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 “dubai”

The Hoopoe bird

To come across this bird twice in a month is quite co-incidental .The first time was when the 12-year old conned me into buying a game called ” bird bingo”. This as it suggests is bingo but instead of numbers one pulls types of birds out a bag. Needless to say I never win just as with normal bingo. There were many exotic and odd birds in this game and in fact only a very few that  I vaguely recognised. The Hoopoe bird caught my eye with an interesting name and exotic looks.

the second visitation of this bird was in Dubai. Peering over my hotel balcony I heard some rustling noises and caught a shadow under a tree. On closer inspection it was a Hoopoe bird. The third visitation was when walking around the grounds of the hotel, I saw one maybe 10 yards away, too far to get a photo on a Blackberry, so these photos are not mine but do demonstrate exactly how this wonderful bird looks. When it flies it has a low trajectory but takes off rather fast. I have chosen a few photos that demonstrate well what the bird really does look like.

They eat mainly insects and live in usually warm climates, but did 30 years ago appear in Southern England. Wikipaedia is enlightening as always. These are a few facts that caught my eye.

In the Bible, Leviticus 11:13–19, hoopoes were listed among the animals that are detestable and should not be eaten. They are also listed in Deuteronomy (14:18) as not kosher. The Hoopoe was chosen as the national bird of Israel in May 2008 in conjunction with the country’s 60th anniversary, following a national survey of 155,000 citizens, outpolling the White-spectacled Bulbul. It is also the state-bird of Punjab province of India. The Hoopoe appears on the Logo of the University of Johannesburg, and is the official mascot of the University’s sports. The municipality of Armstedt, Germany has a hoopoe in its coat of arms.

bird common_hoopoe_09.03.13_a.das images

Dubai in the United Arab Emirates

Sometimes travelling for work has its pleasures and this is one such occasion. A routine British Airways flight was turned into a great experience by being upgraded to first class. Nice service and nice staff. Worth paying for? Definitely not. Save your money for your hotel room in Dubai. This hotel The Park Hyatt is superb. every little thing is special. The free coffee machine in the room, the two Danish Pastries left for an early morning arrival, the staff showing me how various things work in the room ( like the coffee machine). The balcony overlooks the marina and at sunset looks gorgeous. Not quite a Cayman Islands sunset but not too shabby either.

The Immigration process was not too bad either. Decent numbers of officials, quick entry and then quick exit from the airport. Terminal 5 please take notice.  Busy enough but not too chaotic, so all in all a great first impression. Some unusual birds pecking away on the lawn next the marina, bizarre colourings, have no idea what they are. Now wishing that I had brought my cameras…….

But work to do, an ADHD talk to write. Marina View from Park Hyatt Dubai Black Image Dubai Marina Marina Sunset Balcony View copy Sunset Balcony View

Misleading Advertising. How can they get away with this?

Sunday morning just glancing through newspapers whilst waiting for family members to remove their hangovers and play Wi games. Different family members I must add. 

Sunday Times, travel section 3/2/2013. Page 9. Just read it and wait to get excited. Surrey is a grey kingdom today, damp and uninspiring. But hope is on the horizon. In the remainder of the travel section the theme is reductions in certain holidays due to low demand. For example 7 night cruises on great cruise lines ( not Costa for example) for as little as 599£. 

So wandering in front of my eyes I see an advertisement that clearly states. Atlantis. From only 199£ per person, 3 nights including half board and flights. Plus 6 other enticing either pleasant or free things to look forward to. Ridiculously cheap, yes. Unbelievable, yes. Both actually correct. Because in far more wordage in some minuscule font at the bottom to which we are directed by an asterisk, there are some more details to consider. Firstly the minor detail that this price is actually per person per night. Secondly this pricing is only for July. Thirdly various other caveats apply such as for some strange reason a flight supplement charged only for 12-16 year olds. Might this relate to the fact that they ” eat and play for free”. 

To me this advert is misleading and although I have  never done this before I am going to make a formal complaint to ASA. 

Why am I so concerned? I work in the Pharmaceutical industry and our advertising is complex, well vetted and there are clear guidelines laid down by ABPI as to how and what claims can be made. But this kind of advert would not be allowed. It is very misleading and to the casual eye would seem impossibly cheap I agree, but some things are these days, and secondly the asterisk does require decent eyesight to read the three lines of blurb and conditions. 

Lastly,I am surprised that the Sunday Times does not vet its own adverts more carefully. They have a duty to their readers. End of rant. 

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