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About veryoldbear

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  • Birthday 22/09/1943

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  1. I am seriously worried. Breakfasting on the NORMANDIE yesterday morning we were faced with ROUND bread rolls instead of the traditional BF TRIANGULAR bread rolls. What's going on? Are we doomed?
  2. We came off the NORMANDIE yesterday afternoon and it was very very quiet. There were a few of the lads camped up by the camp site, but didn't see any in the town square. I think they are beginning to realise that there's only a couple of ferry movements a day and it's a bit of a dead loss for trying to get through the pretty solid security now in place.
  3. Last week we had a week in Holland / Belgium, travelling overnight Arijaba / Hook on the big Stena boats. The cabins make BF look like punishment cells, and the catering is pretty fair. Not so Gallic as BF but still quite adequate. But I hate to think what the balance sheet looks like for that run, both coming and going very lightly loaded. But having a proper night's sleep is rather nice ....
  4. It's the subcontracted cleaning rush. I could understand the problems when it's peak loading, but yesterday when we came over the Norm was very lightly loaded, and I assume that not everybody used a day cabin. They could do better.
  5. And so off to Ouistreham on the good ship Normandie this morning. By some fluke of loading we ended up in pole position on No 5 deck just behind the big doors. On arrival at Ouistreham there was a bit of a delay as one of the ramp fingers has presumably lost hydraulics and was having to be picked up and positioned by lashing it to the two adjacent fingers with a bit of a delay. We watched the fun from the front lounge and when they had it all fixed we nipped down to our car. And we were first off and through passport control before anybody else was off the ship. Did we laugh!
  6. I toddled into our post office today and got one just in case. It's only £5.50 and I suspect it will all get resolved eventually and I'll never need it. The only slight PITA is that my UK licence self-destructs in September and if it does all go wrong I'll need to get another one.
  7. There will be further comments on Stansted after January15
  8. Very quiet down here in Manche. Some of the GJ's are still out at the Leclerc roundabout in Coutances and have put tents up and built themelves a little shack but it's quite good-natured. Nobody has attacked Treacle Mine Road yet. Petrol prices are high thougn and if you are coming over for a few days it's worth tanking up for the trip.
  9. Of the season, Weds Portsmouth - Ouistreham on the Armorique. Bow loading at Portsmouth, and of course bow discharge at Ouistreham, so a bit of delay while we did the Car Deck Shuffle. Still in several minds about the Armorique. I do like the interior decor of ships to be vaguely nautical and not just like a swoopy swirly fast food restaurant. Anyway, now booked for a summer run on something called the Honfleur ... judgement deferred. Of some concern is that although the Armorique was very lightly loaded it took half and hour to get off the ship and a further 45 minutes to queue and get through passport control. A bit like the bad old days at Poole. It's going to be hell come the summer when fully loaded ships pitch up at Ouistreham, Brexit or no Brexit. Renewed Club Voyage and noticed I saved £680 last year
  10. Everything stops while the MCA come and look at everything. There will also be cargo surveyors and lots of other bodies wnat to see what has happened
  11. A few days over in France to replenish the duty-free lockers and ensure that the hovel is on good order for the winter. New passport controls both inbound and outbound at Ouistreham. Passports are now being scanned carefully. It will be a very slow process come the summer. But it was nice being on Deck 5 of the MSM with wide lanes and no faffing around with the ramps to Deck 6.
  12. Into Ouistreham again on the overnight MSM last Friday. A very light loading but passport control was incredibly slow, rather like Poole used to be, with slow scanning of passports. We're back out again on Tuesday, and fully expect the extra passport checks we had last time. To be fair there was no sign of The Blokes on Friday morning ... not sure where they are hanging out this time of year ... there is a lot more razor wire round the terminal though But Les Gilets Jaunes were busy manifesting and having pallet bonfires in Coutances yesterday. No mucking about with foreign cars though, just wave your gilet and shout "Solidarite" and you get the big Norman smiles and a wave through the barricades. Ooh. we do live in Interesting Times ...
  13. Ah the good old days of having two passports!
  14. Anyway, back to UK tomorrow from Caen on the NEX subbing for the MSM. I hope it's reasonably calm. Then I must get myself an International Driving License (or something) .....
  15. They still are, but when went over this week both the Carteret and Granville boats arrived at the same time. It was like Sunday evening at Stansted airport i.e. chaos. The toilet signs send you outside and round the corner to dodgy bogs 60 m down the road away from town. However top marks for the refreshment stall outside who were cheerful and welcoming. For lunch we went to The Quayside. Excellent but a bit pricey. Rather a lot of banksters and their molls taking lunch. Hilarious. I hadn't got my shiny suit with me, and Mrs OAB should really have had the blonde hair-do and come in in her little black dress but WTH archie ...
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