Escape from London: Beachy Head and Seven Sisters

Only a few minutes ride from the seaside resort of Eastbourne, lie some of the most spectacular and undeveloped stretches of sea coast in the south-east of England. On a sunny day the rollercoaster of chalky white cliffs and golden-green pastures seem peaceful like a piece of heaven. However on a stormy day, the nature’s elements are all disturbed and the place recalls some gloomy atmosphere of the Wuthering Heights, although geographically unrelated.
The coast stretch between Eastbourne and Seaford is of a rare beauty, with high cliffs, generous beaches, blue sea, green bushes and few scattered farms.

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Escape from London: the Lammas Festival in Eastbourne

They say the Morris dance is one of the few remnants of English folklore. Some say the dance is boring and old-fashioned, many believe it is a dying tradition that the youth don’t care enough about, to carry it forward. However the Sussex town of Eastbourne, a seaside resort carries on beautiful incarnations of this dance through its Lammas summer festival, an old Continue reading

Eastbourne Grand Parade and the Pier on the background

Escape from London: Eastbourne – tall cliffs and festivals

Britain is well-known for its “two weeks British summer” so when you get a few hot or sunny days, you feel almost compelled to seek some of its seaside shores. So if you live in London you might just think that the south-eastern coast around Brighton and Eastbourne (less than 2 hours from London by car or by train) will do OK for the weekend. And with a bit of luck, the waters of the English Channel will be warm enough for bathing (to non-believers: yes, the sea does get warm enough for swimming during some hot periods in summer). Continue reading

Birmingham’s festivals – almost a photo essay

Birmingham is perhaps the most multicultural city after London in England. Yet it has just a few main nationalities (apart from White British): Pakistani – Bangladeshi, Afro-Caribbean, Polish, Irish and a few Chinese. No doubt there are other nationalities but their numbers are less.

A few major festivals and events take place over the year: some of them and nationwide and some of them are specific, mostly related to the main ethnic groups. If you can, it is always more interesting to visit the city during one of these celebrations. Having lived in the city for some time I participated in all of them and decided to share them with you, if you’re planning to visit or just as a curiosity:)

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About Birmingham’s residents and their social struggles

Ethnicity and social citizenship

Birmingham is the second multi-cultural city after London. But multi-cultural in a different way: while there are over 300 languages spoken in London, the most diverse city in the world in terms of nationalities, migrants’ origins are skewed towards just a few source-areas in Birmingham. Most migrants or nationals with foreign parents are from Pakistan-Punjab area, India, Caribbean Islands, South – East Africa, Bangladesh, Afganistan, Ireland and more recently Poland and China.

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Birmingham – a briefing of the ‘city of a 1000 trades’

Birmingham has long been an industrial hotspot, the very birthplace of the industrial revolution of the 18th century. This tumultuous past has left its marks on the city’s face: widespread, derelict industrial estates – remnants of a once strong manufacturing base, narrow streets with long rows of red-brick terraced houses, a high density of pubs, countless man-made canals which the legend has it are more than in Venice… Birmingham also prides itself with one of the best British universities, the University of Birmingham, competing with the nearby University of Warwick but it has also one of the highest rates of unemployment, benefit claims and deprived neighbourhoods in the country. But why? What made Birmingham what it is now?

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