My summer in London 2010

I have studed at the London International Summer School. My class titled Multimedia Journalism: the London expirience.

I learned a lot in three weeks. This training has been intense, because the language barrier prevented. But the teachers  supported me, so I have done many posts in my individual blog.

Education has been an interesting, varied and useful. I knew what is it a blog and how a journalist can write a blog. We have reviewed and written in many genres. News stories, opinion pieces, pictures and video, comment and interview.

I have acquired new skills in online multimedia. It was interesting to create story covering the different aspects of London life, to compare London and Moscow expiriences.

This is my final work  – slideshow about London.     

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The capitals must be tidy

I have always believed that there are countries where people maintain cleanliness in the streets and not throw rubbish. It  became clear now that the purity depends on public utilities and the system of fines. People waste in London as well as in Moscow.

Rubbish lies in the parks, subway stations, near the shops,  in the River Thames, but most of all you can see rubbish in the City in the evening. 

London and Moscow are   both increasingly plagued by the rising amount of domestic waste thrown away by their citizens.

 New figures from Department of Communities and Local Government reveal that the amount of money spent by local authorities in England on clearing up the ground every year has risen from £780 million to £858 million (Euro 1 billion).

Phil Barton, Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive, said: ‘The figure of £858 million is truly shocking. It is quite obscene that we, as a nation, have to spend more than £3/4 billion clearing up the rubbish that people can’t be bothered to put in a bin.” 

Moscow has the same problem. Russia spends a lot of money cleaning up after people who are littering everywhere. ”Every year in Moscow people produce about 5 million tons of debris  and, according to authorities, shortly there will be no place for waste  disposal.

One way out of the current situation is  constructing the incinerators. However, those plans provoked protests from local residents and environmentalists. In the near future the problem of disposal of household waste in Moscow will rise become particularly acute, because Moscow region has almost exhausted its possibilities for the area landfills», writes the  Weekjournal.ru.

The problem of waste disposal for the dogs In Britain, unlike Russia, was solved. I would like to see how the owners of pets to clean their dogs on the streets of Moscow  the next few years. Perhaps these boxes will also appear in Russia soon.
Clean streets is an indicator of our level of culture and development.
 
The social organisation of the U.K. «Keep Britain Tidy» is asking everyone to examine their behaviour and think twice before throwing litter on the floor and if they see an empty crisp packet or drinks can on the floor, pick it up and put it in a bin. Everyone should join this call, because taxpayers’ money (our money!) is spent on maintaining the purity both in Moscow and in London.

Keep our capitals tidy, please.

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Trail of the ancient monks

In 1132 thirteen monks came to the valley of the little River Skell and established Fountains Abbey.
The Abbey used to be the richest in Europe and is now the largest monastic ruins in the UK. This truly is a beautiful place to visit and many people come here to understand the life of monks.

The beauty of nature and landscape promoted meditation and reflection. Indeed, the story of rebellion and disagreement on many religious issues is behind that spiritual atmosphere.

One of the Abbey’s most important developments was the introduction of the Cistercian system of lay brothers. They were usually illiterate and relieved the monks from routine jobs, giving them more opportunity to dedicate their time to God.
Many served as masons, tanners, shoemakers and smiths, but their chief role was to look after the Abbey’s vast flocks of sheep, which lived on the huge estate stretching westwards from Fountains to the Lake District and northwards to Teesside.
Without the lay brothers, Fountains Abbey could never have attained its great wealth or economic importance.
Fountains’ life was brought to an abrupt end in 1539 by Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries.
When you visit such places you always wonder why people choose to become monks?
What do we know about their lives? Would you like to become a monk? I asked the participants of the Summer School of Westminster University and our guide Justin Roxburgh.

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All bad or getting worse?

Will we see a second wave of recession? What can we expect from the economy in the coming year? Bankers, industrialists, economists and ordinary people would all like to know the answer to this question.

A growing number of experts are inclined to think that a repetition of a recession is possible. Recently the Guardian newspaper published an article entitled “UK recession even deeper than first thought, the reporter writing: “Six successive quarters of negative economic growth from spring 2008 until autumn 2009 were the toughest for the economy since the Great Depression of the 1930.

 “Growth resumed in the final three months of 2009 as the UK economy responded to the emergency cuts in interest rates, the cheaper pound and higher government spending,” they report.

Later in the article, the Guardian explains: “Consumer spending fell slightly in the first three months of 2010, with individuals running down their savings in order to finance purchases.”
Jeremy Cook, chief economist at World First, said: “Although the headline figure remained unchanged at 0.3%, government spending was revised up from 1.1% to 1.5% signifying that the recovery is still very reliant on state spending and that consumers are not stepping up to the plate quite yet.”

Russia, recovering after similar problems with recession, has lost eight positions in the ranking AT Kearney over the last year. “The global index of the retail market fell to tenth place in the list of countries attractive to foreign retailers”, writes the online newspaper Business Petersburg.

You do not need to be an expert to understand that the crisis continues. The recent bankruptcy of travel agencies in the UK and Russia is evidence of that, with thousands of tourists held hostage by the economic problems of these companies. 

Preparing for the Olympic Games is difficult because of the economic problems of our countries. Both the governments of Russia and the UK have been forced to cut the budget.

It is clear that the economies of Russia and Britain are facing many similar problems. In the business part of London and Moscow are the same signs: office rent, lease, rent large area in rent, selling.

The position of experts may be different. Some hold a positive view, while others predict a second wave of recession. But it is clear that while the economy is recovering, European states have some way to go.

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Ghosts are everywhere

Last weekend a group of students from “London International Summer School  2010”  University of Westminster were attackted by ghosts in York.

Students took part in the  traditional walk “Ghost Trail” that usualy starts by 7.30 p.m.

The special guides led the group  through narrow cobbled  streets of the ancient  city.  When darkness descended on  York students realized that ghosts were everywhere.

Ghosts were howling, were watching behind the corners of buildings and were  frightening. The group was scared to death.

According to the guides, the best defense against ghosts is garlic that is why students  have saved in the Italian restaurant for couple of hours.

But the persecution by ghosts were not finished. In the evening in London the students discovered that ghosts live in the International House.

Perhaps this phenomenon is associated with anomalies of weather in the European part of the continent, where  has established the an unusually hot weather.

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To be a blogger

Camilla Chafer  is a freelance journalist and copywriter, specialising in lifestyle topics such as consumer technology, gadgets. Today our group  have chance to ask Camilla  about her professional secrets of blogging.

Camilla Chafer

Camilla Chafer

What is the most dificult moment in writing blog?

To find  the interesting facts and people to talk you.  To make interesting and enticing to read.

Is it difficult to find interesting person for the interview every day, how do you usually look for extraordinary people?

 There are many  sources of information about unusual people.  For instance,  my colleagues, in the media, articles that I have read and relevant experts. I also use social media such as Twitter, Facebook and chat.

Do you have a bad experience in blogging?

Yes, funny experience.  At the beginning of my career I had a funny case when I video recorded a  person and because I am small and the interviewee was very tall we didn’t fit on the screen together.  I realised that the top of his head was “cut” off the screen.

Have you ever deleted you blog under the pressure?

No,  never.  Somebody tried to call me  and tried to change a blog, but  I wouldn’t, because the information was accurate and people think that they can get online work changed but it doesn’t work like that.

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My first impressions of London

I have never been to London before. But I think that I will love this city forever, because when I was I child I read many books about Great Britain and imagined my future trip to one of the world’s great capitals.  I would like to see the country where Shakespeare, Rudyard Kipling, Lewis Carroll and Agatha Christie used to live and The Beatles, Spice Girls, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Sex Pistols and Rolling Stones used to sing.

Yesterday we visited the famous British Music Experience.  This is my first impression about the contemporary life of the city.

This interactive, multi-media museum is installed at The O2, London’s world famous music venue. Many famous musicians sing here, including Prince. The museum contains a collection of musical artifacts and memorabilia, spanning the last 50 years.

This is the entrance. I took the photo for my friend, he is an architect and he will be impressed. I am sure.

We were not allowed to take photos in the museum but I will tell my friends about my interactive experiences in using digital technologies! For instance, how I learned some dance moves in the museum’s ‘Dance The Decades’ installation with other enthusiastic people! It was so funny! 

Yesterday in the evening my mood changed as the British weather darkened and after the rain I went to central London. Our Halls of residence is locates nearby to the Thames.

At the beginning, I took some traditional pictures of the famous buildings, interesting details of them, but I also enjoyed people going about their business.

My first impressions of London have been good and I felt almost at home, as if I was in Moscow.

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