The Anonymous Widower

Justice Gets Attacked In Marion, Indiana

This is a rather funny story, about  a drone that went AWOL.

May 1, 2013 Posted by | News, World | , | Leave a comment

Do We Need More Runways In The South East?

This old chestnut keeps coming round and the London Assembly has produced a report, as is discussed in the Standard. Here’s the first few paragraphs.

The Government’s claim that the South-East faces an aviation capacity crisis was thrown into doubt today after an influential report suggested London has enough runways already.

The London Assembly study found the capital’s airports are currently underused with two — Luton and Stansted — having around half of their runway slots free.

Even Heathrow, at 99 per cent runway capacity, could fly an additional 20 million passengers a year if larger aircraft were used, it claimed.

To test their premise, that London has enough space, let’s look at Gatwick.  Two years ago, I flew out of Gatwick to Greece.  Read what I wrote in this blog. The last statement was.

Let’s face it, if I fly again, I’m not going out of Gatwick.

But in spite of that, I did use the airport to go to Budapest, where I had an excellent meal at Jamie’s Italian.

Gatwick seems to have improved immensely in the last couple of years, since the change of ownership, and it’s all been done by lots of small steps.  The other thing that helps me is the direct link from Dalston Junction to Clapham Junction.

I’m going out to Geneva on the 17th and it’ll be interesting to see how it goes. On every trip, Gatwick seems to get better.

May 1, 2013 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Zopa Goes Automatic

Zopa has introduced a product called Safeguard.  Read what Which says about it here. Here’s the first paragraph.

Zopa, the UK’s leading peer-to-peer (P2P) site, has today announced it has created a ‘safeguard’ to pay out to lenders even if a borrower defaults on the money owed. 

Having just put some money into the new product, it would appear that the process is now totally add money and accumulate the interest.

The most interesting thing about this product, is why if an independent company can give a rate of return of 5% or so, why can’t the banks?

Go figure!

May 1, 2013 Posted by | Business, Finance, News | , | Leave a comment

Wonga Fraud Claims Grow

The BBC Watchdog programme is reporting increasing fraud based around Wonga. Here’s the introduction.

There’s been a growing number of complaints from victims about bank fraud, according to the BBC’s Watchdog programme.

It says it has heard from more than 350 people who claim their accounts have been raided for loans they didn’t take out.

They include 16-year-old student Simon Oliver from East Sussex.

“I was at Gatwick airport on a school trip and went to pay for some food and my card didn’t work,” he said.

It strikes me, that Wonga aren’t doing their checks correctly, as obviously, the sixteen year old, who was defrauded shouldn’t have been able to take out a long.

One point is that, the money has been loaned to a different bank account to the one where the payments are taken.

Surely, Wonga, do check bank accounts thoroughly! It looks like they don’t!

I just checked with a guy I know, who’s run finance companies and only in very rare circumstances, would you send the loan to one account and get the repayments for another. Usually, it was a commercial loan, where Director’s guarantees were involved.

I’ve not heard of this fraud being perpetrated on a reputable loan company.

May 1, 2013 Posted by | Finance, World | , , | 3 Comments

The Cleanest Cash Point In The World?

I saw this cash point at the branch of Barclays in Rose Green on my trip to Bognor.

The Cleanest Cash Point In The World?

The Cleanest Cash Point In The World?

I’ve never seen one so clean. it was also very welcome, as I needed to get some money.

May 1, 2013 Posted by | Transport, World | , , | Leave a comment

Why Do I Like Travelling?

I was asked this question by a journalist this morning. But somehow it must be in the genes.

My father had been a great traveller before the Second World War and I know he’d gone all the way to the South of France and Geneva by train. One tale, that I can verify is that when he needed to buy a new guillotine from Griegs in Glasgow, he drove all the way up with his Scottish deputy and guillotine operator; Frank Black, of Mack the Knife, to see the machines in the factory. That was something not many people did in the 1950s.

Even at University, I was a bit of a traveller and one summer, I hitched to Glasgow to see a football match, before taking the train down to Manchester and then Paignton, to see friends.

C might have picked up the bug from me, but we were not beyond hitch-hiking together, as we did once to come to London, to tell her parents we were going to get married.  I was 20 and she was just 19.

Package tours were not for us and some of the first real holidays we had were when we took our Austin Maxi, down to the South of France, with the three boys in the back. And that was generally before they’d built the Autoroutes.

Later we would drive to Syros and Crete in Greece and Rome in Italy. On one trip we went over the St. Gotthard Pass in August in a severe blizzard and then came down the other side into Italy with rocks falling off the mountains in heavy rain.

We also swapped houses with a couple of Americans and we were in the States for six weeks, travelling as far East as Boston and as far West as Minneapolis.

We didn’t do boring.

After the children got fed up with us and left home, we continued to travel. We drove around Malaysia, took the train from Bangkok to Penang and I flew C and myself, all round Australia in a light aircraft.

We also had some memorable trips in my own plane.  Perhaps the longest was going out of Southend and reaching Naples.

Even when C was dying, she was planning another trip, where we would drive around Thailand.  Sadly, she hadn’t realised how ill she was, so this trip never came about.

Since her death, I have continued to travel and in fact, my stroke happened on a round the world trip in Hong Kong. I have visited every ground in the English League in alphabetical order by public transport and now I have started a series of fly out-rail home journeys.  The first was to Budapest.

Pencilled in to be done over the summer are Palermo, Sumburgh, New Quay, Lisbon, Stockholm, Odessa and Ferranfore.

This weekend it’s more mundane, in that I’m going to Burnley to see Ipswich in the last match of the season, by train from Kings Cross.


May 1, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

More Spanish Practices

This story from the Daily Mail, asks if it is the biggest scandal in doping history. Even Andy Murray is laying into the row, as the first paragraphs say.

Andy Murray last night hit out at a Spanish judge who ordered evidence relating to one of the biggest doping rings in history to be destroyed.

Britain’s No 1 tennis player called the decision to dump more than 200 blood bags from stars in a number of sports as ‘the biggest  cover-up in sports history’ and said it was a ‘joke’.

Sometimes you think that there is one law for Spain and one law for everybody else.

May 1, 2013 Posted by | News, Sport | , , | Leave a comment

Bognor Is Just Like Felixstowe

it was an uneventful trip to Bognor, except for the loss of the pen. And all at a ticket cost of just £14.75 in a very clean train.

The only excitement on the way down was two Dutch tourists, who in killing time changing planes at Gatwick, decided they’d visit Crawley. Surely, there must be something better to do at the Airport!

Here are some of the pictures I took.

It could all have been Felixstowe, as I remember it as a child.

That town wasn’t the best place to be a teenager. Especially, where you had no transport, buses were rare and there were about three trains a day.

At least Bognor had a bus to get me back to the train station, which seemed to run about every fifteen minutes.  I needed the bus, as I’d probably walked about three miles.

Once off the sea-front, I only passed one pub. And I think, I only saw two in the first mile or so, whilst in the town centre.

Did King George V liked a drink, and couldn’t find any in the town?  Hence his supposed remarks.

Perhaps, James Joyce went there to stay sober enough to write Finnegan’s Wake.

May 1, 2013 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Is It Illegal To Sell Pens In Stations?

Yesterday, I dropped my pen on the way to Clapham Junction station.

So I thought, I’d buy one there!

But I couldn’t, despte trying about six of the many kiosks in the station.

I got no luck!

In fact, I don’t think I’ve managed to buy a nice standard-issue Bic biro in a station in perhaps the last ten years.

In the end, I bought two in a small general store in Bognor.

But that’s a long way to go for a pen!

I did ask the ticket collector on the train and he said he’d had to buy one himself before he started work.  He certainly didn’t think that they were ever used for attacks on staff or other passengers.

I think the solution is to have pen dispensers on stations, where say for a pound or two, you can get a suitable pen.  All profits could go to a charity like Railway Children.

May 1, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , | 3 Comments

Were The Pilgrim Fathers From Essex?

This story started in the Times yesterday and was repeated here in the Telegraph, which throws Grimsby into the mix.

So you can take your pick from any of a number of places!

The choice is yours!

May 1, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment