Author Archives: admin

20211009 – Cannes







Saturday

Our new home for the next week.

Out by 09:30 and off on the road to Cannes. Really screwed up on the distance. As the crow flies Annecy to Cannes is about 168 miles, so thought that’s not a bad stretch. Turns out that the quickest route is about 320 miles – 5 hours – fortunately all by autoroute, expensive but so much less stressful than UK motorways. The only downside is French drivers seem to want to see what’s inside my exhaust pipe, or perhaps they’re mesmerised and drawn to my new UK sticker, complete with Union flag. Have they never heard of safe stopping distance? A complete lack of common sense, dangerous.

Balcony view.

Stop off in Provence for Wendy’s lunch. Glorious sunshine, bright blue sky and warmth. Get to Cannes about 16:00.

Our home exchange hosts are there to meet us and show us around the apartment – see pictures. All very comfortable and quality furnished with an amazing balcony and view of Cannes Bay. They’ve left us some essentials like roles, jam, toilet roll and not forgetting wine.

Bedroom.

Have to dash out to the supermarket. A shithole of an Intermarche with a disgusting underground garage, the black mold is taking over the staircase, like some sort of horror movie.

Back to the apartment and soon set up Apple TV, with red wine, brad and cheese for tea. Sleep through yet another episode of Sex Education
 
 
 

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Amazing view over Cannes Bay from the balcony.

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The origins of the quran:

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Supermarket with 4 cash desks, 3 of them swap staff at the same time, so only one in operation. Customers have been in line that long some of them are now eligible for their pension. Then when they finally get to the lone checkout girl they get to witness checkout at the speed of an arthritic tortoise. Send the cashiers to Aldi for some speed training. Why I’ve even got a new phrase – “Slower than a French supermarket checkout”.

An hours free parking at the supermarket. They’ve obviously never shopped with Wendy. Why she needs at least that to get past the tinned goods isle.


Sunday

Kitchen

Really lazy day. Unfortunately we have to find a supermarket to do the weeks shop – looks like it’s another Casino, one of the few supermarkets with some parking. Roads around our apartment have obviously been laid out following the trail of a druken snail, not a straight stretch anywhere.

Then spend the rest of the day just enjoying the apartment and the views, along with a little beer and wine. Weathers a mixture of sun and cloud but at least it’s warm.
 

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What is it with the French and their 22 character passwords. Password for nuclear launch codes would be shorter. Are they that worried about some stolen wifi. Fortunately most of them have, and desperately need, a QR code to scan. Apples share password code feature is a life saver or else I think we’d still be sat there typing passwords.

Then you might wonder how come I’ve a photograph of a French bank vault? Wrong, it’s the steel door to our apartment. Is this a high crime area?


Monday

Bathroom with bizarre shower.

Yeah, glorious sunshine and temperatures around 20 of those damn EU units.

Do battle with the shower, or should I say lack of it. There’s just a shower hose in the bath not even on the wall. How can people live without a proper shower? Another querk of this lovely well-appointed apartment is the lack of cups, just one with a handle and two without – much too hot for folk like me who don’t have asbestos hands.

Cannes old port.

A beautiful sunny blue sky day, time to sit outside and enjoy the peace and quiet, the view and relax …..they only decide to do roadworks outside the apartment. Never mind they’ll pack up by 12:00 for the day.

After our usual lazy start we set off down to the port in the old town. Plenty of expensive outdoor parking. Wow, we get to see the 5th British car this whole trip. The French economy must be really suffering and if that Macron geeezer doesn’t improve his demeanour and attitude to the Brits then hopefully we’ll stay away in droves – mind you they’ll have got shut of him by next year.

Street mural. in Cannes.

Great this lazy start to the day, by the time we hit the shops they’re all closed for a two hour lunch. A bizzare idea, what do they find to do in the two hours – answers on a postcard.

Have a walk along the front and as usual, there’s a big expo on in the conference centre promoting and selling French TV series. Of course the tourist info centre is closed for lunch.

Have a walk around the old town and then along the beach. Gorgeous weather and all very pleasant.

Coffee at a beach cafe, no rush just watching the world and the fully clothed go by. Wot no topless beaches and supermarkets with no baked beans. Like the UK this country is going to the dogs too.

Finally, get to see 20 stone of topless adipose tissue, those nipples are scraping her knees. Enough to put anyone off sex or women for life, should be used in aversion therapy. No need to apply electric shocks just the sight alone would do the job. I was going to post a picture of something similar but feared for my reader’s sanity.

Back home for a leisurely beer and wine.
 

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Driving around Cannes is sheer hell, traffic lights and zebra crossings every 10 feet; narrow streets unfit for even a scooter; twists and bends enough to wear your steering wheel out; pedestrians who don’t know the difference between roads and pavements; drivers with zero patience; carved up twice now by bitches in mercs, of course I’ve given them the Churchill salute; cyclists who ignore all conventions, mind you that’s the same the world over; and if all else fails you have an exhaust bandit trying to drive his extended phallus up my exhaust pipe.

Someone should level the whole place an install an American North / South and East / West grid system – I know we’re a couple of Philistines. As for those American friends who say the UK’s roads are narrow they should come to this hell hole.

I start every day vowing not to loose my temper but within 5 minutes of this hell I’ve lost it.


Tuesday

Cannes beach.

Lazy start and then we take a leisurely drive, much to most drivers dismay, down the awesome corniche to St Raphael. Some stunning views over the sea but not many places to stop off and enjoy them.

Free parking in St R. Wendy lashes out and has a fish burger at MacD’s. Their coffee is great. So we sit by the sea like two old dears. Alas no really pleasant sights on the beach. Not really much to see in the town.

Coffee on the beach.

Then we get back and it’s yet another supermarket. God only knows how Wendy manages to need a daily shop. That’s it now no more supermarkets in Cannes.

Yeah, sat on the balcony with bread, cheese and wine – the Holy Trinity of the table – for tea tonight. Much to Wendy’s annoyance, I could live on this. So what do these items have in common? Never thought of it that way before but they all rely upon yeast.
 

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According to government statistics during 2020 HGV’s travelled 16.4 billion vehicle miles. During that same period 3.07 billion of those miles the HGV’s were empty. That’s 18.7% empty. As well as recruiting more drivers perhaps it is also time to look at working smarter and use IT to reduce that waste.

Meanwhile to the mafflards (A mafflard is a term for someone who is a pure klutz. Words and Phrases From The Past calls a mafflard “a stammering or blundering fool; a term of contempt.”) responsible for these statistics, perhaps it might help if you decided upon one unit of measure, preferably miles, rather than sometimes using miles and others using that Evil Union measure, kilometres.


Wednesday

Relaxing sunset.

Lazy start to a gorgeous sunny day then off down to the other end of Cannes for a very English, complete with panama hat, stroll along the prom. Seems like the French also like their stroll along the prom too.

Beach cafes at this end of Cannes are vey expensive so being cash strapped pensioners we stroll down to other beaches to our previous days watering spot. One cafe allonge lasts a whole hour of people watching on the beach. Wendy tries a Latte and survives it, hope she’s not going to start polluting my coffee machine with all that milk. What’s happened to the french, the women seem to have become a nation of prudes, no eye-candy sights to keep me entertained.

On .he road to St Raphael.

Of course there’s yet another film / TV series festival on, which probably explains the high police presence, baacked up by army patrols armed to the teeth with enough firepower to initiate WW3. Mind you with the number of members of the religion of pieces and permanent offense in this country it’s not surprising.

Well a really good walk today, all of 4.7 miles.

It’s Kurt’s birthday and as usual we’re away for it. Give him a ring to wish him happy birthday and say hello to the kids. Of course its the witching hour before they go to bed, they’re feral. After 5 minutes we’re ready to turn to drink to cope with the nosie and excitement. Within that short chat one of them is banished to the naughty step – I’ll leave it to your imagination as to what her name was. How do Kurt and Fiona cope with them, they both look stressed and in dire need of alcohol. But we still miss the kids.

Shucks, how did those lilly white boobs manage to spoil my photo.

Really can’t understand this awesome appartment. Just one bathroom with no shower other than a hand held shower in the bath. In this day and age how do people cope without a proper shower? Even more bizarre is only one bathroom in a two bedroom apparment and you have to walk through the master bedroom to get to it. You imagine, there you are on one of your finest rumpo moments and in strolls a child or someone from the other bedroom needing a pee – “Oh don’t mind me!”.

When I look at the layout it almost seems like there’s some lost space. Why didn’t they put a door from the hall into the bathroom. Tapping walls looking for priest holes or hidden compartments. But alas nothing. Oh well, they’re french and in a country with Priorite Adroite and no baked beans anything goes.
 

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islam – the religion of peace

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What is it with the French and their weird fascination with bathroom sinks? There are thousands of perfectly sensible designs, but it seems that there’s an excess of designers out there who have to come up with new crazy, impractical designs – deep, square, flat – to justify their existence, that the gullible French rush out to buy, like a nerd dashing to buy a new Apple product. And yet they leave kitchen sinks alone, no messing with that common-sense design.


Thursday

Beach at Nice.

A sun and cloud day but nice and warm. Let’s go to Nice and ambulate down the Promenade Des Anglais, it’s a long while since we were there.

It’s only 25 minute drive and I’d already keyed in a car park to make life easy. Find the car park, supposedly with 380 places, this one only had about 30. Oh well it’ll do. And then I see the price.

Wendy buys a sandwich and we sit on the promenade while she eats it and fends off pigeins and aggresive seagulls. The colour of the sea is amazing. If nothing else it was worth it just for that. Have a walk down to the far end of the promonade and back. The beach is all pebbles not a bit like the ones at Cannes. All in all quite disappointing and note to oneself, don’t bother coming again, Cannes is so much nicer.

Yeah, the Union flag is at least 6″ higher than the French one.

Stop off for a coffee on the beach. So all in all it’s costs us e23.90 (parking 7, tolls 7, coffee and water 9.90).

Drive home for afternood tea on the balcony, followed by a beer, some wine, Chicken Faijatas and a good snooze through some mediocre TV. Lovely eating tea out on the balcony in glorious technicolour sunshie and that amazing view.

 
 
 

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Two items of delight today. The Azure blue sea at Nice and tea on the balcony overlooking Cannes – how lucky can we be.

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Fear not said he, all the French fishermen’s sabre rattling will amount to not even a sardine as of course the French authorities will step in and stop their illegal activities. In your dreams.


Friday

 

Promenade de Anglais in Nice.

A midnight revelation. I get up in the middle of the night to turn the heating down and notice a light shining from the wardrobe in the 2nd bedroom. Go to open the doors and turn it off and revealed in all it’s glory is an en-suite bathroom in the 2nd bedroom. Not just any old en-suite but one with a PROPER SHOWER. For 5 days now we’ve just thought the doors to this haven to cleanliness was a wardrobe. The doors looked like a wardrobe and our hosts never showed us this feature. That explains the lost space. Proper showers from now on.

Pink carpet at TV series festival. No stars.

Our last full day in Cannes so after a lazy start and Wendy’s lunch we head off down to the old Port.

Have a saunter around the old town. Wendy sees a dress we both like, that’s rare, but sadly the shop is closed for lunch. We call in on the way back. “One size fits all.” says the shop assistant “put a belt around”. Never mind that it still hangs off her shoulders like supermans cloak. Ridiculous. It’s a wonder she didn’t tell us it would shrink to a perfect fit with wear.

Stroll down onto the beach for a coffee and a last relax by the sea.
 

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I’ve just started to apprecaite the layers of Cannes:

  • Firstly you have the sea, in the bay of Cannes, and it’s awesome blue colour. With the occaisonal luxury yacht anchored in the bay.
  • Then there’s the lovely sandy beach with it’s restaurants and cafes where you can relax for an hour over a welcome stretched coffee.
  • Next, you have the promenade with plenty of free seating, blue chairs.
  • Forgetting the road the next is the expensive hotels and apartments with awesome sea views.
  • Sadly we then come onto the “Morlock’s” layer. Full of parked cars, windy streets unfit for a single bike lane never mind cars, scooters and electric scooters weaving in and out. Not forgetting those French with miniscule dicks who seem to need to be astride a powerful, ear-shattering motorbike as a phallus to compensate for their tiny penis and shrivelled brains.
  • Finally, you get to Super Cannes. Unique, distinctive, expensive houses and prestigous appartment blocks, with balconies and awesome views, all built on the hillside. With narrow, but quiete, roads snaking around them. A haven of quiet (well would be quiet if they weren’t digging up our road) sophisticated luxury. This is where our appartment is.
  • religion header  

    I’m not usually one to bang on about human rights but for Iran I’ll make an exception. Every thing you need to know about human right in Iran.
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/location/middle-east-and-north-africa/iran/report-iran/

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    Occaisonally one of the Morlocks escapes on their noisy, two wheeled phalus, and disturbs my quiet relaxation on the balcony up in Super Cannes. If only I had a snipers rifle. Mind you I do have some empty glass Fischer beer bottles.

    20211002 – Versailles, Beaune and Annecy







    Saturday

    Oh the joys of packing up your caravan in the pouring rain. Anyone want to buy a caravan? I really do start to wonder why we’re still doing this caravanning lark. Must be mad. When you think about it, with the awning, we spend a day setting up and a day packing up. Only really viable for a 3 or more week stay. Reminds me yet again that I don’t want to be towing.

    Drive down to Versailles is pretty uneventful The French roads and toll roads a a pleasure to drive on.

    Arrive at our Novotel in Versailles after a three hour drive.

    Hotel’s very smart. Have a stroll down the town, trying to avoid the rain.

    Evening meal in the hotel is good but very limited menu.
     

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    ISIS has nothing to do with islam

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    I know the Americans have some difficult understanding the concept of a roundabout, but at least I thought the Europeans were comfortable with it. Alas, not so. In Versailles they have roundabouts with Priorite a Droite (Priority to traffic coming from the right) on all the roads joining the alleged roundabout. How chaotic is that?

    I thought priority a droite had been abandoned all over France, but it seems it’s still clinging on, especially in rural areas. Ox carts and horse and carts are very rare in France these days but still this craziness persist. Bonkers. That along with a hole in the ground toilets and a national spate of toilet seat thefts should be enough to have them expelled from the EU.


    Sunday

    After a good breakfast we’re off in the rain to the Palace of Versailles. Fortunately only a 20 minute walk from the hotel.

    Well, it seems that somehow the French Secret Service – DGSI: Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure – have somehow been spying on me at breakfast and detected my desecration of a croissant. Yes, I confess I put jam on them. When I present my French pass sanitaire to get in the palace of Versailles it is rejected – am I now on a watch list? Funny how it’s accepted everywhere else and Wendy’s is accepted. My English one works – don’t mess with the British.

    How the gardens should have been in the sun.

    Then I try to go through the scanner. No luck. Take everything off, still no luck. Next, it’ll be the sound of a rubber glove and down to underwear. It must be the DGSI or again my titanium implant in my femur – strange how my bionic leg has never caused a problem before. In typical French fashion, they give up and decide it’s best to let me through.

    I wonder whether it was my leather cowboy hat that made them think I’m a American so let’s give him a hard time.

    It’s very impressive, the palace that is. It’s massive, they reckon you need a whole day to see the inside properly. Us philistines are not that cultured and really just like to get an overview and sense of the place without examining everything. A guided tour would be the death of us. There are that many paintings there’s just no need for wallpaper. So it’s a whistle-stop tour. They really need a fast lane to avoid the dawdlers. We must set a new world record in just 70 minutes, mind you the Gallery of great battles is closed – I bet there’s nothing in there for Agincourt, WW1 or WW2!

    Still pouring with rain so we give the awesome looking gardens a miss. Most of my pictures have been acquired from the Internet rather than photos with bald heads and selfie sticks intruding.

    Expensive but glad we’ve seen it. Wendy – xenophobe – much preferred Windsor Castle but nowhere near as big.

    Set off down to Beaune, wine capital, for our next stop. Once we escape the hell of Paris suburbs were on our way down South. Toll roads most of the way but no hold-ups and light traffic. Why if it wasn’t for the rain it could even be enjoyable.

    And the bit we were swizzled out of.

    Arrive at our Ibis hotel in Beaune. Well we all make mistakes. Our rooms been designed by someone from Lilliput. The door won’t even open fully because it bangs into the bed. As for the shower, only thin people wash. No blobbies would ever get in the rooms.

    Another bit of bad news is they don’t do evening meals so we have to venture out into yet more rain to find a restaurant. Wot, you want to eat on a Sunday evening, it’s our day of rest, one of many. Finally, find a restaurant open. Limited menu until 18:00 so it’s French onion soup followed by Beef Bourgeoning. Good French fare.

    Back to the rabbit hutch in the rain and finish off my bottle of wine to help me cope with the claustraphobia.
     

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    Well we’ve solved the illegal immigrant problem for Priti Useless. Just visited this big – it’s very big – empty council house in Versailles. Get the French to spend some of the 54 million on moving the illegals in Calais to this empty place. There’s room for them all. Simples. Problem solved.


    Monday

    And if your husband didn’t buy you a washing machine then you can always pop along here to do the weekly wash – I know sexist.

    Breakfast is very mediocre and small portions, no doubt to save money. Mind you if you had a big hearty breakfast you’d risk not being able to slither into the room.

    We see a real blobby arrive, who as we guessed is one of the cleaners. I’d be amazed, being that fat, that she could even get into the rooms.

    You lives and you learns and today’s lesson is avoid Ibis hotels – we’ve stayed in some tolerable ones in the past, especially Ibis Styles.

    Have a stroll around Beaune and a coffee before setting off for our VRBO in Lake Annecy. We pass on visiting the Hospital with the awesome roof again.

    Just watched the guy set up this umbrella on the right. What does he think will happen when it rains. That man don’t have the brains God graced a bale of hay.

    It’s motorway for all but the last three miles. The drive through the mountains is impressive, would be more so if it wasn’t rain and cloud.

    As we get into Annecy we see a mega Carrefour supermarket. As we’re early we go in to do our shop and save us coming out again. Sadly it’s just too big with prize winning slow checkout girls.

    Get to the road where the car park for our apartment is. Drive up and down it three times looking for the car park. What we don’t realise is that there’s another half of the road across the major road and of course we’re on the wrong side of the major road. Finally, find it and negotiate all the secret codes, locks and doors, to arrive at our very pleasant apartment, it’s lovely and well kitted out.

    Soon get set up after wearing out a keyboard inputting a 20 character, yes 20 characters mixed numbers and letters, enough to protect the nuclear missile launch code. The world has gone mad.

    Finally all working, Apple TV up and running for Netflix etc. Home from home.
     

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    British tourist deported from France for desecration of a croissant. As he’s put into a rubber dinghy and pushed off the Calais beach in the direction of Dover he shouts, “Nothing like Apricot jam on your first croissant of the visit. Wot no butter!”.


    Tuesday

    Weather dictates our day. Sun and cloud in the morning followed by yet more rain in the afternoon, so we’re off out early. Well 10:00 is very early for us.

    Have a stroll down to the lake with plans of a relaxing coffee by the lake. “There’ll be loads of cafes overlooking the lake” I say. Alas wrong again, not a one.

    But, there’s a trade union gearing up for a protest no doubt. Must be France. Wot no yellow jackets.

    It’s very pleasant though walking by the lake and eventually we find a cafe by a river in the old town.

    Then stroll back with Wendy carping on about how far it is. But then she spies a Casino supermarket to brighten her day. Can you believe that to get out of the store you have to scan the barcode on your receipt? Technology gone mad. What happens if you don’t buy anything?

    First impressions of Annecy are good.

    Afternoon lazing around, it’s what we do best.
     

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    We have a press that can cause fuel chaos with their calamitous reporting yet can’t be bothered to challenge the donkeys in power.

    The latest from Preti Useless is sending illegals to Albania, vociferously denied by the Albanian government. Whatever happened to sending them to a shithole, like Rwanda, for processing? How many have been turned back at sea as a result of the training given? Both seem like great ideas. Why aren’t the press on the case with these two issues instead of sensationalist headlines that are exaggerating and causing chaos?

    If France was serious about solving the problem and earning their £54M then it’s simple, why don’t they just let us send them back to France. It wouldn’t be long before the illegals got the message. But let’s face it they want to be shut of them.

    Time for ACTION THIS DAY as Churchill would have said. Such a pity Boris can’t emulate his hero.


    Wednesday

    Yet again plan our day around the weather forecast.

    Off for a drive around Lake Annecy. I’d expected it to be a goodly distance but it turns out to be only 25 miles. Not really that much to see other than views of the lake, including a spectacular one from a mountain top – see photos. But overall a pleasant drive.

    Halfway round and the heavens open up yet again. Good to know that the French weather forecasts are as random as ours.

    Back in time for afternoon tea.

    Tackle a Beaune wine, it’s ok but not one I’d queue up to buy.
     

     

     
    Red pilled Euro whore

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    After 14 years of retirement it’s time for a 1st amendment to my laws of retirement. It’s very simple.

    11th Law – Avoid shopping in a super market with Wendy.


    Thursday

    Our apartment in Annecy. Lovely.

    Very lazy start to the day. Catch up on blog and try and reconcile my Siesta Key booking. The joys of an amateur travel agent.

    After Wendy’s lunch, we take a stroll into the town. Learn that restaurants and brasseries insist on you having food. If you want just a coffee or even a just a beer then you must go to a cafe or bar.

    Have a coffee by the river and then explore the city centre, well at least what we think is the city centre. We’re saving exploration of the old town until tomorrow, market day.

    Back home for afternoon tea.

    Extra hot Stag chilli, supplemented with plenty of mince meat, for my tea. Quality food.
     

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    Another example of lack of common senese in design. Wendy is about 5 foot 1″ tall and the average female in Europe is 5 foot 3″ tall, yet no way can Wendy reach to close this cupboard, even on tiptoes and even after all that traction treatment. How to spoill a lovely kitchen.


    Friday

    Up and ready early to go to the market in the old town Wendy’s orgasmic. Have to be there before 12:00 or else they’ll have all packed up early and shot off home to gobble up their frogs legs and snails.

    I don’t know why we ever bother going to a French market, we never buy anything. Although I have to admit they do have some awesome-looking cheese, bread and meats, plus a wide selection of fresh fruit and vegetables. Really quite entertaining and colourful.

    Stop off for a beer but it’s quite cold so I settle for a coffee allonge.

    Call in at a Subway for tonight’s tea. Their consistency all over the world is amazing, yes you can always guarantee they’ve run out of something. Today it’s tomatoes. Probably one of their most popular items. I suggest they pop around to the market and buy some before they close. That went down like a lead balloon and all of a sudden they no longer understood English.

    Back home for lunch. It’s still grey and cool and not a glimpse of the forecast sun.

    14:00 French time and the Apple watch can be ordered in the UK. Order an apple watch 7 in aluminium. Would have liked to get the stainless steel but instead of £399 they’re £699 because they come with lavish watch straps. I’ve still got my Milanese Loop, it’s smart and still in good fettle. Yes, I know I’m the nerd who would be dashing to buy a cardboard box if Apple sold one, but in fairness, my current watch is a series 4 and 4 years old.

    Wendy gets packed ready for an early start and a 5 hour drive to Cannes. A major navigation screw up there, on the map as the crow flies it only looked about 200 miles. Turns out it was even less at 168 but there are mountains in the way so you have to travel about 320 miles.

    Well it seems that Wendy’s been washing the pots with rinse aid. No wonder we need to scrape the detritus off the plates!
     

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    I see the press are now trying to create more shortages with their latest contributions to chaos:

  • “Why soaring gas prices could leave toilet paper in short supply”.
  • “Fears of Quality Street shortage over Christmas as Nestle hit by HGV driver crisis”.
  • “Almost a third of petrol stations in London and southeast England are either dry or have just one grade of fuel”.
  •  
    Perhaps it’s time for some retaliation with two new press releases:

  • “Fears that newspaper ink could cause cancer”.
  • “Fears that reading press scare stories of gloom and doom could cause senile dementia”.
  •  
    …could….” that all-important word used by the press to achieve their dubious ends. Is our press infested with 5th columnists, enemies of the state and anarchists?

    20210925 – Relaxing In France







    Saturday

    Thunder, lightning and rain overnight so sure enough in keeping with French tradition WIFI does not work in the morning. Why? It’s like one of those immutable laws of nature. Have they not heard of waterproofing or lightning protection.

    Lazy start, battling with non-existent Internet, then off to Cherbourg.

    Buy some new handles from the local Bricolage (DIY) to replace the broken plastic ones. These are metals that should see us out. Typical though, we wanted 4 but they only had 3.

    Free parking on the Cherbourg quayside, how neat is that.

    Finally track down the SFR shop, would have been easier if Wendy had said Rue DES portes and not De or du.

    With my awful French and the assistant’s basic English I finally get a SIM, which allegedly will support being a hotspot (that’s another story), then can you believe I have to go to a Tabac to buy a 5Gb pre-pay to load onto the SIM. That’s easy to do as you just send an SMS with the code on your receipt from the Tabac.

    SIM works fine in Wendy’s phone just got to battle my way through hot spot set up. Web site is no use, now there’s a surprise. Looks like I’ll have to gird my loins for a call with SFR call centre. Quite proud so far of my French comprehension, still speak it like a Spanish cow.

    Then it’s pleasant coffee sat around the square, listening to a live band playing. Bizarre that the cafe lets you bring your own sandwiches to eat.

    Another gorgeous sunny day, despite the weather forecast.

    Bread, cheese and wine for tea again.
     

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    Well we’ve been here a week now and hardly found any time to do my blog, read or go for a bike ride. Yet, we’ve hardly gone out for day trips. It just so relaxing. One of the ironies of living in this Lillipudlian rabbit hutch is we’ve spent ages agonising over the picture of which VRBO rentals to go to in Florida.

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    I speak French like a Spanish cow.

    religion header  
    Join Islam


    Sunday

    Lazy day.

    Then took a short drive out to Saint Saveur le Vicomte to explore the castle we’ve constantly said we’ll go and look at. Finally, explore it. Looks like there was a rebellion there way back when, now there’s a shock for France. A coffee or even a beer sat in the sun would have been nice but alas, it’s France, it’s Sunday, and of course everywhere is closed. I suppose they’re all wearing holes in the knees of their Sunday best trouser as they spend the day on their knees in prayer and religious devotion!

    Another gorgeous day.

    Back home for tea, beer and wine.
     

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    Now I know I’m always having a rant about bad web pages, poor Human-Computer Interfaces, and bad design in general but I think I have found 2021 bad design award winner – see photo. What’s wrong with that you may say. Well, the silver button does nothing, it’s a motion-activated hand dryer, activated by placing your hands underneath it. It’s a wonder there isn’t a pile of human skeletons of the people who have died waiting for the silver button to work. Who are these zounderkites (bring back old insults -this is a Victorian word meaning “idiot.” An appropriate example with a contemporary angle (spoken with some irritation while driving on the highway): “That zounderkite just cut me off!”) who claim and are paid to be designers, yet produce such utter crap.


    Monday

    Woken by the sound of rain and wind. Dash out in the pouring rain to install the storm straps, that’s when I’ve found them. Of course if I’d installed them when we set up our “divorce proof, easy blow up awning”, I wouldn’t be out there in the wind and rain. Then to aggrevate me more as soon as they’re installed the rain stops and the wind dies down.

    The last caravan leaves today so we’re the only caravan on the site. Have it all to ourselves, no noisy, nosey neighbours. Still some English in the statics and cabins at the top of the site.

    Find some St George flag pendants so I put them up to remind the ducks that were English – remember Agincourt.

    My UK stickers arrive for the car. Yes apparently from the 29/9/21 you have to have a UK sticker on your car. Some numbskull in government has decided that we are UK and not GB. He or she is a snowflake who wants to be inclusive and make a point that Northern Ireland is British – let no country be left behind.

    A trip to mosquitos was the highlight of the day.

    Spent most of the day identifying possibilities for Florida – we’ve 3 out of 4 stays sorted – and then most of the evening trying to select the best with a simple scoring system.

    Despite the early morning rain it turns out yet another sunny day.
     

    joke header 

    I hear French like an English tortoise.

    rant header 

    A couple of French export entrepreneurs are ready to step up and solve our self inflicted petrol crisis.


    Tuesday

    Leisurely morning as usual.

    Teatime we head up to Brenda and Pete’s for drinks. Another opportunity to put the world to rights. Very enjoyable company.

    Weather wise an OK’ish sort of day.
     

    joke header 
    The French Revolution Oversimplified – shame about the adverts but very informative.

    rant header 
    Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster were not in the UK to witness first hand the chaos, bad enough we have to read about it. What is wrong with my country. I fully support the right to demonstrate and protest as long as it does not hinder others or break the law.

    A simple solution to all this Insulate protest. Give them 2 minutes to move their hands off the pavement, if not then rip their hands off. That will soon stop a repeat of that nonsense.

    No fines or prison sentences at our expense, instead let the punishment fit the crime. Chained to the side of the motorway for a week with their protest sign over their heads for all to see. Yes, I know the snowflakes and libtards will be up in arms about it, cruel, health and safety, and no doubt infringes their human rights. Boo hoo.

    I bet it would solve the problem.


    Wednesday


    Leisurely start.

    The forecast is pretty good so we have a drive up to Barfleur, allegedly one of the prettiest villages in France. There really is no accounting for taste. If that’s one of the prettiest then let’s avoid the rest. Have a stroll around but nowhere to stop for a sandwich for lunch. As usual, all the French are munching away on their full three-course meals. Given their obsession with food and wine it really is a mystery why this country is not infested with an excess of adipose tissue ambling around on two legs.

    Drive down to Saint-Vaast-la-Houge, a busy fishing port, probably getting ready to blockade the ports and cause mayhem over Brexit fishing rules. They soon forget how the EU decimated our fishing industry. But it’s France, any excuse for a good strike, march, blockaid or civil unrest – long live the revolution.
     

    joke header 

    rant header 
    Well we’ve finally sorted our Florida trip. It’s a salutary lesson in how stupid people are when you look at the photos posted on a VRBO site for a property whose sole purpose is to market their property. Some of the many examples of stupidity never cease to amaze me:

  • Settees and chairs with disgusting crumpled blankets covering them – an instant no, no.
  • Pictures sideways, upside down or so dark only suitable for registered blind persons – an instant no, no.
  • 10+ pictures, not one of them showing the key features of lounge, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. Prime example would be 20 pictures of outside, local tourist attractions and just one inside picture showing the U bend under the sink or the doormat in the hallway – an instant no, no.
  • TV located behind the main seating so only an owl with 360 degree head rotation can se the TV – an instant no, no.
  • No comfortable seating to watch TV – an instant no, no.
  • Sleeps 6 or more and yet only seating in the lounge and around the table for 2 or 4. Meals or TV in shifts.
  • Too lazy to tidy up before taking photos.
  • No bedside tables or lights.
  • Barren, looks like a prison cell with nothing on the walls.
  •  

    Who are these people? It’s not rocket science. A lot of the time it’s just rampant stupidity but can also be hiding something they’d rather you not see.


    Thursday

    Last forecasted sunny day of our stay so time to be brave and take down the awning. A couple of hours cursing and a half hour interruption as Bat and Ball stroll by and engage us in conversation. Did you know that aircraft carriers are leaking around their propeller shafts? How fascinating is that.

    It’s finally down and rolled up and still fits in the bag.

    Rest of the day lounging around.
     

    joke header 

    rant header 

    The Biscuit Factory. More bottles of Whisky and Bourbon than muslims at a stoning. Just 4 bottles of brandy hidden away on a top shelf.


    Friday

    Rain forecast for all day, so hunker down in the caravan. Thankfully, as usual, the forecast is wrong and by lunch time it’s stopped.

    Brenda and Pete pop round for a farewell brew.
     

    joke header 

    rant header 
    The Difference Between a Democracy and a Republic

    https://www.prageru.com/video/the-difference-between-a-democracy-and-a-republic?utm_source=Iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=campaign_2963051

    20210918 – To The Thingamajigger, Off On An Adventure to France







    Saturday

    To the Thingimajigger, off on an adventure, this time 6 weeks in France because that Biden geezer won’t let us back into the USA. Any more of it and we’ll cancel their independence.

    Off down to Brett’s, a 4.5 hour journey that ends up taking 6 hours. Why Am I surprised. a 44 minute delay on the M6 near Stoke, now there’s a surprise. Emergency repairs to about 10 feet of barrier, not that any of the barrier intruded onto the carriageway. So let’s close off two lanes, cause mayhem while we look at it. I suppose it could easily be left as is with minimal risk or even fixed overnight with minimum hold ups. But no that would be way too sensible and not half as much fun watching the mayhem. Then for some bizarre reason our satnav has decided that going around the M25 is a good idea. That’s the problem when you trust software, you really have to remember most of this shit has been written by a 10 year old with zero common sense, no social skills and still needs his Mummy to tie his shoelaces.

    Finally get to Brett and Karine’s for a very warm welcome and a superb barbecue of South African sausage, black puddings, pork ribs and mackerel. Plenty of meat, oh and a few veggies skewers, and my favourite corn on the cob. Am I turning into a veggie? Also not to forget a couple of Jever’s and a bottle of Carmenra. Sleep the sleep of the righteous that night.
     

    Wave header 
    Jever, the best beer in the world. Brewed with the Tetnang Hop according to the Rheinheits Gebot by Germans who know a bit about beer. Such a gorgeous dry beer.


    Sunday

    Brett and I are off kayaking down the coast to Climping for a coffee. It’s a grey day and sure enough as we get to the beach it decides to rain. Not to deter intrepid kayakers, we go for it. It rains all the way there and when we stop for coffee the heavens open up for about 20 minutes. Finally slackens off so we set off back. Now Bretts been very good at looking after his Father and helping with the launch into the sea at high tide. It’s really quite flat out there but he manages to push me off into a freak tsunami wave. The damn waves 3 foot tall and my kayak dives into it only to be ripped to one side and eject me. Must be the first time I’ve ever fell out of a kayak – damn open top kayaks – but I live to tell the tale of how my son tried to kill me off.

    It rains all the way back. But despite the rain and the attempt to drown me we had a great morning. Surviving an attempted drowning and freak tsunami made it all the more memorable.

    After lunch Wendy, Brett and I drive down to Little Hampton for a pleasant stroll along the seafront. Needless to say it’s ceased raining by now. What a pleasant little seaside resort it is. Poor Karine having work on a bid so can’t join us.

    Back for roast lamb for tea – well I suppose we’ll have to say for dinner as we’re “Down South”.

    Then it’s off to Portsmouth for the overnight ferry to Cherbourg. Check in is just chaos because as well as passports you have to have your statement of honour that you don’t have covid symptoms and a printout of your covid proof of vaccination. Of course there are plenty of numpties in the queue, especially geriatrics, who have neither or have them hidden away safely in the far reaches of their boot. Common sense nil, chaos 10. Who are these lunes. Just proves that we really can’t rely on common sense to help contain covid. We’re doomed.

    Finally get on board and it’s straight to our cabin as Noddy’s way past Big Ears so time for bed.
     


    Monday

    Arrive in Cherbourg on time at 08:00 as promised. We’re lucky to be one of the first 10 off and French immigration can’t be bothered to see our covid documents, they just want passports.-.hallelua But you can tell times are hard when they only have one date stamp between two of them. Quickly immigrated and 40 minutes later we’re on our camp site ready to set up the caravan.

    Oh the joys of setting up our caravan! Takes about 40 minutes to get it fully operational, but then we have the awning.

    Go shopping for wine, brandy, cheese, bread and a few other vitals while the grass dries. Drive down to Leclerc at Carantan.

    Never mind we have a divorce proof blow up awning, it’ll be a doddle. 50 minutes and a lot of swearing later it’s blown up just needs me on me hands and knees to peg it out. Whose idea was it to take the windows out. Spent 30 minutes getting them back in.

    Finally sit down in the sun for a beer followed by my first French wine in over a year. It’s a St Emillion, won a silver medal, and tastes like liquid soil. Wouldn’t even use it to clean drains with. For the first time ever I bin a full bottle of wine. Get me a Carmenera or Zinfandell. Move onto 2nd bottle, pretty good.

    Wendy tastes the liquid soil.


    Tea is bread, cheeses and wine. Now I know we’re in France.

    Nice sunny day.

    Wave header 
    Filling the 40 Litre water barrel for the caravan is always a lesson in patience and a reminder of how fortunate we are to have water on tap, even if it does take at least 5 minutes to fill it.

    rant header 
    Now the scientifically inclined amongst you are probably aware of Pqrkinsons Law of Maximum Perversity, commonly referred to as sods Law, which succinctly stated is “If you push a slice of toast with jam and butter on it off a table it will more frequently land jams die down.”. Now if we assume the buggeration factor is at least 60% of them will land jam side down. Then my addition to the law states that “… the buggeration factor is directly proportional to the age of the person involved.”.

    In other words the older you get the more Parkinsons of maximum perversity will screw you over in every way possible. It’s just one of the immutable laws of the universe similar to the laws of gravity.


    Tuesday

    Lazy start.

    Have a stroll into town.

    At last agree escape to Park city April, May, July, August and September with Isaac. Same rate a last year. A very obliging chap.

    Book virgin flights to Florida for Mid January to endow February (premium ) and April and May (upper class – decide to splash out as it’s two flights).

    Another sunny day, temperature just right.
     

    rant header 
    Ok, question for everyone, what are the most famous alcoholic beverages produced in France. I’m sure everyone will say wine, probably closely followed by brandy and then even calvados. So why is it that if you go to the drinks isle in any supermarket there’s isle upon isle of wine, at least an isle of whisky, rum and calvados and yet merely one bottle of brandy – usually Armagnac. Obviously the French drink hardly any brandy. What do they know that we don’t?


    Wednesday

    Usual lazy start.

    Town hall. Why are they always so lavish?

    Drive into town for more vitals. What no Aldi. Wow a brand new one right next door to the Mosquitos (Intermarche).

    Pete and Brenda come round for drinks at teatime. For me it’s beer, wine then an Armagnac. Pleasant evening in the sun putting the world to rights. We’re all agreed the countries gone to the dogs. We need someone to get grip of the snowflakes, wakes and libtards. Sort the illegal immigrants; sort the protestors, no problem with peaceful protest that doesn’t infringe others right; introduce covid vaccine passport to encourage the SS (Stupid and Selfish) to have the vaccination, bring back indoor masks and ban mass events, you don’t need to be a professor of virology to see that these are just sensible measures.

    Rabbit stew for tea followed by a snooze while Wendy watches that tripe “Sex Education” – all that talk about sex but not even a glimpse of a naked body. What a swizz.
     

    Thursday

    Lazy start then off for a drive down to Lessay and then round to the Castle de Pirou – see Trivia below. Paid e7 to get in. Argued with the receptionist that I was unemployed and therefore entitled to the discount. Didn’t win. Typical French it closes for lunch – it’s oh so difficult when you at least 3 staff to arrange lunch time cover.

    Interesting old castle with a moat.

    Start searching for VRBO’s in Florida. I should have been a travel agent, it’s a full time job. Floridas very full and very expensive 18/1/22 to 1/3/22.


    trivia header

     
    The castle was initially built of wood, then of stone in the 12th century and belonged to the lords of Pirou. It was constructed near the shore of the English Channel, and used to watch upon the west coast of the Cotentin, to protect the town of Coutances and a strategic shallow-water harbour. As the coastline receded, the castle lost its strategic significance, and thus was not militarily upgraded as well as being spared the systematic destruction of fortifications (as seats of power and resistance to central governance) during the French Revolution and its aftermath.

    The castle was transformed into Lord Adnan’s penthouse during the 18th century, and then began to deteriorate.

    In 1968 the castle was listed in the Inventaire supplémentaire des Monuments historiques by the French Ministry of Culture. Restoration was begun on the initiative of the abbot Marcel Lelégard (1925-1994).

    The castle now lies in the middle of an artificial pond. The drawbridge has been replaced by a stone bridge. The curtain walls from the 12th century enclose two residential houses from two different periods (16th and 18th centuries). A barn on the premises houses a locally-made tapestry,[1] in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry, depicting historical events during a very lively period, from the Viking landings in the Cotentin to Norman conquest of southern Italy.

    Wave header 
    Great to see that the French take Coivd seriously. No vaccination = no passport = no access. Yes, discrimination it’s a consequence of the choice not to be vaccinated. Masks must be worn indoors. All enforced rigorously. Such a small price to pay to help contain Covid, protect one another, and protect the health service from overload. How many are dying unnecessarily because of our lax approach to covid?

    No wonder their vaccination rate is now higher than ours and their case rate is lower.

    joke header 


    Friday

    Tapestry at the castle. Not quite the Bayou.

    Usual lazy start to the day. Stroll into town to the SFR shop for a SIM. Aghh, they’re not SFR anymore but too damn lazy to take the sign down. Nearest one is in Cherbourg.

    Never mind have an afternoon coffee, sat outside the cafe in the sun.

    It’s an alcohol free night. Sad.

    Finalise most of Florida. Expensive Airbnb house, with pool, bikes and kayaks, on a lake in Hudson 19/1 to 29/1; VRBO house on Siesta key, with bikes and kayaks, 29/1 to 5/2; VRBO house in Punta Gorda 15/2 to 1/3. Yes, there’s a gap left to fill, more work.
     

    20210902 – Wild Atlantic Way & Dublin







    Thursday

    Tubbercurry

    Out by 11:00, to the Thingimajega and set off to our next abode in Westport. Well turns out to be 20 minutes inland from Westport, just what we need 40 minutes round trip to the WAW.

    Stop off in Donegall for a browse around, not much to recommend it apart from the friendliness and helpfulness of everyone.

    Try to stop off for a saunter around Sligo but no coins and yet another rare app needs downloading to park. At this rate I’ll need an iPhone with a gigabyte of memory. Forget it, we drive on.

    Lounge for the next 3 days.

    Stop off at Tub of curry (Tubbercurry), a small Irish town with very little to recommend it. It had a Bank with no cash. No toilets due to that universal excuse for laziness and incompetnece, COVID. Signs to tourist office, but what a surprise it’s closed – no doubt COVID strikes again. Bizarre that they filmed “Normal People” here. Also famous for the Connaught Rangers and the India mutiny of 1920 – I’m sure you’re all familiar with that.

    One of the 4 bedrooms.

    We’ve had to spend the last 24 hours chasing our host to see how we get in. He finally rings us and wants to meet us in a pub car park to lead the way as sat nav not reliable he says. Meet him, follow him. No need as sat-nav is spot on. I suppose he thinks this is helpful customer service. Personally, I’d rather just have an email with details on how to open the door, that way you don’t have to harass them to know how to get in – simples.

    Bungalows very nice and comfortable, although we’ll wear out a pair of trainers trapsing from remote kitchen back to lounge. Under floor heating is crap.
     

    Wave header 
    No toilets in Donegal but kind waitress when asked where the nearest ones were said “you’re welcome to use ours”. Can you imagine that in Blackburn.

    joke header 


    Friday

    Take a drive onto Achill Island to explore the WAW sites there. I’ll let the photos tell the story. A long 6 hour drive, made worse by the 40 minutes drive to our abode, but in my opinion worth it, Wendy not so happy about it.

    Call in at a Tesco Super store for some dinner. The small corner shop of my childhood had a better choice. Really struggled to choose anything, ended up with a Paella. Really a yellow rice bowl that had been shown a glimpse of a shrimp, a prawn and a slither of chicken. Never mind I had some wine with me.

     

    joke header 


    Saturday

    Wendy has had enough of driving the WAW. She wants to have an easy day sauntering around the shops in Westport. Joy. What a waste but never let it be said that I ain’t fair.

    Have to say Westport is a lovely little town with some character. Stop for a cuppa, has to be the worst tea and coffee in Ireland, but interesting people watching sat outside. Take a short drive out to the Quay for a stroll.

    I’m fed up of scratting around choosing what to have for tea so I implement my new menu item, dessert. Yes, just dessert for tea. I love desserts but never have one as they’re fattening, have to save the calories for some wine. Anyway tonight’s tea is lemon meringue pie and a chocolate mouse. How’s that for innovation.

    A very leisurely day.
     

    joke header 


    Sunday

    To the Thingimajaga and off to Dublin. It’s a grey miserable day but as we’re driving doesn’t matter. Have to spend 40 minutes driving down the side of the Liffey. Unbelievable traffic and then to top it off the Samuael Beckett bridge is closed – seems that boats are more important than tax-paying vehicles – so it’s a major diversion. Finally get to our underground car park and then a 4-minute walk to the hotel. The car will be having a 3 day rest in the cement caverns of Dublin’s docklands.

    The hotel seems good on first impressions. We’ve upgraded to an executive room so should get sky movies, but yes you’ve guessed it another screw-up, it doesn’t work. It takes them 3 hours to try and fix it. In the end, at 20:30ish they move us to a room where it works.

    You’ll be hearing more on the hotel in days to come.
     

    rant header 
    Two of the awesome highlights of the WAW that got away. Never mind we’ll be back, perhaps we’ll get to them next time.


    Monday

    Lazy start to the day. We’re off on the hop on off green bus tour.

    Hop off at the Temple bar area for a stroll around. I have a pint of Guinness in the famous Temple bar, what an awesome selection of whiskeys, while Wendy has a tuna sandwich. Wendy’s not at all impressed as there seems to be no shopping area.

    Back on the bus to finish the tour. Neither of us are at all impressed with Dublin. Fortunately the weather is lovely.

    Most of the Dublin pictures have been “acquired” off the internet rather than trying to take pictures of a moving bus which usually seem to end up with just the back of some bald old gits head or all sky.

    Then it’s a real challenge as we try and find somewhere to eat around the yuppie docklands area. Half the places are closed, most of the menus seem to consist of just 3 items, end up at a Mexican equivalent of subway, build your own burrito. It’s very good but no plates to eat off. Wendy’s not at all impressed.

    What is it with Dublin restaurants, most of them seem to have only 3 items on the menu, fish and chips; pizza; burger.


     

    religion header  
    https://www.prageru.com/video/a-palestinian-explains-hamas

    rant header 
    Sadly ran out of rants, jokes and comments on the religion of pieces and permanent offence. Fear not next blog will make up the deficit with a non-PC vengnece.


    Tuesday

    Dublin’s very own Dark Hedges.

    Lazy start to the day. We’ve booked to do the Jameson Distillery tour, the weathers sunny, so we take a stroll along the river Liffey to the distillery. Stop off for a Starbucks and sit by the river. Then in a pale imitation of an American I saunter along with Starbucks in hand.

    The tour is pretty good. The comparative tasting is even better. Then we do a cask barrel tasting where they draw whiskey straight from the barrel for tasting, I think it was 60 percent ABV. As I have to drink Wendy’s share plus the free basic Jameson sample, not forgetting the tasting samples I’m rat arsed by the end of it – I should fit in well with the Liffey strewn locals, although Cider seems to be their tipple.

    Then we take a stroll back and call in at the Temple Bar area for a Boxty dinner, along with a pint of their Stout – see picture. Have to say the weather, Boxty and especially the Jameson tour has really improved my view of Dublin, but we wouldn’t come back. Really a tad disappointed, had great expectations of Dublin. Dread to think what it would have been like if we hadn’t had good weather.


     

    Wave header 
    Today’s Wave of Life has to be Jameson’s Black Barrel. Perhaps the closest of the Jamesons to a Bourbon.

    Triple distilled, twice charred, for a rich smooth taste.

    Awarded A Double Gold Medal at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and winner of best Irish blended whiskey RRP under €60, at the 2019 Irish Whiskey Awards.

    Charring is an age-old method for invigorating barrels to intensify the taste. Jameson Black Barrel is our tribute to our coopers, who painstakingly give their bourbon barrels an additional charring to reveal their untold richness and complexity. Because every barrel contains secrets; the trick is coaxing them out.

    Nose
    Time spent maturing in these barrels leads to intensified aromas of butterscotch, fudge and creamy toffee.

    Taste
    Nutty notes are in abundance alongside the smooth sweetness of spice and vanilla.

    Finish
    Enjoy the richness and intensity of toasted wood and vanilla. It’s another level of smoothness.

    rant header 
    So what did we like about Ireland? The Dark Hedges; Giants Causeway; Wild Atlantic Way; Jameson distillery; two very comfortable VRBO’s; a really positive and sensible attitude to Covid prevention, even the stupid and selfish have to wear masks indoors; colourful hedgerows; friendly Irish people.

    What didn’t we like? Mediocre hotels, Fawlty Towers with an Irish lilt; grey weather, but to be fair we didn’t have any rain; temporary traffic lights and roadworks; single track roads whose sole purpose seems to be to wreck my suspension; the disappointment that was Dublin.


    Wednesday

    One of the few good points of this hotel is their breakfast.

    The customer relations manager is marauding around breakfast and asks for our opinion. Well, I bet she regretted that. Gave her the full sorry tale.

    Then to top it off we try to return to our room, hang on our card won’t work in the lift. I wonder why? Track down the customer relations manager, who sets off to get us new ones. Low and behold get to the room and it won’t let us in either. It’s only 09:05 and they were that keen to get rid of us they’ve checked us out. The customer relations manager turns up with the new cards, I bet she wanted to sink under the carpet – “I rest my case”.

    Take a leisurely drive up to Belfast around the Mourn coastal route. Quite pretty but not the WAW.

    Stop off at the Titanic hotel for an excellent dinner. Pity about the Apple maps having it in the wrong place and the car park sign to the hotel taking you to the wrong location. Finally, get there. You really couldn’t make this incompetence up.

    Then it’s off to the ferry for a two-hour queue to board. Noddy’s well past Big Ears by the time we board, so being conservative covid cautious old farts we’re straight to our cabin, not a deluxe this time, and so to sleep. Wow, an alcohol-free day.
     

    rant header 
    For today’s rant I’ll focus on our hotel, should be renamed Fawlty Towers. Even Basil would be embarrassed. It’s supposed to be a 4 Star but I think 3 of the stars have gone over the event horizon and been swallowed by a black hole.

    Let’s list the imperfections:

    Sky movies didn’t work.
    No bath robes.
    No daily room service. Use the Covid protection excuse. We have to contact room service if we want servicing. Seems like a great excuse to save money.
    They expect you to service your own room but don’t have the common sense to even provide a toilet brush – disgusting.
    Phone for fresh towels. Delivered but they can’t be bothered to take the dirty ones away.
    Kettle and coffee machine plug leads aren’t long enough.
    Stupid pod coffee machine that had the temperament of women at the wrong time of the month.
    Cards cancelled before checkout.
    Building site noise – not really their fault – just adds to the joy.
    One pillow as soft as a brick.
    Basil trainees on reception who are clueless.
    Dinner menu has hardly any choice and could be prepared by a microwave guru – choose form Fish and Chips, Burger and of course Pizza.
    Fish was the size of a battered sardine.
    Unable to charge meals to room.
    And the one good thing is – they were that incompetent they didn’t charge for breakfast.

    I rest my case.


    trivia header

     

    Whisk(e)y with or without the e. Did anyone notice?

    Generally speaking, whiskey (or whisky) can be any of a variety of distilled liquors that are made from a fermented mash of cereal grains and aged in wooden containers, which are usually constructed of oak. Commonly used grains are corn, barley malt, rye, and wheat. So what is it that sets these liquors apart? In a nutshell, the name is based on factors such as the type of cereal grain used in the distilling process as well as how and where it was produced.

    So why do you see the name of the liquor spelled both as “whiskey” and as “whisky?” No, it’s not due to a spelling error or typo. It is generally spelled “whiskey”—with an e—in the United States and Ireland. It is spelled “whisky”—without the e—in Scotland and Canada, which are both well known for their whisk(e)y, and in several other countries.

    Before we go on to explain the differences between whiskey, Scotch, bourbon, and rye, here is a quick primer on whiskey in general. Whiskeys can be straight or blended: the former are not mixed with anything or are mixed only with other whiskey from the same distiller and distillation period; the latter can include various combinations of whiskey products from different distillers and different distillation periods as well as other flavorings, such as fruit juice. Blended whiskeys generally have a lighter flavor than straight whiskeys.

    Scotch is a whisky (no e) that gets its distinctive smoky flavor from the process in which it is made: the grain, primarily barley, is malted and then heated over a peat fire. There are United Kingdom laws governing the definitions of various categories and marketing of Scotch whisky; they set out production regulations and specify that a whisky cannot be called Scotch unless it is entirely produced and bottled in Scotland.

    Bourbon, a whiskey that was first produced in Kentucky, U.S., uses at least 51% mash from corn in its production. It also uses a sour mash process—that is, the mash is fermented with yeast and includes a portion from a mash that has already been fermented. U.S. regulations specify that in order for a whiskey to be called bourbon, it must be made in the United States. There are also regulations dictating the ingredients and production methods of the spirit.

    And rye whiskey? It’s a whiskey that uses a rye mash or a rye and malt mash. In the United States, regulations stipulate that the mash must be at least 51% rye in order for it to be called rye whiskey. In Canada, regulations do not specify a minimum percentage of rye.

    Any whiskey aficionado will be able to tell you that there are more factors and nuances than what we’ve mentioned above, such as what water was used to make the spirit or how long the mash is heated, various blendings, etc. This is an admittedly concise, yet hopefully helpful, primer.

    20210827 – Ireland and The Wild Atlantic Way







    Friday

    Set off after teatime to the ferry in Liverpool. To avoid too many roadworks on the motorways I take the route through Liverpool. What a depressing start to our holiday as we drive through shuttered, graffitied areas of Liverpool. Looks like a war torn hell hole.

    Boarding of the ferry went fairly smooth, only a 30-minute wait. Our deluxe cabin is very swish with a double bed, TV, fridge, lounge area and sea view as well as a door onto a shared balcony at the blunt end of the ship / boat. Bit of a waste really as Noddy has gone past Big Ears so we just go to bed, but it was the only cabin available.
     

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    Grateful that we don’t live in downtown Liverpool.

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    religion header  
    I see the 6th century ragheads from the religion of pieces and permanent offence have been busy today slaughtering not only Americans but 60 of their own brethren. When will we realise that this pernicious ideology masquerading as a religion of peace is just an evil threat to civilized democracies and seeks world domination.

    rant header 
    At last some hope of common sense and my wrists will be saved from repetative strain injury (RSI) as those ridiculous “Accept Cookie” requests may finally be banned. If there was ever any reason to leave the Evil Union then getting rid of that nonsensical and pointless GDPR was just one of them.

    Internet users will be spared “pointless” cookie alerts from websites as part of data law reforms that could put ministers on a collision path with the EU. Ministers have said they want to move “quickly and creatively” to devise new rules after Brexit. Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, said that data laws should be based on “common sense, not box-ticking”. The measures will include cutting down on the number of alerts sent to computer users seeking consent for cookies — text files stored on a computer by websites that are visited.

    Under Whitehall’s plans, the UK will diverge from some parts of the EU’s general data protection regulation (GDPR), which came into effect in Britain three years ago. It has been criticised for being too complex as many businesses struggle to understand the details and impose unnecessarily strict regimes out of fear of non-compliance.

    A spokesman for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said ministers were concerned that too many “pop-up” cookie alerts can “spoil people’s enjoyment of the internet”.


    Saturday

    Dark Hedges car park – empty.

    Arrive in Belfast at 06:30 so by 08:00 we arrive at our first stop, the Dark Hedges of Game of Thrones fame.

    Then it’s onto the 2nd stop, The Giants Causeway – see Trivia write up. The National Trust visitors centre is closed and you have to book for their car park and tour well in advance, £13 each. Glad we couldn’t get on the tour. There’s something pretentious and stuck up about the NT, a bit like the Caravan Club, with their notices everywhere. Found a local car park and walked down to the causeway, cost me all of £5.

    Dark Hedges

    Drive along the Causeway route to the Rope Bridge but you can’t go on it so abandoned that. Really craving for a coffee so we drive down to the cafe at Ballintoy harbour, another Game Of Thrones scene that we’ve visited before. Alas, car park is ram jammed with damn tourists.

    Abandon that and drive to Bushmills, free parking and at last some brown water masquerading as coffee. Spot a chippy selling Battered haggis, how tempting is that, must get to try some.

    Drive onto Dunluce castle. £7 to go in but it’s shrouded in mist so we give that a miss.

    What’s with the gangs of Orangemen getting ready with their regalia, are they off on a march? Lovely to see the Union flag and even the cross of Saint George proudly flying in most places. What a pity we don’t take the same pride in England, can you imagine the backlash from the woke snowflakes. I think I’ll get a Saint George flag when we get home.

    Carry on along the Causeway route to Derry. We did intend to walk the walls but it looked such a depressing place in the mist and grey cloud. Drive onto our hotel at Letterkenny, a somewhat overpriced, over-starred, 4-star Raddison Blue – supposedly a 4 star but I think one star had gone over the event horizon and been consumed by a black hole. Room and decor was great and comfortable but after two of those yuppie nespro machines we give up – whoever designed them and can make such a dog’s breakfast of brewing a coffee needs shooting to save gene pool pollution.

    Dunluce Castle

    Meal in the hotel restaraunt with all the ambience, noise, and screaming of a sports bar full of football fans was nothing special. Fortunately, end a great day with a bottle of Carmenera in our room. With such an early start it’s been a long hard day, 8 hours driving around and stopping off, but worth it.

    I’ll let the photos tell the story.


     

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    The Dark Hedges, awesome and beautiful, especially at 08:00 with no one around. One of the benefits of such an early docking. Just ponder the forethought and wisdom of James Stuart who planted the hedges and yet could not have possibly lived long enough to see them in all their glory. I wonder how amazed he would be to see how popular and beautiful they have become. Sadly such a pity that the usual scrots have been allowed anywhere near, having carved their initials into some of the tree trunks.

    The Dark Hedges is an avenue of beech trees along Bregagh Road between Armoy and Stranocum in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The trees form an atmospheric tunnel that has been used as a location in HBO’s popular television series Game of Thrones.

    In about 1775 James Stuart built a new house, named Gracehill House after his wife Grace Lynd. Over 150 beech trees were planted along the entrance road to the estate, to create an imposing approach.

    Legend

    According to legend, the hedges are visited by a ghost called the Grey Lady, who travels the road and flits across it from tree to tree. She is claimed to be either the spirit of James Stuart’s daughter (named “Cross Peggy”) or one of the house’s maids who died mysteriously or a spirit from an abandoned graveyard beneath the fields, who on Halloween is joined on her visitation by other spirits from the graveyard.

    joke header 
    Now I’ve always had a bit of time for Boris, but his latest antic of going shoping in M&S without a mask on proves he is an absolute idiot. He is the one who has removed mandatory mask-wearing indoors but relied upon common sense, well good luck with that. Even he can’t set an example, just another member of the new SS (Stupid and selfish – all the evidence shows that masks not only protect you but also protects others). Then we wonder why we have some of the highest case rates in the World – bring back mandatory indoor masks and stop these stupid super spreader events, we don’t need them.

    How many thousands have died because of his gross negligent, stupid policies.

    Our Donkey leader, leading by example and demonstrating applied common sense.

    religion header  
    2016 survey for Channel 4 documentary finds 23% of muslims want sharia law

    Nearly a quarter (23%) supported the introduction of sharia law in some areas of Britain, and 39% agreed that “wives should always obey their husbands”

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/apr/11/british-muslims-strong-sense-of-belonging-poll-homosexuality-sharia-law

    Well it seems that they can now get their wish if they emigrate to Afghanistan they can enjoy sharia in all its glory.

    rant header 
    A great article on making the unvaccinated pay out for their deadly decisions

    https://apple.news/ALZHCaaMiSeGpX6SM-BvDGA

    You know it makes sense.


    Sunday

    Breakfast with style in the hotel – Milk bottle on the table a sin when I was a kid.


    Early start as we’ve got the Northern most part of the Wild Atlantic Way on our plans for the day – see photos that document our day. Sadly it’s grey and overcast and not very warm, but at least no rain.

    Another long day especially as we finally have to drive over tortuous roller-coaster roads across Glenveagh National Park to get to Mary Doaltys Cottage near Begbun. It’s remote, so remote that Apple maps are clueless, it took us 20 minutes down dirt tracks to find it. But as you can see it’s very spacious and comfortable – 5 bedrooms for just the two of us for 4 nights.

    Subway for tea and the rest of that Carmenera. We’ve earned it, another hard day. Need to start relaxing we’re on holiday.

    Malin Head.



    Our VRBO for the next 4 days.


     

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    Just in awe of all the nice houses around here. All freshly painted with manicured gardens. Is there some sort of EU grant scheme fiddle – just like the Irish border homing pigs of yester year – to get your house painted and your garden manicured? What beautiful hedgerows around here full of red (dancing Ladies) and orange flowers.

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    religion header  

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    Monday

    Bunbeg harbour

    A lazy start and then it’s off to do a shop. Now I’m not a religious person, so the concept of purgatory has no real meaning, but a hour’s shopping in Aldi with Wendy is my idea of purgatory, enough to make any god fearing sole follow the preachings of the bible to the letter.

    On the way to Dunglow we spot Mrs brown (of “Mrs Browns Boys” fame) in rollers and slippers on her way out. Only in Ireland, oh and of course Walmart in America.

    Back home for lunch and then we have a short drive down the Wild Atlantic Way, learning some common sense. At least the suns come out.

    I’ll let the photos tell the story.

    Our lounge



     

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    Pleased to say Ireland both north and south take Covid much more seriously than we do. Every one wears masks indoors. What a pity we don’t in the UK.

    joke header 

    religion header  

    rant header 
    I wonder how many deaths and serious accident have been caused by Werthers original toffees. They’re a nightmare to open, especially when driving.


    Tuesday

    What a disaster of a day. Try to book a VRBO in Annecy. Date routine is totally screwed up and then payment gets rejected. Three failed and frustraing attempts, each with 4 software SNAFU’s, as you can imagine the air was blue. As a result of this I left my wallet on the coffee table, so what you may say?

    Set off up the Wild Atlantice way. More stunning scenery and beautiful homes. I’ll let the photos tell the story.

    Get to Horn Head and Wendy has lunch and then we take a walk. Near the end of the walk panic sets in as I can’t find my wallet – being a nerd it’s always in the same zipped-up pocket. Has it come out by accident as I retrieve my iPhone? Retrace my 1-mile route among the heather. No luck. Spitting feathers by now, along with a few choice words of recrimination, as I’m not sure whether it’s still at home or has dropped out with we abandon the rest of the trip – not too bad as we probably wouldn’t have wanted to go that much further on. Then retrace our car journey. Of course, I don’t find it at any of the stop-off points because it’s on the damn coffee table – oh to be a geriatric.

    Back home for a late afternoon tea and then we drive down to explore Bunbeg beach. I really fancy a Guiness after todays screwup. There’s a famous Irish music pub near the beach according to Apple maps. Wrong, turns out it’s on the main road. It’s closed and may open in a hour or maybe two according to the landlord – it is Ireland, what can you expect.

    Console myself with a bottle of Zinfandell.

    *Horn Head – picture from the Internet



     

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    Wednesday

    A really lazy start. Off down to see the spectacular cliffs at Slieve League, reckoned to be the best coastline in the whole of Europe. Pretty impressive, even if it’s a mile walk to see them after being fleeced of £5 to park. Then a drive back up the Wild Atlantic Way. Another long day. After 6 hours on the road, I’m desparate for a pint of Guiness and yet not a pub in sight. Finally we come across a remote pub, and yes they do sell Guinness, and even though the landlord doesn’t know what a barrel glass is he manages to ferret one out for me. Somehow a pint, of no matter what, always tastes better in a barrel glass rather than a girly flower vase. As my Dad used to say “you should never drink half pints, you’ll catch a cold”.

    I’ll let the photos tell the story of our day. Well worth the effort.

    Back home for 19:30 for pizza and the rest of that Zinfandell.


     

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    The view of cliffs of Slieve League and Malin Head. Not forgetting a pint of Guiness in a barrel glass.

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    Our Donkey leader.

    religion header  

    rant header 
    Well, it seems like we’ve found the traffic light centre of Ireland, just south of Dunglow, 7 sets of temporary traffic lights in just 4 miles. The other joy of these remote Irish roads, the Wild Atlantic Way is nearly all on singletrack or narrow roads. Hardly any traffic on them but they seem obsessed with frequent “Traffic Calming measures”, which makes the roads even narrower.


    trivia header

     

    The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption.[3][4] It is located in County Antrim on the north coast of Northern Ireland, about three miles (5 km) northeast of the town of Bushmills.
    It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 and a national nature reserve in 1987 by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland. In a 2005 poll of Radio Times readers, the Giant’s Causeway was named the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom.[5] The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven or eight sides.[6] The tallest are about 12 metres (39 ft) high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 28 metres (92 ft) thick in places.

    Giants Causeway

    Much of the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast World Heritage Site is owned and managed by the National Trust. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Ireland,[7] receiving over 998,000 visitors in 2019.[8] Access to the Giant’s Causeway is free of charge: it is not necessary to go via the visitor centre, which charges a fee.[9] The remainder of the site is owned by the Crown Estate and several private landowners.

    Around 50 to 60 million years ago,[3] during the Paleocene Epoch, Antrim was subject to intense volcanic activity, when highly fluid molten basalt intruded through chalk beds to form an extensive volcanic plateau. As the lava cooled, contraction occurred. Horizontal contraction fractured in a similar way to drying mud, with the cracks propagating down as the mass cooled, leaving pillarlike structures, which also fractured horizontally into “biscuits”. In many cases, the horizontal fracture resulted in a bottom face that is convex, while the upper face of the lower segment is concave, producing what are called “ball and socket” joints. The size of the columns was primarily determined by the speed at which lava cooled.[10] The extensive fracture network produced the distinctive columns seen today. The basalts were originally part of a great volcanic plateau called the Thulean Plateau, which formed during the Paleocene.

    According to legend, the columns are the remains of a causeway built by a giant. The story goes that the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn MacCool), from the Fenian Cycle of Gaelic mythology, was challenged to a fight by the Scottish giant Benandonner. Fionn accepted the challenge and built the causeway across the North Channel so that the two giants could meet. In one version of the story, Fionn defeats Benandonner.[12] In another, Fionn hides from Benandonner when he realises that his foe is much bigger than he is. Fionn’s wife, Sadhbh, disguises Fionn as a baby and tucks him in a cradle. When Benandonner sees the size of the “baby”, he reckons that its father, Fionn, must be a giant among giants. He flees back to Scotland in fright, destroying the causeway behind him so that Fionn would be unable to chase him down.[13] Across the sea, there are identical basalt columns (a part of the same ancient lava flow) at Fingal’s Cave on the Scottish isle of Staffa, and it is possible that the story was influenced by this.[14]
    In overall Irish mythology, Fionn mac Cumhaill is not a giant but a hero with supernatural abilities, contrary to what this particular legend may suggest. In Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry (1888), it is noted that, over time, “the pagan gods of Ireland […] grew smaller and smaller in the popular imagination, until they turned into the fairies; the pagan heroes grew bigger and bigger, until they turned into the giants”.[15] There are no surviving pre-Christian stories about the Giant’s Causeway, but it may have originally been associated with the Fomorians (Fomhóraigh);[16] the Irish name Clochán na bhFomhóraigh or Clochán na bhFomhórach means “stepping stones of the Fomhóraigh”. The Fomhóraigh are a race of supernatural beings in Irish mythology who were sometimes described as giants and who may have originally been part of a pre-Christian pantheon.

    20210814 – Isle of Man – Never Again






    Saturday

    Joy, start the day with Wendy nipping onto Tesco for a sandwich and a bottle of water. 24 minutes later she emerges. How can anyone take 24 minutes to buy two items, even if you do read the labels and sell by dates.

    “To the Thingamajig-a. Here we go, go, go on a an adventure”. This time we’re off to the Isle of Man. No VRBO, for a change we’re staying in a hotel in Douglas. How I spoil her indoors.

    The trip to Heysham to catch the ferry went without any holdups. Now there’s a first. Efficient boarding. Booked in the Premium lounge on the ferry, all very civilised and comfy. It’s just a four-hour crossing.

    Meal in the hotel is uncertain so I enjoy my Italian Subway with plenty of Jalepenos – I’m sure at tomorrows ablutions I’ll regret it.

    Hotel is smart, comfy and the room is very modern, with a separate sitting area. Wifi is a bit tempremental, about 70Mb per sec in the bedroom but only 2 in our lounge. BBC and ITV streaming is dire but Netflix is fine, they obviously know how to write apps that can deal with croissant flaky wifi.

    Open a bottle of Carmenera and settle in for the night.

     

     

     

     

     

     
    China, the WHO and the power grab that fuelled a pandemic

    After being heavily criticised by the World Health Organisation for its response to Sars in 2003, China decided it would not accept such public humiliation again. What followed was a concerted campaign over many years to seize power within the organisation. A Sunday Times investigation raises serious concerns that the independence and leadership of the WHO were severely compromised by the time the first cases of a mysterious new coronavirus appeared in Wuhan in 2019 — with profound consequences

    Read in The Times and The Sunday Times: https://apple.news/AubfxV5yGQ16-KUxbLwALrg

    Sunday

    Good breakfast. Kippers for me, but after almost choking on one I seem to have got a smidgen of peppered kipper in my snot channel that brings on a severe bout of hay-fever, sneezing more than an Iguana in a ground pepper factory.

    As we set off for a tour of the Southern part of the island the weather is grey and overcast, not very warm but at least no rain. Wendy is orgasmic when she spots an M&S just behind our hotel.

    Drive down to Castle Town. Apart from a castle, hence their name, not really much there.

    Drive down to the Calf of Man. Would love to have a coffe and lunch but the only cafe is heaving with coffin dodgers, galloping Zimmer frame cowboys and bloody tourists.

    Call at Port Erin, again nothing really to write home about. Only a pizza parlour open for lunch, so its coffee for me and a kids pizza for Wendy. Good job it’s the height of the tourist season or else Wendy may have starved.

    First impressions of IoM is it all seems a tad dreary and in need of a fresh coat of paint. Everywhere seems dead, I know it’s a day of rest for god bothers but it is the hight of the holiday season and they do market themselves as a holiday resort as well as a tax haven. As to the beaches well in the main they seem to be rocks and seaweed. I’m going to nominate it as the seaweed capital of Europe.

    Dinner in te hotel, the food is excellent but soemwaht limited menu. They don’t know what the soup of the day is. Always a good acid test and sure enough the excellent food is let down by five sloppy service problems. Intrigued by the “Tower of Refuge”, in the bay, as we have dinner.

    trivia header

    Tower of RefugeThe structure was built upon the reef on the orders of Sir William Hillary (who helped to found the Royal National Lifeboat Institution) in 1832. After several shipwrecks upon the semi-submerged rock, he wanted a refuge for survivors until help could arrive. Sir William, who personally contributed a high proportion of the costs, secured a substantial number of public contributions for funding the building. The owner of the private islet was persuaded to give their permission for the refuge. After its construction, the building was stocked with provisions such as bread and fresh water for any shipwrecked persons. The tower originally housed a bell for summoning of help.
    The refuge, which was built to look like a castle, was designed by local architect John Welch who was also responsible for the design of other landmark buildings in the Isle of Man.

     


     


     


    As I said our suite is all very modern and swish, so much so that the taps are motion activated. Now I’m sure most of you know that I’m a retired nerd and therefore love all things techy, even though I think that most things with software in them are doomed to failure. I’m such a nerd that if Apple started selling cardboard boxes I’d be first in the overnight queue to buy one. But, I do draw the line at motion activated taps, a nightmare and a failure waiting to happen. Why it’s a wonder they don’t even have an app to control them and the temperature. Madness. KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. Never mind a spot of chewing gum or even blue tack helps keeps them on.I always remember with my first Mercedes being so impressed with the engineering. Especially the wing mirrors. Whilst passenger side was electronic – makes sense – the drivers side was manual. How elegant and KISS was that.

    Monday

    Sadly our temple of modernity has no car park so up at the crack of sparrows to move the car.

    Haggis for breakfast is excellent, but again let down by service – wot no orange juice?

    Lazy morning and then we set off for a drive over to Peel. Lash out £6 each to explore the castle. Have a shufty around the town, nothing much there but manage to find an ice cream parlour that serves coffee and some food. There was a harbour side kiosk that sold Kipper, crab or mackeral baps. Very tempting but having to sit outside at tables, in fear for our life of being blown into the harbour is a tad off putting. It’s grey, over cast, and colder than a witches tit in a brass bra is not my idea of fun.

    Drive up the coast to Ramsey. Have a shuffty round but again nothing worth seeing, other than a rusty bridge. Head back home. Another dissappointing day spoilt by a blustery, cold day and uninspiring places.

    Dinner at a wine bar. How trendy is that. Excellent food at wine bar prices.

     


    Well, this picture of the House of Commons today confirms what I’ve know for years. MPs have no common sense. How can you tell, well count the number wearing masks. Yet their leader said we’ll abandon forcing people to wear masks in doors and rely on their common sense. I rest my case.

     


    Well it seems that Kabul has fallen to the Taliban rag heads.Now a country of extreme Islam and sharia law, draggin the country back to 6th century barbarism. If any of the 23% of muslims who support the introduction of sharia law, along with the 39% that agree “wives should always obey their husbands” (now this seems reasonable to me), it is an ideal time to get your wish. Go there for a couple of weeks holiday to see how you like an islamic paradise or better still emigrate for good and bask in the luxury and spiritual rewards of all that sharia has to offer. Don’t pack your mobiles or anything that uses elecricity and if you’re taking her indoors then make sure you have some black bin liners to put over her when she gets off the plane. Enjoy.

    PS Don’t take your daughters.

     


    Just love this. We should have one of these in every shopping mall and large storehttps://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxmt2uDWB0w

    Let’s remember:

    An international report published in The Lancet, which analysed data from 172 studies in 16 countries, found that by wearing a face mask there is just a 3% chance of catching COVID-19.

    Wearing face-masks reduces both your risk of catching COVID and the chance that you will pass it on to other people.

    In short, wearing a mask protects you and the people around you.

    But it seems we have a new breed of SS. Selfish and Stupid. Don’t be selfish and stupid, wear a mask.

    Tuesday

    After another lazy start then we drive up the coast to the Laxey Wheel. The highlight of our trip and the sun comes out, how lucky can we be?

    We both have our phobias challenged. I manage to climb right to the top of the wheel, going up isn’t the problem, coming down is, but I made it. Then we go off to the mine and Wendy manages to challenge her phobia by going all the way in. Very impressive. Have a drive into Old Laxey, nothing to get orgasmic about there.

    Back to the hotel for afternoon tea.

    For the evening meal I finally discover what Queenies are (Queen scallop (Aequipecten opercularisis) is a medium sized species of scallop, an edible ‘marine bivalve mollusc’ in the family Pectinidae). they’re small and delicious, especially when served with Pancetta in a creamy cheese sauce, then a pulled pork Faijita. Hefty portions of both.

     

    Now that’s what I call a sensible parking arrangement.

     


    I notice that being the woke snowflake country that we are we’re going to take in 20,000 Afghan refugees. All muslims no doubt. I wonder how many refugees muslim countries are taking in?

     


    Good news and a victory for common sense the US Senate has voted to ban government money from being directed towards the teaching of “critical race theory” in schools. I’m sure the woke snowflakes and libtards will be taking to the streets.

    Wednesday

    Our last day, thank the FSM, we’ve had enough of the IoM. Fortunately we get a late check out.

    Then to kill some time before the ferry we set off to explore yet another Neolithic Tomb. Difficult to find and I haven’t the foggiest idea why I wanted to see it, but it was on my list. It’s very remote, a challenge to find and amazingly there are other people there – I think they’re Druids as one of them is lovingly fondling and stroking one of the stones – bizarre.

    Then we decide to drive around and see the only mountain on the IoM, well really a hill. All we see is cloud. Well at least we get to finish off the TT course.

    Back to Douglas to kill a couple of hours – shopping – before it’s time for dinner. Not one of the most exciting shopping precincts. Meander round like two lost turtles. Finally time for dinner in the wine bar again. What a treat one of there specials is half a lobster with Queenies. Sadly I can’t drink as I have to drive but I’m orgasmic as I discover they sell alcohol free Jever, not quite as good as the real McCoy, but what a treat.

    Ferry crossing is smooth and pretty well organised then it’s just an hours drive and we’re home and in bed by 01:00.

    Well I suppose we’re glad we’ve been to the IoM but wild Unicorns and free trips to a lap dancing bar couldn’t drag me back.

    It’s all rather tired and dreary with very little to offer us. Seems full of coffin dodgers. Beaches seem to be sea weed strewn rock fields. Only saw one child making sandcastles. You have to question whether they’re really want tourists. Apart from the Laxey Wheel and possibly the blustery Peel castle there’s nothing much to recommend it. Fortunately our 4 star hotel was good and meals, inlacing breakfasts were excellent.

    trivia header

    Cashtal yn Ard (The Castle of the Heights) is one of the best ancient monuments on the Isle of Man. One of three Neolithic tombs, dating from around 2000 BC. It is the best preserved of them all and one of the largest of its kind in the British Isles. The monument was originally a megalithic chambered Cairn (a conical heap of stones built as a monument or a landmark) holding five chambers and extending over 130 feet long. Such sites were used as communal burial places for Neolithic chieftains and their families. A deed from 1795 names the monument as Cashtal y mucklagh y vagileragh (The castle of the field pigsty). It was excavated in the 1930’s and later in 1999.

     


     


     


    Of course the tourist information offices are all closed on a Sunday. How bizzare is that. Saturday and Sunday must be the busiest days with weekenders and Saturday arrivals having their first full day on Sunday so wanting info to plan their week. But I suppose it’s a tad inconvieniant to have to work on a sunday. Those damn CUSTOMERS are jjust an inconvieniance.

    20210731 – Isle of Wight







    Saturday

    Off early to catch the ferry from Southampton to the Isle of Wight. Given the state of our roads you have to allow a big margin for traffic jams. As it happens no major holdups, just a smattering of annoying chaos.

    Our VRBO.

    Arrive early so do our shop in Southampton. It would have been at snobby Waitrose, running with the big dogs, but as they can’t be bothered to provide customer toilets we head to Sainsbury’s. Now watch Waitrose’s share price plummet, serves them right.

    Get to the ferry early and catch the earlier one. Wow, good customer service. It’s only an hour but sat inside with hardly a mask in sight – these selfish egits don’t have enough sense to spit downwind. Is the IoW going to be full of scrots then?

    Our VRBO’s is ready and waiting for us.

    Quiet night in, not even a drop of alcohol passes my lips.

     

     

    Says it all.

     

     

     

     
    What is our village famous for. Well there’s the Garlic Farm and the Donkey Sancuary. But in my mind the The Star American bar and restaraunt is it’s real claim to fame.

    Not that I want to offend any Dumbkey Sanctuary devotees but what is it with this obsession with them. I despair when I see adverts on TV to text “Donkey” to send £3 a month to help save a donkey. Who are these people? I can only assume they are so filthy rich that they’ve donated shed loads of money to sensible charities like Cancer Research; Save the Children; Red Cross and other worthy causes and have a few bob left over for this asinine cause along with Save a Cat. Not that I’ve anything against donkeys, always enjoyed a donkey ride on the beach as a child, but surely there are so many other more worthy causes than Donkies.


    Sunday


    Up and out for a tour of the South of the Island.

    Start off at Shanklin. Seems a pleasant resort ideal for kids. Then onto Ventnor. Not really much there so we don’t bother stopping. Lunch sat overlooking the white cliffs of the Needles. Then it’s onto the Needles. Can’t believe Wendy’s never heard of them. £6 to park – scandolus. All there is there is a fun park village, complete with a single chairlift down to the beach. There’s an unbelievable queue to ride on a decrepit, slow lift.

    A scooter rally. Brings back memories of Lambrettas, parka and tigers tails.

    We set off for a walk to see the Needles, leaving the majority in fun park hell. It’s a pleasant 1 mile walk but when you get to the end of the peninsula it’s £5 each to get into the Old Battery and see the Needles. More daylight robbery, this time from the National Trust. So it would be £16 to get a glimpse of the Needles. Give it a miss and walk back. Would have been nice if the NT had bothered to put a decent sign up warning you of the impending rip off at the end of the walk.

    Joy, it’s started to rain. All part of the great British summer staycation – then people wonder why I want to escape.

    The Needles.

    Drive onto Yarmouth after calling in at some abandoned fort for a coffee. Would have been afternoon tea but having to ladle the scum off the top of your tea makes you want to shout for Huewee and Ruth. Nothing much at Yarmouth so drive onto the White Mouse, recommended to us. It’s heaving, but they have a table and a good menu – ribs. Have to queue at the bar for 10 minutes to order food and drinks. Finally get to the bar, order my drinks, no Sunday roast left they’ve run out and then told you need to join that 15 minute queue over the there to order food. And where you I ask are the signs telling you that there are two separate queues? Tell them to stuff it and leave. Just typical example of shoddy customer service and the mediocrity rampant in the UK.

    Sandown beach.

    After driving round to try a few other places, all fully booked up and busting at the seams, we end up at The Star in our village. It’s an American bar. Suits me although Wendy is not so chuffed. The ribs, red onion slaw, corn on the cob and fried gherkins are great. Good beer a a large selection of Jack Daniels, not really my tipple, but do get to try an american Eagle – not one I’ll be dashing out to buy a bottle of.

    Back home for some wine and TV.

     

     

     

     

     

     
    Well surprise, surprise yet another VRBO with crap wifi. Fortunately the water and power are reliable. When will renters realise that reliable wifi is an essential akin to water and electricity. In futre all bookings will be made contingent upon a guarantee, with penalty clauses, of 10Mbps, ping less the 30msec and cosistent supply.


    Monday

    Garden at Godshill.

    Well it’s a typical British summer holiday day, rainining cats and dogs, just stepped on a Poodle. Never mind lazy start then off to Cowes.

    At least the downpour had stopped by the time we’d got to Cowes. After the usual faf trying to park we have a shuffle around Cowes and the Cowes week (sailing) market. It’s a very pleasant little town mainly due to the lack of traffic on the the main street and lots of independent shops rather than the usual homogenous glut of chain stores. And the highlight of the day for Wendy is an M & S Food store.

    Cowes.

    Drive down to Newport and am condemmed to a shop at Morrisons – as exciting as a mashed-potato sandwich. In view of the dismal performance of the restaurants we’ve decided to eat in. Never mind at least I can get topped up with their awesome, cheap ginger beer.

    Have a drive through Ryde on our way to visit Anne and Geoff (A & G) in Sandown. Ryde looks interesting and may be woth a visit tomorrow.

    Some great entertainers at Cowes.

    Call in on A & G. Old archery buddies from Belthorn. Have a pleasant afternoon tea with them and catch up. They have a gorgous Tibetain Terrier dog. Never seen one before. They’ve given up archery and wanted to pass on their bows (a recurve, a compound, arrows, cases, belt and quiver) to someone who still did it. The recurve will be great as It means I can pack it in my suitcase to America – if they ever let us back in.

    Back home for a delicious crab sandwich and some not so delicious Pinot Noir. And yes some more Netflix.

     

     

     

     

     

     
    A human rights abusing, terrorist sponsoring and religious-extremist regime (Iran if you haven’t already guessed) has spent the past 42 years intent on causing as much damage to its neighbours and the world as possible.

    When will we stop appeasing them; believing them; and tolerating them? The only thing they understand is power. What’s wrong with a policy of regime change. Enough is enough and if they ever get a nuke then FSM (Flying Spaghetti Monster) help the World.

    Meanwhile Macron has a hissy fit.

    President Macron’s government has angered traditionalists by launching national identity cards featuring the English language. Quite right that they should realise the importance of the English language. Think themselves lucky we let them use it. No doubt the yellow jackets will be out on Saturday protesting.


    Tuesday

    Lazy start to the day as it’s raining for a change.

    Drive to Sandown. Get the chairs out and Wendy has dinner on the beach. Sitting on the beach is a rare event for us. Thirty minutes on a beach and my threshold of tolerance expires – about as much fun as going to the dentist. This is certainly not the South of France, sadly no topless, not even any eye candy. Instead a surfeit of Brownie Gobblers, waddling around, with the excess of adipose tissue. Enough to put you off sex for life. So many of them with young fat kids in the family blobby.

    How not to Kayak.

    But entertainment was provided as a rat arsed geezer with his foot in a carrier bag gave everyone a demo on how not to kayak. Pissed as a newt, can hardly stand upright. Plastic bag on foot, probably to aid buoyancy, must have fell off 10 times in 10 minutes. Free entertainment.

    Wow, stopped for a coffee at a cafe and all the staff, young girls mainly, were so pleasant and great service. Such a change these days. Even took the trouble to speak to the manager and complimented him on his recruitment and training practices.

    Drove up to Ryde, hardly mentioned in the marketing blurb for the IoW but has free parking, an interesting pier and a diverse range of individual shops.

    Back home for a disgusting ready meal, chicken Burrito that has a never seen the inside of a chicken. Must have been Chinese, just rice.

     

     

     

     

     

     


    Wednesday

    Up and off before 10:00. These days even Wendy’s up and ready on time. It’s only 20 minutes to the ferry and Red Funnel very obligingly let us catch the 10:30 rather than having to wait until 12:30.

    So what is the IoW famous for? Some may say The Needles. Some may say Osbourne House. I will say a glut of Skoda and Suzukis cars. Do they give them away free to all islanders or are they special offer on cripple mobiles.I know not politically correct, but we are starting to run out of words as the Snowflakes keep ostracising words. words now cast into political incorrect hell such as lame, disabled, handicapped, wheelchair-bound, spastic and victim, all cast into do goober oblivion.

    One of the worst aspects of the island is the scummy tap water. You have to scrape the scum off the top and sides of a cup of tea before drinking.

    It’s a lovely little island, little being the operative word. Everything’s so close togetether, maximum of 30 minutes drive in any direction. No major highways as you end up driving through housing estates with their temporary convoluted community chicanes created by cars parked down the side of a major route.

    Elmer Sands beach.

    We’ve really enjoyed it despite the mixed weather.

    As for our VRBO what can we say:

    Modern, light, breezy, well equipped and quality fitings. Just right for two people. Let down by some minor irritations. Needed a four wheel drive to get down the pot holed track; a shower as slippery as an ice ring; oven with no marking on the knobs, so anyones guess what we’ll get. Water and electricity worked perfectly, but as usual wifi was more flaky than a French croissant. I did complain about it but despite promises of a new repeater nothing turned up. I managed to improve Mbps but still flaky. So 3 minors and 2 majors gets them a 3 star review.

     

     

    Saw this and bizarrely remind me of the days when I was landed with responsibility for our legal department. The main task was dealing with non- payment and complaints. Our solicitor gave me some advice on how to deal with the legal complaints.

    1 Ignore the first letter and put it in the bottom draw. Forget about it.

    2 If a second letter then ask for some irrelevant information.

    3 If they provide the information, ask for further clarification.

    4 If they come back with a fourth letter then answer it with an totally irrelevant reply that does not relate to their complaint. Just loved the “..purple because aliens don’t wear hats.”.

    5 If they come back with a fith letter then time to take them seriously.

     

     
    Taking on Woke Inc.


    Thursday

    Lazy start to the day as it’s rainin’ like a cow pissin’ on a flat rock.

    Up to the local fishmongers for tonights tea – Haddock, Mondkfish tails and Scallops.

    We have a drive down to Chichester Marina. No chance of a coffee as the restaurant has a queue longer than muslims trying to get to the Kaba.

    Drive into Chichester for a shuffle around and get the joys of M&S Food Hall – I’d rather eat my own earwax. Quite a pleasant little traffic free town though.

    Drive into Bognor Regis to see what it’s like. Get out to have a sandwich on the beach but as soon as we pearch ourselves it starts to passist it down again. Bognor’s claim to fame is a Butlins holiday camp and it hold the record for the most sunshine days on England. As for the rest it’s more depressing than the Kyber pass in Blackburn.

    Back for afternoon tea and sat counting raindrops.

    Fish for tea washed down by a rather pleasant American Zinfindel.

     

     

     

     

     

     
    After my recent shopping experiences I have a new theory on mask wearing. There is a high correlation between the higher cost, quality stores such as M&S and Waitrose, and a higher percentage of mask wearers. Whereas the lower cost stores has more scrots, lower intelligent clientele and fewer mask wearers. That theory may well offend some anti-vaxer snowflakes – tough, wear a mask.


    Friday

    Brett wanted me to join him for a Turkish shave, haircut and massage. Pass, rather lick piss off a nettle than have some hairy arsed Turkish imposter stroke me arms and kneck. One wrong word and I could have me throat slit.

    Day out with Brett. Drove up to Goodwood airedrome. Lovely Spitfire there – see photos. Nothing against the Germans – don’t mention the war – but somewhat ironic that the winner of the Battle of Britain and an icon of us winning WWII should have a German name on it – IWC Schaffhausen. You can have a 30 minute flight in a real Sptfire, only £2,750, but what an experience that would be. Coffee watching the planes take off.

    Then drove into the South Downs National Park and up to the Kingsbrook Vineyard for lunch. Even though it was white – sadly all their wines were white or one Rose – I had a very pleasant Pinot Grigo they had produced. Would have splashed out on a bottle but £19 a bottle is £9 over my limit.

    Then back home for afternoon tea. A very pleasant day out.

    Relaxing. Homer and Marge Simpson.

    For dinner (I’m down South so can’t call it tea) we go round to the Elmer pub. Their claim to fame is they do a Sussex Smokie, specially put on the menu for yours truly, sadly it’s only a starter. Enjoyed the food but beer leaves a lot to be desired and having maskless staff hover over you is a tad off-putting in these covid times.

     

     

     

     

    The U.S. plans to seek a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council and work to reform it. “Those with the worst human-rights records should not be members of this council,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. Good luck with that.


    Saturday

    Just love this living out of a suitcase. Because Wendy constantly moans about me ransacking the suitcase to find my clothes and allegedly creasing all the clothes, she gets my clothes out for me each day. It’s like having a butler, not only are my clothes neatly laid out for me, but I don’t even have to bother choosing what to wear.

    Set off home after a great few days with Karine and Brett.

    It’s a journey from hell. Six hours with the satnav overheating as it has to constantly re-route to avoid major delays.

    Oh well a good week. Now we have to gird our loins ready for the onslaught tomorrow as we look after the rug rats for three days and two night while Kurt and Fiona have a few days away. We must be masochists or mad.

     

     

     

     


    trivia header

     
    Ever since my dismall performance of just scraping a pass in GCE English, probably because I’ve never truly understand the comma and where to put it. Never seems very logical and precise. Usually resort to the pepper pot approach and sprinkle a few on any piece of writing.

    Saw this and it seems to make it much clearer:

    Czarina Maria Fyodorovna once saved the life of a man by transposing a single comma in a warrant signed by her husband, Alexander III, which exiled a criminal to imprisonment and death in Siberia. On the bottom of the warrant the czar had written: `Pardon impossible, to be sent to Siberia.’ The czarina changed the punctuation so that her husband’s instructions read: `Pardon, impossible to be sent to Siberia.’ The man was set free.

     

     
    Sick of the selfish, dumb, scrots who can’t be bothered to wear a mask indoors. That stupid that even if they don’t care about protecting others they can’t see the sense in protecting themselves. Perhaps covid is finally mutating to be a cull of the selfish and stupid. Anyway here’s 4 different mask I’m thinking of:

    And if all the above fail then perhaps we need to resort to this:

    20210717 – The New Forest National Park







    Saturday

    VRBO for the next 4 days.

    Lazy start and off by 11:00.

    Ok journey down and arrive about 15:30.

    As usual joining instructions are a shambles. VRBO is light, modern and pleasant, but oh so hot.

    Afternoon tea and then off to Waitrose to get vitals. Come across a bottle of Waitrose Armagnac. A must buy.

    Then have a stroll to Mexifun for a burrito. Very tasty.

     

     

     

     
    In case anyone is niave enough to think that sharia, islam, world domination and the caliphate are unreal just look what is happening now the Taliban have taken over Afghanistan.

    “The Taliban banned women from going outside without the burqa and without male companions. They have banned music and instructed that men should not shave their beards,” said Sojod, 26, from the province of Jowzjan. “They are asking families to give their daughters to the commanders to marry them.”

    “The working women in northern and central provinces are terrified. [The Taliban] are demanding girls and widows for their fighters to marry them off. This is really scary for young girls,” said one woman in Kunduz province, who did not want to be named. “Girls are barred from education above sixth grade [12 years old]. Many families are moving away to try to save their daughters.”

    Coming to a town near you if we don’t do something to stop the rise of islam.

     

     
    PM to call for common sense after Covid rules are dropped. We’re screwed.

    We must learn to live with virus, warns Johnson. This seems an ultimate inevitability.


    Sunday

    Usual lazy start to one of the hottest days of the year.

    Off out for a stroll around Southampton. Walk the ancient walls of the city, what’s left of them. Looks like a very pleasant, modern and vibrant city. Yes, it has some dodgy areas but they’re in a minority. Wow, it’s hot.

    Back home for afternoon tea and then have a stroll to a Thai food festival in the park, but not prepared to pay £4 each just to go in.

    Brett and Karine arrive about 17:00. Walk around to La Regata for dinner. Get a table outside and enjoy some great Tapas.

     

     

     

     
    Swathes of England football fans have reported testing positive for corona virus following the Euros final on Sunday night, as Public Health England (PHE) issued renewed calls for regular testing ahead of the lifting of restrictions on Monday.
    Some fans said that “pretty much everyone” they knew who headed to the stadium had contracted the virus or was self-isolating. The large numbers of fans reporting positive Covid tests following the match has led people to dub the illness “the Wembley variant”.

    The final at Wembley, which was part of a Government trial to test the safety of large events, saw 60,000 fans attend with no social distancing or masks after producing a negative test result. However, thousands more congregated outside and dozens of ticketless fans stormed the stadium.

    Let’s have a doorstep vigil for the death of common sense.


    Monday

    After a very French breakfast of croissants. We even have strawberry jam to go on them. Sacrilege, jam or even jam and butter on a French national icon.

    Then we’re off to the New Forest. Starting with Beaulieu house and motor museum. Browse around the house, a Secret Army museum and then the motor museum. Picnic in the shade of the trees. Strolling around the gardens, all very pleasant. A great place for a day out. Then we drive around the New Forest, relax by a lovely river site and then off for ice cream at Burley.

    Back to Southampton, and a great day out nearly spoilt by traffic jam caused by cars queuing for Isle of Wight ferry (we’ll be in that queue no doubt in two weeks time).

    Brett and Karine set off home. We have afternoon tea and then try and order our Sushi. Alas it’s a Monday and they, along with most restaurants, are closed.

    Beaulieu Motor museum

    Take a 4 minute stroll and find some restaurants open. Great pork ribs.

    The perfect end to a very hot but great day.

     

     
    Could this be our next caravan?

     

     

     

     
    Good to see that despite freedom day about 80% of the populous seem to have respect for the lives of others and themselves by continuing to wear a mask indoors. Of course, there’s always the scrots who just can’t be bothered – mainly the young. The evidence for the vaccine and mask wearing is clear. Just look at the death rate of the unvaccinated. Meanwhile an international report published in The Lancet, which analysed data from 172 studies in 16 countries, found that by wearing a face mask there is just a 3% chance of catching COVID-19. Perhaps this virus is finally moving from a cull of the geriatrics into the “scrot virus” as it seems that mainly the young scrots who can’t be bothered to be vaccinated and wear a mask are at the greatest risk.


    Tuesday

    Off to an early start – 10:00. Planning on a day driving around the New Forest.

    Roof down and we start off at Lyndhurst. Park up and have a wander around the town. There are enough charity shops for Wendy to browse.

    My next car – grandchild proof.

    Then onto Brockenhurst. Just drive though.

    Drive down to the coast and then along the coast to Lymington. Park up at great expense – £3 for 2 hours. Take our lunch and chairs and have it sat in the band stand. Better view of the estuary from up there. Have a stroll around the harbour but pass on a walk into town – too hot.

    Then drive back towards Brockenhurst and pitch up our chairs by the river there. Try and have an afternoon tea at the local hotel, but despite enough empty tables to accommodate all of todays illegal immigrants from France they’re not ready for walk-ins, but will be in half an hour if we’d care to go for a stroll. You can imagine my retort and no we won’t be coming back in half an hour. Cricket match is on the village green.

    Drive into Brockenhurst for afternoon tea at a more accommodating cottage hotel and tea room. Save a fortune.

    Call in at Beaulieu village but nothing really much to see there.

    As me Mother would say “there’s still plenty of countryside”.

    Then it’s back home after a long hot and sunny day.

    Our plans are for Sushi tonight but alas they don’t open until 17:30. Tonight’s repast, Sushi at last. Only took us 15 minutes to order thanks to the little Japanese girl whose command of the English language didn’t even run to understand open or closed on the door sign.

     

     
    Let’s replace all political decision making with these three pelicans. Put a political question to them and if two or more turn to the right within 4 minutes then that’s a yes, otherwise it’s a no.

     

     
    Even this cartoon offends the religion of pieces and permanent offence.

     

     
    The world seems to have been overtaken by the woke, snowflake, libtard, multicultural, luvies. No doubt BLM will soon be augmented by WLM and while we’re at it what about MLDM – go figure the abbreviations. Whilst I’m sorry to hear of anyones death, lets retain a sense of proportion. If we’re going to consider or even mention a curfew for men, what about removing all stairs as more women die falling down stairs than through homicide.

    What makes the luvies think they have a right not to be offended. I’m offended daily by cancel culture; book banning, it’ll be burning next; statue removing; extreme and violence of the BLM movement and their supporters; overpaid footballers taking a knee, or anyone else for that matter, especially the police; halal meat and it’s cruelty; illegal foreigners from 6th century, third world countries coming to this country and wanting to change it to the barbarism of the country they’ve come from. If you come to this country legally then you’re welcome as long as you don’t expect it to change for you, embrace and celebrate its culture. As for the slavery supporting, misogynist religion of pieces and permanent offence then we should especially stop pandering to it. I notice no one has dared to mention, for the avoidance of any doubt I’m talking about islam, it in the current furore of women’s rights. I don’t give a fig about the colour of your skin, but I am a culturist and object to you trying to inflict your culture on me and my country.

    If you’re offended by this then so be it. If this makes you think I’m racist then so be it. I really no longer give a damn and am totally fed up with it all.


    Wednesday

    Off and away by 09:30. Drive home is fairly uneventful with just one minor traffic jam. Pick to dog up from Fiona’s and we’re home for afternoon tea by 14:30. End to a great trip. Villages in the new Forest don’t really have much to offer but it’s a scenic area and the wild ponies everywhere make it. The other good thing is that it’s not very big so you can easily backtrack on somewhere, most places are only 5-6 miles apart.

     

     
    This says it all.

     

     
    Where has all this come from? When will it end?

    As recent events show, the SNP government is implacably opposed to the right to free speech, the most essential human right in any democracy. Not only has it forced the Orwellian Hate Crime Bill through, but it has also rejected Westminster’s Freedom of Speech (Higher Education) Bill. Ministers announced that they are in favour of free speech “only if it doesn’t distress or harass others”. A clear indication of just how far they are from recognising basic democratic rights.
    Free speech is not a favoured concept in Scotland’s history. Prior to 1707 Scotland was never a democratic country, nor did the law afford protection to the expression of opinion. Aside from an enthusiasm for burning those whose views offended, Scotland had a vicious system of censorship and banned newspapers for years. Eerily pertinent is the execution in 1697 of Thomas Aitkenhead, a St Andrews student. His offence? He had been overheard in a university class questioning the accuracy of the Bible.

    20210703 – Brecon Beacons







    Saturday

    What a bizarre shape.

    Wow, not a bad trip down the centre of Wales. No major hold up, but sadly last 20 minuite spoilt by getting stuck behind a wide load. Yet another lack of common snese. Why aren’t wide loads limited to travel between 00:00 and 06:00?

    Yet another VRBO and yet another where the host has to meet you to let you in, and of course we have to hang around for 10 minutes because theyre late. Then we have the joy of a 30 minute tutorial on how to use the TV and all other item that has electrons flowing through them. The Wifi password gives you a clue to the mentality of our host, 12 characters, mixture of upper case, lower case and numeric – bizarre, an extreme case of OCD.
    Home is clean, modern, spacious and bright. Well stocked with essentials and a welcome pack of basic foods.

    I think the architect who designed the place must have thought the lounge was a sleeping place for a giraffe. Never encountered a room so long – see photos.

     

     

    Just couldn’t resist this joke:

    As an airplane is about to crash, a female passenger jumps up frantically and announces, “If I’m going to die, I want to die feeling like a woman.”

    She removes all her clothing and asks, “Is there someone on this plane who is man enough to make me feel like a woman?”

    A man stands up, removes his shirt and says, “Here, iron this!”.

     

     

     

     
    What great news.

    Haribo has revealed it is struggling to get stocks of its sweets to stores across the UK because of a lorry driver shortage that a trade body says is caused by coronavirus restrictions and the effects of Brexit. Also, bottled waters from France and Italy are struggling.

    A great opportunity to buy British, that’s if you must buy bottled water rather than tap water. Of course, if the journalists who reported this had a skerit of patriotism and common sense they would have listed UK-based alternatives to promote British products.

    It really is about time we all realised that the EU is in an economic war with the UK and we should all be doing as much as possible to avoid anything from the EU and buy British wherever possible.


    Sunday

    The usual lazy start. Weather forecast is for clouds and rain.

    Cardiff in the rain.

    We take a scenic drive over Brecon Beacons and then onto Cardiff.

    It’s raining in Cardiff but we park up and have a shuffle around the shopping precinct. Wendy finds an M&S food. I think she can smell one out like a spaniel sniffer dog. Never mind at least we can get tonights tea – scallops, smoked haddock and dover sole.

    Then we take leisurely ride back including a drive around Mythr Tydfel – nothing worth being there. Call in at a NP centre but it’s closed. It’s Wales what can you expect.

    Scallops are ok but really not worth the money. I think we’ll pass on them in future.

     

     

     

     

     

     
    We’ve all endured 18 months of lockdowns to try and beat / survive this virus and now we have Euro 2020’s football and Wimbledon to help the virus get a really good footing. You really couldn’t make this stupidity and lack of common sense up. 60,000 can go watch football but only 30 people can meet up outside, funerals and weddings. It’s not just the stadiums but the travel and celebrations that will help the spread. The joys of a kakistocracy.


    Monday

    Well this is supposed to be the best of the three days so we’re of out early.

    Drive down to Talybont On Usk for a tour of some of the many Caerfanell waterfalls in the NP. A pleasant walk and we see three small water falls. Mind you it’s no thanks to the map board at the car park. No North; no scale and no indication that there are two paths. Just a lazy attitude to tourism in the NP, they really can’t be bothered – mediocrity strikes again.

    Then we plan a drive down some of the back roads, but thanks to a badly placed Road Closed sign end up 5 miles down a dirt track before finding that it’s this road that’s closed. You really couldn’t make this up.

    Back home for afternoon tea and then we wander down into Brecon to have a saunter around the town. Hoping to find a nice pub to sit out and have a decent pint by the canal basin. Alas no really nice pubs. The towns a bit run down but at least has a lot of individual shops. Reminds us of the 1970’s, the land that time forgot.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Now I know we’re doomed when Boris is relying on common sense to save us.


    Tuesday

    Brecon Beacons on the A4096. Means nothing to most people but officiandos of the programme “Top Gear” will know its the famous road from the programme, used to test drive some cars. It is rather scenic but only has one hairpin bend. For someone whose driven the 11 hairpin bends up and down to Serfaus in Austria many times this is a real anti-climax.

    Then we head off down some single track, shock absorber wrecking roads to a do a walk to Pen Y Fan. Park up and set off despite it being a luvly shade o’ black o’er t’mother-in-laws. After a third of a mile it’s raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock so we wimp out and go back to the car. It’s probably only cost me 4 new shock absorbers.

    Path to Pen Y Fan.

    Drive down to Neath where there are yet more waterfall walks but it’s still persisting down so we pass on that. I know there’s a distillery at Penderyn that makes a famous Welsh single malt whisky. Let’s see if we can get on a tour. Alas tour is full. Try a free sample of their Portwood single malt. I quite fancied buying some but alas was rather disappointed.

    Time to loop back and drive yet another route back across Brecon Beacons.

    Back home for a late afternoon tea. Order a takeaway from a Himalayan restaurant. I try the Sinsu (a nettle lamb chilli), very tasty and plenty of meat.

     

     

     

     

     

     


    Wednesday

    Some standing stones.

    Up and away by 09:50. Just to wind us up the weather is sun and cloud.

    Decide to go back up the motorways for a change. What a mistake that was. 25 minute traffic jam around Birmingham and the usual road works around Stafford.

    Yet another waterfall/

    Seems there’s a lot to be said for sticking to the A roads. May not be as fast but at least they’re more interesting and you tend to keep moving.

    What is it with the Stafford section of the M6? For as long as I can remember there has always been some roadworks and holdups. This time it’s bizarre. When we only had 3 lanes there then we could travel at 70 MPH. Now we have 4 lanes but a lane full of traffic cones, so we’re down to 3 but speed limit is 60 MPH. Now you could think it’s to protect “the workers”. What workers? In over 10 miles of cones not a worker to be seen.

     

     
    Not many “Waves of Life” this trip. Best what can be said it was a change to get away and we have seen a lot of Brecon Beacons.

     

     

     

     

     

     
    There we are sat in a 30 minute gridlock. It’s pissing down with rain. The motorway almost like a raging torrent, like some 3rd World country. Good job we’re not travelling fast, we’d be aqua planing. The usual scrots shooting down the supposedly closed off fast lane and then trying to jump the queue, and of course the usual snowflakes letting them in. And of course I’m wondering why we’re here (not a metaphysical question) and not back in Park City, or anywhere in America for that matter. Oh the joys of a Covid invoked staycation, otherwise known as imprisonment.

    Roll on freedom day 16th August. Hopefully.


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    A legend from Brecon Beacons. Highlights the fickleness of women.

    The Lady of the Lake

    This story has been told and retold countless times. It centres on Llyn y Fan Fach which nestles beneath the Black Mountain and on locations in the farmed lands below, which can still be reasily identified to day.

    There was long ago a widow who lived at Blaensawdde. She had high hopes that her son would carry on the family but to her growing dismay he was betrothed to no woman.

    Now one day he was watching his flocks beside Llyn y Fan Fach beneath the Black Mountain when he spied a beautiful woman sitting on a rock off the shore. Seeing her beauty, he immediately fell in love with her but being a simple shepherd, he stumbled over his words. As a token of his affection, he offered his barley bread to her. She however refused it, saying:

    Hard baked is they bread,
    I will not have thee

    Welsh river on edge of the Brecon Beacons. Not my photo.

    At that a breeze rippled the water and she was gone. He made his way home perplexed and told his mother this extraordinary tale. She thought to pack him some unbaked bread in case he should meet her again.

    It was to be later the next day before his eyes were to fall upon her. As before she sat on a rock near the water’s edge. Once again he offered up his bread but once again she refused him, saying:

    Unbaked is thy bread,
    I will not have thee.

    He made towards her but as he did she vanished amongst the sparkling reflections of the lake’s surface. That evening he returned home distraught. His mother who was a wise woman advised him to be patient and prepared some part-baked bread that he might offer it to her.

    Although he returned to the lake before dawn the next day he was to wait until after nightfall before he was to see her for a third time. He had been about to depart in despair when she appeared in the moonlight. This time she accepted the part-baked bread, saying:

    I will be yours,
    but if you strike me three causeless blows,
    I will return to the lake for evermore

    He was of course overjoyed – he could not conceive of ever striking her and looked forward to a lifetime spent with this beautiful lady. The couple were married and moved down the mountain to Esgair Llaethdy near Myddfai.

    Narrow lanes. Not my photo.

    In the spring their first child was born. Now shortly afterwards, the happy family were to attend a christening but seeing his wife was slow to depart the house, he patted her gently on the back to encourage her. No harm was intended, no force used, but even so this was the first causeless blow.

    All went well with the couple and their new son. Indeed the next spring another child was on its way. Their second son was born in that summer. Now some time later, they attended the marriage of a cousin during which the lady cried. He wishing to reassure her, gently tapped her arm. Again no force was used, no harm intended but his was the second causeless blow.

    He was alarmed at how thoughtless he had been and resolved not to strike her a causeless blow a third time. Time passed and a third son was born to them. Now some months later, the family was to attend a funeral and they entered the church to mourn the loss. She however laughed out loud in such a way as to discomfort her husband who was concerned that laughter was inappropriate. He gave her a gentle slap on the cheek. This was of course, the third causeless blow.

    At that, she dashed out of the church and into the rain. He followed her through torrents but could not catch her. Past Esgair Llaethdy they went and on past Blaensawdde. Though he pursued her with all the speed he could muster he could not reach her before she vanished for a last time into the waters of Llyn y Fan Fach.

    He searched the waters for hour upon hour but it was to be in vain. Her prophesy had been fulfilled. She was his no more. He was quite distraught but eventually turned for home.

    He consoled himself with their three sons. They were to grow up strong and wise. Each of them chose healing as their mission in life and were to become the first in a long line of Physicians of Myddfai.

     

     
    For this blog here are some cartoons of the benefits of islam, the barbaric ideology of pieces and permanent offence, masquerading as a religion.

    You may be wondering why I pick on this barbaric ideology called islam?

    When your nearest town has over 30% muslim population you start to appreciate, first hand, the problems.

    When you’ve been a chair of governors at a C of E school that became over 80% muslim you start to see, first hand, the demands they make (ban song and dance because it’s un-islamic; ban girls going swimming; halal meat for school dinners), the lack of integration, the way they treat women and the total failure of multi-culturism. Then you start to appreciate the problems.

    I fear for World domination by islam. I fear for my grandchildren growing up in a world dominated by this barbaric ideology. I fear that this so called religion will use whatever means to achieve these end, including our democracy that once the caliphate is established will just be forbidden past memory.

    Radicalism is not representative of all Muslims, but illiberal ideals, violence and extremism are representative of Islam and, unfortunately, many Muslims do condone such things.

    Even when considering Muslims in non-Muslim countries (many of them democracies), the statistics might be surprising.

    A Populous Poll from 2006 showed that 12 percent of Muslims in Britain believe that suicide attacks against civilians in Britain can be justified and 1 in 4 support suicide attacks against British troops.

    In 2007, the Pew Research Center conducted a poll which found that 26 percent of younger Muslims in America believe suicide bombings are justified. 42 percent in France.

    With these figures it’s hard to settle for the common quip of “Islam is peaceful.”

    Looking at just the United States, which has an estimated Muslim population of five to 12 million according to Frontline, that’s still over a million Muslims (even taken from 26 percent of the lower estimate of five million) who statistically believe suicide bombings are justified. Granted, this number is taken from the 2007 percentages and I’m highly skeptical of such a high number, but it’s still quite telling.

    We have to stop demonizing anyone who questions Islam and talk about it frankly. If a religion can’t laugh at itself and commits untold acts of violence because of cartoons, then that is truly dangerous. I think having this discussion would be incredibly enlightening. And we must stop referring to criticism of Islam as “racism.” Islam is a religion practiced by many people across the globe, over a billion in fact, and it is not the sole property of one single ethnicity. I criticize Islam, just as I criticize Christianity.

    I have no problems with muslims in my country who peacefully practice their religion; totally and unequivocally accept our way of life and don’t expect us to change it for them or their religion; are pleased to be loyal British subjects and don’t seek sharia, the caliphate or world domination; and if called upon would defend this country.

    Whilst I believe in freedom of religion I look forward to the day when religion and state are truly separated and any form of religion is kept out of all schools.