Category Archives: Travel

Scenes on Sunday ~ The Marina

the garret is a couple of hundred yards from the harbour and marina
a gateway to the seas and oceans of the world

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Watchful

One of the Dunkirk Little Ships

Vacation in Turkey

the life you have known isn’t the only life you will ever know

Overseas travel is a little problematic just now.  There are some places I cannot go, some places I can go to will mean self-isolation for a couple of weeks when I return home, and some other places I would never go to anyway.  Of all the world one of the countries I can travel to without much hassle is Turkey.  So, in a little while I’m taking myself off to a little town on the Turkish Aegean cost, hard by the mountains.  In theory, maybe, if I’m lucky.

As the 600,000 thousand or so British holiday makers who went to Spain recently will tell you ~ thinking it was safe, permitted, allowed, not a lot of hassle ~ the rules can all change at the drop of a hat.  Some estimate that there are 1.8 million Britons in Spain right now, (including the ex-pats), and any of them returning to the UK will immediately have to spend 14 days in lockdown, under some very stringent not-going-outside rules.  And when they are allowed out they will have to wear a face-nappy.  If anyone breaks the rules they could face a hefty fine.

(BTW neither a face mask, nor surgical gloves offer any protection whatsoever to COVID-19.)

It’s all utterly farcical, knee-jerk, bullying, pathetic, lily livered political crap.  The Government here warns that there is no viable alternative to 14 day quarantine for travellers returning to the UK from high-risk countries.  It looks like Belgium, Luxembourg, and Croatia will be taken off the ‘safe travel list’ tomorrow.  The Government say that; ‘people should continue to book holidays, but they needed to be aware of the risk of the 14 day quarantine being imposed for the country they are travelling to’.  Oh, for f**ks sake!  What a bunch of w**kers!

Meanwhile, here in Europe, lockdown free Sweden is managing quite nicely, seeing a very positive downward trend in coronavirus cases.  Officials there utterly play down the effectiveness of masks on public transport, saying there’s no point to a face-nappy.  Naturally the other European Union countries are not happy with the Swedish stance on COVID-19.  You can always tell a Swede, but you can’t tell him much.

Some say that I’m stupid to go abroad in the middle of a pandemic.  And that it will serve me right if I have to submit to 14 days of quarantine upon my return.  All I know is I’m going anyway, unless Boris panics again.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

I think that Marmaduke wants to go with me

he’s got a hell of a lot of luggage for a bear

News and Current Events

April 18th 1930, ‘this is the BBC news, there is no news tonight…..’

What a difference from today, on that day 90 years ago the 15 minute BBC news slot was filled with piano music because the BBC didn’t believe there was anything worth reporting.  To be brutally honest, for all there is in most of the news media today, there is no news worth reporting.

Or, is it that there is a moratorium on bad news?  And we all know there is no news like bad news.

What we are hearing today is;

  • Prince George has turned seven years old
  • More on Princess Beatrice’s ‘modest’ wedding
  • That the disgraced Prince Andrew was not seen at his daughter’s wedding
  • Donald Trump has offered his support to Epstein’s ‘madam’ Ghislaine Maxwell
  • More about the seemingly crazy rap artist Kayne West
  • More about the divorce of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard
  • A report on the best beaches in the UK, which is useful as travelling abroad is fraught with problems
  • That there is endless corruption in US politics from the President down to the speaker of the Ohio House
  • New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut now require travelers from 31 states to self-quarantine on arrival  That travel regulation covers about 75% of the population of the USA.
  • Meanwhile the BLM protests go on and on and on

Of hard news and useful information there seems to be very little.  I would suggest that the news media across the world has been tricked or induced into becoming mere propaganda mouthpieces for governments who haven’t a clue what to do in the face of total global chaos.  Civil liberties have been taken away on a scale that wasn’t even seen in WWII, the global economy has tanked, and there is increasing tension between Russia, China, and the West.  Some places, such as Hong Kong and Chicago are on the verge of anarchy.  Meanwhile our esteemed ‘leaders’ are washing their hands while the world burns.  At least they could be photographed wearing face-nappies, since they are forcing the useless face-covering rules on the rest of us.

Some say that a free press is the last bastion of liberty and justice.  And, that the BBC can always be trusted.  All I know is that I can gather all the news I need from the weather reports.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

it’s always wine o’clock somewhere

and skinny wine is good for you

or so the papers say

No Travel Please, I’m British

these days, an Englishman’s home truly is his castle

a castle in the clouds is as far as I’m likely to get

Just going to the store is becoming very complicated here.  To begin with you can’t pay in cash, for most places you have to stand in line outside for a while, and in a few days time we are all going to have to start wearing face nappies again in stores.  Face coverings are a requirement on public transport too, but the last time I was on a train, (just last week), hardly anyone bothered with that.

Train timetables are very restricted, for some services one must book in advance, and when you get to wherever the train is going you will find that most ‘attractions’ are shut.

The airlines are flying again, but face masks are a requirement in airports and on aircraft.  How much fun would it be for me to wear a face mask for a continuous 24 hours if I was travelling to the USA?  No fun at all.  Not that I could fly to the USA in any event, because immigration wouldn’t let me in, and even if I was stopped at the US border I would still face 14 days quarantine when I returned to the UK.

That’s the problem with overseas travel.  Theoretically there are flights, but when you get to where you’re going you’re probably going to be facing 14 days of self-isolation.  Rather spoils the average vacation of business trip.

It’s all utterly pointless and political ~ nothing to do with health at all.   Turns out that the number of COVID-19 deaths is very hyped / inflated.  All deaths will be recorded as coronavirus related, whenever and whatever poor soul tested positive for the virus, even if the proximate cause of mortality was being run over by a bus.

I hope the right people start to make the right decisions soon.  But I very much doubt it.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

not going to happen for me any time soon

Vacation Travel Chaos

the longest journey starts with the first step

at least we can still do our 10,000 steps a day

There is no quick resolution to the COVID-19 chaos that is affecting airlines, tour operators, hotels, and whole countries around the world.  Yesterday the government in England, via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, exempted some countries from its advice that we British should avoid any but essential overseas travel.

There is a list of these exempted countries ~ it’s fairly useless.  No matter what the Government says here, these countries all have their own rules, which in some cases prevent people who have recently been to England from entering ~ hopefully pro tempore.  In some cases there are no commercial flights anyway.

The full Department of Transport list can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors

But beware, Cyprus, Greece, and Malta will not let UK nationals in without a test, lots of documentation, a 14 day quarantine, (or at all),  there are no flights to the Seychelles, Portugal doesn’t seem to exist any more, & etc. & etc.

Places I think I could travel to in the near future are Italy, Spain, Turkey.  Not really an extensive list of holiday Destinations is it?  France is definitely off the list of places to go, and large parts of Spain are under lockdown again.  There’s always Gibralter, and maybe Morocco.

My best advice is to contact a reputable tour company and airline ~ and then do lots of on-line research before booking anything.

Or stay at home for another couple of weeks.

Sadly, if you are in the USA, you can’t go anywhere, and nobody can come to visit you.  Perhaps you may be able to travel by Thanksgiving, or Christmas.

Have a nice Independence Day.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Doom and Gloom when it comes to travel to or from the USA, or anywhere within America either

English COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Eased

live with no excuses, and travel with no regrets

As it has been widely expected, today a list of countries will be announced that residents of England will be free to travel to very soon.  The travel ban is expected to be lifted on some 60 countries from July 4th, and from the 10th of July the 14 days quarantine for arrivals into England is not going to be required from these countries.  It is expected that Cyprus,  France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Spain, and New Zealand will be on the approved list ~ but not Greece.  It is a lot more complicated than that.

For example; Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are doing their own thing ~ health policy is devolved to those regions.

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson,  is expected to make an announcement, listing the countries for which the English travel ban is being lifted, at 17:00 hours this evening.

The place I want to go to the most, the better parts of the USA, are not expected to be on the list of permitted destinations.  Not yet.  Both the the US and English governments show no sign of rescinding their travel bans.  Foreign Office and State Department rules still have to be followed.  Otherwise travel insurance could be invalid, and laws may be broken.

And tomorrow, pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants, holiday parks, and other branches of the hospitality industry will be allowed to open in England too.  Hotels are also expected to be open in limited ways.  The social distancing limit in England is reduced to 1 metre (3 feet or so), from tomorrow.  The UK tourism industry may be coming back to life.

We can all get a haircut tomorrow.

Actually, it is all very confusing.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

not certain I want to fly on a 737-300

Bucket and To Do List.

help me to risk failure that I may discover new things

not many will know where that sunset picture was taken

It’s kind of stultifying here in the garret, in theory I’m only supposed to go out if it’s absolutely necessary, or for my daily fresh air and exercise.  I can’t really leave town, and I certainly can’t leave the country at the moment, but as soon as this imbecilic and pointless lockdown is lifted, I am out of here, doing some cool and exciting things.  Although, I can make a start on some of my list right now, ergo I have made a beginning on;

  1. Get myself much fitter and healthier, looking and feeling better.  My preferred exercise is just plain walking; for me it exercises my body, mind, and spirit.  Walking gives me time to think and quiet my emotions.  My daily target is 5 miles, (10,000 paces as recommended by lots of fitness gurus), this morning I walked 10 miles, (20,240 paces) in the fresh air and sunshine, getting my knees brown.
  2. Be a better friend to those I really care about.  Lose all of those defects of character I have collected over time.  Be the English Gentleman, The White Night, The Steadfast Friend, and the Hero if I need to ever be that for a friend.  Hey, I’m working on it.
  3. Get out of this place.  I like travel, and I can afford both the time and the money.  Just as soon as I can I’m going to California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Crete, Malta…..  Probably in just about that order.  I’d better leave room for Marmaduke in my luggage…..
  4. Buy a car.  For years I’ve gotten bye with renting when I needed a car, but now I want to go out and buy something I really like.  I have a short-list, and a generous budget.  It will be a classic, so an older vehicle.
  5. Go through my clothes, shoes and stuff again.  Dump anything that doesn’t really fit the cool, together, classy English guy I want to dress as, to portray.  I can think of some stuff that I should never have bought, and I should never wear again.
  6. Learn something new, interesting, and difficult.  I think I’m going to be studying practical psychology for a while, along with astronomy and astrology.
  7. ??????  I don’t know what goes here, not yet anyway.  All lists should have clearly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty.

I should never be afraid to risk failure.  WTF have I got to lose?  Only by risking failure will I ever learn new and exciting things.  It’s time for me to take risks ~ big risks.

Some say that making lists is a pointless exercise.  And that nobody ever does anything on their bucket list or to do lists.  All I know is I’ve already made a start on becoming that better man, that very cool guy, living a really great life.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Meteor Crater

One place I will Never go back to

Scenes on Sunday ~ Pacific Ocean

out to the west of me the sun is going down

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

shadows on silk as the night rolls in

Scenes on Sunday ~ California

being anywhere with anyone has got to be better than lockdown

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

California, mostly empty

Evolution in Action

it is not the strongest that survive, but the one most responsive to change

Evolution takes thousands of years, and in the last few days our thinking about every situation seems to have changed. fundamentally.  Perhaps our beliefs, attitudes, and actions are trying to play catch-up with us here.  None of us is used to a daily diet of bad news that rivals that which was fed to us English in the early months of the last war.  Catastrophic thinking is what we have here, the idea that the human brain is predisposed to jumping to worse-case scenarios, and it’s fucking dangerous.

In the not so distant past I was thinking about my next overseas vacation, perhaps a visit to California, or a trip to Crete,  Nowadays, I can’t go anywhere at all.  I turn on my TV and the news is just a long series of nightmares with the death toll being right at the top and tail of everything.

It’s a relief when a piece of news, or a telephone conversation with a friend, isn’t full of doom and gloom, a call that doesn’t have the fear of death looming over it.  Almost everyone is scared almost all the time, and there is a feeling of helpless resignation.

Well, I for one am going no further down that depressive, defeatist road.  This morning I did my usual laundry, took my usual walk for an hour or so, called at the store as usual, (although I did have to stand in line just to get in there), bought the kind of stuff I would usually buy….  Sadly when I got back to the garret I was too knackered to do my usual yoga and other exercises.  But thus far I’ve managed a fairly normal day, (for me), and I can live like this indefinitely.

But it’s not a great life if I can’t journey to the sun, see friends, travel all around England, walk towards the far horizons….  And sex is out of the question.  As far as I am concerned the sooner the world safely gets back to what we are predisposed to call normal, the better.

One big upside, I haven’t been brainwashed into believing all that catastrophic anthropogenic climate change crap for a little while.  Global warming looks pretty unimportant right now ~ call it evolution in action.

Stay safe and be well.  And may the Deities of your choice go with you.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

even a bed of roses is full of thorns

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