Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Passport Portraits of Yesteryear no. 20

Continuing the series of passport portraits from my collection.
Peruse and wonder.

Antonio Yancovich, a 27 year old livestock dealer from Serbia has just been deported from the USA with his wife and four children. He had travelled on a Chilean passport which had been issued to him in 1923 but now he is in Argentina. The Argentine authorities have issued him this passport in October 1924 to help him to reach Buenos Aires.  He probably hopes to find work there.

South America was a net importer of unskilled immigrants in the 1920s as was the USA. Perhaps the latter just did not want an illiterate Serbian livestock dealer.

I wonder what happened to them.

Friday, 24 June 2016

The EU referendum – aftermath.

So, the people have spoken. 

Here is a fence and its shadow for those of you who chose to sit on it.

Now we wait and watch for the consequences. 

Of course, the predictions of catastrophe and disaster will not materialise. 

And don't worry about the financial institutions – billions will be found to support them.

And who do you think will be paying it?

Lifeboats and the Isle of Man

I have just come back from lecturing in the Isle of Man (which claims not to be in the EU.) On the promenade of the capital, Douglas, is this superb bas relief representing the lifeboat setting out on 20 November 1830 to rescue the crew of the paddle steamer St George which foundered on rocks in Douglas Bay during a storm.

The initiative for providing a lifeboat came from a Douglas resident, Sir William Hillary and he is depicted in the boat with his crew. He had founded the National Institution for Preservation of Life from Shipwreck in 1824 and their first lifeboat was stationed at Douglas. This society became the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and still provides the lifeboats and volunteer crews stationed around the coast of the UK today.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The EU Referendum - How to vote.

Regular readers of this blog will have noticed a decided lack of political comment appearing within it. The reason for this is that I have no interest in politics; I would not trust a politician further than I could throw him with one arm. As far as I am concerned, a politician's moral honesty and technical competence is on a level with that of a secondhand car salesman.

In a general election the voter has no real choice – there are only two effective political parties and anyway, you always end up having to vote for a politician. You cannot really express your disapproval of their very existence for if you vote Labour and they lose, then you have pleased the Conservatives and vice versa.

But with the referendum you now have the chance of a lifetime. Leaving aside the minor political parties which you know will never be allowed to govern in the UK, it is going to be a struggle between Labour and the Conservatives and both these parties' majorities want the UK to remain in the EU. 

So, now is your opportunity. If you vote for Britain to leave the EU then you will upset all the important politicians and have your voice heard.

"...upon which the sun never sets..."

Have a nice Thursday.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Obstructing the highway – the A boards of Canterbury

If you walk the 600 yds. along Canterbury High Street from the Westgate Tower to the Clock Tower, apart from having to slalom around various bollards, waste paper bins, and costermongers' trolleys; whilst deftly swerving the charity muggers and buskers; leaping for safety from ankle-breaking pushchairs, electric buggies and skate boards and flattening yourself against the wall to escape being trampled by a phalanx of headphone-wearing, clipboard-wielding foreign students and not twisting your knees on the uneven cobbles.... then you can run the gauntlet of the Canterbury A boards.

There is hardly any room for pedestrians in the street now.

Have I missed any?

Friday, 3 June 2016

The Compleat Angler at Marlow – you couldn't do worse.

Having stayed at the Compleat Angler on several previous occasions and always taken one of the 'feature rooms' with the view of the river, I made sure that we would get the room we wanted for our visit in May by paying for it in full, in advance. 

When we arrived at 16.00, tired but pleased at having beaten the rush hour, the hotel reception told us that they had sold our room to somebody else. This is the room that we had booked and paid for three months in advance.

Beware if you book this hotel. 
They are not to be trusted. 
Their word is worth nothing at all.

Have a nice day.