Across the backyards


Is there something you don't understand?
I expect there is.
There's nothing here for me, either
(least of all in these thudding heres and theres).

Unread books look good -
secondhand bargains, online deals.
I've been sorely tempted.

And then, outside the window,
angry magpies,
or, at risk of labouring the point,
a family, a story,
her nearly opaque features
at another address.

Rain falls,
determinedly indifferent.

Or determinedly different,
if that's the way you fancy it.

Tom Phillips 2012

Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market

Christmas in Birmingham just wouldn't be the same without the hugely popular Frankfurt Christmas Market, this year enjoying its 10th anniversary. It's become a huge favourite with both residents and visitors to the city from all over the UK and Europe. Combined with the city’s own Christmas Craft Fair of local traders, it offers a total of over 180 stalls to browse and enjoy. So if you haven't visited yet, you only have until 22nd December!
The following paper is now available as open access

Kelman, I. and R. Dodds. 2009. "Developing a Code of Ethics for Disaster Tourism". International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters,
vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 272-296.

This paper provides a first discussion of the advantages and concerns of disaster tourism along with an initial step towards a code of ethics. Based on existing disaster and tourism codes, four guidelines are suggested and critiqued:
1. Priority in disasters should be given to the safety of disaster-affected people and responders, encompassing rescue and body recovery operations.
2. One individual should not put another individual at increased risk without consent.
3. The authorities in a disaster-affected area and their rules and regulations should be obeyed within reason. 4. Any donations or assistance offered to disaster-affected areas should be considered within the local context and should also involve nearby but non-disaster-affected communities.

Targets, training, monitoring, enforcement, and evaluation for the code are also discussed along with the need for consultative processes for further developing and implementing the code. Three main areas of disaster tourism research are proposed for further work: disaster recovery, convergence behaviour, and supporting disaster risk reduction rather than post-disaster actions.

TripAdvisor App Helps Businesses Boost Marketing Potential

“The TripAdvisor App for Facebook helps businesses showcase their reviews and accolades in front of Facebook’s massive community of one billion monthly active users”
Christine Petersen, president
TripAdvisor has announced a new app that gives hospitality business owners a quick and easy way to enhance their Facebook Pages with reviews, awards and other TripAdvisor content. The new app is designed to help businesses attract more guests with traveller feedback.

To install the TripAdvisor app, hotel, restaurant and attraction owners need to visit the TripAdvisor Widget Centre. Read more on this article here.

Search is On for Top Teen Chef

Teens, do you think you have what it takes to become Richmond’s next Top Teen Chef?  Test your skills in a program sponsored by the Richmond Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities on Saturday, December 15, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at T. B. Smith Community Center, located at 2015 Ruffin Road.

   The program will focus on healthy foods, and teens will be encouraged to share their knowledge of

13th December 2012 - One-Billionth Tourist!

Who will be the One-Billionth
tourist tomorrow?

Country by, in association with ABTA, have created a free online destination guide for the travel industry. This user-friendly resource offers useful travel information specific to each destination, including maps, advice, tips and facts. Destination articles, travel highlights, editors' picks, city guides and more will also be added to the website soon.

Open House set at Arts and Community Center

The department will hold an open house at its Pine Camp Arts and Community Center on Thursday, December 20, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

     The public is invited to tour the facility, located at 4901 Old Brook Road, and enjoy a holiday concert by the Richmond Boys Choir in the Pine Camp Theater. This holiday concert will be followed by a performance from the City Dance Theater, the department’s

First Tee of Richmond to Close for Holidays

The First Tee of Richmond, located at 400 West School Street, will be closed for an extended period over the upcoming holidays for a thorough cleaning of the facility and inventory maintenance. The facility, which is normally open seven days a week, will be closed from December 24 through January 11.

     First Tee of Richmond is a year-round golf practice facility that includes a driving

Guest Speaker - All Welcome!

Take off in Travel

"Travel is a unique industry for the simple reason that its products are the creation of people's dreams."
R. Branson, foreword  -'Take off in Travel' 

ABTA, in partnership with others in the industry, has launched a magazine which showcases the different types of companies and jobs available in travel. A digital version of the magazine can be viewed here. It’s a great resource for those wanting to find out how to get into the travel industry and read inspirational stories from people working in travel.

There is also a page dedicated to training from ABTA and other partners; a range of links to online training can be found here.

You can also follow ABTA on Twitter on @ABTATravel or on Facebook.

Department to Host Free Holiday Events

The department will host the following family friendly events for the enjoyment and entertainment of Richmond residents and visitors this holiday season.

     For the adults, the department will hold a free holiday concert featuring Bak N Da Day on Tuesday, December 18, from 6:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Randolph Community Center, 1415 Grayland Avenue.

     Bak N Da Day is a popular local

Olson reading from 'Maximus'

Anyone who uses the word 'geography' in the opening line is fine by me ... and, then again, this also makes you wonder what you have to do to get a voice like this (other than smoking too many fags).

Free Holiday Performance Set for December 9 at Landmark

The department will present its annual holiday gift to the city, its free production of “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” at 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 9, at the Landmark Theater. 

     The one-act family musical composed by Gian Carlo Minotti was commissioned by NBC and broadcast live for the premiere of Hallmark Hall of Fame on Dec. 24, 1951. A heart-warming holiday classic that will charm both

Let Richmond's Children Start Your Holiday Season

Catch the holiday spirit with Carols at Noon in the lobby of City Hall beginning Wednesday, December 5. The program, brought to you by Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities in conjunction with Richmond Public Schools, features free lunchtime performances by Richmond school children’s choirs and musical ensembles. The schedule is as follows:

Wednesday December 5th - Henderson Middle School