Category Archives: Travel

well Travelled

Last weekend saw us undertaking a mini tour of the South East.

On Friday we drove to Dunstable for the “Wedding of the Month”. Dunstable was everything I remembered, it is like taking a failing Welsh town and dropping it into the prosperous South East of England.

The wedding was held in an old Anglican (Heretic) Church that will celebrtae its 900th anniversary soon. The vicar(ess) apologised for the builder’s rubble outside but said that if she could make us laugh twice then we should contribute towards the rebuilding work.

After the wedding finished I made my apologies and went back to the hotel to watch the Welsh lose to the Australians. This was a good thing as the meal at the reception was lamb – T&E does not eat family members!!!!

I returned for the evening to find FW in a very merry mood. She assured me that this had nothng to do with her efforts (and those of her friends) to drink the EU Wine lake dry.

Sunday saw us heading further East to the deepest, darkest depths of Suffolk. This is a strange county where you almost expect Wicker Men to be burning in the fields or hordes of inbred locals cruising the roads looking for fresh “outsiders” to disembowel.

We had a great end to the journey where the road to the village was closed, about a mile short, and we then had a 5-10 mile detour to reach it.

Many thanks should be expressed to Tiffer and Mrs Tiffer for looking after my wedding ring (for 4 years) and the warm welcome we received.

We were taught the important things in life – Mr Tiffer is only a curate and will not become a vicarage for 3 years; not all Anglicans are heretical backsliders; not all people in Suffolk are inbred; that some children (other than my nephews) are fun.

Many thanks to Abigail for entertaining us with her little giggles and squeeks. Having a small child break into a smile, jump up and down and wave in respone to your wave was fun.

We made it back to South Wales after a 3 drive across the UK. Our SatNav brought us home via Leicestershire and the M42 – thus avoiding the carnage that is the anti-clockwise M25 at the moment.

Bang!!!

As many of you may (or may not) know, I work in the transport industry. Well work is a very loose description of what I do. These days it seems to be more about computer input than actually doing any physical work.

The revelation last week that 2 bombs had been found on aircraft in Dubai and East Midlands Airport has got the industry talking. We are already seeing governments inssiting on tighter security controls for cargo.

You see all cargo loaded into passenger aircraft holds has to be x-rayed or physically searched prior to loading. Well that is the theory. Not every country actually does this efficiently and there are always ways around these things, if you are smart, dedicated or willing to bribe someone.

However the rules for cargo only airfcraft are different. This is because only the flight crew are at risk. The industry insists that there is no need to inspect every package that goes onto a cargo aircraft. Plus it would add cost to the process and lead to time delays.

Here is the anomaly with what happened. The package going to Chicago via the UK was only spotted during a security exam at East Midlands. This arrived in the UK on a cargo only flight.

The device found in Dubai was originally said to be on a cargo only flight. However we later found out that the package had actually flown into Doha and then Dubai on passenger flights. So who didn’t do their job properly?

Evidently the package left Yemen without being checked. Then it moved through Doha without any checks. Wouldn’t you expect someone in Doha to check unaccompanied packages that originate somewhere as volatile and unsecure as Yemen?

Now don’t worry! The chance of you dying in a explosion on an airliner are longer than the chance of the engine failing. How often do you hear about that happening?

And now for something from the QI fact of the day from the BBC website:

Princess Alexandra, the aunt of Mad King Ludwig II of Bavaria (1845-86), suffered from the delusion that she had swallowed a glass piano.

Visit your aunt, but not every day of the year. SPANISH PROVERB

Days of Future Present Past

Over the last week I have been giving some thought to my future. Things need to change and very soon. I haved ploughed a rut that needs to be filled and left.

So I have to do a few things this week and speak to a few people to see if my thoughts can be acted on. If they can then life will take a more exciting and, hopefully, rewarding turn for the better.

In other news…..

Our trip to Edinburgh has had to be postponed due to unforeseen circumstance. We received a card inviting us to a wedding (not the district in Berlin, worse luck) in Dunstable. DUNSTABLE??? Who would choose to get married in Dunstable??? (If the person reads this, then obviously someone with taste and intelligence!!)

It also means that we won’t get to see Wales v Australia, which is on the same day (Boo!!!!)

However the person will be moving to……

EDINBURGH

Decision

Kerensa,

Do you really think that we could refuse an invitation ultimatum to meet JTL and HD? I’m still convinced that we’ll discover that he is a cardboard cut-out, much like the Dr Who in our hall ūüôā

I’ve always wanted to see Glasgow and to do both in one weekend would be great. I think that a little more than an hour in our company would be a punishment for them though, just ask people in Swansea!!!

More Thoughts

Following the comments on my previous post I have a dilemma. Do I find time to go to the city of the deep fried Mars bar?

Plus : Deep Fried Mars Bar -do they actually exist?
May bump into guy from Hue & Cry
Possible Glasgow Derby
Meeting weird wibsiter and her imaginery HD
Rab C Nesbit & drinking cans of Special Brew outdoors
Seeing the Clyde
Billy Connelly

Cons: Incomprehensible Accent
Jimmy Sommerville
Sink Estates
Not Wales

Mmmmmm…..

Expedie en retrait

One of the things I like about holidays is the planning. Sometimes I prefer this to actually going. One of the problems I have is that there is always to much to fit in. As I have found with our forthcoming holiday¬†I keep finding things that I’d like to do/see.

I think that France could become like Germany, somewhere I will need to visit over and over again. For someone who enjoys history I find so much that I want see. From Klaus Barbie’s headquarters in Lyon to Vichy to Agincourt to the Somme etc etc. So much so that I’m already thinking of what to see next time.

We have already decided that next year will be a further to Berlin with Stroppy Boy and we anticipate travelling there by train – well you don’t need a car when you get there and it is more fun than by plane.

Plans d’invasion

FW and I are currently planning our forthcoming invasion of France. We will be entering using the traditional route Рvia Flanders and the Somme region. We will then proceed west to Normandy, to visit Bayeux, the D Day beaches and Mont St Michel, before manouevring south to reclaim the other Welsh lands lost by the English after the Hundred Years War. After all King Arthur did fight the invading Saxons in Brittany and Richard the Lionheart Рthat well known Welshman (he was born in the Rhondda vallies really) Рowned most of the lands down to Bordeaux, and beyond.

Our plan is to lay claim to our ancestral lands in the Limousin region. We aim to visit Bergerac to see where Jersey’s Greatest Detective¬† came from, in honour of Auntie Doris. We will then¬†undertake a reconnaitre towards Clermont Ferrand and then on to¬†visit a wiblogger in exile in Lyons. She is currently lulling the French into a¬†sense of insecurity in preparation for the¬†invasion.

We all know that any invasion of France will be successful because they are a bunch of garlic smelling, frog and snail eating ,surrender monkies Рor so our national prejudice and the historical narrative of the Franco-Prussian, First and Second World Wars confirm to us.

Carla Bruni, Catherine Deneuve, Audrey Tautou and other luminaries of French beauty will of course be spared. President Dwarf will be the first to be imprisoned in the newly built Bastille and will then marry “Madame la Guillotine” shortly afterwards.

We will be leaving via the traditional¬†port d’embarquement of¬†Dunkirk, though hopefully not chased by Germany’s mighty Panzer regiments or under the aerial threat of the Luftwaffe.

D-Day is D minus 9 days and counting. We look forward to reporting on the success of our mission in due course.    

 

En avant a la victoire

What Goes Up

may not necessarily come down in the same ondition.

Do you remember the British Airways 777  that landed 1000ft short of the main runway at Heathrow in January 2008? What about the Delta Airline flight that had similar fault occur 32000ft over Atlanta the following November?

You may have read last week’s press coverage of the 2 reports released – one by the Americans and one by the British. What you may have also heard was the difference in tone between the 2 reports. The US report said that another incident could happen at any time. The Brits just said that Rolls Royce had to solve the problems as soon as possible.

The 777 is a replacement for the 747 in terms of range but only requires 2 engines. Therefore it’s routing means that it has to be within 90 minutes of an airport for its entire flight. Many of these aircraft are routed over the Artic – the cold, white bit at the top, inhabited by Polar Bears, Killer Whales, Seals, idiots (sorry Inuits) and idiots on treks to the¬†North Pole in their Y fronts or by party balloons.¬†

It may not have escaped your attention that the Artic is very, very cold – even with global warming – during the winter. So the fault in the Heat Exchange must be a worrying problem for someone. Not for our British Air Accident Board though. They don’t like to make a drama out of a crisis.

The airlines refuse to ground the aircraft until the fault is resolved – at current estimates in 12-18 months time. This would cost them to much money in lost revenue. However what this means is that should another 777 have an “incident” then they leave themselves open to massive compensation claims.

BA have announced that they will not tell passsengers whether or not the 777 they fly will have (un)safe Rolls Royce Trent engines or the uneffected GE90 engines. According to BA this is not possible for them to do – even though which aircraft are and aren’t absolutely safe.

Personally I would play safe and ¬†book with another airline not operating 777’s on that route or can guarantee using only GE90 engines. Is it worth spending another hundred or so knowing that you will have a much better chance of arriving¬†¬† landing safely.

If you don’t believe that¬†Trents are a problem then let me just say that Rolls have issued at least 3 notices for part changes in the past few months – these are circulated to the airlines and made known in the trade press. As I much as I believe in supporting British industry, for something this serious I would sooner buy foreign.

 

History What Did ‘appen:

1190: People in York celebrate a special event – St. Pogrom’s Day – by massacring 150 Jews.

1660: The Long Parliament dissolves itself.

1802: The military academy at West Point, New York is founded.

1872: The first FA Cup Final is played between Wanderers and Royal Engineers at the Kennington Oval. Wanderers are the winners.

1926: Robert H. Goddard successfully launches the world’s first liquid fuelled rocket at Auburn, Massachusetts. This helped to give reality to man’s dreams of reaching the stars – though¬†Charlie Chaplin¬†did complain at this intrusion on his privvy.

1953: Marshal Tito, of Yugoslavia, becomes the first Communist head of state to visit Britain.

1968: US troops slaughter between 200 & 500 unarmed villages at My Lai in South Vietnam.

1976: Harold Wilson unexpectedly resigns as Prime Minister. It may have been to do with Alzheimers  Рor because of his holidays on the Sciliy Isles every year.

1978: Aldo Moro, a former Italian Prime Minister, is kidnapped by the Red Brigade in Rome. He is later murdered.

1988: Sadaam Hussein’s forces mount a chemical attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja, killing about 5000 people.

Tourist Information

Thanks to Auntie Doris, Jack & Ian – I’ve now reached 1000 comments. We’ll hold a party soon – BYO wieners.

Ian,

To answer your query… Cornwall is the most beautifulk place in the UK after Wales and the highlands of Scotland. It is great tourist destination and has the best of the weather and temperature most of the year. In addition, if you go by train, you get to run along the seawall at Dawlish, one of the most iconic and beautiful parts of the British Rail network.

¬† This is what you get, the red cliffs and the seawall. It always brings back memories of summer holidays in the mid to late 70’s. It was also the best part of collecting Kat the Cougar from Torquay.

In addition you have many small, attractive seaside towns and villages, the moor around Bodmin and it is the best place in the UK for surf. I don’t surf but I love swimming in the Atlantic rollers around St Ives.

 

This is St Ives, one of Cornwall’s most beautiful towns. You have the harbour and three superb beaches.

You also have places like Padstow, The Lizard (famous for its Serpentine rocks), Land’s End, Fowey etc etc.

When you come back you really need to go there.

How do you know it’s New Year?

I know because we have decided on holidays. I usually do this in January and then find that it’s December and I’ve not gone anywhere. This year we have decided that we are absolutely, positively, definitely going away this year. After all we think we deserve it.

So we are looking forward to a week or so in France in May and, hopefully, a week in North Cornwall in September.

All we need to do now is make sure that it actually happens.