Wednesday 31 May 2006

Todays Missive

Video capture courtesy of Gary at Ledgard
Loads has been done today. They cut a great hole in the side panel in the shower area to facilitate installation of the water pipes. The first bulk head has been put up that will for the break between the salon and the galley. It's solid at the mo, but the cut away will be done later.

It seems like it's all hands to the pumps. Not before time I'm getting a sore ar*e sitting here all day.

My company are playing sillies again. Monday they refused to listen to the case laid before them so it's going to a higher court. Typical tactic! They know they are wrong they are just playing hard ball to reduce the cost ie hoping I will get fed up and go home. Well another 14 days at $250 a day like I care. I am getting more just sitting here than they were paying me.

I would like to post a company link here, but when you are a company that doesn't pay any of it's bills then it is hardly surprising that telephones lines are cut and all services suspended. Last year they even worked without electric for several weeks. The admin staff haven't been paid since before Christmas and not likely to be either. When this case is over they will be able to blame me, rather than their own incompetence.

Tuesday 30 May 2006

B&Q... crap

I have never seen such an abysmal web site as B&Q. It is bland, uninviting and unhelpful. I went to their home page to find some lighting for my bathroom. Try looking up Lighting, Light fittings or Lights it is atrocious. A couple of not very nice fittings. Out of 133 finds under 'Lighting' about 15 tacky lights and the rest was doors, toilets and radiators etc. I cannot believe that a premier DIY shed in the UK has such a crap site. This is a multi-million pound company! It's no wonder they started closing down 22 stores last year. Ovbiously haven't got the guts to ride the wave.
I have no idea who set up their web page but they were done. This has to be a contender for the worst web site ever! The Online A-Z doesn't list lights at all and the instore A-Z is full of dead links. No! I do not want to register just to look.
I did manage to find 'spotlights' and the link did work, but took me to underlay. Ho Ho Ho! What a farce.
I wanna complain! No luck there either. The contact us page asks for information it doesn't really need and I don't really want to put there. It doesn't accept my phone number, and wants my full address. Villa 111 Ranco Village Riyadh KSA, didn't like that. The only thing it didn't want, it seems, was my bloody shoe size.
I have never really liked B&Q and this makes me even more determined not to go there when I get home.
Word for B&Q we don't all fit into little boxes designed by spotty teens. The appearance of your web site is BLAND! I think a serious redesign is required. And this time think of 'serving the customer' and not 'customer service', there is a big, big difference.

Two parts of the boat

It isn't very long now till the boat is finished. First week in July should see me at the tiller on my first journey. This is a picture of the cratch that will be going on to the boat.
And a picture of the internal window frames done in sapele trim as they will appear on my boat.
Can't you just see a row of painted diamonds down the centre of the front board. No! Neither can I.

Pictures courtesy of Gary at Ledgard Bridge


Crick Boat Show is over for another year. Three days of glorious sunshine . . . . well it was here, not so there I am told. Ho hum!

I missed this event yet again! Last year I couldn't get back into the country in time. This year I couldn't get out of this country in time. All down to my company.

Thank you DIFA O&M!

Recent visitors to the two sites : Hungary Tivadar Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg/ Israel Gilat HaDarom/ Philippines Manila/ Portugal Amadora Lisboa/ Spain Salt Cataluna/ Taiwan Taoyan, T'ai-wan/ UK Barnsley/ Cranford, Northamptonshire/ Durrington, Wiltshire/ Elmers End, Bromley/ Ewell Bromley/ Milton Keynes USA Alameda California/ Cleveland Ohio/ Dawsonville Georgia/ Duluth Georgia/ Portland Maine

Monday 29 May 2006

Ethnic Minorities

I see that other canal related waterways sites have mentioned in the past the 'Ethnic Minority' ticket. I don't know if this is endemic or just fanciful. Yes I know what an ethnic is I am one, a white one.

What does Ethnic mean?

  • ethnic:adjective

  1. relating to a group of people having a common national or cultural tradition. (I fit this description)

  2. referring to origin by birth rather than by present nationality. (I fit this description)

  3. not acknowledging the God of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. (I fit this description)

  4. relating to a non-Western cultural tradition. (I fit this description)

This last definition says it all for me it is not about who you are but the colour of your skin. There are people who have to find something wrong in everything, in others and in themselves. If you mention 'ethnic' to anyone they will probably think black/asian not because there really is any reason to do so but because they have been primed to think that way.

People are people and the sooner we get away from distinctive colour the better. One or two Americans on the canal is just 'more white people'. 40 black/asian on the canal is an ethnic minority. Why is that? When I see a boater I don't look at what colour he is I look at his boat and appreciate that he worked as hard or harder to get it as I did to get my boat.

Canals are something that are, the way we use them, peculiar to Britain. The life is not for every one. Just as cricket and football are not enjoyed by all by all Brits. Given that about 5% of the population of Britain is black/asian then the best that can be hoped for is 5% of boaters will be black/asian.

However, when someone decides to come to Britain for a better life, the circumstances that he leaves may preclude him from wanting to live on a boat. If you have spent your life afloat in Kowloon harbour and get to escape to the 'West', the chances are that living on a boat is the last thing on your mind.

Agreed that there are not many 'ethnics' on the waterways, but is that because they are excluded or because they do not want to be afloat. Yes it is not cheap for ethnics to live on the water but then it is not cheap for' non-ethnics' either. I know many people who would like to own a boat but their circumstances don't permit that. It doesn't matter if you are black/brown/white a £100 a week wage isn't going to get you a boat.

If you feel marginalised because there are not many ethnics on the water, might I suggest that it's because you are a marginal person and are seeking an excuse to complain.

So I would like to put this one to bed. If you want to live on the water, do so. I for one don't give a rats arse what ethnic origin you are, do you like boating? Yes, good enough for me. If you want to flood the waterways with ethnic minorities make sure that they want to be there and are not just filling 'PC' quotas.

Above all do it because you want to not because you feel you have to.

Happy Boating Everyone

Sunday 28 May 2006

Them again

Today at 16:15 ish I recieved a 'missive' from the company.

It was a rework of my termination settlement. What they had done is to take off the salary that they had owed, but since paid. Made no allowance for the shortfall on any of my paychecks at all. The bit that I pointed out some weeks ago that was wrong, is still wrong. They are calculating my Saudi Service Award (SSA) on my salary and housing. Well as I said to them back last month quoting directly from the Saudi Labour Law my SSA is calculated on 'everything' that it takes to keep me in the country, as such it means that they are, on that point alone trying to shaft me for over 2000 dollars.

The total offer was $8,374 I am asking for a tad over $25K. Of course I said "Errrrr NO!

To top it all that figure included my ticket home. They must think I am a bit simple, I don't think so!

Ho hum! They are in court tommorrow, a place they do not want to be.

Bored out of my tree

OK my American friends.
Which states are missing?
Clue 1 Alaska.
Do you know anyone in one of the missing states?
Please send them a link to this page.
Be a shame not to get the full set.

Akansas : Alabama : Arizona : Arkansas : California : Colorado : Connecticut : Florida : Georgia : Hawaii : Illinois : Indiana : Iowa : Kentucky : Louisiana : Maryland : Massachusetts : Michigan : Minnesota : Mississippi : Missouri : Nebraska : New Hampshire : New Jersy : New York : North Carolina : Ohio : Oregon : Pennsylvania : Rhode Island : Rochester Minnesota : South Carolina : Tennessee : Texas : Utah : Washington : West Virginia : Wisconsin.

The Cotswold Canal

The Cotswold Canal

Saturday 27 May 2006

Happy Days

The sun has shone bright here today bringing the temperature up into the 40's. Consequently I have been inside all day. I tend keep myself busy sitting here catching up with all the blogs and just writing. I don't need a subject just time. I write about most things that interest me, even if it is only a few lines. Tonight I'm going swimming, around about midnight after all the kids and teens have buggered off. The water is still warm at that time of night.

On the boat front those of you who didn't stop by the build site today will have missed the two coats of matt varnish going on the walls. And the sockets being fitted. I'm just watching the varnish dry now, no of course I'm not bored, much!

Canal pic! Where is it?

I took this pic last June on vacation. There I was just driving up to my daughters when I saw a sign indicating the Tunnel Inn. I just had to investigate. The tunnel is gated about 30 feet inside.

Friday 26 May 2006

Poor Lucy

Linked from NO PROBLEM
Sue on NO PROBLEM is currently nursing her dog Lucy.

Lucy broke a hip jumping through a 5 bar gate. I don't suppose she will be doing that again, in a hurry.

Get well soon Lucy.

Thursday 25 May 2006

Ranco Village

If you have never seen it before this is where I live. Ranco Village is a private western walled compound in the south east of Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia. We are situated right next to the Yamamah hospital on the Pylon Road. In a district we have come to know as Terror Central.
The compound is guarded by both The Saudi Arabian National Guard and the local police. Their purpose in life, at the compound, is to protect us from terrorist activity. This neck of the woods has been a hotbed of activity for many years. Saudi Arabia National Guard are not necessarily the best people to be guarding Westerners from terrorists.
I would like to thank our company DIFA O&M for putting us at risk. It is their greed that lead to us being evicted from D96 for non-payment of rent.
Riyadh City Centre at Night

Wednesday 24 May 2006

Bow thrusters

There are three camps when it comes to Bow Thrusters. There are those that call them 'girlie' and those that 'must' have one, and some that are not bothered either way.

Of those that think they are 'girlie', they are the traditionalists.
"It wasn't fitted to the old boats so you don't need them".
To which I counter,
"So I suppose your car doesn't have power steering/hydraulic brakes?"
I understand that reliance on the BT will give you some real headaches if you find yourself having to steer the boat without it, but what is technology for if it isn't to make our lives easier. I'm sure the old boaters would have had one if they were available.

Any hoo, the thruster in yesterdays post seems to me to be not very well thought out. In order to fit it or remove it you need to get one arm up the thruster tube to put the nuts on the bolts. Me being a simple engineering type would have thought that captive nuts would have been a better proposition. As I have said before I'm not a boat builder so what do I know. Even aeroplane designs have me foxed sometimes.

As it is to get to the working end the boat has to be lifted out of the water because the tube is under the waterline. So if it should go tits up it will have to wait until it comes out for blacking.

Tuesday 23 May 2006

From Ledgard

In the last two days a lot has been achieved. I am still gonna end up sleeping in doorways, but progress is good.
The Bow Thruster
The hull is blacked. Bow thruster is in. Water tank is on board. Windows drilled and ready to fit. The wiring is now in and they have started to board it out. We use a window frame manufacturer to build the Cratch frame out of hard wood and that was measured up today. (No point in reinventing the wheel when others can do it easier.)

The lighting is here, Gold plated to keep Maffi in the standards he his used to in his Saudi Palace.
Gary will have his little joke, nothing in my 'palace' here is gold plated, it's all solid. I don't put up with all this heat for nickles and dimes. ;)

I will have to leave it now. I spend far too much time sitting here on my better aspect. It's molding to the shape of my chair and I think it should be the other way round.

Monday 22 May 2006

A funny thing at the Mall

The social structure here in Saudi is somewhat strained, to say the least. It is just not done to walk up to a female and talk to her. The reverse is not true, well sort of. Today at the Mall, 'Geant', I was approached by a young saudi girl. This is very unususal.

"Low sumat, you namin," she asked.

I turned, a bit surprised, and said, "Me".

"Aywa, you namin."

"Stephen", said I, "And your name".

"Robar", she said.

"Pleased to meet you Robar", I said.

She smiled, "Shuchran", and skated off to her mother.

It was probably because my hair is a good deal longer than most men out here that she asked. I hope that is one 10 year old girl that no longer believes that us Westerners eat children.

Saturday 20 May 2006

Freddie Garrity

Sixties legend Freddie Garrity dies.

Freddie Garrity, a legend in his own lunchtime, has died, it was announced today.

Former lead singer with Freddie and the Dreamers, Freddie Garrity, 65, passed away on Friday in hospital in North Wales, said his agent.

His five-piece band had hits in Britain and abroad with I'm Telling You Now and You Were Made For Me.

Freddie was on holiday with his wife Christine when he was taken to hospital. He had been unable to work for the last three years suffering from emphysema .

Freddie lived in Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire with wife Christine.

Sixties pop star Freddie was well known for his energetic, zany stage act.

One by one all those that were part of my youth will now start to fade away


I've changed the colour of this blog, nice init?

Progress on the boat has been slow the last few days. The floor has been laid, which is nice. The wiring was to have been started but I don't know if that was done, it didn't look like it. Nearly two days of not much activity and the web cam was moved back out to the previous location to reveal the lower hull being blacked.

It would seem that repairing motorcycles is the company priorty at the moment (that must be a lucrative contract). My build is well behind time and the company is still only putting in 4 days a week on it, sometimes. I would have thought that as this boat has a lot of internet publicity things would have been done differently, but, I'm not a project manager so I don't know about these things.

I am sure of I only had 8 days to do a 6-8 week fitout I would have my people on overtime, but then I am not a builder so I don't know about these things either. Ho hum!

I still have good thoughts about this build, even if a little skeptical. You see this boat is to be my home. When I return to the UK it was my plan to move onboard straight away, well I don't have anywhere else to live. So if anyone has a cardboard box going vacant in a good location email me.

Recent visitors to Maffi's Boat: Aberford Wakefield /Adelaide South Australia /Alton Barnes Wiltshire UK /Ammensen Niedersachsen GDR /Asheville North Carolina /Aston Clinton Bucks /Austin Texas USA /Bandung Jawa Indonesia /Bayern Munich GDR /Bellville Western Cape KZA /Benidorm Comunidad Valencia Spain /Billericay /Bradfield Sheffield /Brent /Camp hill Pennsylania USA /Cantalune Barcelona ESP /Central District HK /Charlottesville Virginia /Clarks Nebraska USA /Cleethorpes Hull /Columbus Ohio /Cowes Isle of Wight /Crawley Sussex /Dakar Singapore /Denver Colorado USA /Edmonton Alberta CAN /Fairfax Virginia USA /Finland /Gilat HaDrom Israel /Grand Rapids Ohio USA /Great Houghton Barnsley /Greenville Michigan USA /Harrogate Leeds /Hornchurch /Houston Texas USA /Hyderabad Andhra Pradesh ISC /Indonesia Bandung Jawa Barat /Jakata Jawa Barat Indonesia /Knutsford Trafford /Kortrijk West-Vlaanderen BGM /Lakeville Minnesota USA /Lexington Kentucky USA /Lithuania Vilnius Vilniaus Apskritis /Little Rock Akansas USA /Loughton /Magnolia Texas /Melbourne Victoria AUS /Metairie Louisiana USA /Mions Rhone-Alpes France /Montevideo Uruguay /Nairobi Kenya /Nelson NZL /Nerang NZL /Neuville-en-Ferrain Nord-Pas-de-Calais France /New York USA /Notting Hill /Oakham Rutland /Oakville Ontario CAN /Plattsburg New York USA /Quebec Monteal CAN /Regina Saskatchewan CAN /Richmond Upon Thames UK /Richmond Virginia USA /Sale Trafford /San Antonio Texas USA /San Francisco California /Sandwell West Bromwich UK /Santeago Chile /Seattle Washingtin USA /Shanghi China /Skelmersdale Staffordshire /Smyrna Tennessee /Southampton /Spokane Washington /Sydenham Victoria /Thousand Oaks Claifornia USA /Tuscon Arizona USA /Urbandale Iowa USA /Vilinus Apskritis Lithuania /Wantirna Victoria AUS /Weald UK /Weeton Leeds / Wickford Southend-on-Sea /Wilmslow /Wilmslow Stockport /Winkler Manitoba Can /Worminghall Oxfordshire

Vicious Dog Pack Kills Gator In Florida

Dogs savage everglade alligator

At times nature can be cruel, but there is also a raw beauty, and even a certain justice manifested within that cruelty. The alligator, one of the oldest and ultimate predators, normally considered the "apex predator" in it's natural eco-system, can still fall victim to implemented 'team work' strategy, made possible due to the tight knit social structure and "survival of the fittest pack mentality", bred into the canines over the last several hundreds of years by natural selection. See the attached remarkable photograph courtesy of Nature Magazine.

Note that the Alpha dog has a muzzle hold on the gator preventing it from breathing, while the remainder of the pack prevents the beast from rolling.

Not for the squeamish! We strongly recommend that you preview this privately before determining if a younger audience views the below contents ..

Friday 19 May 2006

Shark repellent

If ever you thought you needed help in shark infested waters then these babes will to the trick

Thursday 18 May 2006

Blogging (click here for link)

Since I started this blog I have found a new interest, Blogging.

For those of you who don't know 'blog' is short for Web log. A blog is an on line diary if you like. It can be about anything you want. This blog is obviously about my boat and how it came about.

I did one piece about war but this really is not the place for it, so I started the ROCK of HONOUR blog to have my say on that subject, so to speak.

There are many things I read in the press that I would like to comment on so I just started 'Excuse me but....'

I have another blog which at this time I will not mention for personal safety reasons, tolerance of an alternative view here is not really in vogue at this time.

Now it's nice to know that people actually read your blog so a site counter needs to be added. To date nearly 2500 hits have been recorded on this blog. To ensure that your blog gets noticed you need Google to list it so that has to be added. And of course if someone adds your blog to thier blog it is only right that you should reciprocate so they have to be added.

Better than me tell you about it, HAM can. He did a whole blog about blogging.

So why Aardvarks? Two reasons really, firstly Aardvak is a nocturnal mammal of the genus Orycteropus, sole representative of the order Tubulidentata. A creature that doesn't get much publicity. And second some search engines list alphabetically, keeps you at the top of the list, sometimes. Ardvark means Earth-pig (I've been called worse).

I am now in really serious danger of becoming a blogaholic.

Busy, busy, busy.

My God what a sad old blogger I have become. Still it will help to while away the cold winter nights on the boat.

Tuesday 16 May 2006

To the inside

Well with the battening out done along with the spray foam, the flags (ballast) were hauled in through the windows. There are a few things I need to talk over with Gary regards the exterior but I am sure there are no major problems. This week should see the engine go in when it arrives. The windows will be fitted later but I think they need to get the walls up first so they can cut the apertures. It is a very complicated game. It must take some skillful management to ensure it all happens in the right order. The web cam has now been moved inside for the fit out.

The boat colour is Dark Brunswick Green there will be a brown panel on each side at the rear with the boats name on. This will be framed with yellow coach lines, Gary has plenty of yellow paint. I plan to have a graphic painted near the front. So if you know of a good budding artist that needs a few sovs let me know. The name is now set in stone the painter will be on site this week, maybe.

This is the final

All in all it's coming along nicely even if it is slow. I can't wait to get away from here. 'I've done my time I'm coming home', as the old song says. I think if I stay around here too much longer I might go crazy.

Check out the ROCK of HONOUR link in Sites of Interest.

Sunday 14 May 2006

Would you look at that

Photo:Gary Peacock Ledgard Bridge
Have you seen the latest pictures at the build site. I am now really longing to get home. Top side painting is finished. Battening and spray foam complete. It's all go now.

Sadly with the company not turning up at the court last week a new date has been set for 29 May. This you may remember is the proposed finish date for the boat. Now I'm really p*ss*d!

I got a phone call from the company fix-it man he tells me they want a quick resolution. Well they should have thought of that last week and turned up when asked. I have not heard a peep out of the company since I wrote and told them, about 4 weeks ago, that they had calculated my Terminal Settlement wrongly. I don't suppose it helped that I told them I shouldn't have to quote the law to them, but they try it on with everyone and most times they win, no not in court, they win by grinding people down. It drags on so long that guys here just give up and go home.

Basically I was told that this could drag on for a year or more if I insist on going to court. They want me to go to a meeting with the bosses and reach an amicable agreement. I call that coercion.

Of course they don't want to go to court the Labour Board have already given them a good slapping over the way they treat their staff. A visit to the court would not bode well for them.

And he said the company would not pay my lawyers fees, because I signed the contract with them I should pay that. The court will probably say different. After all said and done if they had treated me fair I wouldn't have had to seek the help of a lawyer in the first place.

By rights I should be in Blighty now, I have things to do, but I will be buggered if I am going to walk away from this much money.

Friday 12 May 2006

Woe is me

I did rather think that I would have a result this week, what with me taking the Company to court. All I am asking for is what I am owed. As soon as I get it i can get on a plane and GTF out of here. It was not to be!

The company never showed up. Can you believe that? In a western court that would probably mean a win for me but not here. I am lacking in one important attribute, I don't have 'wusta'. And that is very important. If you have wusta you can get away with murder, literally.

It is a ploy they use to piss you off in the hope that you get fed up waiting. Well they didn't reckon with me being such a pedantic git! I am not going to leave here empty handed. I didn't spend three years in this place so I could walk away with a promissory note that more than likely will have less value than a cigarette butt!

A police warrant has been issued by the court! They will turn up next time!

Looks like the boat will be finished before I get home.

Wednesday 10 May 2006

Thank you for the peace

I don’t often mention the Iraq war in this blog, why should I, after all this is about leisure, fun and peace.

But that peace is a hard won fight. It wasn’t handed to us on a plate, our forefathers died for it and our sons are dying for it still.

I have friend in Kentucky, I hope I can call him that, who feels guilty that he never served in the military. "I feel like I betrayed my country for not doing so," he says. I say not so. Who provides the funds to ensure that our soldiers have the proper equipment and training? Who provides the support back home? A letter, a prayer, a thought. The tax payer! Agreed he is not risking his life but with out him we could not help the little guy. We cannot ensure the peace.

Oh it's OK for me to say that I served for over 25 years, but without that support my job would have been harder. I didn't actually spend much time out of the UK, about ten months, but I was there if needed with only one exception(I will answer if you ask).

What ever your perspective on this war or any other war we must remember that our soldiers stick their neck on the line to preserve our freedom, and they don’t do it for the money. What ever opinion you express you express because someone else died to allow you to do that.

Many countries in this world do not allow their people to have an opinion, those people don't always have the wherewithal to stand up and fight. It is right that those that can should help them out.

And when our boys come home we should welcome them. And thank them for a job well done. Not pour scorn on them for the actions of a few. War is a dirty business and most of us don't want to do it, but like it or not it must be done.

Ricky Shola is a good American. His daughter too. She writes to her boyfriend often and together they pray for his safe return. This is not only good for one GI but for all the GI's that serve with him. Those in his unit will share in the sense of belonging he has, as he will share in theirs.

I salute you Sir. I feel sure that in one crazy corner of this world, across the border from where I write this, the efforts of you and your daughter are very much appreciated.
Warmest regards, Maffi.

PS For those of you that have never had to take up arms be sure to thank a vet, be he British, American or whatever, for ensuring you have your place in life secured.

Tuesday 9 May 2006


I have added a new link to my 'Boaty People'.

Worth a read!

I am also interested to hear from someone in Aston Clinton Bucks. I used to live near there about 11 years ago. I noticed they had been to visit when scouring my visitor log for people from interesting and exotic locations. Now I know AC is not exactly exotic but I liked it

The Latest from Mirfield

So we have time for a quick update.

Painting is now finished except for the final polish which will be done at the weekend.
The hull is battened and spray foamed.

The ballast is here and that will be going in along with the floor soon.

The bow thruster is here and will be fitted soon too.

The engine is due anytime and will go straight in.

The wall boards and trim will be here on Monday ready to start fitting out.

The windows should be here and going in tomorrow.

So everything is going along to plan.

I will try to get the gallery updated tomorrow and move the web cam inside the cabin next week.


Nowt more to say really all is going swimmingly :) Thanks Gary

Sunday 7 May 2006

I must be envious its green

Today is the day. After having the primer and undercoat on at the weekend the boat is being painted green, well that's according to the web cam page. The inside has been spray foamed too!
My last day at work was last Sunday. I had asked for a 25 day extension, with 1hr 15 min to go on my last shift I got a phone call.
"Your extension was approved, I can't understand why you were not told."
"Oh", says I.
"I'll get you a copy soonest."
Well I had assumed that I wasn't getting the extension because I was taking them to court. I had planned on having a few weeks off. The copy arrived at 5:45 the next morning after I had given in a letter saying sorry but they were too late.
I don't think it is right that they should expect me to go back to work for another three weeks after I have already said my goodbyes. This is just another demonstration of just how incompetant this company can be. The way it works here is they have to pay you untill you get on the aeroplane. That's a real bitch! I told my lawyer that being as the contract had ended I wanted $250 a day for hanging about, he seemed happy with that.
So here I am. Yesterday I went to the bank and gave them a lot of money, therein was another demonstration of poor customer service which is common place here. Bollocks to them!
I also managed to do just a bit more shopping before I stopped off at the pool for a swim and a bit more sunray collection. Well I don'tsuppose that the UK support services will supply anywhere near as much sun as they do here so I need to fill my boots so to speak.
And to really piss you all off the price of petrol here has just been dropped from 90 Halaha's to 60 that is less than 9p per litre. So when you fill up next remember Tony B and his cronies are robbin' you blind.

Tuesday 2 May 2006


I wasn't going to write anymore today until I found this place in the blog system. London This blog shows areas of London that the tourist doesn't normally see. You have to be a Londoner, pronounced 'Lunduna', to know about some of the pictures shown here. I was born just on the outskirts of London in Mitcham. I lived and worked in London for the first 20 years of my life and a lot of this stuff I don't know.

I don't get to London very often, well it's a bit of a ride from here, but I do so enjoy it when I am there.
Two pictures that say a lot. One very pertinent here. London has quite a canal community. It is called Little Venice. It just caught my eye, it would probably surprise a lot of people.

And the quintessential image of London that I remember as a boy along with Coldstream Guards at Buck House, the 'Pearly Kings And Queens' This gent is an icon of old London life. His suit is covered with Mother of Pearl buttons. Such people were the real London. Their history goes back a long way.

I love London but rarely see much of it. Occasionally when I go home I wander around parts of the city that I remember as a youngster. Of course It's not the same as it was, but that makes it a bit more interesting. London is an ever changing city, but the essence of it is still there.

As a lad I rarely saw a foreigner with the exception of the son of a chinese farmer Jon Ching a chinese 'entrepreneur' who was married to my Great Aunt Doris, a very generous man, to us, but not for her the best husband. The London Evening Standard (for who I used to work) ran an article on him in 1966. I suspect that they left out some of the seedier aspects of his life. They never even mentioned Aunt Doris to whom he had been married for 47 years at that time.

If you never see any other major city see this one.

Many thanks to Ham for the memories.

Bird Flu

I notice that the dreaded Avian Influenza has been found on a poultry farm in the East of England, Norfolk I think. They (SKY News) didn't make such a big fuss about this as they did about one swan in Scotland.

Topical Cartoon

Click to enlarge

Monday 1 May 2006

Oh dear

Last week I had the technician around to look at my PC. A very pleasant moslem chappie from the ISC. He was very good at listening to what my problem was and came up with ideas as to what might cure it. Then I switched the PC on to show him what was actually happening.
When my PC booted to the desk top he suddenly became disinterested and said he couldn't help me and hastily left.

Well! I never did! Well I did actually, the problem was with my wallpaper (which I had meant to change before he came) I think he found it offensive. And I don't blame him, but, if our Muslem friends are to be allowed to protest in the streets of London about Danish cartoons then I must be allowed to protest albeit silently about their protest, if you see what I mean.
I live in a country where you are not allowed to wear crucifixes, where they will often burn any copies of the Bible found in your luggage, and where at every opportunity someone will try to convert you to Islam. There are no churches here and trying to convert a Brother of Islam is a very serious offence. In fact this post might get me in trouble, but fair's fair. Moslem protests in UK called for the murder of 'those who insult Islam'. Well I am insulted that they insulted my country's laws.

You cannot incite people to commit murder this is very, very serious.

We did not get where we are today without our forefathers paying a very high price. It is the freedom won by that price that which allows all people in England to protest in the streets. No one should abuse that freedom by breaking our laws.
My silent protest is a picture depicting the crucifiction of Christ by Islam

I cannot give credit for this picture it was sent to me, but if you know who it is by please let me know.


I went to look at the boat today, on the web cam. I rather hope that what I saw was not what I thought I saw. Either:-
1. The web cam is down or
2. Someone got spray happy with the paint can or
3. I can see a close up of my boat painted the wrong colour.

I think the web cam is down. Probably coz that bright yellow boat burned the lens. :)

OTT Pilgrim.......OTT.

Anyway today I have had a nice relaxing day. Breakfast at 10 with Jeff the Spam, pool at 3 swam a few lengths, soaked up the sun for half an hour and now back here. I think I could get used to this.

Every week since I came here the time has dragged and dragged and ......... well you get the idea. You can bet the next 3 weeks will fly by. I must try to make the best of it. Before breakfast tomorrow I will endeavour to do a few press-ups and sit-ups in the gym. If I am feeling really good I might even try to lift a couple of pounds. If you don't hear from me for a while I will have over done it. :)