International Women’s Day 2017 theme: Be Bold for Change


Be bold for change and help accelerate gender parity.

Source: International Women’s Day 2017 theme: Be Bold for Change

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Seeing the light


Hello, it’s great to be here early for once instead of rushing around at the last-minute. I hope you’ve all had a good week. I’m looking forward to the Bank Holiday weekend and Monday off, when I will try to catch up on some of my writing projects (she says with fingers crossed)

Thanks to Renee Heath for the photo prompt this week and a special thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for her continuing support, diplomacy and encouragement.

Copyright Renee Heath

Copyright Renee Heath

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

Seeing the light

Frederick watches the crowd gathered on the pavement.  They are getting restless. Some shout concerns, about their safety, loss of their livelihoods. Not many seem supportive of his demonstration.

‘You’ll blow us all to kingdom come, you mad German!’

‘It’ll never work!’

‘What about the poor candlemakers?’

His wife tightens her grip on his arm.

At 9pm the gas is turned on. Pall Mall is lit up from end to end; the crowd roars approval, some even come to shake his hand.

‘Listen to them now liebling, no need for your fears.  You should have more faith in your husband.’

Artist unknown. Courtesy of National Gas Museum

Artist unknown. Courtesy of National Gas Museum

and now for the history bit…

In 1807, Frederick Winsor, a German born entrepreneur, demonstrated the use of gas to light streets, in London’s Pall Mall. Fifteen years later almost every large town in Britain, as well as Europe and North America, had a gasworks. The company he founded – The Gas Light & Coke Company, continued to supply most of the gas in London, until the industry was nationalised in 1949.  Read more at The National Gas Museum website.

For more stories click on Mr Frog 

 

Sunday in sunny Lucca


After a hectic few weeks, I have escaped to the sun in Tuscany.
The family are here too and are busy finding the mercado asI sit with my feet in the pool, just chilling.
As I haven’t written much lately, I thought perhaps you’d like to know that nothing is wrong and I’m enjoying a weeks rest and relaxation, though my 2 year old granddaughter may have other ideas.
A few photos to share

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Happy Monday? It is now


Two weeks ago we completed a move to new business premises, and what started out as an eagerly anticipated adventure, has turned into a stressful and very time-consuming experience.  I should have expected it. It is like moving home x 25!

Today is the first day that I can walk freely round my new office, all my boxes of files have now been archived and I can actually see the colour of the floor tiles. The staff love their new “home” and have settled in very quickly, while it seems to be taking me a lot longer to adjust. We were 19 years in our previous building, it’s the place where our business first began and although it was old and the walls were a bit uneven, I was quite sad when I closed my door for the last time.

I not usually like this and have been quite annoyed with myself for having a gloomy mood; then today I found this:

and suddenly it is a Happy Monday.

Enjoy your Monday wherever you are 🙂

A Tale of Two Bridges (with apologies to Charles Dickens)


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times………………”

Earlier in the year, it was announced that the toll on the Humber Bridge was going to be increased. The people of Grimsby and surrounding area, reacted to this news by starting a petition against the increase and getting it signed by 10,000 people!  In the face of this huge opposition, the Minister of Transport refused to increase the tolls.

 In October it was announced that the Government was giving a grant of £6m to the Humber Bridge Company, so that they can freeze the tolls until 2011, the grant will be used for necessary maintenance.  In announcing this, the Minister for Transport, Sadiq Khan, said that “the Government is committed to doing everything it can to protect communities and businesses from economic downturn and to help the country recover”

 The news of the grant was met with an angry response by transport and haulage companies on both side of the Severn Estuary. Many companies who operate across this Welsh-Anglo border, rack up tens of thousands of pounds each year in tolls just to cross the river and though the Government’s commitment to reducing costs is very welcome, it should be applied across the board. The Freight Transport Association responded to the Minister’s comments by issuing a press release calling for the same commitment to be given to Wales and the South-West.

 However, it is not just transport companies who are affected, although the tolls they pay are the highest in the UK. Paying the toll has a knock-on effect for every company who use the Severn crossings in the course of their business. It is seen as huge a disadvantage by many large companies when looking at this part of Wales as a possible business venue.

 Both bridges are owned and operated by Severn Crossing plc, but the ownership of the bridges should not be a reason to do nothing. There is a solution to every problem if you try hard enough to find it.

 The Government, in its’ wisdom, decided to add VAT to the tolls back in 2003. The tolls were not increased, so this slipped relatively easily under the radar and they just agreed with the company to extend their term of ownership.  This has meant that the bridges will not revert back to public ownership now until some time around 2016 and we just go on paying………….

So, although age has curbed my former redheaded temper, I just felt that I couldn’t sit on the sidelines on this one.  I feel that the people and businesses of Wales have enough on their plate at the moment; times are tough out there and we need all the help we can get!  After the initial rise in blood pressure, I decided that I too would start a petition, to ask the Government for help for the Welsh economy too. And, in this highly computerised world we now live in, I chose an e-Petition.

If you feel as strongly as I do about the inequality of this gesture by the Government, then please will you follow the link and sign the petition. I am told that if we get more than 500 signatures the Government has to respond.

 http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/helpWelsheconomy/

Thank you!

Heavy goods vehicles get the blame


Spent all day at a conference on London, where we discussed the problems faced by the road transport industry in the current economic climate.  These are due mainly to the increase in fuel tax duty imposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, at a time when haulage operators were praying for a reduction!

Everyone it seems complains about the heavy goods vehicles on our roads, the drivers have no time to unload at shops in major cities before they are hit with a penalty charge.  Where do the people who make some of these rules and regulations buy their food. clothing, makeup, toiletries and the rest? They must go shopping sometime and how do they think the goods they want got onto the shelves – magic? 

There should be a lot more discussion between government, the environmental lobby and the vehicle operators to find a way forward that is fair and not just blame everything, from road congestion to emmissions, on the truck drivers.  After all, the commercial vehicles account for a small minority of the traffic on the roads today, there are far more cars ( usually with just one occupant) and vans than there are heavy vehicles.