Wednesday, 27 December 2006

English TV

Having not seen any over the last nine months, I can honestly say we have not missed it in the slightest.

Television itself is great, but only if there is something worthwhile watching.

Eastenders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale et al are not and I'd be inclined to take the producers of these "soaps"* to court for blatant misuse of the words "Christmas Special".

Special they most certainly ain't!

*Quite an apt name for these "shows"- about as they as entertaining as getting soap in your eye...

Happy New Year

In case we don't get a chance over the next few days, we'd just like to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best in 2007 and hope that the forthcoming year brings you all that you deserve.

We hope to continue with our trip and have the entire year to reach Greece taking whichever route takes our fancy, stopping or moving on as and when we decide.

Who knows- we may even meet up en route somewhere?

Good luck in 2007, everyone- it can only get better.


Our Trip to the UK

Has seen us arrive in England and spend a few days with my family and friends and now we leave Southend and fly up to Durham to see wifey's clan today.

Three days there and we fly back for the big 40th party (Helen seems to have more birthday's than the Queen!) in Essex again and after a couple of day's recovery, we head off back to Ljubljana (Slovenia's capital city) for a night and some more sight seeing. A 2-3 hour bus journey from there the next day sees us arriving in Izola and after a hectic fortnight on the road/air I for one will be in need of a break.

It's a hard life being a globe trotter...

Something to Drink, Sir?

We have to accept that with the latest threats against security that all airlines and governments have to introduce certain guidelines to minimise the risk of attack and to an extent I can understand the need to ban liquids being taken through into the departure lounges.

However, what I can't accept is the opportunity some retailers are taking to charge obscene amounts for drinks on the other side of the X-Ray machines.

How can a three to four fold increase in price be justified? Shameful.

Airport Security

I'm sure I'm not the only to wonder about this, but do they really need to ask if you have packed your own bag at check in?

It's not exactly a question to tax the most feeble of minds and any self-respecting terrorist is hardly going to break down to confess all under this type of interrogation, is it?

Sunday, 24 December 2006

English Joke

A man walks into the pub and orders a Guinness.

Barmaid says that will be £2.72*.

"Fuck off" says the blurk, "I can buy the whole pub a beer for that in Slovakia!"

It's no joke, I can tell you. :(

*No "please" note- bet she's married to the gadgy at Stansted...

England- Second Impressions

Having done my best to put people off on our travels by systematically killing each country's wonderful language, it never ceases to amaze me how polite, forgiving, kind and generous folk are abroad.

Despite my ham fisted efforts in trying to communicate in the local tongue the good people allow me to make a prize fool out of myself (never a problem I can assure you) and without the need to collapse in fits of laughter or look kindly upon me as the village idiot they patiently help my requests for assistance in outstanding spoken English with good grace, humour and style.

I land at Stansted and ask someone if there was a cash point nearby and got a muttered "dunno mate, 's not my job, innit" as he stomped off.

Even the foreigners speak better English than the English do. Mind you, the English speak better English then the Essex boys do.


Surprise Continued- Part II

We got the spare key from the neighbours and then called my parents at my brothers in Hillingdon.

We had told mum that we were travelling to France for Helen's 40th birthday party (she of the big skiing chalet mentioned earlier) and as usual mum was concerned and asked us to call her when we got there.

When we rang to say all was well she asked for the number to call us back on (my parents don't like us to use other people's phone and always call us back) so we gave her her own telephone number.

Because I said it out of sequence, she didn't twig (despite reading it back to me) and then called back to continue the convo, not realising in the slightest she was calling home.

When she asked how the journey had gone, we said there had been a slight detour and that we had had to land in Stansted Airport- to which she said that that was quite a coincidence and still didn't cotton on. How she didn't hear wifey in the background busting a gut from laughing I will never understand.

Finally I had to explain we were in fact calling from her own sitting room and then the penny dropped.

I'd blame the Christmas booze but she doesn't drink...

Top surprise and it's going to be the best family Christmas ever as bruv, sis-in-law and the kids arrive today. Happy days.

On Holiday


Aye- we're back in Blighty and boy, does it feel strange.

We kept it secret to surprise our parents for Christmas and it was sure that...

Who could have predicted that FOG would cause such havoc in a country where 6" of snow manages to close down the entire South East?

Still, we were very lucky compared to some poor people and only had an hour and a half's delay and when we did finally get to Leigh on Sea and rang on the door bell, we certainly got the surprise all right. They weren't in!

Of all the days to go out, they had chosen to vist bruv and watch the pantomime in London with the grand children.

Still, we had the last laugh- see next post.

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

For Our Foreign Readers

Picked up this rather neat on-line web page translator which will help convert our English type into some of the more widely spoken languages; although there appear to be some glaring errors.

What's better is that when it does translate the text it makes even more sense than the guff that I usually type.


Party Piece

Saw this on TV recently and figured it would be a great trick at parties.

Take a two litre bottle of Diet Coke* and and one "Mentos" mint (chewy mints that have a hard candy shell) and drop it into the bottle.

Leg it behind the kids and laugh.

Maybe a good idea to do this outside.

*Not sure if Coke is necessary but it does have to be a diet fizzy drink.

For those of you with a more cautious nature here's the science bit:

So why do Mentos make diet soda foam so violently? It's a physical reaction, not a chemical one.

Ordinarily, water resists the expansion of bubbles in the soda. Water molecules attract each other strongly, and they link together to form a tight mesh around each bubble. It takes energy to push water molecules away from each other to form a new bubble, or to expand a bubble that has already been formed. The phenomenon is called "surface tension".

Now drop a Mentos into the soda. The gelatin and gum arabic from the dissolving candy disrupts the water mesh, so it takes less work to expand bubbles. At the same time, the roughness of the candy surface provides many little nooks and crannies that allow new bubbles to form more quickly (a process called nucleation). As more of the surface dissolves, both processes accelerate, and foam rapidly begins to form.

Need That Special Flight?

I'll bet even Qatar Airways will fly you out to Morzine, they're that good.


Like Skiing?

One of our chum's bought a cool, all mod cons chalet in the French Alps earlier this year and is now taking bookings for the forthcoming season. Not just for the skiing fraternity but any winter sport or even summer trekking and cycling (mountain biking and similar) and a whole host of other out doors kinda stuff.

The link is fully endorsed by ktelontour on the main link's page...Helen's Gaff in the French Alps

and also here: for further details.

Mention our plug and I'm sure you'll get preferential treatment like a free After Eight on the pillow or something equally as snazzy. :-D

Break a leg...

Monday, 18 December 2006

Wrong Target

From The Times:

A £5,000 reward has been offered to catch militant motorists thought to be behind about 200 attacks on parking meters in Lewes, East Sussex.

More than £300,000 damage has been caused to ticket machines, mainly by small bombs stuffed into coin slots. The attacks started soon after the machines were installed in 2004 and more than a third of the town’s 90 machines have been vandalised.

Police offered a £3,000 reward but the bombers replied by blowing up another machine*. The local council has now added £2,000 to the reward kitty.

Apart from this making me laugh out loud*, I just think this is such a waste.

Why on earth can't they blow up GATSOs?

Birthday's This Month

Emma today, Neil tomorrow and Noel on Christmas day.

Two of my favourite burds share a birthday on Boxing Day too, Helen and Clare and as it's H's 40th we're on the road to meet up with her to help celebrate it properly.

Many congrats to you all and enjoy your special day.

Wind Down to Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching, we're going to be posting a little less over the next fortnight or so as we're off on holiday and we won't have constant access to the internet whilst we're on the road.

I'm sure this will please many of you and gives a new slant to the phrase a "peaceful Christmas to all mankind"...

Have a grand old festive time, whether it's religious or not, but above all have a lot of fun.

Love and best wishes K & T, still on tour and still believing everyday is a dream.

Saturday, 16 December 2006

'Twas The (Politically Correct) Night Before Christmas

With many thanks to becky at girlsbike2 for posting this originally:

'Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck...
How to live in a world that's politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to "Elves".
"Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves.
And labour conditions at the north pole
Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.
Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,
Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.
And equal employment had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!
The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A.
And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard sled noises on their roof-tops.
Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened.
His fur trimmed red suit was called "Unenlightened."
And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows,
Rudolf was suing over unauthorised use of his nose
And had gone on Geraldo, in front of the nation,
Demanding millions in over-due compensation.
So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,
Who suddenly said she'd enough of this life,
Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title was Ms.
And as for the gifts, why, he'd ne'er had a notion
That making a choice could cause so much commotion.
Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.
Nothing that might be construed to pollute.
Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot.
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls. Or just for the boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.
Nothing that's warlike or non-pacific.

No candy or sweets...they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.
And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,
Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.
For they raised the hackles of those psychological
Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.
No baseball, no football...someone could get hurt;
Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt.
Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe;
And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.
So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.
He tried to be merry, tried to be gay, you've got to be careful with that word today.
His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.
Something special was needed, a gift that he might
Give to all without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion; Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone, everywhere...even you.
So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth...

"May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth."

Christmas Cards

ALL greeting cards* as it goes for me.

Can't stand them. Cynical ploy by the big manufacturers to make a heap of cash via emotional blackmail. Cost a packet, stupid cracker style sentimentality and clutter up space trapping dust for nearly a month.

But the tradition of "sending" Christmas cards is particular ridiculous, especially if you happen to work in an office.

Everyone buys a mega box of cheap and nasty cards and then patiently waits for the first one to give out cards. Then it's a mad rush to write yours out and hand them to everyone you work with. Yup, the exact same people you'll be seeing every day until the festive hols kick off.

And you proudly display them on your desk as if it's a sign of how popular you are. But everyone has the identical numbers...

Of course there are sometimes oversights where someone is forgotten, but you nip out to the bogs, fill in the name from your box of spares and rush back in saying it was in your coat pocket and peace is restored.

Unless you don't, for whatever reason, give a card to someone who has sent you one- then it's akin to declaring war and the feud can last for years.

It's so funny to watch.

Best thing I ever did was to make a big declaration to the masses asking them politely to miss me off the office carousel and despite not having sent any cards in decades I still got quite a few from people.

Which was nice.

Happy Christmas everyone...

*Post cards excepted as it's nice to send a small memento from your hols to people just to say "ha, ha- we're here having fun and you're not 'cos your at work" but that is entirely another tale...

It's a Sign of Madness

Can't believe how many people have queried the star sign under my profile- Scorpio.

I've had to patiently explain that it's a in fact a cock up, as the Blog site automatically assigns your zodiacal symbol upon entering your date of birth and that I am actually a Virgo.

(My birthday is 11th September {yup, that day} so stick that in your diary and start saving for the presents...)

It turns out there is quite a simple explanation to the confusion- this site is American and so my DOB should have been entered as 09/11, not the traditional English way of 11/09...

Thanks to the clever one in the family to suss this out, after me having left it wrong for nearly a year now!

Ta muchly; wifey. :-)

Friday, 15 December 2006

Pie Scoffers To Be "Helped"

With Britain's continuing lurch towards obesity, a latest report by a team of health specialists has suggested that “pull yourself together, eat less and exercise more” is an inadequate response to combat the trend.

Instead it has put forward more useful ideas:

  • Printing a helpline number for advice with all clothes sold with a waist of more than 40in for men and 37in for boys, women’s garments with a waist of more than 35in or size 16 or above, and more than 31in for girls

Sure- you buy XXXL kit and naturally you will want to ring a help line...

  • Banning the placement of sweets and fatty snacks at or near shop tills and at children’s eye level

Moving sweets is no deterrent either- people will always find what they are looking for

  • Taxing processed foods that are high in sugar or saturated fat

Surely yet another stealth tax? How is the extra revenue going to be used to combat obesity? Oh, I know- it will pay for:

  • Introducing health checks for all school leavers, both primary and secondary

Whereupon completing the check over the examiner will turn around and offer the advice "pull yourself together, eat less and exercise more"...

  • Allowing new urban roads only if they have cycle lanes

Now this is a better idea- buy lard and get a free bike; that'll motivate the chunkers.

  • Establishing a dedicated central agency responsible for all aspects of obesity

Which no doubt will be staffed by the people who undertook this project- more jobs for the boys.

Whilst I have real sympathy for those with genuine eating disorders I have very little time for the people who expect someone else to sort out their problems for them. You're the one pushing pies into your face so it's down to you to deal with it.

Thursday, 14 December 2006

100 Things We Didn't Know And Probably Don't Want To Either...

As compiled by the BBC news site. Makes light hearted, fun reading:

Parlez Vous Francais?

UCL (University College London) has just announced that it will not admit any students from 2012 who have not acquired a modern language GCSE.


It is more than a tad embarrassing to hear our "Brits abroad" who feel that by shouting loudly in English and gesticulating wildly, it is sufficient to make themselves understood whilst on holiday.

However, wouldn't it better for some of the students to master English first?

Check Out the Small Print

A rather pleasant picture of some ducks we spotted on the river during our visit to Borghetto but if you look a little closer, you can actually see the fish swimming below the surface of the water.

Wash & Go...All the way to the Bank

The Chief Constable of North Yorkshire has come in for criticism for spending of £28,400 on installing a shower for her personal use. The original estimate for the work was £6 500.

My concern does not lie with Senior Plod needing a private shower at a cost of over £28k (although is she having a giraffe*??) but in her credentials of being a copper.

If she can't see she's being robbed blind by the builders, I really question her ability to nick real thieves...

* This is really going to test our non-English speaking readers...

Diet Drinks Abroad

Are pretty nigh on impossible to get, unless you like Diet Coke (usually referred to as "Cola Light".)

In England there are pretty much all the standard drinks offered in the slim line version, but you try finding diet Fanta, Dr Pepper, Sprite or Lilt out here in Europe.

Which is really odd as all the burds here are slim, so what do they drink?

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

Jingle all the way...

I was under the impression it was only England that continually played piped Christmas jingles in its stores and shops, but oh no, it's the same pretty much everywhere.

Trouble is, it's the same old shite too.

Altogether now, "I wish it could be Christmas everyday..."

Goose Fat

It seems to be selling like no tomorrow since Nigella Lawson plugged it as the wonder ingredient for the Christmas meal.

In particular, goose fat can be used for making crispy spuds because it has a high burning point, thereby allowing ovens to be switched to their highest setting and thus producing the best roast potatoes.

Great, especially if you're a vegetarian...

A Free Lunch

The term derives from the American practice of saloons attracting business by offering a “free lunch” which customers were only eligible for if they bought a beer.

So, as they say, there's no such thing as a free lunch, especially as you have to sing for your supper...

Check Mate, Bishop

The Bishop of Southwark contacted police to report the theft of his briefcase and mobile phone after suffering head inuries in a mugging.

But since the weekend, he has since admitted that he had had a drink or two at a Christmas party on the night in question and he and the diocesan office refuse to answer direct questions about whether he was inebriated or still considered that he had been the victim of the reported crime.

The lack of a clear explanation from the bishop is also causing much embarrassment in the Church as the Bishop has a reputation among junior clergy as a "disciplinarian".

Yeah, yeah- yet another case of the pot calling the kettle black from our "religious" leaders, but I wonder who is going to accept responsibility for wasting Plod's precious time? And people really wonder why followers are leaving the Church in droves?

I Say, I Say, I Say

Two quotes that tickled me:

When they discover the centre of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it.

- Bernard Bailey

Typos are very important to all written form. It gives the reader something to look for so they aren't distracted by the total lack of content in your writing.

- Randy K. Milholland

I think the latter is the mantra for here...

Oh Romeo, Romeo...

Forgot to mention that Juliet's (of the Shakespeare pen) balcony is located in Verona and hundreds of people leave notes and messages stuck to the wall.

Funny how people believe a fictional character can have a real place of abode; bit like Sherlock Holmes and 221b Baker Street I suppose.

And Father Christmas in Lapland...


Monday, 11 December 2006

Us In Italy

Women's Handball

As fascinating as men's, just as technical, maybe not quite as fast but certainly just as aggressive. And having watched the game it has certainly dispelled one falsehood. Burds can throw properly...

Our team won a very tight game by four goals eventually, having momentarily gone behind at the beginning of the second half. Very exciting to watch and highly entertaining- especially if you have a father, of a daughter who is playing, and you're sitting next to him.

I think I've picked up some right choice phrases on what to call a dodgy ref in both Italian and Slovenian...

Weekend Away in Verona

We were very kindly invited to join our hosts in a visit to Verona for the weekend, as their eldest daughter is studying at university there and she also plays handball for the local team. Naturally, being new converts to the game it was a great opporunity to get another fix and we readily agreed.

The 300 km drive whizzed past as we matched any Italian drivers for speed and passing opportunities and before long we arrived at big and spacious apartment, with huge rooms and high ceilings. It was lovely and only about 10 km from the town centre where we headed off to check out the Christmas markets.

We couldn't get over the crowds; people everywhere and much, much busier than the last time we had been there, in the Spring a few years ago.

Lots of little booths offering all types of Christmas nibbles, the amphitheatre standing proudly illuminated in the centre of the town and everyone smiling and happy. Plenty of things to be happy about, including with the temperature- a mild 10 degs C at 10.00 o'clock at night.

Top evening out and a great way to begin wifey's birthday weekend.

Friday, 8 December 2006

Slovenian Post Offices

We needed to buy a few postcards, (all tourists do this, don't they?) get some stamps, obtain a photocopy of a document (for our wonderful UK tax office), send a fax (to our wonderful UK tax office who cannot/will not correspond via email despite us being out of the country) and post a letter today.

So with a sleeping bag, sandwiches for a week and a couple of books, we headed off to our local post office with the prospect of a long, long wait.

Blimey, a short queue and a beaming smile from a lady, who managed to do all these tasks without so much as a re-direction to another counter and we were out within 15 minutes. Fan-bleedin'-tastic!

Are you listening, Leigh on Sea? No of course not, you're off on your break...

Slovenian Banks

We've been using the local banks over the last few weeks and it's been a wonderful experience.

No queuing, no language problem due to excellent spoken English (obviously not mine...) with polite, courteous and friendly service.

A real pleasure indeed.

Wifey's Birthday

This weekend, and whilst it's just not on to divulge a lady's age, let's just say life began last year for her.

So, we're off to have a fun few days away in Verona, Italy and we shan't be back on here until early next week.

Hope your weekend is going to be as much fun as ours.


Thursday, 7 December 2006

Handball Pictures

The place was packed and yes, that is a band in the crowd...

One thing I particularly enjoyed was that despite the physical aspect of the game, if there was an injury (and we certainly saw quite a few!) the opposing team would lift the injured player off the court.

Slightly out of sync as we couldn't upload photos recently. All better again now though.

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

The Ale is Off

An English Ale ("Santa’s Butt Winter Porter") depicting a picture of Santa holding a pint has been banned from one of the American states. The reason given was that it was deemed “undignified and improper” and that it may encourage children to drink.

I thought it was illegal to buy/drink alcohol under 18/21 anyway, so that hardly makes sense.

Or perhaps our Septic cousins just wouldn't understand what a proper beer is all about? ;-)

24 Hour Plod Patrols

In yet another trial (an 18 month review to be undertaken in some of the London boroughs) police will patrol the streets on foot at night to introduce a 24-hour community coverage, costing the tax payer ~ £3 million.

Good idea, but surely what used to happen in the good old days anyway?

Crash, Bang, Wallop

In the last seven odd years, there have been over 22 000 fraudulent “car accidents” resulting in payouts of up to £30 000 a time.

Innocent drivers are targeted and involved in deliberate collisions with scheming con men/women with insurance companies having to cough for the damage.

This actually happened to one of wifey's friends- a male driver goaded her into a speed chase and then stood on his brakes with her ploughing into the back of his car. In the eyes of the law, she was at fault and so her insurance paid out on the damage, plus compensation etc.

Lovely world we live in, eh?

On the Box

Forgot to mention that the handball game we saw on the weekend was televised and we happened to chance upon the game later in the evening.

And there we were, second row from the front pretty much all the way through the game. I'm sure the cameraman was fixated by wifey's balloon* waving.

Just like to thank everyone concerned for getting our tickets as well, especially #33 who gave up his two complimentary seats for us (our host knows him personally) and scored a couple of blinding penalties.

*Yes, balloon is exactly what I said...

Follow Ups

To two posts made on here some time ago.

  • The Government has stopped any prospect of big pay rises for MPs. :-)

  • Whilst cod is to be given "greater protection", an over all ban on fishing for the endangered species is not going to happen. :-(

Handball, Ref

Innocently commenting that we had never been to a handball match before (very popular in Europe but it's never really taken off in the UK) our, as ever, genial hosts managed to get us two tickets to see a men's match in the "European Champion's League" on the weekend.

The place was a sell out with over 5000 people coming to watch the home side, sponsored by "Gold Cub Casino" against the mighty Spanish champions, "Portland San Antonio".

The atmosphere was deafening in such a small indoor arena but the hour's game flashed by so quickly it was hard to recall the clock being stopped for the fouls, penalties and Time Outs. Very exciting game, very tough (body contact is permissible) and very one sided.

The Spanish side dominated and won by over 10 goals but this was mainly due to the fact their side contained many national players, including the best player in the world, a Croatian.

Outstanding day out and a sport that we shall most definitely go back and watch again.

The rules, as fully explained can be found here:

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Woody's Birthday

Happy Birthday, Ian!

We've been meeting up with the "Lookers Crew" for several years; a couple of hours every Friday and been having a grand old time of it. Today is Ian's day and I'll bet he thinks we've forgotten. Well, we haven't!

Hoping you have a great time and we'll be thinking of you and absent friends.

Sunday, 3 December 2006

Karsten; Our Deutscher in England

For the long term followers of our Blog you will no doubt be aware of the hugely popular contributions our chum Karsten provides with his comments to some of our posts.

It just occurred to me that we also have quite a few German speaking/reading "fans" of this site (family commitments really are wonderful, aren't they?) who may be interested in his own Blog.

It's a pity it is pretty much entirely in German as it is not only well written and presented, but also dispels the myth about Germans lacking a sense of humour.

So, cop a look- it's well worth the effort: or from the link on the main Blog page: Our Deutscher in England

Yet More Snouts in the Trough

Our Members of Parliament feel that they are doing such a good service for the people they represent that they have requested a pay increase of 66% to bring their salaries in line with what General Practitioners and council chief executives earn- £100 000/year.

Erm, here's a thought. If you don't like the salary how about clearing out your desk and finding another job?

Battle of the Sexes; Part 3471

"There are twice as many men as women with an IQ of 120-plus" so reads yet another "valid" report into general cognitive ability between the burds and the blurks.

Why on earth are we still wasting time, money and resources on research of this nature? Does anyone care? What good will these "conclusions" bring? Haven't we got better things to consider?

Still, I suppose it's valuable ammo up the boozer for the lads, eh?

Living in Sin

Currently, if "co-habitees" part and go their separate ways, partners (unlike a married couple) can only claim maintenance for their children and not for themselves. A share in the property may be claimed but this usually incurs an expensive, complex and long-winded legal battle.

The Law Commission however, is to undertake a sweeping review of the current laws and it is likely to recommend that couples who have lived together for two years or so, have a claim on each other’s pension, property and income if they split up and address the current shortcomings of property and inheritance rights in the event of death of a partner.

The final report is due to be published next year but legislation should be amended as soon as it can to give co-habitees new legal rights and the proposals would almost certainly apply to unmarried couples- including same sex couples not in civil partnerships.

And about bloody time too- why should non married couples and same sex couples be discriminated against?

A Nice Cup of Tea

Apparently one in six Britons will die without ever having tasted their national drink; tea.

And there was me thinking Britain's national drink was lager...

Saturday, 2 December 2006

Right Turn, Clyde...

A couple of ambulance drivers using a Sat Nav unit turned a 20 minute trip into a 8 hour journey as they drove 200 miles (one way) out of their way following the directions given to them by the GPS (global positioning system).

Instead of driving from Ilford to Brentwood (London to Essex) they ended up in Manchester before they realised their mistake and headed back. Luckily the patient they were carrying was not in any danger and he had a comfortable journey.

They have my sympathies- I'd have ended up in Newcsatle via Colchester...

Sunny Side Up?

As we all know, drop a piece of freshly buttered toast off your plate and it will land that side down right into the hairy carpet.

Scientific test revealed that in approximately 80% of the cases you'll end up with jam/Marmite/butter/marmalade/whatever on the floor if you fumble your toasty snack but the reason for it?

It was deduced that for the average height of a table, the piece of toast is only able to spin through 180 degrees on its way down and so to avoid this unfortunate scenario they recommend that you either double the height of your table or place your toast butter side down on your plate.

Science; wonderful stuff...

It's a Right Pain in the Behind

It seems that with "obesity" running riot throughout the UK, it's the good old injection into the bum that is going to suffer.

As our backsides get bigger, the favoured area to inject is no longer reachable with the standard, 3 cm syringe. It just cannot penetrate the thicker layers of fat and so the medication is not working properly.

To combat this, it will need a 5 cm needle (now get a ruler and compare sizes!)

So, the choice is yours- loose weight or deal with a bigger prick up the arse...

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Pay as you go roads are the way forward but at what cost? Perhaps at £1.30 per mile!

Of course you would expect better quality roads and all this within 10 years, so says a report commissioned by the Government.

The report also accepted that many people would pay more to drive at peak times because they would be unable to switch to public transport or travel off-peak to get to work. It further predicted that the "pay as you go" scheme would reduce but not eliminate the need for more roads suggesting that 1,800 miles of motorways and 2,500 miles of principal "A" roads were required between 2015 and 2025.

Now, would this form of tax take the place of fuel duty and road tax or be in addition to them? No mention of that so far...

Friday, 1 December 2006

Smoking Ban

We're all aware smoking is due to be banned in public places in the UK on 1st July 2007.

We all know it's dangerous to health, very expensive and quite off putting to non-smokers.

What I can't understand though is why it is being banned in pubs?

Fags and beer go hand in hand and if people want to smoke over a pint or a glass of wine, let them. Sure, a smoky pub is not pleasant for non-smokers, but why not have smoking pubs and non-smoking pubs and let the landlords/managers decide the smoking policy in their own establishments?

Why does the Government insist on knee jerk reactions of implementing bans as the first resort?

Or, more to the point, if it is so dangerous/anti-social, why not ban tobacco entirely?

Perhaps they make too much money out of it...?


As you are aware we arrived early in Slovenia and the accommodation we had arranged wasn't quite ready for us.

However, thanks to our hosts and their hard work we were able to move into this rather excellent self contained flat immediately with pretty much all the mod cons except for a bed.

We've been using a sofa bed for the last three weeks and whilst it has been perfectly adequate, it's not quite the same.

Yesterday our new bed arrived and it has to be the best night's kip we've had since Slovakia.

It's so good that wifey is still testing it as we speak and no way am I going to try and get here out of it for at least another few hours.

The simple pleasures in life are often the best.

1st December 2006

Another month begins and another month we've completed away from England, our 8th so far.

Looking back on it it really has been so very simple.

Jumped into the car on 1st April, drove across Holland and into Germany. Spent about three wonderful months there with friends and family (and of course the World Cup) and then we had our first real experience of Poland.

We couldn't have been more delighted to dispel some of the myths surrounding this country. The Polish people are friendly, polite, helpful and happy. The country is amazing and the economy really suits the budget traveller. Another three months there and we continued on into Slovakia, a country neither of us had been to before.

Another great discovery and just as lovely as Poland. We both regret not being able to stay longer, but we were mindful of the forthcoming winter weather and so had to leave after a six weeks to avoid the potentially harsh driving conditions.

Our last memory of Slovakia was our encounter with Plod who striped us for about fifty quid for a "red light" violation (despite there not even being a traffic light) and then proceeding to give us a escorted tour through the town so that we could find the motorway. Nice work fellahs, if a tad expensive...

Our predicted four/five week stay in Hungary was cut short after rather poor accommodation in Budapest (see photos elsewhere) and having left the capital we did intend to stop off en route but before we knew it we'd driven through and found ourselves in Slovenia.

The weather had changed and it was like Spring. When we arrived in Izola, nestling alongside the Adriatic Coast we just thought "wow!" and wandering around in just a T shirt in the middle of November made it easy to see why wifey had chosen this resort as our winter stop over.

In fact, we like it so much we're staying on an extra month and we will now be here until...1st April 2007, exactly one year since we began our road trip. How's that for coincidence?