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 “vacation”

Witness For The Prosecution at County Hall. Unique and Beyond Brilliant


There are hundreds of theatres in uk of all size and shapes. Rarely is there an opportunity to stage a play in pretty much the right environment that is not a theatre. Here is such a thing .

County Hall was the Home to Greater London Council for many years and is a large grand building that sits in the shadow of the Houses of Parliament and London Eye. The main chamber is a rather grand and legal looking room with plush large seats and superb acoustics that lend to a specific theatrical performance. This staging of Witness for the Prosecution is such a play. An Agatha Christie book that has been staged in many theatres since 1953.

The show was beyond brilliant . The acting and staging quite unique giving it a real courtroom feel. The audience are spellbound for 2 hours. All the actors deserve plaudits but David Yelland as the defence counsel and Catherine Steadman as the wife of the defendant really steal the show.

Tickets are really very cheap and can be sourced online for 37.50£ easily. Just go along. A unique and remarkable staged production

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

Berlin in Autumn. Is it worth a visit?


Berlin is a fascinating city with history and architecture to rival any city in the world. The question is given the high prices is it worth a visit in the autumn?

Unfortunately the greatness of the place and the short days with darkness coming from 4.30 pm meant I would not be positive in spending money to come here.

The city was wet and muddy meaning that walking through Tiergarten was not a pleasure . Queues everywhere to get into any historical building and few smiles to be seen. Prices were also expensive. In a small cafe not in a popular area a cheeseburger cost 10€ and a large Americano coffee 5.90€.

In a lesson for other cities though there were few cars to be seen in the city centre.

On the positive side a good transportation system and decent if wet and muddy pedestrian walkways.

Would I return again in autumn? Definitely not. Cities like Riga and Prague offer far more for far less at this time of year .

The street art is not too shabby though tucked away in small side streets.

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 .

Cardiff Street Art. The Dragon Roars


One of the best aspects of street art is the surprise to find it where least expected. A quick nighttime walk around Cardiff was enlightened by finding some dragon street art next to the Millenium Stadium. Sadly only I phone photos in the dark but quite amazing still the same.

The Giraffe Tree


Here in the Maldives one is unlikely to find any giraffes floating around. The vegetation though suggests otherwise with a number of trees clearly resembling giraffes. Maybe one needs a little creativity regarding the tail and the number of legs but the resemblance is really not at all bad.

Why do Dogs have specific sleeping positions? Any thoughts on a Husky cross? 


As a first time dog owner I am quite watchful about the minutiae of dog behaviour. From an 8 week puppy to a 9 month old adolescent he has always liked sleeping either firmly pressed against two sides. For example in his crate he sleeps almost in an L shape. Today he is sleeping pressed firmly all four paws against a sofa. 


My question is whether this is normal for all dogs or maybe specific for Huskies? He is a Siberian Spaniel so around 75% Husky and 25% Cocker Spaniel. Just curious . 

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. 

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