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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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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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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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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I was shocked to hear of yet another fatal train accident at an automated rail crossing in Lincolnshire in which two people were killed when a train hit their car at an estimated sixty miles per hour. I happen to know Lincolnshire very well having served sometime at the numerous RAF bases that are scattered around the county. One thing that I do know is that the whole county is served by automated crossings, particularly on many of the minor roads and I can see the reason why these crossings are not manned in the way that they used to be.
The cost to Rail Track would be enormous and these days not so many trains use the lines as they once used to. At one time goods were carried a lot on the railway in the county, but not so much now as is very evident when you see the roads which are full of trucks. The railway network has been reduced substantially since I was at the bases so having a signalman at the crossings 24 hours per day is just not economically viable.
Now of course we do not know yet the cause of the accident did the car breakdown on the crossing or was the driver taking a chance, we shall find out in due course no doubt. However, there is one thing that I know for certain and that is I would never drive round the half barrier on these crossings, this also poses the question just how much is saved by having a half barrier instead of one that closes the track completely?
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Do you remember the days when having a mobile ‘phone was something that either upwardly mobile people or city slickers only had, in fact they were the business man’s tool and very few had the device and to think 40 years on and there are about six billion subscribed users in the world! I can remember well the first time that I saw a mobile ‘phone that was not actually part of an executive’s or salesman’s car and that was when I was sitting with a colleague outside a friendly pub looking out over Chiswick Bridge. The guy came along lugging something which looked like a small suitcase and set this down on the floor and put what seemed by today’s standard like an enormous handset to his ear and tried to make conversation with someone he had dialled, without much success it seemed to us. I can remember the first mobile that I got; in fact I still have it, not to use of course, but my “brick” I keep on my desk as a memento of that step into another technological age.
Now I have the latest Galaxy, well not quite the very latest, which gets me not only in touch with friends and business associates anywhere in the world, but on the internet, my e mails, in fact as much and more than my computer does. We have to wonder that when in the short space of 40 years so much progress in the mobile has been made, where can they go from here? There is much talk about controlling the ‘phone by eye movements to change and look at pages, Smartphone watches are another idea being touted around, it all remains to be seen of course, but I would believe that anything could be possible, especially as I look at my “brick” sitting on the desk and that beauty is only about 23 years old!
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Now that I am working from home I no longer have the benefit of the use of large premises, paid for by someone else of course and inevitably space is at a premium. I have of course got a state of the art garden room office, but that is exactly what it is, not a very warm and comfortable filing room. So I am faced with the choice of renting office premises, which is a route I most certainly do not intend to take, so I must find some alternatives. I have found the answer to my problem that is a specialist in this field.
At the moment is only documentation that I want to store, although this can change later, it is through a company that will provide extra room self storage at a very modest cost. This centrally based company extraroomstorage.co.uk has clean, dry, secure rooms which are just what I am looking for to archive important documentation. The terms are very flexible and I only rent the amount of the space I need, when I need it and I can store for as long or short as I want to.
As the amount of space I will need in the future will increase, I can change room sizes at any time. Something else which I found attractive was that they will collect my files and deliver them to my storage facility. If I want to access any documents I just call in and they have fax and photocopying facilities should I need to copy or send documents to a client. It does not come much better than that I think you would agree.
Picture courtesy of Extra Room Self Storage
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First let me say that education is a wonderful thing and it is the key to just about everything, but I ask the question do we really need to send a targeted 50% of all school leavers to university when only a few jobs in the whole world require a degree.
As a country we have had governments of various persuasions that seemed to believe that by sending our young to university would somehow turn the country into some kind of technological revolution, when it has and I believe cannot do anything of the sort. I was prompted to write here because of an American study that I have read which believes that only one job out of nine requires a degree, so why send 50% of school leavers at great expense to university when it is not needed to do the eight other jobs? There are of course occupations that demand a degree, teachers in higher education, primary school teachers, doctors, nurses and accountants, no argument, but when included in the top thirty occupations that are the fastest growing, these five are the only ones.
Many of the remainder do require some further training but not to degree level and many will be workplace qualifications, dare I say it, just like it was in years gone by. How many media graduates does this country really need, yes probably good ‘A’ levels in English I would not argue, but broadcasting for example surely not! We are turning out a large number of university educated young people with a degree of some sort that will not be able to find a job that matches their expectations. I just the feel the work experience at whatever level outweighs the benefits of a mundane degree, which will probably have no relevance to the work they end up doing.
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