Featured post

Christmas Trees are coming! Be Prepared this December

Types of Christmas Trees

There are various types of Christmas trees available, and you must choose the one that is perfect for your home during the holiday season. There are various types, as you will see below:

Nordman Fir

The Norman Fir Christmas Tree barely drops its needles, making it the most popular choice in Modern times, due to the safety issues related to children and pets, and the sharp Christmas tree needles. They come in a range of shapes and sizes, and their needles are a lot fleshier.

Norway Spruce

The Norway Spruce Christmas tree, brings the classic smell of childhood to your home. Its needles do drop a lot more than other varieties, but it more than makes up for that with its beautiful smell, and really traditional tall and narrow shape.

Potted Christmas Trees

The Potted Christmas tree is a great choice if you would prefer your tree to last longer than just a few weeks, as potted trees are more likely to live on through the year, and be fine to use again a year later. The come in both varieties, the Nordman or Norway Spruce, and are often a little cheaper.

Where to buy a Christmas Tree

You can normally buy Christmas trees at your local garden centre, or check online for your nearest Christmas tree farm. Sapcote Garden Centre, Leicester, LE94LG, 01455 274049, (http://www.sapcotegc.co.uk/christmas/christmas-trees) has a range of Nordman Fir, and Norway Spruce Christmas trees for sale, and the price is the same as 2012.

Joanna Lumley tackles Shakespeare’s Christmas poem

Hermione Norris, Jim Broadbent, Joanna Lumley and Stephen Tompkinson have recorded an album of <a href='http://www.refernshare.com' target='_blank'>christmas</a> poetry
Hermione Norris, Jim Broadbent, Joanna Lumley and Stephen Tompkinson have recorded an album of Christmas poetry 

Then heigh ho, the holly,
This life is most jolly!

So ends a Christmas poem, Song of the Holly, by William
Shakespeare
that will be set to classical music and read by actress
Joanna Lumley in an album called Christmas Words For You. “This album
demonstrates that the words of over 500 years ago are as relevant today as
they were then,” Lumley told PA. “There is a magic about Christmas
that transcends centuries.”

Jim Broadbent, Stephen Tompkinson and Hermione Norris are the other
celebrities hoping to take the words of Shakespeare, William Wordsworth,
William Blake and John Betjeman into the album charts.

A total of 22 poems have been included on the follow-up to the 2007 album
Words For You, which sold nearly quarter of a million copies.

Shakespeare’s holly poem will be set to the music of Ding Dong Merrily On
High. Broadbent will read A Christmas Carol (performed to the music of Joy
To The World), while Norris will read Blake’s A Cradle Song to the music of
Silent Night.

Henry Van Dyke, Samuel Taylor Colleridge, Christina Rossetti, EE Cummings and
Anne Bronte are among the other writers featured

Christmas Words for You is due for release by Sony Music on November 17.

Christmas Trees

Taiwan’s China Airlines Boeing 777-300ER plane has tea-tasting area, cocktail bar and sofa beds

  • The 358-seater plane was designed to ‘showcase Taiwanese culture’ 
  • Six types of tea, locally grown coffee and a tapas and cocktail bar on board
  • Aircraft has the industry’s first high-ceiling ‘Sky Lounge’ and bookshelves 

By

Anucyia Victor for MailOnline


Published:
06:06 EST, 21 October 2014

|
Updated:
10:09 EST, 21 October 2014

With seats that convert into a sofa, a tea-tasting area, a coffee saloon and a cocktail bar, Taiwan’s China Airlines’ newest aircraft, the Boeing 777-300ER, looks more like a lounge in the sky than it does an aeroplane.

The swanky new 358-seater aircraft has 40 seats in Premium Business Class, 62 seats in Premium Economy Class and 256 seats in economy.

The interior of the plane – decked out in wood grain – is styled like a trendy bar and incorporates the industry’s first high-ceiling Sky Lounge in Premium Class, complete with bookshelves filled with a selection of Chinese and English books.

Scroll down for video 

The Boeing 777-300ER 358-seater has a cocktail bar in the middle of the plane for premium class passengers

The Boeing 777-300ER 358-seater has a cocktail bar in the middle of the plane for premium class passengers

'Asia's first family couch': Economy class passengers can convert their seats by simply raising their footrests 

‘Asia’s first family couch’: Economy class passengers can convert their seats by simply raising their footrests 

Economy Class passengers get what is dubbed as ‘Asia’s first Family Couch’ – seats which can be converted into a single sofa bed by simply raising the footrests.

Premium class passengers will get to sample six selected Taiwanese teas: Charcoal Tung Ting Oolong Tea, Alishan Oolong Tea, Shan Lin Xi Tea, Lishan Oolong Tea, Oriental Beauty Tea, and Sun Moon Lake Black Tea.

Travellers who prefer a stronger caffeine hit can head to the coffee lounge and try the locally grown coffee. 

There is also a bar which offers libations in the form of cocktails, with pot noodles and tapas to soak up the alcohol. 

Room to stretch: Premium economy class seats have 39-inch legroom and a fixed backshell design seats 

Room to stretch: Premium economy class seats have 39-inch legroom and a fixed backshell design seats 

The aircraft has the industry's first high-ceiling 'Sky Lounge' and bookshelves with Chinese and English books

The aircraft has the industry’s first high-ceiling ‘Sky Lounge’ and bookshelves with Chinese and English books

Passengers in Premium Business Class enjoy full-flat 78-inch spacious seats and 18-inch screens 

Passengers in Premium Business Class enjoy full-flat 78-inch spacious seats and 18-inch screens 

Passengers in Premium Business Class enjoy full-flat 78-inch spacious seats whilst Premium Economy Class seats have 39-inch legroom and a fixed backshell seat design, so those reclining their seats won’t interrupt travellers in the row behind them.

In Economy Class, seat backs are thinner and recline to 120 degrees.

The in-flight entertainment system boasts the industry’s biggest screens: 18-inch screen in Premium Business Class, 12.1-inch screen in Premium Economy Class, and 11.1-inch screen in Economy Class.

'Poetic beauty': The posh plane is already flying regional routes in Taiwan

‘Poetic beauty’: The posh plane is already flying regional routes in Taiwan

The airplane’s ‘poetic beauty’ was inspired by Song Dynasty poet Lu You and designed by Taiwanese architect Ray Chen. 

According to China Airlines, the plane serves as a ‘platform to showcase Taiwanese culture.’

The posh plane is already flying routes in Taiwan. The airlines’ will get two more aircraft this year which will be used for the Taoyuan-Los Angeles route starting in December and Taoyuan-New York and Taoyuan-San Francisco routes starting in 2015.  

Xmas Holidays

Pet cat Missey saved by being given half a litre of VODKA in a drip after yobs doused her in anti-freeze

  • Missey came home soaking wet and became seriously unwell 
  • Owners Paul Stephenson and daughter Sara took her to the vets 
  • After half a litre of 39% vodka, the four-month old kitten was ‘blind drunk’
  • The ethanol in the spirit neutralises the poison, which is life-threatening 

By

Khaleda Rahman for MailOnline


Published:
10:07 EST, 21 October 2014

|
Updated:
10:07 EST, 21 October 2014

This kitten’s life was saved by half a litre of vodka after yobs doused her with anti-freeze. 

Missey came home after the incident last week soaking wet and was seriously ill by the next morning.

Her owners Paul Stephenson, 47, and daughter Sara, 27, took the four-month-old to the vets and were shocked when they were told that vodka would help break down the poison.

The unusual treatment was administered via a drip and Missey was understandably pretty drunk after getting through half a litre of 39% vodka over the course of two days. 

Sara said: ‘When we heard about the treatment I was just shocked. I had no idea you could even give an animal vodka.

‘Missey was totally blind drunk after being fed the vodka on a drip.

Missey’s owner Sara, 27, said the kitten was ‘blind drunk’ after being given vodka to counteract the anti-freeze yobs had doused her in

‘She was trying to get up and she just toppled over. Her eyes were out of focus and when we took her home in a carry basket, her mouth has pressed up against the wire so it looked as though she had her teeth bared.

‘At one point she was lying down trying to swipe at a pen and she just kept missing it, she was that out of it. It was all just totally mad.’

Missey was treated first at White Cross Vets in Redcar, North Yorkshire, and then taken to Vets Now in Middlesbrough, where her condition was monitored round the clock by staff.

Andrew Miller, a vet at White Cross, explained it is the ethanol in the spirit which neutralises the anti-freeze. 

He said: ‘The vodka treatment is quite unusual but is commonly used on animals who have swallowed anti-freeze. The animals are fed the vodka through a drip and they do get quite drunk.

‘It is the ethanol used in this particular spirit which helps.

The four-month-old kitten came home  soaking wet and was given half a litre of 39% vodka over two days

‘Anti-freeze is extremely toxic to animal’s kidneys, and we specifically use vodka because the ethanol in it neutralises the substance in the poison.

‘Anti-freeze is life-threatening. Sadly, not all animals we have seen who have swallowed the substance make it, but if seen quickly and if they are given the vodka to react to the anti-freeze, they have a good chance of surviving.’

The kitten is now back at her home in Redcar and being looked after by Sara.

She added: ‘The change in her is amazing. She seems to be doing OK, although it is absolutely heartbreaking that someone could do this to an innocent little animal.

‘I do not understand why anyone would go out of their way to harm Missey. She’s just a baby really, and has such a lovely temperament. You should be able to let your own cat out and not have to worry about this happening.’ 

Missey left her house at 10pm last Tuesday but when she returned she appeared unwell and was soaking wet.

 At one point she was lying down trying to swipe at a pen and she just kept missing it, she was that out of it. It was all just totally mad

At first, Paul and Sara thought the liquid was water but by the next morning, they realised there was something seriously wrong and took her to the vets.

And this is not the first time that the family’s cats have been attacked.

Just five weeks ago, four-year-old Molly was covered in tar and was left with a snare wrapped tightly around her neck.

Sara said: ‘She was almost screaming at the window to be let in, and when she was she was covered in tar and had a snare around her neck.

‘She had no claws from where she had obviously tried to stop herself from being dragged away by the person who attacked her.

‘I want whoever is responsible to be caught and brought to justice.

‘After this happened I tried to keep Missey indoors, but she somehow managed to get out.’

Another of the family’s cats, Timmey, died after eating food laced with caustic soda four years ago.

Anyone who has any information about the attacks is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101.

 

Xmas Holidays

Woman wearing niqab thrown out after Paris Verdi’s La Traviate cast refused to perform

  • Cast ‘objected strongly’ to woman in the audience wearing a niqab-type veil
  • Security guard asked her to either uncover her face or leave   
  • Ban on covering the face in public in France was introduction in 2011
  • The incident has divided opinion in the city’s liberal arts community

By

Peter Allen for MailOnline


Published:
05:55 EST, 20 October 2014

|
Updated:
09:25 EST, 20 October 2014

A woman was thrown out of a French opera house after cast members objected to her wearing a Niqab  (file picture is not of the woman involved)

A woman was thrown out of a French opera house after cast members objected to her wearing a Niqab (file picture is not of the woman involved)

France’s Socialist government today pledged to toughen up its anti face-covering law after a veiled Muslim woman was ejected from a major Paris opera house.

In an incident which has divided opinion in the city’s liberal arts community, cast members performing La Traviata ‘objected strongly’ to the presence of a woman in the audience wearing a niqab-type veil.

‘A singer spotted her in the front row during the second act,’ said Jean-Philippe Thiellay, director of the Bastille Opera, which was opened by Socialist president Francois Mitterand in 1989.

‘Some performers said they didn’t want to sing,’ said Mr Thiellay, who confirmed that she was kicked out.

There has been a ban on Muslims covering their face in public in France since the introduction of a law in 2011.

Women living on housing estates on the outskirts of major cities like Paris are regularly criminalised with a fine, but this is the first incident of someone being ejected from an artistic venue. 

So far unnamed, she is believed to be a well-off woman from a Gulf State, and was attending the performance with a friend. 

Referring to a security guard, Mr Thiellay said: ‘He told her that in France there is a ban of this nature, asked her to either uncover her face or leave the auditorium. 

‘The man asked the woman to get up, they left. It was unpleasant getting her to leave.

‘But there was a misunderstanding of the law and the lady either had to respect it or leave,’

Scroll down for video 

But other opera lovers in a city historically renowned for its tolerance were less impressed.

‘What possible harm could a woman sitting quietly in the audience with face covered do to anyone?’ said Guy Laurent, a regular at the Bastille Opera.

‘The woman would clearly have felt utterly humiliated by what happened – French culture should be more tolerant.

Cast members performing La Traviata at the Bastille Opera opera house in Paris objected to the veiled woman in the audience. It is not suggested that either of the performers pictured were among those who complained

Cast members performing La Traviata at the Bastille Opera opera house in Paris objected to the veiled woman in the audience. It is not suggested that either of the performers pictured were among those who complained

There has been a ban on Muslims covering their face in public in France since 2011. It is not suggested that either of the performers pictured here on stage at the opera house were among those who complained

There has been a ban on Muslims covering their face in public in France since 2011. It is not suggested that either of the performers pictured here on stage at the opera house were among those who complained

A singer spotted the veiled woman in the front row of the opera house which was opened by Socialist president Francois Mitterand in 1989

A singer spotted the veiled woman in the front row of the opera house which was opened by Socialist president Francois Mitterand in 1989

‘It is not the job of theatres to enforce petty laws.’

The incident happened on October 3, but it is only now that it is becoming a national polemic.

Technically the woman now faces a fine of just over £180, although there is not thought to have been any police involvement.

The woman and her friend were not refunded any of their ticket price.

Choice: Security at the Bastille Opera opera house in Paris asked the woman to uncover her face or leave

Choice: Security at the Bastille Opera opera house in Paris asked the woman to uncover her face or leave

A spokesman for France’s Ministry of Culture today said it was ‘producing a new set of rules’ to make sure the so-called ‘burka ban’ was better enforced in theatres, museums and other public institutions.

France,which is home to some five million Muslims, was the first European country to ban the full-face Islamic veil in public places.

Belgium followed suit soon afterwards, but there is no veil ban at all in Britain, despite calls by a minority of right wing MPs for one.

 

Xmas Holidays

Lynda Bellingham dead after losing battle with colon cancer

  • Star had been battling cancer but was planning to end her chemotherapy
  • She didn’t want her family to see her go through the gruelling treatment
  • Her agent told today how she died peacefully with husband Michael
  • Grieving husband says he wants people to remember her as an actress 
  • After stars pay tribute to actress, her son thanks well-wishers for support 
  • Mother-of-two had been hoping to spend one last christmas with family 
  • Actress best known for role as mother in long-running Oxo adverts
  • She was also a presenter of ITV’s Loose Women daytime chat show
  • The 66-year-old recently returned to the show to film one last programme
  • When presenter was moved to tears, she said: ‘Don’t cry. It will be fine’

By

Richard Spillett for MailOnline


Published:
02:20 EST, 20 October 2014

|
Updated:
09:23 EST, 20 October 2014

Loose Women presenters wept today as they remembered Lynda Bellingham, the actress who regularly appeared on the show and who died yesterday.

Coleen Nolan had to be comforted by fellow panellists as she fought back the tears as tributes were paid to Lynda, who, it emerged this morning, has lost her battle with colon cancer.

Coleen said: ‘We miss her already, so much. It’s so hard not to be sad and the only thing I think will get me through the day is I can almost feel her behind me whacking me, saying “get on with it”.’ 

Lynda died in her husband Michael’s arms in hospital yesterday, as the advanced state of her illness meant she was unable to die at home as she had wished.

The 66-year-old star, best known for her long-running role as a mother in the Oxo TV adverts, had been battling colon cancer, which later spread to her lungs and liver, since being diagnosed in July last year.

The actress revealed earlier this year that she had decided to end her treatment to limit the amount of suffering her family would have to witness.

Scroll down for video 

Coleen Nolan (second from left) struggles to hold back the tears as tributes are paid to Lynda Bellingham on Loose Women this morning

Coleen Nolan (second from left) struggles to hold back the tears as tributes are paid to Lynda Bellingham on Loose Women this morning

Coleen broke down as the panel heard from Lynda's close friend, Christopher Biggins, who said: 'Lynda was marvellous'

Coleen broke down as the panel heard from Lynda’s close friend, Christopher Biggins, who said: ‘Lynda was marvellous’

Actress Lynda Bellingham, pictured on a show recorded 12 days ago, died in her husband's arms yesterday after a battle with cancer

Actress Lynda Bellingham, pictured on a show recorded 12 days ago, died in her husband’s arms yesterday after a battle with cancer

She said she wanted to have some control back over the remainder of her life after being left desperately ill by the gruelling chemotherapy sessions.

In a statement on behalf of Bellingham’s family, her agent, Sue Latimer, said this morning: ‘Lynda died peacefully in her husband’s arms yesterday at a London hospital.

‘Her family would like to thank the nurses and staff for their tremendous care and support. Actor, writer and presenter – to the end Lynda was a consummate professional.’ 

Husband Michael Pattemore later told Yours magazine, for which his late wife was a columnist: ‘She was in too much pain and they didn’t have it under control enough for me to be able to look after her.’  

He told the magazine’s writer Carole Richardson he wanted people to remember her as an actress rather than a ‘celebrity’ or Loose Women panellist.

Fighting back tears, he added: ’She started her career as an actress and never thought of herself as a celebrity. She’s always been an actress.’

‘I can tell you now that the words on her gravestone will be “The curtain went up on May 31 1948, and the final curtain went down on October 19 2014″.’

After being inundated with messages of support, her son Michael Peluso later tweeted: ‘Thank you everyone! Your love and compassion is overwhelming’, followed by a picture of a broken heart.

There were emotional scenes on Loose Women today as presenters paid tribute to their former colleague.

Jane Moore said: ‘Every picture I have ever seen her she has got a big cheesy grin on her face.’

The show also spoke to Lynda’s friend, actor Christopher Biggins, who fought back the tears as he told of the moment he found out about her death. 

Her tragic death came just 11 days after she returned for one final appearance on TV show Loose Women with presenters Coleen Nolan (left) and Janet Street-Porter (right), which will be screened on Wednesday

Her tragic death came just 11 days after she returned for one final appearance on TV show Loose Women with presenters Coleen Nolan (left) and Janet Street-Porter (right), which will be screened on Wednesday

Coleen - whose sister Bernie lost her battle with breast cancer last year - broke down in tears on the show recorded just over a week ago as she asked Lynda how she'd like to be remembered. Lynda told her: 'Please don't cry... it will be fine.'

Coleen – whose sister Bernie lost her battle with breast cancer last year – broke down in tears on the show recorded just over a week ago as she asked Lynda how she’d like to be remembered. Lynda told her: ‘Please don’t cry… it will be fine.’

Her return to the pre-recorded show also brought tears to the eyes of her husband, Michael, who sat in the audience

Her return to the pre-recorded show also brought tears to the eyes of her husband, Michael, who sat in the audience

Mr Biggins said: ‘[Her husband] Michael phoned me at about 4.30 yesterday and said he had some bad news. He said “it’s going to be 48 hours”.

‘I thought I would see her on my way home but two hours later he rang me again to say she had gone.’

But Mr Biggins said he was determined to remember the jokes Lynda told, adding: ‘I will remember the laughter, the joy of being with her’. 

The show also heard from Jane McDonald, who appeared on the panel show with her, and praised her widower Michael.

She told the show he had ‘been unbelievable throughout this whole experience, he has been a rock’.

Lynda died peacefully in her husband’s arms yesterday at a London hospital.
Her family would like to thank the nurses and staff for their tremendous care and support.
Actor, writer and presenter – to the end Lynda was a consummate professional

Speaking about her former co-star, she said: ‘She would be mortified if we were all sad and weeping and wailing because Lynda was the fun, fabulous amazing person.’

The announcement of Lynda’s death came just days 11 days after 66-year-old Lynda made a return to TV show to film one final appearance, which is set to be screened on Wednesday.

She had joined Coleen Nolan and Janet Street Porter to discuss her decision to stop chemotherapy two weeks ago.

Coleen – who lost her sister Bernie to breast cancer last year – cried as she asked Lynda how she would like to be remembered.

Lynda replied: ‘Just as an honest person,’ and told Coleen: ‘Please don’t cry… it will be fine.’

In a candid interview, she said: ‘As a society, we never talk about [death], we never face it – even though it’s everywhere. We must talk about death.’ 

The actress’s husband, Michael, was among the audience during filming and he was also moved to tears by his wife’s bravery.

Bellingham’s decision to end her treatment was revealed in a newspaper serialisation of her forthcoming autobiography in which she said she would like to see one last Christmas. 

She said: ‘The decision to give up chemo was a huge relief because I took back some control of myself. It’s there on the table if I want it.

‘I don’t want the boys or my husband to see me die a little sad old lady. I want to go out there as I am.’ 

She said she wanted her autobiography to be ‘uplifting’, adding: ‘I wrote the book for everybody out there. It’s not supposed to be an embarrassing account of me having terminal cancer.

‘I wanted to write it for everybody who is given that curveball and say of course there are no answers but, if you can, take it and make it positive and talk about dying.

‘If two people read this book and think “Actually, that’s how I feel and I’m not on my own”, then I’ll have done something half decent.’

Writing in The Mail on Sunday last month, she said: ‘I would love to make one more Christmas, if possible, but I want to stop taking chemo around November in order to pass away by the end of January.’

Lynda's agent said this morning that she died with husband Michael by her side in a London hospital yesterday

Lynda’s agent said this morning that she died with husband Michael by her side in a London hospital yesterday

Within minutes of her death being announced, celebrities took to Twitter to pay tribute to the star, with Phillip Schofield tweeting: ‘RIP Gorgeous Lynda Bellingham xx’ 

Actor Simon Pegg, who starred with the actress in 1990s TV show Faith In The Future, said: ‘Lynda Bellingham, a gorgeous, brassy, funny, generous, talented human being. My first TV mother figure and a treasured friend.’

Actress and presenter Amanda Holden wrote: ‘So devastated to hear the news about the beautiful Lynda Bellingham.’ 

I’m determined to hang on until Christmas. If my quality of life fades after that, I want to be able to open the box, make a choice and stop the chemotherapy 
Lynda Bellingham speaking two weeks ago

Kirstie Allsopp said: ‘Lynda Bellingham, she was an inspiration, she so wanted to make it to Christmas, if you’re working towards that, don’t give up hope.’

Fellow presenter Ben Shephard said: ‘So so sad to hear that the gorgeous Lynda Bellingham has passed away. She was just wonderful to be around and will be sorely missed.’

Presenter Kaye Adams, who worked on Loose Women, said Bellingham was ‘an incredibly courageous person’.

Kaye Adams told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: ‘She just had such an energy and a dynamism and you were just always pleased to see her and always felt she was pleased to see you, which is a fabulous thing to be able to do. She always left you feeling better about life.’

She added: ‘I think a lot of people will be thinking of her so fondly this morning and thinking, God, Lynda, you are incredible.’

Bellingham was asked recently how she would like to be remembered and said she wanted to be thought of as an honest person.

Adams said: ‘That’s one of the many ways that she will be remembered. Honest, generous, kind, courageous, intelligent, thoughtful, all of those things.’

Bellingham, who took part in the 2009 series of Strictly Come Dancing, was also a panellist on ITV show Loose Women in recent years. 

Co-stars and celebrities took to Twitter this morning after news of the actress's tragic death emerged

Co-stars and celebrities took to Twitter this morning after news of the actress’s tragic death emerged

Lynda died in the arms of her husband Michael (pictured together) with whom she celebrated receiving an OBE, presented by Prince Charles,
Lynda died in the arms of her husband Michael with whom she celebrated receiving an OBE, presented by Prince Charles (pictured)

Lynda died in the arms of her husband Michael (pictured together, left) with whom she celebrated receiving an OBE, presented by Prince Charles (right)

Lynda on the day she was awarded her OBE, with (left to right) sons Michael and Robert, husband Michael and step-son Bradley

Lynda on the day she was awarded her OBE, with (left to right) sons Michael and Robert, husband Michael and step-son Bradley

In a special farewell episode of the ITV show, which is yet to air, she received a standing ovation from the audience.

She also presented a number of other programmes, following an acting career which saw her star in dramas such as At Home With The Braithwaites and The Bill.

Lynda’s most famous role in the Oxo adverts kept her on British TV screens for almost two decades.

The actress was diagnosed with colon cancer little over a year ago, which later spread to her lungs and liver.

She fought her cancer in the open – appearing on television and radio talking about her illness and her decision to stop her treatment. 

The actress and presenter insisted death should be confronted and discussed and made it her mission to transform it into a ‘positive’ thing. 

Bellingham’s Loose Women co-presenter Nadia Sawalha, who appeared alongside Lynda in the Oxo adverts, also paid tribute to a ‘brilliant actress.’

She told ITV show Lorraine: ‘We’re just all heartbroken because her real, her last wish was that she would spend this Christmas with her family.

‘Anyone that knew Lynda and knew her well, knew that she was this absolute live wire. She would come into a room and light the place up. Everybody loved her.

‘She got me my first ever job on the Oxo ads… I played her son’s girlfriend in it and then we worked together on (TV series) Second Thoughts. She played my sister’s mum

Lynda rose to fame playing Helen Herriot in All Creatures Great And Small, alongside co-stars Robert Hardy and Christopher Timothy (pictured)

Lynda rose to fame playing Helen Herriot in All Creatures Great And Small, alongside co-stars Robert Hardy and Christopher Timothy (pictured)

But she is perhaps best known  as the mother in the Oxo adverts - which appeared on TV for two decades

But she is perhaps best known as the mother in the Oxo adverts – which appeared on TV for two decades

Nadia Sawalha added: ‘And we all absolutely adored her because she was, in that true sense of the word, the actress. She loved it, she had none of that pretending that she didn’t. She’d go, ‘Darling, the adoration, I adore it! The audience!’ That was really her, she had no shame with that.

‘She was a brilliant actress and she moved me to tears many times. She will be so, so sorely missed by so many of us.’ 

She said that Bellingham told her fellow Loose Women panellists: ‘Please when I’m gone, have a big party for me and have a dance’ and that’s Lynda though and through.’

She was a life-force. She was funny, she was loyal and she was talented
All Creatures Great And Small co-star Christopher Timothy

Loose Women issued a statement on its Twitter feed, saying: ‘Our thoughts go to Lynda Bellingham’s family at this incredibly sad time and to all those whose lives she touched so deeply, as she did ours.’

Belllingham’s co-star from All Creatures Great And Small Christopher Timothy said: ‘She was a life-force.

‘She was funny, she was loyal, she was talented, that’s without doubt. She was a great mum, she was a real friend and on-set she was ‘one of the boys’ really.

‘She was naughty and funny. We’ve all been expecting it but it’s so unjust that she didn’t make her last Christmas as was her intention.’

He told BBC Breakfast: ‘It’s extraordinary… because her honesty and her up-frontness was exactly what one knew and exactly what one expected, but it made it more painful.

‘It’s this thing where people state things as they are rather than trying to colour it in any way, it’s so much more moving and painful.’

Lynda in a 1983 Oxo advert alongside on-screen daughter Alison Reynolds, on-screen husband Michael Redfern and on-screen sons Jason Norman and Nicholas Stroud

Lynda in a 1983 Oxo advert alongside on-screen daughter Alison Reynolds, on-screen husband Michael Redfern and on-screen sons Jason Norman and Nicholas Stroud

Lynda pictured, left, in 1976 when she appeared in 'Yus My Dear'
Lynda also took part in the 2009 series of Strictly Come Dancing

Lynda (pictured, left, in 1976 when she appeared in ‘Yus My Dear’) also took part in the 2009 series of Strictly Come Dancing (right)

Lynda fronted a number of campaigns after telling of her experiences of the issue during her marriage to Nunzio Peluso, an Italian businessman.

Sharon Evans, from charity Dot Com Children’s Foundation, said her close friend Lynda went on trying to help people right up until her death.

She said: ‘It is incredibly sad that Lynda Bellingham, who was my dear friend and patron of our charity, died so young.

‘I met Lynda during a police campaign against domestic violence 12 years ago and she went on to help me launch the Dot Com Learning programme.’ 

She added: ‘The programme helps prevent children from suffering violence and abuse and Lynda was passionate about children being safe having seen how her own children were affected by the violence.

‘She was a powerful children’s champion and she went on trying to help people right until the end. We loved her very much.’

Star who won nation’s heart as beloved Oxo advert mother – but Lynda Bellingham joked ‘no half respected actor’ would have taken the role

In a career which spanned five decades, Lynda Bellingham – best known as the ‘Oxo mum’ thanks to the long-running series of adverts – was loved for her frank and funny style.

She was born Meredith Lee Hughes in Montreal, Quebec, on May 31, 1948, but her unmarried mother was forced to give her up due to a strict Jewish family and she was adopted by a British couple, Donald and Ruth Bellingham.

She only discovered the truth about her past when in her teens and she later said that a desire to be loved led her into acting, as it created in her a need to please audiences.

She was born in Canada before moving to Buckinghamshire at a young age and studying drama in London

She was born in Canada before moving to Buckinghamshire at a young age and studying drama in London

She studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama before landing a series of roles in theatre, film and TV
She studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama before landing a series of roles in theatre, film and TV

She studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama before landing a series of roles in theatre, film and TV

She got her first taste of stage success at school before going on to study at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London.

Starting out on the stage, one of her first appearances came in the Crewe Theatre Company’s production of Lysistrata in 1970.

She then moved into television, with one of her first big roles coming as Hilda Price, a nurse in the ITV soap General Hospital.

The Oxo role for which she will be best remembered was given to her in 1983 and she became a regular on British TV screens for decades as the wholesome middle-class gravy-making matriarch.

The mother-of-two once joked that while no ‘half respected actor’ would have considered the role, it had afforded her a ‘nice house, and school for her children’.

One of Lynda's first TV roles was in 1972 when she played Hilda Price, a nurse in the ITV soap General Hospital

One of Lynda’s first TV roles was in 1972 when she played Hilda Price, a nurse in the ITV soap General Hospital

She later appeared as the lead role in the 1996 series Faith in the Future, alongside Julia Sawalha (second from right), whose sister would later join Lynda on the Loose Women panel

She later appeared as the lead role in the 1996 series Faith in the Future, alongside Julia Sawalha (second from right), whose sister would later join Lynda on the Loose Women panel

In one of her more recent parts, she starred as in a lead role in a West End production of Calender Girls

In one of her more recent parts, she starred as in a lead role in a West End production of Calender Girls

She also starred as Helen Herriot in All Creatures Great And Small, alongside Christopher Timothy, who described the actress as ‘a real friend’.

She took the title role in sitcom Faith In The Future, and on stage, has appeared at the Old Vic and the Royal Court and in the West End production of Calendar Girls.

Her first marriage, to film producer Greg Smith, fell apart due to his series of affairs and her second, a 16-year marriage to Italian restaurateur Nunzio Peluso with whom she had two sons, Michael and Robbie, was abusive.

She later campaigned against domestic violence was awarded an OBE in 2013 for her charity work.

In 2008 she married her third husband, mortgage broker Michael Pattemore, who has since been described as ‘her rock’.

Lynda talks to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall talks, at a Barnado's charity reception in May 2010

Lynda talks to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall talks, at a Barnado’s charity reception in May 2010

The following year she appeared in the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, but was voted off on her fourth appearance.

She also tracked down her birth mother in Canada and spoke to her on the phone, but was left heartbroken when her birth mother died in 2012.

Lynda was touring while performing in the play A Passionate Woman when she announced her cancer diagnosis in 2013.

At first, she seemed optimistic about her future, but revealed in September this year that she had only months to live because the cancer had spread.

Her autobiography, called There’s Something I’ve Been Dying To Tell You, was published just 10 days ago. 

FOURTH BIGGEST KILLER WORLDWIDE: COLON CANCER LIKE THAT WHICH CLAIMED THE LIFE OF LYNDA KILLS SOMEONE EVERY 32 MINUTES IN THE UK 

Of all cancers, bowel cancer is the fourth biggest killer worldwide, causing on average 694,000 deaths each year.

It claims a life every 32 minutes in the UK and more than 80 per cent of cases occur in people aged 60 or over, such as Lynda Bellingham.

She had been diagnosed with colon cancer little over a year ago, which later spread to her lungs and liver.

The spread of the cancer – known as metastasis – is very often what ends up killing the cancer patient.

Despite her diagnosis, Lynda remained positive and insisted death should be confronted
Despite her diagnosis, Lynda remained positive and insisted death should be confronted

Despite her diagnosis, Lynda remained positive and insisted death should be confronted

Metastasis is when cells from a tumour separate from it, find their way into the lymph system or the bloodstream, and spread throughout the body.

Particular types of tumours often spread to particular organs – in bowel cancer patients, it tends to be the liver.

This can disrupt the delicate balance of chemicals and salts in the body – with fatal consequences.

When cancer spreads to the lungs, there is eventually insufficient healthy tissue to absorb oxygen.

Or, explain scientists at UC Santa Barbara, the cancer can block off part of the lung. This area may collapse and become infected, which can lead to death.

Appearing on ITV’s This Morning two weeks ago, Lynda discussed how chemotherapy had affected her.

Lynda, pictured with her friends from Loose Women, said it was a relief to end chemotherapy and 'take back control of her life'

Lynda, pictured with her friends from Loose Women, said it was a relief to end chemotherapy and ‘take back control of her life’

She said: ‘There’s no getting away from it with chemo – the ulcers in your throat, the thrush, plus the fact I’d had major, life-saving surgery for a perforated colon. When you’re in terrible pain, you make decisions.’

She told hosts Phillip Schofield and Amanda Holden: ‘I want my husband and children to see me off happy, contented. So I put the chemotherapy in a box.

‘In this box, I could stop the chemotherapy after Christmas – I’m determined to hang on until Christmas.

‘If my quality of life fades after that, I want to be able to open the box, make a choice and stop the chemotherapy.’

She said before this, she’d had no control over the decision – but had struggled with the idea of refusing treatment offered. ‘I don’t want to look ungrateful,’ she explained.

 

Xmas Holidays

Wrap Roll Call

Day 66 – We’re now one-third of the way to christmas!  Inventory your holiday giftwrap and
supplies. Do you have enough of what you need? What are your favorite gift wrap tips and techniques?

___ Paper rolls
___ Gift bags (paper or fabric)
___ Tissue paper
___ Gift boxes
___ Tape
___ Ribbons
___ Bows
___ Gift tags and labels
___ Gift card holders or boxes

Visit us on the 100 Days to Christmas Facebook page.

<!–

–>

Christmas Trees

Is this the most shaming hospital care scandal ever? Dementia patients restrained and their broken limbs ignored by swearing staff who claimed an exposé by desperate relatives was a breach of their human rights

  • Elderly patients at an NHS hospital in Rhyl were left covered in faeces
  • Hospital chiefs ignored protests by relatives about loved ones’ treatment
  • Truth emerged only when relative smuggled in a mobile and made secret recording
  • Independent report says there was ‘institutional abuse’ at Glan Clwyd Hospital
  • Report suggests number of patients died as a direct result of staff treatment

By

Simon Walters for The Mail on Sunday


Published:
16:31 EST, 18 October 2014

|
Updated:
06:19 EST, 19 October 2014

One of Britain’s most shocking hospital scandals in which dementia patients died after cruel abuse by nurses is exposed today. Elderly patients at an NHS hospital were left covered in faeces, injured themselves crawling on urine covered floors and were physically restrained with tables and chairs.

Nurses threatened and swore at them, left them naked and taunted them about their past love lives.

Hospital chiefs ignored repeated protests by relatives but were forced to act after a recording on a mobile phone camera smuggled into the hospital proved they were telling the truth.

Elderly patients at an NHS hospital were left covered in faeces, injured themselves crawling on urine covered floors and were physically restrained with tables and chairs (File photo)

Elderly patients at an NHS hospital were left covered in faeces, injured themselves crawling on urine covered floors and were physically restrained with tables and chairs (File photo)

The recording – the explosive contents of which have been obtained by this newspaper following an in-depth investigation – shows that nurses at a patient care meeting:

  • Admitted using furniture to restrain patients
  • Threatened and swore at them
  • Plotted to sabotage relatives’ complaints
  • Talked about their own sexual habits using disgusting language

An independent report into the scandal, including extracts from the recording, has been sent to police, health chiefs and Government Ministers. One senior figure who has seen it said: ‘It is the most shocking document I have ever read.’

The report says there was ‘institutional abuse’ and suggests a number of patients died as a direct result.

Relatives’ harrowing accounts of the horrific maltreatment of loved ones were backed up by NHS whistleblowers who witnessed the abuse but had been too scared to speak out, until now.

The new scandal centres on the Tawel Fan dementia ward of the Glan Clwyd Hospital in Rhyl, North Wales. The ward was closed last year, when patients were transferred and some staff suspended.

The Ablett unit which houses the Tawel Fan ward has been shut and is now under police investigation

The Ablett unit which houses the Tawel Fan ward has been shut and is now under police investigation

An independent inquiry was ordered by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) which runs the hospital, and as a result of that, police were called in earlier this month to investigate.

The BCUHB said it was ‘truly sorry to have let patients and their families down so badly.’ Chairman Peter Higson said the ‘deeply disturbing allegations’ would be ‘thoroughly investigated.’

Det Insp Lisa Surridge of North Wales police said they would study ‘documents and other material to establish evidence of criminality’.

Under new laws announced after the Mid-Staffordshire care scandal, doctors and nurses found guilty of ‘wilful neglect’ face a prison sentence of up to five years.

Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb last night called on the Labour-run Welsh Government, which runs hospitals in the Principality to ‘get a grip’. He said: ‘I am shocked and appalled that this should have been going on in an NHS hospital in Wales. The scale of neglect and unprofessionalism uncovered is deeply troubling.

‘The Welsh Health Minister in Cardiff needs to get a grip on this and ensure that failings like this simply cannot happen again in Wales. The people of Wales deserve the very best of the NHS.’

The expose is the latest in a series of scandals concerning the appalling treatment of dementia patients in which clandestine recordings have been used to reveal the truth.

Until now, most have involved care homes, some of which are run privately. The Glan Clwyd scandal is the first major dementia expose in an NHS hospital where a hidden camera has been involved.

It comes a week after health watchdogs the Care Quality Commission said nine in ten care homes and hospitals in the UK fail dementia patients. A separate CQC report on Friday said that four in ten NHS hospitals were unsafe.

The new scandal centres on the Tawel Fan dementia ward of the Glan Clwyd Hospital in Rhyl, North Wales 

The new scandal centres on the Tawel Fan dementia ward of the Glan Clwyd Hospital in Rhyl, North Wales 

A long-term Mail on Sunday investigation into Glan Clwyd provides new, and arguably the most graphic evidence of the appalling – and in some cases fatal – abuse of vulnerable elderly people in the NHS.

Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb last night called on the Labour-run Welsh Government, which runs hospitals in the Principality to ‘get a grip'

Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb last night called on the Labour-run Welsh Government, which runs hospitals in the Principality to ‘get a grip’

The key role played by the mobile phone recording will intensify a growing debate about the use of hidden cameras to protect people in hospitals and old people’s homes. The CQC said last week it plans guidelines for relatives who want to use them spy on NHS staff.

The Glan Clwyd camera, smuggled in after complaints of abuse had been brushed aside, recorded a nurses’ shift ‘handover’ meeting, where the new shift is briefed on patients, and developments or incidents. The secret recording shows foul-mouthed nurses treating patients and relatives with contempt. One shouted: ‘Don’t you f***ing dare’ at an agitated elderly man.

Others referred to a patient having a ‘f*** of a bruise’ and his ‘whole a*** cheek’ being swollen.

Another said a patient’s wife ‘doesn’t give two f***s. I spent hours managing [her husband’s] pain.’ One female nurse talked of ‘shagging’.

The independent report says the recording shows staff displayed a ‘lack of compassionate care, used coarse language extensively and were completely unprofessional in their attitude to and description of vulnerable patients.’ Saying ‘don’t you f***ing dare’ to a patient was unjustified aggression.

When the nurses found out about the secret recording, they glibly expressed their outrage on open Facebook pages and in text messages, claiming their ‘human rights’ had been breached.

The report says one male patient had ‘a painful and swollen elbow due to constantly crawling on dirty floors where other patients had urinated and had their bowels opened.’

Nurses laughed at the daughter of that patient when he choked on ice cream. The daughter says in the report: ‘I said, “Oh my god, he’s choking.” The response was, “Don’t be so bloody silly, tell your daughter she’s being stupid.”

The patient was moved to a nursing home but the report suggests the hospital’s failure to treat his problem with swallowing, or tell the nursing home about it, may have been fatal. He died shortly after arriving in the home and the death is the subject of an investigation.

A grief-stricken relative said: ‘It’s too late for our brother, but while I have breath in my body I will fight to stop anyone else suffering the way he did on that ward.’

Many relatives complained patients were covered in urine and faeces – and that staff refused to wash them. One said: ‘I told a senior nurse staff were mopping up urine off the floor with patients’ own towels. She said she’d come and speak to me, but she didn’t.’

Relatives of an incontinent woman said: ‘She was frequently very smelly – we constantly asked why wasn’t she bathed daily – they said they were too busy.’

Another family said the smell of their relative was ‘so horrendous we couldn’t sit by him. We asked them to wash him and they brought him back with faeces down his leg. We had to get baby wipes and do it ourselves.’

The British Medical Association warned last month that the NHS in Wales faced ‘imminent meltdown’

The British Medical Association warned last month that the NHS in Wales faced ‘imminent meltdown’

Two daughters were horrified to find their father naked on the floor, having slipped on a pool of urine.

A daughter was shocked to find her father with his ‘head cut and a flap of skin hanging down.’ She said: ‘I was told it had been caused by dad banging his head against a wall with his glasses on.’

One visitor reported a patient ‘wandering around the garden with her bottom on display,’ adding: ‘When I informed two nurses sitting in the TV lounge, they did not look at me or speak.’ Another relative said: ‘As the number of patients went up, fractures, black and blue faces, arms and legs went up.’

A nurse recalls seeing a patient ‘slapped’ by a colleague – as other staff turned a blind eye. Senior medics tried to cover it up.

An NHS whistleblower said a senior doctor barked at her: ‘I don’t want any more complaints landing on the desk, you know what I mean?” After a heated row, the whistleblower made a formal complaint – and was accused of ‘overreacting.’

The report concludes: ‘The culture on the ward resulted in institutional abuse.’

BMA: NHS in Wales faces ‘meltdown’

The British Medical Association (BMA) warned last month that the NHS in Wales faced ‘imminent meltdown’ costing patients’ lives, with waiting times at record levels, death rates outstripping the rest of the UK and ambulance and GP services in crisis.

The health service in Wales is separate from NHS England and is run by the Labour-controlled Welsh Assembly, which has been accused of making cuts of £500million.

The BMA called for an urgent independent inquiry after it emerged that the service has failed to meet A&E waiting targets for the last five years, while waiting times for cancer treatment are far longer than in England.

In August, more than 1,000 patients had to wait at least 12 hours to be seen by a doctor in A&E, up 25 per cent in a month.

The BMA’s Dr Phil Banfield said: ‘The NHS in Wales is facing imminent meltdown. It is time for an urgent independent review.’

A Welsh Assembly spokesman denied the ‘meltdown’ claim and said: ‘The majority of people receive excellent care.’

Xmas Holidays

Good lord, Mrs Hughes, it says here you can… Create your very own Downton! From butler’s bells to the Earl’s four-poster bed.. how you can give YOUR house the official Downton Abbey At Home makeover!

By

Chris Hastings for The Mail on Sunday


Published:
18:13 EST, 18 October 2014

|
Updated:
06:06 EST, 19 October 2014

Downton Abbey's producers have approved an official selection of merchandise 

Downton Abbey’s producers have approved an official selection of merchandise 

It’s not the sort of news likely to go down well with Downton Abbey’s stern butler Carson, or the formidable housekeeper Mrs Hughes.

But now absolutely anyone can live a life of splendour that echoes the Crawley family’s.

The show’s producers have approved an official selection of merchandise – called the Downton Abbey At Home range – inspired by life both above and below stairs.

The range includes more than 250 individual items of furniture, clothing, jewellery and accessories – and even features a four-poster bed of the type the Earl of Grantham and his wife Cora share.

Fans can replicate the exact look of their favourite character, or create their own version of Lady Mary’s boudoir, Carson’s pantry or the Abbey’s great library. 

The range has prices to suit every pocket, from a set of servants’ keys for £12 to a lavish rug priced at £2,250.

The collection – a mix of original items and specially sourced products – is the brainchild of entrepreneur Joanna McKerlie. She said: ‘I’m an avid Downton fan and I have watched every episode of the show since its launch.

‘I was wondering what I would work on next and it suddenly occurred to me at four in the morning. I thought, “Oh my God, Downton Abbey.” It was my eureka moment. 

Now my job involves watching every episode again so I can gush at the mahogany dressers and the valet stands.’

Here we show some of the items Downton fans can buy from downtonabbeyathome.com.

Ask not for whom the bell tolls... in Downton Abbey it’s always for Mr Carson
This is a fully working replica of the bell which the family’s faithful butler must answer day and night. There’s no guarantee he’ll answer this one, though

Butler bell is just the ding: Ask not for whom the bell tolls… in Downton Abbey it’s always for Mr Carson. This is a fully working replica of the bell which the family’s faithful butler must answer day and night. There’s no guarantee he’ll answer this one, though

Lady Rose (Lily James) is rarely without her pearls
Fans can replicate the look with this elegant necklace

Pearly queen of Grantham: As an icon of flapper style, Lady Rose (Lily James) is rarely without her pearls. Fans can replicate the look with this elegant necklace – it’s what every floorflusher (dancer to you or me) is wearing at these newfangled jazz joints…

The four-poster king-size mahogany bed is the place for pillow talk between the Earl and his wife Cora
This replica is being sold on the website

Cora! What a bed! The four-poster king-size mahogany bed is the place for pillow talk between the Earl and his wife Cora – even if they’ve got a none-too-discreet cameraman eavesdropping… You’ll need the right covers, too: the bedspread costs £399 and the pillows £65. Supply your own marital bliss

Dashing Viscount Gillingham plied Lady Mary with bubbly as he wooed her
Now you can get as drunk as a lord with this Cumbrian crystal champagne glass. Cut-glass accent not included

A touch of glass: Dashing Viscount Gillingham plied Lady Mary with bubbly as he wooed her, but felt flat after her rejection. Now you can get as drunk as a lord with this Cumbrian crystal champagne glass. Cut-glass accent not included

The stately home’s walls and floors are covered with lavish rugs, drapes and carpets from across the globe
This Corcoran rug is based on a carpet that sold for $34 million at Sotheby’s

Cut a rug: The leading ladies of Downton always dress to impress, but even they can be upstaged by some of the elaborate furnishings in the house. The stately home’s walls and floors are covered with lavish rugs, drapes and carpets from across the globe. This Corcoran rug is based on a carpet that sold for $34 million at Sotheby’s

Beautiful Lady Mary has dinner, basking in the glow of a magnificent five-branched silver candelabra
Now you can have your own stately centrepiece for the table, though this one is aluminium, with an antiqued silver finish

Flaming ’eck! Beautiful Lady Mary has dinner, basking in the glow of a magnificent five-branched silver candelabra. Now you can have your own stately centrepiece for the table, though this one is aluminium, with an antiqued silver finish

Lord Grantham stands next to a sculptured griffin that acts as a door-stop and boot-scraper
Perhaps he would prefer this sculpture of a lurcher on a plinth, one of a number of pieces inspired by the family’s passion for dogs

Heel, boy! Lord Grantham stands next to a sculptured griffin that acts as a door-stop and boot-scraper. Perhaps he would prefer this sculpture of a lurcher on a plinth, one of a number of pieces inspired by the family’s passion for dogs. The collection also includes a £40 solid silver dog whistle

Even incognito on a trip away from Downton to savour a tryst with Viscout Gillingham, Lady Mary stays ahead of the latest fashion with stylish hats
The range includes this burgundy hat and designs inspired by Lady Rose and Lady Edith

Keep it under your hat: Even incognito on a trip away from Downton to savour a tryst with Viscout Gillingham, Lady Mary stays ahead of the latest fashion with stylish hats. The range includes this burgundy hat and designs inspired by Lady Rose and Lady Edith

Formidable housekeeper Mrs Hughes always carries her set of keys
This key bunch is for sale on the website for £12

House-key-ping! Formidable housekeeper Mrs Hughes always carries her set of keys. And they proved vital as she got into parlour-maid Edna’s room and there found a book on contraception, to prove the scheming girl was lying about being pregnant by Branson

Lady Edith looked elegant in her nightress as she settled down in bed, even on the night when she almost lost her life after she absent-mindedly threw a book into the fire
Hopefully you’ll enjoy rather more pleasant dreams of Downton in this silk satin nightdress and robe set

Edith’s (red hot) nightie: Lady Edith looked elegant in her nightress as she settled down in bed, even on the night when she almost lost her life after she absent-mindedly threw a book into the fire. Hopefully you’ll enjoy rather more pleasant dreams of Downton in this silk satin nightdress and robe set

 

Xmas Holidays