Travelling Europe ✈️

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Hi, I haven’t posted in a long while and this is because life has got in the way. I enjoy writing and since uni I haven’t really done it as much. I got a new job and I’m focusing on that but it has taken over a little and I need something to distract me from the stress of my work life and this is my perfect outlet.

To get back into I thought I would share some of the photos of the places I have visited over the last year. I’m a keen traveller and have just booked another three holidays (soon to be four) as I just love visiting new places and learning about their culture. By the end of this year I will have been to Amsterdam, Fuerterventura (family holiday which was a perfect relaxing break), Berlin this month, Brussels in October hopefully, Poland, Krakow in November and Rome next year in April.

But for this blog I thought I’d share some of my favourite moments and photos from the last few years around Europe.

First off… Budapest

 

Budapest quickly became one of my FAVOURITE cities I have EVER visited. It’s beautiful. I went with a group of five friends, while we experienced the beautiful City in the day, we partied hard at night and I think that’s the perfect combination.

We did a bike tour around the Buda and Pest, visited the hotel in the rocks (defo worth a visit if you’re into your history), the thermal baths, a peddlo for fun and many other things. If you’re into your drinking and night life the ruined bar tour is brilliant.

There’s the pretty photos, now here’s a few group photos!

So if you’re looking for somewhere beautiful to visit with a bit of everything then Budapest is the place to go. It wasn’t too expensive to fly there, drink prices were average and there’s plenty to do. If you would like a more in depth review of Budapest let me know, as I could rave about this city for much longer haha.

Next up… Rhodes

I have never visited Greece before and it was lovely. However, I went with my now ex and although we went to Rhodes the only time I actually saw Rhodes was in the bus back to the airport as he was too concerned about spoiling the fact we were all inclusive and didn’t wanna leave the hotel! But it was still a good 2 weeks and I would like to visit again. plus it was only 5 days after I came back from Budapest, so bonusssss.

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Dublin

I have done a whole post of its own on here regarding Dublin, so if you would like more info please see that blog. However, I will put it on here as I really loved Ireland and soooo want to go back. It’s cheap to get there but prices are quite high in the centre, which you expect for such a tourist hotspot now. If you walk out of the city a little the prices are much more reasonable plus you don’t mind as much when you’re on holiday!

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Amsterdam

 

I’m not sure whether I should be calling it the Netherlands or Holland but honestly Amsterdam was fabbbb. Although we didn’t get the best weather while there it was still a great place to go. What I do suggest though is if you’re going for Anne franks house book about 5 months in advance as it sells out fast and we didn’t get to visit due to it being sold out (an excuse to go visit again). Other things that sold out were the ice bar which I didn’t really mind about as I had already been to one in Budapest (cheaper in Pest too 😏). We went to the Sex Museum (obviously) although it was a lot lot smaller than I expected to be! We were round it in about 10 minutes. We also visited the Amsterdam dungeons which was really great, I have visited many around the UK and it didn’t disappoint, the staff were amazing, really got into character and they’re fluent in so many languages that it became impressive. We also went to the Heineken museum and a river cruise which were both good experiences and worth doing, with neither being over priced in my opinion.

 

Fuerteventura

Although this isn’t on the same foot as the other countries I am going to add it as I said that I was going to talk about the countries over the last year and this is one of them. It was the first time ever we had Been away as a whole family so this included my mum, dad, sister (and partner), brother, other brother (partner and two kids). Which was a different kind of week but I thoroughly enjoyed it. We stayed in Corralejo which wasn’t the best choice for people who wanted to go out at night and have a few bevvies (should have gone Tenerife) but it was still a nice place to visit and would recommend to anyone who wanted a quiet week away.

So that’s my holidays so far, I have also visited a lot of new cities in England recently so if you would like a review on those please comment. Also comment if you have any questions to ask about these cities! I will be back to update you on my tip to Berlin in a couple of weeks. I also need to find a job that pays better to fund these trips 😂.

Travel! Before you run out of time! Xox

Copenhagen 🇩🇰

Another month, another country and wow has it been amazing. I had no previous expectations of Denmark and it truly ‘wowed’ me. I went for 4 days, and spent a lot more money than I expected, Copenhagen is the most expensive city I have ever visited. £400 in about 3 days.

We arrived, the three of us, on the 10th October and landed in the morning. We did a lot on day one, including Guinness world of records, a boat trip and Christiansborg palace. Guinness world of records is everything you expect and was impressive. But what really impressed me was Christiansborg palace, the outside was beautiful and you could go up to the top to see all of Copenhagen for free, which was by lift. The boat trip was really good, it took us all around with a speaker to tell us where we were and a history of the place. On the boat trip, I saw the little mermaid statue which was underwhelming so decided to not make the walk to see it. At around 5pm we went to check in to Cabinn Copenhagen hotel which was in a great location, but the room was TINY. But it did have everything you needed for your stay. That evening we went to Hard Rock Cafe and then went to a few bars, coming back around 2am.

On day 2, we decided to visit the sea life centre which was AMAZING. I would compare it to the Deep in hull, it was soo good. There was the most beautiful scenery of the beach just outside too, which made for some lovely photos. It cost about £15 each. On the same day we went back to central Copenhagen and visited ripleys believe it or not which was similar to Guinness world records, but still worth it. That evening we booked a bar crawl which was £15 but you got a shot in each bar and a long drink in the ending club, which was okay. The end club wasn’t our cup of tea (Latino music) so we had our drink and found elsewhere.

On the Saturday we decided to visit Sweden, which I’ll make a different post about, but only cost £20 on the train. When we arrived back from Sweden we went to the round tower, which cost about £4. You have to walk all the way up, so wouldn’t recommend this one for people with disabilities. As you walk up there are a couple of stops, with info about space and the tower. At the top you can see all of Copenhagen, similar to the Christiansborg palace. I would also recommend this tower. That evening, we went to tavoli gardens, which cost £17 to get in without any rides. We paid about £5 for the carousel and the haunted hospital. Tavoli gardens is a MUST. It’s absolutely beautiful and most definitely worth the visit (as seen on the photos).

Although being expensive, I would highly recommend Copenhagen for both the activities in the day and the night life.

Berlin day 3

On the night of day 2 going into day 3 we had a fire alarm drill at 2am where we stayed outside for over an hour. So we only had a few hours sleep going into this day but we didn’t want that to stop us.

With both of us being big into history and learning about World War Two we decided to head off to the Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen concentration camp. To get there got a train from the centre and then a bus which took just over an hour in total. But we got all day passes for all public transport every day which cost 7 euro ish, so it wasn’t a bad journey at all.

The concentration camp is free to enter and we paid 3 euro for an audio device which told you loads of info about each part of the camp. I wouldn’t exactly recommend this however as each clip is about 10 minutes long and there are nearly 40 in total. We found it better just to read the informational sign posts.

The concentration camp is definitely worth a visit. It’s eye opening to what the victims went through and they’ve preserved it and created an amazingly informative memorial / museum for people to visit.

I don’t want to say too much about what’s at the camp as I think it is pretty self explanatory and the photos or any explanation wouldn’t do it justice, it’s worth going to see for yourself.

We then travelled back to the centre to visit the Berlin dungeons. I’m a massive fan of the dungeons, having gone to the London, York, and Amsterdam dungeons I couldn’t miss this opportunity to visit another. It was a really good hour and although very similar to the other dungeons I have visited, with very similar jokes and set ups, i still really enjoyed it.

With this being our last full day we decided after this we would wander around the tourist shops to get a couple of souvenirs and then went for a few drinks.

The following day we travelled back to the airport (which is a really straight forward trip) and headed back off home. With a 2 hour delay from Ryanair.

I would definitely recommend Berlin to anyone. Especially in the summer, there’s plenty to do without being too expensive. However if you go mid week a lot of bars etc shut down at 11, which is expected.

Berlin day 2

On the second day of being in Berlin, we had quite a few different things planned. We woke up about 7am and got ready to go out. We had breakfast and were well on our way in 30 degrees heat to the TV Tower. We booked in advance for this as we were expecting queues but for the 10am time, we did not really need to as it wasn’t that busy. The TV tower was good, but I am unsure if it was worth the £21 it cost. We went up a lift which lasts a few seconds which takes you to the top of the tower, and you do get to see a lot of Berlin which was lovely. We stayed up there for around 25 minutes (got lots of photos in) and then headed back down.

Once we had been to the TV tower we walked back to the centre of Berlin in hunt of a boat trip around all the key areas of the beautiful city which we found for 10 euro. The boat trip was great, especially in the hot weather, and there was a short explanation when passing each landmark. This was through a radio in both English and German.

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While in Berlin we found that the restaurants and shops either weren’t keen on taking card or didn’t accept it at all which shocked us as we did not take many euros as we had our cards, so we had to use the ATMs at a fee. We got caught out by it a couple of times, so would suggest to take enough Euro’s out with you.

We then went on to see the memorial to the Jews and Homosexuals who were murdered during ww2. This was spectacular and a real honour and respectful area for the victims of world war 2. There was also a free museum underneath the memorial which was excellent and told the story from the victims perspective.

We headed back to the Reichstag and the Brandeburg gates on day 2 to see them in the daylight and stopped off at checkpoint Charlie which was a little underwhelming to say the least! There is a Mcdonalds right next to it, which I thought spoilt the landmark and took away the attention from it.

That night we had quite a few cocktails, continued to wander around the city and museum quarter before heading off to bed as most things winded down about 11pm.

 

Berlin day 1

I love to travel and Germany has always been somewhere I have wanted to go. Me and my friend booked to visit, for three nights in August. Luckily the weather was over thirty degrees every day ☀️.

We traveled from Manchester airport and booked in at all in hostel Berlin. I have never stayed in a hostel before but this one was nice. We stayed in a room just for two, and it had an en suite. It was clean and had everything you would have expected from a hotel room. We did get woken up at 1am by a broken fire alarm, where we all got evacuated and the emergency services were on scene within 5 minutes.

We arrived at 4pm and on the first day, we did quite a lot. We visited the Berlin wall:

 

This part of the Berlin Wall wasn’t well signposted anywhere. We just happened to come across it near our hostel which was great. It was next to the river and we came back on the last night when the sun was setting which was lovely.

We then went into the city on the train to find other tourist locations such as the Reichstag and the Brandenburg gates.

As we were walking around we also find a large statue with an angel on top. Which we later found out was a victory Column.

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The rest of the evening was filled with cocktails and walking. It was such a great first day.

A Corpus based analysis on the Media Representations of the striking Miner in the 1984-1985 Miners’ Strike in National Newspapers.

For my University Dissertation, I studied the representations of the striking miner in national newspapers during the 1984-5 miners’ strike. I spent many weeks on this 20,000-word study and thought that I may put a few more interesting paragraphs on here for people to read if they are interested. I have included the introduction and the summary of the study here for people to read as I enjoyed researching into this and found the results interesting. I am going to skip the actual research part and long literature review as this is quite boring. I did a corpus analysis of four UK national newspapers for my linguistics degree in which I got 2.1. I have always been interested in the strike, especially with there being such a divide in Nottingham and the fact my Dad striked for the full year and is now very passionate about the history of the event.

Introduction

 

The media, in particular, newspapers, are generally perceived as bias, with it being no surprise that the discourse of newspapers, has been, and continues to be scrutinised (Fairclough, 1995; Richardson and Franklin, 2004). This bias has been shown recently with ‘Brexit’ where the ideology and viewpoint of the newspaper were highlighted within their stories which may have affected the way in which people voted(The Conversation, 2016). Herman and Chomsky (2002) argue that newspapers support mechanisms, including ownership and advertising, reinforcing power structures in society to the detriment of politics and the media. Mass media is a profit-driven enterprise controlled by large corporations who present the news in a manner that supports the existing power arrangements in capitalist societies (Herman and Chomsky, 1988).

 

This study aims to analyse the media representations of the striking miner in the 1984 –5 British miners’ strike using both Corpus analysis and Critical Discourse analysis. Corpus Linguistics is: “the study of language based on examples of real-life language use”(McEnery, 1996:1). Corpora generally consist of large, representative samples of particular types of naturally occurring language, so can be used as a standard reference which claims about language can be made (Baker, 2006:2). While Critical Discourse analysis (CDA) is a “perspective on critical scholarship:  theory and a method of analysing the way the individuals and institution use language.” (Richardson, 2006:1). CDA focuses on social problems and the role of discourse in the production and reproduction of power abuse or domination (Van Dijk, 2001a:96). While other studies have analysed the representations of miners (Philo, 1990; Hart, 2017), focusing more specifically on peoples’ perceptions of the events years on or the TV press. Other research has analysed the representations of trades unions (Davies, 2014) and asylum seekers (Fairclough, 1995; Baker, 2006;Parker, 2015), but there is no specific research focusing on the representations of the 1984-5 strike within newspapers. With it being one of the most controversially reported events, having a mostly anti-trade unionist agenda towards the striking miner (Hart, 2017), there is a gap in research that this study is hoping to explore and fill.

 

This research anticipates determination of the ways in which the British Press represented the miners’ strike, their actions and their leader, to discover whether newspapers reported stories to fit with the ideology of their readership and if their viewpoint was supportive of the striking miner through four national newspapers throughout the year-long event. ‘Discourse in progress’ will also be analysed within the newspapers to anticipate whether the transformation of material from news agencies and other sources in news reports report the same story (Trew, 1979a, 1979b) which consequently should present how the striking miner was represented through the print media during the strike.

 

Evaluation and conclusion

 

The aim of this research was to discover how the striking miner was represented in the British miners’ strike of 1984-85 through four national newspapers

Within this study, there has been the use of both corpus analysis and critical discourse analysis (CDA) to create a comprehensive analysis of the representations of the striking miner within the British media. Four national newspapers have been analysed, The Daily Mirror and The Guardian which are considered as having a left-wing ideology and The Daily Express and The Times which are right-wing. Due to corpus analysis being accused of ‘cherry-picking’, selecting specific words from large amounts of data, the context of the word is often dismissed and this requires individual interpretation from the researcher, which could depend on their particular position (Baker, 2006:18). Corpus linguistics generally consists of large, representative samples of particular types of naturally occurring language, so can be used as a standard reference whereby claims about language can be made (Baker, 2006:2).

Therefore, this research has also included critical discourse analysis. Rogers et al. (2005:368) state that critical theories are generally concerned with issues of power and justice and the ways that the economy, race, class, gender, religion, education, and sexual orientation construct, reproduce or transform social systems. Critical discourse analysis challenges us to move from seeing language as abstract to seeing our words as having meaning in a particular historical, social and political condition (McGregor, 2010:2), it is a “perspective on critical scholarship:  theory and a method of analysing the way the individuals and institution use language” (Richardson, 2006:1). Therefore, these two approaches combined have been used in this research to provide an analysis of both large amounts of texts and also headlines.

 

This study has highlighted the ways in which the strike and its participants were represented in the British Press throughout the 1984-85 miners’ strike. Through this analysis, striking miners were often indicated through lexis such as ‘violence’ and ‘crisis’ particularly in the right-wing newspaper, The Daily Express with use of subjective terms such as ‘mob violence’ and ‘picket violence’, demonizing their activity.  Furthermore, terms such as ‘picketing’ and ‘Orgreave’ have been shown to be used frequently throughout, resonating negative associations with the miners’ strike.  These results show similarity to Philo’s (1990) findings which discovered reports included terms such as ‘mobs and continuous synonyms of the ‘escalation of violence’ by the striking miners’. Furthermore, Van Dijks (1991) study, revealed how the use of hyperboles towards racial minorities was highly selective, such as disturbances not merely being reported as ‘riots’ but as ‘mob war’, having similarity to the representations of the strike. By reporting almost exclusively on the violence of the protest, it can ignore the reasoning and purpose behind it, reducing the protest to a spectacle rather than a legitimate form of political action, which prevents serious discussion of the issues at stake (Murdock, 1973) shown in similar ways within this research.  Although all four newspapers reported in line with the government’s viewpoint, the left-leaning newspapers The Guardian and The Daily Mirrormitigated their reporting style, and mentioned adjectives such as ‘support’ in collocations to miners, which was not mentioned in either The Daily Express or The Times. Furthermore, The Daily Express and The Times sensationalised the strike far more, using terms such as ‘violence’, ‘riot’ and ‘pit crisis’ far more often, highlighting a slight difference in the ideology of the newspapers when reporting about the strike.

 

The study has also shown through both corpus analysis, but most specifically CDA, a persistent ideology reflecting the miners as violent under the ‘war’ framework which follows the same findings as Hart (2017). Research has shown that the miners were often portrayed in relation to war or battle, with much of the headlines presupposing the strike would be lost. Shown through headlines such as ‘Families in front line of Scargill’s war’ in The Daily Express and ‘The war that nobody deserves to win’ within The Guardian.

Moreover, there is a constant theme whereby the police have been represented as heroic, in contrast to the miner’s actions which were dramatized with these representations being used as a silencing tool to the readers, focusing on the moral shock expressed by the media and not giving the miner a voice, instead being labelled as ‘violent’ communicating unreasonable behaviour (Chiumbu, 2016). Headlines such as ‘Doomed horses beat pit bullies Mounties save day as 4,000 pickets trap police’ were used which contrast the actions of police to the miners, creating a ‘them’ and ‘us’, portraying their actions as violent and using negative terminology such as ‘bullies’ communicating that the miners’ were terrorizing the innocent.

 

All four newspapers reported highly on the return to work, however there was an opposing view on the actual figures returning to work, newspapers such as The Times reported a ‘lone miner’, similar to The Guardian, while, The Daily Express and The Times were reporting ‘record numbers’ and ‘The miner who dared to work’. Philo (1990) states how newspapers used effective criminalisation of the striking miner, with an aim to minimalize solidarity with strikers, with the press’ underlining theme being the national reporting of the number of strikers going back to work including facts and figures by the NCB rather than those who stayed on strike. The ideological ‘effect’ of this discursive strategy was again to isolate those miners who had withdrawn their labour which ‘demonised’the strength and courage they were showing. This study has highlighted the ways in which the British Press were often biased in their reporting of the strike, choosing to report in a way that diverted support away from the miners’ and showed little mention to the reasons why or sympathy towards those on strike. Headlines included ‘token support for the miners’ strike’ and ‘special report on the cost of the coal miners’ strike’ which can be seen to mock or minimalize the support they had and divert the attention away from why to the cost. Newspapers frequently reported in a way that both isolated the miners and created representations of their activities, the individuals and their leader Arthur Scargill which were negative. This kind of reporting, which was predominantly biased and one-sided, backgrounding certain aspects such as the reasons behind the strike and the opposing violence by the police, highlighting the ‘heroic’ actions of those in charge and those working for the government (police) was a frequent strategy shown within this analysis.

 

The miners’ strike of 1984-5 still holds strongly in many ex-miners’ hearts and this study has hoped to illustrate the struggle the miners went through, not only from the government but the marginalisation and creation of ‘otherness’ by the press at the time. The miners were standing up for their right to work and wanted to stop to the Conservative government, led by Margaret Thatcher, closing down collieries which were the main source of income in many towns. Although the outcome was against the miners and their leader Arthur Scargill, the way in which the men stood up for what they believed in, and the families and other individuals that were either directly involved in the year-long strike or supported the cause by providing help to those on strike, will be remembered in history and this study helps to create an insight into the biased reporting through the British press at the time, which little research has yet to explore.