Friday, 31 October 2008

New Television Purchase

I have just bought a new television today; it's a Panasonic TX-37LZD81 model with integrated Freesat and Freeview.

It is being installed on Monday, when I shall comment further.

Brown And Purple Do Not Mix

Almost every time I see our dearly-beloved Prime Minister on the television he is sporting a purple tie. Does he, or his confidantes, really believe that for someone as dull and boring as himself wearing a purple tie will make any difference? Presumably the colour purple is fashionable this year.

Talk about mutton dressed as lamb...

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Oil Delivery Incontinence

We finally received our heating oil delivery today, at lunchtime. At long last; since it was ordered on Monday. I've been using the same company for two years and, in fairness, it has been reliable.

They have changed their delivery schedule policy since my last order, though. It used to be well within 48 hours for standard delivery; now it is three days. Without going into the details, this is unsuitable; not least because we have an elderly steel oil tank and the gauge is inaccurate.

Moreover, one of the drivers has a dose of acute incontinence in oil trade parlance. He dribbles it all over the place and we clear up the spillage afterwards. He explained that the opening on our tank was too small for his oil-gun or whatever it's called. Strange. It has never happened with other drivers. I think he's simply careless or negligent, or both!

I have sent them an email to complain. However, this may well cease to be my preferred oil company. Some companies are flexible and will fill up the tank, if they are given an approximate amount. That would suit us fine; then I could order oil before the gauge shows empty and goes off the proverbial radar screen! I'll check this local oil comparison website in future.

I had a delicious meal at Fulton's today. It was very busy. I had home-made mince tart with dressed salad and coleslaw; followed by lemon meringue pie with whipped cream. What a place.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Treated Royally At Cordings

I watched a bit of the BBC series, British Style Genius, last night and it was most gratifying to see a feature about Cordings and its saviour-cum-proprietor, Mr Eric Clapton.

I almost always pay a visit to Cordings, in Piccadilly, London, when I am in the metropolis. It is such a lovely, old-fashioned little shop with its thick, pile carpeting, wooden panelling and paintings. It is undoubtedly one of my favourite shops in London.

Downstairs, in the basement, there is an Aladdin's cave full of Tattersall shirts; thick, corduroy trousers; tweed, country jackets and much more. I must possess about six of their shirts and two pairs of the cord trousers.

It is surprising that they're not by royal appointment; they used to be, in the early twentieth century. Long may they last!

Saving Our Woodland

I am dismayed to read the article this morning about Ulster's native woodland. Whilst not an activist, it concerns me. Ancient woodlands are undoubtedly worth preserving, indeed rejuvenating; not only for human benefit, but also for rare and wonderful fauna and flora which live and thrive there.

It is more disappointing to note that, in Northern Ireland, a mere 0.08% of ancient woodland exists now; whereas on the UK Mainland it extends to a tiny 2%.

I imagine that modern, progressive agricultural methods and practices are one factor in the overall decline of woodland.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Smashing The Artful Dodgers

Petty criminals who steal goods from shopkeepers and retailers are to be targeted in a new government initiative. About time. This country, the United Kingdom, is much too soft on crime and its causes.

Punish them; make them pay for their dishonest acts, says his lordship. Teach them a lesson.

Brand New Insult

The infantile misbehaviour by Messrs Brand and Ross ought not to have occurred. The BBC should have effective procedures in place to ensure that this sort of silly behaviour never happens. I like Jonathan Ross. I consider him a most talented, competent and disarming presenter; his prowess in communication in boundless. He should have known better. By the way, Mr Ross is an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE).

I have no time for Brand. His kind of humour is puerile and the man himself is unshaven, camp and often incomprehensible. Were they both sober when Mr Sachs was contacted? It's a reasonable enough question. One wonders whether they were under the influence of something.

Fawlty Towers is one of my most favourite comedy dramas. The cast, including Andrew Sachs as Manuel, is utterly impeccable. I have the two-series DVD box set.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Which? Rates LCD Televisions Highly

There is no swimming this week at the old school - half-term - so I shall be visiting the gym instead. I spent twenty minutes on the rowing machine today.

This afternoon, we drove down to the library. I wished to have a look at the Which Magazines. They did a review of television sets in their September 2008 edition and it was encouraging to note the following:-

  1. Panasonic TX32-LZD80 84%
  2. Panasonic TX32-LXD85 76%
  3. Panasonic TH37-PX80B 74%
Sony's Bravia 40" set came in at number 20 with 65%.

So, according to the independent Which panel, the Panasonic LCD sets beat the lot. That's good enough for me. I'd prefer to trust them than the marketing clap-trap churned out by manufacturers and retailers.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

A Drive To The Quays In Portavogie

It was somewhat cold, at times, today. The temperature gauge in the car read 7c for a time. We had no firm plans made; merely a vague notion of a Sunday drive. In the event, we jumped into the two-seater and motored in a southerly direction, down the eastern side of the Ards Peninsula in County Down.

Passing Bangor, Donaghadee, Millisle, Ballywalter, Ballyhalbert and our ultimate destination, Portavogie. I can never recall whether Portavogie has the Province's second fishing fleet; or is it Kilkeel? En route, we encountered several pheasant flapping along the narrow roads - probably escapees from Ballywalter Park!

The Quays Restaurant is very close to Portavogie harbour.I parked the car close to the restaurant - an erstwhile haunt of George Best who lived nearby - and wandered in to inquire about availability, since we had not booked. No problem today. We were shown a pleasant table, number five, on an elevated platform; and there were large windows looking out to sea.

I like the Quays. It is quite homely and traditional. The staff are friendly and courteous. The decor consists of turquoise and yellow walls, a patterned carpet; and solid cushioned chairs. It works well. Casting an eye over the wine list, the bottle prices range from £12 to £95 for the Dom Perignon.

We ordered prawn cocktail, £5.95, and a prawn open sandwich, £10.95. I had a half-pint of Carlsberg shandy at £1.75; and the Dowager, an orange juice, £1.55. We shared banoffee pie with whipped cream for pudding, £4.25.

The prawn cocktail was served as a main course and looked like a miniature version of my prawn open sandwich. My meal consisted of juicy, fresh prawns in a cocktail sauce sitting atop thick, wheaten bread. Beside this sat a mixed salad of lettuce, sliced egg, shredded peppers, red onion and a small slice of cherry tomato. I suppose, if I am being critical, I'd have liked even more variety in the salad. More tomato, some grated cheese, coleslaw; a few more imaginative items like a few grapes, pineapple or cucumber. The sauce was just a touch bland for me personally. I like liberal amounts of it too: I like my sauces! I'm doubtless being a bit niggly; don't get me wrong - we enjoyed the experience. We both liked the banoffee pie and it was a perfect conclusion to an enjoyable meal.

We thought we'd try to revisit the Quays before Christmas. Incidentally, I spotted many diners tucking in to the battered fish, chips and mushy peas which looked delicious! Our meal cost £24.45.

I have a very simple, yet effective, recipe for cocktail sauce which, for me, is ideal:
  • equal measures of mayonnaise and tomato ketchup
  • a dash of Tabasco sauce to taste
  • sugar or honey to taste - I have a sweet tooth

Two Barons' Sons

Cognizant of the stuff and nonsense which did, or did not, take place aboard the luxury yacht of a Russian billionaire off the coastline of Corfu, I have been intrigued to know a little more about Nat Rothschild.

The Honourable Nathaniel (Nat) Rothschild is the heir of the Right Honourable (Nathaniel Charles) Jacob Baron Rothschild, OM, GBE; that is Lord Rothschild of the distinguished banking dynasty.

Nat has three sisters. The barony was created in 1885 and Mr Rothschild's father is the 4th Baron. Nat Rothschild will eventually become the 5th Baron Rothschild.

Whilst leafing through Debrett at home, another well-known name caught my eye: Peston. It turns out that the BBC's Business Editor, Robert Peston, 48, is none other than the Honourable Robert Peston. Mr Peston's father is the Right Honourable Maurice Harry Baron Peston - Lord Peston - who is a Labour Party life peer. Because his father is a life peer, Robert Peston will not succeed to the title.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Minnowburn: Digging In The Rain

We were shovelling, at least; and, as it happened, we enjoyed a reprieve from a dreary, rainy day as the rain stopped for awhile. Four of us all assembled at the Warden's Office and, following coffee and a good chat, we drove up to the newly landscaped area adjacent to the Rose Garden at the top of the hill.

Earlier in the week, a volunteer group had begun the construction of a new footpath; and our task was to level the ground beside the path of any surplus sods or soil. Mick explained that he hoped to plant wild flower seeds there next year.

We had our packed lunch - sandwiches and coffee - back at the Office; then Mick led us to the back field, where Kevin marked out his patch for an allotment. It shall be interesting to see what vegetables he selects to grow there next year. Mick suggested peas, beans and cabbage.

On the way home, I stopped off at Curry's electrical store to see the Panasonic televisions. No joy there: they did not have the set I'm interested in - "Panasonic and LCD don't go together", uttered the young sales man.

Friday, 24 October 2008

LCD Or Plasma?

I visited a local television dealer this afternoon; I'm interested in one of the brand new Panasonic Viera Freesat TVs: the TX-37LZD81.

This television is just starting to arrive in showrooms; in fact, the dealer still has the one I'm interested in, in their warehouse! He asked me to contact them at the end of next week when it would be available for a demonstration.

There was a 32" high definition LCD Panasonic playing a Blu-Ray disc and, I can tell you, it was astoundingly impressive; the best picture I've ever seen, possibly.

The LCD seems to be, technologically speaking, a reasonable choice because I fancy a 37" screen. It consumes less electricity too and is lighter. It seems to be the state of the art. They must be very confident about it too, because there is a five year warranty, I was informed.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

The Mini Of The Future: It's Electrifying!

I am rather excited about the prospect of BMW's potentially first, mass-market electric car: the Mini E.

Smart Cars are to introduce an electric version of their tiny car; however, its range is limited to, I think, 80 miles or so. The Mini E shall double that mileage to 150 and, what's more, owners will be able to re-charge the batteries from a special charger, at home, in two and a half hours.

This electric Mini has impressive acceleration, at 0-62mph in 8.6 seconds. If there is a snag for some, it is that the rear seating has been removed to make way for the huge batteries. So it is a two-seater.

As soon as the infrastructure is in place - hopefully within the next few years - to enable drivers to re-charge the car away from home, I'll definitely be interested.

It is not known when the Mini E will enter mass production or, indeed, be for sale in the United Kingdom.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Arrival Of The Ottoman

True to their word, Fulton's delivered our new ottoman this afternoon at three o'clock. It is upholstered in Venetian red stripe; and we are absolutely delighted with it. It is quite substantial; nonetheless, it fits into the room very well indeed.

Care To Spend A Penny?

I know it's hard to believe, but the Economy needs one pence coins. Daft, but true. The Royal Mint continues to make these little copper coins which, for most people, are practically useless and a confounded nuisance, because the banking sector demands them. It's as simple as that; or is it?

Why do the Banks continue to demand one pence coins? Because their customers - particularly retailers, shop-keepers, publicans and many more - persist in selling their goods in odd amounts like £1.99 or, for that matter, £999.99!

Now that is yet another mystery solved.

Anonymous Comments

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Monday, 20 October 2008

His Lordship's Raspberry Diet

Remember the Phantom Raspberry Blower Of Old London Town? Perhaps not. Well, in the Belmont household, Monday is baked beans - nursery food - Day. It has just struck me that, today, we ate brown, multi-seeded bread for breakfast; apple, Satsuma and banana for lunch; and baked beans on bran-meal toast this evening.

The baked beans are prosaic enough; except that the juice is poured off and English mustard, Worcester sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, cream and honey are substituted instead.

We can compete with Sir Richard Branson any time; blasting into the ether...

BBC One: The Real Dilemma

There have been some very good programmes on BBC One recently. Sunday evening was a good example, when we were treated to a string of them: Ian Fleming, Antiques Roadshow, Stephen Fry In America...

Normally I watch the BBC One channel very little; and, if I do watch it, it is BBC One London - via satellite. Quite simply, most of BBC One's programmes are too populist, the Saturday evening schedule being a prime example.

My view has been reinforced by one of the best comedy duos in the Business, French and Saunders. Here are their thoughts on the matter.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Oleography: Replication Of Art Works

Several years ago, when I visited the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, I purchased an oleograph painting reproduction of the Kitchenmaid by Vermeer. I thought it looked very well indeed; a decent-looking frame doubtless making all the difference. The oleograph process seems to work particularly well on canvas. It was made by a company in London, Brookpace Fine Art.

If you have been following my latest postings, you'll know about my Grand Project. Cognizant of this, and its imminent completion, I have been giving serious consideration to buying another picture with a classic frame. The frame is a lot dearer than the oleograph itself! I don't want it to look too pretentious, so I thought a still life of summer flowers would look well in the hall.

Coffee Morning In Holywood

My aunt is up at her holiday home in Portballintrae, County Antrim, this weekend so we arranged to meet Pat at the Bay Tree coffee-house in Holywood, County Down, at about ten-thirty this morning.

The car park at the Bay Tree was full. I had already driven through the narrow arch-way by this stage, past the point of no return! No matter, I parked the two-seater tightly against the hedge and we made our way in. Not surprisingly, most of the tables were occupied; we got one adjacent to the entrance.

When Pat arrived we ordered the usual coffees and cinnamon scones, which were great, as you'd expect. Two coffees and two scones now cost £6.30. Pat told us about her wonderful family occasion recently at the Ritz in London; she had the menu with her and it looked sumptuous; all in French, of course. Apparently the Aberdeen Angus beef fillet was cut so thickly - too thickly, Pat thought - that it was chewy in the middle and needed to be cut into tiny pieces! The final item on the Ritz menu read " tea or coffee with frivolities" - sounds as if that should have been served in the bedroom!

Several cars had left the car-park when we were leaving, so I was able to make a three-point turn.

I meant to add that, to their credit, the lovely Bay Tree staff usually hover around, when they have the time, offering patrons complimentary top-ups of coffee.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Domestic Paintwork

I continue the Great Project at home and, this morning, I have given the woodwork - doors, skirting and frames - its first coat. I have worked my way downstairs. Pale Mortlake Cream (eggshell) is, as it states, pale indeed. Good and subtle. I've been using cheap, disposable paint-brushes, which appear to be sufficiently satisfactory.

I think I'll have to pay the carpet supplier a visit imminently. I was informed that it would take about two weeks before the carpet would be ready for fitting.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Royal Visit To Ulster

His Royal Highness The Duke of York has paid a visit to east Belfast today. HRH called at the Bombardier Shorts aerospace company.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Too Mean To Waste Five Pence!

The Dowager and I have just returned from a brief sortie into central Belfast. The main sales floor of Ross's, the auctioneers, was closed again. I parked the two-seater in Upper Arthur Street. Taking the opportunity to pay a visit to Marks and Spencer, I made a bee-line for their food hall in the basement. At the far end, where the puddings are located, an old buffer asked me for help in locating bread-and-butter puddings. Incidentally, he strongly recommended the M&S porridge too! I didn't notice any particular evidence of false teeth.

In the event, I bought Cornish pasties, salmon en croute and Cumberland pie; all for the freezer. At the check-out till, I'd forgotten that Marks and Spencer charges 5p for plastic carrier bags. I certainly didn't intend to waste any money on that, so I carried the items back to the car, under my arm! I imagine that, were I a regular patron of theirs, I'd remember to bring shopping bags with me.

Ergo, if you spot anybody carrying food out of Marks and Spencer without a carrier-bag you'll know the reason why!

Incidentally, Their Ulster stores aren't going to endear themselves to me by marketing "the Best of Irish" on placards in their food-hall; the Best of British would be more appropriate! That was the sting in his lordship's leathery tail!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Movilla High School Dispute

What, on earth, has happened within the past few decades to our schools, when a pupil assaults a teacher and is not summarily expelled? Is there a faint whiff of the so-called Human Rights Act? Who wants the Human Rights Act, and how does it affect me?

Why do teachers feel so threatened and un-supported by their school, governors and the Department when they are forced to strike?

When a major incident like this occurs and the Department of Education, the Education Board and the School have clearly abrogated their responsibility to colleagues and staff, my wholehearted support is for the teachers. We must demand that the pupil in question is expelled. It is a proverbial no-brainer.

Little wonder society no longer seems to exist in the United Kingdom. The Human Rights agenda of the present government is exposing them as hypocritical, when criminals - like young people who assault teachers - get more support than decent members of society. Why do anti-social thugs appear to receive more support than everyone else?

Progress With Painting

I've been continuing to paint the hall and landing every day, a little at a time. It's progressing most satisfactorily: I've given the walls their second coat; I'll most likely coat the main landing wall a third time. The cornices shall receive a second coat of Regency White too. The Adam Cream I'm using on the walls certainly has a creamy tint, almost lemony when it is seen against the white.

I hope to start the woodwork and radiator in a few days time; by which time I'll pay Belmont Furnishings another visit re the Brinton carpet.

I haven't come to a decision, yet, about the notebook computer. I'd really like to read more reviews and comparisons about them. The little Dell is still the favourite. My BT Home Hub is now up and running well.

Monday, 13 October 2008

The Hub Of The Matter

Having given the landing wall another coat of paint this morning, I unpacked my new BT Home Hub package and installed it. It seems to take ages to install. The step-by-step guide with the CD is simple enough; but it takes ages to install some of the features, many of which I do not want! There is a BT Yahoo tool-bar, BT Broadband Help, BT Yahoo Mail and the rest. I have already un-installed some of the Yahoo stuff. Now I ought to have a wireless connection, in preparation for a notebook computer.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Sunday Drive To Ballyquintin Point

No complaints about the weather this weekend; It has been fine. After some household chores this morning, I cobbled together a flask of tea, a large banana, butter and a few other items in a basket and we motored down the Ards Peninsula, to Ballyquintin Point.

I parked at the tiny make-shift car park and strolled about the area. There were very few people about indeed. We headed back to Portaferry, County Down, where I ambled in to the Portaferry Hotel. I fancied a prawn open sandwich - we'd had excellent fish and chips the previous evening from John Dory on Holywood Road ; predictably enough, the scourge of Sunday lunches meant that bar meals were unavailable, so I turned on my heels and walked straight out. We do not all wish to sit down to a full, twenty-course luncheon every Sunday, you know.

I parked the two-seater at a small car park near the ferry terminus, northwards and close to Nugent's Wood. It was strewn with litter everywhere. If anything riles me at all, it is low-life, imbecilic cretins, born, one assumes, in a pig sty who are too ignorant and lazy either to take their litter home or place it in a litter-bin (there was a litter bin several yards away). As to the treatment I wish these morons ought to receive, it shall remain out of print. How many generations does it take in order to behave in this manner? These people, if that is the word, must surely rank among the basest forms of human life, with absolutely no respect for our environment. Poor, native Africans with hardly a grain of rice to eat have more humanity and respect for their environment than this species which, presumably, was reared in Northern Ireland. Why do they have such an attitude and what are their parents like?

Motoring on to Greyabbey, we stopped in the Main Street, where I ambled over to the new Abbey Arms - formerly the Wildfowler Inn - and I read their menu. Not particularly impressive. Certainly not sufficiently enticing to tempt me in! Most of the food seemed to feature burger and chips, chicken-burger and chips, more burgers and chips... Don't get me wrong, I relish a real, home-made hamburger made with prime cuts of beef, proper chunky chips, and top quality accompaniments. Sadly, there was no explicit mention of that at all. The original Wildfowler Inn, twenty years ago, was so good and attracted a decent clientele too.

No matter. I have a lean piece of braising steak with, sliced onion, garlic, carrot, parsnip, honey, tomato puree, mustard, seasoning, and beef stock cooking in a slow oven for our dinner.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Hedging On Gibb's Island

What a lovely day it has been today. I left home at about nine o'clock for the National Trust's Gibb's Island on Strangford Lough, County Down. Managing to park on the island, I saw Craig's truck there already. Our day's work was to be at the old, stone wall on the western side of the island, endeavouring to practice the art of hawthorn hedge-laying. It was yet another opportunity for me to get the chopper out, swing it around and generally put it to good, productive use.

Hedge-laying is somewhat labour-intensive, insofar as the amount of time it takes to create such a small stretch of hedge. Nevertheless it is valuable and worthwhile. In this regard, at least, volunteers must be invaluable.

We found a sunny spot near the shore at lunchtime, opposite Hare Island, and enjoyed a good old natter with our tea and sandwiches. Cheese and onion - now 99p - were the order of the day; and a bar of chunky Kit-Kat. There were six of us today, including two NT staff.

Gibb's Island really is a wonderful place, so picturesque. The wild-flower meadow has been cut for the winter and the grass is short. Craig told me a bit about their stay on Salt Island last month. I think six of them spent the night there, and had chilli con carne for supper!

Patricia told me that she'd be dining at the Primrose Bar in Ballynahinch this evening, with her rambling club. The menu for the evening sounded delicious - it made me envious! I look forward to hearing all about it.

BBC NI Spelling Lesson

Apart from anything else, that unruly child of our great, British bastion, BBC Northern Ireland, eagerly appears to recruit staff who are demi-literate. Where were they educated, one wonders?

In an article on their website this morning, they refer to "Hardy Aimes" [sic] as the latest credit crunch victim at Victoria Square in Belfast.

They are talking about the fashion retailer, Hardy Amies. Perhaps Aimes is the name of one of BBC NI's staff!

Friday, 10 October 2008

Resumption Of An Addiction!

At long last, my favourite peanuts have finally arrived on the shelves; Tesco's shelves, at any rate. KP Honey Roast Peanuts are supplied in large, cylindrical tubs and are seasonal. No matter, they are presently on offer, two tubs for a fiver; so I have stocked up with four of them, the sell-by date being January, 2009. Splendid.

I also resumed the Grand Project at home this morning: painting the landing and hall walls. Talk about going up the walls!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Booming Belfast

Despite feeling somewhat off-colour - I blame it on a dodgy meal or glass whilst on holiday - I arranged to meet up with a former colleague in Belfast at lunchtime. The proliferation of new hotels in Belfast is astounding. There seems to be a new hotel built around every corner these days.

We met, as usual, at the Mermaid Tavern in Wilson's Court. I just had a glass of port. Tim - my namesake - told me that his father had passed away in early September; and that Tim had been preoccupied with tying up loose ends - cancelling pensions etc. He went on to tell me that he received an invoice from the TV Licensing Office a mere two weeks after his Dad's death.

Tim said he's been to a new establishment, near Saul in County Down, called Paddy's Barn and he had been most impressed by it; so much so that he's staying there on New Year's Day!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Notebooks And Decking

The diminutive Dell Inspiron Mini 9 has caught my eye recently. I fancy a compact portable computer for access to the internet as well as emails.

As far as I am aware, I'd simply need a BT Home Hub router - I'm with BT - in order to get the proverbial show on the road. I'm keen to hear from anyone who has one of these tiny computers.

My interest in decking the back of our garden has, somehow, been resuscitated. The requisite decking would need to be elevated; so I am presently making inquiries. Again, I'd be eager to hear from anyone, cognizant of possible planning permission.

Bird Feeder Replenishment

It's a fine autumn morning and I have replenished the bird feeders in our front garden. I was slightly surprised to see that the peanut feeder was still two-thirds full.

Amongst the usual pile of junk mail awaiting me, there was a type-written letter from the owners of a lovely young cat called Molly, which had disappeared. I know Molly. She visits us regularly and she is quite a character; full of beans.

I was somewhat concerned to learn of Molly's disappearance, so I phoned her owners up; and, to my relief, Molly has been found. She had wandered into the garage of number 36 and remained locked in for three days! Molly was fine - just hungry. What a relief.

The Euro Factor

Preferring to use cash instead of plastic whilst abroad, I usually bring an abundant supply of currency with me and, on this occasion, it was the ubiquitous Euro. I brought hundreds of them, thinking that I'd have an ample supply and some left over for my next European trip. I was wrong. I dined out the whole time and frequented various restaurants, not all expensive at all. Indeed, there is an American-style diner called the American Burger Bar in central Corralejo where a full meal of half a roast chicken, salad, chips, fresh roll and mayonnaise costs merely €4.50 - and I visited it several times. I ate at half-decent restaurants about four times. I usually indulged in a drink or two during the evenings. I bought provisions in supermarkets; actually, the only thing I really purchased was a pair of Crocs flip-flops.

Despite this, I managed to bring home a mere €47. It's becoming considerably dearer to holiday abroad in the current economic climate. This factor is bound to have a knock-on effect re tourism in countries like the Canary Islands.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Back Home

I have just arrived home this evening. I jumped on to the airport bus, which was waiting as I left Aldergrove's terminus. I'd intended getting the train at Great Victoria Street, but there was not one for twenty minutes, so I was caught by a waiting taxi - one of those people-carrier type ones - in Glengall Street. I'll certainly not be in a rush to take one of those again: it cost me £9.30. The Valuecabs taxi was more reasonable, at three pounds less than that, two weeks ago.