What are you doing on New Year’s Eve?

Maybe it’s much too early in the game
Aah, but I thought I’d ask you just the same
What are you doing New Year’s
New Year’s Eve?

-Frank Loesser

We are primed to go – London on New Year’s Eve.

The weather appears to be cooperating with highs around +12° C and no rain in sight.

We have our tickets in hand for the north side of the Thames.  Sadly we did not win those two tickets for the midnight London Eye ride.  But we will be across the river on the Embankment taking it in.

We’re booked on CrossCountry Rail. [uh-oh!]

OF COURSE there is always that last tidbit of news:

New Year’s travel chaos looms as rail strikes hit”

Ahh – It wouldn’t be Britain without some labour action.  We can scarcely blame them as profits and CEO salaries thrive while workers each year see a diminished salary.  [See there is always some little place to squeeze in some political commentary.]

So we will play it by ear – and our thumbs are ready to hitchhike on the carriageway if need be.

[Late breaking news – we are booked on the bus!]

I did some research about the ‘best’ place to be for the fireworks.  The most consistent advice – “Stay home and watch it on the telly.”    Oh well.

The BBC coverage of the 2016/17 fireworks is from that same area on the Thames, called the Embankment.

So mug of hot rum in hand, we are off to the big city – we will wave – from the new year in London back in time to the old year in Canada.

…and finally who does New Year’s better than Ella.

[I was fortunate to see Ella in Toronto in 1976.  She was the embodiment of generosity to her audience.]

HAPPY NEW YEAR.  [or for the Scots Bliadhna Mhath Ùr]


Weird Place to Visit in London

Hey – if the U.S. President can be weird, why can’t we?

And so it was yesterday during our visit to London.

Near the Victoria Coach Terminal is the Shakespeare Pub.  What is so weird about that?  Well it is in this pub that could be some of the origin of the downfall of Donald Trump.

It was there that Luke Harding first met Christopher Steele.  Luke Harding is a seasoned reporter with The Guardian, Christoper Steele previously worked for the U.K. Government in Moscow and in London.

Steele after he left government did intelligence work as a private consultant.   It was there that he uncovered intelligence information about the Russians and Donald Trump follow sex and money.

Christopher Steele is known as credible, with a history of intelligence work in both the public and private sector.

Luke Harding is the investigative journalist who is author of ‘Collusion – How Russia Helped Trump Win the White House’   It is a book I highly recommend.

It was at this Shakespeare Pub just down the street from Steele’s office, that the two met and information was provided about Trump being compromised and information the Russians may have following a visit by Trump to Russia.   Russians ensure high profile visitors, particularly those who can be co-opted, can be courted, and compromised.

It continues to be a surprise that Trump allows Putin free reign, while he criticizes many others.  A smoking gun – without question.

Trumps response:


Hmm something keeping you awake at 1:19 AM Donald?  Who should we believe — the FBI, seasoned foreign affairs people, excellent journalists…or Donald who has a firm reputation as a cheat and as a liar?

So that is what took us to this historic [?] pub in London for a pint.

We do have a couple of comments – check out the washrooms.  Journalists and former intelligence officers don’t necessarily inhabit pubs with clean washrooms!





The Southbourne Community Choir – Christmas 2017

Christmas in the UK is shaping up to be a lot of fun.  Last night Garry came with me the first of four Christmas “gigs” with my ladies from the Southbourne Community Choir.
We performed at one of the posher hotels in Bournemouth as the pre-banquet entertainment for a charity dinner.
Today I am enjoying a much needed day off from the Cook Shop.  I spent the afternoon browsing charity shops, where I found Christmas  stockings for Sean and Jessica’s visit, along with a pretty little dish.
With the expense of shipping items, we are being very cautious about what we acquire here.  However it is important to me that we  have a few things to remember the year, so I am on the look out for tiny used tapas sized dishes.  I have two so far.  I look forward to showing everyone my little collection upon my return to Canada, along with the memories.
The Miramar Hotel
The Miramar – Entrance
One of the former regular guests

Continue reading “The Southbourne Community Choir – Christmas 2017”

UK Immigration

If you have managed to keep up with the nonsense we have dealt with at the UK Immigration department, I am sure you have been lulled to sleep on more than one occasion.  Our last post was in September and the drama continues.

Given their response, I have advised them that we will make an application to the ombudsman[person] unless we hear from them by January 15.  It is very dangerous to democracy when decisionmakers hide behind either private companies [who are contracted with a department to deliver services] or clerks who pass material to decisionmakers, or, online where a bank of employees delivers stock non-answers to client inquiries.

The UK Immigration e-mail to me appears after the conclusion of my letter to them.  We continue to copy Amelia Hill of the Guardian as well as our Member of Parliament and the Labour Party Home Office critic. Continue reading “UK Immigration”

New Year’s Eve

Because of the massive crowds, tickets are limited in the centre of London and the downtown is divided into access zones.   Access to central London is by ticket only.

At precisely noon, some tickets were released for purchase, and after several tries we now have two tickets — so we are off to London for New Year’s Eve.

We will wave if you are watching TV that night.