Monday, 9 November 2009

Nice photo!

Nice photo of Clare, Jack and Luke here for lunch last Sunday!

Don't the kids grow up fast these days!!!

Sunday, 8 November 2009


Well, it’s Sunday – and probably our last one (at least for a while) in England. Wow that sounds soooo weird and more than a little scary too!

So Shirley’s cooking a Sunday roast and Clare, John and the boys are coming over for the feast – plus I expect we’ll crack open a bottle or two of something.

It’s been (and still is) a rollercoaster few weeks what with making plans to pack up and head Downunder again – we’ve done it before of course but this time it’s different and it feels that way too and quite unsettling which I guess is not surprising. We’ve been avid travellers across the Globe for so long that getting on a plane to some far-away place has never really fazed us but THIS time……….!

We’re still in the Aussie Visa queue of course but hopefully we should be at the front of it in January when we’ll get ‘assessed’ – so we’ve our fingers crossed that they’ll actually have us!! But we decided some time ago to bite the bullet and make plans to leave the UK – so that will be Thursday and for who knows how long! We have Visitors Visas for a few months so we’ll play it by ear.

We’ve started the packing up process and my car is at the Docks ready to load into a container and get shipped. We’re hoping too that our house sale will get sorted out before we leave so its fingers, toes and eyes and everything else crossed that any remaining legal issues in the ‘sale chain’ get resolved quickly – watch this space!!

I actually packed my suitcase a week ago just so that I could see what I was taking with me – and more importantly what is going to get put into storage here until we’re ready to receive it, once (and if!) our Visas get approved hopefully in a few months time.

It’s an opportunity too for another clear out of all those things which you keep, thinking that maybe one day they’ll come in useful – but never do! And clothes not worn for months or even years – they don’t fit anyway although we think we’ll maybe get to lose a few pounds and we’ll squeeze into them again! I’m sure everyone has draws and cupboards full of such things, don’t they!! But it sure does concentrate the mind when you’re going to pack them up and ship them 10, 000 miles to the other side of the World in a somewhat warmer climate!!

We’ve a few challenges yet ahead of us this week – the glutton for punishment that I am, I undertook some time ago to organise a big Lodge meeting and event for Tuesday, two days before our departure and slap bang in the middle of moving out of here!!

So while Shirley and the removal guys will be here wrapping and packing, I’ll be getting into my suit and heading off for my last Lodge meeting!! I bet you can guess how that’s gone down at home, can’t you – yes m’lud, guilty as charged!!

But Shirley bless her is, as always, very supportive; I’m a lucky guy.

So it won’t be long now before I switch back to my Aussie Blog and although my Blogs here haven’t been as regular as I would have liked, I hope everyone has been following my ‘Tweets’ which I’ve linked in to the UK Blog. I’m going to redesign the Aussie Blog as soon as I get time with a similar Twitter link so again, watch this space.

Now, back to the packing!!!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Grit in yur eye!

Wow those dust storms in Australia last week were something, weren't they just!

The Lost Symbol?

You know something? Well if you know me, you’ll know that since 1989 I’ve been a Freemason – hmm that’s 20 years I guess!

But when I’m asked, I still find it hard to articulate what Freemasonry is all about – I know that I just enjoy it, the challenge, the ceremonies, the ‘fellowship’(now there’s a funny old-fashioned expression!) and seeing something I cherish practiced sometimes quite differently across the world from America to England and to Australia.

Just bear with me for a few minutes? Go here and read ‘What is Freemasonry’ if you want to discover what it’s really all about – you can read Dan Brown’s version in The Lost Symbol but personally, I prefer this definition.

Today I was struck by something I read – and I thought I’d just share it – it tries to define what a dilemma we all have when we try to describe something which means different things to different people.

Apparently there is a Buddhist parable used in teachings whereby six blind men each try to describe an elephant:

"Six blind men were asked to determine what an elephant looked like by feeling different parts of the elephant's body. The blind man who feels a leg says the elephant is like a pillar; the one who feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope; the one who feels the trunk says the elephant is like a tree branch; the one who feels the ear says the elephant is like a hand fan; the one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a wall; and the one who feels the tusk says the elephant is like a solid pipe."

It teaches the lesson that truth can be described in many different ways and yet still be truth.

I think you may be just a little wiser than when you started to read this, at least I hope so!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Lexophiles (Lovers of words)

This rather tickled me today!! (with thanks to Craig in Australia!)

1. A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.

2. A will is a dead give-away.

3. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

4. A backward poet writes inverse.

5. In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your
Count that votes.

6. A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.

7. If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

8. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

9. Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.

10. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

11. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

12. A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in
France which resulted in Linoleum

13. You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

14. Local Area Network in
Australia : The LAN down under.

15. He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

16. A calendar's days are numbered.

17. A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.

18. A boiled egg is hard to beat.

19. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

20. A plateau is a high form of flattery.

21. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison: a small medium at

22. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

23. When you've seen one shopping centre you've seen a mall.

24. If you jump off a
Paris bridge, you are in Seine.

25. When she saw her first strands of grey hair, she thought she'd dye.

26. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

27. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

28. Acupuncture: a jab well done.

Marathon runners with bad shoes suffer the agony of de feet.

30. The roundest knight at king Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.
He acquired his size from too much pi.

31. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned
out to be an optical

32. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.

33. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it
was a weapon of math disruption.

34. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in
his work.

35. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

36. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

37. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

38. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are
looking into it.

39. Atheism is a non-prophet organisation.

40. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to
the other, 'You stay here, I'll go on a head.'

41. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

42. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab centre said: 'Keep off the Grass.'

43. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When
his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, 'No change yet.'

44. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a
seasoned veteran.

45. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

46. Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects.

Sydney Dust Storm

Andrew & Sue woke up today (Wednesday) to Jessica saying 'Mummy, it's all red outside'!

I called and spoke to Sue as soon as we'd heard the BBC Breakfast news - the storm apparently came during the early hours of Wednesday and as you can imagine, caused absolute chaos although the kids still went to school ok but weren't allowed outside because of the choking dust.

Sue says its absolutely EVERYWHERE, this thin film of dust - and she can taste it too! YUK!

By the time I called it was 5.30pm Sydney time and the sky had cleared but Sue said it was unusually quite cold because the sun had been blotted out all day!!

Still, thankfully everyone seems to be safe........and well!

Weird huh?

Wednesday, 12 August 2009


Um, we have flight reservations to Sydney with Etihad in November!


Tuesday, 11 August 2009


This brand spanking new Airbus 340-600 sits just outside its hangar in Toulouse without a single hour of airtime.

Enter the Arab flight crew of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) to conduct pre-delivery tests on the ground, such as engine run-ups prior to delivery to Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. The ADAT crew taxied the A340-600 to the run-up area.

Then they took ALL FOUR engines to takeoff power with a virtually empty aircraft. Not having read the run-up manuals, they had no clue just how light an empty A340-600 really is.

The takeoff warning horn was blaring away in the cockpit because they had All 4 engines at full power. The aircraft computers thought they were trying to take off, but it had not been configured properly (flaps/slats, etc...)

Then one of the ADAT crew decided to pull the circuit breaker on the Ground Proximity Sensor to silence the alarm. This fools the aircraft into thinking it is in the air.

The computers automatically released all the brakes and set the aircraft rocketing forward. The ADAT crew had no idea that this is a safety feature so that pilots can't land with the brakes on.

Not one member of the seven-man Arab crew was smart enough to throttle back the engines from their max power setting, so the $200 million brand-new Aircraft crashed into a blast barrier, totalling it!

The extent of injuries to the crew is unknown due to the news blackout in the major media in France and elsewhere.

Finally, the photos are starting to leak out …

A French Airbus …………………. $200 million dollars
Untrained Arab Flight Crew……… $300,000 Yearly Salary
Unread Operating Manual………... $300



Absolutely PRICELESS!


Well, lets see if Twitter helps me to keep in touch any better than I've been doing recently!!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

New element

Lawrence Livermore Laboratories has discovered the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons,
88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2- 4 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganisation will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of
moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Asleep or what?

Um, I thought I maybe aught to say something!

No, I've not gone to sleep or even died!! (Well maybe lets not tempt providence, yet!)

It's just that it's been a little strange since we returned from Sydney a month or so ago - weird feeling, unsettled etc etc - just haven't got my brain into gear I guess.

But I WILL be back posting stuff - soon I hope.

Just be patient, please!