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‘My soul is dancing’: Spain comes out to play after Europe’s strictest lockdown | Travel

Coronavirus has hit Spain challenging and its people have endured the strictest lockdown of any region in Europe. Outside activity was banned, except it was for going to perform or checking out the area grocery store for essentials (only a person member of the home at a time). The Guardia Civil rigorously enforced the legislation: roadblocks stopped vehicles, IDs, till receipts and distances travelled all checked. Illicit site visitors to my area seashore were being reprimanded and seriously fined. Alongside the promenade in the village of San Luis de Sabinillas, on the Costa del Sol, the outdoor fitness centers, petanca courts and children’s playgrounds have lain empty, cordoned off by law enforcement tape.

Through the winter, I cooled my menopausal flushes in the Mediterranean. A short while ago I have dreamed of clandestine nocturnal dips, but the menace of a €500 fantastic has chilled my ardour. I created do with training movies and on the internet parchís (Spanish ludo) with my mum.

Spain is all about socialising, sitting outside till late, owning pleasurable, building sound. Kids are to be viewed and read. For the first six months of the lockdown, the only human existence I noticed on the streets was from scurrying, paranoid, masked grown ups. On 26 April, Spanish small children ended up freed from captivity, bringing optimism, power and joyful sounds. Very last weekend was the convert of the adults. I prepared yoga on the seaside, then a socially distanced swim. As with lots of other people, I’d been counting the times. At dawn on Saturday early morning, runners, walkers and cyclists commenced to arrive at the seaside.

Lizzie Evangelista: ‘Being allowed to run means being able to breathe again’

Lizzie Evangelista: ‘Being authorized to run indicates staying in a position to breathe again’

“Running is my implies of self-treatment,” stated Lizzie Evangelista, a lecturer and psychotherapist. “I’m an extremely-length runner: 190km, or longer, by way of jungles and deserts. It is a large deal for me. Staying permitted to run signifies currently being in a position to breathe all over again.”

“Lack of work out has an effect on your mood,” reported her spouse, Jo. “It feels like I’ve been sitting down with duct tape all over me, not ready to do anything at all to lift my mood. I cycled up into the hills this morning. It was incredible. I could scent the herbs and bouquets. Commonly, I go as much and as fast as possible, but today I took items bit by bit, I desired to savour the second.”

“Mentally oxygenated,” was how Elena, 51, explained herself immediately after her 1st sea swim given that lockdown. Elena on a regular basis takes section in races along the Mediterranean coastline. She explained that, as the operator of an ironmongers’ shop, she has been poorly strike economically, but she has enjoyed becoming at home and spending time with her daughter. “I’ve seriously skipped the social part of swimming – I really like becoming component of a group the pleasurable and laughter, the friendship. I felt a tiny anxious swimming on my own now and getting in a wetsuit was tiring for the very first five minutes, but I quickly got into the rhythm. I truly feel excellent now that I have been back again in the sea.”

Marisa was extra conflicted: “I’ve been looking ahead to swimming, but emotion a bit unsure about coming out and dealing with the planet with the virus even now all over. It was great remaining in the h2o while – a serious tonic.”

Twins Lola and Angela, 65, celebrated their independence by walking and dancing on the seaside. “My soul is dancing,” Lola exclaimed. “I am free and I have realised that we don’t value what we’ve got until finally we shed it.”

Diego and Francis.

Diego and Francis

Diego Fernandez, a retired health care provider who has been volunteering due to the fact the outbreak of the virus, took the possibility to get again on his bike with his pal Francis, 66. “I worry that we will halt remaining so affectionate, which is section of the character of Andalucía. I saw my six-year-aged grandson but I couldn’t hug him.”

At 8am, I was undertaking yoga on the beach front, warming up for a big swim. Tentatively, I dipped my toes in the h2o. Despite the spring sunshine, the sea was chilly. As usually, I took a deep breath and threw myself in, permitting out an exhilarated gasp of delight. For 15 minutes I left the world’s cares and the confinement of the previous 48 days at the rear of me.

Lola Culsán is co-creator of Wild Swimming Spain (Wild Items Publishing, £15.99)

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Heathrow third runway ruled illegal over climate change | Environment

Strategies for a 3rd runway at Heathrow airport have been ruled unlawful by the court of charm mainly because ministers did not sufficiently take into account the government’s commitments to tackle the climate crisis.

The ruling is a key blow to the task at a time when community issue about the local weather crisis is growing quickly and the governing administration has set a focus on in regulation of internet zero emissions by 2050. The prime minister, Boris Johnson, could use the ruling to abandon the undertaking, or the government could attract up a new coverage document to approve the runway.

The federal government is thinking of its upcoming actions but will not appeal against the verdict. The transportation secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “Our manifesto would make distinct any Heathrow enlargement will be business-led. Airport enlargement is core to boosting global connectivity and levelling up throughout the Uk. We also consider critically our commitment to the setting.”

Johnson has opposed the runway, stating in 2015 that he would “lie down in entrance of those bulldozers and halt the construction”. Heathrow is previously a single the busiest airports in the globe, with 80 million passengers a 12 months. The £14bn third runway could be crafted by 2028 and would convey 700 far more planes for every working day and a major rise in carbon emissions.

Johnson is thought to have been hunting for a pretext to withdraw assist for the additional runway and could make the argument for Birmingham to give greater airpot capacity for London supplied that teach journey instances will be decreased by HS2.

The court’s ruling is the 1st significant ruling in the entire world to be based on the Paris weather agreement and might have an impression both equally in the British isles and all over the globe by inspiring worries versus other high-carbon tasks.

Lord Justice Lindblom claimed: “The Paris agreement should to have been taken into account by the secretary of state. The nationwide planning assertion was not manufactured as the legislation needs.”

What just occurred?

For the very first time judges have claimed that ideas for a significant infrastructure venture are unlawful due to the fact they breach the UK’s commitments to decrease greenhouse gas emissions to tackle the local climate crisis. This is a groundbreaking legal final decision that could result foreseeable future infrastructure developments and puts the UK’s commitment to lower emission to internet zero by 2050 at the forefront of long run policymaking.

What will take place next?

The government has been explained to by the court of appeal to declare its final decision to make it possible for Heathrow airport expansion – contained in its airline countrywide coverage statement – illegal. Ministers have two choices now. They can withdraw the entire plan statement or try to amend it to make it appropriate with the UK’s commitments to minimize greenhouse fuel emissions to internet zero by 2050. 

Will the runway be developed?

If the government can prove that increasing Heathrow is compatible with its commitments under the Paris agreement to pretty radically lessen greenhouse gasoline emissions, the runway could go in advance. But the key minister has usually been in opposition to the 3rd runway, and the government has told the court it will not be pleasing from its choice on Thursday. 

There now hangs a quite significant question mark over no matter whether the bulldozers will at any time get started function on the runway.

“It’s now clear that our governments can not continue to keep proclaiming determination to the Paris agreement, while simultaneously using steps that blatantly contradict it” mentioned Tim Crosland, at legal charity Prepare B, which introduced the challenge. “The bell is tolling on the carbon economic climate loud and obvious.”

Plan B’s intervention was one particular of a range of legal troubles against the government’s nationwide policy statement, which gave the go-forward for the new runway in 2018 following MPs backed it by a significant majority. Other folks were brought by area people, councils, the mayor of London, and environmental groups which includes Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace.

The issues had been dismissed in the high court docket in Could 2019 but the complainants took their instances to the court of charm, which delivered its verdicts on Thursday.

Approach B argued that the Paris arrangement concentrate on, which the governing administration had ratified, was an crucial portion of governing administration local weather coverage and that ministers experienced unsuccessful to evaluate how a 3rd runway could be consistent with the Paris target of keeping international temperature rise as near to 1.5C as achievable.

“This is an chance for Boris Johnson to put Heathrow expansion to mattress and aim on the most significant diplomatic celebration of his premiership, the UN climate summit in Glasgow in November,” stated Lord Randall, a former Conservative MP and local weather adviser to the previous key minister Theresa May possibly. “It’s his possibility to glow on the globe stage.”

The court docket of charm did not overturn the superior court’s dismissal of the other worries, which connected to air and sounds air pollution, targeted traffic, and the multibillion pound cost of the runway.

Governing administration will not likely attraction versus 3rd Heathrow runway verdict, says transport secretary – movie

But the Paris agreement ruling is much-achieving, in accordance to Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh, an global general public law specialist at Leiden University, in the Netherlands. “Its implications are world wide,” she said.

“For the 1st time, a courtroom has confirmed that the Paris settlement temperature aim has binding result. This aim was based mostly on frustrating evidence about the catastrophic hazard of exceeding 1.5C of warming. Nevertheless some have argued that the aim is aspirational only, leaving governments cost-free to overlook it in practice.”

Prof Corinne Le Quéré, at the University of East Anglia, mentioned: “Government requires to place weather targets at the heart all major choices, or chance lacking their own net zero aims with devastating effects for local climate and steadiness. I am relieved this is at last recognised in legislation.”

Climate campaigner Greta Thunberg mentioned: “Imagine when we all start getting the Paris agreement into account.”

Heathrow and proponents of the third runway say it would provide an economic increase and is essential for worldwide business, particularly right after Brexit. “The court docket of attractiveness dismissed all appeals towards the government – together with on ‘noise’ and ‘air quality’ – apart from one particular, [i.e. climate change] which is eminently fixable,” said a spokeswoman for Heathrow.

“We will attraction [as an interested party] to the supreme court docket on this a person challenge and are assured that we will be productive. Expanding Heathrow, Britain’s biggest port and only hub, is vital to achieving the primary minister’s eyesight of world Britain. We will get it completed the appropriate way.”

Mike Cherry, at the Federation of Compact Enterprises, explained: “The verdict is a blow to little companies who have to have greater regional and worldwide connectivity, as effectively as much more opportunities to export.”

On the other hand, most flights are taken for satisfaction and just 20% of the United kingdom populace just take far more than two-thirds of intercontinental flights. Critics say the financial rewards are illusory supplied, for illustration, the believed £10bn of taxpayers’ funds desired to change street and rail inbound links to the airport, and would attract investment to the south-east.

“No amount of spin from Heathrow’s PR machine can obscure the carbon logic of a new runway,” explained John Sauven, at Greenpeace United kingdom. “Their options would pollute as significantly as a small region.”

Geraldine Nicholson, from local campaign team Halt Heathrow Expansion, explained: “This is the final nail in the coffin for Heathrow expansion. We now will need to make positive the threat of a third runway does not arrive back again.”

At a independent occasion on Thursday, Ashok Sharma, the company secretary and president of November’s UN COP26 local weather summit, claimed: “The only overall economy which can keep away from the worst results of local weather change, and as a result proceed to produce expansion, is a decarbonised financial state. Our selections will make or split the zero-carbon economic climate.”

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10 great bars and cafes near railway stations in Europe: readers’ travel tips | Travel

Drink with Tony Soprano, Vilnius

Inside Vilnius’s unassuming 19th-century socialist-realist station itself is shabby-chic Bar Peronas. It serves excellent local beer (€2.50) alongside solid cocktails; if you’re feeling adventurous, try Herba Devynia, a Lithuanian take on a bitter Italian amaro made from bark, roots, herbs, fruit, blossom and leaves. Seating spills out on to the railway platform, where you can sit alongside a five-metre tall statue of Tony Soprano clad in a dressing gown as you watch trains shuttle off towards Minsk and on to Saint Petersburg. Once the sun goes down, talented local DJs play anything from hip-hop and techno to Balkan beats and afrojazz.

Perfectly positioned pub, Dublin

Ireland, Dublin, Parkgate Street, Ryans

Photograph: Neil McAllister/Alamy

“Bongo” Ryan’s of Parkgate Street is three minutes’ walk across the Liffey from Heuston station, and within a short stroll of Guinness’s St James’s Gate Brewery. It’s one of Dublin’s finest Victorian pubs, housing a cosy snug and sturdy mahogany bar. If you can tear yourself away, it is a short walk to historic Kilmainham Gaol and the immense grandeur of Phoenix Park. The National Museum of Decorative Arts & History is a block away. If I had 24 hours in Dublin, I’d spend a few of them here.

Books and coffee, Copenhagen

Nørreport Station

Photograph: Rasmus Hjortshøj – Coast/BYCS

Paludan Bogcafe, Denmark’s oldest book cafe, is a short walk from Nørreport Station and a 15-minute stroll from central station. In the city’s old Jewish quarter, the cafe is busy from 9am-10pm with students, shoppers, tourists and old friends. It’s a perfect escape from the chain stores on Strøget. It’s tucked away behind the old university library, and almost every wall is lined with new and antique books. Stop for coffee and cake, a cold beer, or even a glass of wine – you probably won’t find large glasses for £5 anywhere else. The food may well be Copenhagen’s best kept secret.
Rhiannon Jackson

Amazing beer, Brussels

Glasses of beer in the famous bar Chez Moeder Lambic

Photograph: Alamy

Between the Eurostar terminal at Brussels Midi and Brussels Centraal station (10-15 minutes’ walk from either) is Moeder Lambic at Place Fontainas. The beer selection is fantastic, with some of the best beers I’ve ever tasted. The food is good value, particularly for Belgium, with sandwiches, soup and sharing boards.

Wine and pinxtos, San Sebastián

Bodega Donostiarra, San Sebastian

After arriving at San Sebastián-Donostia station, don’t follow the crowds towards the tourist-packed Parta Vieja. Instead, stick to the east side of the Uremea, and walk for eight minutes along the riverbank to Bodega Donostiarra in the Gros neighbouhood. This lively wine and pintxo bar has been serving the local community since 1928, when this was a working-class area of shanties and workshops. The potted plants and sun terrace may be new, but the house speciality , a bocadillo, or small baguette, of fresh tuna, salty anchovy and local green pickled peppers (€3.10), is timeless. And lovely wines by the glass cost from €1.30.

Straight to the strudel, Leipzig

Ludwig Cafe, Leipzig Central Station

Photograph: Alamy

On the vast concourse of Leipzig Hauptbahnhof, the city’s monumental station, is the Ludwig bookshop and cafe bar. If the station is the cathedral, Ludwig is its library or cloister. It’s a calm, airy and refined space, with dark wood, high ceilings, stained-glass skylights and cosy club chairs. It serves reasonably priced drinks, sandwiches and snacks, though I had a coffee and a giant slab of apfelstrudel. Browse the books and magazines, listen to the train announcements, or watch the trams in the square outside through tall, elegant windows. It makes a marvellous waiting room, though frankly I suggest visiting even if you have no train to catch.
Kevin Sullivan

Guardian Travel readers’ tips

We’re asking our readers for recommendations from their travels, with a selection of these tips being featured online. Each week, the best entry (as chosen by Tom Hall of Lonely Planet) will win two first-class Interrail Global Passes from Eurail that allow for seven days of travel within one month, and are worth up to £384 each (depending on the age of the traveller). To enter the latest competition visit the readers’ tips homepage

A litre, just metres from the station, Munich

People drinking at Augustiner biergarten

Photograph: Getty Images

Augustiner is said to be Munich’s oldest independent brewery, dating back to medieval times, and it has a beer garden (established in 1812 by Büchl brewery) under chestnut trees beside the central station, making it the perfect place to have your first, or last, beer in the city. Musicians wander and traditional Bavarian dress is much in evidence. It has a wide range of typical Bavarian cuisine, plus light snacks and veggie dishes. A half-litre of lovely Augustiner Edelstoff is a reasonable €3.95.

Style and substance, Turin

Night exterior view of Caffe Torino, Piazza San Carlo,

Photograph: Stefano Politi Markovina/Alamy

Exit Porta Nuova train station and within a few hundred metres you come to the baroque grandeur of Piazza San Carlo, and two of Turin’s most famous cafes. Café San Carlo (1882) has the ambience of a palace, but I prefer the art nouveau Caffè Torino (1903). Italian style, grandeur, history, architecture, and coffee at normal prices. Try a traditional bicerin, a mix of espresso, chocolate and milk. I found it while changing trains, fell in love with the cafe and the city, and went to live there for a year. I return as often as I can.
Neil Pearce

Ober and out in Interlaken, Switzerland

The Hüsi Bierhaus, a six-minute walk from Interlaken West Station, is a must for craft beer lovers when visiting the Bernese Oberland. This timber-framed, green-shuttereds chalet has more than 70 bottled beers and about 20 on tap. Since 2018 it has been brewing its own, including the top selling Wingover IPA, a hoppy, blonde ale dedicated to the town’s paragliding community. Beer has even found its way into the kitchen, with bread made from the brewery’s spent malts, a bier-bratwurst, and nachos smothered in a rich, tomato, jalapeño and beer salsa.

Ice-cream heaven, Florence

I stumbled on Gelati del Bondi when I got off the train in Florence last summer. It’s a five-minute walk from Florence Station up Via Nazionale as you head into town. Unlike some Italian ice-cream bars, it has places to sit both inside and outside. It’s not fancy but has 40 delicious flavours. The fresh caramel, made with French butter, or the Medici Special, with a secret ingredient, are among its signature offerings. Cones from €2.

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My Hometown: exploring Bruce Springsteen’s New Jersey roots | Travel

Darkness on the Edge of Town … That Bruce Springsteen song always comes to mind when, on visits to my mother, I drive through Freehold, the town I grew up in, and hit the intersection of East Main Street and Jackson Terrace. This is actually the meeting point of two Freeholds: Freehold Township, once farmland and now McMansions and other unchecked suburban horrors; and Freehold Borough, the old colonial town, dating from the 1600s. Long before that, the area was steeped in the traditions of the displaced Leni Lenape people.

The junction of Jackson and Main still feels like where farmland meets town, a stretch of dark country road, marked by a lonely gas station and a dilapidated barn before the asphalt corridor redefines itself with late-Victorian and early-20th-century buildings often draped in red, white and blue bunting. One Queen Anne-style house is so striking it was used as the family home in 1990s TV show Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

Bruce Springsteen’s childhood home on Institute Street in Freehold.

Bruce Springsteen’s childhood home on Institute Street in Freehold. Photograph: James Leynse/Getty Images

Several blocks away is Freehold High School, a 1920s colonial revival structure mimicking Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. That’s where Springsteen went to school. I did too, though many years later. When I was young, a popular story told of Springsteen playing guitar in the school’s courtyard while teachers rained insults, insisting he’d never make anything of himself. Springsteen may be most closely associated with nearby Asbury Park, where he first sang to acclaim, but Freehold is the place the Boss called his hometown.

How the musician’s fame stretched from this little town about an hour from Manhattan to the rest of the world is the theme of a new exhibition at Monmouth County Historical Association (70 Court Street) entitled Springsteen: His Hometown.

Scrapbook made by Bruce Springsteen’s mother, Adele.

Scrapbook made by Bruce Springsteen’s mother, Adele.

More than 150 objects are on display at the exhibition, which runs until the end of September 2020. Some are the MCHA’s own, others come from the Springsteen Archives of Monmouth University in Long Branch (his town of birth), with more from private collectors and the Boss himself. There are unreturned keys from hotels Springsteen stayed at early in his career, and a letter to his landlady where he admits to practising his autograph. Clothes, including boots and a leather bomber from the 1980s, sit alongsde a Bruce Springsteen board game created and marketed in Europe by a French fan. Parked in the museum’s garden is an antique truck the musician and his manager used to travel from gig to gig – and to Woodstock.

The exhibition’s genealogical section, tracing the life of Joost Springsteen, the Boss’s earliest New Amsterdam ancestor, offers ways to explore beyond the town’s famous son.

In the museum’s permanent exhibition, the 1778 Battle of Monmouth is commemorated by two valuable objects: a Dennis Carter painting of revolutionary folk heroine Molly Pitcher with George Washington; and another of the battle itself by Emanuel Leutze, better known for his Washington Crossing the Delaware (in New York’s Met).

Springsteen’s 1967 school yearbook

Springsteen’s 1967 school yearbook

Borough historian Kevin Coyne, who is also a Columbia University journalism professor and features in a mini-documentary about the town, said: “A little piece of everything that has happened in America has happened here: colonial settlers, the revolution, the civil war, agricultural prosperity, the rise and fall of manufacturing, racial tensions, creeping suburbanisation. It all played out here, and Springsteen and his ancestors have been part of every stage.”

So while Springsteen is Freehold’s main lure, it holds centuries of American lore, too. The exhibition blends recent musical history with revolutionary heritage of this town, which was once called Monmouth Courthouse, an important early stagecoach link between New York and Philadelphia.

Just across the street from the MCHA, the Battle of Monmouth monument has a dramatic bronze of Molly Pitcher, hair fiercely windswept as she loads a cannon. The 1950s Monmouth Courthouse, with its mix of period enamelled turquoise panels and classical columns, was the site of another battle with international implications: the 1980s Baby M court case, one of the earliest to rule on surrogate parenting. (Mary Beth Whitehead had contracted with a family called the Sterns to carry a child for them, but changed her mind after giving birth. The court ruled surrogacy contracts invalid, but the Sterns won a protracted custody battle.)

Old artillery at Monmouth Battlefield Park

Old artillery at Monmouth Battlefield Park

There’s more about the revolution at Monmouth Battlefield state park, in neighbouring Manalapan Township, behind the Freehold Raceway Mall. The preserved land here is all that is left undeveloped from the massive battle nearly 250 years ago, at which the British had to abandon hope of a military victory. The bucolic setting is now better-known for summer weddings and autumn apple picking.

The shopping mall takes its name from Freehold Raceway, America’s oldest harness horse racing track, dating from the 1830s. The old track is a remnant of Monmouth County’s long history of racehorse breeding, before Kentucky became pre-eminent.

Equestrian stables such as Burlington Farm, on a colonial road laid over an ancient Native American path to the Atlantic, continue this tradition. My school was across the street, and the horses running through the fields and poking their heads through the mossy split-log fencing mesmerised me as a child. Springsteen’s daughter, Jessica, was just as taken by horses, though her parents had the means to actually own them. She learned on her father’s estate in neighbouring Colts Neck and is now a champion rider.

Dedicated Springsteen fans can a take tour of the area. Stan Goldstein and Jean Mikle, members of the Spring-Nuts fan club, runs Springsteen tours (from $20pp, book through NJ Rock Map). As well as Asbury Park, their four-hour tour also includes Freehold, taking in Springsteen’s Catholic elementary school, St Rose of Lima, and the Karagheusian rug mill, where his father worked and which made carpets for Radio City Music Hall and the US Supreme Court.

If exploring on your own, check out Federici’s Family Restaurant on 14 East Main Street. Owned for nearly 100 years by relatives of late founding E Street Band member Danny Federici, it is steeped in Italian-American and Springsteen history. Outside, in good weather, it’s one of the busiest downtown venues, with sidewalk seating near where bands play in summer. Much of the inside space is dark, cavernous and cosy, with booth seating and a menu heavy with Italian choices.

Nearby St Peter’s Episcopal is one of America’s last colonial churches and oldest continuous congregations. The current clapboard structure was begun in 1771. Construction halted in the Revolution, though it served as a storehouse and hospital during the Battle of Monmouth. As children, we were told the pews had patriots’ blood stains and there was a mass unmarked grave out front.

The American Hotel, exterior

The American Hotel, on Main Street.

Freehold isn’t a big town: most places are within walking distance of the bus station, from which half-hourly buses run to Manhattan. He mentions the bus stop in My Hometown (on the Born in the USA album) as the place his eight-year-old self would buy his father a newspaper.

If staying overnight, try the American Hotel (doubles from $135 B&B), which dates from 1827 and the stagecoach era. The facade is a more New Orleans than Mid-Atlantic, with its ornate wrought iron balconies overlooking outdoor tables on East Main Street. The rebuilt interior maintains the large Federal-style wooden fireplace, but the 20 spacious rooms have a neutral modern feel. The hotel’s lobby and bar have long made the American Hotel an important social centre in the middle of town – a perfect place to raise a glass to the Boss’s hometown.

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Five eco-friendly Christmas craft activities to try around the UK | Travel

Sweet treats

More unwanted “stuff” at Christmas? No thanks – try giving something edible instead. Chocolate workshops at the National Trust’s medieval Powis Castle and Garden near Welshpool, include handmade chocolate robins and stars, and sparkly chocolate shards (19 December, £27.50). In York – original home of Rowntree’s and Terry’s factories – chocolate workshops at York Cocoa House range from drop-in lollipop-making (£3.75), to masterclasses on specialities, such as ganaches and caramels (various dates, £55 adult, £28 child).

In the Gloucestershire Hills, Harts Barn Cookery School in the Forest of Dean is running Christmas cookery classes throughout December, including children’s edible decorations and edible gifts classes (gingerbread men, marshmallow penguins, chocolate lollies and reindeer pretzels, 15 December, from £25), and Christmas chocolate-making for adults (1 December, £50), with truffles and more to take away.

Harts Barn Cookery School with showy field through window

Harts Barn Cookery School, for edible gifts and decorations

For something savoury, learn the secrets of creating quick pickles at the Salt Box sustainably minded cookery school’s Pickle like a Pro workshop (11 December, £45) near Redhill in Surrey, which also includes a festive drink and a two-course meal. Classes take place in a private woodland glen and cosy barn.

Unusual ornaments

Christmas at The Piece Hall, Halifax

Christmas at The Piece Hall, Halifax

Piece Hall in Halifax – a recently restored 18th-century cloth hall that now has independent shops and eateries around its vast courtyard – is running a series of Christmas events and workshops, including making felt decorations with heritage cloth (17 December, £5.50) and felted snowman sessions for children (ages 6 and over, 21 December, £7.50).

Kokedama – living baubles - at Wisley.

Kokedama – living baubles – at Wisley

In Surrey, the Royal Horticultural Society’s 97-hectare Wisley Garden – one of the UK’s most-visited gardens – has a workshop on “living baubles” – known in Japan as kokedama (£15, 4 December), alongside free children’s decoration-making sessions using woodland materials (14-15 December). Also for children, and inspired by a new exhibition, Flights of Fancy: the Wondrous World of Quentin Blake (running until April 2020), The National Trust’s Nymans house in West Sussex is running decoration workshops (various dates, £3).

In Glasgow, Locavore, an organic and sustainable food shop and cafe close to Queen’s Park, has a workshop (23 November, £10) on upcycling old books to become paper decorations, such as intricate snowflakes and folded trees.

Alternative wreaths

The Salt Gallery in Saltaire, West Yorkshire

The Salt Gallery, Saltaire, West Yorkshire. Photograph: John Davidson Photos/Alamy

Choose from an array of textures and colours to make fabric wreaths at Water Lane Boathouse in Leeds’s Granary Wharf. The former 19-century shipment warehouse is now a laid-back waterside pub run by the team behind the city’s multi-arts venue, Belgrave Music Hall.

A few miles to the west in Saltaire, the preserved Victorian industrial village in Shipley, the Craft House will be running origami textile wreath workshops (£55, 14 December) and papercut light-up wreaths (£30, 24 Nov). Round the corner, Salts Mill, a former textile mill turned art centre, has shops, restaurants and Christmas events.

paper flower wreath made from pages of a book

Make a paper flower wreath at Arlington Court, Devon

At the National Trust’s Gibside, an 18th-century estate in Tyne and Wear, there will be paper wreath-making sessions (£45, 7 December) in Garden Cottage in a restored walled garden. Also using paper, the NT’s Arlington Court near Barnstaple in Devon has festive paper flower wreaths sessions (£8, 23 December).

To go fully-zero waste, make decorations that can be eaten after use: on the edge of the Lake District, medieval Sizergh Castle and gardens near Kendal is running gingerbread decoration workshops (14-15 December, £3.50), for all ages.

Sustainable crackers

Reusable fabric crackers dramatically reduce Christmas waste

Reusable fabric crackers dramatically reduce Christmas waste

Brits pull an estimated 154m crackers every Christmas. Recent calls to ban them because of the amount of plastic waste they produce have seen a surge in eco-friendly alternatives. Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, in the centre of the historic Shropshire town, has eco cracker-making session (£20, 24 December), using recycled materials and filler choices including fair trade chocolate, handmade bath bombs and bee-friendly seed bombs.

As part of the Zero Waste Goods Christmas Market at the Boiler House, on Brick Lane in east London, fabric, plus natural and upcycled materials will be used to create reusable crackers (£24, including entry to the market, 7 December).

In Hull, UK City of Culture 2017, eco-cracker and wrapping paper workshops (4 December, £19.99), are on offer at cocktail bar and creative space the Brain Jar in the Old Town – named one of Britain’s “hippest neighbourhoods” last year. Run in association with nearby zero-waste store the Eco Shed, sessions will also include vegan mince pies and fizz.

Bristol – the UK’s first European Green Capital – is not to be outdone, of course. Craft company Hunter Gatherings is running eco-friendly cracker- and stocking-making workshops (from £28, various dates) at Convoy Espresso – a cafe in two Airstream trailers at the Paintwork creative quarter, and at Brockley Stores farm shop, 10 miles south-west of the city.

Upcycled wrapping

Recycled gift wrap to make at the National Botanic Garden of Wales

Recycled gift wrap to make at the National Botanic Garden of Wales

Shop-bought gift paper is often plastic-based and can’t be recycled. The National Botanic Gardens of Wales, in Llanarthney, is running a sustainable gift wrap and tag workshop (£11.50, 1 December, including entry into the gardens), using materials fully compostable or recyclable after use. In Dundee, zero-waste shop the Little Green Larder has an eco gift wrap workshop (30 November, £15), which includes paper, gift bags and cards, nibbles and a festive drink – all a 20-minute walk from the regenerated waterfront area and new V&A.

With the chance to create a linocut stamp to take away and use for printing your gift wrap every Christmas, Paper Moon Print Studio is running a workshop (11 December, £32) at Liverpool’s Static Gallery. This multi-arts venue is in a former warehouse close to the city’s creative Ropeworks district, which also made the “hippest neighbourhood” ranking last year. Also including a take-home stamp is a festive linocut workshop (27 November, £33), at Grade II-listed Didsbury Parsonage on the outskirts of Manchester.

Christmas decorations at Coal Drops Yard, King’sCross

Christmas decorations at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross. Photograph: John Sturrock

In Coal Drops Yard, in London’s King’s Cross, independent printer Hato Press has festive gift wrap printing (£10 donation, all proceeds donated to Shelter, 28 November and 5 December), using FSC-certified and recycled paper . The workshops will be held at new indie magazine and clothing shop Kiosk N1C, part of a programme of charitable festive events in the shops and restaurants of this recently regenerated city space.

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A local’s guide to Burgos, Spain: 10 top tips

Once capital of the kingdom of Castile, this ancient city is full of bars and restaurants perfect for relaxing after a day exploring historic sites and famous vineyards

Eating out in Burgos is a delight. The restaurants are generally very affordable and for a small city there is a lot of variety. But for something classic, it’s hard to beat Ojeda. Slap-bang in the city centre this much-loved restaurant was founded in 1912, and its main dining room, upstairs from the bar, is still the most impressive in the city, decorated with intricately carved wood and cool tiled walls. The lamb chops (chuletillas de lechazo) or the sole (lenguado salvaje) with basil sauce (both around €20) are always good, but the lechazo – milk-fed lamb slow-roasted in a wood-burning oven (prices vary according to weight) – is something special and, without doubt, the most famous and best dish in the city, and probably the entire province.
Calle Condestable 2,

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A local’s guide to Plovdiv, Bulgaria: 10 top tips

As a 2019 European Capital of Culture, this ancient city will reflect its Roman, Persian and Ottoman influences, and focus on Kapana, its new creative quarter

Banitsa is a Bulgarian breakfast staple. The flaky pastry parcels are filled with sirene cheese (similar to Greek feta). One of the best places to try one is at Bakeland, on the edge of the Kapana and Old Town districts. It also makes delicious handmade cakes and sweets, with a few gluten-free options.

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10 Things About Being An Aviation Maintenance Technician You May Not Have Known

Being an Aviation Technician, you might have to face changes as rapidly the technology is evolving with the evolution of airplane, its parts, and engines along with the flight maintenance. There are many things you must know before deciding if this field is for you or not. Below are mentioned few things which might help you decide

What are all the areas that are included in the field of Aviation Maintenance

Aviation Manger is the person responsible behind all the successful flights and the security of the passengers. They need to be very attentive about their duties right from managing the aircraft parts, their replacing and repairs, they need to diagnose the electrical as well as mechanical problems. They need to track the performance standard of each aspect, right from working of the airplane to the services provided in the airplane along with the records of maintenance and repair works. They need to work outstation in hangars, repair stations, and on the airfields.


What are the factors that effects the pay scale of the technician?

There are few factors that might directly affect the earnings as an Aviation Manager like:

Education: This certifies what all you have a knowledge about and what are your education standards which can direct you in the particular domain and stamps your abilities.

Experience: How much experience you have got in the field and how would that be useful in the field like experience with the helicopter, duster and crops.

Industry: which is in the particular you might join in like military, types of aircrafts, agriculture, etc.

The type of work you can do perfectly like, system troubleshooting, high-tech electrical issues.

Specialization in the fields such as, electrical systems, engines, system testing.

You must have a proper certified training from aircraft training centres.

How many certifications do you have and what are the tasks you have expertise during this?

Geographic location.

10 Things About Being An Aviation Maintenance Technician You May Not Have Known

How much an average Aviation Manager earns?

According to the Bureau of Labour Statics, an aviation technician who has a certification of aircraft mechanics advance A&P. With a deep knowledge of cutting-edge technology along with the composite materials. Top technicians earn more than 76,660$ and the minimum pay the bottom ten percent earn is 35,190$.

Ag pilots need Aerial Mechanics in high demand.
Ag Planes are Equipped with State-of-the-Art Equipment
The Aircraft Aren’t Just Used for Pesticides
Certifications and Registrations Are Obtained Through Quality Training Programs
Aircraft Mechanics Also Learn to Work on Helicopters
Para-Gliders/Ultralight Aircraft need Maintenance/Repair
You Will Need High-Quality Training and Certifications