Archive for category Overseas travel

Lest we forget – Ishinomaki – Black Water

A short documentary film about Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture one of the hardest hit areas of the 11th March 2011 tsunami.

This documentary deals with the city, the people and relief efforts completed by individuals living in Tokyo to send relief supplies to a center for disabled people in Ishinomaki.

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One 71 year old that leaves our politicians standing – a man to be greatly admired.

Colour and excitement returned to the City yesterday as Glencore announced a former French foreign legionnaire, Algerian war veteran, author, explorer and financier as its new chairman.

Photo of Simon Murray CBE

Simon Murray CBE (via Vodafone)

Simon Murray (pictured) will be tasked with leading the firm’s up-to $11bn (£6.7bn) float, valuing it at about $60bn, the details of which were confirmed yesterday.

The move heralded a return to the days when interesting and complex characters, rather than faceless executives, ran the City.

Earlier this week, Murray said: “This is very exciting, but you are talking to someone who has been chased by a leopard. You are talking to someone who has been shot at with a machine gun and missed.”

Murray, whose tales of derring-do include carrying two severed heads in his backpack during his time in the French Foreign Legion, was born in Leicester in central England. As a teenager in 1960 he joined the Foreign Legion on a whim, going on to fight for five years in Algeria. He later wrote a bestseller, “Legionnaire”, about his time in north Africa.

It was made into a film in 2002.

Educated at Bedford School, one of England’s oldest public schools, Murray was turned down by the British Army before signing up with the Foreign Legion.

“I think perhaps I was just a young buck without much confidence in himself setting an extreme challenge to see if he could hack it in a man’s world,” he says in his book.

He has since run a 240km race in the Moroccan desert, climbed Mount Everest and become the oldest man to walk unsupported to the South Pole. Glencore unveiled its blockbuster initial public offering (IPO) to the market yesterday, following months of speculation.

According to Wikipedia, he has been awarded the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) by H.M. The Queen, and the Order of Merit of the French Republic and is a “Chevalier de La Legion d’Honneur”. He holds an Honorary Degree in law, from Bath University and attended the (SEP) Stanford Executive Programme in the US.  He also trekked to the South Pole in his sixties.

Murray married long-time sweetheart, the former Jennifer Mather, with whom he has three children. Jennifer Murray was the first woman to fly around the world in a helicopter.

What a family

Read the full article in the City A.M. newspaper.


Are you bored with your present situation?

Get a hobby!


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This would never be allowed in the UK

Here is an advert for Nandos Fried Chicken shown on South African TV.

Yes, we do have our own brand of blonde Essex Girls in South Africa, as you will see in this short clip!

Alas, even if you are going over there for a holiday, there’s no point in giving you her phone number, she’s fully booked until 2015.


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Happy New Year

A happy new year to all my readers.

Many of you, in Britain, will face hardships in 2011 so I have included a video below so you can see that although you may struggle in 2011, you could be living in South Africa. So before complaining too much at our financial woes, pay a small thought to what is happening in South Africa.



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Flying tonight!

I came across the following today on the Big Brother Watch website and it reminded me of a decision my wife and I took when all this airport security started.

You can see my write-up of an incident at Stansted involving a BBW supporter here. She has had both her hips replaced and when going through airport security she was taken off to a room and made to undress to show her operation scars to prove that she had had the surgery claimed.

We had problems flying soon after 9/11 with pathetic over reactions by Heathrow airport and a passenger who objected (gently) had one very tall checker, towering above him, shouting that if he gave any trouble he would be taken off the queue and locked in a room until the plane had taken off.

That, dear reader, was the last time my wife and I have every flown anywhere. We used to spend our annual holidays alternate years in South Africa, and alternate years to other far away places.

Now we refuse to even go to an airport, let alone fly.

We have discovered Western Europe, and I have found out that cruises, now that I am in my seventies, aren’t as bad as they seemed to be when I was much younger.

To help stretch our money, every other year we have just a four day holiday in Western Europe by Eurostar and are looking forward to these fast journeys from Kings Cross/St Pancras stretching, next year to Holland and the year after to Germany. On alternate years we will take a cruise, there are so many to choose from. And you can get good deals if you leave it to the last week before sailing to purchase. Now that we are retired, we can afford to do this.

Now, what do you think the Government and Airlines would arrange, collectively between them, with regards to treatment of air passenger, if all holiday passengers stopped flying? If the only passengers the airlines got were business passengers? What if these business people started to use video conferencing instead of flying?

A couple of years ago I was at a simultaneous press conference at Cisco in West London, with their Paris office. The video conferencing facilities for the two groups of about twenty journalists was excellent, and executives were talking to us from both offices. It was a truly amazing experience.

In fact, on top of all this, I read about higher costs of aviation kerosene, higher airport and flying taxes and laugh, knowing they don’t and will never apply to me.


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