Traveling Raconteur

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First morning newspaper in London



It’s a big deal for me, a once journalist. I was excited about opening the fresh newspaper – on the 13th of July, over my first English breakfast at the Intercontinental. If you know me well, you know that the word ‘breakfast’ is my most favourite word of English and I love breakfasts – the noun too, especially on vacations – how romantic to indulge in scrumptious delights first thing in the morning, a perfect start to any day. I truly enjoy my holiday breakfasts and here was the first one in London. The staff at the Cookbook Café are wonderful, especially the waiter who always asks – ‘will I see you again tomorrow?

Bad News

So, I had some mashed potatoes, hummus and bread, pancakes, cakes, fruits and coffee – on day two I made up my mind that I like English tea better than the coffee. I picked up The Times and opened it. Sadly, it was a day of bad news. British mountain guide Roger Payne killed in avalanche in French Alps along with 9 others.   Roger Payne, 56, was a former general secretary of the British Mountaineering Council and spent more than 25 years ascending the world’s greatest peaks. I am often very interested in expeditions – sailing and mountaineering but I had never heard of Roger Payne and that’s purely my fault. I read more on the tragedy and was deeply saddened. I kept thinking all day of Roger Payne and the others who died.

London newspapers are bulky which added to my curiosity for I couldn’t imagine the challenge the city editor faces everyday. In a city like London, news pours. There’re bazillion things happening in the city, loads of issues, so much news! I was extremely curious about what stories were chosen, what got 42 pt headlines, which are only one column stories, which are published with large pictures, what is important, what is not. I don’t know about the Mayor of London but city editors of newspapers in this city and any large city for that matter are the ones with a tough job.

News Even Worse

More shocking than the tragedy of the mountaineering accident is the death of a patient in a city hospital. This is a one column, 100-130 word story.  It was the biggest disappointment. I thought I left a country where such news appears not so rarely but least expected to read anything remotely close in a city that advanced technologically and socially. A patient dies of neglect by hospital staff? That’s difficult to ignore. It was even more disappointing that there were no protests, nobody seemed to bring this up or atleast nothing of that sort was mentioned in the newspaper the next day. It saddened me and angered too.  The world’s not too different, what happens in a developing country with poor healthcare standards has happened in a highly developed country too and sadly, the apathy is pretty much similar too.

Not So Surprising

London’s facing a shortage of nurses for Olympics so the city has brought in nurses from other parts of the world at a cost of 1600 pounds per day which is a lot of money! So B.Sc/M.Sc nursing students, what a bright future you have!

Interesting Feature

The pullout had a major feature and I remember being glad that it was a feature worthy of being so major. Prince Harry who I noticed makes a lot of headlines on these pullouts was in Piccadilly hanging out with friends and took a rickshaw! The picture showed a shocked rickshaw puller checking out the Prince. I walked Piccadilly the previous evening – I decided not to waste any time imagining being in close proximity with the Prince, nonsense – that didn’t happen for sure, even if it did – it doesn’t mean anything! Oh no, it does mean something, I like the Prince, very much indeed but let’s not get into this. It’s embarrassing!

The English seem to love their newspapers, it was interesting to see people walk the City of Westminster with a newspaper in hand. I say it is interesting because this seems like a technologically advanced crowd, people that walk streets with GPS devices in hand and laptop bags. If people who have a wide access to digital media still love their newspapers, then it’s not bad news for print journalism yet and that makes me happy.




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This entry was posted on November 20, 2012 by in Travels.

Fighting An Additction

Not One MoreSeptember 12th, 2014
Addiction is a curse one allows upon one's self until it ceases to seek permission. I do not like the idea of a mind controlled by substance. If I can refrain for 30 days, I'd be very impressed with myself.

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