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 “April, 2015”

Walton and Hersham 1 East Grinstead 1 . A poor game

As I have been watching Walton since the days of their FA Amateur cup win at Wembley, where then the bulk of their team was the team that became Wimbledon under Allen Batsford,  maybe it is fair comment to say that last saturday was one of the worst games of football I have ever seen there and indeed am struggling to think of anywhere else. I realise this is Ryman South but for 9£ standards need to be a little higher than sunday park football.

The ground is starting to look derelict with the terrace area along the pitch now boarded up for safety reasons. It is also fair to say that there was no air of positivity in the crowd, which recently hovers around 100 hardy souls.

Here are my photographic memories. The most memorable moment? The Walton keeper hitching his shorts up in some strange manner, which clearly put off the East Grinstead striker who subsequently took a poor penalty that was easily saved.  The second most memorable moment? The cheeseburger.


Referee Mr C Green Ryman South

Referee Mr C Green Ryman South

Met Police 5 East Thurrock 0





Slovenia. An amazing place

Occasionally one travels to a country and finds immediately it takes your soul.  This is Slovenia. The people are pleasant, helpful and vibrant. They smile and do not complain. The mountains with snow on top look beautiful. The city is a place to walk and look, eat ice cream at cafes ( hazelnut and raspberry are recommended) and drink coffee. The bard look enticing and the prices most definitely not european. This is a good place to come to. The contrast cannot be more stark. Heathrow airport is a vile place, full of heaving, pushing people, expensive drinks and little to do or see. There is no customer satisfaction. These views were not made better by arriving back at  Terminal 1 friday evening around 11pm to find that security staff for BAA had kindly locked one of the corridors stopping any passenger either to get to or from their gate…

View original post 49 more words


Slovenia. A photographic view with humble I Phone

Slovenian Mental HospitalLjubjanaphoto 4photo 4-9photo 3photo 3-3photo 3-2photo 2-8photo 2-3photo 1-2photo 1-3

Slovenia and Food

Many aspects of Slovenian food are not unlike good quality British or American food.In 2006, the leading Slovenian ethnologists have divided the country into 23 gastronomic regions. Breakfasts tend to be a mixture of fresh fruit, cold meats and cooked eggs. The quality is exceptionally high. The first Slovene-language cookbook was published by Valentin Vodnik in 1799 and I am not planning the second. A few more curious ingredients it seems also, such as Dandelion being popular in salads, and soups it seems are quite a new invention in Slovenia although they now have around 150, enough for most.

There are however a few more unique aspects to their food. For example a very thin crispy pizza served as a starter, with toppings in different lines of pizza being different. Works well as a starter but a temptation to eat rather more than one might want to. Many countries seem to bring their own cultures and influences. The provision of an extra course of cold meats and cheese after a starter with ample bread also suggests not a UK tradition!photo 1-9

There are however some strange traditions here, like giving cups of coffee seemingly only half full even when one asks for a traditional large Americano!photo 4-5 photo 4-8photo 4-3photo 5As Slovenia borders Italy and is not actually a million miles from Venice, there are some Italian influences in addition to pizza and ice cream. Roasted potatoes are simple and ample portions. Pork cordon bleu is almost German in its origin.

Desserts can also be interesting with Tarte Tatin hot with ice cream. Prices are maybe 30-50% below what current UK prices are. photo 5-8 photo 5-9 photo 5-10 photo 5 photo 2-1

photo 4-1photo 5-1photo 1-1

Why does this cat come and sit outside and look at me?

image-1 image-2

Are the Police the only way to stop Brentford scoring?

Fulham 1 Brentford 4. By the end this looked the only way to stop Brentford scoring more goals.

photo 5photo 3photo 2

A Day Out On The River. Fulham 1 Brentford 4

As 6,151 Brentford fans were there today and witnessed a fantastic game when frankly Brentford were not at their best and often caught out by long balls from Fulham, yet scored four fantastic goals, world class at least two of them. Fulham is always a decent day out. You have to go by train as there is no parking, and the ground gives decent views from all stands. A nice walk through the park to get there and the only negative is the excessive and unnecessary numbers of stewards present in and out of the ground and the police presence was absurd. This is Brentford not Leeds.

So a few photos to remind us of this incredible day out.

photo 1-2 photo 1 photo 2-2 photo 2-3 photo 2 photo 3-2 photo 3-3 photo 3 photo 4-2 photo 4-3 photo 4 photo 5-3 photo 5

Are Smart Meters really as bad as Sunday Times makes out?

photo1 yLast sunday The Sunday Times ran an article in their money section that purported to inform us that smart meters were not only unreliable but potentially overcharged many customers and created havoc with energy bills. The biased and opinionated headline ” Scandal of the £11bn smart meter rollout plan” gave clear identity to the content of what then followed. Having had a smart meter installed a few weeks ago I was somewhat curious to know these hidden pitfalls that neither British Gas nor anyone else had told me.

The evidence to support this ” scandal” derived from a few cases where clearly errors had happened, mistakes made and where old meters ( from 2010) had been installed in error. The opening paragraph designed to get us running for either deep caves or our lawyers told a case that clearly cannot be the norm of an installation where monthly electricity bills had increased 1906%. We were then informed that these meters sometimes go wrong ( well yes, anyone care to put forward any electrical item that is faultless), and then a single suppliers meter may not be compatible with any new supplier should we change. To the latter point I actually agree that there should be uniform meters but as the meter took around 1 hour to install then any new suppliers can fit a new one without to the customer any great fuss free of charge. This then brings us to the next issue that these meters are free to consumers, and that they are designed to help reduce fuel bills or at a minimum make us aware what we are spending. The poor guy with clearly an errant meter whose bills had rocketed overnight would not need to be a degree level mathematician to be aware that spending £4.50 each time to boil a single kettle would be less than fiscally optimum.

This plan to have smart meters in all our homes was announced over a decade ago and every home would have one by 2020. Many homes have them. According to the Department of Energy and Climate change 764,800 have already been installed and although Sunday Times makes the mathematical point that the number of complaints has trebled last year ( without telling us that no doubt the numbers of meters have also trebled) the numbers are minimal increasing from 16 complaints in 2013 to 50 in 2014.

Some customers will not like the fact they can visually see how expensive the fuel is and no doubt some will ” want their meters checked”, this will be done free if faults are found, but cannot be free if this purely on the whim of a customer. This ” pay if nothing is wrong” concept is also not new and providers of Cable and Digital providers have been doing this for years on items such as Tevo boxes.

Clearly these meters do and will go wrong and over time will be improved and modified, anyone who is not comfortable with this approach, should just wait then, as many companies including Apple also find new items come with faults and these get modified early one. EDF as an example find fault with only 0.5% of their meters. This is not a wonderful ratio but certainly an understandable one and one that will decrease over time.

So what are the stated benefits? Easy. The government reckons that the £11bn cost to install these smart meters will be offset of savings of £17.1 bn by 2030 according to the Sunday Times. This may or may not happen, however my own experience so far is very positive. I have found by judicious use of the various numbers I can easily access on the meter, that I have reduced daily energy consumption from around £5/day to around £3/day. Actually seeing the cost for example of how much it costs to heat the house in the morning led to a simple change, turning heating off maybe 20 minutes before leaving the house.

These smart meters are not perfect but they will do a good job to educate and help reduce fuel bills, they are free, and yes, sometimes they will go wrong. Lets live with that awful scandal. The meters themselves look just like any other but have wifi potential and the actual smart meter reading tool is quite smart too, tells us the time, the costs and a whole host of other useful information.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: