Sunday, April 29, 2007

Close Premiership Finish

The Phillips Stadium, unlucky for some but not for PSV

Well it looked like yesterday we might have had a very exciting finish in the English Premier League until Rooney spoiled things for us. But in Holland today the Ere divisie had a very exciting finish. Ajax and PSV were tied on the same points with Ajax ahead on goal difference by 1 point. At half time Ajax were 1-0 up over Willem II and PSV leading 2-1 at Vitesse, which meant PSV would need to score 2 more golas and hope Ajax didn't score. Ajax pulled off a 2-0 win over Willem II but PSV managed to win 5-1 at home to take the title.

Apparently the 2nd time in Ajax's history that they have lost the title by 1 point in goal difference.

The Hoxton Heckler

Heckling goes extreme

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hugh meanz Business

Hugh Grant has been kicking Paparazzi butt again. This time his weapon of choice a tin of baked beans.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Bus Stop Dorris

Recently in Maastricht and apparently the rest of Holland almost all the bust stop advertising plackards have shown a very distracting photo of a young lady in lingerie. I was quite surprised by how distracting this poster was as it was on many major roads and all over the city.

A bit of research on t'internet and I found out that the lady in question is Dorien Rose, who was playboy 'playmate' of the year 2005. She actually lives locally and recently started presenting on local Limburg TV and starred in a dutch film 'Purgatory'.

Special Skills
Horseback riding, yoga, singing, street dance, salsa, swimming, golf, tennis, pole-dancing, aerobics.

Dutch, German, English (Accents: American, English, Scottish), basic French.

She writes on her website:
15-04-2007 Commotion around Sapph Lingerie campaign
Since Wednesday I’ve been receiving a lot of positive feedback about my Sapph Lingerie posters around the country. But it couldn’t be prevented that there are some critics who say that these pictures are ‘Too sexy and not realistic for the common woman’ and ‘Irresponsible because of the distraction on the road’. These are just some reactions about the posters. Some are even taped over the female parts of my body. I think it’s quite funny because we predicted and hoped that this would happen even though I think this reaction is a bit exaggerated. But everybody is allowed to have an opinion and there is no such thing as bad publicity. Because everybody is talking about the campaign it’s known all over the country and that happened within a few days. And Sapph is only a few months old! Because of the rising fame and street gossip owner of Sapph, Rob Heilbron and I went to the Sapph Beach Club in Scheveningen to talk to the press (MTV, The Press and others) to explain our concept and clarify why this situation has been an advantage for the awareness of Sapph. I guess I want to thank all the people who taped over my body and in this way contributed to our success!
You tell 'em girl!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Wheres a coppa when you need one

Markt, Maastricht, Sunday 22 2007 Amstel Gold Race

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My old bangers #3

Following the disappointment of the Bucket-mobile, I was determinded to not get ripped off and find a car that lasted this time. Since the financial write-off I had had some good news that I had landed a well paid job in Luxembourg so the bank was willing to lend me some money to buy a new car. This time I was not holding back and my budget was £1500-.

Since my last purchase a good friend's brother had set up a 2nd hand car business in Stockton so my first stop was to ask him some advice. Instead of advice I left an hour or so later with a car. My criteria was : cheap, reliable, MOT-passable, and will get me to Luxembourg in one piece.

I came away with a maroon Ford Sierra 1.6L with about 80,000 miles on the clock. I was reliably informed by the salesman that this car would more than likely go twice round the clock before it packed up. So the trip to Luxembourg should be no problem. It ended up doing the round trip about 5 times.

The car lasted me over 4 years with almost no major problems in the whole time. When it came to change to a newer model it was indeed almost approaching 200,000 miles.

The Goodbye Trip

We set off to Brockham in Surrey, where a friend was going to sell the car in the UK for me as it was not possible to sell in NL. I should have actually registered the car on arrival in Holland but it was too much of a plus point that I never had to pay a parking fine over the last 4 years.

The plan was to spend the evening in Ostend before driving down to Calais and on to Brockham.Unfortunately the car decided this last trip was going to be the one time it decided to be petulant. Approaching Ostend it broke down on the motorway. As I didn't have any breakdown cover at the time and was not too worried about the oil spray all over the engine we waited 30 mins and it started again and we made it to Ostend.

After sampling many Belgian Beers the next day we apprehensively made our way to Calais in Force 7 gales down the Belgian and French coasts. I don't think the constant spray of sand against the car helped it's present fragile state.

The crossing in the ferry was the worst I had ever experienced. The waves were coming over the top of the ferry and I feared the worst for the car taking this beating down below. Sure enough my worst fears were realised and the car gave up totally on the motorway out of Dover.

The car was taken by a tow truck company, who informed us there was a hole in the side of the engine and they then recovered us from the roadside. We made our way to Brockham by the tow truck driver, a bus, another bus, a train, another train and a taxi. A 12 hour journey that should have been about 4.

The next day I called the recovery company and was told the bill would be about £300-. I suggested they take the car instead and they promptly agreed. I hope they never received a huge bill from Luxembourg and Maastricht City councils for 4 years of unpaid parking tickets.

The next day we ceremoniously threw the car keys into Brockham beck. Surprsingly the car was never scrapped as I recently found out from a HPI check it has now had 6 owners.

Bought: 1994
Price: £1500-
Mileage: 80,000
Costs: minimal
Sold: £300
Max Speed: 115mph
Mileage obatined: 110,000
Overall rating: 8/10

Sunday, April 15, 2007

International Space Station

The ISS in a planetarium near you.......

Because of the lovely weather recently sitting in the back 'gard' has been order of the day and with the clear skies it has been good 'hardware' gazing conditions.

Iridium flares are getting a bit old hat now so I turned to the ISS, which as it orbits the earth every hour and a half can be nice to watch. 6 people are currently on board the station; Fyodor Yurchikhin, Oleg Kotov, Sunita Williams, Charles Simonyi, Michael Lopez-Alegria and Mikhail Tyurin. The last three are only on-board for 5 more days when they will leave for Earth.

The ISS is particularly bright at the moment with a magnitude of '-1.0' which is almost the brightest star in the sky so it is very easy to spot. All you need is a time to look.
ISS Passes

Useless Trivia:
Flight Engineer Suni Williams plans to run the Boston Marathon on a station treadmill on Monday, April 16, at 10 a.m. EDT. As an official entrant in the race, she will circle Earth at least twice in the process, running as fast as eight mph but flying more than five miles each second. (I shit you not!)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Update:14th April: A little video of the event.

I've never see a live demolition by dynamite of a building before. But this Saturday I am going to watch the local psychiatric hospital take a big dose of TNT.

Bye Bye Maggie!

One of the reasons for the demolition is that at 8 stories high the patients were using the height to commit suicide.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Passport Scandal

I just realised the other day my Passport has expired which was a bit worrying as having just booked a trip to the UK it would have been a small disaster if I hadn't checked.

So I got busy on the British Embassy in the Hague's website to renew it. The last time I did this it cost around 25 Dutch Gildas around €12-. At the time this was very good value, even cheaper than renewing it in Liverpool. Things have changed of course and due to the biometric encoding and the fancy pictures of birds on each page I did expect it would be a bit more expensive this time.

I also got a little bit concerned when I read the notes for the countersignatory "That person should be a British citizen, other British national or Commonwealth citizen who is a Member of Parliament, Justice of the Peace, Minister of Religion, Bank Officer, Established Civil Servant, or professionally qualified person, e.g. Lawyer, Engineer,Doctor, School Teacher, Police Officer or a person of similar standing."

I honestly don't know any British Citizens that fall in that category living in Maastricht. But fortunately after a phone call to the Embassy I was assured that an Air Traffic Controller is considered a 'professional' or 'person of similar standing'.

So all complete and in the post I just went to check how much 'wonga' I had to transfer to complete the procedure. I nearly fell off my chair! €193-. Only a 1600% increase then since last time. The Embassy justifies this with: "We recognise that these fee increases will be unwelcome news to many, however we are determined to continue to offer the best service possible to British nationals who require our assistance. We also believe that at £1 per month, the passport is still exceptional value for money."

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Stockton Rocks

Echo and the Bunnymen

The Stockton Fringe Festival has got three? big names coming this Summer according the Gazette today. The festival which is free of charge to enter will feature 'Echo and the Bunnymen', 'Badly Drawn Boy' and 'The Ordinary Boys'.

Organiser Paul Burns said ""We have pulled off a blinder. We are over the moon; "People will need to get down their early. If they turn up at quarter to nine wanting to see Echo and The Bunnymen there is every chance they won't be able to get in. It's better to come early and make a day of it." Paul could offer no tips on how to miss the Ordinary Boys perfromance.

The festival, now in its 17th year, will run over the four days from Thursday August 2.