Wednesday, 28 February 2007

How Old?

You've heard of "octogenarians" as old bids in their 80s, right? Well, here's the full SP:


Vicenarian: someone between 20 and 29 years of age

Tricenarian: someone between 30 and 39 years of age

Quadragenarian: someone between 40 and 49 years of age

Quinquagenarian: someone between 50 and 59 years of age

Sexagenarian: someone between 60 and 69 years of age

Septuagenarian: someone between 70 and 79 years of age

Octogenarian: someone between 80 and 89 years of age

Nonagenarian: someone between 90 and 99 years of age

Centenarian: someone between 100 and 109 years of age

Supercentenarian: someone over 110 years of age

Water, Water Everywhere...

But just not in our bath. Well, not immediately anyway.

However, it is most abundant in Venice itself and despite it being its most famous trademark, it is also its biggest enemy. It is estimated that the water level rose approximately 28 cm in the last century and with the supposed effects of "global warming" the threat is going to be even greater.

Local and national programmes and projects are in place to combat the rising levels of water and an ongoing restoration programme is continuing to ensure the city and its most notable landmarks remain as intact as possible. However, it is not nearly enough and the experts fear for the longevity of the city.

I wish them well in finding a solution but in the meantime, do yourselves a favour and pay a visit whilst you can. You will not regret it.

Price Check

The "ktelontour" Beer Watch Initiative (BWI) can report back that the price of a beer was a considerable 5-6€/pint (£3.50- £4.30!) in places that were nowhere near St Mark's Square. Not only that, but don't expect Italian beer either- the majority is German.

However, persevere and you will find a small bar that will offer Italian lager from the pump which is quite palatable. Just make sure you are sitting down before the bill arrives.

Beggars Banquet?

Forgot to mention that begging is still very big in Venice.

Yes, they have buskers and street artistes too, of course, but one does see some quite harrowing sights which can be difficult to cope with.

The worst are the poor wretches that lie contorted on the steps, face down and arms out stretched in prayer*. However, don't be too mislead- these people can be expert con artists as wifey noticed one "old woman" (gloves covering the hands and a headscarf over the face) stretching in the sun and having a break. She turned out to be younger than we were!




*There is an upside to this- you can quite easily nick the begging pot without making eye contact to put toward the extortionate costs of a meal...

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Taking the Train in Italy

Couldn't be simpler if you use the automated services provided.

Touch screen displays with multi-lingual options even allow you to reserve the seat of your choice and pick exactly which train you wish to take, and you can pay by cash or credit card no problem.

The trains are bang on time, clean and smooth and you can easily get a seat if you choose not to use the inter-city lines.

Our journey from Trieste to Venice only took two hours and cost a most reasonable 7.95€ per person. As they say, let the train take the strain...

European Flights

As you will know, due to terrorist threats all European airports will not allow you to pass through into the departure lounges if you are carrying any type of liquids.

You're fine once you are through the X-ray machines and the security checks where you are more than able to get striped paying the inflated prices for water and soft drinks, and of course you are permitted to purchase "Duty Free" spirits, perfume and other liquids provided that you display your wares in the supplied and non-tampered with, clear carrier bags.

OK so far, but here's where it gets a bit more interesting.

It seems that if you purchase such duty free items outside of Europe, (and don't forget they have the same security procedures all around the world) and land in Europe to catch a connecting flight, you will be banned from taking your drinks/smellies etc with you onto your next flight!

How displeased are you going to be to have a twelve year old bottle of malt or your Chanel No 5 confiscated before they allow you to fly on?


And I wonder what happens to all these confiscated goods?

Tourette's Syndrome

Do the French suffer from the same affliction?

Cover and Service Charge

Another real grouse from me is this "12% service charge" and the a "cover charge" restaurateurs add to your bill.

It's bad enough to charge a small ransom for a tin of Coke but when the "extras" come to more than my main meal, that really takes the piss.

For the record- wifey's pasta was top rate, the salad was good but my pizza was mediocre.

The Slovenians beat their Italian cousins hands down on such fare, both on quality and price and they allow you to be the judge on how much to tip.

Silence in Court

And in libraries too. But in restaurants?

Why do people feel the urge to whisper and keep quiet when they are dining out? Sure, no need to be rowdy or spoil the atmosphere, but it seems even to have a conversation at normal voice levels makes people feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. Why? You're meant to be having fun.

Anyone else notice this?

A Breathe of Fresh Air

Is what it feels like to wander into a cafe, bar, restuarant or pub in Venice/Italy. Smoking is banned and what a massive difference it makes.

No longer do your clothes smell of smoke, your eyes get irritated or your throat get sore- everything is lovely and fresh and it's a real pleasure to use these establishments now.

All the smokers take to the streets and they seem quite content to do so. But then again, with such views and mild weather it's not too much of a chore.

What is even more amazing though is that the streets remain butt free and clean. I have no idea where the dead fags end up but if it's down to the street cleaners, they are doing a quite excellent job.

So England, something to look forward to, although the smokers may not be so keen as the scenery is not quite the same and you can guarantee the weather will definitely not be!

BBC World News

Whilst we had what appeared like a gazillion channels on the TV back in our room, the majority were in Italian (coincidence? I think not...) or Arabic and Indian. Most unusual and good fun to flick through whilst getting ready...or waiting for the bath to fill...

We did find a couple of English speaking channels though, Euro News which is always interesting and the BBC World News.

Now I have always been under the impression that the BBC is entirely funded by the British tax payer and did not allow advertising on its channels.

Wrong- they do on here and I wonder why.

The Peggy Guggenheim Museum

There is one in Venice and outside (which was as far as I got- wifey quite sensibly bans me from such places so that she can enjoy the exhibits in peace without my "critique") there was a plaque with the inscription:

"Savour kindness because cruelty is always possible later"

I liked that.

Note: "Savour" was actually spelt "savor" but I can't quite bring myself to do "American" on here.

Pass The Duchy on the Left hand Side

Europe drives on the right and Italy is no different.

Why then (at least the ones we observed) do the gondolas keep to the left?

Answers on a post card to...

Trumpie Want Another Bun?

A big irritation for me, and not just confined to Venice but pretty much all places where restaurants are vying for trade.

Why do owners/waiters of said restaurants insist on coming out to "persuade" you to eat at their diner whilst you are studying the menu outside, or in the window?

Erm, I'm checking out what you're offering and sussing out the prices. Do I really need some smarm-ball talking fluid foreign because I have no idea what you are saying anyway?

The result is always the same- I move off and they lose a sale.

Don't do it- your menus should speak for themselves, so keep the chit-chat for inside when we can no longer escape!

Quasimodo

The bells, Esmeralda, the bells...

Yup, Italy- massive Catholic country, loads of churches and therefore lots of church bells.

No need for an alarm clock but pack your ear plugs if you want a lie in...

Mario Brothers

Nintendo Italian plumbers, right?

A minor quibble at our place of doss was the plumbing.

Whilst it had all the facilities of bath, sink, toilet bidet and shower; the water pressure was poor.

Opening taps on the sink revealed that more water came out of the tops of the taps than the faucet itself (ditto toilet flush) and to take a shower would have involved dashing around under the shower sprinkler to try and get wet. Even if you got lucky and did get a tad damp, the water would have been cold by the time it had dripped down, so it was better to take a bath.

We found the best plan of attack to draw a bath was to open the hot water tap on full before we went to bed, and if the lunar bio-rhythms were correctly aligned we'd have a full(ish) bath in the morning.

Plenty of hot water at all times, just that it took a few days to arrive.

And they say the Romans had a hand in introducing plumbing to the world? Yeah, right...


(Actually it wasn't too bad, but a shower was a non-starter and the bath did take quite a while to fill. All we did was run the bath whilst we had our breakfast in bed so no real problem at all.)

Our Pad

Yes, over nighting can be extremely expensive but bargains are to be had.

Wifey, as ever, managed to come up trumps and booked us into a charming Bed and Breakfast just a ten minute walk from St Mark's Square.

A large bedroom and en suite bathroom offering both bath and shower, with fridge, satellite television and a most comfortable double bed. The rooms were clean and warm and perfect for our mini-break.

OK, so it didn't have a lift and we were on the fifth floor (20 flights of stairs), but who cares when you're in Venice and they offer you breakfast in bed every morning?

All for a most reasonable 60€ per night. :o)

Details:

Ca' Del Pozzo B & B
(Rooms in S. Marco area)
Sottoportego e calle Lavezzera
S. Marco 2612
30124 Venezia
Italy

0039 041 241 3875
0039 041 244 3203

info@flatsinvenice.net
www.flatsinvenice.net

Gondola Geezers

You mention Venice and of course one of your first thoughts is of the Gondola and the Gondoliers.

I'm not sure what is more of a sight- the boats or the skippers. Both preen and pose invitingly to attract the humble tourist and relieve them of their spending money (if the restaurants have not already done so) and both seem just that little bit tacky.

The boats appear a tad worn and lack lustre and the guys well, they just appear to think they have cornered the market on being cool. The haven't. A dangling fag from the corner of the mouth and the over-sized shades are no longer "de rigueur" in the 21st century and most certainly not at night.

Sunglasses in the dark? A real Venetian blind...

Merchant of Venice

Awful book involving some blurk who welshes on his word and expects some Essex burd, Mercedes (or was it Portia?) to dig him out of the mire. Dull, predictable (pick one of three, gold, silver or bronze- I mean, dur...) and hugely over-rated were it not for the title. Venice.

We've just got back and no matter what criticisms (see later!) one can attach to the place, it is still one of the must see cities. Superb architecture, amazing lifestyle, breath-taking vistas and marvellous squares- it is such a unique, floating mini empire that to miss out would be truly criminal.

I recall the last time we visited was about five years ago and to me it seems to have grown. Much bigger and sprawling, it seemed to take forever to walk around the multitude of hidden alleys, cunning dead ends and the myriad of cobbled streets.

If you've never been, put it on your list of things to do- you will not regret it.

Friday, 23 February 2007

Not a Lotta Bottle

The pint of milk has seen a few changes over the decades, starting life in a humble pint bottle to the now accepted carton which requires a degree in origami to open.

But it's all change once more if trials of a new type of packaging work out- the plastic pouch which is considered to be an environmentally friendlier alternative to plastic and cardboard cartons. The pouches cost less to produce than other containers and thousands more can be transported at once thus reducing those all important carbon emissions that seem to be the latest threat to this planet.

Bet the "Humphrey"s are not going to be pleased...

%*!!*^%$$!!*

Gordon Ramsay's drug addict younger brother is facing up to ten years in a Bali prison after being found with heroin.

Ramsey is said to be "heartbroken".

Surely that's "mother-fuckin', bastard, bollocks, fucking-heartbroken"?

The American Presidential Election Campaign

Has already been in the news for several months now and you'd be forgiven for thinking it must be nearly over.

Wrong.

It is still twenty one months (622 days to go!) away.

No wonder the polls suffer from voter apathy.

Normal Service Will Be Resumed

When we get back from Venice. :-D

As mentioned previously, Izola is a mere couple of hours away by train and so we are heading there to celebrate our anniversary.

We'll be gone for a few days, the laptop is staying put and we'll catch up with you early next week.

Enjoy your weekend- I know we're going to.

23rd February 1987

Was exactly twenty years ago, today. It was a Monday then.

The reason I distinctly remember this is because I had met a beautiful girl, and on that day, twenty years ago, it was the day we officially got together.

Today, exactly twenty years on, my love for her has only grown stronger and the only difference is that she has now become a beautiful young woman.


To my wife: Thank you so much for the last twenty years, I would not have believed life could be so wonderful.

How do you get a Fat Woman into bed ?

Piece of cake...

*guffaw*

Thursday, 22 February 2007

The Masked Ball


It seems our DIY masks for the Carnival have sparked off a copy cat*.
*Yes, that was intentional. Titter...
Thanks to yagiza for supplying photographic evidence that I'm not the only eejit on this Blog.
:-D

Two-Wheeled Jet Power


Helping combat global warming...

I'll Name That Organisation in One...

In a company that has a little over 500 employees, the following statistics were taken:

  • 29 have been accused of spouse abuse
  • 7 have been arrested for fraud
  • 19 have been accused of writing bad cheques
  • 117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least two businesses
  • 3 have done time for assault
  • 71 cannot get a credit card due to a bad credit rating
  • 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
  • 8 have been arrested for shoplifting
  • 21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
  • 84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year

Care to guess who this is?

British Houses of Parliament- the same group of people that produce hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the us in check.

Your "Personal" Message From BLiar

E-petition: Response from the Prime Minister

The e-petition asking the Prime Minister to "Scrap the planned vehicle tracking and road pricing policy" has now closed. This is a response from the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Thank you for taking the time to register your views about road pricing on the Downing Street website.

This petition was posted shortly before we published the Eddington Study, an independent review of Britain's transport network. This study set out long-term challenges and options for our transport network. It made clear that congestion is a major problem to which there is no easy answer. One aspect of the study was highlighting how road pricing could provide a solution to these problems and that advances in technology put these plans within our reach.

Of course it would be ten years or more before any national scheme was technologically, never mind politically, feasible. That is the backdrop to this issue. As my response makes clear, this is not about imposing "stealth taxes" or introducing "Big Brother" surveillance. This is a complex subject, which cannot be resolved without a thorough investigation of all the options, combined with a full and frank debate about the choices we face at a local and national level.

That's why I hope this detailed response will address your concerns and set out how we intend to take this issue forward. I see this email as the beginning, not the end of the debate, and the links below provide an opportunity for you to take it further.

But let me be clear straight away: we have not made any decision about national road pricing.

Indeed we are simply not yet in a position to do so. We are, for now, working with some local authorities that are interested in establishing local schemes to help address local congestion problems. Pricing is not being forced on any area, but any schemes would teach us more about how road pricing would work and inform decisions on a national scheme. And funds raised from these local schemes will be used to improve transport in those areas.

One thing I suspect we can all agree is that congestion is bad. It's bad for business because it disrupts the delivery of goods and services. It affects people's quality of life. And it is bad for the environment.

That is why tackling congestion is a key priority for any Government. Congestion is predicted to increase by 25% by 2015. This is being driven by economic prosperity. There are 6 million more vehicles on the road now than in 1997, and predictions are that this trend will continue.

Part of the solution is to improve public transport, and to make the most of the existing road network. We have more than doubled investment since 1997, spending £2.5 billion this year on buses and over £4 billion on trains - helping to explain why more people are using them than for decades. And we're committed to sustaining this investment, with over £140 billion of investment planned between now and 2015.

We're also putting a great deal of effort into improving traffic flows - for example, over 1000 Highways Agency Traffic Officers now help to keep motorway traffic moving. But all the evidence shows that improving public transport and tackling traffic bottlenecks will not by themselves prevent congestion getting worse.

So we have a difficult choice to make about how we tackle the expected increase in congestion. This is a challenge that all political leaders have to face up to, and not just in the UK. For example, road pricing schemes are already in operation in Italy, Norway and Singapore, and others, such as the Netherlands, are developing schemes.

Towns and cities across the world are looking at road pricing as a means of addressing congestion. One option would be to allow congestion to grow unchecked. Given the forecast growth in traffic, doing nothing would mean that journeys within and between cities would take longer, and be less reliable.

I think that would be bad for businesses, individuals and the environment. And the costs on us all will be real - congestion could cost an extra £22 billion in wasted time in England by 2025, of which £10-12 billion would be the direct cost on businesses.

A second option would be to try to build our way out of congestion. We could, of course, add new lanes to our motorways, widen roads in our congested city centres, and build new routes across the countryside. Certainly in some places new capacity will be part of the story. That is why we are widening the M25, M1 and M62.

But I think people agree that we cannot simply build more and more roads, particularly when the evidence suggests that traffic quickly grows to fill any new capacity. Tackling congestion in this way would also be extremely costly, requiring substantial sums to be diverted from other services such as education and health, or increases in taxes.

If I tell you that one mile of new motorway costs as much as £30m, you'll have an idea of the sums this approach would entail. That is why I believe that at least we need to explore the contribution road pricing can make to tackling congestion.

It would not be in anyone's interests, especially those of motorists, to slam the door shut on road pricing without exploring it further. It has been calculated that a national scheme - as part of a wider package of measures - could cut congestion significantly through small changes in our overall travel patterns.

But any technology used would have to give definite guarantees about privacy being protected - as it should be. Existing technologies, such as mobile phones and pay-as-you-drive insurance schemes, may well be able to play a role here, by ensuring that the Government doesn't hold information about where vehicles have been.

But there may also be opportunities presented by developments in new technology. Just as new medical technology is changing the NHS, so there will be changes in the transport sector. Our aim is to relieve traffic jams, not create a "Big Brother" society.

I know many people's biggest worry about road pricing is that it will be a "stealth tax" on motorists. It won't. Road pricing is about tackling congestion. Clearly if we decided to move towards a system of national road pricing, there could be a case for moving away from the current system of motoring taxation.

This could mean that those who use their car less, or can travel at less congested times, in less congested areas, for example in rural areas, would benefit from lower motoring costs overall. Those who travel longer distances at peak times and in more congested areas would pay more.

But those are decisions for the future. At this stage, when no firm decision has been taken as to whether we will move towards a national scheme, stories about possible costs are simply not credible, since they depend on so many variables yet to be investigated, never mind decided.

Before we take any decisions about a national pricing scheme, we know that we have to have a system that works. A system that respects our privacy as individuals. A system that is fair. I fully accept that we don't have all the answers yet. That is why we are not rushing headlong into a national road pricing scheme.

Before we take any decisions there would be further consultations. The public will, of course, have their say, as will Parliament.

We want to continue this debate, so that we can build a consensus around the best way to reduce congestion, protect the environment and support our businesses.

If you want to find out more, please visit the attached links to more detailed information, and which also give opportunities to engage in further debate.

Yours sincerely, Tony Blair

Further information Both the 10 Downing Street and Department for Transport websites offer much more information about road pricing. This includes a range of independent viewpoints, both for and against. You can also read the Eddington Report in full. You can reply to this email by posting a question to Roads Minister Dr. Stephen Ladyman in a webchat on the No 10 website this Thursday. There will be further opportunities in the coming months to get involved in the debate. You will receive one final e-mail from Downing Street to update you in due course. If you would like to opt out of receiving further mail on this or any other petitions you signed, please email optout@petitions.pm.gov.uk

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

The Trabant

You may recall I mentioned that Berlin is due to ban the Trabant from its city centre a few posts/days ago?

Well coincidentally, the car celebrates its 50th birthday this year and if you fancy reading up on some "interesting" facts, hit the link:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article1415302.ece

Making Waves

1st July 2007 sees smoking banned in enclosed workplaces, public places and vehicles on land (does this mean no smoking in cars?)

It appears however, that is still not enough for the British government as they now have plans to extend the ban to the nation’s waterways as well.

Whilst sailors and passengers will still be allowed to smoke in their cabins, I wonder if the ban extends to the deck, in the open air?

Business as Usual

An audit of The Assets Recovery Agency (a government agency created to seize the assets of criminals) reveals that whilst it has recovered a staggering £23 million from convicted crimminals, it has in fact cost the government £65 million to do so...

And they say crime doesn't pay?

So Spurs Won

Four nil against Fulham on the weekend in the FA Cup, but any feeling of victory is short lived as we've been drawn against Chelsea in the next round.

Oh, whoopie-doo...

Figures & the Comma

Why do some people still persist in adding a comma to numbers when they have multiple digits?

Take the example "1234567890" as a single figure.

It is wholly incorrect to denote it as 1, 234, 567, 890.

It should read 1 234 567 890- with no commas, just a space between every third group of numbers (right to left).

So now you know.

**Update**

- No news from Tottenham Hotspur and "our" potential transfer target. :o(

- The department of John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, costs the taxpayer more than £2.5 million a year- a rise of £587 000; according to latest figures. More money well spent then.

- Life still great in Izola. :-D

Pure Genius


Just in time for this year's St Patrick's Day celebrations, Marmite has released a special edition so you can really go for the craic.
You'll have to be quick mind, only 300 000 jars are being produced at £2.49/pot and they are on sale now.
If anyone needs our address in Izola...

The Deutsche Mark

Became obsolete in 2002 and yet calculations show that over 18 billion DM cash is still unaccounted for within Germany.

Strangely enough it is still legal tender and C & A will happily accept payment with the Mark upon request.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Shrove Tuesday

Is today, so "happy Pancake Day" everyone.

For our non UK readers who'd like to know more about this tradition, here are some more details:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrove_Tuesday

:-)

How Does That Work Then?

Taken from The Times...

Cressida Dick, the police commander in charge of the operation that led to the death of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell Tube station, was promoted to deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. She will command the armed officers who guard the Royal Family, embassies and VIPs.

So, make a complete hash of your job which results in the death of an innocent member of the public and still get promotion? Outstanding...

HOW Much?

It seems that some people are so poor in basic mathematics that they cannot work out if they are being short changed or not, when they go out shopping. Apparently this is collectively costing the mathematically challenged folk over £800 million a year.

Sum (pun intended!) people are equally disadvantaged with their English skills too, so that they can barely string a sentence together.

Imagine that. Not being able to calculate whether your change is correct or not.

Worse still, working out that it isn't and then not being able to complain about it as you're unable to explain the problem in basic English...

Monday, 19 February 2007

21st Century Speak

Those of you that follow this Blog will know how it has picked up a load of Johnny Foreigners and naturally they can't speak English like wot us natives can. So to help out, here is a list of new words currently in circulation:-


TESTICULATING. Waving your arms around and talking bollocks.

BLAMESTORMING. Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

SEAGULL MANAGER. A manager, who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.

ASSMOSIS. The process by which people seem to absorb success and advancement by sucking up to the boss rather than working hard.

SALMON DAY. The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die.

CUBE FARM. An office filled with cubicles.

PRAIRIE DOGGING. When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see that's going on. (This also applies to applause for a promotion because there may be cake.)

SITCOMs. Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids or start a "home business".

SINBAD. single working girls. Single income, no boyfriend and desperate.

STRESS PUPPY. A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.

PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE. The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

ADMINISPHERE. The rarefied organisational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the "adminisphere" are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve. This is often affiliated with the dreaded "administrivia" - needless paperwork and processes. 404. Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found," meaning that the requested document could not be located.

OHNOSECOND. That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake (e.g. you've hit 'reply all')

GOING FOR A McSHIT. Entering a fast food restaurant with no intention of buying food, you're just going to the bog. If challenged by a pimply staff member, your declaration to them that you'll buy their food afterwards is known as a McShit with Lies.

AEROPLANE BLONDE. One who has bleached/dyed her hair but still has a 'black box'.

AUSSIE KISS. Similar to a French Kiss, but given down under.

BEER COAT. The invisible but warm coat worn when walking home after a booze cruise at 3am.

BEER COMPASS. The invisible device that ensures your safe arrival home after booze cruise, even though you're too drunk to remember where you live, how you got here, and where you've come from.

GREYHOUND. A very short skirt, only an inch from the hare.

MILLENNIUM DOMES. The contents of a Wonderbra, i.e. extremely impressive when viewed from the outside, but there's actually naught in there worth seeing.

MONKEY BATH. A bath so hot, that when lowering yourself in, you go:"Oo!Oo!Oo! Aa!Aa!Aa!".

MYSTERY BUS. The bus that arrives at the pub on Friday night while you're in the toilet after your 10th pint, and whisks away all the unattractive people so the pub is suddenly packed with stunners when you come back in.

MYSTERY TAXI. The taxi that arrives at your place on Saturday morning before you wake up, whisks away the stunner you slept with, and leaves a 10-Pinter in your bed instead.

PICASSO BUM. A woman whose knickers are too small for her, so she looks like she's got four buttocks

SALAD DODGER. An excellent phrase for an overweight person

SWAMP-DONKEY A deeply unattractive person

TART FUEL. Bottled premixed spirits, regularly consumed by young women

Scooter Boys

Wandering along minding my own business, just enjoying the stroll and the sun when I saw a scooter approaching along the road. Nothing unusual there- two up, lidless and throttle pinned to the max, but, next moment the rider had the machine on its back wheel and was effortlessly pulling a wheelie.

On an automatic, clutch-less scooter with two people- that certainly takes some doing!

I told you these guys can handle their rides.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

What a Bunch of Puffs

Our Members of European Parliament (MEP) who have backed smoking bans in public places ranging from Ireland to Sweden have reversed a decision forbidding smoking in their buildings in Brussels and Strasbourg .

Their new year's resolution lasted precisely 43 days yet now they chuck in the towel by stating the ban was “unenforceable”.

Hypocritical, cigarette butt tossers...

Saturday, 17 February 2007

Have We had This Before?

I can't tremember if I've lobbed this up before but I came across this again and it still makes me laugh:

Don't even fucking say a word.

I like potato chips, and can't eat them very much or I'll get fat.

I tried out these Pringles Fat-Free chips because they were super low-cal. BBQ flavor. the fuck. The can said they had 70 calories per serving, which meant the whole can had 490 calories inside total. I could munch through a can in a day with my lunch, dinner, etc.

So I got several cans, and began enjoying one a day for the past four days.

But what they dont fucking tell you... Except in tiny print you cant read without a fucking electron microscope ...is that the primary ingredient is something called "olean" which I have since learned is Latin for "Unwashable & Indestructible Ass Grease."

Oh Yeah. I'm not even kidding. So today, while I'm standing in the living room debating whether or not Laundry or Dishes will get done first,

I get the urge to fart. I live alone, so sweet. I let the honk loose and its wrong. Something just sounded wrong. I know my own wind, and I have never farted a sound that sounded like a fart wrapped in a pillow.

Oh yes, something was very wrong. I had just shat myself. But this evil olean makes shitting yourself sound almost like a regular fart, and had I not been particularly attentive, it could easily have gone unnoticed, I'm telling you.

THAT's how utterly covert and evil this olean stuff is. What the fuck?! What if I'd gone out to hang with friends or gone for a drive, what then?

So I walk carefully to the bathroom and disrobe. before I even sit on the toilet, I wad paper and carefully wipe from the front. Sure enough, it was light brown, and had the texture of soft spackle.

You fucking Pringle bastards.

I sat down and pushed a bit, and lo, out came a jet that I didnt even feel an urge for one minute earlier. It piled in the bowl like brown marshmallow fluff. The problem rose when I tried to wipe. I went through a whole fucking roll of TP and could not get it all off me.

So. I jumped in the shower. Yep, its gross, but it had to be done. There I stood, water pouring down, cheeks spread, and using my own hand to make certain I'm clean. That was when I discovered that after using my hand to wipe myself (before I soaped the area) my hand came back covered in some sort of transparent grease.

It was so fucking foul. The grease made water bead off my hand. It was tacky too, and very difficult to manage. So I grabbed the bar of saop and went to work.

You fucking Pringle bastards. The bar of soap came away coated in grease as well, and would no longer wash.

I had to turn the water to hot and massage the soap for five minutes to get it to the point where I could use it again. It took me an hour to get the fucking grease off my pucker. I shudder to think of what its doing INSIDE ME right now, but I will damned sure never eat that shit again.

Fucking Pringle bastards.

This is where the joke about "anal leakage" came from. its real.

Fuck Pringles.

This is in or around ANAL LEAKAGE, ANYBODY?

no -- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Robert Adler- The Couch Potato's Hero

Who's he I bet you're wondering?

Well, this guy invented something that you use pretty much everyday, if you own a television set.

It's thanks to him you can change channels, adjust volume and a whole raft of other options from the comfort of your armchair- he invented the remote control unit.

He died today at the fine age of 93, so sitting on your arse channel hopping without having to get up and do some exercise clearly is good for you.

Passport Prices

Current full (10 year) UK passport sets you back £66. Here's how the price compares to a few other countries:

Switzerland: £219
New Zealand: £123
Belgium: £96
Norway: £87
Iceland: £81
USA: £54
France: £41

How can the same basic passport have such a huge difference in price?

Mind you, to get your application "fast tracked" you'll be needing 108 of your English pounds for the "premium service"...

NOT Work Safe!

If you're keeping an eye on us at work as this link needs volume. So get your ear phones out, check it out during your lunch break or have a listen at home.

It is well worth the effort though and made me really crack up- click on the link:

http://howtoprankatelemarketer.ytmnd.com/

New British Passport?

First time? Adult?

Then from April 2007 you will need to be interviewed before getting one. Face to face interviews will be conducted to prevent first time applicants from getting a false passport.

It seems that 75% of new applicants are bogus and it costs the country £1.7 billion a year dealing with the huge problem of identity fraud.

Friday, 16 February 2007

And to Show No Bias

A poem made up completely of President George W. Bush's wonderful, genuine statements.

MAKE THE PIE HIGHER by George W. Bush

I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen and uncertainty
and potential mental losses.

Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the Internet become more few?
How many hands have I shaked?

They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.
I know that the human being and the fish can coexist.
Families is where our nation finds hope, where our wings take dream.

Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize society!
Make the pie higher! Make the pie higher!

What a moron...

And Yet Another BLiar Giggle

Tony BLiar was visiting a primary school class. They were in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings when the teacher asked the Prime Minister if he would like to lead the discussion on the word "tragedy".

So the illustrious leader asked the class for an example of a "tragedy". Real quick thinking...

A little boy stood up and offered: "If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field & a tractor runs over him and kills him; that would be a 'tragedy'".

"No," said Blair, "that would be an accident."

A little girl raised her hand: "If a school bus carrying fifty children drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a 'tragedy'."

"I'm afraid not," explained the Prime Minister, "that's what we would call a great loss." (Would it bollocks but it's not my joke)

The room went silent. No other children volunteered. Tony searched the room.

"Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of 'tragedy'?"

Finally, at the back of the room, a small boy raised his hand...In a quiet voice he said: "If the Air plane carrying you and Mrs. BLiar was struck by a "friendly fire" missile & blown to smithereens; that would be a tragedy."

"Fantastic!" exclaimed Tony Blair. "That's right. And can you tell me why that would be tragedy?"

"Well," says the boy "it has to be a tragedy, because it certainly wouldn't be a great loss and it probably wouldn't be a fucking accident either!


So it's old? Still made me grin...

40 Life Saving Winks

Scientists studying Greek men and women over a period of six years found the benefits of an afternoon nap to be most marked among males. It can cut the risk of dying from a heart attack by more than a third.

Hardly new news, I've been trying to convince people of this for years...

More Need to Know Stuff

The de-icing chemical used on airplanes contains 4% cow urine by weight (~2 % by volume).

:oD

Thursday, 15 February 2007

BLiar and Prescott

Tony BLiar called John Prescott into his office one day and said, "John I have a great idea! We are going to go all out to win back Middle England".

"Great idea Tony how will we go about it?" said Prescott.

"Well" said BLiar, "we'll get ourselves one of those long Barbour coats, some proper wellies, a stick and a flat cap, oh and a labrador. Then we'll really look the part. We'll go to a nice old country pub, in Much Something or other or one of those villages and we'll show we really enjoy the countryside."

"Right oh" said Prescott.

So a few days later, all kitted out and with the requisite labrador at heel, they set off from London in a westerly direction. Eventually they arrived at just the place they were looking for (Much Piddling-in-the-Brook) and found a lovely country pub (The Surly Yokel) and with the dog, went in and up to the bar.

"Good evening Landlord may we have two pints of your best ale, from the wood?" said BLiar.

"Good evening Prime Minister" said the landlord, "two pints of best it is, coming up."

BLiar and Prescott stood leaning on the bar drinking their beer and chatting, nodding now and again to those who came into the bar for a drink. The dog lay quietly at their feet. All of a sudden, the door from the adjacent bar opened and in came a grizzled old shepherd, complete with crook.

He walked up to the labrador, lifted its tail and looked underneath, shrugged his shoulders and walked back to the other bar. A few moments later, in came another old shepherd with his crook. He walked up to the dog, lifted its tail, looked underneath, scratched his head and went back to the other bar. Over the course of the next half hour or so several other locals came in, lifted the dog's tail and went away looking puzzled.

Eventually BLiar and Prescott could stand it no longer and called the Barman over.

"Tell me," said BLiar, "why did all those old shepherds and locals come in and look under the dog's tail like that? Is it a local custom?'

"Good Lord no," said the barman. "It's just that someone went and told them that there was a labrador in this bar with two arseholes".

:-D

It's All Legal

We went to the local Plod shop yesterday to extend our stay here and we can now properly stay in Izola until 1st May 2007. *yay*

As Slovenia is part of the EEC it is of course not a problem to visit or move around freely in the country but there are potential consequences for long term stays. After 183 days (six months) you are obliged to fill out an income tax return and as wifey has retired we need to make sure we leave in plenty of time.

So, we still have at least another couple of months to enjoy this amazing place before we head off to Croatia for the summer.

Anyone fancy a break?

Casino Royale

Daniel Craig's first outing as the world's most famous spy and boy is he good. Better than good, in fact. I cannot believe the criticism the guy got prior to anyone even seeing the film, but he sure has rammed the critics' comments right back down their throats. Blond and blue eyed? Who cares (wasn't Moore a tad lighter than most?) he is superb in the role and thankfully most of the quips have been dumped back with the pantomime season.

Sadly not so many gadgets, nor some of the main characters from previous films (Q and Miss Moneypenny are notably absent) but M (Dame Judi Dench) also plays a blinder and the rapport between her and her main man is first class.

I suppose it also helps that the film itself has a more plausible plot (no world domination plans by Mr Evil here, guys), the stunts are right on the money and the fight scenes are so realistic (it really looks like they are hell bent on hurting each other for real). That and our Mr Craig has taken the Bond character back to basics and how he was in the Ian Flemming books.

I'd like to describe in more detail the film to you, but some of you may not have seen it yet so I don't want to spoil it for you. However, take it from me, Bond has returned with true style and grit and on this performance Daniel Craig is my favourite 007 to date.

Now go and see it.

Our Local Cinema

Yesterday it was St Valentine's Day and as a treat we went to the local flicks.

Amazing.

It was a little smaller than some places we'd been to in the past but no less luxurious and comfortable and the screen and sound would have put most cinemas to shame.

It only has the one screen and turnaround is prompt as it shows two films every night one at six pm (18:00 as we are now on European time) and then the other at 8.30 pm (20.30...)
Therefore exiting the theatre needs to be swift if the first feature is a long film because people are already queuing for the second film.

But to keep everyone happy they lay on complimentary chocolate biscuits in the foyer. How sweet is that?

Oh, and the price? Less to get in than a family bag of M & Ms or whatever other rip off they are conning you with back in Blighty. We paid £2.40 (each) to see "Casino Royale". Hah!

Ciao

Something that has always puzzled me is how the Italians use the same word to greet one another and also the identical word to say goodbye. "Ciao" is used for both.

"Right guys, I'm off. Hello..."- it just doesn't sound right, does it?

Mind you, even ordering food in Italian sounds sexy so I suppose they've got it dead right and we're the ones behind the times.

That Was The Week That Was

Wifey's mum and aunt left yesterday having spent a week with us here in wonderful Izola and it's been a fine old time.

Naturally the weather has been indifferent to put it politely but true to form, being the last day of their holiday it was gloriously sunny, blue skies and warm- around sixteen degrees centigrade. I believe they even went paddling...

Perhaps we should send my m-i-l via Essex/Kent to put an end to the hosepipe ban once and for all?

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Deutsch Marques

Yes, yes, I know the German Mark is no more and it's all Euros, but that was such a cleffer title...I'm really wasted here, aren't I? *sigh*

Anyway, this is something that I have been meaning to post up for a while, but with impending Malzheimer's (sic) my memory is not my best asset.

However, as you're all no doubt aware the German Autobahns have sections where the national speed limit is not applicable and if you are prepared to take the chance (insurance doesn't cover you over the "speed" limit but what's life without some excitement?) you can really wind up the throttle/put your foot down to see how your bottle holds. All without fear of the Bullen.

However, there is some hierarchy amongst the German automotive industry and depending on which car you drive, you will expect some kind of "right of way". The order of top banana is as follows:

(5) Volkswagen

(4) Audi

(3) BMW

(2) Mercedes

(1) Porsche

(and please note the "e" is pronounced so don't make an arse out of yourself and drop the "e", eh?)

I'm not sure how other/non German car manufacturers fare but personal experience suggests that a clapped out Pug 306 XSi (French) driven flat out by a non-resident with no fixed "home" abode scares the living be-Jesus out of anyone and they all move out of the way.

Of course, all these super-charged cars with 0-60 mph figures around 6 seconds are still no match for a motorbike which can nail the 100 kmh target in less than three seconds...

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

More Photies? Not Half...

More pictures of Venice here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ktelontour/

Venice in Pictures











A day trip to Venice- pictures courtesy of wifey...

Monday, 12 February 2007

Wash & Go... To the Bank?

99.91 percent of ingredients in all hair shampoo sold in America is the same, despite the over 1000 percent price difference between the least expensive and most expensive brand tested.

I hope the label you pay for is worth it...

Pardon?

Wifey has taken her mum and aunt to Venice for the day.

I think I have gone deaf. It is so quiet...

Salted Peanuts

Addictive little bastards, aren't they. They just go soooooo well with a beer or two.

Ah well, I'm sure middle age spread is the new black this year.

I am so going to well trendy then.

Stick That in Your Pipe and Smoke it

The forthcoming smoking ban, due in England on 1st July 2007, is due to shake up a few of the chuffers at work. It seems some people are expecting designated smoking areas/rooms for their habit but they are going to be in for a shock.

Businesses face fines of up to £2,500 if they do not stop staff smoking in company buildings and some companies do not appear to realise that even designated smoking rooms will be outlawed.

You have been warned.

Congestion Charge Follow Up

From today's Times:

"People who signed a petition on the Prime Minister's website calling for road-pricing plans to be scrapped are to receive an e-mail putting the Government's case when the petition closes on February 20.

By last night 1.1 million people had signed.

The Transport Secretary says that he will not be deterred from trials."

So that's all right then? A personal "fuck off" from BLiar. Sweet.

What's Life Without Football?

Far, far happier. :-(

Sheffield United (who?) 2; Tottenham Hotspur1

*Spurs are now 11th...

Bayern Munich 1; Armenia Bielefeld 0

*Bielefeld are now 11th...

Southend United 5 (yes, FIVE!); Queens Park Rangers 0

Southend are last in the Championship (second division)


God it's fun being a footie fan if you follow my shower of shite!


*Spooky

Piran, Slovenia




A couple of shots of this lovely neighbouring town to where we are in Izola. More here:





Sunday, 11 February 2007

Euro Speak

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

However, as part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English."

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c" . Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza.

Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru. Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

GATSOs- The Latest Figures

It seems that deaths on UK roads have risen despite an increase in speed scameras.

A total of 3,210 people died in crashes in the 12 months to September last year, compared with 3,177 in the same period a year earlier.

A DfT spokesman said "No single quarter's figures should be taken in isolation, especially if they appear to show a change in trend, as there are random fluctuations."

He then continued to announce that an English tennis player would definitely win Wimbledon this year, the England football team were guaranteed to win the European Championship next year and that Rocky XIV was a brilliant film...
Boots the chemist is to offer Viagra for sale to the public without prescription from next week onwards. Someone clearly has a good sense of humour as it coincides with St Valentine's day.

Mind you, at £50 for a pack of four it won't come cheap although this cost does include a "consultation" fee to ensure you are healthy enough to take the tablet. Hopefully they'll chuck in a pack of three on the house...

007 in Izola

To give you an example of how easy going the pace is here in Izola, we're finally getting the "new" James Bond film; "Casino Royal" arriving here next week.

Yes, I know it's already been out for a couple of months on general release in most countries and neighbouring towns here have already shown it, but we wanted to wait until it was shown at our local cinema and now we're nearly there.

I'm really keen to see how Daniel Craig makes out as the latest recruit to 007 status- I reckon he'll be one of the best to date and as long as they drop the rather camp one liners, it'll be a sure fire winner.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Topical Joke

Q: What have the Bird Flu and Jamie Oliver got in common?

A: They've both fucked Bernard Matthews...

Bootiful.

:-)

BLiar's Diary

Or his regret at not keeping one.

Good move Tone, it would get rather repetitive.

Dear Diary- told a few lies today. And again. And again...


Mind you, shall we have a bet that it will not stop him from writing a book about his memoirs? It's not as if he'll need a diary or anything to help keep it factual- why spoil the habit of a life time?

The Threat of Terrorism

I'd assume the whole objective of terrorism is to bring a city or country to its knees and cause chaos, confusion and disrupt all the usual amenities and services so that people are unable to go about their daily routines.

Perhaps then instead of bombs and weapons it would be much simpler to dump a few centimetres of snow around the place?

I Don't Like Mondays

It seems that the first Monday of February is traditionally the worst day for working people to throw a "sickie".

A culmination of crap weather, post Christmas blues and credit card bills helps people to decide to take a duvet day at a cost of £27 million to British industry.

Now, if I actually knew which day is Monday...mind you, most of the time I don't even know which month we're in.

Who needs a calendar when living in paradise? :oD

Here's Another Thought

With airlines squeezing more and more out of the humble passenger, what will they charge us for next?

Perhaps we'll have to hire the life jacket under the seat?

Or contribute towards the cost of oxygen we'll need for the emergency masks?

Maybe we'll have electricity meters monitoring our use of reading lights?

How about a pound a time to go for a piss? Or a fiver a dump? Toilet rolls do cost you know and it all adds up.


Heaven only knows what it'll cost to join the Mile High Club...

Handbags at Dawn With BA

Got nothing to do with handbags (or Dawn for that matter) in the slightest but it was a good title. Well, I thought so.

Anyway, following on from the earlier post about BA charging for any extra bags over the allotted one maximum per person, it now creeps out that golf bags are still to be taken on board planes free of charge.

So, would I be correct in assuming that I could pack any additional luggage that won't fit into my one case into a golf bag then?

The CSA

As you will no doubt have heard, the Child Support Agency (CSA) is to close following an appalling performance record and a failure to collect more than £3.5 billion (£3.5 000 000 000 000*) in child maintenance payments.

So what you may ask? Good riddance to bad rubbish, right?

Indeed, but then why have staff been paid £25 million in bonuses over the past five years?

Rewards for being shite at your job? Surely only non-English England football managers get that?

And in case anyone is concerned about the kids, have no fear. The CSA will be replaced in 2010 by a Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission.

I foresee yet another successful venture there- even the snappy name is confidence inspiring...


* An English billion is a proper billion, ie a million million (12 zeros). The American billion is nowhere as big, only a thousand million (9 zeros).

The Congestion Charge

Plans to introduce nationwide congestion charges are to go ahead despite over one million (1 000 000; it looks bigger in figures) people signing a petition opposing the idea.

Douglas Alexander, the Transport Secretary, guffed on about "how it showed the feeling amongst motorists" but how "he couldn't really give a flying toss what the common people felt because they don't know what is best for them and who were they to contradict the government anyway?*"

He did however promise that there would be safeguards to protect motorists’ privacy and that the system would not be used to catch drivers speeding.

My, an MP we can trust to keep his word? We can all sleep more easily for that then...





*May not be the actual comments used but condensed by ktelontour to not waste over twenty seven pages of further bollocks and save the planet from hot air pollution. See? We are a green Blog helping to keep the environment happy.

Working Lunch

Popped up to the local mini-market to pick up a couple of items for the weekend and queued up at the checkout.

The cashier was having lunch with a rather tasty looking roll in one hand whilst checking off a customer's shopping.

A prime example of multi-tasking and certainly doing that little bit extra.










And yes, it was a burd...

British Telecom

They used to use the slogan "it's good to talk" and whilst I'm sure this is true, try paying for the privilege of doing just that.

Call me old fashioned but I like to pay my way in cash on occasion, but since when should you get fined for paying in this chosen manner?

According to BT, paying by cash now costs you £4.50 per quarter. Yes, eighteen quid a year if you want to sort your bill out in legal tender which is an instant transaction and not subject to "clearing" delays.

I can see the sense in persuading customers to pay via direct debit {less (wo)man power equates to bigger profits} but why not reward these forward thinking punters instead of punishing the traditionalists?

Unbelievable...

The Uefa Cup

The mighty Tottenham Hotspur roared into the last sixteen of this prestigious European cup competition, but before you all applaud this magnificent achievement and begin to believe that Spurs have actually won a game of football, it's only because Feyenoord lost their appeal against being thrown out of the competition.

The Dutch team appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after they were expelled and fined £41,000 by Uefa following crowd trouble against Nancy in the group stage of the competition.

However, luckily for Tottenham, our low-lander chums got told to poke it and we're through to the last 16.

All together now;


You only sing when you're winning, siiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnngggggggggg when youuuuuuuuu'rrrrrreeeeeee winnnnnnnnnniinnnnnnnnnnnggggggggg...na, na naaaarrrrrr........

Friday, 9 February 2007

It's the End of the Road for the Trabant

The Trabant, a car produced in the ex East Germany and which became a bit of a cult icon due its unusual style and cheap 2 stroke motor is to be banned from the streets of Berlin- ironically where it first became famous.

Thanks to new "environmentally-friendly zone" (in line with new European Union rules on exhaust emissions) which is due to be introduced into the city centre in December 2007, the "Trabbie" is going to be outlawed.

To be fair it is a quite an environment polluting engine, but with 50 000 owners across Germany (2 000 of which are registered in Berlin) it will be a sad day for some.

There goes a little more of our right to chose, eh...

And Another Thing

If weight is so precious on flights, why don't pie-scoffers get charged more for their seats? They weigh more and take up more room in their seat(s), usually crowding out the person sitting next to them.

How's that fair?

Gggrrrrrr.............

Bags @ BA

It seems that it is not just Ryanair that is passing on additional cost to its passengers with a new baggage policy. British Airways are jumping on the band wagon, and whilst not charging for every case as with RA, you only get one free case with BA.

Here's the tariff:

For passengers who check in more bags than their allowance, the excess baggage charge applied from February 13th 2007 will be dependent on the length of flight rather than the weight of the luggage.

The new charges are £30 per bag on domestic flights, £60 on short haul flights and £120 on long haul flights, which drop to £21, £42 and £84, if paid online before arrival at the airport.

So, it looks like the cheap, Christmas shopping trips to New York will perhaps take a hit. Imagine coming back with even just one extra case full of your shopping to England. That'll be another £120 on top then.

As I've said before, thieving bastards...

Shopping Trolleys

See how swiftly and skillfully we move from scooter to shopping trolley? You guys are so spoilt to witness a master at work (or should that be a hamster?) every time you log on.

Anyhoo- shopping in Izola is as simple as one can imagine with plenty of markets, corner shops and of course supermarkets giving all sorts of variety, choice and options. However, the biggest bonus of all is that all the shopping trolleys steer exactly where you want them to.

No dodgy wheels, no sudden jamming or emergency stops, no careering into displays or knocking down any stray senior citizens- it's a smooth, point and reach your destination akin to a magic flying carpet.


The trouble with this though is how can one reasonably explain the repeated arrival at the chocolate section?

Buzzing Through The Streets

As you can imagine, being close to Italy the Slovenians are somewhat influenced by their neighbours and it is no different when it comes to their chosen mode of transport. With narrow, winding and often cobbled streets their first weapon of choice seems to be the scooter and they appear everywhere in pretty much all sorts of guises.

For me it's a pleasure to see; as I much prefer two wheels to four and the kids are extremely expert in chucking them through the tightest of gaps, usually with a mobile to their ear and often with a fag dangling from the corner of their mouths.

Yes, it is still cool to smoke as teenager here too...

The only thing I can't understand is whether it is law to wear a helmet or simply choice. I suspect it is a legal requirement and that the lid-less riders are merely exercising their right to stick two fingers up at Plod.

I hope so.

Yagiza

"Woohoo"

*waves*

;-)

Out To Dinner

Popped into the local pizza place for a bite to eat.

We ordered pizza for four plus salad, drinks and coffee and the entire bill came to €24/£16.

And the waitress held the door open for us as we left.

Try getting that in the UK.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

England's Football Team...

Once again England reveal yet another new kit; this one is described as “performance-perfected”. Aye, what on earth is that supposed to mean?

Going by yesterday's embarrassing performance perhaps a string vest and donkey jacket is more appropriate?

PS: Germany beat Switzerland (co-hosts of next year's European Championships wit Austria) 3-1. Then again, we are the third best team on the entire planet.

:-D

Stansted Airport

Bit of snow and the airport closes today.

M-i-L arrived yesterday without problem.

So close and yet so far...

;-)

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Slovenian Taxis

They've got a neat scam working here.

The mini-bus type taxis wait by the bus stop and then poach people queuing to wait for the bus. Once the mini-bus is full, they take you to where you want to go had you caught the bus. All for the same price as the bus fare.

Good idea.

Today's Weather

Wifey's mum and aunt due to land around lunch time?

Check.

Hotel booked?

Check.

Airport pick up arranged?

Check.

Pissing down?

Check.

*sigh*

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Slovenian Public Holiday

We have a Bank Holiday on Thursday, 8th February 2007 named the "Slovenian Cultural Holiday".

Being all culture-me-fied meself; innit, I could well do with a day off.

Luvverly...

The Times

Has a new on-line look. Check it out here:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/debate/feedback/article1184088.ece

Ryanair

From The Times...

The introduction of charges for passengers checking in their bags helped Ryanair to boost profits by 30 per cent in its third quarter, as greater revenues from passengers helped to offset higher fuel costs.

The Irish budget carrier said yesterday that net profits had risen to €47.7 million (£31.4 million) in the three months to December 31 as fuel surcharges levied by larger rivals allowed the group to nudge up fares.


As I have previously said, I think to charge a passenger seven quid for a suitcase is utterly wrong and with over £30 million profit in just three months, how is this justified?

Thieving gets!

Well, I Never...

From time to time we will be bringing you brilliantly useless facts that you can stun and amaze your friends with to show off your immense knowledge. Today's offering:

**There are 102 different types of bacteria in an average fondue pot**

Enjoy...

Motor Insurance

Anyone else ever wondered how some insurance companies can offer motor insurance to women drivers only? Surely that is discrimination?

Ditto for using age as parameter.

Imagine the uproar if they offered "whites only" insurance or "blacks only" insurance?

Funny old world...

Now It All Starts To Make Sense...


Pensioners

Why do they have to pay income tax?

They have usually worked all their lives and get little enough from their pensions as it is, so why are they expected to cough up their 20-40%?

Why should they pay tax on their savings? What they have saved has already been taxed anyway.

Why do we allow our older generation to be treated in such a shameful way?

Monday, 5 February 2007

Tottenham Hotspur

Who?

:o(

Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles...

Well, in the men's World Handball Championships anyway:

Taken from Eurosport at: http://www.eurosport.co.uk/handball/world-champs/2007/sport_sto1076433.shtml

Hosts Germany survived the second-half loss of star goalkeeper Henning Fritz to beat Poland 29-24 and win their third-ever world championship title.

After allowing just 13 goals in a dominant first half, Fritz injured his foot just four minutes into the second period of play and was taken off of the court by team staff.

Trailing 20-14 when Fritz left the court, Poland let up a critical goal to mohawked German Pascal Hens, but then exploded on a 7-1 run to close the gap to 22-21 with replacement keeper Johannes Bitter struggling to stop anything.

What was more embarrassing about the Polish run was that the Germans lost their lead with a two-man advantage on the court after two Poles were sin-binned with consecutive penalties.

Once the Polish charge hit its crescendo, the largely German audience erupted to its feet to try and motivate the hosts back into a match where they had lost their most important player and seemed to have lost all confidence on both ends of the floor.

Germany responded with back-to-back strikes from Hens, who twice found the corner of the goal to put the hosts back up by three goals. Gregorz Tkaczyk responded with a goal for Poland, but coach Heiner Brand called Christian Zeitz into the game with less than ten minutes to play and Germany only leading by two goals.

Zeitz's entry did the trick, as the 26-year-old Kiel player quickly drew a penalty. Torsten Jansen easily converted the penalty shot - one of a game-leading eight goals on the night for the 30-year-old Hamburg star - then scored again to spark a 5-2 run to close out the match.

It was Germany's first world title since Brand's 1978 world championship team and their third-ever gold medal at worlds. The Germans also won in 1938.

By winning the silver medal Poland claimed their best result since the 1982 bronze-medal winning side.

(Earlier on Sunday Denmark thumped European champions France 34-27 to claim this year's bronze in Cologne.)

Sunday, 4 February 2007

NEW EMAIL ADDRESS

We're now on:

ktelontour@gmail.com

Please amend your records accordingly and you can keep in touch.

Friday, 2 February 2007

The Top Three Possible Masks


Sponsored by certain breweries but can be adapted with some careful planing to accept any major beer manufacturers...



This is the most complex design and took a lot of effort to create the desired effect...






Sponsored by our local baker, and may well be the favourite for the crowd...
(Can anyone believe I practised by bestest smile for this one? No, REALLY!)



Carnival

There's a big carnival due in Izola soon (no idea why yet, just that it is a major event here) and our local pub is having a big masked ball/party.

We are working on our masks (home made) and we'll show you some of the contenders as soon as we've put them together.

One has to be really imaginative when working on a restricted budget with limited materials but I feel sure we won't let the side down.

Watch this space...

Trieste to Venice

Takes about two hours by train and costs a most reasonable fiver(ish).

We celebrate our 20th anniversary in a few week's time.

Be rude not to.

:-D

And Speaking of Visits

We have our first to Izola from England, as wifey's mum and aunt are due to arrive next week.

We are really looking forward to this as we are very eager to show off Izola to "foreigners" so that people can see for themselves just how amazing the place is.

Currently the weather is mild and bright/sunny but as soon as the mother-in-law lands it'll be time to dig out the umbrellas as it's guaranteed to rain. Water shortage? Don't think so. Just get m-i-l to drop in and all rain dances become redundant.

Oh well, it never rains in a bar...

Trieste

Despite being just over the border from Trieste, Italy it was only recently we finally found time to pay a visit. (Note: tongue firmly in cheek at this point.)

Getting there and back was dead easy by bus (~1 hour and ~£5 return by bus) and coupled with the fact it was a glorious day weather wise, we had a grand old day out.

I used to visit Trieste on business in the dark days when I used to "work", but I didn't really get to see much of the main town during the day. However, we were amazed at how big it was...and how expensive! I can see why a lot of the Italians hop over the border to stock up with petrol and dine out at the Slovenian most reasonable restaurants.

Of course, what we forgot about was that most of the shops close for lunch and stay shut for about three hours; but aside from that, Trieste is a really pretty town and we'll be going back again.

We have to; we're due to meet up with Ari, one of my ex-work colleagues sometime, and it's going to be super to see her again and not worry about the ISO certification!

Germany Get to Finals

Of the World Handball Championships.

They beat the French 32-31 in the last dying seconds of extra time a short while ago and now must wait for the result between Poland and Denmark to determine who they will meet in the Final.

Handball is the new football...

Thursday, 1 February 2007

Football

We are not talking about this subject at all today.

Nor in fact until Spurs actually win a game again, so for non-footy fans, enjoy the silence- it could be a while.

:-(

Panic In Essex

Been doing the rounds for years in some guise or other (Scousers are a favourite) but bruv sent this over in the wake of the recent storms and it still raises a chuckle...

A major hurricane (Hurricane Shazza) and earthquake measuring 5.8 on theRichter Scale hit Essex in the early hours of Friday with its epicentre inBasildon.

Victims were seen wandering around aimlessly, muttering "Faaackinell".

The hurricane decimated the area causing approximately £30 worth of damage. Several priceless collections of mementoes from Majorca and the Costa DelSol were damaged beyond repair. Three areas of historic burnt out cars were disturbed. Many locals were woken well before their giros arrived.

Essex FM reported that hundreds of residents were confused and bewildered and were still trying to come to terms with the fact that something interesting had happened in Basildon.

One resident - Sharon Tracy Smith, a 15-year-old mother of 5 said, "It was such a shock, my little Chardonnay-Mercedes came running into my bedroom crying. My youngest two, Tyler-Morgan and Victoria-Storm slept through it all. I was still shaking when I was skinning up and watching Trisha the next morning."

Apparently looting, muggings and car crime were unaffected and carried on as normal. The British Red Cross has so far managed to ship 4,000 crates of SunnyDelight to the area to help the stricken locals. Rescue workers are still searching through the rubble and have found large quantities of personal belongings, including benefit books, jewellery from Elizabeth Duke at Argos and Bone China from Poundland.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

This appeal is to raise money for food and clothing parcels for those unfortunate enough to be caught up in this disaster. Clothing is most sought after - items most needed include:

- Fila or Burberry baseball caps
- Kappa tracksuit tops (his and hers) Shellsuits (female)
- White sport socks
- Rockport boots
- Any other items usually sold in Primark.

Food parcels may be harder to come by, but are needed all the same. Required food stuffs include:

- Microwave meals
- Tins of baked beans
- Ice cream
- Cans of Colt 45 or SpecialBrew.

- 22p buys a biro for filling in the compensation forms.
- £2 buys chips, crisps and blue fizzy drinks for a family of 9.
- £5 buys B&Hand a lighter to calm the nerves of those affected.

**Breaking news**

Rescue workers found a girl in the rubble smothered in raspberry alco-pop.

'Where are you bleeding from?' they asked," ROMFORD" said the girl, "woss that gotta do wiv you?