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 ?

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!

Entente cordiale?

Help me out here.

Thousands of ‘migrants’ are congregating around ugly Calais, apparently destitute but equipped with wire-cutters and determined to get into the Tunnel to Blighty.

OK so far?

Why? What’s wrong with Spain, Italy, France (etcetera ad nausem) where they entered the fabled EU?

Send answers please to a jobsworth in Brussels who will reply after les vacances, peut-etre.

Memories of Greece 1963, pt 1

Is it 50 years ago? Can’t be. Yes, it is.

Steam Train the Flying Scotsman Leaving a Station, January 1963 Photographic Print

Two mates and I won college travel bursaries after our ‘first public exams’ – which in those days counted as ordinary degrees taken after 5 terms. Value: £36 each. So we planned a month away in the summer vacation – destination Greece via everywhere in between. It wasn’t called back-packing in those days; we were just travelling students, advised to sew Union Jacks on our rucksacks so that Johnny Foreigner wouldn’t mistake us for undesirables (!). Such innocent times! Continue reading “Memories of Greece 1963, pt 1”

Gum control

This is the poll currently being conducted on the web page of South Africa’s largest selling Sunday newspaper down here today. (You too can vote, click here)

What’s it all about?

I simply had to investigate, apparently two ladies were asked to remove and discard gum they were chewing whist waiting for The Gautrain (remember my trip and pics? Here’s my Gautrain post) A row of sorts ensued and they were apprehended / detained for somewhere between 2 and 4 hours before being allowed to proceed with their journey. (report here)

I voted, results on next page.


Continue reading “Gum control”


I woke up early on my second full day in Korea. My old friend had arranged for me to be guided through Seoul by two of her old friends, both Korean men in their mid-20s. One, like me, is a Korean history graduate student. The other holds a degree in kinesiology and is a certified swim-instructor. Due to my inability to read signs clearly written in the Roman alphabet I was 15 minutes behind schedule, having travelled north instead of south and only realising it 4 stops later.

After a few hours of discussions on topics ranging from Korean history to the universal commonalities of prehistoric implements we went to have lunch. For those who do not know, I am quite fond of Korean food. Nabchae bokum, octopus in a red chilli sauce, is my absolute favourite dish.  The two called around to find the best restaurant serving that and my favourite new alcoholic beverage, makgeolli. The Nabchae bokum really was excellent, and fresh. After receiving the order the cook went to the octopus tank and took out three mid-sized and lively octopi killing and cleaning it just before chopping it up to cook with the sauce and spring onions. The lunch was incredible. It’s difficult to describe the sensation one gets from eating a fresh, properly-prepared Korean meal. Whatever it is, it is magical. They refused to let me pay, or even contribute. My attempt was met with insulted looks and a brusque refusal. Continue reading “Transitions”


Collectors item ?

Have I mentioned my absolute dislike of the big cities? If not, I’ll just restate quickly that I absolutely hate them, the rush, the traffic, the insular attitudes, the crowds, I’m sure that there’s more but you get the picture.

I had to go to Johannesburg last week for a couple of meetings, I’d tried so hard to get out of the trip but the supplier / principle insisted and so reluctantly I booked my ticket. 9:00am flight up 15:45pm flight back.

In brief I was collected from O.R.Tambo (newspeak for Jhb international or Jan Smuts for those of you with longer memories) precisely on time, whisked off to Springs for a presentation and demo, then off to Rosebank for another and finally to Orange Grove for a quick lunch.

Needless to say up until the lunch everything had gone meticulously to my rather cramped schedule, then some old friends heard that I was in town, Continue reading “Gautrain”