It is HOT in London Town (today)

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Hello and hi. It is HOT in London Town (today) or as the locals say: ‘scorchio’-which means ‘hot’ and between you and me…this word sounds more Spanish in origin and less the Queen’s English. Oh well.

Anyway, it is a lovely, sunny, day…FINALLY. I mean, we’ve had rain for like 4 weeks straight. Truth. I mean, April showers got nothing on: March, April and May-the amount of rain we have had lately has been diabolical. It sure has. Yup.

On a sunny day, as this, people are nicer to each other-strangers smile at each other. People drink outside in Pub beer gardens and laugh loudly while smacking the table with their fists in fits of laughter . The London girls are wearing pretty sandals and skirts (but the men still wear suits.) Also, in hot weather, people on the Tube give/offer their seat up to a weary Americans. Ok, I totally made that up. No one EVER offers me their seat-I have to stand pretty much the entire journey. It is so crowded on the tube, I get to stand real close to complete strangers (and not by choice) as I inhale their heady, intoxicating mix of sweat, perfume and frustration about standing so close to a stranger. But that’s London, for you. That being said, it is HOT in London Town. In fact, it is 24C today. Erm…that is 75.2F for my American brothers and sisters. Yes. Yes, it is.

Hope you are having a good Monday. I know, I am…because it is HOT in London Town. Woot woot. Yay!

 

 

                                                                                                         Image: IES London

 

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Cheers

Meet Jess Glynne

 

                                                                                                Image: Zeta Boards

Hello and hi. Sorry peeps, have been a bit busy. It’s nothing you did. It’s me, not you. Sorry. I think you get the point. Anyway, Meet Jess Glynne. You are welcome. Ok, let’s do this

Jessica Hannah “Jess” Glynne was born 20 October 1989. Baby!  Our Jess is an English singer and songwriter-signed to Atlantic Records. Jess rose to prominence as a featured artist on Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be” and Route 94’s “My Love.” Have you heard of these songs? Please tell me you have. No? Don’t worry, we still cool. Yup.

In 2015, Jess became the SECOND British female solo artist after Cheryl Cole/Tweedy/ Fernandez-Versini (I can’t even with this woman…uggh.)Date much, love? Just find ONE partner, already. I can’t keep up with your ever changing surnames. But, I digress…

Like I was saying, Jess became the SECOND British female artist after Cheryl to have 5 number one singles in the UK. Wow. Massive achievement. Massive respect to Jess. Jess Glynne’s debut album: I Cry When I Laugh was released in 2015 and debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart. Wow. Just, wow.

Quick Bio

Jess Glynne was born in Hampstead and raised in Muswell Hill, North London into a Jewish family. While this (her being Jewish) is not important nor relevant-it is important to know that North London has a large population of Jewish persons-whose continuous contribution to British society is palpable. I have blogged on this very issue previously. Check it out, do it now. Please and thanks.  Anyway, our Jess had applied for The X Factor when she was 15 years, but dropped out of the audition process following a disagreement with the producers. Yikes. 15 is kind of young to be on the X Factor…but it sounded as though our Jess knew her own mind regarding her, style, sound-hence the disagreement with the producers. So, yeah…they fell out I guess.

Jess attended Rhodes Avenue Primary School, then attended Fortismere School where she completed her A levels in 2008. A levels? I have no idea of what that even is. My American people have grades in our school system. Grades 1-12. For real. Anyway, post A levels, Jess worked various jobs, which included working in a boutique, fitness centre/gym and a hairdresser. She did some travelling around the globe too. Later, she worked for a music management company in her late teens and then began networking with songwriters and producers. Of course, this helped her massively get her foot into the music industry. Massive respect for this London Girl and her tenacity. Woot woot.

In addition, Glynne completed a year long music course at an East London college- Access to Music-where she met her future collaborators: songwriter Jin Jin and producer Bless Beats.  Of course there is plenty more to say about our Jess, but have been brief here. This is a blog post, not a review in The Rolling Stone Magazine. No. No, it is not. If you want to know more about Glynne, educate yourself and read up on her.

I happen to like Jess Glynne a lot. She has a deep, soulful voice. Her words and lyrics ring true and speak of hope, pain, loss and love with a clarity so true, that it hurts. I guess you can tell that I am a big fan. I sure am. Anyway, I have added a video of hers here-Don’t be so hard of yourself…hope you like it as much as I do. Yup.

Cheers

Life with my grandparents. Part 36

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Hello and hi. Happy Monday! My goodness, I was so busy today that I actually did 3 days worth of work, today. Please read that sentence again. Believe me, you…it is not easy being the only American in London Town- who has the sole responsibility of explaining the implications of BREXIT to the good people of England. Ok, I totally made that up. That being said, today is Monday…so, don’t forget to be AWESOME. You got this. I believe in you. Yes. Yes, I do.

Anyway, you can find the latest instalment of : Life with my grandparents here. Enjoy. Oh and Happy Monday!

 

Cheers

The Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC)

 

Image result for image of police from the civil nuclear constabulary                                                                                                Image: Crown Duty Management

Hello and hi. There is plenty to say about the upcoming and imminent UK and French elections. Believe you me, I got plenty to say about those topics, and I will wax lyrical about them later but now, I am all about The Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC). Yes. Yes, I am. Oh you are not familiar? Allow me. You are welcome.

The CNC is a special police force responsible for providing law enforcement and security at or within 5km of ANY relevant nuclear site, as well as for nuclear materials in transit within the UK. Erm..5km? What the heck? I am American, my people deal in miles. If you know what a km is, do let me know. But, I digress.

The CNC was established on 1 April 2005, replacing the former Atomic Energy Authority  Constabulary, which was established in 1955. Brief history now over. Now for the important bit-and this is important. The CNC does NOT guard the UK’s nuclear weapons, this role is the responsibility of the British Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence Police.

Role

The primary role of the CNC is to provide armed policing and security for nuclear sites/materials throughout the UK as well as to maintain a state of readiness against a possible attack on a licensed nuclear site (while also providing assistance to local police forces within the area.)

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The Constabulary is established in Chapter 3, sections 51-71, of the Energy Act 2004. In brief, the act sets up the Civil Nuclear Police Authority and the position of Chief Constable.

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There are 14 high security nuclear power sites in the UK-which means the CNC are quite busy. Britan’s “nuclear police” protect nuclear power stations from threats, as mentioned. But their role also includes preparing for those times when they may have to tackle potential intruders. Of course, they are also prepared for things like preventing targets against nuclear power stations or preventing theft of nuclear materials.

During 2010-11, the CNC made 12 arrests (although 2 of those people were de-arrested at the scene. Erm…what happened there? They got arrested then unarrested? Yikes. Strange policing methods going on. Not even judging….just curious.

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As you can imagine, nuclear power stations around the globe are carefully guarded for obvious reasons. In addition, the level of security at nuclear power stations will change, depending on what is going on in the world, at the time. In other words, when sh*t gets real, nuclear power stations prepare themselves accordingly. For example, in 2015, France raised protections at its nuclear power facilities following the Paris attacks there in November. And Prior to that, the UK decided to increase security at British facilities, post 9/11-again, for obvious reasons. The old force, the Atomic Energy Authority Constabulary (est 1955) was replaced in 2005 by the CNC-as previously mentioned. Remember, I mentioned that earlier? Please tell me you do.

Anyway, so that is it…a brief introduction to The Civil Nuclear Constabulary. Knowledge is power, people. Yes. Yes, it is.

Cheers

                                                                               

The most AMAZING garden in the UK

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Hello and hi. I have waxed lyrical, plenty about the British and their gardens. You should check out my previous posts on British gardens. I really think you ought to. Yes. Yes, I do.

As for me, I am not much of a gardener. Truth be told the rose bushes in my own garden have been planted, procured and patiently watched over by my dear old Dad, when he visits me here in London Town. Thanks, Dad.

Anyway, check out The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, located in Scotland. It is everything. Yup. I have provided the link below regarding the aforementioned garden-courtesy of the BBC website.

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation

Cheers

 

Happy Birthday Mary Hayes!

 

                                                                                                Image: Fire Fighters Foundation

Hello and hi. What do you get a woman who celebrates her 105th birthday? Erm…anything she wants. Actually, our Mary has been asking for the SAME gift for the past 5 years, but the care home in which she lives, never honoured her request. Nope. Well, they finally agreed to grant Mary her wish. Mary wanted a fireman. Mary got a fireman for her birthday. Oh man. Mary is one lucky 105 year old. Yup. Check out the video below, courtesy of the BBC, for the full story. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Mary! You are a BOSS.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-gloucestershire-39756791/firemen-birthday-wish-for-105-year-old

 

Cheers

UK helps gay couples marry in Australia

 

Hello and hi. Am not sure if you know this or not ( but, I am willing to add to your general knowledge- you are welcome) but, gay couples in Australia CAN’T get married. Truth. However, hundreds of gay weddings have taken place in Australia, since 2014, with the help and assistance of the UK, in subsequently implementing British law-in Australia. Oh man, I got mad respect for the English Legal System. Yes. Yes, I do.

Same sex marriages in Australia are not legal. Uggh. I can’t even with that. No, I cannot.  But as mentioned, hundreds of gay weddings have taken place. How is this possible? You see, there are certain conditions, in order for this to take place. And let’s face it, there are always conditions. But these conditions, are pretty wonderful.

For a same sex wedding to take place in Australia:

  • The weddings must take place on British Consulate Grounds.
  • At least one person must be British

This is a bit of a double-edge sword, in the fact that the said wedding, will not have legal standing in Australia. But it will in England. Many say that the UK is ‘sticking their nose’ in Australian politics/society/laws/etc. I mean, Australia, should make its own laws. Perhaps. Perhaps not. But guess what I think? I will tell you. Here goes…Australia needs to sort itself out and make same sex marriages legal. For real. Because really now: Love is love. Yes.  Yes, it is. That is all.

 

Cheers

A Snap Election…and Brexit (and France)

 

 

Hello and hi. Am guessing you’ve heard. Our illustrious (or not) Prime Minister called a snap general election. Oh snap. She said she would not. In fact, if my sources are correct, our Theresa PROMISED that she would not call a General Election-but that we would have the General Election in 2020-as scheduled. She said this approximately 11 times. So, when someone tells you something 11 times, you kind of believe them. Don’t you? I think you do. I did.

Like many, when I heard the news last week regarding the snap General Election-my mouth fell open like a cod fish. I was that shocked. Yes.  Yes, I was.

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Cod fish

                                                                                                                     Image: Global Food Bank

In calling the snap election, our Theresa said that Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership following the EU referendum. She also linked the upcoming election (to be held on 8 June) to BREXIT. Say, what now? In brief, she said that the election was basically ‘the only way to guarantee certainty and stability in the wake of Brexit.’ Oh my goodness. If you are interested in reading her entire speech-and her reasons for calling a snap election, you can read it here.

I do hope you read it. It is quite an interesting read. Theresa May clearly has a good speech writer. Yes. Yes, she does. In other news… France elections are hotting up. What’s good France? (Read: What on earth is going on France? And why do you vote on Sundays? I see you France. I am watching you.) That is all.

 

Cheers

 

Blair on Brexit (I can’t even w/this guy)

 

Hello and hi. Apologies for the ‘radio silence’ but I have been a bit busy. How busy? Well, as busy as a one-legged cat in a sandbox. Yup. Please know that I don’t normally go around saying such things (like the above colloquialism) as it is a typical Southern thing to say….and I am not from the South, but I hear that they are nice people. I am a Yankee. That’s right. I sure am. Please know that  ‘Yankee’ is a derisive term used by Southerners, when they are mentioning us Northerners. But actually, outside of the US-‘Yank’ is used informally to refer to ANY American-including Southerners. But, I digress…as usual.

So, Blair on Brexit …I can’t even with this guy. Erm…’I can’t even’ simply means: ‘I literally cannot even deal with this situation/thing/person/place…it is too funny/scary/horrible/add your own word here.

Enough about slang, allow me to get to the crux of my post. Please and thanks.

So, the illustrious (or not) former Prime Minister, Tony Blair is in the news again. In the news sounding off about things. Political things. Uggh. Like I said, I can’t even with this guy. Seriously, why are we still giving him a platform to speak? How is he not in jail already? I thought war criminals went to jail. More specifically, The Hague.

Please know that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is an intergovernmental organisation and international tribunal-that sits in The Hague, in the Netherlands. The ICC has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes…which leads me back to Tony Blair. I think you get the point I am trying to make here.

Instead of jail, Tony Blair runs free and every now and then speaks to the media. Why? Why? Why? I can’t even with this guy. Why does the press continue to give him a platform? War criminals should not be speaking to the Press. Nope.

So, our ex-PM was speaking to the BBC about Brexit. He said some mildly interesting things (for a war criminal). Blair told the BBC that Brexit was a massively bigger issue and even bigger than party allegiance-in terms of the general election, (taking place on 8 June).  Blair also told the BBC that the Conservatives were most likely going to win. *Slowclap* but also that a big Labour vote could actually ‘constrain’ the PM, Theresa May-who he believes is having a spot of bother as PM and that she is being driven by her party’s right wing.

Blair on Brexit

Tony Blair left politics in 2007 (thankfully) but for someone who has left politics he sure is vocal. And not only vocal but he has been a bit too politically active, for my liking.  This whole time I thought Tony Blair was in The Hague, but he was actually becoming increasingly more politically active-talking loads about politics and even setting up a think tank in London. A think tank in London which centres around a continued EU membership. Yikes, Tony. FYI: Mr. Blair: The people voted to LEAVE-you ought to respect that, mate.

Image result for image of tony blair and the eu                                                                                                                             Image: Euinside

Tony Blair, in speaking to the BBC, said that he felt so passionately about Brexit, that he was “almost motivated” to re-enter British politics. Erm…what? Dear God, no. Just, no. What is going on? Sorry (not sorry) but that sounded like a thinly veiled threat. Did Tony Blair just say he wanted to re-enter politics? How? When? And most importantly, shouldn’t he be in jail for war crimes? I am asking a serious question here.

In addition, Blair told the BBC that the Conservatives were most likely on course for a landslide victory (thanks for pointing out the bleedin’ obvious, Tony) and that he “wasn’t totally sure” what Labour’s position was on Brexit. Hmm…well, at least Tony and I can agree on this. But this ONLY.

In speaking to BBC4’s World This Weekend-Blair said that voters needed to know where the candidates stood on leaving the EU. Blair went on to say that May was “very sensible” and a “perfectly decent person” but said that her policy on leaving the EU was “not reasonable” and that it was, in fact, being driven by the right wing of her party. Well hot damn, did Tony Blair just criticise the current Prime Minister? Yes. Yes, I think he did. And in typical political fashion it was a complement but disguised as a put-down. Uggh. I am so done with politicians. (Ok, that was a lie.)

Also, in speaking to the BBC, Blair pledged to put pressure on candidates in each constituency to force them to declare where they stood on the mandate, Theresa May should have when negotiating the terms Brexit. Further, Blair said he was supporting the campaign-which is also backed by anti-Brexit campaigner, Gina Miller. Dear Lord, what is going on?

Blair said that he feared that if the Conservatives win the General Election, that that translates into handing Theresa May a ‘blank cheque for Brexit at any costs’ which Blair believes  is NOT in the interest of the country. In addition, our Tony said:

“I look at the British political scene at the moment and I actually almost feel motivated to go right back into it,” he added. “We’re just allowing ourselves to be hijacked by what is actually quite a small group of people with a strong ideology.”

Oh my goodness. Tony Blair sure has a lot to say…for someone who should be in jail. Yes. Yes, he does. That is all.

 

Cheers