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Twelve days of safety

On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me A partridge in a pear tree. A few years ago a mature pear tree was felled by a local authority over health and safety fears that it attracted wasps. The HSE called the felling an “over-reaction” and blaming health and safety for it as “unfounded and misleading”. More at http://www.hse.gov.uk/myth/myth-busting/2013/case150-pear-tree.htm

On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree.

Keeping doves - or pigeons - as some people do can cause problems. Breathing dust or water droplets containing bird droppings can lead to several diseases including Psittacosis, a rare infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia psittaci. It is mainly associated with parrots and other similar species but does affect other birds, including pigeons. Symptoms are commonly a flu-like illness and pneumonia usually appearing 5-19 days after exposure.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree. If you are organising a hen party or weekend this coming year, we hope you enjoy yourself. But strange cities and lots of alcohol could cause safety concerns. This website gives some useful advice: http://www.stagandhendoideas.com/essential-advice-hen-party-safety/

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree. Given my name is Kevin, I couldn’t resist sharing an Australian Gumtree advert where someone is selling a pair of birds that call out “Kevin”. https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/arcadia-vale/birds/calling-all-kevins-male-talks-breeding-pair-ringnecks-and-aviary/1202428334

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree. If you travel to Paris, be aware of fraudsters. There is a scam that is very fashionable, but not very well known: the false gold ring. Someone drops a "gold" ring in front of you and says "Is it yours? Did you drop it?" The individual points out the hallmark and therefore the presumed value of the ring, which they of course noticed before you did. They talk up a clever story, claiming that the ring is too big for their finger, or that their religion bans them from wearing jewellery and so they want to give it you in exchange for money. However, this ring is a fake, and is usually made of copper with counterfeit hallmarks. It will rust in a few days and then turn green. How should you react? Don't take any interest in the ring. Go on your way and don't hold it in your hands. Above all, don't hand over any money. If you are the victim of or witness this scam, notify the police.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Six geese a-laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree. Geese will often protect their territory, young and nests where they have been “a laying”. They are known to chase or attack humans who disturb their territory. While geese may chase people, an actual physical attack is fairly rare. You can stop a goose's aggression by respectfully leaving its territory. Back away slowly, while remaining calm. Do not do anything that may escalate the situation, like yelling. In the event you are injured, seek medical attention to assess your injuries.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree. Swimming safely always reminds me of a sign on holiday in Turkey a few years back, where something got lost in translation:

  • Our hotel is not responsible for your valuable stuff lost on the beach