What it’s like in The Maldives

Posted in SharonSpeak, Travel on May 27th, 2010 by Sharon Feinstein

The Maldives is surreal. Extinct volcanoes in the sea on which coral reefs have grown, and on top of that a smattering of beach sand. Nothing more, just tiny pods in the ocean surrounded by vibrant reefs. In a storm you can’t help but wonder if you’ll all be blown away and land up in the dark watery depths. The best thing about being there is looking down into the ocean, seeing that dark midnight blue drop where it just keeps going down and there are floating fish for as far as you can see. Never thought I’d get blase about swimming with sharks and even being circled by two of them at one stage, 2 metre black tipped, and an even bigger nurse shark. Fell in love with a very busy Hawksbill turtle picking out the anenomes from the coral with her little sharp beak, and another day there was a pod of around 200 spinner dolphins surrounding our boat. And then the stingrays, shoals of kaleidoscopic fish, and out there at night the glowing, dancing plankton under a canopy of bright stars. The food is another big draw there, all imported but done up to the nines so that you just want to consume it all, the beautifully presented dishes that keep coming and taste of the sea. Loved both Baros and Huvafen Fushi and can still hear those little waves lapping under our water villa as I go to sleep, after 3 days back in London. Of course now interspersed with police sirens and chugging black taxis. On the island resorts no cars, no bicycles, just your legs and flippers for transport. Guess which one I prefer!

I just knew it, Obama administration and not just BP to blame for oil spill, and must halt all offshore drilling now

Posted in SharonSpeak on May 27th, 2010 by Sharon Feinstein

Come out from under your halo, Obama, and admit that the public should be looking at you and not just BP to blame for the horrendous oil spill wiping out marine life, coastal areas, and ruining the livelihoods of whole communities. There were glaring warning signs, readings that gas was bubbling into the wells, suggesting an impending blowout, and indications of a faulty seal. Why wasn’t this idealistic full-of-promise President and his administration in the know about this? Why were they taking such a back seat that this catastrophic disaster could unfold ? Now Obama must absolutely deny Shell their final permits, issued under George Bush, to drill in the Arctic Ocean. We must preserve what is left of our dying planet and put nature and other creatures before human greed and profit. There are enormous environmental dangers in drilling in the Arctic. Shell insists it is equipped to respond to any emergency, how can anyone hear that without spluttering into their coffee. No more lies, and no more hiding in the shadows for the President who says No one is more upset than he is about the oil tragedy. But the rest of us weren’t responsible for reversing the 20-year ban on offshore drilling off Florida’s Gulf coast. Citing the need to reduce American dependence on foreign oil, it was President Obama who opened the door for oil companies who have been clamouring for access to the submerged liquid gold for decades. He is the one who has allowed this to happen and it’s no good heaping all the blame on BP. The buck stops with him. Nobel Peace prize, what a laugh.

We’ve had our election but its Dimbleby that kept me going

Posted in SharonSpeak on May 7th, 2010 by Sharon Feinstein

We’ve had our election but cor blimey what’s the result? As I write no one really knows and the scenarios are numerous and varied, as the pound plummets and a grey cloud hangs over Britain. But I must say that after a bleary night watching the returning officers read out their results, my real enjoyment came from that solid, veteran broadcaster David Dimbleby. I interviewed him years ago and slightly fell in love way back then, but felt it rekindle last night with his dry wit, sharp brain and incredible screen juggling skills. Our David may be 71 but he managed to anchor the BBC’s election coverage for 18 hours, long after I’d collapsed in a heap and struggled up to bed. And there he is still looking fresh and fragrant today, a full 18 hours later, quite an extraordinary feat for a man who doesn’t snort coke, take speed or gobble slabs of chocolate.
Dimbleby has been a lynch pin in the BBC’s election team and frankly he’s the best thing about it.
I just love him, not to mention his vast array of colourful ties

ad- Doesn’t Obama look shabby now, and who cares whether BP pays

Posted in SharonSpeak on May 4th, 2010 by Sharon Feinstein

Just an add to the last blog about the tragedy of the fast moving black sludge currently washing up dead turtles in Louisiana. It was only last month that arguably the most powerful man in the world, President Obama, proudly claimed that oil rigs are safe. This was, of course, in order to justify his position on offshore drilling.
The smooth talking, visionary President, speech maker of our times, said in that all confident voice we have come to recognise and depend on -I don’t agree with the notion that we shouldn’t do anything. It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills. They are technologically very advanced. Even during Katrina, the spills didn’t come from the oil rigs, they came from the refineries onshore.
So can we trust this man any further. His words will live to haunt him as death is washed up on his country’s beaches and the consequences of his policy reverberate for years to come. Let’s hope his current drive to dismantle the world’s nuclear weapons doesnt bite back as well, with even bleaker consequences.

Obama is a big disappointment and who cares whether BP pays or not

Posted in SharonSpeak on May 3rd, 2010 by Sharon Feinstein

Let’s not forget that drilling off the US coast is down to the all promising President Obama in the first place, the man who has just reversed the ban on oil drilling off most U.S. shores. Only last month he proudly announced an expansive new policy that could put new oil and natural gas platforms in waters along the southern Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and part of Alaska.
Now we know that BP didn’t meet the full safety checks and why did the Government not enforce absolute safety before allowing this massive project. Frankly who cares if BP are forced to pay in view of the fact that there are 400 species at risk from the mammoth oil spill, including dozens of rare birds, mammals and of course people. Louisiana’s seafood industry will be crippled and thousands of fishermen are on course to lose their livelihoods. Still belching 200,000 gallons of oil a day into the ocean, the black slick could reach Florida’s Atlantic beaches by Wednesday and then end up in the magnificent Keys. Does Obama think that by standing out in the pouring rain in Venice, trying to look like a latter day hero and directing US anger towards BP, he is exonerated, and we have somehow forgotten his role in all this. He is a massive disappointment, this man who promised to change the world and hail the dawn of a new era. I was never taken in by him and think Americans are rapidly losing faith too. Sadly the wildlife never got to vote and BP’s funds can’t help them now. We will not learn until nature forces it upon us and who knows what Doomsday scenarios that will bring.