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Expedition Challenge – Surrey Scouts Competition 2019

I spent my weekend helping with the Surrey Scouts Expedition Challenge weekend. Our scout troop entered this competitive event for the first time, and we had two teams. The elder scouts, including my son, were the competition team. Five younger scouts made up a training team, and I accompanied them on their walk through the Surrey Scouts Expedition ChallengeThe Surrey Scouts Expedition Challenge has been running for several years, more than eight. It's a competitive event that is scored. The basis are the requirements of the Expedition Challenge badge. The expedition challenge badge is one of the precursor awards to the Chief Scout's Gold camp for two nights, and hike on Saturday and Sunday. On both Friday and Saturday night they are given a set of waypoints and checkpoints as six figure grid references. It is up to the scouts…
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3 Novels That Exemplify The Best Of Historical Fiction [Guest Post]

After my recent comments on historical fiction and its problems, I was offered a guest post by Elizabeth Caskey. Here's her take on three novels that show the best features of historical fiction. Feel free to add your own comments on your own favourite historical fiction below. 3 Novels That Exemplify The Best Of Historical Fiction Historical fiction is a deceptively tricky genre of writing. An author has to do a breathtaking amount of research, often over the course of several years, just to make a story possible. Then the story actually has to be written. On top of the ordinary challenges of constructing a plot that moves, developing characters in a satisfying manner, and all the rest, the subjects of the research have to be threaded in deftly but comprehensively. A good work of historical fiction needs to live…
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How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World [Review]

Alexander with Cressida Cowell at the BFI (photo: James Kemp) I went with my family to see an advance preview of How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World at the BFI last Saturday. It was a good movie and the kids loved it, they also loved the Q&A afterwards with Cressida Cowell, Brad Lewis (the producer) and Dean DeBlois (the director of the whole trilogy). The Hidden World The Hidden World is the last in the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy. The Q & A was pretty clear on that. The next movie night well be related to The Wizards of Once, which Alexander asked Cressida Cowell about during the Q&A. In The Hidden World the gang are searching for the legendary home of the dragons. It's set a couple of years after the previous movie and everyone…
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Is it Time for a Government of National Unity?

Parliament Square last night as the defeat of the EU Exit Withdrawal Agreement was announced (photo: James Kemp) In the UK we're living in divided times, so is it time we had a government of national unity? After last night's defeat of the government's proposed withdrawal agreement it may be time for something different. Labour have tabled a no confidence motion in the government. While it looks likely to fail. However, all it takes is a couple of Conservative or DUP MPs to abstain or rebel and our government will fall. We'll find out later today. Government of National Unity We last had a government of national unity from the early thirties until the end of the second world war. The government was formed of all parties, as was the loyal opposition. The original reason for forming the coalition was…
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How to Increase Your Amazon Marketability [guest post]

Laptop (image: ) How to Increase Your Amazon Marketability It’s no secret that Amazon is a great place to sell nearly anything. The platform alone accounts for nearly half of all e-commerce sales in the United States. But such a crowded marketplace also means that you’ll face stiff competition in nearly every sector. In 2014 alone, there were more than 2 billion items sold on the Amazon Marketplace. To succeed in such a tough environment, you need to take advantage of every possible opportunity. Writers have focused on everything from images to copy to marketing tactics, but it’s also important to capitalize in all situations. Just like Facebook advertising firms look to optimize campaigns and entice users through various strategies, so must Amazon vendors. These quick tips will give you an edge and have a significant impact on your bottom…
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