Tag Archives: BBC

Switching Sides

A bit late with this post I know – so Rugby Town is now famous for a couple of things.  Yes, the game of Rugby was invented here, hence the name ‘Rugby Football’ (I am constantly amazed at the amount of people that are not aware of this fact).  Most recently, we gained even more infamy.  The Great KFC Chicken Coup.

Never in the history of news and media have I been more amazed at the amount of effort that went into reporting the lack of chicken at KFC outlets across the uk.  For two days, the media was full of it.  At one point, the BBC reported over 60% of the UK KFC outlets were closed due to no chicken.

DHL had just taken control of the delivery contract and made a complete fudge of delivering.  The source of their error – The Rugby Depot!   Lorries full of chicken were being turned away from the DHL distribution centre and the freezers inside the depot were full! The local council also admitted that the DHL centre did not have the correct paperwork to store food at that depot.

Poor DHL……….probably bullied the historical supplier into submission with a bid that was artificially low just to get the business and then cocked up in magnificent style.

 

Another couple of weeks of intense study for me before I head to Liverpool for an exam on 23rd.  Head down in the books on a daily basis for the last month and hopefully this week a  few more things will click into place.  This will be only my second ever time in Liverpool, or more precisely Birkenhead (say that with a scouse accent – it sounds great)

 

After a brief visit to the hot tub last night I put on some old Top Of The Pops. I watched an hour and a half of clips from 1964 – 1975 and you know what, the first thing I noticed was how skinny everyone was back then – everyone.  Some rare old tunes came along too, some rare old tunes like the Righteous Brothers.  Did you know, Bill Medley was one of the Righteous Brothers?  Remember Dirty Dancing?  The Swayze?  The last song of that movie was ‘I had the time of my life’ by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes.  There you go – I have educated you this morning.

 

There were several old time ‘bangers’ in there but I have opted to share just one.  I wanted to share an old Rod Stewart track too but couldn’t find it outside of the BBC.  Maggie May was awesome in its own right but made particularly special with a guest appearance from the late John Peel of BBC Radio fame faking the mandolin solo.  If you have BBC iPlayer – you can find it there on the BBC4 channel.

 

Anyway, for now – let the children boogie in a hazy cosmic jive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fake News

Fake News

Lets get political ! OK, Olivia Newton-John sang about getting physical but the lyrics still fit the tune, try it !!

Fake news is a new watchword, all over the media. I can’t decide if it is deliberately fake news or just people embellishing stories, misreporting facts, not researching correctly of just trying to be seen as the first to publish something fashionably ahead of all the others. The latter being the reason they haven´t researched the subject properly.

Now, Donald J Trump uses the words fake news an awful lot and I want to analyse that a little. See, I think Trump is being quite clever about this. The media are well known for hashing up shit, misreporting or to be more accurate with that – selectively reporting what happens in the world

By selective reporting I mean that they leave relevant information out so that the facts they present, distort the truth to the point that they completely change the story.

Remember that TV advert for the Guardian Newspaper from a few years ago? Several different camera angles as a skin head ran towards a city slicker with his briefcase?

Guardian Ad

That is exactly what I mean, the skin head was saving the city slicker from a falling pallet of bricks but a different camera angle would have you believe he was trying to snatch his bag. Ironically, that advert itself was misrepresented too, with the final cinematic cut not being the same sequence as the other angle presented.

But move on to Trump. This is where I think he is being very clever and ultimately very brave. He is using a media stream to communicate with 20 million followers. In that stream, he can give exactly the information he wants you to see, that only he can edit, no media slant, misrepresentation, no so-called experts opinions, just his own voice.

There is also a down side to that. He can write whatever he likes, admittedly he will have some self censorship but ultimately if he wanted to tweet ‘Hilary is a Lazy old cow’ he could. So for his own gain, he could also deliberately mislead 20 million followers with no-one able to call him to task on it before it hits the outside world.

I am still curious about Trump. In a year of big political upsets, where the establishment is being challenged, it brings a little bit of hope. I am tired of weak and woolly politicians speaking without actually saying anything meaningful. Many of them too scared to say what they really think or what their electorate want them to bring into the public forum. Nigel Farage was not like that – he generally said what he thought and also what many of the voters were thinking too. Not afraid to say what he thought might just need saying.  I am so curious about the enigma that is Mr. Trump that I opened a twitter account purely to follow him – show me another politician that has grabbed my interest so much that I did similar!

Now, a few of you might think that I have gone a little mental right? Donald Trump, Nigel Farage but let me throw a few more names at you – Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders and a name soon to vanish into the political archives Angela Merkel

Merkel is about to pay the ultimate political price for not listening to the concerns of her voters, a trip to the political wilderness is all hers – she will get hammered in this years elections.

Geert Wilders is even more interesting. All the opinion poles are suggesting that he will get support but not enough to form a government – opinion poles, remember how wrong they have been in recent history? I think old Geert just might surprise a few people.

Marine Le Pen – not this time is my prediction, but next time yes. France is not ready just yet but her time will come. François Hollande will be walking off to the wilderness hand in hand with Merkel

Wow, you might think, what on earth has rattled my cage today?

 

The Bloody BBC !!!

 

I hate this. I have for many years been proud of the BBC – an establishment that can be trusted, to report fairly and fully. Respected around the globe for its neutral stance on delivering accurate information – but it’s been on a slide.

Being out of the UK a lot, my first choice for news is the BBC. I see spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, factual mistakes in their news now. There used to be a time where they had a website to report these errors. Send them a note with a link to the page and they would deal with it. Not any more. I can only assume they got tired with the amount of corrections that they shut down the site to tell them about errors rather than address the real issue.

You have seen it too right? A reporter is looking at Facebook or some other web site and using that as their single point of research on a story. They claim a ‘social media outcry’ on a topic and post 3 examples. In a country of around 60 million people – 3 comments from internet warriors is hardly a social media outcry in my book.

You may have noticed too that the BBC also use google maps to add photos to their stories. Lets say Alfred Hitchcock was shot dead in Wankalot Street, Greater Manchester. Do they investigate further or just type wankalot street into google maps and screen grab a picture of that street? It is assumed that Google has listed the map & street correctly then published all over the BBC.

Lets not forget inaccurate reporting too. Ever read a story where they say something like ‘more than 12 cars were damaged’. What – you can only count to 12????? Investigate, give us facts because 1000 cars is more than 12 and 1000 suggests more of an incident than 13 doesn’t it?

The BBC is under threat of extinction and it would be a real shame and completely irreversible if it were lost just momentarily. If nothing is done to stop the nonsense it is starting to spout its demise is just around the corner.

I just read an article on Scottish Independence. I see Nicola Sturgeon is now wanting another independence referendum. I say give it to them and we can bury her political career next to Alex Salmond. The article in question is linked below. I just don’t know why these people hate the English with such a passion but let them get on with it – I am sure the Scots have more sense than Sturgeon credits them with.

The article headlines with ‘Scottish Independence support at highest ever level’.  Later into the story it writes this paragraph.

 

Asked to choose between independence, devolution and not having any kind of Scottish Parliament at all, 46% of the 1237 people surveyed between July & December of last year now back independence.

 

I have two issues with this. Such a small sample of people to make, what is, a huge statement from is wrong, but pollsters, you can’t tell them anything right?

More importantly, I seem to remember the last Independence vote Scotland took ended 45% Independent to 55% stay in the Union. So why such a dramatic headline for Independence support when in fact only a 1% increase has happened and that 1% was from less than 1300 people in a country where 4.5 million voted last time .

By the time that headline has been regurgitated a dozen times on social media it will be 70% in favour of independence – and you wonder where fake news comes from ?

Don’t blame Zuckerberg and Facebook, blame the cannon fodder that blindly hit the share and like buttons.  Don’t take my word for it though, research it yourself here

 

BBC Report

 

Phew – rant over. Holiday time is just a few days away. I will be back in Europe from 22nd March until 24th April and there are some key people I really would like to see.

 

Sister, Parents & Uncle at the top of the list of course, then there are others – Connor, it’s about time I took you for a coffee after all of your avid reading. Faggot pants Clifton might also get a visit while I am in Cornwall visiting Maria Moore. There is also the real possibilities of Portugal, I hear the very lush yank from Salt Lake City is back in town, Zenia-June and of course Mallorca to meet with Jones the Prick who is about to become a father for the first time. If I am in Mallorca, I have to meet with Belahendro and Bomber too – the list is endless but does also include John and Mon or the future in -laws if I can just get Lynsey to say yes !

 

Flying on the 21st, back on the ground and on my UK number from 06:30 on 22nd – send me some love


I wish those fucktards would stay away.

But they wont will they?  Seems the BBC has employed more than their fair share – I guess that’s what you get for being politically correct? 5% of your employees must be one eyed lesbians, another 5% fucktards, 3% retired ice cream vendors with a dog named Patch who lost a testicle in the Vietnam War etc etc etc.

So the article in question – I was reading the news yesterday and saw a piece about an earth quake in Italy that had triggered an avalanche.  I understand that I may not be the sharpest tool in the box but this……?

Earthquakes cannot be predicted with precision but seismologists had suspected this particular area of central Italy would experience another batch of serious tremors sooner or later

Now, if there were an award for vague predictions, this would definitely get second prize.  Second only to a weather girl I watched once (on the BBC) who made the startling prediction that 2013 had a 50% chance of being a hotter year than 2012.  I hope her parents hadn’t invested too much in her maths degree.  To have the two options of hotter or colder clearly is a 50/50 situation, or in other terms 50%.  Turns out she had told us bugger all.

But sooner or later ?  Come on FFS – that isn’t rocket science.  It isn’t really even a prediction is it.  It’s reality.

 

Lightening the load a little.  My Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge experiment has been boxed for now.  I was trialling a very lush looking Samsung while here for two reasons.  I have been intrigued by the Samsung for a long time now and secondly, having a local SIM in a different phone meant that I could still use iMessage to communicate with the rest of the world.

As beautiful as the Samsung is, I have struggled with its functionality.  Not that Android is no good, my problem lies with the shite internet connections I have to suffer while working at sea.  I need to investigate more about how to use the phone at its best and that just isn’t possible with a sht connection.

So now it is boxed, fully charged and ready to try again when in blighty or sell on to a lucky bleeder that will get a £625 phone for a smidge over £400 I suspect.

I went back to the iPhone 6s after trying for hours to get photos off the Samsung onto a work computer so that I could order parts.  Certain that the flaw was the internet speeds but I couldn’t plug the Samsung into the Mac and draw the photos off and that pissed me off!!!!!

That said – I did really adore the Samsung – a very pretty phone and with an expanded memory of 232GB – plenty of music could be had if only I could figure out how to store it on the SD card !!!!!


Chuckle Vision

It’s Sunday, so before I start the normal moan and groan, let’s have a little happiness shall we?  I saw these two cats the other day and they reminded me of the Chuckle Brothers.  I did watch all the way to the end and did even manage to chuckle to myself a few times.  I bet you a pound to a penny you can’t watch these two without having a laugh.

 

I told you so – to me to you to me to you to me to you

Now, let’s get started on the more serious stuff.   Scary Clowns.  I like this new craze but have yet to sight one for myself.  Why do I like it ?  well, when one of these fools stands in front of me, one of two things will happen.

If I am in my car, the suspension will be lowered so that when I drive over them, there is no space between the underside of my car, the road and their head.

The other option will be simply to thrash them to within an inch of their life with my bare hands.

I wonder how long it will be before one of these dick heads gets a good pasting or better still (In the land of the good old USA – shot to pieces).  I look forward to reading that story on the BBC.

 

Staying with the USA at the moment, I really can’t wait to see which candidate gets elected.  I have to admit that more of me would like to see Trump in power purely because he will shake the shit out of the establishment – god knows all political scenes would benefit from a good shake up.  I do feel for the yanks though – I mean really, it’s not much of a choice is it now?

The ideal political situation is to have two opposing parties that are both suitable enough to be in power, that keeps everyone honest – but America, holy shit – not a choice I would want to be faced with.

Lets moan about good old Apple again.  I see they have a new OS on release now, been out for a week or two.  Now historically, for the last three or four years, I have always waited before upgrading to read the reviews.  This stems from an old upgrade I did that was so shit, I actually uninstalled it and ran with Mountain Lion for the next three releases.  Anyway, as a matter of course, I look at the reviews in the app store.  Now normally the reviews are so bad – so unbelievably bad.  This has been the case for the last three OS releases where more than 50% of reviews were giving just one star, with many recommending that you don’t install it.

So I look again in the App store this morning to see what the last two weeks of reviews are saying about it.  What did I read?  Nothing. not one single review has been left.  Now normally that would suggest that no-one has taken the app but in this case I can’t believe that in the last two weeks, none of the apple lemmings have clicked on the download button.

That leads me to only one conclusion.  Rather than deal with the issues that users have openly complained about – remove the platform that allows them to comment about it.  Can that really be the case?  Apple, what is wrong with you? I predict grim things for your future.  I am one more step closer to a return to a Windows system and an android phone !

My next startling prediction will be that in the next iPhone, the earphone jack will be back!

 

Now, on a happier note – on Wednesday I am heading to Doha, Qatar for a 5 week assignment.  Never been there before and always been curious about it so a 5 week stint is perfect for me.  My only concern is the new Dreamliner I will be flying out of Birmingham on.  My concern is all about carbon fibre.

I have been sailing on boats made out of that stuff for years without concern. My issue is flying with it.  lets see, a failure at sea level in a boat is pretty easy to overcome – I can swim.  A failure at 35,000 feet is a little bit more tricky to deal with – I have still yet to perfect my gliding techniques, especially when I am unconscious due to lack of oxygen.  That said, lack of oxygen should make hitting the ground at 120mph fairly painless.

Anything else to moan about ?  No I don’t think so.

I would like to say hello to a few people though.  I did recently open a Facebook account again after a good 5 years without one.  My reasons where completely innocent – there were a couple of recruitment pages that I needed to access on there.  That said, people started noticing I was there again and sending requests.  I very quickly realised why I had stopped using it all those years ago.

So I decided to never send a request but always accept them if I was sent one. (see Shazza, that’s why I couldn’t look for you).  I even got requests from people I have no idea about – weird huh?


Terrible Love

January is over – a vicious month for Cancer.

As I plugged along on my very muddy 10k run this morning I had plently of time for thoughts.  If I am honest, the run itself was far from perfect.  The tow path was a mud bath and the woods at the back of Abbots Farm almost had me on my arse twice.

Time wise, it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, not quite 2 minutes slower than my best on that route but it was muddy!

I slipped into thoughts.  Lets talk about Apple for a moment.  I read an article this week on the BBC that their latest iOS software for their phones has been permanently disabling phones that have been for repair by independent phone shops.  You send your new phone away for a screen replacement or a new home button and it comes back with ‘error 53′.  You might think this is not the end of the world but in iOS9 – this now means your phone is useless – it will never work again and any info on it is lost for good.

I have been experiencing similar bullish tactics with my Mac after recently upgrading to El Capitan.  You see , the biggest problem with computer updates is you are always told what they have added but they NEVER tell you what they have taken away. If you knew which functionailities were removed, updating would never be an option for most users.

So now, if I want to email you a photo, I can no longer use the attach button from my mail browser and then go into my photo library and find it – nope, Apple want you to buy into their Cloud product, that lets you share easily (or more easily than the way they force you into if you won’t pay), so instead now I have to open the photo app, drag a copy to the desk top and then attach it from there.  Hardly progress from what is one of silicone valleys’ giants now is it?  The last software was better.

It doesn’t stop there.  iPhone users that have the latest software will find that airdrop has changed too.  No longer can you open air drop and make your phone visible to only people in your contacts list as with the older software, no, privacy on airdrop is now only available if your contacts are in the cloud.

Of course, there is a price for using the cloud.

As my Mac gets older, slower and clunkier and needs some financial input I find myself questioning the rational for moving back to a windows based pc and an android phone. See, a pc of the same tech specs as the Mac will be around half the price and comes with the freedom to source ‘stuff’ from outside of the world of the manufacturer.  Its getting to be an easier choice to make. There was a time when I would have used that line of thought as a down side though.  Have you ever been on the end of a windows based problem where the hardware manufacturer blames the software and the software manufacturer blames the hardware?

It did make me think though – some time ago the EU ruled that car manufacturers had to make all of their car computer diagnostics plugs the same as each others.  The reason was to allow independent garages not to have to invest in different computers for all of the makes out there – or to put it in very basic terms, to allow more competition as to where you as a consumer can spend your money.  I can’t see that this is any different than that?

Hark back to better times, when Apple products were wanted because they were revolutionary.  Those days died with Mr. Jobs. Cancer affects more of us than you might believe.

Of course, a lot of Apples problems come from the ‘hipsters’ that just have to have the latest stuff.  I was looking on iTunes the other day for info about Birdys new album when I noticed that although the release is not due for another month, 11 people had left reviews for it.  The ‘I am so trendy crew’ had got there before the record company have even cut the final disc! Dont believe me?  look at the screen shot below.

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 11.56.48

I got into a debate on the Apple help forums the other week with a guy called Terence Devlin.  Terence suggests that people should stop complaining about when things change for the worse or stop working completely with Apple products because people aren’t running the very latest software.  His solution was to ‘upgrade – its free’  As our debate raged on, I mentioned that over 50% of the product reviews on the Apple store for its last iOS release gave it 1 star out of 5 with the majority of those recommending that you don’t install it at all (more 1 star reviews than 2,3,4,&5 added together).  Terence then suggested that those negative reviews should be ignored because people like to complain.  At that point, I gave up with the fucktard and left him to his little world of what I suspect is a very wealthy family that pay for whatever his little hipster heart desires.  I also suspect that he doesn’t work for two reasons.

  1. He is always camped outside the Apple store to be the first to get whatever is new that week.
  2. Daddy pays him a jolly good allowance each month so the reality of earning a living is left to the serfs and peasants on street level

 

So back in the UK for 10 days.  It is cold and wet here. Sure, the South of France gets cold too but it is dry, the air is dry which makes for a different, almost warming kind of cold.  Add to that I have allowed myself to be bullied into going to Bike Park Wales on Wednesday with The King of Touching Cloth himself – Mr Yates.  The very next day I have my ships medical to give me the green light to set sail for the next 2 years and then early next week, a funeral – but more on that later.

I am expecting to sustain some physical damage on Wednesday, not only from being miserable from the cold and wet for hours but also because of the tricky or even treacherous conditions will lead to mishaps I am sure.  Fingers crossed, it will be Yates this time.  While he is in a bundle of pain on the floor, I will pull along side him and gleefully jib, ‘see you at the bottom dick wad’ as is the norm for our outings – I like to think of it as the ‘Top Gear’ style of caring for your chums. I have little choice though – it will now cost me as much to back out of it as it will to go – and I hate wasting money.

The world needs a bit more Birdy

 


Isn’t it Ironic

Could this be just coincidence?  I just watched an article about the re-printing of Adolf Hitlers ‘Mein Kampf’ in Germany, when at the end of the article, the reporter appears, bearing more than just a small resemblance to Hitler himself.  Thing I am kidding?  follow the link to the BBC website.

Mein Kampf

 

There, got that out of the way – all he was missing was a small moustache and it could have been a rebirth.  The germans recently made a film about that actually, not so much a rebirth but an awakening from a cryo-sleep.  Called ‘Look who’s back’. Should be one to add to your must watch list along with another spectacular called ‘God Bless America’.

Thats it for now – I have nothing to rant nor rave about save for the fact we are about to get a good blow here – and sadly that isn’t a reference to an oral session !

A week in blighty is closing in – the saga of the Range Rover Sport and the local Guy Salmon Land Rover Dealer will soon be exposed – or if they do the right thing, it will be amicably resolved – just like my recent experience with an ebay seller called ‘Jayissurfing’.  Sent me a T shirt with crooked print and when I got in touch with him, he appeared mortified and immediately sent me two more free of charge.  Good Lad!

Now all I need to hear is that the Land Rover dealers sub contractors did indeed fuck up my steering geometry and damage all four tyres and they will put it right.


Weather woes

So here I sit, alone, on a 14 million euro super yacht in Cannes at a time when England play the mighty Australia to stay in the world cup competition.  Should be an exciting time right?

Not so

Currently there is a huge thunder-storm sitting directly over the boat, lashing it with hailstones and 40 knot winds.  That alone is not so bad.  I mean, a huge electrical storm directly overhead and I am sitting inside a carbon fibre boat, now soaking wet with a mast nearly 50 metres closer to the storm than everything else around me.  You shouldn’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that carbon is one of the most electrically conductive materials known to man.  Risky business this yachting lark.

But please spare a thought.  My TV connection is via satellite, not through a fibre cable under the road.  Storm clouds block satellite transmissions perfectly.  Electrical storms interfere with the signal, then block it, just to be doubly sure you can’t watch it.

No problem, Radio 5 live – I streamed the Welsh game on my phone on the drive down.

My french IP address gives me away – cannot stream the game on 5 live – of course they never told me that, I was listening to the build up right up to kick off when they cut the program.  So now I am reduced to the text only stream on the BBC website and now England are 3-10 down !!!

And the storm just knocked out my shore power too – still, I can use the heat from the generator to dry out my pumps that got wet in the storm 2 days ago.

I think I will stay inside until tomorrow and fix the shore power then.

 

Yachting is such fun


What – no Top Gear ?

Just settling down for a sunday evening in front of the TV, Sunday 8pm, BBC2 Top Gear – but not tonight.  Seems that Jezza has overstepped the mark.  Poor old fella!  Personally, I think he could be a huge premadonna so I can believe all that I am hearing. I do predict that tomorrow though – the news will be full of stories about Mr Clarkson NOT renewing his contract with the beeb.  To really push the boat out, I reckon Hammond and May will stay on and Top Gear will continue with a similar format.  It does get a bit boring watching them smoking tyres out on dream cars, with the predictable punch lines and especially when they ask the audience if they want to see the lap in the  ‘star in a reasonably priced car’ segment – of course they do………..time for a change I think.  Tonight I am sampling a new program called ‘Off their Rockers’.

More toilet talk – I picked up a pack of Belgium’s finest bog roll the other week, all different designs.  One that took my fancy straight away was a roll with a drawing of a pile of poo on alternate sheets (almost mis-spelled that ), underneath the cartoon pile was the word ‘Happens’.  I kinda liked that – ‘Shit Happens’  quite apt for a toilet roll.  Then I noticed another roll had a cartoon face of a Lion (or Cat – I couldn’t tell which) with the words in Portuguese underneath that translated to ‘ Very Nice to see You’.  I thought that was a bit weird, dragging that across your butt hole but then this week I noticed the best yet.  Pictures of hands making shapes that signified letters of the alphabet – I assumed they were sign language but thankfully, under each drawing of a hand was the letter being signed.  I pulled a few sheets off the roll to reveal the full phrase, I-L-O-V-E-Y-O-U  drag that across ring piece of your nearest and dearest to show how much you care.

So recently I have been to-ing and fro-ing from Brussels a lot – late night drives to avoid traffic congestion. Traffic just does my head in and if you plan badly you get traffic on the M25 and also on the RO (the Brussels M25 equivalent) at the other end. Usually this means a 10pm ferry, arriving in Dunkirk at 1am local time followed by a two-hour spurt into Brussels.  The other night I got into some morbid thinking about death on the long run into the ring from Dunkirk.  To perk myself up I started flicking through my iTunes playlist until I found something I really liked.  I found the mighty Biffy Clyro & 27. Singing my heart out I was fully prepared to play it again if it finished before I made it to the house but there was an ace in the pack, a very big ace.

As I approached Stockel Square, Biffy faded out and was replaced by Robbie feckin Williams with ‘Angels’.  It was 3am and I was definitely going to be at the house before this song had finished so I dropped both front windows on the car, pumped up the volume and started singing at the top of my voice.  I had time in hand, that was clear, so I circled the market square 3 times that morning – singing my bollocks off in the most out of tune manner you have ever heard in your life.  Think about the worst karaoke you ever heard – that was me.  It was like holding both middle fingers up to those boring french speaking fuckers of Belgium. IT FELT GOOD!! I hope I woke all of them up.

Friday saw the final chapter in Belgium close as we handed back the house there. I will miss having such a huge forest right on my doorstep but new chapters beckon, new adventures are always just around the corner.  Tonight I went for a run taking in a little amount of road before heading into the fields, aiming for the canal towpath somewhere between Kilsby and Barby.  I did finally make the towpath as the light was fading fast.  I missed a turn halfway down a field and added a good half kilometer to my distance.  My OS maps app didn’t work so I had no choice but to back track and find where I had gone wrong.  Eventually on the tow path, the inevitable happened – I needed a dump !  Now, the non runners amongst you will never understand the link between running and dumping but please be assured there is a legitimate link – I certainly do not have a fetish for dropping a steaming coiler out in the nature – sometimes it just can’t be avoided.  Thankfully this time, I had a packet of Handy Andy’s with me so my underwear and hat were safe.

Staying with running – I did manage a new personal best at Saturday’s Parkrun in Coventry’s War Memorial Park.  I ran my lungs out to take over 45 seconds out of my best time.  I was more than a little miffed though – on the last half of the second lap, two other runners that I correctly guessed were in my age group overtook me.  This is a problem for two reasons.  Firstly, anyone that is older than me or younger than me that is in front of me, is a target. I just can’t be beaten by anyone close by that is older or younger (yes I know that is everyone) but could I catch and pass them before the finish line ? Could I bollocks !  The second reason for this being a problem for me was that as they overtook me – they were having a conversation FFS!  If that is not adding insult to injury, I don’t know what is.  I do wonder though – if they applied my theory of ‘if you have enough air left to talk, you ain’t running hard enough’ – just how fast a time could they make ?  Anyway – I managed a respectable 77th place out of a field of 504 runners but I did get beaten by two chicks, and when I say beaten – I mean given a jolly good arse kicking !

But I keep trying – remember, there are two Great North Runs on my agenda this year.

Next week I return to St Maarten in the Caribbean before setting sail on yet another transatlantic crossing for Mallorca.  Transatlantic crossings are very boring. 16 days or so with not a great deal to do although I always say it’s better to have a boring 16 days than 16 days of fighting for your life.

 


Verity McCoy – Where are you ?

This will be a long one – best make a cuppa right now.

Let me start off with the inevitable – England football team.  As always a complete shower of shit, at least they are consistent.  Do they not appreciate the fact that we, the people, cannot survive on a world cup victory from before I was born, we need several more.  I never fully understood the mentality of the English National Team, but let me explain a little.  Below is a clipping from the BBC website from the morning of the Uruguay match (before the game was even starting) – just have a quick read

How to win at football

How to win at football

 

Now, please call me old-fashioned but I for one assumed that the best way to win the world cup was to go to the stadium, get your kit on and then realise that the you have to win every fecking game you play instead of looking for the strangest, most convoluted way around loosing and still getting through.  That’s just me though, a common sense, no-nonsense midlands boy – what would I know?

There are also some benefits of being an ex pat.  Last week we headed into the centre of Brussels to watch their team play.  Everyone dressed in the national colours or flying the Belgian flag and no-one being called a racist for doing so.  It was a happy affair, all were jolly and most definitely a little drunk but all having a good time – AND THEY WON !!!!  It was a good experience.  Today, they play again at 13:00 so I will walk down to the square at the bottom of the street where they have a big screen, pull on my Belgian flagged jesters hat and ham it up with everyone else.  Last match saw an estimated 2500 people on the square so should be fun.  Kick off is not for a few hours yet, in fact it is only 08:30 but there is already one keen fan walking down the street blowing  a vuvuzela.

So England – stop fucking about and get on with it.  Remember though – Anyone but Scotland right?

Moving on

Currently resting after getting back from Brazil last week then spending 5 days entertaining guests that have just left for Paris this morning – hence the early posting.  I have had a little tourist plod around Belgium but also, some of you may find this hard to believe, that stinky swamp infested shit hole called London. A very famous wax museum, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben & the Houses of Parliament.  I was impressed – for this little day and a half trip, I still had some small change from the 1 million pounds I took with me!

Actually, it wasn’t so bad.  Even found a Fish and Chip shop on Baker Street that served fish, chips and mushy peas for just over 50 quid for 4 people.  It was very tasty too.  A place called ‘Holmes’ very close to Baker St tube if you fancy it ?  I was impressed – I had 3 septics with me who all wanted to try the legendary fish and chip experience – I told them they also needed to try mushy peas and they weren’t disappointed.

The septics are now off to Paris for a week to meet some other family and then they will all do battle with the striking garlic munchers to get out of Paris again to  complete their holidays.  Train and Plane strikes to come this week. God bless the French – I often wonder why we didn’t just leave them for the Germans.

On a lighter note

The Magnificent Seven

You know who you are but for the benefit of others…….

Lana

Neal

Verity

Mush

Rupert

Lexa

Lynsey (spelt correctly you might note)

Connor

These are the recent competition winners and it gives me great pleasure to announce that your winners shirts have been dispatched and should all arrive within 1 week.  There is of course the required mandatory entry into the next competition – I need at least 3 photos of you all, while wearing your winners shirt. As the missus suggested when completing her competition entry, one of those photos should be a wet T-shirt photo and YES – that means the boys too!  So get your shirt on and get snapping – Remember, at least three (you can send more) and you must be wearing the shirt in all of them.  emailed to the usual address for me.  The winner of the ‘best photo’ will receive something very special by return.  Closing date will be in a few weeks time but don’t delay, click today.

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Mrs. Verity Smith (Nee McCoy) please let me know.  despite posting an entry for the competition, she has yet to be in touch again with her address for the winners shirt.

There are only 9 of these shirts in circulation, I have Nº 1, the other 8 are owned by the Magnificent Seven listed above. Clever bunnies will appreciate there are 8 names on the list – just remember, as competition rules go, my decision is always final and Connor is a very lucky boy.  I fully expect a stunning array of photos from him.

Later today, I will be watching the Austrian GP – an all Williams front row – I bet no-one saw that coming, most likely not even Massa (avoiding the obvious joke about the object that hit him a couple of years ago).  Good luck to them, that’s all I will say. My money is on ………………

 

Now please let me sleep for a while, I haven’t had a full nights sleep since we set sail from Ft Lauderdale, Florida on 19th May.  As I now have a month off, expect some epic adventure

 

 

 


Lip up Fatty !

The lesson today is aimed at the travellers amongst you.  Not particularly the seasoned travellers, although I fear it may apply to some, this lesson is intended to help those less experienced travellers.  Let the lesson begin.

The Baggage Reclaim Belt

Great thought and planning has been put into the design and placement of these wonders of modern science.  They invisibly transport your luggage from the plane you just got off, right up to your luggage trolley and sweaty grubby hands so that you can trot off into the sunset sipping your piña coladas.

The belt amazingly goes all the way around in a giant circle, this is not a design floor but a little something the engineers thought of to help you.  This is especially reassuring if you should miss your bag as it passes you at a sedate 1 mph.  Maybe you are in the toilet, getting a coffee or just slower than others to the belt but rest assured, when you get to the belt, your bag will be lovingly waiting for you

The speed of the belt has been carefully calculated to allow people of all abilities the time to approach, lift off the bag and step away from the belt, it’s so simple even children can do it and quite often do.

Those health and safety conscious engineers also designed a ‘safe zone’ around the belt, a safe distance to keep children or loose clothing from getting caught up in the moving belt.  This safe zone, usually denoted but a big thick line on the floor (yellow is the norm) also doubles as an optimum viewing point, where people can gather and all have a spectacular view of the belt and its approaching contents.

To be sure that the belt doesn’t unexpectedly trap anyone, prior to its starting, it has a very loud audible alarm and normally a flashing warning light (usually yellow just like the safe zone line).

The engineers intention was to provide a simple safe quick means of re-uniting you and several hundred other travellers with your luggage all at the same time

But they forgot to allow for the fuckwit factor

Etiquette at the belt

Do stay behind the safety line at all other times except when you step forward to grab your bag.  Do not induce a mass pile on at the edge of the conveyor.

When you think you have eyeballed your bag, grab it and step bag with it to read the tag. Do not try to read the tag while the bag is still on the belt, you will end up on the top of the pile of muppets who are all standing on the wrong side of the yellow line as the bag drags you around the carousel.

If you are a little older, stay out of the scrum, this will make life generally much easier for you, give you more time to react, while adjusting your glasses to read the label without taking the bag off the belt and you will not cause carnage for everyone else.

DO NOT – step in front of someone who is waiting behind the safety line unless your bag is getting close to you, certainly do not step in front of someone else before the belt has even started.  I had always assumed that this was a given but it appears not.

Really DO NOT – step in front of me as I wait patiently behind the line, then try to grab the worlds two biggest cases and put them down on my toes.  I will not move for you nor offer you any assistance with your colossal load of shite – you packed it, you carry it, they are my rules.

Trolleys – keep them behind the line too, give yourself some space as you wade through the other bodies with your load, put it on your trolley carefully so that you don’t spin your trolley off in some random direction running down pensioners along the way

Remember – that belt goes all the way round and comes back to where you are standing, if, while man handling your first sack of shite to your trolley, you realise your second bag is already upon you – LET IT GO…..IT WILL COME AROUND AGAIN!  The rumour that if it goes around twice, the bomb disposal squad will take it and check it out with a ‘controlled’ explosion is simply not true.  Do not chase it, trolley in one hand with the first bag only half on, occasionally stretching out for the second bag on the belt trying to pull it off as it snags the solid edge of the belt and begins a bag like pile up that the M25 in rush hour would be proud of – you look like a demented retard and everyone quite rightly thinks you are just a little bit of a cunt.  If you really are so much more important than everyone else at the reclaim and you absolutely have to be the first in the next queue that awaits you as it awaits all of us, walk the other way around.  It’s always easier, usually the same way to the exit and by the time you see your bag again, the belt will be human clutter free as they are all bunched up at the delivery chute where your bag first joined the belt.

Parents – If you choose to leave your kids unattended and they do find their way to the belt, only to sit on it when it starts, you should be aware that if a child circumnavigates the belt twice without anyone taking it, the bomb disposal squad will remove the child and make it safe with a ‘controlled’ explosion – now that seems perfectly reasonable to me.

If this is all a bit too much for you, there is still hope – hand luggage only is an option, as is not flying at all.

Next week – tune in again for arrivals hall etiquette – ‘fuck everyone else behind me, I am stopping right here’.

Let me finish with something I read today.  On the BBC website they had quoted about the shooting in America at the US Navy building.  The BBC are suggesting that ‘ The US gunman had mental health issues’! – Really? Thanks for alerting me to that fact.  When did the media dumb down so much?  It reminds me of the other year while watching a weather forecast (not the BBC) the presenter said ‘ there is a 50% chance that this summer will be better than last summer’. Sharp that girl was, her university education certainly improved her !

And the Costa Concordia is upright again.  This Italian built vessel, built to Italian code, with an Italian Captain and sailing in Italian waters that ran into an Italian island whilst flying an Italian flag is reported to be going back to Italy to be scrapped – has anyone else spotted the common theme here?


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