Saturday, 2 November 2019

How can I stop my tomatoes from growing?

We are in November. 

Don't they realise? 

They are not in a greenhouse and they insist on climbing inexorably towards the roof of my house, flowering still and fruiting. 

Perhaps I can hope for a really good frost to kill them off.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Google Review Jaybod, Neilson lied to you.

Jaybod, you wanted to stay at the Hotel Derby in Sauze d'Oulx, Italy but were unable to and so you posted an adverse review (score 1) on Google.

'Never got to stay with them as Neilson called us to say Hotel Derby have cancelled their contract with Neilson and are not honouring existing bookings.'

 Leaving aside the morality of commenting on a hotel in which you have not stayed, it is such a pity that you allowed yourself to be misled by the tour operator, Neilson.
Neilson lied to you.
After the collapse of Thomas Cook, Neilson found themselves short of airline seats and cancelled the contracts with about half their ski hotels. 

The Hotel Derby, which is utterly innocent in this affair, is still very much in business and if you wish to stay with them you can book now by clicking the link above which will take you to

Sunday, 20 October 2019

You can polish your furniture in any country.

You can polish your furniture in any country, can't you?
Why do the people of King's Lynn insist on doing it in the UK?

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Passport Portraits of Yesteryear no.40

Christmas with Mum and Dad
Continuing the series of passport portraits in my collection.
Peruse and wonder.
Ethel Erichsen is a 38 yr, old Danish lady living in Haderslev, Denmark. The Christian name, Ethel, does not sound very Scandinavian and this is because Ethel was born in England. 

It is now November 1945. The German occupation of Denmark is over and life is very slowly getting back to normal. Ethel obtains a Danish passport and a visa allowing her to leave Denmark for one month. She gets a British visa from the consulate in Copenhagen which is issued to her for a single visit on the basis of her 'British Parentage'. She leaves the port of Esbjerg on 15th December 1945 and her ship docks at Harwich on the 17th. 
Travelling on a Danish passport, despite her British parentage, makes her an alien and, upon arrival, she is obliged to register her presence at the local police station. She spends the first Christmas with her family since the outbreak of the war and does not leave the UK until 20th February 1946, having changed £6, 5/- into Danish currency at the National Westminster Bank before embarkation. She arrives at Esbjerg two days later, meaning that she has overreached her Danish exit permission by one month but no official sanctions appear to have been levied. I think that was understandable in the circumstances.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Find a car with your name on it.

If you are a woman called Mercedes, then this is easy. In the past, any man called Austin or Morris could have found a motor car to satisfy them. Rover is less assignable unless you are a dog. I have never seen a car called a 'Martin' but at last I have encountered a 'Lloyd'. 

The Lloyd car was built by a subsidiary of the Borgward Motor Company in Germany. I knew, as an enthusiastic schoolboy, that such a vehicle existed, along with that other German quirk, the Goggomobil but although I had seen the latter I had never espied a Lloyd. That lacuna has now been expunged thanks to the Museo Nazionale dell'Automobile in Turin.

Hotel Torre, FIAT and Sauze d'Oulx

Hotel Torre, Sauze d'Oulx, Italy.

Sauze d'Oulx is a village in the Piedmont district of Italy. It is now a popular ski resort, particularly with the British. Whenever we visit we always stay at the Hotel Derby which is a modest pension superbly situated in the village centre. From this position one can see the Hotel Torre, pictured here. This hotel and its two sisters in the neighbouring resort of Sestrière were built in Art Deco style in the 1930s by the Fiat motor company to provide holiday accommodation for its employees.

I would have liked to have cast a glance inside the hotel to admire the architecture but it is apparently being renovated and all I could see through the locked and grimy glass doors was a stack of mattresses and a classic Art Deco stair rail curling up into the heights.

Perhaps next year...

Monday, 16 September 2019

The Italian Job in Turin.

Imagine three Mini cars being chased by a Fiat up onto this roof.

Thanks to the faulty map illustrated on the previous blog we walked about two kilometres more than we needed in order to find the Museo Nazionale dell'Automobile. However, all was not a catastrophe because I recognised the venue that we were incorrectly directed to as the former Olympic skating rink on the roof of which the three Minis in the film The Italian Job had driven to escape from the Italian police.
And they raced on the rooftop track of the Fiat factory.

On leaving the museum we disregarded the map and made our own way back to the Lingotto metro station. There we discovered the former Fiat motor factory which has now been turned into a shopping centre. As the cars were assembled they made their way to the top of the factory and out onto the roof which was constructed as an oval test track. The three Minis in the film also raced around here. We could not reach the roof but at one end of the long shopping corridor we found the ramp up which the cars were driven.