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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
5th June 1883: The first Orient Express
This famous long-distance sleeper passenger train was created by the French company Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL).
The first train began at Paris Gare de L'Est and called at Strasbourg, Munich, Vienna and Budapest and Bucharest, before terminating at Guirgiu in Romania. A ferry then took passengers across the Danube to Ruse in Bulgaria, where another train went on to Varna, and finally a ferry went from there to Constantinople (Istanbul).
In 1889 the first train that went all to Constantinople departed. The service was suspended during the First World War. In 1919 the Simplon Tunnel from Switzerland to Italy was opened, which allowed the introduction an alternative train, the Simplon Orient Express, which called at Lausanne, Milan, Venice, Belgrade, Sofia and Istanbul.
1930 was the zenith year in popularity for the Orient Express, when a third route was added, the Arlberg Orient Express, which had a connecting train from London to Dover and Calais to Paris and called at Zurich, Innsbruck, Vienna, Budapest, Bucharest and Athens. The route was later shortened by calling at Belgrade rather than Bucharest.
The golden age of the Orient Express ended in 1939 with the outbreak of the Second World War. After the war, the Orient Express was resumed, but a long period of decline began. The presence of the "Iron Curtain", border closures and restrictive regulation in Eastern Bloc countries, including insistence on the use of their own carriages, disrupted the continuity of the train. Furthermore, the service was undermined by the rise of air travel.
By 1962, only one service remained, the Direct Orient Express, which ran twice-weekly alternative routes to Istanbul or Athens, and a daily service to Belgrade. This service ended in 1977, and was the last time a train ran all the way to Istanbul, but a replacement service calling at Strasbourg, Munich, Budapest and Bucharest began. In 2001, this was scaled down to a daily service from Paris to Vienna.
In 2007 the Orient Express effectively ended, but the name was used for a train that ran between Vienna and Strasbourg as an extension of the TGV route from Paris to Strasbourg. Even this route ceased in 2009.
However, rail services run by numerous private companies carry on using the name as seasonal holiday/leisure services. The most successful of these is the Venice Simplon Orient Express, that has been in service since 1982. It now runs from London to Venice as a seasonal luxury private train, owned by the company Belmond. Since 2009 the company runs a single annual train that runs Paris - Istanbul in August, and Istanbul - Paris in September. Numerous other routes all centred on Venice have been introduced using the Orient Express name. The company runs another train bearing the name in South East Asia.
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
The Milk Run
Twitter Followers = 2,252 (up 1)
Never-followed unfollowers eliminated = 3
@AmazonCrazDeals +2 deactivated followers
Followed unfollowers eliminated = 0
New Followers followed back = 3@CynthiaLIVE, @PaulWagorn, @viral_avenger
Spammers not followed back = 1
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
My mind is very hard work to manage! This is a good thing because if it was easy to manage, I'd have nothing to say with any credibility to clients who are struggling with theirs. The techniques I use to manage my mind are tried-and-tested personally by me and in most cases will work for them.
Nevertheless, having such a mind is NOT my preference! I would much rather have a mind that didn't wander into all manner of dark places, ceases to function rationally when blood glucose drops, seethes with resentment, copes poorly with being pulled off a task, has continual "daymares" of hate and revenge, bears grudges for life and gets thrown off balance for days, weeks or months by a perceived slight.
I'd love to blame my parents for all this, but as profoundly disappointing as they were as parents, there is without doubt something inherent in the family as a whole - we've all got it in various forms, which is why from one generation to the next the Blonder family continually tears itself apart. The males by the way all end up with loopy women, and the female offspring are all themselves inherently loopy - vindictive, bitter and self-absorbed.
Learning how to manage all this has catapulted my awareness into the stratosphere of superconsciousness, insight and enlightenment, but to be honest I'd rather be laid-back, easy-going and naive. Of course, the disconnect between one's preference and reality is the source of resentment.
The key discipline of disciplines is ACCEPTANCE - moving with Physics than generating internal conflict. For me, reducing internal thought to a minimum and living intuitively is also crucial to prevent the unhealthy self-destructive default responses kicking in.
In a classic case in point, a single incident with a drunk at the Weekend Job had disturbed my equilibrium all week, though I didn't want to discuss it with anyone. The return to the smooth experience it normally is these days was important in restoring balance, but I'm left with another permanent scar whilst the perpetrators have often long-forgotten the incident.
But this is how it is - and guilt-free acceptance, going with the flow of it, is crucial to my mental wellbeing and to teach, heal and inspire others of fragile/damaged mental health.
With my composure so fragile, the discipline of grounding - focus on the difference you're making in this moment, is crucial to regaining composure once lost.
In conclusion, as a therapist I can proudly testify that I practice what I preach, because if I did.'t, I'd go nuts!
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
Are you accepting of yourself as you are and going with it?
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
Warm and sunny
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
I want to be rich enough to purchase furniture already assembled! :D
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
Stewart Lee on Graham Norton and James Corden
Gerald Ford was the first person to be both vice president and president without being elected by the people. He was appointed vice president when Spiro Agnew resigned and he succeeded to the presidency when Nixon resigned.
9. ZEN WISDOM
To nurture talent requires sincerity and a genuine concern for others.