Author Archives: nlpnow

A Radio Interview

Published by:

I was invited to do another radio interview, and I present the broadcast here.

The interviewer, Rose Claire, is based in the USA and myself in the UK, so there is a slight delay in our conversation, plus due to a non functioning telephone link we went straight to air with no pre-interview.
Hope you enjoy, and remember you can hear more interviews on various subjects by clicking here.

Listen to internet radio with AshfordPublishing on Blog Talk Radio

Hawthorn Hedge under attack

Published by:

Outside our apartment in Norbiton Hall, we have gardens, with trees, bushes and shrubs, flowers and lawns, making it a pleasant place to live.

Around the grounds we also have hedge rows mostly of hawthorn, and as long as it is cut and trimmed adds something to the ambience of the properties.
Hawthorn Hedge covered with web

Hawthorn Hedge covered with web

But, in the last couple of days, the hawthorne hedge has come under attack, from a hoard of black caterpillars.

They seem to have covered the hawthorn hedge with a thick covering of silky web, and beneath, the leaves are being eaten, leaving bare stalks.
Hawthorn Hedge under attack

Hawthorn Hedge under attack

Hawthorn Hedge caterpillar

Hawthorn Hedge caterpillar

Hawthorn Hedge cluster of caterpillars

Hawthorn Hedge cluster of caterpillars

What are these caterpillars?
What do they become?
Will the hawthorn hedge die?
Anyone any ideas please? Please leave a comment posting.

Isabella Plantation Richmond Park

Published by:

An area of the Royal Park of Richmond Park waits to be discovered, a fenced-off garden, full of trees, plants, shrubs, colour, clearings, streams and ponds.

Originally fenced off in the 1700’s to grow trees, this area was transformed in the 1950’s by George Thomson and the head gardener at the time, Wally Miller. They cleared areas of plants to be replaced by rhododendrons and azaleas and other exotic shrubs and trees. Over the years since, streams and ponds have been added, including heathers, camellias and magnolias to name just a few.
So much bird life can be found within Isabella Plantation.
In April and May, Isabella Plantation is so full of colour, and I have tried to capture it on a short video.
I hope you enjoy.

Adult Achievement Awards 2012

Published by:

I recently was present at the Kingston upon Thames, Rotary Club’s Adult Achievement Awards, held once a year in the Royal Borough of Kingston’s Guild Hall.

It is so humbling to listen to some of the stories, of those who had experienced difficulties in their life, yet overcame them to attain further education to better themselves.

Here is a small video made from the photographs I took of the evening.

Adult Achiever Awards 2012 from Phillip Holt on Vimeo.

Presentations were given by the Deputy Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston, Barry O’Mahony, Club President Anne McCormack and Rotarian Peter Gray.

The Rotary Club of Kingston, University of Kingston Music Awards

Published by:

Following the article Proud Moments at the Music Awards, I have put together a very simple video record.

Perhaps not West End Theatre standard, or a potential The Voice TV show entry, it has to be said it was not a very nice day to be singing out-of-doors.

The winner this year was Adam Hope, with his entry, “The Dying Christian”.  Adam, a very talented conductor is a 3rd year composition student at the university, working freelance in various jazz and light music ensembles, whilst he directs the Twist Choir at Kingston University.
Second place went to Nomi Helfensteller, with her entry of “We Still Got Time”. Originally on an Erasmus exchange scheme from the Oldenburg University in Germany as a Masters student, Nomi is now a post-graduate student of Kingston University of music performance, having her own band and an enthusiastic member of local natural voice choirs.
Third place went to Matthew Bromley, with “Twilight Voices”. Matthew is a 3rd year composition student, with a keen interest in music and theatre. He has spent many years as a musical director and has worked on several multimedia projects at Kingston University.

Proud Moments at the Musical Awards

Published by:

Perhaps not the best choice of venues to hold a musical recital on a cold day in May 2012, but this was the moment to announce the Kingston University Musical Awards in the ancient Market Place of Kingston upon Thames.
Once again the awards were given by the Rotary Club of Kingston upon Thames, and as I was asked to photograph the event, I paid attention to the people standing in the Market Place, observing their presence, and it was so obvious who were the composers of the music being performed by Kingston University’s Chamber Choir, accompanied on the piano by Mr Michael Round.
From their faces, and those of their companions, the pride of what they had achieved was there to see, as they hung on every note and word being sung. Perhaps they had spent many hours and sleepless nights composing their entries into this annual event, but this day it had proven worth while, as their work was being performed in public.
 
Adam Hope, Kingston University Music Competition Awards, Kingston upon Thames Rotary Club 1st place 2012
Adam Hope, Kingston University Music Competition Awards

Kingston upon Thames Rotary Club 1st place 2012

Nomi Helfensteller, Kingston University Music Competition Awards, Kingston upon Thames Rotary Club 2nd place 2012
Nomi Helfensteller, Kingston University Music Competition Awards
Kingston upon Thames Rotary Club 2nd place 2012
Matthew Bromley, Kingston University Music Competition Awards, Kingston upon Thames Rotary Club 3rd place 2012

Matthew Bromley, Kingston University Music Competition Awards
Kingston upon Thames Rotary Club 3rd place 2012

The winner this year was Adam Hope, with his entry, “The Dying Christian”.  Adam, a very talented conductor is a 3rd year composition student at the university, working freelance in various jazz and light music ensembles, whilst he directs the Twist Choir at Kingston University.
Second place went to Nomi Helfensteller, with her entry of “We Still Got Time”. Originally on an Erasmus exchange scheme from the Oldenburg University in Germany as a Masters student, Nomi is now a post-graduate student of Kingston University of music performance, having her own band and an enthusiastic member of local natural voice choirs.
Third place went to Matthew Bromley, with “Twilight Voices”. Matthew is a 3rd year composition student, with a keen interest in music and theatre. He has spent many years as a musical director and has worked on several multimedia projects at Kingston University.
It was not only a proud moment for the winners of the University Music Awards, but also for the organiser Dr. David Osbon, Principal Lecturer and Head of Collegiate Music at Kingston University, who stood out with his flowing hair and his strong voice, and Kingston Rotary members there, especially Doreen Johnston and President Anne McCormack who presented the prizes.
By helping others, Rotary Club can inspire others to achieve and be proud of what they do, no matter at what level.
Perhaps writing this may inspire me to produce the video of the event.

Double Rainbow, Why?

Published by:

A double rainbow
In the UK, after having such warm and dry period of weather at the start of spring, and over the last couple of years a reduced level of rainfall leading to the South East of England being declared in a draught, with reservoirs at all time low levels, the last few days of April has been cold and wet, with some areas having record rainfall.
The sky turns black, blacker than I have seen for a longtime, and the rain comes down, and yet, typical of UK weather, the dark clouds soon pass, and we find ourselves in sunshine. 
We call this weather April Showers.
So here we are, the dark cloud passes over in the early evening, yet to the west, the setting sun is in a cloud free sky, the result was another rainbow, not just one but a double rainbow.
I have never seen or realised there could be a double rainbow, so typically, I needed to know what causes this natural show.
A rainbow is caused by the light from the sun passing through the raindrops, resulting in a multicoloured arc. The light as it enters the droplets is refracted, split into the seven colours of the spectrum of light, as the picture above shows, being red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, with blue on the inside and red on the outside.
The process as the sunlight passes through the water droplets is that the light is refracted as it enters the droplets, then it is reflected back from the opposite side of the inside of the droplet, and as the light passes out of the droplet it is refracted again.
This was first described by Sir Isaac Newton, 1642 to 1727.
A double rainbow is a secondary arc outside the primary arc, and the colours are reversed, so the blue is on the outside, and is caused by the light being reflected twice within the droplets.
Now I know.

The Weather Changes in the UK at Hampton Court

Published by:

From my home town of Kingston upon Thames, there is on the opposite bank of the River Thames the grounds of the Palace of Hampton Court, a largely open parkland area south of Bushy Park, the home of the Hampton Court Flower Show, and the historical Palace of Henry VIII.

On the north bank of the River Thames is an easy walk of about 3 miles (just under 5 km) following the river to Hampton Court called Badge Walk. Pleasure boats and ferries enjoying the leisurely pace of life, cruise passed on the river. Cyclists, joggers and walkers, out to exercise or just enjoy being out in the open air pass by, sometimes with a jolly “Hello” greeting. It is a pleasant walk on a sunny day for all.
For many weeks the weather in the UK has been like summer, even if it is only March/April, so much so that many parts of the UK are so short of water there has been a hosepipe ban introduced, rivers and reservoirs are running dry, the area has been declared officially in drought conditions.
And so I set out on a beautiful morning, to exercise myself on the walk, with the warmth of the sun putting an extra spring in my step. But as I neared the end of Badge Walk, coming to the entrance to the Royal Palace, the skies darkened, and I could see the ribbons of heavy rain falling in the near distance. Looking at the movement of the clouds and the direction of the wind, I realised and hoped the storm would pass to the north of me.
Ribbons of rain about to fall on Hampton Court seen from Barge Walk on the River Thames towards Hampton Court Bridge
It had taken about an hour and a half to reach Hampton Court, time enough to earn a sandwich and a cup of tea in one of the cafe’s the grounds, and then to take a leisurely stroll through some of the gardens of the Palace.
It is a little too early for most of the flowering plants to bloom, but there were beds and beds of daffodils, some already having flowered looking a little bedraggled, some just in their prime, carpets of yellow gently swaying in the sunshine.
Daffodils in the Royal Palace of Hampton Court gardens
Yes, the rain did not materialise, but the sky was darkening, this time the blackest black I could remember, a storm was brewing, and it was time to leave, the quicker the better, and the quickest was a bus ride back to Kingston.
It was a race against the storm, and having reached the shopping centre of Kingston I entered the Bentall Shopping Centre, the heavens opened, delivering hail stones and rain drops large enough to stop and elephant stampede, but I was dry.
This British weather. It is so changeable, and it seems to be getting more so, from desert heat to Arctic freezing, tropical rainstorms to parched landscapes.

HEMS Helicopter Emergency Medical Service

Published by:

A group of
Kingston upon Thames Rotary Club members, plus spouses, visited the Kent, Surrey and
Sussex HEMS service, based at the old RAF airfield, home of the BBC’s
Top Gear program, test track for the car manufacturer McLaren,
Dunsfold.

Kingston Rotary visiting the Kent, Surrey and Sussex HEMS

HEMS, (Helicopter Emergency Medical
Service
), is operated every day of the year from 7am to 7pm in
daylight hours, with the hope in the near future to extend its’
service into night flying too, is an emergency response to medical
situations with a team of a pilot, a highly skilled doctor and a
critical care paramedic on board. We were told that this particular
HEMS team responded to 3 or 4 situations per day.

The service is a registered charitable
self funding organisation, covering the three counties of Kent,
Surrey and Sussex in conjunction with the NHS Ambulance Service which
merged the three counties into one service, and has two MD902
Explorer
helicopters, one based in Marden (Kent) and the other at
Dunsfold (Surrey), and can reach any part of the SE England
operational area it was said in 20 minutes.

The HEMS MD902 Explorer helicopter for Kent, Surrey and Sussex based at Dunsfold, by Phillip Holt

Taking A&E (Accident and Emergency) directly to a patient
within minutes has been proven a lifesaver, with even open heart
surgery being performed onsite, then to get the patient directly to
the most appropriate hospital in a sort time, affects the quality of
survival.

Constantly looking for and raising
funds to cover the £5 million per year cost is a host of volunteers,
as the service receives no funds from the Government or National
Lottery. For a small sum, you can enter the Kent,
Surrey and Sussex HEMS own lottery by filling in a form obtainable
from their web site.

The dedication of the people at
Dunsfold was obvious, as the pilot, doctor and paramedic took time
out to show us around the helicopter, explain what they do and answer
out multitude of questions. In the summing-up session back in the
HEMS building, I glanced outside to where the helicopter was parked,
only to see the three of them washing the already gleaming machine,
but having fun in the process. These lifesavers are just human like
you and me, and need our support just as we may need theirs one day.