stand all the kissing at midnight with people I don't know, and probably will never see again.

No, no, we stay in and have a nice quiet night , just having a drink at midnight, then go to bed at 12.10 or earlier if I can!
Then wake up the next day and be glad it's over.

Just been looking at the blogs and as always Dickiebo's is always one of the first.
It does make me laugh, when you make a comment do you see the funny little faces that are printed by your name?
Mine makes me has a plaster over it's mouth.

Now, I'm going to sit down and watch my fav programme 'new Tricks' seen all of those many times before but still enjoy it.

Anyway, enough about this boring old f**t (me!) I do hope you all had a nice christmas, now the diets, eh???

Thursday, January 01, 2009

On christmas evening, Geoff and I were a bit fed up with the T.V. programmes so we decided to watch a dvd of our own.
The Morecambe and Wise show.
Always a pleasure to watch them and so funny too.
While we watched the dvd, Geoff asked me if I realised that Eric Morecambe was a 'Bevin boy'?
I said I had heard something about it but wasn't actually that sure of what the 'Bevin Boys' even meant. So, of course, after watching the dvd, on the computer I go, and am I glad I did.
It is so interesting. You would not believe who was involved with the 'Bevin boys.'

The programme was named after Earnest Bevin, a former trade union official and then British labour Party politician who was minister of labour and National service in the wartime coalition government.

Earnest Bevin was born on 9th March 1881 in Somerset. He received little education and was orphaned at the age of 8.

He began work at 11 in the Bristol docks but soon exhibited an extraordinary gift for organisation. He became involved in the Dockers union and was instrumental in the creation of the Transport and General workers union,of which he became general secretary in 1922.

In the inter-war years, Bevin was, despite being outside parliament, a leading figure in the development of Labour Party strategy and ideology and was responsible for ensuring that the claims of organised labour were made central to the ethos and policies of the labour party of the time. His powerful speech at the 1935 party conference was responsible for George Lansbury's replacement by Clement Attlee as party leader.

In 1940 Earnest Bevin was appointed minister of labour by Churchill in the wartime coalition government, and he shortly afterwards became MP for Central Wandsworth.

This appointment proved to be one of Churchill's most imaginative and effective actions as premier.

Bevin succeeded in transforming Britain into a total war economy, in which all human and material resources were focused on the war effort.

This started what we know as the 'Bevin boys.'

Bevin boys were young british men conscripted to work in the coal mines of the United Kingdom, from December 1943 until 1948.
They were chosen at random from conscripts but also including volunteers, nearly 48,000 bevin boys performed vital but largely unrecognised service in the mines, many not being released until years after the war.

10% of all conscripts were between the ages of 18-25.

The Bevin boys were first given 6 weeks training (4 off-site, 2 on) before working in the mines. The work was typical coal mining, largely a mile or more down dark, dank tunnels and conscripts were supplied with helmets and steel-capped safety boots. They worked long hours and for many years, the dreadful conditions they worked in often made them ill.
They did not wear uniforms or badges, but any old clothes they could find.
Being of military age and without uniform many were stopped by the police and questioned about avoiding call-up.
Since a number of conscientious objectoers were sent to work down the mines as an alternative to miliatry service, there was sometimes an assumption that all Bevin boys were 'conchies' and , although the right to conscientiously objecting to killing was recognised in conscription legislation, old attitudes of discrimmination still prevailed amongst some members of the public, with resentment by association towards Bevin boys.

In 1943 UK government minister Earnest Bevin said in parliament:
"There are thousands of cases in which conscientious objectors, although they may have refused to take arms, have shown as much courage as anyone else in civil defence."

The programme was wound up in 1948. At that time the Bevin boys received no medals, nor the right to return to the jobs they had held previously, unlike armed forces personnel.

The Bevin boys were not fully recognised as contributors to the war effort until 1995, 50 years after VE day, in a speech by Queen Elizabeth 11.

In June 2007 Tony Blair informed the house of commons, during Prime Minister's questions that thousands of conscripts who worked down the mines in World War 11 would receive an honour.
The prime minster told the commons the Bevin boys would be rewarded with a veterans badge, similar to the HM Armed Forces Badge, awarded by the Ministry of Defence.

The first badges were awarded on 25th March 2008 by the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, at a reception at 10, Downing Street, marking the 60th anniversary of the last Bevin Boys being discharged.

I cannot believe what those men went through, not just the terrible job of mining, but mostly not being recognised for what they did.

Thank god one of our Prime Ministers changed that.

They all sound as if they are very proud of what they did.

And so they should be.

Below is a photo of Earnest Bevin and a list of the more famous people who were Bevin boys in the war.
Personally, I think that the list of all men who worked as a Bevin boy should be put up for all to see.
Earnest Bevin
1. Jimmy Saville. DJ and charity worker.
"I went down as a boy and came up as a man, if that's what we were told to do by the country to save the country, that's what we did."
2. Jock Purdon Folk singer/poet
Purdon stayed on in the Durham coal mines after the war.
"For me there was only three great generals:
Geromino, Alexander the Great and Arthur Scargill."
3. Dickson Mabon Moderate UK labour politician.
On his discharge in 1948 he went to the University of Glasgow to read medicine.
4. Brian, Lord Rix, Actor /manager, and president of Mencap.
Rix volunteered to leave the RAF to join the Bevin Boy scheme.
"I have never regretted the decision." He said.
5. Eric Morecambe Comedian.
Half of the comedy doble act Morecambe and Wise, Morecambe worked at a mine in Accrington for 11 months, which may have affected his health and led to heart attacks later in life.
6. Peter Schaffer Dramatist.
The author of Equus and Amadeus, he graduated from Trinity college, Cambridge.
7. Alf Sherwood Footballer.
Went to win 41 caps for Wales.
8. Gerald Smithson Cricketer.
While serving as a Bevin boy, smithson was called into the Test cricket team for a tour of the West Indies.
9. Peter Alan Raynor Numismatic Author
Raynorwas conscripted into the mines during World War 11.
10. Peter, Lord Archer Former member of Parliament.
of Sandwell.
Represented both Rowley Regis and Tipton, and latterly for Warley West. Solictor General for England and Wales from March 1974 to May 1979. Also chaired the Enemy Property Claims Assesment panel.
11. Sir Stanly Bailey Police Officer.
Former chief constable of Northumbria police.
Well, geoff and I have had a lovely christmas day. Quiet and relaxing.
Boxing day the same.
But today, new years day, has been the bestest ever.
The reason?
I have just spend 3 hours listening to Michael Jackson.
All his top 40 records has just been played. Geoff is not a big fan of michael's so I popped on the headphones and had them blaring, and then I turned the television right down so geoff could not hear it. geoff went into the kitchen and I stayed in the living room and started to dance and jig about, only to turn round to see geoff weeing himself at me. It's funny when you see someone dancing but you can't hear the music. I like to think I can dance like him, kicking my legs up in the air and doing the moonwalk, but it probably didn't look right as I am wearing an old pair of jeans and the oldest sweat shirt ever, all baggy, which is unusual for me after what we ate over christmas, things have been cracking and creaking, and I blamed the floorboards for that. Geoff wasn't so sure.
So, a lovely day. May it continue.