Sunday, February 28, 2010

Value for Money

I think I may have mentioned a few times in the course of this blog that I am proud of my children... inordinately proud... perhaps even unhealthily proud...

Be that as it may, I am rather proud of Nick, Bid, Jimmy and William.

Anyway, this evening it was Biddy's turn. She had a vernissage at Movimento a private culture centre in the heart of Munich, within the context of a classical concert put on by some old friends of the family. Her artwork provided the visual backdrop for the evening.

Unfortunately, being in total "d'oh" daddy mode, I completely forgot to get out the camera I had deliberately taken along and consequently have no photos of her work to show. But it was dead good!

On drunken evening last year, while I was out and about with the Irish folk band I play in, Paul (who also has 4 kids) and I worked out how much it costs to have, and bring up a child. It turned out to be some horrendously large amount... BUT - and here I hope that all parents agree with me - it's worth every bleeding penny.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Radio Stars

So, for those of you who missed it, here is that previously mentioned interview.

Bayern 1 talks to The BOTTLES

Should you have problems understanding it, don't adjust your sets - it may be because it's in German!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

On't Radio Tomorrow Actually...

(...see below)

The interview will be on tomorrow, Sunday at 13.15 (CET) here:

Friday, February 19, 2010

On't Radio

It's a busy old life.

I have to go off in a mo for an interview on Bavarian radio (Bayern 1) - they are having a competition to find the best Beatles tribute/cover band in Bavaria and as one of my bands - The BOTTLES - is that very thing we have entered!

The radio station phoned yesterday and said they loved the mp3, could we go in for an interview... so, in a while we will be fighting through the screaming fans in front of the Bayerische Rundfunk Building in downtown Munich - then off for a pint afterwards I think...

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Snowflake Terrorist Attack on Airport

This and 75 similarly disguised terrorists attacked Manchester Airport yesterday causing planes to be grounded, diverted and finally closing down the airport completely. NeutronNews was our on the spot eye-witness:
“I saw the terrorists parachuting down at Manchester's Ringway Airport... they immediately took up strategic positions on the runways and brought traffic to a standstill. Make no mistake – these were professionals.”

I left Liverpool at 2 to catch my EasyJet flight from Manchester to Munich at 5. Boarding card already printed out – no rush, no stress. Drove gently along the M57, M62, M6, M56 through air which contained about 1 snowflake per cubic metre. Arrived at 3, dropped off the rented car and went to return the key.

“I hope you get off the ground before they close the airport!” said the rep at the Sixt counter. I thought she was joking.

I went through passport control, was NOT selected for body-scanning (maybe they thought so much body would overheat the scanner), so consequently suffered the boots off, belt off, trouser clutching hopping and hobbling and went through to the departure lounge.

At around 4.30 Manchester Airport was “snow-closed” due to the aforementioned band of snowflakes. Now, I think EasyJet is fine if you just book your ticket online, print your own boarding card, catch the plane and get off at your destination. The problem is when something goes wrong. Then they start to operate their zero-information-shoulder-shrug policy. It becomes Don'tAskMeasyJet.

There was an announcement that the airport had been snow-closed but on the monitor my flight was still “boarding in 45 minutes”, then “boarding in 30 min”, “15 min”, “5 min”. Suddenly at half four the monitor said, “next information at 17.00”. Ten minutes later it said, “next information at 18.00”. Then at 17.00 there was an announcement over the tannoy... “passengers for EasyJet flight xxx to Munich, please proceed to gate 50. This is the final call”!!

General panic naturally ensued and in minutes there was a crowd of people milling around gate 50.

“Passengers for EasyJet flight xxx to Munich please proceed to gate 55. This is the final call.”
Imagine if the Olympic 200 metres had 150 runners all of whom had to wear winter style clothes, hats and gloves and had to carry or pull rucksacks and cases and who had to run along a track full of obstacles like asymmetrically laid out seating, random passengers guarding suitcases and push-chairs. Bang! And off they go... clatter, clatter, elbow, elbow, stumble, stumble.

Bugger that! I strolled to gate 55 to find (as experience had shown me) everyone who had pushed past now waiting there instead of where they had been waiting before. Smugity smug.

It was nice to feel smug again as I had been feeling less than smug before due to the sweatshirt jacket I was wearing (and which is my favourite and which I wear all the time). It's dark blue and has the logo MÜNCHEN in big white letters over the chest. I like it, it looks good... but in this particular situation, waiting for a plane to that very same München, it did make me feel like some mentally challenged doughnut who needed to have his destination stamped on his clothes in case he forgot where he was bound – duuh.

Anyway, a rumour, started by the EasyJet staff using telepathy, got whispered around that the incoming flight had started its approach 5 minutes after the airport had been closed and had been diverted. We would be transferred to the airport where our plane had landed and then fly to Munich.

So, come on, name that airport! Yes, you got it in one.

Next, smoke signals from the EasyJet staff informed us that the coach which was to take us to the airport was delayed on the motorway due to the “snow”. Finally we were Ouija-boarded that the coach had arrived.

And at 8, six hours after I had left, I was back in Liverpool, yes indeed, our plane had been diverted to Liverpool Airport. Nice to be back.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Search Me..

In the news today they revealed that Manchester Airport has installed 2 new body scanners for security. Not satisfied with making you remove your belts, boots and other paraphernalia, they will now select passengers at random for a full body scan - and anyone who refuses will not be allowed to fly.

I don't mind the belt and boot stuff - it's just such a bugger putting everything back on again whilst trying to grab your bags and move all your luggage and clothes and shoes out of the way of the next hopping, hobbling passengers. My right boot is a particular nuisance - every time I struggle to pull it on, I find myself singing that chorus of Lonnie Donegan's song "My Old Man's a Dustman" referring to his dad's old boots, "he's got such a job to pull them up that he calls them daisy roots", so there I am hopping, hobbling, trying to put my belt on before my trousers fall down, trying to carry my bag and jacket while tugging on my right boot and getting pushed over by the less boot-pulling-on-challenged passengers and singing to myself that bloody song...

Now, I actually started writing this post to complain and ask you in an ironic, eye-rolling way if you wanted to bet who would get "randomly selected" at Manchester Airport when I fly on Wednesday, but having thought about the boot problem I think I might just volunteer for a body scan. As they have 2 of them, they should just about be able to fit me in...

(What? Put on avoirdupois? Moi????)