Freddie Mercury, original name Farrokh Bulsara, was one of the most beloved British rock singers of all time. Born to Parsi parents who had emigrated from India to Zanzibar, Freddie Mercury and his family would move once again in 1964 when Zanzibar became part of the independent country of Tanzania. It was in his new… Continue reading Refugee Week: Freddie Mercury
DNA testing within ancestry research is a useful tool in providing a scientific answer to our geographical origins. Although interesting, it doesn’t replace the personal details found in a paper trail, as I discovered when researching my family history. My own initial search was over 10 years ago but had stalled at an 1837 marriage record with the surname Conteto. This was the year when legislation was passed for the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths. I found additional information in the Decennial Census records, a useful source where 1841 to 1911 is currently available and with 1921 due to be added next… Continue reading My Refugee Ancestors
Even if you don't know who Sir Alec Issigonis is, you're almost certainly familiar with his work. The son of a Greek merchant, Sir Alec immigrated to London during the war between Greece and Turkey in 1922. He joined Morris Motors in 1936. While there he developed the Morris Minor, the first all-British car to… Continue reading Refugee Week: Sir Alec Issigonis
As parents and educators, we are often uncomfortable about sharing the “big topics” with our young children. Sometimes we want to protect them from sadness, or from situations that we feel that they do not need to know about. Young children do not generally have the life experiences to understand what might be happening in the world around them, but… Continue reading Refugee Week: Celebrating Refugee Week with Preschoolers
Ian Fleming (1908-1964) is the author behind one of the most successful characters of popular fiction, James Bond. Ian Fleming was born into a family of wealth and position. He was the grandson of a banker and the son of a Conservative MP. Before becoming a thriller writer, Fleming worked as a journalist (in Moscow),… Continue reading Who was Ian Fleming?
Eric Carle, the author and illustrator of the children's classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has died at the age of 91. Carle was born in New York in 1929. In 1935 he and his family moved back to his father's native Stuttgart which was then part of Nazi Germany. His father was recruited to the… Continue reading Eric Carle, The Very Brilliant Author
This year's Mental Health Awareness Week theme is 'Nature'. Nature is a central part of our physical and psychological health, and a greater connection to the world around us can really help to improve our overall wellbeing. Nature is a great resource for a mentally healthy future, and it turns out that how we open… Continue reading Let’s read about nature for Mental Health Awareness Week 2021!
"What you looking at?" Life has been hard in the pandemic. Everything became harder. Anxiety made everyday tasks such as getting the bus to work, meeting friends or going to shops, that much harder to do. Depression didn't help. It's hard to find pleasure in life when so many of the things you find pleasure… Continue reading Mental Health Awareness Week: Bird Watching
This year's Mental Health Awareness Week is all about connecting with nature. One great way to connect with nature and improve your wellbeing is by walking. Here are some of the great walks in our borough that will help you discover, explore and enjoy some our beautiful parks and green spaces and historic sites. Celandine… Continue reading Mental Health Awareness Week: Connect with Nature through Local Walks
Inspired by our talk with Jonny Benjamin and Britt Pflüger about The Book of Hope, Mark looks at things that give him hope. There's a wonderful line in a Josh Ritter song, Thin Blue Flame, that says "you need faith for the same reasons that it's so hard to find." Later in the same song… Continue reading Mental Health Awareness Week Things that give me hope