The truth is out there….


Do not worry America. World, do not fret yet. Keep calm my friends and family. Donald Trump will not be President. I say again, President-Elect Trump will never sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office….

No, not because of an assassination. But I wouldn’t rule it out.

And, no, not be a use of a legal challenge to the election result. Although I wouldn’t rule that out either.

No. Aliens.

Have you noticed that our media is awash with stories of space colonisation and alien invasion? “Independence Day: Resurgence” in our cinemas; “MARS” on The National Geographic channel on our TVs, and the return of the “X Files”; and even  Jeff Wayne’s musical version of “The War of the Worlds” at the Dominion theatre in London’s West End….

The media is acting as a state-sponsored PR agency, preparing the ground for announcements soon to be made….

And, did you not wonder why with political tension between the USA at a pitch higher than at any time since the Cold War; with accusations of Putin deliberately interfering in the American election; and, fears over a potential World War Three as a result of armed clashes between the two great powers of in the Syrian conflict; why, in March this year a Russian Soyuz rocket launched a joint US / Russian crew to the International Space Station?

Why are the Super Powers putting aside Earthly political disagreements in order to cooperate in Space?

Aliens.

Aliens are coming! And, our politicians and their PR agencies are just trying to ease us in to the reality of it….

It has been known for a while. A blind Bulgarian mystic, Barbara Vanga, who died in 1996, predicted that Barack Obama, as 44th President of the United States, would be the last ever president. This has caused conspiracy theorists to believe that 2016 will be the year that Barack Obama will finally announce that aliens really do exist and have already visited the Earth. Area 51 is true.

Consequently the World will need to pull together, and form a new world government, and the role of US President will no longer function – leaving no place for Trump.

Miss Vanga’s predictions apparently had an 85% success rate, including the Boxing Day Tsunami. However, some of her incorrect interpretations include the date of this event, having predicted it would not be until 2130 that aliens would arrive on Earth and help humans to live under water. She also predicted the Third World War would start in 2010, and that Bulgaria would be in the 1994 World Cup final. So, there is still some room for scepticism….

But perhaps most revealing are the words of the last President himself. When questioned by a 6 year old girl on a TV show about the revelations within the fabled Presidential “Book of Secrets” and asked about the existence of aliens, Obama responded: “We haven’t actually made direct contact with aliens yet.

Many have focussed on the specific use of the word “direct”……

The truth is out there….aliens will save the world from Trump! Phew…

November 12, 2016 at 6:09 pm Leave a comment

The Life of an Ordinary/Extraordinary Man

There is just a week to go until Remembrance Day. This is just one story of one ordinary man who served and died. Lest we forget….

Middle Man

This is the Great-Grandfather of my wife.

Joseph Hoolahan (1877 – 1915)

Joseph Hoolahan, my wife’s great-grandfather, was an ordinary man who lived an ordinary life. He died in France in the Great War. Let us remember him.

Joseph Hoolahan was born in Droylsden, Lancashire some 22 miles from Hadfield, Glossop on 27 Mar 1877. As such, he was the first generation of Hoolahan’s born in England. Droylsden had seen an influx of Irish immigrants from the mid-1800s following the development of the cotton mills and of the Ashton and Peak Forrest canals. It would seem that the Hoolahans came to England around 1876.

According to his military recorda, Joseph had brown hair and brown eyes, and, at the time of joining the army in 1914 aged thirty seven, was healthy, five foot three inches tall and weighed one hundred and twenty five lbs, with a chest size of thirty seven and a…

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November 5, 2016 at 10:45 am Leave a comment

Wear It With Pride

In light of all this nonsense from FIFA regarding a ban on the England and Scotland football teams from wearing poppy armbands, I thought I would reblog this post.

The poppy is neither political (unless you ignore its meaning and choose to oppose its wearing), nor is it religious. It is a sign of respect and remembrance for those who fought and those who fell on the fields of Flanders, on the Normandy beaches, in the jungles of Korea, on the hills above Port Stanley, in the dust of Helmand, and everywhere else that brave men and women served and continue to serve to maintain our freedom and the right of people and organisations such as FIFA to spew such nonsense! @WearItWithPride

Middle Man

Yesterday the Royal British Legion launched this year’s annual Poppy Appeal. The RBL is a charity which provides support to men and women who are serving or have served in the Armed Forces, and their dependents. Selling poppies is one way in which they generate funds.

While I believe that the Poppy Appeal, and wearing of poppies, are common in North America (in Canada they are known as “Clowns Shoes”) and the Commonwealth, I know that their symbolism is not well understood in many parts of Europe. When I have worn my poppy on business trips in the past it has been the cause of some bemusement and discussion. So, I hope that this will be illuminating for some of my Continental visitors.

Wearing a poppy is also an important part of the annual Remembrance Day which is held on the Sunday closest to the 11th November and the…

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November 3, 2016 at 10:31 am Leave a comment

M6 – The Haunted Motorway

As it’s Hallowe’en….

Middle Man

piper

Does anyone know anything about the ghost that apparently haunts the M6 motorway around junction 17 at Sandbach?

I was at a social function at the weekend and chatting to a traffic cop who works the motorways of Cheshire. There have been a number of fatalities on the M6 motorway recently and the stretch between junctions 16 (Crewe) and 19 (Knutsford) is a well-known accident blackspot. I have never understood this as it is a perfectly straight stretch of road with few distractions at the side. So, the policeman was asked to explain why.

Apparently, this stretch of the motorway is haunted. The locals and the policeman all agreed that many of the accidents had been caused by drivers who had been distracted by ghostly apparitions. Now, those of you who know me will realise that I am a sucker for a good ghost story and believe that I have…

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October 31, 2016 at 8:42 am Leave a comment

Learn the lessons of history….please!

It is Hallowe’en, nearly, and America is zombie walking into a potential catastrophe – the possibility of electing the Bogey Man to the position of President of the USA and (self-proclaimed) leader of the free world.

Winston Churchill once said: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” And for sure, you only have to look at the winners of the X-Factor over recent years to know that he was right.

Some say that those who vote for Trump are protesting against the Washington elite and its great political dynasties. Well recent protest votes in the UK gave us Jeremy Corbyn and may yet see us leave the European Union. America, feel free to wave placards and man the barricades but DO NOT VOTE TRUMP no matter how much you distrust Hilary and condemn her for poor e-mail etiquette.

It is seven months since I wrote this blog. I have been following the US election campaign closely since then (unlike many American citizens it would seem) and my view has just hardened as revelation after revelation condemns him further. As his own words and actions condemn him.

Clinton may be a poor choice. But she is still the better choice.

Do not put Trump in power. Do not let him control the media, the justice system, the military or the nuclear button.

It is Hallowe’en, nearly, and the Bogey Man is coming. America you have just ten days to save the world. DO NOT VOTE FOR TRUMP.

Middle Man

image

Forget the fact that Donald Trump is sexist, a misogynist. Which he is. Put aside the fact that he a rude, belligerent bully. Which he is. Forget the fact that he is dismissive of the media who try to expose him. Which he is.

On Fox News Trump attacked anchor Megyn Kelly: “She had blood coming out of her whatever” – following the first  Republican debate, which Kelly moderated.”Ariana Huffington is unattractive, both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man – he made a good decision.””You know it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.” “I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”

If that is enough to make sure, if you’re an American, then you can stop reading here.

If not, then read on. If you have not been appalled…

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October 29, 2016 at 11:04 am Leave a comment

Time to travel again….


I have just started to travel on business following a “lay off” of a couple of months. I’ve not missed it. It is stressful, traveling. 

First there is the worry of whether the taxi will turn up. And, if it turns up at all , will it be on time. And, if it turns up on time, will it be able to find us – our house is not visible from the roadside and, consequently, is hard to find.

Thankfully it turned up on time and the drive phoned when he couldn’t find us. Phew.

Then there is the Russian Roulette which is the M25. The journey to Heathrow Terminal 5 should take 35 minutes. But, given the vagaries of the M25 it is best to allow at least 2 hours. The traffic flowed pretty well. Phew.

The plane was only delayed for 30 minutes. I was served a “delicious value for money”meal (not) of a packet of crisps with a can of lumpy orange juice; I flew through passport control (I think they’ve given up since Brexit); and, jumped into a Parisien cab which both a) knew where the hotel was and b) didn’t try to rip me off. Even the Periphique was free flowing. Phew. Result. Pinched myself just to make sure.

The hotel was expecting me which is always a good thing and they even had actioned my request for an iron and ironing board to be placed in my room. 

Well, I say an iron. There was this thing which any electrician in the world would have condemned. It heated up sporadically while fizzing somewhat and had the residue of the previous user’s garment coating the bottom like a film of tar. And, I say a board. It was just two foot long and 4 inches high, designed to sit on the desk. It is like ironing a shirt on a body board. It also had the residue of the previous user’s garment coating it and some child’s doodling in biro.

The hotel has had a makeover shell since my last visit. On the surface all was good – new carpets, fresh paint, new doors, etc. but upon closer investigation my irritation at hotel design in general quickly surfaced…..

A strip mirror, about 4 inches high, had been placed along the wall opposite the bed, beneath the rather small flat screen TV which was alien to English-speaking channels, and on the walls either side of the bed, at exactly the height of the bed. 

So, when lying on the bed I found myself looking at myself from all angles. It was not pretty and had me checking the walls and ceilings for hidden cameras. I can only assume that Novotel is pitching its newly refurbished rooms at people wanting to make amateur porn films of themselves on their iPhones. Which I do not.

As ever, despite taking the trouble to liberally scatter USB charging points around the room (so that my phone/alarm could rest next to me rather than across the room on the desk),the master switch for the lights was only on one side of the bed. The wrong side. Which meant that I either had to plunge the room into darkness and run a naked obstacle course between the bed, miniature ironing board, cooling iron, mini bar and desk to get to my side of the bed or risk putting my back out stretching across several superfluous pillows and cushions.

The mini bar was empty and, therefore, also superfluous.

In the bathroom the sink and mirror instead of being positioned centrally were off to one side against one wall. The sink was misnamed, being one of those modern square, shallow jobs – more of a damp tray upon which you can spread your toothpaste and shaving detritus rather than a basin you could fill with water. And, no plug! 

Shaving in the mirror meant resting one shoulder against the wall while tilting your head at an angle likely to cause a crick. And, of course, the cable on the hairdryer was so short that I was forced to crouch precariously in a yoga-like / torture position resting one of my chins on the edge of the sink so that only the top of my head was visible in the lob-sided mirror.

And, don’t even start me on the hotel food….but look what greeted me at the airport Starbucks:


That is a so-called English muffin. I let it cool down and that cheese had welded itself to the paper plate.

Well at least, BA, French air-traffic control and the M25 allowing, I will be at home tonight with a reheated chilli (the oven is broken), and my own inadequate bathroom to look forward to – the joys of renting. At least the mirror is in the right place!

It is stressful, renting.

October 12, 2016 at 2:26 pm 1 comment

The Russians are coming…..


The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!

This used to be the Cold War warning which would cause any American child to check under his bed anxiously.

Well, they (the Russians) have arrived and are currently sunning themselves in the most exclusive and expensive hideaways in the more fashionable resorts of Sicily. Just like C and I.

Now I do not wish to tar a whole nation with the same brush…..but as long as they continue to invade their neighbours, dope their athletes, and keep that idiot, Putin, in power, I am willing to make an exception for the Motherland.

In any case, they (the Russians) like some Borg-like collective, appear to have assumed a certain stereotypical caricature of themselves – older (often much older) and more rotund (nope – think bigger and rounder than that….), quiet and surly men with pretty and much younger (think Woody Allen) trophy wife/partner.

In fact, and this may be doing a great disservice to the magnetic personality, intellect, wit and sexual prowess of your typical Russian oligarch (or not), but, I suspect, that some of these young Soviet lovelies might have been paid to accompany their hirsute speedo-wearing comrades.

The Russians are almost legendary in Sicily. Our tour guide asked if there were many Russians at our hotel and when we said yes, he stated “they are either engineers or drunk. Nothing in between”. They are also renowned for their rudeness, richness and, for their appetite.

Let me describe our first breakfast here and the Russian couple who sat at the table to the side of us.

She, let us call her Olga, was about seven foot tall (its the doping…) and model-like glamorous – not unlike King Ragnar Lodbrok’s second wife in the Vikings, if you can excuse the Scandic reference. Boris, well, not so glamorous. He was older and, therefore, obviously rich and/or a connected oligarch with the demeanour of a pot-bellied, surly Muscovite taxi driver on the way to a drug deal.

I trust I’ve painted the picture adequately…..

Olga brought a plate which would have impressed any aficionados of Nandos or a 1980s “as much as you can eat” Pizza Hut salad bar. In the American style (and Russian apparently) meat, fish, pastry, fruit, cheese and scrambled egg were all piled high onto a single plate. Olga retreated only to return with extra salamis, cake and a bun with a huge dollop of cream.

Boris brought a similar feast himself but did not set it down until he had made the waitress change the already clean tablecloth (for this is the type of upmarket, nay swanky establishment C and I have become accustomed to frequent….). He too went back for more food, juice and a couple of glasses of Prosecco (I will miss breakfast when we return to Blighty). He ordered poached eggs on the side and coffee – one espresso and a cappuccino.

We kept expecting other guests to join them. But no. The pair simply sat and chomped – she more glamourously than he – their way through mounds of food which would have been enough to feed a small army on its way to occupy the Crimea….

And it is not just their culinary appetites that are huge….apparently.

C and I are currently sunning ourselves next to a huge Russian guy – think Daredevil and Spiderman’s nemesis, the Kingpin. 
He is fat and conjures up images of the Southern Comfort ad with the guy in his speedos as he struts up and down the decking beachside. The wood is groaning slightly under his weight.


He is in the company of two (TWO) scantily dressed pretty young girls and, I joke not, a small Pomeranian toy dog which insists on taking the shade under C’s sunbed.

This guy reeks of Bratva (Russian mafia). Even the other Russian oligarchs scattered here and there around us looked on a little embarrassed, awed, and intrigued as to how the dog had been smuggled into Italy in contradiction of strict quarantine laws. And, how much they would need to pay for a second playmate for themselves.

We tried to avoid eye contact and retreated to the relative safety and normality of the pool area where C turned to me and asked “do you think he’s killed anyone…….with a meat cleaver? And, do you think they take turns.”

We both hope that the threesome and their dog are not in the room next to ours……

La dolce vita……

September 14, 2016 at 2:11 pm 2 comments

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