Author Archive

Gloom and Doom

January 25, 2016 20 comments

As many of you may have noticed I haven’t been on here for a while. The reason is in the title. I am quick sick of all the moaning and negativity that is around these days. No matter whether it is in blog form, news on TV, articles etc. it seems to be that the current trend is for everyone over a certain age to see only bad things in life.

The glass is half empty for nearly all of you. I do have sympathy for you all, that things seem so bad, but  for goodness sake….wake up.

When I talk to almost anyone over 60 they complain about just about every aspect of our lives. A favourite complaint is how awful it is for the younger people, out of work, no prospects etc. Yet when I talk to younger people in Germany, Spain, France or the UK, I see and hear a very different side. They are optimistic, energetic and looking forward to the future multi-culti society that they have grown up in.

Perhaps it is simply time that the old dinosaurs died out and left things to the younger generation. They certainly seem to have a better handle on things.

Categories: General


December 6, 2015 51 comments

I need to have a rant.

The modern way of argumentation is getting on my wick.

People just love to try to win arguments by vilifying their opposition with labels. Some examples:

  1. Agree that the UK needs some immigration and you are a LEFTY
  2. Disagree with gay marriage and you are HOMOPHOBIC
  3. An atheist is MORALLY UNSOUND
  4. Disagree with bombing and you are a PACIFIST or TERRORIST SYMPATHISER
  6. Agree that the EU is a good thing and you are an EU FANATIC

I think that using such extreme labels to try to win a discussion shows that one is already struggling to find honest logical arguments.

Was it always like this or is this something new?

Categories: General

Funny old world innit

December 5, 2015 22 comments

A couple of things:

We went out for a meal yesterday evening. Sitting on the table to my left was a couple, man and woman (that needs specifying these days) of around 45-50. They appeared to be well dressed and professional people. To my right was another twosome, two older guys around 65-70.

The 50 year olds spent 98% of their time with their respective smartphones. Their conversation level was nil and I (after a couple of glasses of wine) almost burst out laughing at the sight of them thumbing their little screens for all they were worth. Now they could have been professional people who were still working, messaging colleagues, although it was well after 9m. (Spain …eat late….Janus…remember?). So I couldn’t resist leaning over and taking a sneak peek…yep…Facebook. He was updating his status on Facebook.

I glanced across to the two older guys. They had a litre of red wine and were very much enjoying the moment, chatting good food, a real social occasion.

It made me wonder. Did I have the past on my right and the future on my left? If so, I am glad that I am geting older. FOE suggested that the couple on my left would probably have just sat quietly staring at each other, had they not had their phones with them.

I guess most younger people would have found the situation quite normal and not even noticed that the phone couple hardly spoke to each other.


My other point for today is rather sad. I keep a Christmas list for cards and presents. It is quite handy when out doing the Christmas shopping, to remember who I still need to buy for. I keep the list in an excel sheet and just do a quick update each year. This year it was quite hard deleting all of the dead ones since last year.

Categories: General

Let’s up the Anti

November 28, 2015 22 comments

Now that Janus has encouraged us all into the Christmas spirit with the poetry how about something a little more challenging?

We all have our little secrets and anecdotes from the past. How brave are we to relate them on here?

A little anecdote, the only rule being that it must be true and it must be about you.

A prize will be awarded for the story voted as being the funniest, most interesting, or downright unbelievable.

Voting begins after 20th  December 2015, ends at midnight on 31st.

I will collate the votes and award the prize on New Year’s Day (if I am sober)

I dare you 🙂

Categories: General

Sign of a Good Night

November 12, 2015 6 comments

After crawling out of bed this morning, prising the eyes open with matchsticks and putting all of the empties into a bucket ready for the rubbish, it occurred to me what a good night we just had with our new french neighbours.

They speak only French and about 20 words of Spanish. We speak German, English and a poor level of Spanish.

The evening began with very low level conversation due to the language barrier.

The evening ended with great conversation, nostalgic music of ELO, Supertramp, Dr. Hook (my favourite) etc.

And do you know why the communication improved so much during the evening?

Well, it is in the waste bucket this morning.

An empty bottle of Champagne, three empty bottles of red, and a drained bottle of Scotch, not to mention a half empty bottle of Kentucky Bourbon 🙂

Please don’t be offended if I don’t reply to any comments for a while.

FOE, where have you hidden the paracetamol?

Categories: General

It Does My Head In

November 4, 2015 15 comments

Good morning all.

As a relative newcomer, and someone of incredibly poor memory, it does my head in when we each make comments trying to remember who is living where. It is especially difficult for the newbies like me.

I hope this suggestion is received in the spirit that it is intended but could we all leave a comment about our whereabouts?

For privacy reasons you make want to give just the country, for others less concerned with such privacy a biography of up to 10000 words would be fine. 🙂

For me it would help tremendously to know who I am conversing with and where. I could then refer back to this blog when my memory fails me….where was I? Oh yes:

I live in Catalonia about an hours drive south of Barcelona.

I have been born in Nuneaton which is quite an admission in itself. The place has become an absolute dump: Correction, it always was a dump. If I count Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, children and grandchildren, it comes to well over a  hundred of us. At the age of 38 I moved to Berlin where I lived from 1994 to 1999. Then on to Munich until 2002.

Due to a career move I then came back with Mrs Gaz to the West Country, where we lived for ten years in a little village very close to the river Severn. It was a lovely time and certainly not a boar.

Then, in 2011 on to France, Toulouse for three years.

Last year in October we moved down to Catalonia where we intend to stay until the ashes are spread.

Where are you?

Categories: General

Woody Fetish

November 1, 2015 30 comments

Having just come inside and battened down the hatches ready for tomorrow’s storm and heavy rain (nothing desperate I must add, just the usual monthly thunderstorms) I thought it perhaps remotely interesting to tell you about my wood passion.

Even though we live in a warm country and heating costs are quite minimal, we still prefer to sit in front of the woordburner during the winter months. There is something very special and cosy about real fire, rather than the dry but warm hum of the central heating system.

Obtaining wood here is not so easy, so I collect and cut my own.

Quite a long drive from home, in the foothills of the Pyrenees near the village of Oliana, (for those google maps freaks) is a large reservoir. The reservoir is remote, surrounded by forests and changes level regularly as the dam gates are opened and closed. Consequently, in the direction of the flowing current when the gates are opened, a large amout of flotsam gathers on the shore in a particular spot. Each year the new wood is deposited along about a kilometer stretch and dries in the sun. It is presented for collection by anyone who is crazy enough to go for it. I have only once seen  another person gathering it.


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Categories: General


September 29, 2015 41 comments

Hi All,

I know that many of you on here also have one eye on MyT, and many, maybe all, have originated from there.

This is just to let you know that I am leaving MyT for good. I will delete my account today.
I have been observing how the different people react and have seen that it is no longer a place for me.
Over the last few days I decided to have a real go at Helpmaboab, one of the most ignorant,  and try to show him how it feels to be continually hounded the way he does it to others, but instead he just lapped it up. He actually thrives on disgusting comments and insolence. There is a group of likeminded people who dive immediately to his defence regardless of what he writes. All the sniping leaves me feeling rather cold.

Despite these comments I think that I am also a great part of the problem. I react very strongly to insults and bad behaviour, rather than ignoring it. My reaction is often seen as being just as bad as they are. I am quite ashamed at the comments I have written recently, trying to persuade them to act properly. It is strange, but I have never once had a negative discussion on the Chariot.You all act and speak similarly to the way I was brought up.

Is it simply because here you are all more civilised? I guess so. (I hope so)

So, I will stay with the Chariot, for as long as you will have me.

Why am I telling you all of this? Ask me something simpler.

Categories: General

Doing things the hard way

September 20, 2015 7 comments


Just sorting through some old stuff. Who could still use one of these?

Categories: General

Eine Taube Auf Dem Boden

September 18, 2015 23 comments

The Germans, instead of “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” say:-

“besser ein Spatz in der Hand als eine Taube auf dem Dach”

Well, when I got up this morning we had a bloody Taube on the floor in the hallway.

Our lovely gentle little moggy, which has only one way into the house at night and requires a five feet jump onto the window ledge before she can come into a hole in the mosquito net just big enough to squeeze through, managed to leap up with a  half dead pigeon in her mouth. Hut ab!!!


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Categories: General