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As Private Eye‘s  satirist poet, E. J. Thribb (17½)  would say, “So. Farewell then AA Gill” who passed away today.

Gill was the UK Sunday Times’ restaurant critic but was also a reviewer of travel, TV programs and such. He was extremely witty and controversial. Amongst the things he wrote [From the BBC news]:-

In October 2009, he described how he had shot a baboon while in Tanzania, prompting outrage from animal rights groups.

In 1998, he described the Welsh as “dark, ugly little trolls” – a comment that was referred to the Commission for Racial Equality – while he once described Rhyl as “a town only a man driving a crane with a demolition ball would visit with a smile”.

In a critical review of a Norfolk pub, he referred to the county as the “hernia on the end of England”, while in 2006 he upset residents of the Isle of Wight by saying it “smelled of boiled washing”.

In 2010, he was censured by the former press watchdog having written a review of Clare Balding’s 2010 Britain by Bike TV programme, in which he described her as a “dyke on a bike”.

He was also once thrown out of one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants, along with his dining partner, actress Joan Collins.

As someone who knows the Welsh very well, he has a point. There are a few trolls out there.

But let’s remember Gill for his travel writings. I recommend you read his 2012 review of London in the New York Times  “My London, and welcome to it”. It was  written by a Londer and aimed at American’s visiting prior to the Olympics.

I’m sorry, but they’re not here anymore. No city’s exported image lags so far behind its homegrown veracity than London’s, so let’s start with what you’re not going to find. We’re all out of cheeky cockneys, pearly kings and their queens, and costermongers. You’re not going to find ’60s psychedelia and the Beatles in Carnaby Street. There aren’t any punks under 50 on the King’s Road; there are no more tweedy, mustachioed, closeted gay writers in Bloomsbury, no Harry Potter at King’s Cross. There aren’t men in white tie, smoking cigars outside Pall Mall clubs and there isn’t any fog, but you can find The Sherlock Holmes Museum on Baker St.

A lot of London’s image never was. There never was a Dickensian London, or a Shakespearean London, or a swinging London. Literary London is best looked for in books, and in old bookshops like Sotheran’s on Sackville Street. One of the small joys that’s easy to miss in London is the blue plaques. These are put up to commemorate the famous on the houses they lived in. You won’t have heard of a lot of them, but some come as a surprise. There are quite a few Americans and some amusing neighbors. Jimi Hendrix lived next door to Handel.

London is a city of ghosts; you feel them here. Not just of people, but eras. The ghost of empire, or the blitz, the plague, the smoky ghost of the Great Fire that gave us Christopher Wren’s churches and ushered in the Georgian city. London can see the dead, and hugs them close. If New York is a wise guy, Paris a coquette, Rome a gigolo and Berlin a wicked uncle, then London is an old lady who mutters and has the second sight. She is slightly deaf, and doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

A bit like some folks at Roam.

While he could be a bit of a wanker, I liked AA’s style and can’t wait to hear what he thinks about his trip across the river Styx.


Some things brought up in the NYT article that I have not visited and look interesting.

Hello Sharkness my old friend

Something Fishy going on in North Carolina.  copyright www.canstockphoto.com

Something Fishy in North Carolina.

The Caesars are vacationing up on the North Carolina coast with the greater Caesar family. We’ve been on the beach a few times but have noted the news about shark attacks.

As of 3rd July, there have been seven people attacked in the past three weeks alone where the latest was a 68 year old man in waste deep water off Ocracoke Island on the outer banks.

Wanting to see where the attacks are happening, I called up a google map of North Carolina. They are not near to where I am staying near Atlantic Beach area but what’s that tree logo in the sea?  The Mid Atlantic Shark Area – What the fire engine ! No wonder. 

Map of North Carolina

North Carolina Shark park







Curious about significance of these attacks, I looked up University of Florida records who track Shark attacks. I was surprised to see that Florida was the highest location for sourcing shark attacks. In fact, New Smyrna Beach – south of Daytona – is the place where most of these occur. Continue reading..

Model Behaviour. Not so Super.

Not Kate but he gathered no moss. She somewhat looks like him…

Dahlings, Have you heard the scandal about Kate, the model aboard an EasyJet flight?

I refer not to Kim K’s new step mom who graced Vanity Fair, but Kate Moss the super model who according to the Daily Mail, was met by Bedfordshire Constabulary upon landing in Luton Airport. Apparently Ms Moss was reported as being rather ‘excitable’ on the EasyJet flight where she was rumored to have been swigging vodka from her own personal supply. Calling out the Old Bill for drunk passengers sampling their BYOA is a standard practice for UK bound aircraft.

I was horrified reading this. Afterall, isn’t a top model supposed to be drinking Champagne?

By the way, what  is she doing flying EasyJet? I guess EasyJet let’s anybody on these days. Still if it good enough for Brad and Angelina, and  HRH Prince Billy to fly with the plebs, who am I to criticize ?

Apparently, as Kate was being led away, she called the Pilot the double barreled B Word. OOOHHHH !! She called the pilot a “Basic Bitch”.

Huh you say? “Basic Bitch” is a trendy US put down line for “riff raff”.

Oh, Kate Dahling, you shouldn’t have. Such witty repartee is wasted on the EasyJet crowd – they were going to Luton afterall – You should have reserved this for your cultured “in” crowd.

The best laugh to this story was a Grauniad feminarticle by Suzanne Moore titled “If your idea of hell is sitting next to Kate Moss on an easyJet flight, you must be dead inside”. The gist of it was:

Women cannot enjoy themselves, especially charming and tipsy ones, without provoking outrage and moralising.

One of Ms Moore’s argument was that she wasn’t as bad as some other Male stars – Ian Brown of the Stone Roses, REM’s Peter Buck, Conrad Hilton of “Fucking Peasant’s quote, or our favorite wizman, Gerard Depardeu which Trajan talked about previously. Thus Moore’s logic being that anybody who didn’t like women behaving badly in public, hated women. QED, Easyjet flight attendents , who are also likely to be female, are also haters. Uh ok, Suzzy.

As usual, the best thing as usual about any Guardian pieces are the educated comments. One wag picked up on the men hating theme and termed it “Moss-ogyny”.

Now THAT is what I call wit. It’s Basic. Bitches.

Ciao for Now,

Our thoughts for Nepal

Flag of Nepal

It is a few days after the 7.8 earthquake around Kathmandu and the death toll has climbed to over 4,000. It is likely to go higher.

It is Nepal’s worst earthquake in 80 years where the source of the quake was very near to the earths surface, which amplified its impact.

I am sure most have you have seen that it caused avalanches on Everest and destruction in the towns and villages.Phone lines are down, roads and blocked and food and water supplies are disrupted.

The airport of Katmandu is overloaded by aid coming in and people wanting to get out.

The New York Times has more information for those wishing to read on.

However, Roads-2-Roam is asking for you to give generously to aid relief of Nepal. Today Facebook was offering to match your donation so if you see it, please take advantage of this.

In the meantime, those impacted are in our thoughts. Remember..There but for the grace of God go I.



Postscript: I’ve included a picture from Nepal on better days. Let’s be sure to support Nepal by traveling there when things get settled.

The Beauty of Nepal – photo from trekkingtoursnepal.com


Hole lotta lurve

Stick this in your pipe(Photo: Manchester Evening News)

It’s great to see the plebs fight back !

In Manchester,  (In Eng-er-land),  a campaigner called “Wanksy” has taken to highlight pot holes by drawing Phalli around them. The council is not amused where ‘town hall bosses slam him for exposing youngsters to obscene images’. [Manchester evening news].

Obscene images eh? Have they seen the internet?

Good old Wanksy I say. We need to give kids an education in the important ‘fings in life like drawing phallic objects in public.

But it got the results didn’it? The pot holes were filled in within 48 hours.

Oii !!! Councils: Fix your pot holes arse holes!



Ruff guide to driving

Kids today . Shesh, can’t take ’em anywhere eh?

It was a normal day in Abingdon, Scotland and Farmer Tom Hamilton was tending to his flock of sheep with his trusty faithful sheepdog, Don.

However, Don was no ordinary sheepdog. Farmer Hamilton knew that Don had Lassie like powers of perception.

As Farmer Hamilton was driving around their hills in their John Deere Gator farm vehicle, Don sat in the passenger seat eagerly looking out for adventure.

“Woof Woof Woof” barked Don suddenly.

Farmer Hamilton then spotted his favorite sheep, Flossy. “I see her Don, she doesn’t look her normal happy self. Just listen to her. Her ‘Baa’s’ are more like ‘Bhaaaa’ “. I wonder what could be up?”.

Don responded “Woof.  Woof. Woof”

“Ach lad. I think one of her kin might have fallen down a well” agreed Farmer Hamilton. Continue reading..

The pen in mightier than the snored

Dahlings, I am sure most of us Roamans have taken a nap on a plane or a train. That nap, is not without it’s perils.

One of my dear friends, Whittikus, would regularly fall to sleep on the train when coming back from Londinium. While asleep, a fellow passenger relieved him of his laptop bag. Twice this happened and while his company was understanding, he did acquire a new nickname: Napkin.

I am sure also, that some of you have snored. Another of my dear friends, Bax Britania, fell asleep on a Portugal beach. When he woke up,  the people around him burst into a round of applause and cheering. His snoring was legendary.

However, nobody expects to be stabbed awake which is exactly what happened to Lenny Madarski, 68 who nodded off while still on the runway of a Southwest flight from Chicago Midway to New Hampshire. Continue reading..

Bali Booze Ban Bamboozles Bogans

Don’t Bogan that joint my friend..

Dahlings, It’s a double whammy to the stereotype Australian lifestyle.

First Quantas enforces a Business Smart dress code for it’s lounges and now Indonesian Politicians are looking at banning beverages that contain more than 1% alcohol. [What’s Indonesia got to do with Australia, Cleo?] The answer is the island of Bali, dahlings.

You see, Bali is THE party place for Australians and not too far from the mainland.

However, the latest news is that the version of party island is going to be the Islamic Party island.

This will be a disaster for Bali who rely and tourism and Aussies are their #1 tourist base. Not only that by Bali is about 84% Hindu.

While the fate of the Bali nine (two are Australians) who will be executed is a bit of a downer to most visitors it has no noticeable boycott. On the other hand, ‘roos can’t booze’ will be major reason not to come.

Still I learned a new word today on the discussion boards where an Aussie mentioned that the only ones who go to Bali are “Bogans”. Bogans?

The term bogan (/ˈbɡən/[1]) is an Australian and New Zealander slang word that can be used to describe a person with a lower working class background, or whose speech, clothing, attitude and behaviour exemplify a gratified working class mentality and depending on the context, can be pejorative or self-deprecating.[2] The bogan person will generally lack sophistication and refinement.

Well I never. You learn something new everyday.

Look like they are intended to be an Antipodean cousin to a British Chav or a US Redneck. Is Bali then an Asian Maguluf with perhaps better sunsets?

Just as I was about to finish up this post, I mentioned “Bogan” to Augustus and he looked puzzled. I read from “Stuff Bogans Like” where amongst other things, Bogans like “Contiki tours” and as soon as I mentioned this, Augustus spat out his drink out laughing.

Augustus recited a story about when he roamed around Europe, the summer after his graduation. He and companions had stayed in a campsite in Heidelburg, Germany. It was around 10:30 pm mid week and nothing was happening in the campsite bar (Yes campsite with a bar : It is Germany afterall) and was going to call it a night when 2 Contiki coaches turned up. All these young Aussies pilled out and they all hit the bar. Instant party, music changed with people dancing. 10 minutes later, the first Contiki guest wanted to fight with him !

Ciao for now,

oh lordy…time for bed



France : A Land of Striking Beauty. A Land of Striking Workers.

Beware of French Unions : it may impact your travel

Il est avril en France, Le soleil brille / It is April in France and the sun shines brightly.

The flowers are blooming, lovers are walking hand in hand. What a better way to take in Paris, than go up in the Eiffel Tower.

Except you can’t.

Why you ask, because the workers of the Eiffel Tower have gone out on sympathy strike. That’s why.

Oui, mes amis, L’Eiffel workers are showing their fraternity with the Air traffic controls who have shut down French Air Space.

And what are the ATC striking over? The answer is delaying retirement from 57 years to 59 years and restructuring.

Of course this causes chaos for the airlines and passengers but the Trade Unionists don’t care as they face no financial penalties for the problems it causes.

Not only that but this is not the first time France ATC have gone on strike. Just look at this – see a pattern?

This gets old.

Is the European Union doing anything about the enforcement of the Freedom of good and services? No, they are too cowardly.

Anyone planning on going to or through France needs to consider the probability of some strike disrupting your plans or at worst, leaving you stranded. Latest we heard is that they are threatening a 4 day strike over the May bank holiday.

Maybe Bobby Jindahl was right afterall, about Paris being a “No go” Zone but for a different reason.

The Roaman Emperor’s verdict on French Unions: “FEED THEM TO THE LIONS” and since a picture paint a thousand words, this is our message to them:

The Roaman anti-greeting

Running on empty: Delta cut down on air rage by flying with 2 passengers

An Empty flight as viewed from the back  row

An Empty flight as viewed from the back row

Dahlings, It seems that Delta is trying a new way of improving it’s in flight satisfaction at least with respect to interactions with other passengers.

Their idea may take a bit longer to get there but is guaranteed to be one with no air rage from fellow passengers.

What is it you ask? Are they going to drug the passengers?

Oh don’t be silly. Delta are too conservative to do this but I would bet it would be something Michael O’Leary of Ryannair would look at to make a buck or two. (Btw, Mick. If you are reading this. Love you. Mwahh!)

No, their model is of course NOT to drug up their passengers but to delay the flight for 11 hours, get most passengers on other flights and then your are left with two or less straggler passengers.

Don’t believe me read this Daily Mail report. Maybe Chris O’Leary, one of the two passengers mentioned, is fact a relative of Mick. A scout for Rynnair perhaps?

As my dearly departed friend Andy Warhol once said during his fifteen minutes of fame, “But I always say, one’s company, two’s a crowd, and three’s a party”.

What a visionary. He could have worked for Delta in their marketing group.

Ciao for Now.

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