Sunday, 29 July 2007

Red Bull event

Low flying aircraft display at the O2 arena and on the Thames

Where is Bruce Willis when you need him?

A passer by saved us from an uncertain fate yesterday when the lift at the O2 arena broke down and dropped several inches. 8 of us including my pregnant daughter and her baby were trapped inside this sardine tin unable to contact the fire service by phone. The emergency button put us through to a distant town where the operator had never heard of 'Green Witch' let alone the O2 arena. 'Dont try to get out' he helpfully advised, 'we will get someone to you in no time'. It didnt happen, the temperature rose and we felt we were running out of air. Do lifts have air coming in and is it enough for 8 persons?
We had to try last resort measures ie bang on the doors shouting help. Our hero called the fire brigade before trying to get us out himself and prising the doors open.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Sally Wilton

The Shah of Iran

The Shah of Shas by Ryzyard Kapucinski - one of my favourate writers.

No doubt he had plenty of supporters and still there must be many 'Persians' mourning the 'Good old days' of the Shah. Rich from oil revenue - £20 Billion per year a the time - this guy squandered much of it on his loyal friends and playboy lifestyle whilst the rest of the country lived in poverty, they thought nothing of chartering a plane every single day to transport his loyal supporters to have lunch in Europe or bring in the whole brigade of chefs from Maxims in Paris to cook lunch for those too tired for the journey. Stories such as his expenditure on arms highlight what a big kid the man was, wanting to have the 3rd biggest army in the world. Why? For his own ego of course. Is it any wonder that the Shia population felt bitter and revolted bringing in the crazy Ayatollahs - whoops I feel a Fatwa coming on. About time we had more women in positions of power throughout the world I think.
If you are interested in my reviews you can see them all here writer.


I felt in a punk mood this morning. I love Punk style and buy things in the Bargate at Southampton, The Indian shop in commercial road Bournemouth or my favourate web site 'Kates Clothing' at Due to my continued gym attendance I have managed to fit into last years 'Death Kitty' top and skirt as shown here.

Punk is very popular in Italy too and it is one of the few British styles we can be proud of as being truly cutting edge.
I took of a photo of some of these stylish Italians trying their best to emulate our great British taste in Pisa.

This is also a punk skirt and I wore this one for a client appointment yesterday.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Die Hard 4 or Where's your lollipop Kojak?

At a loose end last night even after going to the gym and thought I would see what films are on. The only one available was Die Hard 4 - not the usual genre of film I enjoy but I thought I would see anyway. Judging by the number of men in the room it looked like a blokes action film and I am sure they were not disappointed.

The movie is based around a big hub of computers that organise everything in the US including transport, power, aircraft - the lot and devious foreigners are trying to sabotage it all. Luckily for the Americans NYPD 'Bruce Willis' comes to the rescue along with a genius hacker side kick. Bruce is looking worrying like Kojak in this latest Die Hard blockbuster, however for a man in his 50s he's doing alright. Bruce gets the better of the hoods at every stage, even if they do have massive automatic weapons, helicopters and a nasty kung fu bitch that will kick to the death. The fight in the lift shaft was gripping but there is only so much of that I can take. To be honest I didnt see it all and got bored with all the crashes and explosions but I am sure Brucy won the day.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Phil and Debbie in Pisa

We spent our last day in Pisa sitting outside a cafe near the tower. Phil and Debbie who we didnt know until that day joined us for an 8 hour lunch and drinks. this photo just proves how I had eaten far too much pasta whilst in Italy.

Italian Deli in Pisa

Proscuto, Parma, Parmegiano, Pecorino, all hanging up in the deli in Pisa

Monday, 23 July 2007

Getting fit

I had a fright when I got back from Italy and found I weighed 70 Kilos. So been going to the gym every day and watching what I eat and drink. So far already down to 67.6 Kilos. Here is me in my gym clothes. Silver hot pants and high heels are 'de rigeur' darling.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Viareggio is horrible

I am sure there must be some nice places in and around Viareggio but we have not had the pleasure of them. We thought we might stop off at Viareggio for a night on the way back from Florence. It was a hot day and the receptionist at the tourist info said that hotel agency was on the way to the beach Hamid was sweating in the heat, what with carrying the suitcases and all. It was very difficult for me to assist a I had to carry my handbag. The agency was closed anyway and there was no place to stay,we did find a great restaurant where we had lovely risotto and wine - it was opposite the railway station from where we whisked ourselves away to Luca - a much more civilised town. Viareggio is very similar to Blackpool but hotter.

Friday, 20 July 2007


The dome is now called the O2 arena. I have heard that it is amazing inside and next time I go to London will try to go in. There is plenty of parking there anyway. Yesterday I took this pic from the bus.

Other things I want to do when I next go to London are

1. See David Suchet in the Last Confession at the Haymarket - a thriller about the death of Pope John Paul First.

2. Go to visit the Sacred exhibition in the British Library. I have looked at the website for it and it looks interesting even for an atheist like me. See and you can turn the pages of the ancient books.

3. See the Damien Hirst Diamond encrusted skull - has it been sold yet?

4. Maybe see the lord of the rings at the Theatre Royal

Does Hamid look like a lion?

Some people say that Hamid looks like a lion and should be in the Lion King. We luckily found a real lion to compare him with at the Natural History museum. What do you think? No he is not wearing a lion king mask!!

Sarah and Rudy

The most delicious peaches I have ever tasted

Walking down Kensington High Street we passed an Iranian greengrocers with an amazing display of fruit. The owner gave us a peach to try. It was unusually flat and came from Persia - so he said. After trying it we bought 10 of them, a few cherries and 2 figs. The price? Just under 10 pounds!!! But they were worth it. I have never tasted anything so nice. We took them back to Sarah's and they loved them too. The fruit on this stall was really unusual so I took a photo.

Algerian Visa

We went to the Algerian Embassy yesterday in Holland Park to apply for a visa. We waited one hour and had all the requirements apart from an invitation.

We had time to visit the Natural History museum nearby and had a look at a couple of exhibitions. The Antartic exhibition was quite good but really for children. We had to go into a freezer which was minus 10 degrees.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Sushi and cooking bar Florence

One of the great things about going out in Florence are the bars. Not only are they ultra modern with lots of beautiful young people but they also serve food - and what's more it is free! We went twice to a great place near our hotel called Flor in Viale Filippo Strozzi. They call this a cooking bar but it also had it's own resident Japanese Sushi chef preparing little snacks all evening on the house. Lots of lovely little dishes of Sushi and Sashimi. Throughout the evening another chef is preparing small samples of pasta, tasty bruchetta (a traditional Florentine appetiser) and all manner of other tasty morsels. Every so often a waitress will visit your table and place an assortment of snacks to eat. There really is no point in booking a restaurant because after visiting this cocktail bar you are full. We thought 'Why don't they do this at home?' wouldn't it be great?

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Opera Concert in Firenze

We decided to find the best 5 star hotel in Florence and go and sit by their swimming pool for the day. Eventually we came across the Hotel Minerva
and how lucky were we. Not only did we have a great time sitting by the rooftop pool
but we made friends with the bar manager 'Said' who is from Morocco.

Said looked after us very well indeed and we stayed until 2.30 the following morning. We also met Sarah who invited us to an opera concert that evening in a church nearby. The highlight of the concert was a japanese soprano Asako Uchimura famed for playing the part of Cio-Cio-San in Madame Butterfly. For more information on these concerts in Florence and the area go to

Monday, 16 July 2007

Lisa and Dominic

Lisa, my daughter and her husband Dominic have been married for 10 years, they are both 31. Lisa is the current Lib Dem councillor for Boscombe West.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Luca and John Legend

John Legend - so near and yet so far

During our stay in Tuscany we visited Lucca and stayed for 2 nights. The hotel the cab driver took us to was in the main square and it was the start of an arts festival. Great we thought! we will have a free view and as John Legend was on the next night we booked another night. John Legend may be a great singer but the vibrations from the rehearsal and the concert were pretty bad - so bad we left that part of town and went for a drink in a quieter place . Even though Elton John was playing the following night we decided to leave.

The picture above shows the house where Puccini lived for a time.

Kismet - a pantomime

A couple of weeks ago I went to see a production of Kismet at the London
Coloseum. I particularly wanted to go because of Alfie Boe who I heard on the radio.

Alfie was great and he sang 'Stranger in Paradise' brilliantly. The show though was pretty poor and rather embarassing since it was set in Baghdad. A bit of a pantomime really.

Anyhow there was a great atmosphere in the theatre and I hadn't been in there before so it was an experience.

We left London well before midnight and we heard the following morning that someone had attempted to bomb the Trocadero at Piccadilly that night.



Firenze and every other town is packed with motor bikers and often push bikes.

Siena and the Pucci exhibition

In Siena we found a permanent exhibition to the dress designer

Emilio Pucci. All of the clothes date from a show in Siena itself and it was ok.

Hamid in Firenze

We stopped for coffee at every opportunity. Here is Hamid in Firenze

Lovely food in Italy

While we were in Italy we had some fantastic food. Here are some examples.
The figs were amazingly sweet and so were the tomatoes.
This market was in Pisa.


Here I am at the leaning tower. We climbed to the top at sunset. My battery ran out in the camera which was annoying so no nice pictures of views.

My own version of the leaning tower

Self Portrait

I practice photography and this is a recent self portrait

In an emergency

In an emergency you must take off your glasses and take out your dentures. This is worrying for anyone who does not have good eyesight.

Is he looking for his glasses?

Made it!

Trip to Tuscany

Just come back from a trip to Pisa and Florence. On the Ryan air flight from Bournemouth to Pisa I had a good look at the safety information and it is surprisingly complicated. I copied some examples. These are the emergency exits which we have of course all learn by heart.
This looks reasonable enough - in an emergency put the mask on with the elastic at the back. Ok