Absence makes the heart…….break

The thing is I’m dragging my Backside back to Blighty – to reside in sunny Sussex. So I’m busy with the rather complicated process of de-Viking(ing)* us and preparing for a Spring return to our green and pleasant land.

I mention it because it’s about time there was some real news hereabouts and I know my patient reader will be mildly intrigued and might occasionally be inclined to follow the new exploits of the Janus/Backside combo.

ETA late April. Meanwhile Jack Frost and the Snow Drifters are promising to visit the wild woods very soon.

* © Janus 2018

Evening all!

Morse would have approved, I’m sure. All bobbies in southern GB will soon have to have degrees to join the force (sorry, service).

And they will akshully undergo training. Yes, really. Come on, you say, how hard can it be? Well, allegedly, they have to learn things to qualify for protecting us. Like doctors and the military, it is said.

Well I never! And not a firearm in sight.

The runway

We’re all seasoned travellers here, so we are qualified to tell the gubmint which new runway to approve. There are no hubs which really offer an enhanced experience (!) – at least that I know of – so the decision for me comes down to ease of access to/from London for the common customer. LHR or LGW?

Easy. By car, bus, train or taxi LHR is quicker, cheaper and far less frustrating. I’m sure you all agree ?

Scene and Herd

At my local convenience store today.

The hitching post and buggy parking spots have been there for a while and are often used (sometimes just to leave a deposit as evidenced), the electric car charger is new and as far as I know, unused.

A few captions spring to my somewhat biased mind:

Sublime or ridiculous

Charging or discharging

Bullsh!t or horsesh!t

Nonsense or horsesense

Nearly over

Our 2 weeks in Western Iberia are almost done. We came to enjoy the sound of the ocean, the taste of fresh seafood and warm but not oppressive sunshine. And we found all of that and much more: straight-forward, uncomplicated, friendly people; decorative but functional architecture both grand and unassuming; and Sintra! Lord Byron’s ‘glorious Eden’, later a haunt of Hans Christian Andersen, fairy-tale palaces guarded by a Moorish castle atop Sintra’s breezy, wooded mountain.

So thank you, Portugal. You deserve to thrive and we hope you will.

A bridge but not for a while

Fifty years ago we all admired the new Forth road bridge – a modern, elegant addition to a proud Scotland.

Today it’s out of service until the new year, owing to structural failures. So commiserations to Embra drivers, thousands of whom will have to find a new route to work, or take the train or a temporary ferry.

Come on, Nicola! Get it sorted!

Freedom of movement

It looks as if the EU’s Shengen days are numbered.  Queue of lorries at the Ukraine border with Poland

Thank goodness, I hear you say. Sanity returns.

But be careful what you wish for. I remember well the queues of stinking lorries at border crossings, waiting interminably for the cynical attention of the customs crews, who now and then threw a sickie or struck in the name of solidarity with something or other. Train drivers, air-traffic controllers, farmers…..

And if you were unlucky enough to be carrying goods requiring their attention, it was ‘back of the line for you, my lad, car or no car’. I have spent whole half-days between Belgium and France, Holland and Germany. Friday afternoons in summer were always particularly unpleasant among short-tempered drivers eager to get home and short-tempered customs officers reluctant to let them.

Ho hum.