Tag Archives: battle of britain

It’s all over bar the flying!

They think it’s all over – it is now!

That was it, my last 10k run in the forest for the summer – next time I get in there, it will be mud brown instead of summer green, maybe even a blanket of snow on the ground – who knows?  Tomorrow I fly back to Rio de Janeiro and then start the month-long up hill sail to Florida. I am of course immensely proud of myself for needing a dump on the way round.  Maybe I could have held it for that last 3k, maybe not but when I return there will be no camouflage for me to squat out of sight so I thought I better make the most of it while it was still there.

I just had a quick week in the UK as my last bit of freedom before the prison cell that is a sailing yacht – a sweet blast around Cannock Chase yesterday with Rue and Steve-o (or as we will call him from this point on ‘Snail Steve’), caught up with as many people as I could before hitting the ferry back yesterday evening.

I have also taken the opportunity to stock up on Tripel Hop.  When I return, it will have been long gone from the supermarket shelves, I am guessing by mid October, this years brew will be no more and it will be March before the new batch is ready.  There are currently 3 crates nestling in the utility room along with a 4 pack of blonde bush.  While we are on the topic of Belgian Beer – what do you get if you mix several Belgian beers with a Steve-o?

Interview with a Vampire – this minute long video is available for a limited period of time in the video section (exactly where you might expect to find it).  Sadly cut short by lack of memory in my iPhone – I wont make that mistake again.  I have just found myself thinking……..when I die, how much Belgian beer will I have drunk?  Not enough I suspect.

The T-shirt competition is coming along – although by now, it should have been closed and moved on to stage two. I am officially giving a time extension to the following people:-

Neal Westwood, Mush George, Verity McCoy, Lexa Timothy, Amy Horne

It’s not too late to get your entry in.

Getting back to Blighty, I also paid a visit to the Battle of Britain memorial just up the road from Dover.  I was a bit of an eye opener to see a sign requesting people NOT to climb on the Memorial Wall – who would do that FFS?  I took some photos and noticed something – you might think it obvious but it took a moment to dawn on me.  At the end of the wall, there is half a column of free space, there are also some names out of alphabetical order. I realised these were a couple of Churchill’s Few who had died most recently, I am assuming that the remainder of the spare column is reserved for those that are still alive.  I have created a small photo album for ‘Churchill’s Few’ – stop by and have a look.  Check your history books too – so early on in that conflict, the Battle of Britain took place – the Nazi machine stopped in its tracks at the shores of Britain by a bunch of youngsters!

We also have a new subscriber to swell the ranks – everyone please welcome Shazza Evans to the party – I make that 32 now.

 

 


Barcelona near miss

I have been thinking recently, dangerous I know.  Some of you will be aware that there is a speed camera just up the street from me.  The speed limit is 50kph and quite rightly so – but 50kph should be easy enough to reach on my bike right?  I have tried so hard to trip that bloody camera but I cannot get past 55kph which is probably right on the threshold for taking my photo.

The other afternoon, I even tried using a bus to reduce wind drag, undertaking it and popping out in front with probably 50 metres of road left before the sensors in the tarmac.  I popped out of the side, centered in the road and as I crossed the sensors, looked back over my left shoulder to see if it flashed – NADA!!!

I did see the bus driver smiling though as he realised what I was trying to do.  And that got me to thinking……….Maybe I could add to the list of eccentric English sports that are available

The Worthing Bird Man  – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4XQtphCd0w

Coopers Hill Cheese Rolling – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOyQBSMeIhM

World Shin Kicking Championships – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGXDwbzlJKw

How about ‘Tow in Speed Camera Baiting’ ? (Westwood’s gonna love this one – and I ain’t talking about Tim)  Similar to tow in surfing, where a jet ski is used to boost them into a wave too big to paddle into.  Obviously there would be points for tripping the camera in the first place, followed by style points for tripping it with a little flair and thirdly, as the sport is called ‘baiting’ – all competitors should be dressed as Badgers – points for the best costume.  Eventually we could get it into the Olympics too right?  I mean, if Mogul Skiing is allowed, tow in speed camera baiting should be fine too.  As a back up, my reserve sport would be Olympic Bonking. Simple rules – whoever comes first, looses!

Anyway, enough nonsense.  My reason for todays entry was to highlight a recent near miss at Barcelona Airport.  I wanted to point this out to you because I believe there has been a gross error in the quotation supplied to the BBC.  The beeb reported that …

The plane then lands safely on the runway shortly afterwards. Officials have denied passengers were in danger at any point.

Now, for me, having worked in Spain for several years and knowing the work ethic of the locals, I strongly suspect that the quote should have read as follows

The plane then lands safely on the runway shortly afterwards.  Officials have denied passengers or ground crew were in danger of being disturbed from their siesta at any point

But I have a link for you so that you can decide if you want to fly to Spain for your holidays in the near future

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PbIVO8TDq4

 

Lexa – let me have your address again to send another prize.

 

England by Thursday morning – if you feel like having a chat give me a call – 07500 562 776.  If I don’t answer, maybe there is some swell after all and I will be catching my first English wave in over a decade.  I will be visiting The Battle of Britain Memorial near to Dover on the way in, before heading to either Camber Sands Bay for a surf check (remember the Inbetweeners caravan trip) or up to Joss Bay, just outside of Margate.  I may then venture up to Cromer on the east coast in my efforts to find an english wave

Still no sign of Verity – and I haven’t heard from Max in a long time either – where is everyone ?? come to think of it, Jo Beach too.  I know Sue is still with us though, I finally had a message last week.

Cannock Chase on Tuesday next week with Steve-o and Rue before returning to Brasil on Thursday 17th.  McCoy, last time we spoke you were living not far from there – come on – get in touch.

 

Rock on


Belgian Chuggers

Just realised that the missing McCoy may well be off giving birth so may have her hands full at the moment – I would imagine her fanny might be pretty full too !

I think it is Belgian ‘bob-a-job’ week here this week.  There are plagues of scouts and guides on the square trying to sell cakes to raise cash.  Someone should have told them to spread out a little though, it’s almost like bashing through a crowded tube station full of them.  I must have had my best ‘feck off’ frown on because not one of them bothered me.  One downside with Belgians is they all speak so many languages.  If they approach you in french, you could blag that you only speak Flemish but chances are, they speak both.  You could also say you are english but damn sure they will know that one, my only other options are Spanish and Portuguese.

My more avid readers (like that one Musher?) will know my views on charity in the street but for those ‘part timers’ let me refresh you.  I do give to charities but only charities I like.  I don’t like to feel obliged by someone cornering me and trying to harass me on the street – these people, although only doing a job, are likely to get a very uncomfortable response from me.

Think back to a time in Mallorca when one rainy day steeped in self-pity, I realised that my life wasn’t so bad walking to work in the rain and passing a tramp (I am assuming that word is still OK with the PC brigade).  The tramp had clearly been out all night in the same rain.  That night, I bought a flask and some soup, some bread and delivered it to the tramp the next morning.  Long story short, the tramp, although in Mallorca, turned out to be from Glasgow and his name was Brian.  Brian had managed to lose the flask in the first day so I couldn’t refill it for him.  On telling the story to a new girlfriend who worked as a landscape gardener, we went and found Brian.  She cleaned him up and gave him a job working with her.

He lasted a week – or should I say, he lasted until he had some cash in his pocket and immediately went out on the piss for 5 days and back to his park bench, never to return to the attractive german girl who had given him a golden chance (and a shower too but not a golden one).

Why am I telling you all of this?  Well (takes a deep breath as this really did take the piss), yesterday afternoon when I left the local store, the guy that is always outside on his knees, cap in hand was there again.  He is there a lot.  I have on several occasions given him some change until one time not too long ago I saw him with another trampy friend, cap in hand, on his knees, half cut on the Belgian equivalent of ‘Special Brew’.  At that point, I decided I was not going to fuel his alcohol habit.  If a man is hungry – buy him a sandwich!

Against my better judgement, and again, feeling sorry for the poor fella, I decided to drop my loose change from the shop keeper in his hat yesterday.  This is where it all went so badly wrong from the tramps perspective.  My spend in the shop had been somewhat guarded and I used change rather than notes.  This meant that I only had a few coppers to give.  I actually felt bad about this – I was about to make a gift to a man in need and I was worried that it was not enough. Think about that as a society for a moment.  In the act of giving, we chastise ourselves over the value of the gift – why do we feel this bad about not giving enough? I’ll tell you why.

That cheeky bastard – I dropped the change into the hat, he immediately looked in the hat to see what I had dropped in, making no effort to disguise his head and eye movement – THEN, the fucker, looked back at me with sad eyes and disappointment on his face making me feel like some kind of clueless twat for offering a little help.  So fuck him from now on, I will never feel guilty again as I walk past him – in fact, I can go one better.  Next time I am walking down the street and make eye contact with him, I will obviously and deliberately cross the street, while maintaining eye contact, pass further along before returning to the original side of the street – all of the time, never taking my eyes off him.  If at any time he looks like he might look away from me, I will change my direction back towards him and slide my hand in my pocket until I can see his sad teary eyes light up and then, with full eye contact, I will pull my hand out of my pocket, flick him the bird and return to the clean side of the street. Mother fuckers !!!

But it doesn’t stop there.  In the UK on Saturday morning with Bill from Ohio, USA, I stopped and bought a ‘Big Issue’ from a vendor.  I used to buy the Big Issue a lot, in fact, I can clearly remember when it was only a pound.  I had explained the way the big issue works to Bill for homeless people and suggested that it actually is a good read (I sincerely mean that folks – don’t be put off by these guys appearance).  The Big Issue is now two pounds and fifty pence – a hefty increase.  So hefty in fact that I stopped buying it for fear of becoming bankrupt myself due to their ever-increasing costs.  So , I approach the vendor, start rummaging through my change laden pocket for some dosh and pulled out 3 pounds.  Have a guess what that cheeky bastard said to me?

‘Do you want the change?’

For fucks sake – it seems the gift of giving is no longer enough.  I wanted to say ‘of course I do you cheeky cunt’ but clearly english wasn’t his first language and my rant would have been wasted on him.

Now that you know all of that, you might forgive me for never giving to charity again – but – when we get our hearts broken, do we stop chasing pussy ?  Of course not.  I still give to charity.  Poppy Appeal always gets a tenner in the pot – most of the old boys say ‘that’s a lot of money’ when they see me dropping it in – I always respond with a smile as I say ‘A small price to pay for freedom’ as I take my poppy.  RNLI always gets a donation, not just because I work at sea but many years ago I used to surf a lot in England.  I never needed them, but they were always there if I did. Lastly ‘Battle of Britain Fighter Pilots’ always used to get a tenner from me.  They were a rarity years ago but now they are nearly all gone.  I did see a collection at Clacket Lane Services around two years ago and gave generously and took my sticker.

 

Now, moving on, I am about to head into the forest on my bike for a couple of hours.  My T-shirt fits and looks great, it’s about now that yours will be dropping through your door if you were a winner (Lex, yours may take up to 7 days).  Remember, the next competition is open to T-shirt winners only and requires  a minimum of three photos (there can be more) of you wearing your shirt, and one of those must be wet.  Not being sexist in any way – the boys must also comply.  Entry into the next competition is automatic and for this round, the judge with be the public at large so wear it well.

 

Congratulations to Amy Cooper for getting hacked

 

 


Pause for thought

Just for a moment – at 11am local time tomorrow and reflect.

Think about the horrors endured by millions in the battle against evil.  Beating the Bosch, Hammering the Hun or just plain and simply kicking some Nazi arse, stop and think for a moment.  The Middle East, Africa, Falklands, Northern Ireland. Armistice Day – The day of remembrance for all armed forces.

I read last week on the BBC an article about the last surviving ‘Battle of Britain’ pilot.  This good old boy had finally hung up his hat at the ripe old age of 99.  Many of you probably never even noticed the story, nestling between such urgent headlines as ‘Strictly beats X Factor in ratings’ or another overpaid footballer getting caught with his pants down.  Shame on you if you didn’t read it.  Make amends and read about this chap right now

William Walker

And whilst reading, remember Churchill’s words – Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

I also read of another old veteran about to hang up it’s hat. A cold War veteran this time, something we would see often as a kid living in Lutterworth, before the airfield was disbanded and a business park built over the top of it – The Vulcan.  Every kid in the playground would stop and watch this beast as it turned over our heads.  Of course, at the time we were innocently unaware of it’s deadly yet critical role in the brinkmanship game called M.A.D. (mutually assured destruction).  Nonetheless, will be sad to know it is finally grounded

Avro Vulcan

And if you haven’t already read this book, you should do so soon.  I have finished with my copy – ask me nicely and I will send it to you

The Last Fighting Tommy

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month is almost upon us – Rule Britannia


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