Thursday, 31 December 2009
The Eighties were the decade of childhood
The Nineties were the decade of education starting at secondary school in 1990 and ending in 1999 in Canterbury
The Naughties were the decade of work where I started at Kingswood on the first weekend in 2000
What will the dominant feature of the Teenies/ Tenties/ Tens be?
Tuesday, 29 December 2009
This duck walks into a bar, and asks the bartender, “Do you have any grapes"?
The bartender says, "No we only sell beer here". The duck leaves.
The next day the duck walks back into the bar and asks the bartender, "Do you have any grapes"?
The bartender says, "No I told you we only sell beer, and if you ask me again I'm going to nail your beak to the bar.” So the duck leaves.
The next day the duck walks back into the bar, and asks the bartender “Do you have any nails"? The bartender says "no".
The duck asks "Do you have any grapes"?
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
1. Your best players should be reigsitered in first team and so on
2. You cannot play more than two first team players in the second team
3. If third team players are available the should be preferred to first team
Well we are not perfect but really try to stick to the rules and it is so irritating to turn up and find yourselves playing a team that is patently unfair. Sure it fits the letter of the law but not the spirit. When the opposition have three players that have been in our first team and are playing in the second division for this game it is clear that some of the paperwork maybe a bit awry. I play to compete and find it distasteful when my enjoyment is destroyed by playing people who are clearly better than us and should not be on the same court!
Stingers 2 fitted the first type and were 6-1 up at half time, only for Norwich City to come back to 6-5 pretty much straight away in the second half. Luckily it was a good week and Stingers 2 managed to keep ahead through the half, edging a bit further ahead towards the end winning 11-8.
Monday, 14 December 2009
I scored three goals - 1 penalty (although I missed one as well), a running in shot where I wriggle through a small gap and another running shot slicing through the defence. One more match before Christmas.
Sunday, 13 December 2009
1. The freak show element at the beginning whenever thousands of wannabees stand in front of the TV crews open their mouths and embarrass themselves while the nation howl in laughter at the poor unfortunate. In many ways it is the 19th Century freak show concept laughing at the strange and unusual. They never show the person returning home, confidence shredded, to see their reception from the people who had all told them that they could sing.
2. The blandness of it. One contestant did a Louis Armstrong song well but had none of the power or soul of the original (who could). Also all of the
3. The unfairness of it. There are bands out there playing pubs and clubs up and down the country who deserve it far more. They write their own songs and see what people like or hate. They roadie for themselves they attend endless band practices and X Factor makes life so much harder with time energy and money spent on promoting the contestants. Why not run an X Factor or singers or bands that have had at least two years experience of gigging. X factor is killing the grass roots as it seems to offer an easy way to the top.
4. The longevity of the winner is nothing. Sure they will have a number 1 single, then album. Then they will generally be forgotten before being wheeled out in some other reality show bitter and twisted.
5. The whole show is an advert for Simon Cowell products which stupid people spend money on. He owns the rights to the singers , the singles, the albums and the songs. His production company are responsible for the production getting paid millions. He makes money from the phone calls and the merchandise. ITV provide the advert to him making money. Clever but evil
6. Cheryl Cole.
Sunday, 6 December 2009
Monday, 23 November 2009
For the whole time, he was trapped in his own body with no way of letting friends and family know he could hear every word they were saying.
The 46-year-old, who can now tap out computerised messages and read books on a device above his hospital bed, has revealed: "I screamed, but there was nothing to hear.
"All that time I literally dreamed of a better life. Frustration is too small a word to describe what I felt.
"I shall never forget the day when they discovered what was truly wrong with me - it was my second birth.
"I want to read, talk with my friends via the computer and enjoy life now people know I am not dead."
His misdiagnosis was discovered by neurological expert Dr Steven Laureys, who fears there may be similar cases all over the world.
He looked at Mr Houben's case again at the University of Liege, Belgium, using state-of-the-art imaging that showed the patient was aware of what was happening around him even though he had lost control of his body.
Rom, a martial arts enthusiast who remains in constant care at a facility near Brussels, was repeatedly wrongly assessed in Zolder, Belgium, by doctors using technology available at the time.
They used the internationally accepted Glasgow Coma Scale to assess his eye, verbal and motor responses. But each time he was graded incorrectly.
1. Does Johnny Wilkinson stand this deep for Toulon
2. Is it the backs coach that is asking him to stand so deep
3. Is it the head coach that is asking him to stand so deep
Can anyone ask him to stand closer to the gain line so as to spark the backs into life? Please. Bring back Mike Catt I say
Sunday, 15 November 2009
To get to Twickenham and then Andover
1. The Norwich to London line was not operational so the ticket said to go to Ely and change (Norwich to Ely)
2. In Ely the train I was supposed to catch was in Cambridge. On the timetable next to the train was a small c which said "This train stops in Cambridge". Someone will have to tell me why it is on the Ely timetable when it stops in Cambridge. (Ely to Cambridge, Cambridge to Kings Cross)
3. Kings Cross to Vauxhall
4. Vauxhall to Twickenham
5. Twickenham to Clapham Junction
6. Clapham Junction to Andover.
on the way back it got a bit more weird
1. Andover to Waterloo train left early and only a sprint through the underpass and an understanding guard meant that I made it.
2. Waterloo to Leicester Square (at Leicester Square I found that the Piccadilly line was not running so had to get back on the Nor then Line)
3. Leicester Square to Euston
4. Euston to Kings Cross
5. Kings Cross to Cambridge
6. Cambridge to Ely
7. Ely to Norwich
So to go from Norwich to Andover via Twickenham took 13 different trains -and the longest wait was about 15 minutes (give or take the queue to get back into Twickenham station with 71000 other people)
I then went down to stay with James and Sarah in Andover and I have to say that the Test Valley (or at least the bit that I saw) was particularly attractive.
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
On the other hand the next book in the George R R Martin series which are by far my favourite has been been put back until 1st October 2010.
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Monday, 26 October 2009
Friday, 23 October 2009
1. There have been waves of immigration through history (Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Normans, Huguenots) so to say that you can accurately trace your ancestry and say you were not related to any of these is a joke
2. Everyone has 2 parents, 4 grand parents, 8 great grand parents, 16 great great grand parents, 32 great great great grand parents, 64 4great grand parents, 128 5great grand parents, 256 6great grand parents, 512 7great grand parents, 1024 8great grand parents 2048 9great grand parents assuming they are all different people. How can you know that they are all "indigenous English"
3. I have 23 chromosomes from each parent so about 11 from each grandparent, approximately 6 from each great grand parent, 3 from each great great grand parent and 1 from each great great great grand parent meaning that you are about as genetically related to your ancestors as you are to the person sitting next to you.
What an idiot
Monday, 19 October 2009
Something it is killing the hippo population, carcasses are turning up and scientists are confused about what is killing them. Is it a virus, a predator or something more unexpected. Watch CANNIBAL hippos tonight on five. Way to give away the ending. Muppets
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Had a message saying the car is fixed and now heading for the paint shop.
Have had most of the furniture in the kitchen between having the walls painted and the new carpet fitted. The old one appearred to have had its backing turn to sand. Apparently the floor is very uneven which might have contributed to the old one rucking up as it is hard to stick it down. It is nice to see a profesinal at work - all the correct tools and knew exactly what he was doing.
Direct Line have confirmed that they will not be pursuing the council for the cost of the tree falling so it will be on my insurance - losing two years no claims and the excess of £175. They have whimped out despite all the evidence I provided with them as well as mis-representing the case by stating the tree blew over when in fact it snapped. My bid aginst the council has been referred to their insurers so we shall see although they sent me a bizarre letter talking about personal injury -despite no-one being injured.
Disaster struck in the Stingers 2 game, with Stingers 2 falling behind within about 10 seconds. It didn’t get much better when five minutes later we were 3-0 down. We battled through the first half and managed to close the gap slightly, the score 5-3 to Norwich City 4 at half time.
After the break Stingers 2 seemed to go up a gear, with some excellent attacking and defending we brought the scores level. With about 10 minutes left, everything looked good with us edging out to lead 6-5, but unfortunately Norwich City followed with 2 more goals to leave us 7-6 losers
Friday, 2 October 2009
Peace: Stephan Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael Thali and Beat Kneubuehl of the University of Bern, Switzerland, for determining whether it is better to be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty bottle.
Biology: Fumiaki Taguchi, Song Guofu and Zhang Guanglei of Kitasato University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Sagamihara, Japan, for demonstrating that kitchen refuse can be reduced more than 90% in mass by using bacteria extracted from the faeces of giant pandas.
Medicine: Donald L Unger of Thousand Oaks, California, US, for investigating a possible cause of arthritis of the fingers, by diligently cracking the knuckles of his left hand but not his right hand every day for more than 60 years.
Economics: The directors, executives, and auditors of four Icelandic banks for demonstrating that tiny banks can be rapidly transformed into huge banks, and vice versa (and for demonstrating that similar things can be done to an entire national economy).
Physics: Katherine K Whitcome of the University of Cincinnati, Daniel E Lieberman of Harvard University and Liza J. Shapiro of the University of Texas, all in the US, for analytically determining why pregnant women do not tip over.
Chemistry: Javier Morales, Miguel Apatiga and Victor M Castano of Universidad Nacional Autonoma in Mexico, for creating diamonds from tequila.
Literature: Ireland's police service for writing and presenting more than 50 traffic tickets to the most frequent driving offender in the country - Prawo Jazdy - whose name in Polish means "Driving Licence".
Public Health: Elena N Bodnar, Raphael C Lee, and Sandra Marijan of Chicago, US, for inventing a bra that can be quickly converted into a pair of gas masks - one for the wearer and one to be given to a needy bystander.
Mathematics: Gideon Gono, governor of Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank, for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of numbers by having his bank print notes with denominations ranging from one cent to one hundred trillion dollars.
No one is listening until you fart
Always remember you are unique as so is everyone else
Never test the depth of water with both feet
If you think no-one cares if you are alive or dead then watch what happens when you stop paying the mortgage
Before you criticize ssomeone you should walk a mile in their shoess so that way when you do criticze you are a mile away and have their shoes
If at first you don;t succeed avoid skydiving
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will waste everyday sitting next to the canal.
If you lend someone £20 and never see them again its probably a fair trade
If you always tell the truth you bever have to remember anything
Some days you are the fly others the windscreen
A closed mouth gathers no foot
There are two excellent theoires for arguing with women but neither work
Generally if you lips are moving you aren't learning
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it
We are born naked wet and hungry, get a slap on the arse and its all downhill from there.
Monday, 28 September 2009
Friday, 25 September 2009
Sunday, 20 September 2009
Friday, 18 September 2009
Here are my predictions
Winner Joe Calzaghe (good footwork, large fan base, open to votes from men and women)
Lovable Loser Phil Tufnell (notoriously unco-ordinated but a large fan base)
Voted off to soon - Martina Hingis (good on her feet but a bit unknown/ small fan base)
How about your predictions?
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
2. I am now a god parent and I have the certificate to prove it. It was a lovely service at Rosebery Road Methodist although the service was surprising C of E which I did not remember from previous times.
3. Decorators have been and gone. House is spruced up. Need a carpet to complete the house. If I want to sell then I am not going to put up the pictures and male holes in the wall so need to make a firm decision soon.
4. Car not fixed yet
5. Loo blocked, bought loo unblocker, loo unblocked and all limescale completed cleaned away. Why is the limescale remover not the efficient.
Thursday, 10 September 2009
1. Gordon Brown will not show up and may be replaced by an empty chair. The question is at the end if the chair will show it has more personality than David Cameron
2. Can you solve the UK's problems in a glib 1 liner or do they require far more detailed ideas.
Sunday, 6 September 2009
Thursday, 3 September 2009
2. The timing the day before going back is seriously irritating
3. It is now I find out I don't get a courtesy car
4. I might lose two years no claims
5. It might be fixable unless their is some structural damage. The glass roof panel is smashed and there are some dents to other panels, the back window is smashed and the windscreen cracked. There is a dent in the roof and in the rear panel. The whole thing will need a respray as there are a many scratches.
6. At least I wasn't in it
7. Within two hours the council had cut the tree up and taken it away, the garage had turned up and taken the car away and BT had fixed the phone line that had come done.
8. Next weekend was supposed to be a weekend away. Might have to rent a car.
Sunday, 30 August 2009
The extra room would be useful so I can have friends over for meals that aren't buffet style. To have a proper study/office might help organise my time so I don't find myself working quite so late so often, watch less television with it acting as background noise, do more activities if I have more time. It is certainly the correct time to move with the deflation in the prices affecting larger houses to a higher proportion than smaller houses and interest very low meaning savings aren't growing at any rate. The issue then becomes what I am looking for. The first time I was looking for something I could afford that was in a decent area and I think I did well. This second time there are more decisions to make.
1. Stay in the same area - within walking distance of my friends and the city centre. However it is busy, noisy, houses are quite small and I don't want to lose any more wing mirrors if I can avoid it.
2. Move to the suburbs. A bit further out means I am still in Norwich but outside walking distance of the city centre but it is more peaceful
3. A move to a pretty village. Most of them are in the school catchment which is a minor issue but am I a village person. Is this the end of ambition (even more than living in Norfolk anyway). Could I survive with just the local shop, pub and the cricket team close by.
Sunday, 23 August 2009
President Gaddaffi looks silly for thanking for amongst others the Queen. I might have believed Gordon Brown but by lumping in the Queen we know that they actually had no business in it
The Scottish government look weak on terrorism although very compassionate
The head of the FBI looks silly as it turns out it might be his organisation or the CIA with-held evidence showing Iran to be responsible that made the Scottish government fear an appeal.
Obama looks silly as he criticised a decision that was made in consultation with his State department
UK politicians look silly for criticising the application of the law of their own country
Gaddaffi's son looked silly welcoming him home as a hero as Libya relies on petrochemical dollars more than is good for them.
So no-one looks good and it will get worse if the cancer is not as serious as diagnosed. On the other hand if he is innocent...
Thursday, 20 August 2009
Stephen Hawking (who has Lou Gehrig's disease) would not receive treatment in Britain, which has a government-run health-care system.
An editorial in Investor's Business Daily on July 31 claimed: "People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service [NHS] would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless."
The debunking: Hawking, who is British, receives intensive treatment for his degenerative motor neuron disease at a local Cambridge hospital. Upon hearing the rumors of his non-treatment, the prizewinning theoretical physicist told The Guardian, "I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS. I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived."
It is tough to make decisions when opponents are deliberately spreading misinformation.
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Most unusual food seen - Key Lime Pie on a stick - take a slice of Key Lime Pie - freeze it, dip it into chocolate - serve in the style of an ice lolly.
Award for hope over experience - Southern US - just when you seem on the brink of being a success along comes Hurricane.... and it is back to square 1.
Best advert - Mussels, great legs and exquisite tails and just wait till you see the waitresses
Worst advert - Wendy's - we save you money but bragging about doing away with restaurant atmosphere, plates, cutlery etc.
Best Radio Station - Bob in Eastern North Carolina
Most boring city - Toronto (soul -less at best)
Worst seats - Rogers Centre Toronto - knee high bolt sticking out from the chair in front- still have the marks a month later
Best hotel - Duke Tower in Durham - lovely room and a nice courtyard layout with pool and giant chess set
Best Tour Guide - Faith in Charleston - knowledgeable and interesting as well as aware of the needs of the people listening such as shade - edged out the tour guide for the capitol of Virginia who was also very good but told us about Nancy Astor being elected to the House of Lords!!
Worst tour guide - Ramon in Miami - interesting but no point telling us all the things that are going to then be repeated by the guide at the attraction.
Best Attraction Improv Comedy show in New York
Worst Attraction - Gator World in the Everglades - tacky and expensive
Must pack item - insect repellent
Most abused item - Rover the case - lost and then broken - maybe terminally so
Least well organised people - Delta (check in was a series of every changing queues with people in the same queue for different things and no-one knowing what they where actually queueing) or Amtrak
Sunday, 16 August 2009
10am - back to the hotel spot of breakfast and a coffee
11am - reading in the shade of a palm tree watching the world and the ocean
12pm - spot of lunch
1pm - chill in and around the pool in the shade with a book and a puzzle (obviously not in the pool with the book)
4pm - back to the beach - even bigger waves, just the best swimming conditions this side of being safe. Red flag conditions with the threat of stingray!
7pm - off for some dinner and a couple of beers
Question - why when the city of Miami advocate avoiding the beach in the heat of the day do the lifeguards only work 10 till 5?
Off to Key West on a day trip tomorrow. Then on Tuesday just time for a trip to the beach Tues morning before the long trip home.
Why did everyone else get out the pool when it started raining?
Saturday, 15 August 2009
Today I am going to the Everglades and on an airboat in a "Gentle Ben" style - however it is currently lashing it down - again.
Friday, 14 August 2009
How much stuff do I go and buy - underwear, new clothes, suncream, toiletries, Ipod recharger, unread books? Where should I stop. I am not sure that I covered insurance wise as they only pay for delayed luggage on the outward journey which technically I am not on - but then I am not on the return journey either but then they will cough up if it is lost entirely.
If I buy stuff do I buy a case to put it in because if the original one turns up then I can't take them both on board as you are allowed one case and it is a different airline to the one that lost the case - unless I go and explain and they are being nice.
It is annoying and irritating but no doubt will be sorted or not. I have been on I supposed it was bound to happen sooner or later
Thursday, 13 August 2009
I am really pushing the hotel services that they provide. I am not sure that 4.30am was what they had in mind when they put forward the offer of a free shuttle bus for guests (big tip) and when they offer to look after luggage I am not sure that they mean 7am before actually checking in.
The peninsula of Charleston between the Cooper and Ashley Rivers is generally very pretty and has a number of spectacular buildings but this is amplified in the historic section where
-due to a lack of cash after the Civil War (to build new buildings)
-the foresight of some visionaries to save the areas
-and the local government who refuse to change city ordinances to allow substandard or tall buildings have allowed a very attractive gentrified area to arise with some original buildings now costing some where upwards of $1 million for a basic family house.
The feature that makes them really stand out is the privacy door. To help make the houses cooler they have a veranda down one side as this allows the breeze to pass through the house more easily but to protect the privacy of the owners of the house it has a door on the front despite the fact that behind it you are still outdoors. Here is a good example.
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
It is illegal to feed the bears (tough at 65 mph as well)
Beware of the bears -they cause large dents
No four way flashing
No Entry - followed by - You are driving the wrong way.
Turn left - ignore your satnav.
Close to the hotel is a university and it is very different to the urban jungle that is the University of Sheffield or the suburb that is Canterbury Christ Church University College and far more beautiful than UEA. It manages to mix the vegetation with the buildings so they seem to hide in amongst the trees. They also have some lovely different types of design. This is the University Chapel.
Weather is a similar level of heat to the coast but the humidity is way up and the four mile walk that I did was maybe a fraction ill-advised without water but will act as practice as I have a walking tour of Charleston on Wednesday. Most of tomorrow is on the train for the second time this holiday.
Monday, 10 August 2009
It starts with the cooler containing ice cold soda or beer, sun shelters with an umbrella as a minimum and a 4 post sun shade at maximum, there is then seating for the family, games for the kids to play (bolo seems to be in vogue currently), books, musical equipment, fishing rods, body boards and everything that you could possibly want. In fact the only thing that they did not have was that game with wooden bats they play on the Med coast (not cricket). I got some odd looks (well more odd than normal) with just my towel, a book and a bottle of water. The picture was taken at 8am and some keen if under equipped people have just arrived. It is also good to see some parent ensuring their kids were protected from the sun but like a lot of UK parents there were some angry looking skin around, lets hope it does not lead to anything.
Driving again tomorrow. Lets hope Penny is as good second time round.
Sunday, 9 August 2009
Saturday, 8 August 2009
The system is clearly in need of improvement but the Republicans appear not to seek the best solution but to maintain the status quo. Some of the strategies have included shouting and screaming at "town hall" meetings where legislators meet their voters, slogans comparing Obama to Hitler and an increase in healthcare to Nazism and spreading of disinformation such as forced euthanasia by the state is part of the plan. It comes as a surprise that a political part in a developed country could act in such a way as to try to subvert the process as opposed to trying to win the argument or express their ideology.
I only hope that comparing Democrats do not suffer violence from comparing them to Nazis.
PS Socialism works well in other places. The US should try it some time.
The buildings here are also fantastical, most have no ground floor (pillars and garages mainly), a testament to the storms and hurricanes that come through this area at times, They also have sundecks or balconies, are made of wood and are very large. I am about 8 miles along the beach meaning that I am about 7 miles from the major centres so it is going to be me the pool, the beach and relaxation for the weekend.
The drive down was ok, the sat nav (Penny) was very useful but entering a highway on the right lane and having to get across 4 lanes of traffic to an exit on the left lane in about a quarter mile was a tad optimistic but she got me back on track. I have rented a Toyota Camry which handles okay and don't think I annoyed too many other people. Am aiming not to drive again till I return to the city on Monday as I don't like it. I found it difficult to go so slowly (55mph) on the open stretches and make decisions quickly and accurately at junctions.
Thursday, 6 August 2009
1. The heavy rain (yes again) was not good
2. The "picturesque" Canal Walk went passed an electricity substation, an empty warehouse and a freeway before just stopping.The map showed it continued but in reality it did not.
3. The entertainment/touristy part of the city was generally closed. Apparently Richmond is a weekend tourist town.
4. Tomorrow I am driving and as this is the biggest chance of me hurting myself, someone else or incurring the wrath of the law. I will be fine when I get on the highway but have concerns about getting out of town.
On the brightside it is the end of pounding the pavement and off to the seaside for the weekend.
Picture of the Day
Welcome to the South. Richmond. Capital of the Confederacy. Home to Jefferson Davis. Home to the manufacturing might to keep the South going against the might of the North with cities like New York and Boston. Whose capture helped decide the US Civil War. In historic location like this where better than to stay than a historic location. A hotel dating from the 1800's. Well click here to read more.
While the location of the hotel may at one time have been near the centre of activities it is now located in a slightly run down area of downtown where taking pictures might not be the wisest act. Best to look confident in what you are doing and going and do it. In New York at 1am it was so busy with so many other people you felt safe at least on the main streets but here the businesses were not tourist orientated (nail shops, cheque cashing, pawn shops, lots of empty buildings) and had shut leaving the area feeling empty and more sinister, although this impression is probably my imagination than reality but best not to take risks.
Looking forward to some Civil War based tourism activities tomorrow.
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
A first I thought it was equal rights for LGB, then Palestine-Israel questions and turns out they want stronger penalties for people who commit hate crimes after a shooting occurred in a centre for Jewish gay men. As I think that murder is murder and the it doesn't matter who the victim so I took this photo of the milling that was occurring.
Monday, 3 August 2009
Sunday, 2 August 2009
Things that strike me as odd when traveling in the US
- Turning on red traffic lights - 1 day someone won't stop
- Jogging (good for you) next to 4 lanes of traffic (not good for you)
- Starbucks is my office - businessmen with laptops and mobiles holding their meetings in coffee shops.
- The number of people who live in apartments (think Friends style)
- Bringing main course before I have finished the starter or cheque before I finish the meal
- Relaxing in a chair at the front of your house next to four lanes of traffic.
- Plug sockets in the base of lamps - if i want to charge something I have to have the light on which is tough during the night
- Adverts for serious medical conditions including Viagra on TV. Have you got erectile dysfunction?
- Beer. Beautifully produced (not Bud or that stuff) and then chilled to reduce all flavour. What they do to Newcastle Broen Ale is enough to make Geordies weep.
This is the question. Is not knowing better or worse. It is great that Jackie Robinson is remember but wouldn't it be better if society was at a place where these things weren't really noticed or taking into account. After all if black players weren't banned and playing in a segregated league in the first place then there would be no need for a Jackie Robinson figure.
Maybe it is just that there is a much larger ethnic population in the US (79% white) than in the UK (93% white).
The quote says
"A life is not important except in it's impact on others lives" and there is a sense of irony that this is located in new York (Citifiled Rotunda) where people pay very little attention to those around them, the only city where people standing taking photos in the centre of 4 lanes of traffic get angry with the cars.
It took a while but I worked out how it happens
1. You wait for people to finishing walking past except it never happens
2. You then push in front as you have lost patience
3. You then realise that by being selfish things get done quicker
4. When you see a rule/ law you then ignore it as you are selfish
5. Eventually you stop caring about the people around you
9 mobiles ringing in a three hour show proves me right.
Friday, 31 July 2009
What was worse is that it was making me angry and starting to act in the same way as many New York residents - rudely and with no thought for those around me.
Thursday, 30 July 2009
1. The volume of the air con unit. If it is too hot to sleep you need it in but if it is too noisy then it is hard to sleep
2. The lack of a clock. If I have to turn in a lamp to see what time it is I am awake - even if it is 6.30 am
3. Not checking the room before you arrive - having to ask for a plug for the basin
4. Provision of small things like toiletries and notepaper
5. Classier staff - not leaving an envelope for a tip in the room when you arrive
I know that this hotel is half the price of the previous one but small things can make all the difference
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
If President Obama would like to spend his stimulus money on improving the quality of the rails then the train might be allowed to go close to its top speed. We got a lot faster as we got closer to New York. Early on cars kept overtaking us.
Now in Saint James Hotel in New York
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
The Falls are great and the attractions with them worthwhile. I would recommend Maid of the Mist, White Water Walk, Aerocar, Skylon Tower, and Walk behind the falls and less so Niagara Fury . Helicopter rides need to be booked well in advance and ring up when you book it to get your slot early.
Turn your back to the Falls and it could be Leicester Square, Times Square, Hollywood Boulevard or any other overly tacky tourist attraction .
Monday, 27 July 2009
So having carried my field studies coat around so far I thought I would wear it as you go close to the falls and it did its job admirably keeping my top half, rucksack and camera perfectly dry. It was on the other hand a little shorter than the ponchos they provide so had very wet legs. This did not compare with the gentleman who's poncho was ripped by the wind on the approach as he looked like he had a shower with his clothes on (which he did). The hubris comes from wearing jeans. Every field trip we tell the kids that when jeans get wet they stay wet and other trousers are preferable. Did I listen to my own advice? No. In fairness I couldn't wear my shorts as they are being cleaned after I sat in a puddle and was left with a very suspicious brown mark on their seat but I had other options!! Contact lenses also would have been a good idea.
2. Go on the Maid of the Mist first as this is the only attraction that does not let you skip the queue
3. Niagara Fury is okay but I understand how the Falls formed and I was a bit confused.
4. Save your poncho - rather than have three new ones.
5. You are going to get wet - so shorts and sandals dry quickest
6. When using the free transport - the second part of the bus is usually quieter and easy to access
7. Get up early - queues start to really build up around 10.30-11am
8. Watch out for free coupons - lots of them everywhere
9. Dusk is the best time to go up the Skylon Tower so you view it in daylight and night-time.
2. Its is lovely and going to get out early and beat the rush to the major tourist attractions. A joint ticket looks the best value for all the attractions. Have brought a coat to avoid buying pacamac poncho thing
3. Firework display was good - probably best to stay in your room if you are high or be half way between the two falls to get the best view. Arrive early as it is busy. Would have like to see them integrate the falls into the display rather than just be a display near the falls.
Sunday, 26 July 2009
- On the ticket it says arrive 60 mins before the bus arrives. If you arrive that early you are told to go away as you are to early and getting in the way.
- The customer service representative inside the buildings knows what the plan should look
- like but this in no way represents what is actually occurring outside.
- It is possible for a driver to not know where the bus he is driving is going. When I say is this bus going to Niagara Falls the correct answer was yes.
- A queue of people going to separate places can form on the same platform and all of them be wrong despite what they have been told.
- The number of seats on the bus decides who gets on not whether you have bought a ticket. If the bus is full when you get to the second stop if no-one gets off you have to wait for the next one and hope
- Half the people in the waiting room think they are on the next bus but they are not in the queue and have no chance.
- Most queues cross the areas where buses drive meaning that getting run over whilst waiting for the bus is highly probably but what ever inconvenience there might be don't leave the queue.
Its a wonder more passenger don't go postal at them.
Picture of the day - more rain. Now in Niagara.
2. Visit the CN Tower at dusk so you get to see the landscape at both day and night. If you eat at the restautant then you get free entry which is better value for both the tower and the restaurant.
3. Think about whether you need a whole day pass on the subway, most attractions are within walking distance and it might be better value to buy individual trips.
4. If you go to the Sirius stage you get free music but it tends to get better later as the bands get more professional.
5. Don't bother with the film about the CN Tower - a 17 minute film on pouring concrete
6. Have water proof shoes with you - Toronto does not drain well and there were a lot of puddles around
After time the difference I discovered is subtle. America tends to shout out at you advertising itself in self promotion with bright lights and endless commercialism. In Canada it is a lot more under stated and I think that the difference I was looking for is that Canada is different but they don't necessarily tell you about it, outside of bears dressed as Mounties, the under-statedness is Canada.
Picture of the DAY: Toronto skyline with the flag from the boat.
Saturday, 25 July 2009
Thursday, 23 July 2009
Most hair raising incident - opened overhead locker to find that my hand luggae and all improtant document etc had vanished. As there were so few other people it had slid right to the front of the plane but did give me a bit of a scare
Best moment so far - Red Arrows coming into land at the airport will I looked out of the window, taxied, refueled and then took off again. Some reason they were iffy with cameras in departure lounge.
Best fact. People who wore old fashioned and out of date square ended shoes were often called squares. Pointed shoes were more expensive and a sign of social standing. Know that I know this it makes me a square and know you know it you are a square as well.
Next stop Toronto. Toodle pip.