Discover Britain: Stonehenge & Wow I am 36 years old now!

Where does the time go? is there a time-consuming black hole conspiracy happening at the moment? lol May 2018, guys, May! can you believe it? This year is flying by, but they do say time flies when you are having fun which is my 2018 motto “Have fun with yourself” life is way too short for complications, negative thoughts and boring political debates (sorry, if this is your thing and its fun for you, then YAY YOU! but definitely not my cup of tea)

Anyway, May means that my 36 (gulp) birthday has come and gone already, I love celebrating birthdays. I see birthdays as milestones, as an opportunity to celebrate life and everything you embody. Be you, unapologetically and embrace the beauty of age. With age comes wisdom and with wisdom comes enjoyment.

My 36 years on earth have been filled with ups and downs, with achievements and failures, with beautiful and ugly people (on the inside – not referring to looks) and with experiencing different cultures.  I have been lucky enough to live in different continents and different countries which has definitely expanded my views and has given me a taste for an eclectic combination of foods, lol. This year, 2018, my first birthday since I came back to the UK and my first birthday with my thoughtful Welsh half who made my birthday magical and unforgettable.

He surprised me with a trip to Stonehenge, Wiltshire ❤ and Salisbury!

Stonehenge is one of those places I always wanted to visit, on my top 5 bucket list destinations since I was very young.

Walk in the footsteps of your Neolithic ancestors at Stonehenge – one of the wonders of the world and the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe.

OnixJ Stonehenge stone circlesOnixJ Stonehenge stone circles pic 2

I absolutely loved it! Although I always thought the stone circle would be bigger than what it actually is, the historic meaning of the place makes the trip worth it. As you enter Stonehenge you have access to a small Neolithic museum area with an exhibition of instruments, bones, and artifacts found in the surrounding areas. You can also roam around some Neolithic houses that represent a small village of the time (4,500 years ago).

OnixJ Stonehenge Neolithic Houses

Fun Fact: Stonehenge stones come from West Wales! According to the established wisdom for some 90 years, many of the smaller rocks making up Stonehenge come from the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

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Stone Circle

Stonehenge Stone Circle is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England. It consists of a ring of standing stones, with each standing stone around 13 feet (4.0 m) high, 7 feet (2.1 m) wide and weighing around 25 tons. 

Archaeologists believe it was constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC. Radiocarbon dating suggests that the first bluestones were raised between 2400 and 2200 BC. 

Stonehenge is one of the most famous landmarks in the UK, regarded as a British cultural icon. Definitely, a must see. Just know that access to the stone circles is somewhat restricted and you are not able to get up and close to touch the stones.  This is understandable due to the nature of the place. Also, keep in mind there is a charge for entry and it can be a little expensive for large families to visit considering there isn’t much more there to see apart from the stone circle itself, the Neolithic houses and the small museum area. There is also a cafe and a gift shop with lots of nick-nacks to commemorate your visit.

for more info visit: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/things-to-do/#Section1 

Shoutout to my Welsh half for surprising me with a roadtrip to one of the must beautiful, historical and magic place ever! ❤

On a separate post I will talk about the town of Salisbury, its history, places to go and my favorite location there.

 

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Bristol, Explore England

Hello UK!
So as you might all know I am now living and loving Wales and ALL things Welsh 😉 However last week I had the opportunity to visit Bristol across the border into my “homeland” (I have a few homes, I am a citizen of the world)

I went to Bristol for a fantastic magic-filled day of walks along the Avon river, small little cobblestone roads, old pubs, hip grubs and stunning architecture. It was beautiful! even if my “tour guide” got lost a few times, lol, I got to experience a day in a new-to-me city. So shoutout out to the taffy who made this happen. Thank you!

Speaking of The River Avon, and Welsh things. Some say the river also known as the Bristol Avon, has it the name “Avon” as a cognate of the Welsh word afon, “river”.

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We arrived at Bristol by Temple Meads, where we found a little cosy spot for breakfast at Caffe Gusto. Proper British outing can’t be complete without a bacon sandwich and a cuppa. Ok, let me explain. Yes, I had bacon. No, I do not regret it. I don’t usually do bacon; I don’t because yeah mostly plant based diet. However England it’s not England without a bacon sandwich for breakfast. Also, it had been like seven years since I had a proper bacon sarnie.

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Not far from Temple Meads it’s the beautiful St.Peter’s Church at Castle Park (pictures above and below). The church was bombed during World War II and is now preserved as a memorial surrounded by beautiful gardens. Lovely place for a romantic stroll, or to sit quietly with a book during a nice sunny day.

 

 

Further along, a walk through the historic roads can take you to little corners of delight, from farmer’s markets to street food vendors, old pubs, arcades and churches.

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A bit of history tells us that Iron Age hill forts and Roman villas were built near the confluence of the rivers Frome and Avon, and around the beginning of the 11th century, the settlement was known as Brycgstow (Old English “the place at the bridge”). Bristol received a royal charter in 1155 and was historically divided between Gloucestershire and Somerset until 1373 when it became a county of itself.

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The Llandoger Trow (pictured below) is a historic public house in Bristol, south-west England. Dating from 1664, it is on King Street, between Welsh Back and Queen Charlotte Street, near the old city centre docks. Named by a sailor who owned the pub after Llandogo which built throws, the building was damaged in World War II but remained in sufficiently good condition to be designated grade II* listed building status in 1959. The pub is said to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write of the Admiral Benbow Inn in Treasure Island, and Daniel Defoe supposedly met Alexander Selkirk there, his inspiration for Robinson Crusoe. The pub is also supposedly haunted, with up to 15 ghosts, the best known being a small child whose footsteps can be heard on the top floor.

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So thats my short review of Bristol. I know there are a million things to see and do there. But if you ever feel like visiting an English historic old city, I do recommend you walk away from London and venture into Bristol, even if for a day or two.

Xoxo

OnixJ

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Welsh Back Road.. lol had to take a pic of that

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Stammering Awareness

Stammering is a disorder of fluency that is characterised by various behaviours that interfere with the forward flow of speech. Not too long ago, the nature of this condition was brought to light by the British movie The King’s Speech (2010) – The story of King George VI of Britain, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.

According to the UK based organization The Starfish Project, “There are an estimated 500,000 plus adult stammerers in the UK that is 1% of the adult population, over 3 million stammer in the USA and some 45 million in the world.” Stammering is better known in the US as Stuttering but the two words mean the same thing. The condition is more likely to be developed by males than females on a ratio of 4 or 5 to one. None particular causes have been attributed to stammering; it is believed there is a combination of internal and external factors involved in the development of the condition.

For the purpose of this research I interviewed Jack Goodwin, a 15 year old boy who lives in Whitehaven, Cumbria in the north west of England. Jack attends St. Benedict’s Catholic High School in Whitehaven and developed the speech problem at the age of 4. Jack talked to me about his experience with The Starfish Project and how it has improved his live.

The STARFISH Project (Supportive Training and Recovery for Individual Stammerers Harmony) is a non-profit organisation which teaches stammerers a breathing technique to control their stammer. The ‘Costal Breathing” teaches the individuals to breath from the upper chest; in the same fashion singers breathe while singing. “This explains why people tend not to stammer when they sing” Jack said while explaining the technique.

Speaking about Starfish project Jack said, “STARFISH has taught me, firstly, how to control my speech and also has given me confidence to do things which I couldn’t before such as giving presentations to my class at school and using the phone to enquire about something.”

The Starfish project is only available in the UK, but in the US other organisations with similar programs are now being offered. Such as The National Stuttering Association (NSA) – I don’t have any information to suggest the NSA works with the same techniques as the Starfish, yet it is one of the largest nationwide organisations in the US working for the improvement of stammering.  It is important for people to know and to understand that Stammering or Stuttering doesn’t have a cure. Independence from the condition can be achieved through discipline, and dedication, and by learning how to live with it.

When Jack was asked what would be his message to other stammers he said “There is help out there” It is his positive attitude and energetic personality that drives me to write about this mystified speech condition. It is up to our society, up to families, parents, friends, siblings. It is up to our communities to understand people who suffer from stammering. It is up to us to give these kids the right tools to help them prosper.

We also need to educate our kids from a very young age – stammers or not – about understanding and accepting other people differences. Stammers are often ridiculed on the media and in classroom settings. On the subject Jack said “The Sun (the UK’s best selling tabloid newspaper) recently ran a story about how there will be a follow on from The Kings Speech. Their headline included possibly the oldest and least original stammering pun of repeating a letter when printing the headline.” Jack sent a letter to The Sun explaining his disconcert. This letter remains to be noticed by The Sun’s staff.

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International Stammering Awareness Day (ISAD) happens during October   every year.

For more information

UK: The Starfish Project. Email: anne@starfishproject.co.uk  Telephone: 01825 767268

Telephone from outside of the U.K. international code is 0044 so dial 0044 1825 767268

USA: National Stuttering Association at (800) We Stutter 937-8888 or Email info@WeStutter.org.
Jihane Rodriguez

Twitter@OnixJihane