Pirates on the horizon

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There will not be the traditional exchange of “muguet” (lily of the valley) on this May 1st bank holiday as we are off on our travels again.

In my case, one week in the lovely seaside town of Brixham in Devon (UK) where not only my very good friends Chris and Julia live but also the time of year for the famous annual Pirate Festival.

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We are being joined there by our 4 German friends and it will be, I am convinced, a memorable few days.

→ Day 1 – Wednesday May 1st

I am somehow expecting possible and diverse troubles from the so-called Gilets Jaunes protests and will take no risk for the car trip from Carcassonne to Toulouse airport. Although the flight to Bristol is not until late afternoon, a mid-morning departure is my preference. A stop at the “Nailloux Outlet Village” and a relaxed lunch in Toulouse town centre is planned.

Weston-super-Mare Spreyton Guest House

→ Day 2 – Thursday May 2nd

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→ Day 3 – Friday May 3rd

Did some shopping in the morning for more Gin and a few bottles of wine and had a walk around town before hitting the pub at lunchtime waiting for A & S to arrive.

They did around 1pm.

Took the ferry across the bay to Torquay in the afternoon.

Did not have a long time to spend there as we needed to get the last ferry back to Brixham. Enough time for a walk around town and a beer.

In the evening we were joined by C & J in the very pleasant Lytehouse restaurant.

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The owner Catherine remembered me from my first and last visit there 2 years ago. Apparently we had quite a discussion about “Gougères”


→ Day 4 – Saturday May 4th

Pirates Festival day 1 of 3

Basically the town is overrun by loads of people dressed up as pirates. Here is very small selection of pics (more will be uploaded in the Cloud very soon.

Finished the day with a very good BBQ at C & J’s house. Guess who fell down some stairs on the way home!!! A black eye yet again and a bloody nose. I cannot blame the few Gin & Tonics we had.

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→ Day 5 – Sunday May 5th

The plan to catch the ferry to go to Dartmouth but for some reason no services running today. The alternative which we chose is bus (double Decker of course) to Paignton to catch the old steam train to Kingswear and finally the ferry for the short trip across the river Dart.

All this followed by a river cruise.

I particularly liked that house with the boat hanging outside. It also shows clearly how high the water does go at high tide.

Back on terra ferma, a walk in town to my favorite pub in Dartmouth.

Took a cab back to Brixham and went up to C & J’s house for a few drinks, BBQ et games of billiards.

We were not too late home.

→ Day 6 – Monday May 6th

Moved to C & J’s house in the morning. P & K left for Canterbury and A & S left for Cornwall.

Enjoying sitting outside in the garden to try and decide where to go for lunch.

Walked down to the marina for a spot of lunch.

Followed by a walk to the end of the pier

and then into town for the last day of the pirate´s festival. Being a bank holiday and having fairly decent weather means that there are still plenty of people around.

I love this Gin van

→ Day 7 – Tuesday May 7th


It has been maybe 3 decades since I have done a cross country train journey in the UK. I have to say that past experiences during my working years were not that positive. Delays and cancellations were often the order of the day. But today I have to travel up north to Manchester and I do not have much alternatives.

It is a 5 hour trip but the train is quite comfortable.

Screen Shot 2019-04-28 at 17.04.07And since I have to fly out on Wednesday from Manchester Airport, I chose to stay at a fairly convenient hotel and namely the Holiday Inn Express Manchester Airport.

 Saw my friends G & S in the evening. We went out for a Italian dinner. It was nice to catch up.

→ Day 8 – Wednesday May 8th

Not a very good night last night. Will go to the airport after breakfast and this concludes this blog entry.

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Easter in Hannover

Day 1

Early start in Wednesday to drive to Toulouse airport to catch the first flight to Frankfurt.


Day 2

For the first time today I had the pleasure of driving an all electric car.

This little Peugeot belongs to my daughter and it is a little gem in town. It has tremendous acceleration which is a pleasure getting away from traffic lights. Another big advantage is that one does not have to pay to park here in Hannover. I do not know however if it is the same in all German towns. I have been considering switching to electric lately and today was a plus towards a decision.

Not so pleasant was being dragged through shops for shoes and clothing.

Walking in town is always a pleasure when the weather is nice. The architecture is so different.

Lunch in the Markhalle was good. It is a must for me when I return to Germany.

And of course we met up yet again in the evening with many friends in our local pub.

Day 3

Lazy start of the day. Late breakfast outside in the garden. Temperature in the mid-twenties are expected today. Not bad for north Germany.

Day 4

The traditional “Easter Bon Fire”. A chance to meet old friends and have a couple of beers.

Day 5

Easter Sunday. Expecting the whole family to turn up for lunch. Another beautiful and sunny day by the looks of it. Enjoying my morning coffee outside.

Day 6

Fairly lazy day till the evening when we met up with the gang for the first barbecue of the season.

One of my favourite whisky

Day 7

Another beautiful day and therefore a trip to town was on the cards. The bus services are really excellent. On time, clean and comfortable.


Quite a few people in town on the shopping streets



I would have liked to spend more time in this shop. Unfortunately travelling homey plane with hand luggage only does not permit me to take bottles with me.


One of the highlights is always lunch, especially when it is warm enough to sit outside.


and of course when in Germany a Curry Wurst and a bier are a must.


Day 8


Departure day. Being at Hannover airport brought back many memories. I use to spend so much time there.

Quick stop over in Frankfurt


Good to be be back home though. I need a few days relaxing before the next adventures.

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Facebook strikes again

Would you believe it!

Just read an article from Bloomberg Technology. Quite incredible really. But I am sure there is not a single crook within the 20,000 employees mentioned. I am glad I did quit using this outfit.

Facebook Inc. disclosed a flaw on its social network that made passwords of hundreds of millions of users visible to employees and said the issue has now been fixed.

During a security review in January, Facebook found that the passwords were stored in a readable format, against its security procedures, but that they were never visible to anyone outside of the company. Most of the accounts affected were using Facebook Lite, a version of the app designed for emerging markets. The company said it hasn’t found evidence this access was abused.

Facebook disclosed the problem after the security blog KrebsOnSecurity learned about it from an internal source. Krebs said the issue dated back to 2012 in some cases.

“The Facebook source said the investigation so far indicates between 200 million and 600 million Facebook users may have had their account passwords stored in plain text and searchable by more than 20,000 Facebook employees,” KrebsOnSecurity wrote.

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New album

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Blake and Mortimer 

I used to like reading some of these comics. So I kind of feel I should start collecting them again.

What prompted that you might ask.

Well I read an announcement earlier today that one of the most awaited comic of the year is due to be released on May 29th.

It is called “Le dernier Pharaon

  • Tome 1 – Secret de l’espadon T1Screenshot 2019-03-15 at 13.07.38
  • Tome 2 – Secret de l’espadon T2
  • Tome 3 – Secret de l’espadon T3
  • Tome 4 – Mystère de la grande pyramide T1
  • Tome 5 – Mystère de la grande pyramide T2
  • Tome 6 – La marque jaune
  • Tome 7 – L’enigme de l’Atlantide
  • Tome 8 – S.O.S Météores
  • Tome 9 – Le piège diabolique
  • Tome 10 – L’affaire du collier
  • Tome 11 – Les 3 formules du professeur Sato T1
  • Tome 12 – Les 3 formules du professeur Sato T2
  • Tome 13 – L’affaire Francis Blake
  • Tome 14 – Machination Voronov
  • Tome 15 – Etrange rendez-vous
  • Tome 16 – Sarcophages du 6e continent T1
  • Tome 17 – Sarcophages du 6e continent T2
  • Tome 18 – Sanctuaire du Gondwana
  • Tome 19 – La malédiction des trente deniers T1
  • Tome 20 – La malédiction des trente deniers T2
  • Tome 21 – Le serment des cinq lords
  • Tome 22 – L’onde Septimus
  • Tome 23 – Le bâton de Plutarque
  • Tome 24 – Le testament de William S.
  • Tome 25 – Vallée des immortels T1 Menace sur Hong Kong
  • Tome 26 – Le dernier pharaon
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Optical fiber

Finally we are hooked on the optical fiber network since this morning. Our current contract calls for 300 Mbps and I have tested and reached that download speed immediately from my cabled computer. For my equipment connecting with WiFi it will of course much slower but stable unlike what we have experienced till now during peak hours and crammed bandwidth.

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Protected: Berlin, nous arrivons

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Filling up

Went to fill up earlier today. Prices are unchanged for “regular” red wine.

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