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Monday, October 31, 2016

Raffles stands for all the fables of the exotic East!

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In June 1988, Noel Barber´s “Tanamera” was filmed at the Raffles

 

Somerset Maugham once remarked, "Raffles stands for all the fables of the exotic East!", and ever since this saying can be found wherever the logo of Singapore's Raffles Hotel appears.

Maugham fell in love with the Grand Old Lady when he arrived for the first time in March 1921. He used to sit under the frangipani tree in the Palm Court. There he worked every morning until lunch. There and in what is today the spacious Somerset Maugham Suite, he corrected the galleys of his short story collection "The Trembling of a Leaf" and worked on a play called "East of Suez". When he returned to the hotel in 1925, he was writing some stories for "The Casuarina Tree", a rare compilation of indiscretions which helped multiply the anger against him that already escalated in the colonies.

I stayed at the Raffles on a number of occasions - and on two occasions in the Hermann Hesse and the Somerset Maugham Suite - but, unlike Maugham, I never worked before lunch because it took me all morning to recover from the night before. However, once I had gorged myself on Raffles' famous tiffin, it was back and forth between Beach Road and the port of Sembawang to keep an eye on my employer's trans-shipment of tens of thousands of tons of sorghum and barley which came into Singapore in bulk to be bagged into 50kg-bags and reloaded onto one of our ships returning to the Middle East - click here.

With the value of our cargoes running into the millions, flying into Singapore in the pointy end of the plane and putting up in the town's best hostelry was little more than a rounding error. Those were the days, my friends; I thought they'd never end - but they did because in a fit of misdiagnosed homesickness I resigned, leaving me with no more than one last look at the legendary Raffles.

 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

9/11 - will we ever know the truth?

 

Even a high school teacher can see through the lies of 9/11/2001. Keep reading at www.ae911truth.org.

 

 

Please share this important information with all your friends


I don't know why I didn't figure this out before!!!!!!

I wash my hair in the shower and the shampoo runs down all over my whole body. Printed very clearly on the label is the following warning: FOR EXTRA VOLUME AND BODY.

No wonder I have been gaining weight!!!!

Well, I have gotten rid of that shampoo and started using dish washing liquid instead. Its label reads, DISSOLVES FAT THAT IS OTHERWISE DIFFICULT TO REMOVE.

Problem solved! If I don't answer the phone ... I'll be in the shower!

 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Literary allusions and lost opportunities

 

Looking back over my peripatetic working life, I just wished I had been a more widely-read person at that time which would've enabled me to gain a greater insight into the people I met and the places I visited.

When I lived in Greece in the early 80s I visited Hydra several times without ever knowing anything about George Johnston who with his wife Charmian Clift lived for some eight years on the island. George Johnston is of course best known for his book "My Brother Jack" and I have read every one of his (and her) many other books since.

When I worked in Port Moresby, one of the old accountants in my office was a Mr Chipps, and the whole office would chortle "Goodbye, Mr. Chips", every time he left the office without my ever realising that they were making a literary reference to James Hilton's famous book.

And of course the same James Hilton wrote "Lost Horizon" in which he gave us the word "Shangri-La". Indeed, the Shangri-La hotel chain bought the rights to his book and placed a copy on every bedside table in place of the usual Gideon Bible. I knew nothing of this when I stayed at various Shangri-La Hotels in Malaysia and Singapore and I had barely heard of Hermann Hesse when I stayed in the suite named after him in the Raffles Hotel in Singapore.

I visited Pago Pago without ever having read Somerset Maugham's short story "Rain" and lived in Rangoon before I had ever heard of Rudyard Kipling's "On the Road to Mandalay". Even Saudi Arabia would've been of greater fascination to me had I had the time to read Lawrence's "Seven Pillars of Wisdom".

How much richer my travels would've been had I done all that reading earlier but of course as it was, I found just enough time to read the necessary technical literature to allow me to carry out my work. In those hectic days it was an almost unheard-of luxury to find the time to read a novel. Instead, I read 'The Practice of Modern Internal Auditing', 'Petroleum Accounting: Principles, Procedures & Issues' and 'Ship Operations and Management', studied accountancy standards or IATA rule books, improved my laytime calculation skills, compared charter parties and worked through case studies in forensic auditing, as the case may be.

To this day I am still fascinated by books about unaccountable accounting or the world's worst maritime frauds. BUT I have also found time to dip into John Donne's "No Man is an Island" and Boethius's "The Consolation of Philosophy", so things are beginning to balance out.

 

Friday, October 28, 2016

This is my favourite song whether I like it or not

 

Because Padma has just discovered the Zac Brown Band and plays "Chicken Fried" at every opportunity. I already know the lyrics by heart:

You know I like my chicken fried
And cold beer on a Friday night
A pair of jeans that fit just right
And the radio up

Well I was raised up beneath the shade of a   Georgia Pine
And that's home you know
Sweet tea, pecan pie, and homemade wine
Where the peaches grow
And my house it's not much to talk about
But it's filled with love that's grown in southern   ground

And a little bit of chicken fried
Cold beer on a Friday night
A pair of jeans that fit just right
And the radio up
I love to see the sun rise
See the love in my woman's eyes
Feel the touch of a precious child
And know a mother's love

It's funny how it's the little things in life that   mean the most
Not where you live, what you drive or the price   tag on your clothes
There's no dollar sign on a peace of mind, this I've   come to know
So if you agree, have a drink with me,
Raise your glasses for a toast

To a little bit of chicken fried
And cold beer on a Friday night
A pair of jeans that fit just right
And the radio up
I love to see the sun rise
See the love in my woman's eyes
Feel the touch of a precious child
And know a mother's love

I thank God for my life
And for the Stars and Stripes
May freedom forever fly, let it ring.
Salute the ones who died
The ones that give their lives
So we don't have to sacrifice
All the things we love

Like our chicken fried
And cold beer on a Friday night
A pair of jeans that fit just right
And the radio up
I love to see the sun rise
See the love in my woman's eyes
Feel the touch of a precious child
And know a mother's love

Get a little chicken fried
And cold beer on a Friday night
A pair of jeans that fit just right
And the radio up
I love to see the sun rise
See the love in my woman's eyes
Feel the touch of a precious child
And know a mother's love

Cold beer on a Friday night. Well, they got that one right because it's always five o'clock somewhere. Just make sure you keep between the navigational beacons.

Lyrics

 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Trump at his best

 

And while the US mainstream media is obsessing over Donald's alleged womanizing and female groping, a virtual media blackout in the West has ensured that the general public is blissfully unaware that we're heading into a crisis far greater than the Cuban Missile Crisis of 54 years ago.

Read more here.

 

I don't respect your beliefs and I don't care if you're offended

For more of the same, click here

 

A British pensioner who boasts 'I don't care if you are offended' has become an unlikely hit on YouTube for his outspoken opinions on controversial issues.

Pat Condell, 66, has 275,000 subscribers and has racked up more than 64 million views of his dead-pan monologues on issues including Islam, feminism, the EU and political correctness. One of his videos entitled ‘Welcome to Saudi Britain’ was removed by YouTube. However, the video-sharing website said it had taken down the post 'erroneously' and it was soon reinstated, a move that was applauded by famous atheist Richard Dawkins.

But Mr Condell, who was born in Ireland and lives in London, has attracted lots of criticism, from being called an 'old fart' to receiving death threats. Previous to becoming a viral sensation, Mr Condell worked the comedy circuit across Britain, and used to appear regularly on BBC Radio One's Loose Talk.

In 2007 he said: ‘Well it’s a gloomy, rainy old day to be here in London, but it could be worse; I could be in Saudi Arabia where men are men, and women are cattle.’

In 2008: ‘Being called close-minded by religious people is a bit like being called yellow by a bunch of bananas.’

In 2010: ‘If the Catholic Church hadn’t so consistently and virulently condemned the Jews for killing Jesus, there would have been no Holocaust.’

In 2011: ‘When you allow millions of people to immigrate from places where they mutilate their daughters as a matter of course; where they kill them in a heartbeat over some twisted sense of honour; and where rape victims are treated as criminals; it doesn’t take a genius to know that you’re going to be importing these values and attitudes as well, wholesale, unless you take steps to prevent it.’

Talking about the 2011 summer riots Mr Condell said: ‘You probably know that this week Britain has been terrorised by an underclass of welfare-dependent, drug-addled criminal scum who have been allowed to run riot in the streets because the police haven’t been allowed to do their job and protect the public.’

In 2013 he said: ‘I’m always impressed by students who know so much about the world they feel no need to listen to anyone else’s opinions, aren’t you? Especially when they feel compelled to actively shout them down.’

And in 2016 in the run up to the EU referendum whilst speaking about the migrant crisis, Mr Condell said: ‘The two countries who have opened the borders most widely, Sweden and Germany, are now plagued by an epidemic of migrant rape and sexual assault.’

Oh, so very correct and, oh, so beautifully politically incorrect! Love him or hate him - he hits the nail.

For more, go to www.patcondell.net.

 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

News from happy Ha'apai

The inspiring story of a young Mormon missionary in Tonga

 

Take one part sun-soaked, palm-lined beach, add hammock stretched between two palm trees, dash of ice-cold beer, and a pinch of gentle tradewinds, and finish with a twist of tropical sunset. It's easy to lose track of time in the land where time begins. Welcome to the South Sea Island Paradise of Ha'apai in the tiny Kingdom of Tonga!

The peace and tranquility of Ha'apai (in a South Pacific travel poster setting) is an experience not to be missed! If relaxing was an Olympic Games event, this is where you'd come to train! These are the islands where the famous mutiny on the Bounty occurred (could you blame them?), the Port-au-Prince was ransacked, and where Captain James Cook who found Ha'apai to be the perfect place for rest and relaxation and made long stopovers at Nomuka in 1774 and 1777 and Lifuka in 1783, dubbed Tonga "The Friendly Islands."

The low coral islands lined by coconut palms along colourful lagoons and reefs, offer miles of deserted white sandy beaches where you can explore and linger as long as you like. Towering volcanoes can be found here too. In all there are 60 small islands in the Ha'apai Group, 17 of which are inhabited, and all are uniquely special.

The traditional lifestyle of the locals is supported by fishing, agriculture and handicrafts. The friendliest people you can meet are here in Ha'apai. Caesar is to have said, "Let me have men about me that are fat". Well, he would have loved Tonga because the people of Tonga, by and large, are fat. They are proud to be fat. They want to stay fat. If they aren't fat enough by Tongan standards, they want to get fatter. Perhaps that's why "Fakalahi Me'akai" which means "Grow more food", is inscribed on every Tongan coin. And "The Complete Book of Running" would never make the bestseller list in Tonga. The only joggers here are foreigners while bulky Tongans sit in the shade and follow them with uncomprehending stares.

The centre of Ha'apai, Pangai, is located on the island of Lifuka. Just a short trip from the airport, Pangai offers a great deal, from churches, to a royal palace, tombs, fortresses, monuments, shipwrecks, shops and banking services. There's a range of accommodation here, all just moments from the beaches. My favourite is Billy's Place.

And check out the Mariner's Café. It's THE (only) meeting place in Pangai. It was started in 1998 by the taciturn Trevor Gregory (he's a Kiwi - enough said?), who had been wandering about in his yacht "Tranquillo" since leaving Tauranga in August 1997 - "Just liked the place" he said, sold his boat in September 1998, and stayed on. He sold the café to the 40-something South African Craig Airey who, with his Polish partner Magda Malanowska, arrived on the island in his Endurance 37 yacht "Gwendolyn" in mid-2007*.

The new Café-owner Craig has already succumbed to the siren song of these remote and soporific islands which is that on this small and human-sized stage your life will count for more and even your smallest accomplishments will be remembered. Of those who do remain, few are ever struck by homesickness. Why would they want to leave? They echo closely Louis Becke's sentiments - of whom they know nothing - who once wrote about life in the South Seas, "Return? not they! Why should they go back? Here they had all things which are wont to satisfy man here below. A paradise of Eden-like beauty, amid which they wandered day by day all unheeding of the morrow. Why - why, indeed, should they leave the land of magical delights for the cold climate and still more glacial moral atmosphere of their native land, miscalled home?" (Mind you, Saint Ignatious of Loyola's observation on donkeys could be equally applied to many expatriates living in Tonga, "Content to chew the simplest of foods he is free from ambition, untouched by the need to improve himself and even unaware of his pitiful plight. He spends his days as idly as possible and works only when beaten...")

There are so many romantic beaches to wander at sunrise and sunset, or in fact, all day long! You can explore on foot or mountain-bike too - just bring along a change of clothes, beach towel, and snorkel and mask. As you stay in a traditional fale on a deserted beach or uninhabited island, you may think for a moment you have died and gone to heaven. But this paradise is real. And you can live this dream lifestyle for a fraction of what it costs to live anywhere else.

Avid explorers may be tempted to visit the large volcanic islands of Tofua and adjacent Kao in the west part of the group. It was 30 nautical miles from Tofua that the mutiny on the Bounty actually occurred on April 28, 1789. Captain Bligh navigated his 23-foot open launch first to Tofua where he spent four days and where the only casualty of his epic 3,618 nautical mile long voyage occurred: a crewman named John Norton was stoned to death by natives when they tried to seek refuge in a cave while trying to augment their meagre provisions. Tofua is the most active volcano in Tonga and often bellows smoke. The island has virgin rain forest, lots of pumice, is rich in bird life and has a stunning lake in its crater. It's possible to walk to the summit in under 2 hours from landing on the coast, and it's much faster coming back down. Kao is considerably smaller in size but its towering perfectly cylindrical peak is the highest point in Tonga at 1109 metres. On a clear day, you can see Kao on the horizon from Lifuka, 70 kilometres away.

In 2004 a German television producer asked for two volunteer families to live for three months on the tiny island of Ha'ano in Ha'apai which is just six kilometres long and has 400 inhabitants spread over four villages. Some 400 families volunteered from which the producer picked Steffen Kinder's and Uwe Armbruster's families, with altogether five children and even a grand-dad. They lived on the island in primitive conditions, cooking on an open fire, working in a neighbour's plantation, and, of course, there was no fridge, no TV, no supermarket. Constant rain for the first three weeks, in the constant humidity the smallest cut becoming a festering sore, and an invasion of lice and fleas and cockroaches were some of the downsides of living in a South Sea Paradise. Their experiences were documented in the film "Traumfischer" which ran on German television and is also available on DVD. Gabriela Kinder's final comments, "Wir wären gerne länger geblieben, aber dorthin auszuwandern stand und steht nicht zur Debatte. Ich würde viele Dinge, die ich sehr schätze, vermissen, zum Beispiel klassische Musik, Konzerte, Theater, Museen und auch Kneipen. Deswegen würde es uns auch eher nach Italien ziehen, falls wir einmal aus Deutschland weggehen sollten." ["We would have liked to stay longer but to permanently settle there was out of the question. There are too many things I would have missed, for instance, classical music, concerts, theatre, museums, even our corner-pub. Should we ever consider leaving Germany, it'd be to some place such as Italy."]

Another film that deals sympathetically with Tonga and its incredible natural beauty is "The Other Side of Heaven" which is about John H. Groberg's experience as a Mormon missionary in the Tongan islands in the 1950s. It is based on the book that he wrote about his experiences, "In the Eye of the Storm." The movie focuses on Groberg's adventurous experiences and trials while serving as a missionary in the South Pacific. While portraying these events, the film refrains from being preachy and discusses little theology, instead portraying what missionaries used to have to deal with during their missions.

If you're visiting Tonga, be sure to visit Ha'apai: one of the most beautiful groups of islands to be found in the South Pacific. With so many highlights, attractions and history, one cannot visit Tonga without visiting Ha'apai!

*) Craig has since moved on to Uoleva where he runs Talitali'anga Eco Resort with Kristen Duirs; however, Magda still runs the Mariner's Café.

 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Did a wealthy and religiously devout Saudi prince engage in drug smuggling?

 

While in Saudi Arabia, my view of the world was what I saw on Saudi television which was an endless string of "news" of members of the royal family going abroad or returning from abroad.

Then, on Thursday nights, Saudi television would show some poor foreigner, who had received the death penalty, re-enact his crime in front of the camera before 'getting the chop' in the city square the following morning. I don't know if this re-enactment is still practised; the beheadings certainly are with at least 158 executions carried out in 2015 and 134 so far this year.

Murder and drug trafficking cases account for the majority of them. Members of Saudi Arabia's vast royal family of more than thirty-thousand are only rarely known to have been executed as the royal family looks after its own. One of the most prominent cases was Faisal bin Musaid al Saud, who assassinated his uncle, King Faisal, in 1975. This year, Prince Turki bin Saud al-Kabir 'got the chop' for murder - read more.

As for Prince Nayef bin Sultan bin Fawwaz Al Shaalan who was convicted in absentia to ten years' imprisonment for smuggling a whole ton of cocaine into France as shown in the above video clip, he's thought to be safe and hiding out in Saudi Arabia.

 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

It's a girl!

 

All those years of feeding them with exotic fruit straight from the Fresh Food People ® have paid dividends: it's a girl! Now we have three mouths to feed: mum and dad and the little one (well, let's call it two-and-a-half mouths ☺)

Lucky them! I'm still limited to eating porridge after my tooth removal.

 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

To sleep, perchance to dream

"This is a Tontine fresh pillow. With normal use we suggest changing it by November 2012"

 

Those prescription drugs - Moxiclav ® Duo Forte 875/125, or antibiotics for short - I'm taking twice a day for five days following the tooth extraction are knocking the life out of me. I've always been a bad sleeper but after taking these drugs, I just want to sleep all the time.

And it's not a peaceful sleep as I discovered this morning when I found I had stripped half the bed, including the pillowcase, revealing the message "This is a Tontine fresh pillow. With normal use we suggest changing it by November 2012".

No wonder I've had trouble going to sleep all these years: I exceeded my pillow's 'sleep-by'-date! So in order to continue my newly-found sleep pattern, I either keep taking those Moxiclav-whatever pills or I buy myself a new Tontine pillow.

This commercial ploy of giving even the innocent pillow a use-by-date gives me the proverbial but before I condemn the good people at Tontine, let me check the label on the inside of my underpants: "These are fresh underpants. With normal use we suggest changing them by .."

 

Monday, October 17, 2016

The latest update on the Trump allegations

The Republican nominee faces a series of allegations of sexual assault, an embarrassing tape in which he boasts about committing sexual assault, a series of comments, and a civil suit accusing him of rape. At this rate, the only female in America not suing Donald will be Hillary!

Trump’s trouble began on October 7, when The Washington Post released a video in which Trump boasts of sexually assaulting women. “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them,” Trump said. “It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.” He added, “Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

The only solid evidence his accusers have so far been able to produce is the photograph below:

 

 

Putting my money where my mouth is

 

It started quite innocently on Friday evening with a bit of a pain in the lower jaw. By Saturday afternoon I was feverishly rummaging through the bathroom cabinet looking for some aspirins with the most recent expiry date. Found some with an expiry date of April 2000 and swallowed two.

The night was, well, a nightmare which I spent mostly sitting upright in a lounge chair and alternatively drinking hot tea and applying cold compressions. Early Sunday morning a quick dash into town to wait for the only 7-days-a-week chemist to open its doors. Waiting until 10 o'clock was probably the longest hour in my life.

Bought a bottle of Oil of Cloves and 24 Codeine tablets. Could've swallowed the lot but took just one as directed - and within five minutes or so I was wondering where the pain had gone. Great! But it was back a couple of hours later and I kept taking them all day and half the night through until Monday morning when I saw Cindy Lai.

Cindy is an attractive Chinese lady who makes me turn to jelly every time I see her - but mainly because she's a dentist. But let's be kind to dentists, they have fillings too, and Cindy is very popular with her patients, almost all of whom are Cauc-asians as she doesn't judge people by the colour of their skin but only by the colour of their teeth. And she's certainly a great improvement on that Vietnamese chap in Moruya I used to see many years ago. I became suspicious of him when I saw a copy of Dentistry for Dummies in his surgery's waiting room.

Sitting in Cindy's surgery, I was waiting to hear the six most frightening words in the world, "The dentist will see you now". The prick of the injection was sharp, but its effect magical. In an instant the lower part of my face ceased to belong to me. I put up one finger and stroked my cheek curiously. It was like stroking somebody else's.

The extraction wasn't easy and for a moment I thought Cindy had dislocated her wrist but her hand came out of my mouth, tooth and all, after which she put it into my wallet. The bill seemed about three times her normal fee which may have been because my loud screaming had scared away two other patients.

Financially, mentally and physically depleted, I drove myself home. "Has your tooth stopped hurting?" the wife asked. "I don't know", I said. "The dentist kept it."

 

Friday, October 14, 2016

A piece of Saudi Arabia in suburban Australia

 

Australia has its first faith-based Muslim-only housing estate in the Melbourne suburb of Melton. It's a 75-lot development which has been sold under Sharia finance.

Sharia law prohibits Muslims borrowing money where interest is payable (well, they simply jack up the purchase price to include all the interest upfront; it's a bit like drinking from a bottle of beer wrapped in a brown paperbag: you don't see the label but it's still beer).

Developer Amanar Rahman said the $2.4 million parcel was sold to buyers who wanted to live with other Muslims. There are also plans to build a mosque at the centre of the land.

The development has only one road in and out. Conveniently it has already been named Ayesha Avenue. Ayesha is the name of the wife of the prophet Mohammed, who married Ayesha when she was just 6 years old.

Are you reading this, Pauline Hanson?

Meanwhile, in other news just in it has been reported that a jihadist has been run over by his ex-girlfriend which goes to show that even in a male-dominated society like Islamic State brokenhearted females can get their revenge:

WARNING: Graphic images

 

The New Great Wall of China

 

Encumbered as I am with dog, property and wife (cleverly arranged in alphabetical order so as not to give away which is my greatest encumbrance), I have for some time been a mental traveller - some people in their description of me leave out the word 'traveller' altogether - and at the moment I am way up the Yangtze, at the Three Gorges Dam - or on page 235 of The River at the Centre of the World.

There are almost another two hundred pages to go but I'm taking it slowly as I don't want the journey to end too soon. I take frequent breaks during which I listen to Mozart, munch on some of his 'Kugeln', and wash them down with a glass (or two) of Chateau d'Cardboard.

As evidenced by this morning's arrival of the garbage truck and the late-afternoon's far-off and only faintly audible wooshing sound of hundreds of Canberra cars lemminglike rushing across the bridge towards the sea, this must be Friday and the end of another week in Paradise. And what an enjoyable week it has been!

 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A bridge not too far

Click here to open in separate window

 

The existing Nelligen Bridge was built in 1964 and forms part of the Kings Highway crossing of the Clyde River at Nelligen. During routine inspections it was found that some of the supporting concrete pillars under the bridge had deteriorated and that the bridge would require significant future X maintenance or replacement.

It seems the time has come to replace it. Luckily, we are at least a couple of kilometres downriver from it and won't hear too much of the construction noise. In fact, if you extend the aerial view downwards, we're about where you see the red X in the preceding paragraph.

 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The River at the Centre of the World

 

No, not the Clyde! That's at the centre of my little world down here at Nelligen. This is China's mighty Yangtze River and Simon Winchester's journey up it and back.

He's the same Winchester who wrote The Surgeon of Crawthorne, The Meaning of Everything, Krakatoa, Atlantic, The Map that Changed Everything, and many others. His writing is lively, informative, and thoroughly enchanting.

His most recent book, Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers, is a must-read for anybody interested in world politics and China's ambitions to become the world's next superpower.

I picked up The River at the Centre of the World on my way to yesterday's appointment with my dermatologist who keeps checking me for skin cancers every six months. His waiting room was packed with people and I was almost halfway up the Yangtze before he gave me a blast of liquid nitrogen.

I've been seeing him for a decade and yet I still need a new referral from a GP every twelve months which costs me another consultation fee. Jobs for the boys? Anyway, this time I thought I might as well get it from a bulk-billing GP and was amazed at the lack of checks and balances: I simply had to flash my Medicare card and sign absolutely nothing and yet, I am sure, the GP is still getting his juicy fee for five minutes' work. So what's stopping him from 'bulk-billing' my Medicare card again if he falls behind with the repayments on his new BMW? Call me a cynic but I am sure there are as many doctors who are in it only for the money as in any other profession and last time I looked the Hippocratic oath said nothing about fiscal rectitude.

Of course, there's nothing new about rorting Government-administered and -funded schemes. Just think back to the 'Pink Batts' disaster, the school hall building program, and just quite recently the private colleges rip-offs. I mean, what 'Public Servants' would waste their time asking probing questions when they are already faced with decisions such as what kind of doughnut to order for their next coffee break?

This country is well and truly up the creek without a paddle. Maybe Simon Winchester should journey up it and write a book about it.

 

Geburtstagswünsche an eine deutsche Legende

VORSICHT! Nur noch EINE Besichtigung ist erlaubt!!!

 

Happy Birthday, Renate Borgwardt! Like your namesake, you're a legend! And we hope you'll keep running for many more years and kilometres; maybe even as far as Australia where we can promise you a good oil-and-grease change.

In the meantime, from all of us at Riverbend - Padma, Rover and you-know-who - here's your tune played on a genuine Steinmouse piano:

Nice mice? ☺

 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016