Monday, 31 July 2017

Well Said

An intellectual snob is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of The Lone Ranger.
Dan Rather
US television newscaster (1931 - )

Off we Go

Time to log off and bog off as I head up to Immigration.  With luck and a decent headwind, I should be out by Thursday.

News Thump

Donald Trump still winning
Failing yet again to repeal Obamacare on the day the US tax payer provided $1.6bn for a wall that was supposed to be paid for by Mexico is the new definition of winning, according to President Trump.
As his plans to repeal Obamacare failed for the fourth time, despite Republicans controlling the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives, Trump supporters are insisting they are delighted with how great America is again.
Chuck Williams told us, “Yes, we still have Obamacare, the US taxpayer is paying for the wall instead of Mexico, and just yesterday the Senate approved more sanctions against Russia despite President Trump telling them not to – but he’s still having a brilliant, winning week.
“Just because Trump has the lowest approval rating of any president six months into the job doesn’t mean we don’t like him.
“Well, it means most people don’t like him, but we do. By ‘we’ I mean me.
“And I will continue to like him because the alternative would be to admit he’s not doing a great job and that voting for him might have been a mistake, and God knows I’m not about to start admitting my mistakes.
“No, it’s just better to reframe the argument, so our new reality of losing all the time is actually the definition of winning – then I can let cognitive dissonance do the rest.”

Still Don't Care

I have never really bothered to find out how the F1 scoring goes.  I now know but still can't be arsed by the "sport".

Points are awarded as follows: 1st place - 25 points; 2nd -18; 3rd - 15; 4th -12; 5th - 10; 6th - 8; 7th - 6; 8th - 4; 9th - 2; 10th - 1. If drivers are tied on points, positions are decided on results countback. Wins are compared, and the driver with most wins is classified ahead. If wins are equal, second places are looked at, and so on.



Just watched King Arthur Legend of the Sword and the first surprise was that it was a Guy Ritchie film, which was a huge added bonus as we love his movies.  True to form it did not disappoint and we are already planning to re-watch this soon.

I can't understand how some people have panned this as for me, it is exactly what I expect from a Ritchie flick, good humour, decent fight scenes, non-stop action and a fair cast of regulars (he's even gone up a notch by replacing Vinnie Jones with David Beckham).

Still can't work out why we didn't even get to see Merlin.  At all.


The Statue of Liberty was named "Liberty Enlightening the World" by its sculptor Frederic Bartholdi, who fashioned the statue's likeness after his mother.


The latest batch of jerky (and the largest) has turned out to be the best to date.  As mentioned previously, I use just a basic seasoning which includes red wine vinegar to take care of any unwanted lurgies, followed by a liberal dosing of salt.  I then splash over both Worcester and Soy sauce before sprinkling on the dry rub, which is essentially garlic powder, chilli and black pepper.

Dry out overnight and you'll be good to go the next day.

NOTE:  Must pick up some onion powder.

2 x Duff 'Uns

Out of the haul of games I picked up I found only two that didn't run.  It's hardly the biggest problem as I still have over 20 that play superbly and what games they are.  Mouth watering.

I will keep the non-runners and take them back next time I go to the shop but that is likely to be towards the end of the year so I suspect I won't get much in way of refund.  Maybe they will simply swap them for new titles?

I won't lose much sleep over this though and I am so chuffed with the games that do work.  Simply stupendous.

Viz Bits

Synching Sucks

Our latest laptop finally got around to finishing its synchronising with our other 'pooters via Google Drive, which decided "that was that"; memory full and it wasn't going to play any more.

It's taken an age to work out what has happened but I suspect photos were uploaded to our cloudy file thing which has stuffed everything up.  I've been deleting up to 11 years worth of photos and finally we have got back a precious 10 Gb of space back.

Time to weed out the unneeded emails next.

Can't wait...

90 Day Reporting

So of course I get no kip at all and have been up since the sparrow's fart getting the paperwork ready.  I reckon I have about an hour before the long schlepp up to Bangkok Immigration Offices to report in.

It's not difficult but it is time consuming and a right pain. Still, rules are rules and we need to get this done before we head off to Germany next week.

Deja Vu

German Ladies lose to Denmark in yesterday's semi final, which was rescheduled match after heavy rain postponed the game from Saturday.

I recall a similar upset when the men's teams met in the final in 1992 and Denmark did for us then too- also with a 2 - 1 victory.

It's a real shame for me as the Germans were bidding to win the title for the seventh consecutive time but it wasn't to be.  Just think though, this defeat was their first since 1993, almost the same time as the men lost to Denmark.

Happier times for the English burds who did for France 1 - 0 and now go into the semi-finals to face host nation, Holland.

I reckon the ladies have their best chance of winning this but the Dutch will be their toughest test.  Best of luck to them- here's to a good game.

C & H x 2

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Southend News Network

A spokesperson for Warner Bros. has confirmed that Lethal Weapon 5 will be hitting cinema screens in Summer 2019.
Speculation has been rife since the two actors were spotted together watching tennis together at Wimbledon recently.
The studios Executive VP Of Film Development Of Movies Marshall Kapowovitz told Southend News Network that he was ‘delighted’ at the prospect of Danny Glover and Mel Gibson reuniting once again.
He said: ‘These are fantastic times for the movie industry – both stars are already in physio and raring to go with filming scheduled for fall, or leafy droppy time as you Brits call it.’
‘The plot of the new film is under wraps at the moment, but all we can say is that both characters have undergone a huge transformation since the last instalment of the series.’
‘As opposed to getting involved in the violent fight scenes directly, Glover prefers to stand to one side and deliver a commentary to camera.’
‘We can’t give too much away about Gibson’s character other than that he seems to be a bit weird – we can’t really put our finger on it.’
‘Both actors had to audition for the role as is traditional, and Gibson specifically requested that we spray him with a hose while he serenaded us with Christian music.’
‘To be fair, this is pretty standard behaviour for him.’
It’s been an exciting few months for the movie business, as this news comes so soon after it was confirmed that Idris Elba will be playing Nigel Farage in an upcoming biopic about the ex-Leader of UKIP.

And While we are on Gems

Another beautiful comment I adore, when used to combat business jargon or work place cliches.  If someone says "remember, there is no 'I' in team" just retort:

"But there is a 'U' in cunt".

How much do I love that come back?

I Will Never, Ever Tire of This

The long argued UK vs US "aluminium" or "aluminum".

If the Yanks stick with dropping the "i" (why?) then be consistent and call it plutonum and uranum.  But you don't, do you?

I have yet to meet one genuine American who can offer a rational explanation for this.

Over to you...


A German ad for a supermarket (why do I seem to think we have seen this before?) which no one has yet fully explained to me.  The lyric "Supergeil" (geil is cool or sexy in Geman) is simply repeated over and over and that's about it.

Mind you, if these are Edeka's checkout chicks, I'll definitely be visiting a branch next month...

Trading Down?

How would you feel going from a Mercedes to a Volkswagen?

To many, this would seem a backward step as the humble Beetle is surely not in the same league as a luxury "Merc", but that's what's coming up in 2019.

Yip, the national German football team is going to be sponsored by VW after years of wearing the three-spoke Mercedes badge on their kit.

Rumour has it's going to cost them 25€ - 30€ million- a year.

The Local

Well Said

Be a fountain, not a drain.
Rex Hudlerquoted in 'Sports Illustrated'

Som Nam Na

EMGN - Regret12

Still Winning

Having played Phil Taylor, one of the greatest darts champions of all time, I am not surprised he has just beaten Micheal Van Gerwen in the quarter finals of the World Matchplay.

MVG is the current best in the world but even if he can't hit his doubles he won't win.  Best of luck to The Power in the semis and if he does win again in 2017, that will be his 16th champioship.


Nearly There

I still have around eight games to try from my latest shopping spree, so I have really had good value for money seeing as I bought them on Tuesday and today is Saturday.

All to date have run faultlessly (bar one which needed a clean) and I hope the last batch do too as they are the big hitters, including Halo, Gears of War, Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, Bioshock, Metal Gear Solid and Medal of Honour.

Any gamers out there will understand these titles are massive and I have everything to look forward to.  😎

Up for a Beer

Wifey's been resting her foot all week and has been off the Chang for an entire week.  Today she has decided enough is enough and will hobble up to the Corner to have a few local brews in good company.

We would have done so last night but it was a public holiday for the King's birthday and so our bar was closed for the night.  Business as usual again today.

C & H

Friday, 28 July 2017


The 1904 Summer Olympic Games, held in St Louis, included greased pole climbing, rock throwing, and even mud fighting.

Lost for Words?

i100 reveals some choices for you in order of offensiveness.  Note the distinct absence of the word "twot", which apparently our American cousins find as strong as "cunt" yet "twat" (a real word for cunt) is socially acceptable.  Go figure, fanny-face...


The Underdogs- Again

Once again we hear that Lidl has scooped top prize for its own label booze.  This time it's its gin (Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin at just £9.97 a bottle) but it also had a number of other winners.  Just goes to show, book and covers- and how people can be right snobs.

Aldi’s winning spirits and liqueurs at the International Wine and Spirits Challenge:


Specially Selected Crème de Cassis
Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin

Silver Outstanding

Tamova Vodka
Saint Germont Premium French Vodka


Tamova Salted Caramel Vodka Liqueur
Specially Selected Chocolate Irish Cream Liqueur
Chevalier Cognac VS
Topaz Blue Premium Gin
Specially Selected Crème Caramel
Amaretto Bellucci
Specially Selected Triple Sec
Glen Marnoch Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Specially Selected Irish Cream Liqueur
Glen Marnoch Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Glen Marnoch Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Clarke’s Bourbon Whisky


Napoleon Brandy
Old Hopking Spiced Rum
Oliver Cromwell Sloe Gin
Highland Black 8-Year-Old Scotch Whisky


Viz Bits

Well Said

Even if you do learn to speak correct English, whom are you going to speak it to?
Clarence Darrow
US defense lawyer (1857 - 1938)

News Thump

Donald Trump ready for PGA championship
Trump’s golf coach has reassured supporters that he has put in enough practice to be ready to compete at the PGA championship when it starts on August 10th.
Having tried various careers including a businessman, beauty pageant judge, reality TV host, female genital grabber and most recently devoting his time to destroying America’s global reputation, it seems that becoming a professional golfer is next on the list of jobs for the bloated orange Warthog to attempt.
Since his inauguration in January Donald Trump has spent 40 days on various golf courses, which is more than another other President had done this far into their first term, and which many believe puts him in good stead to turn pro within a few years.
Close friend and coach Chuck Williams told us, “Donald has always loved golf, and since childhood has dreamed of one day joining the PGA tour.
“It’s no secret that he’s been putting in a lot of practice – and the American population should be reassured by this as it shows the level of commitment he has towards anything he puts his mind to.”
He explained “Donald used to criticise Obama – who was born in Kenya, whatever the fake news would have you believe – for spending a lot of time on the golf course but then Obama was just wasting time because he wasn’t any good.
“But for Donald, this is a serious endeavour, and he’s going to show you just how good he is at everything, including golf.”
Presidential runner up Hillary Clinton welcomed the news, saying “The sooner he is out on the golf course full-time, the better for everyone.
“I was worried at first that he might not be good enough to turn pro, but then he always has his tried and tested method of bribing anyone necessary to achieve his goals, so no worries on that front.”

So That's All Right Then

A £750 000 Cartier diamond ring which had gone "missing" from the British Museum in 2011, when it was reported to Plod, has only now been registered as "lost".  Its disappearance was revealed with the publication of museum's annual accounts, where its cost has been written off.  Some fluffy gobshite said it was museum procedure to report losses five years after discovering a missing piece.

"The ring was found missing from its proper location by British Museum staff in August 2011. British Museum procedure, as agreed by trustees, requires the ring formally to be reported as lost five years after the initial discovery of its absence.

The museum has since reviewed its security and collections management procedures and dedicated significant investment to improved security across the estate."

So £75 large disappears, Dibble find nowt in six years and the Museum "review" procedures.  No wonder the Greeks want their marbles back.  Perhaps they should drop in and help themselves; there doesn't seem to be much stopping them...


Team Eng-er-land and Deutscher Burds Through

Beating Portugal 1 - 2 leaves the ladies top of their group and now facing France in the quarters.

They'll need to up their game to win against the French, whom they have failed to beat since 1974, but on merit against Portugal (ranked 38th in the world and debuting the ladies' side in the Euros) it doesn't look likely.

Germany are also through having beaten Russia 0 - 2 while Sweden, the previous group leaders, lost 1 - 2 against Italy.  The Germans won their group and now play Denmark tomorrow (Saturday) for a place in the semis.

Fortunately with the draw being as it is, we will avoid the Brits and end up playing either Spain or Austria, while Eng-er-land Ladies will take on Holland or Sweden should they sweep past France.

Exciting games ahead and all to play for yet.

Sheer Genius

EMGN - Regret11

Three Years On

Or that's how long it feels, but we finally got around to completing "Once Upon a Time" the fantasy series that blends all the fairy tales into a mash up of old versus new.

It grabbed our attention for a few episodes before getting a little samey, so we gave it a rest and this was the pattern over quite a long period of time.  Last night we did the final two episodes back to back and it was... OK.

Not quite the ending we were expecting, or indeed wanted, but it's done and dusted.  Highlight was Robbie Carlyle's performance but I am not sure I can do another series just yet- and rumour has they are on #6 as we speak.  😕

The Packing Begins

For me at any rate.

I don't like to rush around at the last minute and my approved method of getting ready for a long holiday is to leave my bag open in a corner of the room and chuck stuff in that I will need.  Once it starts to fill I then leave a list of stuff that is out standing, which I tick off as I go along.

It's going swimmingly and list is only showing the usual "cash, cards, keys, tickets, passports and wallet", plus a more involving item, "electronics".  That always takes some effort to get together as we travel with two laptops, eReaders, hard drives and plenty more besides.

Laid Up

Unfortunately wifey has managed to crock her middle toe and it has really stopped her in her tracks.  She cannot put any weight on it and finds walking almost impossible which with our trip back to Europe looming, is causing her some panic.

Hopefully complete bed rest for a few days will help but if not it's off to the hospital Monday to get it treated.

Monster Games

After my buying spree at the games shop I finally got around to looking at what I purchased.  I do recall that among the list of "must haves" (now "do haves") I was recommended several titles by the guys in the store.  Being a complete newbie yet wanting to be polite I didn't let my ignorance stop me from agreeing to buy a few games I had no idea what they were about.  I am rather pleased I listened to the lads as everyone of them is a winner.

The only problem I have is time.  These games are so complex and massive that they take an age to load from the disc and then you have to sit through a mini-blockbuster film as the intro sequence that last seemingly forever.

Still, I can think of far worse things to get through and it means I didn't get to play all the new games.  By reckoning, I am only a third of the way through and hope to see the lot before the weekend is out.

Deal of the Day?

16 Gb USB thumb drive/memory stick for under a fiver.  Old technology but still memory space for on the go.

C & H

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Well Said

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
Alan Kay

News Thump

Donald Trump grabbing transgender pussy
Donald Trump has banned transgender people from serving in the US military after he was left ‘distraught’ following a pussy-grabbing incident with what he believed was a female soldier.
The President was acknowledging the soldier with his standard pussy-grab greeting when he discovered more than we was expecting.
Left both shocked and angry, Trump headed straight to the White House to draft his new rules for the military and thoroughly disinfect his hand.
“No frank and beans where there shouldn’t be any frank and beans” read the first draft before his assistants got to work.
Shortly afterwards he tweeted his new policy in a three-tweet announcement so bereft of typos, mis-spellings, capital letters and exclamation marks that it could only have been written by one of the responsible adults on his payroll.
Trump supporters have welcomed the announcement.
Chuck Williams told us, “You can’t have the commander-in-chief unsure whether there will even be a pussy or not when tries to grab a pussy.
“Likewise there could be pussies in the military that he could grab where he wouldn’t even think to look for them.
“No, much better to ban transgender people altogether and ensure Donald can grab pussy whenever he feels likes it, with confidence and with impunity.”

Friend or Foe

Wifey had picked up some aerosol tins of paint for her staircase she is currently constructing but we had left our rucksack at home and had to bring back our shopping in plastic carrier bags.

I was stopped as I entered the BTS station by a lady guard and she pointed to one of the tins.  I took it out wondering what the fuss was about until she pointed to a prominent list of banned goods one is not permitted to take on the Skytrain.

I was quite taken aback as we have transported similar items many times before but she was adamant to the point of getting a second chap out of the office to confirm her decision.  Reluctantly we had to give up the spray paint (it had a hazardous/explosive warning triangle on the tin) but it made me wonder how we had been able to get through on the numerous occasions before without problem.

Since the Wat bombing all bags and rucksacks are checked at every station but never before have we had a problem like this and furthermore, why was that one tin confiscated and not the other two in the same bag?

Inconvenient and a waste of money it may have been yet I can understand the lady was simply doing her job.  I just wish I had been so rational at the time as I was more than a little exasperated with her.  At least now we know and we'll have to pack it a bit better next time.

Or get a cab.

CC at Big C?

Twice now I have used my credit card at the Big C supermarket where it has been swiped and I have not been asked to confirm PIN or sign the transaction slip.  I have no idea why this has occurred, simply that it has, but it does make me wonder if the cashier will accept my card from wifey and notices it is titled "Mr" on the card, whereas she obviously isn't.

We must try this out sometime as it always bugs me how Americans seem to toss their plastic about inviting others to add whatever to their bill.  Don't they have any security in the States when using credit/debit cards?  Can anyone use someone else's card?

My Old Town

Sarfend, our old stomping place (we lived in Leigh) hits the headlines but there are some glaring discrepancies comped to my memory.  Still, nice to see someone liking the place for a change.  It was all right.

Kids jumping into the water in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

At the Village Green arts and music festival in Southend-on-Sea earlier this month, festivalgoers were pictured waving placards reading “Southend is not a shit hole”. I thought this was a bit odd, until I learned it was in response to a recent outburst by presenter Paul O’Grady – during filming for an episode of Blind Date, no less – in which he branded the Essex seaside town a shit hole, and “full of single mothers”. Harsh, Paul.
Like generations of Londoners before me, I had my first taste of the seaside at Southend. No matter that the beach was more mud than golden sand, or that the water – where the Thames meets the North Sea – was a murky brown. I have fond memories of making “sand” castles in the silty sludge, riding the roller coasters at Adventure Island until I felt sick, and then walking to the end of the (world’s longest) pier for an ice-cream and to watch the container ships sliding in and out of the estuary.
Southend pier is 1.33 miles long.
But nostalgia is not the reason I keep going back. Like many British seaside towns, Southend has had its period in the doldrums but there’s been a definite sea change in recent years, with young Londoners moving into the area, and a revival of the local arts scene.
Much of the impetus for this revival has come from arts organisations such as Metal, which hosts artist residencies and workshops at its base in the town’s Chalkwell Park. It is also behind the Village Green festival and the biennial Estuary Festival – a celebration of the art, music, sub-cultures and landscape of the Thames estuary – which had its first outing last year and returns in September 2018.
Rag ‘n’ Bone Man at Southend’s Village Green Music and Arts Festival.
Another key player is the Focal Point Gallery in the town centre, which runs an innovative programme of exhibitions and events year round. Next week it will open Twenty One, a cultural venue, cafe, bar, gallery and events space right opposite Southend Pier. This will be followed in 2018 by the conversion of an old Victorian hotel into studios for up to 30 artists and a public gallery and workshop space offering art classes to locals and visitors.
“What we’ve seen over the past 10 years is this huge burgeoning of the artistic scene in Southend,” says Joe Hill of the Focal Point Gallery. “You’ve got a lot of creative people coming out of London and looking for new, affordable spots. Southend has such an opportunity to be a thriving place for the creative industries, but you need that underlying structure to support it. This is only the starting point.”
The bar/restaurant at Southend Pier.
During the recent heatwave, I took my daughter to cool off in the fountains on the promenade and afterwards we walked along the seafront into Old Leigh, where we found ourselves in the thick of the annual Leigh Folk Festival . The narrow cobbled streets of this former fishing village were heaving with people enjoying the live music.
We sat on the sea wall outside Osborne’s seafood cafe eating vinegar-drenched cockles from a polystyrene tub, listening to the music and watching a rabble of children launching themselves gleefully into the water below.
There’s nothing genteel about Southend. Although the elegant Georgian villas on the clifftop tell of a slightly grander past, its character has been shaped in more recent decades by waves of working-class Londoners coming here to let off steam. So yes, there are prettier seaside resorts, sandier beaches, bluer seas, but if you can’t have a good time here, there’s something wrong with you.
Suenos Guesthouse Southend-on-sea

In Thorpe Bay, Sueños Guesthouse (doubles from £85 B&B) is a five-star B&B with contemporary rooms, some with sea views. The Trinity Hotel (doubles from £69 B&B) is a short walk from the seafront at Westcliff and has six stylish, light and airy bedrooms and great cooked breakfasts.
The Pipe of Port is a cosy candlelit basement bar and dining room with homemade pies and a great wine list. Good for lunch and tea is La Petite Petanque, a sweet wisteria-covered cafe in a former bowling green pavilion.
The Railway Hotel is an old favourite, known for its live music and vegan food. The Royal Hotel, in a Georgian building on the waterfront, reopened last year as a cocktail bar and restaurant, and this summer will open a basement absinthe bar. Southend got its first micro-pub 18 months ago when Mawson’s opened on Southchurch Road. It stocks a huge range of local ales and craft beers, including some made in George’s Brewery, the owner’s micro-brewery.

Viz Bits

Oi! Excuse-me-the-fuck Wot?

I tend to be a creature of habit and like to get a stool in the corner of the bar.  I don't like anyone at my back (it's all that secret spy/ninja training that's hard to ignore) and find that this is the simplest way to avoid that.  I also get to be right by the TV and directly under a fan.

To ensure I get my pole position seat I have to make sacrifices and usually pitch up earlier than opening hour and have a beer with the staff as they set up.  I get the beer, the guys set stuff up; it's a good routine that works best for all concerned.

This early bird/worm routine is unfortunately not without handicap for, on occasion, I seem to imbibe much more before it turns dark compared to most regulars, who arrive at a far more relaxed and sensible hour to be able to make it through the night without slurring.  I rarely learn from my mistakes but sometimes that is not always a bad thing.

Tuesday was a really good night as I was treated to five back-to-back Dr Feelgood tunes pumped out at a rather higher volume than normal, I had a bowl of free, salted beer nuts, Chelsea were getting thrashed by Bayern Munich in the first half (1 - 3 at half time) and the Chang was flowing thanks to the undivided attention of both Khun Alix and Khun Win, who were a tag team in filling up my never emptying glass.

At some part of the night with everyone seated around the bar all having stimulating and convivial conversation and generally enjoying themselves, a chap walked up to the group and started a chat with Tommy.  He gets this a lot and as always, he is patient, approachable and happy to swap words with whomever is vying for his attention.

I'd seen the guy around and at first he just stood a slight distance from all seated group but then he leant over and rested his arm on the bar, completely blocking me off from my beer and almost as if he wanted to blank me out.  It wasn't as if he was stretching across to take his beer off the bar, that was still on his table, he intention was to simply lean in and continue with Tommy in dialogue.

I blame the Chang or simply the shock of such ill manners but I quite pronouncedly and vociferously exclaimed something along the lines of "Oi, what the fuck?"

The guy seriously didn't seem to grasp my exasperation as he looked at me with a puzzled face.  I explained it wasn't cricket to simply barge in and prop up the bar, especially as I couldn't even reach mine with him in the way and then the penny dropped.

He did jump back and leave but I must have had some effect as the rest of the lads all pissed themselves laughing before confirming that they too would have done much the same thing.

Cheeky fuck.

Absence due to Games/Chang

I went back to my favourite games store in Bang Na and had a field day.  Making the most of a good thing, I went through their catalogues of games and ended up with quite a haul, much to the two chaps behind the counter.  They were so pleased they even offered me a "buy 10 get 1 free" deal.

I ended up with two freebies...

However, with the Tuesday Night Club scheduled for the same evening, it wasn't the XBox that kept me off the air waves the next morning, rather the Chang.  It was quite a splendid night on the beer but I seemed to have paid the price for my exuberance and the games didn't even get out of the bag.

They are so going to get checked today, mind.


In Medieval times, a “moment” was defined as 1/40th of an hour, or 1.5 minutes.

C & H x 2

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

More False News?


Well Said

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
Abraham Maslow
(1908 - 1970)

News Thump

As Westminster begins its summer recess, the British people have once again lined the streets around parliament and waved flags jubilantly to give their beloved representatives a proper send-off.
Impromptu street parties were held, and nearly every household in Britain raised a toast to their elected champions.
Amanda Tinnock, a fishwife from Devon, said she hoped MPs could kick off their shoes and relax for the summer.
She went in, “They’ve done such great work lately. And that’s despite being busy campaigning for several calls to the ballot over the past two years.
“I love elections. That Michael Gove came to my door once and asked me about Brexit. Some men took photos then he used a lot of hand sanitizer and got into a car. Best moment of my life.”
But it was Theresa May that has captured the hearts of ordinary Britons.
Simon Williams, a coach driver from Croydon, said no Prime Minister in recent history has been more deserving of a three week hiking holiday in Italy.
“I hope she can get away from it all. I’ve had to cancel my usual week in Torremolinos with the kids because of the sinking pound, but we’ll be happy on a campsite outside of Skegness.
“The thought of our PM eating figs and bresaola in beautiful Alpine chalets will make us forget the rain on our heads.”
However, the festive mood was nearly marred by so-called satirists who tried to portray today’s politicians as self-serving and inept glory-hounds off to get their jollies while the nation suffers a state of permanent crisis.

Savvy Credit

One of the first things you pick up on your travels is how to minimise paying for your local currency.  That means you make sure you get the best exchange rates by not using airport bureau de changes, not taking out cash on your credit card via the ATM and when using your credit card, making sure it's a reputable business where your details won't be cloned or sold on.  There is always an element of risk with the latter but if you are a repeat customer and never allow your card out of your sight, you should be OK.

Another tip (highlighted at the BBC) again links back to your credit plastic.  It really is a good idea to make sure any transaction are processed in local currency as rates are loaded in the seller's favour, sometimes by a considerable margin.

We have noticed in the past that some establishments do not even offer you the option but input the figures into sterling automatically.  Do not accept this, void the transaction and repeat it in whatever the local currency is.

The best way is to simply advise them before you hand over your card and ensure they acknowledge your request.  No chance of any misunderstandings  there then.

According to the piece at the Beeb, it costs UK tourists about £500 million a year with marked up  rates between 6% - 10% on each transaction.  That's worth keeping in your own wallet or purse.

Viz Bits


In a new study (see the BBC) the white coats have concluded that people would be happier paying thirty quid for someone else to do their chores instead of buying some more shite they don't really need.  "Using money to free-up time is linked to increased happiness" is how they phrased it but I'm sure you get the picture.

Essentially they are suggesting that more time makes you happier and I can certainly vouch for that.  Since we stopped working and took to the roads we have never felt more satisfied and content and while our budget remains our biggest concern we can still live comfortably in the wonderful countries Asia provides.

But it's not just the financial range that improves out here, I can't recall the last time I felt cold or heard anyone whinge about politics (unless Farang).  The food is delicious, the scenery is exotic and the amenities are every bit as good if not better than anything Europe can provide.

Top of the list though for living in Thailand though are the people.  They are beautiful inside and out and we love being part of their community.

We're not naive to believe that no problems exist, they do in every walk of life, but for us we really have landed in paradise.

TInd also has the article.

Women's Euro Champs

Germany Ladies need a minimum draw to progress- they play Russia later today.  I have a bad feeling about this, but no such problems for Team Eng-er-land Ladies who having beaten Spain on the back of their thrashing of Scotland are pretty much there already.

L A Confidential

Another classic re-run last night and what a brilliant film.  Packed with stars, including one of my favourites, Kevin Spacey, it has all you need to keep you on your chair's edge with a taut story line, good acting and an eye for detail for the era the story is set in.  And talk about twist and turns?  A real treat.

As was going back to Frasier, which we haven't seen in ages.  The cast deliver their witty and sharp lines dead on cue and exude chemistry that is difficult to copy.  Another must see series that we intend to continue, despite having most of the episodes already.


Before writing The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, author J R R. Tolkien worked for the Oxford English Dictionary with a focus on the etymology of Germanic words beginning with "W."

Not Only the Fan

EMGN - Regret8

Limping Along

Still no sign of our replacement tap for the bathroom.  I just hope it arrive before we leave and the plumber can fit it and be done with it.

New Client

We just heard that our friend Khun Ayr has picked up another client for her cleaning business.  We're really pleased for her and hope she goes from strength to strength.  She does a fabulous job and is always happy and cheerful.  We'd be lost without her.

Fill Your Boots

We're back off to Bang Na as we have Khun Ayr in today and I fully intend on picking up a few more XBox games.  Every game I have purchased from this shop has run perfectly and with luck that streak will continue with the next batch.

Which reminds me, I'd best check out to see what's worth adding to the collection- no point buying for the sake of it.  The games have to be worth it.

Bit of a Rush

We're stating to notice the lack of time we have left before we fly off (a fortnight today) and the amount of stuff we have to do before we go.  It means that it's likely we won't be on the Blog so much, I'm afraid.

Posting will be patchy until we land back in Izola as wi-fi is rare in Germany, neither my cousins, aunts or family friends have it at home and usually one has to pay extra when lodging in guest houses.  I simply refuse to pay as it doesn't cost the hotel any more to provide it.

It matters not, as we will be back on-line full time once we're in Slovenia and we'll catch up there.

In the meantime we shall make the most of our ISP here in Bangers in between panicking about packing, arranging transfers, looking for places to stay alone the Rhine, last minute shopping and stuffing in as many Chang as we can.  Should be fun.

C & H x 2

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Tomb Raider Update

I have been sadly remiss on the gaming front due to other pursuits but I did get stuck in yesterday for an hour and have proudly reached 20% progress in the "Soviet Installation".

That was were three armoured up gits shot the living snot out of me and I can't seem to knack 'em.  I will have to put some more time into this part and hopefully get past them.

I also had a quick look at MotoGP 13 and found that once more, I am a liability on two wheels.  God this is difficult, I couldn't even complete a lap before being over taken and dumped into last place.

As with TR, much more practise required.

Bonza Bonus

OK, seven quid is hardly going to make or break the bank but we just noticed that our refund from Alitalia was that amount over what we were originally paid for our aborted flights to Rome.

Looks the "let's leave the EU" farce can pay dividends after all.  😎

I am so Prone to These Bastards

It seems like #3 could be a got for me...

Business Insider have published the findings which might suggest why mosquitoes find your blood so irresistible and how you might be able to reduce your allure.

1. Carbon dioxide

This one is quite hard to avoid as your body naturally produces around 2.3 pounds of carbon dioxide a day, which is breathed out through your lungs.

We all need to breathe, so don't think about holding your breath all day just to avoid a few mosquitoes.

However, mosquitoes tend to prefer people who emit more than the standard levels of carbon dioxide.

This is common amongst pregnant women and overweight people.

2. Lactic Acid

This won't be good news for athletic types out there.

Mosquitoes love the lactic acid that your body produces whilst working out.

The acid is released via your sweat, making you a prime target, especially if you are hot and tired.

Exercise is obviously important but perhaps going for a jog near a lake or wetlands isn't advisable.

3. Beer

This news will be very disappointing for anyone who enjoys the occasional pint.

Some studies have discovered that mosquitoes are attracted to beer drinkers.

The Conversation points out that this is only relevant to one type of mosquito so you might not have to worry too much.

It's good news for you sober individuals out there who don't have to worry either way.

4. Type O Blood

Changing your blood isn't advisable but if you have Type O blood running through your veins try to remain vigilant.

Research posted by the Journal of Medical Entomology found that mosquitoes were 83.3 percent more likely to land on type O carriers than type A carriers.

Unfortunately, the NHS record that blood group O is the most common in the UK, belonging to 48 percent of the population.

However, as with beer drinkers this line of thinking only appears to apply to one particular species of mosquito.

5. Genes

There is also the belief that mosquitos could be attracted to you because of your genetic make-up.

Something in your DNA, passed down over generations could be behind mosquitoes fondness for you.

An indicator of this could be if you have a bad reaction to a bite, such as the size of the bite or the intensity of the itchiness.

23 and Me report that people with similar genetics often shared these symptoms after being bitten.

6. Bacteria

Here's some good news. If you have lots of different bacteria on your skin, mosquitos will be less attracted to you.

Although it might not seem particularly hygienic, the chemicals that build up your natural smell could act as a deterrent.

A study posted on Plos showed that a group of people with a more diverse colony of bacteria were less likely to attract mosquitoes, than those with less.

If you were to go down this route, you might not smell very nice, but at least you wouldn't be bitten.

7. Pregnancy

In 2003, an experiment was conducted in eastern Sudan to see if mosquitos were more attracted to pregnant women than non-pregnant women.

The results, published on NCBI found out of the 18 women, the nine pregnant women attracted significantly more mosquitoes, especially ones that were carrying malaria.

This could be because of raised temperature and how women's body odour changes during pregnancy, according to the Daily Mail.

However, as with beer and type O blood, only one species of mosquito is attracted to pregnant women.

Even so, if you are pregnant and live in an area with malaria carrying mosquitoes a bed net should always be used when sleeping.

8. Gender

Interestingly, only female mosquitoes bite as the nutritional value of blood helps develop their eggs. They also seem to prefer to bite more men, but women are more badly affected by a bite.

Females reportedly get bigger and itchy bites but men are more likely to be attacked.

The New York Times report that due to men mostly having a larger body size, they are more likely to attract mosquitoes.


Not Just England

Why "Going Dutch"?

The idea of paying for yourself when out with friends being referred to as some expression including the word “Dutch,” seemingly incorrectly is often connected to the fact that for several centuries beginning in the 17th, the word Dutch had a negative connotation in English, variously meaning cheap, duplicitous, alcoholic, poor, treacherous, selfish or just plain wrong.
The derogatory usage of “Dutch” stems from animosity between the English and Dutch due to their competing positions as naval powers, which would ultimately erupt into full on wars, mostly fought at sea. It’s no surprise then that by the middle of the 17th century when war broke out, the English had come up with some choice derogatory expressions related to their rivals.
Specifically, by 1654, the first derogatory uses of Dutch began appearing in print, such as R. Whitlock’s Zworouia: “The contract is not (like Dutch Bargains) made in Drinke.” Soon, phrases such as Dutch palate (1687 meaning low class) and Dutch reckoning(1699 meaning poor accounting, particularly a bill that doesn’t include details and potentially becomes bigger if you question it) were also appearing.
That said, contrary to what is often said, none of this appears to have anything to do with the various “Dutch” expressions meaning to pay for one’s self.  In fact, the origin of this expression might even have little to do with what we think of today as “Dutch” at all.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, many German-speaking groups immigrated to the United States. For those that settled in Pennsylvania, they became known as Pennsylvania Dutch.  As to why these German-speaking people were called this in the first place, for some time in English, High Dutch generally referred to people from parts of German and nearby mountainous regions and Low Dutch got applied to people from the Netherlands, at the time with these regions part of the Holy Roman Empire. Even after they gained their respective independence, the naming scheme still stuck around for a while in certain places, like America.
In the United States, it would seem that the Pennsylvania Dutch had a reputation for never owing anyone anything to the point that, even with a group of friends in a tavern, the reputation was that each person would pay his own bill.
Whether this reputation is wholly accurate or not, in the United States, various phrases that included the word “Dutch” became synonymous with this characteristic and eventually different variations with the meaning began to appear in print, including: “Dutch treat” (1873), “Dutch lunch” (1897) and “go Dutch” (1914).
For instance, the earliest documented instance of the first of these line of expressions appeared in the Daily Democrat on June 27, 1873:
If our temperance friends could institute what is called the “Dutch treat” into our saloons, each man paying his reckoning, it would be a long step towards reforming in drinking to excess.
The next up was the “Dutch lunch,” with the first known instance appearing in the Fort Wayne Morning Journal on October 24, 1897,
Perhaps you have a fatter pocketbook than some of the other fellows. I, for instance, can’t afford to buy two tickets every time I go. So some of the boys and I go on the “Dutch lunch” plan: everybody for himself.
Interestingly, at the same time these expressions were taking on their figurative sense, they were also occasionally used literally, as in describing the food eaten by the Pennsylvania Dutch.  To wit, an 1894 newspaper report found by esteemed etymologist Michael Quinion of the truly phenomenal World Wise Words notes that a “Dutch supper,” should include rye bread, cabbage salad, Wienerwursts, and beer “consistently expressive of [the] vaterland.”
Given that this line of “Dutch X” expressions didn’t appear until the late 19th to early 20th centuries; they first appeared in the United States, rather than Britain; they seem in many cases to be referring to Pennsylvania Dutch; and they aren’t inherently derogatory, it’s thought by many etymologists that, contrary to what is often said, these expressions probably had nothing to do with the former lineup of derogatory “Dutch X” expressions invented by the British a couple centuries before.
Bonus Facts:
  • Dutch courage, drinking alcohol until you become brave, dates to at least 1826, when Sir Walter Scott wrote in Woodstock: “Laying in a store of what is called Dutch courage.”
  • Double Dutch, the two-rope skipping game was first seen in print in the late 19th century, when Harper’s Magazine included it with a list of others in 1895: “He skipped ‘slow-poker’, ‘pepper-salt’, and ‘double Dutch.'” However, the game itself is said to have been introduced hundreds of years earlier, when New York City was known as New Amsterdam, so named by its Dutch settlers. According to the National Double Dutch League, the game’s name was coined by the children of English settlers who learned to play it from their Dutch peers.
  • Double Dutch also had another meaning in the late 19th century, as an inscrutable language, as shown in C.H. Wall’s translation of Molière’s Lovers’ Quarrels (1876): “Though I have said them [prayers] daily now these fifty years, they are still double Dutch to me.”
  • Splitting the bill is rather common today in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Ireland.
  • In Catalonia, Spain, going Dutch is called pager a la catalana (to pay the Catalan way) and in parts of Italy, the expression is pagare alla romana (to pay the Roman way).
  • As splitting the bill used to be considered incredibly rude in many places, but is becoming more common with globalization, the practice’s place of origin is also changing. For instance, in Egypt bill-splitting is called Englizy (meaning “English style”), in Turkey, it is called hesabi Alman usulü ödemek (“to pay the German way”), and in Pakistan, it is called the “American System.”
  • Holland derives from an Old Dutch word that meant “wood land” and originally described the northern part of the Netherlands.