Autumn has arrived…………

After what has been a very good summer here in the UK (well, by UK standards that is) autumn has arrived and the flora and fauna has changed radically from a month or so ago.

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Trees have taken on a “coat of many colours” and as I walked along the Huddersfield Canal in Slaithwaite last week on a greyish, dank October morning I was struck by the wonderful colours of the plants bordering the canal.

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The water was perfectly still, not a breeze, and the reflections of the plants and tress in the water was both clear and beautiful. I spend many mornings walking this pathway on my way to the bakery (and the obligatory cappuccino and almond croissant) but I think this is my favourite time of the year.

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It is not just the colours but the smell of damp leaves, plants and even the trees which often conjures up memories of my childhood and wandering through the “woods” near my home (those were the days when kids were allowed outside for hours at a time to play and enjoy themselves).

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Yesterday I was in Chorlton (suburb of Manchester) visiting my daughter and opposite the house was a magnificent Horse Chestnut tree in full autumn bloom. I think more people should stand back from time to time and take the opportunity to appreciate the world we live in and the beautiful sites on our own doorsteps.

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Portrait

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The “little dude” in contemplative mood

© Kindadukish 2014

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Advice for “Pushy Parents”

There have been a number of articles in the press recently about the problem of “pushy parents” at sporting events their kids were participating in. I have reads about parents verbally, and on rare occasions, abusing both the referee and linesmen at football matches in which their 7 year old was involved.

I remember when my daughter was young (about 8 years of age) taking her to cross country races throughout Yorkshire and being staggered at the behaviour of some parents. Young girls with such high stress levels before they had even raced because of the expectation of parents and worse still seeing them at the end of a race in tears as the angry parents remonstrated with them because they had not performed as well as expected. And this with children of such a young age.

Fortunately, most of the parents I encountered at ‘races” were very supportive to their children, delighted when they won and equally pleased and encouraging if they didn’t.

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Sport is supposed to be about enjoyment, winning is always the aim but is often the bonus. So when I was reading an article recently about “pushy parents” it featured a rugby club who had placed a notice board at the side of the pitch as a guideline for parents……….and I think it sums up beautifully what parents should always consider, I leave you to make your own judgement.

 

 

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Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam)………and problems for the BBC (AGAIN)

I see that our old friend Cat Stevens (or Yufus Islam as he has been known for 20 years or so) is pedaling his wares again and that the BBC are falling over themselves to give him every opportunity to publicise the release of a new album ( his music was twee and awful 30 years ago and it hasn’t changed).

I caught a bit of him on the Simon Mayo show on Radio 2 and the reverence with which he is treated is nauseating. Sycophancy doesn’t even begin to describe it.

220px-YusufIslam_velvetgoldmine82 Now it does strike me as somewhat strange that the BBC which has had its problems with the music and broadcasting business in the last 2 years or so, think Jimmy Saville, Dave Lee Travis, Rolf Harris and not to mention the likes of Stuart Hall (we won’t even mention the misdemeanors of the sacred cow that is John Peel) has given free reign to Yusuf Islam to propagate his ideas and beliefs but have never questioned him about his support for the “fatwa” on Rushdie.

Here is a man who agreed with the call for Salman Rushdie to be killed for writing his book “The Satanic Verses”. He subsequently denied that he had called for the killing and said he was “joking” and had been misinterpreted.

Well, I recommend that you watch this excerpt from a British TV programme from a good many years ago where Islam makes the most outrageous of statements regarding the killing of Rushdie and if this is his way of “joking” I wouldn’t like to hear him when he is serious about a subject. Fay Weldon who was taking part in the discussion was appalled and suggested that the police officer who was also on the panel arrest Islam for inciting people to kill Rushdie.

People say that “it was a long time ago” and yes it was, but I don’t ever recall Islam apologising for such an outrageous statement and saying “I was wrong”…… and as I far as we all know he still holds thos views today…………….so why are the BBC giving a platform to someone who incites murder?

After all, the BBC have virtually expunged every reference to the gropers and abusers named above and cut them from any programmes being re-shown yet they give a platform to an advocate of the murder of a man for the appalling crime of writing a book!

What is it about the BBC that they never seem to learn from their mistakes?. They have this capacity to shoot themselves in the foot on very regular occasions and this is another one.

 

 

 

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Šv. Stanislovo ir Šv. Vladislovo Arkikatedra Bazilika (the famous White cathedral in Vilnius) at sunrise

 

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Vilniaus Šv. Stanislovo ir Šv. Vladislovo Arkikatedra Bazilika

This photograph was taken very early morning as the sun began to rise over the cathedral and I have tried to capture the architectural beauty (and simplicity) of this magnificent building that is the centre of cathedral square on the edge of the “old town.”

© Kindadukisk 2014

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Footprints for Freedom……….the Baltic Way

On my last visit to Vilnius in Lithuania my colleague and I decided to visit the newly opened Clock Tower at the front of  Vilniaus Šv. Stanislovo ir Šv. Vladislovo Arkikatedra Bazilika (the famous White cathedral).

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As we approached the tower my colleague noticed some “footprints” at the base of the clock tower but with no indication of what they represented. We thought it might be something to do withe “Baltic Chain”

My colleague disappeared for a while into the tower then came back to explain that he had been informed that the footprints represented where the first person in the Baltic Chain had stood.

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The Baltic Way or Baltic Chain (also Chain of Freedom) was a peaceful political demonstration that occurred on August 23, 1989. Approximately two million people joined their hands to form a human chain spanning 675.5 kilometres (419.7 mi) across the three Baltic States Estonian SSR, Latvian SSR and Lithuanian SSR, republics of the Soviet Union.

The demonstration originated in “Black Ribbon Day” protests held in the western cities in the 1980s. It marked the 50th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentop pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. The pact and its secret protocols divided Eastern Europe into “spheres of influence” and led to the occupation of the Baltic States in 1940. The event was organised by Baltic pro-independence movements: Rahvarinne of Estonia, the Tuatas fronte  of Latvia, and Sajudis of Lithuania.

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The protest was designed to draw global attention by demonstrating a popular desire for independence for each of the entities. It also illustrated solidarity among the three nations. It has been described as an effective publicity campaign, and an emotionally captivating and visually stunning scene. The event presented an opportunity for the Baltic activists to publicise the illegal Soviet occupation and position the question of Baltic independence not as a political matter, but as a moral issue.

The Soviet authorities in Moscow responded to the event with intense rhetoric,but failed to take any constructive actions that could bridge the widening gap between the Baltic states and the Soviet Union. Within seven months of the protest, Lithuania became the first of the Republics of the Soviet Union to declare independence.

Since then Lithuania has developed into a democratic country and gained membership of the EU, and will be a full member in January 2015 when the currency switches from Litas to the Euro (something that concerns many Lithuanians because they fear a price inflation which has been the pattern of virtually every country that has adopted the Euro).

NB Some source material from Wikipedia

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Forget expensive cough medicine………..drink honey and lemon (with possibly a dash of single malt whisky)

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There is little evidence that expensive over-the-counter cough medicines actually work, doctors said today But the NHS Choices website advises: ‘There’s little evidence to suggest cough medicines actually work, although some ingredients may help treat symptoms associated with a cough, such as a blocked nose or fever.’

The webpage adds that the ‘simplest and cheapest’ treatment for a ‘short-term cough’ may be a homemade remedy containing lemon and honey. It continues: ‘There’s no quick way of getting rid of a cough caused by a viral infection. It will usually clear up after your immune system has fought off the virus.’ Dr Tim Ballard, vice chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, today backed up the NHS claim He said: ‘The medical evidence behind cough medicines is weak and there is no evidence to say that they will reduce the duration of illnesses – as such, GPs are unlikely to prescribe them.’

A Which? investigation two years ago said found many popular cough medicines do not work as well as they claim to. The report authors concluded that studies used to support the claims of effectiveness are often low quality.

Many also contain high doses of sugar, with one week of the adult maximum dose of a popular product containing as much sugar as five Mars bars.

A bottle of Dry Coughs remedy by leading brand Benylin is sold in Boots for £4.99 for a 150ml bottle. Benylin’s website states: ‘Through its active ingredients, Benylin Dry Coughs Original helps to suppress the coughing mechanism, reducing the urge to cough.’

Doctors say traditional home made remedies made with lemon and honey may be the best approach The Proprietary Association of Great Britain, a national trade association representing the consumer healthcare industry, released a statement after Benylin was contacted for a comment. It said: ‘Cough medicines will not “cure” a cough, but they can help relieve the symptoms. ‘The key to effective management of cough is to identify the most troublesome symptom and to choose an appropriate product.

‘All cough medicines have been assessed for safety and efficacy by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) before they are put on the market. ‘When the product is licensed, MHRA also reviews the claims that can be made about the product, such as what the product can be used to treat, how fast the product works and how long it works for. ‘Only claims approved by MHRA can be used on the packaging and in advertising.

The NHS Choices website advises that if the cough is caused by an underlying treatment, this will need treating ‘OTC products on the UK market have successfully demonstrated their efficacy through decades of use by millions of consumers, and their acceptance by the MHRA, which independently reviews the clinical evidence, means people can continue to rely on them when treating themselves and their children.’

Dr Ballard said while some patients do find such medicines beneficial, patients who have had a cough for less than three weeks should seek advice from their local pharmacist.He added: ‘If the cough lasts longer and is affecting young infants, or is associated with coughing up blood, shortness of breath, confusion, or high fever, then they should contact their GP practice, although a face-to-face appointment might not be necessary.’

The NHS website states that coughs caused by an underlying medical condition will need specific treatment.

NB I made that up about the malt whisky in the title!

 

 

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