Monday, March 09, 2009

Parking Jobsworth

I received a fine today from Parking attendent 009418 Maastricht Gemeente. 60 Euros for parking outside my own house where no parking restrictions exist.

The parking fine was timed 19:49 Friday 06.03.09. But we drove the car away from outside the house at 19:30 that night to the proper parking places. 2 weeks before we had done a similar thing, gone for shopping parked to unload, and received a similar warning ticket with no fine.

So we were very aware some jobsworth in our area was pissed off that we did do this. But Why?. Our car was not in the way of any road/access.

Strange thing is that this parking ticket appeared on Sunday. But still dated Friday. So some local person has contacted a Parking knob to ask for a ticket to be printed out to be two days later planted on our windscreen.

It rained most of the day Saturday and Sunday. And yet a perfectly dry parking ticket was placed on our windscreen on Sunday (but dated Friday).

Sunday, March 08, 2009


I had a USB record player bought for me for Christmas which I have finally got round to setting up. So up to the attic to rumble around in my old vinyl collection to test it out.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Check-out Girl

There is one job in this world that is not appreciated enough and that is the Supermarket check-out girl.

Proven by the bestseller & succesful blogger check-out girl Anna Sam. Her book adapted from her blog has been translated into 10 languages.

A University graduate, Anna, found her degree didn't help find her gainful employment so she went back to her student job in the supermarket in Rennes in France. A minimum wage job.

She then set up her blog which was after a few years spotted by a publisher and she is now a bestseller. Strangely enough the book has not been translated into English.

Some quotes from Anna's Blog (which attracts a lot of check-out girls)

Margot: A man at my till told his daughter: “See, if you don't do your schoolwork you'll be as stupid as that woman.” I told him that I had a degree. “Well, it's not obvious from your face,” he replied.

Maryline: A rich-looking woman asked me to look in her handbag for the right coins. I asked why. She said that she would ruin her manicure if she did it herself.

Amandine: I've been a checkout worker for eight years and I've lost my taste for laughter. I can't even smile any more. I hope I have the courage to leave and do something else with my life.

After the publication of her book Anna has been asked to help at Supermarket conferences to help on issues. She advised the managers at one conference to say "Hello" to all check-out staff at the beginning of the day.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The More important issues in life - Crisp flavourings

In between writing reports on 'air disasters' I like to turn my mind to more important issues in life.

The flavours of the 'Chipje' (or crisps as they still like to affectionally call them in the UK).

Since my arrival in Holland back in 1994 the adventurous Dutch 'Chipjes' market had explored only 2 flavours. : Plain (Naturel) & Paprika.

But in recent years they have started to follow the English trend into adventurous flavours. I first realised how adventurous they were becoming about 4 years ago when I was invited to a company for an interview which specialised in powdered cheese.

Anyway at this interview I was shown the latest developments in flavours such as Bolognese and Cheese & Onion. And I was asked on my ideas. Of which of course I babbled a whole list of the latest Walkers flavours from the 1980's which received bog-eyed responses. And this the snack industry!!!

The reason for my blog this evening is that finally in the last year or two the 'Dutch snack industry' has finally become a bit more adventurous and tonight I had my first 'Roast Beef and onion" crisps. Lekker! And also on the market there is 'Thai spices', 'Salt & Vinegar', 'Roast Chicken and Thyme', but still no 'hedgehog'.

It is nice to see the Dutch catching up in adding chemicals to their potato snacks but it makes the trips back to the UK less worthwhile.

I think it is time for our superchefs to endorse Paprika and Plain 'organic' {bintje} crisps!.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Rise of the Superchef

Last night BBC2 aired a documentary on the rise of the TV superchef. "The Rise of the Superchef". The show pointed out some of the chefs are suffering from the 'credit crunch'. One in particular Antony Worrall-Thompson who has had to close 4 of his 6 restaurants last month after the holding company AWT Restaurants went into administration.

I felt a little sorry for the carrot-topped double barrelled gastronome until it was later revealed in the programme most of his income comes from book sales and 'brand-slap' products. AWT slaps his 'boatrace' on various kitchenware products, to £700 barbecue grills to an 'environmentally friendly bathroom cleaner and lime scale remover'. His branded products are expected to generate over £60m in sales.

Bathroom cleaner and lime scale remover