Showing posts from 2015

Interesting Date - 25th December - Interesting Christmas Fact

In the 17th century, in Boston USA, the Puritan PTB banned Christmas for over two decades: from 1659 until 1681.
(It was illegal to observe Christmas by taking the day off from work, feasting or celebrating in any other way, and anyone caught doing so was fined five shillings, which was a lot of money back then.
The ban was finally lifted in 1681, but many Puritans continued to rally against the holiday, some would even march through the streets on Christmas Eve shouting, "No Christmas! No Christmas!"  
In 1870, Ulysses S. Grant was the first president to declare Christmas a national holiday, but even then some schools stayed open on Christmas day until as late as 1870, with harsh punishments for any children who bunked off.
I knew that Cromwell banned Christmas in the UK in the 1640s, but seemingly 8 countries have done so, and not just in the past. It is currently banned in 3 other countries, and "discouraged" in several others.  Suffice to say I'd better no…

Interesting Animal - Jack

Jack, a Yorkshire Terrier, is the oldest living dog in Britain.

(At 117 years old (in dog years), he still looks like a puppy.  He will be the eighth-oldest dog of all time if his age can be proven to Guinness World Records.

There are different formulas for calculating dog years. Alot of people multiply by 7, but dogs are mature by the age of 2, so some calculate it by allowing 10.5 dog years per human year for the first 2 years, then 4 dog years per human year for each year after that.

According to:, Laika is a mere 57, but according to she is 70 years old. Guess which one she prefers?)

Interesting Fact - The Class System

A while ago we posted about the new class system in the UK.  Well they're at it again. This fits in nicely with Saturday's Business English session where we mentioned demographics.

The LSE have worked out which class you belong to by Income, Education, Work, Likes, Address, and Who You Talk To.

(The precariat, or precarious proletariat - Make up 15% of the country with an annual income of £8,253.  They have a low level education, are unemployed or work as cleaners / cashiers, with no cultural interests.  They live outside the South East of the country, and seemingly only talk to each other.

The traditional working class -  Make up 14% of the country, with an annual income of  £13,305. Few have a degree of any kind, they work as secretaries, lorry drivers and electricians, and have a moderate interest in music and art. They live in Scotland and Wales, and talk to other traditional working class people.

Emergents - Emergent service workers - Make up 19% of the country, with an …

Interesting Fact - Drink - Christmas Fact

According to a survey run by Hotel chain Travelodge, the average British family will have their first alcoholic drink on Christmas Day at 9:05am.

(Grown ups start the day with a drink at 9:05am, followed by breakfast at 9:19am. Yes, booze before breakfast. Usually disguised as a Bucks Fizz.

Well, we do say, "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may die.")

Interesting Words - Cupcake / Sissy etc.

According to guidelines drawn up by, of all things, the Institute of Physics the following words and phrases should be avoided to prevent sexism.

Don't be a girl
Man up

(Senior teachers will be appointed ‘gender champions’, in a bid to eliminate gender stereotyping.

I would suggest they add, "grow a pair" and "you throw like a girl" to that list.

In all seriousness, the idea is that schools should find strategies to get more girls to study so-called ‘male’ subjects such as economics and physics at GCSE and A-level, while boys should be encouraged to take more ‘female’ subjects including English literature, foreign languages and psychology.

Hang on! Male subjects and female subjects - now that is sexist. The Department for Education obviously has a lot of time on its hands, and a slightly worrying regard for physicists.)

Interesting Fact - Christmas Fact - Shopping

Supermarket shoppers in the UK are being wished a Merry Christmas - by self-service checkouts.

(Supermarket chain Tesco has introduced a festive message to customers so that when their payment has been accepted they hear a jovial “Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!"

I hope they've programmed it to ignore anyone who has bought painkillers. What if they've bought condoms!)

Interesting Fact - Happiness

According to a survey run by Age Partnership, to find out what key lifestyle changes can best improve your mood, women are made happier by getting a dog or cat, while men’s positivity is boosted by joining a club or buying a new car.

(For Brits over 55 a pub lunch was viewed as an easy way of improving your mood.

The three most affordable options were eating out once a month, going on a monthly organised day trip and being in a club.

The three least affordable lifestyle changes are getting a conservatory, buying a new car or buying a campervan – all of which are impossible to afford on the state pension alone, and if money were no object, the most effective happiness promoter for the over-55s would be to go on holiday.)


Interesting Fact - Money

According to the Royal Mail in the UK, a letter to Mars would require 18,416 first-class stamps.

(Royal Mail contacted NASA after 5-year-old Oliver Giddings asked the Royal Mail how much it would cost to post a letter to the red planet. The answer came back with a cost of £11,602.25  US$18,003.40.

Of course Royal Mail then added the £2.25 (US$3.40) to send the letter from Britain to NASA in Florida.)

Interesting People - Santa Claus - Christmas Fact

Don't let your kids read this...

The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten announced the death of Santa in their obituary section.

(Seemingly, Santa died  at the age of 227, on 3rd December in Nordkapp, Norways’s northernmost point. The funeral will be held at North Pole Chapel on 28th December.

They have apologised for "an internal error", but I guess we will find out on Christmas morning.)

Interesting Number - 29

A survey conducted by life insurance provider Beagle Street, revealed that young Brits don't feel "adult" until they have reached the age of 29.
(Although legally you are regarded as an adult at 18 in the UK, seemingly the average young Brit believes it is another 11 years until they actually reach adulthood. The reasons excuses they give are living at home, playing computer games, watching children's films and a reluctance to settle for a "real job".

The top 10 signs of being and adult were considered to be:
Buying your first home (64 per cent)Becoming a parent (63 per cent)Getting married (52 per cent)Paying into a pension (29 per cent)Becoming house proud (22 per cent)Taking out life insurance (21 per cent)Looking forward to a night in (21 per cent)Doing DIY (18 per cent)Hosting dinner parties (18 per cent)Having a joint bank account (17 per cent) The top 10 reasons excuses for not feeling like an adult were considered to be:Relying on parents (42 per c…

Interesting Christmas Fact - IT

According to research by the UK communications regulator Ofcom, the fairy lights on your Christmas tree can slow down your WiFi.
(The research also revealed that nearly 6 million homes and offices in the UK have underperforming Wi-Fi, and it's not just fairy lights that can affect speeds: other electronic devices, including lamps, speakers, TVs and monitors can, and I believe a wet dog walking through the room will also block the signal.

I often get told that WiFi is fine for our online sessions, but now I feel justified in my statement to people, use a broadband cable.)


3rd December - The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD)

Interesting Christmas Facts - Christmas Presents

According to website, 1 in 3 three women are disappointed when they open the present from their partner on Christmas Day.

(25% of men were branded “clueless” when it came to buying gifts, and 50% of women admitted they were unlikely to get their dream present as their partners had good intentions but were hopeless at getting it right.

The worst gifts ever received were:-

a Shewee (A reusable plastic contraption for those caught short while out and about.)
a fishing rod
cellulite cream
intimate bodywash
a windscreen wash kit (Spot who went to the all night garage.)
a fossil
a dustpan and brush
a chainsaw
weighing scales
a high visibility jacket for dog walking
a lurid green jumper with an embroidered alien

In reality most women’s wish lists are fairly straightforward: a designer handbag, a romantic break or a watch were amongst the longed for items.

Hubby gave me a Swiss Army knife once, but I asked him to.)


Alice in Wonderland celebrates her 150th birthday.

We will start reading the book in the English Book Club in Second Life.

Oh and it's Thanksgiving Day in the US.

Interesting Place - Spain

According to the World Health Organisation, Spain is the noisiest country in Europe, and Madrid is one of the noisiest capitals.

(In fact Spain is the second noisiest country in the world, behind Japan. Most of the noise comes from traffic, such as cars, heavy lorries and noisy motorbikes and mopeds. This is closely followed by building works, discotheques and leisure activities in general; especially in summer.

Having been to Valencia during Las Fallas, I'm sure fireworks, which are more like army ordnance, don't help.)

Interesting Words - Welsh

Online review site Trip Advisor has banned all reviews written in Welsh.

(Trip Advisor is arguably the world's largest travel website, and supports languages from all around the world, but they have banned all submissions in Welsh. 

Allegedly, the ancient Celtic language, one of the oldest European languages with over half a million speakers in the UK, breaches their sites strict language guidelines.  Trip Advisor said that they were unable to integrate Welsh into their moderation and review policies. In other words no one speaks Welsh there.

Surely some enterprising Welsh speaker could set up their own review site.)


21st November

World Hello Day.

Interesting Animal - The Hedgehog

According to a survey by The Wildlife Trusts, 4 in 10 British children have never seen a hedgehog in the wild in the UK.

(The same survey found that 71 per cent of British children have never seen a lizard in the wild, while more than half have not seen a flock of starlings in flight (called a mumuration).

Mrs Tiggiwinkle will be incensed.)


19th November

The Bridge Inn, Santon Bridge is hosting the World's Biggest Liar Championship

On This Day

20th November

1945 - The Nuremberg trial of Nazi war criminals began.

1992 - A major fire broke out at Windsor Castle.

1995 - Diana Princess of Wales admitted to having committed adultery in a TV interview.

Interesting Food - Tea

It looks as if black tea is no longer our cup of tea in the UK.  According to consumer analysts Mintel, retail sales of all brands of tea have sunk from 97 million kilos in 2010 to an estimated 76 million this year.

(Sales of ordinary tea bags feel 13%, whilst sales of green tea were up 50%. Seemingly people are moving towards healthier alternatives such as fruit and herbal teas.  They estimate that sales will fall to 69 million kilos by 2020.

I drink herbal tea, and green tea, but I still need my mug of good old Tetley to kickstart the day.)

Source: Mintel


19th November

Have a bad day day.  (This isn't as mean as it sounds.  It's simply for all those people who have to say "Have a good day", because it's part of their job description.  So I hope everyone has a good day on bad day day.

Interesting Word - Word of the Year

The word of the year for 2015, as chosen by the Oxford English dictionary, is a pictograph:

(Officially called the ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ emoji, (I call it laugh till you cry) was chosen as the ‘word’ that best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015.

I wonder what Shakespeare would say.  Answers on the back of a postcard using 10 emojis or less.)

Interesting Fact - Plant Names

According to British scientists over half of the world's plants are misnamed.

(Scientists at the University of Oxford and the Royal Botanical Garden in Edinburgh discovered that one species of African ginger has been called the wrong name for more than half a century. Recorded as Aframomum alboviolaceum by scientists in 1945, researchers last year correctly identified it as Aframomum lutarium.   A new species, first discovered this year, Ipomoea lactifera, which is a wild relative of the sweet potato, had been incorrectly labelled in collections as a different species, Ipomoea umbraticola. In yet another case, researchers found a specimen of Ipomoea lactifera which did not even have a name recorded to it.

Never mind guys, think of all the fun you'll have putting it to rights.)


13th November

World kindness day.

Be kind.

Interesting Food - Garlic

Seemingly the smell of garlic on a man is irresistible to women. Not garlic breath though, it's the smell that comes from a man's armpits after chewing raw garlic. Eew!

(Scientists believe that the sweat of men who had eaten a bulb of garlic was more attractive to women because it suggested the man is healthy. Garlic is a bit of a superfood, it has antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal properties.

So, throw away the Lynx on Friday night, and get chomping.)

On This Day

12th November

1439 – Plymouth, England, became the first town incorporated by the English Parliament.

1793 – Jean Sylvain Bailly, the first Mayor of Paris, was guillotined.
1893 – The treaty of the Durand Line delineating the border between present day Pakistan and Afghanistan was signed by Sir Mortimer Durand, a British diplomat in British India.

1912 – The frozen bodies of Robert Scott and his men were found on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica.

1918 – Austria became a republic.

1927 – Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin in undisputed control of the Soviet Union.

1933 – Hugh Gray took the first known photographs alleged to be of the Loch Ness Monster.

1956 – Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia joined the United Nations.

1956 – 111 people, including 103 refugees, were killed by the Israeli army in the Palestinian refugee camp of Rafah, in the midst of the Suez Crisis. The United Nations were unable to determine the circumstances surrounding the deaths.



12th November

University Defection Day - The day when more freshers drop out of higher education than any other.

National Pizza With Everything (Except Anchovies) Day - Yes there is practically a pizza day for every day of the year. This one is for people who don't like anchovies.

Do you remember when we looked at some alternative pizza toppings?

(I might even have an oven in time!)

It's also pneumonia day. So, if you have pneumonia, get well soon. 

Interesting Food - Beer

The Irish brewers of Guinness are going to stop using fish bladders as part of the filtration process for the first time in their 256-year history. 

(Vegans have been campaigning for this ammendment to the traditional brewing process for years.  I can only hope it doesn't change the taste (which was never fishy).)

Interesting Place - Liverpool

Britain’s first ever fast pedestrian lane has opened in Liverpool city centre.

(Following research that claims 47% of the nation finds slow walking the most annoying aspect of high-street shopping, the Liverpool One shopping centre is going to experiment with a "fast lane".   This seems to follow on from the introduction of "slow lanes" in cities in China. 

I wonder if all this means we will start having to indicate to change lanes.

Interesting Fact - Work

If you think you have a frustrating job, think again: A Tesco supermarket in Wrexham, North Wales, is advertising for a Christmas Lights Untangler.

(The idea is that people will bring in any troublesome lights to have them unravelled.  The successful applicant, who must be passionate about Christmas, will be trained to unravel 3 metres of Christmas lights in 3 minutes, for £6.70 an hour.

I hope people will tip him or her, that's barely enough to buy a cup of coffee in the UK.)

Interesting Word - Poppygate

In the run up to November 11th most public figures in the UK will be wearing a red poppy in remembrance of the fallen. In fact people will notice if you don't. So much so that Number 10 have been ridiculed for photoshopping a poppy onto a photo of prime minister David Cameron.

(They really should have known better.  The Twittersphere doesn't miss much:-
Has the official 10 Downing Street Facebook page photoshopped a poppy onto David Cameron for their new picture? — Dylan H Morris. (@dylanhm) November 2, 2015

Now the usual cliche has appeared as it is being named Poppygate. Ever since the infamous Watergate scandal in 1972 the suffix –gate has been used to describe any sort of scandalous event.)


3rd November

Today is Cliche Day. Has it been a year already? Well you know what they say, don't you? Absence makes the heart grow fonder.


3rd November

World Cliche Day

Laughter is the best medicine.
The early bird catches the worm."
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

And this nonsensical one: "A watched pot never boils. (Yes, it does. It's called physics.)

Interesting Fact - Halloween Fact

According to the United States Fire Administration, in the USA there are 10,300 fires during the three-day period around Halloween.  These fires cause an estimated 25 deaths, 125 injuries and $83 million in property loss.

(Most fires are down to the candles in jack-o-lanterns and costumes that aren't fire-retardent.)

Interesting Food - Pumpkins

Farmers are warning that there will be a shortage of pumpkins in the run up to Halloween.

(Following the ideal growing conditions in August and September, the heavy rain of October has put a damper on everything by making the pumpkin skins soft, which means they get soggy and collapse before they can be harvested.

In Germany there are lots of pumpkins, but they are smaller than usual, due to a shortage of rain.  Who'd want to be a farmer?)

Interesting Food - Nuts

We have already mentioned that not all nuts are created equal.  Some so called nuts are actually in disguise.

So, today, in celebration of National Nut Day, instead of us telling you everything let's see if you can guess the names in this picture.  Which are real nuts, and which ones are imposters?


October 22nd

Today is Nut Day


22nd October

National nut day.  (We like nuts.)


20th October

World Statistics Day

Interesting Fact - Happiness

According to a survey commissioned by broadband provider Plusnet, 1 in 10 people believe that it only takes a small thing to salvage a bad day.

(The top 10 things that make us cheerful are:-

Doing a good deed for somebody (47 per cent) Random acts of kindness from strangers (44 per cent) Stumbling across a bargain (42 per cent)Spontaneous hug (40 per cent)A compliment from a stranger (39 per cent)A car stopping so you can cross the road (36 per cent)Being greeted by a pet (35 per cent)Getting a hand written letter in the post (31 per cent)Your favourite song coming on the radio (31 per cent)A stranger saying hello (30 per cent) Make my day. Try to do / experience at least 5 of these things today.)

Interesting Fact - Texting

According to a survey conducted by 70% of Brits admit to regularly sending text messages to the wrong person, and over 40% said they had been on the receiving end of a message clearly intended for someone else.

(The survey revealed that people are most likely to send emails to the wrong people via text message, followed by desktop email, smartphone email, tablet email and WhatsApp.

Some people have even lost their job by accidentally sending inappropriate stuff to their boss.

One texter, ended up sending his driving instructor, 'a big, butch bloke' called Harry, a message thst was meant for his wife Hannah, saying that he loved him and discussing what they should have for dinner
I've had people posting to my public forum page instead of in a private message - you know who you are.

My advice? Slow down, and check before clicking "Send".)


13th October

English Language Day -

(In 2015 the focus is on punctuation.)

It is also Yorkshire Pudding Day / No Bra Day / Train Your Brain Day and Face Your Fears Day.

Interesting Fact - Time

A few years ago a survey confirmed what everyone already knew, that Monday is the most miserable day of the week in the UK, but a new survey, has pinned it down to a particular time.

(The survey, commissioned by broadband provider Plusnet, found that 11:17am on Mondays is the most miserable time of the week.

Even worse, less than a quarter of Brits feel happy before midday, but the good news is we have cheered up by 2.35pm.

I have the perfect solution, move to a different time zone.)

Interesting Fact - Plastic Bags

7.6 billion plastic carrier bags are handed out in England every year.

(That's 61,000 tonnes of plastic, and the equivalent of 140 bags per person.

The government expects the English scheme to cut use of plastic carrier bags by up to 80% in supermarkets, and by 50% on the High Street. It is expected to save £60m in litter clean-up costs as well as generate £730m for good causes over the next decade.

Let's hope we can learn to carry a reusable bag with us.)


October 5th

Shoppers in England will have to pay 5p for a plastic bag from today.

Interesting Place - Yorkshire

Seemingly police in Yorkshire have been hiding speed cameras in rural areas - in tractors.

(After a spate of accidents, they are trying to catch speeding motorcyclists, but it seemss a bit sneaky to me.

I bet they've been having a field day.  (Sorry).)

Interesting Fact - Education

An  £11,000-a-year private school in London has banned its pupils from watching TV or surfing the internet - even when they are at home.

(With a strict no-tech policy, London Acorn School has banned all smartphones, computers, iPads etc., in the hope that the children will learn from the natural world instead.

The school, for pupils aged 3 to 18, has also banned television for under-12s, with older pupils being allowed to watch "restricted programmes".  What? No Dr Who?)

Interesting Words - Snow

According to a study carried out at the University of Glasgow, people in Scotland use more than 400 words and expressions to describe different aspects of snow. (421 terms have been logged including: snaw (snow), sneesl (to begin to rain or snow), skelf (a large snowflake, feefle - to swirl, flindrikin - a light snow shower, snaw-pouther - fine driving snow, spitters - small drops or flakes of wind-driven rain or snow, and unbrak - the beginning of a thaw. Dr Susan Rennie, lecturer in English and Scots language at the university, said: “Weather has been a vital part of people's lives in Scotland for centuries. The number and variety of words in the language show how important it was for our ancestors to communicate about the weather, which could so easily affect their livelihoods.” My spellchecker just melted.)

Interesting Food - Bread

According to a survey commissioned by Love Food / Hate Waste, nearly 1 in 5 UK households admits to binning an entire loaf of bread before even opening or slicing it. (Emma Marsh, head of the Love Food / Hate Waste campaign, run by the government’s waste advisory body Wrap, said: “...sometimes if we don’t finish a loaf, it goes stale and ends up in the bin. There are simple things we can do to use it up or store it differently, to reduce food waste and save money.” I often throw away parts of a loaf, but rarely the whole thing.  I usually make breadcrumbs from stale bread.)

Interesting People - James Bond

According to doctors, James Bond is a functioning alcoholic.

(Doctors analysing the Ian Fleming novels say that 007 polishes off the equivalent of one and a half bottles of wine every day.

Excluding the 36 days Bond was in prison, hospital or rehab, the spy downed 1,150 units of alcohol in 88 days, which works out at 92 units a week - about five vodka martinis a day and four times the recommended maximum intake for men in the UK. He is also a drink driver.

He certainly mixes it up in the films too.  According to recent research Daniel Craig is the booziest Bond yet; knocking back around 20 units in the film. 

Interesting Food - Vegetables

Surprise, surprise, fruit is good for you (I can hear my mother now - I told you so.) According to researchers at Harvard if you want to lose weight, you should stop eating peas, potatoes and sweetcorn, and start eating cauliflower, prunes and blueberries.

(Surprisingly fruit was twice as good as veg, with every extra portion a day leading to around half a pound of flab being shed over four years.

Prunes, apples, pears, strawberries, raisins and grapes, also scored high on the weight loss scale.

Blueberries were actually the number 1 fat burner.  I can't stand them, but I need to shed some weight, so maybe I'll just have to take my medicine.)


3rd September

Welsh Rarebit Day - Welsh Rarebit is a kind of cheese on toast.

Interesting Fact - Games

Dr Rhys Morgan, a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering, has come up with a formula to help you choose the perfect stick for the popular British game of poohsticks.

(The formula is - PP = A x ? x Cd PP = the perfect poohstickA =  the cross section area (the thicker the better)? = the sticks density (the denser the better) Cd = the drag coefficient describing the shape and roughness (the rougher the better)  So, it seems that Dr  Rhys Morgan claims the perfect way to win the game is to find something thick, dense and as rough as possible.  I would think any member of TOWIE would be a cert.)

Interesting Fact - Health

According to laboratory tests carried out by scientists at the London Metropolitan University, out of date beauty products can contain deadly bacteria.

(Tests on 5 makeup products; mascara, blusher, foundation, lip gloss and lipstick, revealed that makeup is a breeding ground for some really nasty stuff: 6 different types of bacteria were found, including the deadly meningitis bacteria Enterococcus Faecalis/Faecium, and bacteria that can cause acne and even septicaemia, a severe blood infection that can lead to organ failure and death.

The research was funded by online beauty retailer  I think I'll just go and check my makeup bag now.)

Interesting Fact - Work

Football star, Jermain Defoe is advertising for an executive personal assistant.

(For £60,000 a year, he is looking for someone who is flexible, hands on, capable of multi-tasking, and who demonstrates a high level of discretion and confidentiality.

Do you think you fit the bill?

Well, you will be on call 24/7, and able to travel worldwide at a moment's notice. You will also be expected to organise his and his family's (including his pets) private, social and business calendars.

You will be maintaining his itinerary, arranging all public appearances and travel arrangements, working on business projects including creating a global brand for the Jermin Defoe name, including his clothing line and fragrance, spotting sponsorship opportunities, and growing the online database for his website, Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking platforms, oh and producing his iPhone app.

On top of that the lucky applicant will be tasked with organising his wardrobe with specific des…

Interesting Fact - Loo Paper

Residents in Kensington and Chelsea, London are too posh for toilet paper and so they are using wet wipes instead.

(Unfortunately this is putting a strain on London's aging drains, and leading to a £12 million annual bill to unblock the sewers.
Eew! Sorry about that one.)

Interesting Fact - Football

According to the website Sporting Intelligence, Manchester United is the most valuable football club in England.

(It's worth a staggering £1.8bn. The figures were produced, using a formula involving total revenue, assets, stadium capacity and wage ratio.

They are basically a money making machine, with the biggest stadium in the country, and other assets, including the most lucrative shirt sponsorship deal, worth £47m from Chevrolet, a 10-year kit deal with German sporting outifitters Adidas which is worth £750m over 10 years.

Would anyone like to sponsor an LEN kit or shirt? Instead of buying overpriced football players, we will employ some lovely English teachers.)

Interesting Fact - Exercise

We know walking is good for us, but it seems where you walk makes a difference.

(Various studies have found that urban dwellers with little access to green spaces are at a higher risk of developing psychological problems, but a recent study carried out at Stanford university found that volunteers who walked for 90 minutes through a lush, green portion of the Stanford campus were more attentive and happier afterward than volunteers who strolled for the same amount of time near heavy traffic. The volunteers were allowed to walk at their own pace, but they were not allowed to have companions or listen to music.

The results suggest that getting out into natural environments could be an easy and almost immediate way to improve your mood.

So, let's build more parks.)


Interesting Place - Southwold Pier

Visitors have been banned from eating picnics, or packed lunches at Southwold Pier.

(One elderly couple were told they had to pack their Victoria sponge cake back into their Tupperware, and that seating was reserved for people purchasing food from on-site shops and restaurants.

In 2012 Southwold was labelled 'the snobbiest place in Britain' after residents objected to a Costa Coffee shop opening up in the high street. It sounds as if they are living up to that reputation.)

Interesting Fact - Money

According to research carried out by the High Pay Centre, among FTSE 100 companies, the average pay of a chief executive is almost £5 million.

(They found that average executive pay in the UK jumped to £4.964 million in 2014, compared with £4.129 million in 2010.  The figure was 183 times the earnings of average full-time workers, up from 160 times in 2010.

The top 10 highest-paid chief executives (CEOs) were paid over £156 million between them in 2014, prompting fresh calls for action to curb executive pay.

We have a minimum wage, maybe it's time to have a maximum wage too.)

On This Day

15th August

1843 – Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest amusement parks in the world, opened in Copenhagen, Denmark.

1914 – The Panama Canal opened to traffic.

1945 - Allied nations celebrated VJ Day marking the end of World War II.

1947 – India gained Independence from British rule after almost 190 years.

1952 – A flash flood in the town of Lynmouth, England, killed 34 people.

1963 – The last man was hanged in Scotland.

1971 – Bahrain gained independence from the United Kingdom.

1971 - horse rider Harvey Smith was stripped of £2,000 winnings and a major show jumping title for allegedly making a rude gesture, although he swore it was a V for victory sign.

1998 – 27 people were killed following a massive car bomb in the town of Omagh in Northern Ireland.

Interesting Fact - Time

Paul Donovan called BT at 7.57pm on Saturday, August 1, to cancel his broadband package. He was put on hold with a pre-recorded message saying the 'lines were busy', a female voice then asked him to hold until one of their operators was free, he waited, and waited, and waited. Eventually, he went to bed, but he didn't disconnect and left his phone on charge.

(When he got up on Sunday morning, he was still on hold - 14 hours and 31 minutes later, which is believed to be a UK record, but it's not a world record. That honour goes to Australian Andrew Kahn, who called Qantas Airways to confirm his flight from Adelaide, Australia, to New York City. He phoned the airline at 7:22 on a Wednesday evening and finally hung up at 11:01 Thursday morning. During his wait, he surfed the Internet, slept briefly and caught up on some reading, for 15 hours, 40 minutes and one second.

How long would it take you to finally hang up? )



9th August

Book lovers day.



Interesting Fact - Tourism

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization over a billion tourists travelled abroad
in 2014.

(That's 51 million more than in 2013.

The biggest growth destinations were the Americas, with 7% more tourists, followed by Asia and the Pacific at 5%, and Europe with 4% growth.

The world is on the move!)

Interesting Fact - Travel

In 1969 Buzz Aldrin claimed $33.31 in travel expenses. What for? His trip to the moon!
#TBT My mission director @Buzzs_xtina's favorite piece of my memorabilia. My travel voucher to the moon.— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) July 30, 2015

Interesting Fact - Tone of Voice

Just to prove that your tone of voice really matters, supermarket chain Tesco is replacing the “irritating and bossy” female voice on self-service tills. Instead shoppers will hear a “friendlier, more helpful and less talkative” man.

(How about getting rid of the things altogether?)

The Sun came up with a translation of what this machine talk really means:-

Unexpected item in bagging area. Translates as "Are you trying to nick something."
Approval needed. Translates as "A surly teenager will be over to check you're old enough."
Please wait for assistance. Translates as "We will come over when we can be bothered."