SOAPBOX

Ron debates the definition of a hero and challenges the award of Housing benefits

Heroes

A hero, or heroine, to me is someone that performs a very brave act at serious risk to themselves for the benefit of others. A soldier who goes back under fire to rescue a wounded colleague, a paramedic that crawls into a collapsed building to attend to a victim, a fireman rescuing someone from a burning building, a passer-by intervening when another is being assaulted, a woman parachuted into enemy occupied territory to assist in defeating the enemy – these are all heroes to me.

Continue reading

Peter wriites to the editor

Peter notes that the debate on micro/macro food production appears to have come to a natural end

Letter to the editor.

Dear Ray,

I get the impression the micro / macro food production debate had run out of steam. As with previous missives, I was always looking for numbers and scientific facts, even to the extent of posing questions and statements designed to perhaps tease out a few answers…sadly none seem to have surfaced during any of the exchanges.

Continue reading

Nine days in Oman

Janet tells us about her recent holiday in Oman

I recently returned from a holiday in Oman, a country of deserts and mountains, and wonderfully welcoming people.

I started in Muscat, a very attractive old walled town, probably one of the most attractive in the Gulf. It’s surrounded by a horseshoe ring of mountains. I went to the Grand Mosque where 6,000 people can worship at any one time. It is constructed almost entirely of white marble and inside on the floor the prayer mat took four years and six hundred weavers to produce, covering 4,200 square metres and weighs 21 tonnes. They have used 28 different colours in varying shades and intricate designs; the mat contains 1,700 million knots. I visited the Souk where I haggled with the traders over the price of material, spices and gifts. My first night was spent in a hotel, but the following morning I left at 8am ready to spend three days in the desert.

Continue reading