I have never travelled to Turkey, I’ve been very close when I was stationed in Cyprus and I have been to Greece many times, but somehow Turkey has not been on my list of destinations. So after chatting with Bob, a friend, who had just returned from a sun filled week there, I thought it was time I took a look at what might be on offer.
He had spent his holiday in the Antalya region and was more than enthusiastic about what the area offered. He is a keen golfer and enjoyed the wonderful facilities of some of the fourteen superbly designed championship courses in the Belek region. So I set about seeing why Bob returned to the area so many times and it was not long before I could see why the Antalya resort attracted him so much.
Antalya, the capital of the province of Antalya, can be justifiably described as a whole Mediterranean in miniature. Bright sunshine dazzling turquoise seas, wonderful beaches and the City has a long history; all of this is set against the backdrop of the high Taurus mountain ranges.
My appetite for Antalya truly whetted, I thought I would look through the hotels and see what the prices looked like as well as availability. I found one that really appealed to me; the crystal palace Turkey had great facilities; internet facilities, bars and restaurants on site indoor and outdoor swimming pools, satellite television and more. Importantly for me and others is that the hotel has a private beach and is only a short transfer from the airport and just 6 kms from the nearest town with shops, restaurants and bars, Turkey is looking very promising!
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It had to happen one day I suppose, we all must retire or “die in harness” as the saying goes, but when the news that Sir Alex Ferguson had decided to call it a day in football management, it really is the end of a remarkable era. I am not a football fan, but like most people I follow results and look to see how my home team are doing, mine, Hull City are getting on nicely it would seem, having just returned to the Premiership after an absence of three years I believe.
However, it is the long reign of Sir Alex that is quite remarkable in football management terms as it has lasted for an unprecedented twenty seven years, which in terms of a football manager it is unheard of, usually they only last that number of months! It must be something in the water at Old Trafford because his predecessor Sir Matt Busby served the club in a managerial position for twenty four years. In many ways what makes his long term of office more remarkable, is that he was not all that successful in his early years at Manchester United, but they must have seen some potential because they stuck with him.
He did have a lot a big money to enable him to buy the players that he needed and unsurprisingly success followed and it came by the truck load, he had the knack to sell players when they were at their near peak and recoup huge sums of money for them, often buying them as youngsters at a low or give way figure, a knack that seems to be lost on others. It will be interesting to see just how the new manager performs; it will be a hard act to follow.
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I have to have a quiet smile when I see some of the stuff that appears on sites such as Facebook or when I receive text messages form one of the younger people that I come into contact with. I know that I go on about the lack of spelling and grammar that is very apparent in some of the people that I deal with, and also that I read on blogs or comments at online sites. I am a master at complaining about these standards but I’m very afraid that our children are now developing a language that is completely new and for most people over a certain age, totally their own.
I came across one example the other day and if you are over 60 years of age or perhaps in very many cases younger, I invite you to try to interpret this message: “cu 4121 2nite at *$ b49 coz Im bz l8r bfn”. Now I could make out just about most of that after looking at it for a while, but for those that struggle in the same way that I do it maybe because you are 2o2l (too old to learn). If you have not managed to decipher the jumble of words, I can put you out of you misery, after help I might add, it reads: see you for one to one tonight at Starbucks before 9 because I’m busy later, bye for now!
Oh well some professions require geography, writing or arithmetic, in my book a journalist should be able to spell and be good at grammar, accountants need adding skills etc., but as they say, you do not have to spell to be a good cobbler for example! Lol!
Picture: woohoo megoo
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If you are a cigarette smoker in Scotland, when you go to buy your favourite packet of cigarettes you will notice that cigarettes are no longer on display at large shops. In addition it will be no longer possible to buy cigarettes from a vending machine as these are now banned.
As a non smoker I had not realised that England, Wales and Northern Ireland have already brought in similar bans to prevent large stores from displaying cigarettes and tobacco, but apparently they have. I understand that the reasons behind this and other proposals that are due to come into force, are designed to reduce people from smoking particularly young people who are exposed to the promotion of tobacco, that are more likely to try smoking.
As you would expect the measures have had a mixed reception, the group Cancer Research Scotland was in favour, but it comes as no surprise that the Tobacco Retailers’ Alliance is firmly against. The only observation that I can make is that if it reduces the pressure on the NHS it can only be a good thing, tobacco use is associated with over 13,000 deaths and 56,000 hospital admissions in Scotland alone which must be costing a packet, no doubt smokers will say that they pay massive amounts in tax to offset this. Ah well, you can’t win them all can you?
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I know that they make rugby players tough, but I think tackling a bus is taking things just a little bit too far! Excuse my frivolity, but it amused me to read about Danny Cipriani who was out with team mates taking part in “The Otley Run” which is a traditional pub crawl that is part of a ritual in which students from the Universities in Leeds like to undertake as part of their time at these institutions. The run now takes in a number of pubs on the Otley Road into Leeds, the number varies between 17 and 19 depending whether you include a couple of bars which traditionalists claim are not pubs and should not be taken into account, but who would care after that many anyway!
The route today is a modern one ,as the original one began a few years before when the town of Otley had a special license when the sheep and cattle market auctions took place and it was possible to get a drink early in the morning. What happened was that participants went down Otley Road from Headingly, Leeds calling in at pubs in the night and finally got to Otley in the morning in time for a breakfast and a “hair of the dog” before returning home on the bus or train.
Well it seems that Danny Cipriani is not too worse for wear, bruised ribs, and suspected concussion and may be playing for Sale again in a couple of weeks, I understand that the bus suffered in the encounter, but will spend a few days in the bus hospital before taking on duties again. It has spurred the imagination of a few people, who wondered if it was a training ground move, taking contact instead of going for the gap, or the bus has spent a comfortable night and will be released shortly!
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Selling something on ebay I have found is very easy and the result has usually been quick and the price generally what I have hoped for, all though it is sometimes disappointing, but then you have to expect that don’t you? One of the major problems though is getting your product or item that you have successfully sold to the customer at a reasonable rate safely and quickly.
Small items can be sent through Royal Mail in a jiffy bag, but it is usually the larger products that can cause difficulties, it is with these that you have search around and find an ebay delivery company that is good and reliable. I recently sold a beautiful oak dresser that we had inherited from a relative, which although a delightful old piece of furniture, we could not accommodate it in our home.
With a valuable item such as this you cannot just give it to a “man with a van” so to speak, it requires a specialist who will provide a door-to-door or even room-to-room service. They also have to have the correct insurance cover in the unlikely event that the item is damaged during transit. Well I have found exactly where to look for the dresser as well as future items that I might sell on ebay, I found it through the internet, an organisation that specialises in finding delivery companies for anything called Delivery Quote Compare.
Their site is really easy to use; you simply use the drop down box to select the category of item to be delivered, the size, the destination and collection point, you will then receive several quotations, you make your choice and that is all it takes, simple.
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I’m sure that we have all heard of overzealous parking wardens and council workers and other officials doing things “by the book” but the latest thing that I read about beats then all, “takes the biscuit” in fact.
Contractors working on behalf of a Swindon Borough Council have painted double yellow lines at each side of an alleyway that is too small by a considerable amount to get a car through, never mind parking one there! The alleyway is no more than a pavement cut through used by walkers and the residents were taken by surprise when they went out to see the results of the contractors work. One resident measured the distance between the two sets of yellow lines and found it to be a massive 13 inches, or 330 mm just about wide enough to get a car tyre between them.
It defies belief that the workers did not know the width of a car but that is what the council are suggesting. Swindon Borough Council has blamed the gaffe on contractors, incredibly saying the hapless workers had forgotten “just how big cars actually are”. As one resident put it, “you could not get a motor bike down the alley way”, as I say I really have seen it all now!
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Referring to my recent article concerning sportsmanship, it reminded me that it was quite a while since I had been on a golfing holiday, so I thought that I would look to see what was currently being offered. I have been round a few championship courses in the UK and Ireland, all of them great, but I would really like a nice relaxing golfing holiday somewhere war and different. I had a word with my golf partner and he said that the Abama Tenerife had some really great comments in a magazine that he had been reading so I agreed to have a look at it and see what was on offer.
Well I was very impressed and the facilities at the hotel are just fantastic, you would not expect anything else from the world-renowned Ritz-Carlton Company, and as it is attached to a par 72, 18-hole golf course, that in its self would be enough, but there is more. There are heated pools, one of which is an adult only pool which will suit me and my golf partner for sure, a tennis academy and a relaxing spa. If you add some fine dining including both traditional Spanish, but with Japanese, Argentinean and Italian as well, this is a golfing holiday that even the most discerning person could not fault. Looks like I’m going to Tenerife!
Picture: Pablo Monteagudo
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When I played a lot of sport being a true sportsman in the way that you played and accepted the traditions and laws of the game were always something that we took for granted. I played both rugby and cricket and you never once questioned the referee’s decision or queried an umpire, it was not done, and in rugby it meant you were marched back 10 metres, this till applies of course.
I also played a lot of golf, still do when I get the time and this is also a game where there are rules and every golfer was advised to carry them in his or her golf bag, I still have mine and we occasionally had to refer to them if we were unsure. The reason that I raise this today is because of the Tiger Woods incident at the Augusta Masters Tournament in the USA.
In the incident Woods was correctly penalised for playing the ball in the wrong position after he had entered a hazard, the pond at the back of the green to be exact, but he did not drop the ball in the place where it originally laid, no he took it back to a better lie and played the shot from there. He has been imposed a two shot penalty for this, but his fellow professionals are saying that he should disqualify himself, as he admitted that he knew what he was doing. I’m with the great Peter Allis on this one a fine golfer in his day but an equally good commentator; he is reported as saying “It is a bit of a muddle. It is a great talking point. The fact is, they have done what they have done and Tiger has not gained any advantage from it.
“The rules of golf are very complicated and 99.9% of people that play are not aware of most of the interpretations. In snooker, people may get away with some misdemeanours, but they shouldn’t be able to in that sport or golf.” Hear, hear, Peter.
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During my time when I was in the RAF I worked with a lot of fellow airman who had joined the Air force as Apprentices and learned a skilled technical trade which was the degree equivalent of similar one gained in university. I flew with one who went on to be commissioned and gained a Masters Degree, all thanks to the RAF apprenticeship scheme.
I raise this subject because I have been listening to a debate from a group who want the scheme stopped, and those in favour of continuing to recruit young 16 year olds into all three services of the armed forces. Now of course it is not possible for these young people to serve in a combat zone until they are somewhat older, the scheme is an educational one and I believe it would be a shame if it were stopped. The argument now, which I have to say I agree with to some extent, is that young 15 and 16 year olds are not as “street wise” as they were in say the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.
At that time I would come home from school, do my mandatory homework and then go out and meet friends, play some sport or go to the youth club. Today of course it is entirely different and our young people spend a lot of time on computers and other electronic devices. The argument against recruiting under eighteen’s now is that the young cannot cope in the same way; the dropout rate from the armed forces apprentice schools is very high. There appears to be a high cost as well, figures presented to Parliament in 2011, said it cost an “estimated” £88,985 to recruit, train and pay new soldiers aged 16 and 17, compared with £42,818 for each adult recruit. Oh well we shall see, but I for one would be sad to see this excellent technical training abandoned.
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