COVID-19: An Elaborate Plan To Shut Up Greta Thunberg…?

As the madness of the panic-demic of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 to the uninitiated) ebbs away – albeit far too slowly for my liking – and countries around the world (hurrying to bury the millions of bodies that were supposed to die from this new ‘plague’ but didn’t!) ease their lockdown strategies, one question has to be asked…

Cabbage Patch Thunberg
Greta Thunberg

Was this just an elaborate plan to shut up the ‘Cabbage Patch Doll Environmentalist’?

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Cabbage Patch Doll

I mean, even though global governments united to back her crazy ‘school strike’ plan by shutting all the schools and making children stay at home for months, we haven’t heard much from her during this lockdown, and governments (or the media propaganda machine!) haven’t really said much about ‘Climate Change’ – or anything else for that matter – which could actually influence the lives of BILLIONS of people on this planet, not just a handful.

As national economies crash around our ears – and let’s face it, that’s really all most people really care about – and we see governments open up their ‘tax-payer-backed’ cheque books and write blanks cheques for this panic-demic bail-out fiasco, another question has to be asked…

“Why couldn’t they spend TRILLIONS of dollars saving the planet and

SAVE billions of lives?”

I leave the discussion and possible answers up to you… I just think Greta does have a striking resemblance to a Cabbage Patch doll. You be the judge and jury: Continued COVID-19 Madness, dwindling human rights, and an on-going global recession, OR Cabbage Patch Environmentalism? Either way, it doesn’t really matter now, as global governments have spent all your money (IF you actually pay taxes – Amazon, a-hem!)  and don’t have anything left to save endangered animal species, the planet, only their careers, it would seem!

 

Thank You NHS Song…

Inspired by the #clapforourcarers event tonight, I was struck with the idea of a song to say thank you. As many of you know (although I’m definitely NOT a musician) I have written lyrics in the past and a whole bunch of poetry. It’s a pretty big challenge, but perhaps there are some people out there that would be interested in cyber-collaborating on putting this to music…?

 

THANK YOU NHS SONG

by Anthony James Donnelly

 

To all the nurses and doctors putting their lives on the line,

Tirelessly working to beat this virus in time,

We want to thank all of the people at our NHS,

Though in isolation, we think you’re the best!

 

These are critical times and we must all play our parts,

We want to thank you sincerely from the bottom of our hearts.

Day after day you turn up for work – uncomplaining

To save the dear lives of all us that’s remaining

 

Thank you NHS! Thank you NHS!

You do us proud, you help the sick.

Thank you NHS!

 

We’ll fight this together, we’ll work as a team,

What lies in the future remains to be seen.

But one thing’s for certain, of one thing we’re sure,

We’ll beat this together, and we’ll find a cure.

 

Thank you NHS! Thank you NHS!

You do us proud, you help the sick.

Thank you NHS!

 

THANKS FOR LEAVING THE SEAT DOWN

A little poem for all the women out there in Cyberland…
 

THANKS FOR LEAVING THE SEAT DOWN

 
I love the little things you do,
Like leaving the seat down on the loo,
And not just after you have a poo,
I wish other men were as thoughtful as you,
It really isn’t that hard to do.
 
(A.J. Donnelly)

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Anthony Donnelly is a British author, actor, and life coach, more recently known for his charity, children’s book series, “Charlie, the Migrating Snail”, which is available to buy on Amazon by clicking the book cover to the right.

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, Pattaya, Thailand

If you are visiting Thailand and looking for a reputable elephant experience, I can whole-heartedly recommend the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary just outside Pattaya (or any of their three other locations for that matter!) I promise you it will be something that will stay with you forever.

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If you’re in a rush, click on the image above to go to their website

Just before Christmas last year, I had the good fortune to visit an old friend in Thailand for the first time. One of the items on my ‘Must Do‘ list was to spend time with some elephants, as I’ve loved them since I was a kid – I mean, who doesn’t love elephants? A quick online search showed there were three choices in the Pattaya area, but which were ethical and not just tourist traps that exploited the creatures? It didn’t take long to discover the only one that didn’t mistreat the elephants was the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. The other two sites chained their elephants, let people ride them – which is a totally no-no as it’s not good for them – and their were even reports of the elephants at other sites being beaten in view of the visitors!!!

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary – My Experience in Words and Pictures

A picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll try and balance the two, and hopefully not bore you with either too many words or too many pictures, but I wish to capture my wonderful experience as best I can, not only for your benefit, but also in the hope that it will shed more light and support on this wonderful organisation and their great work

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The sanctuary offers a number of experiences dependent upon the amount of time you have and your budget, from a quick visit to see and pet them all the way up to a whole day trekking with them. I opted for something in the middle, which could either be a morning or afternoon experience. The price for this was 2500 Thai Baht, which worked out to be about sixty quid. Now, before you go screaming to the hills about the price, first remember the Baht is at an all-time high, but hear what you get for your money. This price included return transportation from my hotel (which would have cost at least 1000 Baht!) and a superb meal (which would have cost upwards of 500 Baht!) And that’s before I’ve told you what you get for the rest of your money (1000 Baht) which if you don’t think is terrific value for money, you probably can’t afford to travel to Thailand anyway, and should really think about buying a good book and a stay-cation instead!

What You Get For 1000 Baht

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I opted for the afternoon experience which began with the taxi picking me up from my hotel at 12.30. We stopped twice along the way to pick up two other elephant-lovers, and half an hour later we were out of the noisy city and in the countryside, bouncing up a dirt road towards the sanctuary. There was already a group of other eager elephant-lovers milling around the facility and interacting with the animals, and the guides told us to get to know the elephants while we waited for one more small group to arrive.

The Pattaya location had managed to rescue six elephants (other locations have more, especially the oldest site in Chang Mai to the north of Thailand) which ranged from the youngest, who was only three years old, all the way up to the Grandpa, who was over sixty! No matter what age, elephants are just so amazingly cute. Apart from on telly and in London zoo, I’ve never seen an elephant in the flesh, so to be in such close vicinity to these peaceful, majestic ‘land whales’ is almost beyond words to describe, but I’ll try.

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It’s hard to see, but this lovely lady is almost due to give birth!

The most obvious thing about elephants are their size, but they are anything but scary, as they move very slowly and cautiously – apart from their trunks when there’s food around! They have a very calm, almost meditative aura about them, and my first reaction was to just go up to this ‘mummy-to-be’ elephant and give her a big hug and kiss on the nose. As you would expect, their skin is very thick and tough, and stroking them is like getting an exfoliation! By the time the last group arrived by taxi, I’d said hello to all six elephants, and had learnt a lot from the many guides and handlers that were on site.

Feeding Time!

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Our group was approximately 40 in total, and came from all corners of the world. After a brief introduction given in very good English by one of the guides, outlining the action plan for the afternoon, safety protocol, and the ‘do’s and don’ts’ around elephants, it was time for the first activity: feeding the elephants! There were many, many baskets of food (bananas, cucumbers, and other vegetation) which we could feed the elephants either by holding it out and letting them grab it with their trunks, or – if we were feeling brave – say the word, “Bonn” and they would open their mouths, stick out their tongues, and we could feed them directly!

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Naturally, I chose to feed them directly, and was amazed how easy it was (and how enormous their tongues are!) There was so much food, it was probably about half an hour before all the food had gone, and the whole time was filled will laughter, amazement, and pure child-like bliss for all participants (and even a few strange shrieks from some of the more timid participants who got ‘goosed’ by the odd trunk or two!) As we were feeding the elephants, the wonderful aroma of Thai cooking wafted through the air, as the cooks prepared our meal.

The Elephant Mud Spa!

Having been instructed to change into our swimming gear, next on the agenda was to grab more bananas and lead the elephant troop alone a dusty pathway to their muddy watering hole for a well-earned mud spa! Guess who lead the way…?

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Oh, I forgot to mention, as I add all these wonderful photographs to this post, additionally in the price, there was a photographer on hand snapping merrily away, so you didn’t have to worry about missing anything, and could just focus on fully enjoying the experience! That probably would have cost another 1000 Baht to arrange!

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I don’t know who’s muddier, me or the baby elelphant!

Time to strip off and get muddy! Since I was there during the dry season, their mud hole was particularly dry, but the staff had prepared for that and there were plenty of buckets and wheel barrows full of lovely, sloppy mud for us to play with. Being almost 50, this experience simply knocked the years off me, as I became a big kid again! Looking around at the others, I could tell I wasn’t alone in this experience, especially as the guides actively encouraged us to get muddy ourselves!

Rinse and Scrub Time!

Like any good spa treatment, at some point you have to get clean again, and this is where the REAL fun began…

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Armed with water bowls and scrubbing brushes, we and the elephants plodded to the other side of the path where their ‘swimming pool’ was, and actively began tossing water over the elephants and ourselves, scrubbing them clean. We were all upstaged by baby elephant to immediately lay on his side, completely submerged, with only the end of his trunk sticking out of the water like a snorkel, and began to thrash his legs about with glee!

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If you look VERY closely, you can just see baby elephant in the water in front of me.

Playtime over, it was time to lead the elephants back to camp, and have a proper shower and clean-up before dinner time. All of the facilities were clean, in great working order, and more than you would have expected for such a remote and basic location – trust me, I witnessed far worse facilities in some of the bars and restaurants in Pattaya!

Our Thai buffet was ready and waiting for us with food aplenty! They had even catered for all participants dietary requirements with vegetarian and vegan options, and fruit to finish off with. Between bites of food, the conversation was filled with expressions of how amazing the experience had been and, “Way more than I had expected…” and, “This is such great value for money…!”

And as if that wasn’t enough, they had even more surprises: each of us got a reusable, sustainable shopping bag as a keepsake and reminder of our experience, and there was one final activity before our taxi rides home, but I’ll let you search their website to find out what this one is! The only clue I’ll give you is that it sure surprised me…!

Find Out More About Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

Thank you for reading all the way to the end. I hope I’ve whet your appetite and you’re keen to know more, or have the experience yourself. If that’s the case, or you simply want to help spread the word about their great work, please share this post, use the links below to follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and generally spread the word!

Website: https://elephantjunglesanctuary.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ejspattaya/

Twitter: @ejspattaya

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Anthony Donnelly is a British author, actor, and life coach, more recently known for his charity, children’s book series, “Charlie, the Migrating Snail”, which is available to buy on Amazon by clicking the book cover to the right.

Super-discounted Amazon Price Only £2.43 – Limited Time Offer!!!

For reasons that totally baffle me, Amazon has discounted the paperback copy of my book by over 75% from £9.99 down to only £2.43. I don’t know why they’ve done this and I don’t know how long this special offer will last, but if you’ve not bought a copy of Charlie, The Migrating Snail yet, now is a perfect time to make that purchase!

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Stay tuned for exciting news to come soon about Charlie’s Causes Painting Competition, and follow us on our new Facebook Page.

Dublin Book Launch – Charlie, The Migrating Snail

May 4th sees the official launch of Charlie, The Migrating Snail, but there are lots of exciting things happening in the run-up to the afternoon event.

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Aimee and Grace, the wonderful, young illustrators

Our young illustrators – Aimee and Grace – are getting a lot of attention in the media, and rightly so with their wonderful goal of raising 10,000 Euros for homelessness. They have been in the papers twice now, and made it onto the front cover of the newspaper this time. Well done girls!

Radio Interviews

Aimee’s Mother, Lisa, will be on the local radio (Together FM) this coming Saturday (27th) at 9 a.m. to talk about the project, it’s goals, and to promote the launch event on May 4th. If you click on the Together FM website you can also read a nice article about the girls’ project.

My tickets are booked, and I’m getting very excited to fly out to Dublin for the first time to meet some of my young readers and do a book signing. I will also be interviewed for the first time about my book and the project by Together FM the following Friday (May 3rd) at 10 a.m.

Book Launch

From 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. (with the possibility of it running into overtime!) on May 4th at the Ballyfermot Community Civic Center, there will be lots of exciting things for families to do including refreshments, face painting, a reading of part of the book by me, and a whole host of other things, including a colouring competition!

It’s lovely that this is a community event, as the issue of homelessness is a community challenge. It is only by leveraging the power of the community spirit that we will have a chance at alleviating (and hopefully eradicating) this problem. Everyone is welcome, so spread the word…!

I very much look forward to meeting you all there.

 

Dear Dad – The Letters Home

“I love to write, but I hate to promote myself!”

Can any of you relate to that? We could all probably substitute ‘write’ for whatever we are passionate about. However, promotion is what gets us noticed, and being noticed is what counts these days, right?

Dear Dad coverIn an attempt NOT to be noticed, I thought I’d slip this in very late over the weekend…

It’s a book I’ve been sat on for about 19 years – yes, I have a habit of sitting on things (chairs mostly, as I write for part of my living!) and not sharing my personal feelings – but it got read recently, and well… I got persuaded to share it, finally.

“Don’t read it if you don’t like crying! It WILL make you cry.”

I’ve been told a lot recently, that I must like making people cry. Honestly, I don’t. I write what comes from my heart and my soul. This is a very personal collection of ten letters that I’ve wanted to share for many, many years.

THERE! Now I’ve done it. Happy now?

If you want to read them, either click on the book cover (which I hope you like) or click on this link: Dear Dad – The Letters Home.

 

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my_first_goalsettin_cover_for_kindleAnthony James Donnelly is an author, actor, motivational and business coach, life guide, and entrepreneur. He has spent over 20 years working directly with individuals and corporations to adjust their perspectives on life and business. In his best selling publication, “My First Goal-Setting Book: How To Effectively Set & Achieve Your Life Goals”, he concisely explains how to get whatever you want out of life by following his simple, tried and tested steps.

 

#Magic – The Most Humble Magician Ever?

Delvin CoverHave YOU ever heard of Jack Delvin?

The chances are, even if YOU are a magician, you haven’t ever heard of him!

You’ve heard of the Magic Circle though, right? Ever dreamed of being the President of the Magic Circle? Jack’s had that honour many times over – six times, in fact, if memory serves me right!

He’s also been performing magic (and devising magic tricks) since before many reading this were even born! He’s performed with more publicly known  magicians like Paul Daniels and Ali Bongo, on TV and up and down the UK. So, why have you never heard of him?

Perhaps that’s magic! Or, it might just be that he really IS the most humble magician – EVER! I was fortunate to have first worked with him when I was just a teenager (many, many years ago!) and he is a very close family friend for many decades.

In this book THE REAL SECRETS OF MAGIC he very generously shares his wealth of knowledge, experience, and hundreds of tricks and how to perform them successfully. Those that know Jack will attest that he is one of the unsung greats of the magic world.

“GREAT magicians NEVER die…

…they simply vanish…!”

Don’t take my word for it – I might be tricking you! Just click on the links and have a look at the table of contents… I dare you to find a book on magic that has so much for such a small price tag! If you do, please comment below.

 

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my_first_goalsettin_cover_for_kindleAnthony James Donnelly is an author, motivational and business coach, and life guide. He has spent over 20 years working directly with individuals and corporations to adjust their perspectives on life. In his last book, “My First Goal-Setting Book: How To Effectively Set & Achieve Your Life Goals”, he concisely explains how to get whatever you want out of life. A great accompaniment to “WHY DO i CARE?”

Supporting Tone Def Tony & His Song

In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a striking resemblance between the famous Christmas song crooner, Tone Def Tony, and myself. A little like the similarity between Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus! This is purely coincidental. However, I would like to pledge my support for his contribution to seasonal song-man-ship, and help promote his latest fundraising efforts:

If you can support in any way, even if it’s just like I’m doing here and sharing his project, that would be great! Thank you for supporting starving artists!

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