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 “November, 2013”

Casting Spells in Finland

After a mere 24 hours in Finland I can only say that this is quite a magical place. The people are kind, intelligent and interesting, also interested in other people. The food is great. The hotels are interesting. The temperature is cold, minus 8 this morning.  What however struck me the most is that for children to learn spelling is not so easy. I had to sit through 2 hours of lectures in Finnish, which I did with good grace ( and my blackberry). One noticed that they used a lot of long words, and I counted  21 letters in one word. At dinner I was informed that the words could get and did get longer. Here is an example:

levyseppahitsaasaopiskelna = 26 letters


fin3 finland fin2 Helsinki Hilton

The Shocking Cost of food at London City Airport

For anyone who does not know, LCY is an airport easily accesible from the centre of London and is used by many city types and those that inhabit Canary Wharf. Mere mortals like myself may use the airport when it is easier than travelling out to Heathrow. Tonight I was shocked beyond belief at the cost of meals on offer in essentially a bar area.

The layout of LCY is essentially open plan with a few barriers separating out a few areas. There is only one bar and that is in the main section of the deparature lounge and in fact one has to walk through the lounge with tables on either side to get to the departure gates 21-24. So there is a constant stream of people rushing past these tables to head off to the airport.

The cost of meals in this area is astonishing, ranging 20£ up to 35£ for a single main course. So for a couple with a bottle of wine eating a quick meal before flying off they will leave with their wallet emptied by potentially over 100£.


Prices of Food at London City airport

Prices of Food at London City airport

Suede. The best concert I have ever been to

Occasionally things fall into place and the opportunity to go to Amsterdam for a weekend and see Suede in the Paradiso was aligned. The Paradiso is  an old church in the centre of amsterdam near Leidseplein and functions as a concert venue and also a nightclub/disco. Perhaps it holds 1500 in the main hall.  Not so large. But large enough for artists like Lady Gaga to have played there in 2009 .Glen Matlock played his last gig with The Sex Pistols at the Paradiso..

On May 26–27, 1995, The Rolling Stones played two semi-acoustic concerts at the Paradiso. Scalped tickets reportedly sold for many thousands of dollars. Keith Richards said that the Paradiso concerts were the best live shows the Stones ever did. Having seen Suede I can imagine that can be true. The atmosphere there is electric and yet one is not too far from the stage and oddly not too crowded.

Wikipaedia lists a long list of bands who have played there. Try this  “Other acts who played in Paradiso include Level 42, George Clinton & the Parliament-Funkadelic, The Fixx, Florence and the Machine, Patrick Wolf,Within Temptation, Adele, Garbage, The Gathering, Nine Inch Nails,Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arctic Monkeys, Europe, Radiohead, Stereophonics, Prince,UB40, Guns N’ Roses, David Bowie, Thirty Seconds to Mars, The Police, Rob Eberhard Young, The Velvet Underground, Rollins Band, Golden Earring, Herman Brood, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dr. John, Muse,Rory Gallagher, Foo Fighters, Fugazi, Curve, U2, Pearl Jam, Lana Del Rey, Burning Spear, Simple Minds, Ramones, Cocteau Twins, Human League, Autechre, Orbital, Plaid, The Tragically Hip, Metallica, Faith No More, Faithless, Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, Ozric Tentacles, Primus, Tool, The Pretty Things, Tracy Chapman, Captain Beefheart, The Jam, Coldplay, Billy Idol, Keane, Robbie Williams, Emilíana Torrini,Eels, “Weird Al” Yankovic, The Real McKenzies, Patti Smith, Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Errorism, Todd Rundgren, My Morning Jacket, Phish, Adele,OFWGKTA and Prince, Foals”. Indeed I saw myself Robbie Williams there over 10 years ago.

 Wikipaedia tells us ” It is housed in a converted former church building that dates from the nineteenth century and that was used until 1965 as the meeting hall for a liberal Dutch religious group known as the “Vrije Gemeente” (Free Congregation)”. There was no evidence of any religious congregation last saturday when Suede played the last night of their european tour. 

Suede are not a new band and were around from 1989 and disbanding in 2003 and reforming in 2010. Many of their songs are well known without people knowing it is Suede.

The concert cannot be captured in words. The energy of the whole band was unique, Brett Anderson, singer, sang some songs sitting on the edge of the stage, others whilst walking through the crowd but mostly at a high tempo on stage. A magical evening and a magical concert. The ending came too soon but not without the band playing songs which never made it onto an album. The question is why not? The real reason why this band are so good is that they do not take their audience for granted. They have no airs and graces. They thank the fans genuinely for coming. But it is a band and the whole band are visual and entertain and most importantly enjoy themselves.


Bishop Paul Bushe 1490- 1558 Bristol Cathedral

Bishop Bushe was the first Bishop of Bristol Cathedral appointed by Henry 8th in 1542. He lasted 12 years before getting married in 1553 and then being thrown out for being a married priest in 1554. Nonetheless he has a decent tomb inside Bristol Cathedral. My interest in all this is that I am descended from him. He wrote some poetry and other small itesm that include, according to Wikipaidia  ” ‘Certayne Gostly Medycynes necessary to be used among well disposed people, to eschew and avoid the comen plage of pestilence’ (Redman, no date). This is a small trac containing prayers and conjurations against the plague.”  Bishop Paul Bushe by chris Bushe

Bishop Paul Bushe by chris Bushe


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Stompond Lane. The Home of Walton and Hersham FC

Stompond lane has been the home of Walton and Hersham, who now play in the Ryman South division, ever since I began watching the club almost 50 years ago.  There have been some famous moments. Walton have played FA Cup first round games here in front of thousands of spectators including against Exeter and Brighton, managed then by Brian Clough. Walton also won the Amateur cup in 1973. Things however have been declining since then almost consistently. Far from being one of the best non-league clubs they are now one of the smallest in crowd terms at their level and things may get even worse. The council plan to redevelop Stompond Lane and force Walton and Hersham to share with their neighbours, also in Ryman South, Walton Casuals.  This plan has not been met with joy by either club however statements only  a week ago suggest that this plan to…

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The Last Strawberry 2013

The few little things that we have grown in the garden this year have actually tasted great, although not exactly kilograms of them. We have a Strawberry plant that has lived outside through snow and whatever weather is thrown at us, and produces happily each year. Today I found a last strawberry hidden away on the plant.

last strawberry copy

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Brentford FC New Ground- Lionel road

Delighted to see that plans are forming for the new Brentford ground, which will hold 15,000, a sensible sized ground. Should Brentford reach the championship in the next few seasons, which is likely, it is very much a southern based division. Likely visitors to the new Lionel Road stadium would include Millwall, Charlton, QPR, Fulham, Reading, Southampton, Watford, Crystal Palace and maybe West Ham. Given some other big names, it is likely that 50% of games could be sell-out crowds and few crowds would be under 8,000. In other words the ground will host atmosphere as well as games. 

The ground it seems could be ready in time for the 2016-17 season. Great plans, great idea. I feel more positive about the future of Brentford than at any time in the last 50 years of my support. Maybe Brentford might be due a new mascot then?Image

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Brentford Football Club Favour Needed

I need a favour from as many friends on here as possible. As many of you know I have been watching Brentford Football Club for 50 years. It is time for them to move to a new stadium. A stadium site has been identified a few yards from the current ground, and frankly is an excellent option. The council are considering the planning application on Dec 5th and we need as many folks to be supportive of this as possible. My own view is that this is an excellent opportunity to improve the local economy, provide free education as well and generally to progress the football club. You can read full details on the Brentford FC Website or on i need is this. Please email Shane Baker at with your views and please include your postal address and name. It really will help. Include the reference number 00703/A/P11 IN THE SUBJECT TITLE43

Photographs with an I Phone

Am seriously underwhelmed with the camera capacity of the I Phone. I see others do better but wonder how much post-production there must be, months maybe. There are not many times I want to take photos with the I Phone as for me it is not a real camera. But sometimes the subject matter just works and here are two examples where the photos are not too shabby. On a more positive note just look at the alcohol available in this BA lounge!

photo photobeer

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