The Flood

Wading through the brown, murky water I peered around nervously. It was only shin deep now but the news said the worst was yet to come. My eyes welled up at the sight of the once immaculate living room. The beige carpet which we spent hours choosing was completely ruined. I could just see my mother laughing in her crimson armchair with a drink of tea and one hand a cigarette in the other. She would be heartbroken if she saw this now. As if snapping back into reality I felt a small hand tugged at my waist, “Daddy don’t you think that our house looks like a swimming pool”. I really didn’t want my son to see this but he persisted on getting back his favourite toy whilst we were staying at my sister’s cottage. All of a sudden he stopped and headed for the stairs. ‘I can hear a noise’ was all he said. Picking him up we climbed the creaking staircase together. I could faintly hear it too. The noise was muffled and came from my son’s bedroom across the landing. ‘Stay here Alfie, let me go first’, unsure of what was in there I reached for the door handle. The blue door was slightly ajar. Alfie standing behind me, nervously gripped my hand and I gave his a gentle squeeze to reassure him. Pushing it open together we were shocked at what we saw. A stray tabby cat with two tiny kittens was laid on his bed. ‘Kitties!’ My son brushed past me and made a beeline for the animals. Their little furry bodies, huddled close together for warmth were so thin. ‘Daddy can we keep them?! They need a new home like us and and and please pleaseeeee’. I could tell from this moment Alfie was completely besotted. We had lost an awful lot due to the freak weather so any happiness I could bring my son I would gladly accept. They were definitely stray cats, three of them in total.

That was three months ago. Now Tily, Tabby and Tiny are just like us, they have a brand new home and a brand new start. After seeing them so vulnerable it made me realise that the terrible flood affected everybody. They were fragile for a while but Alfie helped to nurse them back to health. It gave him a project, something to take his mind of the loss of our possessions and ruined house. He now wishes to be a veterinarian when he grows up. These stray cats gave him happiness at a time when he needed it the most. Not everybody was lucky though people are still living in B&Bs whilst the clean-up operation is still under way. The downstairs of our lovely home was completely engulfed by over a foot of filthy water from the Thames. It was trashed, so I decided to move the both of us with cats in tow to a cottage near my sister’s where we are rebuilding our lives.

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The Remarkable Career of Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin “The Little Master” Tendulkar, a true sporting icon has announced he is retiring from cricket. He has had a remarkable career. His great passion for cricket inspired many people to not only watch the sport but take it up as well. Tendulkar is a fantastic player and ambassador for Indian Cricket. On 10 October 2013, he announced that he will retire after playing his 200th test match, against the West Indies. Below are the many highlights he had during his career.

1988: He scores 100 not out in his first first-class match for Bombay at 15 years and 232 days old.

1989: He makes his Test and ODI debut for India against Pakistan at 16 years old.

1990: Scores maiden Test century against England at Old Trafford.

1992: At 19 years old he becomes the first foreign player to represent Yorkshire.

1996: Leading run scorer at World Cup played in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka with a fantastic total of 523 runs.

1997: He is named Wisden Cricketer of the Year.

1998: Scores his first double century for Mumbai against Australia in the Brabourne Stadium.

2003: Named the Player of the Tournament at the 2003 Cricket World Cup and he scores an incredible 673 runs (the highest by any player in the tournament).

2005: Overtakes Sunil Gavaskar’s record of the highest number of Test centuries by claiming his 35th against Sri Lanka in Delhi.

2006: He overtakes Kapil Dev holding the record for the highest amount of Test appearances for India with 135.

2007: January 3 – he surpasses Brian Lara’s world record of runs scored in Tests away from home with a phenomenal 5,751 runs.

2007: June – He becomes the first ever player to score over 15,000 ODI runs during a match against South Africa in Belfast.

2008: October 17 – Becomes the highest run scorer in Test cricket, passing Lara’s previous 11,953, when he reaches 16 in the first innings of the second Test against Australia.

2010: February 24 – Scores the first double century in one-day international history, hitting an unbeaten 200 against South Africa.

2010:  April – He was named player of IPL3 after finishing as the tournament’s top run-scorer.

2010: August 3 – He becomes the most capped player in Test history, when he makes his 169th Test appearance in the third Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo overtaking former Australia captain Steve Waugh.

2010: December 19 – Becomes first batsman to hit 50 Test centuries.

2011: November – Becomes the first man to score 15,000 Test runs during Test series against West Indies.

2012: March – Scores his 100th international century in an Asia Cup match against Bangladesh, the first player ever to do this.

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What Makes Something Newsworthy?

Today I went on a journalism course and one of the discussions that occurred was ‘what makes something newsworthy’. It definitely got me thinking and was really interesting to hear different people’s responses. Here are some of the main pointers that arose in the discussion.

1-      Relatable instances – something that affects a lot of people. It could be anything from council elections to a closed road due to an accident.

2-      Something that is unique or dramatic. So the unexpected cases we read about in the news such as a dog saving a woman from drowning.

3-      Changes in political policies.

4-      Something that involves celebrities – it is an escapism from our lives.

5-      Royal family hype – the wedding, most recently the birth of the royal baby.

6-      Miracles – for example people recovering from illnesses against the odds.

7-      Scandal factor – a national or local ‘disgrace’.

8-      Human interest factor – something that draws people in and makes them empathise.

9-      Topical – what is going on during that day.

10-   Geographical importance – something that is local to the area you are from.

11-   Unexpected – breaking news that is shocking to people.

12-   Campaigning – tuition fees rising, hospitals closing.

13-   Controversy – politicians caught doing things that isn’t seen as ‘proper’.

14-   An anniversary – 10 years since the local outdoor market opened.

Please comment below and let me know what you think makes a story newsworthy.  🙂