Larry’s Diary, Week One Hundred And Fifty-Seven


Good morning my merry readers. It’s quiet here still, apparently Bozzie is home from his hols, but staying in Chequers, although he may pop in from time to time.

I have been reading that since lockdown and working from home became a thing, the number of people long-distance commuting into London has grown. For example, I read of a man who moved his family from London to Penzance and worked from home. The man bought an old farmhouse by the sea and a one-bedroom flat in London and commutes by sleeper train on a Sunday night, stays four nights in his flat and gets the sleeper back on a Friday night. It coats over £200 each way but he does get breakfast on the train! He says he sees the same faces on the train every week. All I can say is that he must have a very well-paying job in London to make that worthwhile.

Who would have guessed that some oranges are not suitable for vegans. Tesco is now looking for an alternative source of oranges because vegans have outed them for their supplier coating oranges with beeswax to protect them. Beeswax is commonly used on citrus fruit to prolong its shelf life. Here we go again, bending over backwards to accommodate a tiny minority of people at a cost to everyone else. A vegan lifestyle is their choice why should everyone else have to suffer?

The old Manston airport near Ramsgate in Kent has been given development consent for the owners to turn the site that is currently an overspill lorry park back into an active airport. The old owner had sort permission to turn it into a 2,500 housing estate. Before work began it was sold and the new owners are turning it into a hub for freight aircraft. Air freight is generally very lucrative carrying mainly high-value cargo of time-critical goods. There will also be a small passenger facility. The new owners plan to spend nearly £600 million and believe the project will create 23,000 jobs.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
How Manston used to be.
African International Airways Douglas DC-8 at Manston Airport,
James Stewart
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Asked on the radio this morning if offered would he accept a post in a Mary Elizabeth cabinet, Rich Richie Nik Nak laughed and said no. He said that to accept a post he had to agree with many of her policies and he didn’t. Well that’s it then, any little chance of PM Truss offering him even a minor job in her government have been blown out of the water. It’s the back benches for Rich Richie, unless by some fluke he were to win the election. Maybe he will quit being an MP at the next general election and go back to piling up his fortune!

I hear that two Chinese car manufacturers are in negotiations with dealers to sell their electric vehicles in the U.K. under their own name. You can already buy a Chinese manufacturer-owned car in the U.K. Volvo is owned by Geely and MG by SAIC. But now both BYD (Build Your Dream) and Great Wall are looking at the U.K. market where they think they can take advantage of the ridiculously high price of both conventional cars and EVs. With petrol cars like the Vauxhall Corsa now averaging £22,000, the Chinese think there is money to be made. I wonder what models we will see?

You have probably read of the problems Manchester United are having this season. Well, things seem to go from bad to worse for them. They are due to play at home to Liverpool this evening and a big fan protest is expected before the game. Man Ure players and staff were due to meet up at the Lowry Hotel this afternoon for a pre-match meal but with fans already gathering outside, the meeting was called off at one o’clock. I guess the players will just have to slum it in some other 5-star hotel arranged at the last minute. I might have to see if anyone has the game on in the office this evening so I can have a good laugh.


More rain overnight, it’s surprising how quickly the grass has greened up and started growing again without the gardeners needing to put the sprinklers on it. It needs mowing now and I hate mowers. I don’t know why but I have a hatred of them. I don’t care if it is petrol, electric or hand, I get images of me being chopped up.

Yesterday was a new record for boat people crossing the channel with 1,295 on 27 intercepted boats and God knows how many that weren’t intercepted or came by other means. Please don’t tell me that these are all asylum seekers because I don’t believe it. If they were they would have asked for asylum in France, Italy, Spain, Germany or any other country they have passed through. No they see us as a soft touch and are happy to pay people smugglers thousands of Euros to get them here. So far this year over 25,000 have been recorded, what a fabulous tax-free business model the smugglers have!

I have been reading about the trials and tribulations of Type 23 HMS Somerset. In March this year she returned to service after a £20 million refit at Plymouth. The so-called LIFEX (life extension) involved maintenance, updates and structural improvements to her hull and living spaces, and enhanced sensors and weapon systems led by the latest Sea Ceptor air defence missile system, replacing the obsolete Sea Wolf. Other upgrades were made to key electronic equipment, including communications, navigation and computer systems and new generators were fitted. The only problem was once back at sea she suffered a major leak to her rudder and had to be emergency dry docked. The only available space was Rosyth where she spent 58 days having the leak fixed. 3 days ago tugs arrived to assist her upstream to RNAD Crombie to be rearmed and undergo trials. Now with almost all the senior officers on summer leave, she had only gone a few metres before suffering a total system failure and nearly crashing in to a Jetty. I hear she is currently still at Crombie, I will keep my eye on events.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal

HMS Somerset.

Royal Navy-HMS Somerset,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

The German electricity generator Uniper is to restart its 845Mw coal-fired power station Hayden 4 early next week and keep it running throughout the winter with an announced shutdown date of 30th April 2023. I have talked about power supply problems in Germany before and this is all part of the same thing. The Germans have been closing nuclear and coal generation and supposedly going ‘green’ while relying on Russian gas. Now the Russians are turning off the gas, the panic has set in, so reactivating a coal-powered unit is today’s answer.

A bit of Elizabeth Line news for you. As you are no doubt aware the line currently is running in three bits; Reading/Heathrow to Paddington, Paddington to Abbey Wood, and Liverpool Street to Shenfield. From Sunday the 6th of November the Reading/Heathrow trains will run to Abbey Wood and Shenfield trains will run through to Paddington. In addition, Bond Street station is due to open ‘by November’. This means that the number of trains running through the core centre section will increase from 12 to 22 per hour in the rush hours. In addition, the services are to start an hour earlier each morning and a Sunday service will commence. The complete through service is due to start in May next year when the national timetable changes.

A Russian holidaymaker has accidentally given away the position of a Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile unit in the Crimea. The tourist posted a photograph on the internet with him in his budgie smugglers posing in front of an S-300 launcher. Apparently, the Ukrainian military read the photo’s metadata and got the launcher’s location. After checking out the location with a drone, the S-300 was destroyed with a HiMAR strike. You can’t be too careful what you post online.

A strange story reaches me about a TUI flight from Norwich to Corfu last week. The flight took off on time but instead of heading for Corfu it went to Belfast. Here it picked up a crew member then flew to Corfu passing over the top of Norwich and landing 2:30 minutes late. Why you ask? Well, it seems that the Aircraft was on lease from Canadian company Sun Wing and the plane license and leasing agreement only allowed it to be flown by Sun Wing pilots. One had gone sick and the only Sun Wing pilot with sufficient hours available to fly to Corfu and back was in Belfast. So it flew to Belfast with a pilot who had enough hours for that and swapped him for one who had enough hours for the return trip to Corfu. Someone in head office must have been doing a quick calculation as to was it cheaper to fly an extra 650 miles or dump a plane load of passengers?


Morning everyone, well it was dry this morning when I popped down the garden. A bit grey but mild and muggy. I hear it is due to warm up a little bit tomorrow and the thunderstorms might be back. Oh, I do like it when the family are not here and I can just get on with my duties without having to be on the outlook for the brat. There is a humongous load of flowers outside the front door. I popped out to sit on my favourite window sill for a bit and found my access blocked off by a load of sunflowers. If I find out who is responsible I think a scratch is in order.

Back in March the Indian Airforce ‘accidentally’ launched a cruise missile that flew some 77 miles before crashing on Pakistani territory. The nuclear-capable missile wasn’t armed, but the Pakistanis didn’t know that. The IAF have just completed an inquiry into the incident and has sacked three IAF officers who were found to have not followed standard maintenance procedures.

A very strange story reaches me from the USA. Under the ‘Railway Labor Act’ the American union, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) automatically represents all 28,000 ‘in flight crew members’ at American Airlines. The crew members have no choice in the matter, you automatically join APFA if you are employed by the airline. However, the crew members have found a way to hit back and ha simply stopped paying the union subs! I understand that the union is not happy as it is now owed $3,000,000. It seems the agreement between the airline and the union means the airline has to discipline the crew if they do not pay and the union is demanding the sacking of the staff that are not paying. How the union think the airline can survive if they sack 28,000 staff, heaven knows.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
I hope all the luggage is onboard.
Boeing 757-200 (American Airlines),
Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

This morning the Liverpool police have arrested the man who was chased into the house where the 9-year-old girl was shot dead. Not the hardest arrest the rozzers have ever made as the man was in hospital with a gun shot wound! However, he has not been arrested for his part in the murder, he is actually in breach of a prison release order. The police say they have been given a name, I wonder where that came from?

The government announced this morning that they to build a range of on-street electric vehicle charging points in Dorset, Durham, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk, Kent, Barnet, North Yorkshire and Warrington. The pilot scheme will fund only 1,000 points at a cost of £20 million. This isn’t going to go very far with well over that number of EVs sold every month. I know most people install a home charger, but the lack of public chargers stops many people going far in their EVs. The Government say they want 300,000 public chargers by 2030 at the moment there are only 32,011 of which only 5,974 are high-speed. That means another 268,000 public chargers to be installed in under 8 years or to put it another way, local authorities need to grow their charger networks by 32% a year. A target missed by over 150 local authorities last year. In fact, instead of increasing the number, some authorities actually shut down some chargers!

It’s interesting what can be done when really trying. In the first half of the year, domestic gas production has jumped by over a quarter. Not only that, but we have also cut all imports from Russia. The increase has come mainly from the North Sea which is now supplying over 50% of U.K. consumption. Just imagine where we would be if we were fracking!

I read that Israeli F-35 stealth fighters have penetrated into Iran on numerous occasions without being detected by Iranian or Russian radar. According to a report in the Saudi Arabian press, the Israelis and US have been practising raids into Iran and on Iranian warships. In particular, the Israelis are preparing to strike at Iranian nuclear establishments should the need ever arrive. The article says that the Israelis have developed a one-ton bomb that can be carried in the F-35 internal bomb bay thus not interfering with the planes stealth characteristics. As I told you some time ago the Israelis, unlike other purchasers, have permission to modify the plane and have given it extra extra internal tanks for additional range.


Well, that was a noisy night. I don’t know how many times I was woken up by the rain bashing on the window or the thunder crashing around. I had to laugh, as soon as the local water company slap on a hose pipe ban we get the biggest thunderstorm in ages. I was torn between the litter tray and braving the garden this morning. Not knowing how long I might have to live with a mucky litter tray I ran down the garden when the rain eased. I was soggy Moggy when I got back!

I told you that the Chinese motor manufacturer BDY has launched its EV in Australia and has been looking at launching in some EU countries. Well, this morning BDY announced that they are to launch in the UK. They say they will offer cars for sale through dealers in September with the first cars being delivered before the year end. They have not announced what models will go on sale here but in Europe they will be initially selling the pure EV, the Atto 3, and later the Tang and the Han which come as petrol, plug-in hybrid and EVs. The Tang is a seven-seat SUV and the Han is a family saloon. Having set up a right-hand drive production line for Australian Atto 3s, I wouldn’t mind betting that we see them here before the Tang and Han.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Will we all be driving these soon?
Chinese Car,
Gary Lerude
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

The British oil exploration and production company Rockhopper has won a £210 million payment from the Italian Government. Rockhopper had spent £33 million on its Ombrina Mare oilfield when the Italian Government decided to change the law and ban oil exploration within 12 miles of the Italian coast. The tribunal hearing the case has awarded around 6 times its expected profit. This is the first of a series of cases being heard by the tribunal and if it rules the same way in each it will cost the Italian Government an estimated $1.3 trillion.

While talking about cars, the U.K. production figures for July have just been published and production was up. It has been creeping up for a couple of months and reached 58,043 last month up just over 8% on the month. Although this is well down on the pre-Covid figures at least it is heading in the right direction. What l did hear was that our traditional export markets of the EU and USA fell, while the exports to China and Japan were up 54% and 40% respectively.

Yesterday Freeview did one of its regular swaps arounds of channels and launched two new channels. The swap was really just a tidy up of channel numbers for a load of stations you probably never watch! But I am certain you will want to watch the two new stations. Celebration TV is a new religious channel that will only be available to those of you who what Freeview via streaming. However, EarthX will be broadcast on Freeview Channel 79 as of this morning and on Sky Channel 180 and on an app. I am sure you will all be glued to EarthX which will be showing environmental and sustainability programmes.

A United Airlines flight from Newark, New Jersey to Denver hit a bit of a problem the day before yesterday. It pushed back from the gate on time but was held on the taxiway for 6 hours, due to bad weather before it had to return to the terminal to refuel. The passengers had to disembark to the lounge while the plane was refuelled. It was there that passengers got a message on the United Airlines app that the flight was cancelled, however at the same time they were asked to re-board the flight! Once on board, the plane again taxied out to hold on the taxiway. 3 hours later the pilot had to call it a day, and return to the terminal, the crew had run out of flying hours. 9 hours on the taxiway is an awful way to spend a day!

I hear that among the latest military aid package we are sending to Ukraine are 850 mini drones. The tiny drones look like a child’s toy helicopter with a rechargeable battery. They are almost silent, can fly 1.2 miles at 11mph and carry 3 cameras which can be night vision, live video or still HD. The Black Hornet drone package will cost around £8.4 million and the British Army is said to love them as at night they are virtually undetectable.


Wow, it’s back to a clear blue sky this morning. The sun is very pleasant, I must rush through my diary today and get out into the rear garden. I am boycotting the front window sill in protest at those bloody flowers!

Rolls Royce have signed a deal with the Dutch energy company ULC-Energy to build its small modular reactors in Holland. Of course they will have to go through the Dutch nuclear regulator first just as it is doing in the U.K. But this is good news for the U.K. Even if the plants are manufactured in Holland, RR will be getting license fees. I wonder if I could buy some of their shares, would they accept payment in Felix and Dreamies?

I wonder if Emily Friendless is actually as deluded as she appears!? I had to laugh at her speech where she defended her political rant on Newsnight and moaned about having her knuckles rapped for doing so. As a BBC journalist, her contract said she was not allowed to show political bias and that was just what she did. She blames a ‘Tory agent’ in the upper echelons of the BBC for her troubles and says the man had also worked at BBC rival GB News. I understand the man in question worked on the initial set-up of GB News before moving to the BBC long after the ‘no bias’ rule was instituted. Mind, I bet tiny GB News is delighted to be called a rival to the BBC.

The National Infrastructure Commission says we need to build some 30 additional reservoirs to meet predicted demand in the coming years. At the moment I understand that only one is planned and that will be near Portsmouth and is currently planned to be supplying water by 2029. Anglia water is thinking about building two reservoirs but haven’t even settled on sites yet, but they are budgeting about £3 million. Is water going to be the cost of living crisis?

For the second day running ‘protesters’ from Just Stop Oil have been attacking petrol stations in south and west London. 51 of the idiots are said to have attacked 5 stations this morning, using hammers to smash the glass in pumps, spraying them with paint and super glueing themselves to forecourts. The fuzz say they have arrested over 25 of them this morning. Why only 25? How many were arrested yesterday as well? I really don’t understand why they are not held overnight in a cell and appear before a magistrate in the morning. This is criminal damage!

WorthingGooner, Going Postal

Where are the Protesters?

Petrol station,
Crazy Legofreaks
Licence CC BY-SA 1.0

This morning I have been reading more rubbish coming out of the University of St Andrews. They are claiming that both golf and cricket were “imposed” on the British Empire and are the result of imperialism. Not only that but golf balls are also Imperialist because the originals were made from gutta-percha, the original rubber from trees that grew in abundance in Malaya. As far as I remember both golf and cricket were originally games played between the British and it was never imposed on the natives. They played it because they wanted to. Try telling the Indians that they love an imperial game and see if they care!

The EU have been messing around with steel tariff to ban Russian sales to the EU and as a result have imposed a 25% tariff on U.K. steel going to Northern Ireland. Apparently, it was not their intention but it is just what has happened. Each nation used to have a tariff-free quota to export steel to the EU and because Northern Ireland is considered part of the EU free trading area under the Northern Ireland Protocol we could send it there without any problems. To stop Russian steel entering the EU they decided to lump all TFQ imports together instead of having individual ones for countries. This meant that where we exported mostly to NI, those exports are now lumped in with everyone else in the world’s export’s to the EU and the TFQ has quickly been expended. Another unforeseen consequence of an EU policy that works against the U.K.


It is extra quiet here this morning as there are always fewer people working at the weekend. The duty feeder gave me Felix Chicken this morning, a real treat as it seems ages since I had any. Someone seems to have got the idea that I like beef and liver flavours. Well they are OK but I much prefer chicken, turkey is good but chicken is best.

The toilet paper makers are pushing tubeless toilet rolls as the next big thing. Why? Well, my guess is it saves them money. Think of all the miles of cardboard tube they don’t have to buy. I bet you they don’t reduce the price though! Of course, there is another little problem this throws up, what is Blue Peter going to use in the models it gets children making?

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Soon to be a thing of the past!
How We Roll – 52 Stories – Pt 1,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

A woman in Canada flew from her home in Vancouver to Toronto to settle her daughter into university. At Toronto airport she hired an SUV at the Avis desk. She returned the car 3 days later after having driven about 300 kilometres. However, she got a credit charge call from Avis for over $8,000. They claimed she had driven over 36,000 kilometres over the standard allowance and charges her at 25c per Km. She talked to Avis and asked how they arrived at the charge as it was physically impossible to have driven that far in 3 days. Of course, Avis ignored her until the story was picked up by the Vancouver media. Avis then contacted her and said it was an ‘accounting error’ and the charge was refunded. I bet she uses a different car hire company for her next trip.

The US Navy has finally received its first production HELIOS 60Kw laser weapon from Lockheed Martin. The Navy will add the weapon to warships where it will be used mainly as a defensive weapon able to dazzle attackers, as well as melt electronic circuits on planes and missiles. The weapon has been expected for some time so I guess the navy is delighted to finally be able to install it.

I hear of an American couple who have suffered a bit from the current situation at airports. They were due to fly home to Charlotte from Edinburgh via Heathrow and New York, staying overnight in London so as to catch an early morning BA flight to New York and changing on to a flight to Charlotte. Before they left Edinburgh they got a call from their travel agent saying the BA flight to New York had been cancelled and they were switched to a direct American Airlines flight to Charlotte. The flight to London went well and the couple collected their four bags. The following morning they put them all into the AA business class bag drop. However, they only got 3 bags back in Charlotte. They registered the lost bag but got absolutely nowhere. Over six weeks later a German man searching for his own lost bag phoned to tell them it was in the lost luggage at Hamburg airport, an airport not served by American. American appear to have washed their hands of getting the bag back saying they have no agent at Hamburg so it is up to them to organise its return. Is that legal with U.K. airlines?

I read that Raytheon Missiles & Defense have been given an order from the US Department of Defense worth over $1.8billion to manufacture NASAMS. The idea is to use these new builds to replace the US stock of these missiles that are being supplied to Ukraine. NASAMS is a short to medium-range air defence missile effective against low-flying aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and drones. It was developed from air-to-air missiles.

Ford is having second thoughts about redeveloping its giant Valencia plant to build EVs. Ford had announced plans to convert both its Valencia and Cologne plants to build EVs, but apparently they are a little worried about the financial position of Europe and are wondering whether just one factory, Cologne, will be enough. The German plant alone is budgeted to cost some $2 billion and five years to convert. I suspect the 6,000 Spanish employed in the Valencia plant are a little bothered especially as Ford announced this week that they are to lose 3,000 workers in the US, Canada and India.

The sun’s out but it’s not too warm so I’m off for my regular Saturday afternoon snooze on my favourite window sill now that the flowers have gone. I am already looking forward to my tea this evening as it will be the rest of the delicious Felix Chicken. I will be back with you again next week folks.

© WorthingGooner 2022