Thursday, 31 May 2018

31st May 2018 - Crete - what can I say

Thought for the day:"Is an obese psychic a Four Chin Teller?"

So we are in Crete ...
A Bit windy but otherwise a good day....   

View from the balcony at Bunnie's Falt...   

and we may have gone for my favourite food out here - the Mixed Gyros - sort oa a wooden plank filled with chips, pitta bread, pork, beef, sausage, mustard and mayonaise ( do not tell Pip that I eat mayonaise with chips - ever!! )  ... and a small carafe of wine of course (physica!)  

It was Yum 


and White rabbits for tomorrow which of course comes early here as we are two hours ahead...

so tell me about this Alice person

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

30th May 2018 - On Death - or travels to Crete

Thought for the day:"I am going to apply for a security guard job at Samsung so I can become a Guardian of the Galaxies. "

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.
He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.
After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble... At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.
When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.
When he was close enough, he called out, 'Excuse me, where are we?'
'This is Heaven, sir,' the man answered.. 'Wow! Would you happen to have some water?' the man asked.
Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up. 'The man gestured, and the gate began to open.
'Can my friend,' gesturing toward his dog, 'come in, too?' the traveler asked.
'I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets.'
The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.
After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence.
As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.
'Excuse me!' he called to the man. 'Do you have any water?'
'Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in.'
'How about my friend here?' the traveler gestured to the dog.
'There should be a bowl by the pump.'
They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.
The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.
When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree..
'What do you call this place?' the traveler asked.
'This is Heaven,' he answered.
'Well, that's confusing,' the traveler said. 'The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.'
'Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell.'
'Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?'
'No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.
I got to Crete today

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

29th May 2018 - Holiday Blues

Thought for the day :"Fruit flies like bananas, time flies like the wind"

So as we head off for our trip to Crete - thought I would share some common complaints received by a holiday firm (Thomas Cook):

1. "They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax."
2. "On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don't like spicy food."
3. "We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish."
4. "We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price."
5. "The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room."
6. "We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow."
7. "It's lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallartato close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during 'siesta' time -- this should be banned."
8. "No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared."
9. "Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers."
10. "I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts."
11. "The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun."
12. "It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair."
13. "I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends' three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller."
14. "The brochure stated: 'No hairdressers at the resort.' We're trainee hairdressers and we think they knew and made us wait longer for service."
15. "When we were in Spain, there were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners."
16. "We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning."
17. "It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel."
18. "I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes."
19. "My fiancée and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked."
Have Fun

Cheers !

Monday, 28 May 2018

28th May 2018 - Jelly Art

Thought for the day: "I'm reading a horror story in Braille - there is something bad about to happen - I can feel it!"

Bank Holiday Monday and we are not really doing anything.

The sun is shining and flash floods over the country have caused havoc. My friend is out in america storm chasing and we have had magnificent storms here with almost continuous lightning.
We also had a double Ruby Wedding anniversary dinner at the house yesterday and gorged ourselves with home made liver pâté from our own Chickens, Roast Chicken with all the trimmings (except scurly and that is another story!) and the piece de resistance  - Susie's latest venture - Gelatine Art for pudding....

It doesn't really do it full credit - but the flower is 3D within the cheesecake with the petals and leaves quite distinct.

Though it does not look it - the top jelly is clear and there is a red base which shows through. I am not one to normally jump up and take photos of my dinner - but on this occasion I felt there should be an exception ....

I have no idea who would have thought that this is possible. It looks like one of those glass paper weights with flowers inside...

Of course - once you know about it - you then find hundreds of YouTube videos showing you how to do it...

Makes it look easy doesn't it !

However - showing you how to do it and succeeding on your first attempt are two very different things  - there was a good reason that I married her 45 years ago !! Though it must be admitted that I am twice the man I was in those days....

Bought some shirts for the trip to Greece - had to take them back as Large was not suitable - Could have fitted into the extra large - but played on the safe side and took the 2XL. Best to be comfortable I reckon ...

Will have to think about packing a little later

Best have a cup of tea first

Sunday, 27 May 2018

27th May 2018 - Of Hidden Masonic Locations & Secret Rites

Thought for the day:"Noses run in my family."

Inside the Andaz Liverpool Street hotel lays an oppulent room of marble and gilt. This stunning space is a masonic temple, which remained forgotten and walled off for decades before its rediscovery during a 1990's refurbishment.

The Andaz itself is an impressive mixture of Victorian craftsmanship and modern interiors. The hotel, originally the Great Eastern, was built by Charles Barry Jnr, son of the architect of the Houses of Parliament. Barry also crafted the temple, at a cost of some £50,000 (around £4 million in today's reckoning). The room reportedly contains 12 types of marble, as well as a golden pipe organ and mahogany furniture.

Today the room is used as an events venue. If you don't move in circles swanky enough to be invited along to such things, you can normally get a peek inside the temple on Open House weekends every September.

Built adjacent to London’s Liverpool Street train station in 1884, the Great Eastern Hotel was one of the city’s original railway hotels. Usually impressive in size, these buildings were designed as a symbolic demonstration of rail transport’s wealth. The luxurious hotel enjoyed the swanky privilege of owning its own track inside the train station for daily provisions delivery, including sea water for the hotel’s salt water baths.

However, when the tourism industry boomed, hotels of all sizes sprang up across the city and cars gradually replaced trains as the primary mode of transport. Sadly, the Great Eastern soon fell behind the times and languished as a dusty old mansion. However, almost a century after its opening, the Great Eastern Hotel found a new destiny through designer Terence Conrad, who decided to polish the landmark by getting rid of the outdated interiors and giving the building an ambitiously chic makeover. However, during the restoration, engineers are said to have noticed a few discrepancies in the blueprints. Then, like something out of an adventure movie, they removed one of the walls to find a wood-paneled antechamber and, on the other side of a studded double door, a vast and incredibly refined masonic temple.

Built in 1912, this forgotten chamber is a pure jewel of luxury, and probably one of the most grandiose Masonic temples in London. Neoclassic in style, the windowless room is known as the “Grecian Temple.” The opulent room includes an organ, hand-carved mahogany chairs, bronze candelabras on claw feet, and no less than 12 different types of marble used in the floor, columns, and walls. The celling, a blue and gold dome, bears a five-pointed “blazed star” and zodiac signs. The room conforms to the classic Masonic temple setting with a checkerboard floor and discreet esoteric insignias.

A Masonic lodge in a hotel sounds a bit inappropriate nowadays, but in the 19th century Great Britain it was unusual but not unheard of. At the time, being part of a fraternal organization was very popular among gentlemen, and railway hotels developed a large variety of facilities to become more competitive. Having a Masonic lodge was a plus if you wanted to attract a certain class of patronage. In the case of the Great Eastern Hotel, freemasons helped to construct the hotel, and they were secretly given a room that enabled them to gather for rites.

Today the hotel is part of the Hyatt Hotel Group, and the Great Eastern Hotel is known as the Andaz. The Grecian Masonic Temple is still there and open upon reservation.

And today I found some new uses for old Masonic Buildings including people I know... (Spot the LARP'er)

Doesn't look like the Masonic Meetings I go to normally - ho Hum!