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kenw

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About kenw

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  • Birthday 15/05/1950

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  1. Congrats obviously to Colin, who has obviously done his homework in more ways than one! My spoken French has struggled in the last 12 months, which has mostly been spent either in hospital or housebound / medical confinement. Vocab tends to suffer when for months almost the only French folk you talk to are nurses / doctors and the kiné. I think being ill has also slowed down my brain (not surprising after >3 months with no solid food); I'm mostly fine with the more popular news websites in the mornings (Ouest-France, Actu/Liberté etc) but I struggle with Le Monde and find myself
  2. Just been looking at the SuperU website - this week's special offer is 20% off frozen food. So I've earmarked some calamars, some coquilles and some tartelettes. All of which can make a contribution to a Galicia buffet. And I can rustle up some mini-pizza if I put aside some of the dough I'm making this afternoon. Add a dish of olives and some crudités, with a bottle of Cava to mark the Spanish connection, and voila, the instant celebration. And if the Mac Mini's internet connection in the salon is working we will be able to watch the event on the big screen TV. Cheers Ken
  3. Sorry if I've missed something… do we know if there are any events at Cherbourg tomorrow to welcome Galicia to her new home port? Or do we have to wait until she is ticolor-ed? Could be a bit difficult for the largest employer of French seafarers to welcome a ship flying the "red duster"? I've had two builds in foreign parts; the first we flagged her in on the morning she first hit British waters (offload from a big carrier at Tilbury as it happens) and the second the night before she left Dutch waters on her inbound delivery trip. In both cases the Flag surveys were undertaken
  4. Can't help with eye drops, but my insulin has survived Eurostar from London, 3 nights Paris hotel and 2hrs Intercités using one of the mini-fridges from Amazon. And I can confirm that BF have a system in place to store meds in fridge. My friend who is more heavily insulin-dependent than I am routinely goes Portsmouth-Santander and hands over his stock when he boards, and reports that on collection it is always cold to the touch – "too cold for immediate use" he says.
  5. ... You'll see lots of racing yachts – Class 40s, which are double-handed [ie crew of 2]. They are taking part in the Normandy Channel Race. The event started from Caen city centre, sailing in procession down the canal, with the start proper outside Ouistreham harbour at 19:05. After rounding the IoW the race then heads down Channel and across the Celtic Sea to the Fastnet rock, returning SE to pass Cherbourg and then return to Ouistreham. The leaders are making about 7.5kt [VMG] and the leaders should be back at Ouistreham on Saturday afternoon. Here's a couple of shots from th
  6. For anyone still planning a trip to France [returning home?] note that masks will be required on Caen's city centre streets from 1 September.
  7. Have to say in the days when I was flying around the planet, the airline I tried to avoid was Sabena and the airport was Brussels. [That was long before Eurostar gave a sensible alternative route London-Brussels. That was of course the late and much lamented Dover-Oostende ferry.
  8. When I did a lot of US travel [work-related] in the 70s, I would always look for a Ten-eleven if possible. A smoother flight than any other aircraft – I'm sure straightfeed can remind us what the technolgy was. Such a shame that it was not bought by more operators, but Boeing was able to offer better financial terms because of its range of different models. Later I worked on PR and marketing with the engineering team behind the RAF tanker conversions, although I was never able to fly in one. These days I've had my fill of airports and air travel – rail and sea are my preferred mode
  9. Bring back the train ferry. All is forgiven. True confession time, I thought it was magical: meeting up on Victoria's "international side" before departing at 22:00, waking briefly for the shudder and clank as we rolled on board, then waking properly to see the French countryside passing by. What's the nearest rail connection to any BF ports in the UK? Surely the PM's building budget could fund the rail spur – and maybe someone can find either an existing train ferry in need of some TLC, or convert an unloved ro-ro? 😇
  10. Thanks, Chris. That's the photo I'm longing to take. And of course the matching pair – departing Portsmouth and arriving back here. Sorry, I should have responded to your original post. I think I read it, went away and tried two or three different dates in September and October with different results – unavailable / full / not responding as well as a some good dates. But at that point I was distracted – had to head out for a physio appointment. Thanks again. Ken
  11. Back at Ouistreham today (en route home from a seaside stroll and lunch at Lion sur Mer) thought I'd try some pix of the incoming Normandie from the West side – ie just by the entrance to the ferry terminal. Not as successful as my pix from the East a couple of weeks ago, but for the record, here's a shot of her completing the turn into the berth. (Apologies for the fisherman's line which you can see crossing the BF logo. I did spend a couple of minutes trying to remove it in Photoshop, but at 20:00 it's still warm here in Caen and the balcony beckons for the last hour or so). I
  12. Footies update? Statement from CEO dated yesterday 3 August, quoted on F/book [my emphasis] Statement on BF website [UK site as linked from here] at 10h00 today 4 August when I went looking for availability in September and October Does M Mathieu's "small number" exclude Caen-Portsmouth? How can zero in late October to available in November – so, more or less overnight – be seen as building / adapting / learning ???
  13. I'm told by transport/logistics folk that the wagons used by the primeurs service need "much work before reintroduction to a new service" [I think that's their transliteration and summary for my benefit] although without any detail. In railway technical circles there has apparently been some discussion of whether they can be overhauled / rebuilt or should be replaced. If it's "only" the reefer systems that are obsolete then that could be straightforward – but if the bogies and/or suspensions are life-expired that would be a different story on technical, timescale and financial grounds.
  14. Poole (with the exception of Poole Harbour itself) and Portsmouth "hardly breathtaking" ?!?!?! Sorry, Sir/Madam, but I don't understand. From landfall to berthing both offer compelling views as the finale to your trip. One of my friends, a regular to/from Portsmouth reckons he is always last man to reach the car deck because he can't tear himself away from sightseeing on the open deck whatever the weather.
  15. Le Havre is actually very interesting and with some well-directed and well-targeted promotion could and should appeal to the UK market, particularly weekend / mini breakers. Great beach, with a wide choice of refreshments, much for the "culture vultures' – modern art and of course the postwar architecture – plenty of shops (including the Docks) and sightseeing (boat tours, the funicular etc etc). To say nothing of the surrounding area – think Deauville, Honfleur, Fecamp and Etretat to name but a few.
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