Micro pigs, children hitting the ‘terrible twos’, football news, and issues surrounding the Catholic Church. All subject matter found on a trip to Hypothecate, the question is, what will you discover?
Much like a newspaper, Hypothecate offers all kinds of news, views, and observations. It’s a random blog that covers everything from celebrity culture to sport, with politics, religion, and world news in between. Visit the blog if you want to read some random news, find some holiday ideas, keep up with the latest charity campaigns, or just want to laugh at something funny. It’s a mixing pot of the serious and sublime, just waiting to be read!
Now, if you are going on a city break you expect to pay through the nose when visiting one of the big capital cities, after all, anyone who has taken a trip to London recently will know how much more expensive things are than back home. News has just broken, however, of a British couple who visited the wonderful city of Rome, which soon lost its appeal when they were charged 64 euros for 4 ice creams.
Yes, you did read that correctly, 64 euros for 4 quite underwhelming ice cream cornets, they did get a wafer each though, which we have to presume were gold plated to warrant that price. It is one thing paying extra for stuff in the eternal city but 64 euros for 4 ice creams, really? The ice cream parlour in question, Antica Roma, is situated next to the Spanish Steps and whilst the family presumed the ices would be expensive if they ate in, they didn’t expect that size bill for to takeaway.
There will be many of you thinking now ‘why did they pay it?’ why didn’t they just tell them where to stick it and walk away? Well, the guy who actually paid the bill said that there was a queue behind him and he didn’t want to make a fuss so paid up, in other words, he adopted the typical British attitude and handed over an extortionate amount of cash for something barely worth a couple of quid.
He is not alone, however, as many things in Rome are seen as one massive rip off. There are a few bits of common sense you can apply to try and stop yourself becoming the latest casualty. First off, find out exactly what things cost before you order, many of the ice cream outlets don’t display prices, giving them carte blanche to charge what they want when they want to. When you get a taxi, agree the fare before you get in and pay them in advance, and lastly, visit Madrid instead, its just as nice but an awful lot cheaper.
One of the most prevalent and personal ways to wish your friends and family well at special occasions such as Christmas is to send a card. The sentiment inside is important but so is the effort of sending one. So why not make it something that is personal to make the recipient know how much you care?
Depending on what your aesthetic is, there are many options. The go-to option is the inclusion of a family photo. However, the range of templates and being able to upload digital images make for a set of choices that can be tailored to you and the recipient.
If it is for a family friend, then a family scene is great but if it’s a business contact, a picture of the team puts faces on the people they may only speak to via email or phone. It also, no matter the recipient, shows effort and consideration.
Choices yet to come
It is very intriguing to see how far reaching the choice is. You can now have custom made cards that are designed to look like a stain-glass window or to pop-up in 3D whilst being sent with your personal signature. This is all on top of the ability to pick the framework of the card and uploading your own images. The level of personalisation is such that you may want to start preparing your Christmas cards already.
Who sends personalised cards?
Photo Christmas Cards are not quite as niche as you may think. They are no longer the preserve of political leaders and the celebrity class. Many people use them now as they have dropped in cost and ease of preparation. Being able to choose your own image and template for the card is very attractive and more in the spirit of the season than a box of cards from the supermarket. Simply put, there is no one who cannot make use of personalised cards, as cost and ability is no longer a barrier.
I send e-mails, why bother with cards?
Well, it’s a tradition, for one. However the clear simple effort that goes into sending a card, and designing it yourself, shows far more consideration. E-mail may be free, but does not have the resonance of physicality that a card can provide nor can it be displayed. A card shows you care enough to make an effort, a personalised photo Christmas card even more so.
Out of a Muslim community in Caucasus, former part of the Soviet Union and resting next to Russia, it did not take long for the background and history of accused Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev to be examined and parsed extensively by journalists and pundits across the US. In what may be one of the most public manhunt in recent years, a huge number of Americans were watching on TV as reporters relayed the information of what happened that day.
But in the following days, columnists and journalists were busy depicting the brothers as coming from a broken, barbaric civilization, devoid of compassion for human life. Of course this is not the first time Muslims face prejudice, but in this case many of the columnists went further than just the brothers’ history.
Journalist Eliza Shapiro noted that his very name was taken from a brutal warlord, New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof also commented on his name, before deleting his comment, and scholar Juan Cole cited a 1862 Russian novel in an attempt to explain the reasons behind their apparent acts.
Of course, the facts are often slightly different. Whether or not their culture came into play, it is worth noting that Dzhokhar had been raised in the US since he was 8, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been in the country for over 10 years, a student going to Cambridge Rindge.
But then, there are also the facts coming from the Russian FSB, who claim that Tamerlan was a strong Islam believer, came back in 2011 to the US after a religious pilgrimage, and was suspected to be linked to underground groups. After interviewing him, the FBI said that no terrorism activities had been found in prior years. Needless to say, many will follow the upcoming trial with interest.
A new public opinion group is asking that the Irish constitution be altered so that same-sex couples can get married via a civil marriage in Ireland. The constitutional convention was first created by the government in order to take a close look at changes to the constitution.
The vote at the convention was 79% in favor. 18% against, and 3% responded either no opinion or were spoiled ballots. At this point it is now up to the Irish government to decide if they will accept the recommendation of the convention or not.
If the government does decide to accept the recommendation then a formal referendum will have to take place before the constitution can have any changes made to it.
At the moment the convention is made up of more than 100 members including members of the Irish parliament, Chairman Tom Arnold, 66 citizens, and four members from the Northern Ireland Assembly.
96 of the convention members voted as the chairman is not allowed to vote and there were three members that were not in attendance on the day of the vote.
The Government had promised that it will make a formal decision regarding the recommendation after the Irish parliament has had time to debate the report from the convention closer to the end of 2013.
The fourth member from the Northern Ireland Assembly and also a member for the Green party Steven Agnew voted yes in favor of amending the constitution to allow civil marriage.
Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein President, and deputy first minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness were not in attendance at the meeting by they had previously nominated Caitriona Ruane and Kathryn Reilly to vote for them.
Not in attendance were Alban Maginness, Stewart Dickson, and a citizen member of the convention.
In a week that was dominated by the death of Margaret Thatcher, and the numerous Facebook jokes and Ding Dong the Witch is dead and all the rest of it, there is now her funeral to look forward to. She apparently had a huge input into her funeral, as most do these days, and chose the songs she wanted. Gosh, like that never happens!
Now the details are emerging of the kind of funeral she is being afforded, and the cost of it. Millions of pounds are being spent on the funeral of a woman who was the prime minister several decades ago but was never bleeding royalty. Details of the guest list have also been revealed, this doesn’t sit comfortably with those who peruse the personal announcements and dig out their best hat when they see Peggy who used to be married to the coal man and lived at number 53 has passed away.
There are apparently 9 of Maggie’s closest friends who are unable to attend, the fact that most of them are dead is a viable enough excuse, but what about the dude in prison who was a vicious dictator to his people but who Maggie referred to as a staunch and loyal friend? Husni Mubarak ruled Egypt with a rod of iron and is now serving life imprisonment, not the best BFF for a PM to have in all honesty.
There has apparently been an influx in late holiday bookings as those sick to death of it all are seeking to be as far away from the UK as possible come funeral day next Wednesday. Those of us forced to stay behind will no doubt discover loads of obscure freeview and cable channels we never knew existed to escape the blanket coverage that will inevitably exist on all the main channels for about 10 days.
The news broke yesterday that Baroness Thatcher had passed away following a stroke. The news was greeted in vastly differing ways by sections of society with politicians trotting out their usual drivel when someone of importance passes away, whilst others celebrated her passing with a street party. Yes you read that correctly, the good people of Brixton took to the streets in their hundreds in a public celebration of her death that was promoted on Twitter and Facebook within minutes of the news being announced.
The revellers who gathered in Windrush Square last night were brandishing posters ranging from ‘rejoice that Thatcher is dead’ to ‘the bitch is dead’. They banged drums, danced to a makeshift music system that was attached to a bike and chanted ‘ding dong Thatcher’s dead’ and described their delight by saying that her death was exciting news. One of the revellers compared the former PM to Hitler and others burnt the news stories about her death.
Now the woman wasn’t the most popular during the 80′s and 90′s but to celebrate her death in this way came as a shock to many, especially as the majority of these revellers weren’t even born when she was in power. This hatred seems to have been borne from stories passed down from the older generation who were around at the time and clearly remember the bad times.
The politicians were out in force proclaiming that the party was tasteless and shocking, yet the strength of feeling present was tangible, with many happy to talk to reporters and tell them why they had come along. One quote held a message that probably sent a chill through today’s politician when they pointed out that if they were celebrating the death of woman who ruled 30 years ago, think what they would do when the present lot died.
Easter is fast approaching, complete with all the other stuff that goes with it such as kids throwing up from too much chocolate, adults throwing up from too much alcohol, and shops closing for one whole day resulting in mass panic buying. Once this is all over we have barely a month before another one, minus the chocolate and closed shops, then another one a month later then there’s a couple of month’s break before the last one before Christmas at the end of August.
We should be grateful that there have been no extra once chucked in this year for various reasons, such as the corgi’s birthday, and while many embrace the luxury of a long weekend others simply curse them and lock themselves away until reality returns. Bank holidays are nought but a blooming nuisance and that’s a fact and most people over a certain age will agree with you if you ask them, well, apart from those who work in banks that is.
The age cut off for grabbing a bank holiday with both hands and partying ’til you drop or fall in the gutter, whichever comes first is different for everyone but by someone hits their 30′s they are expected to act more maturely and with a bit more decorum and leave the drunken shenanigans to the younger lot.
It’s easy to have a pop at celebrities as their ideas of parenting seem about as realistic as walking into a supermarket and being served by a martian, One thing we have to remember is that celebs live in some kind of parallel universe to us minions, so they are going to have some strange ideas. A long time target is Gwyneth Paltrow, which started the day she announced she was calling her first child Apple.
She is now back in the news for saying that she limits her kids’ intake of carbs and sweets and this, of course, has raised the eyebrows of the parental experts so high they have disappeared into their hair. How dare she deprive the kids of a plate of pasta and sweet treats now and then they cry, but she can and will because she is their mum, and nobody should tell anyone how to raise their own child.
When it comes to celebrity parenting this is pretty mild to be honest compared to what some of them come up with. Actress Alicia Silverstone, for example, thinks that the best way of weaning a child is to chew up the food for them and then transferring it from mouth to mouth. The logical thing here would be to mash up the child’s dinner, as quite frankly, mouth to mouth feeding is gross.
Attachment parenting, which includes natural childbirth, bed sharing, extended breast feeding (Little Britain’s ‘bitty’ springs to mind here), home schooling, gentle (ie non existent) discipline and no childcare from outside of the family is another big fave amongst celebs who fancy themselves as the ultimate earth mother. Fine and dandy if you have the bank balance to back it up, cold comfort to those having to work full time to make ends meet and relying on child care to do so.
It is said it is a buyers market, with more homes for sale than there are those seeking to purchase, so those desperate to sell are going all out to make their houses stand out in a crowd. There are many improvements you can make which can greatly add value to your home, whilst there are other that should be avoided like the plague as you will make a loss which completely defeats the point of the exercise.
New kitchens and bathrooms of a good quality can make a big difference to the value of your home, but going for the cheap, mass produced tat available from most DIY stores will have the opposite effect. Times are tough, so by shopping around you should be able to get a good kitchen with quality finishes for less than you would have paid a couple of years ago.
Making the most of your outdoor space is vital if you want to sell your home at a good price. Stand in the street and cast a critical eye over your property. Is the drive sinking and full of weeds? Are the do it yourself paving stones now at such an angle they resemble ski slopes? This is called kerb appeal, and many viewers have admitted to being so put off by the initial appearance of a home that they have just driven on by.
When it comes to the back of a property, decking and patios are good, swimming pools and hot tubs are bad. In reality, however big the space is, if you live in the north what use are you going to get out of a pool? Even on the hottest days when the temperature reaches double figures, the sun will not be hot enough to make the water warm enough to bathe in, and if you want to float in cold water, buy a bigger bath tub.