Simple grafitti

This is brilliant, to see Snoopy’s dog kennel in the shadow and then add Snoopy… and it only makes sense if you see it at night, when the street light opposite is on.

Let me tell you about Nate

Nate is a guy, and Autralian guy, who is travelling slowly around the world in no particular direction and he’s in no hurry. He’s visiting wonderful, off-the-beaten-track destinations. Places most of us would probably avoid. But in travelling his way he’s meeting people in those places and he’s finding they’re much the same as the rest of us, they just live somewhere we’ve never heard of.

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Monarch (damn them) airlines

Budget airlines, does anyone like them? I don’t use them through choice, I often find I can get where I want to go cheaper with British Airways if I book early enough. That wasn’t an option this time because the holiday was a package deal, so it meant flying with the carrier specified by the package operator.

At least our flight wasn’t at some antisocial hour of the night, but it might as well have been. The flight was scheduled to take off at 0800hrs. This meant check-in time of 0600hrs, but, as budget airlines are known to overbook, we thought it wise to be early. So that’s 0500hrs, less the time to drive to Gatwick, park the car and get to the terminal. That’ll be 0400hrs then.

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Keep Turning Left

Keep turning left is the title of a series of short films by Dylan Winter available to all on YouTube. Dylan is circumnavigating the UK in a little boat; his son is walking the length of the Ganges during his gap year, and Dylan wants an adventure too.

I wonder if Dylan’s son has a YouTube video diary called, perhaps, Keep the Ganges on the Left.

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Pub food in Britain: The Good

Travelling home along Britains ‘A’ roads, and stopping for food can be gastronomically challenging. If it’s a long journey you don’t want to stop at half-a-dozen pubs and check them out before getting back in the car, because they’re not good enough; you’d never get where you’re going. So you stop at the first one you like the look of and put up with whatever they happen to serve. Sometimes the pubs aren’t at the side of the road either, and you follow a road-sign that says ‘Pub 1 mile’, then it’s just pot luck.

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The Bad and the Ugly of eating out in Britain

The mediocrity, or down-right poor quality of food the British people will accept without complaint is astounding. I know, I’m a Brit who doesn’t like to complain, and I’ve just come back from a holiday during which every evening meal was awful.

Pub food

On our recent visit to Devon my wife and I were camping within walking distance of four pubs that served food. It was a little out of season, but we were far from the only trade; there was enough business to make a profit. In season there will be enough people staying locally either camping, caravanning, or in rented cottages, and B&Bs, that these pubs will all be full every night, and people will be queuing to eat in them because there’s nowhere else for miles.

All of these pubs had traditional British pub fare, scampi and chips, fish and chips, steak and ale pie with new potatoes (or chips) and veg, lasagne with salad (or chips), you know the sort of thing I mean. The fact that their menus were almost identical, and that we were likely to eat in all of them, seeing as we were staying so close, gave a good opportunity to compare. So read the comparison…

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Vacation at birthday time

It’s been that time of year again; a birthday, and a holiday. I’d really like enough holiday to split the working year into quarters with two-week holidays in between… who am I kidding, I want life to be a holiday!

What the hell, here’s how it went.

The camping part

We had a really good week off and I had a brilliant birthday, went camping in north Devon last Sunday (that’d be April, not 4th May). Stayed between Woolacombe and Ilfracombe in a tiny village called Mortehoe. The journey down started off sunny, then it was rain, sun, rain, sun, rain, sun, rain… and we arrived at the campsite in fog… well, at least it wasn’t raining when we were putting the tent up. There were four pubs in walking distance, but the food in all of them was pretty lousy, and there was nowhere else to eat without driving somewhere, but that was the only let down. The scenery is great, big cliffs, Atlantic waves bashing against them, all very rugged and manly.

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