Small Wonders

Luckily, there is much on the market to help. At the top end, and perfect for the studio flat, comes an ingenious idea: the Soho Island kitchen unit by Xera UK, available from Harvey Jones. It costs about £14,500, but it is truly remarkable: a sleek, oak desk that slides open to reveal a ceramic hob and a mini sink. For guest accommodation that can be hidden away, try the Wallbed Workshop, which has a wide range of beds capable of "disappearing" into a wall, or transforming into an office desk. Prices start at about £820 for a single bed that comes as a flat-pack, but is relatively straightforward to fit. Foldaway, stackable and multipurpose kit is an asset in any small space. A nest…

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My Random Act of Kindness Is to Help Change Strangers ...
'Urgently needed - rugs.' That was the message that started everything.I was shopping online for second-hand furniture and came across this Wanted Ad from a woman asking for rugs to cover her broken floor so her children wouldn't hurt their feet.She was a single mum who had fled a horrible domestic situation and was starting all over again with nothing. I wanted to help her, and was sure others would too, so I spread the word among my friends and family.Donations of bedding, toys and furniture started trickling in. I delivered them all to her one afternoon - she was in tears, not because of the things I was giving her, but because in that moment she realised she wasn't alone.I will never forget how that felt.I drove home on a high. It was only later that I learnt the science behind why I felt that way - kindness actually changes our brain chemistry and gives us a natural high.I wanted to do more. I wanted to do this every week. That's when I decided to starta Facebook page called 52 Lives to enable my friends and family to help people.Each week, we choose someone in need of help, share their story, request what they need, and our supporters offer help. It's based on the premise that people are good, that kindness in innate and that, when given the chance, people will help one another.Initially I had some mixed reactions. Some people thought the idea was wonderful, others found it odd and a bit confronting. I never used to think kindness could be confronting but over the years I've learnt that it can make people uncomfortable.I also had the inevitable question of 'how do you know these people you help are genuine' (We do vet people, if you're wondering the same thing!) But I loved what I was doing, and felt a surge of excitement at the start of every week.As word started to spread, strange names and faces were popping up on the Facebook page - people I didn't know wanted to get involved. It was so encouraging to see people I'd never met wanting to help., , helping your neighbor - these are not new concepts but people often find them hard to reconcile with the busyness of their day-to-day lives.Over the years, we have changed people's lives in so many weird and wonderful ways - from buying teeth for a man who had none to redecorating the bedroom of a little girl who has lost her mum and helping a homeless mother and son off the street.We give people tangible help, but I now know it's never the money we raise or the things we give people that make the difference - it's the kindness we show.A nine year old boy called Ben, who we helped last year, is a perfect example of that. Ben is cross-eyed and has autism, and was being severely bullied at school.One day, he came home with a handprint on his face. He finally opened up to his mum who decided to take him out of school. While it was the best for Ben to be home-schooled, he has no friends and has extreme anxiety.At home, he was sleeping in a single bed with two of his siblings and the carpet needed replacing - his anxiety can lead to Ben wetting himself and the carpet had become stained - but the family live on an incredibly low income.In one week, we raised almost £5,000 and bought new beds, bedding, carpet, Christmas presents and a mini break. But the most important thing we did was to show Ben that he wasn't alone.I believe it's that human connection that changes lives, not just of the person receiving, but also of the person giving.Kindness changes all of us. It improves our mental health and well-being, and ultimately determines what kind of life we have, and what kind of world we live in.If we want to live in a kind world, we need to be kind ourselves. Starting now.
How to Choose the Best Beds for Your Kids
Choosing the best bed for your kids is pretty easy if you just know what to look for. A bedstead is one thing you want to take into consideration and you might want to choose a captain's bed or a kid captain bed for your little one. However, before you begin looking for the actual bed you must choose a good mattress.A good mattress is of utmost importance for your child simply because little bodies need support. When your child receives proper support from his mattress his body will grow better and he will have fewer problems with aches and pains from a mattress that is not up to par. So, when considering what type of mattress to buy make sure you go with a name brand top of the line mattress that is sure to provide your kid with all the support he needs to get a good night's rest each and every night so he can wake up refreshed and ready to conquer the day.Now, you are ready to move on to buying your kids bed. Think about the child's room, how much space is available, and what the kid wants. When you think of all these things it won't be long before you have narrowed your options down significantly. If your child has a very small room and only a single bed will fit then you just look at single beds. You might want a captain's bed or bunk beds for when friends sleep over. You may prefer to buy a different type of bed however like a sleigh bed or even a four poster. It really depends on your child and the room. So, make sure you measure the area and make sure you have enough space and height for the type of bed you want to purchase. Make sure your child is happy with the bed that will be purchased as well. Nobody wants a bed they don't care for so if the bed is for your child let him pick it out, within reason.Keep in mind current color schemes as well as possible color schemes in the future. For example, if your little girl is dying for a white four poster bed today talk to her about how she would feel about a white bed when she is 20 and see if you can get her to see into the future. If you feel your kid is making a choice based on current trends then you might want to buy a bed that is cheaper so you can replace it later should your child change her mind!
Moving into Student Accommodation: 50 Essential Things Every Student Should Take with Them If Leavin
You've had your head in your books for two years, got the grades, and got into university - congratulations! If you're moving out, you now have about a month to pack everything up and move on to a new chapter.First things first: travel light. Generally speaking, university rooms aren't very big - especially if you're going into halls. You're likely to accumulate dozens of freebies at Freshers' Week events, so it's best to avoid over-packing and causing clutter.Before you leave home, check what's already in your accommodation - sometimes you'll need things like bins and desk lamps, sometimes you won't. Call up your landlord/lady, or the people who manage your halls if you can't find the information online.There are a few things your new flatmates may want to buy too, so don't bring essentials like a kettle, toaster, and cleaning utensils - these are things you'll be share with your housemates, so wait until you get there and split the price of them.In the meantime though, here's what every new undergraduate-to-be will need to take with them:Bedroom Essentials:1) Stuff for your bed - A duvet, two or three sets of bed sheets, duvet covers, and pillow cases. It's worth getting these in doubles, even if you're in a single bed. More often than not, second and third year houses have double beds, so it stops you buying twice. Plus, a double duvet makes a single bed cosier for those mornings after the night before.Getting additional pillows and blankets can give your bedroom a 'homely' feel. Plus, over winter, it can get very cold in university accommodation. It's also important to remember a mattress protector; you never know who's been in the bed before you. It may be worth investing in a mattress topper too, as beds in halls and student houses can be uncomfortable. For around £50, you can make it feel like you're in a luxury mattress.2) Doorstop - Keeping your door open when you move in is an easy way to make friends with the people in your flat.3) Hangers - You'll probably only be given a couple, if any at all.4) Basic cleaning products - Even if you have a cleaner, it's unlikely he or she will clean your room. Some Febreeze, Flash, washing-up liquid, and sponges will go a long way.5) Ear plugs - Believe it or not, there will be nights where you want to kip while those who live near you want to party, so ear plugs are a must.Bathroom Essentials:6) First-aid kit 7) Condoms and other contraceptives 8) Medicine - Painkillers and cold and flu remedies will make life a whole lot easier if you catch the infamous Freshers' Flu.9) Everyday things - Whatever you usually use; shower gel, soap, shampoo, conditioner, moisture, and toothpastes. As well as hair products - don't forget to bring your hair straighteners and dryers.10) Bath mat 11) Bath towel and hand towels 12) Toilet brush (although, you and your flatmates may want to chip-in for this) 13) Laundry bag - You'll probably have to travel to a washroom, so you'll need something that's easy to carry - whether you're doing it yourself or taking it home to do.Kitchen Essentials (even if you're in catered):14) Crockery - About four plates and four bowls is probably enough - make sure they're microwavable!15) Cutlery - Again about four sets of knifes, spoons, and forks is probably enough.16) Kitchen gadgets - Wooden spoon, spatula, colander, scissors, and a recipe book will all be useful.17) Chopping knifes 18) Chopping board 19) Grater 20) Casserole dish - You'll probably be eating lots of pasta bakes.21) Baking tray 22) Pots and pans - Remember to take these in a few different sizes.23) Tupperware and freezer bags - Great if you want to cook once and eat for a week.24) Tea towels 25) Glasses and mugs The Unexciting Stuff:26) Stationery - Whatever you used at school, whether you were a one-pen or full-set-of-crayons kind of person.27) Academic diary 28) Leaver-arch files 29) Electronics - An extension lead, as you may not have many plugs in your room. Don't forget any chargers for your phone, laptop, Kindle, or any other electrics you plan to bring.If you don't have a phone that can voice record, a Dictaphone is useful for recording lectures too. An Ethernet cable, or Wi-Fi box, is good too, so you don't have to sit with your laptop in one place. A USB or an external hard drive will be incredibly useful.30) Important documents - Passport, passport photos, National Insurance card, NHS card or medical insurance, vaccination history, and contents insurance documents. Remember any confirmation letters of your scholarship or bursary, if appropriate, or acceptance letters from your university. Don't forget any monetary documents - especially related to your student loan or bank account.31) Driving licence - Or any other kind of ID you don't mind taking out.32) Bank debit card and card reader for online banking, or a cheque book (if you're retro like that).33) Travel discount cards - 16-25 railcards are great for cheap travel home, a student Oyster card if you're in London, or bus cards for the city you're living in will be useful.34) CV and references for those part-time job applications.35) A torch - Power cuts can happen at any time.36) Umbrella - This is the UK, after all.37) Clothes horse - Tumble drying your clothes is quite expensive in bills.The Cool and Useful Non-Essentials:38) A small suitcase or large bag for weekends back home or visiting friends.39) Formal clothes - There are a lot of balls at university.40) Wall-art or posters.41) Photos - They're great for decorating, or just looking-at when you're feeling homesick.42) Coffee machine - There'll no doubt be a lot of late-nights followed by early-morning lectures.43) Rug 44) Speakers 45) Mini fridge 46) Fairy lights and bunting for decoration 47) Diffuser, potpourri, or room spray - University rooms usually aren't well ventilated, and making it smell nice can make a real difference to your mood.48) Toasted sandwich maker - Toasties are a great comfort food.49) White tack -This leaves less of a stain than blue tack, and push-pins as most university rooms come with a corkboard.50) Finally, board games and a pack of cards - Armed with these, you're sure to break-the-ice and pave the way to make some life-long mates.Twitter:@bridiepjones
Congolese Family Overwhelmed by Generosity
An Auckland Congolese family whose children are sponsored by New Zealand donors have been overwhelmed by readers' generosity since their story featured in the Herald a week ago.The children, three out of four in a Congolese family who came here as refugees in 2008, need the sponsorship of $35 a month each because their parents, Charles and Pascaline Salama, cannot make ends meet on welfare benefits. They are unable to work because of health conditions partly stemming from a 2003 tribal massacre in which their other two children and 300 members of their tribe were killed.Readers responded to the story with an outpouring of support - providing bunks for two boys who were head-to-tailing in one single bed, a new fridge and microwave, a table and chairs, a new couch, a coffee table, a rice cooker, a toaster, curtains, clothes, blankets, a zoo pass for the family and a trailer-load of firewood.One woman even rang Fisher & Paykel, which has given them a new washing machine and drier."It's amazing really how generous people are," said Allie Fyfe, a public health nurse who originally referred the family to the children's charity Variety, which has started a scheme for people to sponsor needy children in New Zealand.Eleven-year-old Ruth Salama, the family's eldest surviving child and chief interpreter, said the family were surprised and excited.Her two older brothers died in the 2003 tribal massacre just before she was born."Mum wants to say thank you to all those people and may God bless them," she said."The exciting thing for me is we are getting a TV and I'm getting an iPad." The family plan to buy the iPad out of the $750 that one reader gathered from her friends to go towards the four children's school expenses. Ruth's school has a "bring your own device" policy.Another reader has given a $60 voucher towards a future school uniform for the youngest boy, Samuel, who is 4.The middle two children David, 9, and Samson, 6, have been sharing a single bed because the family could not afford bunks.Ms Fyfe said the other items would all make a big difference."The washing machine had broken so they were hand-washing everything," she said. "The fridge leaks and they have to mop up the water every day."They have never had a drier before. They didn't have a toaster. The curtains are very thin, so warm thermal curtains will be awesome. The trailer of firewood - that's how they heat the house." Variety spokeswoman Miriam Shaw said more than 50 readers also signed up to sponsor other needy Kiwi children after the Salamas' story appeared, lifting the number of sponsored children above 1000."We have many children waiting in the wings for support through Kiwi Kid Sponsorship," she said, "and it would be great to spread the goodwill to create a wider impact." On the web:www.variety.org.nz
Understand Single Bed
An Introduction to single bedThe Conant Creek Pegram Truss Railroad Bridge, in Fremont County, Idaho near Grainville, Idaho and Ashton, Idaho, was built in 1894. It brought a railroad over the Conant Creek, 1 mile south of the junction of Squirrel Rd. and the old Ashton-Victor railroad spur tracks. It is a Pegram truss bridge, designed by George H. Pegram. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.It now carries the Ashton-Tetonia Trail, and is known as the Conant Creek Trestle.It is a 780 feet (240m) long bridge, spanning across four supporting steel towers, built to carry a single railroad track. The towers, fabricated in 1911 by the American Bridge Company. The two center towers are about 107 feet (33m) high, and with 30 feet (9.1m) of truss above, the total distance from base to railroad bed is 137 feet (42m). The three central spans are pin-connected Pegram truss deck spans, each 164 feet (50m) long and 14 feet (4.3m) wide, with a maximum depth of 30 feet (9.1m). At each end are steel deck girders 60 feet (18m) long at the north end and 30 feet (9.1m) at the south end, and then timber approach spans 60 and 45 feet long.It was built in 1911 with Pegram spans that had been fabricated in 1894 by the Union Bridge Company of New York, and had been used previously at a Snake River crossing at American Falls, Idaho. The trusses were reinforced in 1916 with an additional, similar span along the centerline, manufactured by the American Bridge Company. In 1927 the steel girders were put into place, replacing original 1911 timber Howe trusses; these girders are believed to have been fabricated by Paxton & Verling Iron Works.The rails were removed when the line was abandoned, several years before the 1997 National Register listing.what is the difference between a bunk bed and a double bunk bed? of single bedBunk bed - one single bed over another;Dble bunk bed - single bed over a double bedBest Space Saving Furniture Ideas for Small Bedroom of single bedChoosing the appropriate furniture is something that you need to do if you have the small bedroom. That is because, without the proper furniture, you will feel that your small bedroom is getting smaller and smaller. This is one reason why space saving furniture ideas for a small bedroom is very important for some people to make sure that they can still feel the nice impression for their bedroom. If you are also looking for the best furniture for your small bedroom, then you will need to put this furniture on the list.The first one is the single bed. Yes, it will be better for you to pick the single bed rather than the double bed if you have the small bedroom. That is because the single bed will not take as much space as the double bed does. However, this small bedroom furniture can only fit one person, so that if you are sleeping with someone, you might want to pick the queen size bed that is few inches smaller than the king size. Do not ever underestimate those few inches since with those few inches you can get more spaces inside the bedroom that you can use for many other purposes.The next furniture that you need to have is the tall dresser with the mirrors inside. For your information, it will be better for you to have the tall dresser that has a mirror rather than to have the furniture and additional makeup table. That is because two furniture will surely take more spaces compared with one single furniture. However, when you are placing the dresser, you will need to make sure that you are placing the dresser in the right place. The proper dresser as the small bedroom furniture should be placed in the corner so that the height will not block anything on the higher level of your bedroom.Those are the furniture that you need inside the small bedroom. If you have the considerably small bedroom, and you need to pick the best furniture, you just need to pick the furniture as few as possible. That means you will need to choose the furniture that you think you need the most. Therefore, you can have more spaces to move around the bedroom, and all of the space saving furniture ideas for small bedroom will be something that can delight you in your bedroom. So, will you try the furniture mentioned above for your small bedroom?Originally published at Interior Design Longgrove.
Home Style: Make Every Inch Count in Your Spare Bedroom; Space-saving and Stylish Solutions to Banis
THERE'S something deeply irritating about spare beds.They seem to take up take up oodles of room, and are boring to look at. In fact they're not dissimilar to unwanted guests.Even worse, spare beds often end up as the dumping grounds for all sorts of clutter.Every inch of space should count in our homes, and a room given over to a bed is a sad waste, but there's no doubt they're essential especially at busy family times like Christmas.So the ideal solution is to make those beastly beds work for a living.Be demanding and look for beds that have got a bit of personality -- they can at least do the decent thing and disguise themselves as something else, or are so compact they don't eat up a room.There are some stylish sofa beds around these days and manufacturers have finally twigged that if they make them as hard as rocks to sit on, no-one will buy them.In the John Lewis range The Henry, pounds 850, wins the vote for comfort, design and versatility. It's a twos eater sofa with a pull-out double bed. A detachable footstool, with hidden storage room for bedding, turns it into a corner sofa.It's easy to delve into Oka's mail order range and find something affordable and sophisticated. Its sofa bed, pounds 1, 750, in subtle celadon or oatmeal upholstery, has the added advantage that the pull-out single bed can be raised to the same level as the top bed, turning it into a double.My dream has always been that Rolls-Royce of space-saving beds, a wall bed that flips inside a cupboard when not in use. It means you really can have a home office free of a bed, and there's less temptation to have a lie down when your work-life balance goes pear-shaped.The London Wallbed Company's range starts at pounds 1, 430 for a double bed version.Children and teenagers cannot exist without sleepovers'.Combine an extra bed with extra seating so they don't sprawl untidily all over the floor.Chic Shack's Veneza white painted day bed/sofa, pounds 799, would pass their rigorous street-cred test. If you don't want the additional pullout bed, pounds 260, you can have a storage drawer instead, pounds 285. Prices exclude mattresses.The Cotswold Company's range includes The Hideaway Bed, pounds 379, which doubles as a sofa and single bed, with another single bed that slides out.Beds that hide themselves within neat little footstools are handy for occasional use.None of the beds below would hang around the house like a spare part although your guests might enjoy sleeping on them so much, you'll need to find another way to get them to leave.n OCEAN A statement in contemporary chic, its three-tier folding bed can be used as a chair when closed, or slides so it can be used as a side table. It is covered in a chic felt upholstery in grey. It costs pounds 195. There's also a grey, single-size sofa bed, pounds 175.0870 2426 283/www. oceanuk. com n IKEA Corner sofas always make a room seem larger because they don't dominate the space in the same way as a freestanding sofa. The Fagelbo from Ikea, pounds 545, goes one better as it opens into a double bed. 0845 355 1141/ www. ikea. co. uk n FURNITURE VILLAGE The three-seater leather Esprit sofa, pounds 995, also transforms simply into a sofa bed -- there's no need even to remove the cushions. It's available in cream, brown, blue and black.If you really want to hide a bed away perhaps in a studio flat, or to use a spare room as a home office when guests aren't around, the Roma wall bed could be ideal. It costs pounds 2, 995. 0800 7830 830/ www. furniturevillage. co. uk ADDITIONS DIRECT A Bed in a Box, from Additions Direct, pounds 199, could be the answer. It's upholstered in a cream fabric, and is a neat stool when not in use. 0845 304 0008/ www. additionsdirect. co. uk THE COTSWOLD COMPANY The white-painted pine Roll-Out Sleigh Bed, pounds 649 from the Cotswold Company is practical and attractive. The single bed is hidden in the frame below the main bed, and rolls out on castors. 0870 240 7608/ www. cotswoldco. com n BARKER & STONEHOUSEScoop sofa, pounds 599, is a well-priced, well-designed sofa bed which would look attractive in any setting. 0191 261 6969/www. barkerstonehouse. co. uk n LENA PROUDLOCK An enormous sofa is one way around the problem. It's roomy enough to accommodate the whole family, and could easily be used as a spare bed.The Berkeley Day bed costs pounds 3, 175, and you can pick the fabric of your choice (costs extra). 01666 500 051/ www. lenaproudlock.co. uk n SPARE BED SENSE Chick Shack: 020 8785 7777/ www. chicshack. net The London Wallbed Company: 020 8742 8200/www. wallbed. co. uk Oka: 0870 160 6002/ www. okadirect. com CAPTION(S):MADE UP: Perfect for occasional guests, this bed in a box by Additions Direct won't take too much room; SOFA SO GOOD: The Berkeley Day Bed; SWEDISH STYLE: The Fagelbo from IKEA; ELEGANT: The white Roll-Out Sleigh Bed; MODERN: Ocean's bed can be a chair or table
Las Vegas Hospital 'like a War Zone' As Shooting Victims ...
LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - When Dr. Jay Coates pulled up to work at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada on Sunday night, the surrounding streets already were cordoned off and ambulances filled with shooting victims lined the driveway. Inside the trauma centre, staff worked to evaluate and treat dozens of patients with high-velocity bullet wounds - victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. "It was like a war zone," said Coates, one of two senior surgeons who worked Sunday night duty as the city's emergency personnel struggled to keep up with the flood of victims. "We were just trying to keep people from dying." The fusillade of bullets fired by a lone gunman from the Mandalay Bay hotel into a crowd of 22,000 at a country music festival killed at least 59 people and sent more than 500 to area hospitals, severely straining the city's emergency response system and putting the hospitals into overdrive. At University Medical Center, the state's only level-one trauma centre - which means it is staffed around the clock with surgeons and trauma nurses and personnel - virtually every available employee hustled back to work to be confronted with unimaginable carnage. Toni Mullan, a clinical nursing supervisor for the trauma unit, had just gotten home after a 12-hour shift when she was called back. She drove at 110 mph and stopped at no traffic lights to get back to the centre. "Chaos, that's what I saw," she said of her arrival. Coates said that by the time he reached the centre there were already more than 70 medical staff at work, and eight or nine surgeons helped evaluate patients to determine who was most in need of surgery. The most critically wounded sometimes had up to 20 people around their bed working on them. "It was a trauma bay full of at least 70 people and patients stacked everywhere. It was controlled chaos," Coates said. "At one time we had eight operating rooms going at the same time." The trauma centre had received 104 patients by early afternoon, most suffering gunshot wounds. Four died, 40 were released, 12 were in critical condition and eight were in surgery, spokeswoman Danita Cohen said. "It was all hands on deck. Word travelled very fast. People were very proud to come in," she said. Last year, the trauma centre had a training drill in which staff practiced receiving patients after a fictional mass shooting at a concert. "This is what we do, we were prepared for this," Mullan said. Across town, the scene at Sunrise Hospital was similar. "I have never seen a scene like the one I just saw this morning," U.S. Representative Ruben Kihuen of Nevada, whose district includes parts of the Las Vegas area, told NPR after visiting Sunrise. "There were about 190 people taking up every single bed possible, every single room possible, every single hallway possible," Kihuen said. "Every single nurse, every single doctor from all over the city came and are assisting a lot of these victims." Friends and relatives searched frantically for news on the injured, but the sheer volume of patients slowed the process. At Sunrise, Kihuen said, more than 90 of the 190 patients had no identification. Las Vegas police urged family members not to flood local hospitals in search of the missing, and telephone hotlines were set up to help locate missing loved ones. Police asked those wanting to donate blood to not go to the hospitals, because the staffs were overwhelmed with patients, and referred them to several area clinics. Paul Hwangpo, a Las Vegas Uber driver, said he had spent the day ferrying tourists and residents to the clinics to give blood. One had a six-hour wait, the other four hours, he said. Mullan said that emotionally the most difficult moments were when it came time to fill out paperwork for patients she knew only as Jane or John Doe. "When we have families coming up looking for loved ones and we have Doe's, that's overwhelming. I'm human. I cry. I'm sad for the loss," she said. But Mullan said she was proud of the way hospital staff had responded. "I've been a nurse for 30 years, and on the most tragic moment I've ever been involved in I was most proud to be a nurse," she said.
Here's What You Get If You Splash Out in Knightsbridge: Tiny Flat with Just 113sq/ft of Space Goes o
A tiny studio flat, smaller than a single garage, is on the market for a whopping £600,000 - three times the price of an average house.The swanky property, across the road from luxurious department store Harrods, in Knightsbridge,does not guarantee homeowners much bang for their buck with only 113 sq/ft of space to move around in, a fifth of the size of a typical home.The pint sized property is housed in an affluent apartment block called Princes Court, and estate agency Foxtons described it as a 'gorgeous first floor studio flat' which had been 'cleverly arranged'.The living area itself is cramped with a TV mounted on the wall and space for only a single bed.The kitchen are consists of a sink, microwave, fridge and hob and is hidden behind a mirror - perfect for hiding the washing up, although you probably could not fit that many dirty pans in there.There is also separate shower room and toilet.Strangely, despite the mammoth price tag, the studio is believed to be one of the cheapest properties in Knightsbridge.The average price in London's most expensive borough, according to figures from Zoopla, is currently £3,285,254.Stamp Duty is £20,000 but while it is the wealthiest borough, it is also the cheapest for council tax - with an annual bill of just £448.It is also likely the property would be bought by a buy-to-let investor or second homeowner. If this is the case and a deal isn't done until April the buyer will be subject to the increased stamp duty, which rises to £38,000.The most expensive property on the market is currently a five-bedroom apartment in One Hyde Park which is available for £60 million.Henry Pryor, a buying agent, is unsure whether many mortgage companies would lend to someone due to the size.Some lenders don't lend on studios, while others insist the apartment must be at least 320 sq/ft - three times the size of this property.Mr Pryor said: 'It does at least have more than just a hook to hang your coat on but you wouldn't be able to invite more than a couple of friends round for a meal.'Who might want to live in a property like this? Someone with an allergy to hotels I presume?'You could stay in one of the many five star hotel suites for ten nights just for the cost of the Stamp Duty you'd pay buying this 'pied-a-terre' and as a second home from next April it will cost £38,000. Why not consider a new motorhome?'The flat has previously been available as a short-term rental for £895 per week. It is now also available on a long let for £275 per week.
Las Vegas Hospital 'like a War Zone' As Shooting Victims ...
LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - When Dr. Jay Coates pulled up to work at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada on Sunday night, the surrounding streets already were cordoned off and ambulances filled with shooting victims lined the driveway. Inside the trauma centre, staff worked to evaluate and treat dozens of patients with high-velocity bullet wounds - victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. "It was like a war zone," said Coates, one of two senior surgeons who worked Sunday night duty as the city's emergency personnel struggled to keep up with the flood of victims. "We were just trying to keep people from dying." The fusillade of bullets fired by a lone gunman from the Mandalay Bay hotel into a crowd of 22,000 at a country music festival killed at least 59 people and sent more than 500 to area hospitals, severely straining the city's emergency response system and putting the hospitals into overdrive. At University Medical Center, the state's only level-one trauma centre - which means it is staffed around the clock with surgeons and trauma nurses and personnel - virtually every available employee hustled back to work to be confronted with unimaginable carnage. Toni Mullan, a clinical nursing supervisor for the trauma unit, had just gotten home after a 12-hour shift when she was called back. She drove at 110 mph and stopped at no traffic lights to get back to the centre. "Chaos, that's what I saw," she said of her arrival. Coates said that by the time he reached the centre there were already more than 70 medical staff at work, and eight or nine surgeons helped evaluate patients to determine who was most in need of surgery. The most critically wounded sometimes had up to 20 people around their bed working on them. "It was a trauma bay full of at least 70 people and patients stacked everywhere. It was controlled chaos," Coates said. "At one time we had eight operating rooms going at the same time." The trauma centre had received 104 patients by early afternoon, most suffering gunshot wounds. Four died, 40 were released, 12 were in critical condition and eight were in surgery, spokeswoman Danita Cohen said. "It was all hands on deck. Word travelled very fast. People were very proud to come in," she said. Last year, the trauma centre had a training drill in which staff practiced receiving patients after a fictional mass shooting at a concert. "This is what we do, we were prepared for this," Mullan said. Across town, the scene at Sunrise Hospital was similar. "I have never seen a scene like the one I just saw this morning," U.S. Representative Ruben Kihuen of Nevada, whose district includes parts of the Las Vegas area, told NPR after visiting Sunrise. "There were about 190 people taking up every single bed possible, every single room possible, every single hallway possible," Kihuen said. "Every single nurse, every single doctor from all over the city came and are assisting a lot of these victims." Friends and relatives searched frantically for news on the injured, but the sheer volume of patients slowed the process. At Sunrise, Kihuen said, more than 90 of the 190 patients had no identification. Las Vegas police urged family members not to flood local hospitals in search of the missing, and telephone hotlines were set up to help locate missing loved ones. Police asked those wanting to donate blood to not go to the hospitals, because the staffs were overwhelmed with patients, and referred them to several area clinics. Paul Hwangpo, a Las Vegas Uber driver, said he had spent the day ferrying tourists and residents to the clinics to give blood. One had a six-hour wait, the other four hours, he said. Mullan said that emotionally the most difficult moments were when it came time to fill out paperwork for patients she knew only as Jane or John Doe. "When we have families coming up looking for loved ones and we have Doe's, that's overwhelming. I'm human. I cry. I'm sad for the loss," she said. But Mullan said she was proud of the way hospital staff had responded. "I've been a nurse for 30 years, and on the most tragic moment I've ever been involved in I was most proud to be a nurse," she said.
Steve Braunias on Peter Posa: the Best and Loneliest Guitar Player There Ever Was
This story contains discussions of attempted suicide that may be distressing to some readers.Steve Braunias meets guitar legend Peter Posa at his home in Te Awamutu, and listens to stories of a life of massive fame but deep despair. There was a walnut tree out the back. The little house was up high on a ridge on a country road, six kilometres outside of Te Awamutu, and looked over a smooth, green valley. Elms and oaks burned orange in the autumn sunlight. It was very quiet; the only sound was a magpie attempting a few syllables.An old man sat down in an armchair. He wore a lilac shirt and was hunched over. He lay his left hand on top of a hot water bottle, and his right hand on top of an icepack. His wife sat nearby. She fetched him a box of tissues. A hospital bed had been set up in front of the windows. "It's my stroke bed," he said, in a hoarse voice. He meant that it followed him home from Waikato Hospital after he had a massive stroke two years ago. The left side of his body was paralysed. He had since recovered movement in his shoulder and arm, but the hand remained inert, and looked pale and floppy, like a fish on a riverbank. He was peeling pears in the kitchen when the stroke began. He remembers his speech was a bit slurred. He said, "And I was a bit...a bit...I wrote all these things down before the interview, and now I can't remember." His visitor said, "You were a bit dizzy or something?" The old man, who had long white hair and dark eyes, said, "No I was a bit...not co-ordinated very well. Dis-coordinated. Disoriented. But I got through peeling the pears. It was a real job. And I was swaying on my feet a bit, wasn't I, Margaret? I went into the bathroom and next thing I went down with a bang." His wife said, "First he went to the toilet, and then he went to wash his hands." He said, "Did I go to the toilet, did I?" "Yes," she said, "and then you were lying on your left side." There was a bookcase in the lounge. It was crammed with paperbacks, all testaments to Christ. There was Lord, Change Me! and: Christian, Set Yourself Free. Also: Sodom Had No Bible. Off the corridor was what they called The Everything Room, which has a fireplace, and where he studies the Bible and makes notes. Next to it is the Music Room. He doesn't go in there anymore. "The funny thing is," he said, "I played guitar for three days, including the day of the stroke, and I played my heart out. I played almost out of myself. I was in the Music Room, and Margaret said, 'I've never heard you play like this before, Peter.' Didn't you, Margarita?" That was his affectionate nickname for her. "He'd never sounded so good," she said. "It was something unbelievable," Peter said. He grimaced; a form of arthritis gives him cutting pains in his right hand, like razor blades, and also in his feet, which feels like walking on broken glass. "Those three days that I played - it was a great feeling. I'm my own worst critic, always have been. But I actually built myself up those few days. I couldn't believe the riffs I was doing." The visitor said, "And what do you make of that now?" Peter said, "Well, I don't know." "You were going out." "I think so." "Because that was the last time you played?" "It was. It was my last performance. My farewell performance," said Peter Posa, New Zealand's greatest, most successful, most loved and loneliest guitarist. All his records had the same happy and optimistic tone. He first arrived on the charts in those strange, hesitant years of pop music in between Elvis and the Beatles, and stayed the distance, sometimes recording two albums in a day. He filled the Auckland Town Hall. He was big in Australia, he toured the Pacific islands. He met Sinatra in Vegas and was invited to sign on with a crack team of session musicians in Hollywood. But he came back to New Zealand, because that's where he could be miserable. He was born in 1941. His parents Paul and Millie were Croatians. They spoke in broken English, and owned a fruit orchard in Henderson Valley, then ripped out the trees and put in grapes. Peter was the youngest of three boys. He loved listening to country music on the radio. His mum took him to town to visit her sister who ran a boarding house on Hobson St; he'd stand and stare, mesmerised, at a guitar in the window of a nearby trading store. He said, "Eventually I went inside. I couldn't play then; I just wanted to hold it. The man got it down and said, 'This is how it should be played.' He played Buttons and Bows and I'll never forget it. My heart fluttered. I thought, 'I've got to have that guitar.' Dad got it for my 9th birthday. I played it all the time and stared at it all the time. I took it to get the mail, I took it when we visited people. I learned very quickly. By the time I was 14, I could play melody and harmony at the same time; by the time I was 17, I thought, 'I'm going to start a band.'" The visitor asked, "Were you a confident person?" "No," he said. One of the few photos of him as a boy is of him smelling a rose. "No, I wasn't, at all. I was sensitive. Very shy. It might have been because of my strict upbringing. My father worked me hard. Picking fruit, packing it, then in the vineyard. But it taught me discipline and respect. I'm grateful for that." "Were you a happy kid?" "No," he said. "No, I wasn't. No. My father was so strict that he was almost a tyrant. And no love. I craved it. I just craved for him to put his arm around me and say he loved me or something. But I never got any of that. It doesn't bother me now." But it bothered him most of his life. It blighted his career; a crackle of unhappiness ran through everything, set up a kind of static beneath the cheerful image and ringing tones of his guitar. He got 500 letters of fanmail every week. He'd collect them at the Wellesley St post office and hand them over to the secretary of the Peter Posa Fanclub. He'd go into town with 200 pounds or more in his pocket, thousands of dollars in today's money, and buy anything that took his fancy. Also, he drank too much. He worried all the time. He was anxious, nervous, a mess. Talking about his apparent mastery of the guitar, he said, "Nothing ever pleased me. I had such high expectations it was ridiculous. I just couldn't reach them. It had a bad affect on my health. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I had stomach ulcers, hernias... A perfectionist who is also a soft, sensitive person, a person like that is looking for trouble." He found it. At the height of his fame, he collapsed, suffering from nervous exhaustion, and checked himself into a private hospital where he was given electric shock treatment. "I came right for a while," he said. "My health improved. I think the ECT helped a lot." He kept it a secret; if the public knew he was a head-case, his career would have collapsed. The visitor had brought along copies of some of his host's classic LPs. They included his 1962 debut album, String Along With Peter, his purest record, a clean high-fidelity masterpiece. "We were after a friendly sound, and got it," he said. He was photographed for the cover in a living room in Herne Bay with five sisters who lived next door to the Saratoga Avenue studio. The Beatles had happened by the time of The Sound of Peter Posa (1964), and he recorded jangling covers of Please Please Me and Eight Days a Week. The cover showed a handsome brown-eyed man wearing a very nice suit, and holding a beautiful Gretsch guitar. The old man smiled to look at his younger, upright self, and said, "That's when I was quite stable. It was before the drinking got out of control." The next LP he inspected was his 1963 best-seller, White Rabbit. The title track itself is probably the perkiest piece of New Zealand ever recorded, a little miracle of picking, as fresh today as when he recorded it in one take; when his CD White Rabbit: The Best of Peter Posa was released in 2013, it was the biggest-selling local record of the year, beating Pure Heroine by Lorde. As for the cover of the 1963 LP, it showed Posa eyeing up a nubile young woman wearing a bunny outfit, and sticking out her pert bottom. The photograph was taken at the Station Hotel on Anzac Avenue in downtown Auckland. He was instructed, "Stand there with a smirk on your face." He did as he was told but he doesn't look as though he was acting; he looks like he's enjoying himself, that posing as a satyr came naturally to him. He said, "I'm not proud of it, but I had a lot of women. Did I ever. I sure did." He avoided getting anyone pregnant ("I took precautions") and was just as successful at avoiding love. The drinking got worse. He crashed his Vauxhall Viva driving home drunk one night in 1970. "It was a suicide attempt. I was coming around Henderson Valley Rd, and took the corner too fast. The car went out of control and flipped. I got out through the broken windshield. I remember lying on the ground and a couple of guys walked past looking like they'd been to a party. Blood was coming out everywhere, all over my face, and these guys just said, 'You okay mate?' And a guy from over the road came over and recognised who I was, and said, 'You want a couple of Disprin?' A coupe of Disprin! I said, 'No, I'm going to need a bit more than that.'" The visitor said, "Hang on. Was it a suicide attempt, or an accident? It sounds more like an accident." He said, "It was an attempt alright. I wanted to do it. I wanted to end it. It was unbearable. It was too much. I was overworked. Too many tours, too many records to make...The pressure was immense. I couldn't handle it. "I was lonely, I was depressed - loneliness is a terrible feeling. That's really the thing I think that causes depressions. "The loneliness might have stemmed back from the Henderson days. I'm sure it did. I think so..." He had been on his way back to the family home. It was as though he couldn't bear to leave it at the same time as not bearing to be in it. When he went to the US, and was on the verge of a fabulous new career as a studio gun for hire, he said he turned and came back to New Zealand because he was homesick. "But I don't know why I was homesick," he said. "I had so many friends over there, and I loved LA. But Christmas was coming up, and they called me and said, 'Are you coming home?' And I said, 'Well I guess I have to.'" The visitor said, "By 'they', you mean your parents?" "Yeah," he said. "Where were you living when you were famous?" "At home," he said. "All those years, I still lived at home." "It's very strange," said Margaret. "It was like a magnet for him. It was like he had to punish himself." The visitor said, "What was your room like?" He said, "A little room. Single bed. A wardrobe. But I spent most of my time in a studio room out the back, in a shed. I loved it there. I had all my newspaper write-ups on the walls. I had all my guitars, and amp, and tape recorder. I'd lock the door on the inside, and let it all out." It was as though he were describing a scene from In My Room, the great Beach Boys song by the similarly tormented Brian Wilson - "There's a world where I can go and tell my secrets to..." New Zealand's most famous guitarist, locking himself away in Henderson Valley, steadily going about losing his mind. There were long bouts of depression. He lay in his little room on the single bed, and then one day he decided to sell his guitars. He had 13 and he got rid of 11, including his beloved Gretsch, the beautiful guitar he cradles on the cover of most of his LPs. "When you're depressed," he said, "your mind's not thinking right. I was sick of music. I had a gutsful of it." There were long years of drifting, and repeated electric shock treatments to try to snap himself out of it. He went looking for answers, and ended up at a Pentecostal church gathering in Oratia in West Auckland. It was the same venue where he played for the first time in public. It's also where he met Margaret. He invited her out to lunch, and they were married the next year, in 1991. But still he suffered, still there were times he couldn't go on. They moved to Te Awamutu. He had three attempts at taking his life. "The last one," he said, "I just felt so lonely, so deep with loneliness, that I felt I was on the outside looking in, where you just can't feel love. I thought, 'I can't stand this anymore.'... Margaret came in and found me slumped over the couch, vomiting." He was rushed to Waikato Hospital, and transferred to the psych ward. "It was like a hotel," he marvelled. "I had a beautiful room." Nothing ever really changed until his stroke. It was like the ultimate shock treatment: he found God. His visitor said, "In some ways was the stroke a good thing?" He said, "The best thing that ever happened to me. It made me see the light. I'm a born-again Christian. I love my life now." He can't play guitar any more. He doesn't miss it all that much. "In some ways," said the visitor, "it was an instrument of stress." Peter Posa said, "It was. It was my idol." He will be 77 in September. He gets up most days at 7am and watches Christian broadcasting for hours. His favourite is US evangelist Jimmy Swaggart. Margaret turned on the TV. There was Swaggart sitting at the piano, and singing He Washed My Eyes With Tears. She had set out two rows of egg sandwiches on the table, and buttered ginger slices. The autumn sunlight warmed the hospital bed. There was a rose bush outside the window. Peter would close the curtains after his visitors left, and take his afternoon sleep.WHERE TO GET HELP: If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.OR IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE: • LIFELINE: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)• SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)• YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)• KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)• WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757
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