Yoga is a compilation of physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in ancient India. There is a great variety of yoga schools. Among the most well-known types of yoga are Hatha yoga and Raja yoga.
In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world. However, yoga is more than physical exercise, it has a meditative and spiritual essence.
The first Hindu teacher to actively try to popularize the aspects of yoga to the Western audience was Swami Vivekananda , who toured Europe and the United States in the 1890s. The reception which Swami Vivekananda received was mostly by intellectuals such as R. W. Emerson (1803–1882), philosophers and scholars - G.W.F. Hegel (1770–1831), Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860) etc.
The Western world associates the term "yoga" with Hatha yoga and its postures (asanas) merely as a form of exercise. In Hinduism it is more than exercise; it incorporates meditation with spiritual benefits.
Yoga has been studied and is increasingly recommended to promote relaxation, reduce stress and some medical conditions such as PMS. Yoga is a low-impact activity that provides the same benefits as any well-designed exercise program; it increases general health and stamina, reduces stress and improves health issues brought about by the modern sedentary lifestyle.
There is evidence to suggest that regular yoga practice increases brain activity, and yoga has been shown to improve mood and anxiety more than some other metabolically-matched exercises, such as walking.
The three main focuses of Hatha yoga (exercise, breathing, and meditation) make it beneficial to those suffering from heart disease. Studies of yoga on heart disease demonstrate that yoga reduces high blood-pressure, enhances cardiac rehabilitation and lowers cardiovascular risk factors.
A research group from Boston University School of Medicine tested yoga effects on lower-back pain. For the duration of twelve weeks, one group of volunteers practiced yoga while the control group continued with standard treatment for back pain. The reported pain for yoga participants decreased by one third. The standard treatment group had only a five percent drop. Yoga participants had a drop of 80% in the use of pain medication.
Ways to MeditateThere are many styles of hatha yoga and there are many ways to meditate. The first stage of meditation is to concentrate on a specific object or establish a point of focus, with the eyes opened or closed. Silently repeating a word or phrase, reciting a prayer or chanting, visualizing an image or focusing on an object such as a lit candle or fingering a rosary or a piece of crystal are all commonly recommended points of focus. Observing your breathing and noticing the bodily sensations are also optional focal points.
The Use of Sound
Mantra yoga uses a particular sound or a phrase as a point of focus. The word mantra comes from man, which means “to think,” and tra - “instrumentality” . So, mantra is an instrument of thought.
Chanting is another powerful way to meditate. A chant involves rhythm and pitch. Indian chanting comes out of a tradition that believes in the creative power of sound and its potential to transport us to a state of awareness. Reflected in an interpretation of the word universe—”one song”— Om is the seed sound of all other sounds.
The Use of Images
Visualizing is also a good way to meditate and it’s easy to practice.
Some practitioners visualize a natural object such as a flower or the ocean; others meditate on the chakras / the energy centers in the body/. In this type of meditation, you focus on the area or organ of the body corresponding to a particular chakra, imagining the particular colour that is associated with it.
Another variation on the use of imagery is to maintain an open-eyed focus upon an object. Candle gazing is a popular form of this method. You can focus on a flower, a statue, or a picture of a deity or a colourful mandala.
Use this technique with your eyes fully opened or partially closed, creating a softer, diffused gaze. Many pranayama techniques also call for specific positioning of the eyes, such as gazing at the “third eye,” the point between the eyebrows or at the tip of the nose.
Use the breath as a point of focus. You can do this by counting the breaths so that the breath becomes the sole object of your meditation. Observe every nuance of the breath and each sensation it produces: how it moves in your abdomen and torso, how it feels as it moves in and out of your nose, its quality, its temperature, and so on. Though you are fully aware of all these details, you don’t dwell on them or judge them in any way; you remain detached from what you’re observing. What you discover is neither good nor bad; you simply allow yourself to be with the breath from moment to moment.
There are many classic seated poses - Sukhasana (Easy Cross-Legged Pose) or Padmasana (Lotus Pose).
Relax your arms and place your hands on the thighs, with the palms in a relaxed position facing up or down . Keep your neck long and the chin down. Your eyes may be opened or closed. Breathe and relax.
A moving meditation may be an enjoyable option for you. The challenge is to walk slowly and consciously, each step becoming your focal point. Destination, distance, and pace are of no essence. Relax your arms at your sides and move freely, coordinating your breath with your steps. Breathe in for 3 steps and breathe out for 3 steps or just breathe freely. Choose a place you love—the ocean, a river, a favorite park.
The classic Corpse Pose, Savasana, is used for meditation. Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, palms facing upward. Some find it easier to stay awake with their eyes open.
The Benefits of MeditationResearch has confirmed what the yogis of ancient times already knew: deep physiological and psychological changes take place when we meditate.
When meditation deepens, brain activity decreases. Studies on meditators have shown decreased perspiration and a slower rate of respiration accompanied by a decrease of metabolic wastes in the bloodstream. Lower blood pressure and an improved immune system are further benefits of meditation.
Meditation teaches you to manage stress. It reduces stress; enhances the overall physical health and emotional well-being. On a deeper level it adds quality to your life by teaching you to be fully alert, aware, and alive.
How Do We Know It Works?
At the beginning you might feel uncomfortable meditating—sitting for 20 minutes can cause your legs to fall asleep or cramp up; walking slowly can make you feel impatient or anxious; reclining poses may make you fall asleep. Don’t worry. Reduce the length of your practice time; change your position; play around – find the pattern that suits you best.
If you continue having trouble with your meditation practice, find an experienced teacher or a support group. No matter how you do it, an indicator of your progress is a feeling of inner calmness and composure.
The black stork
The adult storks are big wading birds with their upper body in black, with golden, purple and green tint. The rest is white. The bill and the legs are red.
The young offspring has yellow bill and legs. They learn to fly when they are 3 months old.
Unlike the white stork which lives in the steppes, the black stork likes the woods. It builds a nest on a tall tree and hunts in streams, rivers, marshes and meadows.
Black storks in Bulgaria can be seen in the Nikopol plateau, around Lovech and Russe. The black stork has one partner for life and there is always a parent in the nest when their young are small. Their mating season starts in May. The female lays from 2 to 6 eggs within 2 days.
The Aesculapian snake
It is a non-venomous snake which can be found in Bulgaria in places with 1600 m altitude. It likes mixed kinds of forests and hunts mainly small rodents, birds, eggs.
In the middle of the summer the female lays from 2 to 10 round eggs. The young ones hatch in September.
It has 4 claws on its legs which help it grasp the tree bark and move up and down the branches.
The woodpecker feeds by using its bill to hammer on dead trees to dig out carpenter ants and wood-boring grubs.
Their voice is remarkable in that it has two different calls. One is a short single high-pitched note done only twice in a row. The other is a screech-like shrill while in flight.
The black woodpecker mate in April. The female lays 4 to 6 eggs which she hatches for about 2 weeks. The parents have to make about 300 trips from and to the nest every day to feed their young.
The male wood pecker has distinctive sexual dimorphism – black feathers with red spots on the head.
The black woodpecker lives predominantly in the mountainous desiduous, mixed or pine forests. In Bulgaria it can be seen in the West and Southwest regions – the mountains of Pirin, the Rhodopes and some parts of the Balkan.
It feeds mainly on fish; sometimes on frogs, crayfish, water rats, insects and birds.
Its body is the size of a big cat – long, flexible, with a long tail – up to 50 cm.
The otter front claws are webbed. It is a protected animal in the Red book of Bulgaria.
The otter mates from March to April. It gives birth from 2 to 5 young and guards them fiercely.
You can meet it almost anywhere in Bulgaria. It prefers woods, parks, vineyards.
The Golden Oriole is a monogamous bird. Its nest is as high as 10 – 15 m off the ground. The female usually lays 3 – 6 speckled eggs.
The Golden Oriole feeds on insects and fruit.
The lesser kestrel
The Lesser Kestrel is a small falcon. It is a summer migrant, wintering in Africa and Pakistan and sometimes even to India and Iraq.
Despite its outward similarity, this species appears not to be closely related to the Common Kestrel.
The Lesser Kestrel eats insects, but also small birds, reptiles and rodents, which are often taken on the ground. It nests colonially on buildings, cliffs, or in tree holes, laying up to 3-6 eggs. No nest structure is built, which is typical for falcons.
It mainly feeds on small mammals, such as voles, rats, mice and hares, birds.
It is said that an owl can swallow a whole hedgehog, swooping down in its flight.
The mating season starts in February. The female lays from 2 to 4 eggs in rock cracks.
The young learn to fly in July.
It is a loner; sometimes it lives in couples. It can be very unpredictable in its behaviour. An adult animal weighs between 100 – 300 kgs and is between 1.50 – 2.50 m tall.
The brown bear is the largest animal in Bulgaria. Although it looks clumsy, it can run as fast ast 45 km/h.
It lives in wetlands surrounded by a large proportion of natural, wooded, landscape.
The search of a nesting areas by adult females can last several hours to more than one day. Once the location of the nest is established, females spend time for the construction of the nest, laying of the eggs, and closing the nest which can take up to another 4 hours.
It is 20 – 25 cm long, its tail is 5 cm long. It lives in woodland, farmland and suburban areas. It is nocturnal, and if alarmed will roll itself into a ball, protecting itself against potential predators with its spines.
European rhino beetle
One of the protected animals by the law. It’s very rare to be seen in Bulgaria.
European Pine marten.
Its mating season is from June to August, with the pregnancy being 8 -9 months long.
The female has a litter of 2 – 8 young. Its life span is 10 – 12 years. In Bulgaria it can be seen in the Strandja mountain, some of the Eastern parts of Rila, Pirin and Rhodope mountains. Its fur is very valuable and that is why it is listed in the Red book of Bulgaria as facing extinction.
Red forest ant
It fights attacks by spewing formic acid.
The red forest ant is a protected species.
They say that when a man marries a woman, he thinks, “She’s the one I’ve been waiting for. She’ll never change.” – but she always does. When a woman looks at her man, she thinks, “He just needs a little work; after we are married, I’ll help him change” – but he never does.
Most of us see our partners through our idea of what we think they are, rather than seeing them as they are or as they see themselves. This is the problem: when you decide to change your partner, you demonstrate your desire your image of them to take place.
Engage your partner with curiosity; forget judgment and you will discover a whole new world. So, if you want a great relationship, you have to let your partner be what they are.
Your frustration with your partner is a denial of reality. The deepest form of suffering is the denial of reality and the greatest denial of reality is denying the reality of the person you live with.
The reality is the difference that attracted you two in the first place.
Your partner has an inner world that is different from yours. Your partner’s sexual desires are different. Your partner’s childhood was different. Your partner’s feelings are different and the way they react is different. Your partner’s thoughts and thought process is different.
Your partner is NOT you!
Religious beliefs are something that is deeply ingrained in you, and often these beliefs have been passed down in your family. It is common for someone to believe less in their religion or even convert for their partner, if your significant other is deeply religious it can be problematic in an interfaith relationship.
Most problems for couples, in terms of religion, don’t arise until later or until they decide to have children. People who were raised going to religious services often want to resume this practice when they have their own children . On the other hand, if their partner is an atheist and agnostic, it is highly unlikely that they will become devout believers just because they live with a religious person. If religion matters to your partner, it is unfair to expect a change.
Personality:It is impossible to make someone behave the way you would want them to. People are who they are, although some personality features are due to social conditioning. The tendency to change diminishes greatly once you turn 30 – one’s personality stabilises in adulthood. Our core personality traits have a strong genetic component and remain constant during our lives.
Families, especially your partner’s parents, can be a touchy subject, and if any sort of criticism of them comes into the conversation, be ready for an explosion at any time. People’s feelings are not likely to change after you two meet. Keep an open mind and try to compromise.
Hobbies: Relationship researchers believe that couples who take up similar hobbies together are much happier because the experience they share, brings novelty and excitement to the relationship. If you try to make your partner change or stop their hobbies, that will only stir trouble and set the relationship on an unfavorable course.
Me space.You want to spend every waking moment with your significant other but they fight viciously for their “alone” time. Time apart often keeps a relationship fresh.
Your partner’s obsession with planning everything meticulously. Some people are more organised while others are more likely to go with the feel and improvise. The conflict can pan out in a number of issues - how to raise the children; spending and saving; the colour scheme of the furniture etc.
You both came from different family background and culture. Try to adjust in few things, keep your ego away and talk about the habits of your partner which you just can’t resist. Remember to be polite while discussing your partner’s annoying habits.
Change yourself, not your partner!
If you wish with all your heart to have a satisfying relationship you need to change yourself rather than try to change your partner. Ask yourself how you might be harming the relationship – rather than placing the blame on your partner. You need to acknowledge that each one of you has his/her own perception of reality, their own unique personality, their own ways of self-expression.
One of the things that really makes a strong marriage is the fact that we can change within our lifetime, and that if we change it would be because we want to change - not because the other person wants us to change or made us change.
Here is some advice on how to accept that our partner is different:
We are imperfect and so are our partners. Acceptance is the first step to personal growth, change, and self-improvement.
Replace the word perfect with “right for me.” You aren’t supposed to like every little thing about your partner. Even the happiest of couples don’t adore every thing in their partner and in an ideal world would make some changes. The key is that they don’t focus on the negatives — they focus on building the positive and love while accepting that they can’t change the rest.
So, don’t fall in love with the illusion of who someone could be or might become. Fall in love with who they are in the present moment.
Here’s the official FSA guidelines:
Vegetarian: The term ‘vegetarian’ should not be applied to foods that are, or are made from or with the aid of products derived from animals that have died, have been slaughtered, or animals that die as a result of being eaten. Animals means farmed, wild or domestic animals, including for example, livestock poultry, game, fish, shellfish, crustacea, amphibians, tunicates, echinoderms, molluscs and insects.
Vegan: The term ‘vegan’ should not be applied to foods that are, or are made from or with the aid of animals or animal products (including products from living animals).
Veganism – pros and consNot long ago the idea of a strict vegan diet was considered extreme, ridiculous and impractical. A vegan does not eat any animal products — no meat, fish, fowl, eggs, dairy or honey. They would not use any clothing or footwear that has animal products in it.
The following are the advantages of a vegan diet:
It also helps in weight loss and it keeps you full longer. Fruits and vegetables provide the body with vital vitamins and minerals that provide general health, immunity and a glowing skin.
There are three kinds of vegetarians:
o Lacto-vegetarians: They do not consume meat, chicken and fish but eat milk and milk products.
o Lacto-ovo-vegetarians: They eat milk, milk products and eggs but exclude all kinds of meat.Vegan Vs. VegetarianLike vegans, vegetarians do not eat any animal flesh; no chicken, pig, cow, sea animals. A vegan does not eat eggs, dairy products or any other product derived from an animal. Vegetarians tend to eat eggs and dairy products like milk and butter.
Vegans avoid using products that have been tested on animals, like make-up and skin creams, or products made from animal skins such as leather belts and shoes. Vegetarians tend to be a bit more lenient when it comes to using products derived from animals.
Some vegans may say that the primary reason for adhering to their diet is due to allergies, most adopt a vegan lifestyle for moral and political reasons (ethical vegans). Vegans claim that animals are not here to be exploited by man, and that commercialization of animals is inhumane and lacks respect of life.
There are many reasons one might be vegetarian. A prominent reason is for health reasons - the vegetarian diet is high in fiber; low on carbs and saturated fats. Some religions, like Hinduism and Jainism, prescribe or encourage vegetarianism. Others, like the Christian Orthodox church, practice abstinence from animal products during Lent.
Health Benefits of Vegan and Vegetarian Diets
In general, most studies show vegans and vegetarians are as healthy, if not healthier than, their meat-eating counterparts. Veganism, in particular, is very good at eliminating common food allergens, such as shellfish and dairy. However, a notable downside to the vegan diet is that vegans often need to take B12 and amino acid supplements — and sometimes other dietary supplements, such as iron or vitamin D — as their diet tends to lack these essential nutritional components.
Overall, determining whether these diets directly affect long-term health outcomes is difficult. The different types of vegetarians are rarely studied against each other, for instance, and vegans and vegetarians often tend to be more affluent or health-conscious, both of which positively affect long-term outcomes.
Famous Vegetarians and Vegans
Many well-known celebrities adhere to vegan or vegetarian diets. Famous vegans include singers Carrie Underwood and Erykah Badu, Olympic sprinter Carl Lewis, actor and musician Jared Leto, and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez. Among vegetarians, there is Coldplay singer Chris Martin, comedian Ellen DeGeneres, Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi, and actors Natalie Portman and Peter Dinklage.
Diet Dos And DontsScience claims that vegan and vegetarian diets are beneficial to humans, animals, and the environment; they are also of nutritional value.
Veganism is very restrictive. While protein and iron can be otherwise sourced, vitamin B12 — another vitamin rich in animal products — is harder to obtain.
There’s also a tendency for meat-free eaters to fill the animal abyss with processed foods, which is not nutritionally sound and can make one feel hungry and crabby.
And you thought winters are good to lose weight?
While most of the people believe that winters are good to lose weight and you don’t even have to go through the problem of sweating, there are a handful of people, who know the connection between summers and weight loss. Even if you consult a good nutritionist or a dietician at a weight loss clinic, he would tell you how good summers are to lose weight. In fact, when you read information given for the sake of public health, you get to know how easy it is for you to get back into shape during this season.
But why is it that summers are so good to lose weight? Read below to know about the top five reasons:
1) Because you sweat more and the more you sweat, the easier it is for you to lose weight: It is necessary for you to sweat more if you genuinely wish to lose weight quickly. When you read any health information, you are told about the benefits of sweating while working out. It is like losing out on a lot of calories, when you sweat and hence you lose more weight during this season.
2) Because you drink more water during summers: The good thing about summers is that you drink a lot of water during this season; you don’t feel like taking the bottle of water away from your lips because all the energy seems to be drained out by the sun and the heat. Since you drink more water, you eat less and hence you lose weight quickly.
3) Because you eat quite less and drink more liquids during summers: Most of the people complain about loss of appetite at the weight loss clinic during summers, which is actually good. Since you drink more and eat less, losing weight becomes quite easier for you.
4) Because you don’t feel like working out during winters, but you do feel like working out during summers: The worst thing about winters is that you don’t feel like working out; however, the case is different during summers. You are more energetic and hence you feel like exercising more, thanks to which you get back into shape.
5) Because you can always go swimming during summers: Can you swim during winters? But swimming is always fun during summers and what can be a better exercise to lose weight than swimming?
The tomato is an edible fruit of Solanum lycopersicum, commonly known as a tomato plant. The Aztec word tomatl gave rise to the Spanish word "tomate", where the English word tomato comes from. Its use as a food originated in Mexico, and spread throughout the world after the Spanish colonization of the Americas.
The Spanish also brought the tomato to Europe. It grew easily in Mediterranean climates, and cultivation began in the 16th century. It was probably eaten shortly after it was introduced, and was certainly being used as food by the early 17th century in Spain. In Britain, tomatoes were grown mainly for aesthetic purposes.
Although some called the tomatoes ‘love apples’, nobody dared to taste them. Legend has it that a nobleman, desperate from unrequited love, decided to kill himself… and ate a basketful of tomatoes…
In the early 1700s, tomato seeds were brought into the 13 US colonies via the European immigrants.
Alexander W. Livingston, a botanist in Ohio bought boxes of tomato seeds and decided to develop the tomatoes for mass consumption. In his experimental phase, he grew varieties of tomatoes, trying to perfect their shape and taste. It took five years of experimenting until he finally had the tomato he wanted. He called it ‘Livingston’.
Most Americans thought the tomato was poisonous and so it was an astonishing event when, in 1806, Jefferson served them to guests at the President’s House.
Another promoter of tomatoes was Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson who set out to eat a basket of tomatoes on the steps of the local courthouse in 1830. A multitude of people watched him, expecting to see him foam at the mouth, twitch and agonise until he died. However, he didn’t, so the tomatoes were gradually accepted as food, though preferably in a highly processed form by heat, vinegar, and spices. Tomato ketchup was popular long before salad tomatoes were.
Today, the tomato is considered to be extremely healthy and delicious. It is very versatile - it can be baked, roasted, fried, grilled, pickled, and powdered. The tomato is an excellent source of vitamin C, antioxidants and beta carotene, which can help combat cancer, prostate cancer. Its fiber, potassium and choline content are beneficial for heart health. Potassium is important for our bodies because it decreases the risk of strokes, keeps the blood pressure stable, prevents cardiovascular disease, and fights muscle cramps. Tomatoes help lower the blood sugar and keep the insulin levels stable in diabetics. Tomatoes are rich in Lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene – powerful antioxidants that protect the eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration.
Here is an easy recipe with tomatoes and feta cheese.3 chopped onions750 g of wheel-sliced tomatoes200 g of feta cheese4 eggsa cup of milkFry the onion with 2 soup spoonfuls of flour in vegetable oil. Add the tomatoes and gently fry them, too. Place on a greased baking tray and sprinkle the cheese on top. You can add some parsley to add more flavour. Make a mixture of the eggs with the milk, pour the mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake in a hot oven. Enjoy with rustic bread and olives.
The Museum of Mosaics is in the town of Devnya, Bulgaria. It is an in situ museum that is located in a specially constructed building so as to preserve the archaeological discoveries. A big Roman building with exquisite mosaics was discovered in this place during archaeological excavations in 1976. The museum was constructed over some of the foundations of this building.
The ancient building dates back to the time of Emperor Constantine I the Great – the end of the 3rd century – the beginning of the 4th century. It was an urban house (villa urbana) in the Roman town of Marcianopolis which was one of the biggest towns in this part of the empire.
Five of the rooms and the portico are covered in floor mosaics in different colours – some of the best examples of Roman mosaic art found on the territory of Bulgaria. Three of the mosaics are exhibited in situ in the rooms where they were discovered. The other mosaics were moved and placed on a new structure after undergoing certain preservation procedures and restoration.
The mosaics are made of tiny cubes of marble, limestone, baked clay and glass, painted in 16 colours. They depict mainly characters and scenes from the Greek-Roman Mythology, exotic animals and birds, floral and geometrical patterns, etc.
The mosaic covering the floor of the living-room represents the shield of goddess Pallas Athena which is decorated with the head of the decapitated Gorgon Medusa in the middle. The purpose of the image was to protect the owners of the house from evil and to petrify the ill-wishers with the the chilling look of the Gorgon. Despite the gorgon's reputation as a horrible monster, the image is rather tame. Medusa is depicted with her face turned slightly to the right, though she is staring to the left. Tiles of various colours have been used to give volume to the image.
The villa is almost square and measures 37.15 m × 37.75 m .
It had 21 rooms situated around an inner courtyard (atrium) with a well; the rooms have a total area of 1,409 m2 /15,170 sq ft.
The museum is in a small park, with a well-preserved Roman street crossing under the building. Around the museum there are several ancient walls, which, along with the villa, constitute most of the preserved ruins of Marcianopolis. The museum building only covers the western part of the villa; its eastern wing and the atrium are not covered, which is a fault in the museum design. Many of the villa walls were decorated with frescoes and stucco.The floors of the portico and the five premises were covered by elaborate mosaics.
The Museum of Mosaics in Devnya is listed as Number 10 among the 100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria.
The mosaic of Zeus and Antiope lies on the floor of the cubiculum, or bedchamber of the villa, which measures 5.60 m × 4.40 m (18.4 ft × 14.4 ft).
Other mosaics in the villa include the story of Ganymede, who is transported to Mount Olympus by Zeus who transformed into an eagle, which covers the oecus, the largest premise. The badly damaged Seasons mosaic in the women's quarters, which depicts images of animals, geometric motifs and personifications of the four seasons, of which Autumn has been preserved; and the geometric Pannonian Volutes mosaic, was moved to the museum from another ruined ancient building of Marcianopolis.
On the periphery of Europe - beyond the area colonised and controlled by the Roman Empire- Scotland is seen by some as a province of England and by others as a country which somehow lost its own identity three hundred years ago.
Inhabited for more than five thousand years, the country was not a unitary state until the reign of Malcolm Canmore. He united Celts, Picts and speakers of Anglic into one Kingdom. Our powerful neignbour to the South was always reluctant to accept that Scotland was a separate state and the early Middle Ages saw many wars between England and Scotland. Edward Longshanks and others believed that the Scottish should be vassals of the English Kirng. Fierce and bloody wars were fought as a result. The 14rgh Century saw success come to the Scots after a long struggle. Robert Bruce established himself as king and from this period there survives The Declaration of Arbroath as a testament to an early struggle for National Liberation.
The Stuart Dynasty reigned in Scotland for many years. James VI of Scotland was the last to reign Scotland as a separate kingdom. When his relative, Elizabeth I of England died, without children, he was the rightful heir to the English throne. James VI of Scotland became James I of England. The two states were not united formally but there was a "personal union" which had two states with one monarch.
The 17th century was a troubled period in the Dual Kingdom. Charles I, son of James VI and I was in continual conflict with Parliament and paid for that with his head. The Republic, named "Commonwealth" at the time did not last long and the monarchy under the Stuarts was re-established. Religious conflict lead to the departure of the Sturat Dynasty.
the dynastic succession was eventually settled on the House of Hanover but as part of the negotiations leading up to that, Scotland lost its separate identity, as did England. The two kingdoms were merged into one State to be known as Great Britain. The Scottish Parliament was dissolved and from 1707, Scottish MPs sat in the new unitary chamber at Westminster.
For nearly 300 years that arrangement persisted. Demands for changes to the political system were seen as crazy ideas from a minority of firebrands. Home Rule was for many years a token part oif the Liberal and Labour manifestos, but not taken seriously by many in Scotland or elsewhere.
After 1945 there was a rush to decolonisation. Burma, India and then the colonies in Africa demanded, and got, Independence. The Imperial Power was weakened economically and militarily. The idea began to catch on that Scotland was in some way also a colonised nation. Exploitation of oil resources in the North Sea in the 1970s strengthened the arguments of those who wanted to go their separate way.
At the end of the 20th century the process of Devolution or Decentralisation brought about a Parliament in Edinburgh with some limited powers. This stoked the demand for more powers and to the growth of the cote for the SNP (Scottish National Party).
Governments in London and Edinburgh agreed that there should be a referendum or plebiscite on the future status of the country. A long campaign led up to the vote in September 2014. as part of the discussion it was often stated that should Scotland vote to leave, then that would mean leaving the European Union. many commentators agree that may have swung the vote. 55% voted to stay in the UK and 45% voted to leave.
When there was a subsequent referendum in the whole of the UK on EU membership, there was a narrow margin of votes to leave the EU (52% against 48%). In Scotland the great majority voted to remain in the EU.
This has raised the possibility of a second Scottish referendum on Independence. Will Scotland again become an independent state ? We will have to wait and see !
For most of us in the English-speaking world, the “End of Empire’ means the disappearance of that institution that was marked red on the old maps in the classrooms. The British Empire, which in our lifetime has gone from a power that controlled a quarter of the world to a group of islands off Europe with a few dots like Gibraltar, Ascension, and the Falklands. We may forget that the 20th century also saw the disappearance of other great Empires: Russian, German. French, Dutch. Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman.
For Bulgarians the Ottoman Empire was the important world power. Never far from the consciousness of the modern Bulgarian is the ‘Turkish Yoke’ (Tursko Robstvo) as it was categorized by Ivan Vazov, the Bulgarian writer, educator and Statesman in his novel “Under the Yoke’ (Pod Igoto).
Historians usually date the beginning of the Ottoman State to the end of the 13th century AD. Looking at the area that became the Ottoman Empire we should remember that this are was the Eastern part of the Roam Empire. The Empire was divided into two parts by Constantine, who gave his name to that city we now know as Istanbul. Constantinople was with Rome the inheritor of traditions, thoughts and practices of the ancient or classical world.
The Turks appeared on the world stage earlier than the 13th century. In 1091 they defeated the forces of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) at the Battle of Manzikert. From then, for the next four centuries we see the gradual expansion of Turkish or Ottoman (Osmanli in Turkish) power. Ottoman was the name given to this group of ‘barbarian’ nomads from Central Asia. The name came from one of the early leaders Osman or Uthman.
Byzantium got smaller as the Ottomans expanded their territory. The prize of the great city – Constantinople, Byzantium, (Tsarigrad in Old Bulgarian) was the last to fall to the advance iof the Ottoman Armies. The Serbians were defeated at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389. Here is a name that still comes to haunt us in the TV News about more recent Balkan conflicts. Throughout the 14th century the Ottomans extend d their control over the Balkan peninsula. The Bulgarian capital, Veliko Turnovo, fell to the invader in 1393. When you visit Turnovo go to Tsarevets Fortress and ponder how that seemingly impregnable castle was taken. The fall of Turnovo was the end of independent Bulgaria for almost 500 years. Attempts by European powers and princes to drive the Turk from the Balkans came to nothing. Vladislav Varnenchik (Wladyslaw of Varna) was one of those who fell in the 15th century in this struggle. Constantinople fell to the Ottoman armies in 1453. That city became the capital, replacing Edirne (Adrianopolis to most of us, Odrin to the Bulgarians) which itself had earlier replaced Bursa as the centre of the court of the Sultan and Caliph.
The Turks of course brought Islam with them. The ruling class in Bulgaria had been, together with the peasantry, Christian. The Boyars, the aristocrats in the Medieval Bulgarian State soon disappeared. They were either physically liquidated or absorbed into the Ottoman ruling class. Some may have sought refuge in those areas to the West not yet taken over by the Turk. The expansion of the Empire continued, reaching as far as Central Europe. Hungary became Ottoman and remained so for one and a half centuries. They reached Vienna, and there, the expansion stopped. The Second Siege of Vienna led to defeat. After slaughtering their prisoners, the Turks withdrew from the walls of Vienna. Some historians see this as the beginning of the decline of the Empire. Others date it to a naval defeat at Lepanto in 1571.
Meanwhile in the Balkans, the Ottomans established ‘Pax Ottomanica’. This whole field of History writing is full of controversy. Bulgarian Historians, as well as their colleagues in other lands that used to be Ottoman, emphasize the negative aspects of Ottoman occupation and rule. 500 years of tyranny, bloodshed, oppression and forced Islamicisation. That is the viewpoint of most Bulgarians and those who write or otherwise depict this period. If you have ever seen any cinematic treatment of this period you will take my point. Of course there is real truth in this. There were horrors and atrocities. The book and subsequent film about the conversion of Bulgarians in the Rhodopes, Vreme Razdelno ( ‘Time of Parting’ by Anton Donchev) have a basis in historical fact. The Pomaks (ethnic Bulgarians who are Muslims) in some cases may have chosen to adopt the new faith. In many cases pressure was undoubtedly brought to bear.
I know the town of Shumen in North East Bulgaria quite well. The early town from the 10th to 15th centuries AD was built high on the Shumen Plateau. The location was clearly chosen for strategic and defensive reasons. During the period of Ottoman Bulgaria, the town expanded and grew in the valleys below the plateau. This must have happened as a result of the peace that was imposed on the area by the new rulers. Tombul Jamiya, the mosque in Shumen was built in the 18th century. Completed in 1745, it is a visible symbol of the wealth and prosperity enjoyed by that area. Indeed Shumen (Shumla in Turkish) remained an area with a clear Turkish identity until recent times. Lithographs from the mid-19th century show a great number of mosques. The Austrian traveller Felix Kannitz was not a particularly gifted draughtsman but thanks to him we know what the skyline of that town looked like in the 1850’s. Incidentally it was this Kannitz who ‘discovered’ the Madra Horseman. He was talking to the Bulgarian schoolteacher in the village of Kyulevcha and was asked, “Would you like to see something interesting?” The result was his introduction to the Madara Horseman…
Back to the Ottomans! From the end of the 17th century, expansion came to an end. There may have been internal prosperity in many parts of the Empire, but the reality was that for reasons that are hart to grasp, the Ottomans could not adapt to the new technology. The Industrial Revolution which led to the superiority of Britain and Germany did not take in Turkey. The Empire began to shrink. Within many parts of the Empire internal dissent, often expressed in nationalist tones grew.
The Bulgarian lands of the Balkans were affected by revolutionary, nationalist movements from the early 19th century. The growing wealth of a Bulgarian merchant class and Bulgarian artisans was expressed in that cultural movement we know in English as ‘National Revival”: (often mis-translated from the Bulgarian as “Renaissance”). In fact some areas of what is today Bulgaria may have had only a minority of ethnic Bulgarians by this time.
The real end of Ottoman rule in Bulgaria came after the unsuccessful April Rising of 1876. Bulgaria was not liberated through the efforts of its own daughters and sons but as a result of intervention by their fellow-Slavs and co-religionists. The Tsar had long seen himself as the protector of Christians under Ottoman Rule.
In fact peace treaties after the Russian-Turkish War reduced Bulgaria to a Principality rather than a fully independent state. It remained technically part of the Ottoman Empire until Ferdinand declared its independence in 1908. Only in 1912 in the First Balkan War was Turkey finally expelled from Macedonia and Thrace. It is less than 100 years since some of what is now Bulgarian territory came under the Bulgarian flag. Reflect on that the next time you wonder why the Bulgarians are sometime so vehemently anti-Turkish.
The River Danube is the watery marking point which divides the Balkan neighbours, Romania and Bulgaria. As it flows from Vidin, past Lom, Svishtov, Ruse and down to Silistra, the consistent boundary between the two lands is clear, however, as the river flows north to the Delta, the divide changes. From this point, the two countries are separated by nothing more than a line on the map. This is the Dobruja
The Dobruja is an informal area of land, shared between both southeastern Romania and northeastern Bulgaria. The Romanian northern Dobruja stretches up to Ismail on the Danube Delta. The Bulgarian southern Dobruja is a fertile agricultural plateau which includes Tutrakan, Silistra, Balchik, Kavarna and the main city of Dobrich.
After the creation of the Principality of Bulgaria in 1878, the Southern Dobrudja was part of the new state. The population was of mixed ethnic groups, including a large number of ethnic Turks and Tartars. Bulgarians, according to all observers, were the largest single group. There were also many Gypsies, Armenians, and, uniquely in Bulgaria a number of ethnic Germans.
The main administrative centre was known to the Ottomans as Pazarjik, and to differentiate it from the town of Pazarjik near Plovdiv, this was Hajioglu Pazarjik, whereas the one to the South was Tatarski Pazarjik. In Romanian the spelling is usually Bazargic. In 1882 the name was changed to Dobrich, and that is the name the town bears again today. From 1946 to 1990 it was renamed for while after the Soviet Marshal, Tolbukhin, who commanded the forces that came this way in 1944.
The Southern Dobruja was part of Bulgaria from the independence in 1878 until the Second Balkan War. As a result of Bulgaria’s defeat by her neighbours in that war, the territory became part of Romania in 1913. The Romanian population was not large – about 6,000 out of 280,000 in 1912. Attempts at increasing the Romanian population by immigration were not successful.
During the First World War Bulgaria re-occupied the Southern Dobruja. Defeat in the War and the imposition of the Treaty of Neuilly again removed the area from Bulgarian rule. From 1918, for 22 years, the area was again Romanian. Today, if you visit the area you can see quite clearly the Romanian architectural style in many of the buildings in Dobrich and other towns. Look especially for public buildings from that period, and you will see that the distinctive ‘Wallachian’ style is quite obvious.
In international affairs the defeated Bulgarian state was driven into the camp of the other ‘losers’ of World War One. As many Germans wanted revenge for Versailles, Bulgaria wanted revenge for Neuilly. Few Bulgarians accepted the loss of the Southern Dobruja and successive governments in the 1920’s and 1930’s waited for their chance to regain the lost territories from Romania and Serbia.
Their chance came in 1940. Under strong pressure from Berlin, the government in Bucharest agreed to return the area to Bulgaria. Ethnic Romanians living in the Southern part were forced to leave and resettle in Romanian territory. Bulgarians living in the Northern Dobruja – and there were many thousands – were expelled from Romania and settled in Bulgarian territory.
On 15 September, 1940, Bulgarian forces occupied their regained lands. Photographs and newsreel taken at the time show the jubilant locals welcoming the Royal Bulgarian Army and the subsequent visit of Tsar Boris III, now given the title of ‘The Unifier’
Of course less than four years later came the revolution of 9th September 1944, the beginning of ‘People’s Power’ and the departure of the Royal Family in 1946. Many in the Dobruja must have been anxious that the gains of 1940 would be lost. However reason prevailed. Bulgaria had to return territory to Yugoslavia, but the Southern Dobruja with a Bulgarian majority (and a large number of other ethnic groups) remained Bulgarian, as it is today.
This area is now a popular are for the ‘New Bulgarians’ from Britain, Ireland and elsewhere. Visitors who have been on the Black Sea Coast are attracted by Balchik, yet how many of these tourists think of this as a former Romanian province? Visitors to the Botanical Garden and to the palace on the shore below it may be totally unaware that this was the favourite spot of Queen Marie of Romania.
For those who look around the area with open eyes and prior knowledge there are signs everywhere. One particular giveaway is on the main Varna-Dobrich road, just before the archaic Romanian-Bulgarian border. Built in the 1920s there stands a squat and ugly reinforced concrete pill-box. How many bored Bulgarian squaddies did duty there, waiting for the attack from Romania that never came?
This unique area between a once fought over land should be explored with this knowledge in mind. Marvel at the rich agricultural lands and the wheat fields that stretch for miles. When the wheat is golden-yellow and ready for harvest you can see where the expression ‘Golden Dobruja’ (‘Zlatna Dobruja’ in Bulgarian) comes from. Explore inland from the Black Sea and look at some of the villages where people still lead a poorer, but more natural life than those in the ‘West’. Take the train from Varna-Kardam. Drive around and explore.
With the start of the Bulgarian independence movement in the 18th century this also set in motion a reverse immigration of Bulgarians living in Wallachia. Prince Ferdinand von Coburg-Gotha became regent in 1887 and finally attained full sovereignty of his kingdom in 1908.
Prince Ferdinand sent colonists in the German settlement regions of south-eastern Europe and Russia. Many German families followed his appeal and travelled hundreds of kilometres into an uncertain future.
The entire settlement process lasted over a decade. By 1899, 117 families had already settled in Zarev Brod (Or Enidje/ Ensche).
As already mentioned, the settlement process stretched out over a considerable number of years. Not all of the prospective settlers had the necessary initial capital, so some settled in the “Chifliks” (estates) and cultivated the land as half-share farmers (Halbscheidbauern). Eventually they also moved into the newly established German settlements.
Due to the mass exodus of the Turks from Endje and the surrounding region, large pieces of land were available at low prices. Besides agriculture, the newcomers also tried their hand at introducing grape growing, because the soil and climate provided excellent conditions for viticulture.
Despite their diligence and tenacity, the young community had to overcome a lot of obstacles like droughts and bad crops. Ten families returned to Hungary, seven to Bessarabia; another five families emigrated to America.
The much-needed benefit of spiritual and moral support came to the settlers from Father Franz Krings, a young German priest. Initially, Father Franz resided in Shumen (called Shumla by the Germans and the Turks). Every Sunday a farmer gave him a lift him to Endje, where he celebrated German Mass in a villager’s house. After the service he talked to the settlers about their problems.
After the first small church was built in 1902, Father Franz moved to Endje.
The settlers’ first church was built and consecrated on April 19, 1910. Three years later a convent was built to accommodate the Catholic teaching nuns from Tutzing, Bavaria, who were to educate the children in their mother tongue. The school opened in January 1914 and had 37 children.
By then, the German community consisted of 74 families; however, most of them were resettled to Germany. Only a few remained, such as the Hummels and a couple of nuns. The nunnery exists to this day, populated by a dozen nuns from Bulgaria, Germany, the Philippines, South Korea, Brazil.
The unfortunate outcome of World War I resulted in some serious repercussions for the German settlers. Following the advice of the German Consul, those who were not Bulgarian citizens, left the country. Among them were Father Franz, the Sisters and about 60 settlers. They were allowed to return gradually to their beloved Endsche (Zarev brod). It was a day of great rejoicing when the father Franz returned on May 13, 1920.
The building of the colony resumed, despite some inclement weather. In the meantime many German settlers had managed to build a handsome farm with considerable livestock. Some farmers owned as much as 800 decares of land.
At the end of the Second World War, the Benedictine sisters ran a kindergarten, a German school and an orphanage. The sisters helped the parish in its pastoral work by teaching Bible to children, youths and adults. They also provided nursing care in the homes of the parishioners.
In 1944, the German settlers, together with some of the German Sisters, went back to Germany before the Russians entered Bulgaria. In September 1944, the communists took over. In 1948 the remaining German Sisters were expelled from the country.
In 1952, the Monastery was taken by the communist government and was turned into a psychiatric hospital. The sisters were employed but they had to live in the attic of the building.
After the political changes in 1989, the Congregation started discussions as to who will continue the work in the Bulgarian mission. The Congregation decided to start a New Beginning.
German, Philippino and Korean Sisters have come to help the surviving five Bulgarian sisters. They live from the modest produce of the rented property and from the production and sale of natural healing products such as herbal ointments and others. One sister gives English lessons in the public school and also private students.
The many poor and unemployed people in the area are a special concern to the sisters who try to help them. A women's group makes and offers handmade items for sale. This group offers a warm meal once a week to young people who have low income. The religious education of people is also the main concern of the sisters' ministry. They instruct children, young people and adults in the Catechism and prepare them to receive the sacraments.
Presently, the sisters live in two communities: Zarev brod community in the Northern Diocese of Russe and Sekirovo community in the Southern Diocese of Sofia /Plovdiv.
With the democratic developments, the first thing to be done was to find a NEW APOSTOLATE that suits the present situation. This necessity appeared as soon as the Bulgarian Catholic Church came out in the open together with the faith that had survived in the hearts of many and a small parish community started to emerge and develop.
Today, 72 - 80 believers are regular members of the catholic faith. On Sundays, 30 - 40 people from Shumen and Zarev brod come regularly for Mass.
The monastery yard has a big and well-kept garden. A part of the German school has been renovated and is used as an all-purpose room for Bible Studies, meditations, Religion lectures, as well as a meeting place for children and for youth groups.
The Monastery of "Benedictine Sisters of Tutsing" is the only active Catholic monastery in northeastern Bulgaria, because Catholicism is not the main religion in Bulgaria.
For a long time now the monastery is famous for its healing salve made by the nurses that is used to treat burns and skin diseases.
The Argentinian and Uruguayan tradition of the Tango was developed by the urban lower classes in Buenos Aires and Montevideo in the Rio de la Plata basin. Among this mix of European immigrants to the region, descendents of African slaves known as ''criollos,'' a wide range of customs and beliefs were transformed into a distinctive cultural identity. As one of the most recognizable embodiment of that identity, the music, dance and poetry of tango encourages diversity and cultural dialogue. Tango is also woven into celebrations of national heritage in Argentina and Uruguay and reflects the widespread embrace of this popular urban music.
Today, there are many forms of tango, to name but a few:
Initially it was just one of the many dances, but it soon became popular throughout society, as theatres and street barrel organs spread it from the suburbs to the working-class slums, which were packed with hundreds of thousands of European immigrants.
In the early 20th century, dancers and orchestras from Buenos Aires travelled to Europe, and the first European tango craze took place in Paris, soon to be followed by London, Berlin, and etc. Instructors of this period would sometimes refer to this as a "North American tango", versus the so-called "Argentine Tango".
In Argentina, during the Great Depression of 1929 and political turmoil in 1930 caused tango to decline. Tango became widely fashionable under the government of Juan Perón. It declined again in the 1950s as a result of economic depression and the banning of public gatherings by the military dictatorships .That led to the popularity of rock and roll because it did not require such gatherings.
The tango dance developed in response to many cultural elements, such as the crowding of the venue and even the fashion in clothing. The styles are mostly danced in either open embrace, where lead and follow have space between their bodies, or close embrace, where the lead and follow connect either chest-to-chest (Argentine tango) or in the upper thigh, hip area (American and International tango).
In tango, the steps are typically more gliding, but vary in timing, speed, character and follow no single specific rhythm. This allows the dancers to vary the dance from moment to moment to match the music (which often has both legato and/or staccato elements).
The Tango frame, called an abrazo /embrace/, is not rigid, but flexible and it adjusts to the different steps. It may vary from being quite close, in a "V" frame, to open. The flexibility is just as important as is all movement in the dance.
Tango is often described as a passionate dance, because of the close connection partners can have and the character of the music.
At the heart of tango (Argentine tango) is the desire to listen to, understand and converse with the person you dance with. Tango can be many things for different people. Almost any type of music that can be walked to can be tangoed to, which means that anyone can do it!
In tango there is a 'leader' and 'follower'. Through the embrace, the leader shows the follower where and how to step. The follower decides in what way to do it. Both leader and follower try to maintain harmony and connection through the embrace.
Like the symbols of yin and yang, the roles of leader and follower each have a little of the other within them. Tango is a process of collaboration which encourages the development of sensitivity, clarity, trust and respect.
One of the more important aspects of the tango is the frame, or the way the dancers hold their bodies with each other. The dance position is "closed," with the leader’s right hand on the follower’s left shoulder blade and left hand extended to the side, grasping the follower’s right hand. The follower's left hand is placed halfway down the leader's right arm. While this gives the appearance of the arm resting, no actual weight should be placed on the leader's arm.
The leader and follower look to the side, towards the left and right, with spines very straight and a slight tilt back to the follower's head. Occasionally there will be tango dance steps that require them to snap their heads around and look at each other (often with a sultry look) but their heads should always go back to the rest of the frame.
The easiest way to remember the basic tango step is to think of the acronym T-A-N-G-O - Slow…slow…quick-quick-slow.
Like many ballroom dances, the leader and follower mirror each others’ steps. Many of the more complicated tango steps give each part their own specific roles to play. The leader always begins with the left foot, the follower with the right, and the leader’s steps are "heel leads" - that is, the heel of the foot comes down first, not the toe.
One of the more dramatic, and very simple tango steps is the corte. It has a practical use when used on a crowded dance floor. It starts not with a step forward, but rather with the leader taking a step back with the left foot, the follower forward on the right. This puts both dancers into a bit of a lunge, with the leader's right leg and the follower's left held straight.
For the length of a well-danced and magical tango, we touch each others' hearts in ways words cannot. We get a sense of returning to a home where we belong, even if that home exists only in the depths of our souls. Then the song ends, the dance is over, and we return as strangers to our tables or sides of the room.
While the language of tango is filled with metaphors and colorful street poetry, its message is usually simple and direct. It doesn’t try to hide strong feelings under a layer of irony or indifference. Tango just hangs out there, and says exactly what it feels.
Many people think of Britain as an island bit in fact it is an archipelago. In Scotland most people have heard of Skye and possibly of Arran, but who among us - in Scotland or outside - can name more than 10 of the nearly 800 islands around the shores?
The Northern Group is of course Shetland and Orkney, and both of these are a cluster of one main island with smaller islands round about. Culturally distinct from Mainland Scotland with a Norse History both have benefited from the oil boom of recent years, Fair Isle is still inhabited and is known for knitted articles. Stroma is totally empty now and will probably never be repopulated.
On the West Coast there is Lewis and Harris. One island with two names contains the main town of the Hebrides, Stornoway.
A glimpse of the architecture confirms any suspicion about the geography, no question about that. Walk around and keep your ears open and you may notice a difference. Lewis - and Harris - are most definitely in the Gaeltacht of Scotland and in both urban and rural areas the Gaelic language is spoken together with English. Crofts predominate in most of the island. These are smallholdings considered just enough to support a family. In most of Britain peasant farming died out at the time of the enclosures but here people still have a close tie to the land and use it for production. Crofting does not provide a large enough income to live on, so often those on the croft will have paid employment too. Some may work away from home for periods.
The Merchant Navy was popular at one time. That has diminished in importance but crofting is still a huge factor of life on the western isles. Heading South it is now possible to get by road to the South Uist port of Lochboisdale.
Head over towards the mainland and you will find Skye and Raasay. most tourists have heard of Skye - perhaps as a result of the Skye Boat Song. A recent bridge to the mainland has made travel to and from the mainland easier. The imposition of bridge tolls was met by a campaign of Civil disobedience by the locals, and now access is free.
Smaller isles to the South of Skye include Coll, Rhum and Eigg. Visitors who have romantic notions of Scottish History should visit Massacre cave on Eigg and learn of the horrors of life in the 18th century.
Using CalMac, the main ferry operator, head via Oban for the Argyll Islands of Colonsay and Tiree. Mull is also in this area. The locals refer to Mull as "The Officers' Mess" in reference to the large number of retired army officers here but also as a counterpoint to the Gaelic name for the nearby town of Fort William - the Garrison. Fort William, together with Fort Augustus and Fort George were built after the 1745 to keep down the troublesome locals.
Head further south and we have Islay and Jura, both very much part of the "Whisky Trail" because of the high quality of local production combined with clever marketing. Sometimes grouped together with these two is the Isle of Gigha, off the Mull of Kintyre. This was recently "bought out" from the feudal laird by the local community and is sometimes seen as a model for the future of many other Island and Highland Communities. Many think the days of feudal landed estates are over and that the community buy-out is the shape of things to come.
Sail round the Mull of Kintyre past the "wee toon" of Campbeltown and you will find the islands of the Clyde Estuary. Arran is familiar to many but Cumbrae and Bute are not so well-known. Popular with our grandfather's generation both Rothesay on Bute and Millport on Cumbrae have a surprising urban character. Something like "Glasgow-sur-Mer" !
Rothesay is a Victorian seaside resort and the main town on the east side of Isle of Bute.
It is a very traditional and good looking town with signs of its Victorian heritage. Dominating the shoreline amongst the glorious esplanade gardens is the refurbished Isle of Bute Discovery Centre, a unique 1920s circular structure of cast iron and glass, now housing a cinema, an interactive display on the history of the island as well as an information centre and a gift shop.
Visitors can also explore Rothesay Castle, its thick outer walls and grand hall which are all now fully restored. Just behind it is located the Bute Museum.
To the north of Rothesay, via Port Bannatyne, lies Ettrick Bay, Bute’s most accessible beach, which is a relative safe haven for able swimmers. The famous tea room at Ettrick bay offers a wide variety of drinks, snacks, meals and desserts. It is much beloved by dog owners.
Rothesay Castle is unique among Scottish castles for its unusual circular shape. It’s also famous for its close links with the Stewarts. To this day, the heir to the throne still has the title the Duke of Rothesay.
In 1230 and 1263, the kings of Norway besieged and took Rothesay. The Stewarts added four projecting towers to prevent the castle falling into enemy hands but, fortunately, they were never put to the test again.
The castle soon fell into decline. In the 1800s, the Crichton Stuarts, Marquises of Bute, restored the ruined castle to its present state.
In 1098, Edgar of Scotland gave up the Hebrides, including Bute, to Norway.
By 1200, Alan, second High Steward, had taken Bute.
In 1230, Haakon IV of Norway ordered his men to sail into the Clyde and capture Rothesay. This they did, after a three-day siege and a great loss of life. However, they were soon forced to retreat.
After an inconclusive skirmish at Largs, the Norse retreated in 1263 . Haakon died in the Bishop’s Palace, Kirkwall, on his return to Norway. Three years later, his son Magnus handed back the Hebrides to Alexander III.
When David II died in 1371, the throne passed to his nephew, Robert Stewart.
Rothesay was given a makeover in the later 1400s. James IV and James V carried out major works, including adding the impressive gatehouse and St Michael’s Chapel in the courtyard.
Rothesay then fell into ruins and was restored only in the 1800s, by the Crichton Stuarts.
Bute is only 33miles from Glasgow so a trip down the Clyde is definitely an option. The ferries from Wemyss bay to Rothesay run regularly every day. You ship your car, as well.
The island is only 24 km long by 6 km wide but there is lots to see and do. You might spot porpoises accompanying your ferry journey and if you’ve never seen a seal up close in the wild you should head over to Scalpsie Bay. The West Island Way is an island long marked trail which can be walked in sections. The West Island Way is a great way to see Bute’s flora and fauna and of course, to glimpse Arran and Cowal.
Bute is famous with its glorious gardens and grand architecture. The Esplanade Gardens on the front are a summer favourite for a relaxing walk by the beach. If you are the sporty type, you can try your hand on the putting green. Visit Ardencraig Gardens on Canada Hill which boasts a walled garden and an exotic aviary. The marvellous gardens of Mount Stuart House and Ascog Fernery are a must.
Rothesay and Port Bannatyne are great places to eat with cafes, bistros, bars and restaurants. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, there are hotels and B&Bs overlooking Rothesay Bay, and lots of self-catering flats and houses to choose from..
The scrub is a cosmetic paste that contains liquid emulsions and abrasive particles that clean the skin. In the antiquity the Mediterranean beauties used volcano sand scrub. Queen Cleopatra , on the other hand, pampered her skin with sea salt and almond oil scrub.
Why does your skin need scrubbed?
Human skin regenerates all the time. It forms new cells who push out the old ones to the surface. Part of the dead cells wash away but part of it remains and blocks the pores; the skin feels rough and the facial complexion is not even. The oil that is secreted by the skin; together with the dust and the perspiration, form a layer that needs to be removed regularly to keep the skin healthy and young.
What the scrub does, is, thanks to the abrasive particles, that it removes the dead cells and the dirt. While you exfoliate your skin, you, in fact, micro massage its surface, stimulating the blood circulation, improve the skin complexion and help nutrients get delivered in the epidermis cells.
How to use the scrub correctly?
The scrub should be applied to well cleaned, warm and wet skin. Apply it in equal parts along the face and massage in circles for 2 – 3 minutes.
Home made facial scrub:
4. Three soup spoons of honey, ½ glass of rock salt, ½ grapefruit.
Before you mix this scrub, test if you are not allergic to honey. Apply some honey to the back of your palm, wait for a while and wash. If your skin is not red, you are not allergic.
Crush the rock salt in a mortar and add the honey that was heated in baine-marie. Grate the grapefruit with the peel and add to the rest of the ingredients.
Apply to the skin and remove with warm water when the scrub starts dripping. The active ingredients of honey are completely absorbed by the skin, stimulating the skin metabolism, nourish and moisten the skin. The salt saturates the skin with microelements. The grapefruit hydrates it and regenerates elasticity. DO NOT USE if you have sensitive skin.
Against black spots:
Avoid spirit-based toners because they will dry up the skin even more. Reduce the intake of alcoholic drinks because they reduce the water balance of the skin and literally “suck out” moisture. Drink still water, herbal teas; freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juice.Carrot mask – grate a couple of carrots, mix them with 1 egg yolk; apply and leave for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Cucumber milk (for very dry skin)
Pour enough milk to cover a couple of cucumber slices and leave them in a cold place overnight. In the morning apply; rinse when it goes dry.
Tomato mask – mash a tomato, mix with starch and stir until you get smooth paste. Add a few drops of oil and stir again. Apply and leave for 20 minutes.
Banana mask – mash 1 banana and mix it with 3 soup spoon of yoghurt. Apply the mixture on the skin and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse with camomile tea.
For oily skinYoghurt – mix some spoonfuls of yoghurt and add ground oatmeal or chick peas. Stir, apply and leave to dry. Rinse with lukewarm water, using circular massage movements.Lemon – squeeze one lemon and add cold water. Apply with the help of a cotton swab. Leave on to dry and wash away with cool water.For normal skinHoney mask – mix 2 soup spoons of honey and 1 tea spoon of lemon juice and apply. Rinse after 20 minutes.For smooth skin Mash 1 avocado and apply on the skin. Rinse with warm water after 15 – 20 minutes; then rinse with cold water to close the skin pores. Your skin will feel incredibly smooth. Hydrating mask – mix 1 spoon of orange and lemon juice each with a bowl of full fat yoghurt. Stir until homogenous. Apply for 20 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water.Against wrinkles:For normal skin – 20 ml mango juice, 10 g flour, 1 tea spoon of honey and 10 ml olive oil. Mix and stir. Apply on clean and dry face and neck. Leave on for 20 – 25 minutes. Rinse with cool water. For all kinds of skin – 1)100 g apples and 100 ml milk. Wash and peel the apples. Grate them and mix them with the raw milk. Apply on clean and dry face and neck. Leave until it dries and remove with tepid water. Apply facial cream.
2) 50 g plums and 1 egg white. Grate the plums; beat the egg white until stiff, mix with the plum and apply. Leave on for 20 minutes, rinse with cool water.
ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems, the international leading quality management standard, has been revised. Every five years all ISO standards are reviewed to verify if a revision is required to keep them current and relevant for the marketplace.
ISO 9001:2015 is written in view of responding better to the latest trends and of being compatible with other management systems like ISO 14001. The new version follows a new, higher level structure to make it easier to use together with other management system standards, with increased importance given to risk.
After the revision organisations are granted a three-year transition period to switch to the new edition of the standard. The current standards will remain valid until July 2018.
E.g., a company that is certified against ISO 9001:2008 and whose certificate is valid until June 2016 can start a recertification cycle under the current ISO 9001:2008 standard. The certificate will be issued with a valid date September 2018. Before this deadline, the company has to switch to ISO 9001:2015 in order to remain certified.
Do not risk your certification or put your business at risk. Don’t wait until the last minute!
The certification bodies won’t be able to perform any certification audits before the auditors are fully qualified to the new standards. The certification bodies will not be able to grant certification before they are accredited to do so.
Three years may sound like a lot but it causes unnecessary costs to organizations. If an organization recertification occurs during the transition period and they recertify to the older version of the standard, it will expire 3 years from the publication of the standard; not from the date of the recertification. For example, if the recertification occurs 6 months after the publication of the standard then another recertification must take place before 2,5 years, effectively losing 6 months of a normal 3 year certification.
The worst situation will occur for those organizations whose recertification occurs within the first few weeks or months after publication. The expiration clock will start ticking but if the certification body has not completed their own transition arrangements, reorganized their administration, re-trained their auditors, provided appropriate expertise…..they will not be able to conduct audits to the new standard.
If your recertification occurs in late 2015 here are two key activities:
Start preparing your management system for the change as soon as possible.
Discuss with your certification body how they will guarantee your recertification audit to the new standard.
The introduction of Annex SL will aid the integration process for ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001. You will need to think about transition dates and transition plans carefully due to the different publication dates.
As per the definition by World Health Organization Public health refers to “All organized measures (whether public or private) to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life among the population as a whole. Its activities aim to provide the conditions in which people can be healthy and focus on entire populations, not on individual patients or diseases. Thus, public health is concerned with the total system and not only the eradication of a particular disease. “
There are three chief functions of public health:
Healthcare is defined as the maintenance or betterment of health through diagnosis, management, and disease, injury, and other impairment prevention in people, delivered through the collaboration of health care professionals in allied health professions, physicians their associates, dentistry, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, psychology, etc. All efficiently providing primary, secondary, and tertiary care, in public health.
Health Care Programs
Best health care web sites:
Among the top health and wellness websites are : Mayo ClinicMayo Clinic, University Hospital Zurich, Indiana University Health, Northwestern Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Mount Sinai Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Rush University Medical Center, Saint Francis Health System, Baylor Scott & White Health, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Johns Hopkins Medicine
Ordinaryentrepreneurs.com knows what to take and what not to intake.
Ordinaryentrepreneurs.com – a health based blog stresses on the healthy livelihood of people who are desperate to be fit in their hale and hearty lifestyle. Currently, people have been so conscious about their well-being when it comes to a maintained diet. There are surplus blogs that can stress on the purpose of being fit and staying healthy as a horse. The latest errands that have been running on social media were all about a strict diet routine and a heavy exercise regime. People are much aware about the healthy regimen that they have to follow despite all their other natural daily activities. Ordinaryentrepreneurs.com helps people not to change their daily workouts but instead it stresses the paradigm of having their body to be disease-free. Out of all other odds, one must strictly consume diet in a natural way to make smart of their daily metabolism. Skipping your breakfast or meals intentionally would be troublesome for the health of one’s body, according to the health blog of Ordinaryentrepreneurs.com.
Our body has multitude of membranes and cellular activities which in turn results in the nourishment of bodily organs. And people who are unaware of such predicaments are more prone to get accumulated with excess fat. Certainly, the daily intake of food and water in an appropriate level would help prevent most of the deadly diseases that has a long history in science.
Avoiding carbonated, frozen foods and alcohol would naturally prevent other bodily dysfunctions at any cause. And also, the various studies have recommended that the average intake of proteins would necessarily prevent heart related diseases like cardiac arrest and etc. Keep track of your daily food intake which has enough protein and fat levels to make use of the enzymes. Moreover, the enzymes play a main role in weight loss and weight gain. For more information about weight loss and other exercise routines to stay fit, you can visit http://www.ordinaryentrepreneurs.com/.
A health blog that suggests people to checklist the essential workout and daily diet that one must take for an optimistic wellness of their healthy future.
Modern Bulgarian Literature deserves to be better known in the English-speaking world. For a small nation, a great deal of literature has been produced and much of it has been translated into English and other foreign languages.
Ivan Vazov (1850-1921) is the great figure in the books of the Classical modern period. He was born in Sopot in Central Bulgaria and grew up in Kalofer. In his 20’s he met Hristo Botev and other revolutionary figures and spent time in exile in the Romanian towns of Oltenita and Braila. He was personally involved in the April Uprising of 1876 taking an active role as a revolutionary leader (‘komitadji’) and after the failure of the insurrection took refuge again in Romania.
After returning to Bulgaria in 1878 he became involved – inevitably – in the politics of independent Bulgaria. The dominant Russophile tendency was not his and he was again forced to leave his native land… With the triumph of the anti-Russian party in Bulgarian politics, Vazov returned and had a busy career in the field of politics. He was for a period the Minister of Education. This reflected his early career as a teaching assistant and teacher in pre-Independence Bulgaria.
His lasting contribution to Bulgaria was, of course, literary. His great work was completed in 1893 and is a historical novel. Greatly influenced by Walter Scott, the father of European Historical Fiction, Vazov wrote a fictional treatment of a village during the struggle to free the country of the Ottomans. This was ‘Under The Yoke’ (‘Pod Igoto’). The title of the book has entered everyday Bulgarian language to describe the period from 1393 to 1878. Ordinary Bulgarians do not refer to ‘The Turkish Occupation’ or ‘The Ottoman Period’. They talk of ‘Under the Yoke’.
There is at least one English translation that I know of. For those who want an insight into modern Bulgaria and how Bulgarians interpret Modern History it is required reading. For those who are not great readers there is an alternative. The book was filmed and you may get the chance to see it on Bulgarian TV. You might be able to get it on VHS or DVD. If the chance comes, then watch it. And look out for Chorbadji Marko. In Bulgaria the ‘Chorabdji’ is the rich man in the village. Literally he is the man who gets the ‘Chorba’ or soup. Of course in Ottoman times the rich often worked together with the authorities. In modern terminology they collaborated. At the time it must have seemed different. They cooperated with the authorities. We, like Vazov, have the benefit of hindsight. What would we have done faced with the practical realities of occupation?
Svishtov is a small town on the Danube, today best-known for the University of Economics. Students outnumber the other inhabitants of this neat little town. It was near here that the armies of the Tsar Liberator crossed the Danube in 1876 as the first step in the dreadful and deadly war to drive the Ottomans out of Bulgaria. It was also the place of birth of a great Bulgarian. Aleko Konstantinov was born here in the year 1863 on the Feast of St Vasil – 1st January. Svishtov was a prosperous town in those days and a centre of trade and commerce. Aleko was born into a wealthy merchant’s family and studied Law in Odessa, which had a substantial and thriving Bulgarian community in the 19th century, both before and after 1878.
Returning to Bulgaria Aleko practised Law and also wrote for publication. Literary life flourished in this period and he wrote for a number of magazines. His first work was also his greatest and an abiding part of the ‘canon’ of modern Bulgarian literature. ‘Bai Ganyu’ tells us of the times, travels and adventures of Ganyu Balkanski. He has made his money by selling rose oil (attar of roses). This was and still is an important export from central Bulgaria.
Aleko depicts his Bulgarian hero with all his flaws. Bai Ganyu is self-centred, boorish and rude. He has inflated ideas of his own importance and expects others to provide for him. He knows best on everything! He is the Bulgarian peasant who is transforming himself into a modern European – with some difficulty.
The Bulgarian film director Ivan Nitchev (student of the great Polish director Andrzej Wajda) made two excellent film versions of the book and I heartily recommend them both. The first was ‘Bai Ganyu’ made in 1990 and the second ‘Bai Ganyu on His Way to Europe’(1991). That great Bulgarian actor Georgi Kaloyanchev plays the role of Ganyu Balkanski with conviction, realism and vigour. They were made by Bulgarian Television and are often repeated on Kanal 1.
Aleko’s other great work of course was ‘To Chicago and Back’ which is an account of his travels to America to see the Great Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. It includes the description of Aleko’s arrival on American soil. The Immigration official thinks he is Russian, then Hungarian. When Aleko shows him a map indicating ‘Sofia’ the official says, ‘Ah. Ok. Turkey.’
Aleko was active as a lawyer and that may have led to his early death. He also played a large part in the creation of The Ramblers’ Association in Bulgaria, (Bulgarski Turisticheski Soyuz).
In events that have never been adequately explained, Aleko Konstantinov was shot dead by assassins while traveling from Peshtera to Pazarjik. In memory of this great Bulgarian, the village where he was killed was renamed Aleko Konstantinovo.
The Southern Dobruja is that area in the North East of Bulgaria with its centre in the town of Dobrich. Fertile agricultural land with a rich mixture of many ethnic groups and religions, this was the area described by Yordan Yovkov. He was born in Zheravna, a small town near Kotel. This town has been preserved as a ‘museum town’ and is well worth a visit. Go to see the wonders of the architecture in that style known as ‘Vazrozhdenie’. This is sometimes translated as ‘Renaissance’ but should be ‘National Revival’. This architectural style typifies the growth of a wealthy merchant class in Bulgaria and their new aspirations to an independent Bulgaria outside the Ottoman Empire.
Yovkov was born in 1880. He later studied in Sofia and became a teacher. As with many other of his generation he became involved in the military during the Balkan Wars of 1912/1913 and the Great War after Bulgaria’s entry on the German side in 1915. When peace came in 1918 he returned to teaching for a while and was then appointed Press Attache at the Bulgarian Embassy in Bucharest. He died of cancer in 1937.
Albena may be best known to most of us as the name of that resort on the Black Sea Coast between Varna and Balchik. For Bulgarians the name is also the title of one of Yovkov’s stories. ‘Legends of the Stara Planina’ (1927) is also another well-known collection. A well-known play is ‘The Inn at Antimovo’ I am not sure that any of the translations into English do Yovkov justice. His language is very difficult to translate as he used many archaic expressions and words from Turkish. These give a distinctive feel to his work
As with other works by Bulgarian authors, film versions have been made. These may be more approachable for the foreigner. Shibil -1968, Nona -1973 (from the novel Chiflikat krai granitsata); and 24 Chasa duzhd -1982.
In Dobrich there is a Yovkov Museum with impressive architecture but I am not sure how much a visitor would learn of Yovkov and his work. Try one of his books. Or a film. Or visit Zheravna.
Michael Phelps was born in Towson, Maryland on June 30, 1985. Phelps was initially fearful of putting his face in the water. However, he overcame this discomfort and, in 1996, was inspired by the performances of Tom Malchow and Tom Dolan during the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Shortly afterwards he joined the North Baltimore Athletic Club, where he met Bob Bowman – his coach.
Michael Phelps is known as the most decorated Olympian of all times, with a total of 23 Olympic medals won in three Olympic Games. He is known for his formidable butterfly, though he also specializes in individual medleys and the 100 and 200-meter freestyle.
Although Phelps struggled in school, he focused when it came to swimming. In 2000, Phelps qualified in the 200-meter butterfly in Sydney, Australia. At 15, he was the youngest male Olympian the United States had had in about 70 years.
The next year, during World Championship Trials at the Phillips 66 Nationals, Phelps broke his first world record in the 200-metre fly. He became the youngest male swimmer to break a World Record – a title previously held by none other than Ian Thorpe, who broke the 400-metre freestyle World Record at 16 years and 10 months of age. Phelps went to the 2001 World Championships in Japan, where he broke his record again.
In the following years, he proved himself on multiple occasions as not only a butterfly wonder, but also a freestyle and backstroke expert. At the Athens Olympic Games in 2004 he won six gold and two bronze medals. He was 19 years-old.
During the period between the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, Phelps won a number of world records.
In 2007, he announced his plans to beath the record held by Mark Spitz, who won seven gold medals in the 1972 Munich Games. The 4×100 medley relay team was disqualified, and did not compete in the final. Phelps, however, won seven other events, five of them in world record time.
In the months before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, neither Mark Spitz nor Ian Thorpe expressed support or belief in Phelps. He, however, proved them wrong, blasting competition out of the water eight times in a row, including two relay events. He beat Serbian Milorad Čavić in the 100 fly by 0.01 seconds. The athletes touched so close that the final result required scrutiny of the playback video, and caused a wild controversy in the swimming world.
So, eight of his 18 gold medals were won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where Phelps took Spitz’s record.
At the 2009 World Championships in Rome there were rumors that he was out of shape and out of mind. Phelps lost his first race in four years to relative newcomer, Paul Biedermann. Phelps went on to beat Čavić in the 100-meter butterfly for a second time. Despite controversy and public doubt, Phelps returned from Rome with six international medals.
After the 2009 World Championships, full-body, textile suits were banned by FINA, and Phelps’ world record streak slowed. He had stated that he did not want to swim past the age of 30, and that the 2012 Olympics Games would be his last. With help from his mother and from the ever-persistent Coach Bowman, Phelps pushed aside his reluctance. He used the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai to boost his confidence and prime his skills. Two silver medals earned behind Ryan Lochte, and third place in the 4 x 100 freestyle relay caused concern. Phelps also won four gold medals, including his fifth 200-meter butterfly championship, and steadied his focus on London.
Michael Phelps' performance at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics made experts to consider him as the greatest ever Olympian. He has surpassed the records of Mark Spitz and Johnny Weissmuller. Phelps’ best events are the individual medleys. At the 2004 Olympic Games, Michael Phelps became the second athlete, after Aleksandr Dityatin won eight medals at a single Olympics, and he repeatd this in 2008 at Beijing. Phelps had attempted to win gold medals in eight swimming events in 2004, to better Mark Spitz's performance at München. Phelps did not manage that but did win six gold medals (four individual) and two bronze medals. He followed this with a dominating performance at the 2005 World Championships at which he won five gold medals and a silver medal. He had also won five World Championship gold medals at the 2003 meet.
After Beijing, Phelps took some time off but he still won five gold medals and six medals at the 2009 World Championships. He won another five golds at the 2010 Pan-Pacs, and in 2011, won four gold medals and seven medals at the Worlds, setting him up for the 2012 Olympics, and giving him a total of 33 medals and 26 gold medals at the World Championships.
At London in 2012, Phelps cemented his title as the world's greatest swimmer and as the world greatest Olympian.
Gold medal No. 20, which came on 09.08.2016 in the 200-meter butterfly. Phelps beat Japan's Masato Sakai by just four-hundredths of a second.
Michael won gold medal No. 21 on 09.08.2016 at the Rio Olympics, anchoring the U.S. in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay.
For Britain, who had qualified first for the final, James Guy overhauled Takeshi Matsuda on the final leg to take the silver in 7:03.13, with Japan clocking 7:03.50 for the bronze.
It was Britain's first medal in the event since they won a bronze in 1984 and this made up for Guy's disappointment in failing to pick up a medal in the 200m and 400m freestyle.
But the night belonged to the Americans and Phelps.
“I’m 30 years old and swimming almost faster than I ever have before,” he warned.
There was no doubt about Phelps' level of focus before this race. Television cameras showed the American before the start while rival Chad le Clos got loose in front of him. Le Clos beat Phelps in the 200m butterfly final at the 2012 Olympics.
When it comes to weight loss, everyone knows that the recipe comprises of two fundamental elements namely diet and exercise. But there are a number of other factors which are to be taken into consideration before you start putting your effort into losing weight. Let us mention a few of the things which are hardly ever discussed when it comes to losing weight. The below-mentioned information will surely help a great deal in being successful with your plans of losing weight. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at a few of such factors.
Rate Of Metabolism:-
The first thing to keep in mind is that it is absolutely under your control to change your metabolism for better or worse. Remember that slow metabolism doesn’t necessarily translate to weight gain. What’s more important is the consumption of food and beverage along with your routine physical activity. For instance, if you are involved in strength training, you’d be able to burn twice as many calories than otherwise. It is by far the finest solution against the age-related slow metabolism as well.
Health And Size:-
It should go without saying that your size doesn’t translate to your health in any way. As per the latest research, more than half of the overweight participants had absolutely normal cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, along with a few of the other indicators. On the other hand, a number of underweight participants were deemed metabolically abnormal. In other words, being overweight doesn’t imply that you are unhealthy.
Shed It Off Early:-
You know what they say, “Slow and steady wins the race”. But unfortunately, it doesn’t stay true when it comes to losing weight. In order to be effective with your weight loss strategy, it is of prime importance to make sure that you are beginning at a very early stage of weight gain and putting all of your efforts into shedding the extra fat off as soon as possible.
It may be amusing for you to know that weight loss and exercise are not directly proportional to each other. If you are able to lose a particular amount of weight per week with exercising half an hour per day, it doesn’t mean that you’d be able to lose more weight in a week if you increased the amount of time you work out in the gym. As a matter of fact, it has been medically proven that shorter sessions of strenuous workouts are more effective in burning a higher number of calories.
Last but not the least, it is indispensable to mention here that losing or gaining weight is directly related to your sleep-wake cycle. A persistent disturbance in the sleep-wake cycle, such as reducing the sleep hours to below 6 every night, may translate into weight gain over a period of time.
Now that you are aware of a few of the things that you need to consider for weight loss, you are in a much better place to develop a successful weight loss strategy for yourself.
If you are looking forward for a path that lead you to a healthy life then you have to make huge efforts to reach your destiny. It is not difficult to be healthy but the task of maintaining health for long run is a challenging issue because we often make some common mistakes that either lead to unwanted weight gain or unnecessary weight loss. No matter at what age group you presently belong to; it is always recommended to make efforts to improve your life style in order to promote good health conditions. In creation of a healthy life; so many things provide equal contribution where some of these are proper diet routines, exercises as well as stress relief plan execution.
Here are few details about important factors associated with health and fitness in life:
Hristo Botev, 1848-1876
Botev is one of those figures who is known to every Bulgarian but not widely known outside his native land. We hear his name if we listen to Radio Hristo Botev (which I recommend as the best quality radio station broadcasting in Bulgarian), in the name of the town Botevgrad, and in streets named after him in every Bulgarian town and city. Those familiar with football may know the name of the Bulgarian football team ‘Botev 1912’, and the football stadium in Plovdiv named after this great but tragic figure. His name has been preserved despite the political transformations from the Kingdom of Bulgaria to the People’s Republic of Bulgaria and now to the Republic of Bulgaria.
Modern Bulgarian commentators, and ordinary Bulgarians, see him as the greatest Bulgarian revolutionary after Vasil Levski. As a revolutionary who died in the struggle to force the Turks out of Bulgaria he is revered and respected by Bulgarians of all political colours and of none. He is one of the many in the Bulgarian Pantheon of revolutionary fighters. Criticism and revisionist opinions of these historical figures is not encouraged.
In some cultures we can poke fun at historical figures. “Blackadder’ went down well in the English-speaking world. I cannot imagine anyone in Bulgaria poking fun at historical figures in the History of Bulgaria in the same way. Bulgarian History is a serious business.
It is appropriate that I am writing this on the day we Scots celebrate another Romantic poet, on Burns Day, 25 January. Hristo Botev must have been in the same mould as Scotland’s National Bard.Cedrtainly as ordinary men and women in Scotland can quote from Burns’ works, so ordinary Bulgarians know the works of Botev. He was born in that romantic and revolutionary year 1848 and like so many romantic poets he had a short, dramatic and tragic life.
The son of a teacher, he was born in the Bulgarian town of Kalofer, which at that time, like the rest of Bulgaria and much of the Balkans, was a province of the Ottoman Empire. The early years of the 19th century were the time of the National Revival or the National Awakening (Vuzrozhdenie in Bulgarian, sometimes mis-translated as the ‘Bulgarian Renaissance’). Since 1393, when Turnovo was taken by the Turks, Bulgarians had been second-class subjects of the Sultan. Christians were discriminated against in many ways and there was continuous, pressure to convert to Islam.
Remarkably, large numbers of Bulgarians did not convert to the new faith but remained Bulgarian and Christian. In the Rhodopes there were mass conversions to the new faith. In other areas Muslim subjects of the Sulttan moved in from the Caucasus and Anatolia.
This immigration continued for centuries and intensified in the 19th century. As Turkey was pushed out of the Caucasus many Muslims from that area were settled in Bulgaria.
There was some sporadic resistance to the new rulers but on the whole a modus vivendi was reached. That was until new ideas came in to the Balkans. The Enlightenment and the French Revolution brought with them new ideas : Freedom; The Nation ; Independence.
Young Hristo Botev must have been caught up in the fashionable ideas of his time. At the early age of 17 he was sent to Odessa, now in Ukraine, then in Russia, to continue his education. Botev returned after some time to teach in Kalofer but found that not to his taste. He made a public speech denouncing the Ottman authorities as occupiers and the wealthy Bulgarians (‘Chorbadji’) Telling his father he was returning to Odessa to study Medicine he left his native town and went to Romania which at that time was one of the main centres of Bulgarian revolutionary activity. Having discovered that he had some skills in writing, Botev edited and wrote for different Bulgarian political and literary magazines. By this time, armed struggle against the Ottomans, had become almost respectable in the circles in which he moved.
On 17 May 1876 with a group of what we might call partisans, Botev seized the Austro-Hungarian steamer ‘Radetzky’ and crossed into Bulgaria near the place where Kozlodui nuclear power station is today. This band of partisans (a ‘cheta’) saw their task as to direct the uprising against the occupiers and lead Bulgarians to freedom. There was already an uprising in progress all over Bulgaria at this time and Botev and his men hoped to join forces with the insurgents. After initial skirmishes with Ottoman regulars, the detachment divided into smaller groups.
While moving into the mountains on 20th May (2 June in the new-style calendar) Botev moved forward to survey what the enemy was doing. He was shot in the chest and died as a result of his wounds. The remaining members of the ‘cheta’ moved on but were all killed by the pursuing bashi-bazouks and regular forces. The Uprising and Botev’s part in did not directly lead to freedom. However the uprising did lead to foreign intervention in the war of 1876-1878. Rumanian, Bulgarian and ssertbinas joiuned forces with huge numbers of troops from Imperial Russia. Part of the tragedy of modern Bulgarian History is that Bulgarians themselves were not able to gain their freedom. Against the might of the Sultan and the Ottoman Empire something more was than needed than small groups of dedicated ‘komitadjis’.
Now on the anniversary of his death in Bulgaria (2 June) a minute’s silence is observed at noon in memory of Botev and others who died in the struggle to make Bulgaria free from foreign rule.
As a literary figure, Botev did not produce large quantities of poetry. He wrote only 22 pieces of poetry that have survived, and his satirical prose. For those who can read Bulgarian I would recommend trying his poems, perhaps with the help of a Bulgarian.
Translations of his poems are not particularly successful. As is so often the case, there is a magic in poetry that does not translate well into other languages. Different versions of his poems in English are available and you will find them on sale in Bulgaria where you can find second-hand books.
If you want great poetry do not read Botev in translation. Read it in the original. For a great master of the English language who wrote on the subject of Oppression in Turkish Bulgaria, look for something by that Irishman, Oscar Wilde on the Christian Massacres in Bulgaria. The deaths of innocents incensed him as much as it did his contemporaries, Gladstone and Botev. Bulgaria’s struggle was a cause celebre in 19th century Britain and Ireland. Strangely, after Independence, awareness of Bulgaria disappeared from British life – until the wave of new immigrants in the early years of this century!
From Botev I will quote only the last verse of his poem on ‘The Hanging of Vasil Levski”
Плачи! Там близо край град София
стърчи, аз видих, черно бесило,
и твой един син, Българийо,
виси на него със страшна сила.
And my attempt to render this into poetic English :
Weep, weep, near the town of Sofia
I see a ghastly gallows
And your only son, Bulgaria
Hangs there with morbid force.
One of the most amazing things about living in this century is that most of the individuals have now realized the importance of switching from beverages, which could be dangerous to the health, to natural and organic tea, which is green tea. Considering the importance of green tea, more and more manufacturers are switching to this industry to give the best to the customers that are into vegan recipes.
From Derek Howlett, who runs a YouTube channel called Unconventional Living, to ordinary individuals walking down the lane, almost everyone has a healthy addiction to green tea.
But what does green tea really do? Why are people going GAGA over it?
Green tea changes your life in several ways. Wondering how? Read below to know about them:
The mystery of lunchbox as to how to keep it interesting, healthy, tasty and above all not boring at all. Whether you have to make lunch for yourself or for you kids, the idea is not to only eat food, but have a healthy portion of meal that keeps you and your child full. Let’s face the fact, we all do want to escape the process of making a proper meal at lunch time, one of the reasons why people prefer to have frozen food and packed lunches as the ideal get away for lunch time meals, but is it really fulfilling and healthy? No, it isn’t, it’s only the easy that you get from that option. So here are a few ideal lunch options that you can prepare and eat, all hassle free and promising healthy lunch ideas for every day to keep your lunchbox all scrumptious and tasty. Along with the lunch ideas, we threw in few nutrition tips for each recipe.
1.White Beans, Artichokes with Spelt SaladThis is everything what we use to describe a lunchbox dream. Above all, you can prepare it a head. With Spelt Salad, white beans and artichokes throw in some red grapes along with Italian crusty bread. The Spelt is rich in Vitamin B, which also provides a good amount of fiber. Use quinoa or bulgur as a substitute of spelt for this dish. You do not need to heat the food, because its tasty when served at room temperature or chilled.
2.Fresh Tomato SoupThere’s always an alternate to your lunch meal, but is it nutritious? Healthy? And your choice of meal for every right reason? Tomato soup has a simple alternate, canned soup. But we suggest you to ditch it and pamper yourself with homemade fresh vegetable tomato soup. If you buy the tomatoes in the season, that makes the soup bowl much tastier. Use plump tomatoes as they can be used throughout the year and not specific to winter cravings. Here’s a tip for you to save time, once the soup is prepared, store it in different containers, it will save your time to prepare meal the next morning. With tomato soup bowl, you have achieved the healthy lunch target for the day.
3. Chocolate Chip, Pecan Cookies and Oatmeal.Based on nutrition research which claims that the subsequent bite of food becomes less tasty and enjoyable than the previous bite. Hence, this means your first bite is best, your second bite is second best and so forth. Since our focus is to give you options for healthy lunch meals, we still cannot ignore your cravings for chocolate cookies. Prepare yourself cookies using chocolate mini chips, in oatmeal. For lunch pack only 81 calories of chocolate chip cookies. If you’re craving for sweet or chocolate, surely a fruit wont normalizes your taste buds. Hence, break down the chocolate chip cookies in calories. Remember, your first bite will satisfy your craving the highest!