Thank You GB!

I would just like to express thanks to each and every citizen of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for any and all protests regarding the State Visit of the current President of the United States. You have your own battles to wage and I stand with you in those battles. You do not need yet another stain on your community by allowing such an animal to set foot on your soil.

 

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Manchester, United

manchester-distressed-union-jack-flag-mark-e-tisdaleIt breaks my heart to see a terrorist bombing of a place I hold so dear to my heart and also to see the young lives affected in such a traumatic way. The three times I have been to the UK, I have entered the country through Manchester because it’s nearer where my friend lives than London. People are always shocked to learn that I’ve been to England three times, but I’ve yet to see London. It is unfathomable that terrorists have so little regard for life that they would end the lives of these young girls and mentally and emotionally scar hundreds of others who were surely there. I will keep them all in my thoughts and close to my heart every day because we must stand strong against those who would try to destroy the democratic way of life. They seek to destroy, to sew chaos and divide us between those who want to take a hard line against terrorism and think bombing the crap out of the Middle East will solve our problems and those who know a more sensible response would result in fewer deaths. We must all, but most especially Manchester, remain United.

 

Smog of ’52

My best friend has really gotten into the Netflix series¬†The Crown. Since I don’t have Netflix, I can’t view it, but it sounds interesting. She was most fascinated recently of how they addressed the big event of 1952: the smog that brought all of London to a standstill and killed thousands of people and probably just as many animals.

Though the smog issue is far from as bad as it was that fateful year, the air of London surely isn’t 100% pure. I recall from my days in college, a friend of mine was fortunate enough to spend a Spring semester in London courtesy of the college. The following year we roomed together and I got to hear a lot of detail about her stay in London. One of the most memorable to me was when she said the first time she had cause to blow her nose, whatever came out was black. Ick.

My current friend has felt so moved by the story of the Great Smog of 1952 she shared the story behind it and so I felt led to share it here. As with most tragic events, the Great Smog led to many environmental changes in London and the country itself.

The Great Smog of 1952

Happy Birthday!

On 21 April 1926, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born. At the age of 25, she ascended to the throne upon the death of her father, King George VI. She has since become the longest reigning monarch in the United Kingdoms of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, ahead of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.

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London Attack

It breaks my heart to see an attack on the people of London. When an alleged terrorist does something like what has happened today – driving into a group of people and another trying to access the Houses of Parliament with a knife, clearly intent on doing harm – I fear the extremists win. But not the extremists that might first come to mind. I’m speaking of the extremists who are now clearly rampant in France, in the Netherlands, and most especially here in the United States. The ones who think all borders should be closed. That immigration is and should be a thing of the past. We should not help our fellow man. We shouldn’t care about anyone but those born in our respective countries. And that’s exactly what the other extremists – ISIS and their ilk – want. I try not to get political on here, but I just hate when something like this happens. And I hate the way things will be twisted around for the use of our horrible, horrible president.

Stay safe London. I’ve never met you, but you’ve got a long and storied history and I hope to meet you some day.

Tea and Me: Festive Spice

I apologize for not having a new Tea and Me before today. It’s been several months since I have been to the English Tea Room where I usually try out new things. The last time I had a tea to try was at the beginning of the year. That’s changed now since my friend bought me a small tea collection for my birthday at the end of January from World Market.

The loose teas were purchased in a set, so I doubt they’d be something I can purchase again on an individual basis, so I’m not going to add them to my tea scoring system. They are each packaged in test tube-like vials and could probably get 3-4 cups per vial.

The one I’m trying this morning is called Festive Spice. It contains the following ingredients: green honeybush, dried orange pieces, Chai spice mix (organic cinnamon, organic star anise, organic black pepper, organic ginger), natural vanilla flavoring, cinnamon.

I chose this to try today because I’ve been hung up on Chai tea lately. Since there’s no black tea in the mix, this is more like a spiced herbal tea and no milk involved. I like the flavor a lot and would definitely buy something like this just on its own. If you’re the type of person who can taste individual flavors in a mix, you’d probably be able to pick out each one in this tea. That’s not something I’ve ever been able to do, but I wish I could.