International Nurses’ day

May 12th is International Nurses’ Day in addition International Nurses’ week (IND) is also celebrated around the world in early May of each year, to mark the contributions nurses make to society. The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has celebrated this day since 1965. In 1953 Dorothy Sutherland, an official with the US. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, proposed that President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaim a “Nurses’ Day”; he did not approve it.In January 1974, 12 May was chosen to celebrate the day as it is the anniversary of the birth ofFlorence Nightingale, who is widely considered the founder of modern nursing. Each year, ICN prepares and distributes the International Nurses’ Day Kit. The kit contains educational and public information materials, for use by nurses everywhere.In 1999 the British public sector union UNISON voted to ask the ICN to transfer this day to another date, saying Nightingale does not represent modern nursing. As of 1998, 8 May was designated as annual National Student Nurses’ Day. As of 2003, the Wednesday within National Nurses Week, between 6 and 12 May, is National School Nurse Day

Each year a service is held in Westminster Abbey in London. During the Service, a symbolic lamp is taken from the Nurses’ Chapel in the Abbey and handed from one nurse to another, thence to the Dean, who places it on the High Altar. This signifies the passing of knowledge from one nurse to another. At St Margaret’s Church at East Wellow in Hampshire, where Florence Nightingale is buried, a service is also held on the Sunday after her birthday.

Lady with the Lamp – Tribute to Florence Nightingale

Celebrated English nurse, writer and statistician Florence Nightingale OM, RRC was born on 12 May 1820 . She came to prominence for her pioneering work in nursing during the Crimean War, where she tended to wounded soldiers, and was dubbed “The Lady with the Lamp” after her habit of making rounds at night.  Nightingale laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment of her nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, the first nursing school in the world, now part of King’s College London.  the annual International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on her birthday.She was born at the Villa Colombaia, near the Porta Romana at Bellosguardo in Florence, Italy, and was named after the city of her birth. Inspired by a call from God she announced her decision to enter nursing in 1844,  and rebelled against the expected role for a woman of her status, which was to become a wife and mother. Nightingale worked hard to educate herself in the art and science of nursing, .In Rome she met Sidney Herbert, a brilliant politician who was instrumental in facilitating Nightingale’s nursing work in the Crimea, and she became a key adviser to him in his political career. Later in 1850, she visited a Lutheran religious community where she observed The Pastor  and the deaconesses working for the sick and the deprived. , based on this experience She published her first book The Institution of Kaiserswerth on the Rhine, for the Practical Training of Deaconesses,  and also received four months of medical training at the institute which formed the basis for her later career.

Florence_NightingaleFlorence Nightingale’s most famous contribution came during the Crimean War, which became her central focus in changing the horrific conditions present. On 21 October 1854, she and a staff of 38 women volunteer nurses, were sent to the Ottoman Empire, approx. 546 km (339 miles) across the Black Sea from Balaklava in the Crimea, where the main British camp was based. She arrived early in November 1854 and found wounded soldiers being badly cared for by overworked medical staff in the face of official indifference. Medicines were in short supply, hygiene was neglected, conditions were unsanitory, and there was no equipment to process food for the patients.This prompted Nightingale to send a plea to The Times for the government to produce a solution to the poor conditions, the British Government commissioned Isambard Kingdom Brunel to design a prefabricated hospital, which could be built in England and shipped to the Dardanelles. The result was Renkioi Hospital, a civilian facility which under the management of Dr Edmund Alexander Parkes had a death rate less than 1/10th that of Scutari. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was asserted that Nightingale reduced the death rate from 42% to 2% either by making improvements in hygiene herself or by calling for the Sanitary Commission. .

During her first winter at Scutari, 4,077 soldiers died. Ten times more soldiers died from illnesses such as typhus, typhoid, cholera and dysentery than from battle wounds.Conditions at the temporary barracks hospital were so fatal because of overcrowding, defective sewers and lack of ventilation. A Sanitary Commission had to be sent out by the British government to Scutari in March 1855, and effected flushing out the sewers and improvements to ventilation. Death rates were sharply reduced. During the war she did not recognise hygiene as the predominant cause of death, and she never claimed credit for helping to reduce the death rate. Nightingale continued believing the death rates were due to poor nutrition and supplies and overworking of the soldiers. It was not until after she returned to Britain and began collecting evidence before the Royal Commission on the Health of the Army that she realised most of the soldiers at the hospital were killed by poor living conditions  and advocated sanitary living conditions as of great importance. Consequently, she reduced deaths in the army during peacetime and turned attention to the sanitary design of hospitals. During the Crimean war, Florence Nightingale gained the nickname “The Lady with the Lamp”, deriving from a phrase in a report in The Times and The phrase was further popularised by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1857 poem “Santa Filomena”.

While she was in the Crimea, the Nightingale Fund for the training of nurses was established. Nightingale pioneered medical tourism as well, and  wrote of spas in the Ottoman Empire, and directed less well off patients there (where treatment was cheaper than in Switzerland).  Nightingale also set up the Nightingale Training School at St. Thomas’ Hospital. (Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery at King’s College London.) and campaigned for the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital in Aylesbury. She also wrote Notes on Nursing, a slim 136-page book that served as the cornerstone of the curriculum at the Nightingale School and other nursing schools,and  though written specifically for the education of those nursing at home, it  sold well to the general reading public and is considered a classic introduction to nursing.Nightingale was an advocate for the improvement of care and conditions in the military and civilian hospitals in Britain. One of her biggest  achievements was the introduction of trained nurses into the workhouse system from the 1860s onwards. This meant that sick paupers were now being cared for by properly trained nursing staff and was the forerunner of the National Health Service in Britain. By 1882, Nightingale nurses had a growing and influential presence in the embryonic nursing profession. Some had become matrons at leading hospitals, including, in London, St Mary’s Hospital, Westminster Hospital, St Marylebone Workhouse Infirmary and the Hospital for Incurables at Putney, Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley; Edinburgh Royal Infirmary; Cumberland Infirmary and Liverpool Royal Infirmary, as well as at Sydney Hospital in New South Wales, Australia.

In 1883, Nightingale was awarded the Royal Red Cross by Queen Victoria. In 1904, she was appointed a Lady of Grace of the Order of St John (LGStJ) and in 1907, she became the first woman to be awarded the Order of Merit. In 1908, she was given the Honorary Freedom of the City of London. Florence Nightingale sadly Passed away on 13th August 1910, however her contributions to medical science, nursing care and sanitary conditions have improved hospitals the world over  and are still in use today and her birthday is now celebrated as International CFS Awareness Day

Tribute to Edward Lear

I am a big fan of British artist, illustrator, author, and poet Edward Lear who was born 12 May 1812, he is renowned today for his literary nonsense, in poetry and prose, and especially his limericks, a form that he popularised. Lear was born into a middle-class family in the village of Holloway, and was raised by his eldest sister, 21 years his senior. Due to the family’s failing financial fortune, at age four he and his sister had to leave the family home and set up house together. Ann doted on Edward and continued to mother him until her death, when he was almost 50 years of age.   Lear suffered from health problems. From the age of six he suffered frequent grand mal epileptic seizures, and bronchitis, asthma, and in later life, partial blindness. Lear experienced his first seizure at a fair near Highgate with his father. The event scared and embarrassed him.

Lear felt lifelong guilt and shame for his epileptic condition. His adult diaries indicate that he always sensed the onset of a seizure in time to remove himself from public view. How Lear was able to anticipate them is not known, but many people with epilepsy report a ringing in their ears (tinnitus) or an aura before the onset of a seizure. In Lear’s time epilepsy was believed to be associated with demonic possession, which contributed to his feelings of guilt and loneliness. When Lear was about seven he began to show signs of depression, possibly due to the constant instability of his childhood. He suffered from periods of severe depression which he referred to as “the Morbids.”Lear travelled widely throughout his life and eventually settled in Sanremo, on his beloved Mediterranean coast, in the 1870s, at a villa he named “Villa Tennyson.” The closest he came to marriage was two proposals, both to the same woman 46 years his junior, which were not accepted. For companions he relied instead on a circle of friends and correspondents, and especially, in later life, on his Albanian Souliote chef, Giorgis, a faithful friend and, as Lear complained, a thoroughly unsatisfactory chef. Another trusted companion in Sanremo was his cat, Foss, who died in 1886 and was buried with some ceremony in a garden at Villa Tennyson.

After a long decline in his health, Lear died at his villa in 1888, of the heart disease from which he had suffered since at least 1870. Lear’s funeral was said to be a sad, lonely affair by the wife of Dr. Hassall, Lear’s physician, not one of Lear’s many lifelong friends being able to attend. Lear is buried in the Foce Cemetery in Sanremo. The centenary of his death was marked in Britain with a set of Royal Mail stamps in 1988 and an exhibition at the Royal Academy. Lear’s birthplace area is now badged with a plaque at Bowman’s Mews, Islington in London and his bicentenary of his birth in 2012 celebrated with a range of events, exhibitions and lectures in venues across the world including an International Owl and Pussycat Day on his birthday.

Sex and drugs and Rock’n’roll

British musician and lead singer of The Blockheads, Ian Dury was born on this date 12th May in 1942 so I thought I would pay tribute. The Blockheads were Originally fronted by vocalist Ian Dury as Ian Dury and the Blockheads, and quickly gained a reputation as one of the top live acts of New Wave music during the 1970′s. They built up a dedicated following in the UK and other countries and scored several hit singles, including “What a Waste“, “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” (which was a UK number one at the beginning of 1979, selling just short of a million copies), “Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3″ (number three in the UK in 1979), and the rock and roll anthem, “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll“.Dury’s lyrics were a distinctive combination of lyrical poetry, word play, observation of British everyday (working-class) life, acute character sketches, and vivid, earthy sexual humour. sound drew from its members’ diverse musical influences, which included jazz, rock and roll, funk, and reggae, and Dury’s love of music hall.

The band was formed after Dury began writing songs with pianist and guitarist Chaz Jankel, who took Dury’s lyrics, fashioned a number of songs, and they began recording with members of Radio Caroline’s Loving Awareness Band—drummer Charley Charles, bassist Norman Watt-Roy, keyboard player Mick Gallagher, guitarist John Turnbull and former Kilburns saxophonist Davey Payne. An album was completed, but major record labels passed on the band. However, next door to Dury’s manager’s office was the newly formed Stiff Records, a perfect home for Dury’s maverick style. Their classic single, “Sex & Drugs & Rock and Roll”, marked Dury’s Stiff debut and although it was banned by the BBC it was named Single of the Week by NME on its release. It was soon followed by the debut album New Boots and Panties!!, which was eventually to achieve platinum status.

The band’s second album Do It Yourself was released in June 1979 in a Barney Bubbles-designed sleeve of which there were over a dozen variations, all based on samples from the Crown wallpaper catalogue. Bubbles also designed the Blockhead logo which received international acclaim, during this time The group worked solidly between the release of “Rhythm Stick” and their next single, “Reasons To Be Cheerful”, which returned them to the charts, making the UK Top 10. Sadly The Blockheads disbanded in early 1982 after Dury secured a new recording deal with Polydor RecordsIn March 1996 Dury was diagnosed with cancer and, after recovering from an operation, he set about writing another album. In early 1998 he reunited with the Blockheads to record the well-received album Mr Love-Pants. In May, Ian Dury and the Blockheads hit the road again, and gigged throughout 1999, culminating in their last performance with Ian Dury on 6 February 2000 at the London Palladium. Dury sadly passed away six weeks later on 27 March 2000, since then the band have continued to perform and are best known for their hit singles “What a Waste”, “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick”, “Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3″ and “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll”.

Billy Duffy (The Cult)

Best known as the guitarist in The Cult. English guitarist and songwriter, Billy Duffy , was born 12 May 1961. he began playing guitar at the age of fourteen and got his start playing in different punk line-ups in the late1970s, but these earlier years were more notable for his introducing Johnny Marr (The Smiths) to the guitar and encouraging Morrissey to make his singing debut with Duffy in The Nosebleeds.   When the initial punk rock movement (led by the Sex Pistols) died out, Duffy eventually settled as guitarist for the moodier and more arty Theatre of Hate. He eventually met Ian Astbury (the frontman for gothic rock band Southern Death Cult) who was impressed with Duffy’s playing and abandoned Southern Death Cult to start a new band with him. Together, they exploited the Southern Death Cult’s success by calling themselves Death Cult.

After initial fanfare and a couple of singles, Duffy, following a trip to New York, convinced Astbury to shorten the band’s name to The Cult in 1984.  As early as The Cult’s debut single “Spiritwalker”, Duffy began establishing a distinctive  sound and helped change the bands sound for the release of the album Love in 1985, which included singles such as “She Sells Sanctuary” and “Rain”.In the late 1980s, the band dropped their post-punk sound in favour of  metal-blues with their third album, 1987′s Electric, which contained wonderful songs like “Fire Woman” “Li’l Devil” “Love Removal Machine“& “Wild Flower. credit for this change also goes to producer and AC/DC fan Rick Rubin who gave both Duffy and The Cult a new musical direction and facillitated a polish on this new sound and also produced the record.

In 1988 the two writing partners (with longtime bassist Jamie Stewart) turned to stadium rock and recorded Sonic Temple, which appealed to a larger, mainstream audience, but the public’s attention could not be sustained with their next album, Ceremony, at the dawn of the grunge age. Following the ‘Ceremonial Stomp’ tour of 1992, Astbury pressured Duffy to return to their roots, with The Cult’s The Cult album. This led to Astbury’s departure from Duffy and The Cult in 1995.Duffy reformed The Cult with Astbury in 1999, which led to a new recording contract with Atlantic Records, and the album Beyond Good and Evil was released. Sadly this did not do very well and the band split, reforming again In 2006,  to perform a series of worldwide tours. In October 2007, the band released the album Born into This. In July 2009, Astbury announced that The Cult would not record or produce any more studio albums, focusing on LPs and Digital Releases instead for new material, and Their latest album, Choice of Weapon, was released on 22 May 2012.

Am I bovvered?

English actress, writer and comedienne Catherine Tate was born on this date 12th May in 1968. So me Being a fan I thought I would Blog about it. She has won numerous awards for her work on the sketch comedy series The Catherine Tate Show as well as being nominated for an International Emmy Award and seven BAFTA Awards. Following the success of The Catherine Tate Show, Tate played Donna Noble in the 2006 Christmas special of Doctor Who and later reprised her role, becoming the Doctor’s companion for the fourth series in 2008. In 2011, she began a recurring role as Nellie Bertram on The Office.T

Tate began her television acting career with roles in serial dramas such as The Bill, and London’s Burning, and started stand-up comedy in 1996, she also appeared in comedy series such as The Harry Hill Show, Barking and That Peter Kay Thing and a role in Men Behaving Badly. She played the part of Kate in the unaired pilot episode of sitcom Not Going Out alongside Lee Mack and Tim Vine. In 1998 she wrote and starred in Barking, a late night sketch show broadcast on Channel 4 and featuring a host of stars such as David Walliams, Peter Kay and Mackenzie Crook.   She then became involved with Lee Mack’s Perrier Comedy Award-nominated New Bits show at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2000. In 2001, she returned to the festival with her own sell-out one-woman show, which was followed by roles in Big Train, Attention Scum and TVGoHome. After being spotted at Edinburgh, she was given the role of Angela in the comedy, Wild West, with Dawn French, who commented “Catherine Tate is far too talented and she must be destroyed.”   Tate has also performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and at the National Theatre.She played Smeraldina in a 2000 RSC production of A Servant to Two Masters, and had a role in The Way of the World at the National Theatre. Tate was approached at a post-show party at the Edinburgh Festival by the BBC controller of comedy , who encouraged Tate to develop her character ideas, especially to push the boundaries with teenager Lauren Cooper, after following this advice, Tate found the audience walking out of the show repeating the character’s catchphrase Am I bovvered?

Tate was given her own programme on BBC Two in 2004, which she co-wrote and starred in with Derren Litten, entitled The Catherine Tate Show, which ran for three series. Two of the show’s well-known characters are teenager Lauren Cooper and Joannie “Nan” Taylor, the cockney grandmother.Tate won a British Comedy Award for Best Comedy Newcomer for her work on the first series of The Catherine Tate Show, and with the first series becoming a success, in March 2005, Tate made a guest appearance during the BBC’s Comic Relief as the character of Lauren from The Catherine Tate Show.In November 2005, Tate appeared in another charity sketch as part of the BBC’s annual Children in Need telethon. The segment was a crossover between EastEnders and The Catherine Tate Show, featuring Eastenders characters Peggy Mitchell, Little Mo Mitchell and Stacey Slater, whilst Tate appeared as Lauren. , she was also a guest star at the 77th Royal Variety Performance and appeared again in the guise of Lauren Cooper. During the sketch, Tate looked up at the Royal Box and asked The Queen, “Is one bovvered? Is one’s face bovvered?”. Tate later won a British Comedy Award for Best British Comedy Actress for her work in the second series of The Catherine Tate Show. At the end of 2005, she appeared in the BBC television adaptation of Bleak House. The third series of The Catherine Tate Show aired in 2006, going on to win the National Television Award for most popular comedy as voted for by the public.

Tate also played the role of Donna Noble in Doctor Who, a woman in a wedding dress who suddenly appears in the TARDIS at the end of the episode “Doomsday”. The following episode, the Christmas special entitled “The Runaway Bride”, saw Tate’s character in a major role, where she was temporarily the Doctor’s companion.She has also appeared in may other programs including three film roles s in 2006, including, Starter for 10, Sixty Six, and Scenes of a Sexual Nature, as well as the films Mrs Ratcliffe’s Revolution, and Love and Other Disasters. she played the lead role and co-starred with Anne Reid In the 2007 television adaptation of the novel, The Bad Mother’s Handbook,  and On 16 March 2007, Tate appeared for a second time on Comic Relief as some of her well-known characters from The Catherine Tate Show.  She has also acted in sketches with David Tennant, Daniel Craig, Lenny Henry and the then Prime Minister Tony Blair, and also appeared as Joannie “Nan” Taylor in an episode of Deal or No Deal, hosted by Noel Edmonds. Tate is a Patron of the performing arts group Theatretrain.