Archive for July, 2014

Leonies”s View: The Look – loveable dogs with big eyes in a state of shock

July 31, 2014

Hugh Paxton’s Blog got this loveable big-eyed very cute dog thing from Leonie.

Her appalled very cute hounds are bemused and confused by her decision to abandon wine (a highly unlikely proposition in my opinion when it comes to Leonie, they need not worry on that account).

My idea is that anything can be ‘given up’ to give these dogs cause for surprise and concern.

Chaps! Why not use the image, make it personal and add alternative “give ups” and then send it to somebody.

The world, or more accurately, your friends, family and co-workers are your oyster … turning up late for work, sneaking money from Dad’s wallet, wolfing down huge slabs of steak at Joe’s Beerhouse while overlooking the salad, forgetting to replace the defunct toilet roll because a wife will do it, ignoring accumulated piles of smelly socks because sooner or later something will happen, stopping smoking and wow! Back to twenty a day but doing it in a shed at the back of the garden, breaking the law, dressing up as Elvis, launching rockets into Israel, feeding your dogs, being a Jihadist with no sense of humour who hates dogs because they are religiously deemed unclean, failing to return library books, pinching all the red and purple wine gums leaving everybody else with the green and orange ones, stealing milk from a communal student lodging fridge, growing an offensive beard, that sort of thing.

Have some fun with this one. Properly adjusted I think these mournfully astounded dogs could be gainfully employed in any house that has untidy children who like dogs and believe in photos and are suckers. Or anywhere else, actually. I’d like these dogs to go global. And the giving up thing, too.

Could be just for fun, could be political. I’d like these dogs to enhance environmental and wildlife conservation messages. But that’s because I’m a fanatic! You know all about fanatics, I’m sure. No sense of humour. These dogs could correct all that!

Just a thought!



To: undisclosed recipients:
Subject: The Look

This is exactly the same look you getfrom your friends, when you tell them you have given up wine.

Sharks and Manta Rays. MEDIA ADVISORY: Sri Lankan Government Hosts CITES Regional Workshop. How to actually save sharks!

July 29, 2014

If Hugh Paxton’s Blog was in Sri Lanka I’d be there but I’m not. I’m here. In England enjoying that rare thing, glorious sunshine. The event Barbara of the Pew Charitable Trusts describes is of interest and access to media and involved organisations and govts. If you fall into these categories it is well worth a shot. I like Colombo very much, the Pew Charitable Trusts do excellent work, and sharks and rays certainly need all the help they can get. Just because shark fishing is in some cases legally controlled does not mean this translates from words and paperwork to action. A friend has just returned from a southern Thailand shark processing port in a state of utraged, disbelieving shock with hideous photographs of brazen illegality. Tons of sharks, many, many species. More than you would imagine. I will post these extremely disturbing images with his permission upon my return to Thailand in three weeks time. I need to talk with him and discuss his next moves first. He wants this criminal carnage to stop, as do I. But being shot isn’t the way to go.

In the meantime, Hugh Paxton’s Blog wishes all those attending the workshop, and all those organizing and hosting it, success. Whether we know it or not, it isn’t just the rays and sharks that need it. Marine ecosystems need it. And we who depend on them do.

I will pass on the results to you when the Pews pass them on to me!



From: Barbara Cvrkel []
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 12:34 AM
Subject: MEDIA ADVISORY: Sri Lankan Government Hosts Regional Workshop

Hi, Hugh

WHAT: South Asia CITES Workshop: Implementing the Shark Appendix II Listings

The workshop will focus on assisting regional governments on how best to successfully implement the new Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix II listings on shark and manta ray protections, which go into effect on September 14.

WHO: Hosts are the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation, Ministry of Wildlife Resources Conservation and The Pew Charitable Trusts

WHEN: Wednesday, July 30

WHERE: Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo

Sir Chittampalam A Gardiner Mawatha

Colombo, Sri Lanka

TIME: Workshop is an all-day event

Media welcome between 9 am and 10:40 am


The following officials from the host organizations will be available to speak to the media:

· Mr. H. D. Ratnayake – Director General, Department of Wildlife Conservation, Sri Lanka

· Mr. B. K. U. A. Wickramasinghe – Secretary to the Ministry of Wildlife Resources Conservation

· Hon. Gamini Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa – Hon. Minister of Wildlife Resources Conservation

· Imogen Zethoven – Director, The Pew Charitable Trusts global shark conservation campaign

***additionally, some participants may be willing to speak with the media…TBD onsite.

CONTACT: Please contact me if you would like to have a reporter attend the workshop.

I can coordinate interviews with any of the designated spokespeople.

Who will be attending:

The following countries are sending representatives from their CITES Management Authorities, Fisheries Departments and Customs Offices:

Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam

The Sri Lankan government and Pew are presenting this workshop to support regional governments and help them develop measures that effectively implement and enforce the new shark and manta ray listings in Appendix II of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

At the 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP16) to CITES that was held in March 2013, several shark species – oceanic whitetip (Carcharhinus longimanus), scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini), great hammerhead (S. mokarran), smooth hammerhead (S. zygaena), and the porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus), and two species of manta rays (genus Manta) – were listed in Appendix II. Recognizing that implementation of these listings will take some preparation and may involve agencies not usually involved with CITES implementation, CITES Parties agreed to delay their entry into force until September 14, 2014.

CITES Parties from across the region will attend these workshops and CITES implementation and shark experts from around the world will be present to assist countries in developing the tools needed to successfully implement these new CITES shark listings by September 14, 2014. From that date, all trade in these species will have to be shown to be both sustainable and legal.

The workshop will focus on measures that Parties must develop in order to be in compliance with the new listings, including processes for developing non-detriment findings for sharks. The workshop will also include training from scientists who are the world’s experts in shark identification to offer enforcement officials guidance and materials to allow the identification of products from these species.

Brigitte’s Pick: He folds money and lives in a garbage truck

July 28, 2014

Hugh Paxton’s blog received this from both Brigitte and Andre. The things you can do (or, more accurately, the things Won Park can do) with a few one dollar bills! Quite breath taking!

Best from an extremely sunny and knockout gorgeous England! I wish it was like this every day!


Can you imagine the look on a waitress’s face if you left a tip

on the table looking like this? And wait till you see where he lives!

This guy does origami with dollar bills and lives in a converted garbage truck.

Be sure you scroll to the end of this e-mail to look at photos of inside his truck!

Won Park is a master of Origami. He is also called the "money folder", a practitioner of origami whose canvas is the US one dollar bill.

Bending, twisting, and folding, he creates life-like shapes in stunning detail.

One Dollar Carp

One Dollar Butterfly

One Dollar Camera

Two Dollars Battle Tank

Two Dollars Chinese Dragon

One Dollar Crab

One Dollar Dolphin

Two Dollars Jacket

Two Dollars Spider

One Dollar Scorpion

One Dollar Bat

One Dollar Toilet Bowl

One Dollar Penguin

One Dollar Shark

One Dollar Jet

One Dollar Hammer Head Shark

This is wild **** He lives in a garbage truck! You have to look at

This place

From Charles: Thank you for your work on the Unifying Cairn: and meet Sir Ranulph Fiennes!

July 23, 2014

Hugh Paxton’s Blog will attend this cairn building exercise on the 28th of this month. And will let you know a little bit more about what it involves. The cairn aims, symbolically to heal wounds and prevent the break up of friends, neighbours and countries. The following message and invitation to bring a rock comes from Rory, one of the project’s organisers.

Dear Friends of Hands Across the Border,

Thank you all very much who came yesterday. We saw 2 year-olds, and 92 year-olds carrying worn peridotite stones from the summit of the Black Cuilin in Skye, quartz form the cairngorms, Shropshire Slate, millstone grit form Derbyshire, and a sharp-edged brown flint from Kent. There were miniature pebbles form the Tyne and Thames, and a stone the size of a table-top from the exact line of the border. Some had been painted with Saltires, others inscribed with poems – others just bluntly stated “Old Red Sandstone Perthshire” or ‘Christenberry crag”. By the end of the day the rocks lay six layers deep, forming what will be the foundation of the Auld Acquaintance cairn. The music came from the pipe-major from Langholm, an English piper from Dumfries – accompanied by a Scot with a piccolo, and finally from a man in full Jacobite fig, who was still piping six hours after we had begun.

My favourite moment, however, was at two o’clock, when almost five hundred of us – Welsh, Kentishmen, Cornish, Ulstermen, Highlanders, Borderers, and Cumbrians, linked arms, to sing Auld Lang Syne. That powerful, linked circle three deep, has now defined the perimeter of the cairn – which will be 150 feet in circumference. (See photo). The sun, the gentle movement of the river Sark, under Thomas Telford’s union bridge, the number of families, all emphasised the peaceful solidarity and friendship that has grown across the border over the last three hundred years. We came from four nations, and dozens of counties, but built the structure, together like one extended family.

Now comes the hard part. It will take, hundreds of thousands of stones to build the sides of the cairn, over the next few weeks. Please, therefore, if you haven’t come, come soon. If you were with us yesterday, please come back and donate a little time, helping to build the structure. If you were prepared to volunteer a day over the summer, working on site that would be particularly welcome – gloves, and burgers will be provided.

And please pass on the message to friends from anywhere, and from any political persuasion. It is not intended to be a party political event – yesterday we had the Shadow Scotland Minister Russell Brown (Labour, Dumfries and Galloway) working alongside David Mundell (Conservative, Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale). The historians Simon Schama, David Starkey, Max Hastings, and Antony Beevor, the philosopher AC Grayling, the General Charles Guthrie, and the writer Alain de Botton have all contributed stones to the cairn.

Finally, if you would like to meet – and work alongside – the explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, or know anyone who does, he will be working with us on site, next Monday, 28 July, in the afternoon. He will also give a short speech, reflecting on stone, rock and the union, and would be delighted to meet anyone who is there. We will also be joined next Monday by the great climber Alan Hinkes OBE – the first British man to climb every peak over 8000 meters. And we are inviting climbers, mountaineers, and explorers from across the United Kingdom to join us for what will be a challenging afternoon.

The cairn is behind the ‘First House in Scotland’ toll-house at Gretna (just South of the Gretna Gateway). Directions can be found at We are also collecting donations towards the project. Any donations of any amount welcome at
Thank you again very much for all your support. And hope to see many of you soon, perhaps this coming Monday,

Very best wishes


Copyright © 2014 Hands Across the Border, All rights reserved.
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MP for Penrith and the Border · House of Commons · London, London SW1A 0AA · United Kingdom


African conservationists call on internet retailer Rakuten to cease all sales of elephant ivory

July 23, 2014

Hugh Paxton’s Blog got this from the Humane Society speaking on behalf of a number of conservation organisations and individuals operating, working or living in Africa. Many are Africans.

From: Raul Arce-Contreras []
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 2:27 AM
Subject: African conservationists call on internet retailer Rakuten to cease all sales of elephant ivory




WASHINGTON, D.C. – Conservationists from leading African organizations are appealing to internet retail giant Rakuten to immediately cease sales of elephant ivory products during the current poaching epidemic. Rakuten is stimulating market demand for elephant ivory by facilitating the sale of tens of thousands of ivory products.

"We appeal to Rakuten to help protect Africa’s elephants by banning all ads offering ivory for sale on its Japanese website,” said Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Founder and CEO of Kenya’s Save the Elephants. “With so many African elephants being killed for their ivory, it is vital to reduce demand for ivory in Japan."

Up to 50,000 African elephants are poached annually to satisfy the demand for ivory from countries like Japan and China. More than 65 percent of Central Africa’s forest elephants have been wiped out since 2002. In Tanzania’s famous Selous Game Reserve, the elephant population declined 67 percent in just four years.

Ofir Drori, director of the Cameroon-based Last Great Ape Organization, said, "Rakuten must take action to ban ivory ads to help protect the forest elephants which are being slaughtered to provide ivory to Japan and China. Continued ivory ads on Rakuten mean a death sentence for our elephants."

Executive Director of WildlifeDirect Paula Kahumbu said, "Africa’s elephants, and thousands of rangers, both men and women, are not safe from poachers as long as Rakuten is inviting people to buy ivory. We beg Rakuten to be responsible and announce a total ban on advertisements selling ivory."

NGOs working internationally and on the ground in Africa have reached out to Rakuten’s headquarters and various subsidiaries requesting that Rakuten bans ivory ads on all of its subsidiaries’ sites. Rakuten has yet to respond to their appeals.

Allan Thornton, president of the Environmental Investigation Agency, said, “Rakuten must respect appeals from Africa to halt ivory sales to eliminate the supply that’s stimulating demand and driving poaching.”

Rakuten, “striving to become the world’s no. 1 internet services company,” states in its Code of Ethics its intention to “staunchly reject any request to engage in illegal or morally questionable activity.” By continuing to post ads for ivory, Rakuten is tainting its global reputation.

Kitty Block, vice president of Humane Society International, said, “The Rakuten Group must enact a company-wide ban on ivory sales – global consumers today want no part in this slaughter. We urge Rakuten affiliates and citizens worldwide to press Rakuten to ban ads offering elephant ivory.”



Maggie Dewane, Press Officer, EIA, 1-202-483-6621

Raul Arce-Contreras, Senior Public Relations Specialist, HSI, 1-301-721-6440

Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organisations. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — on the Web at


If you would rather not receive future communications from Humane Society International, let us know by clicking here.
Humane Society International, 2100 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037 United States

Brigitte’s Pick : Clever Volkswagen ad – PLS watch it!

July 23, 2014

Brigitte’s Pick. VW cares about you (and Hugh Paxton’s Blog suspects, selling you cars).

Start from Brigitte:

EVERYONE should watch this – very clever advert and very thought provoking.

Well-done VW

Brigitte’s Pick: Coca- Cola

July 22, 2014

Hugh Paxton’s Blog presents another Brigitte’s Pick. This one on the perils of advertiing!

We begin!

Disappointed salesman of Coca-Cola returned from his assignment to Saudi Arabia.

A friend asked,"Why weren’t you successful with the Saudis?"
The salesman explained, "When I got posted, I was very confident that I would make a good sales pitch.
But I had a problem. I didn’t know how to speak Arabic. So I planned to convey the message through three posters.

First poster : A man lying in the hot desert sand totally exhausted and fainting.
Second poster : The man is drinking Coca-Cola.
Third poster : Our man is now totally refreshed.
And then these posters were pasted all over the place.

"Terrific! That should have worked!" said the friend.

"The hell it should have!" said the salesman.
"No one told me they read from right to left!

Thai Days: Rather nice photos from brother, Charles

July 20, 2014

Here they come and Hugh Paxton’s Blog rates them as stunning! My brother and his beloved wife, Kimmie, are currently repairing a trailer in the south of northern America and they seem to be on top of the endeavour. Nice photos. Charles is also maintaining a parish newsletter in Cumbria. Multi-tasking! At its best and most imaginative!

Parish Directory 2014.pdf

Thai Days: Party Time and a pub quizz!

July 20, 2014

Hugh Paxton’s Blog attended a great party last night. One of those parties that have conversations going all over the place and really crummy food, utterly awful! and warm beer.

Herge was gay? Tin Tin a Nancy? I wasn’t having that! Argument one!

King Arthur was Belgian? Maps appeared to prove this theory. Argument two!

Talk surged from continent to continent and argument to argument! I thought I’d been everywhere and was feeling smug but with this mob it really wasn’t possible. Everybody had been everywhere, too! Everybody had been shot or been fired or set on fire and been shot or had died of cholera twice and it was that sort of thing.

Timothy Boyle, the evil swine I was sitting next to was a pub quiz horror. He looked me in the eye, I blinked, afraid, and he asked me to name a word that contained three consecutive double letters.

The nice thing about parties like these is that there are beautiful women present, with brains. I looked at the nearest beautiful woman and she and I watched this quiz man. I decided to change the subject. You remind me of Teodor Eicke. I told him. Good old Teodor . A serious Nazi. This got him intrigued and gave us valuable time. He didn’t look anything like Eicke. No resemblance at all! But it took him time to discover he didn’t look like Eicke. It didn’t help us much but Sarah was thinking.

Tim doesn’t let go. But after he had established that he didn’t look like Teodor he began to deliver clues. There is humanity in Tim. Sarah has a valuable mind, and mine from time to time, sparks. But this question was becoming harder and harder. The more I looked at Sarah for an answer the more I thought about her beautiful nose and the eyes! And the more I forgot about the question.

“It’s something in Welsh,” I said, breaking the Sarah spell. Tim’s Welsh and deserves all the jokes that come at his nations’s expense. Most of the best Welsh jokes come from Welshmen. A bit like Ireland, Scotland and England in that regard. For some reason we like laughing at ourselves. Perhaps because we really are rather funny as well as being tragic.

Anyway, this was a wild guess and was wrong. Tim looked at me with contempt. “Horses,” he suggested. That made me turn back to Sarah. That face! Exquisite! What a beautiful nose! This woman is enchanting!


“Books,” suggested Tim.

Sarah, and I, knew Tim was helping and he thought that we were both idiots. Horses. Books. Sarah. How the hell can you concentrate on a quiz when you’ve got a Sarah right there and a Tim right behind you? Beauty and the beast.

“Books!” suggested Tim. Again. “Do you keep books?”

“I’ve got loads of them. The ones I write are the best.” I’m no pussy and can stand my ground and Tim was really making me look intellectually inadequate. Books? Keeping them? I glanced at Sarah but found myself looking into the eyes of her husband, he was mellow but obviously he wanted to kill me.

Then it came! The answer! Three consecutive double letters in one word. Sarah, and I love to see success, and we smiled. Bingo! Tim invited me to a seedy Bangkok den called The Pickled Liver for his next pub quiz.

The party went on and remained extraordinary and the food never ever approached FAO health safety standards but the question remains.

We want three consecutive double letters in one word. If you had been at the party you would have had a lot of fun. And you wouldn’t be wasting valuable time wasting time with this nonsense.

But there they are! Out there! Three consecutive double letters in one word! Rather sad. You don’t get a Sarah to solve it. A Tim to jeer. And Hugh gives no clues! He doesn’t have too many at the best of times!

No googling!


Hugh in Bangkok!

From: Midori Paxton []
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2014 9:32 PM
To: Hugh Paxton
Subject: FW: For Hugh

From: Timothy Boyle
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2014 9:01 PM
To: Midori Paxton
Subject: For Hugh

Thai Days: My cat

July 19, 2014

Hugh Paxton’s Blog has had enough feedback about Brigitte’s jackals or ratels or rachels or whatever they are called. Everybody in Thailand finds them cute. Are they being polite? Or are they just simple minded! I opt for the latter.

My dog is frequently described as cute, too. And it is. When it’s banged up in its cage and isn’t eating my cheese and Branston pickle sandwiches as soon as my back is turned for three seconds.

I loathe my dog!

And I’m not, currently, overly delighted with my cat.

It has just urinated on not one but two suitcases I have been packing. Anxiety? Territorial markings? I’ve no idea and really don’t care for motive, purpose or excuses. My room is a stench. Of dog. And cat. And I’m running out of suitcases.

When I leave Bangkok tomorrow I will smell horrible, wear a sickly grin, miss the city – but I won’t miss my dog (unless we get lucky and the taxi gets into bulls eye mode whacks the mutt full frontal and smashes Buggly to a hash) and the cat can go feed a python. They are in monsoon mode and are sliding quietly out of the canal behind our house looking for prey.

Our rat, named Ratnee? He ate his mate. My beloved daughter, Annabel explained that Ratnee didn’t really eat his mate just skinned its head and had a go at cracking its skull to access the brains and sludgy bits “Because it was sick.”

Yes. Highly likely. Just makes you want to hug cuddly little Ratnee! So cute! Cannibal rats! So fluffy!

My fish have no power of speech and that is why I like them.

I’m off to find another suitcase. Then my passport. If the dog’s chewed it, the cat’s peed on it, or Ratnee has shredded it, I will slay!

I told Chang to kill all my pets (apart from the fish) while we are away and provide plausible excuses on our return but he’s too damn Buddhist and thinks (arghhhh!) that they are cute! So no help from the Burmese! We get the pets. Can’t get the staff!



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