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1. On Saturday July 4th America celebrates her Independence. (If you're not American, feel free to answer in terms of a national holiday in your own country) What is your favourite thing about the day? Your favourite food on the 4th? Do you fly a flag at your house? Fireworks-yay or nay? Any special plans this year?
This is complicated. I live in the United Kingdom. Before we became the United Kingdom we were known as Great Britain therefore I am British. But I can also call myself English as I was born in England. Due to my Dad’s heritage I could probably also call myself Welsh but that’s just another complication. Each country in the United Kingdom does have a national saint and those days are celebrated. However the celebrations are nothing compared to 4th July celebrations. England has St. George and St. George’s day is 23rd April. It is NOT a national holiday although some people are campaigning to make it one. Celebrating the day is a bit tricky. Over time there have been many influxes of foreigners to the UK. Consequently we are a very multi-cultural country, especially here in London. We have also become very politically correct. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but sometimes we go too far. There is now a very fine line between celebrating our national day and heritage as we should be able to do without appearing to be associating yourself with some very right wing nationalist movements that are incredibly racist.
2. What's something you recently got for free?
Shopping. I signed up for a delivery service where you pay up front for deliveries and get them at a cheaper rate than one off costs. I didn’t really make use of the service enough so I got a refund of the extra cost. Plus to encourage me to use the service more they sent me money off coupons. I’ve used the coupons but made a point of only buying what I would normally buy therefore saving money. Now we’re down to one income I’m trying to be a savvier shopper.
3. The Statue of Liberty, The Liberty Bell, The Washington Monument, or Mount Rushmore...how many on the list have you seen? What is your favourite historical American monument, and why?
Well I haven’t seen Mount Rushmore but on our trip to the US last year I managed to see all the others. We were in Vermont (Barre) for our son’s wedding and then we visited Washington, Philadelphia and New York before coming home. Of the three cities I preferred Washington. New York was too busy even for a Londoner. Washington seemed calmer although I guess for those involved in government it can be pretty hectic. We really enjoyed visiting the monuments there.
4. When it comes to the news are you more ostrich (stick my head in the sand) or hog (they have room to take a whole lot in)? How much attention have you given the recent news reports regarding ISIS and the acts of terror they've perpetrated against those who do not share their beliefs or support their cause?
Well it’s hard to stick your head in the sand when you’re constantly bombarded with news through all the different types of media we have now. It’s also hard to ignore ISIS and other terrorist activities when events like those in Tunisia this past week keep happening and British people are getting killed. There is also a lot of reporting on young British Muslims going off to join the cause. I just think it is crazy that these extremists use the excuse of religion for their atrocities.
5. We're talking plain ice cream...vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry? Choose one.
Oh good a nice easy one. Chocolate. Chocolate. And more Chocolate please. Did I mention I’m a chocoholic or would be if I didn’t have to moderate it because of migraines?
6. Share a song you love containing the word 'stars' in the lyrics or title?
Well a bit of a cheat because it doesn’t actually have the word stars but it does mention starry starry nights a few times:
“Vincent” by Don McLean – love that song.
7. Describe and/or say goodbye to June with an acrostic.
Wow Joyce is really challenging us today:
Gone in a flash
Over in a moment
Oh to be in June again
Done and dusted
Birthday over, another
Year of marriage too
Everything moves on
July is here
Until it’s August
No stopping time but
Every day is precious and new
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Challenge is good.