Friday, 28 February 2014

Friday 28th February 2014

Well, my friends, we have made it to both the end of the week and the end of the month. It was pay day yesterday and now we have two days of rest ahead of us. Let us be thankful for that.


I won't bore you with news of work, it bores me and I have to deal with it and the issues, so lets just say that I am off to sunny DK next week and so will not have to deal with the tiny minds of the Sun readers in the office in Ramsgate. And yes, I do mean every word of it. Listening to the monkeys yesterday explaining to each other why they should have been team leader rather than the degree-educated chap who came in at the end of last year. Yeah, how did that ever happen?


Last night we headed to the cliffs at nine to snap the stars as it near to new moon, and so the stars will be at their brightest. So we headed along the road to dover Patrol, trying to avoid the pot-holes until we came to the car park. Instead of heading to the cliff edge, we set up the tripods in the car park next to the monument and away we went.

Dover Patrol

We even met another couple of photographers, and said an embarrassed 'hi' as though our dirty secrets were out.

Orion was clear as a bell and Betelgeuse showing bright, large and red. I snapped the clouds over Calais which came out really well indeed. But it was chilly out on the cliffs, and after some 14 shots we headed back to the car and back home. Brrrrr.


Thursday, 27 February 2014

Thursday 27th February 2014


You have to upgrade to Windows 8 by March 10th 2014; so said a mail from the IT Manager. Now, that should not be a hard task should it? However, it turned out to an almost impossible task.

Double Badgers

First of all I have tried to order the software a number of times, and every time it failed to arrive. So, call IT. And after a while he connected to my laptop, and so began three hours of me watching him trying to force various downloads on my computer. And every time it failed.

Until after about 11 or so, he seemed happy. The began the process of downloading the updates my computer had failed to receive over the past 18 months. This is necessary so when the installation began they could be binned. And this is a good thing, apparently. So, it took an hour to upload and install the updates, then I could begin the installation of Windows 8; it was now half twelve. The installation would mean the updates I had just installed would be deleted, but they had to be there, apparently.

I waited. Waited some more. And then at half three gave up and left the computer to do its stuff over night.

We woke up at six that morning, and out the back of the house we could see a sliver of silvery moon hanging in the light of early dawn, and next to it was the bright pinprick of Venus, shining bright too. So, once dressed and downstairs I grab my camera and the 400mm lens to snap it, and I think they came out really well.

It was one of those days when you really don’t want to be at work, or more likely, another one of those days when I don’t want to be at work. There was a glorious dawn, and the day was bathed in warm sunshine with little wind to stir things.

Old Moon and Morning Star

We went to see the old folks on the way home from work. Things are just the same as ever, although Nan’s room is now a spare bedroom. We chatted until the fumes from Tony’s roll-ups drove us out and home. Quite how we tolerated smoking in our homes by our parents in in public places is beyond me. Or it could be that I am much less accommodating than I used to be. That is very possible.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Wednesday 26th February 2015


I head into work, in truth is is so much better than the commute to Denmark, in that I know I will be home at night. It is light now when we leave home, and by the time I have dropped Jools off and headed back to Whitfield, the sun is above the horizon getting brighter by the second. As I no longer have a desk as such, I have to time my arrival for when I think the monkeys are ready to head to the boats, if they are going offshore of course.

On Monday the wind was still blowing some from the weekend, or at least the sea had not calmed down. I sit at Pete's desk for a while, until he shows up, but he tells me that he is leaving within the hour so just stay. And being a Spurs fan and a man of honour, he shakes my hand to congratulate my on City's win the day before. Nice man.

Even with the guys in the office, its not too bad and I get work done, mails sent, meetings arranged and the such like. As I am working away I manage to miss the sandwich wagon at 11, and so have to make do with crisps and pop from the vending machine.

The day passes and soon enough its time to head back home. How nice to be heading back in bright sunshine, with the sun still an hour away from setting. The shadows are less long, even at this hour than a month ago. The year is pressing on.

Once home we have coffee after feeding the cats, of course. And somehow the evening slips though our fingers and it is ten o'clock and time for bed, again.


Woking from home.

I get up at half six, make another coffee, feed the birds and generally busy myself before it is time to log on with the work's computer, and battle the daily evil that is the VPN client, and we play the daily game; will I be able to log on or not?

In the end I can, and the day passes slowly, disturbed as I am occasionally by a random cat asking for food/attention/meow. And I have to attend a webinar on the mix of cultures between us in the west and our new partners in Japan. The lecture drags on and on, with half an hour taken with explaining on how to exchange business cards. and then the dos and don'ts; don't blow your nose in a room with our partners, you have to go out of the room! And other such gems which I have forgotten.

Out IT manager sends a mail telling us we have to upgrade to Windows 8 by March 10th, so I decide to try to get it done tomorrow when I'm back at Ramsgate. Little did I know how difficult that would be....

but that is another story.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Tuesday 25th february 2014


Up at seven. Feed the cats. Make coffee. Check interwebz. And sit on the sofa with Molly to watch MOTD. Already, my thoughts are heading towards the game in the afternoon when we take on Spurs in the televised game, and that mike make or break the season.

As it was, shortly after ten we headed out to see Nan. It has been some time since I was there, but I have been ill. And still am, but I really should make the effort.

When we arrive, she is dressed and sitting in her armchair, knitting, and in very good spirits. She won at bingo, but only two of them took part, but she did win a Milky Way and she seemed very happy with that. Mike had just left and whilst we were there Cath arrived to, so Nan had the full set of grandchildren, and she was happy indeed with that.

Afterwards we headed over to Deal to sample the final pub in the POTY. The Mill in Deal was recommended to me, but in truth I was left disappointed. It's not that I minded that it was an ex-miner's pub, it was that it had the air of a place that catered for the typical lager, sun-reading, sky-sports-watching demographic. There was just two ales on, two must have sold out over the weekend, and it was clear they had a lot of ales, as there was loads of hand pumpsigns over everywhere. The beer, Wainrights, was not too bad, but it had the feeling of a NAAFI to be honest, and it was good to drink up and eave.

Hmmmm, we were both feeling hungry, so we headed over to martin for lunch at the Old Lantern. The lanes down to the village was just about passable, and they had a table. So Jools has steak and ale pie, and I have Scampi, which was OK. But it did save me cooking that day, and so we went back home to chill out and for me listen to the game on the radio.

And, Norwich won. 1-0. And just about deserved to win, outplaying Spurs most of the game, rode their luck at times, and missed a few other chances. But City hung on to claim the three points and climb to 14th. We now have to win at Vila next week to really climb out of trouble.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Monday 24th February 2014


Although I had worked and travelled for such long hours the previous two days, I was wide awake by half six, and so it was coffee time. The cats let us know they wanted feeding, so down the stairs, feed the moggies and put the pot of coffee on the stove. There really is no better smell, other than bacon cooking, than coffee bubbling on the stove. And that first hot! Man, what a rush. Yup, its a drug, but then we all need something to pick us up!

If they could just invent baconated coffee or caffeinated bacon then we will know the future has really arrived. Saying that, you can already get cheese in a spray can, and that is pretty fantastic, even if the cheese itself isn't.

The Nailbourne in full flow

So, what to do with the day? Well, why not head to Barham? One of the reasons for going is another for not going; the floods. I am aware that there are flood tourists, but for me the interest in how nature, or in this case the landscape, copes with the heavy rain. I am not a Kentish Man nor a Man of Kent, so the idea of streams just springing out of the ground or disappearing back into the ground is pretty radical. But along the Elham Valley there is a winterbourne, that is a stream that flows only when there has been heavy rain, called the Nailbourne. Most times the Nailbourne through Barham runs underground, but this year the water table is so high that it is flowing strongly even there.

The Nailbourne in full flow

And flood tourists; people who go just to look at something awesome, or unusual, ignoring that for others this is a time of worry and distress that their home or village might be flooded. I gave it long thought before going, but decided to as the day was so glorious, and it felt springlike, and I hoped that the levels had dropped some.

The Nailbourne in full flow

In the end, one woman asked me not to post shots of her place, and it brought back all my concerns about going there in the first place. But, I will post the shots and speak of what we saw, so to record the fact if for nothing else. And from what I saw, no properties on the north side of the Nailbourne had been flooded, and it seems that after a week of mosltly dry weather, one hopes the worst is over and levels will now drop.

We parked up at the top of the village and walked down past the Duke of Cumberland to the village green and the bridge over the bourne. UKIP were out dishing out leaflets, all very happy in their little Englander way, appalled that I accused them of being anti-Europe. I mean, what could have given me that idea. Anyway, I told them I was voting for a new party next year, the NHA, of a party with a single aim, to save the NHS and expose the Tory lies about it. UKIP hadn't heard of it and seemed dismissive.

We shall see.

From there we headed to Deal as The Berry had a beer festival on. The regular sampling of ale coupled with my inactivity due to my flu/cold has meant that I know my waisteline has expanded, and so this must be one of the last such visits for a while. But with a dozen beers to sample, and being able to sit in the beer garden, drinking fine cask ale, munching on roast meat baps, was just too darn tempting.

After six halfs, we head home and I lay on the sofa, so I can appreciate the football on the radio better. I may have slept some!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Sunday 23rd February 2014


As I had been sensible and had just the one beer the previous night, when I woke at five I wasn't feeling too bad. I had a meeting back in Aarhus at nine, but with the dreadful traffic they get, I wanted to be back by half seven at the latest.

And that is why at half five I was checking out, loading the car, programming the sat nav and setting out through the woods to the motorway. There was little on the roads, but I had to be on the lookout for deers and wild boar, but I saw none. Once on the motorway, I put my foot down in the A3 and zoomed the 60 miles to the office, driving through gentle rain which created a little spay which made driving 'interesting'.

But I got to the office at half six, powered the laptop up and got on with work. At nine the meeting began, and that lasted until three when it was time to leave for the airport. As I said in the past, I won't say too much about work these days, but every day is interesting. And I was told by my boss that they are going to have to employ someone in my old role so I am now a permanent QA Manager, which means they must think I'm doing OK....

It's an hour to the airport, which in more drizzle and spray was more 'interesting.' But I arrived safely, checked in, bought some duty free, had a pint in the gastrobar and then it was time to board and sleep. I had been awake for 13 hours already. We took off and I snoozed all the way until we were flying low over Southend. The skies were clear and so the views were stunning, but the strong sidewinds made me close my eyes and whisper to myself 'I love the ground!'

We bounced down, parked in a slot near immigration, and once we were allowed off the plane there was no queue at immigration, my case was waiting at the carousel, and i had a couple of minutes wait for a train to take me to Stratford. I was going to make the quarter past seven train with more than ten minutes to spare,which meant I would be home just about half eight instead of half nine.


I even got a seat from Ebbsfleet, and did a bit of people watching as Essex gave way to Kent as we headed south to home. Jools was waiting for me at the station, and so the weekend could begin......

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Teambuilding in Skørping


Please don't get me wrong, I am a team player. Really. I will do anything to help any one of my colleagues. And, well, it has been a year since we had the last get-together, and so the invites were sent out, and as I was going to be in Denmark anyway. So, I said I'll go.

Skørping, Nordjylland, Denmark

Skørping lies some 65 miles north of Aarhus, and to get there in time I had to leave at seven, and battle through the rush hour traffic. I'm not kidding, traffic in Aarhus is horrendous. It stretches for miles and miles. Or kilometres and kilometres. It's all very well building all this industry, but you really have to improve the roads, guys!

Skørping, Nordjylland, Denmark

I head up the motorway, through Randers and past the old headquarter building, now all shut up and with no lights on. What a waste of a good building. Anyway, further north, before the sat nav says to turn off, and I follow a long road through the woods, and through a town that boasted a circus museum, which sounded just creepy.

Skørping, Nordjylland, Denmark

Out of the trees, across a river valley and up a heather lined valley to the higher ground above: and there was the hotel. a monster of a place in a tiny village. Oh well, looks OK. Outside was one of my colleagues, Soren, so clearly I have the right place.

Skørping, Nordjylland, Denmark

And as half nine approached, the rest of the department arrived, we had a coffee and got down to the business of the day. Discussing the recent employee survey, what is going to happen with the JV, and then the team event.

Skørping, Nordjylland, Denmark

We met outside the hotel at three, and waiting for us was a guide who refused to speak English. Hmmm. Anyway, we went for a walk in the woods, through the bare trees until we came to the edge of the escarpment with the valley below. The guide stopped a few ties and babbled away, I made up my own commentary, which mostly involved dragons.

Teambuilding at Skørping, Nordjylland, Denmark

We went down the valley into the valley below, where the team events were to take place. We were split into three groups and then we had to do three events: a wobbly maze thing, a giant jigsaw and a game where the three of us had to move a ball along just using plastic piping.

Teambuilding at Skørping, Nordjylland, Denmark

We were never told which team won, but as I was in the boss' team, I'm pretty sure we would have been crowned champions. We then had to walk back.

My chest infection was making me walk slowly, and I became aware I was holding the others up, so I said I would walk beside the road, which should have been easier, right? Well, easier, but more dangerous as cars sped by inches from me. I thought I could find the way to the hotel back up through the woods. Easy.

So, I turned off the road and up and up, until I came to a very steep section through the woods and up to where the hotel should be. It was by now raining, I was coughing all the while, my legs were aching, and I was pissed off. I struggled up, getting more an more concerned as darkness fell.

And then I reached the top, recognised a gate we had passed through, heck the hotel was even signposted. I walked out of the wood, across a field, and there was one of my colleagues driving out of the hotel, he swung onto the field and come up to me. Nice bloke was out looking for me! But I had reached the hotel sign, that means I got all the way back!

He insisted I get in so he could drive me to the door of the hotel some 50m away.

I walked with as much dignity as I could to my room, and crashed out on the bed. Unknown to me, the rest were in the bar hitting the bottled beers, so when time for dinner arrived they were already half cut. We had a four course meal, with plenty of wne, then back to the bar, where some were tired and emotional than others. As I had to be up at half five the next morning, I had the one porter and headed to bed. The rest carried on drinking.....

Saturday 22nd February 2014


Five fifteen always seems so darn early. We take extra five minutes before leaping into action. Get dressed, finish off packing, make coffee, make breakfast. Time to go at six fifteen, at least it is starting to get light which means I will be able to look out the train windows instead of the dead eyes of my fellow commuters.

It is cold on the station, but the wait is at least short. A departure time drew near, more and more passengers gather on the platform, clutching paper cups of coffee. I slide into my favoured seats on such mornings; a double airline seat that has a clear view out of the window. Amazing how in the 21st century train designers can't manage to line the seats and windows of in a railway carriage; is it really so difficult?

We rattle through Folkestone and onwards to Ashford, the train filling up all the time. I stare out of the window as we speed through South Kent, into the North Downs Tunnel, over the Medway, through Ebbsfleet, under the Thames and across the Rainham Marshes. Down into the tunnel at Dagenham Docks, and the final stretch of the journey is in the dark as we near Stratford.

Cross the station, onto the DLR amongst the workers heading to the old olympic village as the athlete's accommodation are turned into flats. Through Stratford, West Ham, Canning Town to Newham and the airport, where all is chaos: on a Wednesday! But then this is half term and the middle classes are heading to the slops of the Alps with their little darlings. My flight is only half full when it boards.

Up into the blue sky and over East london into south Essex with familar landmarks way down below. I lose sight of Essex as the climb over Brentwood, and i just get a glimpse of the Orwell Bridge a few minutes later, as the arches of the bridge ate in bright sunlight. And then fair england is lost to view. I snooze the rest of the flight, passing on the cold meal, ice cream and minature bottle of whisky that is offered.

Denmark is grey: very grey as we break cloud cover to discover that we are at tree height as we are on final approach to Billund. I am given an Audi A3 for my trip, once inside i select the dynamic drive mode, engage drive and vrooooom; off we go.

It is just an hour to head office, which meant I make the project bi-weekly meeting, and so get all the latest news on our dealings with the customer. And into another meeting, only to be told all has gone to rat shit for the meeting with our customer on Friday, and some fire-fighting has to be done; mails to be sent, calls to be made. And then on with the meeting onto half six and the Danish evening.

I had planned to do some work in the evening, but all I am good for is to slump on the bed and try to keep my eyes open as Arsenal take on Munich in the CL; it is as one-sided as i feared, but it does manage to entertain me until full time, I turn the TV off and head back across the room to bed.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Tuesday 18th February 2014


And back to work. And in Ramsgate.

It is getting light as we leave home, dropping Jools off at the LFB. And so as i wind my way through the Buckland estate, it is light, with the soon soon to poke its head above the horizon. At least with half term being on, the traffic is lighter than ever, and so the drive is pretty much enjoyable, although there are those to whom indicating and getting in the correct lane is something only others should do.

The sun is already up as I exit the harbour tunnel, and as planned, the monkeys are just loading the boats out for a day offshore.

I have a packed day, fuelled by frequent cups of strong coffee and much merrymaking and moaning with Peter at least, who shares my world-weary views on life further up the management chain, and those who live and work in the monkey house. He even makes my day when he asks if I want the spare ticket for The Stranglers in Folkestone next month. Result.

I meet up with Jools in dover where I need to pick up a few things, like a new belt. And whilst we wait for the Poles to clean the car we head to coffee house for, er, coffee. And cherry shortbread. Or at least I do. It all seems very nice to do something different on a work night.

Also different is the evening when I head back down to the Rack of Ale for the monthly CAMRA meeting. And beers.

It all is more pleasant than last month's, with no name calling and trash talk, which, when you think is from a group of old hairy blokes, old enough to be my Granddad is rather surprising. food had been laid on, as well as a talk by the area's two newest brewers who are re-creating tudor brews from the metropolis that is Eastry.

Jools picks me up at half nine, by which time I am full of beery goodness and blabbering along very well.

Good night.


Working from home.

Mails to write.

Meetings to arrange.

Flights to book.

Because tomorrow I am off to the frozen north once again, just for a couple of days. Team building and audits. What a rock and roll lifestyle I lead.

Anyway, I will be away until Saturday. Just to let you know. Be good.

Oh, and I got a new camera bag today. Something to protect the boys if I slip on ice again, as the top pouch on the old one did not protect the camera in there. So, another new era. The last one I port in Portland, Oregon in 2005; it done well.....

That's my bag, baby

Monday, 17 February 2014

Monday 17th February 2014


Sunday, the day of sun.

Indeed. And just as the BBC said, the wind died and the clouds cleared, and so all day the sun shone from a clear blue sky. It was all rather wonderful.

Flooding at Russell Gardens, Dover, February 2014

After a lazy late breakfast of coffee and bacon butties we headed to Russell Gardens to see how the flooding there from the flow from the Drellingore and Dour was acting out. Down by Kearsney Abbey the water was overflowing and running down the Alkham Valley road with more water bubbling up through manhole covers and the such.

Flooding at Russell Gardens, Dover, February 2014

The Dour had caused the water in the ornamental lake to overflow, with the benches alongside half-submerged. A few others had also come down to look and photograph the scene. It was all rather surreal to be honest. Further up near Bushy Ruff, the water was overflowing from the large lake there and turning the footpath into a fast flowing stream. Further progress was pretty impossible so we turned back and decided to head to see our friend, Gary.

Flooding at Russell Gardens, Dover, February 2014

Driving along Lower Road alongside the river was interesting, but although the water was high, it was not overflowing as most of the floodwater was being held up in Russell Gardens. As we turned down towards the mill, I saw Gary unloading his camera equipment from the back of his car. We pulled up behind us, but he was so entranced in his task he did not hear us.

Turned out he was on the trail of a kingfisher that the miller had seen on Thursday. So I got my camera stuff out too and we walked along the river for a while hoping to see a flash of the bird as it flew around. But we were unlucky and saw just the usual, common waterfowl.

After the walk we went back to his for a chat and a tea, and for me to try to snap some of the birds he has been tempting into his garden, especially Long Tailed Tits, which I have only seen twice before and never photographed. Or photographed well.

Long-tailed Tit, Aegithalos caudatus

He told us to sit on a wall near the feeder and wait. Seemed unlikely, but we did that. The air was full of birdsong, my concentration wavered, and then there was a LTT! I snapped it. It was joined by a second and then a third, all looking wonderful small and brightly coloured. I rattled off 200 or so shots and was happy with that.

We headed home for lunch, and getting out of the car we could actually feel the warmth in the sun. In fact it seemed possible that it was warm enough to sit in the garden. Although as it turned out the light breeze took the edge off the temperature and so that seat outside went unfilled. I tried to get excited by the football, but it was all a little low key. I mean if the clubs themselves can’t work themselves to take it seriously, why should we?

For dinner I cooked roast lamb and instead of gravy made Delia’s recommended Shrewsbury Sauce instead. And it turned out pretty well I have to say.

That evening we watched a Billy Connolly DVD and waited for a badge to come into the garden. Just as ten o’clock approached, a small badger appeared and began clearing up the peanuts on the ground. We could have watched it all night, but Monday being a school day and all, it was time for bed…..

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sunday 16th February 2014


A day of rest. what could be better than laying in bed until nine just enjoying not having to get up for work? Well, apparently, my body thinks otherwise and I'm laying in bed from five waiting until it begins to get light.

Dawn at St Margaret's Bay

I get up, feed the cats and make coffee. Then I decide we should go down the bay to see the sunrise and see if there are any big waves breaking. As once again we have a howling gale blowing, but it seems high tide was in the wee small hours and so after we arrive down in the bay we find the sea a long way out, but more of the beach having been deposited on the promenade.

Dawn at St Margaret's Bay

we take some shots, walk down to the edge of beach where the chalk makes rock pools, of a sort, take more shots. Then decide to head to Shakespeare Beach to see some real waves.

Dawn at St Margaret's Bay

Back up the hill, onto the Deal road then down Jubilee Way to be confronted by a huge queue of traffic. No problem, we just do a turn in the road and head past the Duke of York's to the castle and down into town and out onto Town Wall Street. Where all of Europe's trucks are waiting for a berth on a ferry back to La Belle France. Apparently, due to the storm last night, the port had been closed since one. And the queue was building.

Past Burlington House.

Past the Megger building.

Up past Aycliffe.

Up past Samphire Hoe.

Rough Weather

All exits off the main road back into town were blocked by trucks, so we had to head to Capel le Ferne where we knew we could get back on the Old Folkestone Road back into town. Only, wouldn't the views from the cliffs down onto the Warren be good?

Let's see.

Dover Harbour Pilot

We get out of the car, only for the doors to be ripped out of our hands by the gale. We walk up onto the grass, leaning at an angle of 45 degrees we just about manage to stay upright. I have to switch the camera to sports mode to get a shutter speed that allows for non-blurry shots as I am buffeted by the winds. But it is exhilarating, it must be what it is like to free fall parachute as our faces are pushed into comedic shapes by the wind.

Dateline: Saturday morning. Location: Capel. Weather: Windy, very windy

We get back into the car, and decide that due to the traffic, we should get our chores done and stay home. At least for a while. We head down the Old Folkestone Road being tail-gated by a lorry hoping to queue-jump, before heading back up through Buckland, past Tesco and onto the Sandwich road.

The view from Capel

And then up the Canterbury road before heading out onto the marshes to Preston. Preston as the freezer is empty and so we had to call in at the butchers. Only, due to flooding, we had to be careful and use the main road, and that ended at Preston as the Grove Ferry road is under several feet of flood water.

So, I load up on meat, meat and more meat, before we retrace our tyretracks back to Sandwich and then home. And by then we were more than ready for the first coffee of the day! And breakfast.

And so the day settles down with me messing around with the photos I have taken, listening to the radio, and then snoozing on the sofa when it all gets too much.

Its FA cup weekend and once again City's interest has long since faded, and so I have just a passing interest in it. I seem to be more interested in the sofa and sleeping though.

After dinner we head out to Deal as the winds had died and the clouds parted and the just passed full moon was abroad and I thought it might make for fine photography. We park near the pier and walk to the castle and back, snapping away. The moon glistens on the sea like a silver carpet, and contrasts with warm light of the streetlights.

The Moon and the pier

We get back in the car and drive a little further so I can check the beer at the Prince Albert, which wasn't up to much, but we end up talking to a couple at the bar whilst we drink, and what could have been a quiet drink turned into something much more enjoyable as we swapped tales of travel in Britain and in the US.

Morning Haze at night

We drive home by the light of the silvery, almost full moon. And the power of internal combustion. And I'm thinking, I love weekends......

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Saturday 15th february 2014


and so, for a change, I head into the office in Ramsgate as I knew I would need the services of a scanner and printer and much better for them to pay rather than us. Us who do not have a functioning printer.

After dropping Jools off, I head up out of Dover and onto Deal and Sandwich. The fields are, obviously, saturated, and the roads have much standing water. But it is no trouble to get into work. However, even with the winds having calmed down the previous evening, the monkeys returned to shore, and the office, as it was too rough to climb a turbine. I had been given the manager's office, so I did have peace and quiet, which was nice.

Shadow beach

I manage to finish all I needed to by three, so take the opportunity to head along Military Road to snap the late afternoon sunshine in Pegwell Bay. Now no ferries call here, traffic is very light, and the sand which has drifted across the road at the roundabout is getting deeper.

The sands of time

People are walking their dogs, whilst others are just out for the pleasure of it. I snap them all, all in the glorious warm sunshine.


I pack up as I have to get to Dover to meet Jools off the bus, and in doing so I see from the bridge on the Sandwich by-ass that the River Stour is pretty much in full flood. The road at Grove Ferry is flooded, as a=are other roads in the vicinity of the river. But my way is fine.

And thanks to my flu, or me recovering from flu, and the wheezing I am hearing all the time, I think it better that I skip the cross-trainer once again.


How can it be that I feel even worse this morning that I did yesterday? Lack of sleep does not help I know, but I could quite happily go to sleep all day. At least the commute is just walking down the stairs and switching the computer on.

I write mails, answer phone calls. and in-between I cough loudly for the entertainment of the cats.

The day passes.

In the evening we decide to head out because both of us have been feeling so crap we felt we really should make the effort. We drive out to Deal as I wanted to try another micropub, and this one is on the POTY list, so I HAD to visit this one.

It is in an old corner shop, the staff were friendly, the beer excellent. Jools has a nice cider, so we're both happy. We need to find somewhere to eat, but it being Valentine's Day most places are full. The Indian opposite said they had a table at half nine, the usual place we use on The Strand had a line right out the door. Our last chance is the Raj in Whitfield.

They manage to squeeze us on a large table, and despite being so busy we got our food in good time.

Phew. Bed o'clock.

Just time to try the new camera out on the full moon almost visible through the clouds. Even handheld, I get the shot. Amazing.

ISO 25600

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The explanation

"Hold stick near centre of its length. Moisten pointed end in mouth. Insert in tooth space, blunt end next to gum. Use gentle in-out motion."
—The toothpick instructions that annoyed Wonko.

John Watson, also known as Wonko the Sane was a marine biologist and scientist who lived in coastal California with his wife, Arcane Jill Watson. The pair lived in a curious place called 'The Outside of the Asylum'.

John calls himself 'Wonko' in order to remind himself that a scientist must be like a child in having no pre-assumed notions - 'Wonko' being a childhood nickname bestowed by his mother. Wonko added the epithet 'the Sane' to his name in order to reassure people of his sanity. That sanity was called into question frequently, not least because of Wonko's repeated insistence that he was visited by green-winged angels on scooters.

The Asylum

The Asylum was set up one day after Watson came across a set of detailed instructions on a set of toothpicks. Watson, distressed and fearing for the world's sanity, built 'The Asylum' to put it in and help it get better. The Asylum is a four-walled house turned inside out. That which one would be inclined to take as the door into the house opens into a lawn with benches and walking paths. This is the area that Watson calls Outside the Asylum. Thus, the inside of the asylum contains the entire world, save for that small area. Within that small 'outside' area, Watson has mounted the instructions for the toothpicks, in order to discourage himself and others from going back into the asylum, i.e. returning to the mad world.

Thursday 13th February 2014

Still not in Sweden......

Yesterday, I did venture down from my sick bed to make a hot lemon, and so I sat on the sofa to watch the latest on stormageddon. Yes, stormageddon, the latest storm to sweep across the Atlantic and try to blow Britain off the map.

What I saw was an apparently endless series of reports from correspondents either standing, or trying to stand, on a windy beach or nearly ankle deep on some suburban street in the Thames Valley. Its almost as if they believe we, the viewers at home, cannot imagine what a stormy sea or some minor flooding looks like.

In fact I have seen a cloud before. And I have seen a flooded road before. Really.

There was one report where the reporter was standing in the lea of The Cobb at Lyme Regis, and waves were breaking over the Cobb and he was saying, look at that water! It stings like needles on my skin. Well, and whose fault is that? Did we really need you to stand there? Could you not stood up on the cliffs or in a beach shelter and use the telephoto lens?

This is not to take anything away from those affected by the stormy seas, high tides and flooding. Its just it all has ramped up now that Metroland has been affected along the Thames Valley. Its almost that people living in the Thames Valley, Staines-on-Thames (SIC) and their flooding is more newsworthy than the flooding in Somerset that has been going on for six weeks or more. And then old Moonface says at PMQs that ‘money is no object’ in the rescues. Only the whips office put out a clarification as to what ‘money is no object’ means, and is not really a blank cheque.

That will be a comfort to those with water lapping up to the light switches in their living rooms.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Wednesday 12th January 2014

Monday saw the 5th anniversary to us moving into the house. I know this as I like to read my old blog entries. I mention this just for added information really.

Those 5 years have been a rollercoaster ride at times, but now that I have been with Vestas for nearly 4 years now, things seem to be a little smoother now,although I do have worries about the job, but then who wouldn't? I have said that I won't talk too much about work, and I mean that, this is because of commercial considerations, and so not wanting to jeopardise anything I might do in the course of my duties.

In fact I should have been in Sweden tonight: we should have been doing an audit tomorrow, but that got cancelled last week and so all my travel plans had to be pulled and will have to be re-arranged. So, I have an unexpected week at home, and my calendar at work is quite empty due to the cancellation. Probably just as well it was cancelled, as I came down with the flu yesterday. I had a cough that was more like the bark of a dog, but I did manage to work the day, but then came evening, my breathing got worse and then sleep would not come so I tossed and turned all night. This morning I ached all over and was shattered. I e mailed work to say I would not be working. I then took to my bed and snoozed with Scully asleep at my foot.

I got up just after lunch, freezing cold despite the heating being on. However, my breathing was better although I was still barking like a dog at regular intervals.

Outside, the wind reached another peak and by dusk the rain was hammering down again, lightning flashed around and thunder shook the house. There has been a constant stream of storms since new year, and there seems to be no end in sight as another is coming tomorrow and yet another on Friday. The Somerset Levels have been under water pretty much since Christmas, and now the flood water is rising yet higher. The Thames in Berkshire is flooding with the water expected to rise 10cm over the weekend too.

Now, I might be a tad cynical, but Tory Boys announcement that money would be no object in helping the rescue effort in the thames valley, but funny how Tory voting areas get this much help whilst rural Somerset has been suffering with little help for weeks. Could it be the number of marginal constituencies there? Hmmmmm. Funnily enough, various Tory ministers have been blaming each other for the mess. Like that helps.

Things are not that bad here yet, although there has been some flooding, and then a 5m hole opened up in the M2 yesterday. The ground is saturated here, but nothing like it is in the west. Last week the sea wall at Dawlish was breached, along with the railway that runs along the top of it. With the storms we have since then, repairs haven't really begun as yet.

A UKIP councillor says the bad weather is because of gay weddings and is God's punishment for that.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Monday 10th January 2014


Mulder was up and about at just after five telling us that he really, really should be fed by now. I sighed and tried to ignore him, but being a weekend and there being so much to do, so much beer to drink, so many pictures to take, I got up before six to feed them cats and make a cup of coffee.

Hmmm, nothing quite like the feeling on a Saturday when the day is young enough still be exciting. I thought about it, maybe the cliffs, the bay and then back to the festival for a final slurp! All we had to do is to wait for Mr Sleepy-head, aka Steffen, to wake up.

Capturing that bracing moment

He did surface, contacting me via Facebook, as is the modern way, to enquire about the availability of coffee and/or breakfast. Once we were all fed, we decided to head out, first of all to the cliffs at the Dover Patrol, so we could stand in awe at the edge of the cliffs looking down. And maybe look over to La Belle France.

Steffen and Cliff

We parked up, and an absolute gale was blowing. I knew I should have put another layer on! So, we walk over to the cliff edge. Steffen asked if I could take a shot of him standing on the cliff edge, and who am I to refuse? But, it was cold. I mean really, really cold. So, better head down to the bay where it would be warmer, maybe not warmer but out of the wind.

St Margaret's Bay

The waves were, whilst not crashing onto the beach, was still pretty impressive. However, most of the stones from the beach had been dumped onto the prom and the car park, leaving a sandy beach behind. Ian Flemming’s old house had also suffered some storm damage, with one window looking like it had been knocked in by the sea.

St Margaret's Bay


Steffen decided he wanted to buy a warm hat. Quite why they don’t sell such things in Denmark is anyone’s guess. So began a trek to look for said hat: two tackle and seas fishing shops on Snargate Street, and then into Folkestone as I was sure the market would have something that would do. I was by now hungry, and after stopping of a Googies last week, I realised I really liked the sound of their Tex-Mex burger, and it took very little persuasion of Jools and Steffen that we should go in.

I can report the burger was OK, the fries to, but their own Boston Beans were wonderful, and worth going for just those. Anyway, all fed up we head to the main street to find the stalls being packed away! We walked up the street hoping to find an outdoor type shop or an Army surplus shop, but with no luck. So, we decided to head back to Dover where Jools could drop us back at the beer festival where Steffen and I could soak up some of the dregs.

And dregs is what we found; maybe less than 20 barrels were still going, so we had a couple of pints before we decided to end the afternoon back in The Rack of Ale for a friendly beer or two. And friendly it was, and packed. There was just enough room for us to get in and order a pint. It was all very nice. We had plenty to talk about as Liverpool had just stuffed Arsenal 5-1, and we leading 4-0 after 20 minutes.

Jools came to collect us at four, and so then I had the chance to see how City were doing against Citeh. I expected the worse, but in fact Norwich were still drawing 0-0, and that is how it stayed. In fact Norwich coming close in the last minute to snatching all the points. So, and unexpected point for us, but another game without scoring too.

That night we headed back out, this time to The Carpenter’s Arms at Coldred, as I thought Steffen might like a taste of an authentic county pub. We were remembered from last week, and the beer was just as good. The wind was howling outside, making it feel very cold indeed, even with two coal fires going. We drank up then headed down the hill into Lydden to the Bell for dinner.

They managed to squeeze us in, and the food was more like the nouvelle stuff, small portions, but tasty enough, and we were not that hungry. So as the rain hammered down outside we tucked into roast lamb, which was very good indeed.

Much to our delight, there was a badger munching away in the front garden, and I took a shot of it with my new camera, which turned out pretty darn well. Seems like it takes four shots in night mode and then combines the sharpest parts to produce one very good image.

Clever camera….


All things must come to an end, and so Steffen had to head home. And we had already decided that we would take him back to Stansted by car. Which was just as well really as the strong winds that were still blowing meant that there seemed to be no trains running.

Once he was packed, we climbed in the car and headed up the M20 to Dartford, along the M25 and then up the M11 to the airport. Not knowing whether the bridge would be open, we left plenty of time, and so got there with two and a half hours to spare, but better late than never I suppose.

The Drellingore floweth over, Alkham, Kent

We dropped him off and headed back south, managing to get back across the Thames before ten, thus missing all the shopping traffic to Lakeside and Bluewater. We stop off at the services at Maidstone for a coffee ,and as it turned out, brunch. That’s better.

The Drellingore floweth over, Alkham, Kent

On the way back home we call in at Alkham to see the flooding caused by the once-again flowing Drellingore winterbourne. It is already much worse than last year, with houses beside the flowing water already flooded. The flow is so large it has overflowed the culvert beside the main road, and already several holes have opened up meaning traffic lights have had to be installed. And down towards the cricket ground water bubbles up through the tarmac. It felt a little wrong snapping such sights, so we went back to the car and then home.

The Drellingore floweth over, Alkham, Kent

Once back home to tidy up some, and then decided to slob out a bit. I mean we had some stuff to do, but after much running around drinking beer, it seemed right just to relax, drink the occasional coffee. I even did a session on the cross-trainer, which was just right. Although I am sure I sweating out pure porter from every pore.

The day faded to dark, and so the weekend faded to dark too….

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Sunday 9th February 2014


It always seems that the next morning after a late night return from Denmark comes round much too quickly. Did that last sentence make sense? I think so. Anyway, It was to be a very busy day, what with one thing and another, so, after laying in bed, I get up to take Jools to work so I can have the car and be able to transport myself at Steffen to the beer festival once work finishes. And being de-facto my own boss, I get to say when work finishes. So. Half eight finish?

I power the laptop up and get down to work: meetings and more meetings, and time inbetween to fire off some mails. One hour, two hours passed. I tried not to clock watch.

21st White Cliffs Festival of Winter Ales, Dover

anyway, midday came and we decided to pack up. Hope in the car, drive to the factory to collect Jools and then to Ladywell so we could have a pre-festival pint at the Rack of Ale before getting down to some serious drinking. We try a sampler rack, as you do, then head to the chippy two doors up for some greasy food with which to line our stomachs so we can really enjoy the festival.

21st White Cliffs Festival of Winter Ales, Dover

Steffen had never had fish and chips, so what better excuse for a cod and chips twice? None whatsoever. Not the best I have had, but good enough. So we head to the front of the town hall to queue. for once I was not at the front, but we would still get a table, which was what we wanted.

21st White Cliffs Festival of Winter Ales, Dover

And so for three hours we went to refill our glasses, headed back to our seats and drink.

Sadly, my friends who normally attend, could not make the afternoon session, so there was just us to talk amongst ourselves. At three we decided to head back to The Rack for a more friendly drink. And much to our surprise it was heaving, we only just got in the door, but ordered another pint of 1914, which was wonderful, and waited for five when Jools was going to collect us and take us home.

That night i get the sharp knives out and make chorizo hash for us, and it was very good indeed, although none of us washed it down with any alcohol, which meant we had had enough. And so the day drew to an end.....

Friday, 7 February 2014

Friday 7th February 2014


There are times when days at head office blend into one, especially as now they are just a series of meetings linked by gaps long enough to grab a coffee and fire of a shit-o-gram to whoever has messed up.

Each day begins with the groan that signifies that despite it being dark outside, it is time to get up. Then, down into the restaurant, grab some breakfast, whilst trying to be healthy. Heading out to the car park hoping that the windows do not need scraping, and then edging out onto the O2 ring road race track, hoping to be able to get into the left hand lane by the time I need to turn towards the office, counting one, then two to get the right junction before finally reaching head office.

and once in find I am usually second or third in, and so the day begins.

And some nine hours past and it is time to leave again. Only on this day I forfeited the chance to go bowling. Yes, bowling. After trying for 15 years to play in the RAF I realise that my arms and hands do not do as I tell them, only to make the ball head towards the gutter. But I do agree to meet them afterwards for a meal at Flammen. The reason for all these activities? Well, trying to make us all feel part of a team and to belatedly celebrate Christmas.

I'm not arguing.

So, I get a taxi into the centre of town, always an experience as we ignore all laws/driving signs to make it into the harbour area in one piece. Always nice. The going in, seeing the guys across the restaurant, and making my way over. A cold beer is waiting. And it is meat time! 15 different sorts to choose from, and a token amount of salad. But it is good, as is the banter.

I grab a lift with Jesper back to the hotel, having to try to attract the attention of the sleeping guard to get in through the sliding gate; all this to protect our cars from the locals.....


And in a break from the routine, I sleep through my alarm. Always an invigorating start to the day, really gets the blood pumping as you realise you have a meeting in 20 minutes!


Clean teeth.

Stumble down the stairs as an elevator has broken.

Check out.

Load the car.

Decide to skip breakfast as there should be something laid on at work.

Drive into work in the driving rain.

Get into work with a couple of minutes to spare, power the computer up and away we go.

The meeting means I miss breakfast and there is one tiny slice of cake left at the end of the meeting.



I have to make a presentation to the Quality guys from our Japanese partner. We begin talking, and I end up taking over, drawing flow diagrams, going over system requirements and generally sounding like I know what I am talking about.

That takes me to another meeting, which lasts another two hours, and right to when it is time to leave for the airport. Apart from a couple of minutes panic when I can't find my phone as I had put it somewhere safe. I pack up the computer, head to the car and drive out of Arhus heading south towards Billund. Heavy traffic is not something I usually see, but Thursday the who drive down the E45 was a nightmare, heavy traffic in heavy rain. It was a relief to turn of at J57 and drive on some quiet roads towards the airport.

Now, it was three in the afternoon and I had not eaten in 18 hours: I was hungry. So, I leave the car in the lot, hand the keys over, check in, and get through security and go straight towards the cafe and order a burger. It is a gourmet burger, quite what makes it gourmet is beyond me, but is tastes like heaven to me, as does the half litre of Carls Special wash it down with.

The flight is called, and I head towards the gate, surprised to find it fully booked which is unusual on a Thursday. Once aboard, we find that the plane's computer is playing up. And to fix it they switch the whole plane off and back on again. It works! I sleep the whole flight, and wake up as the slip through the heavy clouds above Essex. We see nothing of the ground until we are a few hundred feet above the ground at Greenwich. Although there is little time to admire the view as the plane is buffeted by winds and it jerks about like a bronco.

It is a relief to be on the ground, and soon enough we are all in the queue for immigration. Shouldn't be being in the EU mean an end to all this?

A colleague of mine is coming over for the beer festival, so I have arranged to meet him at St Pancras. All I have to do is get there. Easier said than done when there is a tube strike on! But, I head the usual way to Stratford and catch a St Pancras bound high speed service, and am there by eight fifteen. I head to the pub where a pint of Guinness is waiting for me!

We have another pint before we walk back to the Southeastern platforms for the nine twelve train to Dover. We get a seat a ta table and both fall asleep. London, south essex and Kent al slip by outside the window as we head home.

It had been a long day.....

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Thursday 6th February 2014


As on Saturday, the forecast was for early rain, and so we had a lazy morning, either beading or watching MOTD. I’ll leave you to guess which one of us did what…..

We went to see Jools’ brother to talk about the situation with Nan. All is well, other than she is rattling through her savings at an alarming rate. Quite what we are going to do, unless we find that money tree my Dad always used to say I was ripping all the cash from. Anyway, it was good to see Mike and Jane, and catch up.

Next up was the old folks place in Whitfield, but Dad was then heading out to measure our front door. Not that this is something he does on a regular basis, his neighbour is seeing about fitting us a new front door. So, we pass the key over and then make for Deal for some more photo and beer related malarkey.

Family Amsusements, Deal, Kent

I hope all this is of interest to you.

Deal, Kent

Deal is a fine genteel seaside town now, however, in early Victorian times was less salubrious, and Bradshaw has some quite harsh words to say about it. But since then, what with thousands of Marines stationed there, The Duke of Wellington living and dying there too, it smartened itself up and got airs and graces and looks proper loverly now. It is stretched along a flat area of coast between chalk cliffs. Stretched along the coast, and shingle beach are grand houses, two castles and lots and lots of retired people.

Deal, Kent

In the town centre, the old fishermen’s cottages have been turned into fine houses and holiday homes, although no matter how delightful they look, there is no parking possible in the narrow streets between. We make for the pier, only for a large dark cloud to sweep over, and we have just enough time to shelter in its entrance. The rain passed quickly, leaving behind, briefly, glorious light that yours truly ran around snapping the scene of glistening pavements and scurrying people.

Deal, Kent

We walked down to the castle, I snapped the scene, then we returned to the pier, crossed over to head down to Middle Street to walk down to The Ship Inn, snapping as we did so. The Ship Inn is the latest pub in our voting, so we had to go in and me drink beer to see how good it was. And look at the décor and other stuff not quite as important. It was good. We ate peanuts, drained our glasses and we then headed home.

Five Step Alley, Deal, Kent

Another top afternoon out, then!

Jools was all pooped out in the afternoon and so went to bed. I, in sympathy, took to the sofa and listened to the radio, as football does not listen to itself.

Coppin Street, Deal, Kent

It’s funny, despite having exactly having the same amount of hours and minutes as the other days, Sundays seem to slip through our fingers, and it was time for dinner, a shower, pack my case, write a blog and head to bead, pooped as a pooped thing.


Urgh, Monday morning.

Double urgh, commute to Denmark Monday morning.

Its still dark, but looking out the back window I can see Venus hovering just above the horizon where the sun will rise about an hour and half in the future. We have a coffee, and its time to go. Already.

Off to the station, dodging the sleepy lorry drivers heading to the Eastern Docks, and then along Townwall Street and up Old Folkestone Road, drop me off, me grab the cases, into the station, buy me ticket and then go onto the platform to wait in the cold and watch the dirty pigeons (who love a bit of it).

I am trying to make it sound matter-of-fact, but I do enjoy the trip over, honest, even if it just to go to work.

By the time we leave Ashford, the train is full of business types, quaffing coffee, reading the FT, and the woman beside me, sleeping. At least it is nearly light now and so I can watch the countryside go by, if I could just keep my eyes open…….

At Stratford, I gather myself and cases to get onto the DLR and star bleary-eyed at the other commuters heading to work. At least the airport is quiet, for a Monday, and I check in, get through security and am sitting down ordering breakfast in ten minutes after arriving. Man, I am so hungry, I order the full breakfast, which unlike Saturday’s is half a plateful and twice as expensive. But it’s on the company’s paycheck, so I eat it all up. Even a slice of toast and marmalade.

Time enough to read a chapter of the Mark Kermode book and then head to the gate, have ticket checked. Again. Down the steps, over the perry track to the aircraft, strap myself in and ready to go. I can tell I have travelled this route a lot as the stewardess does not bother to check my ticket, she just assumes I know I’m on the right flight.

We set off, taking off heading east for a change, so no fine views of the centre of London as we turn. In fact soon we are lost in low cloud over east London, but the clouds clear as we head over Essex and heading towards Harwich far below. I can see there is no evidence of flooding in Essex, that being a problem mainly for the west I suppose, but the views are stunning along the Orwell to Felixstowe and Ipswich the other side of the Orwell bridge, looking tiny from this high up. We head out to sea crossing the coast just south of Orford, I can see the ness below, narrowing, widening and narrowing as it reaches Orford, above that there’s Sizewell, and all up the coast to Lowestoft.

But we are heading for the Dutch coast now, and soon the Northwind windfarm appears, its our latest, and has been delayed by the string of storms. But I can make out those that have been installed and just make out the transition pieces breaking clear of the water.

Denmark, however, is Narnia. Narnia gripped by winter. Is that snow on the beach down there? Yes it is. And all the lakes are frozen, and as we fly over the yard at Esbjerg I see the installation vessel is encased in frozen sea. What am I doing here?

Once I’m in my lovely new C4, I see the thermometer reads plus 7, so not that cold. But the wind from last week has blown the snow into drifts, drifts resembling frozen white waves at the side of the road. I drive down to Esbjerg, I have to call in to collect my PPE ready for the start of the supplier audits. I stop for a couple of hours, redo my presentation for tomorrow, and then in glorious winter sunshine, I bid farewell and climb back into the car for the drive up to Arhus.

As I hit the E45, the sun sets and the sky turns all colours from red to pink to purple. Frozen mists rise from lakes and rivers. I make it to the hotel just as the light finally fades, and can relax. Relax if there are no more mails to respond to……

I arrived at the hotel to be told I had been upgraded. There are times when I have dreamt of being upgraded. On those Emirates flights to Indonesia for several! So, I get the room key. Sorry, car, and go in. The upgrade seems to amount to a third single bed, a chair with some upholstery and no wheels, some extra cushions, an iron and ironing board and a safe. I checked and the safe was already empty.

I mess around for an hour before going down to dinner. I intend to be healthy. And not have the burger. But, I order the soup followed by the burger, but I do forgo the beer for a large diet coke. And all very nice it was too. But I had get back to work, so went back to my room, opened Outlook only to find a total of zero new mails. I had nothing to do after all.

So, how about the Citeh v Chelski game on TV. I checked, checked again, and again. And there was nothing there, just the usual odd looking Danish reality TV shows about some family of what look like freaks. But not of course. So I settle down to follow the game via Twitter and the BBC test of the game. Not.the.same.


Up at six. Or that’s when the alarm went off. I flicked it onto snooze. Oh, and again.

I get up, get ready, gather what notes I have and head down to breakfast. I have the usual, branflakes in strawberry yoghurt followed by cheese roll. Washed down with a couple of coffees. And then into the early rush hour traffic to head to the office. As I approach the door, I am greeted by an oriental gentleman, one our new colleagues; can I let him in? I guess so. He seems to know my boss so that seems good enough. We swap business cards, which is the modern way.

As soon as I set up my computer and grab another coffee, I am told to go up to the conference room to set up. A bug meeting today, losts of powerpoint, lots of spreadsheets, and lots of discussions,. It does at least make the day pass quick, and the sense of blind panic I had quietly dissipates as it appears we are bettered prepared than they are. Oh well.

The day passes and I have not made any mistakes, which is good. From our side we are happy, and it seems my stomach is telling me I might just be having a beer or two in the evening.

Back at the hotel I am told something amazing: Scandic have a new menu! Now, this may not be earth-shattering, but it is. There is something reassuring being at one of their hotels, in that it is always the same. But not tonight: cured salmon (I didn’t know it was ill) and quail’s eggs and smoked mayo ( that would be a bugger to light)

Indeed, I have the beer. Just a small one. And a wine with my lamb accompanied by something called a potato tower. A what? I hear you ask. Well, I had it and I don’t know how to describe it. Possibly potato puree browned with a blow torch if I had to describe it.