Tuesday, 27 June 2017

UK Airports- Happy Holidays

BBC England's data unit found:
  • International flights from UK major airports were delayed by an average of 21 minutes last summer.
  • The longest delay was a chartered flight from Manchester to Dusseldorf, which was delayed by 779 minutes, or almost 13 hours, last September.
  • Gatwick Airport experienced the most flight delays last summer, with 30% - or 107,825 - of all flights from that airport recorded to be delayed by over 30 minutes.
  • Our analysis also found that delays across all airports were more likely to take place in June, compared to the other summer months.
  • Three-quarters of the 40 most delay-prone popular routes out of the UK last summer were to European countries. Popular routes are defined as those that ran at least one flight a day on average.
  • The non-European destinations with high numbers of delays were Ghana, Canada, US, Israel, Ukraine and Pakistan.
  • The most delay-afflicted route was from Heathrow to Accra, Ghana. 85 out of 122 - or 70% - of flights on this route were delayed by over 30 minutes last summer.

More at the BBC

News Thump

A magical tree on which government money grows has miraculously been found in time to secure a deal with the DUP, a government spokesperson has confirmed.
Whitehall spokesperson Simon Williams explained that the eleventh-hour discovery of the mythical tree made the confidence and supply arrangement possible.
He told reporters, “The tree was believed to be fictitious, and many government officials went to great lengths to criticise Labour for pledging to rely on it during the election campaign, so the realisation that it is real after all has shocked many of us in government.
“I’ll be honest; I personally thought a magic tree which dispensed cash whenever it was politically expedient was nothing but a fantastic fairy tale created by lunatics.
“But here it is, plain as day, chucking out billions of pounds now that the government needs it to satisfy the DUP.
“I’m shocked, but also delighted – who wouldn’t be.
“Thank God the electorate didn’t find out the tree was real before polling day, or we’d all be out of a job.”
DUP leader Arlene Foster said she was delighted by the discovery of the tree, and insisted it was further evidence that some fairy tales should be believed.
She concluded, “But not the stupid ones about dinosaurs and homosexuals, obviously.”

Abby & Floss

Image result for happy birthday humor images

Assen MotoGP

Cor, what a race.  This classic meeting had it all with crashes, fairing knocks, rain, non-stop overtaking and a number of DNFs.  Real shame Crutchlow couldn't podium in the end but what a dust up by the top half a dozen riders.

Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi claimed victory for Yamaha in the Dutch TT at Assen as Andrea Dovizioso took the lead in the MotoGP title race.

It was the Italian's first win since May 2016 but Ducati's Dovizioso, winner of the previous two races, was fifth to open up a four-point overall lead.

Previous leader Maverick Vinales, who began 11th on the grid, crashed his Yamaha with 14 laps remaining.

Britain's Cal Crutchlow was fourth for Honda.

More at the BBC

Dutch MotoGP result:
1. Valentino Rossi (Ita/Yamaha) 41 mins 41.149 secs
2. Danilo Petrucci (Ita/Ducati) 41:41.212
3. Marc Marquez (Spa/Honda) 41:46.350
4. Cal Crutchlow (GB/Honda) 41:46.392
5. Andrea Dovizioso (Ita/Ducati) 41:46.476
Championship standings:
1. Andrea Dovizioso (Ita/Ducati) 115 points
2. Maverick Vinales (Spa/Yamaha) 111
3. Valentino Rossi (Ita/Yamaha) 108
4. Marc Marquez (Spa/Honda) 104
5. Dani Pedrosa (Spa/Honda) 87


Titchener Circles

Also known as the Ebbinghaus Illusion, there is still a debate in psychological circles as to the exact mechanism and implication of this effect. Essentially, the orange circle on the left appears to be smaller than the one on the right although in reality they are the same size.

Well Said

He talked with more claret than clarity.
Susan Ertz

Frankfurt to Ljubljana

Wifey has been busy and is looking at options for our trip to Europe.  We land in Koln and need to be in Frankfurt a few days later and then we have to to Slovenia.  We have a little time and so will take the train all the way to Ljubljana which we have done before and is more relaxing than you can imagine.

The eight hour trip had two options; one direct the other with one transfer in Munchen.  They only allowed 10 minutes for that so we felt it prudent to go direct and pay the extra 10€ a head.  Then an offer popped up we couldn't decline.  For another 10€ we could upgrade to first class.

All in, with insurance, it's costing us about £110 to get from Frankfurt to Slovenia's capital, first class and without needing to change.  Flights would be at least double that and not that much quicker considering transfers to and from airports and the hours of security checks.

Very happy with that result.

Happy Memories

They did us the honour of playing at our wedding and then my brother's wedding (in fact Wolfie and his crew also did a huge gig in Southend for our 10th non-wedding anniversary before that).

We were regulars at both the Castle and World's End and loved getting pissed up with the boys on a Saturday afternoon listening to their sounds. 

Unfortunately we lost all contact and our collection when we hit the road on a world tour that started in 2006 and is still on going- we are now in Bangkok and can't seem to leave. 

Thanks for the vid, a lot of happy memories from some very good people who didn't take life too seriously and had a lot fun along the way. 

Oh, and the music weren't half bad either.

Get Stuffed

My enquiry on how to bring back a top of the range helmet (>£500) from Germany has resulted in the following response.  I love the way the don't even offer a reason as to why.

Looks like I will have to buy locally as there is no way I will leave a lid in cargo, packed or not.

Dear Sir

Thank you very much for contacting us and for your interest in our company.

We have looked at your issue and we regret to inform you that motorcycle helmets are not allowed on board of our aircrafts.

If the helmet is well and safely packed, it is possible to transport it as Low Fee Charge luggage. Our personnel will be glad to help you.

Of course we are happy to assist you personally with your booking with Eurowings and settle all questions arising from this booking.

New Look Tesco-Lotus

T-L continues to refurbish its supermarket and surrounding complex and the food hall is now looking very chic and continental.  Internally the move about is causing some chaos as everything is being relocated and so they have taken on school girls to guide people to where they need to be.  You can't miss them, beaming smiles, mobiles in hand and standing out in bright yellow aprons emblazoned with "Can I help you"?

Meanwhile just up the road from us the new 7 - 11 is also going up at a rate of knots with the foundations and floor down and the walls now being erected.  It won't be long before we have yet another option to shop around the clock.

Germany - Mexico Semis

I hadn't forgotten about this and can happily report that Germany are through to the semis due on Thursday.  If we can get past Mexico I suspect we shall face Portugal so nothing is taken for granted.  I am impressed at how they have been playing with a new look side and hope they can indeed lift the trophy.  We shall have to see.

Match Report

A 3-1 win against 10-man Cameroon means Germany will face Mexico in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup after topping Group B.

Kerem Demirbay marked his full international debut with a brilliant goal and Timo Werner hit a brace as Germany booked their place in the Confederations Cup semi-finals with a 3-1 win against 10-man Cameroon on Sunday, but the game was marred by more Video Assistant Replay (VAR) confusion.

Chile's 1-1 draw against Australia means Germany top Group B and the world champions will now face Mexico in Sochi in the semis on Thursday, avoiding Euro 2016 winners Portugal.

Following a tepid first half Germany opened the scoring with a moment of magic shortly after the interval, Demirbay completing a finely crafted one-two with Julian Draxler by blasting home.

After a VAR review saw Ernest Mabouka eventually sent off for a high tackle on Emre Can after Sebastien Siani was initially mistakenly dismissed, Germany quickly extended their lead through Werner's first international goal.

Joshua Kimmich's right-wing cross bounced before it reached the RB Leipzig striker, but Werner dived to divert a header neatly beyond Cameroon goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa.

Vincent Aboubakar halved the deficit but Werner soon slotted in his second of the game and victory means Germany coach Joachim Low has now won 100 of his 150 matches in charge, with his team unbeaten in their last 13 outings.

Germany only needed a draw to book a place in the semi-finals but they made a slow start, while Cameroon boss Hugo Broos made a late change to his team, replacing Georges Mandjeck with Arnaud Djoum to name the same side for all three group games.

Can had shaken off an ankle injury to start the match and he had the first effort of note, creating space for himself just outside the box but bending a shot narrowly wide after 20 minutes.

Germany were finding their rhythm and Kimmich should have converted Marvin Plattenhardt's fine left-wing cross after finding space six yards out, but he misjudged his header.

The first shot on target arrived in the last minute of the half, when Marc-Andre ter Stegen was alert and acrobatic to tip over Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa's effort from Mabouka's cross.

Germany broke the deadlock just two minutes after the interval, though, with a fine team goal.

Demirbay fed Draxler, the Germany skipper returning the pass with a backheel through the legs of Siani to send Demirbay into space, with the Hoffenheim man hammering a superb strike into the top-right corner.

Aboubakar and substitute Nicolas Ngamaleu shot wide in quick succession around the hour mark as the African champions tried to find a way back into the game.

But their hopes of a comeback were effectively extinguished when Mabouka was eventually dismissed for a dangerous challenge on Can, referee Wilmar Roldan first booking Siani and then producing a red card for the midfielder before reviewing the footage a second time on the protests of Cameroon players.

After more farcical scenes involving the new technology, Roldan eventually got the decision right and sent off Mabouka, with Cameroon still reeling from the chaos when Germany scored again moments after the resumption.

Werner stooped to send a diving header past Ondoa from Kimmich's bouncing centre but the world champions were pegged back after Ngamaleu's cross was headed through the hands of Germany goalkeeper Ter Stegen by Aboubakar with 12 minutes to play.

Benjamin Henrichs then set up Werner for his second goal, cutting the ball back for a straightforward finish to make sure of Germany's win.


Power Plonker

By way of double C & H as the kick off to today's offerings, you will have deduced that we were off air yesterday and may also be tempted to surmise the absence was alcohol related.

Unbelievably, it wasn't.

We had a power cut which is not unusual but the manner in which it was returned was.  After a lengthy wait, the fridge and microwave came back on which led us to deduce they were phasing the electricity back in.  Both units run off a separate circuit.

A couple of hot hours later, we noticed the lights were also working.  This was through sheer fluke as it was simply a matter of habit, reaching for the light switch before entering the bathroom, which is windowless.  On a roll, we tried the air con and that too worked and so we had all the essentials, a microwave for hot food, a fridge to keep cold drink, lights and air conditioning.

Even later still, wifey piped up.

"Have you checked the fuse box?" she wondered in this age of equality.

I did as bade to find one had tripped and as soon as the lever was returned, we had all the creamy power we needed, including our router kicking in returning wi-fi, Kodi boxes springing to life and the TVs all ready to use.

I have no idea how long we could have had all these luxuries for but we have never had our electricity come on like that before, where it had actually tripped the fuse.  We'll know better for next time.

C & H x 2

Sunday, 25 June 2017


I changed up 14 x crispy new tenners to Baht and got back THB 6 006.  When we first arrived in Thailand, that same amount of GBP would have netted us at least THB 8 500...

Well Said

Rogues are preferable to imbeciles because they sometimes take a rest.
Alexandre Dumas
French dramatist & novelist (1802 - 1870)


Next year 1 billion people will be aged over 60.

All Red

Why are the British Lions playing in red, the colour Wales play in?  They used to wear quarter check shirts with a colour from each country.  I'd love to know why they have opted for red now.

30 - 15

We got to the Kiwi bar for the game and it was swamped.  Fortunately K & D had reserved a booth which was occupied by two Australians trying to eat lunch and out of courtesy, we let them wolf down their food.

The rugby was predictable as the All Blacks cruised to a powerful win and we knocked back five pints of Tiger during the one sided win.  It was pissing down when we left but in Bangkok you're never far from shelter and before we knew it we were back in the Corner for opening time.

I lost count of how many beers we had there but I do recall Tommy turning up bollocksed which pleased me immensely.  He is always as sober as while looking very pleased with himself but this time the shoe was on the other foot.

I had a brilliant time gaining my revenge.  ðŸ˜

C & H

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Congrats to Ross

He's just got a new job that offers a huge salary plus company car.  Fully deserved, mate, and looking forward to seeing you in Izola in a few months' time.

Well Said

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.
Soren Kierkegaard
Danish philosopher (1813 - 1855)

News Thump

Shoot self in the foot
Britain’s foot is still a bloody mess following the horrific gunshot wound it received exactly one one year ago, it has emerged.
Britain has been laid up in a typically cash-strapped NHS hospital since June 23rd last year, coincidentally the date of the referendum on whether it should stay part of its friendship group in the European Union, with no sign of being up and running any again anytime soon.
Britain’s friend and accountant Germany told reporters outside the hospital “It is always tragic to see a close mate do something like this to themselves.
“We had hoped that as time passed Britain would be striving to make the best of an unfortunate situation, but things seem to have gone from bad to worse since that shocking act of self-harm last year.
“It’s a warning to us all that taking a machine gun to your own foot may have lasting consequences.”
A doctor struggling to treat Britain’s foot announced “Britain is not in a good way, but is hanging in there.
“Although I must admit, treating Britain would be a lot easier if the NHS had been receiving the £350m per week we were promised when it placed the muzzle of the automatic weapon against its own foot and pulled the trigger.”

Double Vision

Spinning Silhouette

Created by web designer Nobuyuki Kayahara, some people at first see the figure spinning clockwise while others see it spinning counterclockwise. Don’t spend too much time trying to decipher it though, you could be here all day.

£10 Notes

I believe the UK will be issuing new tenners come this September and as usual my stash will need to get used or I will have problems in swapping them over as I have no intention of coming back to England in time.  Nor do I fancy a trip to the Bank of England just to get shot of them.

Instead I will take my haul of fourteen notes (all in pristine condition) and see if I can buy Baht or Euros.  With luck I will also b able to try out my new driving licence as proof of ID.

The new £10 note is set to come out in the summer of 2017, and this too will be a plastic note and will feature a new design. The £20 note will be next to be given a new lease of life, with this set to come out in 2020. There are however, no plans to replace the current £50 note.

Burton Mail

Back on the Beer

Afternoon kick off for the All Blacks/British Lions today, so a few early snifters.  Still feeling a bit poo after Thursday's outing but a hairy dog should see us right and no doubt it will be a fun time had by all.

I have no intentions of doing much tomorrow so the Blog could be meagre, if non-existent.

1970s Revisited

Why are people embarrassed to order a prawn cocktail?  Or even to admitting to liking them?  I have never been ashamed of this and will happily make my own which we had yesterday and it was lush.

The secret is to have not overly large prawns as they don't have as much flavour and to making the 1 000 island dressing with a pot of yoghurt as well as the usual mayo and ketchup.  It makes it lighter and more sour, which when combined with Worcester and Tabasco sauces makes it sing.

The other tip?  Leave the prawns to marinade in fish sauce over night.

Try those ideas and tell me again a prawn cocktail (which should include fresh diced onion, gherkins and olives) is old fashioned or boring.


Couldn't be arsed to put on my reading glasses as I simply had to press the "save" icon and put the laptop to sleep.  I've done this countless of thousands of times and yet I somehow managed to hit the "print" icon instead.

Brilliant, a 347 page document was now being printed with paper disappearing quicker than political pledges post voting.

I frantically grabbed my glasses (this defeating the entire, original intention) and eventually cancelled the print, some dozens of pages into the task.  Oh well, plenty of scrap paper for the next few months...

C & H

Friday, 23 June 2017


"Trump wins standing ovation for proposing law that already exists"*

Headline from TInd today.  I'm not sure what amuses me more, the Trumpet player trying to con the public or the public for being so gullible.  Class.

*He announced plans to introduce legislation to stop immigrants receiving welfare benefits for five years- even though such a law has already existed for two decades.

Well Said

When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.
Henny Youngman
US (English-born) comedian (1906 - 1998)

Worth the Risk

146 people have died in the Isle of Man TT motorcycle race.

Find out more (New York Times)

Viz Bits

It Seemed Harmless Enough

When wifey suggested we go out for a beer or two.  It should have been harmless...

1 - 1 is No Good

Germany were pegged back by Chile who go top of their group on goal difference.  There is still all to play for in the final game of the Confederations Cup as Australia and Cameroon also drew, with the Germans playing the African team.  A draw will be enough for us to make the semis.


4New Zealand2-30

C & H

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Schedule Change

Eurowings have once more altered our flight details for our trip back to Germany.  Instead of taking off at 08:00 (meaning we' have to get up around 04:00) we now leave at a much more comfortable midday slot.

OK, so we land four hours later but it will still be early evening so hardly a problem.  I am far happier with the new times and hope they won't alter them again.


I am more than impressed at the level of translation, let alone the content.  See how many time you nod your head while reading this.

One article in particular, by Christian Zasche for Southern German broadsheet Süddeutsche Zeitung, has been expertly translated by freelancer Paula Kirby - and it's gone viral in the UK remarkably quickly.

This article in a Swiss newspaper today is so ruthlessly clear-sighted in its assessment of just how screwed we are that I just had to translate it for the non-German speakers. Hold on to your hats:
[Translation by Paula Kirby]
If it weren't so serious, the situation in Great Britain would almost be comical. The country is being governed by a talking robot, nicknamed the Maybot, that somehow managed to visit the burned-out tower block in the west of London without speaking to a single survivor or voluntary helper. Negotiations for the country’s exit from the EU are due to begin on Monday, but no one has even a hint of a plan. The government is dependent on a small party that provides a cozy home for climate change deniers and creationists. Boris Johnson is Foreign Secretary. What in the world has happened to this country?
Two years ago David Cameron emerged from the parliamentary election as the shining victor. He had secured an absolute majority, and as a result it looked as if the career of this cheerful lightweight was headed for surprisingly dizzy heights. The economy was growing faster than in any other industrialised country in the world. Scottish independence and, with it, the break-up of the United Kingdom had been averted. For the first time since 1992, there was a Conservative majority in the House of Commons. Great Britain saw itself as a universally respected actor on the international stage. This was the starting point.
In order to get from this comfortable position to the chaos of the present in the shortest possible time, two things were necessary: first, the Conservative right wingers’ obsessive hatred of the EU, and second, Cameron’s irresponsibility in putting the whole future of the country on the line with his referendum, just to satisfy a few fanatics in his party. It is becoming ever clearer just how extraordinarily bad a decision that was. The fact that Great Britain has become the laughing stock of Europe is directly linked to its vote for Brexit.
The ones who will suffer most will be the British people, who were lied to by the Brexit campaign during the referendum and betrayed and treated like idiots by elements of their press. The shamelessness still knows no bounds: the Daily Express has asked in all seriousness whether the inferno in the tower block was due to the cladding having been designed to meet EU standards. It is a simple matter to discover that the answer to this question is No, but by failing to check it, the newspaper has planted the suspicion that the EU might be to blame for this too. As an aside: a country in which parts of the press are so demonstrably uninterested in truth and exploit a disaster like the fire in Grenfell Tower for their own tasteless ends has a very serious problem.
Already prices are rising in the shops, already inflation is on the up. Investors are holding back. Economic growth has slowed. And that’s before the Brexit negotiations have even begun. With her unnecessary general election, Prime Minister Theresa May has already squandered an eighth of the time available for them. How on earth an undertaking as complex as Brexit is supposed to be agreed in the time remaining is a mystery.
Great Britain will end up leaving its most important trading partner and will be left weaker in every respect. It would make economic sense to stay in the single market and the customs union, but that would mean being subject to regulations over which Britain no longer had any say. It would be better to have stayed in the EU in the first place. So the government now needs to develop a plan that is both politically acceptable and brings the fewest possible economic disadvantages. It’s a question of damage limitation, nothing more; yet even now there are still politicians strutting around Westminster smugly trumpeting that it will be the EU that comes off worst if it doesn’t toe the line.
The EU is going to be dealing with a government that has no idea what kind of Brexit it wants, led by an unrealistic politician whose days are numbered; and a party in which old trenches are being opened up again: moderate Tories are currently hoping to be able to bring about a softer exit after all, but the hardliners in the party – among them more than a few pigheadedly obstinate ideologues – are already threatening rebellion. An epic battle lies ahead, and it will paralyse the government.
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said that he now expects the Brits to finally set out their position clearly, since he cannot negotiate with himself. The irony of this statement is that it would actually be in Britain’s best interests if he did just that. At least that way they’d have one representative on their side who grasps the scale of the task and is actually capable of securing a deal that will be fair to both sides. The Brits do not have a single negotiator of this stature in their ranks. And quite apart from the Brexit terms, both the debate and the referendum have proven to be toxic in ways that are now making themselves felt.
British society is now more divided than at any time since the English civil war in the 17th century, a fact that was demonstrated anew in the general election, in which a good 80% of the votes were cast for the two largest parties. Neither of these parties was offering a centrist programme: the election was a choice between the hard right and the hard left. The political centre has been abandoned, and that is never a good sign. In a country like Great Britain, that for so long had a reputation for pragmatism and rationality, it is grounds for real concern. The situation is getting decidedly out of hand.
After the loss of its empire, the United Kingdom sought a new place in the world. It finally found it, as a strong, awkward and influential part of a larger union: the EU. Now it has given up this place quite needlessly. The consequence, as is now becoming clear, is a veritable identity crisis from which it will take the country a very long time to recover.
Vor den Brexit-Verhandlungen sieht sich die EU einer Regierung in London gegenüber, die nicht weiss, was sie will, und die von einer weltfremden Politikerin geführt wird.