Ken Craymer

So the England team are out of the World Cup then

June 21st, 2014 by Ken

I have to come clean and say that I am not a great fan of football, but like most people, in England anyway, I have followed the progress of the national football team in Brazil with interest. Naturally I was disappointed to see that they have not progressed beyond the group stages, not for the first time, although it was a very long time ago previously, fifty six years ago to be precise.

I know that I am not on my own when in my household, complaints are levelled at the TV companies for the prominence that they are giving to the tournament to the detriment of regular items such as national and local news. Yes we are a footballing nation, but and it is a very big but as far as I’m concerned, why do they have to schedule the games on the two major channel BBC1 and ITV1, could they not be put onto one of the other channel such as BBC3 or 4 and ITV3?

Naturally this would bring howls of protest from followers of “The Hotel of Mum and Dad, or Great Railway Journeys”, or from “Murder She Wrote”, but do all the schedules of News and “soaps” have to be sidelined? Oh well, it will be all over by July the 13th, unless of course we have a week of analysis, I wouldn’t put it past them, happy viewing to you all!

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Do they live like this at home?

June 12th, 2014 by Ken

The behaviour of some of us British shall I say, well it leaves me completely astounded, I know we have all seen the people that go on holiday to a sunny climate and get totally legless and rowdy with it. However, it is the way that a certain section of the population seems to treat other peoples’ property when they are renting holiday accommodation both in this country and abroad.

This was brought to my attention when I was talking to Schofields, a firm that I use for some property insurance and during our conversation my contact said they were dealing with a claim for damage to a holiday home. Naturally he did not divulge any details about this particular claim, but he gave me a copy of “Backpacker Trade News” which had an article in it that was in fact undertaken by Schofields as part of research into the experiences of holidaymakers staying in holiday homes both in the UK and abroad.

I have to say that the results were pretty staggering and this is why I wonder if these same people treat their own homes in a similar “cavalier” fashion!  Not surprisingly the thing that came out top was leaving air conditioning on the whole day when at the beach. I suppose it shows the “I’m not paying for the electricity” attitude. Silly really when you consider that most air conditioning units will have an apartment down in temperature in no time at all. Hiding items that have been broken was another favourite, fake tan and make up on the sheets and allowing dogs onto the beds another. The list is long and to me very disappointing, these are not isolated cases I have to say as the survey of nearly two thousand people demonstrated that nearly half of them committed most of the offences. Do these people not understand that all of this increases the hiring charge? I’m afraid I despair at times.


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Is motor insurance a rip off?

June 11th, 2014 by Ken

I am of course fully aware that when you drive a motor car you have to be fully insured, all in accordance with the law of the land, but and it is a very big but as far as I am concerned, why is it the driver and not the car, because as we all know, on many policies you can drive someone else’s car, but on third party only, that is the bit where the law comes into it.

Now because of the compulsory element, I have always felt that this makes a target for some to regard it as a license to make money at every twist and turn. You could almost say that it’s crawling with crooks and unnecessary complications.

To give an example if I may, take the no claims discount and the extra premium for protecting it. Great you might say, for a few extra pounds I can ensure that my ten or so years of not claiming on my insurance will ensure it remains at ten years, sorry you may just be wrong. A reasonable man would think that if he paid extra for his insurance policy’s “no-claims discount” to be protected, well it would still have a ten year NCD, but you can bet your life your insurance premium will increase by a huge chunk!

It really is time the whole insurance of motor cars is scrapped and re-started, do it like they do in other countries and where cars are insured rather than drivers. This was the case when I went to Canada and was kindly loaned a car by my host, what about the insurance I asked, no problem the car is insured here and not the driver!


Image: fooosco


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Hot weather on the way, we shall see

June 9th, 2014 by Ken

I see the Met Office is promising some really hot weather for us in the UK, well some of us I would imagine, because if you read the statement it actually reads parts of Britain. Now as I understand it these parts of Britain are the South East region and it has been narrowed down even further to Kent and parts of East Anglia.

Well I suppose we have to say good luck to them and they are forecasting temperatures in excess of 26C which is Spanish weather I have to say. The poor old North West, which includes one of my favourite parts of the world, the Lake District is not going to be so lucky, but then what’s new about that, it is not called the Lake District without good reason is it?

So with thundery showers and heavy rain expected in that part of the world, what do you do in Keswick or Cockermouth when it is pouring with rain? Well I can tell you there is plenty to keep you occupied. Dove Cottage in Grasmere has all things Wordsworth; also Rydal Mount is his family home. The coast aquarium in Maryport, tropical fish and a lot more, and one I like to go around is the Lakeland Motor Museum at Backbarrow, you can see Bluebird, car and boat here, fascinating.

I can assure you that these are just a tiny few of the many attractions that will keep you occupied on a rainy day in the Lakes, try it you will not be disappointed.

Lake District

Image: Breizh33

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How do I do my homework?

June 6th, 2014 by Ken

I really had a chuckle when I read about and then watched a YouTube video about the group of American children aged between six and thirteen years old who were asked to try out an old Apple computer. Well the first hurdle was the fact that the 1970’s machine had no mouse and they could not quite grasp how to move around it.

After a lot of encouragement from an adult one of the kids managed to type in the word Google, only to be greeted on screen by the expression “syntax error”! Confronted by the terrible news from another adult that the internet was not invented when the computer was in use, the child exclaimed with horror, “how do you look up things for homework” you go to the library, “never” the child responds.

I relate this because it just shows the enormous strides that have been made in technology in a few short years. We now have little tablets with responsive screens that we can do a multitude of things that a state of the art computer couldn’t do in the seventies and early eighties. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that I could do my job today without the tablet that I carry around. The same goes for smartphones, they will now do just as much as the old style computer with its floppy discs and more I suspect.

There is no wonder that he kids were confused, I wonder just how many of you could work a 1970’s computer, not at all sure that I could.


Image: stuartpilbrow

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A great send off for a very brave young man

May 30th, 2014 by Ken

I’m not one for all the modern hype that we see at funerals now, I call it the “Diana madness” when hundreds of people who neither knew a person, nor was known by them to heap flowers at a spot where they either died or at a funeral service. What makes all these people turn up at a family gathering to witness the ceremony?

However, I’m going to make a contradiction in the case of young Stephen Sutton, the boy who amazingly saw the total of over £4million donated to the appeal on behalf of teenage cancer trust. We all thought that we knew him and we all certainly talked about him, possibly even contributed to the appeal, sadly his fight against cancer came to an end on May the 14th.

Today the 30th May is the day of his funeral in Lichfield cathedral, and his white coffin is in a glass coach which is being drawn by four white horses decked with stunning yellow plumes, the coach being filled with bright yellow flowers, a symbol of Stephen’s positive approach to his terminal illness.

I echo the words of the Dean of Lichfield who described Stephen as “extraordinary example and inspiration” for everyone. Amen to that.

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What is the world coming to?

May 29th, 2014 by Ken

For the ladies in our world it could shortly be coming to an end, well if the EU has its way, well that is if the famous perfume Chanel No. 5 is banned because it apparently contains mosses which are thought by the august body to be allergens, how have we managed to live so long and healthily without the “expert” knowledge and help from Brussels I wonder.

Apparently this was the favourite perfume of a certain Miss Marilyn Monroe, who was supposed to wear this in bed and nothing else! Mmm, I wouldn’t know and I wonder who did, perhaps a certain President of the USA?

Another perfume under threat is Miss Dior which is one that I have bought for a certain lady, both of these iconic perfumes are the biggest selling in the world, No. 5 has been on the market now for a remarkable 93 years and it was publicised early on when the now famous Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel is supposed to have sprayed it around the table in Paris where she was dining and it literally stopped women in their tracks, from there it went to great heights.

Well you cannot divert the great EU train from the tracks and so we now find that perfume houses are desperately trying to match the woody base notes, which are found in these two perfumes as well as many others.

I wonder what Marilyn would have thought about it and JFK for that matter!

Chanel No. 5

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I have arranged a golfing holiday

May 25th, 2014 by Ken

We haven’t done it for a long time, but four of us are arranging a golfing holiday to the Costa del Sol, or as the signs on the road say, “The Costa del Golf”! Yes it is going to be a lot of fun, it is three mates that I was in the RAF with and when a bunch of men get together on a trip, well you can guess the rest.

If you are a golfer and have never experienced some of the courses in and around the Marbella region, you should give it a go, it does not have to be expensive, we have a package which includes breakfast and evening meal at a good hotel near Fuengirola and flights on Easy Jet, including green fees, the only thing that we excluded was the extra on the flight for carrying sports equipment.

It is not just the cost of carrying the golfing equipment modern golf bags can weigh in excess of the 20 kg allowance, which in itself carries a charge of £32 each way, go up to 26kg and it could well be that if you put golf shoes and clothing in the bag and we are looking at £70, so I have arranged that our bags are collected from our home address and safely delivered to the hotel, same on the way back. Appropriately enough the company is called send my bag and as I have used them previously I know that they can be reliable. As the charge for up to 25 kg is £30.00 it is a “no brainer” not to have to lug those bags from the airport to the transport outside as well as our hand luggage of course.

I cannot wait for our get together and a few rounds of golf, plus the odd San Miguel of course, bet you wish you were joining us!


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You have to feel for the Kenyans

May 19th, 2014 by Ken

Kenya is a beautiful country which I happen to know very well, both when I went there on an exercise when in the RAF and subsequently a few times afterwards on holiday when I had left the service.

The people are very friendly and although when spending some time on the coast you can be hassled by what are known as beach boys trying to sell, what in reality is junk. I have found if you have a word with the one that patrols your particular stretch of beach and offer him a few Kenya Shillings, he will see to it that you are not bothered by any one. Call it protection money I suppose in a funny sort of way, but it costs less than a beer!

We went into a Maasai village, arranged by our coach driver and they are really lovely people, we were invited by the Chief’s wife, well the head wife as they have more than one, to go inside their little mud hut, simply amazing how they can live in such a small space! All the village wives and daughters put on a musical show for us singing and dancing, again less than the price of a beer from each of us. I say the women folk you will have noticed, because all the men are out tending the cattle and the boys at school, no dropping off by mum here, and the boys walk anything up to ten miles to get there!

So it was with a lot of sadness that I heard the news that the tour companies have had to evacuate holiday makers from the northern beaches above Mombasa, because of terrorist threats, they need tourism and I sincerely hope the situation is quickly sorted out.

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The great half term getaway

May 17th, 2014 by Ken

Although the late spring bank holiday is not the first one of the year it is probably the one when most of us decide it’s time to go away and spend a few days on holiday. Naturally quite a lot of us decide that a few days away in France or Spain are “just the ticket” but with the cost of air fares and cross channel travel being at a premium always when the school term is over, holidaying in this beautiful country of ours is the first option for most people with children.

Now I live in the northern part of the kingdom and judging by the number of cars that I have seen “bowling” up the road towards Scotland, this seems to be the place that most people are heading for. I know Scotland quite well and there is no denying that it has some lovely places to see and spend time in, but it does suffer a bit more than the southern part of the island from the weather.

Tourism plays a huge part in our economy and judging from the number of German, Dutch and Belgian number plates I have spotted on the road; it seems to be doing pretty well. The fact that we are in “Europe” has to be a big factor by making travel to and from continental Europe so easy, I have no idea of course what it would be like if we decided that we no longer wanted to be in “the club” time will tell of course should that happen. What I do remember though is the time before we were “European” and I certainly did not like the endless queue that we had to endure at passport controls and having little stamps put into our passports, but of course as we know, there is much more to it than that.

Oh well the sun is out and I’m afraid the grass has to be cut before it rains, enjoy your half term holiday!

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