European Escapades

Archive for the ‘The Rant’ Category

The Sanitisation of Britain’s Meat Eaters

14

May

2010

The classic Irish Crubeens, but no cabbage
The classic Irish Crubeens, But No Cabbage.

A slightly off topic post, but one that I feel needs to be mentioned. I love to cook and as such enjoy the local shops, markets and supermarkets that I visit looking at all the wonderful ingredients on offer. I have come to realise that the supermarkets in the UK have been sanitising our shopping experience to the detriment of our children. Walking around the supermarkets of France, Spain and Portugal, I have already mentioned the beautiful array of seafood on offer. But I also want to advertise the beautiful array of meats and other produce I have seen on offer as well. Like the heaped snails on the local market stall in Spain, slowly moving around in their large container, scooped up and packaged fresh by the market holder for the eager customers. The dressed and presented cow tongues and sheep heads ready for purchase and the lamb brains neatly placed on show within the meat counter. The tempting crayfish snapping and crawling around, as fresh as they could possibly be. The hanging poultry and whole rabbits on show as if they had just been butchered fresh for consumption.

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Cronies at Acronis and an Apology to ZTE

22

Apr

2010

A rant and also an apology to a number of mobile phone companies is required. Whilst I was happy to get my Yoigo modem, I was less than pleased to find even though the box said it was Windows 7 compatible, it blue screened on me as soon as I tried to install it. We were never going to go back to Llieda after our initial visit and the Groundhog Day we had suffered there and so we moved onto Tarragona and the Costas to try and locate a Yoigo store that was situated in the coastal town of Salou, so I could vent my frustrations about this crap product I had been sold.

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SFR Should Try Comedy Instead

14

Mar

2010

SFR along with all the other mobile phone companies should change their profession and become comedians. I laughed so much as I was walked through their brochures offering 3G broadband access by one of their sales staff in Granville. At one point I asked the woman explaining the charges to take the brochure away, and show me the real one I was so convinced they were winding me up. If you though the Spiv’s and Extortionists in the UK were bad, then you ain’t seen nothing yet.

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Public Transport and the Rape of Prudence.

08

Mar

2010

Whilst we were on Burton-on-Trent we decided to use the public bus service to get into town from our campsite Conkers. My first reaction was, am I missing Cambridge already where the citi-two bus comes every ten minutes and costs £3.30 for an all day ticket across the entire citi-bus network. The Burton Bus service charged us £4.80 each for the same thing. I thought Cambridge was expensive and disinclined me to use the service if there were two of us and I always had a bee in my bonnet about the park and ride scheme for the same reason. But at £9.60 for the return trip to town, I could have parked anywhere in Burton for the day at that price and had the comfort of my own car rather than standing waiting for a bus in 2° C.

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Spivs, Extortionists and the Internet

18

Feb

2010

No I’m not talking about all those scams and con-men that seem to be prevalent on the internet according to all the newspaper hype. We get them in all walks of life. I’m talking about the Spiv’s and extortionists trying to take my hard earned and valuable money to get onto the internet in the first place. I wonder what response you guys would give sitting at home, if BT, Virgin or any of the other Broadband suppliers said it would cost you £3,720 per month to connect and surf the internet. Not only that, but you may not be able to download that missed Eastenders off the BBC i-Player website or download too many of your favourite tracks from the I-Tunes store, else they would restrict your bandwidth.

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The Banks are Already Nationalized?

12

Feb

2010

You would think so considering the trouble I had obtaining a Euro current account for our travels to Europe. Another simple task to say out loud, but far harder to put into practice. As we knew we would be spending a large amount of our time in Europe it was agreed that the safest and most economical way would be to obtain a Euro bank account that came with a debit card to enable us to buy products and services and also allow us to get cash out at cash points across Europe without the exorbitant charges that would accumulate if we used a Sterling account and did the currency conversions on the fly at standard wide buy sell commission rates plus a percentage or two for the privilege.

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Insurance and the Art of War

21

Jan

2010

Well it felt like war when I was trying to get insurance for our new motor home. A simple task in my mind when I first started out looking turned into a nightmare by the kind of people and organisations I made a lot of money out of when I was an IT Consultant. Why did I make money? Well it seems that these companies love to put people and products in boxes and if you don’t fit in the box, well tough shit. My forte in consultancy was to ignore boxes and get the job or task done for a customer, no matter what it took. From driving down to a tool shop and buying a specific tool for the engineer rather than wait for him to make the request via the torturous internal company process, to employing specific couriers for deliveries at specific times, with the right delivery equipment, rather than rely on the standard couriers the company used to deliver the computer, sometime that day or even week in some cases.

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