‘Please keep feeding bread to swans’ experts beg, as birds die after viral campaign says its bad for them – Edinburgh Live

‘Please keep feeding bread to swans’ experts beg, as birds die after viral campaign says its bad for them – Edinburgh Live

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The public have been asked to continue feeding bread to swans, after a viral campaign about the dangers of bread to ducks led to a huge downturn in people feeding wild birds.

The ‘Bin The Bread’ campaign launched by rescue charity Swan Lifeline said that bread was bad for swans, but many experts say that the advice to feed oats and peas instead was not correct.

The campaign also claimed that bread “angel wing”, which is a birth defect and cannot be caused by eating too much bread.

The Queen’s official swan keeper David Barber said there is “no good reason” not to feed the swans bread and that many are underweight as a result of the ban.

Charities have been documenting the heartbreaking effects of the misguided campaign, as they are finding more and more swans who are either severely underweight, or who have starved to death, including in Edinburgh.

Writing on Facebook, wildlife charity Swan Support said:

“Sadly another swan that may have suffered from the “ban the bread” campaign. He was massively underweight, he weighed just 4kg. When our rescuers arrived they were met by a few members of the public who said they were told to stop feeding bread.

“He starved to death. He died in transit. The lake he was on doesn’t have much natural food, they rely on being fed by humans.

“Please if you’ve always fed bread please do not stop, it is better than nothing. We are not posting this for a debate. We are merely stating the facts. “

Mr Barber added: “Swans have been fed bread for many hundreds of years without causing any ill effects.

“While bread may not be the best dietary option for swans compared to their natural food such as river weed, it has become a very important source of energy for them, supplementing their natural diet and helping them to survive the cold winter months when vegetation is very scarce.

“There is no good reason not to feed bread to swans, provided it is not mouldy.

“Most households have surplus bread and children have always enjoyed feeding swans with their parents.”

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Clearing the mattresses for holy matrimony: Downingtown’s young mayor gets hitched in a furniture store

Clearing the mattresses for holy matrimony: Downingtown’s young mayor gets hitched in a furniture store

Try to grasp this one: a wedding reception in a furniture store.

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A version of those very words flashed onto my computer screen Friday morning, requiring that I stare at them, perplexed,  for a good minute or so. No way was this for real, I thought to myself.

Was the 32-year-old mayor of Downingtown, Josh Maxwell, really about to hold his wedding-day bash inside a store packed with high-end recliners, sofas, cocktail tables, and queen beds on the road that connects Philadelphia’s western suburbs to Amish country? The suburban Philly pol in this small town has a lively Twitter account. But surely, his internet wedding page had been hacked on the eve of taking his vows.

DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer

Dane Decor co-owner Drew Hamilton was orchestrating crews as they emptied portions of his Downingtown, Pa., store of furniture on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. This part of the store, occupying the sanctuary of an 18th-century church, will be the dance floor for a wedding reception for the young mayor of his town.

My next step was to do what any human with an otherwise full life would do with that sort of information.

I cold-called the furniture store. Got a lovely saleswoman on the phone.

“Hi,” I said. “I was wondering …  do you guys have an events business over there? Do you book out your showroom for weddings and things?”

“No,” she said, but then I got transferred to co-owner Drew Hamilton, who explained it all in its gloriously quirky coolness.

Crews were clearing furniture off the showroom floor as we spoke — they’d been on site since 7 a.m., paid for by Maxwell and his fiancee. The crews were busy dismantling display beds and hauling them out. They were also dragging dressers out of the church sanctuary; did I know that part of this landmark retailer occupies what used to be a Presbyterian church built in the mid-1800s?

I couldn’t look away.

A story was in order.

And now, here it is.

DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer

Doug Strang of Taylor rental stacks chairs inside a furniture store for the Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, wedding reception for Downingtown, Pa., Mayor Josh Maxwell and Blair Thornburgh at Dane Decor.

Yes, the mayor of Downingtown will be drinking and dancing Saturday night with 200 guests inside a furniture store in his hometown, in a place just two blocks from where his mom still lives. And, if all goes well at the ceremony beforehand at a church in Chestnut Hill, he will do it alongside Blair Thornburgh, 28, the woman I saw him kiss briefly in the mayor’s vintage Volvo before she dashed off toward Philly for the odds and ends that make up the final sprint toward Wedding Day.

You could say a lot about this story or you could say a little. What I will say is this: I got the feeling, after rushing out to meet and talk to everyone, that this is about more than just a cool venue or the big day between a young man and the woman he fell in love with. Having this shebang at Dane Decor, of all places, is also about the bonds between a still-young booster-mayor of this former paper-mill town, and the men who once employed him while he was in grad school. Men who run a family business whose fortunes expanded and, more recently, shrunk, but who always believe in Downingtown.

Maxwell gets to party in a neat old building. The Hamilton family that now runs just one of what was once a chain of high-end modern-style furniture stores across the region gets to showcase a funky and still-kicking space to hundreds of potential customers. The bride, granddaughter of former Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh, gets to show her out-of-town friends the charming side of her new suburban address.

Everyone, in other words, is smitten.

“It’s a gorgeous building,” the mayor told me after he and Blair agreed, on super-short notice, to meet me at Dane. “It looks and feels like a church inside.”

DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer

Hired work crews spent hours on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, clearing portions of a Downingtown, Pa., furniture store of merchandise for a wedding reception the next night. Part of the store is in a historic church that has been Dane Decor furniture store for decades.

It’s a wacky building from the outside, with a church steeple sticking up from an otherwise boxy cube of fairly new construction. The old sanctuary is on the second floor and has stained-glass windows and a choir vestibule where, Drew told me, they usually display a bed set that, as luck would have it, seems to be the only model that never sells.

Dance-floor tiles will be going down on the sanctuary floor. Musicians will play where a choir long ago sang hymns — before this place was desanctified for retail in the 1970s.

“It’s a really interesting place to put a band,” the mayor said. “Blair and I will be able to walk home from our wedding reception.”

A short staircase leading out of the sanctuary takes you to a wraparound mezzanine that overlooks the first-floor showroom. The mezzanine was being emptied of furniture as banquet tables and chairs were being brought in.

Dane Decor, like Maxwell, has called this borough home since well before a redevelopment wave brought brew pubs and a slew of younger residents into town over the last seven or so years.

“One-third of Downingtown,” Maxwell told me, “is under 35.”

Imagine all those 200 guests spilling red wine and barbecue sauce onto the furniture that will remain on the showroom floor Saturday night. Then imagine not worrying about it. Dane’s owners, one of whom, Hank Hamilton, is like a mentor to the mayor, see only positives here.

DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer

Josh Maxwell and Blair Thornburgh pose for an Instagram photo a day before their wedding reception inside this church-turned-furniture store in suburban Philly.

“When he brought [the idea] to us, we sort of debated amongst ourselves,” Drew Hamilton said. “But at the end of the day we thought, how cool would it be to have a wedding here? Full circle for the church.”

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Singleton Impressed By Tinder Guy’s ‘Amazing Furniture’ Realises He’s Posing In IKEA – LADbible

Singleton Impressed By Tinder Guy’s ‘Amazing Furniture’ Realises He’s Posing In IKEA – LADbible

So you’ve matched with someone on Tinder and you’re seriously impressed. They look decent, they seem reasonably hygienic – and they’ve even got a nice tidy house.
Then you realise it’s not actually a house because they’re posing in the various departments of IKEA .
Natasha Reid was both wary and wooed by the Tinder joker, who goes by the name of Lee.. Lee had definitely made the effort. The profile included pictures of him tucked up in bed with a soft toy and even sat on the toilet – still wearing his underwear, thankfully.
Oh, Lee… Credit: instagram.com/phoonigan
Then when she checked Lee’s bio on the popular dating app, she was left speechless to discover he had listed himself as a ‘fan of taking photos in IKEA’. I mean, whatever floats your boat, mate.
Natasha was surprised – we’re not quite sure how, considering the giveaway price tags hanging off everything, but we’ll let it slide.
Is that a price tag on the empty bookshelf? And the other *empty* bookshelf… and the rug… and the other bookshelf. Hang on a minute. Credit: instagram.com/phoonigan
Despite her shock, 24-year-old Natasha claims the hilarious photo sequence made the man stand out in the crowd as her most memorable match.
There are five photos in total of Lee, with the others showing him posing with a paintbrush, reclining under a light and studying in a library.
Natasha, from Englefield Green in Surrey, said: “It’s 100% a good way to stand out on Tinder. Even if he and I never go on a date, he will definitely get one with a profile like that.
Natasha says the profile will ‘stay with her’. Credit: Kennedy News and Media
“I can’t even remember some of my other matches, so I think this one will stay with me. Rightly so, as well – he deserves it. At first I didn’t understand what they were because they just seemed like really odd pictures.
“Then it dawned on me that all of the furniture looked amazing in this place.” Well, one thing’s for sure – Lee would have plenty of bookshelves.
However upon checking Lee’s bio, Natasha soon realised her potential soulmate (it is Tinder after all) enjoyed playing prankster.
When one clock just isn’t enough. Credit: instagram.com/phoonigan
Natasha said: “I looked at his bio and it said ‘I’m a fan of taking photos in IKEA’. I thought it was so funny. We have all at some point walked around IKEA and wanted to act like it was our house. “I literally swiped right and we matched straight away, so I messaged him to tell him the pictures had made my day. He messaged me back seemingly very proud of them.
“My favourite one is either one of him tucked up in bed with a stuffed toy, or the toilet one. I think that’s very brazen. The way he’s looking in surprise and he’s got his hand over his mouth like he’s just been caught on the toilet is really good.
“I think IKEA should take him up on being a sort of live mannequin because he pulled it off very well.”
Lee’s profile showed his snaps in IKEA. Credit: instagram.com/phoonigan
The mum-of-one shared Lee’s profile online – where commenters urged her to marry him.
But if they make it to the first date, Natasha claims she would be much more interested in recreating the iconic IKEA date from Zooey Deschanel movie 500 Days of Summer .
Natasha, who is a full-time carer, said: “I love 500 Days of Summer . I feel like we would have to re-enact it if we went on a date. You see all the same types of pictures on Tinder.
“You have the ones with the guys in their group of friends and guess which one is them. You have the cringey ones with their tops off. It’s nice to see someone taking the mick really.
So sophisticated. Credit: instagram.com/phoonigan
“I think it speaks of someone’s character that everyone has already labelled him as funny and marriage material because the photos have shown his personality. He’s not afraid of taking the mick out of himself in a public place, never mind somewhere private.
“I thought to myself that even if we don’t have a date he definitely seems like the type of person you’d want as a friend. He seems very, very funny – and he’s remained as funny in the messages. Luckily he’s reasonably attractive as well, which is a plus.” Reasonably attractive, ouch.
Lee declined to comment.
Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media