24. January 2013
January generally passes for the winter month in the northern hemisphere. One could even think that it is associated with some winter signs like snow or temperatures below zero. Even people in England probably get use to seeing snow flakes here and there and this year is not the first year we have quite substantial snow fall.
One would almost think that due to an advanced forecast the town council's will be prepared to deal with snow when it comes. Unfortunately, the opposite is the truth.
Once the snow hits the ground everything stops standstill. One could wonder why, when so many other countries have also sufficient amount of snow but their life is carrying as normal - the snow ploughs clear the roads and there are self help boxes with grid, should it be needed if the surface becomes icy or slippery. The foothpaths are spreaded with a salt mixture to melt away the snow so people can walk on without slipping. Actually, in some countries the law says that the road must be cleared off snow within two hours after the snow stop falling.
I am asking you - why this is not possible in Britain?
In addition, ordinary public in other countries clear the snow of their own garden paths and almost everybody do the little bit extra to clear even the bit they don't have to, just to make it a little bit more comfortable to drive or walk on and get on with life a bit easier.
I am asking you - why this is not possible in Britain?
Why people just sit and wait for anybody else to do it for them?
Is it a rocket science to take a broom or a shovel in hands and clear a bit of foot path?
Why there are not boxes with grid next to roads to use when needed?
Why only the main roads are cleared but the 'crescents', 'closes' and 'blind roads' are not?
Isn't it clear that the roads with snow on will become soon or later a solid ice ? The same applies to footpaths (viz pic on the right).
I came from a country where the snow is pretty much every winter and a lot of it. There is no option but to get up and clear the snow of the roads and paths many times over between the snow plough schedules as the snow sometimes doesn't stop falling for several days. A snow plough can become from many vehicles, that in the summer serve another purpose, just by attaching the snow plough to them.
The rubbish collecting lorry couldn't come this Monday due to the snow. If you just attach a snow plough to it, it might serve a dual purpose in the same time. Simple but effective. Or a farmer's tractor, many of them around, I am sure they would come to a deal with the council but did anybody thought of that?
I am asking you - why is this not possible in Britain?
The last few days we have had here, in Buckinghamshire, maybe five inches of snow which is quite lot for English measures. I went out and started to clear the front path leading to our doors and the little bit extra as I have been use to in the past. I was the only one at that time. My neighbour did the same later. We have been the only two people in our street. You can imagine what has happened a couple of days later - got warmer, the snow melted to ice and since we are on the hill... the drivers as well as the walkers have had lots of fun... if you want to call it like that.
I consider myself fit and steady on my feet. I do like skating and therefore I don't mind when I slip; I can hold the balance. But what if instead of me there is a person the age of 86 with a walking stick and all his weight depends on the area of a square inch resting on a foothpath, covered with solid ice between 1-2 inches thick? A person of this age must watch every step as their stability is not very good and walking on this surface is very dangerous. Yes, there is an option - to walk on the road which has much better surface than the foothpath. Do you consider it less dangerous for a person with bad hearing?
Since in the Great Britain I am interested why the situation gets so bad every time when we have a snowfall here. The answer that I get from EVERYONE I have asked is:
"IT IS BECAUSE OF HEALTH & SAFETY."
I am asking - Who said so?
"The British Authorities."
Of course! It makes sense! It's much better to slip, break your pelvis, end up in hospital and die several weeks later as a result of that than get run over by car and die on the spot!
That's perfectly logical, isn't it?
18. December 2012
Do you travel? Do you travel by air? I would like to tell you about one travel experience you might have...
Travel with WIZZ AIR is quite simply said - an experience you will never forget. THEY CHARGE YOU TWICE FOR THE SAME FLIGHT, just to make sure. If you try to contact them for a refund there is no email address which you would receive your reply from, the number you suppose to call is 0906 number for 86pence/min and even then they leave you hung on the line for five minutes before they cut you off without even speaking to you. Sure, they send you reminder that there is a congestion on airport and when you arrive earlier as suggested, you only discover that the flight is actually 4 hours delayed.
You going to pick up a voucher at the desk. Even it says Wizz air all over, no one can help you with any enquiries as the staff is actually Maizies' employees and not Wizz air's. You receive a food voucher in the value of £3 - valid in airport shops and refreshment places. And there is the second challenge. Did you ever tried to buy food and drink at any airport for £3? There is no way it is possible. The cheapest drink is £1.05 and the cheapest food is £2.35. You do not need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the next 4 hours you will be spending on a bottle of water and a packet of crisps.
And the experience continues. Before you get to departure gates you might think that a have a pint is a good idea. You find the bar, order a pint for £4.50 minimum and there you are - sitting in the lobby watching the departure screens for updates. There is no panic because you know that your flight is at four hours time so there is no rush. You just still keep the eye on the screen for updates till the time of your scheduled flight comes and the message says: "go to departures". You think that by some magic your flight was rescheduled once again and there is a little spark inside you thinking that it won't be so bad after all. When you get to the departures you find out that there is about thirty people queuing and there is ONLY one gate open and it precedes about one person in five minutes. Once you are throughout the departure checks, your inners are inside out and your whereabouts are all over the departure hall.
Eventually all in place you walking into the waiting area to find out that1) there is a bar that just closed 2) there is no other bar open 3) the only open place is VHS Smith, the perfumery and the casino
4) the departure screen still says that your flight is 4 hours delayed.
With three hours and thirty minutes left you try to make conversation with the people also waiting in the lounge and hope for time quickly flowing when 99.9% of people suddenly get up and go to their departure gates and sadly, your talk mate too. Using your laptop seems as a good idea for another five minutes when you realised that your battery has died.
And here we are - in the middle of the deserted airport in the midnight. Even I am shuttered after very heavy day, I could easily get a job as cleaner here just not to sit here for the long hours. And there is no certainty that the flight will be at 1am as predicted.
And now, on the landing side - your family member was driving for hours in dangerous weather conditions to pick you up and made arrangement to be on time, now with four hours delay its four hours waiting time in the middle of the night, count in that it will take another few hours to get into the place of destination and you will have the final bill.
If you think this experience is over you are far from the truth: The experience continues. When the Departure screen eventually says: "Go to gate 11" most of the people disappear for a at least 15 minutes walk to the gate 11, almost the furthest possible point to reach that can be reached by passangers. Once there waiting, you'll find out that the gate number changed to 20, which is the a 20 minutes walk from where you are in opposite direction.
Boarding on the airplane according to instruction on your boarding pass makes the boarding priority totally pointless. We are now approaching the core of the night. Wizz Air in their wisdom instead they say have a drink on us for the delay and we will let you sleep, they will try to sell you their souls, disrupting your sleep and irritating you to the highest degree by offering you goods you definitely do not need now or anytime later.
And this is still not the end, once in the destination you only find out that your luggage checked in two hours before departure, stayed in the place of original.
By the time you get to your destination you are absolutely exhausted, without illusions and with jet lag not caused by time difference.
And now I am asking you - Is it really worth it? How much you will receive from Wizz Air for all this hassle? You probably spend more money on the phone to get it all sorted out.
The answer to all this is YES my dearest, you do need all this hassle because still, whichever way you look at it, it is the cheapest and quickest way to travel.
Welcome to the 21st century.
22. september 2012
How many times we've heard: working can be fun. In fact, it really depends on what you are doing. I was lucky enough to do the job I like and have fun somewhere around. I was in London in the morning to meet a customer. Once in London, I thought it would be a pitty to waste a nice sunny day and I set off to Greenwich Park. I have planned to go to see the Prime Meridian Line for past 12 years and eventually it seemed as a good idea to take on the chance of free Saturday afternoon.
Just an useless fact: The Prime Meridian Line (world wide) was officially established in 1884. Prior to that, many countries had their own local prime meridians to tell the time and even UK had one since 1675 in Greenwich. However, since UK was the biggest empire on the world with many colonies it was declared that London Greenwich, will be the place where the time starts. Yes, there were countries which disagreed like France (of course), Brazil or Haiti but they didn't have much choice.
So here we are, the most important place on the planet (timewise), in London Greenwich. Maybe I should have said 'Here we could have been...' as there is absolutely hell to get here.
I am not talking about the transport, which is fine and more than plausible, if you can find the right compilation of public transport by pure luck. That is the turistic advertising of this place. No signs to say where it is, not a slightest indication of which way or how to get here. I am surprised. Such a big thing and nobody mentions it. Not even at the map of underground and trains or DLR - "leave at this station for the Prime Meridian Line" which would be enough. The first Signpost is at the Royal Observatory but it is just too late. If you reach this point - the Prime Meridian Line is literarly at the backyard.
This is definitely something that could be improved if anyone from the local Council and the Turism Office for London could be bothered to think of. I'll give them my feedback I think.Anyway, I was really looking forward to this visit, the weather was excellent I had my camera ready (together with hundreds of people queueing) to take the picture on the Prime Meridian Line. "I've been there I've got the Picture" Surprisingly, it's free. I don't even try to guess for how long it will remain...
My Mum always told me: "You can't sit with your bum on two chairs." You are right Mum, but at least I can stand with my feet on two halves of the world!