Eggardon Hillfort in the snow
Dramatic view over the West Dorset countryside near Bridport after our first decent snowfall for 10-15 years. Eggardon Hillfort is a pre-historic (stone-age) settlement similar to Maiden Castle.
This is taken from inside the Abbot's Porch in the grounds of the Guest House which is all that remai...
This well originally associated with a vision that St Edwold had, was later changed to St Augustine b...
Witches Butter or Orange Jelly Fungus is growing on the gnarled and twisted bark of an old Weeping Wi...
The prickly bushes with the bright yellow flowers are gorse. There's an old country saying that when ...
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.
The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.
Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".
Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.
Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights.
In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states.
Text by Steve Smith.