British Money Before Decimalisation

British money before decimalisation In a strange British perverse way, those of us who remember the ‘old money’ took a secret delight in its complexity. Today, it’s easy. Like dollars and cents, there are one hundred pennies to the pound. Arithmetic is simple. Foreign visitors are no longer baffled. The old system, which evolved relatively naturally sounds quite bonkers, but even the most innumerate people (such as...

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Graham Hill

Graham Hill On December 5th, 1975, racing driver Graham Hill was due to appear at a ceremony at which the British Racing Drivers Club was going to honor his achievements as a racing driver. Hill had won the  Grand Prix Championship, the Indy 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours race during his racing career. But instead, over two thousand of his friends and colleagues attended his funeral. He had retired from racing just five months...

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Who’s Flying Your Plane?

Meet Kate McWilliams and Luke Elsworth I remember many years ago hearing a strange story about a commercial flight – the passengers refused to fly because the pilot was a woman. In preparing to write this article, I went to Google to determine just when that was.  I couldn’t find that information. But what I did find was something even more weird. In 2014, a passenger left a sexist message for the female pilot who had just...

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A Ship Called Rothko: Artwork by Andy Royston

A Ship Called Rothko: Artwork by Andy Royston I’ve loved the work of Mark Rothko for as long as I can remember. The last time I recall one of the artist’s works selling it was at Christie’s in New York. The price was a cool $86.9 million. This price set a record for the top price paid for artwork produced after World War Two. Therefore I think it’s pretty safe to assume that there won’t be a genuine...

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Louis le Prince: The Man Who Invented the Movies

 Who invented motion pictures? Some people would say it was Thomas Edison who invented the movies. Others might mention the Lumière brothers. But in fact,  movies – motion pictures – were invented by the man you see on the left. Two of his films, taken in 1888, survive. But Louis le Prince is rarely credited with the invention and more than that, his story ends with his mysterious disappearance. Was this foul play because...

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Book Review: The Testament, by John Grisham.

One of Grisham’s Best The Testament is one of my favorite books by John Grisham. He’s so well know for his legal thrillers, like The Firm, The Client, or A Time to Kill. This story has an unusual twist to it though. Less time in the court room, and plenty of adventure in the Pantanal area of the Brazilian wetlands. Not what you might expect. I loved it! A billionaire announces his last will and testament to his money...

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Lunch with Hitler

Traudl Junge was only twenty two years old when she became one of Adolf Hitler’s private secretaries. This was in 1942. The secretaries had little work to do and one of their duties was to dine with Hitler to keep him amused, keep his mind off the war for a short while and of course, to supply him with an audience. Initially Traudl found her boss to be rather charming and pleasant company. This was to change as the war...

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The Busby Babes & the Munich Air Disaster

The Busby Babes & the Munich Air Disaster. A plane accident in 1958 took the lives of eight football players from the Manchester United team.Two others were so badly injured that they never played  again. Staff from the football club died too, as did several respected sports journalists. The football players in the Manchester United team who were killed were all in their twenties, the youngest being twenty-one. The team were known...

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The Prince & the Showgirl: Gisèle Pascal, Prince Rainier & Marilyn Monroe

Gisèle Pascal, Prince Rainier and Marilyn Monroe In the early 1950s,Prince Rainier of Monaco was the perfect age to marry – he had been born in 1923. He was wealthy, handsome and the ruler of a magical principality. However, he was a shy and retiring man. For several years he had been living with a French actress, Gisèle Pascal and the time was approaching when he needed to marry to produce heirs to his principality. However,...

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Florida Songs: Margaritaville

And before you ask, it IS a song. Sure, now you can mosey into your big-resort Margaritaville restaurant and order your “Who’s to Blame” cocktail with your Cheeseburger In Paradise, and wash it down with Landshark Lager before heading into the casino for your Mississippi Stud or Texas Hold’em. Faux air-conditioned beaches, fake palm trees, old-time photos on the wall and Hawaiian shirts on backs of the...

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Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez

Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. Many race fans will be familiar with this circuit and in 2015, the Formula One series returned to Mexico. But what do you know about the brothers after which the circuit is named? Theirs is a story that shouldn’t be forgotten. Pedro Rodríguez was born in 1940 in Mexico City. He had three brothers and a sister. However, the other brother who is also commemorated in the name of this circuit was his...

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War Hawk, by James Rollins and Grant Blackwood

The Bond Between Man and Dog Tucker Wayne, a former Army Ranger, and Kane, his war dog, form a tight team once again in War Hawk. The second book in the Tucker Wayne series is another hit for the bestselling authors. The relationship between Tucker and Kane—pack–would be enough to keep me enjoying the book. The story is a most excellent bonus. Authors Rollins and Blackwood have done their research on the well trained military...

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Katie Hopkins: British Broadcaster Hates Fat People

Katie Hopkins fights obesity I have to admit that I have a sneaking admiration for people who  speak their minds on public platforms. In today’s politically correct world, it’s refreshing (and even more so if I tend to agree with their opinions). Katie, and I have to admit that I had never heard of her until this furore, spoke her mind very clearly about the obese. She declared that they were lazy and that she deplores the...

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The Murder of Sal Mineo

Who was Sal Mineo? Twenty years before he was murdered, Sal Mineo had been a Hollywood heartthrob. He specialised in playing young toughs such as his part in the James Dean movie, Rebel Without a Cause. But by the time of his murder in February 1976 his career had spent some years in decline. But he wasn’t depressed about his situation. True, he had sold his palatial home and was living in a $75 a month rented apartment but he...

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Timeless Valentine Roses

Roses For Valentine’s Day. Roses are a timeless gift to receive for Valentine’s Day! Us women love to get them. They look so beautiful on a table and smell so great. One year I received a variety of red and pink roses from my boyfriend. They were so pretty sitting on table. Its even fun to receive roses that you can keep forever like artificial ones or glass roses. They are a forever keepsake you’ll love. First check...

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Valentine’s Day: A Girl’s Top 5 Movie Wishlist

Valentine’s Day; A Girl’s Top 5 Movie Wishlist  With Valentine’s Day just around the corner what is on your wishlist? Most girls are looking for romance on Valentine’s Day so this year I have compiled a list of a girl’s favorite movie wishlist. that ooze romance. These movie selections will fit the category of the best romantic chick flicks. If you have a favorite romantic movie and don’t see it on...

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Giant Heart Valentine Chocolate Chip Cookie

Giant Heart Valentine Chocolate Chip Cookie I made this giant heart cookie for the first time believe it not. I’m impressed it came out really great. It’s even kind of healthy; it’s gluten free. It’s a Pillsbury brand package that was given to me. Not often I get those because I like to make cookies from scratch. It sure made it easy though to make! Spray your heart pan with a cooking spray. Just take dough out...

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Norman Rockwell: Fake!

The Norman Rockwell painting that was a fake. Breaking Home Ties is one of America’s favourite illustrations.It was created by Norman Rockwell in 1954, originally for the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. For years it was exhibited and admired by the American people but there was just one minor detail – it was a fake. More than fifty years after it had been painted, it was discovered that the artwork on display was a...

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Red Ribbons, by Louise Phillips, A Review

Book One in the Kate Pearson Series A killer is out there, targeting young girls, staging them with ribbons in their hair, hands in prayer. Dr Kate Pearson is a criminal psychologist, a profiler. The first murder brings her into the investigation. The second ties it to her. Kate can’t let go of it, not when the victims are children. Another woman is in s mental facility since the death of her daughter more than a dozen years...

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Valentine Ideas: Unusual & Romantic London Restaurants

Valentine Ideas: Unusual & Romantic London Restaurants Valentines’ Day is very special is the day for romance. We all love to put aside this special evening to be with the person we love – no one else will do. The history of Valentine goes back centuries, and people used to believe that it was in February because that was the start of bird’s mating season – how very romantic. It is a great holiday that many people look forward to...

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The Cramps – Poison Ivy’s Rockin’ Sound

The first I heard of The Cramps was on late night radio. The DJ on some fading pirate station was playing a massive reverb filled swamp punk number called Under The Wire, a paean to dirty phone calls. It was simultaneously subversive and hilarious. The sound was deeply familiar but disturbing and wild as if from another era. A forbidden planet. A monster from outer space. It had as much to do with old surfer music like Duane Eddy and...

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Clark Gable’s Secret Daughter

The secret daughter of Clark Gable. In the nineteen thirties, actor Clark Gable was known as the King of Hollywood. Tall, dark and handsome, he was considered to be every woman’s dream man. Although he was married four times, for many years it was thought that he had only one child – a boy who was born four months after Clark’s death. But for many years, Hollywood insiders kept a secret – Clark Gable had...

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Quick Vegetable Beef Soup

Quick Vegetable Beef Soup This hearty Vegetable Beef Soup can be varied with changing the ingredients used. If you like green chiles, spice it up with them. If you have leftover vegetables, put them in too. Make it with or without the beef chuck roast. Any way you make it, it will be a comfort in those cold days of winter, warming you inside and out.   Save Print Quick Vegetable Beef Soup Rating  5 from 1 reviews Ingredients 2...

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Frank Stranahan

Fort Lauderdale history: Frank Stranahan. It’s generally accepted that Frank Stranahan from Ohio was the first permanent resident in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. When he arrived, Fort Lauderdale didn’t actually exist. It was a settlement of just handful of people on the New River. Seminole Indians lived in the Everglades nearby but in general, the are was inhospitable with a stifling climate, dangerous wildlife and lots and...

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The Beatles’ Rooftop Concert

The Beatles: Rooftop concert in 1969 By January 1969, it was obvious that the Beatles were on the verge of breaking up. They were recording in the studio at the Apple headquarters and wondered where to have a live – and final – concert. Various venues were  suggested including the Sahara Desert and the Cavern Club in Liverpool where their careers had started. But eventually they decided to simply move upstairs – to...

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Speed Records at Daytona Beach

Early speed trials at Daytona, Florida. The name of Barney Oldfield was making headlines on March 16th, 1907. They proclaimed that he was the ‘speed king of the world’. At that time, the public – and experts -pondered about that sort of speeds the human body could endure and Oldfield – seen on the right – had just become the fastest human being on earth. He had driven his Benz at over one hundred and...

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Who Was Carrie Buck?

Who was Carrie Buck? Carrie Buck was a victim of a curious belief that was sweeping the United States in the nineteen twenties. Various powerful men were becoming increasingly concerned about the health of the general population. Strange though it seems to us these days, many people thought that the answer was the sterilisation of people who were mentally or physically imperfect. The USA had previously had an open door policy when it...

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An Interview with Shinichi Mine of Tabieats

Shinichi Mine of Tabieats has developed quite a following both for his articles and his YouTube videos.  His articles often feature his travel experiences and those experiences nearly always feature food!    He has a way of writing that make  as you feel like you are right there, traveling along with him, and enjoying every minute. Then he started cooking.  No doubt he has cooked for a long time, but when he started featuring recipes...

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The Nuremberg Trials and the Jewish interpreter

The Nuremberg Trials and the Jewish interpreter. These trials began in November 1945 and were held to bring Nazi war criminals to justice.  It was a huge undertaking and interpreters were employed to translate – live in court – the testimonies of witnesses and the defence and comments of the most notorious and inhuman war criminals and their persecution of the Jews. Armand Jacoubovitch Imagine that you are a thirty year...

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Apollo One Spacecraft Fire

Apollo 1: Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee. In summer 1966, NASA chose the crew for the first manned Apollo space mission – a mission that was to end in disaster. Gus was the oldest of the team at forty years old. He had been the second American to fly in space. Ed was thirty six and he had the distinction of being the first US astronaut to walk in space. The youngest crew member was Roger Chaffee who at thirty one was...

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Vegetable Soup With Zucchini Noodles

Enjoy noodle soup without pasta, courtesy of the Spiral Slicer. At last, a healthy, fresh, and natural spaghetti noodle! Doesn’t that sound perfect? Noodles and soup belong together I think. Of course noodles seem to well with most everything. But I’m trying to eat more vegetables and less pasta. When I bought one of these little spiral vegetable slicers, it became much easier. I was delighted at how easy it was to use the...

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Who Was Bessie Coleman?

Who was Bessie Coleman? Bessie Coleman was a pilot. When she was born in January 1892, it was several years before the Wright brothers even began to explore the possibility of flight. For Bessie, as a child, human flight was simply an unknown. And yet she became a well-known pilot – the first woman of African-American descent to do so. When she was older, and when flying was in its infancy, Bessie knew that this was what she...

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Law and Disorder, by Mike Papantonio

A Book Review Nicholas Deketomis (Deke) is a Florida lawyer who has become very successful with class action lawsuits. Having won billions in judgments, he is now involved with multiple cases going after huge corporations. Currently On His Schedule First, a drug company apparently willing to overlook the harm their biggest selling drug may cause. The drug, Ranidol, is approved as a birth control pill. A happy side effect from the drug...

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Cilla Black

Liverpool’s Cilla Black. When the Mersey sound of the Beatles started to dominate the hit parade in the early nineteen sixties, there was only one girl singer who was part of this phenomenon. Young Priscilla White started working as a cloakroom attendant at the now famous Cavern Club in Liverpool; the venue where the Beatles played their early gigs. And it was the Beatles who discovered that the red-haired Cilla  should have...

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Bernie Ecclestone and the Great Train Robbery

Bernie Ecclestone and the Great Train Robbery: The Truth. For many years, a rumour has persisted that the Formula One boss, Bernie Ecclestone, was somehow involved in the Great Train Robbery of 1963. It has often been thought that robber Bruce Reynolds was the mastermind behind this audacious robbery but nevertheless many people thought that it was exactly Bernie’s cup of tea. Most of the robbers were in their early thirties and...

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The Murder of Lord Errol

Who murdered Josslyn Hay? Joss Hay, Lord Errol, enjoyed living. He enjoyed loving too so when he was found shot in the head, most people presumed he had been murdered by a jealous husband or a spurned mistress. But which? At the time of his murder, he was involved in a curious love triangle. He was having an affair with the rather beautiful Diana – a young woman who was married to the much older Jock Delves Broughton. The trio...

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Paul Robeson’s Proud Valley

As the shadows of World War II were beginning to cast long shadows over London, Ealing Studios were beginning an ambitious new film. It was shot partly in the coal mining region of South Wales, and adapted the story of a black miner from West Virginia who drifted to Wales by way of England, searching for work. It documented the hard realities of Welsh coal miners’ lives and at the same time created a role that its star, legendary...

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The Queen’s Cousins: Scandal?

Queen Elizabeth II’s cousins. In 1987 the media uncovered what seemed to be a huge scandal. Newspapers reported that two sisters had been discovered in what they called an ‘asylum for mental defectives’ and what’s more, they were cousins of the queen, Elizabeth II. It was said that the two women were living in the most basic conditions and that they had no visitors. It seemed that this was a case of the royal...

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Looking at Paintings (9) David Hockney ‘The Road Across the Wolds’

When David Hockney’s Yorkshire landscape paintings were first shown at the London Royal Academy in 2012, they attracted mixed reviews. The art critic of The Economist admired some of the works, but wrote, “Others, I would argue, would not be celebrated at all if they were not by Mr Hockney, such as this ‘The Road Across the Wolds’.” But he was wrong. The painting, now on permanent display at the Hockney Gallery, Salts Mill, Saltaire,...

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Who Was Colonel Tom Parker?

To start with, he wasn’t a colonel. And actually he really wasn’t called Tom Parker. He wasn’t a musician but his name has gone down in musical history. He was also an illegal immigrant, an army deserter and quite possibly a murderer. Some people who knew him say that you couldn’t wish to meet a nicer guy and that his generosity was legendary. Others say he was tough, ruthless and only interested in making...

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Little Known Details About the Beautiful Audrey Hepburn

Little Known Details About the Beautiful Audrey Hepburn. When we hear the name Audrey Hepburn, we each probably visualize her in our mind in one movie or another. She has overcome all generation barriers as an example of style and class. In fact, she may be the first we think of when it comes to style. What was your favorite movie that starred Ms. Hepburn? Roman Holiday? Sabrina? Breakfast at Tiffanys? She was featured in some...

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Jenson Button

 Jenson Button – early years Formula One driver Jenson Button might seem to have everything today but his early life was very different. Jenson makes no bones about it- he owes his success to his father, John. At first glance, you might be forgiven for thinking that the photograph on the left is Jenson – but no, it’s his dad taken in 1978. John too was a racing driver. When his son showed interest, it was John who...

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A Song for Sunrise – The Eagles

A Song for Sunrise – The Eagles. It’s the weekend. The all-night partygoers are on the beach watching the night out and the day begin. The evidence of the party chill is right there in the form of a phalanx of empty Corona bottles. The sun is beginning to burn a hole in the blue. Conversation fades and it’s just time to let those sloe colors do their magic. And if the luck is still on your side it’ll be a dash...

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Sheila van Damm

Racy Ladies: Sheila van Damm. Sheila van Damm’s career was interesting to say the least. She was known in the nineteen fifties as Britain’s top woman rally driver and by the nineteen sixties she was running ‘naughty’ reviews on the London stage. Yet she arrived at both careers accidentally. You will most probably have heard of the famous Windmill Theatre in London. It shot to fame in the wartime years as it was...

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Please stop telling me I have OCD

Why does everyone have to have a label? It’s not just a label either – today it seems that everyone should have a ‘disorder’. With me, I’m told, it’s OCD – obsessive compulsive disorder. Truly, I have been told this by many people and I think that their ‘diagnosis’ is totally wrong. Apparently one of my ‘symptoms ‘is that I arrange my books in colour order in the way...

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Bacon Pea Soup

As soon as the fall temperatures show up, soup goes on the menu at my house.  The chilly nights are so perfect for a hot, comforting soup.   It’s nice too, since the vegetables of summer, served cold then, now can be tossed in for a hot and nutritious dinner. We each have our favorites.  Mine vary from week to week, but nearly always include Beef Barley Soup, Chicken Brunswick Stew, and Spinach with White Beans. This week, it’s been a...

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The Last Victorian

Ethel Lang – born in the reign of Queen Victoria On 16th January, 2015, Ethel Lang passed away. She was the oldest living person in the UK, having been born in 1900, when Queen Victoria was still on the throne. Can you imagine that? Mrs Lang lived through six monarchs, twenty-two prime ministers … and let’s not forget two world wars. She had lived through a period of amazing advances. When she was born, public...

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Diana Barnato Walker

Who was Diana Barnato Walker? Diana was an English pilot who worked extensively during the Second World War transporting aircraft to the Royal Air Force. By the time she reached twenty two years of age, she had delivered  240 planes that were vital to the war effort. She was the first British woman to break the sound barrier. Before the war, few people would have imagined the socialite Diana would have been involved in such dangerous...

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Meat Lover’s Minestrone

I’ve always loved the Italian soup, Minestrone. The word itself means “thick soup.” I like it as an appetizer when it’s the traditional vegetable soup. But if I want it for a full meal, I like to add little meat balls to it which makes it heartier. So I created Meat Lovers Minestrone. It’s made with ground chuck and all the vegetables contained in a traditional Minestrone. We don’t just wait for...

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Allen Toussaint: Six of the Best

Six of the Best: Allen Toussaint. Andy Royston picks a half dozen favorite songs by the late New Orleans composer, pianist and producer Allen Toussaint. Toussaint is New Orleans music’s renaissance man, the golden boy in the golden age of rhythm and blues. Keith Spera Groove Interrupted: Loss, Renewal, and the Music of New Orleans “I have never doubted that Allen was a prince in a thin disguise” Elvis Costello...

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Lady Iris Mountbatten: Royal Black Sheep

Who was Iris Mountbatten? When she was fourteen years old,she was a train-bearer at the wedding of the Duke of Kent and Princess Marina of Greece. Two years later, she performed the same function at the coronation of George VI. She grew up to have sultry film star looks. She was a direct descendant of Queen Victoria and at one time was fourteenth in line to the throne. She was one of the most photographed debutantes of her time. Yet...

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Agatha Christie’s Mysterious Disappearance

 Agatha Christie’s mysterious disappearance. In 1926 Agatha Christie seemed to have  perfect life. She was married to  handsome ex-wartime airman and had a lovely young daughter. The war that had kept her and her husband part was now in the past and they lived in a very pleasant home. What’s more, her dream was coming true – she was being paid to write her mystery novels. And yet on the evening of  3rd.December,...

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Sir Edmund Hillary

Sir Edmund Hillary Sir Edmund Hillary is best known for being the first person to scale Mount Everest, along with his Sherpa guide, Norgay Tenzing. Tenzing was more than just his guide and companion though – he provided the inspiration for Sir Edmund to devote much of his life trying to improve the lot and the lifestyle of the Nepal Sherpas. Hillary undertook many expeditions -going to both the North and South Poles, and Everest...

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Scandal in the Graveyard – L’Affaire Victor Noir

Scandal in the Graveyard – L’Affaire Victor Noir. Andy Royston tells the story of the most scandalous gravestone in Paris and the story of Victor Noir. After having outraged each of my relations, you insult me with the pen of one of your menials. My turn had to come. I therefore ask you whether your inkpot is guaranteed by your breast… I live, not in a palace, but at 59, rue d’Auteuil. I promise to you that if...

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Ham and Bean Soup for Dinner Tonight

Ham and Bean Soup for Dinner Tonight Leftover ham after the latest holiday? I had a lot left this year at my house. So it was time for some soup. My ham was boneless, so it was an easy task to dice a few slices. Aside from the time it tool to soak the beans overnight, this is very quick to assemble. You can use a food chopper, like my favorite Ninja Master Prep Professional, to have the vegetables ready in seconds. Toss all the...

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Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel: Naughtier than you might think. What do you know about Coco Chanel? Possibly most people today think of her as a couturier and the person who was responsible for iconic fashion designs – and of course, the famous Chanel N0 5 perfume. But who was she really? Her name instantly conjures up style and sophistication for most of us but she came from humble beginnings. Not only that, she had a string of fascinating...

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Favorite Health Book: The Paleo Cure

Favorite Health Book: The Paleo Cure The Paleo Cure by Chris Kresser is my new favorite health book. I’ve been studying it all through 2014, and now into 2015 (the time of this review is January 2015). This is saying a lot, since another health book I’ve reviewed here on Jaquo.com called The Blood Sugar Solution, by Dr. Mark Hyman, helped me lose over 50 lbs and drastically overhaul my health. Ever since I overcame multiple problems...

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The Duchess of Cambridge

The Duchess of Cambridge. On 19th July, 1981, Carole and Mike Middleton sat down in front of their television – as did millions throughout the world – to watch the wedding of Diana Spencer to Prince Charles. Little did they know that thirty years later, they would see their as yet unborn daughter marrying the son of the happy couple. At the time Charles married Diana, Carole Middleton was in the early stages of pregnancy...

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Langoustine Bisque

Langoustine Bisque or Soup. Have you tried my delicious recipe for Langoustine Hollandaise? You can see the recipe here. Don’t be tempted to throw away the langoustine shells, you can make a delicious and creamy soup using them as a base.It’s truly delicious. Because you discard the shells when you eat langoustine, it is really wise to make a soup or bisque with them. This is also one of those quick and easy recipes that...

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David Bowie: Early Years

David Bowie: Early years David Bowie came from a post-war London background. Born in 1947, his father was from Yorkshire and his mother from Kent. Both parents had children from previous relationships. From his earliest days, David – his surname was originally Jones – was interested in music. This was probably because of his father. Haywood Jones had been born in Doncaster in 1912. An orphan, he was brought up by the local...

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Lentil Bean Soup

Lentil Bean Soup Lentil beans are so good for us. They, along with other beans and legumes, are usually in the top 10 for healthy eating. Good for the brain, good for the heart, an excellent source of protein, and just plain delicious. Turmeric and cumin have both recently been shown to be good for a healthy brain as well. It’s so easy to combine them both into this tasty soup. Always looking for the perfect Lentil Soup recipe, I...

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Rosemary: The Forgotten Kennedy

Rose Kennedy already had two children – Joe Jr. and John – when she gave birth to her first daughter on Friday 13th September 1918. The nurse who had been employed to attend her was in a quandary. She had sent for Mrs Kennedy’s doctor but labour was now advanced and Dr Good hadn’t yet arrived. In those days, nurses were trained to deliver babies but, inexplicably, they were not permitted to do so. Nor were they...

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Spotlight on: iRead Book Tours

On Tour with iRead Book Tours After participating in dozens of tours with iRead Book Tours, this time we get to feature iRead itself.  It is their third year featuring a wonderful variety of fiction and non fiction books, so they are celebrating with us. Founded by Laura Fabiani, an avid reader and reviewer herself, you will find iRead an excellent choice if you are interesting in a virtual tour with your own book.  Ms Fabiani is a...

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Why Did Henry VIII Marry Six Times?

Why did Henry VIII marry six times? There was a very good reason indeed. But I was talking to someone recently who truly believed that Henry VIII married six women because he was a horny old goat who just liked to trade wives in for a newer model. Henry had a much greater goal and one that was, in those times, incredibly important to the country. In 1524, King Henry was in his early thirties. He was incredibly tall and good looking,...

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Can goat milk cure eczema?

 Is goat milk a cure for eczema? I am convinced that it is because I’ve seen a miraculous cure. Many years ago, I was amazed to see that a young man – who had the most dreadful eczema on his arms – had no trace of the ailment on his body after drinking goat milk for just one week. Of course, I can’t say that this miracle will happen for everyone but over the years I have read hundreds of reports from people who...

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How Much Do You Know About Birds?

How Much Do You Know About Birds? Many of us are fascinated by birds. It’s no wonder when we see wonderful photos in bright colors showing so many varieties of birds. Did you know there are about 10,000 different species? Close to seventy percent of those are found in the rain forests. In the United States, households have 40 million birds as pets these days. I bet you already know the ostrich is the largest bird, but did you know one...

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The Mystery of Amy Johnson

The mystery of Amy Johnson. As a pioneer aviator, Amy Johnson from Yorkshire had broken several flying records by the time the Second World War started in 1939. But once the war had begun, the Royal Air Force had no use for female pilots. So the only opportunity for her to use her flying skills to help the war effort was to join the ATA – the Air Transport Auxiliary. This organisation, as the name suggests, used female pilots to...

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Slim Gaillard

It was at a free concert on London’s South Bank; one of the many events put on by the soon-to-be-abolished Greater London Council. The open air event was held in Jubilee Gardens, where the London Eye is situated today. I’d shown up with friends to cheer on the likes of Billy Bragg and Eddy Grant, but it was an amazing old feller in a beret and a wild beard grooving away on piano that caught the imagination. I don’t...

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Dead Wake: The Story of the Lusitania

Dead Wake: The Story of the Lusitania by Erik Larson The wonderful thing about being a book reviewer is having the opportunity to read books before they are published and sharing them with you. I’ve long been fascinated by the story of the Lusitania and its final voyage and this book is by far the best I have read on the subject. It is incredibly detailed – more so than any other book about the tragedy that I’ve ever...

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Keep Fighting Michael

 Michael Schumacher #KeepFightingMichael Safety in the world of motorsport has made huge strides in the last few decades. And yet Michael Schumacher, the most successful racing driver of the modern era, is fighting for his life. But not due to an accident on the track. On 29 December 2013, having retired from racing, Schumacher was enjoyed one of his favourite sports and was skiing in the French Alps. He fell and received a serious...

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Easy red lentil soup

Quick & easy red lentil soup This is simply delicious. Although the soup needs to cook for about forty five minutes, it’s incredibly quick and easy to prepare. The ingredients are items that you may normally have in your pantry and in addition to being so very tasty, this soup is nutritious and very inexpensive. To serve 4, you’ll need: 6 oz (1 cup) rinsed and drained red lentils 4 cups vegetable stock 2 tablespoons...

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Kanga: Camilla’s Rival, Lady Dale Tryon

Prince Charles’ other mistress, Kanga If you look up Dale Tryon in Wikipedia, you will read that she was a ‘close friend of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales’. That is not strictly speaking true.  Dale, known by the nickname of Kanga, was actually Charles’ mistress prior to his marriage and as such, a rival for his affections. Her story is tragic. Charles loved women who were blonde, attractive and...

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Music of 2016 – Women of the Year

Designer and artist Andy Royston looks back on his favourite sounds of 2016 – Part two is all female. I’m not at all sure what it says about the year’s music that it all came down to “Becky with the good hair”. Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ has topped all the usual ‘best of’ lists this year including the venerable Rolling Stone Magazine, who called the album “a major personal...

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A recipe book that can change your life: VB6

VB6 by Mark Bittman. The ultimate recipe book Some years ago, food writer Mark Bittman was overweight and  suffering from various health problems. Typically, his doctor wanted to put him on medication but as a food expert, Mark realised that a change of diet was a better way to go. ‘Oh no!” I can hear you saying’is this another book about health foods, dieting and giving up the foods you love?’ Absolutely not!...

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Wurst Soup Recipe

Wurst Soup Recipe Wurst Soup is a family tradition that is made around the holidays especially on cold days on my fiancée’s side. It is a German soup made with sausage, potatoes and dumplings along with a sour cream mixture to make it creamy. When I first learned about this soup I thought the name of it was kind of weird. Is it the worst soup ever or is it good? Turns out it’s really good and Wurst is a German word meaning sausage. I...

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Leitzel: Queen of the Air

Leitzel: Love and tragedy in the circus. In the early twentieth century, the name of Leitzel was famous. And yet few people today know her story. Born in Germany in 1892, she became the darling of the circus. Yet her rags-to-riches story is fascinating, as was the story of the love of her life … and her tragic end. She was born into a performing world and soon became a talented acrobat. She was the product of a female acrobat...

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Hot breakfast treat recipe

A hot breakfast for special occasions When there’s a special occasion, such as a family get-together or a house party, it’s a great idea to serve a breakfast treat – something your family and friends would never think about cooking at home for themselves. This recipe combines a pancake with an omelet (almost!) along with fruit and delicious flavourings. Serve it with freshly-squeezed orange juice (or maybe even...

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How do you cure a hangover?

How do you cure a hangover? Oh dear. Did you have too much to drink? Are you paying the price for it now? Well, purely in the spirit (sorry) of research, I have spent many years investigating hangover cures. My fondness for red wine has nothing to do with it – this has been completely altruistic. (I can hear you scoffing from here). So, there are plenty of old wives’ tales around. Hair of the dog – does that work?...

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Essential Guide to Outdoor First Aid & Medical Emergencies

Essential Guide to Outdoor First Aid & Medical Emergencies Medicine for the Outdoors is one of a few books that I own that I view as essential. I use it at home, and not just when I’m, say, hiking or camping in the wilderness. There is a ton of incredibly important information in this book for just about every medical emergency you could possibly think of. Do you know what to do if someone is choking? Not breathing? Unconscious?...

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Who Was Blanche Barrow?

Who was Blanche Barrow? The image you see below gives the game away. As you can see, in 1933 Blanche Barrow was in police custody.  The mugshot also shows that she was twenty two years old and charged with murder. Blanche had been born as Blanche Caldwell on 1st January, 1911. Her mother was just sixteen. When Blanche was only seventeen years old, she was married off to a much older man but left him shortly afterwards. She then met...

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Roberto Clemente

Who was Roberto Clemente? In my eyes he was the greatest right fielder ever to play the game of baseball. Some people may disagree with me, but of course I might be a little biased because I’m a Pittsburgh Pirate fan. I had the good fortune of watching this man play the game. When I was a youngster my dad and I would go to Forbes field and sit in right field just to watch him play. Well that’s what I thought – maybe we sat in...

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A Review of “Fishbowl,” by Bradley Somer

A Captivating Novel from Bradley Somer Fishbowl is a very unusual story that weaves together the ordinary lives of many during a short moment of time.  Bradley Somer’s skill at bringing us along is phenomenal.  Quirky characters? Without a doubt.  Strange circumstances?  Definitely.  Making us want answers?  Yes! The Story First there is Ian.  A goldfish.  A thoughtful yet adventurous fish who may not have a long memory, but who does...

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Mitford Marriages: Pamela Mitford and Derek Jackson

Mitford Marriages: Pamela Mitford and Derek Jackson. Pamela Mitford is probably the least known of the six sisters.  She’s often thought of as ‘the quiet one’ and certainly she was less scandalous than most of her sisters but nevertheless  she married a man who was not just a millionaire, he was also a war hero and a brilliant scientist. Pam had not been without admirers. She had been briefly engaged to Oliver...

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Who is Travis McGee?

Who is Travis McGee? Living down in the Venice of America, you can still feel the unmistakeable live-aboard vibe if you look hard enough. There’s a characterful crowd of folks who choose to live on docked boats and yachts; idling away the hours for the rest of us. If you’re really lucky, you can still find the Friday night Marguaritatimers sitting around on dock chairs putting the goddam world to rights. As wave upon wave...

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Helene Stanley

Who was Helene Stanley? There are many people who left  an important legacy to the world of Hollywood movies but I imagine that if most of us were asked to list them, the name of Helene Stanley wouldn’t feature. But she left a lasting legacy to the Golden Era of Hollywood and it will probably surprise you. She certainly made a handful of movies but her lasting legacy was to make two films that have never been seen by the public...

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Choose Life – A George Michael Diary

As we say a fond goodbye to George Michael, Andy Royston remembers the hairspray days. Enjoy What You Do. “Do you, enjoy what you do? If not, just stop – don’t stay there and rot…” It had been a mad year. I’d spent most of it living in a South Manchester bedsit, wasting time on a year out of college. Way too many nights had been spend on dank dance floors and working (badly) on my day job running...

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Access to Power, by Robert Ellis, A Review

Definite Suspense Thriller! Frank Miles, a top Washington DC “Image Maker, ” is one of the best at leading a campaign to a successful election. Manipulating the media to that end is a skill he knows well, but getting Melvin Murdoch may prove costlier than he could have imagined. With days left before the election, both sides are pulling all the tricks possible to destroy the other. Still, there are lines not to be crossed,...

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Who Was Evelyn Nesbit?

Who was Evelyn Nesbit? When Evelyn Nesbit died at the ripe old age of eighty two, she had been in obscurity for years. But at one time, her name was well-known on Broadway and in the theatres of Europe. She became even more well known in 1906 when,openly and in public, her husband shot her lover dead in a glittering supper club in Manhattan. Evelyn was only twenty at the time and had met her much older lover, Stanford White, when she...

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Strong and Steady – The Best Reggae of 2016

Artist and designer Andy Royston picks his three favorite reggae albums of 2016 “Now that I’ve introduced myself in the context of Rastafari consciousness, wellness, awareness, it is safe now to say ‘I am woman’ and all of the other things that means… playful, colorful, light, nurturing and to show sisterhood.” Janine Cunningham (Jah9) 2016 may have been a tough old year in lots of ways, but this year reggae more than...

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Jimmy Buffett – The Road to Key West

After a year in Nashville, it was becoming clear things were not working out. Jimmy Buffett had moved to Nashville in late ’69 with a new wife and a promise of a music deal, but after a year it was falling apart. Out of work, his marriage already failing, his touring band breaking up within weeks… Things weren’t good. People were talking him up well enough. A local writer said “Jimmy’s music isn’t...

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The Curious Life and Death of Empress Elisabeth

 Who was Empress Elisabeth? The Curious Life and Death of Empress Elisabeth. Elisabeth, or Sisi as she was known, wasn’t destined to be the Empress of Austria but that became her role, nevertheless. She was born into the royal family of Bavaria – her parents were both related to the upper-crust of Europe. It was the fact that her mother, Ludovika, was the sister of Sophie, the mother of Emperor Franz Joseph that sealed her...

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The Murder of Sir Harry Oakes

Sir Harry Oakes: A true life murder mystery. This story of a brutal murder has all the ingredients required to make an excellent thriller or film – but these events actually happened. The victim was a hugely wealthy businessman, we also have a Nazi spy, a beautiful socialite, the Mafia, exiled royalty and more fascinating characters and the scene is set in the beautiful Bahamas during the Second World War. The murder took place...

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Who Was Butterfly McQueen?

Who was Butterfly McQueen? I love old movies yet I have to admit  that there’s one – a very famous one indeed – that I haven’t seen. I don’t know why. But I do know about one of the actors in the film. That’s Butterfly McQueen. She is one of the most memorable of the cast (even to people like me who have only seen clips but never the full film) and yet, she hated the part. She took the role because...

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Did Prince Charles send Harry to rehab?

Did  Prince Charles send Harry to rehab? There is a persistent rumour abounding that in January 2002, the then teenaged Prince Harry of England was sent by his father, Prince Charles, to rehab because Harry had been exposed by the newspapers for ‘smoking drugs’. In other words, having a joint at a local pub. This is, according to a recent book, totally nonsense. It was (apparently) a typical example of the...

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Maud Gonne

Maud Gonne: English Eccentric For those who have heard the name of Maud Gonne, they probably have an idea that she was an Irish political activist. It’s true that she was pretty vocal in Irish politics but she was actually English, born in Surrey. She had a curious career but she is probably remembered most for being: The woman who had sex by her baby’s grave She had the child in 1889 in Paris. The father was her older...

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The Day the Music Died

Buddy Holly memorabilia. In the spring of 2006, Buddy Holly’s widow decided that she was going to put several items of Holly memorabilia into auction. Buddy Holly was twenty two years old when he died in an air crash. Also killed in the accident were Ritchie Valens (aged seventeen), The Big Bopper Richardson (aged twenty eight) and pilot Roger Peterson (aged twenty one). Maria Elena had married Buddy Holly just six months before...

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Baked Brie Cheese

It’s the holiday season and we are in full swing for a Christmas that will just be the best one ever. Who doesn’t love all the food and friends, the excited chatter and family rekindling old times as the new times are happening. It is the best part of the whole “Christmas Scene”. The other best part is all the food that is brought by friends and family to share. Food has to be one of the best ways of telling people that you love them....

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Prince George – The Forgotten Royal

Who was Prince George? Prince George was a member of the British royal family but his name is little-known today. He was a good looking prince – he was rather dashing and loved fast airplanes, fast cars and, as you might imagine, fast women too. There are still stories coming to light about his life – we may still find out more about this somewhat mysterious character. His life was a short one and we were left with three...

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Augustus John

Augustus John: Fryern Court, Fordingbridge. Artist Augustus John was born in Wales in 1878. He became the darling of the art world and was well-known for his eccentricities. He often wore gypsy-style clothes and lived life in his own bohemian fashion. He was married in 1900 but, because he loved women, that didn’t stop him having affairs most notably with his long-time mistress Dorothy  McNeill, usually referred to as Dorelia....

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Art Matters: The Fighting Temeraire

Andy Royston talks us through his favourite painting by JMW Turner – ‘Ye mariners of England, That guard our native seas!  Whose flag has braved a thousand years, The battle and the breeze!‘  Thomas Campbell  “Ye Mariners of England” In this famous painting by J.M.W. Turner, the great old warship Temeraire no longer flies the union flag. Just a white flag flutters from the mast of the tug, showing that a ship is now...

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Eva, Zsa Zsa and Magda Gabor

Three sisters, twenty marriages, nineteen husbands and one child. The Gabor sisters were all born during the First World War. They were born in Hungary, all three ended up in the States and between them they married twenty times. There were fifteen divorces, a couple of annulments yet only one child resulted from these many unions.   Zsa Zsa Zsa Zsa Gabor was probably the most famous of the three sisters — and she was the...

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Gifts for Cooks

Looking for a great and unusual gift for someone who loves to cook and bake? Not on the High Street offers a wonderful range of fabulous and stylish gifts that are perfect for the cook – amateur or professional. What’s more many of them can be personalised. This makes them so very ideal as a gift because  your recipient will know that you really care and took the time and trouble to choose the perfect gift. A great example...

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Quiche for Christmas

Quiche for Christmas What’s versatile enough, filling enough, and tasty enough to tide your family over ’til Christmas dinner? Why, quiche, of course. What’s perfect for a quick breakfast, a formal Christmas brunch, a simple lunch, or a light supper after a busy day? Once again, quiche comes to the rescue! With our simple quiche recipe you can bake it the day before and reheat to serve, or put the ingredients...

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Lord Lucan

Who was Lord Lucan? And even more importantly, what happened to him? What was the eventual fate of this member of the British aristocracy who, it’s claimed, murdered his children’s nanny mistaking her for his estranged wife? These strange events took place on November 7th, 1974 and Lord Lucan, nicknamed Lucky by his friends, was never seen again. Did he kill himself in remorse after murdering his children’s nanny?...

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Thinking of Others This Christmas

Thinking of Others This Christmas Every year it seems we all rush around shopping, decorating, baking, in the full swing of the Christmas Season. Do you stop to think how many are unable to do the same this year? If I’m honest, it’s too easy to look past the faces of those in need. Thankfully there is still time for me to have an attitude adjustment. Christmas is all about giving. It is my goal to share that fact with those who...

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Gift Ideas: Gadgets You Will Love

The Must Have Gadgets This Year Gifts are a delight no matter what the size! The gift ideas here are handy for any occasion. Put them in a gift basket, use them as a hostess gift, or just think of Christmas.  The colorful wrap, the beautiful bows, lights twinkling on the tree above them, it makes me smile just thinking of it. Most of these gift ideas will fit in one Christmas stocking. At our house Christmas stockings are always saved...

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Thelma Todd

Who Killed Thelma Todd? On a Monday morning December  1935, Thelma Todd’s body was found. She was in a car that was parked in the garage of her lover, Roland West. It was the exhaust fumes from the Packard convertible that had caused her death. Police rushed to the scene above the Pacific Highway between Malibu an Santa Monica. They took photographs, questioned locals and discovered that Thelma had bruises and that her face was...

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Who Was Helle Nice?

The strange story of Helle Nice. Helle Nice: The forgotten story. By 1984 Helle Nice was an old lady. She lived in a rather squalid room in Paris. She knew that she hadn’t got long to live. She’d been born in at the same time as the century. She had her memories and not much more. She kept her mementoes in an old tin trunk under her shabby bed. Nowadays, she survived thanks to charity. But it didn’t seem too long ago...

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Man mailed himself from England to Australia

Man mailed himself from England to Australia. In 1964, Australian athlete, Reg Spiers, was stuck in the UK. He desperately wanted to get home to Australia but couldn’t afford the fare. So his solution was to have himself mailed home as freight. The system allowed freight to be sent cash-on-delivery, so no up-front payment was required. Reg reckoned that he’d find a way to pay for his flight (in a box in the cargo hold)...

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Fearless – Taylor Swift

Long before the fame and the glory and the VMA glamour turned her into the big superstar we know there was this honest-to-goodness teen talent. One look at this fair young swan and you know she was about to take off and really fly to the stars… On that video, though she was maybe 18, sitting with her buddies in a tour bus and doing a live spot for an Oregon country radio station.The kind of radio station you pick up on that long...

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The Mystery of the Saddleworth Moor Body

The mystery of the body found on Saddleworth Moor. One morning a cyclist found the dead body of an elderly man in a remote spot on a moor with a grisly history. At first, the cyclist thought the man was sleeping or resting, but no. When the police arrived it was discovered that the man had no identification, no cellphone — and it seemed that he had taken his own life. But who was he? The body was discovered on December 12th,...

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Life Outside The Box, By Marilyn R Wilson

An Article from Author, Marilyn R Wilson After over one thousand interviews, Marilyn R Wilson compiled the collection we find in Life Outside The Box.  It is a fascinating look at how differently–and creatively–men and women alike solve the problems they face and find success. Currently on a virtual book tour spotlighting the second edition of her popular book, we are pleased to join iRead Book Tours in sharing the...

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Things You Didn’t Know About Frank Sinatra

Things You Didn’t Know About Frank Sinatra. Embed from Getty Images In The Beginning There Was Francis… Francis Albert Sinatra, born on December 12, 1915, in an upstairs tenement in Hoboken, New Jersey, would grow up to be a force to be reckoned with in America’s music industry. No one knew that yet and his birth certainly didn’t signify that kind of success. He weighed 13.5 pounds at birth and was delivered...

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Great Gifts for Travelers: My Favorite Things

Great Gifts for Travelers: My Favorite Things. Travel Halo Mask Product Description: This is fantastic for long flights. This mask will definitely help you to sleep in comfort. It’s a special mask that is filled with Microbeads, has pads at the back that keeps your head from rolling around and it includes a free bag and earplugs too. You can remove the mask when you don’t want to sleep and use it as a headrest. eBags Pack-it-Flat...

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Right to Kill, by Andrew Peterson

Nathan McBride is Back “Excellent” is the correct word to describe Right to Kill from the very beginning. Author, Andrew Peterson, drops us right in the midst of an attack on Linda Genneken’s isolated home. His descriptions are so effective, you will clearly see each room, feel and sense what both Linda and Nathan feel as they respond to the attack. It pulls you in immediately and keeps you there, holding on, until...

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Andrew Morton: 17 Carnations

17 Carnations: The Duke & Duchess of Windsor and the Nazis. Less than two years before the Second World War began, the king of England abdicated from the throne. And the Nazis wanted to use him for their own ends. After the war, the Allies spent ten years recovering secret German files that revealed their plans. That sounds like the basis for an excellent novel but this book is non-fiction. In addition, American industrialists...

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Giving green and socially conscious gifts just got a whole lot easier

If you found this page, you’re probably like me–scouring the web for just the right holiday, birthday or special occasion gift that is also eco-friendly and manufactured without child labor or near-slave labor. I am thrilled to report that this year, giving green gifts and socially conscious gifts that are beautiful and well-made is easier than it’s ever been. Below are my top ten web sites for wonderful,...

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Otis Redding

In the summer of 1967, it seemed that singer-songwriter Otis Redding had everything going for him. His career was really taking off and he’d bought a ranch where he lived with his wife and three children. In the autumn of that year he even purchased his own plane. He hoped that the new airplane would mean that he and his band would be able to travel more easily between gigs. On December 9th, they played for a television show in...

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Christmas Plants and how to care for them

Christmas Plants and how to care for them. Christmas is a wonderful time of year and I’m sure that as your company comes to visit, they may also bring you a gift of flowers or plants. Plants make a beautiful hostess gift and they are certainly a seasonal gift. But once you have it, what do you do next? Well let me help you just a wee bit. First off, you want to take it out of any wrappings of cellophane, get a nice dish to put under...

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Who Was Margaret Hamilton?

The lady you see in the photograph is Margaret Hamilton. Do you recognise her? The chances are that you’ve seen her on the screen, especially in her most famous role. She played that part in an old movie – you can tell from the photograph that she’s not an actress of today but she was still appearing on the screen in 1982. Although her most famous part was in a movie dating from 1939, I imagine that a good percentage...

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Lennon & McCartney: The final conversation

Lennon & McCartney: The final conversation. In the final years of John Lennon’s life, the media had two major preoccupations when it came to the one-time Beatles. The first was that all four of the previous members of the group were constantly being asked if a Beatles reunion was on the cards. The answer was always in the negative. The second was the supposed animosity between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Journalists and...

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The Incredible Luci Solar Powered Lights

We love Luci! The inflatable, waterproof solar lighting system. The internet is a-buzz – the Luci solar lights are getting great reviews everywhere. Increasingly we are all appreciating the value of using nature’s resources such as the sun to harness energy and that’s exactly what the Luci does. You can see more details in the video below but suffice it to say that these incredible naturally-powered lights are...

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Was Dorothy Kilgallen murdered?

Was Dorothy Kilgallen murdered? She died in 1965 so it’s likely that you don’t remember her. But in the middle of the twentieth century, Dorothy Kilgallen was a true media star. She was a journalist with many more strings to her bow. And it may be that her journalistic investigations were the cause of her untimely death. What’s My Line? Despite being a well-known journalist, gossip columnist, crime reporter, actress...

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Elvis and Hawaii

Two years ago, my mother, sister and I were headed off to Hawaii. It was a dream trip that I never in my whole life expected to make. But it was a time of healing and renewing our shrinking family’s bonds, that made this trip what it was. My brother had passed away earlier that year. During the many site seeing expeditions along the way, I can remember thinking to myself, that these islands truly are paradise on earth. Everything was...

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The Winecoff Fire of 1946

The Winecoff Fire Disaster of 1946. During the early hours of 7th December, 1946, Arnold Hardy took an iconic and award-winning photograph that was to become a symbol of the worst hotel disaster in the United States. Arnold was only twenty four years old and had just relocated to Atlanta. His great hobby was photography and to make ends meet, he was trying to get part-time work as a newspaper photographer. His camera was not...

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My Mum’s Christmas Pudding Recipe

My Mum’s Christmas Pudding Recipe. We’re quite traditional with our Christmas meal but, our Christmas pudding is a little different. A lot of people don’t like it; it can be dense, have lots of crunchy currants, taste burnt or overdone and perhaps seem steeped in too much alcohol. That’s the difference, though similar in some ways, my mum’s Christmas pudding recipe is light, full of juicy, tasty fruit and...

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Top Crochet Lovers Gift Ideas

Top Crochet Lovers Gift Ideas I began to crochet when my eldest daughter was just a baby, and she’s now in her 50s. After all those years of crochet experience, I feel it’s only right to put out a page of top crochet lovers gift ideas, for those who are stuck for what to buy for a crocheter.  I picked out several suggestions an avid crocheter would love and I hope you find that perfect gift you’re searching for right...

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Bitter Moon, by Alexandra Sokoloff

A Review of “Bitter Moon” The Huntress Series Continues! Much to the delight of her growing number of fans. Take a young child, Cara Lindstrom, the only survivor in her family after a horrific attack, and give her time to grow up. Victim though she is, she now feels no choice but to hunt the evil that nearly killed her. Her skills bring in the FBI, specifically Special Agent Matthew Roarke. As he investigates and learns...

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Agnes Moorehead

Do you recognise those eyes? If you know your television history you might, especially if you were watching in the 1960s or 70s. This shows Agnes Moorehead who played the witch Endora in the TV show Bewitched. You’ll remember that the comedy series was about a beautiful young witch (Samantha) who had married a mere mortal and live a normal suburban domestic life. Endora, her mother, deemed that Samantha had married so far...

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Gifts for Animal Lovers: Elephants

Love elephants? Great gift ideas. Are you looking for gift ideas for someone who just loves elephants? I have found an online collection that features almost one thousand items – all of which feature elephants. There are some incredible pieces of jewellery – both modern and traditional. The photograph on the right shows a lovely example. There are other items to wear too,including some gorgeous elephant print scarves. But...

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Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Film Review

We were so lucky to be invited by Lord Hughes to the House of Commons to watch a pre- screening of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom because my husband was a ANC freedom fighter when he was a young man. It was a sombre event because Nelson Mandela had died only a couple of days before, but it was a fitting tribute to this great man. We watched Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom in the Grand Committee Room, which was the very room where Nelson...

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The Disappearance of the Mary Celeste

What was the fate of the Mary Celeste? The Mary Celeste became the world’s most famous ship in 1872. She had been found drifting in the North Atlantic Ocean – she was completely seaworthy and orderly but her entire crew had vanished into thin air. They were never seen again. You can read more about that here. Ever since that day, experts, the authorities and members of the general public have been speculating about the...

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Gourmet Gifts: Cooking Classes

The perfect foodie gift: Fun culinary classes. Something I think many of us have in common is that we’d love to improve our cooking skills, knowledge and techniques. How wonderful  it would be to be able to serve new and exciting dishes to our families and guests. The classes provided by Sur la Table are run by expert chefs and take place in many locations. There are lots of themes too.  Choose from seasonal courses, baking, the...

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Pregnant Women on Television in the 1960s

Why Lucy was ‘enceinte’ in the nineteen fifties. One of the most popular TV shows in the nineteen fifties – if not the most popular – was I Love Lucy starring married couple, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. At the time, they were the most powerful people in the world of television. In 1952 the couple discovered that they were expecting a baby. This was great news for them. They already had a small daughter, born...

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Corporate Citizen, By Gabriel Valjan

A Book Review Gabriel Valjan returns this month with book five of his international “Roma” series. He has been touring with Italy Book Tours since October, so you can find lots of articles, reviews, and interviews with this popular author. The Story Alabaster Black, AKA Bianca Nerini, still appears to be on the run from her former association with Rendition in the latest book in the series. The previous books have seen our heroes...

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Ace of Bass: Jaco Pastorius

Andy Royston looks at home town connections to the world’s finest bass player, Jaco Pastorius. Jaco Pastorius is one of the great music teachers of all times, aside from just being an awesome musician, and a great catalyst. He’s kicked us all into gear. He’s directly responsible for any growth that’s perceptible in me. Joni Mitchell – In Her Own Words “Music is in the air; it’s my job to pull...

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Who Was Mr Simpson?

For anyone who is familiar with the history of the twentieth century, the name of Mrs Simpson is well known. She was the American divorcée who captivated the then king of England, Edward VIII. Famously he abdicated from the throne in order to marry her whereupon they became known as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Their story, somewhat erroneously referred to as the ‘love affair of the century’, has been recreated in...

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Concert for George

The George Harrison Memorial Concert. On the first anniversary of George Harrison’s death, his family and friends took part in a huge concert to celebrate his life and his music. Hundreds of people attended the event which was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Millions more have seen it since. You can see the full, two hour plus video below. The concert had been organised largely by Eric Clapton who acted as musical...

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Lionel Trains: Gift of Tradition

This is a long time tradition in our family, now three generations deep and still going. Every year my brothers and I would watch as my dad set the Christmas tree in the tree stand. As he was stringing the lights around the tree, we would run up to the attic and dust off the Lionel Train box. Lionel is surely a trusted name when it comes to trains. Our train is a 1952 Berkshire all mental engine with a smoker, and a whistle. After the...

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Who Was Buster Edwards?

Who was Buster Edwards? If you’re English and ‘of a certain age’ you’ll recognise the name. If you don’t then it might intrigue you know that he was  petty criminal who became something of a folk hero in Britain in the 1960s. For Buster was one of the men who took part in what was known as The Great Train Robbery in 1963. Although the robbers got away with a huge amount of money the general attitude of...

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Gifts for Animal Lovers: Turtles

Turtle-themed gifts: For good luck. In many cultures and societies turtles are considered to bring good luck so what better gift than turtle-themed products? The articles you see on this page are all make by artisans all over the world and are made from sustainable or recycled materials. The sculpture you see here, for example, is a carved coconut and its base is made from sustainable albesia wood. It is hand carved in Bali by an...

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Book Review: ‘The Lie’, by Helen Dunmore

The year is 1920 and Daniel returns to his Cornish village after his wartime discharge from the army. He is badly traumatised by the loss of his best friend, Frederick, blown to bits in No-Man’s Land in France. Daniel’s mother, a widowed cleaner, has died during his absence, and her rented cottage has been reclaimed by the landlord. Daniel, rootless and unemployed, is drawn back to the memories of his childhood friendship with...

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Formula One: Fathers and Sons

Formula One Trivia. As far as I’m aware, and at time of writing, there have been fifteen Formula One drivers whose sons have driven in Grand Prix races. If you know of more, please let me know in the comment section below. (And see below for the list – before you look though, can you name them all?) Personally, I would love to live long enough to see the daughter of a Grand Prix racer (preferably of a female driver) lining...

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The Berners Street Hoax

Theodore Hook, Berners Street and the Sanderson Hotel. For two hundred years the Berners Street Hoax has been thought of as one of the most bizarre – and certainly chaotic -practical jokes in history. If you’ve ever seen the Marx Brothers film, A Night at the Opera, this event is said to have been the inspiration for one of the funniest scenes. Theodore Hook, the man you see on the right,was the person responsible. He wasn...

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Book Review: Body of Evidence, by Rachel Grant

Book Two in The Evidence Series Archaeologist Mara Garrett has a particular specialty. Her calling is discovering and retrieving bodies of people, soldiers, who lost their lives and went missing in foreign nations. Unfortunately, that is how she finds herself facing a firing squad in North Korea. Rescued at the very last minute, she finds herself aboard a flight with the United States Prosecutor Curt Dominick. The very same attorney...

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A Life for a Life, by Lynda McDaniel, A Review

Mystery in Appalachia Laurel Falls, North Carolina, set in the Appalachian Mountains is a long way from Washington DC, in so many ways. A huge change for reporter Della Kinkaid, who goes from big city reporter to owner of a small town market. Step right into the past, where you expect simplicity in a small town. Small markets dot the streets within local communities across the country. Each of us has our own picture when we think of...

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Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge: When a Man Loves a Woman Did you know that Percy Sledge’s song, When a Man Loves a Woman, was based on his own experience? When he wrote the song, he had just been dumped by his girlfriend. He understood at the time that she had left him for another man. Someone had told him that was the reason why she had disappeared from his life and gone to New York. In an interview, he later said that the original title of the...

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Solving the Mysteries of Choosing a Kindle

Solving the Mysteries of Choosing a Kindle If you’re new to the world of ebooks and ereaders but tempted by the idea of buying a Kindle reader, you might find yourself asking, “Which Kindle should I buy?” or even “Should I buy a Kindle?” or “What’s the difference between a Kindle reader and a Fire tablet anyway? Help!” It’s no wonder you might be confused. When Amazon’s...

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Grace Darling

Grace Darling and the sinking of the Forfarshire. The story of Grace Darling is well known. It’s often published in magazines that cater to young girls, possibly being thought to be inspirational. But why did she achieve such fame? Are the stories about her true? It’s certainly the case that she helped her father – a lighthouse keeper – to rescue nine people from a wrecked ship of the coast of Northumberland in...

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Hail to the Chief, by John Leslie and Carey Winfrey

Terrific Political Thriller! What a solid thriller with a fascinating and plausible premise. Strange that the even has never happened in reality. Fast forward several presidents in the future. The first woman has been elected president. Before she is inaugurated, she has an aneurysm burst, leaving her comatose with condition questionable. It is uncertain if she will regain her abilities, that is, if she even survives. So begins a fast...

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Gifts for Animal Lovers: Dolphins

Love dolphins? Gift ideas. Dolphins are so popular. Is it because they always seem to be smiling? If you have someone on your gift list who loves dolphins as much as I do, then here you’ll find the perfect gifts for them to add to their collection of dolphin themed jewellery, décor items and more. I love the pendant that you see in this photograph, for example. The two dolphins are hand carved by a jewellery sculptor in Bali and...

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Curried Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

You will think you have died and gone to heaven after tasting this soup. For our Thanksgiving meal, my son called to say ‘Mom, don’t make any soup! Amy and I will bring it already made!’ Well, I never pass up an opportunity to try something new, so I accepted their offer graciously. To say it was delicious, is an understatement! This soup was a knock out! It presented beautifully and tasted divine. I’m thinking that my son...

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Book Lover’s Reading Journal

A Great Way to Record and Remember What You’ve Read What an excellent idea this is–a book journal for reader!. I just ran across this while looking for something totally different. That’s my favorite kind of shopping. Off the top of my head I can think of six people to get this for as a gift. And it would be a great gift for any occasion. It’s something I wish I had ten or twenty years ago. Thirty years would...

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Bjork’s Vulnicura: An Emotional Release

I was one of the first to turn on to Bjork’s extraordinary solo talent. And I mean this literally – I was listening to her first album ‘Debut’ several months before its official release. Working on the fringes of the British music scene it was not unusual to find oneself holding pre-press or advanced copies of albums before public release. I’d written a good few music reviews for listings magazines and...

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Falling For The Stars: A Stunt Gal’s Tattle Tales, by Lisa Loving Dalton

The Amazon #1 Bestseller Lisa Loving Brown, stuntwoman, is our featured author today.  Currently on tour with iRead Book Tours, you can find this entertaining author at a variety of virtual sites through December 9th 2016. You won’t want to miss this book or the article below.  As a stuntwoman for many big name stars and movies, you will be fascinated by her stories. Lisa has shared the post below with Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine...

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Murder of a Cranky Catnapper, by Denise Swanson

A Scumble River Mystery, Book 19 Denise Swanson is a wonderful cozy author. Her stories are light, but provide an intriguing mystery that engages you. You’ll find plenty of clues and suspects, but in cozy fashion, you don’t find the explicit violence or sex. Still, the required tension is there within the mystery, and the author is good at showing the attraction and love between the two newlyweds while retaining a PG rating. It would...

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Behind the Scenes: Royal Wedding 1947

The wedding of Princess Elizabeth & Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The 20th November, 1947 was a day that the population had been looking forward to. The recent war was still fresh in everyone’s memory. Rationing was still enforced. Towns and cities still showed the battle scars inflicted by the German bombs. So everyone was looking forward to the royal wedding – a happy occasion full of pageantry and romance -to bring...

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Rocco DiSpirito: Cook Your Butt Off!

Rocco DiSpirito: Cook Your Butt Off! I would have really preferred Mr DiSpirito to have called this fascinating book something else, but never mind. It’s still pretty amazing and as for the recipes – wow. Yes, this is a weight loss book but it’s certainly one with a difference and something I love is that it’s incredibly easy to follow. Rocco gives a two-week eating plan, plus the recipes and shopping lists,...

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Gift Ideas for Dinosaur Lovers

What is it about dinosaurs that transcends generations even though they are extinct.  There is nothing especially cute or cuddly about them (I admit to exceptions).  They usually seem to have a lizard like skin.  We so often see them fighting another also extinct species. Perhaps that is the draw right there, or maybe it is that they existed so far in the past. Whatever the reason, kids and many adults love them.  If anything, they...

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Book Review: The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown

Book Review: The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown. Accepting Imperfection: It is a Gift. Have you ever had that feeling that no matter how much you do or how hard you try, you are not enough? I know I have, and for more years than I should have! If you’ve felt that way too, this book is for you. It’s an easy to read book that nevertheless provides amazing insights into accepting yourself and loving yourself and living...

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Gifts for Music Lovers: The Bose Mini Bluetooth Speaker

Superior Sound in a Mini Speaker from Bose Talk about getting a wonderful sound from a super small speaker, and you will most likely be talking about the Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker. It’s ideal, and it’s tiny. The name Bose is associated with quality sound, and this one performs as such. As you can see in the picture, it’s very attractive as well, with a matte finish on solid aluminum. It feels very sturdy...

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Killer in The Band, by Lauren Carr, A Review

Lovers in Crime, Book 3 Another captivating mystery from bestselling author, Lauren Carr, has arrived on the scene.  If you haven’t read one of Lauren’s novels, do start as soon as you can.  Mystery, suspense, and humor are all spun together into a complex plot that will keep you guessing. Homicide detective, Cameron Gates, and husband, County Prosecutor , Joshua Thornton,  return in their Lovers in Crime series. The...

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The Tragic Story of Princess Cecilie

The royal tragedy of Princess Cecilie. There have been so many tragedies that have befallen royal families. This was especially the case in the twentieth century. The story of Princess Cecilie and her family must be one of the saddest of all. It was 1937 – just  couple of years before the Second World Way broke out. Celilie was a beautiful young woman married to handsome Georg Donatus, the Grand Duke of Hesse. They had two small...

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The Ways of the World by Robert Goddard

The Ways of the World by Robert Goddard: Review  A James Maxted Thriller I was lucky in having a review copy of this book so that I could alert you to it so that you could pre-order. I highly recommend it. The story will intrigue you from the first page. Set in 1919, the book opens with James Maxted, a World War 1 flyer, sizing up a couple of planes that he intends to buy to start a flying school. But his negotiations are interrupted...

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Gift Ideas to Help Those in Need

A Helping Hand for those in need Would you like to do a little something to help the homeless or those in need? Drive around any city these days and you can’t help but notice how many people there are in need of help. Read the paper or watch the news and you grow more aware that plenty of them are families who for one reason or another are homeless or barely getting by. I don’t know about you, but sometimes the numbers...

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Prince Charles

Prince Charles: The writers’ moneymaker Here’s a cool way to make money. Write a book that contains ‘revelations’ about that famous British soap opera, the royal family. Publicise some of its more extreme stories. It doesn’t matter if you’ve simply made them up -newspapers do it all the time. Pretend, if you like, that this is authorised by Prince Charles. Never mind that it’s not true. Claim...

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Gifts for the Traveler

Easier Travel is The Goal Today’s traveler is looking for ways to make trips go as smoothly as possible.  It isn’t as easy as it once was, especially with the airlines. We’ve seen dramatical changes over the past decade.  Not only with added security, but also with limits on luggage weight and closer quarters aboard many flights. Yet if the traveler doesn’t go that often, he/she might consider it frivolous to...

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Florida Murder – The Sea Waif

The date was November 12th, 1963.  A crew member aboard the Gulf Lion, a tanker, spotted a small boat in the distance. In it was a man, waving frantically. The ship changed course and headed to the tiny boat and saw its single live occupant, a middle-aged man. Also in the dinghy was a seven year old girl – not alive, sadly. The man told his rescuers that his name was Julian Harvey. He had been the captain of a sixty foot...

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Who was Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne?

Suzanne: The girl in the song. Arguably, Leonard Cohen’s most famous song is Suzanne. But who was Suzanne and what inspired the song? Like Cohen, Suzanne Verdal was Canadian. Despite what many people believe,she was not a girlfriend  of his but they had a platonic friendship. And surprisingly, the lyrics of the song – which Cohen wrote originally as a poem – are quite literal. Suzanne really did live in a...

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Ivy Benson

Who was Ivy Benson? Have you heard of Ivy Benson? I doubt you have but her story is fascinating. Unusually, she was the leader of a swing band in England during the Second World War – and it was an all-girls band. They were incredibly popular. Women came into their own during World War Two. They drove trucks and buses, flew planes, worked as machinists and engineers, worked decoding messages and in general, took over the jobs of...

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The Selfie Stick

Really? Yes.  Selfies have become overwhelmingly popular today, and when you have a new trend, there will be clever people who come up with ideas to make the trend better or easier. This handy little tool, a selfie extender does the job.  On a recent trip to Bouchard Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia, there were so many people using extenders it grew funny.  I should have taken photos of them instead of the beautiful flowers.  It...

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Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman

Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman A Clever Author and a Clever Novel. What a wonderful and unique story. This was my first Neil Gaiman book, but it won’t be my last. The Ocean at the End of the Lane was a beautifully written by an author who is clearly a master of the craft. It’s hard to put this book into a category, just as it is hard to describe the events in the book. I wouldn’t consider it...

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President John Kennedy: Health Issues

President John Kennedy: Health Issues. In the year after President John Kennedy was assassinated, an eminent historian began a new project of oral histories. He asked people to record their memories on tape of the late president. He approached Kennedy’s widow, Jackie, to take part in the project and she agreed. There were three reasons for this. The first was that she knew it would help her in coming to terms with her husbands...

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Molkky: A Great Outdoor Game

Molkky: Europe’s most popular outdoor game. Coming from Finland, Molkky is a game that is fun, can be played anywhere and is planet-friendly. It can be enjoyed by all ages, all skill levels and, unlike other games, can be played by small or large groups of people. What’s more, it’s stylish, safe and sustainable – oh, and great fun to play. The fabulous Molkky The game is a cross between skittles and the...

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Paul McCartney: Real or Fake?

Paul McCartney died on November 9th, 1966 Or so certain people would have us believe. And recently, it’s said, Ringo Starr confirmed this. Nonsense? I think so. But according to conspiracy theorists, the bloke you see here isn’t Paul McCartney at all. It’s an imposter who has been playing the part for almost fifty years. Yes, that’s a long time to live someone else’s life, isn’t it? What’s the...

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Queen Senna of England

Queen Senna of England: A New Zealand Maori. It does take a bit of a stretch of the imagination but in theory at least, it is possible (although improbable) that England could have a queen named Senna. What’s more, the small girl who bears that name is a New Zealand Maori. How is this? Well firstly, quite a lot of the existing members of the royal family would have to be wiped out before Senna could take the throne. She is...

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Kitchen Nightmares UK: The Ship & Anchor

The Best of Kitchen Nightmares UK: ‘Shrek in a Frock’. If you’ve watched USA episodes of Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay, you’re missing out if you haven’t seen the UK versions. They are so much better – and funnier. And it’s hard to choose a favourite but after much deliberation, I’ve decided on the episode featuring Mike and Caron Ciminera of the Ship and Anchor pub in Wales is...

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From An Idea To A Book, by Lisa de Nikolits

On Tour With “The Nearly Girl” Today we are delighted to share an article written by the author of The Nearly Girl.  The award winning author will be touring with Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours during the entire month of November.  There is a link below that will show you the various sites she will visit. Do stop by to learn more about Lisa and her novels.  You will find reviews, articles, interviews, and more. Her...

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Joni and Jaco

Andy Royston takes a look how an unexpected musical collaboration – between folk singer Joni Mitchell and electric jazz genius Jaco Pastorius – created their finest music. He was an innovator. He was changing the bottom end of the time, and he knew it.  Joni Mitchell – Musician Magazine  It’s all in the hands; in order to get that sound, you have to know exactly where to touch the strings, exactly how much pressure...

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The Digital Luggage Scale, Essential for Travel

Weigh your Luggage Before You Leave Home Every airline traveler needs one of these luggage scales. The first time it saves you the fine of $75.00 or more, you will consider it totally worth the cost. Have you checked in at the airport to find your suitcase weighs 55 pounds, or even 51 pounds? Have you seen people off to the side, on their knees, rapidly pulling things out of their suitcase, stuffing them randomly into a carry-on, or...

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My old friend Malcolm X

A teenage Andy Royston picked up a copy of The Autobiography of Malcolm X and it made a huge impression. Almost 40 years later, and now living in Florida, he revisits the book to figure out if it still impresses. “Malcolm X’s autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me; the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising...

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The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis

The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis. The USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine just after midnight. The blast was so powerful it split the ship and sunk it in about 12 minutes; there were 1,196 men on board. The ship went down halfway between Guam and Leyte Gulf in shark infested waters. There were 300 men trapped inside who never made it out, 900 men made it into the water, but only 317 men survived. Help did not...

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Mexican Jewellery from Guillermo Arregui

Stylish,original jewellery from Mexico. Guillermo Arregui creates the most wonderful jewellery in his Mexican silversmith workshop. The necklace you see on the right is a lovely example. There are more further down the page and you’ll see that  Guillermo combines traditional method sand design but brings them completely up to date. He takes much of his inspiration from nature, from the natural stones that are available in Mexico...

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SS City of Cairo

The sinking and discovery of the SS City of Cairo In 1942, the SS City of Cairo was steaming from Bombay towards England. It was carrying a cargo of 1000 tonnes of silver. The money was headed to His Majesty’s Treasury to bolster up the war effort. But on November 6th, it was spotted by a German U-boat. As a result, the ship was torpedoed and sank to the ocean floor – complete with the silver. Almost seventy years later,...

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Just Kids – Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe

I first heard Patti Smith as a teenager. The song – if you can call it a song, was Piss Factory, an extraordinary conversational poem set to haunting improvised free-jazz piano by Richard Sohl. It turned out to be from Patti Smith’s first recording session, and tells a story partly related to her time working in a low paid job back in New Jersey, at a factory that made baby buggies. It was a soul destroying environment,...

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The Magus: John Fowles

The Magus: John Fowles. The Magus is one of my desert island books -one I can read again and again.I’ve probably read it half a dozen times – at least. My reading of this book has spanned many years. It’s a book that has been largely misunderstood, in my opinion. Many reviewers get this book completely wrong – especially the amateur reviewers at Amazon. I’d truly recommend that you don’t read them...

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Lafayette’s Sword, by Eric Giacometti, Jacques Ravenne, Anne Trager

Book Review: The Lafayette Sword The Knights of Templar, The Freemasons… What does that bring to mind to you? Good, bad or both? A secret society, formed for good to protect. Yet, as often is the case, something intended for good can be manipulated for bad. Whatever we know about secret societies, their history holds dark mysteries unknown to many.  The Lafayette Sword reveals a part of that. The novel was written by Eric...

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Decor: A Sunrise Palette

How to pick accessories and décor colours. Did you know that interior designers use a simple trick when they are coordinating décor in the rooms they design? Often, their cues come from artwork. For example, let’s take the gorgeous sunrise artwork below. Designers take a prominent item that will be displayed in the room. This is often a painting, a spectacular photograph or sometimes even a textile such as a tapestry or an...

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Did You Know? Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth II: A few facts you may not know. Do you know how the queen starts her day? At 8 am her dresser enters the royal bedroom and places a tray with Earl Grey tea by the bedside. At the same time, the corgis rush into the bedroom. Then the dresser opens the heavy curtains wide to ensure that the light streams in. At 9 am the queen walks through her sitting room and into her dining room and enjoys a comparatively frugal...

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Tragic Truth Behind Sheffield’s Famous Graffiti

The story behind the ‘I love you’ bridge. In 2001 local residents in the Park Hill area of Sheffield saw a rather amazing piece of graffiti. It wasn’t just that it was an ‘aww’ moment, it was also remarkable because of its location. It was written on the side of a walkway bridge one hundred and thirty feet off the ground. It read ‘Clare Middleton I Love You Will U Marry Me’. Everyone who saw...

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Clutter Control: The Home Lost Property Station

Keep your home tidy – easily and quickly. When your surroundings give you joy and pleasure, life is so much better. This is especially the case in your own domain – your home. And looking round and seeing a neat and tidy environment isn’t just good for your soul – it’s been proved that clutter can damage your well-being. But it’s easier said than done, isn’t it? In fact, it can be so easy and...

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The Clocks of Windsor Castle

The Queen’s Clockmaker. Steve Davidson has a fantastic job. He is in charge of the many clocks at Windsor Castle, one of the residences of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. But on two weekends of every year he has a truly unenviable job – the weekend in spring when he has to put the clocks forward and then in autumn when they need to be put back an hour. How many clocks? Including the royal residence itself, outbuildings and...

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The Red Cross

There isn’t a symbol more recognizable in the world than that of the Red Cross. Today we have the Red Cross and the Red Crescent but both of these formidable institutions all started out under the banner of the Red Cross. In 1864, Jean-Henry Dunant, a Swiss national, and humanitarian began what would become the Red Cross. But the start of the Red Cross was much earlier than that. Dunant was a business man and he travelled throughout...

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Queen Elizabeth II & Marilyn Monroe

The day Queen Elizabeth met Marilyn Monroe. In very different ways, the two women were destined to become icons. What many of us don’t realise is that Queen Elizabeth and Marilyn Monroe were born only ten days apart. (April 21st and Jun 1st respectively – in 1926). And they met on October 29th, 1956. The occasion was the London premiere of The Battle of the River Plate in Leicester Square. It was the only time the two...

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Balancing Books and Briefs and Broadcasting, by Lis Wiehl

Presenting Lis Wiehl After reviewing The Candidate, the latest book written by Lis Wiehl and Sebastian Stuart, we asked Ms. Wiehl if she would tell us more about how one career has led to another.  As a prosecutor, Fox News Analyst, and a bestselling author (just to name a few), she balances several full time careers.  So, how did she get here from there? We are grateful to have her response below.  As a fan of hers for years,  it was...

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Ted Hughes, An Unauthorized Life

Andy Royston walks out on the wily windy moors with the ghost of Ted Hughes. Poor Heathcliff trying to tear away the veil between death and life… crying out to Cathy’s soul… to haunt him and torment him… till he died.” Emily Brontë “I have often had the fancy that there is one myth for every man, which, if we but knew it, would make us understand all he did and thought” W.B. Yeats Living as I...

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Will we ever know the truth about Wallis Simpson?

It’s a famous story, of course. In the 1930s the King of England was the unmarried Edward VIII. When he ascended to the throne, he had a long-time mistress, Wallis Simpson. Although many members of the public believed that the king should be able to marry whoever he wished, the establishment were horrified at the possibility of their monarch marrying an American divorceé. Famously, the king announced his abdication, declaring...

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Halloween Trivia

Fun Tidbits About Halloween. Halloween is one of the oldest celebrations. For everyone it means something different whether it is something superstitious, trick or treating or having a fun dress-up party. Its always fun to learn some fun facts about Halloween. You’ll learn fun trivia facts about the tootsie roll, black cats, creepy spiders, who really believes in “The Great Pumpkin” and even when the first Halloween...

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The Judas Game, by Ethan Cross

On Tour With Ethan Cross The Judas Game takes a twisted path right from the beginning. A serial killer who is remorseful, looking to make amends. A man working for a discreet company known as the Shepherd Organization with a young son who is violent. A badly scarred soul who sees strange people asks to be arrested. Finally, add in a new killer, the Judas killer, who comes on the scene with his own complex plan. One that he will detail...

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Cheryl’s Ghostly Flower Pot Decor

BOO! Ghost Flower Pot. There’s a ghost spooking around in my fall flower pot. It might just say BOO to frighten you. Who you gonna call to help catch this spooky ghost? I know…..Ghostbusters! I found this ghost stake decoration in this photo at my Connections Goodwill Store where I live. It was right up my alley for making a Halloween flower decoration. Its always fun to go shopping at your local Goodwill cause you find...

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