Away Days - Budapest 2017 - the seventeen things you didn't hear on the video

The 17 things you need to know not included in the official video

Contrary to our expectations, English was spoken everywhere - everywhere we were spending money anyway.

Buda is supposedly posh. Pest is trade. I wonder where the erstwhile in-laws live?

Other first impressions from the taxi ride in from the airport were lousy road surfaces and mad driving e.g. switching lanes at speed in confined spaces.

We took a little bit of Britain with us - a 7.00 pm beer in the lounge.

Toni Curtis was a Hungarian Jew.

The currency was Florints in telephone numbers. We discovered the exchange rate from a crone manning the toilets on the Citadel. A pee was either €1 or 250F.

Bloody hot!

It seems that most countries have had a piece of Hungary over the years, except Britain. It's surprising it still exists.

One use for the Labyrinth I forgot to mention was a haarem.

Elisabeth Square (where the big wheel was) and surrounds, with the Jewish quarter, was a slum which has gradually become gentrified, except the 'ruin bars'.

Our brilliant tour guide said there is no written Hungarian history. You can just make it up.

The kids would choose a weekend when the European Swimming Championships and the Hungarian Grand Prix were also on.

There was a full length mirror in the lobby of the apartment, a space we needed to negotiate in the night to visit the toilet. Scary! First time anyway.

We put towels on the balcony to dry. No phone calls from the residents' committee. Not like Tenerife.

I had deer stew one night. Don't. Goulash is good.

I set the alarm on UK time for the return airport taxi. Thankfully I wasn't sleeping anyway.

I'm not anti-skimpy clothing, but some of these young girls were seriously skimpy.

Away Days - Budapest August 2017

17th August 2017 was not a day we expected to be at the baths. Neither of us take a dip at home, so why would we in Budapest? Because it’s the thing to do. Young and old alike, especially the retired end. Walking about, talking, being on your own, lying on a sunbed as well as standing, sitting, lying and even swimming in the water. Stone statues, mosaic tiles and art nouveau main hall. Popular large outside pool and a smaller one at 36 degrees which is recommended for only five minutes or so ... If you would like to hear about the rest of the trip, please clic on the following link. 

Away days - Budapest 2017 - two days to get a flavour

Special Olympics 2017, Sailing Regatta, Pugneys, near Wakefield

5 boats fight it out for the Special Olympic sailing medals

In the swimming there were a lot of disqualifications, each announced as due to technical infringements. We were aching for "number 5, so-and-so, was disqualified for being a complete and utter wassock"

Laurie McMenemy was my pick of the opening ceremony celebrities.

Jasmine won two bronze swimming medals on Wednesday, another bronze today (Friday) and a gold in the relay.

The Childbride's lilies

these lilies just keep coming up every year

We do not claim to be gardeners. In fact we are the current custodians of a wilderness. But these beauties keep coming up.

Scarborough for the cricket festival 2017, and some senior moments

A series of senior moments in an otherwise fun weekend. Cricket was dire, the food mostly good and the weather held up
Grandson Jenson wasn't with us, but it's a nice pic

Sadly Yorkshire cricket has gone way downhill, but we did see a lot of wickets. Even Geoffrey on TMS was stuck for words.
  The traditional trek for a Scarborough Clock Cafe breakfast went well. The order got mixed up somehow. My bacon and eggs turned into a full breakfast on a specially widened plate. The waitress kindly went and checked and came back and confirmed the list of food my childbride had made. So I ate it. Didn't eat again for 3 days.
  A walk. We did a bit of the Cleveland Way before going inland the Poachers' Barn and then onto the path up to Oliver's Mount. The beggars have only gone and built a load of houses, so the usual path is now obscured. Intrepid leadership with a red face over the remaining scrub and no one worried, apart from me. It has to include a bit of road in future. 
  The Italian evening meal was good and the atmosphere great. I boobed again. They said I hadn't actually make a booking, but I'm pretty sure I did. We were seated anyway until a foursome made a complaint that we were in their seats. Strange how angry people get these days. So we waited and had a drink which was fine. Just before pudding a very odd thing happened. The restaurant's oil and vinegar  decanters were housed in intricate metal frames shaped a bit like DNA helices. Pretty but impractical. Our neighbouring table requested one. The lady lost control of the top decanter, a bit slippery maybe, and up it went spilling olive oil on Pauline's clothing and drenching the floor. Pauline stood up to survey the damage and slipped. She finished on her right knee, head bowed as if she was being dubbed for a knighthood. Her chin received a mild soft tissue injury from the table. It could have been nastier and we could have been nastier, but we weren't. I had been totally shielded from any spray by Pauline herself. She used to be in textiles, so that's alright then.
  Nice cafe at Yorkshire Lavender. Odd looking cricket match on the hill. Lots of purple plants and produce.
  Everyone had a good time, despite the moments. Yorkshire need to get a grip. For once the Scarborough weather was clement.

Special Olympics in Sheffield August 2017

Special Olympics brings out the best in amateur sportsmen, disabled or not
Ponds Forge and Bramall Lane, Sheffield
Venues for the swimming gala and the opening ceremony

Yesterday we travelled to Sheffield to support Jasmine (Stagg) in her bid for glory at the Special Olympics. In her first race, breaststroke, she was hampered by water inhalation. She swam beautifully however in the individual medley and, if there was one, she would be on the podium for style.

This a festival for people with intellectual difficulties. and involves a number of sports. Winning is clearly the goal, but taking part is just as thrilling for many of the competitors. One of the speakers at the ceremony summed it up:

Do your best
Make friends
Go home with a smile

The competitors gain confidence and learn more about their social skills.
We learn humility. These guys have a place alongside us.

Professional footballers eat your hearts out.

The week's senior press extracts from the Times, Saturday 29th 2017

Meet Ellen, a first-time buyer at the age of 97. Ellen Merman is about to become Britain's oldest first-time buyer. David Byers writes.

Silver foxes are feeling just fantastic  -  British men believe they have become better looking with age and skin care products in this group are forecast to decline. Role models include Pierce Brosnan (64), Hugh Grant (56) and Colin Firth (56). So writes Neha Shah.
2 days away in budapest, silver foxes and vixens
And vixens

How we can create a clued-up generation. Crosswords ward off 'Alzheimer's, improve lateral thinking, patience and numeracy'. 'Older people who do the occasional crossword have a cognitive age about ten years younger than those who do not'. Written by Ben Macintyre.

Phone companies 'profit from dementia' - caught with their snouts in the trough, charging over £1000 after a frail elderly lady forgot about a mobile phone in the cupboard. Discovered by her husband with a bill going back to 2012. 


Great pub, full late afternoon, mature custom, elderly karaoke singers who can sing geriokeh

Our annual day out to Manchester. Meandered around Castlefield and Spinningfields, calling at the Oast House pub and one or two emptyish bars which, by and large, sold overpriced fizzy stuff. Chips with something for lunch.
  Then, around 4.30, came across a spot with retired people in it and an elderly karaoke (geriokeh coined by my pal Pete). Okay, they are not knocking it out, but the material was soft, easy listening, and in tune. It wasn't a machine either, but a real life accordion and keyboard player. Must be regular because the singers came in confidently on time.
  Shock-horror, the landlord came over and shook our hands. And thankfully a local brew - JW Lees, which I remember fondly from my days up at the Cross Keys Inn, Uppermill (may have changed since the 1970s).
  I don't think geriokeh will catch on for elderly karaoke.