30 October 2017


The mild amongst us have the petition.  For years we have signed our names on paper and seen it delivered to the powers that be.

In the digital era we have the online petition. I ignore most but this one annoyed me.

25 October 2017

From the Royal British Legion

Tomorrow marks the launch of the 2017 Poppy Appeal.

This year we are once again asking our supporters to Rethink Remembrance by recognising the sacrifices made not just by the Armed Forces of the past, but by today’s generation too.

Please do look out for coverage of our campaign. As well as advertising in national and regional press, we’ll also be unveiling our brand new nationwide TV campaign.

Starting 28 October, two second teasers will air during peak evening spots on Channel 4 and its associated channels.

Our full 30 second advert will appear from 4 November, but I am pleased to share with you an exclusive preview today - be sure to check it out here or by clicking on the image above.

You can also follow the campaign on Facebook at Royal British Legion​, Twitter, and Instagram​.

Rethinking Remembrance is about remembering servicemen like Harris Tatakis, a Royal Marine injured in Afghanistan, who said of his experience, “When you come home injured, it can feel like you’ve been forgotten.”
By wearing a poppy and supporting the Legion, you ensure no one is forgotten. You are not only honouring the memory of those who have fallen in past conflicts, you are also giving vital, life-changing support to people like Harris who need your help. Men, women and families – here and now – who have served their country and need help to Live On through injury, illness, bereavement or other forms of hardship.

Rethinking Remembrance is all about the past and present, as well as the future. As you read the stories below, of Donna and Mark, Harris, and Tom, please know that it is for their futures – and for the futures of thousands of other ex-Servicemen and women across the UK – that we ask you to support this year’s Poppy Appeal.

Over the coming weeks, the nation will join together to remember our Servicemen and women, veterans, and their families. We hope you will join us, and wear your poppy with pride.

Yours sincerely,

Guy Upward
Assistant Director of Fundraising: Individual Giving

Oz: Around Australia on a Triumph

Oz: Around Australia on a Triumph

Not a review but a place maker. I have read all the previous Geoff Hill books either in paperback or on the Kindle.

TBH I hadn't any idea this book existed until I was checking some reviews and saw it. Immediately I was onto Amazon to see about getting it. A 1p copy plus postage seemed too good a deal to ignore and so I bought it.

Once I have finished my current read I'll be on it, or not. In the hands of the post office at the moment.

P.S. If the image is all blurred. Blame Goodreads,. It's theirs!

Arsenal 2-1 Norwich City

Okay. It was only the Carabao Cup. 
The opposition was only Norwich City from the Championship.  

It is a trophy that can be won and that gives a chance to play in European competition again.

As usual there were lots of changes in the home team's lineup with second stringers getting a start, and the rest of the team made up with lads. Lads under 20 and many only 17 or 18.

A goal down with time running out it was looking like we were knocked out.  But....

Enter stage right one Eddie Nketiah, wearing the 62 shirt. His first touch after only 10 seconds on the pitch saw him prod the ball into the net from a corner.

Inspired substitution by Arsène??

It came after the regular players had toiled to no great effect with Nardge under heavy pressure.
Normal time ended all square. Time for a hero to step forward. "Eddie! Eddie!"

Into extra-time and on 96 minutes Eddie rose like a spawning salmon to head the ball home. 2-1.
After this his name rang out almost constantly "Eddie! Eddie!  Eddie!".

He could have had a third. Passing the ball to his left around two defenders he outpaced them round the other side before lashing his shot on target. The keeper this time foiled him with a marvellous save.

The Arsenal has a new hero. "Eddie! Eddie!"

23 October 2017

Metallica 2

We got the train up. And now that we know where we are going it was really quick to get across to The O2 Arena from Stratford International.  In fact a DLR and a tube only took 15 minutes including waiting on the platforms.   Coming back though...

We decided to "eat out" at Wagamama. Not cheap. Service though is very fast once you get in the door! Although TBH this is the first time we have had to queue. 

The chili fried squid was excellent, so too were the duck hoisin pancakes.  The main courses came first (!) and then we had everything on the table at the same time.  I had chicken katsu. To say it reminds of something my old she cat. Minnie,  used to leave for me in the kitchen sink if she was left in all day..... No don't go there.

However it tasted really good, the katsu, not the cat sh.........

Once that was over we went across to the Dome. Security was quite tight after the terrorist attacks but given that the MEN Arena bomber in Manchester simply walked in the front door, I can't say that I was feeling any safer than the "old days", when they simply wanted to stop you sneaking in your own booze or long lens cameras.

We bought some expensive bottles water. No bottle though, they poured it in to plastic glass, and some chocolate that must have been made of gold powder.

Before taking our seats.  Luckily although the O2 seats are some of the narrowest and and most uncomfortable ever made, we had a good view.

When the tickets went on sale it looked as though the stage was at one end as normal, Instead they had an "in the round" style stage right in the middle of the arena space.  Like a boxing ring without the ropes.

Claire is not a metal fan, and I have managed to get her interested in Bonamassa and she did enjoy (I think) Deep Purple (hope so as we are going again in November) and Black Sabbath.  Even The Damned!

They crashed and banged through the latest album, "Hardwired to Self Destruct" plus the hits from the 80's and 90's.  The sound up where we were in the upper level wasn't as good as I would have liked, even with one partially working ear! The vocals too "lost" in the music, unlike all the albums I have going back to the 80's like "Kill 'Em All".

The stage and the effects were simply magnificent.

The biggest annoyance are the people that seem to catch the entire concert through their phones.  The woman in front must have filmed the entire show.

Due to it being Sunday, and the trains stopping earlier, we had to leave during the encore at about 2230.  It meant we were destined to get the last trains home.  Luckily we managed that.  

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip. The Wagamama dinner and the concert.  Claire I suspect the dinner only.  

So roll on November 23rd and Deep Purple. Hopefully the sound will be better.

Unlike most of the people around me I have a phone that runs the battery down at the slightest touch, so I didn't take many pictures.  A girl in front of me seemed to film the entire show!

Fat Club

Although we hadn't really strayed too much from the Slimming World straight and narrow, after our holiday in France in May we decided to go back to start again.   For me the support is okay but what really makes me try harder is that I have to pay to be weighed and get that support.  TBH the organiser of our local group, Kirsty, is very nice and helpful,  and of course supportive.

So last Thursday after missing three weeks, luckily all of them we hadn't paid for, we went..... With two weeks in Florida behind us I had expected to have put on quite a bit of weight. After all, the portion sizes are vastly greater than here in Europe.  We soon learned to only have main course and no starters. This also extended to no desserts either.

Hardly any ice-creams but we did have bagels, two a day for breakfast reduced to one and a half later, and peanut butter every day for breakfast.

On the scales Claire lost (!) and I put on 1.5lbs!  That's even with a day of no food after my "Sick Man Blues" adventure trip around London's hospitals a few days earlier.

MAG represents FEMA in international working group

Ian Churchlow, the Motorcycle Action Group's (MAG) representative on a European bikers' rights federation, represented the movement at a major working group on riders' rights in Brussels.

MAG Director Ian Churchlow has just returned from Brussels, having attended a full day conference held by the Federation of International Motorcyclists (FIM), to discuss issues affecting bikers across the European continent and beyond.

Ian says, "this was a joint working group between FEMA and FIM and we met at FEMA Office Brussels on 18th October (2017).   We identified many areas where we have common interests and shared concerns.  These include motorcycle exhaust sounds and the balance between the damage irresponsible use of the motorcycle throttle and illegal exhausts can make to the image of motorcyclists versus the right to buy an aftermarket exhaust system without undue restrictions."

"We also covered the question of self-driving cars and whether this could lead to further road space limitations, thanks to dedicated autonomous car lanes.  We have many position statements on matters including Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), motorcycle accident black spots, dangerous roadside crash barriers, motorcycles in the environment, traffic-calming systems and a great deal more.  One of the key areas of common interest is finding a better approach to initial training, licence conditions and tests.'

Ian believes that FIM, FEMA and FIVA (the federation which protects the interests of users of older vehicles) should adopt single-position statements where possible and externally communicate a united position on major motorcycle issues: "Policies like 'Vision Zero' – the goal of achieving no deaths on the roads at all – are logically and practically problematic, and we discussed options.  What's certain is that working together we've got a greater chance of influencing such policies than if working separately.   MAG is just one voice in this international working group, but I think everyone feels we have a lot to offer.  I'm delighted that we now have a place at the table on these strategic groups."

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org

NB: FEMA = Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations

22 October 2017


Not really anywhere near Claire's area of experience but it's hard buying tickets just for myself.

As a trade off I am going to a Christmas Fayre or something in November.

20 October 2017

Super Nano Hydrophobic Liquid Repellant

A long title for this entry. Maybe I should have gone with the product name of "No Wet".

One of the guys at work came in with gleaming trainers despite the weather not being thst good. Not a trace of damp or dirt on them.

He said he had used one of these sprays on them as they were new and light grey.  A quick demo to the assembled masses and it looked good.

He didn't go as far dripping something nasty like ketchup on them but water ran off leaving no mark or stain.

I used to use an earlier incarnation of the one he used to try and keep my tent waterproof back in those far off days when I attended bike rallies and camped on holiday.

There is nothing quite like lying in the tent in the peeing rain and hearing it on the outside knowing that's where it will stay. Outside. Claire likes the sound of the rain but never in a tent!!

The one he used was Fabsil.

I wanted one that could be used on smooth surfaces as well as fabrics. And so after googling and researching for a week or so I chose "No Wet".

So today I have tried in on my brand new Skechers trainers.  An even coating and 20 minutes to dry. Then a second coating. Both done. 

It says leave for 20 more minutes or a day. .  I suppose over the weekend I'll get to test it.

New Kitchen

So we have a new kitchen going in.  It's not finished yet but Claire (or rather we) will have more storage space then ever.

It's not cheap either. It might even add value to our house. Who knows?

We have kept our not very old Samsung washing machine and the less old Beko fridge, but all the rest is new. And all from Neff.

Pics for those interested later.

18 October 2017

Sick Man Blues

Got back from Florida last Friday.  Had a couple of hours rest and then got up. A suggestion from my brother, Neill, to beat jet lag. 

Having kitchen fitters in does help with early mornings and no lie-in.

Saturday was a bit knackered and had a lie-in. Sunday up to get to the County for the monthly Meldrews Meeting.

Monday went to work. Feeling okay.

About halfway started to feel warm. Took off sweatshirt. Hotter. Hotter. Sweating. Chilling.

Then apparently I passed out.

I was helped off the train by a kind lady who turned out to be a nurse.  I was sick on the platform. She stayed with me for about twenty minutes. I was so out of it I can't remember her name.

Some British Transport Police came along and called a Paramedic.  She came quickly on her bicycle.  Fully equipped.  Did blood pressure and heart rate. Then when I told her what drugs I am on she called an ambulance. Possible heart attack?

The station guys were excellent and took me to the first aid room. More vomiting on the way. Ambulance was there.

They took some ECG's  and saw some iregularities, but each one they did was the same. 

Firstly under blue lights and sirens we went to St Bartholomew's (Barts) where I was wired up again for more ECG's.  Same result. They decided that there was no coronary problem.  Back to the ambulance and more sedately to The Royal London Hospital. One of the oldest hospitals in the capital.

Loads of tests and they determined that I had a normal fainting condition.  Body temp rising allied with low blood pressure and low heart rate and poof! Sparko!

Still feel tired and as we say cream crackered in Cockney Rhyming Slang. Saw my own doctor and advised not to exert myself and return to work on Monday

Work ain't gonna be happy.

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