Tuesday, 25 November 2008


Last Sunday proved rather trying for Lord Roby and his new found friends.After landing at Schipol,Amsterdam ; the Dutch rail network went bismark.My first inkling was that I did not recognise the stations on the itinerery from my usual ones.I started to convince myself Bossum was dutch for Brussels.Big mistake.I was non-plussed enough to ask a nice young man if I was on the right train.I was, but he told me we had to change two stops down the line, to catch the international train.Nobody had warned of this.I decided to stick close to the man with the plan.Two stops down the line everything went pear shaped.Stuck in a remote station in the snow and all mainline trains cancelled due to a crash!! After half an hour looking at the increasing worried passengers around me I decided to ask the man with the plan to scout for a guard.No luck,all we found was a computer terminal.Ditto...no more trains for us.Our only chance was to wait for a minor train and nail the guard.Bingo.He told us we had to get 3 more trains to Rotterdam! Once there we would be OK provided we were not too late! Every train was jammed Tokyo stylee,but me and my new found friends(a scouser!...a dutch junior doctor and two chinese girls who thought it was all great fun)
were lookin out for each other.Holdin open train doors and finding room where there was none.By the time we hit Rotterdam in good time, it was jars out over a few beers to Brussels.Unfortunately the two chinese girls missed the boat at the eleventh hour.We went looking for them but a last minute platform change sealed their giggly fate. What did I get out of it?.That companionship in adversity thing and at least two new friends.One I will probably meet again, Doctor Marcus who saved our collective bacon, I probably won't....But a strangely pleasant experience nontheless....

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Cigarettes and Alcohol

Lord Roby has spent quite a lot of his free time recently in Belgian Bars.There are many similarities to English Bars of old.The bars in Belgium are very inclusive and welcoming of all ages.Thats not to say those in England aren't.But the emphasis is totally different.The bars over here are for meeting people you either know or don't.Many Belgians meet in bars to play board games over a few drinks.In England it seems to be the emphasis is on getting drunk.You know drink,get drunk,dring some more,get blind drunk.Drink some more.In Belgium the beer is much stronger...consequently they tend to savour it..drinking beer more slowly.There is also a complete absence of malice regardless of how much alcohol has been consumed.So far I have not seen a single incident of aggression or otherwise.Just happy smiley people.The only problem is every one of them to a man or woman smokes like a chimney.I vaguely remember skittles being played in an English pub and had great fun playing Bar Billiards in a bar in Manchester in the 80's.Alas it is now more a case of pool or quiz machines.Pool causes fights and quiz machines just pass the time while relieving you of large amounts of money.Never trust an electronic game as the processor is holding all the cards.I'm off out now for some more Wallonic irrigation and fussball !!!!

Top Toffees 3

When it comes to picking your best all time 11 for your favourite football team,disputes invariably break out.But when to comes to Everton left-backs the answer is always the same.Ray Wilson.His real name is Ramon.Unusual name for a boy from Huddersfield,WestYorkshire.He represented England on many occasions and notably in the World Cup Final of 1966.He is one of the guys along with Geoff Hurst holding Bobby Moore aloft in the famous picture that has since been converted to a sculpture in Bobby Moores honour.I suppose the untimate honour for Ramon would have been to embalm Bobby after his untimely death from cancer.You see, when Ray retired from football he returned to his first love,undertaking! His business thrives in Huddersfield to this day.As for Huddersfield;Lord Roby had the misfortune to work there for many years.A more miserable monochrome place you will not to encounter.Grey people, living in a grey place devoid of any humour.Perfect surroundings for an exquisite undertaker.I guess it takes all sorts!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

The Ace of Spades

On a day when a black man finally ruled the world and we all rejoiced;I thought I'd enlighten all four of you with a lesson in black Belgian folklore.Belgian kids are brought up to believe Santa is from Spain and is assisted in his chores by big ugly blacked-up, white guys called Pete.Zwarte Pete(Black Pete) is used to get the kids to behave.If kids end up on Petes naughty list, he will beat the shit out of them on Santas behalf! If they are worse than naughty, they risk being bundled into a sack and taken to Spain to make toys for the good kids!! Is it any wonder the poor tykes end up growing up, terrified of anyone with a black face.To look at the guy even I wouldn't say 'Zwarte Pete' three times in front of a mirror.So don't worry land of the free;when it comes to scary black guys.....Belgium got there first.