31 August 2018

Arsenal and the Europa League / Carabao Cup

You do get to travel far and wide when you drop down the table and end up in the Europa League.

The first stage group has come out with this little lot.

Group E: Arsenal, Sporting CP, Qarabag, FC Vorskla.  

I guess Sporting CP are the club we know as Sporting Lisbon but the others? In order are the 5th best team in the Azerbaijan league and the 3rd best in the Ukraine!

Two nice long trips to the east between Premier League games at home in England and the Carabao Cup where we have Brentford from the Championship at the Emirates.

The joys of finishing 6th.

30 August 2018


Tomino grilling cheese. Pan fried with Fry Light. Very nice on a bed of lettuce and a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar.

posted from Bloggeroid

School Visit

Amazebobs! A visit to one of the schools we support at the Islington ICT team.

It's nice to get out and meet people face to face. Always like this one. Morvia and Fiona the Head always nice to chat with.

On way back now using London Overground.

posted from Bloggeroid

28 August 2018

Reggie and his ball

A yellow ball bought by my Aunt Yvonne. He plays with it and luckily before he can chew lumps out of it, it pops out of his mouth.
posted from Bloggeroid

27 August 2018

Light Railway or Car?

Today is the "Day of Syn" in Dymchurch. I dropped Claire off at 0930 for her shift as volunteer for Guide Dogs UK.  Her spell on the stand is finishing at 1200 and before the parade from the slipway gets to the recreation ground and so traffic might get a bit heavy later.

So I thought of the train as an alternative. The Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway runs at the end of our garden and Hythe station is a longish walk from home. As an over-60 I get a concession fare and Reggie will travel free. It will be £9 return.

However, Reggie doesn't like the train when it passes our back fence. So I decided that it wasn't worth the gamble that he would get angry and bark all the way! It's twenty minutes each way,

So. We drove. The car park at Dymchurch by the Martello was almost empty. The walk to the recreation ground wasn't that far and we were soon on the Guide Dogs stand.

When Claire's shift was over we set off for a look at other stands and then off home. The plan to go into Hythe where the food festival would be in full swing, but the traffic was so heavy we aborted and went home for a coffee instead.

Although I took the old Nikon D50 with me, the only photo I got was of the BoBo diesel engine, named JB Snell, coming across the road crossing just before Dymchurch station as it comes from New Romney. For a very old camera (!) the picture looks pretty crisp to me.

Okay, I took three and this the one that shows it nearest.

Okay. These are the two earlier shots:

posted from Bloggeroid

25 August 2018



Things looked so much better today in the first half except the defence are still too slow and the centre backs left exposed.

The full backs, Spaniards Bellerin and Monreal, push forward and between them scored one and assisted in the 3-1 win.

But it wouldn't be Arsenal if they didn't frustrate and excite with almost equal measure. Frustration has had the upper hand for quite a while though.

In the end we came home happy enough with a first win of the season.

There are some more tough ones to come for a team lacking some confidence.
posted from Bloggeroid

Up the Arse #AFCWHU

Odd that as Arsenal fans we'd use a phrase like that. But it is true.

Today we have the rare occurrence of a 3pm Saturday kick off. Once the Europa League starts later in the autumn we'll be back to Sunday and Monday kick offs.

Today the visitors are West Ham United. One of our London rivals. 

Their start to the season is worse than ours despite only playing one top 5 team in the first two games, unlike us who played two of the top 5.

Their previously stingy owners have spent over £100m on players and their traditionally whinging tosser supporters are still not happy...

Sounds like a great atmosphere to play today!!!

24 August 2018

MAG Foundation - Amazon Smile

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) Foundation has recently signed up to AmazonSmile, so by making one super-simple change, you continue to get your goods from Amazon and MAG Foundation makes money to help carry on their work every time you buy something – at zero additional cost to you.

MAG Foundation is now listed with AmazonSmile so, if you use Amazon, you can now go to its online store via http://smile.amazon.co.uk and nominate MAG Foundation as your selected charity.

The price you pay for goods is exactly the same - it doesn't cost you a single penny more – but with the added benefit that MAG Foundation gains from every purchase you make.  Then, all you have to do is go through smile.amazon.co.uk for all future purchases so that MAG Foundation continues to receive valuable funding to help continue its important activities, including the 'Lock2Lock' anti-theft campaign, 'Think Bike' (with the famous car window stickers available to buy), the 'Kill Spills' anti-diesel spills campaign and secure bike parking.

So if you care about your right to ride, you can help every time you buy something from Amazon. You can do this whether you are a MAG member or not although, of course, we'd love you to join if you have not already done so, to help MAG fight for your riders' rights.

Please sign up for the AmazonSmile service and help raise money for the Foundation and their good work for free!

21 August 2018

Press Release - MAG members get 20% discount

MAG members get 20% discount at Blackpool's premier indoor motorcycle show.

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK's leading voice for riders, is pleased to be supporting a family festival in Blackpool celebrating the best of biking.

The Great North West Motorbike Festival will be held on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th August 2018.

Following the successful launch in 2017 of this event, this year sees an expansion in the number of stands andexperiences, including big-brand exhibitors and traders, a celebration of our hard working emergency services and a custom bike village with live music, tattooists, beer & burgers.

The event will be hosted at Blackpool Winter Gardens and full details regarding the event, including ticket prices, can be found at www.gnwmf17.co.uk

MAG's North West Regional Rep, Tony Cox, said "MAG is pleased to beup supporting this event again.  This year we will have 'The MAG Lounge', ad edicated seating area where members and prospective members will be able to come along and chat with MAG representatives including our Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Öpik. There will be complimentary hot drinks and other refreshments available from the bar.

We are also pleased to say that MAG members are being offered a 20% discount on their entry fee, which is much appreciated."

Migraines - And still they come!

And they do indeed.

I had a small one on the cruise a fortnight ago and a coupleof pink "migraleve" sorted that out but after Migraine Awareness Month (http://invictamoto.blogspot.com/2018/06/migraine-awareness-month.html) wI am still no further forward in understanding why I am getting them.  

It's not as though they are coming on a regular basis.  There's no pattern at all, or so it seems.

I woke up yesterday to another strong one that actually woke me before the alarm went off (set for 6.45am). I had a couple of pinks and that was it for a while.  The tablets do say that they can make you drowsy, and I find that whatever the effect they have and whatever my brain is going though makes it much worse.

I slept like a log until 11am and then felt tired and hungry all day!  A bowl of Frosties seemed to quell that for a while.

Today I tried to get a doctor's appointment.  The plan is to phone dead on 8.30am and then keep redialling until you get past the engaged bit and then get in a queue.  After 23 minutes constantly redialling I was into a queue with seven in front. Another 8 minutes and I was through.... But.  No GP appointments left today all day. That includes the much vaunted late appointments until 8pm!

"Try again tomorrow".

Now you can see why A&E at the hospitals are full of people that ought to see a GP.  Because they can get into A&E and sit and wait to be seen. It might take hours but some time today you'll see a doctor.

I gave up a few weeks ago after several days of  "no GP appointments today"... How the f*ck do you get onto the queue earlier?  Do the people in front have a different phone system that allows them to connect in that 23 minutes that I am redialling after getting the engaged tone?

One pearl of wisdom that the lady let slip was to get to the surgery on foot (in person) before 8.30am and see if that works any better.  Looks like another waiting session tomorrow.....

20 August 2018

17 August 2018

Broadstairs Folk Festival

In Broadstairs with Claire and Reggie to meet with, Judy, a friend of Claire's from school many years ago. They hadn't met for about 50 years but are in contact on Facebook.

The idea was to meet and then go and have lunch and they could chat.  Judy was appearing in the Folk Festival singing with a group and another ex-Clarendon girl, Linda, was dancing Appalachian Tap Dance.  Don't ask me!

As I expected it to be an old girls meeting I decided to take Reggie and when they were chatting I would walk with him along the cliff tops around Viking and Louisa bays.  As Viking Bay is the main beach dogs aren't allowed between April and September, but at Louisa he is allowed on a lead.

At the meeting place by the war memorial and the Morris turned up. As I was keeping Reggie close by and Claire took the pictures.

After a walk down to the Pavillion we met  Kevin, Judy's partner, and Linda and went to to lunch.  At the time I learned that Kevin was a biker as well.  I didn't put two and two together until later after discussions turned to a bike trip they did to New Zealand last year and another trip later this year.

Then I realised Kevin is Kevin Williams of Survival Skills fame. I had actually met him before at a Biker Down event in Kent some many years ago.  Like most of us, he does look a little different!

We had lunch. I tried the veggie option as I didn't feel like meat.  Although the burger Kevin had looked nice and juicy.  My falafel and humus baguette was dry even with some kind of chilli sauce - never again.

After lunch we then had a walk back up from the beach level to the upper cliff where there are pubs and shops, and around the Folk Week stalls. Reggie was getting bored as they looked at folky and arty stuff and so we went for a widdle and a sniff session with other dogs. Him not me.

It was getting time for Judy and Linda to go and get ready to perform and we started walking back but not before enjoying a Morelli's ice-cream. The parlour has been there since they were at school nearby.

Reggie enjoys ice-cream and had some from Judy and me. I don't think he cares what flavour, although we do keep him away from chocolate.

The weather was warmish, around 20°C and the beach was busy.

Once we parted we slogged back up to the station where we had parked and set off for home.  On the way calling into Pawfect to restock the freezer with Reggie's favourite frozen raw food.

It was a very nice day and I said to Claire that although we were almost strangers, they'd not met for 50 years (!) that it was very "comfortable".  I hope they felt the same........

posted from Bloggeroid

15 August 2018


Not "oh" but Occupational Health.

As a recovering cardiac patient who was "fixed" in 2015 with an angioplasty that inserted a stent into my heart, I do suffer from some bouts of fatigue.

Sometimes these bouts of fatigue can last for a few hours to half a day and rarely, a little longer.

As a result I have more days off sick than is contractually acceptable at work.

Often my offer to work from home when I feel better but maybe not well enough to travel for my (morning) 1h 40m commute, is turned down by management. And so another sick day is added to the list when I could be productive for about 60% of the working day.

So they refer me to Occupational Health.

Occupational Health used to be a department within the Council. But for a number of years it has been outsourced. Outsourcing is still big news for many organisations.

Last year they interviewed me at St Pancras Hospital. This year a new OH provider, at nice offices in the City of London. In fact right next to Lloyds of London on Leadenhall Street, have taken on the contract.

The consultant interviewed me for about an hour. I gave her a copy of the report from July 4th 2017, and oddly. She agreed with it.

Maybe this time they will listen? Or at least read the report and agree to implement the suggestions.

On the way back to Bank Underground station I passed this building.

It used to be the NatWest Tower. The offices of a UK bank. My brother worked for them and then Royal Bank of Scotland after a takeover/merge, although not here.

He did go once many years ago after the IRA detonated a car bomb in the street, and only then to check on some servers.

posted from Bloggeroid


This is one of the last beers from the July selection of beers from Beer52.

After a brief membership I have dropped out. I didn't intend to but that's the way they took it.

I emailed to cancel the August box as I was still working through the last of the June and most of the July batches.

I have pretty much a catholic taste in beer. I like a full range from heavy bitters to Pilsner style beers right through the Trappist Tripels via Belgian fruit beers like Rodenbach.

However, there were simply too many IPA's in the selection each month and I emailed to hold August and explained with the gist of the above paragraph. They took that as a quitting email.

It's probably for the best!

For the record I have enjoyed a lot of the beers they have sent.
posted from Bloggeroid

Font Sizes?

Having had some complaints that the page text was hard to read from a number of comments received - all reviewed before publishing - I had a play.  

The grey on black and confusing links had to go.  So what you see if what you get.  I tinkered with the html on the CSS to make the font a little larger and that seems much better than before, plus of course I have chosen a lighter theme in any case.


13 August 2018

MAG Foundation Lock 2 Lock campaign

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), and specifically the MAG Foundation, has launched a new crime-stopping initiative to help tackle the curse of the theft of motorcycles and scooters. 

Called 'Lock 2 Lock',  the idea is simple. You loop your lock through another person's lock. Each rider can then release their machine without the presence of the other rider or riders.

'Locking your bike to another object helps to make it much harder to steal,' explains MAG Chair, Selina Lavender. 'That's what the MAG Foundation's 'Lock 2 Lock' campaign is all about. The Lock 2 lock idea is very simple. MAG has promoted it in the past and is very keen to revive it. Here's how it works:

1) You'll find a 'Lock 2 Lock' tag in the new edition of The Road magazine.

2) Attach the tag to your lock to indicate you are happy for others to loop their lock through your lock.

3) Make sure you only loop the lock and NOT the wheel or any other part  of the other machine, or you'll stop them from being able to leave!

'And that's it,' adds Selina. 'In doing this you make it harder for criminals to steal either motorbike because it's very hard to move two machines at once.  Our thanks go to the MAG Foundation for providing the tags.' Further tags can be purchased from Central office for £2 each.

Lock 2 Lock is just part of MAG's campaign to fight against motorcycle theft. Whenever a machine is stolen, we all suffer with increased insurance premiums and the owner has endless trouble and stress from the loss. MAG asks you to take the time to put the tag on your machine, secure your bike with Lock 2 Lock and make it less attractive to the criminal low-life who try to steal our bikes. 

We're also working to get secure parking for motorcycles but Lock 2 Lock is something we can all do right now: use the tag and get more protected.


12 August 2018

Low expectations #ARSMCI

Someone once said that if you start off with low expectations then you can't be disappointed.

I have no idea who it was and can't be arsed to Google it

But they are wrong. I am disappointed that we lost to Manchester City

They may be backed by oil barons from wherever Etihad Airways emanate from and must have fielded a starting eleven today that would have cost them around half a billion pounds but I still hoped we could compete.

We did for part of the game and they will claim their two goals were well taken but in reality they were as a result of our mistakes rather than their excellence.

We were quite poor at times and they not much better.

The Champions League elite won't be worried by either club on this display.
posted from Bloggeroid

My Oldham

"We love you Oldham" is not something that slips off the tongue that easily.

In fact most people would be hard pressed to know where Oldham actually can be found on a map.

For many years I have been going to as many southern games in L1 as possible. That "south" really extends northwards up to Essex and Colchester and Southend and to Crawley in the west and of course London.

With my taking on the full Arsenal ticket this year and relegation to L2, the number of games might be nil this season. There are so few southern clubs in L2.

We'll have to see.

Update 13/11/2018

Hopefully the chances to get to a game next season might be enhanced if AFC Wimbledon can get relegated to join us back in League 2.  They are currently 23rd out of 24 in League One.

posted from Bloggeroid

Arsenal Gold Member

Today is my first game as a solo Gold Member....

Since we moved to the Emirates from Highbury I have shared my ticket with my brother Neill's partner's son Alex.

This year he dropped out and so I have the ticket all to myself.

It does mean that I get to go to all 19 home league games and 7 cup games. In the past I have been able to fit in trips to see my first love Oldham Athletic play when they have been in the south.

posted from Bloggeroid

First EPL game of the season #ARSMCI

The 2018/19 EPL season kicked off with Manchester United beating Leicester City on Friday evening. A win aided by another fortuitous penalty. After only three minutes this time. The brown envelope came out early!!

Today it's Arsenal's turn to play. A new era.

Wenger is gone and the new younger boss has taken over. We have made some signings and some players have left.

Where some clubs have been spending in excess of £100m Arsenal have been around the £60m mark. Only. The sort of money in the game (if that's what it is now) is horrific.

The fixture computer had sorted us out with one of the hardest two weeks imaginable.

Today we host Champions Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium and next weekend! Away at London rivals and FA Cup winners Chelsea.

What does the future hold? Post Wenger it's a case of starting again. New coach (not manager) and a new regime throughout the club. A new philosophy too?


Only time will tell.
posted from Bloggeroid

7 August 2018

The Premier League


The Premier League kicks off this weekend and Arsenal will be at home to Champions Manchester City.

Luckily the game is on Sunday afternoon as it will be shown on TV.

I say luckily as I am bobbing about the North Atlantic until Saturday morning.

Getting home and collecting Reggie from the kennels and then up to London would be impossible to do on Saturday.



The app has been playing up over the last few days with it creating html errors when trying to send posts.

As an "all in one" post creater the problem has to lie with them  

Cruise Blog

A quick blog with pix when we can get a signal.


1 August 2018

New Blogs List - Arsenal

To keep all the blogs I read about Arsenal FC in one place, rather than simply favourites in Chrome or IE, I have added a new area in the right sidebar for them.

If there are any that you, as a viewer, read and that are good, then let me know. if not, feel free to have a read.

There are several versions of the "Mind That Gap" poster. Only the Arsenal  fan produced ones have all the trophies the clubs have won in the last 22 odd years or something along those lines. 

The imitation Tottenham ones don't.... for pretty obvious reasons as you can see above....

The above list is also subject to change every few weeks as the TV companies get the games and need to fit them into their schedules.  No one gives a damn about the supporters/fans.

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