Grow a pair, Australia

I have never been so disappointed with my favourite country than I was this morning.

The background to this sorry tale is that last year one Amber Heard, current Sheila of actor Johhny Depp, smuggled two small dogs into Queensland on a private jet while he was filming for the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise. Now Ozzies in general are a pretty easy going bunch, but one thing you most certainly do not do is take the rise out of their Customs and Border Protection Service, the consequences for which can be both life changing and eye-wateringly expensive.

On top of the smuggling charges charges dear Amber was also charged with submitting a false immigration declaration and pleaded guilty on all counts. However, the Queensland judge gave her a one-month good behaviour bond of 1,000 dollarooos (just over £500) with no conviction recorded. This amount is payable only if she breaks the bond (my italics).

The pair were also ordered to record a sincere apology, the result of which can be seen here True sincerity. Is it just me, or are these two taking the pish to epic levels and is there one law for s’lebs and another for ‘civilians’, as Liz Hurley once referred to those not on the red carpet?

What I do know is that some starstruck functionary in the Australian public service or the judiciary needs to grow a pair.


Blinking lights

OK, I admit occasionally to watching Sky News (motto: Feeding pap to the masses), but this morning there was an item on their ‘vox pop’ slot by a chap advocating the removal of traffic lights in order to improve road safety, the premise being that drivers, however normally aggressive, don’t want to bend their car or themselves and therefore are more careful.

This radical proposal was immediately poo-pooed by the chunky Irishman and his hench-ladies, but hang on, let’s think about it.  Are you, however arrogant and self-possessed, gong to roar through a crossroads despite the fact that a fourteen-wheel forty tonner might be about to T-bone you?  No, you’re not.  You are going to slow right down and look first before proceeding in an orderly manner.  Job jobbed, says I.

Now let’s take this a stage further.  Idiots demand the right to drive, ‘normally’ for them, whatever the weather conditions.  They drive at the legal limit (or above) in snow, ice, fog, heavy rain or whatever.  “Where were the gritters”, they wail after a multiple pile-up leaves them and others on stretchers or worse, as if it were always somebody else’s fault for their failed attempt at a Darwin Award.

And something else.  I have driven on some very hairy mountain roads around the world and here in Portugal – narrow road, deep ravine below and no Armco or barriers of any kind, but there in nothing better to concentrate the mind and slow down than seeing an upturned, rusty wreck at the bottom of said ravine with only a forlorn little shrine to mark the occupant(s) demise.  Even the dirt track up to The Cave has eighty metre drops on the interesting side and will kill you if you get careless or cocky.

So, when I assume power, traffic lights will be removed, gritters will be left in the depots  and their crews employed removing barriers on mountain roads.  I’m not kidding!


The HEFFALUMP in the room

The Ebola virus has now found its way into Murica and O’Barmy wants answers, so you can imagine the gazzilions of dollars that will be thrown at the problem, like when some ‘celebrity’ pillow-biter in San Francisco first got Aids. Now, in the UK, the gobmunt has announced screening at Thiefrow, Gatwick and the Eurostar terminus to check for ebola symptoms.

Ezcuse me?  The gobmunt doesn’t even know who is in the UK, legally or otherwise, so why just those hubs?  It is easy to transfer, for example, from T4 or T3 at Thiefrow to any domestic connecting flight without checks as I have done hundreds of times merely by waving my UK passport at something dusky and wearing a scarf, so how about throwing an exclusive military security cordon around the south of England centred on Dover and stop every car, train and lorry coming from abroad?

I’m on ironing detail today as the weather is dark and threatening and the FrizzEase is running low.  So there!


Olympic Rant Part II – The Legacy

The meedja is reporting tonight that it will cost the UK taxpayer an extra fifteen million pounds (on top of the the 600 million already committed!!) to convert the Olympic stadium into a football ground for Weeest Aaam Untied [sic], hardly the top flight of Premier League clubs, but of course they are in London, innit.  But so are Chelsea, Fulham, Arsenal, Saarfend and numerous others including Tottenham, etc.

By all accounts the Olympic velodrome is already up and running, as is the rowing venue, so what is it with kissball,, particularly in London.  !5 million could buy you a mediocre Ukranian/Columbian/Belgian midfielder if this year’s transfer window is anything to go by and 600 million could buy most of the foreigners (and Wayne) playing this season thirty miles east of my home town.

So is all this legacy just for West Ham and the East End, or does the rest of the country get a look in too, bearing in mind the rest of the country paid for it?


Another one

Early reports in the past hour indicate that Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, a Boeing 777 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has been shot down over Ukraine with the loss of all 298 souls on board. It was at a cruising altitude of 33,000 feet when contact was lost and is a tragedy for the families and for Malaysian Airlines after the loss of MH370.

In my previous incarnation when I flew around the world several times a year, I often looked down from a similar height or above on thousands of square miles of nothingness, just wondering if some illiterate raghead, out of his skull on arak or worse, would look up from his flock, see some twinkly lights in the sky, burp and shoulder his missile launcher just for fun.

Likewise coming back into London, flying finals at 5,000 feet and 150 knots over Hounslowistan with gear, flaps and spoilers extended. It don’t take much for one of the ‘Allah akbar’ brigade to ask the mullahs for a missile.

Rather glad I’m no longer required to make such flights.



Dear cherished reader

It is good to be back again. In the interim two things have happened which I would like to share with you.

Firstly, and most importantly, Silvie went up to Lisbon at the end of January for her operation. The surgeon, who appears in the following clip, is a miracle worker and provided Silvie with a titanium pin permanently inserted into her “shin” bone onto which a removable carbon fibre blade is attached by three Allen screws. The film of Silvie’s first ever walk on the new prosthesis was taken by the hospital.

The difference is remarkable. Continue reading “News”


Dear Cherished Reader.

I have been away as the real world of work encroached on my life for a while. I am back in The Cave now and equilibrium has been restored.

I appreciate that I have not been fair to fellow Charioteers in the past months, not the least in not announcing the result of the photo comp i set back in November, for which I apologise and I thank those who took up the baton.

Tail between legs, I hope I will be welcomed back into the pack.