Tag Archives: cannes

Watch your Pilchards !!

Holidays ending again.  I am now half way across France on my way back to Cannes after a weeks holiday.  What was billed as a holiday did in fact feel nothing like it – every day was frantic with either repairing my latest acquisition (Volvo V40) or packing boxes and taking them to storage ahead of Lana’s move to Colombia and giving up the house in Hilmorton.

2017 continues to be a year crammed with chapter changes.  The happier of which is I am glad to say that after a 2 month stay in hospital, Uncle Dennis is finally back at home and on the mend.  The old fella had us all worried for a while there but he is a tough old bugger and will probably outlive me!

After nearly two and a half years onboard of Pink Gin, I have finally quit.  The biggest problem of working on boats, I have always found, is politics, and this one finally got the better of me.  That said, it now hits the record books as my longest term employed on a single vessel.

So now I have some choices to make, which way to turn, where to go.  My favourite at the moment is a role based out of Seattle.  That boat travels to Alaska in the summer and Costa Rica in the winter – private use only.  It’s a good time to be getting paid in $ too.

I leave Pink Gin on 22nd September and will head directly down to Portugal to see what is left of my house.  I haven’t seen it in three years now so this will be an interesting visit.  A week or so of surfing, running and mountain biking should sort me right out.  Who knows, I might even stay there for the winter and get back on with some studies.

The other closing chapter this month will be myself and Lana.  After 6 years we have both decided to call it a day.  She will leave for Colombia at the end of October to start her new chapter in Bogotá.  I have decided not to go.  It is certainly fair to say that we have both changed over the last 6 years and now clearly want different things from our lives.  I am glad to say the split has been amicable and mutual and I wish her well.

I can’t help but think that one person will have a small sigh of relief at that news. Auntie Jen strangely enough.  One of the very few people that knew my true feelings on many things.  She always used to ask me if I was happy and how was my love life in such a sincere and inquisitive way that I could never withhold the truth.  She was aware of my growing unease in my relationship.  Now, I am not saying she disapproved of my choice in partner but she knew I was not happy and like any good Auntie would, she wanted to see me at the top of my game.  I miss her.


Now, let me take you all back a week or so.  On my mammoth road trip from Cannes to Rugby I have the music on random when an old INXS song came on. Nostalgia is a funny thing, things were good for nearly everyone when these guys were around.  Anyway, I had the most random thought as I listened to the song below, wondering if Sir Bob Geldof ever listens to INXS and if he does, what does he think about it all?

This time next week, I will be back in the town where this blog began over 10 years ago!


Damn, That water was cold

Desperate not to break my resolutions, I have been taking a dip in the very cold water of Cannes.  As Jeremy Clarkson once said ‘my penis was like a press stud’.

Chilly enough for me to order a pair of booties for the water too.

Don’t let that get you down though – there is one thing that is adding immense cheer to the New Year – Summer Holiday adverts. Not all of them but just one, Thomas Cook, Be Bold.  If you don’t know it, follow the link below

It does also give me an idea for the years first competition.  Watch the video a few times so that you get a good feeling for what is going on and then make your own version.  Include yourself, family members, work colleagues, pets or even a local police man, or anything else that takes your fancy – send it to me and I will show them all in the video section of this blog.  The best submission as voted for by my readers will win a very special prize.

That’ll do for now


Happy New Year Mofo’s

Remember to tick the right box

My recent travels to the UK left me feeling  a bit perplexed.  I flew EasyJet again – lets be honest, the price is right and the service now that the company has matured a little, is actually very good.  They have good routes, and generally run on time. I even managed to get the train from Rugby to Luton Airport, 1st class for just over £30 and a silly £1.60 bus transfer from Luton Airport Parkway Station to the Terminal – all in about 2 hours – pretty damn sweet if you ask me!

I am perplexed because when booking, I never noticed the tick box for ‘I will behave like a total fuckwit’ yet so many of my fellow passengers did.  I also find it amusing that people start to queue at the gate even before the incoming plane has landed and made its way to the gate to offload the incoming passengers.  What really tickles me is when people with ‘Speedy Boarding’ are also as hurried to get in a queue for a plane that hasn’t even arrived yet.  Oh the joys of flying.

What leaves me dumb struck are the regular flyers – by that I mean the business man that flies business class and gets priority boarding. Why is it that these spaztards actually get to the gate and when they are asked for their boarding cards, they have it stowed at the very bottom of their carry on ?   I could fully understand if they were virgin flyers but regular flyers should know better.

There is of course one huge bonus of flying back to France – it is a given that the arrivals hall will be a major cluster fuck.  So, Nice, Terminal 2 – there are 4 or 5 reclaim belts but those cheese munchers decide to put three flights worth of bags all on one belt while the others stand redundant.  Of course, you can trust the passengers to then crowd right up to the belt so that no-one can get to their bag when it actually comes around after a wait of 30 minutes.  Society has become one huge self centred place where people have little or no consideration for those around them.

Now lets talk conspiracy.  On the boat, my shampoo is Head and Shoulders.  Now, I don’t have dandruff but I do have a concern.  I think that  when I stop using the shampoo and switch to whatever brand comes next, suddenly I will start getting dandruff – a result of the secret ingredient that is put in the shampoo to trap the accidental user.

Don’t believe me?  Ask someone who has used Sensodyne toothpaste and then stopped – I bet their teeth got sensitive afterwards.

All done?  Not quite.

Tomorrow morning I will brave the chilled temperature of the Meditereanean at around 06:45.  I brought my summer wet suit with me so that I can start swimming in the mornings too.  The boat gauge suggests 14ºc – time will tell.

For other things, there’s Mastercard!

Can’t help but notice that finally, Word Press have forced their changes upon us – their ‘improved’ blogging experience will certainly add nothing for me but no doubt share my data with their paying clients.  And of course, being a grumpy old git, I will struggle to find everything now that it has all been changed around for no benefit to me.

Modern life can be suck a ball ache.

That said, the other day I had to chuckle – I got a speeding ticket.  Sure, my checkered past of high speeds in the UK is well documented but this one really was priceless.

I had to drive the boss’s car back from Nice airport – alone….!

A very nippy Mini Cooper Works, convertible. Naturally I gave it a bit of welly but I had forgotten a couple of things.  Normally in a UK plated car, speeding tickets don’t get issued.  Sadly this time, I was in a German registered car and Germany agrees to share vehicle details with the rest of the EU – unlike the UK.

So, at the boss’s HQ in Germany, they received the notice and forwarded it on to me.  It was all quite civil if I am honest – 126 in a 110 and a 45€ fine, payable on line in just a few seconds. Easy.

It was almost an enjoyable experience.

Oh the joys of Christmas



Muffin the Mule

Has it really been so long?  18th October since I posted last!!

There is only so much ‘Judge Judy’ one man can take in a weekend.  To make matters worse, after the Judge comes Dog the Bounty Hunter and we have limited channels on board.

So I turned the TV off, grabbed a glass of Merlot out of the fridge and decided to have a quick waffle.

Work is finished for the day and I can’t remember the last time I had alcohol on a Saturday afternoon.  People will say that drinking alone is a sign of a drinking problem – poppycock I say – drinking alone when everyone else has pissed off can be complete bliss!

I also wondered the other day, about those old sayings that used to be around when I was a kid. For example, if you walked past a neighbours house and they were cleaning their windows, your mother would always say to the neighbour ‘you’ll make it rain’. Do people still do that or have the old traditions all completely died off?  Personally, I have never met anyone who has had their arm broken by a swan. And when the wind changed, my face has never stuck like that.

I have noticed this year though that suddenly, everything is getting a bit more physical and I am wondering if this is the first true sign of age creeping up on me.  You see, at the ripe old age of 46, sometimes I get worried that I might actually be slipping down the other side of the hill.  I do get confusing messages though.  they say certain parts of the body keep growing right up until death, like your ears and your nose but in general your body overall starts to shrink.  Now at my last medical almost two years ago, the Doctor listed me as 6’3” which was handy, an inch taller than the previous medical.  My next one is due in February so I will fond out more on that theory soon.  But still my ears grow, my nose sprouts and my penis remains the same !

Lets talk about running for a moment.  Last month, the Nice to Cannes Marathon came along the Promenade very close to the boat so I trotted off to watch the first finishers come across the line.  A little over two hours and some of them were done.  I watched one guy running at such a lean angle sloping forwards that I was sure he couldn’t sustain that angle and stay on his feet. He was exhausted and struggling to stay upright.  His lean was so far forward that it looked like his knuckles were almost dragging on the floor, he looked finished to me but less than half a mile from the finish line he was a determined old chap.  About 20 metres before he reached me he fell.  Almost flat on his face.  If he had gone face down, he would never have had the strength to lift an arm to try to break his fall. Luckily, the swagger in his stride made him slew slightly and he landed on his upper arm and shoulder – ironically on a pedestrian crossing.  Someone stepped out from the crowd to help him up and as they grabbed his left arm, he angrily pushed them away, undoubtedly swearing at them in french.  He climbed to his feet, I am sure with all kinds of hallucinations in his eyes, and started his final approach for the line.  Imagine walking in a strong wind, how far you have to lean into the wind to keep going – this guy was walking in a gale force 10.  I applauded and cheered as the old fella passed me and fuck me if I didn’t have a little tear in my eye for the old fella. Bloody amazing! He disappeared around the curve of the promenade – never fell over while I was watching him and I am certain as soon as he could see the line, his determination would have carried him over in a final flurry before falling into the arms of the medical teams just over the line.

I was hanging around to see people that were finishing in the three and a half to four hour category – I think this is where I would finish in a full marathon.  I wanted to see the physical size of people.  See, big guys like me shouldn’t be very fast over big distances and I was curious.  It was just after four hours before I started seeing finishers of my build.  The guy that had fallen, I would guess would be in my age group, maybe with another 5 years.  He was smaller than me, and leaner than me and although fully exhausted and falling over, he was within the three and a half hour mark easily – I doubt I would have been anywhere close.

As enjoyable as it is – running hurts. Non runners understand that but they never understand what pushes people on beyond the pain.  It hurts, and not just as you finish, but for days afterwards.  Last sunday, I left the boat at around 09:30 for my standard weekend half marathon distance.  I left the boat with gloves, light fleece, beanie, running tights and a T-shirt. Heading straight up the hill to the Observatory.  Its 5k to that point and ALL uphill to a height of approx 230 metres.  That’s running hard, heavy breathing long strides and beginning to get a good sweat on.  Before the top of the hill, I had my beanie and gloves off.  After the summit, the effort greatly reduces as I drop back down to sea level so the fleece came off too.  Quite a chilly morning so as you might expect, a bit nipply.  Better still, that chilled breeze on my chest where a big sweat patch has formed from the neck-band  almost down to my belly button. Now I have a wet shirt exposed to chilly air rubbing on erect nipples.

As I left Golfe Juan heading for home but still with a tad less than 6km to go, I became aware of just how sore my nipples were.  The first thought was ‘they will sting like hell when I get in the shower’ – I wasn’t wrong.  I pushed on though, out of the village and onward to Cannes, I could see two runners in the distance, a girl and a guy.  Even after all of that distance and with the impending nipple explosion, I started the chase.

I caught and passed the girl just inside the village limits of Cannes.  Initially I thought the pair were running together but no, the guy was a little further on but I was reeling him in too.  The last roundabout in the village and he turned off before I could pass him – personally I think he was scared that I was about to overtake him and took the easier option, the modern-day equivalent of falling on your sword – turned down a dead-end road !

Now I was right – the shower was a welcome thing except for the severe stinging as the water splashed over my nipples.  Even on Monday, the shower still hurt.  I did buy some plasters on Monday afternoon just to keep them covered while I did other exercises during the week.  By Wednesday, my nipples had all scabbed up – not a pretty sight.  On Thursday, I decided to pull the scabs off.  Some people pay good money for that kind of pain and here was I getting it for free. To my amazement, the scabs came off cleanly and quite pain-free but I have to say I have never, ever seen nipples bleed like that !

Year 46 – last week I took 2 minutes out of my 10k Observatory run.  5k up that big hill and back down again came and went in under 52 minutes.  It means nothing to many of you but when I first paced out that route, it was taking me just over an hour.  Dont get me wrong, any normal 10k race can be dispensed in under 48 minutes but they don’t have the hills that this one has.

So there – more waffle than anticipated.  Next I want to continue on the poo theme. Yep sure, we all do it, I have a photo gallery here on this site of poops of all shapes and sizes.  Earlier this week, me ol’e mukka Conor sent me a little piece of information that I feel compelled to share with you

types of poo


Christmas is almost here and I haven’t heard Slade once, heard anyone singing carols, seen any christmas lights or eaten a single mince pie.

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

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