Euro 5, 2012

We returned to Great Britain (or Blighty the Mighty), in time for the Olympic Games closing ceremony.

The medal results were tallied and I immediately looked for ways to present medal results in a more meaningful way rather than just the total haul that individual countries had bagged. Statistically there are some interesting ways of doing this. One can compare medal tallies with the population of the country concerned, or compare medals to GDP, education levels, sheep numbers, or whatever. I think medals by population is a good reference (as it favours Newclip_image004 Zealand) and by this measure we finished in 3rd place, GB was 10th, Australia 18th, USA 28th and China 47th. I reckon that looks about right to me. I thought about doing the comparison with “honest bankers” but the statistics were a nonsense and I was afraid I’d be reported to an august body such as this one.

clip_image002Soon we were cruising around in our rental car seeing new sights, old sights and less than memorable sites. I was on the lookout for interesting signs and illustrations of quirkyclip_image010 “British-ness”. I quite liked this extensive cycle lane in Wales and speaking of Wales, I do like Welsh signs like this one recommending male clip_image008drivers park separately from women.


Welsh place names are delightful but often phlegmatically unpronounceable, unless of course you’re Tom Jones – in which case I guess it’s Not Unusual.



clip_image014Thoughtfully, the Welsh provide translations for those of us who don’t know our Popty from our Gwerthwr Pysgod and they evenclip_image016 warn motorists to be on the look out for blind felines.

I accept that everything is a little bit different in the land of the dragon (including marketing), but I’m convinced that with this product Tesco’s didn’t use the best abbreviation for “assorted”.clip_image022


clip_image020After mispronouncing our way around Wales we returned to the relative sanity of England where this useful warning about the height of the trees saved me fromclip_image024 bumping my head, we spotted an indication of the perils of trespass and I think we may even have stumbled upon the house where Adam and Eve once lived. So, I’m pleased to report that the British sense of humour is definitely alive & well:

















In wind down mode we returned to London and set about replacing clothing that was stolen in Poland. As a result I now have the appearance of 90s man rather than 80s man and my New Year’s resolution might be to move relentlessly towards the millennium.clip_image040 But I’m getting light-headed writing that.

On the roads I was pleased to see that Audi drivers now have their own lanes on London’s busiest roads (it keeps them away from the rest of us).

Fortunately, on the underground the clip_image038humour clip_image036continued relentlessly which helped make up for old, overcrowded and expensive tube rides.

However, returning to the hotel late atclip_image042 night I was a little concerned to see that the tube was being used by visitors from galaxies far, far away – and I thought they had developed more sophisticated ways of travel. I can only assume that they travel on the tube to try and understand British humour or perhaps they are reporting to an even higher being. clip_image044

It was time to pack the lashings of new t-shirts, shorts and other items of clothing that we had bought and to head to Hong Kong. Before we knew it we were reunited with William and luxuriating in Langham luxury. Tempted by endless food and drink for four days certainly got my seal of approval.clip_image046

Suitably refreshed we were soon heading out for more shopping. Having read/heard the buzz about Fifty Shades of Grey (or the New Zealand version – Fifty Sheds of Grey), I thought I’d try and find a book shop in Hong Kong that sold it. I could only find a cookbook shop with a local title that translated as Fifty Shades of Gravy – which the owner warned me was “very spicy”. I thanked him for his help and left. I was clearly in the wrong book shop.clip_image048



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