May… we help?

Bank Holiday Monday – UK

This weekend sees the May Bank Holiday in the UK, a three day weekend, where historically banks and businesses would close.


It’s a running joke in the UK that, on the day that we have a day off work due to the bank

Weather Forecast May Bank Holiday
Courtesy of

holiday, it rains.

The forecast, for the South East, at least, on Monday 2nd May, says cloudy, but not necessarily any rain.



The May Day holiday is the fourth of eight bank holidays in the UK.

British bank holidays are public holidays and have been recognised since 1871. [1]

The name Bank Holiday comes from the time when banks were shut and so no trading could take place. [1]

The first of May was the bank holiday, however, in modern times, it has moved to the first Monday in May, for convenience for schools and businesses, creating a long weekend.


There are many traditions that surround the 1st of May, predominantly to do with the warmer weather and the onset of summer, after a long winter. The earliest celebration can be traced back 2000 years, where  Floralia, festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, was celebrated. [2]

Much of the May Day celebrations derive from the pagan Anglo-Saxon customs held during “Þrimilci-mōnaþ” as well as old Celtic traditions.

“The Old English name for the month of May means Month of Three Milkings.”

May Pole

In the past, people would cut down young trees and put them in the ground on the village green, tie ribbons to the top, and dance around to mark the arrival of the warm weather.

The dancers would weave in and out of each other, in opposite directions, effectively causing a plait-like effect with the ribbons. Maypoles were popular all over the country, and school children would practice for weeks before May Day to ensure they were able to remember the dance on the day.

May Queen

May Queens were, and still are,  human representations of the Roman goddess, Flora. A May Queen might be chosen from a group of young women, aged 13 and above, who had either performed a dance or similar, and would lead the procession.

Another tradition associated with the idea of choosing a May Queen, is the May Lifiting. On the first of May, in the old days, the young men of the village would choose the prettiest girl in the village and carry her around on their shoulders. On the second of May, the girl would choose a boy.

Morris Dancing

Morris dancing may have originated from several different places. The name Morris may be traced, possibly, back to a form of dancing that arrived in England with the arrival of the Moors from North Africa. Alternatively, the name of the dance may be so called because the dancers looked  Moor-ish, with their darker complexions. The dancers sometimes painted their faces black. [1]

Across England, the Morris dancers can be identified by their clothes. They are often dressed in white with coloured baldrics (coloured belts) across their chests. [1]

The formation of the Morris dance consists of either six or eight men, in two lines facing each other or in a circle. Part of their costume is white hankies or sticks, that they wave or shake. Some Morris dancers have bells tied to their knees to add to the music and their calls. [1]

1st May round the World


Around the world, the 1st of May is widely associated with commemorating the advancing of labour movements. It is known as Labour Day or International Worker’s Day.

In the US, in 1884, the American Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions demanded an eight-hour workday, to come in effect as of 1 May 1886. This resulted in the general strike and the Haymarket Riot of 1886, but eventually also in the official sanction of the eight-hour workday. [3] Labour Day, despite the auspicious date, is actually celebrated on the first Monday of September.

Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands also celebrate Labour Day on different dates; though that has to do with how the holiday originated in those countries. [3]

May we help?

Fingertips Typing Services can help with your labours, even if you have to work on any of the UK bank holidays. Visit us to find out more.


Written by: Debbie Rowe – Typist for Fingertips Typing







Transcription and Subtitles


There are lots of reasons why a television programme or film that you are watching has subtitles.

It might be a World film or foreign language film that has been translated and subtitled. It might be a mainstream programme that is subtitled for the hearing impaired and even a specialist programme, where participants speak in heavily accented or dialectal English.

YouTube, the world’s most popular video-sharing website where almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day [1], offers an auto-captioning service. The captions are created by generated by machine-learning algorithms, and so the accuracy and the quality of the captions vary. [2]

“Automatic captions are available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.”

Subtitle Fail

There are obviously going to be times when subtitles fail, due to human error or lack of sophisticated algorithms.

Human error – whether that be spelling, unfamiliarity with the subject, mishearing or lack of concentration – can lead to a subtitle fail. This is especially amusing when subtitles are used to capture a sound, an action or an emotion, where dialogue is not involved. [3]

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Other fails happen where the subtitles don’t match what is happening on the screen. This occurs when the typist is not checking that the subtitles matches the action.

Famous characters or franchises can suffer at the hands of subtitling when then typist is unfamiliar with the person, character, plot, subject or series.

sergei lavrov
Talking about Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Russia [5]
Harry Potter’s owl, Hedwig [4]
Benedict Cumberbatch, also known as Sherlock Holmes [6]
 Here is a selection of screen shots from movie subtitle fails.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 Sensible Subtitles

Fingertips Typing Services uses a workforce of experienced and accurate typists to offer a subtitling service for a wide variety of media:

We have worked on subtitling projects for a variety of media and production companies, who commission television shows, films and projects.


Visit Fingertips Typing Services today to see how we help you subtitle your media project.

Written by: Debbie Rowe, Typist for Fingertips Typing















Transcription and Awareness of Individual’s Needs

Awareness of Other’s Needs

Last week, 4th to 8th April, was World Autism Awareness Week in the UK. [1] Next week, from 18th to 24th April, is Parkinson’s Awareness Week. [2] 25th April to 1st  May is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week. [3]

With social media continuing to grow in importance, more and more of us are becoming aware of things that we may have known little or nothing about previously. With traditional radio, television and print advertising being very strongly challenged by online advertising, there seems to be no reason not to be aware, thanks to sites like [3]


As the image [4] above states, the definition of awareness spans a wide spectrum and can cover the knowledge or perception of a situation or fact all the way through to concern about and well-informed interest in a particular situation or development.

There are many different needs that individual’s have, here is a spotlight on just three of those.

Family Life with Autism

Courtesy of Sparkle, Sheffield

Extreme Juggler, mother of three, spoke to  me about the reality of family life as a full-time teacher, wife and Autism Mum. Her youngest son was diagnosed with “classic autism” in April 2012.  He is currently described as  “non-verbal”. In August of the same year, her eldest was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of the autistic spectrum condition, and in October 2013, it was suggested that her middle son could also be “somewhere on the spectrum.”  Aren’t we all?

Classing herself as perpetual worrier and a frequent warrior – as so often parents of children waiting to be diagnosed or waiting for referral for services are – Extreme Juggler says,

“Managing a career would be a total nightmare if it wasn’t for my husband and my parents.”

“I have no promotion prospects anymore and struggle to keep on top of work. My peers are all deputy heads and headteachers these days. That will never happen for me now and I have to force myself to remember that quality of life is more important than ambition and money. I still have to pay a mortgage but would give work up tomorrow if I could.”

“I resent not having enough time for my boys when other people’s kids get the best of me.”

Extreme Juggler continues, “The main thing about autism is that each person on the spectrum is different from the next, so even in my household I have the academic, the struggling dyslexic and the frustrated non-verbal child. After diagnosis help is often disjointed and needs a bolshy keyboard warrior to fight for access to services! My husband and I go to a parent support group together once a month. That is our social life. We have met loads of parents just like us. If we want to go out, we go out separately. I see a school friend once every 6-12 weeks for dinner and drink. Lots of it!”

Spotlight on Parkinson’s

Courtesy of The Michael J. Fox Foundation

One person in every 500 has Parkinson’s. That’s about 127,000 people in the UK. Symptoms and how quickly they progress are different for everyone. Drugs and treatments are available to manage many of the symptoms. [2]

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition.People with Parkinson’s don’t have enough of a chemical called dopamine because some nerve cells in their brain have died. [2]

There’s currently no cure for Parkinson’s and we don’t yet know why people get the condition.

Without dopamine people can find that their movements become slower so it takes longer to do things. The loss of nerve cells in the brain causes the symptoms of Parkinson’s to appear.

The symptoms most often associated with Parkinson’s are related to motor movements. There are also other symptoms such as pain and depression, which are non-motor symptoms. Main symptoms are tremor, slowness of movement and rigidity. Other physical symptoms include falls and dizziness, eye problems, bladder and bowel problems. There are also mental health symptoms such as anxiety, dementia and memory problems. [2]

The actor, Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1992, when he was just 29 years old. [9] He created the Michael J. Fox Foundation to help advance every promising research path to curing Parkinson’s disease, including embryonic stem cell studies. [9]

Living and Working with MS

Courtesy of Almirall and

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition which affects around 100,000 people in the UK, about one in every 600. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20-40, but it can affect younger and older people too. Roughly three times as many women have MS as men. [11] It is the most common condition of the central nervous system affecting young adults.[10]

MS is a lifelong condition. It is not fatal and most people with MS live about as long as everyone else. It is not infectious or contagious so it can’t be passed on to other people like chicken pox or athlete’s foot.

MS is complex, and has many symptoms. Most people won’t experience them all, certainly not at the same time. Symptoms might include fatigue, vision problems and difficulties with walking, but MS is different for everyone. [10]

An individual with MS is under no legal obligation to tell their employer about their MS, unless:

  • they work in the armed forces
  • their MS may affect health and safety in the workplace
  • they drive for a job [11]

An employer, when told about their employee having MS, should ask if they consider themselves to have a disability under the Equality Act and Disability Discrimination Act. Regardless of whether an individual considers themselves disabled, they should answer yes.

If an individual with MS needs support at work, the employer can provide time off for appointments or make reasonable adjustments, such as:

  • more breaks
  • somewhere to rest for short periods during the working day
  • a chair or stool to sit on
  • flexible or reduced working hours
  • working from home [11]

Talking to the employer means that support can be provided as necessary.

Transcription and Awareness of Individual’s Needs

You may be an employer with an employee who has Parkinson’s or MS. You may be a parent with a school-age children on the autistic spectrum and a career to juggle. You may be a student, a writer, a business person, or an entrepreneur with individual needs, who might benefit with the support of a transcription service provider.

Contact Fingertips Typing Services for information on how we can  help, from typing up notes to transcribing dictation or audio recordings.






Transcription and the Race to the Finish

Grand National

The Grand National horse race is happening this Saturday at Aintree Racecourse. [1]

A National Hunt race, the Grand National is held on an annual basis at the racecourse in Liverpool, England, and was first run in 1839. This year, 40 horses are due to race over the 4 miles and 3 1/2 furlong course, with 30 jumps. Often a contentious race, the most famous jumps include Becher’s Brook, The Chair and Canal Turn.

  • This will be the 169th edition of the race
  • Britain will bet £500m on race day
  • 600m worldwide TV viewers
  • £1 million prize money on offer
  • 150,000  spectators who visit Aintree over the three-day Festival
  • Just five horses have won at odds of 100/1 – Mon Mome (2009), Foinavon (1967), Caughoo (1947), Gregalach (1929) and Tipperary Tim (1928) [2]

Boat Race


On Easter Sunday, the annual Boat Race took place along four-and-a-quarter mile course, on the Thames, from Putney to Mortlake. [3] The race between the men’s rowing crews of Oxford and Cambridge have raced one another for bragging rights since 1829. It then became an annual contest in 1845.

All the rowers and coxes must be full-time students at the two universities, as well as serious athletes.  Although the rowers must be male or female for their respective Boat Races, the coxes can be either gender. [3] The men’s race doesn’t last very long; the record, set by Cambridge in 1998, is 16min 19sec. [4]

F1 Motor Racing


Formula One cars are the fastest road course racing cars in the world, owing to very high cornering speeds achieved through the generation of large amounts of aerodynamic downforce. Formula One cars race at speeds of up to 360 km/h (220 mph). [5]

The Formula One series originated with the European Grand Prix Motor Racing of the Twenties and Thirties. The formula is a set of rules which all participants’ cars must meet. Formula One was a new formula agreed upon after World War II during 1946, with the first non-championship races being held that year.

Currently, Formula One has 11 teams, each with two cars that can qualify for each race. Each team has two drivers under contract, and at least one test/reserve/third driver, sometimes two. There are 21 races from March to November. Because the drivers are paid by their team, there is no direct prize money to the winning driver, but the F1 Driver Champion and F1 Constructor’s Champion titles are extremely prestigious, none the less.

Your Race to the Finish


Everyone has their own race to the finish, their own deadlines. In our day to day lives, both business and personal, we are often short on time and shifting priorities make it difficult to get everything done that we need to.

If you find yourself with too much to do and too little time, then Fingertips Typing can help. Visit Fingertips Typing Services.

Written by: Debbie Rowe, Transcriber for Fingertips Typing Services.


Main picture credit:Ted Azriel


Transcription and Exploration


History of Exploration

Even the earliest travellers needed to record their thoughts and experiences as they explored, making notes, drawing what they have seen, making maps. Early exploration was on foot and horseback, or by sea. A selection of the world’s greatest historical explorers are below. Continue reading Transcription and Exploration