London Wine Fair – 2023

London Wine Fair – 2023

London Wine Fair 2023
London Wine Fair 2023

The 41st London Wine Fair 2023 at Olympia, London, was well attended with over 10,000 visitors and more than 400 exhibitors. In this review, I will be mainly featuring wines from Ukraine.
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China’s Fourth Aircraft Carrier

China’s Fourth Aircraft Carrier Type 004 – Jiangnan Shipyard
Is this China Type 004 aircraft carrier under construction?
Is this China’s Type 004 aircraft carrier under construction at Jiangnan shipyard? Image © 2023 Maxar Technologies –

Is this China’s fourth aircraft carrier Type 004 under construction at Jiangnan Shipyard, Changxing Island, Shanghai? Well, it appears to be (see addendum). There are numerous online reports that China is planning a fourth aircraft carrier – possibly larger than the Type 003 Fujian, and with nuclear propulsion. To date, there have been no definitive reports of the Type 004 being constructed; although an Australian tabloid newspaper reported that steel plate cutting for the ship began in December 2017. I was therefore surprised to see this recent satellite image on the Google Earth website, showing the advanced construction of an aircraft carrier at Jiangnan Shipyard.
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The Big Hospitality Expo 2022

The Big Hospitality Expo & Low2NoBev 2022
Dutch Yellowtail Fish workshop
Dutch Yellowtail Fish workshop – The Big Hospitality Expo 2022

September 2022 saw the return of The Big Hospitality Expo at London’s Olympia venue. Co-located with Big Hospitality Expo was the Low2NoBev trade show.  In this article, I will review a selection of the best non-alcoholic drinks showcased at Low2NoBev. In recent years, technological development of yeast strains and new production techniques have led to many new interesting non/low-alcohol drinks being launched. Here are a few products that I enjoyed:
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Shenfei Aviation Expo Park

Shenfei Aviation Expo Park (Shenyang Aviation Corporation)

Shenfei Aviation Expo Park
Shenfei Aviation Expo Park

A while ago, pre-Covid days, I had the opportunity to visit the Shenfei Aviation Expo Park, Shenyang, Liaoning Province, China. The park is located at Lingbei Street, in the Huangqu district of Shenyang, located in Northeast China. Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) is an alternative name for the Shenfei manufacturing plant.

The Shenfei Aviation Expo Park covers an area of 25000 sq metres, which includes a museum dedicated to the history and development of Chinese fighter aircraft and aviation science. Outdoors, there is a fighter planes display park area showing important landmark fighter aircraft.
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BBC or BBC PLC?: A DCMS Response

BBC or BBC?: A DCMS Response

BBC Broadcasting House
BBC Broadcasting House, London

In my previous article, ‘BBC or BBC PLC?: Government Policy Needs to be Clarified‘, I presented a number of important issues for debate. Of special concern is the answer to the question: would the BBC become a Public Limited Company (PLC) if it were no longer funded through the existing television licence fee model?

In June 2021, I wrote to Oliver Dowden CBE MP, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, to comment on my  BBC article. I am publishing the DCMS response for public information purposes and as a matter of record. The DCMS response, dated 7th July 2021, is published below.
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BBC or BBC PLC ?:  Government Policy Needs to be Clarified

Boris Johnson test card
PM Boris Johnson – Will it be the BBC or BBC PLC?

There is much debate about the direction of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), and many people have called for the TV licence fee to be scrapped. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been concerned enough to speak about the so-called the ‘woke’ agenda. Mr Johnson has threatened to scrap the TV licence fee if matters do not improve, and turn the BBC into a subscription fee service. If this happened, the BBC would need to be privatised, and it would become BBC PLC (Public Limited Company) a commercial broadcaster and subscription service.

These are uncertain times for the BBC, but how did it reach this parlous state? Continue reading “BBC or BBC PLC ?”

Shenyang WW2 Allied Prisoners Camp Site Museum – Mukden POW Camp

Shenyang WW2 Allied Prisoners Camp Site Museum– Site of Mukden POW Camp

Shenyang WW2  Allied Prisoners Camp Site Museum
Shenyang WWII Allied Prisoners Camp Site Museum

In 2017, I sought out the site of Mukden Allied Prisoner of War Camp in Shenyang, Liaoning province, Northeast China. Mukden Camp, also known as Hoten Camp, was located on the outskirts of Mukden, present-day Shenyang. The former POW site, at Di Tan Street, in the Dadong district of Shenyang, is now the location of the Shenyang WWII Allied Prisoners Camp Museum. It has one of the best preserved examples of an Allied POW camp. At the time of my visit, the new museum had not been completed.
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London Wine Fair – 2019 Revisited

London Wine Fair – 2019 Revisited

London Wine Fair 2019
London Wine Fair 2019

The London Wine Fair 2019 revisited. A look back at a selection of wines and spirits from exhibitors at the 2019 London Wine Fair. This annual UK wine fair proved once again why it is the best!
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COVID-19 Wuhan medications

COVID-19 Wuhan medications

Wuhan Celebration Illuminations
Wuhan celebration illuminations – 76 days of lockdown ended 8th April 2020

The novel coronavirus, now designated SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), was identified in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, on the 7th January 2020.  This specific coronavirus causes the disease COVID-19, and there have been unofficial reports of confirmed cases going back to 17th November 2019.  Subsequently, the world has seen a race to identify which medications could stop or alleviate the symptoms from this highly infectious disease.

A few weeks ago a colleague of mine living in Wuhan, China, was tested positive for the disease COVID-19, and spent 20 days quarantined in an emergency hospital. After being treated with the medications prescribed below, my colleague has now fully recovered. There is currently much debate and experimentation on the type of medications that might effectively inhibit and/or alleviate the symptoms of COVID-19. I have recently obtained a picture from my recovered colleague, which shows the medications that were used for COVID-19 treatment at a Wuhan hospital. Continue reading “COVID-19 Wuhan medications”

Huawei 5G : UK Conundrum or US False Flag?

Huawei 5G : UK Conundrum or US False Flag?

Huawei 5G
Huawei 5G

For some time the UK, under pressure from the US, has dillied and dallied about the installation of Huawei 5G equipment in the UK. Lack of leadership, a UK conundrum or a US false flag? Should it bow to US pressure and ban outright Huawei 5G equipment on national security grounds, or allow Huawei’s 5G more advanced and cheaper technology?
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Bellavita Expo 2019 + The European Pizza & Pasta Show 2019

Bellavita Expo 2019 + The European Pizza & Pasta Show 2019

Bellavita and Villa Sandi Prosecco
Villa Sandi DOCG Prosecco

The Bellavita Expo 2019 was held on 7-8th November at the Design Centre, Islington, London. The European Pizza & Pasta Show 2019 was held shortly afterwards on the 13-15th November at Olympia, London. These almost back-to-back events provided an opportunity to discover some of the finest Italian and Mediterranean food and beverages. In this review I will highlight some of my favourite products, important Italian food UK suppliers and scenes from the shows.

First of all, the beverages!
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Dalian – Japanese, Russian and Soviet Historic Buildings

Dalian – Japanese, Russian and Soviet Historic Buildings

Dalian Welcome Ship
Welcome to Dalian

I recently travelled along the Shenyang-Dalian Expressway (also known as the Shenda Expressway) in Liaoning province, China. This is a 400km motorway from Shenyang, in central Liaoning province, to Dalian, which is at the southernmost tip of the Liaodong peninsular. My destination was the beautiful Jinshitan scenic area of northeast Dalian and the Golden pebble beach, known as Jinshitan (金石滩).

Having some knowledge of Dalian’s historical past, I was equally keen to track down and visit Japanese and Russian built heritage. My search began at Zhongshan Square, in the centre of Dalian city.
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