The Anonymous Widower

Of All the Hotels in all the World

There are some luxuries in my life that I will never forego.

One is to stay in the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong when I am in the territory.  They always treat you so well.

This is the view from my room.

View from my Room at Night

One of the most stunning parts of the room is the bathroom, which is all marble and glass.

A Bathroom in the Mandarin Oriental

Note the central basin with a swivelling mirror.  They even supply four bathrobes; two warm ones and two in silk!

But you don’t go to the Mandarin Oriental for the facilities.  It is for the staff.  They aren’t just good, but they must be the best in the world.

As you know I’m a coeliac and they took care to note this and provided me with a proper Chinese translation, so that I would not be glutened in a restaurant.  More of that later.

But the hotel is expensive.  On the other hand, if you are in Hong Kong and want to savour the hospitality of the Mandarin, just go into the Captain’s Bar by reception and have a drink.  The prices are about the same as a reasonable hotel anywhere.

May 13, 2010 Posted by | Transport | | Leave a comment

The Rivetted Wing

This picture of the wing of the 747 shows the rivets that hold it together.

747 Wing

By the way, the upturned end of the wing is an aerodynamic device to increase efficiency.

If you are on Airbus as opposed to a Boeing, you’ll see differences. 

For a start the Airbus uses a different end to a wing in that they have more of a sideways delta at the end.

But the main difference is that Airbus glue their wings, whilst Boeing use rivets.

Glue?  You  might ask.

But they have doing it for years.  In fact the technology was first started by de Havilland and was applied very successfully to the Mosquito of World War II fame.  They then applied it to the Comet and Trident airliners before using it on all Airbus wings.

The advantage is that glue carries the loads between the parts of the wing continuously, whereas with rivets the stresses are carried only at points, which have been weakened by the rivet holes.  This means that it should be possible to have a lighter wing for the same strength with glue.

Some technologies may seem strange, but don’t know them if they work.

May 13, 2010 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

The Same Old Map

I’ve been flying long distances in 747s for a long time.  In fact the second time we flew the Atlantic in 1974 or so, it was in a 707.

But for as long as I can remember the moving maps have been the same.#

Moving Map on a 747

It either shows that no-one has come up with a better system yet or that good software never dies.

May 13, 2010 Posted by | Transport | | Leave a comment

The Third Man

I hadn’t seen this film before and as BA had a large number of films on the entertainment system, I chose to watch it.  It is a marvellous story, but you’d expect that as it was written by Graham Greene, an author that is always worth reading.  He’s actually a good read if you don’t like long books, as some of his best are about two hundred pages.  They are just as fresh as when they were written.

The film is good and often rated as one of the best films ever made.  It was shot in the ruins of Vienna and mostly at night or in the sewers, so to call it a dark film would not be an understatement.

Years ago, I met a man called Roland Landman, who was in The Guards and they were some of the soldiers who liberated Vienna from the Nazis.  He said that the city was in a dire way and for example, if you wanted a woman, that would cost just two cigarettes. We don’t know what poverty is!

There was talk that Austria would end up under Russian domination and according to Rolnad it was touch and go, whether the Austrians decided to throw in their lot with the communists.  But he told the story of the Major in the Irish Guards, who said that the people needed entertainment and that being Irish, they should organise a horse race meeting.

Everybody thought he was barmy, but they did.

The finery came out, everybody had a good time and Austria stayed in the West.

Whether this tale is true or not, I do not know, but after seeing The Third Man last night, I can understand it a lot more.

Let’s hope we never go through any more wars like that.

May 13, 2010 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

London On Fire?

These pictures were taken with my camera as we took off last night.

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I think a lot of the effects were because the camera didn’t get the range right.

May 13, 2010 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment