Cry ‘God for Harry, England & Saint George!’

st-georges-day-shield

St. George’s Day April 23rd the day on which to celebrate being English. King_Henry_V_at_the_Battle_of_Agincourt,_1415It was in the year 1415 AD that St. George became the Patron Saint of England when English Soldiers under Henry V won the battle of Agincourt.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o’erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O’erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call’d fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’

William Shakespeare 23 April 1564 ~ 23 April 1616

 images-2In 1497 in the reign of Henry VIII, the pennant of the Cross of St. George was flown by John Cabot when he sailed to Newfoundland and it was also flown by Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh. In 1620 it was the flag that was flown by the Mayflower when the Pilgrim Fathers arrived in Plymouth Massachusetts. It is also the flag of the Church of England and as such is known throughout Christendom.

images-2During World War 2 King George V1 established the George Cross for outstanding acts of Civilian Valour and one of the earliest recipients was the Island of Malta, for its outstanding courage in the face of the constant bombardment by the Italian and German Airforce. It is, coincidentally, the Island that was so closely associated and governed by the Crusaders who arrived from the Island of Rhodes in the 14″ Century, following their 200 year war with the Turks.knights_hospitaller1-225x300

The legends about St George spread far and wide and it was claimed that near the town of Silene in Libya, a dragon dwelt, keeping the population in terror. To satiate him the population tethered an animal, until they had no more. They then provided human sacrifices and in ultimate desperation, a young princess was selected, the king’s daughter named Cleolinda. The story then relates how St. George rode up on his white charger, dismounted and fought the monster on foot; until it eventually succumbed. He then dragged the dying monster into the city, using the girdle of the Princess and slew the dragon in front of the people. St. George was greeted as their saviour and the King offered him a bag of gold as a reward for saving his daughter. This he refused and asked that it be given to the poor.St GeorgeThe story is a powerful allegory, emblematic of the triumph of good over evil; but it also teaches of enduring Christian faith in the extreme and the trust that at all times should be placed in the Almighty by the invocation of the name of St. George, Soldier, Saint and Martyr.sg024_a_pint_of_english_ale_400h

Now if you will excuse me, I am about to eat my evening meal of ‘bangers and mash’ and quaff a pint of English Ale. Today has been my day that I share with every true English person.   Yours Aye.

British by birth, ENGLISH BY THE GRACE OF GOD. And the next dragon to be slain is the European Union… Aye!

 

Yorkshire’s no nonsense Tour de France

By ‘eck! Yorkshire staff BANNED from calling Tour de France tourists ‘love’ or ‘mate’ in case it causes offence? Staff recruited to welcome tourists to Yorkshire during this summer’s Tour de France have been banned from using traditional northern greetings such as ‘love’. Thousands of people working as meet-and-greet Tour Makers during the high-profile event have received an online training manual advising against calling visitors ‘mate’ or ‘darling’ in case it causes offence.   Some-where in rural Francearticle-2609434-1D3CAD2E00000578-782_634x513 The tutorial tells staff helping with the up to three million people expected to visit for the opening two stages of the world’s most famous cycle race on July 5 and 6: ‘Be confident and naturally friendly. ‘Avoid using words such as “mate”, “love” or “darling” – they may sound friendly to you, but they could offend some people.” One volunteer, who asked not to be named, said: ‘I must admit I was a bit surprised when I read the advice. ‘I can see why it makes sense but it’s going to need a lot of concentration for every single one of us to stop calling people “love”.’               The Yorkshire Dales ‘god’s county’ Englandarticle-2247970-13F7AB90000005DC-374_634x416Organisers of the Tour de France’s visit to Yorkshire have insisted the last thing they want to do is tone down the county’s identity. Welcome to Yorkshire, the tourism agency which brought the opening stages of the Tour to Yorkshire, said it wanted to do everything it could to promote Yorkshire’s identity. But a spokesman added: ‘The Grand Depart of the Tour de France will celebrate everything Yorkshire, including our dialect but we want to be careful not to cause confusion for our overseas visitors.’   Click to go largeyorkshire-rex-1Around 12,000 Tour Makers will be helping out with the first two stages of the Tour in Yorkshire and stage three, from Cambridge to London. The role has been modelled on the highly successful Games Makers at the London 2012 Olympics and will involve guiding visitors and manning the route. The Tour de France 2014 starts in the centre of Leeds on July 5 with stage one winding through the Yorkshire Dales to Harrogate. Stage two, the day after, goes from York to Sheffield and the third stage starts in Cambridge and finishes on The Mall, in central London. Grand Départ 2014 – Made in Yorkshire

Being an honorary Yorkshireman (I was born in County Durham-a real Northerner) I am entitled to respectfully use the words ‘luv‘ ~ ‘darlin.’ Hailing from North of the River Tees (the Yorkshire border) I am further entitled to use the words ‘pet’ ~ ‘mucker’ ~ ‘man’ ~ ‘mate.’ And there’ll be none of that nonsense of kissing both cheeks as they do in France! Just a bloody good handshake will do as a greeting, for man or woman ;-)        Yours Aye

Glossary of termsPet (petal.) Luv (love.) Darlin (darling.) reserved for use when addressing females.    Bonnie lad: Mate; Mucker; Man; Lad; reserved for use when addressing blokes, and spoken in a gruff manly voice.

Ay Chihuahua…

article-2609420-1D3C3A8C00000578-819_634x570One-year-old puppy fitted with plaster casts as he recovers from major surgery to repair his broken front legs after a BRICK fell on them.article-2609420-1D3C3A5B00000578-25_306x423 Bruno, a Chihuahua-Terrier cross, will have to wear casts on both his front paws for a few more weeks after the surgery at MSPCA-Angell’s Emergency and Critical Care Unit in Boston. Bruno’s owners decided to leave him in the care of the charity and he will be put up for adoption in two months time. 

More Here Bruno fitted with plaster casts as he recovers from major surgery to repair his broken front legs after a BRICK fell on them.

As if a Chihuahua needed more attitude than it’s born with – they go and cross him with a Terrier ;-) At 18 months he will have the spirit and the ability to bring down a charging Rhinoceros…  Yours Aye Chihuahua

Send in the Biden…

As I lay pixels to the screen before me; the Vice Clown  President Joe Biden is on his way to Ukraine for talks with the acting President and Prime Minister, as the situation in the country’s east remains tense despite a deal aimed at easing the crisis.biden-microphones

 White House officials say Biden will discuss the international community’s efforts to help Ukraine move forward on constitutional reform, and for what Obama administration officials say will be a free and fair presidential election on May 25. In addition, Biden is to announce new economic and energy-related technical assistance for Ukraine during his visit to Kyiv, said an administration official.

Simple! What could possibly go wrong?   Watch the space below for an update   Yours Aye.

I love a good sneeze!

‘It has to be said that I love a good sneeze ~ an explosive one to bring leaves down from trees ~ and not just one but three in a row ~ if I’m ever so lucky I’ll knock out four!’  E-B.DSC_0021For as long as I can remember I have loved a good sneeze! The tell-tale tickle deep inside the nose that just appears from no where, which causes one to savour the sensitive discomfort (that is also a mild pleasure!) Then the tease of breathing in through the nose in short gentle intakes so as not to allow the tickle to escape; that then builds into an almighty wriggling tickle that needs to be released with the power equivalent to the back-blast of a 105mm anti/tank gun. ‘BOOM!’ Away she goes… Followed by the feeling of giddy rapture due to a nano second of unconsciousness; knowing full well that the next mild tickle is forming as visual sense is regained. This time trying to make the wriggling tickle last longer than the first until ‘BOOOM!’ Followed by the final ‘BOOOOM!’ Which, sadly, is the triple over and done with for the time being at least…         Click pics to enlarge Rapeseed fieldsBeing surrounded by rapeseed crops it would appear that my love for sneezing has to be curtailed, other wise I will be blowing birds out of trees as well as stripping them bare with a good old ‘KERCHOOO!!!’ For the first time ever I have turned to taking a small Piriton pill to stop me sneezing, even though I don’t suffer from the effects of hay-fever. This is more to save the canine’s sensitive hearing, because when I do sneeze even the neighbours in the village five miles away call to ask if I’m finished! ‘Nipper seeking cover from the blast’Nipper taking coverWhat a great morning though before popping a Piriton, and we aren’t even into Summer yet (three triples before breakfast followed by a super four just before lunch!) ;-) Yours Aye.

Granite stone Naval cross for 3

A few days ago I read an article that brought back a memory long since forgotten.  Herewith the following memory, a dit or two, as well as a brief history lesson. Are you sitting comfortably? Good! If not, then adjust your position; after which I shall begin

Upon completion of training I was handed my draft order to join to 40 Commando RM, which at the time was based in Plymouth (referred to by Matelot’s and Bootneck’s alike as ‘Guzz.’) My first adventure ashore was an alcoholic one that passed by as an emotional blur (as did most of the long weekend that I mentioned in a ‘dit’ at the end of a previous post --> Elf’s, Safety, and an old Sea Dog!) The following friday lunchtime was my first non alcoholic ‘cultural’ adventure around Guzz, where I eventually made my way to the Hoe, which is Plymouth’s grassland area waterfront. Sitting on the steps of the Naval Memorial gazing out into the sound, I watched mesmerised as a variety of Her Majesty’s ‘grey funnel line’ ships steamed slowly past Drake’s Island heading towards ‘Her Majesty’s Naval Base Devonport.’ Little did I realise then, that the throughout the following 23 years I would be viewing the same Naval Memorial from the decks of Commando Carriers and Frigates alike, as they entered the sound from foreign adventures courtesy of H.M.’s Government.   Naval memorial over-looking the Hoe and Drake’s Island

198285479_5d643ef40dPlymouth Hoe has a variety of war memorials scattered about it, though scattered in a regimental style as you would imagine with great pride; with some more prominent than others. Having had my fill of all things nautical I perused the more obvious monuments until my hunger pains finally took charge, brought on by the delicious aroma of Cornish pasties wafting across from a nearby cafe. Walking inland towards the small eatery I happened upon a small stone Naval cross at the side of the narrow pathway, it was laid flat and set within the path itself with the number 3 etched deep within. Over the years that followed, it would become obvious that small religious icons were to be found dotted around the old military walls and keeps of the historic forts surrounding the area. Especially those built using french POW’s from the Napoleonic era, who would hand carve a french cross into a  granite block where a POW fell through ill-health or exhaustion, never to stand again.P1220674Later that same year in November; I was part of a fighting company who attended the Remembrance day parade on the Hoe in front of the Naval memorial. Dressed in full No.1 ceremonial Blues uniform the company ‘formed up’ and marched from the nearby Royal Citadel to fall in with the remainder of the military parade. As we ‘wheeled’ right on the small pathway junction an elderly gent stood next to the inlaid cross, he was obviously ex military and purposely avoided eye contact with the 120 Marines as they crunched past in heavy parade boots. He stayed at the same position throughout the service, and only after the playing of the last post did he walk away. Several times I noticed the elderly gent take up the same position at each annual Remembrance day service, until one year he failed to show up. I presumed he had crossed the bar, and was annoyed with myself for not approaching him to seek out the significance of the inlaid cross as well as his presence. This day of his non-attendance someone had placed a small wooden British Legion poppy cross in the grass verge close to the stone cross. Perhaps a significant act of kindness on behalf of the elderly gent? The thought left me with a lump in my throat.  The Royal Citadel Royal_Citadel,_Plymouth

It also pushed me into seeking the background and history covering the inlaid Naval cross, and if possible information on the elderly gent who paraded by it each year. The RN Padre was close at hand so I brought the story to his attention as we walked over to the stone icon. He viewed it with many hmmm’s and urrrm’s, which meant he was just as flummoxed and as ignorant as I. We each agreed to scour the various libraries in the area, as well as the historic Naval ledgers in the hope of resolving the issue at our feet (’twas’ the days of pre-internet!) A fortnight later as arranged we met up at the education office of RM Barracks Stonehouse to share our findings. (03) 28 March 2012 c

Our independent research revealed the history behind the stone cross as well as its historic significance; although we had no information to share on the elderly gent whose attendance in the past added to the mystery. We could only presume that the old-n-bold ex serviceman was well aware of the it’s significance and chose to remember and honour the fallen it represented.

Sadly my notes from that meeting have long since been misplaced through years of travel and home moves, though I am able to complete the history lesson using a post from the excellent website belonging to writer and historian Derek Tait whose permission for release I sought yesterday.

Execution on Plymouth Hoe: Between the Naval Memorial and the Hoe Lodge Gardens, there is a cross with the number ’3′ embedded in the pavement. This marks the spot where three Marines were executed by firing squad on 6 July, 1797. Their names were Lee, Coffy and Branning and they were found guilty of attempting to excite a mutiny at Stonehouse Barracks. Another Marine, M Gennis was convicted of a similar crime and sentenced to 1000 lashes and transported to Botany Bay for life. RM Stonehouse Barracks  external main gate entrance 2014images

The incident was reported in the Sherborne and Yeovil Mercury on Monday 10th July,1797. It read: ‘PLYMOUTH, July 8 – On Wednesday morning an express arrived here from the War-Office, with a warrant for the execution of Lee, Coffy, and Branning, three marines who were last week tried by a General Court-Martial, and found guilty of an attempt to excite a mutiny among the marine corps at Stone-house Barracks and on Thursday at 12 o’clock the troops at this place and in the neighbourhood, consisting of the Sussex fencible cavalry, four companies of the royal artillery, the Lancashire, East Devon and Essex regiments of militia, the 25th regiment of foot,royal independent invalids, and Plymouth volunteers, assembled on the Hoe, and formed in a half circle in order to witness the execution. M Gennis, another marine tried for a similar crime, and sentenced to receive 1000 lashes, and to be afterwards transported to Botany Bay for life, was brought on the ground soon after twelve o’clock, and received 500 lashes, and then conveyed back to Stone-house Barracks. At half past one o’clock, Lee, Coffy and Branning were marched from the Citadel under the escort of a party of marines, with a coffin before each, preceded by the band of that corps playing the Dead March in Saul.   RM Stonehouse Barracks internal parade ground Circa 1870stonehouse_barracks

The former was attended by the Rev. Dr. Hawker; and the two latter by a Roman Catholic priest, who after praying with them near an hour, quitted them, and they all three knelt on their coffins for a few minutes, when an officer of marines came and drew the caps over their faces, and a party of twenty marines immediately came down and put a period to their existence by discharging the contents of their muskets through their bodies, after which all the regiments marched round them in solemn procession, the whole forming, perhaps, one of the most awful scenes that the human eye ever witnessed. They all behaved in a manner becoming their melancholy situation, and apparently very resigned and penitent. About thirty thousand people were supposed to be present at the execution’. 

There was more to the execution than mentioned in the newspaper though. Ten thousand men of the Fleet and garrison were there to watch them die and most of Plymouth appeared to have turned out too. When the three men faced the firing squad and the shots were fired, Coffy and Branning fell forward, dead, into their coffins. However, Lee was not hit and had to go through the whole procedure again. The reserve firing squad lined up, took aim and fired but again Lee was untouched. Once more, they loaded up, took aim but again missed Lee. In the end, a sergeant came up behind him and shot him dead at close range. It seems odd that the firing squad missed Lee three times and perhaps there was some sympathy with him amongst the troops.
Earlier fourteen seamen had been hanged at the yardarm on their ships in the Sound.
This was to be Plymouth’s last public execution.images-1

One can only imagine what went through the minds of those present as they followed the Marine band playing the solemn death march from Handel’s Saul, who in turn were followed by a horse-drawn military carriage that carried 3 measured wooden coffins for the intended that followed, escorted by a guard of Marines – their own kind.            Yours Aye.

Derek Tait. Plymouth local history: Execution on Plymouth Hoe

The luck of the draw

article-2607895-1D2E869700000578-840_636x382Incredible story of the Lancaster bomber pilot who bailed out over Germany whose life was saved when a searchlight helped him find his parachute that wasn’t strapped on correctly! Squadron Leader Barry Douetil plunged out of his blazing Lancaster bomber at 20,000 ft and was horrified when he realised his parachute wasn’t strapped to his body. It was only when he hurtled for a split second through the bright beam of the German searchlight that he spotted it was on the end of a strap 10 ft above him. While still falling through the air in the dark, the 21-year-old managed to rein the cord in until he was able to put the parachute on and pull the release cord in the nick of time.article-2607895-1D2CBA8200000578-98_634x448 

He landed heavily ten seconds later in a frozen field but escaped the 1944 near-death experience with just a dislocated shoulder. He was picked up by the Germans and taken to the infamous Stalag Luft III camp just six weeks before the ‘Great Escape’ attempt by nearly 100 Allied POW’s. 

An incredible story of a 21-year-old pilot who was on his 14th bombing mission, matched by his bravery and that of all of the Allied Bomber Command who faced the inevitable when flying into occupied Europe and Germany. A generation of selfless people who we all  owe a debt of gratitude.            Yours Aye.

Lunatics running the asylum

Biden Flubs Boston Bombing Tribute by KEITH KOFFLER on APRIL 16 2014 11:05 AM 

President Obama Tuesday passed the Boston Marathon memorializing duties to Vice President Biden who, typically, screwed it up.Brainless Joe!Brainless Idiot Joe Biden Tells Boston Bombing Survivors “It Was Worth It?”     

“To those quote ‘survivors.’ My God, you have survived and you have soared. It was worth it, I mean this sincerely, just to hear each of you speak. You are truly, truly inspiring. I have never heard anything so beautiful as what all of you just said.”

It was worth it? What is he even trying to say? I assume he didn’t mean their suffering was worth it. Please God, make that not be the case, even if it’s just a mental mixup. He was probably trying to relate that the victims’ remarks made it worth it for him to come to Boston. But really? Was it some kind of imposition And why is Biden heading up the White House commemoration of this event in the first place? Where’s Obama? Holding a personal moment of silence. Maybe Joe begged for the job because he wanted to show Democratic primary voters what a healer he can be. In that case, it wasn’t worth it.?Obama-moment-silence-e1397656611218

I watched Biden speak live and my toes curled up under my feet, the man is an absolute blithering idiot… Several days ago the White House ‘warned’ Russia against further military action in the Ukraine, and then announced that “US Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Kiev on April 22 to demonstrate high-level US support. Dear Gawd, which lunatic is really running the White House asylum?             Yours Aye

WWI ambulance train

article-2605886-1D23FC4500000578-322_964x450Poignant archive pictures show the ambulance trains that transported soldiers wounded on the Western Front back to hospitals across Britain during the First World War. With their pristine white sheets, carefully-arranged tea cups and attentive teams of young nurses, the ambulance trains which brought injured Tommies back from the front could not have been further from the horrors of war the men had lived through. The insides of the specially-adapted train coaches were often the first taste of home the wounded soldiers experienced as they made their way back to Britain after months spent fighting in the trenches.  ‘A cup of tea from a nurse was often the first treatment a soldier got as he headed back to Britain.’       Click on pics to enlarge.article-2605886-1D23AE5400000578-997_964x664These remarkable images of the First World War ambulance trains are now to form part of a new exhibition at York’s National Railway Museum in November. The photos show the trains which brought soldiers back from the battlefield to the French ports of Calais and Bologne, where they were transferred onto boats before being taken, again by train, to hospitals throughout Britain. But, as the exhibition will reveal, the images contrast with some reports from the time. War poet Robert Grave described his journey in one of the carriages as a ‘nightmare’ in his war memoir, Goodbye to All That and a nurse documented their ‘frightful smells and dirt’.      From Hell to Heaven. article-2605886-1D23D5B300000578-536_964x657As the numbers of those injured in battle rose, so the trains became more important and were upgraded and expanded during the conflict, leading the same nurse to later comment they had become ‘a joy after the tragedy’ for those unfortunate enough to need them. The exhibition, marking the centenary of the War this year, will feature a series of images, sketches and personal accounts of the vital role of the railways during it and other conflicts.       More Here: Poignant archive pictures show the ambulance trainarticle-2605886-1D23B10D00000578-970_964x680Even though I am not a ‘train-spotter,’ the National Railway Museum in York is always worth a visit any time of the year. I will probably pop in around November for a look-see at the exhibition, which is just one of many commemorating the 100 year anniversary of WWI.            Yours Aye.

Welcome to ‘easy street’ UK.

fml-Sinead Clarkson1.jpgMother-of-two who has never worked encouraged her daughter to get pregnant so she could get a council house and have an ‘easy life on benefits’ Mother-of-two Sinead Clarkson, 36, has been claiming benefits for the last 20 years and currently receives £1,200-pounds a month in state handouts. Ms Clarkson, from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, has now admitted she encouraged her 19-year-old daughter Melissa (bottom right), who fell pregnant six months ago, to have a baby so she can do the same.

More Here: Mother-of-two who has never worked encouraged her daughter to get pregnant so she too could claim full government benefits 

The gnashing and grinding of teeth you can hear is coming from my location – it isn’t Nipper doing so! As a single pregnant parent this young girl will automatically go to the top of the council waiting list for a home, which will be two bed-roomed when granted that will also entitle her to further benefits such as funding towards a cooker and carpets; her rent will also be ‘heavily’ subsidised by the tax paying public. No wonder we have immigrants and EU citizens queuing up to get in. For Gawd’s sake bring forth the referendum soon and pull up the draw bridge on the English Channel!             Yours Aye.

Brampton phantom tyre slasher

The quaint old market town of Brampton (Est 700) is a pleasant quiet place to visit when walking around the hills and dales surrounding Carlisle, close to the West coast of Cumbria. Sadly over the past six months there have been reports of vandalism in the shape of yob’s slashing car tyres.      A place I have frequented often…bmm75For some owners it was a case of repeated slow punctures. Others awoke in the morning to find their tyres completely flat. Then Cumbria Police got the ‘lead’ they were looking for; after spending six months and countless hours studying CCTV in a bid to identify the series of attacks they identified the ‘vandal.’ Step forward Jess the border collie, who was named and shamed as the phantom tyre slasher, & embarrassed owner Edward Morgan.article-2605738-1D25877000000578-918_636x423Tyre vandal who blighted street for SIX MONTHS unmasked as border collie dog after it was caught savaging cars on CCTV

Poor Jess must have been ‘dog tyred’ after such exercise each day for six months (heh-heh!) ;-)             Yours Aye.

Ergonomics of a standing desk

A genuine question to those of you perusing this post. Are you aware of anyone who uses a ‘standing-desk’ from which they operate their PC’s or work stations from? Perhaps you are a user with first hand experience? Is it a passing trend, a designer ‘must have,’ or just plain ergonomic common sense? Of interest; the best bar height is at least six inches higher than that recommended in the graphic below, of which I have no problem with for hours on end (until it comes to leaving the pub at closing time!)stand-up-desk-alignment This afternoon on a local radio station an ‘ergonomic expert’ mentioned that “medical research has been building up for a while, suggesting constant sitting is harming our health potentially causing cardiovascular problems or vulnerability to diabetes!” He went on further to state that standing whilst working is far better for posture when using a PC or work station, though the concept requires a short period of adjustment.22basics-web-articleLarge Unfortunately; just recently I have been so caught up with an online project that quite often a pair of hours whizz by unknowingly, which has resulted in lower back pain and aching shoulders that then requires a good stretching exercise to rectify the problem (followed by a good walk and a pot of tea.) Tomorrow it is my intention to put together a ‘Heath Robinson’ system to test out the ‘ergonomic experts’ theory. In the mean time I would appreciate any valuable input over the pros and cons of standing-over-sitting whilst tickling the ivory’s on the keyboard.             Yours Aye.

13-year-old eagle huntress

A 13-year-old eagle huntress in Mongolia. A photographer who snapped what could be the world’s only girl hunting with a golden eagle says watching her work was an amazing sight.  By William Kremer: BBC World Service       ‘Click all pics to enlarge’_74244199_72Photographer Asher Svidensky says, “Most children are a little intimidated by golden eagles. Kazakh boys in western Mongolia start learning how to use the huge birds to hunt for foxes and hares at the age of 13, when the eagles sit heavily on their undeveloped arms.” Svidensky, a photographer and travel writer, shot five boys learning the skill, he also photographed Ashol-Pan. “To see her with the eagle was amazing,” he recalls. “She was a lot more comfortable with it, a lot more powerful, and a lot more at ease._74151933_82The Kazakhs of the Altai mountain range in western Mongolia are the only people that hunt with golden eagles, and today there are around 400 practising falconer’s. Ashol-Pan, the daughter of a particularly celebrated hunter, may well be the country’s only apprentice huntress. They hunt in winter, when the temperatures can drop to -40C (-40F). A hunt begins with days of trekking on horseback through snow to a mountain or ridge giving an excellent view of prey for miles around. Hunters generally work in teams. After a fox is spotted, riders charge towards it to flush it into the open, and an eagle is released. If the eagle fails to make a kill, another is released._74151931_76The skill of hunting with eagles, Svidensky says, lies in harnessing an unpredictable force of nature. “You don’t really control the eagle. You can try to make her hunt an animal, and then it’s a matter of nature. What will the eagle do? Will she make it? How will you get her back afterwards?” The eagles are not bred in captivity, but taken from nests at a young age. Female eaglets are chosen since they grow to a larger size; a large adult might be as heavy as seven kilos, with a wingspan of over 230cm (7′ 6″.)_74151935_84After years of service, on a spring morning, a hunter releases his mature eagle a final time, leaving a butchered sheep on the mountain as a farewell present. “That’s how the Kazakh eagle hunters make sure that the eagles go back to nature and have their own strong newborns, for the sake of future generations”, Svidensky says. He describes Ashol-Pan as a smiling, sweet and shy girl. His photographs of her engaging in what has been a male activity for around 2,000 years say something about Mongolia in the 21st Century._74245694_horse_976“The generation that will decide what will happen with every tradition that Mongolia contains is this generation,” says Svidensky, who showed Ashol-Pan’s family the photographs on his laptop. “Everything there is going to change and is going to be redefined – and the possibilities are amazing.”_74245692_family_976_74152805_compositeAnd I thought my childhood was great when I nurtured injured barn owls and a kestrel! Yours Aye.

Lady Apostle; Nigerian ‘witch-hunter!’

A Nigerian ‘witch-hunter’ who claims any child who cries is a ‘servant of Satan’ could be banned from the UK following calls to Home Secretary Theresa May that she is a risk to youngsters. Campaigners are urging for Helen Ukpabio, known as ‘Lady Apostle’, to be deported and banned from returning to the UK on the grounds her preaches are harmful to the public. The born-again Christian Pentecostal preacher, who founded the controversial African Evangelical franchise Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries in Nigeria, is thought to currently be in the UK. Nigerian fraudster Helen Ukpabio, known as ‘Lady Apostle’, to be deported and banned from returning to the UKarticle-2604932-1D207B6800000578-664_634x413It understood she flew into London where she has been holding a number of church services to promote her belief in witchcraft and offer help to those ‘under threat’ from the wizardry. A poster advertising one of Ms Ukpabio’s most recent talks – which was cancelled after the venue was leaked online – claims to offer help to people who are under ‘witchcraft attack, ancestral spirit attack or mermaid spirit attack’ and claims to help ‘disconnect’ them. However, campaigners have warned her controversial views are dangerous to children – including the belief that ‘if a child under the age of two screams in the night, cries and is always feverish with deteriorating health, he or she is a servant of Satan’.helen-ukpabio-witches-on-the-runThe Witchcraft and Human Rights Information Network (WHRIN), the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales and the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) have now written to the Home Secretary in an attempt to get Ms Ukpabio deported under the Immigration Act 1971 – on the grounds her presence here is not conducive to the public good. In a letter to Ms May, the campaigners warn: ‘Whilst the Government has moved swiftly to block entry to the UK for Islamic preachers whose presence is considered as harmful to the public good, there have been no cases of Christian pastors facing such measures.’ Home Secretary The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

Home Secretary

The groups are hoping the pastor will be banned from returning to the UK once she has completed her final tour. Gary Foxcroft, of the WHRIN said Ms Ukpabio was one of a number of preachers who regularly travelled to the UK. He told the Independent: ‘The fundamental problem is that churches need to be regulated. Anyone can set up a church tomorrow in their own garden shed with no commitment to child protection or making their accounts transparent or any theological training.’ Bob Churchill, of the IHEU, also told the newspaper: ‘It is important that the UK authorities send a message to the world that branding children, or anyone, as a witch is beyond the pale.’

Nigerian; Witchcraft; Multiple ministries; Money in the bank; Con woman: Fraud! Aided and abetted by gullible Africans now residing in Western civilised countries who still believe in such ‘tosh!’ It makes my blood boil to think this woman and her followers have not been returned back to their countries of origin. I recall only too well the following, as well as several incidents similar to such practices here in the UK. Torso found in Thames identified. Five-year-old ‘victim of voodoo ritual.’ Disgusting ignorant animals. Yours Aye.

U.S.-e1327947267531

‘Lady Apostle’ Helen Ukpabio is the founder of the controversial African Evangelical franchise Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries in Cross River State, Nigeria. The Christian fundamentalist and a Biblical literalist founded the church in 1992 and now claims to have 150 branches worldwide. With its headquarters in Calabar in Southern Nigeria, the Liberty Gospel Church has grown to be a witch-hunting church with branches in Nigeria and overseas. Ms Ukpabio founded the church to fulfil her ‘mission’ of delivering people from witchcraft attack and organises deliverance sessions where she identifies and exorcises people, mainly children, of witchcraft. The born-again Christian Pentecostal preacher claims to have the power to identify and exorcise ‘witch children’ who are possessed by the devil.  She uses her sermons to incite hatred, intolerance and persecution of alleged witches and wizards. Her supporters, of which there are many in West Africa, believe she is a servant of God who has helped eradicate spiritual ailments from humankind. Her beliefs – promoted through her publications (Unveiling the Mysteries of Witchcraft), films (End of the Wicked) and sermons – fuel witchcraft accusations against children in the region. In some of the poorest parts of Nigeria, thousands of children are being blamed for catastrophes, death, famine and branded witches.

Heartbleed or Nosebleed; an unnecessary nuisance

Much has been said about the Heartbleed Bug over the past several days (much has been rescinded by the main stream media who tried their best to initiate international panic!) Find out about the sites that were affected by the Heartbleed Bug, as well as the sites that recommend password changes, and what information might have been vulnerable due to ‘Heartbleed.’ Click the pic to go large… A ‘Mellow Jihadi’ public information feature ;-) TopSitesAffectedByTheHeartbleedBug_5348764d6fee8_w1500