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Are Brits as polite as they think they are?



When travelling abroad, I’m often shocked by the sheer rudeness of people who find it perfectly acceptable to skip queues, stare and burp loudly in restaurants! Although I’ve always found my fellow Brits to be a polite and well-mannered bunch, I can’t help but wonder whether our perception of politeness or fairness is somehow skewed.

Just recently the Fairtrade Foundation posed the question: “How Fair are you?” with an interactive test to help raise awareness of producers in developing countries and to promote sustainability.

For me, unfairness is much more than just skipping the queue or barging past others to get where I’m going: it’s about an inward looking, self-centred point of view which is unconcerned with the welfare of others. Politeness, on the other hand, is a way of measuring fairness which is a good indication of a considerate person.

According to Fairtrade, 76% of us Brits are considered fair but we can still do so more to help others, particularly those working in developing countries. For example, by making a conscious effort to buy Fairtrade produce, like coffee, you are helping to make the world a more fairer and better place to live!

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Most Delightful Rakhi Gifts for Your Brother on Raksha Bandhan'



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The religious festival of Rakhi is essential for all the siblings to strengthen the bond of love and
affection. There is a great importance of Raksha Bandhan in everyone’s life. It is a celebration
for the bondage of love and protection, according to the Hindu culture. Sisters apply pious ‘tilak’
on the forehead of their brothers and tie a sacred thread of Rakhi on their brother’s wrist. All the
siblings enjoy some happy moments together during the celebration. Brothers also take vows to
protect their dear sisters from all the troubles in life. Gifts also play an essential role in the
traditional occasion of Raksha Bandhan. Sisters try to dedicate some fantastic rakhi gifts to their
brothers to bring some happiness in their life. It is one of the favorite events for sisters to
express their immense emotions towards their brothers.

Being a sister, you should try these lovely gifts to delight your dear brother on Raksha Bandhan.

Blossom Buds for Him:

If you want to give something that your brother will appreciate on Raksha Bandhan, then you
should dedicate flowers for him. There are many flowers which are perfect for expressing your
eternal emotions in the brother-sister relationship. You can send rakhi online along with a
beautiful bouquet to your loving brother. It is a novel approach to impress him on this
remarkable day of Raksha Bandhan. Try to choose his favorite blooms like roses, orchids, and
lilies, etc. to bring happiness in his life. It will be a great way to create a lovely gesture for him.

Food Gifts for Him:

If you know the food choices of your brother, then you should make a perfect food gift for him on
Raksha Bandhan. You should try his favorite cookies, chocolates, cupcakes, and many more to
give him some delightful moments of the day. The best idea is to make a hamper adding all the
food items of his choice to show how much you care for him. It can be something fantastic to
win his heart. He would love to eat in his free time at home. Your brother is going to enjoy such
yummy food gifts from your side.

Electronics Organizer for Him:

Finding the right gift for brothers can be an excellent task for sisters. On this Raksha Bandhan,
you can buy electronics organizer to amaze your dear brother. He may like to use some
gadgets or devices. There are lots of electronics accessories like cables, USB, power bank, and
other electric gear which he has to keep safe. An electronic organizer can be the right choice to
show your care for him. It will also protect his precious gadgets from accidental splashes of
water. He would surely appreciate your gift selection to mark the Raksha Bandhan.

A Wallet or Card Holder:

If you want to dedicate something useful for your dear brother, then you should buy his favorite
accessories on Raksha Bandhan. A wallet can be the best item that he likes to carry for outing
or shopping. You can check some trendy purses or classic wallets according to the taste of your
brother. The best approach is to dedicate a designer rakhi along with a branded portfolio for
him. You can even choose printed cardholders to impress him on this most awaited event. It
would be a fantastic gift to make your brother feel special.

Greetings for Best Wishes:

There is nothing more delightful than expressing your emotions through greetings to your loved
ones. You have a chance to display your eternal feelings by making a beautiful rakhi greeting
for your brother. Paste some photo cuttings to design an attractive card to amuse him on
Raksha Bandhan. You can even write poetry that resembles your togetherness in the sibling
relationship. It will surely give him some touchy moments of the day. He will keep it as a token
of love forever with him.

With all of these delightful rakhi gift ideas, you will be able to enchant your loving brother on
Raksha Bandhan.

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The Georgian Love Tokens That Time Forgot



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England in the 18th Century was a lively hub for culture, science and industry. The Act of Union of 1707 brought England and Scotland together, politically if not popularly, and Great Britain began forging its infamous overseas empire.

Advances in technology and agriculture placed Britain at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution, bringing the masses into the rapidly expanding cities. Political power and influence was in the hands of an elite few, with the nobility at the top followed by the wealthy landowners – aka, the Gentry. Although the beginnings of a middle class, as we would know it today, were emerging at this time there was a huge wealth divide that separated the rich and the rest.

Derby-Chelsea Porcelain miniatures were my first love affair in antique jewellery, and we have a little collection of them here at Butter Lane Antiques. These charming figures were produced in two English factories, located respectively in Chelsea and Derby, between 1745 and 1784. Their rarity is down to the short window of production (less than 50 years), and the delicacy of the pieces. They are made from moulded porcelain, hand painted, with hardstone seals at the base. Gold bails were commonly added for wear as pendants.

im2The “well to do” of 18th Century England – the aforementioned Gentry and nobility – would exchange these fobs as tokens of love or affection, with the most commonly depicted figure being Cupid. The bases are often hand carved with the sweetest designs or faux Heraldic Crests. The seal pictured [image 2] depicts a winged heart over Globus cruciger – seemingly carved by an amateur. The mixture of symbology here is wonderful – I read: “Love holds dominion over the whole world”.

Each figure also features a motto, in French, above the base. Some examples include: “Mon Amour Est Badin,” or “My love is playful”; the excellent play on words “Signe D’Amour,” or “Seal of love” (yes, that is the swan [image 3]!); and “L’Argent Fait Tout,” or “Money is everything”. Okay, that last one is a kind of strange love token…
im3There is a wonderful book, Bryant’s “The Chelsea Porcelain Toys” (1925), in which a number from our collection feature. Here is what Bryant had to say on our beer-drinking Cupid [image 4]: “Cupid sitting on a green tree-stump, holding with his left hand a foaming mug above his head. He has a blue drapery over his left shoulder, falling behind and round his waist, the lining painted with a striped gold and crimson pattern, his quiver lies on the ground behind him. The base is white and concave, with the motto in red, “MON AMOUR EST BADEN.” Our Cupid has a slightly different colour scheme, but the cast figure is otherwise identical to Bryant’s, even down to the motto.

The earlier figures were made in the Chelsea factory (between 1745 and 1769) and there is evidence to suggest that a collection of some 300 moulds was transferred from Chelsea to Derby in the early 1770s. The Derby factory was known for using brighter, more vivid colours in their paintwork, which I suppose explains the variations on colour.

im4These love tokens provide fascinating insights into the lives and luxuries of bygone era. For me these little miniatures epitomise the idea of sentimental jewellery and I’m so glad that some of these delicate pieces have survived to this day!

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Saudi Arabia Bans Magazine Cover Featuring Pope Francis



Could the Pope provoke a revolution in Saudi Arabia?

Could the Pope provoke a revolution in Saudi Arabia?

National Geographic issue not allowed for ‘cultural reasons’

Saudi Arabia has banned the Arabic version of National Geographic magazine, which features an image of Pope Francis.

Although the US-based company has yet to comment on the incident, it is believed that the Islamic country took offence to the image of the Catholic Pontiff.

Alsaad Omar al-Menhaly, the magazine’s editor-in-chief for Saudi Arabia, issued a statement on Twitter in which he said: “Dear readers in Saudi Arabia, we apologize that you did not receive August’s magazine. According to the distribution company, the magazine was refused entry for cultural reasons.”

The magazine’s headline, which suggested that the Pope was leading a “quiet revolution”, may also have upset a regime concerned about possible unrest.

While Saudi Arabia has admitted not a single Syrian refugee in four years, the tiny Vatican City State is taking two refugee families in this week, and Pope Francis has called for Catholics across Europe to welcome Syrians, regardless of their religion.

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