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The Caviar Bottler

February 21, 2017 9 comments

The great abortion that is Holyrood is all abuzz. For the first time, the Scottish “Parliament” is preparing to exercise its semi-independent tax policy. Scottish Labour and the Limp Dims, predictably, couldn’t see an opportunity to put up tax rates they didn’t like. The fragrant Greens were chomping at the bit at the chance to impose a 60pc tax rate on those earning over £150,000 pa. The Scots Tories were quite sensibly arguing that making Scotland an even dearer place to live and do business was probably not the soundest approach to take. Read more…

Categories: General

Good night!

February 18, 2017 4 comments

Categories: General

In A City Transformed

February 17, 2017 11 comments

The Schengen Treaty has transformed Trier/Trier-Saarburg beyond recognition. The city looks much the same as it always has – at as much as I remember. Every now and again there is a new building, another development or something that’s always been reinvented. Never-the-less, it’s a city transformed Read more…

Categories: General

Harrumph

February 13, 2017 5 comments

In a state of post-Spanish crisis I accepted a job offer from a school in China. Being naturally cautious, even more so after two nightmarish international moves, I inserted a clause in the acceptance agreement.Should there be any significant inconsistencies, contradictions or tangible changes to the written agreement prior to my departure they could lump it. I was informed that my preference for having a work visa issued on my primary, read: German passport was simply impossible and that I’d have to use a second passport to which I hold legal right through my father’s nationality. I only very grudgingly agreed to this. After all, should any problems arise I could do precious little to influence matters as that would, in extremis, require flying to California.

Over the week-end I was informed that a problem did arise. It seems as if the format of a California Department of Justice criminal record check was not acceptable to the Shaanxi police. They were, however, eager for me to go to town hall and put in an application for a criminal record check from the Federal Ministry of Justice in Bonn. They could then proceed to issue me a work visa for a different category. I feel very confident in my decision to put in an application to work part-time at a local supermarket in Germany.

Categories: General

Meanwhile in Jockistan…

February 8, 2017 9 comments

Categories: General

Les Voyages en Train

February 5, 2017 9 comments

I was happy to leave California. After a nasty scuffle with an Indian TSA agent, sod the lot, I boarded a pleasantly uneventful flight to Copenhagen. I was able to sit in an emergency exit seat with over a yard of leg-room. The aeroplane was only half full and the air hostess, an affable Swede, offered me and the pleasant Dane sitting by me a choice of any seat – or row of seats – in revolting peasant class. We were simply chuffed at actually being able to sit comfortably – and not having anyone behind us – so we could recline. My flight arrived punctually and, almost without precedent, there was no queue at passport control. In less than 10 minutes my suitcase was delivered. In stark contrast with Sub-Canadian North America there was no insinuation, there was no aggro and there was no pointless tossing about of authority. Read more…

Categories: General

Expire

January 19, 2017 17 comments

At various points in life most accept that unfortunate things can easily come to be. This acquired wisdom, not the fruit of painful lessons, does not save one from shock. Read more…

Categories: General

The Man in Black

January 14, 2017 2 comments

Categories: General

Flannan Isles Lighthouse

January 10, 2017 12 comments

In 1900 three experienced lighthouse keepers disappeared from the Flannan Isles Lighthouse. For those who are unfamiliar with the case, or with geography of a distinctly Jockish flavour, relevant lighthouse was some 20 miles west of Lewis, Western Isles. The lighthouse itself was in good order with the only physical sign of distress being an overturned chair. The lighthouse journal told of strange events that took place over the final days. Normally strong, even combative, men who had worked as keepers for decades became sullen, one even wept constantly. No bodies were ever found. On the final recorded days no unusually bad storms were recorded for that region. Some geologists have speculated that the deaths had an incredibly dull cause. The isle on which the lighthouse is built has many geos, or deeply-cut gullies. Water, especially when seas are rough, can be forced up sweeping anyone near into the sea.

My opinion? Scotland is one of the most atmospheric places I’ve ever had the fortune of visiting. There’s something dark and brooding, a heaviness in the atmosphere that I’m yet to experience elsewhere. Perhaps a synthesis of their isolation and an unusually thick atmosphere led them to toss caution to the wind. There was severe damage to one side of the island so it’s likely they were taken by the sea.

Categories: General

Jeg er i live.

December 21, 2016 19 comments

The Øresund Bridge was obscured by the lights of my train. I wanted to see it again. Alas, I could not. Well, at least not very much of it. That’s the curse of travelling trains by night. Still, I arrived safely in Gentofte and managed to find my way to Viking-type Chum’s flat. At my insistence he didn’t meet me at station. It seemed pointless to make him stand outside in the dank, cold Danish December night. Read more…

Categories: General