Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Alcedo atthis

Last time I saw a Kingfisher was around 22 years ago at Old Nunthorpe 'Watersplash'.
But yesterday whilst walking in the "Dellen" in Meerssen we spotted one sitting in a tree next to the stream we were walking along.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

List Programs

Whilst watching the usual avalanche of list programmes on BBC1 I was wondering why so many wanna-be celebs are commenting on either other celebs or wanna-be celebs and slagging each other off so much.

Well reason is they all want more air time surely.

I was looking on YouTube for an example but found one which tickled me more.

Mark. E. Smith was inducted into this hall of fame for his invitation to do the final score on BBC1 Sport.
Of course in the nature of the programme Colin Paterson 'a journalist' decides to relate the whole experience to MES's whole career. "Slightly shambolic, always mainstream, never making it". As about well-informed as most statements on these programmes. The most mainstream band ever The Fall.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Redcar Tourist Guide

Last week we went for a walk down redcar beach. And Took a few photos of the seaside town.

Las Vegas Museys



Redcar Front

The Clock
Regent Cinema
Laurel & Hardy


Redcah Bowl

Oh Bertha lovely Bertha. Sometimes I think you're a dream!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fossils from Redcar Beach

John Appleyard is becoming a local fossil expert from his walks on Redcar beach where he has discovered many ancient fossils over the last years. Below are some examples of the artifacts he has uncovered from the beach.

John's exhibits have taken a long time to be in their present presentable form for exhibition.
In his workshop he uses many methods to clean away sedimentary deposits and polish the fossils so we can enjoy their form.

A calcified ammonite fragment - Ammonites existed 400-65 million years ago - this creature would have been around 2 1/2 feet in diameter

Belemnite (related to the squid/cuttlefish) existed juring the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods

Ichthyosaur snout - A Dolphin type reptile that existed between 240 million and 90 milion years ago. Originally land based they eventually moved to the sea.

Nautilus - One of John's finds which still exists today

You can hear Mr Appleyard talk about his discoveries on Redcar beach at the BBC local History Website at this link


Monday, November 10, 2008

Washington DC

I was lucky enough to have to visit Washinton DC last week for my work and it was surprisingly one of the nicest cities I have ever seen.

The most wonderful thing about WDC is that all the museums, art galleries and even the zoo are all free to visit. It is a surprisingly clean city and very international in it's residents.

I didn' t have a lot of time to look around but a free Sunday gave me chance to see a lot and also a lot of blisters to bring home as a momento.

A few pictures an a video of the president flying into the whitehouse follow.

The Washington Memorial

The Whitehouse

Capitol Hill

Mei Xiang in the National Zoological Park

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

DHL- Dalsey, Hillblom and Lynn

East Midlands Airport where my CDs will leave tonight (hopefully)

A company which I have worked for which I have a lot of respect for, but has unfortunately become to big for itself and lost the plot a little since setting up so many country self-administrated branches.

Last week I spent 100- Euros for a next day shipment to the UK from Holland. The next day I had a call from a sales guy asking me why I don't use their services so much and how could they change that.

I told him if he wanted to get me as a loyal customer make sure that when the shipment I sent to the UK (a single CD), is transformed into 3,000 CD's; Make sure the 3,000 CD's can be shipped to me in NL and I am a happy customer.

The reply.....No that can't be done. There is forms to be signed. No way around it. You need an International account. It will take a week to set it up.

So I ring DHL UK and ask if they can organise the 3,000 Cd's to be shipped to me. The answer was yes. I went through the procedure to be told at the final point that no we can't do this because your credit card is not a UK credit card. Rang my sister who tried to help as she had a UK bank credit card, but again the same result so ended up having to ask my father to ask to use his credit card to solve the situation. So after the call to my Father I managed to pay for the overnight service and tomorrow (before 12 AM ) I should have the package.

The next step is to use DHL again for an express service to Alexandria, Virginia. This wil take two days. It has to be there latest Friday this week. So tomorrow I will put my 'living' in DHL's hands and order a pick up from my Dutch location to arrive in USA 2 days later before 12 midday latest.

They are administratively screwed up DHL but you can 100% guarantee they do what they say.
If you can manage to pay them for it. Which I tried 3 times today with 3 different credit cards.

I am shocked that a company can be so reluctent to receive payment for it's servcies. In such a way that they would prefer to turn customers away. The only reason that I kept on trying is that I knew that they will do what they say they do. Deliver next day before 12 AM.

So at the end of the day me working my arse off to get around their rules gave them the business. Not them doing the same to help me.

Plus as a side comment, their red/yellow colour scheme sucks.

I think the Red symbolises the colours you see in your eyes when you try to arrange an unusual shipment.
The Yellow? Maybe what you see almost coming into your pants when you realise that their new administrative rules might screw up your plans!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rebirth of the Eyldergaard Tree

The Eyldergaard Tree Returns

Followers of this blog may remember in May 2007 the local 'Gemeente' decided to brutally savage an ancient tree that stands in the middle of my district of Maastricht, "Eyldergaard".

It turned out the tree was actually diseased and was about to die anyway. Finally the Gemeente have decided to replace it. It has a long way to go to catch up in size. But it has a very nice birdbox attached. Bonus!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cheeky little number

I bought a bottle of red wine tonight with a cheeky title "Fat Bastard".

A Marketing ploy?. Most definitely. But one I fell for. The lable on the back of the bottle reads something like....

Thierry Boudinaud, a renowned winemaker who had crafted wines from California to France, from Chile to South Africa was sitting in a cold damp wine cellar one winter day when the door burst open. It was Guy Anderson his dear friend from London who had just arrived to sample the recent vintage. “It’s cold enough to freeze the balls of a brass monkey” Guy bellowed with a big smile on his face. “Now Thierry let’s find out what gems we have this year.”
Guy was a rebel in the wine industry believing that quality was paramount in a wine but that the average consumer hated the traditional intimidation heaped on them by most of the wine industry. The two had collaborated before and this was yet another chance to drink wine, catch up on family and enjoy a few days together. After tasting hundreds of barrel samples both were pleased with the quality, but not blown away.

The next day after sleeping in past noon due to the late night before, Thierry thought he would have Guy try an experimental wine he had in a few barrels in the back of the cellar. “Dis is a experiment wine we left it on de lees. We try it no?” “Sure Thierry, you know how hard it is to get me to try a new wine.” Both friends had no idea that leaving the wine in barrel on the lees (yeast cells) would result is such a dramatic difference from the wine they tried the day before. It had a wonderful color and rich, round palate. Both men stood and stared at each other for what seemed like five minutes until Thierry exclaimed “now zat iz what you call eh phet bast-ard”

So a cheeky marketing ploy, web-site set up with tee-shirts to buy on-line etc. surely a good wine. I would guess so but hang on I forgot how it tasted after reading the web-site bumph.
No hang on it's coming back to me now it tasted like 3.99 bottle of red wine. You Daft Bastards!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The The

Took a look at the 'The The' website tonight. All their catalogue is available to listen to free of charge for 1 min 30 secs. And the option to buy of course. Very nice quality in stereo even on the rubbish PC boxes. Better than most Ipod earphones though!

Problem is that most The The songs don't event start the first verse by 1 min 30.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ebay is pants

Floggin off your old crap has never been easier

I have always Ebayed but recently have started using a more geographically suitable website www.marktplaats.nl. Ebay has never really been as succesful in Holland as in the UK and I think the main reason for this is the success of marktplaats. And lately due to Ebay making it more complicated to list items I have stopped using it.

With Marktplaats you can search on category geographically. Choices of <3km, <5km, <10km, <15km, <25km, <50km, <75km or no restrictions. This makes buying furniture, cars etc very manageable. Plus it is very simple to post an item. Choose category, add photo and text and post. Your contact dets are always listed through your profile. Plus there are no fees for most items.

Today whilst cleaning out the garden shed I found the stereo from our previous car which was destroyed by an MB 'Actros' whilst I was shopping.

I placed it on Marktplaats at 14:08, had a bid at 16:56, haggled till 18:42 and someone is coming to pick it up in the morning at 10.00.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

McClaren talks to his FC 20 supporters

I only hope that his PR team tell him his team is called 'FC Twenter'. They might be happy that they understand "big club!", but I am sure they still don't get who FC Twenty are.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Une Belle Fille comme moi

Since buying the box set of Francois Truffaut from Japan about 3 years ago I have not managed to watch more than 1 or 2 of the films. The reason why i bought it from Japan is that it is the only place it is available from. A bit strange considering he is one of France's prized directors from the era.

But I decided to lob one in one my lunch break today and I remembered why I love his movies so much. There are only a few I haven't seen and this was one.

Une belle fille comme moi[1972] - was the title, translated as "A Gorgeous Bird Like Me".
For Truffaut it has more than the usual amount of humour, akin to "Bed and Board" (Domicile conjugal)[1970] so this must have been his comedy period.
Saying that there is always an element of humour in most FT movies, but the cartoon cinematography of parts of this particular film set it apart from his other works.

The basic plot of the story is based around the lead character Camille Bliss played by Bernadette Lafont (still very much active and starring in 'Broken English' [2007]). She is introduced as a bit of a slutty village girl who knows how to use her charms to get what she wants after being accused of murdering her drunken abusing father by removing his ladder when he is looking for wood in a garage attic.

A socialogist, Stanislas Prévine, goes to prison to start a thesis about 'Ciminal Women' and Camille is his first study. Despite protests from the prison warders, that she is just a 'hussy' and other murderers may have more intersting stories he persists in interviewing Camille.

Camille then begins to tell her life story. The interviews with Stanislas are intercut with the reality of what happened and also with Stanislas and his secretary Helene typing up the thesis. Helene becomes very jealous of Camille as she is in love with Stanislas and repeatedly persuades him that she is just a common whore.

During these sesions we find out that Camille had various lovers who she seduces. Her first, Clovis, a simple country boy who lives with his mother. She then goes on to marry Clovis just to annoy his Mother (who she eventually murders).
Then Sam Golden, a R&B bar star who she sleeps with whilst married to Clovis to annoy her husband and also to try to succeed at singing which she is not that good at. Following this affair is Marchal the lawyar who tried to help her after Clovis is run down in a car accident. He then sleeps with her after promising a lot of compensation but only to blackmail her later with adultery to help Clovis. And finally Arthur the 'pest killer'. A succesful religious man who willingly parts with his money to help Camille in any way. The one character in her life who doesn't seem to want to get into her pants. Confused by this she forces him to. The reaction to this encounter is that Arthur wants to top himself and asks Camille to join him in jumping of a cathedral roof. She obviously refuses.

As the interviews proceed Stanislas quickly falls for Camille and brings her various gifts. She becomes more and more flirtatious with her interviewer and even though she reveals more and more about her 'femme fatale' character the socialologist falls for her more and more and decides he wants to free the woman he loves as his attraction to her has made him believe she is innocent.

Eventually he finds a way to provide the courts with the evidence thay need to quash the conviction. A small film-fanatic child who had filmed the 'murder' of "Arthur the exterminator" which put her away. It turns out to be a suicide. The child Jerome seems to be vary much based on Truffaut himself as he refuses repeatedly to show the film as it hadn't yet been edited.

Eventually Stanislas and his secreatary convince the small child to show the film and they see that Camille did not push Arthur from the Cathedral walls.

We then see Camille freed and quickly Stanislas visiting her in a theatre using her less than talented voice as more jovial than vocal entertainment. But Stan seems to miss the plot yet again and brings her flowers night after night until she brings him home to her appartment where he almost beds the lead lady.

Clovis returns, a fight ensues and Stanislas is knocked out. Camille shoots Clovis and places the weapon in the unconscious hands of the socialologist. He is then imprisoned.

Stanislas's lawyer comes to visit him in prison and they come up with a plan. He suddenly remembers a piece of evidence which could convict her for the murder of Clovis' Mother. But instead of the blackmail that they plot it backfires on him again as Camille 'charms' the Lawyer and they together have the house destroyed.

The film ends with Camille visiting the smitten Stanislas in prison and telling him how prison could help him. He always wanted a book published. Prison helped her get her singing career and maybe prison could help him in the same way. Ironic ending as the beginning of the movie we see a woman asking in a Library "Do you have a copy of Criminal Wamen - It's a Sociological thesis?" - " No it was never printed - No idea why."


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Afdalen is gevaarlijk

Sometimes when watching the descents in the mountain stages of the Tour de France I feel like switching off and today I remembered why.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Le Tour

I was never a real follower of the Tour de France until I came to Holland. But it is such a big sport over her it is hard to miss. The Dutch, German and Belgian channels all show it live (on their equivalent of BBC1) every day till the end. So it is easy to follow and I have got into it over the years.

This year I have found it avid viewing. The races are tighter and there seems to be no obvious outright favourite anymore. It is a wide open race. Much shown by the win on stage 5 yesterday by Mark Cavendish. An English rider no less. He told his team manager to lob a cool 1,000 Euros on him before he started the stage. It has been 5 years since an Englishman won a stage (David Millar -Time Trial). And before that you can look back 33 years to Hoban in 1975.

David Millar the only other Brit in the Tour is standing at 5th overall only 47' secs behind the yellow jersey man Kim Kirchen. The mountains are about to come, and everything can change in the Alps, but could we be seeing a possible Englishman in the yellow jersey?. I doubt it.

One thing I really enjoy is the Tour de France website (http://www.letour.com/) which is one of the best ever sporting event websites I have ever come across. It is very current, well-designed and although a bit over complicated, you can quickly get bang up to date if you weren't able to watch a particular stage. No need to Sky+. Just a 2min video and you see what happened.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


I delivered a parcel to a Lego fan today for 550 Euros if you please.
Well I'm sure the 13 hours it takes to put it together will justify the cost.

Review from the Lego Site : "When I bought it I thought it would take a few days to build but it took about 13 hours and its hard to believe the size. The web site does not do the size justice. Its really big, I have other models of Star Wars ships that can fit under it. This is the best model that I have ever done. If you want something that looks nice and a nice challenge, save your money and buy it."

Monday, June 09, 2008

Maastrichts Mooiste

Today my girlfriend and I went on a communial ramble. One thing we always promised not to do. But as this one was so well organised I thought let's give it a go.

The "Maastrichts Mooiste" Week involves walks, runs and various other events. Today was the organised walks. There was a 20K and a 13K walk. Of course we went for the easy one.

The worry was that with 2,000 participants expected it would be too crowded and too full of Dutch walkers with their 'Nordic Sticks' and all the extra kit they think necessary to walk the extreme inclines that you face walking in the famously mountainous country that is Holland.

It didn't turn out too bad apart from the river crossings we had to make where we faced queues of 1hour, 30 mins and 20 mins. The first being run by the local scouts in tiny boats.

Anyway the whole event was well organised and getting 2,000 people across three river crossings in a few hours was no mean feat. They laid on water stops, catering, ice creams and toilets along the way as well as 6 theatre attractions.

Was a very nice route and I have to say Maastricht is quite 'Mooi' but the finish in the ENCI cement quarry is a bit of a contradiction.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Visiting Holland?

Hans Brinker who thought in time and saved disaster

I saw an ad for an interesting site if you are planning a trip to the lowlands today on Scrabble Helper. The site helps you locate interesting geographical features in the Netherlands.

If you are planning a holiday to Holland you will find a lot of these geographical features in and around Amsterdam apparently.

So if you fancy sticking your finger in a dyke like little Hans Brinker then this is the site for you.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Crap Inventions #2

The Triumph Solar bra

Following the automatic cat feeder, the Triumph bra company have come up with a solar powered bra. The bra can power an ipod, display text messages ("stop looking at my tits") and has two refillable drinking pouches. The purpose of the pouches is to increase bra size and cut down use of plastic and aluminium drinking containers.

Triumph Japan hopes the bra inspires people to think about global warming, the dwindling supply of fossil fuels, and the future of energy.

I was particularly impressed by Triumph Japan's website promoting the japanese woman when selecting it's models.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Chasing water

We always thought our first cat was a bit 'dog-like' but now the second seems to be taking on 'dog-like' characteristics in that she likes to catch water. This short clip doesn't show her later excited state when she ended up soaked and looking like a drowned rat in her attempts to drink the water spray.


The Missing Man

This afternoon I went to watch 'the missing man' being flown over the Margraten American Cemetery. Had to queue for 15 minutes to get parked with the other thousands of visitors who went to thank our American brothers in arms for saving this part of Holland.

It was quite a touching ceremony. Nice music and reeth laying etc. And beautiful weather but a long wait for the deafining jets which is the main reason I went. But the hour and a half wait amongst those crosses makes you think about what went on in this peaceful part of Holland.

F16's flying 'the missing man'

Saturday, May 17, 2008


The Waffle Iron

For a few years now we have had an old Dutch Waffle Iron in the shed. It needed a good 'buff up' so it has never been used. But after we walked past a waffle maker outside the garden centre this afternoon I was compelled to do the required 'buffing'.
And soon after I began waffling. The first two were a bit of a disaster but later attempts were edible and quite tasty. I think a few more bashes and I'll be getting it spot on.

Some Waffle facts from wiki:

"Wafer" and "waffle" share common etymological roots. Wafre (wafer) occurs in Middle English by 1377, adopted from Middle Low German wâfel, with change of l into r. Modern Dutch wafel, French gaufre, and German Waffel, all meaning "waffle", share the same origin. The Dutch form, wafel, was adopted into modern American English as waffle, in the 18th century

The modern waffle has its origins in the wafers-very light thin crisp cakes, baked between wafer-irons-of the Middle Ages. Wafer irons consisted of two metal plates connected by a hinge, with each plate connected to an arm with a wooden handle. Some plates had imprinted designs such as a coat-of-arms or landscape, while some had the now-familiar honeycomb/gridiron pattern (there is evidence that in the 14th century only wealthy kitchens would have irons.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hot Air Balloon Simulator

I was looking for some info on ballooning weather conditions when I stumbled across this site.

It is a hot air balloon simulator. Very realistically done and very simple to use.


Click on the basket to burn, on the ceiling of the envelope to cool. Drop a marker at the yellow flag and return to base.

At different heights the winds change and you have a small weather balloon to release to guage the winds. It's actualy quite tough, but theraputic.

Friday, May 09, 2008

English tits thriving : Dutch tits not

I read on the bbc website today that the English tits are thriving with climate change and nesting earlier due to the earlier emergance of catterpillars.

The article states that the Dutch tits have not managed to adapt in a similar way. I'm not sure I totally believe this as we have commented several times about the number of tits in our garden this year and they are around earlier than usual.

But there again living in the udder of Holland which is 'Limburg' our demographics usually are better compared to that of Belgium than Holland. There is no mention in the report as to how Belgian tits are coping.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The demise of English comedy

Holland has always been a keen buyer of English comedy. But how long will it last with the current crap coming from BBC3. Scallywags is the latest desperate attempt on a new comedy programme series from BBC3.

Is it any good?

Bag ' o Shite

And use of the BBC3 site i not allowed outside the UK. I haven't seen a decent comedy in the last 3 years.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cake or Buscuit

The tunnock teacake, the 'original' teacake.

The European court of justice has finally ruled that the M&S teacake is actually a cake and not a biscuit. After around 10 years in discussion it seems the teacake may finally lose it's identity crisis.

Good news for Marks and Sparks as it means the VAT paid since the launch of the VAT biscuit tax will have to be refunded (around £3.5m).

I'm not a big fan of the teacake and I would call it neither a biscuit nor a cake, more a glorified biscuit.

McVities are currently investigating the possibility that the Jaffa cake could also be misidentified as a biccie.

Tunnock's, the more popular version of the teacake is not the companies most popular product with the 'Caramel' selling over 4,000,000 bars per week.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Whitby from the air

Sir John Craven (he may be no 'Sir' yet but he should be) introduced Countryfile this week from Whitby. It was a windswept Whitby and very quiet than what we are used to see. John seemed to give a good account of the town but he missed several of it's highlights. But still I learnt quite a few things from the programme.

For instance that the time that Easter is celebrated was decided by the Synod of Whitby in 664.
They also visited the St Hilda's Priory, at Sneaton Castle where they showed some insanely happy Nuns at work.

Sneaton Castle where Nuns are insanely happy

But I was disappointed not to see John go for Fish and Chips, Crazy Golf or the bumpy boats on the boating lake. The weatherman from the London studio though was quick to point out the snowy weather was a perfect opportunity to nip in for some Cod and chips.

Magpie Cafe visited by Rick Stein but not by Sir John

They did dabble on the Gothic interest in the town with Dracula (Bram Stoker) and the pilgrimage of the 'said' Goths on the town each year. The locals are now welcoming the event with signs in their windows. "Goths welcome" etc. It won't be long before we see the first "PVC R Us" store set up in the town.

Here is a tribute to the Goth Weekend which started in 94 by local Hartlepool Youtube band maddohartlepool

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hard Times

Last night we watched on DVD 'Hard Times', a BBC Dickens production from 1994 starring Alan Bates, Harriet Walter , Richard E. Grant & Bill Paterson.

In Hard Times, Charles Dickens gives us a close-up look into what appears to be the ivory tower of the bourgeoisie of his day, yet these middle-class characters are viewed from a singular perspective, the perspective of those at the bottom of the social and economic system. Though Dickens' characters tend to be well developed and presented with a thoroughly human quality, the stereotypical figure of arrogant and demanding Bounderby fails to accurately capture the motivations and attitudes of the typical successful businessman of the day and is an indication of the author's political motives. Hard Times, rather than presenting a historically accurate picture of the extraordinary changes brought about by the industrial revolution, is a one-sided attack on the utilitarian value system of the middle 19th century based upon emotional blue-collar appeals for labor sympathy that are not uncommon in today's corporate environment.

Hard Times also features in a small role as Mrs Bounderby, Patsy Byrne, who most will remember as Queenie from Blackadder. According to her Wikipedia entry Patsy is famous for playing round, jolly, often slightly insane old women. In Hard Times she plays a round, jolly, often slightly insane old woman.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

TEFAF comes to town

Still missing in action

The TEFAF is back in town and this year they are hitting the headlines before they even started.

A quick reminder for the uninitiated: TEFAF = The European Fine Art Fair. And this year it is scaling the dizzy hights. More money than ever. The city is buzzing with posh cars, suits, limos, posh frocks, and 1000's of frothing mouths from the local supporting business fraternity.

So the fair started today and runs for 10 days and the TEFAF hit the headlines within hours of starting.

On the first day of opening two Mexican men stole a diamond necklace from one of the stands worth 1.2 Million Euros. They were helped by a Costa Rican woman. They were caught at the exit to the exhibition but the necklace wasn't found.

The Dutch media is helping in the case by frequently advertising on the news with any arrivals of Van Gogh, Monet paintings which are selling around the 14-M Euro mark.

Thank god they don't let any rif-raff in.

But yours truly did manage to get a free ticket this year. Valued at 90 Euros.

Best pants on and eat as much as you like before making a quick exit with a diamond necklace.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lost Teesside

I stumbled upom a nice new website this evening 'Lost Teesside' . It is part of the FMTTM website and chronicals the lost landmarks of Teesside.

The first entry featured 'North Riding Infirmary' , the ENT Hospital on the corner of Newport Road, which I must have passed many a time on the 266 back to Nunthorpe. Some of the text could be better written but this is Teesside remember.

The second entry is the The Royal Exchange which I seem to vaguely remember. Apparently in it's hayday the Exchange set the world price for Iron and Steel.

The Royal Exchange in Middlesbrough, part of 'Lost Teesside'

Monday, February 11, 2008

Silly emails

I tried to register with a UK betting company today not to place a bet but to watch some live darts. And to watch the live stream you had to be registered. Whilst registering I noticed that 'Netherlands' was not an option in the drop down list so I chose Belgium as the nearest country.

I later received a mail explaining why this was.

"Unfortunately, we are unable to accept bets from customers who are registered in the Netherlands and for this reason we have had to close your account.
The reason for bet365 not accepting bets from the Netherlands is that the Dutch monopoly lotto won a case against Ladbrokes in the Dutch courts. The Dutch court held that Ladbrokes were operating illegally under Dutch law accepting bets over the internet from Dutch customers, despite the fact Ladbrokes operate from the UK. However, this is being challenged in both the European and Dutch courts and we are very hopeful that the decision will be eventually overturned. When the case is finally completed we will re-evaluate our position and hope to welcome Dutch customers back to bet365.
To let you know, we are now offering Best Odds Guaranteed on every horse race every day. Just remember to take the price and if the SP is bigger we will pay you out at the bigger odds! You can find out more information by selecting 'Offers & Promotions' from our home page.

The bet365 Team"

I loved the way they explain why you can't use their services but then continue to tell you what fantastic offers they have that you can't use.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Samba comes to the Riverside again

Alfonso Alves has brought the Samba beat to the Boro again. The last time we heard the samba beat was for the signing of little Juninho, for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd time.

But with Alves we have an exciting goalscorer at last. His record in Holland speaks for itself.

45 goals in 38 appearances for Heerenveen is an exciting prospect but can a striker from the Dutch Ere divisie step up and do the same in the Premiership.

Alves set the all time club record with 34 goals in the 2006-07 campaign with Heerenveen, butyou have to look at how easy it is to score goals in the Dutch Eredivisie.

I don't think Alves will find it so easy in the Premier league and whether his £12.5M price tag is justified we will have to wait and see.

One thing for sure he must be glad to be playing in the Premiership and avoiding all those glamorous clubs like De Graafschap, Excelsior, FC Groningen, Heracles, Almelo, NAC Breda, NEC, RodaJC, Sparta R'dam, FC Twente, FC Utrecht, Vitesse, VVV-Venlo & Willem II.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A report from Dagblad de Limburger : from Saturday.

Dollemansrit eindigt met arrestatie
Een dollemansrit van een dronken automobilist is zaterdag geëindigd met de arrestatie van de 26-jarige Maastrichtenaar. De politie had de bestuurder een stopteken gegeven omdat hij slingerend reed. Maar de man negeerde het bevel en ging er vandoor.
Hij haalde daarbij de gevaarlijkste capriolen uit. Verschillende mensen moesten zichzelf in veiligheid brengen door opzij te springen of hard te remmen. Uiteindelijk kon de politie de man op de Burgemeester Bauduinstraat klemrijden en aanhouden. Daarbij raakte een agent gewond aan zijn hoofd. De Maastricht had niet alleen te veel gedronken, maar had ook een ontzegging van de rijbevoegdheid. De politie zoekt getuigen van de dolle rit, die onder meer over de Terblijterweg en de Czaar Peterstraat ging.

And the fantastic translation site says:

Dollemansrit ends drank is Saturday ended with arrest A dollemansrit of a motorist with the arrest of the 26-birthday Maastrichtenaar. The police had the driver a stopper sign given because he swinging reason. But the man ignored the order and were off. He got near it the most dangerous capriolen out. Different men had to bring to jump itself in safety through aside or to brake hard. Finally the police could the man on the Mayor Bauduinstraat klemrijden and arrest. An agent besides touched wounded its head. The Maastricht had not only too much drunk, but also an ontzegging of the rijbevoegdheid had. The police seeks witnesses of the mad ride that went among many over the Terblijterweg and the Czaar godfather street.

The "Different men had to bring to jump itself in safety through aside or to brake hard." was including me as I had to almost dive to the pavement to avoid the pissed-up driver. Not a nice way to spend your Saturday morning if you have to work.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

British Forces Radio

For 14 years I have been listening to BFBS (British Forces Radio Service) in the car, as it was the only english radio available in Holland.

But since last week it is now available in the UK. Sky guide Number 0211. on DAB.
You can now also enjoy the sounds of BFBS.

It is not a bad radio station and in recent years they have realised that they are listened to by a lot of ex-pats so it has improved for us non-forces listeners vastly.

In fact there are not many radio stations that can boast they have listeners in the UK, Germany, Holland, Afghanistan, Croatia, Iraq, Cyprus.;

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Postman Postcards #1

I have started taking my camera on my postround as I often see something and wish I had it with me:

Unusual sky over Maastricht as the sight-seeing boats passes the Corversplein

Saturday, January 05, 2008

£1,000,000 bargain

Pure Shart from Banksy

There is a 'Banksy' wall painting up for sale on the Potabello Road on ebay.

I just bid £5,600 for it but was immediately outbid to£5,700. I am tempted to take it further.

Oh go on let's see what happens. £5,800 and it goes to £5,900. Not surprising when the 'buy-it-now' price is £1,000,000. Graffiti gone mad this is. If this wall daubing sells for more than £10,000 then I am going to start spraying the streets of Maastricht next week.

He must be pissing his pants. But there again making millionaires by graffiting people's front doorsteps I guess they aren't complaining.

Oh crap I can't stop £6,500 and still outbid. I must stop now before I don't get a higher bid.
I asked the seller how it was to be delivered and this is the reply.

"Dear Sir, It is a brick and concrete wall with an out layer and an inner layer Whether just the outer layer can be removed practically is a question I dont know the answer to. It would be the buyers responsibility to find out exactly how best to remove it in one piece. I have been told there is more than one way to do it, and before you bid I would advise you get a proffesional to look at it and quote you. Any assistance you need for this we'll be happy to help. Kind Regards"

Friday, January 04, 2008

Morgan's Boy

Morgan's Boy was a BBC Drama from 1984 set in rural Wales. A superb drama that has never been repeated since even though some fans of the series rigurously petitioned them to do so.

Letters were sent and polite replies received but still it sits in the BBC archives collecting dust.

Since it's screening the actors have obviously not been doing the same:

Gareth Thomas: (Morgan) ; has starred in many TV series including Torchwood, Heartbeat, Distant Shores, Randall and Hopkirk deceased and is currently filming "Made in Romania" with Liz Hurley.

Martyn Hesford: (Lee) {as in comb my hair Lee} ; has not done a lot but featured in a few TV series Juliet Bravo and Taggert.

Ioan Meredith: (Williams) ; also similar with Pie in the Sky, District Nurse and Coronation Street.

Marjorie Yates : (Valerie) ; probably best known as Carol the hard faced mum from Shameless, also starred in Heartbeat, Casualty, The Bill (who hasn't), Dalziel and Pascoe.

Maxine Audley : (Eileen) ; seems to have stopped working in the 'biz' since 1992 after a few roles in Casualty, Prime suspect and Bergerac.

Alan Rowe : (Harry) ; Also seems to have stopped after Lovejoy, Inspector Morse and Forever Green.

Jack Walters: (Pugh) ; starred in The District Nurse and The Englishman who went up a hill and came down a mountain.

Michael Troughton: (the vicar) ; The New Statesman, Boom, Get well soon, Cold feet.

Gary Oldman: (Colin) ; The Firm, JFK, The Fifth Element, Dead Fish, Batman Begins, Harry Potter.

Michelle Collins: (Carol) ; Eastenders, Two thousand acres of sky.

Tracey Chils: (Louise) ; Howard's Way, Born and Bred, Hollyoaks.

Charles Dale: (Gareth) ; Rocket Man, Coronation Street, Steel River Blues.

Robert Demeger: (Mr Ellis) ; Forever Green, Doctor Who, Secret Passage.

Pippa Hinchley: (Sarah) ; The Dressmakaer, Coronation Street, The Bill.

David Quilter: (Tom) ; All creatures great and small, Charles and Diana, The Bill, Eastenders.

James Warrior: (Tom Griffiths) ; Doctors, The Bill, All Creatues, Hotel Babylon.

Stephen Yardley: (Alan) ; Dr Who, Howard's Way, The Bill Heartbeat.