Friday 30 July 2021

We Are the World’s Blogfest # 51: the King of Bhutan sets an example for his people - educating them about Covid …


This to me this is what a leader should do … in the time of crisis – they should go above and beyond …


King and Queen, with
the Emperor of Japan
Any leader should always set examples, let their people know what is going on – in simple terms, keeping them informed and warning them of impending dangers ….



Kingdom of Bhutan,
in the Himalayas

The King of Bhutan travelled round his country by foot, car and horse to all the remote hamlets - overseeing the measures warning his tiny kingdom about the coronavirus outbreak that has flared up in neighbouring India.



Rice Terraces in a fertile
He really has set out his stall as leader … so wearing a baseball cap, a knee-length traditional gho-robe, carrying a backpack -  Bhutan’s king has walked the jungles avoided  leeches and snakes, trekked mountains all the while informing his 700,000 citizens how to protect themselves again this dreaded virus.


Women of Bhutan
It is evident that his efforts have proved helpful to his people … only 2,506 cases, with 2 deaths as at yesterday’s date.



I also wanted to add in how he described his wife, and Queen:

The Queen in

For the Queen, what is most important is that at all times, as an individual she must be a good human being, and as Queen, she must be unwavering in her commitment to serve the People and Country.


As my queen, I have found such a person and her name is Jetsun Pema. While she is young, she is warm and kind in heart and character.


 These qualities together with the wisdom that will come with age and experience will make her a great servant to the nation.


The King in 2007
in his Gho-robe
He seems to be a very caring, humble King … and if I lived in Bhutan I’d be hugely impressed that he’d gone to that trouble for me and my family … a King, who puts his people first and cares for them …


We are the World Blogfest

In Darkness, be Light



Jigme Dorji National Park

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Monday 26 July 2021

Jacqui Murray’s “Dawn of Humanity” trilogy – the 2nd instalment: ‘Laws of Nature' …


This second part of Jacqui’s trilogy continues with some thoughtful and interesting changes in Lucy’s clan, especially their reliance on each other’s skills and knowledge.


The author: Jacqui Murray

I, with Jacqui, pondered these subjects and came up with some thoughts …


Lucy, the leader, is developing ideas … so the clan grows stronger and becomes more able to adapt to the world around.


The Wonderwerk caves being nearly at an elevation of 4,900 feet (1,500 metres) are extremely cold in winter, and where the wind whistles around the entrance …


… winter has given Lucy time, when they are unable to move around, to explore her blind companion’s ability to react more quickly to changes in noises around their camp … while also noting that he raises his head as the bats fly in and out …


Perhaps early signs of bat echo-location becoming essential to early man, which blind people are able to use today; while African tribes still use ‘click sounds’, as did their early ancestors … before speech evolved …


Lucy’s group is absorbing small pieces of knowledge to help them stay alive, and to improve their clan’s chances to remain in history …

Tagline introduction


A boy blinded by fire. A woman raised by wolves. An avowed enemy offers help. 




In this second of the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, the first trilogy in the Man vs. Nature saga, Lucy and her eclectic group escape the treacherous tribe that has been hunting them and find a safe haven in the famous Wonderwerk caves in South Africa. Though they don’t know it, they will be the oldest known occupation of caves by humans. They don’t have clothing, fire, or weapons, but the caves keep them warm and food is plentiful. But they can't stay, not with the rest of the tribe enslaved by an enemy. To free them requires not only the prodigious skills of Lucy's unique group--which includes a proto-wolf and a female raised by the pack--but others who have no reason to assist her and instinct tells Lucy she shouldn't trust.

Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her tribe struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.


A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!


Book information:

Title and author: Laws of Nature

Series: Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity series

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Editor: The extraordinary Anneli Purchase

Available print or digital) at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU  Kindle India

Author bio: 

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Winter 2022.

Social Media contacts:

Amazon Author Page: 







Book trailer video ...
Click for the link to YouTube (

Other bloggers have promoted the first chapter ... I have omitted it here - but there are plenty of links above ... 

I have included this image of migrations that formed the 'Modern Rainbow Nation' - it shows South Africa: the so called 'Cradle of Humankind' ... and the migratory routes of the major present day tribes ..

Migrations that formed the present 'Rainbow nation'
South Africa - with Namibia to the west; Botswana between
these two nations ...

Congratulations Jacqui - you are inspirational in tackling these wonderful sagas - giving us the opportunity to think and imagine where we all came from ... and how these early peoples adapted and lived ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Monday 19 July 2021

Addenda to Great Wave, the Picnic, Rills, Tennis and Victoria Falls Bridge …


Quick notes on things I’ve subsequently found, realised or just plain forgot!


The Downs as it is now - hot and dry
(our picnic day was just plain damp!)

 The Picnic was held ‘athome’ … there’s plenty of space and we were outside for most of the time … it was a damp day ... 


Home-made pasties
The menu … what you’d expect from the Cornish … veggie with hummus and drinks, pasties (sadly bought!), strawbugs, meringue and Cornish cream, various cheeses … and a taxi home!


The image c/o British Museum for promoting
Hokusai's exhibition later in 2021

During the picnic I mentioned the Great Wave and someone mentioned their grand-children had been taught about tsunamis … 

... which apparently saved some friends’ grand-children from one – the boy-child recognised the signs and they ran up the hill (away from the beach); their parents were playing golf … and were so grateful to find their kids realised what was happening and were safe …


Something else that popped up this morning – the British Museum is having another Hokusai exhibition– ‘The Great Picture Book of Everything’ … some interesting back-story and images included – if you’d like to look …


Wimbledon grass court
My brother also confirmed that swimming across the Hayle estuary, St Ives Bay, as very dangerous … he also mentioned he’d had his first 2021 tennis game on a grass court – he was thrilled!  The Lawn Tennis Association manage our courts down here, where one of the pre-Wimbledon tournaments is held … so he played there …



Eram Gardens, Shiraz, Iran
Rills came from the wonderful Persian Gardens, or Paradise Gardens, which have influenced the design of gardens from India to Andalusia …


this photo is of thearchitect’s home – one of them who designed part of the Palace of Alhambra in the 14th century  …



An image of the Zambezi river
is channelled into the Victoria
Falls and gorge
… and finally more information on the Victoria Falls Bridge and earlier settlement … so much to learn – but I’m enjoying this life …



The History of the Falls
Bridge - not Paul Theroux'

… I’m also reading Paul Theroux’s book ‘Dark Star Safari’ … his travels from Egypt to Cairo – I’ll get to ‘The Smoke That Thunders’: Victoria Falls at some stage … so it will be interesting to read his thoughts – the book was published 20 years ago …


My next post will be the #WATWB … an interesting one …


Well now I've got a bit of a problem ... as I think I inadvertently deleted this post ... but suddenly Hels' comment (the 3rd one has appeared) ... and so am not sure what's happening.

Yam - I've included some links in this updated version of the post.  This book on the Falls' bridge is one I found just published last year ... so I will be writing a lot more about the structure etc ...

Alex - thank you ... Andy did play at Wimbledon ... but was pushed by a Canadian youngster ... decision re his future to be made anon ... 

Hels - thank you re your thoughts on ancient rills and Persian Gardens ... they are sublime ... 

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Sunday 11 July 2021

Kazungula Bridge …


Four countries (Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe) meet in the middle of southern Africa … I had not realised this bridge was being built – but was amazed to see it up and running this year …


Victoria  Falls and the bridge
across the Zambezi

I’ve been fortunate enough to live in South Africa, and been able to visit Zimbabwe – back in the late 1970s when it was still Rhodesia.



Then to visit Namibia and Botswana at separate times, and once drive up from Johannesburg through Botswana via the Okavango Swamps, to this junction … where we either ferried over the Zambezi, or took a short flight … depending on the next destination … usually Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe (ex Rhodesia). 


Victoria Falls Bridge,
crossing the Zambezi
I have walked to Zambia’s border half-way across the railway line, during the guerrilla war years, on Victoria Falls Bridge, which crosses the Zambezi, and was the Cape to Cairo route in Cecil Rhodes’ days … but have never visited that country …



As a quiet aside my grandfather designed Victoria Falls Bridge, opened in 1908 … and at the hotel there is a plaque acknowledging this – hence one reason why I went to the Falls in the late 1970s. 


Zambezi River at four countries'

To get from Cape Town to the rest of Africa … the Zambezi River needs to be crossed …



I am seriously thinking about writing some of my thoughts on my time in the 1980s in southern Africa – as a change to posts on Museums, Art Galleries and all the other subjects I gently touch upon (like this one!).



The route of the revised bridge

The Kazungula Bridge has definitely spurred the direction of my thoughts … I’ll leave you with the images I’ve found, and some links …


It was going to link the four countries … but Zimbabwe had a change of heart (actually a boundary dispute) and so the bridge originally 600 metres long, had then had to undergo design alterations stretching it to 923 metres, avoiding Zimbabwe … they’ll regret that in the coming years – losing those connections and revenue from the trade that would have accrued.  Zimbabwe is desperately in need of a better economy.



I’ve been watching or half-watching way too much tennis … French Open, Eastbourne and now Wimbledon … and so haven’t been half as dedicated as I might have been.  (There is a football match on in an hour or so … !!)

c/o The UN Organisation Development Project

I’m not really back either … as the Olympics is a-coming … and I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned I worked for the British Olympic Association back in 1972 – a privilege and was taken to Munich.  I have some information from that time – and if I can find it … I think I’ll write about that – then I can donate things to charity.


Well this was meant to be short … but so be it – I’ll be around and doing what I can … Look after yourselves as these months slip by – and I will see you at your blogs …

 More details can be found here at the Development of Bankable Transport Routes article

Diane on her Photo Diary published a post on 1st May 2017 ... after she'd visited this junction ... see the link

I found out about the Kazungula Bridge via this article ... which I completely and unintentionally ignored - here it is:  Big Think - World's Weirdest Bridge

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories