Sunday, 28 April 2013

Sunday 28th April 2013

And so the weekend arrives.

Snake's-head Fritillary

If i am honest, I do enjoy the travelling, for the most part. BUt at the end of the third week of it, I am jaded, and tomorrow (Monday) I have to be on the quarter the seven train out of Dover to catch the flight to Billund again. As this week i have the morning flight, for a change. I have picked my seat on the plane based on how good the view is, as on Thursday the propeller got in the way of some of my seats from the 3rd row.

Colts Foot, Tussilago farfara

So, yesterday morning we got up fairly early and after coffee headed to Samphire hoe to look for Early Spider Orchids. Thanks to the prolonged winter, everything is several weeks behind last year, and there were no sign of the tiny plants. Well, there are the leaves and if it stays warm maybe we will see then in two weeks or so. Afterwards I had to town to get my barnet mangled and, as usual, get some abuse.

As the weather was cloudy so we headed back home to do some chores and have lunch before we decided where to go. I say chores, it was for me to listen to the radio and Jools did some work in the garden.

So, I looked at the map and decided we should visit Bridge. Yes, there is a place in Kent called bridge, although when I drove through I could see no bridge. This needed investigating. So, I checked where the church was, and the best exit off the A2 and we set off with at least three cameras between us.

Bridge is just a few miles outside Canterbury, and was once on the main road between London and Dover, and is still home to three former coaching inns. Since the mid-70s, the main road by-passes the village and so it is wonderfully quiet once again.

St Peter, Bridge, Kent

We parked near the church and after snapping one of the pubs we go to St Peter's. It is a fine, typical Kentish church, and was open, which is always nice. But inside it is clear those darned Victorians had all but removed any trace of it's Norman origins. But, with the sunlight falling through the stained glass, it was wonderful in the church, and we took many shots.

St Peter, Bridge, Kent

We then headed to one of the pubs, The Plough and Harrow, for a drink and to just take in the sheer joy of Saturday afternoon. Once we had supped, we headed back to the car and then back home for maybe listen to the radio and more possibly a snooze.

The Plough and Harrow, bridge, Kent

Sunday morning was every bit as glorious as Saturday afternoon. But chilly. So, after checking my mails I make bacon butties and I sit down to watch MOTD. A nice way to ease into the day. I wait until ten before checking myself onto the flight for tomorrow, then pack my case and my work stuff. Jools worked in the garden all day, even refusing to join me on my afternoon walk, but then she has the whole week to walk as she has the week off. That sounds like a great idea.....

Next door's tulips

So, after pork pie for punch, I put on my walking books, stap my camera bag to my back and set out. Despite being wonderfully sunny, the wind is cool, and as I walked across the fields it was downright chilly, but the walking kept me warm enough. I snapped my first Comma of the year, as well as enjoying the vistas as I neared the cliffs. Two weeks of sunshine and above freezing temperatures mean that natures is now wide awake and growing like crazy; it is fantastic to see. And everywhere the colours are so vivid. It is great to just be out and walking enjoying the day.


As usual, I find some people to chat to on the cliffs before heading back inland and home.

Walk with the wind

Tonight we have a table booked at The Coastguard dwon in the Bay; so fish and chips and real ale, at least for me. And maybe the cheeseboard too. Hmmmm.

So, that is all for me until Saturday when it will be May.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Saturday 27th April 2013

Wednesday (evening)

It is one of the joys that at the end of the working day, heading back to the hotel, powering the computer, and checking in online for the flight home. And then head out for a slap up dinner of ribs.

And chips.

And a trip to the salad bar.

And a beer.

I grabbed my coat and my book to read and took the stairs to the ground floor. I bumped into two of the project guys. Where you’re going they ask. For a beer and some ribs I says. Oh where? About 100m from this very hotel. Can we come along?

Of course.

Mr J

So I have three, as another one tagged along, join me for dinner and to keep me company. Three of us had ribs and the other the route 66 taster plate. All was very good. We decided for forgo the Irish bar so we could all head back to our rooms to watch the football. A good decision as Dortmund thrashed Real 4-1, and Mr Ronaldo did not look pleased. Oh well.


I wake up at 6, pack, and load the car so I am in the breakfast bar when it opens at half six, and am at the office for seven in time for a meeting. I plod on all day with the entering information into SAP until it was time to head to the airport. And I was looking forward to the drive as it gave me a chance to push the A3 to its max. So, once on the motorway and put it up to 130 kp/h, and then it was time to turn off and take the road to Billund.


Once at the airport, I realise I have the ticket to get into the business lounge, so check my bag in, go through security and go up to the lounge, meet two others from the project, so we sit down together and end up ordering burgers to munch on whilst be drink free beer and chew the fat. As it were…..

Westcliff on Sea

The flight was uneventful, I got some more shots of Essex and East London as we were on final approach. Once down it was a dash across Londo to be at Stratford with 5 minutes to spare to catch a train to Ashford. At Ebbsfleet my friend Matt gets on, and we have a chance to chat and catch up. Then it was a 10 minute wait on the platform as Eurostars scream by tearing the night apart on their way to Europe.

Speeding through Thurrock


So, I am working from home today, and in a surprise move I seem to have pretty much caught up with the SAP thing and might treat myself to an early stack and sit on the sofa listening to Mayo and Kermode on the radio: just like the old days….

Sankt Barbara

Friday, 26 April 2013

Friday 26th April 2013


And so, welcome to Tuesday and welcome to Denmark.

To describe today as hectic would be to have a new definition for hectic. The installation vessel has arrived and is about to begin loading the turbines before sailing to site. As you can imagine there are issue and there are urgent issues to deal with. So, people with various degrees of panic rush around getting stuff done. But this is a learning curve, a steep one, but we are learning and will get better.

Waiting at the gate

Today is a day given over to SAP. SAP is a program for tracking things. And is good, as good as the information put into it. So there you see the problem, doubly with me as the person inputting the data. But, it seems to be working.

Now its our turn to fly

Yesterday was an uneventful day, working from home tackling the full inbox and getting stuff done, before at three dropping everything to head to Denmark. The trip was also uneventful, for me it is now so out of the ordinary I don’t think twice about what I have to do. Jools collects me, and drops me off at the staion, I get my ticket, get a seat on the waiting train before heading off. Once at Statford, get on the DLR, get off at the airport. Check in and getting my boarding pass printed, check the bags in, go through security (no queues at all yesterday!!) and get a table and order a beer and a burger. That leaves with 45 minutes to people watch before going to the gate and boarding.

Thames Barrier and Pontoon Dock

Sadly, it was very cloudy, so once we took off, 30 seconds later we went through the clods and England was lost below; so no pictures of the Essex and Suffolk coasts.

North Greenwich and The Dome

Once at Billund, get off, go through immigration, collect my bag, go to the car hire place, sign the paperwork, head to the car park, find the car and drive the 64 KM to Esbjerg. No hassles or worries. And I have an Audi A3 this week, which is a dream to drive, by far the best car I have been given.

Audi A3

FC Esbjerg must have been playing at home last night, as drunken fans were wandering the streets until after midnight singing and letting off fireworks. Once it was quiet I fell into a deep sleep.

So it goes, so it goes.


You know, it should be simple. Work. You ask folks to do stuff and they do it. Sorted. But broken promises and the sloping of shoulders goes on. But, I digress.

Last night I did go to Paddy Go Easy for a pint before heading to Bones for a slap up meal of ribs and fries. And then heading back to the hotel via Paddy Go Easy again to watch the football on TV. And Bayern thumped Barca 4-0 in a spectacular game. Words fail me.

In a nice move, no one let fireworks off outside the hotel last night so I slept well.

And today work is getting ever crazier. I mean, I am trying to get a handle on it all. I have spent the day inputting data into SAP. SAP is a program with does stuff. I can only hope the data that I am tapping in will actually be of use to someone and will not just sit there unused like the cup final loser’s ribbons.


So, outside the rain has begun to fall from a cloudy sky. And out in the yard the turbine components are being loaded onto the installation vessel. Things move forward.

Plan for tonight.

Paddy Go Easy.



Like yesterday only a day nearer when I can go home. Which is tomorrow.


Monday, 22 April 2013

Monday 22nd April 2013

Some people like to wake up to a pot of coffee or maybe the first fag of the day: Sunday morning began with Scully staring at the record shelf. This normally means a mouse is sheltering after one of the mogs had brought it in. I looked under the table and there was a ‘kin huge rat sitting there. I got a cloth to throw over it so I could put it out like I do with a mouse.

Spring stars

That freaked it out and it jumped up screeching. I tried to grab its tail; my other trick for dealing with mice. That freaked him out further and I got a bite for my troubles.

Jools came down and between us we managed to shepherd it into the porch and then out the door with Scully close behind having a fine time. Lets hope my jabs are up to date now……..

Peacock butterfly

It is always wonderful to wake up on a Sunday morning to see the sun shining outside. Even if it through a veil of mist. By the time we got up and made pot of coffee the mist had burnt off and it was glorious. Glorious but cold.

Never too Old to Walk

Anyway, after catching up on the highlights of the football, we put on our walking boots and headed out into the spring sunshine. We headed down the lane to see the pigs first and then set off down the valley and up the other side. The sun shone down from a blue sky, and it began to get warm. I was glad to have left my coat behind. In the hedgerows, life is springing forth, bushes and trees are in bud and their leaves are exploding too.

We crossed the cycle path to Deal and headed over the fields towards the cliffs. Jools spotted a butterfly, a Peacock, and I managed to get a reasonable shot even though it was on the ground and flew away as I got near. Later I spotted a Small Tortoiseshell too later, and I got a distant shot of that as well.

The Riders

The car park at Bluebirds was full with ramblers, dog walkers and twitchers. So, after sitting on the single bench for a while taking the scene in, we headed to Bluebirds for a cuppa and a piece of shortbread. Galvanised, we set off through the village by alleyways back home. I guess we were out for over two and a half hours, and it was just joyous to be out in the sunshine and the countryside around where we live. We both had huge smiles as we returned, just from the joy of it.


That afternoon we did more garden work, and I listened to the football during which that nice bloke, Louis Suarez bit an opponent. Words fail me……..

One thing that did get missed in all of the hassle of last week with work, travel and the such was that it was the 17th anniversary of Dad's passing on Wednesday. I feel slightly bad, but in truth barely a day goes by where I don't use one of his phrases or think what he would have made of a certain situation.Time does and has taken away the pain, but nothing fills the hole, and I hope he would be pleased with what I have made of my life. I'm sure he would be pleased enough.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Sunday 21st April 2013

Oh yes, the weekend. The time of the week when you turn the work's phone off, pack the laptop away and do something, anything else.

And for a change, the weather was supposed to be 'nice'.


And they got it right. Saturday morning, I went out at half nine with my friend, Gary. Heading over to Sandwich to do some twitching and photograph some of the birds we see. Wedrove off and headed out through Deal and along to Sandwich Bay. I thought I something in one of the fields opposite the golf course, so we pull over and it turned out I was right. Hiding, in plain sight, we two partridges were seen among the cowpats. Wherever you can find a place to rest, I suppose.

Grey Partridge

Then we head to a copse called The Pines, where last week he saw and snapped a few firecrests. Sadly, we had no such luck this week, despite walking round and round the wood. We did see Black Caps, Willow Warblers, Long Tail Tits, Mistle Thrush, robins, various tits, a wren and chiff chaffs. I got a shot of the LTTs, which is just about OK.

Long Tailed Tit

we then went over to the hide to see what was on the lake: Little Grebes, Lapwings and assorted gulls and ducks. We snapped them before calling it a day and heading back home.

Mistle Thrush

That afternoon, I listened to the footy on the radio and looked at updates via Twitter. City beat Reading 2-1, which should be good enough for survival: but we've said that before! Anyway, scoring twice in a minute on the hour should have made it easy, easy, easy. But City managed to give a goal away and so the longest 12 minutes of the season had to be seen out before the points were ours. In the danger zone, all three teams lost, with QPR and Reading now all but certain of going down, and Wigan just four points from safety, but having 5 games in 15 days in which to see the season out. So, as it stands 46 is the safety line, but something like 38 or 39 should do it.

Tufted Duck

We have had badgers visit our garden every night for weeks now, and it really is a joy to see then come along and clear the bird seed and nuts before munching, or carrying away one of the fat balls. Friday night we had three at once, and last night we had three and two foxes. All within 5 feet of our living room window. Much more interesting than anything seen on TV for sure.

Little Grebe

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Saturday 20th April 2013

And so some eight hours after getting back home, I was getting up to head to the office at Ramsgate as i had paperwork to drop off. I won't lie, as pleasant a drive as it is in the morning, i could have done with another hour in bed and some more beauty sleep.

However, it was work time.

I could go into details, but I won't. Suffice to say, more e mails came in than I could deal with, we still have a stack of NCRs to register, and next week I have to travel to Denmark again, conduct another day or training for yet another new starter and oversee the loading of the installation ship. OK, I'm not responsible, but this is one of the most delicate operations.

anyway, other than wind turbines, we have a plentiful supply of hot water, as we got a new water tank this week. Not the most exciting news I could bring you, but the fact the shower has been running out of water since the bathroom was done, and we have had what has at times been a waterfall running out of the overflow pipe from the attic. Anyway, that has now stopped. The shower should not run dry, and we are £550 lighter. That did include a new radiator for the bathroom so we don't have the paddling pool in there now.

Once work was done, i got back on the cross trainer and did half an hour, picking up the pace to Toni Basil's Mickey which, as ever, a great work out song.

Bring on the weekend......

Friday, 19 April 2013

This Week

Well, two other things to talk about: one that this is the 3rd anniversary since i begun work in the wonderful world of wind turbines. And despite any statements written here to the contrary, I love this job. I really have not been better suited to a job.

Saying that, it has been trying, but no more than what other people have to put up with. So, here's to three more years!

And on Wednesday it was the day of the funeral. I was very busy, so did not watch or listen to anything about, and maybe it has given me a little perspective. Most of those attending hated her, and played a part in her removal from power. And for many it was a political move to be seen to mourn and cry some crocodile tears. Yes, that you Gidiot I'm talking to.

all in all, it was a long, long time ago, the damage can not be undone, and we have the problems of the living to cope with. Goodbye Maggie and good riddance.

Now, on with the weekend......

Friday 19th April 2013

Thursday. I left you last time talking about how chaotic Wednesday was. In truth it continued in much the same manner. And then ramped up a level on Thursday. So it goes.


Wednesday night I went out on my todd to have dinner as Philip was still working. So I wandered into Paddy Go Easy only to find ‘the librarian’ in attendance. That after a few drinks he is hard to understand, what I did gather was that Tesla’s book was censored four times during his lifetime. That remote control planes that hovered were used in WWI. Now, I had a very low freak acceptance level and so I could only stand his rantings for the time it took me to drink one beer before I said I had to search for a place to eat. And I ended up in Bones again, but this time trying out their burger. As you do. It was fine enough, and I like it there as it is well lit, so I can read, and they always have tables.

Denmark is still brown

And so to Thursday: work was, well, work. It began hectic and continued all the way through until I held up my hands and said I had to head to the airport to come back home. Now, by the time it was time to head to Billund, the wind had really begun to blow, and as I drove along it was like driving through the dustbowl in the 30s as huge clouds of topsoil were being blown around. It turned a bright day into semi-darkness, which was really quite odd.

Den Oever,  Netherlands

I did think the wind would be too strong to allow flights, but I was able to check in and flights were arriving and departing as normal. This time I did not have the key to the business lounge, so I settled down with a beer before going through security and settling down with a bigger beer. I wasn’t hungry and there wasn’t much else to do. I did have my Bible biography with me, but the truth is it is not for light reading. It is for deep study and not having a head full of work stuff at the same time. So the beer helped clear my head so I did some people watching as once again, the internet at the airport was intermittent to say the least.

Dutch coast

On the flight, the clouds cleared and I was able to see the ground below as we headed down the Dutch coast and then flew over the North Sea and over the Essex coast, down into Kent and then along the Thames until we landed. I took pictures all the way. As you can see.

Greater Gabbard Windarm

For a change we took off on time, but thanks to the headwind the flight took an extra hour. And we were kept in a holding pattern as is usual. Which meant that we did not land until after seven, and by the time we were allowed off, bussed to the terminal, queued up for half an hour to get through immigration. I had about half an hour to get to Stratford to catch the Dover train.

Southend-on-Sea, Essex

According to the destination board, there were only trains to Bank: the train on the Woolwich bound platform had terminated. And there were no announcements as to where it was heading. I looked round as it pulled out to see it was going to Stratford. Bugger.

Oyster Creek, Canvey Island, Essex

So, I waited 10 minutes for a Bank bound train, and changed onto a Jubilee train for Stratford hoping we would jump ahead of the DLR train so I could get to Stratford International. We did overtake it at Stratford High Street, but as we slowed for the arrival into Stratford, the DLR overtook us. I got off the train and hurried along the platform keeping the DLT train in sight; its doors were still open. But as I neared the end of the platform and less than 50m away, the doors closed and so my final chance to catch the Dover train at twenty past eight.

A2, Watling Street, Kent

Jools agreed to come to Ebbsfleet to collect me, so I caught a Faversham bound train, and got off at Ebbsfleet and then waited for Jools to come. I guess I had 20 minutes, and then it was an hour blast down the motorway to East Kent and home.

Thurrock Lakeside and the Dartford Crossing

We got home at just before ten, and then had to do something for dinner: what better than pizza? Ready in 10 minutes and perfect with stupidly strong Danish Christmas beer?

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Thursday 18th April 2013

it is Tuesday; that means we’re in Esbjerg and it’s snowing. Only it isn’t. Well, we’re in Esbjerg but the sun is shining and its warm enough to not wear a coat, or at least have it un-fastened. SPRING!

There was a phrase that 18 sqn used to use about ops and dets, when chaos reigned: The goat is out and running. I think that this is an appropriate phrase for how I feel right now. Sometimes I feel we’re on the crest of the control wave, and at other times it towers over us and threatens to drown us. Today maybe we have got nearer the crest of the wave as control, or the impression of it, returns.

Yesterday was a mix of work, packing, exercise and travelling. All mixed up into a huge wok of uncertainty. Anyway, by three I was packed, showered and ready for Jools to take me to the station for the commute to Denmark. Not much to report about getting to the airport, just that for these evening flights the airports seems to be pleasantly empty, at least until you get into the departure lounge when everyone seems to be there. I had dinner, a micro-buger from Rhubarb, and then waited for the flight to be called.

Once airborne, we turned west and I got great views along the river to the City, but, sadly, my camera was in the hold. Sorry, my cameras were in the hold. To make matters worse, there was little cloud as we climbed and headed north east, and I got views of Essex, could pick out Colchester as we flew over. Then, looking down as we reached the coast flew over Harwich and Felixstowe and up the coast so the sand bar at Orford Ness could be seen, and looking further the curve of the coastline up to Great Yarmouth and up heading north as it bent west to Cromer. The light caught the water of the broads and I could make out Breydon Water, and the Yare as it meandered over the marshes and the straight line of The New Cut as it headed towards Norwich. Finally, I could make out the harbour at Great Yarmouth, although too high to see buildings, I knew that down there I used to drive a truck backwards and forwards delivering chemicals.

I would rather be on the plane for sure.

I finished my book as we flew over the sea, and looked up to see that night had fallen, and we were flying over Esbjerg. I even could make out our work site and the turbine components and how far work had progressed.

I have been given a brand new car to drive, a Toyota Avensis estate, which is very nice, but there is a choke problem which causes the engine to race when a gear is not engaged, which makes it seems like I am revving the shot out of it at traffic lights. Oh well.

Once in the hotel, I open the mini bottle of Johnny Walker and look at the news on my computer: bomb explosion in Boston, and more on the funeral.

Time for bed.


And today the client did come and ask many, many difficult and pertinent questions and we all tried to give honest and open answers without giving anything away. And so the dance went on all day as they inspected their massive investment and we tried to look like we really, really know what we’re doing.

We do know what we’re doing, and are doing very well. As to whether we can prove that is another matter however. And whether the client will be happy with what we tell them is another matter.

As I am buried by an avalanche of e mails and work, the sun shines outside, shining down on a warm Denmark, and I would rather be anywhere than inside the offices. However, it is better than stuffing the giblets up chicken’s bottoms, and I say this all the time. Some days I even believe this. Yes, it is better than Buxted, Raw Chemicals and parts of Gardline. I have a minion again, Steffan who I will train tomorrow in the ways of the force (NCR database) and in doing so will fry his brain. It’s my job.

Last night our boss took Philip and myself out for dinner; we ended up at a place called Bones, which is a BBQ place, andother meat only restaurant. It was good, and very filling. And he paid, or rather is company credit card did, and paid for the two pints of beer too. Which is always nice.

So, one day until I can go back home and have another four day weekend, or two days working from home and two days off before I come back over again. So it goes, so it goes…..

Monday, 15 April 2013

Monday 15th April 2013

And so, without any fanfare, spring arrived sometime on Sunday afternoon. The clouds parted, the sun shone, the birds sang and I sat indoors and watched football. Hey, it’s that time of year. It was the FA Cup semi-final, and Manc Citeh beat Chelski in an end to end game where it was exciting, but neither side seemed capable of keeping possession for more than five passes. Anyway, at the risk of being accused of being a party pooper as we were treated to an end to end game and one that deserved another 30 minutes extra time, it mostly kept me awake, even if I had to lay in an uncomfortable position to keep my eyes open.

Burning those winter blues away

On this fine Monday morning, the sun is still shining, the wind has dropped and I am waiting for a guy to come on like so he can train me in the black arts of SAP; don’t ask. And at three I begin the trip back to Denmark and the not-so frozen north. As I hope spring has arrived there too. The weekend was filled with more Thatcher puff pieces; was she/wasn’t she evil and the such like. In the end it don’t matter a hill o’ beans as nothing is going to change our memories, no matter how many time The Sun or the Mail tries. And the BBC tries to cover both POV and gets called a leftie mouthpiece. So it goes, so it goes.

Moon and evening star

She is being buried on Wednesday, and I will be away; just as well as I can immerse myself in work and avoid the BBC world news channel in the hotel, all with be fine and there will be no gnashing of teeth.

The weekend was rather a quiet one: I worked from home on Friday, which was rather nice with just the cats pestering me for food and/or affection. I managed to squeeze in time to make a bbatch of saffron buns too, which were ready just as Jools came home, and their delicious smell meant that an instant tasting was required so that evening’s work out got cancelled. Cancelled due to buns.


As usual.

Saturday morning, and we were up with the larks, the late rising larks at half seven, and after a coffee I went to the spare room, dusted down the cross trainer and did half an hour. I did another session on Sunday and much to my surprise did another half an hour this morning too. So, three days away and back on Friday for more pumping of lard.

So, I managed to fill Saturday with stuff, which may have included photography editing stuff and listening to the radio and a mid-afternoon snooze on the sofa. So by Saturday evening I was well rested. Jools had been out for a bead class, and the fact that it poured with rain all afternoon meant that there was no point in going out with camera. That would wait until Sunday. City defended well, but were undone by some suspect refereeing decisions and lost three goals in the final 10 minutes to slump to yet another defeat 3-1 to the Arse. There's always next week....

soggy bottom

On Sunday, spring was due to arrive. The weather forecasters had been shouting about it all week, and yet it didn’t feel that warm, not at first. East Kent was shrouded in cloud, and we put of our walk until after lunch just to give the sun time to break through. In the end we just walked our usual route, turning back at the pigs. But it did give us chance to try out our new wellies. Which were waterproof and almost impossible to get off. Oh yes, that’s why we hate wellies……

spring growth

And once I sat down for the afternoon of football, the sun came out. Bugger. So, I sat inside whilst it warmed up outside. The countryside does seem to be waking up; the hedgerows have signs of new growth and we saw a butterfly on the way back from the walk, but he did not settle so we just watched. Our garden also is walking up, and soon will be a riot of colour, we hope and winter will be a distant memory…..

So, until Friday, its goodnight from me.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Ding dong about a ding dong

Seems like the right wing are sensitive after all. At least about their own feelings. It must have come as a shock to think that 'feelings' actually existed and were not just a device song writers used. Ah, songwriters, we'll come back to them in a minute.

Parliament was recalled on Wednesday so the politicians could say a few words in remembrance of Mrs T. Bearing in mind that some of those present also were behind her removal from power back in the early 90s. Turns out that MPs could claim £3750 in expenses just for being there. Those last minute flights don't come cheap you know?

And now there is something else for the right wing to get all angry about: not content with arranging celebration street parties the day she died, seems like hundreds of thousands of people have been downloading 'Ding Dong,the Witch is Dead' from the Wizard of Oz soundtrack. So many of them that it is currently at number 3 in the chart. And now the BBC says it will not play the song on their chart rundown on Radio 1 Sunday night in case it offends her family. I can just imagine Mark and Carol tune in to Reggie Yates every week.

I had a barny with one of my contacts on flickr too. I said how I felt, and that I thought the press were being liberal with the truth of her time in power, and just wanted to say it how I saw it. Sadly, it was not taken well. Is itpossible for two reasonable people to see events so differently? I guess it is. One persons heroine is the other's devil incarnate. She divides in death just as she did in life. And now there is the funeral, costing £8,000,000 and with full military honours, whatever that means. That this is going to be a magnet for protesters, now that they know how poorly the right and Tories take criticism.

So, in summary: Judy Garland: gay icon and bĂȘte noire of the right.

I guess i would have understood it better if maybe a more socially aware song had been chosen: Shipbuilding by Robert Wyatt, Between the Wars by Billy Bragg, Stand Down Margaret by the (English) Beat or best of all, Ghost Town by the Specials.


Friday 12th April 2013

Welcome to England.

Welcome to Kent.

Welcome to St Margaret's.

Yes, after the three day trip to the frozen wastelands of Denmark, I am back and baking. Yes, baking. Baking saffron buns. I have been working from home, dependant as it is on our dodgy interwebs connection. But, I managed to get some work done in spite of that.

I did have the cats for company, some of them needier than others. Mentioning no names here, Molly. But you are a very fine adult cat who does not need constant reassurances.

So, I left Denmark yesterday; the sun was shining for a change and with no snow. However, soon enough it clouded over and so stopping to look for another church was out, and anyway, I had to stay longer than planned as I had extra work to do. (no really)

So, I got to the airport, handed the Ford Fiesta or whatever it was. I checked in my bag and was given a card to gain access to the business lounge. Oh look, special strength beer! Oh, I'll have one of those, and some nibbles. Oh and another beer and some more nibbles. And one more for the road.

I poured myself onto the plane and promptly fell asleep for just about the whole flight, waking up as we descended for final approach so I could point the camera at bits of South East London and north Kent.

Once we were on the ground, we got off the plane and got into the the terminal to find an enormous queue to get through immigration. You're not jumping the queue, pal. So set the tone as mild-mannered business types sharpened their brollies ready for battle. It was fun to watch but the raised voices and threats melted away.

So, back home in Blighty, just have to get home. I caught the train to Ashford, changed to a Dover bound train, and that was it; the end of an 18 hour day, and home in time for a cuppa and then to bed.

One thing i did see whilst waiting at the queue for immigration was a woman from America, probably in her 60s, slim, still has curves. And then I saw her face; clearly, someone who had seen her fair share of plastic surgery clinics, her face now sagged and had the appearance of a couple of bags of mince, and inbetween was her now, flat like a boxers. I looked at her, tried not to stare, but she had the saddest eyes, you know? I wonder what she looked like before the ops; whether she thinks is was all such a good use of money now.....

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Thursday 11th April 2013


And so you join me here in Esbjerg as the project trundles forever onwards.

I worked from home yesterday, at least until three o’clock, at which point Jools came home to pick me and my bags and deposit me outside Dover Railway station for the commute to Denmark. The day had been uneventful until the news came in about Maggie, and then it was a case of listening to the radio or watching the storm erupt on Twitter as those on the left and right banged on about whether she was a force for good or evil personified.

The garden is ready

Anyway, I made my point yesterday and I’ll stick with that.

That I commute from Dover to Esbjerg is a pretty amazing thing. That it has become so mundane is something more incredible still. I mean I leave Dover at three forty-five and was at the hotel at nine fifty, having travelled to Stratford on the High Speed line, catching the DLR to LCY, checking in, getting through security, having dinner, catch the flight, pick up my hire car and drive the 66 KM to Esbjerg.

Amazing, really.


Some folks on the plane I know by sight and we say hello. The stewardess knows me, and smiles when I refuse the in-flight roll which constitutes dinner.

Once in the hire car, a Ford Focus this time, I switched on the radio hoping to catch the second half of the manc derby. And I found it and was pretty much listenable, although it sounded like a throwback to the 70s, when Dad and I would listen to the big Europen games on radio 2 with reception fading in and out. It was pretty exciting and Citeh ran out 2-1 winners, although that won’t really effect the title as Utd are still 12 points clear with 6 games to go.

Blades and towers

The game ended as I pulled into the parking bay, and once I got my bags out of the boot I walked to the hotel, checked in and had a shower. All in all, not bad really.

Compete Nacelles


It is snowing again in Denmark. I should not be surprised, it has snowed each of the last three times I have been here, but still, it is the 10th April, we have daylight, or light anyway until nearly half eight in the evening, it gets light again long before the alarm goes off in the morning. In other words, its too late in the year for the bloody white stuff. And it wasn’t just snow flurries this morning, it was a full blown, pardon the pun, blizzard. Its all melted again now, but it was very wintery for a time. And now it has reverted to general Danish grey with low, thick cloud. But hey, its not snowing.


This wouldn’t normally be an issue, but today is the first day of the county cricket season back home. Cricket; that means summer, right? Tea on the lawn, the sound of ball on willow. More tea. And all that. Not snow. Anyway, as every Dane I have pointed out, we don’t play cricket in Denmark. Maybe they should is all I’m saying.

Blades and nacelles

In world new, Thatcher is still dead. Although the Daily Hate Mail is upset that some people in Britain don’t share their view that she was ‘the woman who saved Britain.’ And some people had parties in the hours after the news of her death had been announced. I mean once I got to Denmark and was in my hotel room, I had a couple of whiskies to celebrate, but that is it. Much more important things to worry about, like the possibility of thermo-nuclear war on the Korean peninsula, global financial meltdown, genocide in Syria and all the other horrible stuff that man does to other men. And women. And children. And The Mail is naming and shaming the party organisers! Well, I have a celebratory wee dram, name and shame me!

But we don't play cricket in Denmark !

Last night I had dinner with my old boss in the hotel bar. Eating in a business hotel is a miserable experience, at least I had someone to talk to this time. But the food is poor as is the service and as its on the company credit card the hotel gets away with it. I may find somewhere else to go tonight, but only of the bloody snow stops. At least they haven’t found a way to fuck up a burger. Yet.

I tried to watch the Galatasaray v Madrid game last night. I watched the first half but it all seemed so predictable. I closed my eyes at half time and woke up to find the Turkish side 2-1 up, then 3-1. They still needed to score twice in the last ten minutes which was never going to happen, but it was exciting.

More of the same tonight, I suspect. With Barca playing again. Oh well, it gives me something to do of an evening…..


And the sun did shine. Yes, after a grey start, the clouds have burned away and the firey ball can be seen shining bright. This is in a marked contrast to yesterday where it snowed, snowed and snowed some more. At times it was blizzard-like and for a time settled, but melted soon after. It was still snowing when I went to bed at eleven last night. I sat in the hotel restaurant and watched as the flakes got larger and fell with more ferocity. It was so grim I did not seek out an alternative place to eat, just went down to the restaurant, drank a beer and ate a plate of pasta.

Oh and followed that with cheese. Lots of cheese. And wine.

Work continues as much as it did, I get in at seven, work to five and head back to the hotel. I laid on my read, did some reading and after dinner watched Barcelona dump Paris out of the CL.

Maggie is still dead, and now the righteous right are up in arms that some people did not feel as though a God-like figure had left this life. Some people organised parties and posted pictures on social media. Heavens above. Whatever next. Here are my thoughts on a story from The Daily (hate) Mail yesterday which proclaimed that she was ‘the woman who saved Britain.’

“What did you do before Twitter? That was a question I saw on Twitter, not surprisingly. Well, the answer went, I didn't know what was on the front page of the Daily Mail.

The Daily Mail, or the Hate Mail as I like to call it in my blog, is really a hateful rag, just look at its digital version with its obsession with the bodies of the famous and beautiful.

Anyway, I looked this morning, and it ran with a story about Mrs T as the woman who saved Britain. Now, I;'m not a fan of the Iron Lady, and take quite a bit of offence with that, and I tried to find it to post a screengrab, but I couldn't be arsed.

Much better to post this shot about loathsome lefties who did not share the love. Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion, even there. And we are entitled to ours. As William of Bragg once said, just remember there are two sides to every story. And as for some people in football suggesting that their should be a minutes silence for Maggie, a few thoughts: Hillsborough, membership cards! Hardly the best person football should be remembering.

If you want, say you miss her, attend her funeral, sign the condolence book: or, have a street party or like me, raise a wee dram and be thankful the world is once witch light.

And move on to the problems of the living.”

After some adverse comments I posted the following:

“I was a football supporter throughout the 80s, I do not remember the game being domminated by drunken yobs. The newspapers would have you believe that. I can remember being welcomed in pubs by opposition supporters, of warm discussions.

There is no doubt that there was trouble, but then there had been for 20 years. My Dad always said that treating people like animals, locking tem up in cages, would get them to behave like them.

Once the fences came down after Hillsborough there was little trouble, but then even in the 80s most of the trouble occured outside the ground or at railways stations or motorway service areas.

Improvements in stadiums, sadly, only came after disasters, like Ibrox in 1971 and Hillsborough. Lessons were not learnt by football, local authorities so the mistakes, like those of Burnden Park in 1946 had to be learned all over again.

The events at Haysel, for expample, we caused as much by poor policing, ticketing and a very run down stadium as much as the fighting. Clearly, at that point, something had to be done, and it was, but governments attitude was that it was football's problem and not society was a mistake.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, we live in democracy where free speech is enshrined, though I do wonder now people are being prosecuted for comments on Twitter and Facebook.

I hated Thatcher and everything she stood for, but that is a long time in the past and the hurt that was done cannot be undone, we have to move on. Recalling parliament seemed very over the top to me, as does a funeral with fukll military honours when, correct me if I'm wrong, she never served in the military. In fact her greatest hour, the Falklands, came after either a miscalculation or a deliberate act, of ignoring warnings of Argentine forces mustering at ports prior to an invasion.

He legacy, in my mind, is of industrial wastelands, towns with their hearts ripped out, many of which have not recovered three decades later. My hometown is no different. I have heard it said those things would have happened anyway. I'm not so sure; coals is still needed to burn for heating and for electricity generation, ships still need to be built.”

Anyway, today is Thursday and I am heading back to Blighty this afternoon and will be home by ten tonight and then just about four days at home before I have to come back and do it all again.