Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Travelling Man

The last two weeks have seen me travel an awful lot of miles. The first leg was from Birmingham to Toronto, courtesy of a Thomas Cook 8 hour flight. I never knew that they owned aircraft. Interestingly, the distance from the seat in front (pitch for those in the know) was about 2 inches more than normal, but the seats themselves were very narrow - especially for some like me who are wide of girth.
After two days, we left for Florida - a mere 3 hours. Picked up the rental car which was a small Nissan - about the size of the Honda Fit/Jazz but with a smaller trunk. The Avis lady told us it was small and uncomfortable, so would we like an upgrade to a Sebring Convertible. At an extra $50 this seemed a bargain, until I was told this charge was per day - that was more than I was paying for the Nissan per day! Anyway, a convertible in Florida in the May sunshine is a perfect recipe for a burnt head. We visited my daughter's house and spent a while there before driving to Rotonda about 80 miles South to the rented house we had booked. This house is owned by some ex-colleagues of my wife's, and is superb. Check out their website, and let me know if you fancy staying there:
It has a nice pool and hot tub outside, plus a lot of space which is all screened in to avoid the mossies and noseeums. There's even a jaccuzzi in the main bathroom. Say no more. Susan, Doug and Carys came down Friday until Monday, and a good time was had by all. Doug and I sang a few songs, but we were not appreciated. We spent an hour on the beach, this was long enough as every person in Florida seemed to descend complete with their ghetto blasters. Why come to the beach and inflict noise on others, I shall never understand. It was a decent beach, and a smoke-free zone! I'd never seen that in Florida before. Mind you, several people ignored this. I managed to collect a few sharks teeth.
On the Tuesday, back to Canada. I love Canada, but still cannot comprehend why the whole country has to put up with French/English signs when only the East (Keybeck) speaks French. Everything in the national Parliament has to be translated. Such a waste of money in my view. A visit with Ricardipus on Mars was most enjoyable, and we discussed this and other important matters of the day. We spent a day in Niagara where I won some money, until my wife heard about it, and decided to buy some new handbags! The Falls never disappoint me. They are truly awesome.
Then an overnight flight back to Birmingham, arriving at 7 a.m. Saturday. This was most uncomfortable due to a group of Russian louts deciding to have 'fun'. Sleep was not possible. But at least no babies!
At 7 a.m. Monday, I had to fly to Germany for a meeting. I left home at 5:15 and got back about 9:30 p.m. I now need to sleep for a month! I'm getting way too old for this!
We returned to learn more about our glorious parliamentarians' shenanigans with their expenses. The Speaker of the House was finally forced to quit yesterday, and a good job too. He has been guilty of expenses misuse as well. He's the first Speaker to go in such a fashion since 1695, when Sir John Trevor - a Welshman - took a bribe of 1,000 guineas. Sir John had terribly crossed eyes, and started the habit of naming the MP who wanted to speak as he often saw three people in front of him. This habit continues today. It's sad when MPs abuse the system, and the whole country is up in arms about it. So many of the MPs have taken liberties, including Ministers. Our Dear Leader Mr Brown has promised that any Labour MP found guilty of fiddling their expenses will not be allowed to stand for Parlaiment next time. Unfortunately, that includes himself as he's been claiming all kinds of expenses for his 'second home' when he doesn't need one as he lives in No. 10 for free. Even the Queen has expressed her concern at the level of fiddling that's been going on. But MPs do work hard, don't they? They will close the shop tomorrow for three months - the Summer Recess. Maybe I should become an MP. I suspect that some of my friends would be aghast at such a thought as I have somewhat right-wing views in their opinion. I think I'm pure middle of the road. Mind you, as Maxine said, 'I'd like all our politicians to be middle of the road, that would make it easier to run them down.' She's priceless!
On that note, I must try to do some work to earn a crust.
Here endeth today's lesson.