Tag: readers

Readers ask: redeployment and outdoor recreation

Brandon Sun readers requested specific questions be asked at COVID-19 news conferences with chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin and Lanette Siragusa, chief nursing officer with Shared Health.

QUESTION: I’ve heard that home care attendants from a small rural community in the Prairie Mountain Health region will be forced to go to Brandon to help at Fairview Personal Care Home. These attendants will apparently be living at a nurses’ residence for a period of time — two weeks. These same attendants visit actual homes in their community, rather than facilities. Can you confirm this is this the new plan and, if yes, how is this protective for those who need home care?

SIRAGUSA: I know conversations have been going on with the Prairie Mountain Regional Health Authority. I know that they were trying to find a way to have home care support the personal care home, which is not an unreasonable place to redeploy them. Also, as you know, being from Brandon, the travel distances are challenging, so trying to accommodate work at a different place and provide accommodations or support the workers’ family life and work life. I think those conversations continue to happen. I haven’t received formal confirmation that a decision has been made at this time.

QUESTION: Why have officials shut down outdoor activities for kids such as sledding and skating on outdoor ponds, especially if they were sticking to small groups of two-to-three kids?

ROUSSIN: Outdoor group sizes are five. So if you were out on a pond with less than five people or going for walks or anything … We shut down recreational facilities, outdoors, right now, just because we wanted to decrease the risk of large amount of people gathering. If you had an outdoor hockey rink we would expect only five people to be on it at a time, right now. So outdoor recreation facilities have been shut down just for the short period. But, still, there’s a lot of outdoor recreation that can occur. The group size limits are five.

Do you have a question about something in your community? Send your questions to [email protected] with the subject line: Readers Ask.

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My best food and travel memory: readers’ tips | Food and drink

Winning tip: Super soup supper, Tbilisi

My first meal in Tbilisi was kharcho. It was probably my third, sixth, 10th and certainly my last meal too. It is a meat dish of soup or casserole consistency, but I hadn’t tasted anything like it before. Walnuts are a key ingredient in Georgian cookery, but spices I now know as blue fenugreek and marigold gave me a completely new taste experience. Nestled between Asia and eastern Europe, Georgian food takes inspiration from both, including a liberal use of pomegranate. I’ve attempted kharcho at home, but it’s been easier to recreate the memories of Georgian supra (feasting) by buying their wine. Georgia’s officially the world’s oldest wine-making region, and it’s very good.
Karen Knight

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Guardian Travel readers’ tips

Every week we ask our readers for recommendations from their travels. A selection of tips will be featured online and may appear in print. To enter the latest competition visit the readers’ tips homepage

Sri Lankan stuffed squid and dal

Sri Lankan squid stuffed with potato
Sri Lankan squid stuffed with potato. Photograph: Alex

It was Boxing Day 2017, at a guesthouse under the palms of a somewhat secret (truly!) bay on the south coast of Sri Lanka. The house was simple, but every meal was fit for royalty. This dish of fresh squid stuffed with potato curry was the crowning jewel: aromatic, tender and filling, but so fresh and clean. Our younger daughter and I were so won over by the food here that we asked if we could sneak into the kitchen to watch the chef at work. Ever since, I’ve cooked dal her way, the Sri Lankan way: everything goes in the pot together without water: the coconut milk carries all the liquid needed to infuse the lentils with tropical goodness.
Alex

Pepper-upper, Cambodia

Fresh Kep crab in Kampot pepper on the beach.
Fresh Kep crab in Kampot pepper on the beach. Photograph: Dan White/Alamy

Whenever I use Kampot pepper (which is a certified geographical indication product) in home cooking, it always evokes memories of the first time I ever tried it: cracking open the shell of a freshly caught crab, and dipping its flesh into a simple dressing of ground pepper and lime juice during a Christmas spent in Cambodia. The pepper itself is aromatic and fragrant, like no other pepper I’ve tried, and the acidity of the juice makes the crab meat taste almost sweet. The town of Kampot is built along a river, and boasts the twin charms of French-inspired architecture and the proximity to the Bokor national park.
Erin Niimi Longhurst

Pasta but not as we know it, Lombardy

Pizzoccheri.
Pizzoccheri. Photograph: E F Images/Alamy

“When’s the next train to Milan?” I asked at the tiny station in Tirano, near the Swiss border in northern Italy. “In eight hours,” came the reply. Then the ticket seller told me: “I will take you to my sister’s ristorante to eat pizzoccheri.” An hour later

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Readers ask about outdoor recreation, hunting

Brandon Sun readers requested specific questions be asked at the daily COVID-19 news conference with chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin.

QUESTION: Why are outdoor recreation spaces being closed again, with equipment removed, considering the risk was deemed low for outside activities and there are positive physical and mental benefits associated with recreation activities — especially, for example, school play structures are used during the day by school children then closed outside school hours?

ROUSSIN: Balance, and trying to keep the messages as clear as we can. And the message is, we should be staying home as much as we can. Being outdoors, doing things that are individual or their family unit … Outdoors is great. It’s the act of say, getting to a hockey rink, with 20 children outside, not that great.

We need to have that balance. You’re right, being outdoors, being active has a lot of benefits, so it’s still encouraged Manitobans to stay active. But mostly, within your family unit. We’re not going to socialize with people outside of our household because right now, we’re just so critical.

We don’t have time for nuanced messaging. We have to just be staying home socializing only with our households right now. We’ll get back to all those things.

QUESTION: It’s deer hunting season and people are going out. We did ask the health department and the reply was: “Hunting is permitted under the orders. That said, we urge Manitobans not to socialize with those outside their household.” Do you have more detailed guidelines to offer, as hunting is often a small-group activity with the aim of providing much-needed food in many cases, and often involves two or more people, and isn’t necessarily a household activity?

ROUSSIN: For all these things, and this is why we talk about things like the fundamentals, it’s because it’s really hard to have guidelines for every possible eventuality. The fundamentals apply to all of them.

So we have the rules, right? The group size is five right now. That’s going to apply indoors or outdoors.

What we’re messaging is, even better, if that’s all people from your household, if possible, and then you want to do whatever you can to keep that distancing. Ensure no one there is ill, frequent hand hygiene. There’s a lot of things that we can do to make these activities safe. Certainly, the fundamentals apply and the group-size orders apply, as well.

Do you have a question about something in your community? Send your questions to [email protected] with the subject line: Readers Ask.

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10 of the best light festivals worldwide: readers’ travel tips



a large body of water with a city in the background: Photograph: Elisabeth Aardema/Alamy


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Photograph: Elisabeth Aardema/Alamy

Winning tip: Canals by candlelight, Amsterdam



Light bulbs ... Amsterdam’s Herengracht canal with festival art installation.


© Photograph: Elisabeth Aardema/Alamy
Light bulbs … Amsterdam’s Herengracht canal with festival art installation.

On recent winter trips to Amsterdam, the sight of thousands of shimmering candle flames lighting up the city’s waterways has been really uplifting. The Amsterdam Festival of Lights (places on the light walk €12.50pp, 10-31 December must be booked online) has been dimmed down because of Covid, with just nine installations. . When we were there, the brilliant luminosity of the city centre came to life under bright moons or night skies. The Dutch tradition of showing paintings by masters of art old and new was also a feature, as famous and local artists had displays of their work out in the open.

Nick

See Naples light up

The September luminary festival of Piedigrotta was held in a much-reduced form this year, but normally celebrations of the miraculous vision of Mary at the seafront church climax with fantastic fireworks over the Bay Of Naples. To see the lights of houses twinkling on the hills while taking part in an illuminated procession next to the lapping waves, the magnificent, menacing Vesuvius in the background – or simply promenading, gelato in hand, behind candle-carrying strollers – is an operatic experience worth a life’s travel memories. Fingers crossed for 2021.

Nigel Cox

Northern lights, Durham



a blurry photo of a large body of water: A light artwork featuring the projection of a whale emerging from the River Wear


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A light artwork featuring the projection of a whale emerging from the River Wear

Lumiere in Durham is held every two years in November and the majority of it is free. The famous city landmarks such as the castle and cathedral are lit with lasers. Each event is different but highlights in previous years have been a giant snow globe in the city centre and a whale emerging from the River Wear (pictured). The November 2021 festival is already in the planning.

lumiere-festival.com

Gerard

Light and luck, Thailand



a group of people sitting at a table with glasses of beer: flying candle during Loy krathong festival in chiang mai , Thailand


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flying candle during Loy krathong festival in chiang mai , Thailand

In November 2018 I was in Thailand and celebrated Loy Krathong in Bangtao, Phuket. Loy Krathong celebrates light and offerings are made to bring good luck. We brought our krathongs (decorated offerings made of leaves, flowers and a candle) from the village shop for 50 baht (just over £1) and floated them out across the lagoon. They had local community performances, food stalls, and fun games organised by local hotels with prizes. I would recommend celebrating locally rather then at a hotel purely for the community spirit.

20 November 2021, theculturetrip.com

Dip Patel

Magic water, Peru



Lazser and light show on Fantasy Fountain at the Magic Water Circuit


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Lazser and light show on Fantasy Fountain at the Magic Water Circuit

For just four soles (85p) you get access to 13 illuminated fountains at Lima’s Circuito Mágico del Agua or Magic Water Circuit. We paid an additional two soles for a “tractor train” to help us orientate before setting off on foot around the 19-acre Parque de

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10 of the best light festivals worldwide: readers’ travel tips | Travel

Winning tip: Canals by candlelight, Amsterdam

On recent winter trips to Amsterdam, the sight of thousands of shimmering candle flames lighting up the city’s waterways has been really uplifting. The Amsterdam Festival of Lights (places on the light walk €12.50pp, 10-31 December must be booked online) has been dimmed down because of Covid, with just nine installations. . When we were there, the brilliant luminosity of the city centre came to life under bright moons or night skies. The Dutch tradition of showing paintings by masters of art old and new was also a feature, as famous and local artists had displays of their work out in the open.
Nick

See Naples light up

Fireworks at sea during Piedigrotta festival, Naples



Photograph: De Agostini Picture Librar

The September luminary festival of Piedigrotta was held in a much-reduced form this year, but normally celebrations of the miraculous vision of Mary at the seafront church climax with fantastic fireworks over the Bay Of Naples. To see the lights of houses twinkling on the hills while taking part in an illuminated procession next to the lapping waves, the magnificent, menacing Vesuvius in the background – or simply promenading, gelato in hand, behind candle-carrying strollers – is an operatic experience worth a life’s travel memories. Fingers crossed for 2021.
Nigel Cox

Guardian Travel readers’ tips

Every week we ask our readers for recommendations from their travels. A selection of tips will be featured online and may appear in print. To enter the latest competition visit the readers’ tips homepage

Northern lights, Durham

A light artwork featuring the projection of a whale emerging from the River Wear



Photograph: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Lumiere in Durham is held every two years in November and the majority of it is free. The famous city landmarks such as the castle and cathedral are lit with lasers. Each event is different but highlights in previous years have been a giant snow globe in the city centre and a whale emerging from the River Wear (pictured). The November 2021 festival is already in the planning.
lumiere-festival.com
Gerard

Light and luck, Thailand

flying candle during Loy krathong festival in chiang mai , Thailand



Photograph: Michel Arnault/Alamy

In November 2018 I was in Thailand and celebrated Loy Krathong in Bangtao, Phuket. Loy Krathong celebrates light and offerings are made to bring good luck. We brought our krathongs (decorated offerings made of leaves, flowers and a candle) from the village shop for 50 baht (just over £1) and floated them out across the lagoon. They had local community performances, food stalls, and fun games organised by local hotels with prizes. I would recommend celebrating locally rather then at a hotel purely for the community spirit.
20 November 2021, theculturetrip.com
Dip Patel

Magic water, Peru

Lazser and light show on Fantasy Fountain at the Magic Water Circuit



Photograph: David Wall/Alamy

For just four soles (85p) you get access to 13 illuminated fountains at Lima’s Circuito Mágico del Agua or Magic Water Circuit. We paid an additional two soles for a “tractor train” to help us orientate before setting off on foot around the 19-acre Parque de la Reseva. The fountains are choreographed to colourful lights and music, with a spectacular laser show. Some are interactive with surprises

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10 hidden gems of local UK architecture: readers’ travel tips



Photograph: Colin Underhill/Alamy


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Photograph: Colin Underhill/Alamy

Winning tip: Brewing splendour, Staffordshire



Drink it in … Bass brewery water tower seen from Andresey Bridge, Burton-upon-Trent.


© Photograph: Colin Underhill/Alamy
Drink it in … Bass brewery water tower seen from Andresey Bridge, Burton-upon-Trent.

Bass Water Tower next to the Wash Lands in Burton upon Trent is a fine example of Victorian brewery architecture and an engineering feat in brickwork. Grade II-listed, it is an emblem of the town’s 19th-century heyday as the brewery centre of the world. Majestically rising above the skyline, it can clearly be seen when crossing over the old Trent Bridge. It is one of the few remaining iconic brewery buildings, and can be visited (though not this month) by arrangement with the National Brewery Museum.

Haydn Vernon

Pumping iron, Cambridgeshire



a small house in a body of water: Steam driven pumping station on the Great Ouse


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Steam driven pumping station on the Great Ouse

Stretham Old Engine, on the Great Ouse River near Ely, is an enduring reminder of both the feats of 19th-century engineering and the nature of its locality. The steam-powered drainage engine pumped water from the ever-shrinking fen up into the river. This method replaced windmill-driven engines and was later usurped by electric pumps. The building is still a striking part of its surroundings, identifiable from a distance by its tall chimney and constructed from pale yellow Cambridgeshire gault brick. It is best appreciated when approached on foot on one of the riverside footpaths – or maybe by boat.

£4/£1, normally open Sundays and bank holidays April-Oct, strethamoldengine.org.uk

Sharon Pinner

Soot-stained history, Isle of Lewis

Traditional “blackhouses” dot the Outer Hebrides. The best collection is at Gearrannan on Lewis. The last permanent residents moved out in 1973, after which the village was converted into a museum which includes a house recreated as it would have looked in 1953. Blackhouses were so named because their walls were stained black with soot. Smoke escaped through the roof as the houses didn’t have chimneys. The houses’ double drystone walls, low profile and insulating thatch made them well suited to the Hebridean climate. Roofs are weighted with tethered stones. In normal times you can stay in the village – in modernised properties.

Paul Kirkwood

Home to roost, Fife



a building with a green field: White Century Priory Dovecot near Crail Harbour,


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White Century Priory Dovecot near Crail Harbour,

At first sight, this rendered sandstone tower could perhaps be mistaken for an ancient windmill. However, the Doocot of Crail (1550) on the East Neuk of Fife coast, is no such thing. Stepping inside, as if into Narnia, we were amazed to find about 700 pigeon nesting holes in the walls. Particularly impressive is the unusual revolving central ladder called a potence (French for gallows). You first peer down through the floor grating, and your eyes are then drawn upwards to where openings once allowed pigeons in to nest, getting fat and laying eggs for their owners, while the wild raptors were kept out.

scotlandsplaces.gov.uk

Ruth Clay

Glorious Georgian barn, Cumbria

I wonder how many people actually stop to admire this well-maintained, traditional Cumbrian barn as they walk along

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My favourite tree: readers’ travel tips



a herd of sheep walking across a dry grass field: Photograph: George Robertson/Alamy


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Photograph: George Robertson/Alamy

Winning tip: Isolated ash, North Yorkshire



a group of clouds in the sky: Lone star ... ash tree on the limestone pavement above Malham in the Yorkshire Dales.


© Photograph: George Robertson/Alamy
Lone star … ash tree on the limestone pavement above Malham in the Yorkshire Dales.

On the limestone pavement above Malham Cove stands a solitary ash tree. The deeply etched grooves of the weathered limestone draw your eye towards this isolated figure. In summer, butterflies and skylarks fly around its limbs, while ferns and flowers sprout from the pavement crevices where gnarled roots anchor. Less-bountiful seasons are identified by the colour, presence or absence of ash leaves. The tree becomes a perpetual reminder of time passing in this grey-washed landscape. I find comfort in the presence of this emblem of survival.

Debbie Rolls

Eight in one, Surrey

The King’s Oak on Ashtead Common is thriving. Eight thick trunks grow out of the original one, creating a cauldron in the middle. Centuries ago, commoners had rights to cut trees for wood. Learning that oak shoots are the best dessert that can be offered deer, trunks were cut high enough that new shoots would be out of bounds. This created the foundation for this magnificent tree. Viewing it gives you a link to history: many veteran oaks on the Common have grown there since Magna Carta was signed, some miles north-west. It’s impossible not to admire it.

Åsa Melander

Broomstick beech, Surrey

A favourite tree of many, and mine too, is the Witch’s Broom Tree, a huge beech on Abinger Roughs, which is owned and managed by the National Trust. I used to work for the National Trust and for a time I was the manager of Abinger Roughs. I remember speaking to a local resident who had played in the branches of this tree as a child: she said in those days it was full of bees’ nests. This tree has a spirit – children adore it, mms and dads can climb up into its canopy and venture along its branches. I added a steel cradle to support one of the branches, which continues to grow horizontally for metres. The tree has a very unusual shape: it could be 250-300 years old, and makes a magical tree for picknicking under.

Rob Hewer

Sentinel of Sycamore Gap, Northumberland

The border has moved, but I have not.

A wall once stood here, to keep out the Scots.

A lone sentry I am, just one of a kind.

Empires built walls, to that I decree.

For at Sycamore Gap, I am the tree.

Tim S

Yew with a view, Monmouthshire



a large tree in a forest: The Devil s Pulpit yew tree with its roots in a rocky outcrop


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The Devil s Pulpit yew tree with its roots in a rocky outcrop

My tree is next to the Devil’s Pulpit, a viewpoint overlooking Tintern Abbey. It’s a yew growing around rock formations, which has created a magical fantasy novel appearance – it looks as though JRR Tolkien himself created it! It’s special to me as I was first “introduced” to the tree on a post-lockdown walk with a dear friend.

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Best winter adventures in the UK: readers’ travel tips



a rocky beach next to the water: Photograph: Alamy


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Photograph: Alamy

Winning tip: White sands and surf, Iona



water next to the rock: Bay leave … the beach of Port Ban on the west coast of Iona.


© Photograph: Alamy
Bay leave … the beach of Port Ban on the west coast of Iona.

Head to Scotland’s beautiful twin islands of Mull and Iona in winter and you will have beaches and caves to yourselves. Take a warm tent, a decent wetsuit and warm clothes for exploring the cliff paths, pristine white sand beaches and sparkling turquoise waters. Port Ban beach is sheltered and if the sun comes out you are in heaven – you could be in the Caribbean here if the temperature were 20 degrees higher. The surf is good at Ardanalish beach if you are into that – or just walk and enjoy fresh air and open views to the wild Atlantic.

Bill

Cold water boost, Cornwall



a man standing on top of a sandy beach next to the ocean: Woman in sea, Falmouth, Cornwall, England


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Woman in sea, Falmouth, Cornwall, England

I swim year-round in Cornwall, and in all sorts of places: tidal pools, rivers, quarries and beaches. I take short dips without a wetsuit, but use one for long-distance swims – along with two swimming caps and thermal undergarments! Find tips on wildswimmingcornwall.co.uk. It was set up to promote the mental health and community benefits of wild swimming in the UK and encourage people to get closer to nature, and also raises money for Mind UK, using the #selfcareswims hashtag.

Lydia Paleschi

King of the hill, Cheltenham



a close up of a hillside: A view of Cheltenham Spa from the Cotswolds.


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A view of Cheltenham Spa from the Cotswolds.

My favourite wintry walk is up Timbercombe Hill in Charlton Kings in Cheltenham. You get beautiful views of the town, houses, cars and people scattered below like an upturned toy box, upright sparse trees and raggedy bushes marking the way up the hill. Standing at the top you feel like the king of the world. A hotty choc in hand is my sweet reward.

Lisa

English skiing, Lake District

My top tip for a UK winter trip has to be the Lake District Ski Club next to Helvellyn. Boasting a 360-metre button-tow and up to nine ungroomed runs (depending on conditions), this is an amazing place to ski, snowboard or just visit! Access is a little challenging as it’s an hour’s walk from the mines at Glenridding, but this hidden gem is well worth putting in the effort for. The Club members are lovely, welcoming folk, and there’s even a heated ski lodge to have a rest and a brew in. The snow conditions are obviously very variable, but on a good day this is a unique experience for intermediate-to-advanced skiers and snowboarders.

Rich

Woodland wonderland, North Yorkshire

Gallery: The world’s most amazing underwater hotel rooms (Love Exploring)



a man riding skis down a snow covered slope: woman and dog in snow, Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire


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woman and dog in snow, Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire

For a wonderful winter adventure for all the family, go exploring in the North Yorkshire’s beautiful Dalby Forest. From active stuff like mountain biking, Segway riding and ziplining to gentle strolling, there is something there for everyone.

Andrea Smith

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