Tag Archives: portugal

The grabbing hands grab all they can

Heads up to my old mucker Connor.  He dropped me a line today asking if I was ok as I hadn’t posted for a while.  When I checked, it has been almost 2 months.  A tad too long me thinks.

Lets put that right.

Where was I last time ?  Well, in the last couple of months I sold my house in Portugal, I am sure I wrote about that before.  I have also officially returned to the UK.  Not only returning, but adding immensley to HMRC pleasure, I have also started two new businesses.  If we are chums on facebook, you would most likely have received an invite to like my new venture.

The business went live as of 1st September and I am currently sitting in Gatwick Airport waiting for a flight out to Buenos Aires and then onto Uruguay so that I can join my first customer, a sailing yacht called Pumula.

You can read about her here  Pumula

A small craft by my standards but also high tech and complex, hence the captains request for an engineer of my stature to do the trip from Montevideo around the tip of South America and up to Valparaiso in Chile.  If the incoming new engineer impresses the captain with his skills during that trip, I will get off and head home.  If not, the skipper will ask me to stay on for the delivery between Chile and Tahiti. Two very big trips for a novice engineer to undertake, hence my attendance to help him along.

I see the Canadian premier is in a little trouble this week – for black facing 18 years ago.  Interesting.  People say black facing is racist.  I struggle with that a little bit.  The old definition of racist according to the OED was ‘a belief that a race is inferior to another’ and I just don’t see how black face fits into that category.

For a couple of reasons.

If you were a racist and hated black people – why would you black up ? Surely dressing as any character, regardless of colour is an aknowledgement of their achievments ?

In the instance of Trudeau, if you are dressing up as a person of colour ( I use that term not for political correctness but purely because it covers a broad range of races), for that dress up to be effective, you would need to be of the same colour skin surely?  Let me give you an example.

I want to go to a fancy dress party as the great, Mohamed Ali – floats like a butterfly stings like a bee, his hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see.  If I want to go as Ali and  I go white skinned, how will people differentiate between say Ali and Henry Cooper?

Its an interesting question.

You might even argue that if only naturally black skinned people could go to fancy dress as Ali – where’s the equality in that?

I coupled that statement with another thought.  If you were a black person going as Henry Cooper, would you white face to prevent the reverse confusion?

I managed to watch a BBC interview linked below.  I watched this with interest, as, people of colour (again for the wide coverage rather than PC) all suggested they had no problem with this.  Some stating it was a long time ago, others stating that he should be judged on what he is achieving today.

I was interested in those views because we are being told that blacking up is offensive to black people.  I didn’t see any black people complaining.  What I did see was one white woman complaining how wrong it was.  It does give power to my thoughts that all of the noise is not a serious defence of right and wrong, but nothing more than a political points scoring exercise.

The danger with that?  The normal people of the world get tired of hearing it. So when there is a real case of racism to be answered, our ears are numb to the call – numb and deaf.

Dont take my word for it though – see this interview for yourself here.

BBC Interview


Now, all of that aside


I walked into the duty free section at Gatwick Airport tonight.  Duty Free areas a shit now aren’t they.  They force you to weave your way through all that shit that you never want to buy.  Sneaky really – trying to lure you in with bright lights, pretty girls and the false promise of cheaper goods than you can get on the high street.

It is my least favourite part of the airport if I am honest – I would rather lick random toilet seats than pass through there.  Tonight though – it was, very briefly, a very pleasant experience all owed to an old song I heard while walking through – I almost stopped to listen.  A very brave and smart person put this on the playlist for a duty free shop selling perfume – but I don’t care, I appreciated it.  Bravo

D’arcy rocks.  This one’s for you Connor – speakers at 10 please !!


Fuck – music was good back in the day!

Busting at the seams

Its a bug bear.  You find a coffee shop and place your order.  The girl behind the counter asks you for your name, even though you have asked for your coffee to stay (in a proper cup, not that disposable crap). I have a strong dislike (SJ) for this.  Take my order, take my payment but why do you need my name?

Has there been an epidemic of thefts in coffee shops that I missed being reported on John Cravens Newsround?  I doubt it.

Today, I gave my name as ‘Queen Latifah’.  The girl looked at me quizzically for a moment before realising my game and smiling.


En route to sunny Portugal this morning.  Looks like I have a buyer for the love shack down in Sagres. Landing in Faro soon and then off to the bank in Lagos to watch a young couple transfer some euros to me and then sign the pre sale agreement.  Just in the nick of time with brexit looming.

Motorway was blissfully quiet at 4am, almost had a heart attack when the satnav told me I had missed my turn for Gatwick.  I was sure I hadn’t, turns out I was right.  That sat nav needs updating.

Here’s hoping for a drone free departure.  Back tomorrow night before heading for a weekend spa with my bird.

Back to work on Tuesday, setting sail soon for Athens.


Visited Eden in Cornwall over christmas.  Never been before and its fair to say, I won’t be heading back.  Check out the photo below of the special light show that was planned for my visit.

After looking around for a few hours, we waited patiently for the light show to start.  Eventually, I went to the information point to ask what time it all kicked off, only to be told ‘it has been running all day’.

What !!  £62 to see a light show that I hadn’t even noticed was turned on,   £10 for a burger and chips…….! Nah, Eden, you are not for me.  Huge disappointment.  Shame on you.


The flyer below promised so much.  In reality, there was nothing to see, absolutely nothing.  What a con.




I did manage to catch up with Alex Clifton, AKA Alex Faggotpants, AKA Mr. Brittas while in Cornwall though.  A coffee and a chat at the once majestic Blue Bar in Porthtowan.  Blue has changed a lot since my last visit probably 15 years ago or more.  Used to be one of those sand on the floor, post surf party holes that Hollywood try to mimic in their movies.  It was a cool place.  Now, just full of the london jet set, all guff, FIGJAM’s and skinny mocha choca gluten free soya iced lattes.

And they call that progress.  The human race is doomed.

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

The Two Less’s

I hope you didn’t read that as The Two Lezzies.  Less’s as in the opposite of more.

All the hipsters will tell you that ‘less is more’.  Well shall we find out?  Currently I am homeless and jobless – two pretty major less’s in anyones life – but both at the same time?  Bring it on.

It sounds a little harsher than it is in reality though.  I do still have a house, just all the way down in Portugal, and being honest, that is close to uninhabitable right now. Being jobless is more correct but only until the 16th December when I head to Thailand to start my new job out there – so all in all, The Two Less’s was something of a misleading headline.

But officially – a jobless and homeless bum I am !!

I have been fortunate enough to be loaned a huge american motor home (America – Fuck Yeah!) for my following days of need – not a bad gig either.  Got my Xbox set up and am ready to rock and roll.

I also got my hand over notes today for the new vessel.  Sometimes I think I am something of a rarity when it comes to giving someone hand over notes.  Usually mine spread out to a small novel, my last effort,  whopping 49 pages.  Today I got half a dozen pages.  My initial pass made me think they were not all that but one cursory read had me shuddering in my boots.  A hull breach due to electrolysis.

For the non tech minded of my readers, electrolysis is damage caused to a metal that is immersed in water due to an electrical current leak.  Where the hull carries a positive charge, the damage is more severe, as electricity is always trying to travel from positive to negative, where negative in this case is earth – or sea water.  It also doesn’t bode well that salt water happens to be a good conductor of water.  The damage occurs as the electricity exits the positive side of the circuit heading for the negative.  During this exit, it takes a little bit of the metal with it, creating pitting.  If left for long enough, enough of the metal is removed to create a hole.  Once the hole is formed, the process doesn’t stop but continues to expand the hole’s diameter.

Some metals are more easily pitted than others. Aluminium for instance, is not naturally resistive to electrolysis.  It just so happens that the new boat is Aluminium.  For the American readers (as it is an American built Trinity Yacht) I should say Aluminum.  So there is my first serious dilemma to overcome.

I was also missing some basic data about fuel consumption, ranges and speeds, oil burn etc but I am about to send a mail to remind him of that.  I am also going to ask if his technical files are up to date – at this point I expect him to shit himself.


Moving on – for those of you that know what I do for a living, this has lead to the need to update some basic training.  Last week, I braved the Isle of Wight for three days to refresh my knowledge of Fire Fighting, Sea Survival and Advanced Fire Fighting.  Being Officer material, I am required to study at advanced levels !!!  That, in reality is irrelevant.  What I really wanted to share was the fact that last week I had to go in the water in West Cowes on the Isle of Wight.  The instructors took great pleasure in telling us that the water was a delightful 6ºc – I didn’t mis-type that, six degrees!  My cock was like a drawing pin!

This week I am on the other side of The Solent in Warsash and spent the day on the end of a windy Pier, fooling around with life boats.  My final few days winding up until I head out to Thailand for the first time in my life.

YES – I am aware that Thailand has a reputation for seedy sex and even more so Ladyboys.  I plan to spend the first three months working solidly on board until I can take some leave in April so it wont be bothering me in the slightest but thank you for all of the warnings.  Maybe I will make a photo album of ‘he or she’ when I get some time and let you guess which is which?

So this morning I will finish off all of my notes I need to complete and then head to sunny Southampton and maybe a trip up the Spinnaker.  Been a few years since I went up there.  Not being the most comfortable with heights, I think I should push myself to the top and stand on the glass floor.

More soon I promise, from Thailand




Cold Feet

Imagine my anticipation.  Flying out of Birmingham Airport on the 19th October, heading to Qatar for the first time.  The legendary customer service that you might expect from Qatar Airlines coupled to the fact that I would be flying on the new(ish) Boeing Dreamliner for the first time.  The dreamliner – for those that don’t know, is cutting edge carbon fibre construction.  Now, translating the phrase ‘cutting edge’ into my engineering mindset, I get the phrase ‘new in the market’ or to put it another way ‘not yet proved to stand the tests and rigours of time and flight’.

So, I wandered up to the boarding gate a little ahead of time to get a look at the wee beastie and see if I could calm my nerves some.  I peered in the early morning gloom at the front of the aeroplane and saw something that did indeed rattle my cage somewhat.

See, call me old fashioned, call me what you will, aluminium repair tape has its place in the world, I agree, and have often used it, normally around exhaust joints etc etc etc.  Never in my wildest dreams would I think of using it on a vehicle that travels at 35,000 feet in excess of 500 mph – least of all, would I expect to see it holding the pilots window in place on the latest Boeing Dreamliner – but by christ, that is what I saw.



Yeah – this was going to be the longest 6 hours of my life.  Except it wouldn’t be.  It turned out to be 7 hours.  Apparently the incoming flight had a Mini Cooper in its hold and the cargo boys at Birmingham were having some trouble getting it out again, so I sat at the gate for an hour biting my nails.

My excitement and apprehension was cut short though. I have a problem with airlines – none in particular, they are all the same.  Being 6’3” I struggle with leg room.  Most airlines combat this by taking an extra £50 or so out of my wallet for letting me sit in the exit row seat (also very handy for being the first out if something does go wrong). Except on this flight, and my return leg, all those exit row seats have been reserved by 5 foot midgets. An extra problem on the Dreamliner as there is something the size of an xbox under all seats, with the exception of the middle seat.  It stands in the inside edge of the seat leg, effectively reducing the width of the space under the seat in front – or in more simple terms, the space where you want to put your feet is reduced and now to combat the Xbox installation, you have to sit crooked in your seat for 6, if not 7 hours.

Now, without getting off topic, this is one of my biggest gripes with modern world.  People keep selling us upgrades, better services, more comfort, faster response times, more overhead locker space etc – but who the fucking hell thought that it would be a good idea to wedge these metal boxes under the seat exactly where 6 people in each and every row want to put their feet?

Personally I never travel with a bag that tests the weight limit of the overhead bins, I would much prefer a little less up there in favour of more leg room at my seat.  I can’t imagine anyone in the world would agree with Boeing designers on this one – with a few exceptions – Hipsters and Apple Lemmings,  because we all know that Hipsters and Apple Lemmings just have to wank on continuously about how good all things modern and diverse are – the fuckers !

Moan over.  Now, I have added a few photographs from a recent visit to Portugal so do pop across to the photo section and take a little look.  Nothing spectacular, but all the same, have a look.

And Finally

Cold Feet – I just watched the last of the current series (courtesy of my newly acquired VPN, I can now watch all the UK TV while globe trotting).

Think back 15 years or so when Cold Feet first came about – It was astounding back then.  It was one of those TV programs that when it was on, you were always home to watch it.  Never missed, and always planned for, it was an epic from a good time in life.  The whole country used to talk about it.  Sure, there were others – 30 something from the 80’s, ER in the 90’s, Six Feet Under in the 00’s, but this was just better, home grown better, and Faye Ripley with that Manchester accent used to (and still does) drive me wild.

For me, it picks up perfectly where the last series finished over a decade ago.  The characters have grown older perfectly and it still makes me feel warm inside – like a good glass of red and block of chocolate.

So I was sad to see the last one go tonight but then I remembered that it has been commissioned for a second series so I am happy again.  Tra La Laa


Now really and finally

16 year olds do not have the right to use the phrase ‘back in the day’. Come on, back in the day means at least half your life ago – so when you are 40 and you say back in the day, you are referring to the period in your life when you were 20.  I just don’t see anything that could have happened that was so memorable for an 8 year old that they need to recall it with their adolescent plebs.

Oh yeah back in the day when we used to buy penny chews on the way to school….


Now the last really and finally…


If you want to see where I am right now, take a look at the link below.  I am in a place called Doha, which is in the Kingdom of Qatar.  I am here for a 5 week gig, working on a boat that is moored at a place called Porto Arabia on The Pearl.  They were kind enough to supply me with a Toyota 4×4, a fuel allowance for the car and a massive, and I mean mah-hoosive apartment on The Pearl overlooking the Lagoon and the City beyond.  There is more than enough room here for John and Mon to come and stay – I actually think Rue might even manage it!

The Pearl, Doha

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!


NOT if you are half Possum

In the cold light of day, I have to admit to beginning to feel my age a little.

I was watching a couple on the beach earlier with their son who was probably around 10 or 12 years old.  Watching them jump in the air while taking photos I did feel their pain.  Not that they had a rough landing, no.  I read their expressions that clearly from 100 yards away said – ‘ I used to be able to jump higher than that‘.  Both him and her had it written all over their faces – and it was painfully obvious that they had put all of their effort into making a jump that probably didn’t elevate their head more than 6 inches from its normal height from the ground.

I feel that pain too – most days, while running or cycling or even reaching for something.  It’s just not as good as it used to be, a little less spring in my step, taking the stairs all the way to the bottom instead of jumping half of them, running up a kerb and getting enough lift to clear the obstacle and land on the pavement rather than bounding like a Gazelle and landing a metre further forward than I really needed to.  I fear the Reaper is gaining speed on me slowly but surely.

On a less grim note – my car is EPIC !  A bit juicy with a board on the roof, a bike on the back and a boot full of crap, but still all the same, rather damn splendid. it glides effortlessly and in utter comfort for 1000 kilometres and I never even felt tired.  I like it a lot.

Have also managed to touch base with almost all of the people I need to and a couple of surprises along the way too.  I have to decide if I want to do battle with the local electricity board again.  A year and a half ago, I told them that no-one had lived in my house for over a year, gave them a new meter reading and expected to get a huge refund – but no – this is Portugal – As much bullshit as Spain but where the people are twice as stupid.

Lagos Marina has a Café so I just had to head there for a full english breakfast this morning, it was lush I have to say – and less than 10 euro too.  The wind was blowing a hooligan there too – I forgot just how windy this place can be.  I am considering wandering up to the Drom later but I think that is probably just misplaced nostalgia – I am expecting to bump into the old crowd, Gentleman Jim, Mental Mila, Zeni and others but something tells me that just won’t happen.

Popped into Uwe’s workshop today on the way to see Frannie and Max.  He had a long board there with some colours that reminded me of melting Vanilla ice-cream with strawberries in it.  Sadly it was already spoken for otherwise I would have had it but I did challenge him to make another one that has a full bottom paint in the vanilla and strawberry design.  I have to say though – I think that one would end up on the wall in Belgium rather than coated with wax and grunting up the beach. It was lush – I want one – my first Kluba

Expect more of the same tomorrow, I may venture to Amado in search of a tidier wave – we will see.




Dancing with the Devil on your back

Free at last!

The summer is mine, but not without some last minute observations.  Another latin country and another set of rules ( or lack of them). I was trying out the new easyjet electronic boarding pass system to my mobile phone when I realised that Olbia was not on their list of airports that would accept it.  Expecting to get hammered at the check in, I found a place in the airport that offers office support and they printed the pass for me and charged me just 20 cents for the privilege.  Nice start to the trip.

Next up, Italian pilots.  For years we have heard how bad their driving is but as the plane was taxiing out to the runway, the first officer suddenly jammed on his brakes.  Turns out he was heading to the wrong end of the runway to take off – I always kind of expected pilots to know where they were going.  A quick thrust from the starboard engine and we were heading in the correct direction. I have to give this guy his dues though, the landing at Milan was superbly gentle.

The next morning, I was given the full Italian experience. An airport full of them! Bling and chav’d up to the eyeballs, in fact, dressed like that in England, you would have swore they were pikeys but the best was yet to come.

On the plane, I got my exit seat when a couple of blinged up high society older generation Italian came walking along the aisle.  Now my Italian is not perfect but as the bird got a couple of rows away from me, she was calling to the Steward that I was in her seat.  Obviously she was wrong and her husband promptly corrected her but it lead me into some thoughts about the class system.

Here were two, what I am assuming were upper class old Italians, dressed to the nines, her with more Jewelry than Liberace, it was dripping off her.  In my mind, very poor taste but from what I had seen of Milan airport, it was the norm to look like a pikey.  What then ensued was a flurry of class leveling experiences.

Firstly, you are on easyjet love, no matter how much money your old man has, you are going to be cattle herded just like the rest of us.  No first class here – the best you can manage to show your opulent wealth is paying for an extra leg room seat when your feet hardly touch the floor.

Nº 2 on my class levelling list – no matter how much money you have, the bling dripping off you cannot – I repeat – cannot cover up for the smell of stale piss if you haven’t washed for a couple of day.  B.O. knows no class boundaries – you stink.

Lastly – and this one made me chuckle the most – when on a plane and the person next to you farts – you have to breathe it in just like everyone else.  I figured that I had to deal with her smell for the next hour and a half, she could have a bit of mine.

All classes were finally equal.

But for now, back in Mallorca and resting for a couple of days before the first of several road trips planned for this summer.  8am on Sunday morning I am on the fast ferry to the mainland and then a 10 hour drive to Portugal for a week of surfing, mountain biking, scuba diving, running and walking.  I have the car for the job and will thoroughly enjoy the space and solitude of being completely on my own for the first time in a year.  living on a yacht has its benefits but by christ, you can never find your own space to just be alone.

More inspirational observations soon – I promise

As Florence once said – It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back

Damage Destructor

It’s almost time – tomorrow is my last day aboard the good ship Timoneer – all I have to do now is argue with the Captain to get the cab fare to the airport as part of my repatriation.

I am excited to be taking the summer off again of course, and most of all, I think I am looking forward to being able to run cross country.  The rugged countryside of Cape St Vincente in Portugal is my first stop, then an old favourite, The Belgian Forest close to the house and then of course, the English bridalways in full bloom.  I am just so bloody bored of running roads and pavement now, but first I have a short stop in Mallorca again until 8am on Sunday morning when I get on the fast ferry via Ibiza and onto Denia.

So you might think that having the summer off would be relaxing and slow paced but already I am booked up until 27th August with a diary full of stuff to do. Not much time to spare, but of course I will be enjoying the Rangie in all its left hand drive glory.  Cannock Chase is on the cards with Mr.B on 7th July, a trip to St Petersburg and Moscow at the end of July, Scuba Instructor exams in August in the very tasteful resort of Benidorm on the Costa Del Sol – I am something of a Jet Set playboy it would seem.

I am also toying with the idea that if I don’t find something I like workwise for September, maybe I should invest in a Gas Turbine course in the states – a little bit of personal progression.

So for now, one more day to survive then a squeezy jet plane out to Milan tomorrow evening and onto Palma the next day.

Expect a summer of more enthralling blogging, video making and piracy on the high seas.

Young Teen Clunge

A strange search string to use to reach my site but this week, someone did actually land on these hallowed pages with the above search.

It was also the week that my sister, after some 8 years of me blogging, finally subscribed to my site.

I am now left wondering if there is a connection between the two?


Enough of that – let me blog…….


Sardinia is cold wet and windy.  We got a gold old fashioned kicking when we left Palma for Olbia, but then what should you expect when you leave port and the forecast is a Mistral? Every other boat crew were shaking their heads when we told them we were in fact going to sea.  The boat has been reacting very negatively to me leaving.  On the day we left port, no less than 4 failures, and pretty much one every day since we have been here.  it is making it much easier for me to walk away guilt free.

So guilt free in fact that I am now planning to take a couple of months off.  Back to Mallorca for a couple of days when I leave the boat on the 12th, then, and I can hardly believe I am saying this – back to Portugal for a week of surf and head straightening before hot footing it all the way to Brussels for a week there, running and riding through the forest on the cards!

July will see me in England for a few weeks before a trip to Russia, yes Russia at the end of July.  August is all mine so far, and I am toying with the idea of a coastal drive in the UK with my surf boards to see what’s about.

I also hope I can entangle Mr. Brown in another trip to Cannock Chase.

That will do for now – because, to be quite honest with you – I need a poo !

%d bloggers like this: