Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Your Not Welcome Here

You'd think in a country hit by economic times, loosing it's industry under Thatcher, a country like the UK would welcome tourists and their pennies and pounds that they spend. You are welcome, if your not from India, Pakistan and other "at risk countries" although the concise list hasn't been announce it's thought to include such Middle East countries. 

The news of these (yet another change) to UK immigration and the granting of visas, this time for tourists seems to have broken and be more apparent in the Indian news organisations (aside from the Guardian) but yet again the UK seems to be going with the assumptions of those who fear and distrust those outside of the UK borders. It's constantly, us against them. Now to gain a tourist visas, any one from such countries in the future may have have to pay up to $4,600 bond to limit their chances of them overstaying their visa. The government who are on a mission to reduce net migration by 100,000 argue they are now attempting to deal with their new immigration issue - those entering legally, and then turn illegal when they overstay their welcome. 

It just seems as someone now an immigrant, now at expat that the UK is doing everything to discourage anyone from entering the UK even just for a holiday. If your not rich enough, or white enough they don't want you. These assumptions towards visitors from certain countries are disgrace and just play into the extremes of UKIP. To many, the UK is closing, and closing quickly. The original ideas are being readdressed as I type this, perhaps they won't end up being as ridiculous as the claims that are going around the Indian press right now, but the notion and the fact that they are considering it, speaks for itself.

Oddly enough googling "You're not welcome" for an image for this post (not that I could find anything) and the first result is about the UK's immigration policies. Says it all.

Monday, 24 June 2013


Polar Polar Polar Polar

One of the benefits of zoo membership is repeated trips to see animals that are a little shy. It took us three visits to see the Polar Bear playing at the Detroit Zoo but it was certainly worth it. From the great vantage point cut into their swimming pool, getting this close to a Polar Bear is an incredible experience. 

Friday, 21 June 2013

VINTAGE: Paper Ephemera

You can find the most curious of items slotted inside well thumbed books and magazines. What a former owner used as a paper marker can be a treasure to me, which explains my box filled with a delightful, an increasingly growing collection of vintage paper ephemera items, a document box of social history. 1940's sewing patterns missing far to many pieces, food brand advertising fallen apart from their cookbook binding, postcards with adorable stickers, images and postmarks to war time lumber invoices. There are some very old, rare and delights - a turn of the (19th) century postcard and outer envelope pre 1903, a 1937 bakery advertisement for Halloween treats to 1950's car advertising postcards. Eventually some of these I hope will find places in frames on my craft/spare room wall, others just kept safe in a box for an afternoon of pouring and drinking in their visual aura.

Kinda had some bad news about a family member back in the UK just now, not a close one but family all the same, so i'm off to go loose myself in vintage pretty things until I get my teeth around Thai curry with the boy tonight. Have a great weekend everyone. 

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

LIFE: Sirens, tornadoes and thunderstorms

Chicago's Willis tower being stuck by lightening last week. Source
One thing coming from the UK is that you never have to hear tornado sirens (or to give them their proper name, civil defense sirens). Here in the US, even in Michigan away from the main tornado alley, sirens are everyday part of life. The first Saturday of the month in our city at least they get tested, everyone knows as soon as you hear one you have to seek shelter in the nearest stable place - a basement, a proper tornado shelter and the like because a tornado is on the ground and heading your way, or the weather conditions that such a weather occurrence is very likely.   

So on Monday night when I was sat under a pile of vintage sewing patterns matching up and checking all the templates, I was a little surprised when the sirens went off. As a region we were already under a severe thunderstorm watch but no word of a tornado was issue. Me being me, panic mode ensued. The cause was a mighty large, fast moving thunderstorm passing to the north of us, but there was passing twitter confusing when sirens were going off in cities all around ours. Apparently such sirens are now being sounded for severe thunderstorms because, like a weak tornado they are capable of producing 70mp winds, and knowing the amount of severe thunderstorms our region gets, they might just be sounded even more. 

Extreme weather is the norm in the US, more so then the UK although when the Gulf Stream shuts off blizzards and cold weather extremes will sadly be more prominent on the other side of the ocean. Here people and the weather service deals with it pretty well. Even in winter, there might be a tonne of snow on the ground but people and transport get on with it. Certainly different from the mentality I grew up with in the UK. Here watches and warnings are issued and updated as soon as they needs be so you're always informed, warnings up on weather websites, even your TV beeps at you and sirens are displayed across the screen. 

Watches if your wondering is for in the instance of a tornado/thunderstorm/hurricane is if the conditions are favorable for producing them (they happen frequently in the summer months) and a warning is sounded when a thunderstorm with the capability of creating a tornado is imminent is in the area or approaching. It is a scary thing to get your head around, and still freaks me out. Times like this you'd welcome just a good old Yorkshire downpour and that it be.