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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.

Results are in: the Great Big Christmas Toy Test

The cheaply priced and incredibly simple loom band friendship bracelet has won
the hotly contested Good Housekeeping Great Big christmas Toy Test.

First sold in 2011, the loom band craze really hit the stratosphere this year,
so it’s no surprise that at just £9.99, and with an impressive score of
84/100, the Loom Twister Friendship Loom Bands Set (age 6-12) is this
Christmas’ most desirable toy, beating off more expensive hi-tech gadgetry
from the likes of Furby Boom, Transformers Chomp And Stomp Grimlock and
Teksta T-Rex.

Requiring a specialist team who truly understand what it takes for a toy to be
tops, the Good Housekeeping experts enlisted the help of more than 100
pupils from Harefield Junior School in Hillingdon to put this year’s
predicted top toys through their paces, testing them to find their and Good
Housekeeping’s official top 10.

Christmas Trees

How Michael Payne’s life slipped into despair,family reveals 

  • Michael Payne, 45, was found dead by police at his home in Maidstone, Kent
  • His daughter Sarah was abducted and killed by paedophile Roy Whiting
  • The former airport worker had turned to drink in the aftermath of his loss
  • Brother Alan said: ‘Mike was in a downward spiral since it all happened’
  • Dad Terrance said son was tortured because ‘he wasn’t there to protect her’
  • His daughter Charlotte Payne wrote: ‘I’m sorry I couldn’t save you dad’
  • Sarah’s death eventually led to the introduction of ‘Sarah’s Law’ in 2011 

By

Martin Robinson for MailOnline


Published:
04:50 EST, 31 October 2014

|
Updated:
09:34 EST, 31 October 2014

The grieving 45-year-old father of murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne died alone in his armchair after being driven to drink and despair by the death of his daughter.

Michael Payne struggled with alcoholism after the abduction of his eight-year-old daughter in July 2000, and was found dead at home in Maidstone, Kent, by police on Monday.

His brother Alan, 47, believes ‘he was in a downward spiral since it all happened with Sarah’ and their father Terrance, 72, says his son was tortured by ‘the fact he wasn’t there to protect her’.

Kent Police broke down the door of his flat because his family had been unable to contact him and MailOnline understands his body had been there for several days.

Broken man: Michael Payne, who died at 45, was tortured by the murder of his daughter Sarah and his life spiralled into chaos and alcoholism, his family said today 

Tragedy: Mr Payne was found in his first dead in an armchair of his first floor flat in Maidstone, pictured

Forced entry: Kent Police confirmed to MailOnline that they had to break in to the flat where they found Mr Payne dead. The entrance has been boarded up

Forced entry: Kent Police confirmed to MailOnline that they had to break in to the flat where they found Mr Payne dead. The entrance has been boarded up

Michael’s schoolgirl daughter was snatched by paedophile Roy Whiting from a field near her grandparents’ home in West Sussex, where she was playing with older brothers Luke and Lee and younger sister Charlotte.

Mr Payne spoke of his battle with depression in the aftermath of the ordeal, when he suffered recurring nightmares and used alcohol to cope with her death.

He and wife Sara ended their 18-year marriage three years after the disappearance and both blamed the ‘overwhelming’ strains of coping with their tragic loss. 

After the divorce Mike, as he was known to his family and friends, moved from West Sussex to Maidstone to be near his family, especially his mother Cynthia and brother Alan.

Alan, 47, said: ‘We are all in a state of shock. Michael has been in a downward spiral since it all happened with Sarah.

‘When he split up with Sara and moved back here he was already a drinker.

‘But I suppose then it got a lot worse. We still haven’t identified the body and my mum is too devastated to see him. 

‘I hadn’t seen Michael for a few months so I didn’t know he was sick. My mum is in pieces because it is one tragedy after the other. First Michael loses his daughter and now my mum loses a son.

‘No one should be alive to see their child die. It is a nightmare.’

Cruel: Sarah's death tore eventually led to their end of her parents' marriage, pictured here at her funeral

Cruel: Sarah’s death tore eventually led to their end of her parents’ marriage, pictured here at her funeral

Sarah and Michael hug after their daughter's murder. Mr Payne's father Terrance, Sarah's grandfather, left, is seen here supporting them at Littlehampton Police Station. He says his son was overwhelmed by guilt

Sarah and Michael hug after their daughter’s murder. Mr Payne’s father Terrance, Sarah’s grandfather, left, is seen here supporting them at Littlehampton Police Station. He says his son was overwhelmed by guilt

Michael’s father Terrance said: ‘He turned to drink because of what happened, for the fact he wasn’t there to protect her.

‘After the incident we all went downhill a bit, but we managed to pull ourselves together whereas Michael really struggled. We all knew Mike had demons but it’s sad it has come to this.

He added: ‘I hadn’t spoken to him since the last Friday of September. I had agreed to speak to him the next week but there was no answer.

‘I kept calling and leaving answerphone messages but never heard anything.

‘Eventually the phone was cut off, so we knew something was wrong and we called the police.

‘The police broke their way into his flat, and found him sitting there in his chair. We don’t know exactly what he died of, but we think it was drink-related’. 

Terrance, who lives with second wife Lesley in Gunnislake, Cornwall, added the family felt bitter that Michael had died while jailed Whiting, 55, would one day walk free.

He said: ‘It’s terrible that Whiting will one day see the outside of a prison, when he has left so much destruction in his wake.

‘Paedophiles never get cured, Whiting had done this once before and was left to walk free’.  

Michael Payne and his then wife made a series of heart-rending appeals for her safe return, but her body was discovered 16 days later in a shallow grave just a few miles away. 

Sara and Michael pictured together at their Surrey home. Mr Payne has died following a long battle with alcoholism

Sara and Michael pictured together at their Surrey home. Mr Payne has died following a long battle with alcoholism

Message: Sara Payne spoke through her friend Shy Keenan and thanked people for their support after the death of her ex-husband

Message: Sara Payne spoke through her friend Shy Keenan and thanked people for their support after the death of her ex-husband

His daughter Charlotte Payne posted this heartfelt tribute to her father on Facebook 

His daughter Charlotte Payne posted this heartfelt tribute to her father on Facebook 

Charlotte Payne's tribute to her father on social media states he will 'always be my daddy'

Charlotte Payne’s tribute to her father on social media states he will ‘always be my daddy’

Neighbour Ivy Holohan, 82, said: ‘When the police knocked on my door they said there was a bit of a problem I said what’s that and they said it was about Michael.

‘I wondered what was happening but they boarded the doors up now. It was a shock, a shame really.’

Another neighbour who asked not to be named said: ‘You didn’t see him out anywhere.

‘He used to drive a mini-bus for an OAP community scheme, I think. People knew who he was and his terrible past. We all felt so sorry for him bit he didn’t mix with any of us in the block to be honest.

‘It’s an absolute tragedy. He clearly never got over what happened – who would?

Roy Whiting was convicted of murdering schoolgirl Sarah Payne in 2000.

Roy Whiting was convicted of murdering schoolgirl Sarah Payne in 2000.

‘It’s awful for it to end that way. It’s the rest of his children you feel sorry for now.’

Whiting, who had served a previous prison sentence for assaulting a young girl, was given a life sentence for her murder in 2001.

Messages of support poured in for the family, who have spoken publicly about the devastating consequences of Sarah’s murder at the hands of paedophile Roy Whiting.

A senior police officer who worked on the initial investigation into Sarah’s disappearance said Mr Payne was ‘a good man who battled with demons’.

Martyn Underhill, now the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, said: ‘I was honoured to have known him.

‘But all he ever wanted to do was to see his daughter again. When Sarah went, it destroyed Michael as well.’

Referring to the turmoil her family suffered, Sarah’s sister Charlotte, now 19, said on Facebook: ‘I’m sorry I couldn’t save you dad. I hope you have finally found your peace and happiness.

‘Heartbroken to say the least. No matter what happened and how many mistakes we all made. You will always be my daddy.’ Her older brother Lee, 27, a personal trainer, wrote: ‘Dad, you had your demons and troubles but you had a good heart … I hope now you have found peace at last. You will be missed. We are all heartbroken.’ 

Speaking in 2003, Mrs Payne said: ‘We know we’re not the same people we once were – and everyone knows the awful reason why.’

Mr Payne said: ‘I’ve a lot of anger and bitterness inside me. I’m full of guilt and rage that I wasn’t there to protect my little girl.’

The former airport worker later admitted the couple had violent rows after he turned to drink as a way of coping.

He was given a community order by magistrates after he admitted punching his estranged wife during an alcohol-fuelled row in 2005.

And he was jailed for 16 months in 2011 after pleading guilty to glassing his brother Stephen following a session of heavy drinking when they both consumed several litres of cider. 

The court heard he was tormented by losing his daughter.

Sarah’s mother, 45, went on to campaign for a change in legislation to allow parents to know if convicted child sex offenders live nearby, known as Sarah’s Law.

She has been awarded an MBE and an honorary doctorate for her work and told recently how it had given her ‘much-needed focus’ amid the grief and her severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mrs Payne also suffered a stroke in 2009 which has left her walking with the assistance of a stick.

Yesterday her fellow campaigner Shy Keenan said Mrs Payne was grateful for the public’s support, adding: ‘Sara thanks you all (more than she can say right now) for your love, kindness and understanding at this very painful time in their lives.

‘Sara wants to be left alone to care for her grief-stricken family.’

Kent Police are not treating Mr Payne’s death at his flat in Maidstone as suspicious. An inquest is expected to be opened next week.

CAMPAIGN FOR SARAH’S LAW: SCHOOLGIRL’S DEATH CHANGED BRITAIN

Sara and Michael Payne pictured outside Lewes Crown Court following the conviction of Whiting

Sara and Michael Payne pictured outside Lewes Crown Court following the conviction of Whiting

In December 2001, Roy Whiting was sentenced to life in prison with a recommendation that he never be released after a jury found him guilty of the abduction and murder of Sarah Payne.

After his conviction was entered, the court heard he had a previous conviction for the kidnap and indecent assault of a nine-year-old girl.

The jury, who had been unaware of the previous sex conviction, were told Whiting had been sentenced to four years in jail for the sex attack in June 1995.

Revelations Whiting already had a history of child abuse prior to the killing of Sarah prompted a national debate about how paedophiles are dealt with in the justice system.

Mr and Mrs Payne began actively campaigning for a law change, piling pressure on ministers to allow people to know about convicted paedophiles living in their area.

In the wake of Whiting’s sentencing, Mrs Payne said: ‘The Government only can make this decision. Right now, we have got a lot of work to do and it doesn’t stop here. It just begins. You know what change I want, Sarah’s Law.’

The rule, eventually introduced in 2011, allows concerned parents or grandparents to contact police to find out if a new boyfriend, or a neighbour, who has contact with a child, has a history of child sex offending.

The scheme is a watered-down version of similar laws in the U.S. under which details of where convicted paedophiles live are actively publicised.

In 2008, Mrs Payne was awarded an MBE for her tireless campaigning on the issue.

 

Xmas Holidays

How murderers, robbers and arsonists take photos with banned phones

  • Photos of murderers, robbers and thieves on Facebook show prisoners are flouting rules prohibiting cellphone use
  • Prisoners have uploaded selfies inside their cells, pictures with other prisoners or even snack food and drinks
  • The pictures reveal a life of luxury where prisoners are entertained by TV, Playstations and Champions League football

By

Corey Charlton for MailOnline


Published:
04:01 EST, 31 October 2014

|
Updated:
09:12 EST, 31 October 2014

These shocking images show how easy it is for prisoners to take photographs of themselves inside jail and share them with friends, boasting about the luxuries they enjoy inside – even though mobile phones are supposed to be strictly banned inside prison.

Dozens of photos uploaded to Facebook show prisoners boasting of a cushy prison lifestyle with access to TVs, gaming consoles and gyms, while eating food that includes curries, kebabs, birthday cakes and crisps.

Despite being imprisoned for heinous crimes that include murder, robbery and arson, inmates are able to easily smuggle in smartphones and thumb their noses at authorities as they post updates and photos of themselves from the comfort of their jail cells.

One example is Sonny Barker, 20. Barker was jailed for eight years after he held a mother and daughter at knifepoint during a burglary. But last year the serial offender managed to smuggle a phone into his cell at HMP Rochester in Kent to show off his cushy surroundings.

In pictures posted on Facebook, he posed with cellmate Korrel Kennedy – a former Jean Paul Gaultier model jailed for chasing a man with a knife and threatening hospital staff.

The images show the two of them posing in their underpants, flexing their muscles and joking with each other in front of a TV, Playstation 2 and mini-fridge.

Korrel Kennedy and Sonny Barker, pictured together in the prison shower block
Sonny Barker shows off his muscles in a picture taken inside his prison cell

Left, prisoners Korrel Kennedy and Sonny Barker are pictured together in a jail shower block. Right, Sonny Barker shows off his muscles in a picture taken inside his prison cell

Sonny Barker and his prison pal Korrel Kennedy (pictured together right) clowning around in their underpants in prison. Left, Barker and two others pose together - pointing at their muscles
Sonny Barker and his prison pal Korrel Kennedy pictured clowning around in their underpants in prison

Sonny Barker and his prison pal Korrel Kennedy (pictured together right) clowning around in their underpants in prison. Left, Barker and two others pose together – pointing at their muscles

Further images of Sonny Barker show him again flexing his muscles and posing for photos alongside other prisoners
Further images of Sonny Barker show him again flexing his muscles and posing for photos alongside other prisoners
Further images of Sonny Barker show him again flexing his muscles and posing for photos alongside other prisoners

 Further images of Sonny Barker show him again flexing his muscles and posing for photos alongside other prisoners

Four days ago it emerged brutal murderer Jamie Bain sent smirking selfies from his prison cell to several women just weeks after marrying his childhood sweetheart.

Bain, 30, was sentenced to life with a minimum of 22 years after he gunned down former boxing champion Alex McKinnon at the Marmion pub in Edinburgh in 2006.

The killer sent pictures of himself next to a rack of expensive trainers while enjoying home comforts like television and a music system inside his cell at Shotts prison in Lanarkshire.

Bain was sent to jail for bursting into the Edinburgh pub and producing a double-barrelled sawn-off shotgun concealed down his trouser leg.

He was wearing an ice hockey mask when he shot Mr McKinnon’s brother-in-law James Hendry before firing at the 32-year-old former boxer as he turned to flee.

Bain married his long-term fiancee in prison in July but continued to send the photographs - where he poses beside expensive trainers, a television and a music system - to a string of different women
Bain married his long-term fiancee in prison in July but continued to send the photographs - where he poses beside expensive trainers, a television and a music system - to a string of different women
Bain married his long-term fiancee in prison in July but continued to send the photographs - where he poses beside expensive trainers, a television and a music system - to a string of different women

Bain married his long-term fiancee in prison in July but has continued to send photographs – where he poses beside expensive trainers, a television and a music system – to a string of different women

In 2010, arsonist Brendan Rawsthorn used a smuggled mobile phone to post updates on Facebook boasting of a life playing computer games, drinking homebrew and enjoying sleep-ins.

On the page he described himself as a ‘down to earth jail bird’ who is ‘doing time for the Queen! Making Money!’.

The HMP Wolds prisoner, who was jailed in 2006 for starting a fire at a Lancashire builder’s merchants that caused £200,000 damage, was subjected to a police investigation after the pictures surfaced.

Rawsthorn is serving an indeterminate sentence for public protection on November 24, 2006 for offences of arson, criminal damage and assault.

Left, arsonist Brendan Rawsthorn pictured himself relaxing in prison in 2010. Centre, Kane Barratt is photographed with two others at Lancaster Prison in 2009. Barratt was part of a gang that went on a crime spree, committing sixteen serious crimes in six weeks. Right, a picture of convicted murderer Zac Malavin, who is serving time in prison for the murder of Andrew Curran

It was in 2009 that Kane Barratt, then aged 20, posted shots of himself with fellow prisoners from inside Lancaster Prison. The photos, which surfaced on Facebook, showed him posing alongside two other people, all of whom were shirtless.

It sparked outrage from his victim Paul Dillon, who said he was ‘absolutely appalled’ that security was so poor that Barratt was able to use a phone.

Mr Dillon was watching TV at home with his wife when Barrat and three others burst in wielding machetes and held a knife to his throat as they stole his car. He was jailed for a minimum of five-and-a-half years.

Murderer Jamal Dyce was jailed for life in 2008 for the stabbing of Philip Armstrong. But late last year he posted photos on Facebook of himself larking around in HMP Gartree, in Leicester.

In the posts, he boasted of drinking alcohol, how he ‘bulks up’ in the gym and watches football matches behind bars.

Dyce was jailed for a minimum of 12 years in 2008 for stabbing to death labourer Philip Armstrong in a fight over a mobile phone.

In one photo, the killer can be seen being lifted up by a man he calls ‘Dog’. And in a string of Facebook posts – all posted via mobile phone – Dyce boasts about watching Champions League football and Match of the Day on TV, tucking into a beef curry and going to the gym.

Jamal Dyce, pictured in images he uploaded to the internet from prison, is serving time for stabbing a man to death
Jamal Dyce, pictured in images he uploaded to the internet from prison, is serving time for stabbing a man to death
In a string of Facebook posts - all posted via mobile phone - Dyce boasts about watching Champions League football and Match of the Day on TV, tucking into a beef curry and going to the gym

Jamal Dyce, pictured in posts he uploaded to the internet from prison, is serving time for stabbing a man to death

Pictures of Jamal Dyce show him larking around with others at HMP Gartree, Leicester. In posts on Facebook, he boasts of eating curry and watching Champions League football and Match of the Day
Pictures of Jamal Dyce show him larking around with others at HMP Gartree, Leicester. In posts on Facebook, he boasts of eating curry and watching Champions League football and Match of the Day

Pictures of Jamal Dyce show him larking around with others at HMP Gartree, Leicester. In posts on Facebook, he boasts of eating curry and watching Champions League football and Match of the Day

Liam Whitnell is serving a life sentence for stabbing a 24-year-old man in front of his family.

But in photos posted on Facebook earlier this year, the killer showcases a life of luxury that includes him being served a birthday cake, chatting on his phone and a kebab and soft drink.

The killer is also pictured speaking on the phone in a cell that boasts a stereo, a games console and cupboard full of DVDs.

As well as sharing photos of himself, he posted a picture of the birthday cake and a kebab and soft drink he supposedly had delivered to celebrate his 31st birthday at Wandsworth Prison.

Whitnell, of Stepney, east London, was jailed for a minimum of 24 years in 2013. Along with three other accomplices he had attacked Kowshar Hussain with knives and a wheel brace in 2011 – in what a judge described as the killing of a ‘totally innocent family man’.

A birthday cake to celebrate Whitnell's birthday in prison
Liam Whitnell pictured inside prison
A kebab and soft drink Whitnell claimed he had delivered to himself at prison

Liam Whitnell posted these images online despite serving a life sentence. As well as a pic of himself (centre), he also photographed a brithday cake (left) and kebab and soft drink (right)

Inmates at Wandsworth Prison are also pictured flouting rules forbidding mobile phones in jail

Inmates at Wandsworth Prison are also pictured flouting rules forbidding mobile phones in jail

Thief Adam Ghali posted an astonishing ‘review’ of Camp Hill Prison on the Isle of Wight in a series of Facebook posts in 2009.

He claimed he was on a ‘holiday’ for the Queen Majesty and it was a five star resort with ‘ensuite facilities’ – but wifi coverage ‘leaves a lot to be desired’.

Photos accompanying the posts showed Ghali posing shirtless with pictures of scantily clad women covering the wall behind him. 

Ghali was serving an 18 month prison sentence at the time after he burst into a newsagent and threatened staff before escaping with hundreds of pounds in cash.

And notorious British gangster Domenyk Noonan made a mockery of prison rules in 2009 when a photo surfaced of him nonchalantly grinning from the confines of his high security prison cell.

Prison officials reportedly launched an investigation after it was revealed he was updating his Facebook page from the cell. Noonan, who has since changed his name by deed poll, was serving a a nine year sentence for gun possession at Frankland Prison in County Durham.

Adam Ghali, pictured in his Frankland Prison cell in 2009. He joked that the prison was like a five star hotel with 'ensuite facilities'
Ghali was serving an 18 month prison sentence at the time he took this photo

Adam Ghali, pictured in his Frankland Prison cell in 2009. He joked that the prison was like a five star hotel with ‘ensuite facilities’

A photo of British gangster Domenyk Noonan during his time in Frankland Prison, grinning happily as he poses for the camera

A photo of British gangster Domenyk Noonan during his time in Frankland Prison, grinning happily as he poses for the camera

Killer Dale Done posted half naked selfies from behind bars. Like many others before him, he boasted of his easy life drinking, taking drugs and playing computer games.

Done was jailed for eight years in 2009 when he admitted to causing the death of his best friend Daniel Harding, 17, after he crashed a stolen car in Liverpool.

After three years he was released on parole, but breached his licence conditions and was jailed again.

Dale Done, who admitted causing the death of his best friend Daniel Harding
Dale Done, who admitted causing the death of his best friend Daniel Harding

Dale Done, who admitted causing the death of his best friend Daniel Harding, posted these images and boasted of the easy life in prison

In 2012 a shocking set of photos emerged showing teenage murderer Liam Ryan in a jail cell packed with rows of toiletries and snack food.

Ryan, 21, was serving a life sentence at a young Offenders’ institute in Brinsford for the murder of Birmingham shopkeeper Suppiah Tharmaseelan, a father-of-four.

But in a series of photographs – illicitly taken because inmates are not allowed mobile phones, computers or cameras in their cells – Ryan is seen making gangster salutes and showing off his possessions.

One image shows row after row of toiletries such as shampoo and body soaps – stacked neatly next to a TV and Playstation 2. Another image shows a table full of junk food. He is also photographed posing for the camera.

Liam Ryan in a photo taken inside a young offenders' institute in Brinsford, where he is pulling signs and pointing at the camera
Liam Ryan in a photo taken inside a young offenders' institute in Brinsford, where he is pulling signs and pointing at the camera

Liam Ryan pictured in photos taken inside a young offenders’ institute in Brinsford, where he pulls signs and points at the camera

A picture of toiletries reportedly uploaded to Ryan's Facebook page
A picture of snack food reportedly uploaded to Ryan's Facebook page

Also uploaded to his Facebook page was a photo of rows and rows of toiletries (left), and a table full of food and snacks (right)

There is also mobile phone footage purportedly taken of footballer Lee Hughes whilst in Featherstone Prison in 2005.

Hughes, who spent three years in prison for causing death by dangerous driving, can be seen smiling at the camera, dancing to music and continually sticking his fingers up to the camera to the enjoyment of fellow inmates.

And two years ago prisoner Luke Anderson managed to get hold of a mobile phone and posted a slew of tweets about his ‘holiday’ behind bars.

He contacted friends, telling them: ‘I’m on twitter facebook watsapp and bbm [talk] to me #jails easy’.

Despite vowing never to return to jail again once he was released, Anderson described his life as being on ‘Costa del Haverigg’.

His friend who asked him: ‘How are you on Twitter in jail’ before adding: ‘I’m going to write a letter of complaint to HMP Haverigg for this, it’s terrible!’.

When approached for comment regarding the rules of mobile phone use in prisons, a Prison Service spokesperson said: ‘We have made clear that it is totally unacceptable for prisoners to access social networking sites or instruct others to do so on their behalf.

‘Prisoners should not be in any doubt – if they break the rules they will be stripped of their privileges and could face further disciplinary action.’

A series of images purported to be of footballer Lee Hughes in Featherstone Prison show him laughing and smiling
A series of images purported to be of footballer Lee Hughes in Featherstone Prison show him laughing and smiling
A series of images purported to be of footballer Lee Hughes in Featherstone Prison show him laughing and smiling

A series of images purported to be of footballer Lee Hughes in Featherstone Prison show him laughing and smiling. Hughes spent three years in prison for causing death by dangerous driving

Prisoner Luke Anderson boasted on Twitter of his jail time being like 'Costa del Haverigg'
Prisoner Luke Anderson's twitter page which was used in violation of prison rules

Prisoner Luke Anderson (pictured left) boasted on Twitter (right) of time in jail being like ‘Costa del Haverigg’ – a reference to the prison HMP Haverigg

 

 

Xmas Holidays

Pick & Mix

Thanks so much to those of you that joined in with last weeks challenge. Don’t forget to check back on Sunday for the winner and top 3.

Now onto this week’s challenge -



Pick & Mix
We  want you to choose 3 different embellishments from these choices - brads, pearls, gems, ribbon, lace, pins, snowflakes, flowers.  
Please don’t forget to tell us which three you’ve used.
and please remember christmas projects only. 

Our sponsor for this challenge is  
The Paper Shelter

And their prize is a $20 gift certificate to spend in their lovely online store.

Here’s the inspiration from the DT.  We always appreciate a visit so if you click the name you can hop over and leave them a comment and also find out if they have combined their challenge with any others, which could give you some ideas.

Karen
(using a Paper Shelter Image – Winter Princess)
(snowflakes, ribbon & gems)
Rebecca
(ribbon, pearls, snowflakes)

Pauline
(using a Paper Shelter Image – The Snowman)
(ribbon, pearls, flowers)

Deborah
(using a Paper Shelter Image – Are You Really My Friend)
(Pearls, Ribbon & Flowers)

Kelly
(pearls, ribbon & snowflakes)

Marie
using a TPS image  Holy Night
(pearls, lace, ribbon, snowflakes, flowers)

We all hope you are able to join us in our challenge this week. We look forward to visiting your blogs and seeing your gorgeous creations. Please be sure to post a link back to the Winter Wonderland blog in your blog post in order to be eligible for this weeks prize! Thursday evening (5pm GMT) is the deadline for your creation to qualify for the prizes.

So all that’s left is for you to get creative and leave your entry here with the blue frog so we can come and find you asap.

Have fun and remember you can enter each challenge up to 3 times.

Karen and the WW Teamies xxx


Christmas 2013

Furby that interacts with iPads is among ‘must-have’ Christmas toys

A furby
A furby 

Dan Hyde

By
Dan Hyde
, Consumer Affairs Editor

12:38AM GMT 30 Oct 2014

Loom bands, a gun that fires foam darts and a Furby that interacts with iPads
are the must-have toys this christmas, a survey has found.

Good Housekeeping magazine enlisted more than 100 pupils from Harefield Junior
School, Hillingdon, to test the toys expected to make the most popular
gifts.

The Furby, a soft, owl-like toy that learns to speak English as it “grows”,
is once again a favourite among children, the findings showed, rekindling a
Christmas craze that began in 1998.

The latest incarnation, the Furby Boom Crystal, came third in the tests, the
magazine said.

It costs £64.99 and has “a mind of its own”, makers Hambro
said, as it can interact with apps on an iPad or smartphone.

Children can wash and feed the Furby by placing the toy in front of an iPad
camera, which acts as a shower head or spoon. The Furby will say if the
water is too hot or the food unwanted.

This year’s toy, which is an updated version of a 2013 model, can also have
children, called Furblings, which cost £14.99 and can talk to their parent.
It came third in the Good Housekeeping Great Big Christmas Toy Test.

The children rated loom bands, the rubber bands that can be twisted into
bracelets, as the best toy on display.

The £9.99 Loom Twister Friendship Loom Bands Set was given a score of 84 per
cent by Good Housekeeping.

Caroline Bloor, consumer director at the publication, said: “It’s
refreshing to see that the inexpensive loom bands, a toy that children can
be creative with and doesn’t require batteries, is this year’s top toy.

“It has been trialled, tested and chosen by children for children, so
parents also won’t need to grapple with industrial-strength packaging or
complicated setup, which on a hectic Christmas day is a gift in itself.”

Another popular choice with both boys and girls was the Nerf Demolisher, which
scored 82 per cent. The gun, which costs £44.99, shoots foam missiles and
darts.

A full list of toys in the Good Housekeeping survey is available at
telegraph.co.uk.

Christmas Trees

BBC ‘lowers standards’ over way presenters say the letter ‘H’ 

  • One complains of ‘horrible, horrendous and harmful’ drop in quality control
  • Campaigners say the mistakes mark the beginning of a ‘slippery slope
  • Called on BBC to only hire presenters who can use language correctly
  • Queen’s English Society say world looks to BBC for right pronounciation

By

Sam Creighton for the Daily Mail


Published:
19:47 EST, 29 October 2014

|
Updated:
07:52 EST, 30 October 2014

The BBC was once known across the world for the precise elocution of its presenters.

But the corporation is now facing complaints that its staff are making basic errors in the use of English.

A number of viewers have pointed out that television personalities are increasingly pronouncing the letter ‘H’ as ‘haitch’ instead of ‘aitch’.

Viewers pointed to Sara Cox as one of a number of  BBC presenters who fail to pronounce 'H' in a correct way

Viewers pointed to Sara Cox as one of a number of  BBC presenters who fail to pronounce ‘H’ in a correct way

Appearing on Points of View, a programme which airs public concerns over BBC content, one branded the falling standards ‘horrible, horrendous and harmful’ while another urged the corporation to ‘educate your presenters’.

Points of View highlighted several instances of the BBC broadcasting mispronunciations of ‘H’, including an advert for the Children in Need Great British Sewing Bee, in which guest presenter Sara Cox makes the error, and another television appearance by Radio 1 breakfast host Nick Grimshaw who makes the same mistake.

Speaking yesterday, campaigners said such mistakes marked the beginning of a ‘slippery slope’ and called on the BBC to only hire presenters who use the English language correctly.

Points of View presenter Jeremy Vine said the programme had collected a ‘whole folder’ of complaints about the issue and two viewers appeared on the show to express their concerns.

June Binyon said: ‘Would the BBC please instruct their presenters and commentators on the correct pronunciation of the letter “H”. For example, when announcing a programme is to be in HD, they will say haitchD. This is not correct. Please BBC, educate your presenters.’

Radio 1 breakfast host Nick Grimshaw has also come under fire by BBC viewers over his English elocution 

Radio 1 breakfast host Nick Grimshaw has also come under fire by BBC viewers over his English elocution 

While Sharon Shepperd added: ‘I just cannot believe my ears that you, the guardian of the Queen’s English, is showing a television trailer where someone mispronounces the letter “H” as haitch. 

‘Surely, this should never have been allowed to air, it’s horrible, it’s horrendous and it’s harmful to the English language. Is this the thin end of the wedge?’

According to campaigners, such a decline in standards in the BBC’s use of English could have negative impacts across the world.

Gareth Hardwick, who recently stepped down as secretary of the Queen’s English Society, said: ‘With the BBC in particular, it is listened to by a worldwide audience and people for whom English is a second language look to the BBC for an example of what is good English.

‘There are a whole number of reasons why the BBC might choose to recruit someone onto its staff as a broadcaster and maybe the use of English should be one and BBC broadcasters should be people to aspire to good, correct English usage’.

Dr Bernard Lamb, the group’s president, added: ‘It is a problem because presenters can be quite influential, so a mistake that broadcasters start taking up is easily spread to the rest of the population.

‘I take the view that you have to be very careful about slippery slopes and if you let one or two things through it will encourage people to let even more things through and become slacker and slacker.’

A spokesman for the BBC said: ‘The BBC has won awards for its use of language and we are proud of the range of voices heard across our programmes.’

Xmas Holidays

Woking family reunited with Toby, after UK’s first reconstruction of dognapping

  • Family’s border terrier, Toby, was taken by motorist near their home
  • They launched huge campaign to track down the much-loved pet
  • The £4,000 search has seen banner flown over town trailed behind plane 
  • It also included a Crimewatch style reconstruction of dog being taken 
  • But today the family were reunited with their pet after he was found 
  • Toby was spotted playing on a field 80 miles from home in Kent 
  • Border terrier is now back at home with the family and begging for treats  

By

Jennifer Newton for MailOnline


Published:
14:58 EST, 29 October 2014

|
Updated:
07:44 EST, 30 October 2014

A missing dog whose devastated owners staged the UK’s first reconstruction of an animal crime have finally being reunited with their pet after it was found 80 miles away from the family home.

The Marsh family of Woking, Surrey, spent £4,000 by shooting a video reconstruction of the moment three-year-old border terrier Toby was snatched and even funded a fly-by banner featuring his name in a desperate attempt to be reunited with the pet.

They also launched a huge campaign on social media using the hashtag #FindToby, which was backed by tennis player Andy Murray, comedian Alan Carr and boyband One Direction.

Scroll down for video  

Lost dog Toby has been reunited with the Marsh family - including baby Pippa - after a huge search for him

Lost dog Toby has been reunited with the Marsh family – including baby Pippa – after a huge search for him

Toby back at the family home with owner Louise  Marsh after he was found after going missing for three weeks

Toby back at the family home with owner Louise Marsh after he was found after going missing for three weeks

The dog was found in a park after Mrs Marsh organised a huge campaign to find him on social media, arranged for a plane to fly a banner in the skies over her town and even staged her own Crimewatch-style reconstruction

The dog was found in a park after Mrs Marsh organised a huge campaign to find him on social media, arranged for a plane to fly a banner in the skies over her town and even staged her own Crimewatch-style reconstruction

However, today Louise Marsh received the call she never thought would come, when a vet’s surgery in Kent contacted her to say they had Toby.

And straight away Mrs Marsh jumped into her car and drove the 80 miles from her home to go and collect her pet, which had been found running around on a nearby field.

Mrs Marsh, 28, said: ‘I received a telephone call from a vet in Kent who said they had a border terrier who looked exactly like Toby.

‘They said he was fine and had been running around a nearby field playing with a Jack Russell, when a lady noticed him and took him to the vet.

‘I drove down there straight away and collected him and we only just brought him home earlier this evening.

‘He has been begging for treats ever since.’

The family said their three-legged rescue dog, Peggy, had been pining for Toby ever since he went missing

The family said their three-legged rescue dog, Peggy, had been pining for Toby ever since he went missing

The dog was taken to this vet surgery in Kent after being found playing on a nearby field. The surgery then called Mrs Marsh, who went to pick him up 

The dog was taken to this vet surgery in Kent after being found playing on a nearby field. The surgery then called Mrs Marsh, who went to pick him up 

Mrs Marsh, pictured spent £4,000 in a desperate bid to get her dog back, and even filmed a reconstruction of the moment the dog was snatched 

Mrs Marsh, pictured spent £4,000 in a desperate bid to get her dog back, and even filmed a reconstruction of the moment the dog was snatched 

 Toby, a pedigree animal, slipped out of the front door when Mrs Marsh was distracted by her six-month-old daughter, Pippa.

A local boy found the terrier and, suspecting he was lost, put him on a lead and started knocking on doors looking for the owner.

A man sitting in a nearby silver estate car overheard and offered to take Toby to a vet to see if there was an identifying microchip implanted under his skin. Toby, who was wearing a green suede collar, has not been seen since.

The man was aged between 40 and 50, with a bald or shaved head. He had a young boy sitting beside him in the car’s front passenger seat

Mrs Marsh, a vet, spent £4,000 in her campaign to find her border terrier, missing for three weeks.

A family have filmed a Crimewatch-style reconstruction of the alleged dognapping of their beloved pet. The film shows a youth hand the dog to a driver, who offered to take it to a vet. The dog has not been seen since

A family have filmed a Crimewatch-style reconstruction of the alleged dognapping of their beloved pet. The film shows a youth hand the dog to a driver, who offered to take it to a vet. The dog has not been seen since

A reconstruction of the moment Toby went missing in Woking has taken place in a bid to jog people's memory 

A reconstruction of the moment Toby went missing in Woking has taken place in a bid to jog people’s memory 

There were leaflets — 10,000 of them — and a campaign on social media, and a firm of pet detectives. 

At the weekend she staged a Crimewatch–style re-enactment of his theft to jog memories, and spent £650 to fly a banner appealing for information about her pet behind an aircraft circling her home town of Woking.

But now that Toby is back at home with Mrs Marsh and her husband Les, she says that every penny spent was worth it.

She explained: ‘One hundred per cent I would do it all again if he were to go missing.

‘It has been worth it, especially when I saw his face when I went to pick him up. I would have spent £10,000 if it meant getting him back.

The family even paid for a plane to fly over Woking with a banner in a bid to raise awareness of their search

The family even paid for a plane to fly over Woking with a banner in a bid to raise awareness of their search

As well as putting up posters, Mrs Marsh made video appeals and took to social media in a bid to find Toby

As well as putting up posters, Mrs Marsh made video appeals and took to social media in a bid to find Toby

She added: ‘Every time I see him now I just can’t believe he is back. I was always hopeful he would come back but as the weeks went on it looked less likely.

‘He is definitely getting to sleep upstairs in the bed with us tonight. He isn’t normally allowed but my husband said if we got him back he could so I am holding him to that!’ 

This week, campaigners at the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance called for anyone convicted of stealing a dog to be jailed for at least six weeks, after reports of the crime increased by more than a third over the past two years. 

In particular, ‘theft by finding’ is said to be on the rise — where people who claim to have innocently come across a dog demand money for its return.

From April 2016, all dogs will be required to have an identification microchip inserted under the skin, partly to combat such crimes. But already these chips are being removed by thieves.

Despite the huge scale of efforts to find the dog, the animal has not been handed into vets and remains lost

Despite the huge scale of efforts to find the dog, the animal has not been handed into vets and remains lost

Tom Watkins and Dawn Deeley take a break from putting up posters in Woking to help find missing dog Toby and chat to the pet's owner Louise Marsh 

Tom Watkins and Dawn Deeley take a break from putting up posters in Woking to help find missing dog Toby and chat to the pet’s owner Louise Marsh 

Xmas Holidays

Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore!”

Day 56 – Happy Halloween Eve! Visit your local library and check out a Halloween book or video. Gather your own Halloween craft books, picture books, and maybe even start a good thriller.  What are your favorite Halloween stories?

Visit the 100 Days to christmas Facebook page.

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Christmas Trees

Charles and Camilla begin tour of Colombia

  • The royals were handed a football shirt and snakeskin bag during reception
  • Charles looked particularly delighted with his gift, presented by Luis Bedoya 
  • Only other royal to have travelled to country is Princess Anne in 1997
  • Aim of trip is to ‘strengthen co-operation in fight against drugs and crime’
  • Charles will discuss work between UK and local anti-narcotics agencies
  • Also will be shown equipment and proceeds of crime seized from cartels

By

Rebecca English, Royal Correspondent In Bogota For Mailonline

and
Ruth Styles for MailOnline


Published:
20:11 EST, 28 October 2014

|
Updated:
05:18 EST, 29 October 2014

It’s a question that vexes even the most distinguished of hosts – just what do you give to a guest when that visitor happens to be royal?

Luckily for Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, diplomats had come up with the perfect solution: a football shirt for Prince Charles and a chic snakeskin bag for the Duchess of Cornwall.

The gifts were presented during a welcome reception at the British ambassador’s residence in Colombian capital Bogota,with Charles beaming delightedly as Luis Bedoya, head of the Colombian Football Federation, presented him with the shirt.

Scroll down for video 

Fit for a princess: The Duchess of Cornwall inspects a chic snakeskin bag during the reception

Fit for a princess: The Duchess of Cornwall inspects a chic snakeskin bag during the reception

Very nice: Camilla looks impressed as designer Mario Hernandez shows her the bag
Now try it on! Mr Hernandez persuades the royal recipient to give it a spin

Now try it on! After showing Camilla the bag, designer Mario Hernandez persuaded her to try it on

Is that for me? Charles looks delighted as he is presented with a Colombia football shirt by Luis Bedoya

Is that for me? Charles looks delighted as he is presented with a Colombia football shirt by Luis Bedoya

Earlier, the couple had been greeted by a guard of honour as they arrived at a rainy Bogota Military Airport, as well as dignitaries including the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Colombia, His Excellency Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby.

While Charles strode ahead to accept their welcome, Camilla gingerly made her way down the slippery plane stairs.

The tour, which has been dubbed ‘the Tequila Tour’ by some sections of the media, will focus on conflict resolution and is the first time senior members of the Royal Family have ever visited Colombia.

The only other royal to have travelled to the country is Princess Anne, back in 1997.

Charles and Camilla will tackle issues as diverse as the international drugs trade and violence against women during their four-day visit, requested by the Foreign Office.

Good stuff: A clearly delighted Prince Charles inspects the Colombia football shirt watched by Luis Bedoya

Good stuff: A clearly delighted Prince Charles inspects the Colombia football shirt watched by Luis Bedoya

Interest: Charles chats to Colombian artist Carlos Jacanamijoy (centre) after being presented with a book

Interest: Charles chats to Colombian artist Carlos Jacanamijoy (centre) after being presented with a book

Nice to meet you: Charles with champion cyclist Nairo Quintana (second left) during the reception

Nice to meet you: Charles with champion cyclist Nairo Quintana (second left) during the reception

Arrivals: Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall endured a wintry welcome as they arrived on a ground-breaking tour of Colombia tonight

Arrivals: Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall endured a wintry welcome as they arrived on a ground-breaking tour of Colombia tonight

Touching down by private jet in the rain-soaked capital Bogota, the couple have become the most senior members of the Royal Family to ever visit the conflict-ridden Latin American region
The only other royal to have travelled to the country is Princess Anne, back in 1997

Royal visit: Touching down by private jet in the rain-soaked capital Bogota, the couple have become the most senior members of the Royal Family to ever visit the conflict-ridden Latin American region

Making strides: While Charles strode ahead to accept their welcome, Camilla gingerly made her way down the slippery plane stairs
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrives into Bogota Military Airport

Making strides: While Charles strode ahead to accept their welcome, Camilla gingerly made her way down the slippery plane stairs

One of the key aims of Charles and Camilla’s trip to South America is to ‘strengthen co-operation in the fight against drugs and crime’.

Colombia has been home to some of the most violent, sophisticated and powerful drug trafficking organisations in the world since the 1970s.

Despite intensive government efforts, it is still the world’s largest producer of cocaine and during his four-day stay Charles will discuss co-operation between the UK and local anti-narcotics agencies with the country’s President, Juan Manuel Santos Calderon.

He is also expected to be shown some of the equipment and proceeds of crime seized from the powerful drugs cartels – including a submarine built to smuggle cocaine to the US, which was recently confiscated by police.

A source said: ‘The National Crime Agency has been working in Columbia for a number of years and our support for an input into that struggle has been valued by their Government.’

Guests of honour: President Santos and the First Lady will also put on an official welcome ceremony at Casa de Nano, the Presidential Palace, as well as a State Banquet in honour of the Prince and the Duchess
The Royal Couple are on a four day visit to Colombia as part of a Royal tour to Colombia and Mexico

Guests of honour: President Santos and the First Lady will also put on an official welcome ceremony at Casa de Nano, the Presidential Palace, as well as a State Banquet in honour of the Prince and the Duchess

History: For most of its 200-year history Colombia has been plagued by bitter unrest and for the past half century has been riven by the longest civil war on the globe
After fifty years of armed conflict in Colombia the theme for the visit is Peace and Reconciliation

History: For most of its 200-year history Colombia has been plagued by bitter unrest and for the past half century has been riven by the longest civil war on the globe

Discussions: During his four-day stay Charles will discuss co-operation between the UK and local anti-narcotics agencies with the country’s President, Juan Manuel Santos Calderon

Discussions: During his four-day stay Charles will discuss co-operation between the UK and local anti-narcotics agencies with the country’s President, Juan Manuel Santos Calderon

Welcome: The couple were greeted at the airport by a Guard of Honour and dignitaries including the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Colombia, His Excellency Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby

Welcome: The couple were greeted at the airport by a Guard of Honour and dignitaries including the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Colombia, His Excellency Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby

Itinerary: Charles and Camilla will tackle issues as diverse as the international drugs trade and violence against women during their four-day visit, requested by the Foreign Office

Itinerary: Charles and Camilla will tackle issues as diverse as the international drugs trade and violence against women during their four-day visit, requested by the Foreign Office

Also central to their busy tour programme in Bogota will be a Peace and Reconciliation ceremony to remember the victims of Colombia’s armed conflict, including a meeting with representatives from communities most affected by the fighting.

For most of its 200-year history Colombia has been plagued by bitter unrest and for the past half century has been riven by the longest civil war on the globe.

More than 250,000 people – many innocent civilians – have lost their lives as a result of fighting between left-wing guerrillas including the Farc (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and ELN (National Liberation Army), government groups and right-wing paramilitary forces, set up by wealthy landowners for protection. More than five million people are also believed to have been left displaced.

Key event: Central to their busy tour programme in Bogota will be a Peace and Reconciliation ceremony to remember the victims of Colombia’s armed conflict

Key event: Central to their busy tour programme in Bogota will be a Peace and Reconciliation ceremony to remember the victims of Colombia’s armed conflict

Return: Charles briefly visited Colombia in 1974 when he was an officer on HMS Minerva and will take part in the ceremony as Admiral of the Fleet

Return: Charles briefly visited Colombia in 1974 when he was an officer on HMS Minerva and will take part in the ceremony as Admiral of the Fleet

Many of these armed factions have financed their actions through kidnapping and drug trafficking. Paramilitaries from both side have also been accused of organising widespread massacre, torture and violent crime.

Just days ago, however, it was reported that talks between President Santos and Farc leaders had left the troubled country on the brink of an historic peace deal.

Other engagements in Bogota will focus on traditional arts and crafts, historical architecture, organic food and wool, trade and a celebration of the British Council’s 75th anniversary in Colombia.

The Duchess will also attend a high-level meeting for charities and Government representatives working on initiatives in the field of preventing sexual violence in conflict.

President Santos and the First Lady will also put on an official welcome ceremony at Casa de Nano, the Presidential Palace, as well as a State Banquet in honour of the Prince and the Duchess.

Timetable: Other engagements in Bogota will focus on traditional arts and crafts, historical architecture, organic food and wool, trade and a celebration of the British Council’s 75th anniversary in Colombia

Timetable: Other engagements in Bogota will focus on traditional arts and crafts, historical architecture, organic food and wool, trade and a celebration of the British Council’s 75th anniversary in Colombia

Breaking new ground: Colombian Ambassador Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby admitted that such a significant royal visit simply wouldn’t have been possible just a decade ago due to instability of the country

Breaking new ground: Colombian Ambassador Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby admitted that such a significant royal visit simply wouldn’t have been possible just a decade ago due to instability of the country

At a reception at the Ambassador’s residence last night, the Duchess, wearing cream silk and wool coat and dress by her go-to designer, Anna Valentine, was given a £1,500 handbag by a local Colombian designer.

Mario Hernandez made the grey snake-skin evening bag with Camilla’s name inscribed inside especially for the Duchess.

She declared herself delighted with the gift and promised to use it.

‘I have also given her a bag to take home for Princess Kate,’ he said.

Colombia is also one of the world’s most ecologically diverse countries, encompassing Amazon rainforest, tropical grassland and both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines.

Purpose: One of the key aims of Charles and Camilla’s trip to South America is to 'strengthen co-operation in the fight against drugs and crime'

Purpose: One of the key aims of Charles and Camilla’s trip to South America is to ‘strengthen co-operation in the fight against drugs and crime’

Cause: While in Columbia, the Duchess will also attend a high-level meeting for charities and Government representatives working on initiatives in the field of preventing sexual violence in conflict
The Duchess of Cornwall arrives at Bogota Airport, Colombia, on the first day of their tour to Colombia and Mexico

Cause: While in Columbia, the Duchess will also attend a high-level meeting for charities and Government representatives working on initiatives in the field of preventing sexual violence in conflict

Charles will take the opportunity to visit the breath-taking Macarena National Park in southern Colombia to witness some of its raw beauty for himself, before flying on to Cartagena where he will deliver the concluding speech at the Health of the Oceans international conference.

Other engagements in Cartagena include a sunset ceremony on board HMS Argyll, which is currently moored there. Charles himself briefly visited Colombia in 1974 when he was an officer on HMS Minerva and will take part in the ceremony as Admiral of the Fleet.

Colombian Ambassador Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby admitted that such a significant royal visit simply wouldn’t have been possible just a decade ago due to instability of the country.

But, he told Mail Online, while the country still had many problems to tackle, Colombia had ‘transformed’ itself.

‘At the turn of this century it [a royal tour] would have been a much more difficult proposition. I can’t pretend everything is marvellous now but the country has been transformed and is keen to show all it has to offer,’ he said.

Roll out the red carpet: Members of the Colombian armed services carry a red carpet across the runway before the royal party's arrival

Roll out the red carpet: Members of the Colombian armed services carry a red carpet across the runway before the royal party’s arrival

‘There is a very palpable degree of excitement about Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visiting. People are keen to get to know them better and show off the diversity of this wonderful country.’

On Sunday the prince and his wife will fly on to Mexico – a country Charles has visited four times previously – beginning their brief visit in Real del Monte.

The town is considered the birthplace of the historical relationship between the UK and Mexico, which began with Cornish miners who first arrived there from Falmouth in 1825 to help resuscitate the Mexican silver mining industry.

The couple will stop off at the Museo del Paste – or Pasty Museum – which celebrates the Cornish delicacy bought to the country by those UK-born adventurers.

Remarkably more pasties are sold in Mexico than in Cornwall – and the museum even featured in in episode of the Great British Bake Off last month.

Visit: The only other royal to have travelled to the Latin American region is Princess Anne in 1997. She is seen (above) on that visit smiling at two children dressed as clowns during a presentation in Cali's Club Noel hospital

Visit: The only other royal to have travelled to the Latin American region is Princess Anne in 1997. She is seen (above) on that visit smiling at two children dressed as clowns during a presentation in Cali’s Club Noel hospital

Three-day trip: Princess Anne is greeted by children at a Colombo-Britanico School in Cali in November 1997

Three-day trip: Princess Anne is greeted by children at a Colombo-Britanico School in Cali in November 1997

The royals will also view a colourful Day of the Dead festivity – a national public holiday in Mexico where families gather to pray and remember loved one who have died.

Charles and Camilla will mark the day themselves by visiting the Cornish cemetery in Real del Monte, which contains the only known British WW1 memorial in Mexico to a Cornish immigrant who died at the Battle of the Somme.

The royals will also visit Mexico City, Campeche and Monterrey during their four days in the country.

The Prince and the Duchess are looking forward to seeing the richly varied and beautiful environment of both countries and meeting the warm and welcoming people 
Simon Martin, Deputy Private Secretary to The Prince of Wales

In Mexico City, Their Royal Highnesses will receive an official welcome by the President and the First Lady at the Presidential Palace. Other events include a reception to promote collaboration between the UK and Mexico in the fields of education, science, culture and business.

In Campeche the couple will tour the Edzna Maya archaeological site, which dates back to 400BC.

The prince’s deputy private secretary, Simon Martin, said of the tour: ‘The Prince and the Duchess are looking forward to seeing the richly varied and beautiful environment of both countries and meeting the warm and welcoming people.

‘Their Royal Highnesses will undertake a broad range of engagements to promote the UK’s partnership with both Colombia and Mexico in key areas such as combatting climate change, improving trade and investment, creating youth opportunities, encouraging corporate social responsibility, preserving historical and cultural links and supporting victims of sexual and domestic violence. .

‘The fact that the British Government has asked them to accept these invitations now is a sign of the importance that it attaches to these two countries.’

Xmas Holidays

Volvo spotted at Heathrow Airport with rather eye-catching number plate E8 OLA

By

Daily Mail Reporter


Published:
17:48 EST, 28 October 2014

|
Updated:
05:10 EST, 29 October 2014

It’s certainly one way of ensuring the driver behind you doesn’t get too close.

Amid global panic, travel restrictions and plenty of controversy, most of us would probably be keen to steer clear of a car that reads ‘ebola’ – particularly at an airport.

Unfortunately for the owners of this Volvo, however, even their eye-catching registration plate wasn’t enough to empty the road ahead as they drove into Heathrow on Sunday with their suitcases piled high in the boot.

Travellers flying in to Heathrow from the affected African countries face screening measures which include a questionnaire followed by a medical examination and temperature check.

You would have thought that this car would have a clear passage into Heathrow Airport 

You would have thought that this car would have a clear passage into Heathrow Airport 

 

Xmas Holidays