Reading Time: 4 minutes


Horrible Histories is no doubt one of the most popular kids shows of the past decade and it is also evident that the movie, due to be released on 26 July, has captured all the magic without losing the essence of the original show.

The concept was initially devised as an educational tool to teach kids historical facts through the fun imagery of blood and gore, and remains unique in its endgame of capturing their imagination and enabling kids to retain the knowledge through sheer shockwave entertainment.

I remember as a kid growing up with the creators of Thunderbirds, my parents Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, who told me that they always targeted both adults and kids – which was then labelled ‘kidult’.  They always felt that this was one of the most important factors that contributed toward their success.

Horrible Histories the movie has done just that, and as well as the obvious ‘toilet’ jokes that kids find funny and the ‘vomit’ humour which make adults heave – they have skilfully incorporated historical and legendary warriors, facts and figures, and even managed to include a storyline between a young couple fighting on opposite sides of the divide.

Even as a parent or grandparent, you will enjoy many elements of the film, knowing that your offspring will benefit from it and you will all learn something new and retain some knowledge even by yucky image association.

Atti, played by Sebastian Croft, is a Roman teenager who is always coming up with schemes, but one of them really upsets Emperor Nero.

For his punishment, he is sent to cold wet Britain, called ‘the Stain’ by Nero, as it is on the fringe of the Roman Empire. Whilst in Britain, he is captured by Orla, a feisty Celt, played by Emelia Jones, and they inevitably form a firm friendship.   But to Atti’s horror, when he is returned to his regiment, he finds himself pitted against Orla and her tribe at the Battle of Watling Street

How’s that for historical name dropping!!    Well, the best is yet to come, and if you get you and your tribe along to see the movie from 26th July, I guarantee you will come out by far the wiser!


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Reading Time: 4 minutes


Just when I thought we had done all we could toward helping animals in need, or created the ultimate furry ‘International Rescue’.  I attended The Ramsgate International Film and Television Festival this weekend, and a whole new world of animal rescue opened up before my eyes.

One of the films screened at The Granville in Ramsgate was entitled ‘Flying Fur’ which told the story of a courageous and dedicated guy who has set up a rescue mission in The States, entirely self-funded, to rescue dogs and cats who are fated to be ‘put down’ due to an injury or homelessness.


Paul is the founder, pilot, scheduler, social media, accounting, web design, and fur parent.  Paul is a U.S. Army veteran, and currently a network engineer by day, specializing in Cisco collaboration technologies, including VOIP, route/switch, and security.  In his spare time he enjoys cooking and classic autos.


Tessa is Paul’s rescue pup, and the inspiration for the founding of the organization.  Her day job includes sleeping, eating, barking at random delivery people, and general doggy shenanigans.  She enjoys playing, long walks on the trail, chewing on stuff, and licking people.

This compelling and beautifully shot film tracks Paul on one of his missions, as he flies off in his single engine plane across mid America, in often treacherous weather conditions, to deliver his animal Pawsengers to either their new home or an animal hospital designated to take them in.

There was not a dry eye in the house, and this was evident by the reaction to the movie and the Q and A after the screening.

Paul himself was in attendance and the questions ranged from a proposal of marriage (to Paul!) and how we could get involved in this wonderful organisation.

Paul came across as a humble self-motivated man, whose love and passion for the furry kind had compelled him to set up this unique rescue mission.

It portrayed beauty and kindness in this dark age of violence and devastation, and gives us a glimpse of hope in humankind and a reminder that we share the glorious planet with other living beings, who sometimes need our help and whose love is unconditional as they give back in so many ways.

I hope this may inspire you to find a way of becoming involved in one of your local dog or cat rescue centres, or even set up your own animal National Rescue campaign.


Here’s Paul to tell you a little on how it all started

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Reading Time: 5 minutes


It may seem these two disparate concepts are hardly related, but they often go hand in hand.

Many of us are labelled at birth by our parents, as the ‘clever’ one or the ‘creative’ one or even the ‘hopeless’ child, which is merely based on how they want us to live their lives.

I had a phone call last year from a close friend, distraught after her elderly Mother had thrown out some of her favourite clothes and childhood possessions.  Marianne had recently moved back in to look after her since her Mother’s physical and mental health had deteriorated, but had taken a short break away from the daily grind of being a constant carer.

On her return she had found her wardrobe and chest of drawers invaded, with half of the contents given away to charity.  My friend who already suffers from anxiety and self-doubt, was thrown into a major frenzy – and it took her several days to return to any sort of normality, blaming herself for abandoning her Mother.

This was however, the turning point for Marianne, who realised after several months of counselling that it was in fact her Mother’s way of getting Marianne to carry the rage and anxiety she had been feeling herself prior to her outburst.

Added to this Marianne had always been told that out of all of her siblings, she was the one who was the major disappointment, and would never make anything of her life.  On the contrary, she has been a high achiever, even more so than her two sisters, but who constantly seeks her Mother’s approval, which is never recognised in spite of her major accolades in her successful career in the City.

How many times do you hear in a marriage or relationship breakup, that the man or woman has to leave because his partner is ‘crazy’.    This always sits uncomfortably with me, because you can bet that they will go on to meet someone else and evoke the same pattern of behaviour in their new relationship.

Therapists and psycho analysts call this ‘projection’ as they are in fact again getting their partners to carry their anxiety or feelings of hopelessness so that they don’t have to.

If this is hard to digest, let me give you a very simple example of how it works and how toxic this type of ‘projection’ can be.  A close friend who is also an exceptional therapist had a new client several years ago who was suffering from depression, so badly that he wanted to end his life.  My therapist friend David spent the entire session baffled by his account of what had happened since his wife’s departure, and at the end of the session told her he felt he was carrying his partner’s feelings of desperation.   He left feeling a lot happier.

Two hours later his estranged wife called him saying she was feeling suicidal and wanted to give the relationship another go!  He thankfully declined, and as far as I know, has remained anxiety free ever since.

I hope this may be helpful to those of you who are suffering with anxiety and depression, because if you look closely, you may find some of it may not even be yours to carry.

If you or anyone you know are struggling please check out the following websites for
help or just for someone to talk to


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Reading Time: 5 minutes


Glamping is definitely a trend that has grown incredibly in the past few years, so much so that even the rich and famous are heading out of town just to explore the countryside and instead of checking into exclusive hotels, are opting for a ‘five star’ experience in one of the great Glamping sites springing up all over the UK.

There is nothing better and more bonding for a couple or family, than sitting around a camp fire cooking and reminiscing, and in the absence of electricity, it is wonderful to switch off from the World and turn back the clock to those joyful pre internet days when communication was conversation.

One location I have tried and would recommend is Nethergong in Kent, which has been long established as a camping site, and now extremely well equipped with everything you would need for Glamping, if you wanted to stay in one of their Shepherds Huts, Bell Tents or Romany caravans.

Nethergong is a family run business who take care to ensure all of their guests have everything they need for a delightful Glamping experience.

They have a two-acre wood with tall, evenly-spaced poplar trees and grass underfoot. In addition to Glamping there are several grassed camping areas, including the First Field, the Fruit Trees, the Carp Lake and the New Duck Pond. Some areas can be let exclusively to groups of families dependent on availability and numbers. See their Map for more details.
One of our most popular areas is either side of our shallow Frog Pond, populated by many marsh and common frogs, toads, dragon flies and damselflies and the odd grass snake! The frog pond is suitable for pond dipping and paddling and nets can always be found in their shop (our best seller). Their one-acre Carp Lake can be fished by campers and is not open to the public. Every morning at 10am Jed, the owner, can be found with a throng of children feeding the carp which compete with the swans and the ducks for the food.

History of Nethergong

In the early 90’s Jed’s father planted 3000 English broad-leaved trees on our 26 acre piece of beautiful Kent countryside. Jed then dug out two lakes and more recently stocked the carp lake with thousands of carp for our campers enjoyment. Their oak, ash, willow, elm and beech trees are their pride and joy and at 25 years old are now coming to maturity.


The natural and unspoilt nature of Nethergong enables hundreds of wildlife species to thrive and live harmoniously with their temporary human guests. The wildlife includes:

  • Hundreds of frogs. The marsh frogs’ chorus (best heard from April to July) has to be heard to be believed
  • A resident swan family who have raised a brood for the past three years
  • Rare dragonflies and damselflies
  • Coots, moorhens and ducks of all varieties
  • Newts, lizards and bats
  • Rare visiting Turtle Doves
  • Cuckoos in spring
  • Nightingales singing at night
  • Owls – From the riverbank you can also see the Barn Owl nesting boxes across the far side of the field. They also have Little Owls and Tawny Owls
  • Marsh Harriers and Buzzards.

Glamping is ideal if you are travelling with kids and multi generations, some of whom may be in need more of their home comforts.   This gives the family the outdoor experience, but will enable them to cook their favourite meals, if the tastes differ within a family.  For instance, two members of my ‘tribe’ have special dietary requirements, whilst the others enjoy a good steak or burger.  Mission accomplished and everyone catered for and the entire family happy and able to enjoy their holiday to the full.

Check out Nethergong for yourself at http://www.nethergongcamping.co.uk/

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Reading Time: 5 minutes


As we dodge another barrage of social media comment on the newly born Archie Harrison from our beautiful Harry and Meghan this week, it does throw some light upon how we chose a name for our offspring.

In my humble opinion Harry and Meghan have made the right choice, and given their first born a name that sets him up to be a ‘normal’ child – and without a title, and one of the people.  You couldn’t get more ‘ordinary’ than Archie.  The Nation has really warmed to him already.

It speaks volumes about both parents and the ‘label’ they wish their kids to carry around with them for the rest of their lives, and so it is a huge responsibility to name a child.

Remember the song ‘A Boy Named Sue’?  For those of you who don’t, it does as it says on the tin, and you can imagine the rest.  This poor young man had to defend himself from bullying and ridicule, became a stronger person for it.  But do we actually have to give our kids names to burden them even more to add to all the struggles that are thrown at us throughout our lives.

I know a lot of people who have named their babies after the Royal Family, so there are generations of Elizabeth, Margaret, Charles, William, Harry and now Archie.  Perhaps they feel it brings them closer to the Monarchy or need icons to influence their thinking.

I speak as an expert on naming and shaming, as I was born in Mississippi to an American father and British mother, and was nicknamed Dixie to go with the territory.  Can you imagine the burden of that as I was growing up in a Southern English county and educated at a Convent run by French nuns!!!  Can you blame me for changing it to Dee as soon as I understood the cold stares of the nuns at assembly.  Many of my school friends with whom I have been reunited as an adult told me they thought it such a ‘cool’ name.  Perhaps it is why I named my own daughter Cyd, although she has never really taken to it!

All names have a meaning and if you look at this website https://www.behindthename.com/ you will see there are explanations for every name on the Planet.   The name of the day yesterday was Silvia, which is spooky as my own Mother’s name was Sylvia, just a different spelling, whom as you know was the creator and voice of the character Lady Penelope from Thunderbirds.  This centuries old name has various meanings like Beautiful Silver Flower or Spirit of the Woods.   The latter definitely applied to my Mum as she was such a free spirit.

Many people I know and in the public eye have changed their names completely and reinvented themselves – Elton John and Freddie Mercury to name just two.  Another friend who is a barrister changed it from Tracy to Olivia as she said it sounded better in court!

So how important do you think your name is to you?  It is something to reflect on and I would be really interested to hear your comments.   After all, it could be you are harbouring a gem that could transform the essence of your identity.

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