Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Coast Guard and Air Sea Rescue

For the last 70 odd years this country has had a state run Coast Guard and Air Sea Rescue service now thanks to this government the Coast guard will be centralized losing all local knowledge and the Air Sea Rescue will pass from the hands of the air force and navy to a private run company based, not in this country but in Texas USA. Thank God the RNLI is a charitable organization and hopefully beyond the reach of these clowns in so called government.
I understand that the American co has paid about 1.7 billion for the contract so wonder how long it will be before people will be asked for their insurance details before rescue or those other voluntary organizations such as the RNLI or mountain rescue are pushed to one side in the pursuit of profit. Someone’s got to pay.
I have read that for every hour of flying time an Air Sea Rescue helicopter needs 30 mins of ground service. When our overpriced rail service has a train breakdown it is usually no more than an inconvenience, in the air it will be a disaster. And who will be running this service on behalf of the American Co not G4S, or the like, I hope or we will have to bring the RAF in to rescue them.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

The price of a coffee

Sat in a Starbucks today, for the second and last time today, had a coffee that I now can't remember the name of but will certainly remember the taste. Asked the friend I was with if it always tasted like that, they suggested I try a different one but declined as I had chosen the basic white espresso and figured if they could fuck that up what hope was there for the fancy ones.
Now I like a coffee and have supped the stuff from Portugal to Turkey, enjoying the pavement cafes of many country's and all the different atmospheres and flavours which makes it hard for me to understand the appeal or even the existence of these overrated overpriced places. They have no ambiance or atmosphere, and a staff that seem to have been pressed out of the American plastic have a nice day mould.
In my teens we had what were called coffee bars they were where we gathered in the evenings and weekends usually with a jukebox. The coffee was espresso with a big frothy top so that everyone wore a milky moustache. Booze was for older ones and drugs (dope) hadn't got here from America yet. Each bar attracted its own type and style of youth. Some where the Teds, teddyboys and their girls hung out another would be for mods and the Ace cafe and Chelsea bridge for the greasers and rockers and if you could find them the secretive dives where the burgeoning hippies hung out.
I often wondered why they died out as at that time nothing new had come along to replace them, someone said it was a combination of local residence and higher rents ( so nothing new there then).
I was a biker (rocker) and remember that we had somewhere different to go almost every night of the week. Johnson's out on the A20. The copper kettle at Bigging Hill, the Ace on the north circular, the little tea stands at Chelsea bridge and Blackheath and others I can't remember the names off. And all for the price of a coffee.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Returning to the Becky

It's gonna feel strange going back to the Barge Becky without me old buddy Boo. We spent fourteen happy years together there. Boo came to me as a puppy just after I bought the Becky and apart from staying for the last few year,over the winter, at my sisters new no other life. She had the freedom of the boat and the canal bank and never strayed off, unless she went to visit people she knew on other boats, preferring to lay on or by the path so she could greet anyone who passed. Over the years she got to know and be known by lots of people who I'm sure they will miss her almost as much as I do.
The irony is that not long before The Boo passed over the rainbow bridge to doggy heaven I decided to sell the Becky. And so will come to an end another chapter in my life, the end of another adventure that I am happy to have experienced and enjoyed. The Boo will never be forgotten nor the wonderful time we had together.
So what will come next? Thats the wonderful thing about life you never know what tomorrow will bring, already I have a new companion *The Tramp* I wouldn't say we were real buddy's yet, it's only been a few weeks, but we're getting there. The Becky is up for sale again and as soon as she's sold I shall go look for a smallish narrow boat to wonder the canals on. It will be yet another adventure with a new companion to look forward to.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Old age on the phone

A friend just phoned. Her husband had an operation last week and was fitted with a catheter, everything was fine until yesterday when he complained that his penis was sore and he was bleeding slightly. Not sure what to do she decided to phone the national health line to ask for advice. She said she felt the guy who answered seemed a bit vague when she told him the problem even to the point of asking where the catheter was. This made her angry so she said where the bloody hell do you think it is, it's in his penis your supposed to know this sort of thing, what kind of service is this when you don't even know what a catheter is or where it goes. There was silence for a bit, then just as she was about to start in on him again, then he answered Lady I don't know who you think your talking to but this is your local minicab office, cars and where they go I know about catheters no.