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Top Five Entries...

4th May 2018 - EUROVISION 2018

Taking one for the team here -

I have looked at all the Eurovision entries so you do not have to!

Semi finals on 8th and 10th,

final on 12th May.

UK entry – utter rubbish with a singer of indeterminate gender and frankly over 50 – not good enough. I apologise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K--kIdOpbJM

Romania – stunning singer, rubbish song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nK7ggCjA98g

Italy – the MOST politically correct song i have ever had the misfortune of wasting 3m 45s over

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zguJGdoPPnw

So IMO the best 2 – Hungary and Israel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w00c8KbQIME

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CziHrYYSyPc

But IEO [In Europe’s Opinion ] have a bet on Cyprus and FYR Macedonia -

or my most likely.....

GO AZERBAJAN...She crosses her heart, tears down firewalls and is stronger than cannon balls. Yes, she actually sung that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZMSrSCishw

J

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

 
5th February 2018 - Plastic divers.....

It is the buzzword for 2018. Our PM promises it will be gone by 2020. Attenborough abhors it. And sea life chokes at the very thought of it.

No - not The Donald.

Plastic.

But dear diver – are YOU part of the problem – or part of the solution.

Let’s find out with the Tanked Up PLASTIC QUIZ.

Q1 – You are flying off to distant dive sites and your gold-plated dive kit, worth more than a car is going to be checked in as hold baggage.

How do you secure this precious item?

A – It will go in my chunky material based wheely case. A solid padlock across the 2 zippers and a “where’s my bag” chip is sewn into the base, with full app support to find the baggage in the back of a handler’s car, will do.

B – Awesome. There’s a bloke who will spin a hundred metres of bright green placcy around the dive bag. For an extra tenner I get full bubble wrap padding, and a knife to cut it all away. I think he said “bio-degradable” but I can test that by chucking it off my hotel balcony on arrival and monitoring its decreased size every time I lean out there for a fag each night.

Q2 – Your dive club is having a 70’s disco night. But Lordy – if the DJ plays any more Rose Royce, Manhattan Foundation or Abba there’s gonna be a punch up. Let’s request a song to big things up. Name that tune…

A – Something earthy, something harmonic with the ebb and flow of nature. Something that represents the camaraderie of us divers as we help protect the world. “Combine Harvester” by the Wurzels

B – Go Belgian with Europe’s favourite proto-punk. “Ca plane pour moi”. Plastic Bertrand please Mr DJ. And play it on vinyl whilst you’re at it.

Q3 – Your new dive buddy-girlfriend has turned vegan. And she is getting more serious about this. A total lack of bacon is worsening her mood dive by dive. She is now looking at your fine leather shoes and making “hmmmm-ing” noises. What do you do?

A – You love her as she’s the only diver you have met that has half a tank of air left when you have guzzled all yours. That lack of cheese must have increased her lung efficiency. Leather shoes to the charity bin. And welcome to the dark blue espadrilles in my footwear display cabinet.

B – There’s new shoes for a fiver down my local street market. They seem to melt a bit when placed near a radiator, so must be made of PVC. But no worries as her lack of sausages, BabyBels and Big Macs are soon going to compromise her ability to lift my weary body out of the ocean. And to carry 2 pints from the bar. That’s when it’s all over. Then I simply fly-tip the footwear and the old shoes are revealed when she takes her sacks of couscous out of the kitchen.

Q4 – All that diving has made me thirsty. Must be the osmosis, the sun and the stinking hangover after all that dodgy Saqqara “beer”. Let’s get a drink at the hotel bar as soon as I get in. But - problem. The pint of Coke in the glass is at least 6 inches away from my mouth. How do I get to consume it?

A – I simply either lean forward a bit, place mouth to glass rim and slurp. Or I place the glass into my hand and lift it a bit to place against my buccal cavity and slurp. Fairly straight forward.

B - I shall insist upon a single use hollow pipe-like object which allows me to suck down the fluid without moving any part of my body except my cheeks. I shall then take this so called “drinking pipe” on my next dive and shove it into a groupers mouth and tell him it’s a snorkel.

Q5 – Congratulations – you have reached the final of Pointless. Alexander Armstrong asks you what you will do with the jackpot if you win it. You and your dive buddy say you will both go on a liveaboard. You win the paltry grand, wishing you had entered The Chase for a bit more booty. After flights, insurance and excess baggage you have £100 left for the actual boat. Your cabin is in the bilges with no service or cleaning. How do you dispose of all the rubbish that is now blocking the door?

A – Best to separate all the paper, plastic and organic waste into 3 different piles. One can be given to the ship’s galley to trash with food left-overs. One can be folded up neatly and put into re-cyc when back on shore. The other I will take all the way back home with me to dispose of properly.

B – There is a clear window after the last night-dive and the first dawn-dive. So I have 4 hours in which to let it all accidentally fall out of my hand into the sea. I am sure the current will take it to China where they make energy out of this sort of stuff.

Q6 – Your Dive Club wants to raise money for a good charitable cause. Scuba Trust or something sharkey. At the meeting to decide how to do this you are asked for your suggestions. What your big idea?

A – No brainer. Beach clean up. Last week the club RIB’s propeller was entwined in fishing line. You saw 2 rays encased in Tesco bags and even the crabs had somehow gotten elastic bands everywhere. Filthy stuff. Let’s clean it all up so our children and grand-children can enjoy nature as it was intended.

B – How about we all binge-watch Game of Thrones. That’s like a million hours of telly. And we can sustain ourselves on Deliveroo Chinese deliveries. All the empty placcy cartons can be put in the local council recyclable plastic bin liners. Because they do recycle them properly – don’t they.

Q7 – Fruit eh! Delicious and part of your five a day. Let’s stock up before the dive. Where do you go to get your citrus joy?

A – My local ethically sourced Fairtrade vendor. You can buy such goodies that not only sustain yourself when needing a sugar boost, but also supports many communities around the world in an environmental way. Not only does that orange make ME feel better, but I feel better for the good that it does for the planet when I eat it.

B – I go to a shop, part of a fast declining high street brand that my Mum used to buy her bras and my socks from that always encases said consumable in thick layers of plastic. You just don’t know who could have touched the fruit from picking to packing to purveying. And despite its thick outer protective peel – there’s no way I am going to get Ebola as part of my 5 a day.

Q8 – Blinkin’ Flip. All this Global Warming is making me freeze to death after a dive in the UK. Can we get some outrageous temperatures here please. Especially in Portland in April. So how shall I warm up immediately after a dive?

A – My trusty fleece. You know they make it from re-cycled plastic bottles. The warmth doesn’t just come from the material. It comes from feeling good too. Yeah, I know the zipper is bust and it smells of chips and fox spoor after my partner used it to clean the dog after she walked it after her breakfast. But that is fleecy-life. Mine is a brand that translates to “mountain house” and I get great looks back from other divers in the car park when I wave at them with the same brand as myself.

B – Lucky I saved all that bubble-wrap from my last Amazon purchase. Buddy holds one end, and two twirls later I am as snuggly as a kettle in a large brown box posted to me from some weird place in France that has been with the neighbours for a fortnight. Not sure where it gets to though, after leaving it by the overfull bin at Fleet Services during Storm Trevor.

Q9 – We need a new wreck at my local dive site. Thanks to the cuts at the MoD they want to offload an aircraft carrier. How shall we sink it?

A – Lets use some fertilizer, ammonia concentrated from my own urine and Fairtrade sugar. Brown not white – it’s healthier. Detonate with a box of Swan Vesta matches lit from a longish thread of Crofters Ethical Wool.

B - Hit the Dark Web. Buy some plastic explosives from the CIA by pretending to be Ukrainian. Don’t worry where the nano-particles go after the explosion. Probably into fish and the food-chain. Not my problem.

Q10 – You suddenly realise that most of the world’s problems are due to over-population and we will double that human volume before England ever win a World Cup again. What do you do as a humble diver?

A – Call the Vatican to discuss with the Pope his attitudes towards birth control. Get put on hold as he is Canonising at the moment. Get fed up of the Gregorian chant music and ring off as it’s a quid a minute to call.

B - Refuse to have the flu jab next winter as an offering to take yourself out of the population explosion. Make sure your will states “Burial at Sea – encased in the bubble wrap from IKEA’s flatpack coffin”. Your grieving family will most likely lose the allan key for assembly.

ANSWERS

Mostly A’s : Go and buy an Ireland rugby shirt. Marry the Topshop bosses daughter. Cover yourself in clover. Watch a re-run of Opportunity Knocks. You are greener than a dollar bill. Celebrate.

Mostly B’s : Hang your head in shame Sir or Madam. Because of you I have to pay 5p a shopping bag and end up stealing the trolley and dumping it in a local lake.

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

 
16th November 2016 - WHY TRUMP WON

Part 1 of an occasional series.

Headline in the Daily Beast - and without any irony at all.

" Is she an auntie or a stepmom? Tyga's girlfriend Kylie Jenner babysits King Cairo after Blac Chyna gave birth to daughter Dream

"

Right, so that's a Tyga, a Kylie, a King Cairo, a Blac Chyna and finally a Dream.

No wonder Bob and Martha from the Rust Belt don't feel part of that world.

JCF

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

 
16th August 2016 - FLIGHTS NOT TO FANCY

Janky was perusing the Interweb lunch-time news today in search of good old facts.

The chosen source is always a balance of the Guardian [it’s free] and the Daily Mail [it’s also free] which gives him the correct view of the world.

A little known bizarre fact is that Mail readers go to the comments section of the Guardian to berate the Lefties, and vice versa, so Janky has a nice middle of the road opinion to teach to Young Fly.

During holiday season, it’s always nice to see the British holidaymaker kickin’ off on board their cheap flights. So much so that a ban on booze is seriously considered for air travel – not a problem for the Jankster as it’s the only place I don’t lush it, as you can’t smoke at the same time.

De-tox heaven for me.

Yesterday saw a new low – one passenger berating a kid and parents for the noise the crying child was making. She called the father a p****. Dunno if that was prick, ponce, pervy or a mis-pronounced pratt. Doesn’t seem to be such an asterisky sort of insult in Janks world by the way.

The flight – Manchester to Ibiza.

FFS – if it does NOT kick off on that route, then there’s something wrong with the world!

SO.. for your benefit, Janky has spent the time it’s taken to eat a Tesco £3 meal deal searching the 5 most bawdy air routes available.

5 – Birmingham – Prague, on a Thursday evo. Yup our Brummie chums take a day off work and Stag it out to Bohemia.

4 – Toronto – Havana . In March. There's a party that only Norte Americano students have each year. Avoiding their mind numbingly easy classes and 8 foot of snow for a week, they pile on to cheap flights south chanting "Spriiiiiing Breaaaak". So culturally popular this festival is, it has spurned over 20 Hollywood blockbusters, including Spring Break Bikini girls, Spring Break Jocks and Alien versus Spring Breakers. Yankees go to Miami and Cancun. But Canadians go to Cuba. A Canadian going flight crazy is like a Manc half asleep. So not as terrifying as 3 below, but if you want to see a Nanuk dressed as a polar bear punching the lights out of a guy wearing moose antlers both fuelled on free Molson, this is your flight.

3 – Manchester – Ibiza. See above. It’s obvious really, and as bad on the return as the way out.

2 – London – Nairobi. This is the most often used flight for repatriation to East Africa. Janky thanked God he had over ear headphones as the failed asylum seeker screamed for 3 hours before urinating her seat and being moved up to Club Class if she promised to behave. Janky tried this after failing to upgrade on the flight home – was refused and now has the arse equivalent of trench foot.

And the Number 1 unruly flight on the planet.

No, not Manchester to the Rest of the World.

Well done you Aussies.

1 – Perth – Bali. 3 hours of beer sodden airtime, with the highest rate of toilet tobaccing, molestation and larikiness. Average 4 arrests per flight.

JCF

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

 
22nd January 2016 - EURODIVER

In or out?

It’s the question on everyone’s lips.

But if you can’t make up your mind – take this test to see if you are Jacques Cousteau on Calypso or Admiral Lord Nelson on Victory.

Let the Dive decide.

1. PRE-DIVE

You have been asked politely to be at the front of your hotel at 8 a.m for the pick up to get to the Dive Boat for an early departure.

• Answer A – Stupid – I have to have a coffee from the room kettle, dress in my Desigual breakfast clothing and then ask for a very complicated omelette from the man before having more coffee and perhaps some cheese. Then I have to wash my sunglasses before I can be seen by the driver. Oh, I have forgotten my spare snorkel for the days diving. I will be only a few minutes getting it.

• Answer B – “Bloody ‘ell love – its 7.55 – make us a cup of tea – and I’ll take the mini-bar water and Pringles for now. Don’t want to be late”

2. ON THE BUS

It’s way hot. Like over 20 degrees. All the passengers are sweating. What do you do?

• Answer A – Insist on keeping all the windows closed and then trying to see if the A/C will work for the short duration to the port.

• Answer B – Assume the 80’s converted Transit is basically screwed. Open all the windows and be glad you are wearing a lightweight football shirt where the sweat diffusion cools you down.

3. ON THE BOAT

Dive site is an hour away. There’s a briefing in 45 minutes.

• Answer A – Get kitted up straight away. Start tank checking, suiting and lens cleaning the camera. Sit on the seat and talk loudly about your last dive and the size of the sharks you saw.

• Answer B – Where’s the coffee? I need some now. Fumble with the powder milk sachet and pour sugar 6 inches away from your cup when the boat hits a wave. Drink it and then need the loo. Break the hand pump and hope no-one has noticed. Suit up in less than a minute. Good to go- but your camera is still in the hotel room.

4. ON THE DIVE

Wow. The best coral ever seen with delicate anemones and nudibranchs. What’s your Dive Plan?

• Answer A – To try to get as many underwater souvenirs as I can possibly snaffle – with the compliance of my buddy. If there was a B&Q at the port I would have gotten a couple of chisels and a waterproof angle grinder.

• Answer B – Was there coral? Was there an anemone? I thought I saw a shark – but it could have been a plastic bag. God, I am so hungover. Maybe the next dive will revive me.

5. POST DIVE

Time to get out of your wetsuit and into your civvies before the boat hits the home mooring. Does this take long?

• Answer A – Of course not. I shall fully remove all my neoprene in front of everyone as I am happy with my body. Whilst naked, as we do often at home, I shall apply as much moisturiser as it takes to rehydrate my skin. If you are offended by my nakedness, then that is your problem not mine. My buddy is also nude and will apply ample L’Oreal to my back.

• Answer B – Ages. I have to undress with a badly positioned towel around my waist. If no-one is looking I shall quickly pop on my Primark undies. If someone is looking I will shuffle a pair of shorts up my legs and hope the towel will stay in place. Once the bottom bit is done, my gut releases the towel so everyone can see the snake tattoo coming up from my perineum to my shoulder.

6. UNDERWATER CAMERA

Digital photography and a big piece of plastic housing has allowed the keen amateur to replicate shots that only the best used to take. What have you got?

• Answer A – Nikon XLS with a Hannheiser mount. Krypton flash and all wrapped up in a bespoke Korean made poly-kevlar shield. Don’t ask what it cost – you can’t afford it. “Look at my shots of the grouper – got the light right – it even shows the tiny teeth. Macro-tastic. Wait while I take you through the other 400 images from the safety stop.”

• Answer B – Kodak Underwater – waterproof to 4 metres. But I took it down to 60 to see if it would implode. Got a few shots of fish tails – but a great one of your wife/buddy sharing air and phone numbers with the Instructor after they got bored of waiting for you to photo a shrimp. One of us will be mugged on the way back to the hotel. It won’t be me.

7. SUN LOTION

Skin cancer is a serious issue. Especially in a hot, sunny ozone free country that you visit often. Slap it all on?

• Answer A – Of course. I apply Factor 50 before I go to sleep, and top up with that new stuff P20 for the day. I do not want to burden my health service with an unnecessary melanoma when I could have avoided it.

• Answer B – It’s not that hot. Honey, give me that stick we put on the kids lips and I will try it on my nose. You need to get some sun on you the first day to get the tan working by the end of the week. And the red turns into brown later – I read it on the web.

8. DIVE KIT

Diving, apres-dive or in the disco on your holidays – how important is it to you to have the latest gear on an active holiday?

• Answer A – Mandatory. We invented fashion. I cannot show a friend a single photo of me with barracuda if I look like a dick. Each year I burn my old neoprene to power my eco-friendly chalet and get a subsidy for my new Mares from the local mayor.

• Answer B – Northern Diver. Second hand. E-bay.

9. BREAKFAST

Power the diving day by eating well. It’s your fuel for the cold waters below the thermocline, and when you mix gas on that 100 metre dive, a 5 hour deco stop can make you hungry.

• Answer A – Bircher muesli, fruit salad and some of that salty cheese with a tiny bit of salami.

• Answer B – Under the bacon lies bread to mop up the fat. That and more bacon. If they have sausages, five. If they have Baked Beans – a bowl full. Cereal to make me feel healthy – but only the bootleg Corn Flakes.

10. FLIGHT HOME

A huge queue at the check in for the flight back. Your local guide has a friend at the counter and can get you straight to the front for 20 bucks.

• Answer A – NO – I will go there myself and demand to be checked in now, because I have a loud voice and a bad haircut.

• Answer B – NO – I will wait in line because I can complain later. Though I won’t as the phone line is an 0845 and that will take all my phone credit.

HOW DID YOU DO

• Mainly A’s : Zut alors, Teufel, Ay caramba – you are truly a Scion of Schengen. You will vote IN to bring you closer to the culture and sophistication of Rome piazzas and cheaper roaming charges.

• Mainly B’s : As British as the bacon butty you eat by a freezing cold quarry in mid-November. You will vote OUT as you know global warming will give Weymouth a Mediterranean coastline in a few years and so there will never be a need to leave this Sceptred Isle.

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

 
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