Lessons in the "UK" Category

British Astronaut returns to Earth

Recently, British astronaut Tim Peake returned to earth from the International Space Station (ISS). His journey back to earth was with two other spacemen on board a Soyuz space capsule that travelled through the atmosphere, with temperatures outside reaching more than 1,600°C (2,912°F).

Peake travelled home with fellow astronaut Col Tim Kopra from NASA, and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko. The three completed their deorbit to enter the Earth’s atmosphere at around 10am on Saturday June 18. The Soyuz space capsule landed by parachute on its side in a remote spot in the vast scrubland steppe of Kazakhstan 15 minutes later.

Illegal immigrants quietly slip into UK highlights coastline shambles

Recently the UK woke up to news reports that Britain is defenceless to stop a new wave of illegal immigrants entering the UK. They are doing so by quietly slipping in to small harbours that are dotted along the British coastline.

Lax UK border controls are allowing this to happen. Why? Because the government and previous governments have cut back on the armed forces and border controls resulting in the UK only having three Border Force vessels to patrol the whole of the English Channel. It is unbelievable but true!

What this really means is Britain is poorly defended. Any group of migrants can now buy themselves a rubber motor boat in France or Belgium, climb in it, and head for any small port along the English coastline. No one will stop them, and if they do, they will be rescued and taken into the UK anyway.

Countdown to Brexit vote

The referendum vote in the UK on whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union is edging closer. The outcome is still too close to call, as it is still 50/50 as to what the result will be.

Many people in the UK are currently watching on YouTube BREXIT - The Movie’. I did. I wasn’t going to, but I am glad I watched all of it, as it’s an eye opener. The movie, whilst one sided, does show that in politics nothing changes - there is arrogance, people control, and power.

The EU in Europe is currently running its ‘empire’. It functions just like empires did 100 years ago – the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the British Empire. The latter had administrators sent out to places like India and Australia to run the ship. These days it is the likes of the Irish and Swedes working in Luxembourg and Brussels who keep the EU’s cogs working. It is no different.

Should cafes in the UK have toilets in them?

Today, let’s talk about whether cafes in the UK should have toilets in them. Well, should they?

I discovered that this is actually a wonderful topic to debate. Yes, really! After all, we all need to spend a penny.

I was intrigued to read about a recent court case in Hull, England. The court debated whether a bakery with a cafe in should provide toilets or not. The bakery in question is predominantly a takeaway, but does provide some seats for customers. Therefore it argued it should not need to provide a toilet.

The outcome could flush many cafes and takeaways down the pan, as a legal ruling now says that coffee shops and fast food outlets with fewer than 10 seats must now provide toilets for their customers.

The Most Corrupt Countries

British Prime Minister David Cameron was recently caught on camera at Buckingham Palace in London telling The Queen that the leaders of some “fantastically corrupt countries” were coming to Britain for an anti-corruption conference.

Among the world leaders attending the conference at Lancaster House in London were the leaders of Nigeria and Afghanistan. When a reporter asked the Nigerian President if his country was corrupt he replied, “Yes”.

Representatives from the governments of Panama and the British Virgin Islands ironically weren’t invited to the conference. This is odd considering the recent publication of ‘The Panama Papers’ that highlighted the tax affairs of wealthy individuals from around the world who shelter their money in these countries.

Leicester City win Premier League

In what has been described as one of the most astonishing triumphs in British football history Leicester City have beaten the odds of 5000-1 to win this year’s Premier League football tournament. It is a fairytale ending for the Foxes.

Leicester City won it without kicking a ball, after Tottenham Hotspur failed to beat Chelsea in a decisive game on Monday night at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea fought back from 0-2 down to draw 2-2, thus ending Spurs’ title bid.

Leicester City became the first new English champions in four decades to win the title. Last night’s result means Leicester cannot be caught by their nearest rivals, even though there are two games still to go. This follows the Foxes clinching a 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The Rise of the Drone

Today, we are going to talk about drones. What exactly is a drone? It is a small helicopter-like device that can fly by remote control. There are many sorts of drone including quadcopters, mini-quads, or multi-rotor helicopters that are all the rage at the moment. They vary in price from £10. Most video drones start around £100. It appears to be the new hobby to take up.

Drones are generally used to take aerial film or photographs. They have considerably reduced movie makers’ budgets, as they have replaced costly helicopters in many instances. However, whilst drones have become more popular some are becoming a security risk.

Celebrating May Day in Britain

May Day traditions in Britain include Morris dancing, the crowning of the May Queen and Maypole dancing.

Morris dancers normally perform on May Day. These are men wearing folk costumes and bell pads on their shins. They use sticks, swords and handkerchiefs that maybe wielded by the dancers during their dance.

The May Queen is a girl who must ride or walk at the front of a parade for May Day celebrations. She wears a white gown to symbolise purity and usually wears a tiara or crown. She is generally crowned by flowers and makes a speech ahead of any dancing taking place.

Getting ready for the 2016 London Marathon

This year’s London Marathon takes place on Sunday April 24. The runners who are taking part are currently gearing themselves up ready to take on the gruelling 26.218 mile race, for what will no doubt be an amazing unforgettable experience.

The London Marathon is actually one of the biggest events of its kind in the world – but it requires a lot of practice beforehand – as in running practice!

Runners will ideally need to have a good pair of trainers and the right kit. They will need to train, set themselves a goal, and have a training plan. They should have a stopwatch, pace themselves, and have plenty of patience to progress in their running ahead of the big day.

St. George’s Day

Who is the patron saint of England? It is St. George. English people celebrate St. George’s Day every year on April 23rd.

It has to be said though that unlike the Scottish and Irish, who celebrate their patron saints in style and by drinking alcohol, the English really do not celebrate their day! In recent years efforts have been made to increase the day’s importance, but it actually lacks serious effort by the English.

Back in the 60s, when I was a boy at primary school, in class we used to play St. George and the Dragon. This was done in the form of a Mummers play, as it was known. The story being that St. George would kill the dragon then rescue the damsel in distress. It is a fairytale. By the 12th century the legendary story had become widespread.