This Sunday, 10th February 2013, is Chinese New Year.

Chinese Lanterns

It is the year of the snake and for those who are born in 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, 1929 and 1917; the snake is your Chinese zodiac sign. According to the zodiac definitions, people who are born in the year of the snake hold great wisdom.

Chinese New Year is a fantastic celebration with the lion dance, the food and the beautiful lanterns that are handmade and decorated with pretty patterns.

Chinese new year celebrations with dragon dance

For me the Chinese New Year has a great sense of community and the celebrations are brimming with vibrancy and tradition the entire festival is sculpted around our intrigue and mythology, which has travelled through hundreds of years.

Glorious firework displays light up the skies and families bring gifts in red envelops symbolising good luck and fortune.

There are so many recipes which you can follow; I have previously blogged about some classic dishes but this year, I have found a stir fry recipe with a modern twist. Cola Chicken or Pork stir fry.

It’s a very simple dish and I hope you enjoy it as much as me.

Slimming World diet coke chicken recipe

There are plenty of celebrations in cities this weekend and whatever you choose to do, please have a very safe and happy Chinese New Year!

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Today Nelson Mandela is celebrating his 94th birthday. The former South African President, Nobel Peace Prize winner and political activist is celebrating the occasion with close friends and family at his home in the South African village, Qunu, where Mandela chose to retire.

On this special birthday Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison whilst fighting for democracy in South Africa, has asked the world to honour his 94th birthday by simply lending their time to community projects and services.

happy birthday nelson mandela

Nelson Mandela has become one of, if not, the most iconic world leaders. His struggle against the apartheid regime, which caused so much suffering for the South African people, helped inspire people around the world and continues to do so today.

Well wishes from the likes of Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama and thousands of South African school children, who sang happy birthday to Madiba; the name which many South Africans refer to Nelson Mandela by have been received today. And I would like to join them by wishing Nelson Mandela a happy 94th birthday and here’s to many more.

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Today the Duke of Cambridge or Prince William as we’ve known him for so many years is celebrating his 30th birthday. The Search and Rescue pilot is said to be celebrating the milestone birthday with a low key affair surrounded by close friends and family after a month of extravagant celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Trooping the Colour Parade last weekend.

Prince William pilot
Happy Birthday Prince William

I can remember when Prince William was born in 1982, and how the he brought a great sense of joy to the Royal Family. Since we’ve had the pleasure of observing the young royal grow into a gentleman having watched him carry out royal engagements, attend school and university at St Andrews and his Royal Wedding to wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, in April 2011.

What will Prince William’s 30’s bring to him and wife, Kate? Many of us are hoping for a new addition to the Royal Family. From the Bath-Knight team and I Happy Birthday 30th Birthday to Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.


Prince William as a baby

Young Prince William on his first engagement

Prince William at Dianas funeral

Prince William at St Andrews

Prince William at St Andrews

royal wedding

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Queens Dimaond Jubilee logoThe Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend is in full swing and I hope that everyone is enjoying the royal celebrations as much me. I’ve indulged in Diamond Jubilee biscuits and a drop of celebratory champagne in honour of Her Majesty.

Like expected yesterday’s Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, which saw over 1000 boats, vessels and barges travel down the River Thames, was absolutely spectacular. Having not seen a flotilla on such a large scale before, I was blown away by the grandness of the occasion. Its goes without saying that the River Pageant will be a moment in modern Royal history that will be remembered for a long time.

Although official Diamond Jubilee events are taking place in London (it was fantastic to see so many Union Jacks flying at the Pageant) it appears that Diamond Jubilee fever is successfully spreading across the entire country. I’ve already seen a handful of street and garden parties, beautifully decorated with patriotic bunting, which is great to see in the local community.

Diamond Jubilee Street Party


Lucky for us there are more jubilee celebrations on the way today as Buckingham Palace is hosting the Diamond Jubilee Concert, which will see performances from Sir Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, Ed Sheeran and Cliff Richard plus many more. I’ll be watching coverage from the Diamond Jubilee Concert on BBC One from 7.30pm.  I’d recommend tuning in as the concert is promised to be a fantastic show, who knows what surprises organiser, Gary Barlow has tucked up his sleeve.

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This weekend will see communities come together to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Listed are some of the public events that have been organised to help get families into the spirit of the Diamond Jubilee. They all sound like great fun and are hassle free alternatives to a street party.

Battersea Park Festival in South London is hosting one of the most anticipated Diamond Jubilee festivals on Sunday 3rd June. The retro themed festival will celebrate all things British focusing particularly on the past 60 years.

Battersea Park Jubilee Festival

Battersea’s festival has all the regular features of a festival; live music and entertainment but also includes quirky twists. A classic car boot sale, a village fete and demonstrations from The Women’s Institute plus dance lessons, craft shows and a sing-a-long in pop up pub ‘The Diamond Geezer’.

The event is set to be a real knee’s up. Even better festival goers will also be able to see the Thames River Pageant from Battersea Park- click for more information.

Hyde Park Jubilee Family Festival by Sainsbury’s is the perfect family day out over the Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend. The festival, which is open on both the 2nd and 3rd June, will be presented by Myleen Klass and Jon Culshaw with family friendly performances from the Disney Orchestra, Strictly Come Dancing and Warhorse.


Hyde Park’s family festival is spilt into four stages; Main Stage (perfect for the whole family), Kids Zone, Commonwealth Stage and Parade Ground. Across those area will be performances to suit the audience and honour the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. I’d personally like to watch Commonwealth dance performance live on stage and get a feel for the different cultures from countries within the Commonwealth as it’s an area of the monarchy that the Queen is incredibly passionate about.

For more information about the event including performers, event information and ticket purchasing visit Sainsbury’s Jubilee Family Festival website.

BBC Big Screens will be screening Diamond Jubilee events in cities across the country free of charge for everyone to enjoy. So if you’re in cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Edinburgh, Swansea or Cardiff go along to a BBC Big Screen and soak up the atmosphere of your entire city enjoying the Diamond Jubilee.

Big Screen Jubille

Watching via BBC Big Screens are great if you live in an inner city area and don’t have the space or access to host a street/garden party. And if the Royal Wedding is anything to go by I’m sure thousands of city goers will flock to the Big Screens to see the Diamond Jubilee celebrations unfold.

I’d recommend taking a picnic of goodies if you’re planning on staying for an entire day so that you don’t miss any of the jubilee celebrations- click for full listing of cities with BBC Big Screens covering the Diamond Jubilee.

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