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Thailand

Mar 16, 2014   //   by Nicholas Milton   //   Blog  //  No Comments

I’m currently taking a course at Stratford College on writing for newspapers and magazines. Each pupil was asked to write a feature on a specialist subject. This is Thailand by Richard-Neil Weatherhead.

Thailand, a backpackers paradise and the hedonistic capital of the world. A place that can pull you in and spit you back out again just as fast if you’re not paying close enough attention. From its stunning topical islands and beaches to its bustling cities, adventure lurks around every corner. It is the ultimate escape, everything you have heard about Thailand is probably true. There are an unlimited amount of places to explore and stories to be told. So when my friend Rory mentioned that he was going there for his scuba divers license, I knew that I couldn’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity to tag along and see it all for myself. READ MORE

A child’s war

Mar 16, 2014   //   by Nicholas Milton   //   Blog  //  No Comments

I’m currently taking a course at Stratford College on writing for newspapers and magazines. Each pupil was asked to write a feature on a specialist subject. This is A child’s war by Teresa Foot.

The media have recently been focusing on this year’s anniversary of the beginning of the WW1. Nostalgia, reminiscences, historical analyses and photographic reminders have all been on display, and rightly so. This reminds me of my own memories of WW2.  Coincidentally, at the same time, my granddaughter’s teacher asks for my help. She wants me to go into school to talk to the children about my memories. I agree and it is arranged.

I have to prepare. I am used to addressing adult audiences, but children are something else. I start by jotting down some memories: the lack of food, the cold, the dark, the fear, the normality of it all, as I knew no other life. I decide that for this session a bit of action is better than a thousand words, so I trawl the internet for recordings of air raid warning sirens, aircraft noise and all clear sirens. As I listen my stomach knots up with a permanently imprinted fear reaction from seventy-two years ago. Once again I am a frightened little girl, dragged sleepily out of bed to go and crouch in a Morrison shelter, with the steady hum of aircraft passing overhead. I didn’t know it at the time, but they are on their way to bomb elsewhere, not my house. READ MORE

Keep calm and carry on

Mar 16, 2014   //   by Nicholas Milton   //   Blog  //  No Comments

I’m currently taking a course at Stratford College on writing for newspapers and magazines. Each pupil was asked to write a feature on a specialist subject. This is Keep calm and carry on by Diana Humphries

You would have to have had your head buried in the sand lately to have missed seeing this phrase, emblazoned as it is on everything from tea-towels to tote-bags. A gentle poke of fun at just how busy our lives have become as we all endeavour to do more, have more, ‘be’ more. But amusing as it may be, there are those of us for whom it presents a crueller message as we attempt daily to mask the mess inside and show the world that we are sailing serenely and successfully through life and all that it throws at us. It is now estimated that over 9 percent of the adult UK population suffer from mixed depression and anxiety at any one time, and that of that figure more than 60 percent are women. READ MORE

The great sugar debate

Mar 16, 2014   //   by Nicholas Milton   //   Blog  //  No Comments

I’m currently taking a course at Stratford College on writing for newspapers and magazines. Each pupil was asked to write a feature on a specialist subject. This is the Great sugar debate by Abi MacFarlane.

Sugar is now public enemy number one. A number of years ago fat hit the headlines as the source of all evil and soon after eggs were in the firing line. Only 2 a week the guidelines screamed out unless you want high cholesterol and ultimately a heart attack of course whilst on 40mg of statins, the wonder drug. Dame Sally Davies (the chief medical officer) now wants a tax on sugar and whilst too much of the white stuff has been linked to diabetes, heart disease and increased tooth decay taxation is a lazy way of attempting to solve what is a much more complex problem. Proposed Taxation will be at 20% taking a Mars bar from 60p to 72p and a can of coke from 65p to 78p. And Davies has said that higher taxes is an effective way to control the consumption of these products. If only this was true. READ MORE

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I am a marketing and communication consultant with over 20 years experience. I organise events, develop websites and promote businesses using traditional and social media. I am also a successful freelance journalist and have been published in the Daily Telegraph, Independent and Guardian.

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