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 tag “airport”

FA cup First Round. The grounds are hardly crowded. Why ?


The media are full of the glamour of the FA cup. Sadly for many if not most teams that glamour is somewhat tarnished.

Not everyone is aware that the FA cup starts in August and ends in May. The early qualifying rounds are a god given chance for nonleague teams to make a small amount of money from the moderately attractive prize money on offer. By the time the first round rolls round in November the media suddenly awake with their stories of candlestick makers and funeral directors somehow managing to combine a job and a nonleague football career. Curiously they manage that on each of the other 364 days. As overheard at the recent Met Police FA trophy game a player when asked if he was playing on Tuesday simply answered negatively as was working. As Moriarty famously said in Sherlock “ that’s what people do”.

The glamour of the first round however comes with sadness too. The crowds at many grounds , sometimes famous grounds in FA cup parlor, were poor if not pathetic. The reasons may be varied. Clubs that decide not to offer deals and retain normal charges . Clubs that poorly advertise. Clubs that simply do not care as the league club imagines that the prize money more than compensates.

Let’s take a look at the winners and the rogues gallery. Starting with the rogues;

  • Colchester. We all recall Layer Road and the Leeds cup tie. The crowd v Oxford City a pitiful 1775. Oxford won 1-0.
  • Coventry. A crowd of 3370 saw a 2-0 victory over Maidenhead.
  • Charlton. Another ex-premier league side . A crowd of 4494 saw a 3-1 victory over Truro. Around 1000 were Truro fans
  • Blackburn. Premiership winners . A crowd of 3710 saw a 3-1 victory over Barnet
  • Wimbledon. There has been enough miserable moaning from the club over the last few years about MK Dons and Franchise FC. The famous FA cup winners persuaded only 3394 paying spectators to attend their game against Lincoln City who had an incredible run last year. Terrible in my opinion. Need I continue.

So where were the decent crowds? The nonleague sides playing at home. Hereford who are a reincarnated club but with great cup history had 4712 watch them defeat another nonleague side AFC Telford. Almost matching the highest crowd of the round at Luton v Portsmouth. 5333.

What realistically can be done? There are three options

  1. Do nothing and watch the history and glamour of this great competition die
  2. Allow the FA to subsidise prices for the first two rounds such that the maximum ticket price is £10 or less and children are free
  3. In the first round seed all nonleague teams to have home advantage

To do nothing is not an option.

An hour in Newcastle on Tyne


As with many trips there is never enough time to see a city properly . But if you have an hour just walk down to the quayside area . The choice is walk along the Tyne. Walk over a bridge. There are plenty to choose from.

The lower level bridge is my favourite for no good reason. One is undercover and the smell of urine is not far away. But a few curious aspects. The padlocks are interesting. To read the inscriptions . Compare the different types. Wonder how many of the couples who placed them here are still together?

The views are also good of all the other bridges. When you reach the far side you are in Gateshead. And it does seem as though you have left Newcastle.

This is a great city and a friendly one too. Well worth an hour wandering around

What Exactly Is The Point of C gates at Terminal 5 Heathrow?


While extra runways are the talk of the town there are few comments on the use of Terminal 5 in an effective manner.

Passengers dread the phrase when it appears on the departure screens, B gates or C gates. It always adds 10-15 minutes onto the time needed to reach the gate. The shuttle train is always coming in two minutes which translated this morning into 6 minutes. At least this is multiples of two. Combined with the wait while the ineffective nonsense of the security search is undertaken provides audible sighs and almost visible misery from the waiting passengers.

Today was such a day. A flight to Frankfurt on a 767. Presumably operational reasons dictated a large plane . No issues there. However the striking metric emanating from the departure screen was that only nine flights were departing from the C gates over a six hour period . How can this be effective for anyone? The shops there lie vacant of business with downcast salesmen with no one to sell to. The concourses were totally empty. Surely there must be a better way to use C gates?

Gothenburg Harbour . Sunrise and Sunset


The area around the harbour on the south side is essentially a Science park and a Radisson hotel. But at sunrise and sunset it comes to life . A few photographs .

Unusual Food Items. Chapter 1. Fried Curry Donuts


Without doubt this is the first time I have come across fried curry donuts. Served in a cellophane bag , making me wonder how long these have gone uneaten, in a Japan Airlines lounge at Frankfurt airport.  I am afraid that I have no intention of eating these. 

The Queens Crown Travelled to Houses of Parliament in its own car. Is this correct in 2017? 


For once I am speechless. This is 2017. What springs to mind is the senseless waste of public money. The pure daftness of the idea. Just why? 

The crown travelled in a car with its own security escort. 

As imagined many folks had things to say on Twitter. Including myself. To summarise views. Medieval nonsense and grotesque display of wealth that might be regarded as highly insensitive in current times. 

The tweet that wins the prize though is this 

”Queen’s Speech: where you hear about prioritisation of mental health services, then watch as a crown gets taken away in its own car”

But why was she not wearing her crown fir the first time in 43 years for the Queens Speech? The event came too close to the Trooping of the colour to allow sufficient practice and rehearsal. But not to worry. The crown was within eyesight of the queen to her right. 

The Sri Lankan People. Photographs From A Nice Nation


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Young Sri Lankan girl came running to meet us

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Captain of The Boat House running river boat cruises and dresses to impress

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Young boy ran to see us with his sister above

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The Best Tour guide in Sri Lanka

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Pillows were in short supply at the 2nd Sri Lanka v Australia test at Galle 2016

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Anyone working in the 30 degrees Sri Lankan heat of the afternoon has my admiration

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Many important discussions happen in the middle of a railway track

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Sri Lanka V Australia at Galle 2016


During a recent trip to Sri Lanka we were fortunate enough to have a spare hour at the end of the day to watch the cricket from the Galle Fort that sits high above the ground.

00005440 Many choose to watch from here as it is free and the views are not too bad. Some locals and some tourists. A great experience to see English folks avidly supporting the Sri Lankans. Maybe the most interesting use of a coconut I have seen as a pillow for this slumbering gentleman.

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The Animals of Udawalawe National Park in Sri Lanka


Many travellers to Sri Lanka have heard of and visit Yala National Park however far more visit Udawalawe.Udawalawe National Park lies on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces, in Sri Lanka 165 kilometres (103 mi) from Colombo. Udawalawe is an important habitat for water birds and Sri Lankan elephants. It is a popular tourist destination and the third most visited park in the country.

Udawalawe is an important habitat for water birds and Sri Lankan elephants.

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The national park was created to provide a sanctuary for wild animals displaced by the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir on the Walawe River, as well as to protect the catchment of the reservoir  and covers 30,821 hectares (119.00 sq mi) of land  and was established in 1972.

Other than than the more exotic animals such as elephants , a whole plethora of birds, water monitors and other lizrd creatures seem to appear from nowhere.

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A few thoughts on a few hours in Madrid


I have posted a few articles this year on Madrid. A great city but a warm one. Recently I had a few hours to myself to walk around and that goes quickly in Madrid. Who cares where I walked but it was on the edge of Gran Via.

IMG_4299A few things struck me:

  1. This is a seriously hot city. Temperatures that day were a medium 30c at maximum but it felt hotter, what we call dry heat. In the summer I am told 45c is not unusual. Now that is too hot to be walking aroundFullSizeRender-5
  2. Prices for ice creams are a disgrace. In general Spain is not an expensive city at all, in fact relatively cheap, but to be asked for 3.20 euros for an ice cream cone is criminal.
  3. Everyone still seems to smoke here. This is not backed up in the official statistics of course, but just take a walk and take a look. FullSizeRender-6
  4. Spanish food is curious frankly. They never seem to want to heat it up properly and seem to regularly recycle in buffets food that maybe in UK would have been removed. IMG_4322
  5. The people generally are smiling. People are talking to each other. They tried talking to me, as most think I am Spanish, but at a conversation speed that appraoches the speed of re-entry into the Earth atmosphere.
  6. I like the city, the country and mostly the people.
  7. There is no word in the spanish language for Queue. This does not happen. They are not being rude ( well maybe they are) but people do not queue. Not anywhere. Old ladies are the most dangerous species with their bags and coats at strange angles and heading directly towards where they want to get to. If they knock you then so be it ( its your fault of course, not theirs),
  8. Lastly there is a reason why the abbreviation for Madrid Barajas airport is MAD. A really confusing and complex airport. Do allow time there to negotiate your way through.

 

When can I go back please? But dont mention the football. Euro 2016.

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