Monday, 30 April 2007

Coca Cola

Something that has always puzzled me.

They say that Coke is not good for your teeth and I'm sure it's not the best thing in the world for them. However, if the Coke can break down the enamel, why can't it break down the plaque that builds up too?

Fair Play?

It seems that secondary schools will soon be offering classes in "social and emotional intelligence" intended to teach pupils fair play, respect and good manners in an attempt to combat the rudeness and violence that is currently associated with today's youth.

Call me old fashioned, but I'd have thought that a school would be better off teaching its pupils to read and write (something clearly not a priority of the curriculum) and perhaps leave the parents to teach their kids family values and etiquette, no?

How's Your Luck?

We got back from the pub last night and had just settled down in front of the television as Bielefeld and (Werder) Bremen trotted onto the pitch; DSF were showing the highlights, so our (my) timing could not have been better.

Nor could Bielefeld's as they managed to win 3-2, which not only strengthened their campaign to avoid relegation by moving to 13th place, but it also stopped Bremen from going top.

Unfortunately though, we still have to face Schalke 04 (currently top) on the last day of the season so there is still a very strong possibility of us going down.

*gulp*

Bye Bye Moby

We popped in to say our last farewells to our favourite bar in Izola and once again had a wonderful time.

We'll miss you all and look forward to seeing you again, sometime in the future.

We will be back but at this stage we're not exactly of sure when, aside from it will be a few years from now.

Still, there's nothing like having something to look forward to.

So it's "ciao, ciao" to the Moby Dick and I was right- the cocktails there will certainly be a big hit this summer. ;-)

Bank Holidays in Slovenia

Here's a turn up for the books.

May Day is really the first of May, irrespective of which actual day of the week it lands on, unlike in England, where it's always the first Monday of May.

This means that tomorrow is a bank holiday and subsequently everything is closed. Everything.

Possibly so too, the buses. And we are due to catch the bus to Porec for the beginning of the leg of our Croatian adventure...

We think there is one bus running, but so far all efforts to confirm have been a little vague, so currently it sits at no better than 50:50 if we will be leaving Izola tomorrow after all.

I don't believe in coincidence and so if we can't get the bus, it's a sign and our world trip will come to an abrupt halt as we'll be staying put! :-)

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Nothing To See, Move Along Please

As the title says- nowt here bar some web links to stuff we use from time to time.

I'll add and amend useful addresses (for us) and then link them to the home page so we can access them via cyber/inter net cafes and all we have to remember is our Blog address.

See? Absolutely nuffink of any interest for you guys here. :oD

Test:

Google Mail

Hotmail

Yahoo Mail

BBC

The Times

The Telegraph

Eurosport

Nationwide

Barclays

Abbey

Visa

PayPal

Tax

LimeWire

PeekVid

Skype

Flikr

ImageShack

Movie Review

Play.Com

Joost

Sven-Göran Eriksson

It's been about ten months since Eriksson's England were dumped out of the World Cup in Germany last year.

Since then and until July 2007, he continues to trouser £6 000 a day from the English FA for doing absolutely nothing.

Mind you, no change there then...

Cricket World Cup Final

It's finally over and it's hardly been unpredictable.

Congratulations to Australia who have now won the trophy an amazing four times (this win gives them the hat-trick having won it previously in 1999 and 2003) and they can undoubtedly claim to be the best one say side ever.

However, once all the celebrating is over, let's not forget that Bob Woolmer was brutally murdered during this competition and no matter how well the Aussies played, that will always remain my lasting memory of this tournament.

I also wonder if we'll ever find out exactly who was responsible.



ICC World Cup: Sri Lanka v Australia played 28th April 2007 at Barbados. Australia beat Sri Lanka by 53 runs.

CCTV

Remember a while back I mentioned that London is fast becoming the most observed/watched city in the world?

Well, to put it into perspective, try this for size.

In New York you have a 9% chance of being caught on surveillance camera. In central London, the same chances of being picked up by CCTV is nearly 23%.

A, B, C...

Globally, the most common vitamin deficiency is vitamin D.

In case you didn't know about vitamin D

*yawn*

New Bike Anyone?


This has been doing the rounds and made me chuckle.
Not sure about the cruiser/commuter description as it's currently the top of the pile of out and out super sports bikes and as for keeping both wheels on the ground?
Maybe his is better off getting rid of it- he clearly ain't using it properly...

Smoking on the Job

Government guide lines have advised managers to call in Plod if an employee threatens physical violence after being requested to comply with the impending smoking ban.

This is going to get messy.

It's bad enough to deal with an irate smoker but chuck Dibble into the mix after they've been dragged away from their donut break and it will all end in tears, I tell you.

Soutend United Football Club

Have been beaten 1-3 at Roots Hall by rock bottom team, Luton, and are now officially relegated today.

Arse.

Tomorrow, Arminia Bielefeld take on Werder Bremen who will go to first place in the Bundesliga if they beat Bielefeld at home. So, not much to play for there then and I can sense another thrilling defeat for my home team.

Double arse.

On a happier note, Spurs walloped my mother in law's team, Middlesbrough 2-3 and if they win their game in hand could even qualify for Europe next year.


Football eh, full of ups and downs...

Saturday, 28 April 2007

Phew

And here we have it, 900 posts exactly.

Admittedly, the majority of it has been utter arse, but the occasional gem slips in (usually wifey's offerings) and still no signs of letting up.

Saying that, the next few months will be a bit leaner as we're on the road pretty much every week and the majority of places do not offer inter net access in Croatia. And if you think I'm going to be sat in some cyber cafe whilst I could be swimming in the Adriatic...

But we'll do our best, especially as the style of posts should revert back to our experiences on the road (for that is exactly what we will be doing) and BLiar will hopefully not be around for much longer either. :oD

Besides, we must be doing something a little bit right- we're kinda averaging about 100 hits per week now and they're not all down to me...

The Right to Bear Arms

A guy in America (Orlando as it happens but it could be anywhere in the mighty US of A) robs a petrol station at gun point and takes off with about forty quid and some fags.

No big deal, right?

Unfortunately for him though, he left behind his gun case which also contained the receipt for his AK47- and of course, the receipt had his name and address on it...

If ever there was a more open and shut case (yes, the pun was intentional) of America reviewing its policy for all of its citizens to bear arms, this has to be it. How on earth can such a major retard be allowed to own a gun?

I wouldn't even let him anywhere near to a pair of plastic scissors- with adult supervision...

Rice

I've never been the biggest fan of rice (more of a pasta/noodles type of chap, given the choice) but I think that has always been down to the fact I've been quite poor at cooking it.

However, as time is something we have on our side, I've been practising and over the months I'd like to think I've now got it sussed with pretty much guaranteed results. I favour "basmati" rice but I guess it works with any of them.

Here's what we do:

Take any size cup (and for us, one cup offers two healthy portions for non-pie scoffers)

Fill with rice and chuck into saucepan

Add one and a half times the quantity of rice with water

Crumble in a stock cube* (veggie is best)

Close the lid (glass is best so that you can see what's happening) and bring to the boil

As soon as the contents boil, reduce flame to minimum and continue to simmer for exactly 12 minutes

Remove from heat and allow rice to stand for at least 15-30 minutes

At no point, no matter how tempting it is, do you remove the lid

The whole secret to success is to allow the generated steam to do all the work and if you remove the lid you will allow the steam to escape and your rice will not cook properly

When ready to serve the rice, simply fluff up with a fork and off you go. You'll be amazed at how long the rice will keep hot- even 45 minutes after removing from the heat it will be warm, allowing you to carry on preparing the other dishes.



*Marco Pierre White is soooo behind the times, we've been using stock cubes for years in all sorts of things

Mossie Gets

Brilliant sunshine, really hot days so guess what this brings?

Yip- mosquitoes.

Some little bastard had me at least half a dozen times in like 0.3 nano seconds and immediately I've got red spots the size of volcanoes and they all itch like buggery.

Why me?

Still, I guess it's a small price to pay considering the summer we've got lined up... ;-)

Friday, 27 April 2007

Ryanair Part II

To show we try and remain neutral on here (ha!) the following was taken from today's Times:

A senior Labour MP accused Ryanair of hypocrisy for refusing to appear before the Commons Transport Select Committee to answer accusations that it mistreats passengers.

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, wrote to the committee saying that the terms of reference of its inquiry into passengers’ experience were “prejudicial and ill thought-out”.

The budget airline said yesterday: “Ryanair had far better things to do than waste time at a House of Commons committee.”

Graham Stringer, a longstanding member of the committee, said that Mr O’Leary had previously found time to appear before the committee to complain about prices charged by airports.

He said: “It’s hypocritical of Ryanair to give evidence when the topic suits them but not when we want to ask them about the way they have mistreated disabled people or passengers who find their flights have been cancelled.”

Sorry, no contest- Ryanair walks this one (see below).

BLiar Off

It seems that BLiar is due to announce his departure date within days and the only thing holding him back is that he wishes to catalogue his successes in the 10 years he has been in power.

If it helps get rid of him any quicker, ktelontour are more than willing to help him with his list of accomplishments, as follows:








Now that didn't take too long, did it?

Equality? How So?

A disabled man who was rejected for a post as a fully operational officer is due to appeal against the Metropolitan Police force's decision.

Whilst I completely disagree with discrimination of any type, surely the guy must realise that due to his unfortunate disability, he will hardly be able to fulfill his duties on the beat whilst in a wheelchair?

I'd not reject his application due to his lack of mobility- more due to his lack of brains; he's far too stupid to become a copper. And that is saying something...

;-)

Wakey, Wakey

School kids failing to turn up to their classes in Portsmouth are to be given £5 alarm clocks in an attempt to get them to attend their lessons.

Has it not occurred to anyone that the getting up is fine, it's that the kids just don't want to be in school at all?

Great use of school funds, that one...

Getting Hitched

Is on the decline again.

Latest figures show in 2005, only 50.3% people were married and they will soon be in the minority.

Can't say I'm surprised. We live in an almost semi-disposable society so why should relationships be any different? There hardly seems to be any encouragement to get married these days and I can't see that changing, despite the government's continued claim to promote "family values".

Sign of the times, innit?

The Moby Dick...Again

They have just taken on a new barman who's been in London for the last six months. His English is most excellent and whilst he enjoyed his time in England, I think he's more than happy to be back in Izola. I agree.

It seems he's also quite a whizz at shaking the cocktails (perhaps something he picked up during his stay in the UK?) and yesterday he was giving quite a display on the whole Tom Cruise thing.

Very impressive and I think the Moby is going to be the place to be this summer.

Although we won't be- only four days left. :o(

Still, one more trip to say good bye to the guys who have looked after us so well during our six month stay is entirely in order.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Ryanair- Clever Marketing!

Ryanair, the Irish carrier has been asked to give evidence to the House of Commons Transport Committee which is looking into passengers' experiences of air travel.

However, it refused to appear before MPs by saying it had "far better things to do than waste time at a House of Commons committee".

The airline said:

"Ryanair had far better things to do than waste time at a House of Commons committee which is itself wasting time talking about passengers' attitudes to air travel at a time when Gordon Brown is busy stealing an additional £1 billion from UK passengers and visitors this year."

Ryanair went on:

"If this committee wants to do something useful for passengers then it should immediately investigate 'Greedy' Gordon's doubling of UK (airport departure tax) Air Passenger Duty (APD) under the false pretence of doing something for the environment. Ryanair would be happy to attend any such investigation.

In the mean time Ryanair will spend its time more usefully delivering Britain's lowest fares with its five million free seat sale. Passengers only have to pay greedy Gordon Brown's £10 APD tax rip-off."


Outstanding- telling politicians to fuck off and getting great publicity to boot. :-D


Taken from today's Telegraph.

The US Congressional Gold Medal of Honour

Did you know that BLiar was awarded this medal by Bush in 2003 and that nearly four years on, he hasn't collected it? Apparently the reason for the delay is that BLiar does not want to give the impression that he is Bush's "poodle"...

However, it's not so much this that intrigues me (although this did make me titter) rather than the reason BLiar "won" the award.

It was apparently for "his triumphant address to both houses of Congress in July 2003" following the invasion of Iraq. You know, the one where they insisted Iraq was producing WOMD and then actually found precisely none.

Excuse me? BLiar reads out a prepared speech to a few American politicians and he wins a medal for that?

Perhaps he should have tried that in the UK, he may even have won a Blue Peter badge...



Note: The Congressional Gold Medal is a completely separate decoration from the medal of Honour, which is a military award for extreme bravery in action.

24 Hour Drinking

Contrary to the anxious bleatings of do gooders in the UK, the introduction of twenty four drinking last year has seen drink-related violence drop.

No doubt all manner of excuses will now be proffered by our moral guardians but ultimately, if you leave people to decide when they want to drink for themselves, they may not be hell bent on fighting or anti-social behaviour and they may just want to enjoy themselves.

Having been on the road for over a year now, I have to relate how refreshing it is to be permitted to enjoy alcohol (or not) without having to continually to glance at your watch in case it's approaching 11.00 pm.

This ridiculous government curfew has always been a primary instigator of the British binge drinking mentality and quite honestly it is a real pleasure to see, that given freedom of choice, people are fully capable of looking after themselves.

Long may it continue.


Injuries arising from street disorder fell by 2 per cent in 2005; with the number of women treated falling by 8 per cent, whilst the figure for men remained stable.

Football World Cup 2007

No, you haven't misread the title, nor have I made my usual typos- there is a football world championship to be held in China, beginning in September 2007.

It is of course the Women's World Cup and the draw for the tables have just been finalised with England getting a tough group, including the current world champions, Germany.

In fact, the German's are also the current European champions as well, a feat not even the men's team could emulate.

As champions Germany will kick off the tournament on 10 September with their match against Argentina in Shanghai, followed by England who face Japan on 11 September (MY BIRTHDAY) and Germany three days later.


Women's World Cup draw in full:

Group A: Germany, Japan, England & Argentina

Group B: Nigeria, USA, North Korea & Sweden

Group C: Norway, Ghana, Australia & Canada

Group D: China, New Zealand, Brazil & Denmark

The top two teams in each of the four groups will qualify for the quarter-finals, with Germany and Japan the favourites to go through from Group A.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Car Insurance

As mentioned we now intend to continue our travels without the car and so our current insurance policy is no longer required. I emailed the company a couple of days ago to advise them that we have permanently emigrated and that we'd like to cancel the policy and to reimburse our credit card with any refund due.

Yesterday I received the following message:

Thank you for your reply.

We cannot accept instructions by email, this is a stipulation of the Financial Services Authority and UK Law.

As I'm sure you are aware, email is an insecure medium and can be very easily hacked by thieves. You are correct that when you set the policy up we were happy to do this online. However, as our website is 128-bit encrypted and certified fully secure, we and indeed most insurance companies offer these services.

By calling us and confirming your data protection questions with my colleagues, can we verify your identity. Any other means do compromise Data Protection Laws - which we, a regulated company, can be legally prosecuted for.

If you are outside the UK, you cannot call 08 numbers. For cancellation, please call our switchboard to be passed through on XXXX.

Regards,

I responded as follows:

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my queries and making the effort to explain your company policy.

As mentioned previously I am unable to telephone you and nor do I wish to call the UK from abroad during office hours at my expense. Ringing through to an automated, multiple-choice menu or being put on hold is not my idea of having fun.

Nor do I see how speaking to your colleagues to confirm any data protection questions cannot be done by email. I am to understand that you now have voice recognition software to prove my identity? Surely these questions can be dealt with by email to prove I am who I say I am?

If you are unable to accommodate my request via my now third email I can do no more and despair at your lack of customer appreciation because it doesn't happen to tick all the boxes on your question sheet.

Silly me, there was I thinking it's the customer that is always right and it is us that pay you for services rendered.

Anyway, I digress. I have informed you quite reasonably of my intention to cancel my policy and as you choose to ignore this, I too shall follow your example. Cancel it or not, I no longer care.

Yours sincerely

karTER or perhaps an imposter?

I await their next retort but suspect it may be a long time in coming...

Dipping the Toe In

With current temperatures firmly lodged in the mid twenties (and to reach 27/28 by the end of the week) it's been wonderfully warm and on our stroll to the supermarket I decided to test the waters and go paddling in the Adriatic.

Slipping out of the sandals, I stepped over the pebbles and confidently poked the toe in.

Erm, sod that! Still bleedin' cold and no where near swimming temperatures yet.

Think I'll give that a miss for a few more weeks yet.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Burds on the Booze

Latest research has announced that binge-drinking harms women's brains more than it does men's.

No shit Sherlock!

One really doesn't need to be a scientist to prove such a claim- just lob wifey a couple of bottles of vino and stand back for the best demonstration one could wish for.

:oD

Get Out of Gaol Free

Doing time in "La Grange Prison", Kentucky, USA? Don't fancy doing the whole stretch? Well, forget complex, risky and dangerous escape plans- you won't even need to dig a tunnel or get a file smuggled in.

All one requires is a mate to fax a message through saying you're free to go.

A convict (described as "highly dangerous") was shown the open door at the above gaol after a friend of his faxed through a bogus decree, supposedly from the state’s highest court; demanding his release.

Despite the fact the fax was on non-headed paper, contained no letterhead and had numerous spelling and grammatical errors, it did not arouse the slightest suspicion.

This was mainly down to most court documents routinely containing misspellings and thus par for the course.

Who'd have thought it- Americans not being able to spell correctly...

;-)

The Mounting Cost of Excess Baggage

This seems appropriate in the wake of our packing day yesterday- Ryanair have hit the headlines recently with their baggage policy and weighing equipment.

It seems their scales had different readings for an indentical bag checked in at Stansted, England (14.6 kg) and then again on the return journey at Girona, Spain (17.0 kg). The discrepancy cost the passenger an extra £11.00.

Nor was this an isolated case (no pun intended) as several passengers on the same flight also had a mysterious increase in weight.

Ryanair were unable to explain this oddity but stated that "all scales were checked independently", whatever that may mean.

They went on to claim that its baggage policy was not intended to generate profits but to dissuade passengers from "checking baggage into the hold".

Funny that, fancy people wanting to take luggage on holiday...

Despite their claims however, Ryanair will still profit by some £92 000 000 a year and that does not include any revenue from overweight baggage!




The rules: £5 for each piece of checked-in baggage for online bookings and £10 if the baggage fee is paid at the airport. In addition, there is a charge of £5.50 for every additional kilogram above the 15kg allowance.

Packing

Our hosts also own a small flat in Serbia, in a little town called "Krajlevo" where we intend staying for the months of September and October this year.

They are due to travel there tomorrow to visit family and friends and so we are able to get some of our "winter" clothes taken there which spares us much carrying of items not necessary or suited to temperatures of 30 degs plus. I have mentioned that Croatia gets a tad sunny and warm over the summer, right?

So yesterday we spent most of the time packing, unpacking and then re-packing our last remaining possessions in this world so that we can travel as lightly as possible, when we begin the next leg of our journey next week.

I hadn't worked so hard in years and was forced to lie down due to the shock for a couple of hours to recover...

And our one item of luggage each still weighs a ton and requires the strength and physique of King Kong to pick it up. Bugger.

Krajlevo

The Word on the Street

Is that officially a "street" becomes a "road" once it is over 52 metres in length.

"I did it one piece at a time and it didn't cost me a dime"

S0 sang Johnny Cash ("One Piece At a Time") and perhaps the inspiration behind a employee of a boat building company, who decided he fancied his own luxury yacht.

Trouble was that he couldn't quite afford the £1 million for the 53ft Sunseeker and so he decided to nick all the bits literally piece by piece.

Over a seven year period he managed to smuggle out over 700 parts worth £55 000, including junctions boxes, lights, lifting straps a 4ft radar mast and even a 23-inch wide screen television!

Unfortunately for our intrepid DIYer, he got busted when his bosses discovered a DVD player hidden inside his toolbox and "his" entire collection was discovered all boxed up at his garage.


Makes you wonder how he proposed to get out the hull. In his brief case perhaps?

Monday, 23 April 2007

Clever

The only time BLiar has made me smile:

Here

Thanks to Ian for bringing this to our attention. :oD

I'll Huff And I'll Puff

And I'll blow your house down...

In the 50s, the state only had 10 powers to enter your domicile.

In the 80s-90s, an another 60 reasons to enter your home were added.

Now, there are 266, and force can be used in most cases...

Full Details

Keeping Tabs

In a bid to reduce the number of younger, teenage smokers, the British Medical Association (BMA) has suggested that packs of ten be banned as they are cheaper and thus more readily within financial grasp.

Or perhaps this will just force kids to buy full-size packs and smoke twice as much?

We Have Exactly

ONE week to go, before we leave Izola.

Just seven days.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooo..............

Still, 16 weeks all the way along the Adriatic coast through Croatia does seem to be some kind of compensation.

And we'll be coming back here in a few year's time.


So it's not all bad.

St George's Day

Is today, 23rd April.

It is also Shakespeare's birthday today.

And it is also the day Shakespeare died (although there were a few years between these dates).

Imagine dying on your birthday? Bummer.

Mind you, having celebrated a few birthdays in my time, I can understand that feeling.

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Our Top Places

On our adventures so far:

1- Izola, Slovenia

2- Bielefeld, Germany

3- Krakow, Poland

4- Banska, Slovakia

5- Budapest, Hungary


As we continue to travel to different countries, expect to see the list grow, but I'll be surprised if the top two will change.

Sports Round Up

With Southend losing once more (away to Plymouth, 2-1) and now firmly in second from last place in the Championship it looks certain they will be relegated this year, back into "League One".

It always makes me smile how the old football divisions have re-invented themselves over the years- the old first now being called the Premiership, the old second now referred to as the Championship and perhaps now the old third division needs a new spin too? How about the "Abandonship"? Anyway, I digress.

Tottenham managed to earn a point at The Lane entertaining the old enemy, The Arse, by scoring the equaliser in the 4th minute of injury time- it does neither side any favours but it cheered me up as they must have been certain they were going to win.

So it's "ner-ner" with bells on to them. :oD

Armenia Bielefeld on the hand managed a magnificent away win at Wolfsburg scoring the winner (oddly enough again) just four minutes from full time to take the result 3-2. This shoots them up the German Bundesliga to fourth from bottom and just outside of the drop zone; by one place.

It's up to them now, but if they don't drop any points in their last three games, they will beat relegation. Yeah right, and England will win a one day cricket match...

Which they did, as they managed to turn over the West Indies on the penultimate ball of the game!

Blimey, did they not read the script? It was Brian Lara's (WI's captain) last, ever international performance as a player and England had to go and win? Outstanding!

LARA FACTS

Born: Cantaro, Trinidad 02 05 69

131 Tests11,953 runs, average 52.88, 34x100, 48x50, highest score 400 no

298 ODIs10, 387 runs, average 40.57, 19x100, 63x50, highest score 169

First class cricket21, 993 runs, average 51.38, 64x100, 87x50, highest score 501 no

World Cup Super 8 result at Barbados: England 301-9 (49.5 ovs) bt West Indies 300 (49.5 ovs) by 1 wkt

Other sport this weekend sees the Turkish Moto GP in Istanbul with Rossi in pole position once again:

Leading qualifying positions:

1 Valentino Rossi (Ita) Yamaha 1min 52.795secs
2 Colin Edwards (USA) Yamaha 1:52.944
3 Dani Pedrosa (Spa) Honda 1:52.971
4 Casey Stoner (Aus) Ducati 1:53.375
5 Loris Capirossi (Ita) Ducati 1:53.559
6 Nicky Hayden (USA) Honda 1:53.613
7 John Hopkins (USA) Suzuki 1:53.637
8 Randy De Puniet (Fra) Kawasaki 1:53.706
9 Chris Vermeulen (Aus) Suzuki 1:53.771
10 Toni Elias (Spa) Honda 1:53.835

Once again, I'll refer you to Mad TV as this guy can really provide you with the full picture.

Finally, we also currently have the Le Mans 24 hour Endurance Race being contested- so if you like bikes (we do) and you like to see a different type of racing (we do) then go have a look see. It's currently being shown on Eurosport.

This year they even have a Slovenian team taking part, with I believe a British rider- how's that for a coincidence...

New Experiences

Yesterday our hosts invited us for lunch and drove us to a delightful restaurant in Ankaran, the area which happened to be where they used to live, work and where they had originally met each other nearly 30 years ago.

The restaurant's owner was also a long term family friend and despite the entire place being full (and I mean really packed), we had a prime table reserved for us on the veranda which was lovely and cool, sheltered from the blazing sun.

We were personally welcomed by the owner who then proceeded to recommend the "dish(es) of the day" without any need for a menu and it wasn't long before the first course arrived; a fish dish.

This was a first for me (whilst I do eat fish, it's not usually my automatic choice in a restaurant and therefore my knowledge of fish delicacies is limited) - octopus in garlic and olive oil with a side portion of baccala, an Italian, dried cod pate. I'd never tried either before and quite honestly, it was delicious.

This was followed by a single scallop served in its shell, lightly grilled and mussels in a dainty white wine and garlic sauce. Again, simply first class.

Then it was onto our main course- a full mixed grill for the guys and a sea food platter for the ladies. It's lucky the table was expecting six people as the extra space was needed to host all the dishes, salvers and trays (we also had French fries and a platter of char-grilled vegetables) and it also gave us room to let our rapidly expanding stomachs flop out.

The meat mixed grill comprised of two styles of kebabs, chops and steaks, whilst the seafood offering had two whole fish, a dozen langostines and squid. Note: neither the squid nor octopus was breaded and it had been cooked to perfection, retaining both moisture, flavour and not a hint of "rubberness" which is a common fault if over done.

All the way through the banquet we were constantly chatting (well, our hosts were, I just listened in, fluently) with the owner who seemed to take great delight in out appreciation of her recommendations and the enthusiastic way we were devouring her finely crafted cuisine.

Add to this our beverages of choice (local red wine, local beer and local, bottled mineral water) with mixed salads for four and I have to say, this has been the best meal of our entire half year stay. Not just because of the quality of the fayre but because of the calibre of the company and also the size of the final bill.

It turns out the whole meal was on the house and we didn't have to pay a cent. Now that is what I call great Slovenian hospitality. So much for there's no such thing as a free lunch...

Details About Ankaran

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Weather Forecast

It seems that even the weather is not beyond control any longer, as the Chinese have now managed to make the first "artificial" snow fall.

Officials in the meteorological bureau in Tibet said they had used "rain-seeding" techniques to trigger a snowfall over the city of Nagqu last week, producing just under half an inch of snow at a height of 15,000ft.

Despite this new technique, they will still never be able to get more than a fortnight's worth of sun in a British summer...

Full Story

BA & 007

It seems that British Airways have been censoring the latest James Bond film, "Casino Royale" which they are showing as part of the on board entertainment package.

What? Double Oh Seven being censored? Why? I hear you ask.

Well, without wanting to spoil the film for anyone who has yet to see it, there are a couple of scenes which feature a Virgin Atlantic plane landing at Miami airport.

During these scenes, Sir Richard Branson (owner of Virgin) makes a quick cameo appearance as himself and yes, BA have cut his appearance and also discreetly painted over the tail fin which bears the Virgin logo.

Outstanding effort by British Airways, made even better by their spokesman who said:

“All films are screened. We want to ensure that they contain no material that might upset our customers.”


PS: Miami airport? Nah, it was in fact Prague airport made over to look similar.

Bottled Water

Wifey popped into the local supermarket and grabbed a half litre bottle of cold, sparkling water from the chiller cabinet.

It was 13 cents, which is approximately 9 pence.

What's the best you can find in England then? I have no idea, but I'll wager it's no where near that.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Music on the Move

Another thing that is now surplus to requirements in our quest to reduce weight is the humble compact disk; the CD.

We have been transferring all of collection onto the hard drive of the lap top as we have been travelling but now we have added the final few so we lose the last chunk of unnecessary volume.

It takes a mere few minutes to transfer the songs over and of course makes copying onto your MP3 player a cinch.

Again, the question arises as to what to do with your "old" disks?

Simple.

We donate them to our favourite bar/pub to add to their collection and maybe a memory or two of us for the future.

The Traveller's Best Friend

Without question, a book.

Utilising public transport requires lots of waiting around and the journey itself will always need something to fill in the time- one can only take so much scenery or conversation in one go and it is at such moments that one falls back on the trusty book.

They need no electricity, no batteries and no fancy add ons to make them work. All one needs is a bit of peace and quiet, an active mind and you're away.

Over the last few months we've accumulated quite a few books and then the problem arises as to what to do with them.

Never, ever throw them out. That is complete sacrilege and the thought makes me break out into a cold sweat.

If you're staying at a hotel, the custom tends to be to leave them with reception and they will place your now redundant tome into a central, free library. A top idea- leave a book and borrow another one but we have also noticed a disturbing trend setting in here.

They expect you to return the book you have "borrowed" as you leave. Even worse, some places charge you to buy the book. Poor show, and to me it speaks volumes about the standard of hotel- avoid if possible.

So, our tip with what to do with a pile of spare books? Pop into your TIC (Tourist Information Centre) and donate them there.

Anyone popping in for tourist info can then collect a book (one hopes free of charge) and the book gets another lease of life, or even the staff working there get an opportunity to practise their English if they choose a book that appeals.

Essential Kit

Going through our "possessions" it's difficult to determine what is essential, necessary and luxury. However, one thing we're both agreed on is that our lap top computer is on the list of essentials. It can be included in the luxury items too, off course, but without our IBM "ThinkPad" we'd be screwed.

It enables us to arrange accommodation, allows us to keep abreast of what's happening in the news, it ensures we are able to keep in touch with friends and family and clearly it permits us to blather on, on here, our Blog.

Along with our credit card, it will definitely be coming with us on the next leg of the journey.

A Decent English Cricket Result At Last

Duncan Fletcher has resigned as England cricket coach and will leave after the team's last World Cup match against West Indies on Saturday.

Full story here

Let's hope it won't stop there, but at least it's a good start.

For the record:

ODIs UNDER FLETCHER

Won 74, lost 82, tied 2, NR 7

2003 World Cup: 1st round

2007 World Cup: 2nd round

Highest score: 391 v Bdesh, Nottingham, 2005

Lowest score: 86 v Aus, Manchester, 2001

Highest conceded: 353 v Pkn, Karachi, 2005

Lowest conceded: 92 v Zim, Bristol, 2003

Top Joke

Which no doubt you've all heard already but we're not quite so close in the loop out here, so cop for this again:

I've just been asked to do a 10 mile fun run.

I said "no way" until I found out it was for spastics and blind kids.

So I thought "fuck it, I could win that".

Cheers to Borile for that one- lovely. ;oD

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Supermarket Vouchers

You all know the scheme- buy your shopping and for every tenner spent you get a voucher and if you collect enough you can claim your reward.

It seems Tesco are taking full advantage of this "get something free" scheme with its Computers for Schools campaign.

Here's a list of your rewards if you can amass enough coupons with what they will cost you in terms of money spent on shopping and how much they actually cost outright:

- £379 000 RM One ecoquiet PC Plus (with 19” LCD screen) Available online for £681.47

- £290 000 R40 Samsung Laptop Available online for £586.22

- £140 700 Canon S3 IS high end digital camera £286.83 online

- £5 900 Mouse mat (20 pack) £19.80 online

- £3 500 Rechargeable AA batteries (pack of four) £11.40 online

- £2 800 Oxford Junior Thesaurus £6.39 online

- £1 600 Bee Seed Mix £1.99 online


I wonder who the real winners are?


This week Tesco posted record profits of £2.55 billion — equivalent to more than £4,800 a minute.

Innie or Outie?

I've just been reading about some 65 year old guy in prison who is openly boasting how easy he has it in prison in comparison to law abiding pensioners.

He has a point.

He has his own single cell with television, and has access to a telephone, hot showers, library and gymnasium, plus he gets visits from a doctor and has all his clothes provided. He gets three meals a day, with five choices on each lunch menu and he gets to spend around £20 a week. All free, at an annual cost to the tax payer of £40 000 a year (~£770/week)

Your average single pensioner at best can claim just £119 a week and has to house, feed, clothe and pay utility bills from that.


And they say crime doesn't pay?

She Shoots; She Scores

Match of the Day is to finally be brought into the 21st century by giving a female commentator an opportunity to take the microphone for the game Fulham versus Blackburn. This will be the first time in the programme's 43 year history.

Good.

Now, if she could also explain the off-side rule we'd be in business...

;-)




For the record, it will be 32 year old Jacqui Oatley at Craven Cottage (Fulham's home ground) this Saturday, 21st April 2007.

DIY Wheel Clamping

The latest generation of wheel clamps is about to hit the market whereby the car owner will be able to remove the clamp for themselves, once they have paid their fine.

You ring up the company responsible for immobilising your vehicle, pay via your credit card (always assuming you have one, of course) and then you receive the combination code to get the clamp off. You will then have a week to return the device back to the company and get your deposit back- which will be in the region of £150.

The idea behind the DIY clamp is two fold.

1) It will avoid heated exchanges between clamper and clampee
2) It will allow the clampee to be on their way immediately instead of having to wait for someone to release them.


Personally I'd keep the clamp and re-use it anywhere I choose to park illegally- once the clamp is on, no one will give it a second look. Free parking anywhere, for the rest of your life. Sweet.

**Newsflash**

The Moby Dick where we have become regulars it's fair to say, has just changed its draught beer from Union to Lasko.

Well, it was certainly earth shattering news to me...

*hic*

Quote of the Day

I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.

-Thomas Jefferson-

Wifey particularly liked this as it kinda sums her up.

It's All in a Name

People have asked why we have chosen the names ktelontour & karTER and why the logo of a Jellyfish.

karTER is pretty easy- kar are the first three letters of my first name and TER are the initials of wifey's full name (hence the distinction of lower and upper cases.)

ktelontour goes back to the times of Terry Venebles and when he was manager of the Spanish club Barcelona. He left them to take up the role of England manager and the tabloids at the time referred to him as "El Tel" because of the "Spanish" connection. We had some very witty reporters on the tabloid payroll then...

Somehow this stuck as a nickname for wifey and it wasn't long before some bright spark referred to us as ktel (again, the "k" from my first name), which as some of you may recall was also a record label* back in the 70s.

From there it was not too far a leap to ktelontour as that is exactly what we are doing (touring)and where we are now.

As to the Jellyfish logo- that stems from the days of our "Club" with the guys. A few of us used to knock around together, bowling, squash, hockey, football, meeting up for a few drinks- the usual blurkey things one does when youth is on one's side.

It was commented upon that we'd always be up for anything and that we could never say "no". We didn't have the back bone to refuse...and it was as simple as that.

No back bone = jellyfish and I ended up drawing the logo on the back of a beer mat up the local one night.

The inspiration for the design came from Motorhead, Dr Feelgood and a helping of a couple of Black & Tans and the rest, as they say, is history.

The logo and names have now been around for years and hopefully will see us through our little adventure for many years to come.

So know you know and we can all sleep better at night for knowing, right?

*K-tel International or K-tel History

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Packing For the Next Leg

I can't recall if we've mentioned this before, but due to increasing difficulty in obtaining insurance for our car, we will be continuing our adventure on foot and with the help of public transport.

Now I appreciate that the last two words of the above sentence will strike fear into the hearts of our English readers, but in Europe it is usually very cheap, reliable and easy. Plus it will really make our trip more interesting and varied as we'll be able to choose to journey by train, bus, plane and even better, ferry.

This new approach to our movement does however throw up another dilemma- what to pack.

Not having the luxury of chucking all of our tut into the back of the car will mean that we are going to have to carry all of our personal belongings under our own steam and so, we are going to have to off load many of our "just in case" items.

Oh well, who said life has to be easy?

OK, we did, and it is, but there's no need to rub it in, is there? ;-)

Miss Slovenia 2007

They are holding heats on Friday to determine who will represent Slovenia at the forthcoming Miss Universe.

Now this competition has always puzzled me. Not the sexist angle or the need to ogle pretty women, strutting their stuff- but the Miss Universe thing.

When do we get to see contenders from other parts of the universe then?

I'd have thought without Miss Mars, Miss Moon and Miss Milky Way and the rest, it's hardly a universal competition, is it?

It definitely seems to be a bit rigged to ensure the trophy doesn't leave this planet, wouldn't you agree?


A bit like like having the World Series in baseball and then only playing in America, inviting only American teams...

'Ow Zat? Well, Utter Shite as it Goes.

England have finally been knocked out of the Cricket World Cup and can no longer rely on complicated mathematical probability to make it into the Finals.

Hooray, at last we can relax again.

There have been few highlights this tournament and once again England's mediocre, lacklustre performance remains the talking point for the pundits, fans and experts who have a love for this quintessentially English sport.

Quite frankly the current squad is dire and real questions need to be asked of everyone, coach and management included, if England are once again going to become a force to be reckoned with.

The heady days of actually winning The Ashes in Australia back in 2005 and the associated euphoria are long gone and now it's time to stand up and be counted.

Will they? I doubt it; all that will emerge is a shuffling of feet, an unhealthy dose of naval gazing, weak cries of "but we did our best" and of course the usual excuses of blaming poor facilities, lack of support at grass roots and "how unlucky we are".

Sorry, that doesn't cut it anymore and the sooner the powers that be realise this, the quicker the problems can be rectified.


Result: World Cup Super 8 at Barbados: South Africa 157-1 beat England 154 by nine wickets

BOING Said Zebedee, It's Time For Bed

But it's not, in fact.

Following the dismal success of the feature film, "The Magic Roundabout" is to be revived again and a new computer-generated series is promised for children’s teatime television.

Why, for God's sake? It was shit then and it'll be even worse now.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Coincidentally...

Great Britain has one of the worst records for reducing deaths from drink-driving and it also has one the highest levels of alcohol to blood limits.

The European Commission recommends a limit of 50 mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood and Britain has set its acceptable level at 80 mg. Poland & Sweden are far stricter with their limits at a mere 20 mg.

A European Commission study in 2005 also found that UK drivers were less likely to be breath-tested in Britain than almost any other European country.

Not worry though, the GATSOs are doing a grand job and that's all that matters, eh?

Blown Off

Don't want to get done for drink-driving?

Simple, just undergo a "panic attack" and appeal against your conviction.

Gloucester Crown Court decided a panic attack prevented a 46 year old woman from blowing into a breath-test machine correctly and overturned the decision.

I bet she was whistling a tune of relief as she walked out of court. Well, if she could muster enough breathe...

Plod's New Pricing Structure

Following the new policy to charge victims for conducting forensic tests on stolen vehicles, Chief Dibble Blurky has released a new list of costs/provisos for certain other police services:

- Asking for directions: One to five donuts depending on complexity of number of turns involved

- Crowd control at football matches: Minimum of twenty box seats, including hospitality for Senior Rozzers for the rest of the season

- Theft of valuable items: 15% of the total value of purloined items (excluding video recorders and non-flat screen TVs as they are now worthless)

- Homicide: Only investigated with the victim's written consent; no exceptions

- Gambling: 25% of the table value + £1000 on top, like, guv'nor

- Non licenced consumption of alcohol: Two bottles of liquor per investigating officer and an extra case of beer for the boys back at the local nick

- Persecution of speeders and conforming to new green* policies will still remain free of charge as these are by far the most heinous of crimes known to mankind

A special introductory offer during UK summer months will be a "pay for any two items and get one free", provided that offences are reported during normal working hours- 10.30 am to 3.00 pm (excluding lunch break: 12.00 pm to 2.00 pm)

* List includes use of hose pipe between the months of February to November (inclusive), over filling of refuse bins, exceeding the maximum number of cases taken to the airport, fishing, riding of a motorcycle, jay walking to name but a few...

Monday, 16 April 2007

Early Evening Promenade

Wifey has returned from her wander along the Marina just now and mentioned she'd been approached by a German tourist asking after directions.

Her German is more than adequate to help the chap out and she decided to strike up a conversation and told the guy the squirrel joke (see below).

He didn't get it. Must have been her Geordie accent...

*guffaw*




PS: I have of course made up the last bit of the story- all the guy wanted was to get her to take his picture and ask her out for a coffee. I'd have told him the joke, mind. :-D

This New Plod Policy

As mentioned earlier about the filth charging you to conduct forensic tests (essentially dusting for finger prints) following vehicular theft, I've been giving this a bit of thought.

OK, I'll pay over a hundred quid for the privilege but in return I will charge the you £100 per finger print if ever the need arises.

And with ID cards in the offing, whether you like it or not, I think I may end up quids in.

Seems entirely reasonable to me...

Happy Birthday, Ari

She didn't even mention it at our meet up yesterday, but today is Ari's birthday.

Many happy returns of the day and we hope to see you again sometime, somewhere.

:oD

Lunch Al Fresco


In case you thought we weren't being entirely truthful about our dining experience...

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Lunch In Izola

When I used to work, oh, so many months ago, I had a great colleague who worked at head quarters in Trieste, Italy. We were both in the Quality Departments, Ari in Italy and me in England.

As some of you may be aware, Trieste happens to be fairly close to Izola and so after months of trying to hook up, we finally managed to do just that today in the glorious sunshine that Izola has been basking in for the last fortnight. If anyone is keeping score, it was around 28 degs C...

We arranged to meet Ari at The Moby Dick for midday, maybe have a few drinks and then go out for something to eat. We turned up a few minutes late (look, we just don't wear watches anymore, OK?) and found quite a large group sitting outside as the cafe bar was closed.

Seems the place is closed on Sundays and Ari had also brought a few chums along for the ride- in the end there were nine of us and a couple of toddlers (twins as it goes, and cute as anything you'll see.)

We took a most pleasant walk along the Marina and then ended up in a little restaurant behind the old town that had huge tables outside under the cooling shadow of a few enormous trees and the entire group dined on a superb barbecue mixed grill along with Izola's finest Union pivo.

I can't believe we lost four hours just catching up, but it was a really relaxed and fun lunch in the company of Ari and her friends who are just so easy to get on with. Super day, with lovely company and yet another fond memory tucked away for future reference.

Thanks, guys- see you on the way back sometime.

Oh, and "ciao" to the owner of The Moby who also happened to be having his family meal at the same restaurant on the table next to us. Small world, eh?


The bill, I hear you ask? Mixed grills, salads, fries, beers and coffee for the entire group was less than 115€; around eighty quid. Why on earth are we leaving paradise?

More German Humour- Outstanding!

With thanks to Negr6 for this gem:

A German hunter is out shooting rabbits. He takes aim, and misses the rabbit's head by 2 cm - the bullet whizzing past on the rabbit's left side.

He takes aim again, and shoots, this time the bullet whizzing by 2cm to the right of the rabbit's head. He puts the gun away, satisfied with his hunting. Why?

''On average, ze rabbit is dead''


:oD

Polish Nosh

It seems that there is a new craze for Polish food in the UK, with supermarkets now stocking dedicated foods and restaurants offering traditional fayre.

Good. Having toured through Poland last summer I can wholeheartedly agree that their cuisine is outstanding and implore anyone to try it for themselves.

Further good news is that Polish beers and spirits have gone down a storm too- with sales in London increasing by 200% in just one year!

Again, I can vouch for their piwo and wodka but should add that both are absolutely lethal if imbibed without caution.

You have been warned! :-D

Car Theft & An Even Bigger Crime

Had a car stolen?

Let's hope not because police forces across the country are to implement a new service soon.

If you want the car checked for forensic evidence you will soon need to pay Plod to retrieve your car and then check it over for clues. Yip- you will have to pay Dibble at least £105 for this new service!

You may even have to pay for the car's subsequent storage- another additional sum.


Just exactly who are the thieves?

Pub Grub

Latest figures reveal that UK pubs spend as little as £1.16 on average in making a standard "meal".

In contrast, they charge you anything from six to twelve quid for the privilege.

On a typical day last year, Britain's pubs sold more than 325 000 meals, a figure that is set to rise above 400 000 in the next few years.

Someone is sure making a load of profit...



Full Story

Friday, 13 April 2007

That Sinking Feeling

Once again, thanks to monial for passing this clip on. Outstanding!

Who Says the Germans are not Funny?

Unlucky For Some

Some useless information about Friday 13th:

— Sir Winston Churchill never travelled on Friday the 13th unless it was essential. Nor did Napoleon, Mark Twain, Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt

— One theory is that the myth originated with the Last Supper and its 13 guests (including Judas Iscariot) and Christ’s crucifixion on Good Friday

— Friday was execution day in Ancient Rome and later hangman’s day in Britain

— In the Middle Ages Friday was known as the “witches’ sabbath”. There were said to be 13 witches in a coven

— The earliest documentary evidence that Friday was thought unlucky appeared in Chaucer’s Nun’s Priest’s Tale

— Thousands of soldier monks of the powerful Knights Templar were killed by the French king Louis IV on Friday 13, 1307

— The Apollo 13 lunar mission was launched at 13.13 hours and aborted on April 13, 1970

— An asteroid heading for Earth on Friday, April 13, 2029 at 28,000mph could hit us with the force of 65,000 atom bombs

Rubbish!

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act came into effect on April 6, 2006 and since then, householders who put rubbish out at wrong time have been fined £185 000 across the country.

Councils can issue a fixed-penalty notice of £100 to residents who persistently fail to put their rubbish out at the right time and date.

I wonder how else they can raise more money from rubbish? Ooh, I know- they'll be taxing you soon too...

Did You Know?

That the Magna Carta states that nobody should pay a fine without being taken to court and tried in front of a jury?

Would this not therefore make most fines are illegal?

Uefa Cup

Arse. :-(

So that's another dream shattered.

Spurs, left trailing 1-2 against Sevilla after the first leg, conceded two goals within the first seven minutes and despite levelling the score at 2-2 on the night, they go out 3-4 on aggregate.

Ironically, it was Fredi Kanoute who scored Sevilla's second goal and he used to play for us!

What with both Southend and Bielefeld facing certain relegation this season it's hardly been a good year and perhaps it's best if I follow a less depressing sport.

I wonder if they play tiddly winks in Croatia? Or I could support Arsenal- they don't play football either...

Mind you looking on the bright side, Deutschland are leading their group in the European Championships for 2008 and look good to qualify. Whereas Eng-er-land on the other hand...

Yip- that's cheered me up already. :oD

Remember, Remember the 5th November

Which as we all know is Guy Fawkes night. (You know, I'm sure there should be an apostrophe in there- Fawkes'?)

Well, that's as maybe, but today was in fact his birthday, way back in 1570.

For our foreign readers:

Guy Fawkes was one of the conspirators who attempted to carry out the Gunpowder Plot, a plan to blow up Parliament and assassinate King James I on 5th November 1605. He was primarily responsible for the latter stages of the plan's execution, but he was discovered before its completion, tortured, and executed for treason.

Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated annually in England with fireworks and bonfires, on which effigies of the conspirator are burned.

HMS Pathetic

Why do I have the tune "In the Navy" by the Village People in my head?

Perhaps because of a 20-year-old naval operator maintainer who sold his story to the "popular" press following his capture and release by Iran recently.

The poor mite whinged on how his Iranian captors called him "Mr Bean, flicked the back of his neck with their forefingers and thumb and forced him to wear a fake Hugo Boss shirt".

He also suspected that they had nicked his ipod...

This guy is meant to be a Royal Marine! Can you imagine what traumas he would have experienced if he had been sent to bed without his tea?

I wonder what his colleagues, past and present must think about this?

*shakes head in despair*

Friday the 13th


Just in case you're superstitious, leave the car at home tomorrow.

A survey has revealed that claims for traffic accidents are considerably higher than average on this supposed "unlucky" day.


Alternatively, find a road like in the picture above...


;oD


Thursday, 12 April 2007

Flight to New York?

Zoom Airlines is offering one-way tickets to New York for just £129 from London Gatwick to JFK airport in June. Other budget airlines are expected to compete with similar deals.

(Rumour has that Ryanair will be offering flights for $12 {~£6} around mid 2009)

However, expect to pay the same again to take a bag with you...

Back to the Easter Bunnies



*Titter*

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Moving On

Wifey's been busy sorting out our accommodation once we leave our beautiful Izola into our wonderful Croatia.

Week One sees us in Porec at the Apartment Palma


Week Two sees us in Rovinj at the Apartment Modrusan

Many thanks to everyone who has helped us with our enquiries and especially for taking the time and trouble to write in English.

See you soon, folks.

Looking Good



Thanks to "Knee-Down" for sorting out this rather impressive avatar for my bike forum- cheers, pal.

Taking a Break

It seems that officially a "nap" becomes a" sleep" after 53 minutes.

I wonder where "40 winks" came from then?

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Can You Help ?

Do you know anyone with a SPARE ROOM who may need extra cash or help with the kids over the Summer holidays ?

Nea - the 22 year old daughter of our friends here is looking to come to the UK for 2 months during the Summer holidays. She is a bright - funny as feck- language graduate (English and Italian) with experience in looking after kids as a qualified handball coach and just wants to improve and practise her English and pisstaking skills.

I don't think she will have any trouble getting a job but she does need somewhere to stay.
All she needs is a room for which she can pay cash or provide childcare duties.

If you know anyone who might be interested please ask them to e mail us.

Hvala Lepa.

It's All a Bit Greek To Us

Coincidence?

We'll be in Greece at the end of the year and Greek Bus Service is called KTEL.

Spooky.

http://www.ktel.org/

Mind you, the site has been on hold for a while now so hopefully it will be up and running when we get there.

The One That Got Away

But not for much longer.

Thought you knew all the stealth taxes there were? Think again.

Not content to simply target Britain's freshwater fishermen, the government is to focus its sights on the more than one million sea anglers, overturning a British tradition enshrined in common law nearly 800 years ago.

Ministers are proposing charges to cover beach anglers, boat fishing and charter trips and will require everyone over the age of 12 who fishes in the sea with rod and line to have a licence.


Ho hum...



Note: A public right to fish dates to the Digest of Justinian, a Byzantine legal codification, in the sixth century AD.

Wilfing*

Apparently 7/10 British web surfers (the UK has 34 million users) aimlessly trawl through cyberspace without any real purpose.

One in four internet users spends nearly a third of internet time Wilfing* which equates to spending an entire working day every fortnight just randomly browsing the net.

So, to help you guys stop wasting your lives and offer a real purpose to it, ktelontour suggest you look at this place:

Ultra cool and fascinating site for all dossers currently at work pretending to be busy...









*What Was I Looking For?", yup ,I know it doesn't fit but I don't make these acronyms up, OK?


Fat Britain?

It looks that way.

Some parents are struggling to find proper fitting school uniforms for their overweight children and so school outfitters are introducing "outsized" uniforms.

Called the "Sturdy Fit" range, it has blazers with a 52in chest, trousers with 42in waists and shirts with 17.5 inch collars whilst for the schoolgirls it offers blouses to fit a 48in bust.

Are the parents having a laugh? Never mind demanding larger size uniforms, try getting your child to slim down with a healthy diet and some exercise before it's too late!

Unbelievable.

Duvet Days

"Throwing a sickie" is on the increase in the UK as last year saw 175 million working days lost- that's an average of seven days per worker a year!

You think that is bad, wait until you hear how much that costs the economy.

£13 400 000 000 000 per year.

Ouch, that has got to hurt.

Bacon Sarnie?

Scientists have been turning their skills to make the "perfect" bacon sandwich.

They found that two or three back bacon rashers should be cooked under a preheated oven grill for seven minutes at about 240 degrees Centigrade. The bacon should then be placed between two slices of farmhouse bread, 1cm to 2cm thick.

They have even supplied the formula:

N = C + {fb (cm) . fb (tc)} + fb (Ts) + fc . ta

Where N=force in Newtons required to break the cooked bacon, fb=function of the bacon type, fc=function of the condiment/filling effect, Ts=serving temperature, tc=cooking time, ta=time or duration of application of condiment/filling, cm=cooking method, C=Newtons required to break uncooked bacon.

No insight was offered as to whether red or brown sauce was better though... :oD

Monday, 9 April 2007

Back on Track

This week saw the world rail-speed record smashed by the French TGV.

The specially adapted double deck train, built by Alstom, reached 357.2mph (574.8km/h) on a slightly downhill stretch of the new TGV line between Strasbourg and Paris.

That made it almost three times faster as the fastest British domestic train service.


A spokesperson for the UK railway's network was expected to comment at a press conference but they are still waiting for the train to arrive...



Note: TGV = train à grande vitesse = feckin' fast train

Belts & Braces

Ever wondered why the highest level belt in a martial art is black?

It is because traditionally when anyone began their training they were handed out a light coloured belt. The ancient masters never washed their belts; so as they became more experienced, the dirtier the belt became until it was black.

Now you know.

Slapheads In Court

Finally, the legal profession is to be brought into the 21st century as traditional wigs and gowns are to be made an optional extra. A judge's "daily" wig kicks in around £800 whilst the full-bottomed wig can set you back two grand.

Naturally all savings made by not needing to purchase fancy dress for court will be passed onto the punters...

Stand In

The way I see it, when the Big Cheese is unavailable, you have a second in command who takes over responsibility.

So, when BLiar "steps down" why won't John Prescott be the next leader of the Labour Party? He is after all the current Deputy Prime Minister...






Note: Following the Labour Party's election in May 1997 he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was created as part of the Cabinet Office in 2001, and was made a Department in its own right in 2002.

Weather Forecast


Watch out Izola, the shorts are coming out...

Coming to Croatia?

Try this link for loads of good info:

Croatia- a cool country...

Specifically, try these people:

Holiday Options

Balkan Holidays

Down, Down, Deeper and Down*

Tottenham losing twice in the week, Southend second from bottom & Bielefeld third from bottom. It's really not looking good at all. :-(


*Thanks to Status Quo for title inspiration...

A Last Cigarette?

Here's something to mull over whilst you smoke your last tab in a pub in the UK.

Not only will it still be legal to do so in Izola after 1st July, but they sell packets of fags over the bar which they will bring over to you on a tray, opened and with a book of matches.

And all of this for less than a couple of quid...

Sunday, 8 April 2007

BLiar, BLiar, Pants on Fire

In 2005, Labour's election manifesto pledged to make the introduction of the identity card "voluntary".

Whitehall papers, recently released under the Freedom Of Information Act however reveal that ID cards will be "compulsory for everyone by 2014".

The government has been trying to suppress this information for over two years.

I'm Not Drunk, I'm on a Diet

Studies have shown that heavy dieting and fasting can produce high levels of acetone in the body, which can be converted into a secondary alcohol known as isopropanol and confused with ethanol.

As a result, sober people can fail a breath test even if they have not consumed a drop of alcohol.

So, next time you get asked to "blow into the bag", just tell them you've been counting the calories*.








*Not guaranteed to work if you're an obvious pie-eater though.

Cool, Calm & Collected

A true story...apparently:

A crowded Virgin flight was cancelled after a particular Virgin 767 had been withdrawn from service and a single attendant was re-booking a long line of "inconvenienced" travellers.

Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket down on the counter and said, "I have to be on this flight and it has to be FIRST CLASS".

The attendant replied, "I'm sorry, sir. I'll be happy to try to help you, but I've got to help these people first, and I'm sure we'll be able to work something out."

The passenger was unimpressed.

He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, "Do you have any idea who I am?"

Without hesitating, the attendant smiled and grabbed her public address microphone: "May I have your attention please, may I have your attention please," she began - her voice heard clearly throughout the terminal.

"We have a passenger here at Gate 14 who doesn't know who he is. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to Gate 14."

With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the Virgin attendant, gritted his teeth and said, "Fuck You!"

Without flinching, she smiled and said:

"I'm sorry, sir, but you'll have to get in line for that too."

Easter Market in Pictures











Fast Food?

Another thing I've realised is that since being on our trip I've not had a single "burger" from a fast food company. I'm hardly a food snob and thoroughly enjoy a Mc D or BK once in a while, but nowt in over a year.

Not sure if that is a good or bad thing but there you have it.

Campenologists do it With Bells On

Look, I already know it's Easter so why the bleedin' 'ell do you have to make with all the bells at stupid o'clock?

No wonder Jesus rose from the dead with all that racket going on.

Why always with the bells anyway? Why not a dainty little triangle or maybe an air guitar or two?

What's that religion where they have cute little (and quiet) thumb cymbals? That's where I want to be next year...

Come Fly With Me

Ryanair fly to Pula

easyJet fly to Rijeka and Split

British Airways fly to Dubrovnik

Click on the links to see flight details, times and prices and maybe we'll see you?

Anyone Up For a Visit?


Click on the map to enlarge it and check out the dates and places we will be at in Croatia for the summer of 2007.
There are several airports served by the budget airlines (don't forget to buy a scratch card...) and we'll post them up soon.
If you've never been to Croatia before you've been missing out so now's the chance to make amends- just drop us a line and we'll arrange a meet up.

Three Wheels on my Wagon


And we're still rolling along...
Found this amazing Trike (?) at the Easter Market in Izola today. A rather ancient Gilera.

Saturday, 7 April 2007

Love All?

I don't think so.

Flicking through Eurosport I noticed a women's tennis match was on.

The first thing that struck me was the sheer noise of the game. Both "ladies" shrieking at each and every shot. I'm all for a bit of effort and determination but to cry out as if shot by a sniper every time you return the ball is way OTT.

Stop it burds; it ain't lady-like at all and it does nothing to enhance what is already a dull spectator's sport.

A clear case of silence in court, if you will...

Easter in Izola

Glorious weather here- brilliant sunshine and well into the 20s.

The Old Town centre has been closed off to traffic and over night stalls have been erected.

Now they are full of people selling off antiques, food stuffs, briac-a-brac and all sorts of weird and wonderful collectables.

We will be quite sad to leave here at the end of the month but having spent (by then) six months it is time for ktelontour to hit the road again.

Wifey has been putting together a loose itinerary and we'll be posting it up soon, should anyone wish to join us during the summer break.

No Frills Flights? DIY!

Some of the "budget" airlines are boosting their profits by offering extras that may not be quite in the best interests of their customers- us.

The Times has undertaken an investigation and reveals the following facts:

£3.32 The profit easyJet makes per passenger before ancillary revenue (drink, duty-free, hotels etc)

£176m The amount Ryanair made in ancillary revenue last year

74% The increase in ancillary revenue Ryanair recorded over the past two years

1% The amount easyJet gives to charity from the sale of in-flight scratchcards

£20m The estimated profit airline and ferry operators have made from scratchcards and phone cards

£137.65 The amount you would save per night if you booked a deluxe room at the Thistle Victoria directly rather than through Ryanair

£11.72 The amount you would save per day if you hired a Ford Ka direct from Hertz rather than through Ryanair

Source: Ryanair, easyJet, Travelcards, Thistle, Hertz

Full Details Here

Kisses Sweeter Than Fine

Fancy a snog?

Well, don't risk it in Bombay.

Despite being India's most liberal city, the home of Bollywood and the commercial capital of the country, it is illegal for couples to kiss in public.

More than one hundred couples were rounded up by police this week and fined 1 200 rupees; around fifteen quid.

Best quote of the week for me came from one of the local residents: "They can hire a room. This is India, not England." :oD


It'll be a lot cheaper than getting fined all right.

Not A Walk in the Park

Two French hikers who got lost for seven (7) weeks in the Amazon jungle have been found safe and sound in French Guiana.

They survived the ordeal by eating turtle flesh, beetles and spiders- including tarantulas.

One of the guys was suffering from a numbness in the tongue caused by the poison of the tarantula which he had eaten without having cooked it through enough and he would have died if he had had to spend another two or three nights in the jungle.

No arguing about who gets a leg there then...

It's a Knock Out

Looking for something different to do this Easter?

Why not pop down to the Greyhound pub in Tinsley Green, West Sussex, where they are hosting the World Marbles Championships.

Twenty-four teams of six people have entered from as far afield as Germany and America and the tournament has been going for over seventy five years now.

OAP Mortgage

A retired maths school teacher has just taken out a £200 000 mortgage to be repaid over 25 years at a current rate of £958/month.

Nothing unusual in that you may think, but the old boy is 102*...

It's good to see that ageism is on the way out then and I hope he's still around to make the final payment.





*Most mortgage suppliers set a limit at 75 years for applicants.

Nix, Nil, Nada, Nul, Zilch & Zip

The German language did not have have a word for "zero" until the 7th century.

Friday, 6 April 2007

Banking Abroad

With many people expected to leave the UK for the Easter Bank Holiday (novel idea...) it seems a good idea to mention that banks and card companies have recently raised charges on using their cards abroad.

Most credit card companies and banks charge exchange-rate loading fees, where around 2.6% extra is added on to both credit and debit card transactions.

Many also charge cash withdrawal fees of around 2.3% on credit card cash withdrawals made overseas.

Pretty much all of the major providers charge both of these fees on their debit and credit cards including: Royal Bank of Scotland/NatWest, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, and Barclaycard.

Nationwide and the Post Office are the only card companies that do not charge exchange-rate loading fees.

Additional to these charges, Lloyds TSB and RBS customers will also have to pay an extra 'transaction fee' of £1 or 75p respectively, every time a debit card purchase is made overseas.

Did I mention we're with the Nationwide and to date we've saved in excess of £500?

As We Are Truly An International Blog


Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

In an attempt to combat benefit fraud which costs the tax payer an annual £700 million a year, council staff will be trialing lie detectors during telephone interviews.

Top idea, but as the results of such "voice-risk analysis software" is a little dubious, so much so that any evidence gained from these machines is inadmissible in a UK court, I wonder if it will be a success?

The Speaking Clock

I seem to recall several months ago mentioning that the voice of British Telecom's speaking clock was due to retire and there was a competition to find a replacement.

A lady has now been chosen for the first change in twenty two (22) years and it is estimated that in that time, the previous voice was heard two billion times.

The Future's So Bright

The latest "in" thing will be sunglasses that change colour at the touch of a button.

The frame will incorporate a small switch allowing the wearer to choose pretty much any colour lens they fancy.

So, rose-tinted become a reality at last but sadly a bit too late to save BLiar.

NHS Prescriptions

Are now free in Wales and yet in the rest of the UK, the costs rose to £6.85 per item.

You may also be pleased to know that the Department of Health will receive around £430 million from prescriptions in 2006-07.

The Easter Rabbit


Sorry children...
(Cheers Sniff, made me chuckle and most topical)


Happy Easter

I'm not sure if this greeting is even correct, but we hope everyone has a good time over the long Bank Holiday, whether you are religious or not.

I of course am not and I'm simply looking forward to two day's holiday...

;o)

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Chilled Out on a Scoot

Still missing my biggest passion of motorcycle riding but with our move to Croatia next month the possibility of hiring something two wheeled looms ever closer.

It's always the same way when you're missing something; everyone seems to be doing it. Nor does it help when your guest is a bike nut and spends every minute pointing out the latest models as they go flashing by. Git- especailly as he currently owns a brand new Fireblade!

We did see something though that both amused us.

A lady rider on a scooter with a very young passenger (including a tiny helmet) but the kid was jammed between the legs of the rider and holding onto the handle bars. Sadly not something you'd see in the UK as it is illegal.

In Britain one is only allowed to carry pillion if they are sitting on the saddle and both legs can reach the foot pegs- there is however no age ban.

As yet...

Night in the Museum

We saw this recently at our most excellent local cinema and can heartily recommended it for a completely easy going, funny and delightful film.

Starring Ben Stiller and a whole host of famous cameos it's essentially about the museum exhibits coming to life at night with often quite hilarious results.

Best performance (out of several) had to be Ricky Gervais. Outstanding.

Take the kids if you need to make an excuse but just go and have a laugh.

WORLD CUP SUPER 8

Result in Antigua: Sri Lanka 235 all out beat England 233-8 by two runs in their 50 over match.

Nuff said really- the usual poor start, then the hoped for mini-rally but ultimately the expected narrow defeat.

Still, who really cares? All this World Cup will be remembered for is the tragic and awful killing of Bob Woolmer.

Sport. Is it really a matter of life and death? :-(

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Take 100 Lines

The latest recommendations to control unruly or disruptive pupils at school suggests a type of "sin bin" should be provided.

Do they actually pay people to come up with these "new" ideas? We used to call it detention...

Did You Pack That Bag Yourself?

A recent report into "lost" luggage has named British Airways with the worst record of any major airline in Europe. BA lose 23 bags per every thousand passengers.

But at least you get to pay for the privilege as they now charge you for any additional bag over the allotted limit of one per person.

Bet Qatar Airways are better. ;-)

Life in Britain

The majority of people questioned feel that Britain is a more dangerous place than than it was five years ago and almost 40% do not feel safe going after dark.

Still, at least the GATSOs are keeping speeding down so you're safe on the roads, eh?





Source: Poll run by Good Housekeeping magazine

Three Months Late Already...

Hospitals, councils and colleges have been accused of not providing plans to improve services and job opportunities for the disabled.

The Disability Rights Commission warned over sixty (60) public bodies they may face action against them for missing last December's deadline.

Shameful but not entirely unsurprising. :-(

**Deffo Not Work Safe**

And you'll need volume, but a little something from our mad pal, Stoz who has proven he is still alive by sending over this hilarious link:

Geordie Postman Pat

The British Workman?


Seeing as We're a Year Down the Line

A slight update for our profile and title. It's not much but every little does help, or so they say.

And we should be resuming normal business now that our guest has left and the DTs subside, so hopefully you'll be seeing a few more posts soon enough.

What? You didn't think that was it did you? :-D

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Sunday, 1 April 2007

A Night Out

As we have guests we decided to push the boat out and show him around some of the bars and cafes we have in Izola.

One particular place (Gostinstvo Cantante) is rather swish at shaking out the cocktails and so we jumped in feet first.

Tip: Don't waste time in deciding what drink to try if there are over 100 on the menu- just go for the barman's recommendation and sit back.

Fifteen cocktails later (and five beers and a coffee) and the bill arrived. At just over fifty quid for three of us, it really was superb value for money- although the hangover this morning does not quite agree.

Thank God we don't get visitors that often...