Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the month “October, 2011”

notts County 1 Brentford 1


Seems like quite a feisty game. Rosler was sent to the stands. notts got an unjust penlaty and Donaldson scored one of the great Bees goals of all time it seems! anyway just got the great news that kimberley is now a fully fledged scuba diving instructoress!!! Wonderful news

Escape From Toronto


Another grey dull and now wet day in Toronto. The day of escape from this incarceration. I am sure Toronto and its people have their good points but its just that they are well hidden. Dinner was interesting for people watching last night. Firstly the couple who ordered the smallest bottle of wine that I have ever seen outside a childrens game. They sipped their wine ever so slowly that surely evaporation extracted a greater quantity. But there again the advertised house wine and that’s my description not theirs was 42$. Secondlt the family of four who took so long ordering that I had ordered and eaten 3 courses as they ordered. Was desperately trying to hear their conversations. But the adhd congress was interesting enough. A full day of learning that for me began at 3 am my time with waking for a teleconference taking place in UK time. The hotel continuess to underwhelm me. Its easiest to just say what does not work either at all or randomly. TV and Internet and Bath and Lights. The lights really are a strange thing. Surely all rooms need lights? There are none on the ceiling only lights at the edge of one side of the room and a single one opposite. Meaning that one peers like an elderly man who has lost his spectacles in a comedy film to see anything written. The people of Toronto continue to push and shove and generally behave in an impolite manner. The poor guy cooking the breakfast omelettes and that’s a bad job in my view was suddenly confronted with a man demanding not asking for fresh eggs? Now at 7 am in the dark it was a curious idea as to where the real life chickens would be hidden in this large hotel. Some interesting names of people here. Wonder about their derivation? Coffin, Pottie, Psychopath………. No reason to suspect that these are not real names of real people. Even project escape is not so easy. A fire alarm at the hotel results in total chaos. No employee actually was able to recognise the alarm as a fire alarm. Eventually after the obligatory 15 minutes outside all was sorted. The only smoke was from the dreadful woman who started smoking outside seemingly with a desire to asphyxiate me. Then off to the airport. That’s where I was when I heard Gaddafi was dead. In the taxi because the traffic was appalling. The taxi driver spent the journey lecturing me about Lebanon . I am fairly sure he had ADHD as well with no need for any rating scale.

There is obviuously something about maybe this country, Canada, or this city ,Toronto, that does not really agree with me, we are kind of incompatible. At the airport there are hardly any signs. Even a seasoned traveller suc as myself found it very complex to work out something quite simple, which aisle to use to check in, and the choice was only A-G. Just no signs. Then the security process will win the olympics for slowest procedure of the decade. Just not enough scanners, people and one suspects, processes. Luckily on a business class ticket I made an executive decision to go down the entrance entitled ” fast track” and no-one either hit me or threw me out. But the mere mortals in the ordinary queue may still be there tomorrow and saying ” I remember where I was when Gaddafi died, and when his successor took over and when they had children………..still in the queue”. Lastly finding the airport lounge, and I do realise that not many readers will have much or indeed any sympathy for me but I have, again guess what no signs. It is only when you are within maybe 5 metres of the door one can see a star alliance logo and that gives the clue. Sign saying lounge? No way. I am afraid that I cannot wait to leave this country and have no desire to return. Sad.

Toronto Day 2


 

Day two of my incarceration in Toronto. The room temperature in the hotel seems still pre-set on minus zero. The staff all continue to look like they need a group ECT session. The colour of the sky a grey shade of grey.

 

The congress is curious. It seems obligatory to have numerous badges almost looking like Wellington should have been there fresh from battle. The food inside and outside is incredulous in price. For example the cost of burger and chips from a street van outside is 8$. The food looks like it was cooked in medieval times and a good recipe for food poisoning. The congress hotel is grand and huge and I fail to even find the right floor. A huge room quite full with folks looking to learn about adhd but a single small screen in the corner. More massive badges with sub badges attached that almost reach to the floor. Well stay in one place for long enough and the cabaret will always arrive.

 

The congress is actually very good content wise and we are taught very clearly that inability to plan is a key symptom for adhd particularly in adults. So it may be considered a little surprising that the organisers also do not seem to be able to plan. A large ballroom packed with chairs and folks standing. So around 300 people. Room is flat with no incline. One small screen to see the slides in the left hand corner of the room. So even in the 5th row out of perhaps 20 one cannot see the bottom half of the screen. The lectern in contrast is so high that one cannot see most of the speakers behind it! Finally there are no microphones for the audience to ask any questions so they shout them out and the speaker has to repeat them. Hmmm……..

 

More bad news in the hotel. The food that is favoured in the restaurant is the mushroom. The Wild Mushroom Festival. I hate mushrooms so I suspect another burger will be devoured tonight.

 

Toronto Canada – Dissapointing


Travelling is always an interesting occupation. There are so many not average people. For example I seriously considered on this flight to Canada if David Walliams might be a flight attendant in disguise. Furthermore a definite age limit exists and I am not objecting. No employee shall be under the age of 60 years at any time.
Another aspect worth consideration is the chauvanistic one. Only on a plane can so many presumably competent males become incompetent and need redress from the air hostess. The clever males ask clever questions. Such as what wine? Then having been told the answer they pretend cleverness by asking for French. Seemingly unaware for the last 1000 years the French have made white as well as red wine.
The toilets are also a topic worthy of mention. Despite a plane being of small size they remain incredibly well hidden with a series of hieroglypics on the wall that mean nothing to 21st century man.
But the food is nice but not necessarily quickly produced. This always surprises me. Cold salmon is not often found at 30,000 feet so a delay of more than 2 hours flying time before the obligatory starter appears seems curious. However it was very nice and came with a 20 ml bottle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Can these be bought albeit in larger quantities in UK? Meanwhile clever male behind talking in one one of those deep voices made for TV has now forgotten if he evn had red or white wine. I suspect he has forgotten if indeed he had wine. But he manages to say yes or no. And that’s exactly what he did say!
The air hostesses are now falling out. ” I have no idea what SHE is doing…..”
Entertainment without need for TV.
Now the food conversation. Cold Salmon a nice starter. Main course of standard of Co Op ready meal. Fish and mash and fennel and what is described as ratatouille. Hmm. I ate it all. But yup co op dinners are sometimes my preferred option. But for the others here paying £ 3500 for business class? Can I be cynical and presume that airline marketing shows that business travellers have an n= 1 for number of flights? Can this be the best food to be eaten 35,000 ft in the air above Greenland? Not sure. Would I pay 4£ at co op next saturday? Yup. But I did get 2 bread rolls as well that were definitely not as good as co op. Gor those who do not yet know know, bread rolls at co op are the best.
Having arrived at Toronto airport I can say that the airport puts Heathrow to shame. Clean, quick etc…..you get the picture. Heathrow is really the worst airport I have anything to do with.
Toronto however is grey, drizzly, crowded, streets full of pushing rushing people……….have not seen anything desirable to date. My hotel is dreary, expensive and food average at best. For some inexplicable reason all signs detailing the breakfast offerings were in Chinese??? Was expecting english or French maybe.
The hotel room is cold. Trying to work some heating scale on the wall led to the room being colder, seems the options are either cold or even colder ( with cold air being blown out).
Anyway enough moaning. Off to the ADHD congress to see what I can learn.

Slovenia


Highwayman


Until I get some comments on these pictures I shall continue to upload them!!

Slovenia


a busy week. Got back from slovenia saturday afternoon and was straight off to take Elena to her birthday party. A trip to see Johnny English at the cinema with 3 friends, a curry afterwards and then the dreaded sleepover! they went to sleep 1.30 am and was up 7 am………needless to say they are tired today. Photographs will follow in due course. Hedgepig decided to be extra social today and came out happily in the daytime sitting on folks laps. The film was actually very funny. Rowan Atkinson doing a sort of tuned down Mr Bean character. Greyhounds all walked today with Elena accompanied by her current best friend Caitlin, who could not be more different to Elena if she tried.
Happily, I missed a 0-0 Brentford v Scunthorpe game which sounds as exciting as the scorelines suggests.
slovenia though was amazing. A special place. Green country with snowy mountains, happy smiling people and lovely city centre with river walks, cafes, bars, music everywhere. I was however the oldest person there! My talks went well so a good choice that I will be invited back to slovenia and Croatia!
Weather here is starting to turn autumnal, leaves are all off the trees, cold in the evening and heating has been turned on for the first time. Not bad I suppose, the middle of October!

Kimberly!


All this time and you did not know you could upload photos! How did you think mine got there………….

Paris was quite enjoyable just a day away. eurostar was quick. Only 2 hours to Paris. Did not see anything interesting other than in my two taxi rides, but it still had a nice feel. Tomorrow off to Slovenia for 2 days and then monday off to Toronto for the week. Lots of travelling, too much even. Had to check what the currency is in Slovenia, Euros. Other than that some good news today. Elena passed the entrance exam to Nonsuch but no guarantee she will get a place as 1500 took the exam for around 180 places. but she was pleased and so were we. She worked really hard. Hedgepig is being quite friendly now and allows me to put him on lap without that silly huffing and chuffing. The only other news was that the Gaistrel across the road was apparently screaming and shouting this morning and asking Yasmin to lend him her phone to call the police. It turned out that he had some decoraating done on the house but seemingly not to his satisfaction and the workers had left their wheelbarrow in his back garden. Today they turned up in a van, must have gone round the back and hopped over his fence, taken the wheelbarrow. So he calls the police!! The only other piece of news remotely exciting is that I had a haircut monday and now know what number to ask for, number 6!!

Highwayman


for reasons that are almost inexplicable the local school have deemed that all children in Year 6 ( these are 11-12 yr olds in our parlance, but currently this time of year mostly just 11 yrs) can wear costumes to be a book character to school tomorrow monday. What does the 11 yr old want to be? A highwayman. Maybe this is a career decision and if so not a bad one. Enjoy. My eldest daughter asked a most reasonable question as to why I had photos of  her sister in these outfits. My initial response was the the new headmistress had decided the school should be a progressive school and children might wear what they wanted. this was treated with some distain but sadly the truth of the matter was that my wife has a fancy dress shop at her work. this is strange enough anyway, but she works in cancer research in a hospital environment and I do not feel that I have totally convinced my eldest daughter that this part is indeed totally true. The idea of highwayman comes from two angles. Firstly they are doing the poem the Highwayman at school and i would recommend you to type in highwayman into  youtube and watch the videos. Secondly, a great book called Jack Bolt by Richard Hamilton. i have read a number of books to me daughter over the years and this one is in the top ten and based on the story of a Highwayman ending up in the 21st Century. go read it.

highwayman - a career choiceHighwaymanHighwayman

Metropolitan Police 0 Billericay Town 1


As Brentford were playing in carlisle, which is essentially an hour from Glasgow, it was a simple decision to miss this game and go to a local non-league game. I have taken to watching Met Police who play in the Ryman’s Premier league, which is actually only 3 leagues below the football league.  One of the reasons i watch them is that parking is so easy, a great big car park at their Molesesy HQ. However I always check that my tax disc is showing and in date and the tyres on the car are not too offensive. a decent game. Met Police play passing football and most teams they play seem to rely more on the physical aspects. Met Police had a player sent off after about 10 minutes for being ” the last man” and the game seemed destined to finish 0-0, although in fairness Billericay should have had a number of goals. In injury time a truly shocking backpass gave billericay a goal. this also is the first game where the secretary came around in the 75th minute to hand out programmes to all spectators because the programmes had been printed ” been sent somewhere, and arrived in the 75th minute……”. Free of charge i must add.

Meanwhile Brentford drew 2-2 with Carlisle and it seems from the report a lively enough game with Brentford taking the lead and then equalising in the 88th minute. Uwe Rosler on the radio afterwards sounded a happy enough soul.

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