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Anne Diamond

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  • Can you take the heat

    Anne Diamond

    Do I really need to give temperatures in Fahrenheit any more when I read the weather forecast on the BBC? I always do, bur to be honest I am not sure why. Somewhere ingrained into my broadcasting training is the mantra that you need to give temperatures in both Celsius (or is it Centigrade?) and Fahrenheit because older people still think in F rather than C. But, of course, that belief might have been true thirty odd years ago but it possibly is not now!

    Certainly that’s what listener Peter thinks. He sent me an email saying he felt rather patronised - because he feels it’s a misguided nod to “older” people. Peter added: "Don’t believe your colleagues if they tell you that older people prefer it. I am over 70 and have many friends of a similar age. We are all able to cope with Celsius temperatures and find it condescending to suggest we cannot. After all, we managed the change to decimal currency without a problem and nobody talks about half crowns, sixpencies and threepenny bits any more!”

    Point taken.I shall deliver the forecast from now on just in C. Until someone from a remote department somewhere within the BBC turns up at my studio to pull me back into line. I’ve delivered…

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  • Living in harmony

    Anne Diamond

    Choirs are blazing like wildfire in our patch - literally hundreds of local people are joining them. Berkshire author Gill Hornby has even found that community choirs, rock choirs, gospel choirs and jazz choirs are great fodder for a novel. In her book: “All Together Now”, she casts a lively bunch of characters who recognise that the one thing that might brighten up their lacklustre town is a sense of community pride, something they’ve lost. Their high street is half empty with too many businesses closing down and the place seems to have lots its heart. Until, that is, they get together to start singing. Then some find love, a new life, happiness and harmony!

    A very good friend of mine found love when she joined a community choir in London. Yet others who regularly pop in to my BBC Radio Berkshire show extol the virtues of joining a choir. Gill reckons that, in the olden days, we used to unconsciously bond as a community by gathering every Sunday in church and singing together as part of a religious service. Now few and fewer people go to church, it’s something we don’t even know we’re missing - but we are. And that void is now being filled with the sudden explosion of community…

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  • Chelsea Old!

    Anne Diamond

    I cannot get over how utterly exhausted I still am from my day at Chelsea Flower Show. My legs ache all over, and my eyes still burn from having grit and dust blown into them at high velocity from the high winds, plus my feet got cold and wet in the horribly dreary rain. I was beginning to wonder just how old I really was, until I got back into BBC Berkshire today and found that the rest of the team (who are considerably younger than me) were feeling similarly knackered! All in all, it was a tiring day but how splendid at the same time. Never fails to thrill - and to make your own garden seem absolutely inadequate! And well done to all our local garden designers who seem to have won yet another batch of gold medals!

  • Second-hand phobias...

    Sarah Walker

    Standing in for Anne this week on air

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    My four year old son, Jack has a love/hate relationship with insects. He remains fascinated by them and desperate to discover which ‘garden animals’ he can find when we’re busy gardening. But in the same breath, he seems uncomfortable around spiders and any insect which moves quickly.

    So you can imagine how apprehensive I was when he got an invitation to a birthday party for one of his classmates which involved getting up close to insects. The day came and the class of four and five year old’s sat expectantly in a semi-circle opposite a line of cloaked cages. Jack remained engaged but showing…

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  • Reaching Out...

    Sarah Walker

    Standing in for Anne this week on air

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    Some people in life simply leave you feeling humbled.

    This morning I spoke to Dr Kate Yarrow, founder of the charity Doctors For Nepal. Kate worked in the country back in 2008 for Medicins Sans Frontieres and was so inspired by what she saw there, that she decided to do something to make things better.

    The charity she went on to found now helps to train doctors from (often remote) Nepalese communities. They can then return to those areas and practice, helping the very people they have grown up around.

    Eight thousand people were killed in the first Nepalese earthquake three weeks ago. Dozens…

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  • A grandmother's dilemma...

    Anne Diamond

     

    There’s a lot of claptrap being spun by the rumour mill about how the Royal family are being elbowed out of seeing their new (great)/grandchildren, Prince George and Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. It’s reckoned by the press and the gossips that Kate and William do see much, much more of Grandma Carol Middleton than spending time with Charles and Camilla, and the Queen and Prince Philip. But they add that Prince Charles has been moaning that he hardly sees anything of Prince George, and is worried he’ll never see Charlotte. Whether or not it’s true, it’s certainly a fear that’s shared…

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  • Hair today, gone tomorrow.

    Sarah Walker

    Standing in for Anne this week on air

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    Faithful companions in life often take the form of a partner, a family pet or maybe even a teddy that you’ve had since birth. One of mine is my hairdryer – or should I say ‘was’. After twelve years of faultless service, it finally blew it’s last breath at 7.03 this morning. I am in mourning. Yes, it had lost its back plate, therefore allowing all manner of things into the electrical gubbins inside (including some of my hair as it happens, which led to its demise). It was also littered with souvenir scuffs from various house moves and it’s plug was a little withered after having me stand on it…

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  • Big footed Ladies

    Anne Diamond

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    During the filming of Titanic, Leonardo diCaprio used to make fun of co-star Kate Winslet’s feet. That’s what she admits – because she has, for a woman, rather large feet. Leo used to call them her “canoes”. They’re a size 9. But that’s nothing, compared to other “Bigfoot” lady celebrities, because Sandra Bullock’s feet are size 9.5, Angelina Jolie a size 9, Elle MacPherson an enormous size 10 and Jerry Hall a whopping 10 and a half! As if that’s not surprising enough, on Sky News this morning, presenter Eamonn Holmes asked the ladies around his newsdesk to confess the size of their feet –…

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  • Shrinking Food

    Anne Diamond

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    So it’s true that Wagon Wheels are smaller than they used to be! What’s even more scandalous is that lots of other chocolatey treats and confections are shrinking in size whilst not shrinking in price. It’s given us a whole new word – “shrinkflation”. For instance, Cadbury’s chocolate fingers are now going to be two-fingers fewer per pack from now on. What’s more, a bar of Dairy Milk contains less grams of chocolate than it used to – but we poor consumers don’t realise it because they’ve changed the shape, and rounded off the corners! Choccy truffles are apparently much smaller than they used…

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  • What's in your milk bottle?

    Anne Diamond

    Milk. Everyone has a view. We all hated those third-of-pint bottles that we were made to drink every morning at school. Then, when Margaret Thatcher stopped school milk, we demonised her as the Milk Snatcher. Then we were prevailed upon in government adverts to “Drinka Pinta Milka Day” but subsequently told by the slimming industry that if we wanted to lose weight and make our hearts healthier, we should give up dairy. Now, we’re being told that all those years of trying to like skimmed milk have been to no avail – because actually (according to some nutritionists), full fat milk is good for…

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