May 13 2017

Alliterative Arses


Spending the amount of time that I do, driving on the M1 and around the M25, I tend see some terrible driving.

I may have mentioned this before.

Once.

On many occasions, the offenders tend to be young lads in VW Golfs, who think they own the road, but of course, I should mention that other vehicle owners are available.

For my own amusement, I have taken to calling these drivers alliterative names, as I see them transgressing the rules of the road and, indeed, general motoring etiquette.

“Git in a Golf”, is ubiquitously used, of course. “Fuckwit in a Focus” is also quite popular.

“Bastard in a Beemer” and “Arsehole in an Astra” crop up regularly, along with the occasional “Prick in a Prius”.

I was also quite pleased recently when I spotted a “Twat in a Twingo”.

Lorry drivers get away with “Lughead in a Lorry”, as that’s the best I could think of.

But, yesterday morning, I was astonished when several cars in front and around me had to brake suddenly to avoid an accident, as a small black Corsa cut across all four lanes at high speed, in an attempt to not miss the exit.

I struggled to come up with a suitably insulting name.

May 07 2017

Dog tired

Well, we picked up the new little mutt on Friday night and I’m impressed with how quickly she has adapted to living with us.

The only problem we are having at the moment is night time. She wakes in the night and starts whimpering and that quickly escalates into fretting. And so we have had to take it in turns into going downstairs and giving her some attention until she falls back to sleep. It’ll take a few days I guess, for her to get used to being alone at night.

But, she had me up three times last night, so here I am at eight o’clock in the evening, struggling to keep my eyes open!

The vet has checked her over and given her a clean bill of health, so we are very happy with that, and Mrs M is weaning her off her current food onto that recommended by the vet and the little thing seems to be coping with it admirably.

So, now we just have to get her house trained – inevitably, there have been a few little accidents.

She has only been with us a couple of days, but she is already part of the family and the kids love her to bits.

I’m quite attached, myself.

May 04 2017

And…..action!

I’ve mentioned before that the business park where I work, has several empty buildings and that a couple of the larger ones are often used for filming – I’m guessing an offshoot from Pinewood, which is just up the road.

It’s quite fun when driving into the estate, to see props and the like laying around the forecourts.

When they filmed part of the latest Transformers movie here, about six or seven months ago, we saw lots of British Police cars being driven in on the back of a car transporter. A couple of weeks later, we saw them being carted away, all dented and bashed up – obviously having got in a fight with some bad robots!

At the moment, they are filming the latest Jurassic World installment and the forecourts are littered with wind machines and large perspex domes – amongst the many trailers being used by the actors.  I haven’t seen any actors yet – although I have seen a couple of chauffeured Rolls Royce’s driving out – but several people claim to have seen Chris Pratt wandering about.

Security has definitely been increased, with security guards on hand each morning checking that we work there and directing us to our usual parking bays to make sure we don’t stray where we shouldn’t.

I wouldn’t go anywhere near the film set anyway, I’m not stupid: I’ve seen Jurassic Park and those dinosaurs are bloody dangerous!

May 01 2017

“Hooray, hooray, the first of May…

… outdoor fucking begins today.” So sang Shag Larkin, a radio engineer that I had the good fortune to know, many years ago.

I’d oft wondered where the phrase came from, and so today, I have looked it up.

It seems it’s a traditional folk song.

Anyway.

And in other news…

Well, it seems there isn’t any. The pic above was taken from the BBC News website this morning.  Apart from some sport, nothing has happened in the world for three days, according to their top 10 news stories, which are all dated April 28th.

In other, other news:

 

Well, apart from me becoming officially old today – thank you Google and Classic FM for reminding me! – not much has happened around here either, that would be considered newsworthy.

 

 

 

The new dog that we haven’t yet got, is already costing a small fortune and Mrs M has visited the local pet shop to get advice, so many times, she is now on first name terms with the staff there. She’s spent an abundance on food and blankets and bowls and leads and chews and just about anything else that the good people of Pets At Home felt it was worth showing her.

I’ve just shelled out several hundred pounds for a new garden fence, as the old one had holes in it that a small pup could squeeze through… and we don’t want that.

And Amelia has spent all of her pocket money on doggy treats and toys, and has chosen the name Saber (sic). Even though Mrs M and I think it sounds like a boy dog’s name – we’re getting a bitch – we seem to have gone with it and it’s now engraved on her collar.

As it’s my birthday, I believe Mrs M is taking me over to exotic Hemel Hempstead later today, for a film and dinner.

So much for outdoor sex then.

Apr 19 2017

Hounded

They’ve been pestering me for ages, for years, but I have always stood firm and said “No”.

But the badgering never abated.

It continued on relentlessly, until, eventually, I capitulated.

The pressure on me was too much. Browbeaten to the point of surrender, I caved in and agreed that now was about the right time.

Now we are mature enough as a family, to cope with the rigours and responsibility that such ownership brings.

We’re getting a dog.

Apr 02 2017

Being social

“Ha ha! Look Dad”, said Amelia, flashing her phone in front of my face for a second, before snatching it away again. “I’ve found my teacher on Instagram.”

I cast her one of my ‘not impressed’ looks, as I continued to wash the breakfast things. “You know all that social media crap doesn’t interest me one little bit, Amelia”, I said.

“Yeah, but it’s cool, because I can follow Miss Sullivan now and see what she gets up to.”

“Miss Sullivan? Isn’t she your science teacher?”, I asked, my interest piqued.

“Yes.”

“The young, blonde lady I met at Parent’s Evening last week?”

“Yes.”

“Well, show me, then.”

Mar 26 2017

Spring has sprung…

… the grass is riz…

It most definitely is, because I cut it yesterday!

There are many things to indicate that Spring has arrived: plants; animals; insects, all sticking their heads out.

Buzzy bees buzzing around; the daffodils and crocuses (crocii?) in full bloom and an increase in the amount of roadkill littering the lanes, is all a sign that Winter is over and that Spring has finally arrived.

But round these parts, they know it is Spring, when Mr Masher finally gives in and cuts the back lawn. The sound of the noisiest Flymo in the world, being dragged around my garden for forty minutes on a Saturday afternoon, is as accurate an indicator of Spring’s arrival, as anything else.

Another good indicator, is the increased number of motorcyclists on the roads. And today, I added to that number.

I pulled the dustsheets off the bike and was pleasantly surprised when it started first time – having not been used since last November. And then I took to the roads and rode to Hitchin, for a pre-arranged meeting with a couple of guys I had never met before, but had spoken to on Saturday, on the radio.

Pete and John turned out to be a most amiable couple of chaps and we took a very pleasant ride through the back streets of Hertfordshire, before ending up at a biker’s cafe on the A10 for a bit of breakfast.

I look forward to meeting up with them again, some time soon.

And now that Spring has snuck up upon me, I really must pull my finger out and get my latest Geocache puzzle built, before Autumn suddenly arrives and I’m too late.

Again.

Mar 19 2017

Getting old

Many of the people I work with in the office are of a younger generation.

Whilst I’m not yet in my dotage, I have, several times, noticed that I am the eldest in the room, in whatever meeting it is I am attending.

Over the past year, the fact that I am older than most of those around me, has become more apparent to me.

Not because I am hobbling about or because I can’t get up the stairs – I’m still quite sprightly in that regard – but usually something that I’ll say in conversation, will draw blank looks.

This happened yesterday whilst I was in a meeting. Presenting a spreadsheet up on the large screen, I said “… now if we scroll down… down, down a bit further… down down, deeper on down…. then we get to this section…”

“Never had you down as a Quo fan”, said my boss, who, whilst being younger than me, is at least of the same generation.

The young girl – and when I say ‘young’, I mean twenty-something – seated next to him looked confused.

“Status Quo”, I said to her, “You must have heard of Status Quo”.  She shook her head.

Every time this happens, I feel a little older and a step nearer to the Wurther’s Originals.

Tony Hancock; Anne Diamond; Alma Cogan; floppy disks; CHiPs; Catweazel; and more, are all things or people that I have mentioned in conversation, that have drawn looks of non-comprehension and I can kind of understand that.

But not knowing the Quo?

Now I feel really old.

Mar 14 2017

To let

The office where I work, is currently having a refurbishment.

This has caused quite an upheaval, as whole departments have had to up-sticks and relocate in other parts of the building, whilst their section is being overhauled. It’s like we are playing musical offices, or something.

But, everyone is mucking in and sitting on each others’ laps and getting on with it.

However, one of the major sufferances that we have had to put up with whilst the work is going on, is a reduction in the number of toilets that are available to us. The men’s toilets, for instance, have reduced from six to two.

That means, for the first time ever, we are having to put up with something that women have to put up with all the time: queueing for a wee.

It’s ridiculous! There have been several times when I have been so desperate to go, that I have considered nipping round the back of the building and peeing in the bushes.

But the smokers might complain.

Last week, I desperately needed a poo. I don’t normally do that when I’m at work, but a large meal at the Toby Carvery the night before, meant my morning routine just wasn’t enough.

With both of the men’s toilets having a red indicator on the door showing that they were engaged, I decided to risk the downstairs uni-sex toilet.

I say “risk” because it has a dodgy lock, so only the most desperate tended to use it, but I was touching cloth at this point, so in I went.

I did my best to make sure it was locked, pulling on the handle to see if it opened… which it didn’t.

Quickly, I plonked myself down on the crapper and started to go through the motions.

I’d only been in there twenty seconds when I heard the outside door open. Immediately, I tried to put my foot in front of the door, but I couldn’t reach, and it suddenly burst open as the busted lock gave way to the heavy shove it had received.

“Oh, I am sorry”, said Linda, looking slightly embarrassed as she turned and fled.

I sat there with my trousers around my ankles and the unreachable door slightly ajar, as I finished my business.

Out in the lobby, Linda was seated at the reception desk. I smiled and she gave a knowing nod as I walked past, but we’ve not spoken since.

I’m sure we’ll be fine… once she gets out of therapy.

Feb 28 2017

Smug

Now, I don’t want to say I told you so

… but I did.

Twice.

Feb 27 2017

Heavy breather

Many years ago, when I was roughly half the age I am now, I visited our family doctor as I had a wheezy chest.

He diagnosed me as having asthma.

Personally, I never felt that I was asthmatic, but well, I’m not a doctor.

As the years passed, I have had to visit the doctor many times with my wheeziness and at the surgery that I currently visit, it’s pot-luck as to which doctor you will get to see.

But each doctor has done exactly the same thing: they have looked at my notes and said “Ahh, you have asthma”. I think that once it is on your notes, that’s it. No further diagnosis required.

“I’ll prescribe you a new inhaler”, they say.

I explain that the inhalers do nothing. So they prescribe a different inhaler. I’ve had all the different colours: blue, brown, pink, purple.

Nothing.

The last time I visited the doctor with this particular ailment – last year – I kicked up a bit of a fuss when he again prescribed me an inhaler. “Hmmm… this HAS been going on for a while. Perhaps we should send you to see a chest specialist”, he said.

Hooray! At last!

And so, over a period of some weeks, I visited a very nice man at the local hospital.

He put me through a series of varied blood tests and lung capacity checks on special breathing apparatus.

And a CAT scan.

And another CAT scan.

And at the end of it all, he told me something I already knew: I don’t have asthma.

What I do have is bronchiectasis.

He then prescribed me a different inhaler. Different from any that I’d tried before.

He also gave me some breathing exercises to do.

And you know what, my chest feels the best it has been in twenty-five years.

Feb 26 2017

Hazard

Did you know that it’s actually safe and legal to drive at high speed on the hard shoulder, if it is empty and the three lanes of the motorway are at a standstill, so long as you put your hazard lights on.

No, I didn’t know that either.

But I know it must be true, because I have seen so many people doing it recently.

And if you are a motorcyclist, it is OK to drive between the lanes of motorway traffic, at stupidly high speeds, as long as you have your hazard lights on.

Because they will protect you from someone pulling out in front of you.

And if you are driving along a busy road and you want to pull over to the kerb, then the best thing you can do is put your hazard lights on and then pull over, because the car behind will have instinctively figured out where you are going.

Best motoring invention ever.

Feb 25 2017

Close shave

Having a shave is a pain in the arse.

Which means that I’m probably doing it wrong.

I don’t enjoy shaving. It’s a bind. But I have to do it, because I’m not man enough to grow a beard and I don’t look good with stubble: less like David Beckham and rather more like a tramp on his first day out.

Over the years I’ve tried all different sorts of razors.

I’ve had a range of electric razors, but they are just never as good as a wet shave… despite Victor Kiam’s claims.

A few years ago, Philips brought out an electric shaver that could be used in the shower, giving the best of both worlds. I bought one of them too.

Load of rubbish.

Nothing beats the simplicity and closeness of a wet razor… and there are plenty of them on the market to choose from.

Over the years, I have vacillated between the two main protagonists, Gillette and Wilkinson Sword, as each bought out their latest multi-bladed, swivel-headed, contoured razor, costing stupid amounts of money.  And then I’d swap again, once I’d seen the extortionate price of the new blades.  Wilkinson Sword even brought one out that had 5 blades.

Five! The head was so big, it felt like shaving with the spine of a paperback book against your face!

And then there’s all the different soaps and creams that can be used to lather up the beard in readiness.

I remember buying a tiny, tiny little bottle of shaving OIL for 8 quid, after reading in a men’s magazine how this was the very bestest thing for a close shave. Didn’t seem to make any difference to me. At all.

I’ve tried creams and soaps and foams from all the different manufacturers, and they are all much of a muchness.

But, I’ve finally hit upon a winning formula (well, for me, anyway).

A Palmolive shave stick that costs 75 p from the chemist and some disposable Gillette razors that come in a pack of 8 and cost only a fiver when Sainsbury’s has them on offer.

Lasts me three months that lot does.

And my face is as soft as a baby’s shaved bum.

Feb 24 2017

Happy Friday!

When I worked in cable TV, back in the nineties and early noughties, I spent some time working with Little Jo – so called because her name was Jo… and she was quite short.

Little Jo had a similar sense of humour to me and we got on quite well as a result.

One day – a Friday, it so happens – she wished me a good morning as I came into the office. “Happy Friday!” I replied back. She laughed and the following week we both greeted each other with “Happy Friday!”. And the next. And the next. It became a bit of a thing.

Nowadays, I often hear people say it in the office and I’ve heard it said on the telly, and I wonder whether I actually coined that phrase and it spread through people hearing Jo and I say it way back then. Because back then, it wasn’t a phrase at all.

Could have happened.

All phrases and sayings probably start with one person saying it and then it spreads, so maybe it propagated through Jo and I saying it to each other and to others. Who knows?

Similarly, I am old enough to remember when Diet Coke became a big thing in the UK, all them years ago.  And I can remember feeling quite pleased with myself when a barmaid asked if I wanted normal coke or the new diet coke. “Diet? I don’t want anything that’s diet”, I said, with more than a little indignation. “I’ll have the full-fat coke please”.  And she laughed and then I heard her mention it to a fellow barmaid.

Again, most everyone calls it ‘full-fat’ nowadays. And whilst the logical jump between ‘diet’ and ‘full-fat’ is a simple one that many people could have made around the same time, I like to think that maybe, just maybe – even though it’s unlikely – that that’s one of mine too.

Feb 23 2017

High expectations

This evening, Mrs Masher and I had to visit Amelia’s school, for an open evening to discuss Amelia’s ‘options’.

This is where she has to pick which subjects she wants to study during the remainder of her school years.

Obviously, it’s wise to pick not only subjects that one might be interested in, but ones that are going to help you on your chosen career path, once you leave school.

Problem is, Amelia – like so many kids of her age – has absolutely no idea of what she wants to do when it’s time for her to leave school and get a job.

I always knew what I wanted to do when I grew up, and I remember the ‘Careers Officer’ visiting our school and we all got to spend ten minutes with him on a one-to-one basis.

“Ahh, young Masher. Come in and sit down. Now tell me, what do you want to do when you leave school?”

“I want to be an astronaut, sir.”

“An astronaut eh? Erm, right, let’s see now… ahh, what about banking? I see you are quite good at maths.”

“No sir, I want to be an astronaut. I want to travel to the stars.”

“I think it rather unlikely, boy. No-one from this school has ever gone on to be an astronaut before. Or even an airplane pilot, for that matter. I urge you to consider banking. It’s a bloody good job. Lots of perks.”

“Astronaut”

“Right, I’ll put you down for banking then. NEXT!”

Obviously, I never went into banking. And, thanks to my flat feet, I never become an astronaut. But my love of electronics set me on a career path that would see me alright for the next forty years.

Unless Amelia can set herself a similar vision, she’s going to end up joining the Army or marrying in to money.

And neither of those worked for me.

Feb 22 2017

From father to son

Today, I have taught Harry how to solder.

They are studying electronics at school and each pupil has been given a small circuit board and some components to solder on to it.

Unfortunately though, they have a limited number of soldering irons and by the time Harry’s turn came round, they had run out of time. Harry told his teacher that I do that sort of stuff and asked if he could take the board home to do it, and his teacher agreed.

And so, this afternoon, after school, he sat down at my bench and I showed him how to solder. Some people never get the hang of it and I have seen some atrocious soldering jobs over the years. But, I have to admit, Harry made a pretty good job, for his first attempt. Probably, I’d wager, better than my own first go at it when I was roughly his age.

My dad showed me how to solder. However, the kind of soldering dad did, was with big heavy wires onto big heavy switches and the like. As such, he had a big heavy iron. We could have used it as a cricket bat, I reckon.

But, working with electronics requires more intricate tools and a steady hand… and timing – leave that iron on too long and delicate components can get damaged.

Soldering is a skill and – after doing it for forty years – I like to think I’m quite good at it.

The little circuit we built today was very basic, but I really enjoyed building it with him.

As homework goes, it was probably one of the better ones for me to help him with.

Feb 21 2017

It’s a man thing

Miami Airport is a sprawling mass of buildings and tarmac and terminals and gates.

The quickest way to get from one side to the other, is to take the Skytrain – a kind of shuttle that whisks along the outside of the terminuseseses.

It’s only a couple of minutes journey, but as I sat there on the hard plastic seat, I couldn’t help but notice the cleavage on the blonde seated opposite me.

The top she was wearing was quite low cut, revealing a decent amount of décolletage, and the lacy, frilly bits around her bra were just about visible, forming a sexy frame along the bottom of the neckline.

Completely unaware, she leaned forward slightly, affording me a better view for a few seconds, until the swaying of the train caused her to lean back against her seat.

Then – much to my delight – the train swerved the other way, and once again she was thrown slightly forward, giving me a perfect view of her knockers.

For a moment, I was transfixed and couldn’t take my eyes off them… until I noticed her looking at me with a steely stare.

“What’s wrong with you?” she said, sitting back in her seat and straightening her top, “You only saw them this morning! Right, come on, this is our stop.”

I grabbed our suitcases and followed her out the door.

 

Feb 20 2017

Driven to distraction

Last year, I bought a new car, because my old one was starting to show its age and – at 175,000 miles – was starting to cost me money on servicing and such.

My new car is nothing special, just a Ford Focus – with an automatic gearbox for driving on that goddamn M25 each day – but, as it’s only a year old, it’s still in good nick and everything is nice and tight and it’s comfortable and nice to drive.  I’m not really a car person. They don’t excite me. But I do like my own car to be of a reasonable spec and to be comfortable and safe.

The kids always prefer to go in Mrs Masher’s car though. Not just because she drive like a loon, but because she also has a new car and it has the internet in it. Well, not the actual Internet, of course – because that is in a small box that is kept under guard by the Elders of the Internet – but it does have a WiFi access point, and as such, the kids can sit on their tablets playing online games and Snapchatting and watching YouTube videos and other shit.

Now, back in my day (oh dear, here we go), we did other things to keep ourselves amused on a long car journey. Like looking out of the window and daydreaming. Or, we would play games involving having to hold your ears whenever you saw a red car and not being able let go of them until you saw a yellow car (a.k.a ‘cheese-on-wheels’).  Dad used to do the driving, but he never played that particular game with us.

And I used to do a lot of reading in the car. I can remember reading my first Spike Milligan book  – Rommel? Gunner who? – during a particularly long drive down to Devon (or Dorset – I can’t remember that bit). Squashed into the back, along with my two sisters and bags of clothes and toys and inflatable canoes and everything else that wouldn’t fit in the boot, I cried with laughter for pretty much the whole journey.

But now, the kids play computer games and talk to their friends and watch films as we drive, and they are just as happy as we were with our silly games, I suppose.

 

The technology may have improved, but the end result is much the same.

Feb 19 2017

Shaking it all about

Long haul always does my head in.

We are home now, and I have just been up to Sainsbury’s to get some essentials.

It felt like it was mid-afternoon and I was surprised to see it was only half-past eleven and it’s strange to think that less than 24hrs ago we were on Ocean Drive.

I feel dog-tired, but I need to hang it out, to get back into this time zone and into my normal routine, as quick as possible.

We flew through the night – which doesn’t help… I hate night flights. I can never get any kip.

It wasn’t helped by the German girl seated in front of me, who was obviously a nervous flyer. Before we took off, she was up and down, changing seats and annoying the hostesses, before finally deciding to settle down into her original seat… in front of me.

And when we did finally take off, I could see she was gripping the seat arms for dear life.

And then we hit some turbulence. Some pretty bad turbulence.

And she started screaming.

Proper screaming.

Now, neither Mrs M or Amelia like it when the ride gets a bit bumpy, and I was seated between them both.

Mrs M had my left hand in a vice-like squeeze.

Amelia was clutching my right arm as hard as she could, doing her best to not burst into tears.

And this German bird was screaming her head off in front of me.

“This is going to be a shit flight”, I thought.

I wasn’t far wrong.

But I’ve just had a proper cup of tea – made with a proper teabag and proper milk – the first for over a week, so things are already starting to look up.

Feb 18 2017

Coming home

This post comes to you courtesy of the 30 mins free WiFi at Miami airport…  so I’d better type quickly!

Well,  we are now at the airport after spending several hours on a couple of open-topped bus tours around the city.

I always enjoy guided tours,  and this one was no exception.

After,  as it is the current Mrs Masher’s birthday today,  we had a slap-up lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe,  where we ordered more food than we could comfortably eat.

As per usual.

On the subject of food,  we have eaten  soooo much on this holiday. I still have a six pack,  but it has become a six pack of sausage rolls!

When we get home,  I shall be looking in earnest at gymnasium membership.

And when I have finished looking,  I shall sit down with a cup of tea and a biscuit  and decide whether ‘sausage rolls’  is such a bad look.

Feb 17 2017

Hotter than a monkey’s bum, Your Majesty

Today’s post comes to you from the Bahamas.

About an hour ago,  the ship docked in the port of Nassau.  Bloody amazing to watch it being parked, as it had to be reversed in. I struggle reversing my car into a space sometimes,  but this ‘kin huge vessel just effortlessly backed in to the dock and pushed itself up against the jetty… without the slightest of bumps…  all lined up perfectly.

Anyway,  I ain’t getting off.  It is ridiculously hot out there.  Mrs M has disembarked along with Amelia,  to go shopping  (what else?).  I don’t mind it being warm,  but there’s  no way I’d cope with that heat…  especially whilst being dragged around the shops.  Nope,  me and Harry are quite happy to stay on the boat,  away from the sun.

  • Anyway,  better go as Harry wants a go on the Formula 1 simulator.

Feb 16 2017

Ouch.

Today we are having a day at sea.  I’m quite pleased really,  as it will give us a chance to relax –  the last few days have felt a bit hectic.

Much to Mrs Masher’s annoyance,  the weather is rather overcast, so she can’t do any sunbathing.

Unlike me,  she doesn’t do much reading and can’t be bothered to to sit down with her puzzle books.

That leaves  shopping.

Whilst the kids were off doing whatever it is that kids do,  Mrs M and I found ourselves in the jewellery section.  It’s  Mrs M’s birthday this weekend and I thought she might like a new watch.

She did and after a little bit of looking,  she found one  she liked, and so I bought it.

And then I saw one that I liked,  which was twice the price of the one I had just bought for her.  And I bought that one too.

Staying on the boat is much more expensive than  going ashore,  it seems.

Feb 15 2017

Underlay, underlay

Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 14 2017

Just checking my offshore accounts

We have just left the Cayman Islands.

Man,  is it hot here!  As I write this,  I am in the cabin,  with the balcony door closed and the air conditioning turned down a notch.  I need some respite.

We have been on an off road tour of part of the island of Grand Cayman.

Mrs Masher elected herself to drive –  I didn’t get a say.

As we bounced along the rough tracks,  in the middle of our convoy,  I could hear a knocking noise coming from the rear off side.  Looking in the side mirror,  I learned that “objects may appear closer than they are”.  But also,  the rear wheel looked a bit wobbly.

Despite expressing my concern on this,  Mrs M continued to hit every pothole she could…  at speed.

Eventually I persuaded her to pull over so I could check it out.  The jeeps behind,  passed us and the convoy disappeared into the distance.

Of the five nuts holding the wheel on,  one was missing and three had loosened so much that they were barely on.  I did them up as tight as I could using just my fingers,  as there were no tools in the vehicle at all. But when we tried to continue our journey,  they immediately loosened again.

Eventually the tour guide came back looking for us.  He looked horrified when I showed him and gave us his jeep instead.  Which drove much better.

Anyway,  then we went to the beach,  had a barbecue and relaxed before coming back to the boat.

Mrs Masher is up on deck,  grabbing the last of the day’s sun.

I don’t know how she does it.

 

Feb 13 2017

Yaah man!

Twenty two years ago,  almost,  the current Mrs Masher had our honeymoon in Jamaica.

One of the excursions that we went on,  was to Dunn’s River Falls  and we have a photo in our album of the two of us sitting amongst the cascading waters. It’s one of our favourites.

Today,  the boat called in at Ocho Rios,  Jamaica,  and so we boarded a bus and made a return trip to the falls,  to recreate that photo,  but this time with kids in it.

It’ll be interesting to see how well it comes out.

Feb 12 2017

Sailing

Well,  we’ve had a bit of a walk around Miami.

Seems nice enough.

And we are now on a boat.

The MSC Divina,  if you must know.  I believe it featured on telly on Friday on Channel Five,  with Jayne McDonald; that bird who used to sing on boats for a living.

Anyway,  it’s an impressive tub –  I’ve hardly seen any of it yet. Our cabin is a decent size (would be more decent if we didn’t have to share it with two kids!).

As I write this,  it’s 5am local time – body clock hasn’t adjusted yet – and we are at sea.

It’s very relaxing just sitting here on the balcony,  in almost total darkness, listening to the sound of the water as the ship cuts through the waves.

Today we are spending the day at sea,  so Mrs M has it planned to get herself sunburnt.  She never actually plans for that,  but it’s what always happens.  I shall probably be relaxing  with a book., although the kids seem keen to get me in the gym.

Not sure what they are telling me there.

Feb 11 2017

I can’t see any Dolphins

Our flight was long and uneventful.

The queue at Passport Control was also long and uneventful.  It took an age.

Our pre-booked taxi was way too small,  despite them being told that it was for a fully-loaded family of four,  and I struggled to get the suitcases in the back.  Our driver,  Alex,  didn’t even get out to help.  No tip for him, then. In the end, one of the cases had to go on Mrs Masher’s lap,  which was far from ideal.

Our apartment is huge and is on the 28th floor. The picture above – of Downtown Miami –  was taken from the balcony. Yes,  a balcony on the 28th floor! It’s quite vertiginous and Mrs M is somewhat wary of going out there. 

We slept well,  but the five-hour time difference meant we were all awake at about 3am local time.

Roll on breakfast.

Feb 10 2017

Leaving on a jet plane

Well,  here we are at Heathrow airport.  And it it manically busy.  I know it’s the busiest airport in the world,  but even so.

I’m currently sitting in the departure lounge,  availing myself of Heathrow’s free WiFi.  Our flight has been delayed,  but fortunately only by half an hour.

And we have just learned that our plane has been changed…  to a smaller one.  That’s it in the picture above.  They have also changed our seating arrangements,  so that we are not able to sit together.  Due to the smaller plane,  I suppose.

We should be boarding shortly,  so I shall try and post again tomorrow.

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