The Meeting Place

Britain is doing it hard like Oz did.

The English culture strikes again ! Here are some scones with ...

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The NEW Cod Wars! Brexit trade talks descend into bitter insults as Michel Barnier says Britain 'can have the waters - but NOT the fish' in ultimatum on fishing rights Michel Barnier delivers ultimatum on post-Brexit fishing rights

Brexit trade talks between the UK and the EU have descended into insults after Michel Barnier said Britain is regaining control of its waters but not necessarily the fish within them. The EU's chief negotiator said the UK 'will recover the full sovereignty' of its waters as part of its decision to split from Brussels. But he insisted 'speaking about the fish which are inside those waters' is 'another story'. The EU wants to secure continued access to UK waters for the bloc's fishing boats but Number 10 is adamant that British trawlers will be given priority. It is one of the main sticking points which is preventing trade talks from progressing, with both sides increasingly frustrated. Mr Barnier said Britain was refusing to compromise on key issues but UK sources hit back and accused him of a 'deliberate and misleading caricature of our proposals'.

2513.7k comments1 video

Well the way things are going it will be all fished out soon, so they won't have to argue about it.

This English Dad Grew a Towering Sunflower Taller Than His 2-Story House—All Because His Son Asked Him ToBy Good News Network -  Douglas Smith with his giant sunflower – SWNS

When your young son asks you to grow a sunflower “as tall as the house” you do what you can. But nobody expected a plant like a magic beanstalk that kept growing and growing.

Douglas Smith was forced to use a ladder to tend to the lofty giant, which he first planted at the end of March and tended lovingly throughout lockdown.

The 42-year-old’s four-year-old son Stellan certainly got his wish. The gardening project turned into a 20-foot high monster plant that almost dwarves his two-story home in Stanstead Abbotts, England.

 The current record for the tallest sunflower in Britain is held by Richard Hope, of Wigan, Greater Manchester, who set the record in 2012 with a whopping 26-foot tall flower.

But product manager from East Hertfordshire says his sunflower is now worthy of the ‘honorable mentions’ list on the website Giant Gardening.

Douglas’ flower stands in a large wooden container 20 inches tall, and three foot in length by two foot in depth.

And Douglas has to climb to the top rung of a ladder propped against his house, where he lives with wife Piper Terrett, 44, in order to just about reach the flower at the top of the stem.

POPULARThe Mind-Blowing Mathematics of Sunflowers–They Don’t Just Grow Randomly

He said, “I had high hopes that it would still be growing – but I am glad that it’s topped out a bit now.


“I think it’s probably got maybe another inch or two left in it to grow, but it’s pretty much done.

“I’ve had to rig the flower up on something that’s a little bit like a flagpole, attached to the top of the wooden stake, so that it doesn’t curve down too much under its own weight.


“It’s flowering at the moment – there’s probably another week or so of flowering left, and then I’m hoping to leave it standing for as long as I can, to collect most of the seeds.”

RELATEDBritain’s Best Gardening Couple Outdo Themselves With Spring Spectacular After Spending Lockdown Tending Their Oasis

And the sunflower started off with a fighting chance of growing this tall because Douglas was given the seed in a swap with John Butler, who holds the current record for tallest sunflower in North America, growing one that is 26 feet 8 inches.

“I’m not sure specifically what variety of sunflower this is, but it’s a bit like a thoroughbred horse – it came from a good start


Not sure if this was the right place to post this Celia?

LOL  I don't think it matters anymore Incognito only you and I seem to show any interest in the UK thank you for posting it though.

It gets disappointing that such good topics do not get the support, maybe have to post in a couple of places, the "interesting things to share" seems to have quite a few people viewing daily.

So has Number 10 got its science right? Almost all COVID fatalities are among older people while deaths among the young are very rare... and so much of the increase in infections is currently among younger Brits So has No. 10 REALLY got its science right? Almost all Covid fatalities are among older

At yesterday's downbeat Downing Street press conference, Professor Chris Whitty presented a series of graphs showing a rapid increase in infections among people in their teens, 20s and 30s to justify the fresh restrictions. He pointed to data showing that infection rates among those aged 19 to 21 were more than double the national average, at 55 per 100,000 compared with a rate of 20 for the whole of England. And among those aged 20 to 29, 41.6 per 100,000 were now testing positive - compared to a rate of just 6.3 per 100,000 among those in their 70s. It is this which has convinced ministers to crack down on gatherings of more than six, with the aim of curbing partying youngsters and keeping the virus under control. But some may question the justification for yesterday's tightening of restrictions when the death rate among the young has been so low since the start of the pandemic. Since March only 574 people aged 44 or under have died from coronavirus - the vast majority of whom had severe underlying health conditions. In comparison, more than 22,000 over-85s have died from Covid-19. Only yesterday, a Cambridge study concluded that 80-year-olds were 1,000 times as likely to die if they get it as someone aged 20.

I heard about this, young ones mix more and they are healthy, just what a virus wants, it does not want to kill it's host. Apparently they were blaming all the party goers, they do get close.

Driver 'on his first day' rips roof off double-decker school bus by smashing into railway bridge despite pupils' warning shouts - as three children are rushed to hospital with serious injuries and 13 others need treatmentChildren rushed to hospital with serious injuries after double decker school bus hits

Three children have been rushed to hospital with serious injuries after a double-decker bus hit a bridge in Winchester this morning. Locals have said the driver was a 'complete novice' to the route. Hampshire Police say the children's injuries are not life threatening - while another 13 pupils on board were treated at the 

Where did he get his licence in a weeties pack? 

You would think that their supervisors would have warned him not to go via the bridge?

It amazes me how often this happens!




Do we have these over here in Australia?

Killer Asian hornet is spotted in Hampshire after experts warned a plague of the insects that can eat 50 honey bees a day is on its way to UK

A venomous Asian hornet has been spotted in Hampshire just weeks after experts predicted a plague of the pests were on their way to the UK. The ruthless killers can consume 50 honey-bees.


Just did a search on the internet does not look like it but here is some info about them:

Asian giant hornetFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia   Jump to navigationJump to searchAsian giant hornetVespa Mandarinia Magnifica - Filippo Turetta.jpgVespa mandarinia form "magnifica". Private collection, F. Turetta.Scientific classificationeditKingdom:AnimaliaPhylum:ArthropodaClass:InsectaOrder:HymenopteraFamily:VespidaeGenus:VespaSpecies:V. mandariniaBinomial nameVespa mandarinia
Smith, 1852[1]SynonymsVespa magnifica Smith, 1852Vespa japonica Radoszkowski, 1857Vespa bellona Smith, 1871Vespa magnifica var. latilineata Cameron, 1903Vespa mandarina Dalla Torre, 1894 (misspelling)Vespa mandarinia nobilis Sonan, 1929Vespa magnifica sonani Matsumura, 1930

The Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia), including the color form referred to as the "Japanese giant hornet",[2][3] is the world's largest hornet. It is native to temperate and tropical East AsiaSouth AsiaMainland Southeast Asia, and parts of the Russian Far East. It was also found in the Pacific Northwest of North America in late 2019,[4] with a few more additional sightings in 2020.[5][6] They prefer to live in low mountains and forests, while almost completely avoiding plains and high-altitude climates. V. mandarinia creates nests by digging, co-opting pre-existing tunnels dug by rodents, or occupying spaces near rotted pine roots.[7] It feeds primarily on larger insects, colonies of other eusocial insects, tree sap, and honey from honey bee colonies.[8] The hornet has a body length of 45 millimetres (1 3⁄4 inches), a wingspan around 75 mm (3 in), and a stinger 6 mm (1⁄4 in) long, which injects a large amount of potent venom.[9]

The Asian giant hornet is often confused with the yellow-legged hornet (Vespa velutina), also known as the Asian hornet, an invasive species of major concern across Europe, including the UK.


Just come in from the garden and I read this!  they like to live in pre existing tunnels dug by rodents!

we have no pine around here thank goodness.   ...... honey from honey bee colonies, they do not sound nice! I hope they don't gain entry to this country!  

Just looked up and found this!

European waspEuropean wasp: declared pest homeWhat to look forMore photos and videosSurveillance and eradicationAdopt a trapTrapping instructionsEuropean Wasp Working Group2019-20 nest numbers and locations2018-19 nest numbers and locationsLocal government informationEuropean wasp newsTopics...What to look forMore photos and videosSurveillance and eradicationAdopt a trapTrapping instructionsEuropean Wasp Working Group2019-20 nest numbers and locations2018-19 nest numbers and locationsLocal government informationEuropean wasp newsEuropean wasp: declared pestPage last updated: Monday, 23 March 2020 - 11:19am

The European wasp is considered one of the worst wasps in the world - harmful to people, our outdoor lifestyles and to our horticultural and agricultural industries. Suspect European wasp sightings must be reported to our department.

AlleninUK2 2017.JPGEuropean wasp on lollipopDSC_0846 European wasp nest Thornlie baseball park.jpgTwo DPIRD staff following removal of a European wasp nest. One is holding a jar filled with wasps and the other is holding pieces of the removed nest._DAF4024 Vespula germanica.pngEuropean wasps  2019-2020 season

The 2019-2020 hunt for European wasps in WA has begun, with residents and businesses urged to be on the lookout for the pest. 

Summer-Autumn is the best time to locate nests as wasps leave to scavenge for food, making them easier to detect and trace back to their nest.

More than 3500 traps have been deployed across Perth and regional areas, as part of the coordinated surveillance efforts to detect the presence of European wasp.

Find out where we are locating European wasps and if your suburb is a hot spot. 

 Key impacts of European wasps

The European wasp, Vespula germanica, is a social wasp native to Europe, North Africa and temperate Asia. European wasp invasion to other regions has been greatly aided through hitching rides on human transportation. The wasp has become established in North America, Canada, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand and in south-east Australia (SA, NSW, ACT, VIC and TAS). While occurrences of European wasp in Australia have been documented since 1960, the Western Australian European Wasp Eradication Program had successfully eradicated each detected wasp incursion in WA.

Pose a safety risk to land users due to their foraging activities, high aggression and hidden nests – e.g. maintenance and field staff, bush walkers, picnickers, residents, café patrons, orchardists etc.Underground nests are difficult to see and disturbing a nest can lead to 1000s of wasps attacking in defense.Risk to the environment – wasps compete with and predate on native insects; reducing insect numbers, biodiversity and ecosystem function.Wasps forage for human food and drink as well as pet food – causing a nuisance and a health concern to people and pets.Damage horticultural crops like grapes and stone fruits and predate on bees in managed apiaries – impacting home gardeners and industry alike.

Due to favourable environmental conditions and the lack of natural predators, the European wasp has the potential to become a greater pest in Western Australia than anywhere else in the world.

Each year fertilised wasp queens arrive in Western Australia via freight and cargo from the eastern states. The queens spread to find suitable places to seed new nests that will become large (mainly underground) nests. These nests would house many thousands of wasps.

Without ongoing surveillance trapping and public reporting, European wasps would become established in WA. The predicted range of establishment for European wasp in WA is from Kalbarri to Eucla.

 The importance of taking action

Outside its natural habitat of Europe and North Africa, this wasp becomes a serious social, environmental and agricultural pest.

High wasp population densities would threaten WA’s outdoor lifestyle, tourism, human health and the well-being of our pets and livestock. Horticulture, viticulture and apiculture industries would suffer if this pest became established in WA.

Since 1994, the Agriculture and Food Division of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has been working with the community to conduct a surveillance and eradication program. Increased community awareness and reporting is keeping this program a success. Learn more about the Adopt-a-Trap Program.

 For more information contact:

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
Telephone:+61 (0)8 9368 3080


Yes European wasps are common, I have them occasionally, only the odd one, not that many luckily. Never had a nest around. I got more problems with bull ants.

Rare Archeological Treasures Discovered Beneath Attic Floorboards of English Tudor MansionBy Judy Cole -  

Picture yourself in the dusty attic of a moated Tudor manor house built sometime in the late 1500s. For the first time in hundreds of years, the floorboards are lifted. What lies beneath? Buried treasure, of course.

National Trust

Sounds like something straight out of Hollywood, right?

Nope. It’s actually something that took place in Norfolk, England during the pandemic. While the adventure might have lacked the special effects of an Indiana Jones blockbuster, this recent case of ‘real-life imitates cinematic art’ still turned up some pretty amazing finds.


The story begins with the $7.8 million-dollar roof restoration project of Oxburgh Hall, a National Trust site. Archaeologist Matt Champion, working on his own during the lockdown, was conducting a fingertip search of the rafters when he unearthed a stash of more than 2,000 archaeological specimens, some dating back as far as the 15th century.

According to National Trust curator Anna Forrest, who oversees the project, “When the boards came up, we could see a wave pattern in the debris which showed it had been undisturbed for centuries.”

RELATED: The First Time a 10-Year-old Boy Uses His Birthday Metal Detector, He Unearths a Centuries-Old Sword

The dust, sometimes inches deep, was covering a layer of lime plaster. As unpalatable as that might sound, to paraphrase Martha Stewart, it turned out to be a good thing. “[The lime plaster] drew out the moisture from the debris and resulted in much of it being perfectly preserved over the centuries,” Forrest said.

Several of the items recovered were recent artifacts likely dating to the WWII era, notably some empty Woodbine cigarette packs and a vintage box of Terry’s chocolates, minus the chocolates.

But among the most exciting discoveries was a cache of high-quality Elizabethan and Georgian textiles and embroidery scraps. Ironically, many of the most exciting finds were woven into a pair of long-deserted, ossified rat’s nests. (At least it wasn’t snakes, Indy.)


Love them or hate them, the vermin were also responsible for preserving fragments of some 450-year-old handwritten music as well as a page from 1568 copy of John Fisher’s The Kynge’s Psalmes.

In non-rodent-related news, a construction worker later found the rest of the book, nearly intact, stashed away in a cubbyhole in the attic, while another worker discovered a 600-year-old parchment fragment containing part of the Latin Vulgate Psalm 39 decorated in gold leaf and illuminated in bright blue ink.

CHECK OUT: When 8-Year-old ‘Queen’ Finds Authentic Ancient Sword in a Lake, Her Fans Rally to Forge Her a Replica

Forrest noted the page likely came from a daily prayer book known as a book of hours. “The use of blue and gold for the minor initials, rather than the more standard blue and red, shows this would have been quite an expensive book to produce,” she said in an interview with The Guardian.

“It is just the most exquisite thing and to have found it literally in a pile of rubble is probably… well, it’s unheard of for the National Trust, that’s for sure.”

“We had hoped to learn more of the history of the house during the re-roofing work… but these finds are far beyond anything we expected to see,” Russell Clement, General Manager at Oxburgh Hall told the National Trust. “This is a building which is giving up its secrets slowly. We don’t know what else we might come across—or what might remain hidden for future generations to reveal.”


Yes they are always finding something, either under the floor boards or up in the atticts!

Some hidden treasures appear!

Britons 'face 10pm curfews and pubs could be forced to shut in just TWO WEEKS' unless Rule of Six brings down Covid cases - but schools WON'T shut

Britons 'face EVEN TOUGHER lockdown in TWO WEEKS' unless Rule of Six works

Ministers and government officials insist they are ready to take more draconian steps to stop the spread, despite a wave of criticism. Options on the table could range from curfews to closing pubs - although there is a determination that schools will stay open. 'Lockdown is the only thing that we know works, to be frank,' one government science adviser told ITV. The dire prospect has been raised amid fears that the disease is on the verge of spiralling out of control again

Have deaths gone up?


Rhondda in South Wales will be put into local lockdown from 6pm on Thursday after rise in Covid cases 

Rhondda Cynon Taf in south Wales will be placed under a local lockdown from 6pm on Thursday following an increase of coronavirus cases, the Welsh Government has announced.

Second UK pub bans under 25s after landlady says young drinkers 'spoil it' for others by failing to social distance 

The Red Lion pub in Whinmoor announced the move on Facebook on Monday, confirming those in the age bracket will be unable to enter between Friday and Sunday.

Rather them than me!

'Britain heading back to lockdown by default': Testing fiasco will end up re-closing schools and workplaces as Covid cases rise and winter colds return after Hancock announces priority for health and care workersWarning of 'lockdown by default' as Hancock faces fury over testing shambles

Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock are facing fury after the system descended into a shambles, with millions of people struggling to get checked. The Health Secretary was humiliatingly forced to admit yesterday that the mess will take 'weeks' to sort out - even though he refused to spell out the reasons for the crisis beyond blaming 'ineligible' members of the public for seeking tests. Despite boasting of 'Moonshot' plans to carry out 10million tests a day, Mr Hancock conceded that the government will have to create a 'priority list' to make sure hospitals and care homes get essential screening. However, the move raises the prospect of schools being sent to the back of the queue, with many already warning they are struggling to stay open because so many children have cold or cough symptoms.

I heard the Britain has tested something like 20 million people.


The issue with that is once they get tested do they get put into another area of the country so they don't mix with people that are positive?  No they don't, how could they?   So once they are tested next day they can mix with people that have not been tested and are positive. 

I think WA has the best route to go on, test everyone as they come into the state and put them into 14 days isolation

NHS hospital in Bolton begs patients seeking Covid-19 tests stay at home 'after 100 people turned up at A&E' amid ongoing fiasco as expert claims England's swabbing capacity was reached three weeks ago


The Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, said in a desperate message they are 'managing a high volume of patients who have arrived requesting a #Covid19 test'.


The UK testing regime sounds as though it's wrecked at the moment from what I've read.

Also read somewhere, many NHS workers can't go to work because they can't get tested.

Such chaotic management or lack of it from the government.

Yes it is a mess and has been a mess for some months RnR the youngsters were adviced not to go overseas for a holiday and have refused, now they are jumping up and down saying Boris is not going to spoil their Christmas!  They don't think about what they are saying.

Blight of the fly-tippers: Illegal rubbish dumping has soared by 66% in just FIVE YEARS... and the coronavirus pandemic has only made it worse

Blight of the fly-tippers: Illegal rubbish dumping has soared by 66% in just FIVE YEARS

Figures reveal that fly-tipping in the UK has increased by two thirds in five years. Unwanted items and litter are being dumped on roads and other illegal locations, posing a health hazard to humans and wildlife as well as costing a lot to local authorities and taxpayers


Shocking, why are we trashing the planet? The recycling system is broken, saw a postive story on TV last night how they see rubbish especially plastics as a resource, and it can be use in road making, the company leading this is Close the Loop.

Hospitals are being warned to clear beds and brace for a rise in coronavirus patients in TWO WEEKS as hospitalisations double every eight days

MPs in London have been informed of plans to set up Isolation units for patients to recover by freeing space on wards for those needing the most care as they battle Covid-19


Better to prepared I guess, but hopefully this time it won't hit as hard, heard it was mainly young people where the numbers are going up so they will hopefully fight it off.

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