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9th April 2015 - Q-TIPS

Cuba's in the news. To go or not to go. Janky went to find out and offers you these Cuba-tips.

• DO – Go and go now. This time will be known as the Castro P.M. Yes Pre-MacDonald’s - the Americans are coming. Current President Raul has 2 more years in office and the expectation with the lightening of U.S. relations is a tsunami of cruise boats and burger lovers. It still has a wonderful Caribbean Communist charm. Perhaps if Russia had better weather, rum, beaches and beautiful people then Putin would still have a Soviet Union.

• DO – Try diving on both coasts. The north has all the big tourist hotels [Cubans are not allowed to stay there], so its boat diving from your all-inclusive, but you won’t see the real country, especially if you fly charter directly to Cayo Coco. Try the south coast. Better coral and even some cenotes filled with fish and perfectly clear water. The Bay of Pigs two hours south of Havana is cool and you will see the true Cuba.

• DO – Get a basic NVQ in plumbing before you go. The loos and showers can be pretty hopeless at times, and rather than wait for the local guy to finish his siesta, I found it easier to fix it myself. A travel spanner set from B and Q can easily fit into a dive bag. Presto, a non-embarrassingly empty khasi for when your partner comes back from the cigar shop.

• DO – A little history. West of Havana are some amazing mountains and caves where Russell Brand lookalike “El Commadante” lived during the US funded military invasion in ’61. You can see his bedroom still preserved in a small cavern, replete with writing desk and comfy red pillows. They call it “Chez Guevara”.

• DO – Spend the best 30 bucks of your life on one thing. And this is a must do. Go to Central Park in Havana Old Town and see the line-up of old drop-top Pontiacs, Buicks, Plymouths and finned Chevvys. Brightly coloured and polished to perfection. In an hour you can see most of the city including Revolution Square and the best of the fading Spanish colonial architecture. Finish with the long drag by the bay called the Malecon where they fish from floating rubber rings and families dance to all the musicians playing by the sea. You will never forget it - and you will look and feel “pura vida”.

• DON’T – Ever lose your patience. Yes you have to wait in line a lot of times. Especially on arrival at the airport which can take over two hours to get through - what with customs, baggage and buying your tourist money called a “convertible peso”. But remember that the locals do it all the time when they have to get their free daily bread, milk, meat and eggs. The locals joke that that is why it’s called “Queue-ba”.

• DON’T – Have high expectations of the food outside Havana and the big hotels. Rice n beans, chicken or pork. That’s about it. I did ask why during the revolution they shot all the chefs as well as Batista’s soldiers. That was met with a frosty look. But in the home of rum, mojitos and daiquiris as well as Cohibas – who needs to eat anyway.

• DON’T – Snigger on your way to the northern cays when you go through the town of Moron. Cuba has the highest literacy rate of all of the Americas, they can all play a musical instrument and guess what? Their doctors were in West Africa months before we were helping with the Ebola Crisis. None of them contracted it either – which is more than we can say for the U.S. and Blighty.

• DON’T – Forget that the monthly government salary to every Cuban is only 50 bucks. Road sweeper or neurosurgeon – it’s the same. A socialist paradise. But the shops are fairly empty. The biggest supermarket is the size of a Spar. If you have any old dive kit or stuff you don’t really need, leave it to the locals. They will be grateful. I now have a new routine for developing countries. Pop down to Primark – spend 20 quid on your clothes and give it all to the needy when you go. That leaves enough space in your suitcase to fill with all the fish carvings and Che berets your family at home need as presents.

• DON’T – Freak out if you find a crab in your room. And twenty outside the door. For a week a year the land crabs migrate from the forest behind the hotel, over the walls and through the grounds to the beach in front of you. The local roads are filled with more crabby splats than when a John West delivery truck jack-knifes on the M25. A true wonder of nature. And it’ll save you 5 grand on a flight to Christmas Island if you’re into that sort of thing.


For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog

1st April 2015 - TRICKSY

Had my cell phone swiped by the cleaner. But I just couldn’t figure out how. I know I left it in the room the previous afternoon. Did not take it out that evening and had to clear the area at 5 a.m. to go to another destination the next morning.

As a well experienced traveller I know how to exit a hotel room. Bag packed. Check under the bed, back into the bathroom to pull the shower curtain back. All clear. Do the drawers and look under the bed again. Sweet. Nothing left behind, it must be in last night’s pre-packed Samsonite. But lo…when you get to the next destination – your phone is not to be seen or found. The natural reaction is to blame yourself and maybeee you took it out to the bar and left it there. But I was so sure I did not and the phone call to the hotel is met with “Nada mobile” in your old room Senor – that you give up and put it to experience.

Until this happened.

Next hotel in Cayo Coco – a dodgy 3 star on Cuba’s northern cays, Janky found the tricksy way it happens.

A pair of missing shades. They were here – deffo – last night before we went out for the evening and afore the service person does a “sheet-turn-down” (still the most un-necessary waste of hotel staff time, along with towel origami).

No shades the next morning. 30 minutes of panicked returns to the bar, restaurant and beach. Not to be found.

But then Janky is putting his last fag out in the Coke can in the bin under the sink. And guess what’s there right under the other minibar tins and empty Soltan factor 50 bottles. YES – a pair of sunglasses. No way they fell there, the bin is well under the sink.

They were put there by your friendly room cleaner.

So here’s the trick. Your stuff is not stolen. It’s hidden in room, least where you will expect to look. They know you are checking out that morning and can go pick it up when you are half way to Zapata to see the crab migration. They also know you won’t come all the way back for an item worth under a hundred quid.

And to think Fidel, Raul and Che fought for that level of petit crime. Pathetic. Cuba, sort it out.

So dear Traveller – when you are 110% convinced that your missing stuff is in the room. Check the bin and in time check the one by the loo where they know you would never look in a country that can’t flush Andrex into the sewage system.


For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog

12th August 2014 - UP THE TUNDRA

Sadly Oxfordshire council have stopped the habit of taking all the yoof with ASBOs to Center Parcs for a mind broadening experience that hoped to see the offenders mix with normal humans and thus learn that yobbery was bad. Mainly due to all the rooms being broken into, but also 3 cases of attempted rape and one incidence involving a dog, pool cue and a wrap of heroin. Go figure.

The upshot of all this?

Janky has had to take young Fly off somewhere this summer.

Fly is now of the age where the sweet odour of youth is replaced by Lynx Africa. The age where a fathers scruffing of their hair is met with fingers dripping in gel and agonising screams as their barnet is now “all messed up”.

And finally the age where Countdown, Pointless and the 5 o’clock news are considered breakfast television. Attempted wake up calls at 10 or 11 a.m. are met with silence. Later shouts get a “shuuuutuuup”, but as regular as the cock is replaced by the owl, he will surface and hunt down cereal and toast.

But we parents are cleverer, eh.

Fly likes his golf – courtesy of wall to wall programming at his Youth Institute. Theres little point playing at home though if he’s on the course just as it gets dark.

Smart solution – take the Fly to where it is still light even at midnight – so he can get the hours on the greens needed to keep Janky in green at a later date. That’s what kids are for.

We have headed to Finland.

More later, Fly is having an emergency as he has accidentally eaten herring on black rye bread. He thought it was an Oreo.



For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog


STUPID 1 this week. A Saudi Arabian blogger sets up a forum to discuss religion in the governing of his country.

Result – 1000 lashes and a ten year sentence if the former doesn’t kill him.

STUPID 2 this week. Polio makes a comeback. After millions of man hours, billions in dollars we, humanity, almost got rid of this sickening virus that causes permanent disability in children. So near to adios virus, along with smallpox and bubonic plague. But no, some nutters felt that the vaccination programme was not for the good of the planet, but an evil scheme from the West to control citizens.

Who could be so dim?

Step forward - the Taliban. Thanks guys and girls, if that’s what’s under those black sheets. We almost had it nailed, but you screwed it all up, in the name of….

Are you getting the thread here?

Could it be Islam?

STUPID 3 this month. Yes the poor girls of a boarding school in Nigeria. It has taken the BBC - 3 weeks to start criticising their government for doing nothing. It took the BBC that long to even take the story seriously. 3 days after the event, Janky asked some homies their views on this situation. They knew nada. And these boyz are well informed - but the news was full of Korean cruise ship debacles and the extended thread of missing aircraft. Aunty had it as a short 5th story after various subtle plugs for labour.

(Thank God there was a slow news window this week before Rolf Harris appeared in court…..

Can you see what it is yet?

Is it a tube of white paint Rolf? I’ll give it a squeeze to find out.)

The world has finally woken up to this monstrous African atrocity.

Children. Away from home. Kidnap. Sold to bondage and slavery. Inaction. Every parent’s nightmare rolled in to one.

As Shoeman pointed out, there may be a reason for Nigerian vacillation.

Apparently 75% of the oil income this year has disappeared. Yup just gone. The President really has had more Goodluck than any previous incumbent.

By the way, this is a politician who really is eponymous. Through successive deaths and disappearance, an ill-equipped man who rode Number 2 in all his previous appointments became the Pres. Imagine a fire in the Houses of Parliament, followed by a bomb at the Liberal Party conference and the last man left standing is Vince Cable, who becomes Prime Minister. That’s how Nigeria got their man in charge.

The the luck of Goodluck. He’s been laundering the oil money these last 3 weeks. So… for the first ever time, open your spam!

Those offers from Nigeria are for real dude.

You know the second biggest landlord at Number 1 Hyde Park is a Nigerian oil baron.

The biggest? – a local Knightsbridge solicitor that speaks Russian.

Says it all, eh.

Shame on you Islamist extremists Procul Harum, or whatever you are called. Your pathetic excuse - Girls should not be at school, they should be married at 14.

FFS. Islamic retards. Perhaps if the Qu’raan can be so manipulated by those so stupid, the next crusade should replace it with “Ant and Bee Make a Cake”. No room for prejudicial interpretation there.

And this is where we now need the Tories to make some strong decisions, and it shames me to say this, like the French.

They went in to Mali and kicked ass when the local Brotherhood were amputating and beheading. Imagine if we sent some specialists in to find these girls. And you know who I mean here. Cos as sure as a 60 million London property is a 60 million London property, the local government have other things on their mind.

I can’t even see the Guardian and BBC complaining about that. Cameron might even get re-elected.

Yes we might be tired of Afghan and Iraqi war but this is different. We have a duty to an old colony, like the French in Mali and can’t expect the Yanks to always bail out the world.

Step up William Hague – cast off that image of a wet Tory teenager and be a man for once.

However the real issue with Islam, and I will not be an apologist for it as our press seems to be, is that it is 600 years younger that Christianity.

Still medieval in its construct and attitudes, and still wet behind the ears when it comes to manipulation by its leaders.

And yes if we go back over half a millennium in the UK, we were burning Catholics, hanging Protestants, eviscerating Aztecs and generally creating a very merry hell unto each other in the name of Faith.

This is the cycle and maturing of Religion. Hopefully Islam will be just fine in A.D. 2500

Just a shame that the newest one will be hell bent on global destruction by then.

Expect the Force to be evil with the Mormons in the future my descendants.

Bonne Chance


On a happier note, the swifts have arrived at last in London. Screeching and wheeling in the Battersea sky. Summer is truly here.

Roll on Fly’s next few cricket matches being rained off.

For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog

18th March 2014 - NO CRIME 'ERE

When Janky was living down in his birth-hood, a quiet rollin-chalky-hill kinda place, known as Dorset or Daaarzet in the local vernacular, he happened upon the age where he could vote.

And being of sound mind, he cast it for the only party that really had the local interests at heart. Yup…the WNP.

Sadly lost to democracy now, there really was a Wessex Nationalist Party.

They popped candidates across all four historic counties that constituted this ancient Arthurian area. Dorset, Devon, Somerset and Cornwall, they felt, could go it alone. We could stand on our bow-legged feet, pitchforks in hand and say **** off to Wiltshire, Hampshire and beyond.

Candidates had the mandatory beards and sandals, and mine was my own music teacher, who looked like he had suffered cowpox and had the ruddy complexion of one who tilled the soil. That or too much booz at lunch in the staff room of the local comp where Janky had to legally attend.

They really thought they could go it alone. The manifesto pointed out the huge monies to be had from cider and pilchard exports as well as tourism to this area famous for cream teas and the Tolpuddle Martyrs. An excise on all Thomas Hardy novels along with a duty on the Prozac you need when reading them. A toll on the M27 and A30 as well as annexing Stonehenge when we were powerful enough to take on those from Salisbury.

Yup, the WNP had it all thought through.

Just a shame my vote was only accompanied by 12 others.

The local land-owning Tory took the seat as always, not to be seen for the next 4 years as he sat in the Garrick Club talking wheat prices.

Well WNP, you were a party too far ahead of your time, and with slightly the wrong angle.

We have seen the light these past weeks. If you truly want independence from your overlords, there is only one way. And Scots take note.

Vote Putin.

With a bit of lobbying in Moscow, Wessex could be standalone, and with free gas, vodka and a leader that can fly a microlight.

And just as now…no one would do anything at all.

It’s our own fault really. Putin has seen all his planets come into alignment and has made his move.

A disinterested China, impotent America, war weary Britain and a cuckolded France only leaves Germany to flex its muscle. And Frau Merkel, you need their gas too much.

This could be a time for Turkey to show its no chicken. You know, get the old Ottoman out of the attic and start the Empire again. Then again it might ruin their new found billions from the Russian tourists found rotund, red and still mulleted at the Bodrum all-inclusives.

So the playground bully will get his way as he has realised all the other tough kids have sick notes.

Now is the time to join his gang.

Wessex …wake up in 2015 and vote for regional “autonomy”.

Vote Russia.

They need an Atlantic port. It’s a fair trade.

You know it makes sense.


For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog


Such is the power of protest, that in the time it takes to set off flares, get bitten by a police dog and to burn down the local parking office, your previously elected President buggers off, leaving the keys in the old palace door.

The scenes last week of an orderly queue of Ukrainians going round their version of Chequers was a tad odd. Usually after the removal of the ex-boss there is a rush for the gold taps and cutlery, but not with this lot. Like at the opening of an exhibition at the R.A., they were well behaved and seemed a little sad that the only excess on view was a marble plunge pool, just big enough for 3 hookers and the Man.

Well, all is about to change Donetsk dudes.

He’s coming back and he’ll charge for entry this time.

You didn’t account for Putin the Powerful vs Merkel the Merciless [admittedly with Little Will Hague as her corner man]. There is only one winner.

And most of all you underestimated the sheer stupidity of our press and reportage.

Once again the Beeb have screwed it up, as with Libya and Syria.

Not one hint of irony that people would give up their lives to be part of the European Union, whilst we here on this island seem hell bent on leaving the same institution.

Janky has always said that the EU, formed in earlier morphs to prevent a 3rd World War, would probably end up causing it. And here we go.

The Soviets have played that old card of “protecting their populations abroad” as with Georgia in the past. I won’t mention Sudetenland and Northern Poland in the late 30’s. You already knew that.

I will mention the only Mediterranean Russian naval base. It’s in Syria. You may not have known that.

See how it all works.

I am also surprised at the speed at which the Ukrainian Naval Commander handed over their vessels to the Russians. So quick, it made the French look brave and honourable before Vichy.

But if Putin really keeps on this track of defending Russian interest, we will be seeing the Spetnaz marching from 1 Hyde Park, through Knightsbridge and Belgrave Square all the way to Stamford Bridge. In fact the only reason there are so many Russians in that part of Crimea, was due to several waves of free passports handed since partition.

Take note UKIP – they want in in Europe and you never know when you need a bona fide citizen.

But as we all know with history, this aint about anything but the money.

That blonde fox who was banged up by her successor. No not French politics again…I mean imprisoned by the subsequent President. Ask how much of the gas pipelines she has control of?

What’s the point of Gazprom sponsoring the Champions League if they can’t flog it to you and me if someone turns off the stop-cock in Lvov?

And on the continued payback for the Siege of Leningrad, now the Hun have stopped their nuclear reactor programme to focus on green energy, they will become increasingly reliant on Siberian gas. Someone wants to control that.

But all this is but a tuppence down the back of the sofa.

Janky knows where the real coin is here.

And that’s why they need Europe, and Putin wants to control the main export points there.

It’s all about PGS.

Yup, Protected Geographical Status.

This is where the EU hand out a patent to make billionaires out of Roquefort cheese makers, Melton Mowbray pork pie purveyors, Brie barons, Mozzarella Mafia and the Jamon Iberico Junta.

Yes the REAL cash is in food protection.

Now imagine how much will be made when the Chicken Kiev has that status.

You heard it here first.


For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog

3rd March 2014 - North vs South 2

Janky is wending his way up to the very very top of this fine Isle. A dog in the boot, a present for Candide, more of which at another time.

Any trip this far presents the opportunity to distribute the finest organ ever written. Yes, Tanked Up magazine must be seen at every quarry in the UK to entertain divers between episodes of hypothermia.

On one such stop near the hamlet of Preston, they lay in wait with Northern logic bombs to confuse this Fool after a 5 hour journey.

‘’So this magazine, its free is it?’’ , queried a man with a moustache used to sieve strong Yorkshire tea from the chipped mug in his hand.

‘’ What’s in it for you then….?’’

‘’It’s how we spread the love down South amigo’’

He looked puzzled, free stuff must be an anathema round here.

‘’I hear there were problems down in London with what you do…maybe last year.”

“No Sir, I think you will find there was a bust in Plymouth, and that was over ten years ago.”

He then launched the bomb…..

“London, Plymouth, that’s all the bloody same to me”

Got me there home boy.

Hit him back with a Manchester-Leeds, all the same to me mate.

He missed me with the tea cup by the width of a red rose.


For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog

3rd January 2014 - BALKAN INGRATES

Janky has worked himself up into a 30 foot wave of seething fury. An emotional flood of hatred and loathing. As extreme as the weather outside my crib, I have never felt as let down as I am now.

After wearing my UKIP purple pants, subscribing to the Daily Mail for the last 3 months, I like everyone else, whipped up into a xenophobic Force 10 was expecting our sea defences to be breached by the tide of Romanians and Bulgarians due on the 1st of January.

Yalding was to be flooded by them, Balkanites 30 feet deep were going to crash over Looe Harbour wall on lilos, and up by the Severn-on-Thames, we were hurriedly placing sandbags to stop them entering our cellars.

Yes, even our “most honest” MP, Keith Vaz (Crook-Leics East), came to help with the weather defences at Luton airport. Yes, he and a couple more of our elected officials, along with over 30 journalists ready to record the typhoon about to appear.

Well it bloody well didn’t did it?

How many showed up?

TWO. Yup.

Две. Doua.

Only 2.

One who seemed to be the bastard offspring of Mezut Ozil, [boggle-eyed Gooner] and Benny from Crossroads, had come for a job.

For ****s sake. A job.


If you want to fit in matey boy, then I suggest you forget this mad idea, and do as we do.

Sign on, sit down and surf the afternoon TV.

We have spent the post war years here perfecting a system called the Welfare State that allows you do let the government look after you at all times, and you choose to ignore it and WORK….

Bloody Balkan ingratitude I say.

The sooner you bugger off and work somewhere else, the sooner we will feel better about the benefits we get.

And you know what else is cheeky. You lot having a pop at us Brits.

We invented xenophobia, from the Greek “Xenos”, meaning ancient Briton. So when I read in the Balkan News, “The top disgusting habits of the English”…..just watch it jobseeker.

That list in full:

1. Problem drinking

2. Antisocial

3. Terrible teeth

4. Depressed as we are weather obsessed

5. Unable to manage financially – never saving for the future.

But what is most damning, worse than any of the above is this from Plovdiv Peter:

“аквариумни риби са склонни да пият, въпреки че, ако мисля за това и аз предпочитам удобството на буркана да вкуси краставица Molan 10 “

Which means

“ I spent 10 years in England and they were so drunk and lazy they used to drink out of fishtanks”

I am serious here. They said that.

I’ve only done it a couple of times myself in Chinatown and that was to prevent a possible flooding. It’s a Yalding thing.


For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog

29th November 2013 - Black Friday

Janky's just got off the Skype to one of his dealers in the East.

"Is it Black Friday tomorrow in London?" asks the Adnan.

"No" replies the Jankester.

"Why not..”

“Because it’s Saturday.

We do have Cyber-Monday after the weekend though. That’s when the shopping kicks off here.”

“On the Internet?”

“Yes, that’s why it’s Cyber Monday”

Sorry to be quiet of late but the J-hammer is in mourning….let’s hope snow, robins and Xmas telly work their magic.


For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog

5th October 2013 - BEATLES BREAK-IN

Jankys second most haunted hood, is up where the fella has to “do some crime to earn a dime”. Way up in the frozen North of this fair city, lies The St Johns Wood Hood. A place of cultural but not class mix. Where Arab lives next to Jew in good grace. Where the biggest deli is named after a second world war German tank [odd], the largest mosque is not half a K from the main synagogue, and every so often in the summer, thousands turn up in their gang colours [yellow and orange ties- soooo batty] to watch our boys take one helluva a beating. Yes Lords is in the mix here too.

But THE greatest attraction to the Wood-hood, is but a 2 tone road marking made famous by hippies back in the day.

Abbey Road.

As in- “Sir, could you tell me the way to Abbey Road?”

If Janky had a buck for every time he has been asked dis…he could pay off the Greek debt. Well maybe the Irish one at least.

The world’s most walked over zebra crossing is just down the street. You can hear it from afar, as the cars just lean on the horns all day as tourists and geeks cross back and forth time after time whilst being videoed by their bro’s. I’ve never seen less than a twenty car tail back as traffic has to stop whilst Sven gets his album cover snap.

To celebrate this musical milestone, the café in the tube entrance changed its name from St Johns Wood station café – to “The Beatles Café”

Too small to sit down in, they hand out free directions to The Crossing, and bedeck the shelves with the finest Mop-Top-Tat.

All you need is love….fridge magnet, Sir?

Ringo lunchbox?

Back in the USSR keyfob?

Beatles alarm clock…since when did they ever use one.

No tat too weird here.

Janky gets hits frothy fix each morning whilst staring at a fake Fab Four by the counter.

Last week it got broken into.

The perps had hit Highgate tube station caff [ soon to be the Karl Marx Kafe – he’s buried down the end of the road..yup, by Ed Milliband’s dad]..and looted it down to the flapjacks.

I asked the Beatles Barrista what had been taken, as it looked quite tidy still.

Surely the Yellow Submarine plushy. Perhaps the stylish Apple Records cravat. Oh come on, Abbey Road mug n mousemat. I’d go for one of those.

“No”, she said “it’s a bit embarrassing actually, they didn’t take anything”

All you need is cash…ta da da da da.

And we empty the till every night.


For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog

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