Larry’s Diary, Week Two Hundred And Eight


Good morning everyone, according to the BBC it is supposed to be warm and sunny today, but I see no sun, admittedly it is warm, but it is cloudy. While on the subject of our Biased Broadcasting Corporation, I note that Fiona Bruce is in trouble for identifying a man in the audience as black. He was sitting in the front row and was the only black in a row of white men and Bruce wanted to take comment from him and pointed to him and said the next comment was from “The Black Man”. How did the BBC want her to identify him, “The man in the blue tee shirt!”? Now this morning the BBC are refusing to call Hamas terrorists according to the BBC they are “militants”. The Government says they are terrorists, as do just about every other media outlet. But not the BBC, apparently it is against their guidelines. This cat says it’s time to get new guidelines or rid of the BBC.

I had a little chuckle about Liebore’s party conference getting knocked off the front pages today by the war in the Middle East. Normally it would have been the Tory conference at this time. The conference order is usually Limp Dump, Liebore, Tory but this year Tory and Liebore have swapped places. Did the Tories know something in advance?

I had to laugh at Sir Beef Korma on the TV yesterday who was asked if the Supreme Court gave the Rwanda policy the OK and it has been implemented and stops the boats, as PM would he go along with it. He said no he would cancel it immediately. Has he thought it through? His policy would effectively restart the small boats. This is a perfect point for Tories to campaign on ‘a vote for Liebore is a vote for more small boats.’

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Why isn’t it stopping the boats?
HMC Searcher
hugh llewelyn
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

I read that in German state elections in Hesse and Bavaria at the weekend the government coalition parties suffered big losses to the right of centre, Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. Currently the German government is a coalition of the Social Democrats, the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) but they all suffered falls in polling numbers while the AfD gained and moved up from its fifth place to third place nationally and second place in Hesse. The people of Germany have been unhappy about their current leadership and have accused it of failing to show the leadership needed to impose order and tackle crises from war in Ukraine to the green transition. Sound familiar.

It seems that FIFA have amended their rules so that they can award the 2034 World Cup to Saudi Arabia. Up to now, to be awarded the competition you needed to be able to have a minimum of seven stadiums with a minimum capacity of 40,000. For the most important games, normally reckoned to be quarter-finals onward, the stadiums need to hold 60,000 and for the final 80,000. This is something that most major footballing nations can meet easily, but not Saudi Arabia. They have just been awarded the 2027 Asia Cup with a bid that uses four stadiums of 40,000 capacity of which only one already exists in Jeddah. Two more exciting stadiums in Riyadh are to be upgraded and one in Dammam started construction last month. So, what have FIFA done, they have changed the rules to just four 40,000-capacity stadiums. Mind you I do wonder where the crowd is coming from, did you see their latest multimillion-pound player Jordan Henderson playing in front of just 700 people?

Back in 2018 KFC dumped its popular skinny chips and replaced them with skin on chips. They didn’t go down well with customers who have been complaining ever since, wanting to go back to the old style of chips. Today there is a new type of fry hitting all their British shops, after yet another survey of customers. But this is not a return to the old style, instead it is the same skin on fries but with a sprinkling of the KFC seasoning as used on their fried chicken. The new name is ‘KFC Signature Fries’ and they tried them out in Canada earlier in the year, where they seem to have gone down fairly well. I shall give you my view the next time the folks in the office order in a Friday night treat.

I have been learning about a couple who were travelling from Paris to New Zealand (via Singapore) on Singapore Airlines who were seated next to a farting dog. The couple had paid to sit in Economy Plus and were surprised to find the person in the third seat in their block had an ‘Emotional Support Dog’ as they had been banned by the airline back in the spring. A stewardess explained that they were honouring a booking made before the ban was introduced. The couple asked to move seats but were told the only spare seats were non-reclining in the rear row of economy. The bulldog was so large that it blocked the trollies going down the aisle, so it was positioned so that it slobbered over the husband’s legs. Then the dog started producing evil-smelling farts and the couple were moved to ‘crew’ seats in economy. On landing the couple wrote to the airline complaining and were offered a Singapore $70 (£45) voucher for the airline’s online gift shop. Following a further complaint, it was changed to a $70 travel voucher. The couple didn’t give up and demanded a full refund of the fare for the Paris-Singapore leg and eventually got a $1,600 (£960) refund.


It’s a strange morning, warm but dull. The girl on the TV says it’s going to be warm and sunny, but it doesn’t look like it. I might try and watch the shadow chancellor give her speech and see just how many vague promises she will make to spend the same money over and over again. Just how many times can they spend the proposed non-dom tax, or the VAT on private school fees?

My first story today is about cheapo airline Ryanair. Back in 2020 a woman fell down the airstairs of one of the airline’s planes while disembarking in Spain. She broke both her tubular and fibula and had to have two operations to fix it. The woman tried to recover her hospital expenses from Ryanair but typically the airline refused to cough up a penny saying that they had no responsibility. Eventually, the woman took them to court in Spain where she has been awarded US $30,000 to cover her expenses. The court said that under the law, airlines are responsible for the safety of passengers not just in flight but also while embarking and disembarking and hence were clearly responsible. Ryanair are the only operator of Boeing 737s who have specified built-in retractable airstairs that are steeper and narrower than the mobile stairs or airbridges supplied by airports but saves Ryanair paying for them.

I hear that the next airline to place a big order for new twin-aisle aircraft is likely to be IAG, the owners of British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia. I understand that they are in talks with both Airbus and Boeing over replacing their old Boeing 777s. The new planes would have to be capable of long distances so that probably means Airbus A350-900 or -1000, the Boeing 777-8 or -9 or just possibly the Boeing 787, but that is not capable of the very longest routes but could be included in a split order. BA alone has over 40 old 777s in operation, and I hear could be in the market to replace 20 or more of them. BA also already operates 19 x A350-1000 in operation and has an outstanding order for 19 new Boeing 777-9 which have been delayed until 2026 at the earliest due to Boeing’s problems. Iberia has 16 x A350s in an all-Airbus fleet and Aer Lingus doesn’t have any Boeing’s in its fleet. IAG is renowned for its tough bargaining on price so I would not like to suggest a likely winner.

I hear that Barcelona FC have a bit of a problem at the moment. They have temporarily moved out of their Nou Camp stadium while it is being refurbished and enlarged. They have just about finished the demolition of parts of the ground and are ready to start the reconstruction but have been told they cannot start as they don’t have the appropriate licenses. The problem seems to be that Barcelona have modified the plans for the new stadium from those originally approved and now require fresh permission. The rebuilt stadium is planned to increase its current 99,000 capacity to 105,000 retaining its crown of Europe’s largest stadium.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Being rebuilt.
The Camp Nou Stadium – Barcelona,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

I hear that the 39 asylum seekers who were taken off the Bibby Stockholm barge when legionella was detected on board have been told to prepare to return to the boat next week. About time too. The word I hear is that the water on the barge has been passing tests for some weeks now, but the authorities wanted to play it safe and not return people to the barge too quickly, just in case. Pity they didn’t put people back on board to coincide with the Liebore Party conference.

The Qatar F1 race at the weekend was interesting in that it was found that the Pirelli tyres on the cars were suffering on this track. The problem was the tyre side walls were delaminating from the tyre carcass. For safety, the makers recommended that they should not be used for more than 18 laps thus ensuring that all drivers had to change tyres twice. The problem has been put down to the track being resurfaced earlier in the year and a unique pyramid-shaped curb being installed. Pirelli have complained that they were not informed of the curb and had not had an opportunity to test their effect on the tyres before practice commenced on Friday. In the end it was the side walls and sand blowing on the track that proved difficult for the cars.

I read that the last country on earth without a national football team is in the process of founding one. The Marshall Islands have a tiny population of only 60,000 so they don’t have a big population to choose from and at the moment don’t have a stadium to play in. The stadium problem is about to be fixed with a national stadium under construction. They have already had a competition to design a shirt for the embryonic national team with the winner in the blue and orange of the national flag and say they hope to play their first match in June or July next year when the stadium should be ready. Good luck to them.


Well, I must say the weather seems to have broken here in London this morning with rain on the wind and a lot cooler a day earlier than predicted. Going back to yesterday, best bit of the Sir Beer Korma speech to the Liebore Party conference was when the protester ran on stage and covered him in glitter. I was not sure what the protester was shouting about but I now hear it was electoral reform. I think there will be big questions asked of Liverpool’s police as Sir Beer is supposed to have 24-hour security. Why can’t all political speeches start that way, I’m sure a lot more people would watch if they did.

I am seeing reports on the internet that Ukraine is not happy with the quality of some of the armaments they are receiving from Pakistan. I see pictures of M 777 artillery guns that have suffered explosions in their barrels that have split them open like a banana by faulty ammunition. There is also film of 122mm rockets for Russian Grad rocket launchers that when the launch button was pushed belched black smoke instead of taking off. I bet the Indian Army is laughing their heads off if this is typical of the standard of armaments being manufactured in Pakistan.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Do they really go to war with White Wall tyres?
BM-21 ‘Grad’,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

It was announced yesterday that the UK and Ireland have been awarded the Euros for 2028 just as I told you they would. But I understand that unlike previous competitions the host nation will not automatically qualify for the finals. This is because there are five host nations so they cannot all get an automatic place. I hear that UEFA’s solution is to reserve two positions for the five hosts and they will be awarded to host nations who do not get through qualifying. If more than two fail to qualify the place will go to the two nations who get closest to qualifying. They don’t say what will happen to those places if all five nations qualify.

Eurostar have announced that in the last few weeks they have been running their trains to Paris almost full for the first time since before Covid. They are crowing about this, but I wonder how many of the extra passengers are heading to the Rugby World Cup in France. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and when the U.K. nations are knocked out of the competition will the passenger numbers stay high?

The Russian segment of the International Space Station has just sprung its third coolant leak in a year. What does this say of Russian space engineering? In a recent broadcast from the ISS flakes of frozen coolant could be seen floating around the capsule. The Russians say that the leak is in a reserve circuit and that temperatures in the affected Russian unit are normal and the crew are safe. The Russians blamed the first leak on a meteorite strike, but the second one, also in a coolant circuit, stretched that excuse a little. Now a third, similar leak, can hardly be dismissed as coincidence, especially as they have all happened to the Russian segment and not the US segments.

On Sunday Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka didn’t play in what is arguably their biggest match of the year. He was not fit after going off injured in Arsenal’s mid-week match with French club Lens. But this coming weekend is the ‘international break’ in the league season and Saka was named in the England squad for two games. The Arsenal medical team withdrew Saka, who is believed to have been struggling with a hamstring injury for some time, from the England squad as he was never going to be fit to play. However, the FA demanded that Saka travel the 100 miles to the England team headquarters at St George’s Park to undergo a medical. Of course, they declared him unfit to play and he went home. I wonder who decided to insist on Saka wasting his time completing a 200-mile round trip instead of accepting the Arsenal medical team’s option? Saka is not a player who pulls out of matches for a minor knock, his missed game on Sunday was the first he had missed in 87 games!

If you are a very rich person and have bought a Porsche Taycan electric sports car, I am sorry to tell you that all 292 models sold worldwide have been recalled for an urgent check. It seems that two have burst into flames and exploded. But I hear it’s not just Porsche that have the problem, it seems that some Lamborghini models use the same battery and electrical equipment and have also been recalled. I suppose being able to spend between £79,255 and £152,003 on a car doesn’t make you immune to problems.


Morning peeps it’s rather dull and there was rain in the air when I ventured down the garden this morning before my Felix. It has clearly rained hard while I was in the land of nod as everything is wet. I have been reflecting on what Sir Beer Korma’s supporters said was a glittering conference speech and I have decided it was full of rhetoric and had very little substance. Apart from not a single mention of immigration, he appears to have attempted a confidence trick on house building by promising to build 1.5 million houses in five years. I might only be a cat but how is this any different from the Tories 300,000 houses a year?

I understand that at last weekend’s Formula One race in Qatar many of the drivers suffered badly in the intense heat. With at least one being sick in his helmet and one claiming to have passed out momentarily. A third was seen having difficulty getting himself out of his crashed car, not because of the crash but because he had heat exhaustion. Another who retired from the race had to be helped from his car and staggered away. Then there was another who begged his team to throw cold water over him at a pit stop as his car seat was so hot it was burning him. At the pit stop he only got fresh tyres as it is “against the rules” to throw water over a driver. Perhaps next year they might consider holding the race at a cooler time of year, that is, if there is one in Qatar.

The Airbus A220 final assembly line (FAL) in Mobile, Alabama has just announced that it has produced its 50th aircraft. This is the plane’s second production line with the first being at Mirabel in Canada. The combined production rate of the two lines is currently supposed to be six a month which is very low compared to other FALs for planes with as many orders as the A220. At six a month the 800 on order will take 11 years to make which is clearly unacceptable to customers. I understand plans are being put in place to increase production to 16 a month but it depends on subcontractors being able to virtually treble their production. Airbus is said to have plans for a stretched A220-500 version but are reluctant to launch it until production rates could cope.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
The baby of the family.
Delta Air Lines Airbus A220-100 N108DQ approaching LaGuardia Airport,
Adam Moreira
Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

In the EU there is a row going on about the minimum insulation standards of old houses. EU officials have promised a standard that would mean retrofitting millions of homes. The problem is that while it makes sense to have high levels of insulation in the colder north of Europe it makes little sense in the warmer south. Countries like Italy are firmly against the proposed regulations, but unsurprisingly the two big German building company associations have come out in favour as they see a lot of refurbishment work coming their way. All I can say is at least we can sit back and let them argue this one without it bothering us.

The big fire in the multi-storey car park at Luton airport has been making headlines in the media. It is still not clear exactly what happened, but what little information that is available indicates that the fire started in a single car on the top deck of the car park and spread rapidly to the whole floor top deck. Before long, parts of the building collapsed, although several of the floors on lower levels and the cars on them survived. I was most disappointed to hear the Bedfordshire Fire Brigade announce that the fire started in a diesel car. That seems a little strange to me as diesel is not that easy to ignite. Mind you I do wonder if the presence of EVs didn’t help.

When the Elizabeth Line opened, to much noise and celebration by Sad Dick and his cronies, we were all told how wonderful and modern the line was. Now I hear that it suffers from more train cancellations than any other line in the country with over 9% of services cancelled because of faulty trains. On top of that I now hear Network Rail is to renew many of the overhead lines the trains running west of Paddington use. Starting in the new year with the wires into Heathrow. I hear the work is due to go on for a decade.

With six months to go before the RMS Queen Ann joins the Cunard fleet, journalists have been shown around the incomplete ship and I must admit the pictures make it look fabulous. Cunard are renowned for the luxury of their ships and for being a little behind the times, which many of their customers like. But this ship looks to have retained the luxury of other ships and moved with the times. For example, this will be the first Cunard ship with a retractable dome over its main pool deck. It retains the favourite places on the other ships and has enlarged the highly regarded Commodores Club at the front of the ships with its three sides of huge glass windows, and the very popular Golden Lion Pub is also much bigger than on other ships and is to have a new ‘Pub Menu’. Cunard has never been famous for the number of places to eat on board, but this ship will have fourteen including all its normal main dining rooms. For the first time on Cunard there will even be an onboard Japanese restaurant. The renders of the public spaces look elegant but modern, not flashy like I see on American ships, but classy. I wonder if my scribe will be venturing onboard?


Good morning and it’s a wet one. Not my favourite sort of day, unless it clears up soon, I will have to use the litter tray and you know how I hate that horrible smelly thing. Every morning I wake up expecting to hear that the Israelis have launched an attack into Gaza, but they appear to be biding their time and just bombing the sh*t out of Hamas.

In California, the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transport District has been looking at replacing the ageing diesel and compressed natural gas buses in its fleet. As many of these companies around the world, they are being pushed to go green, so they contacted electric bus manufacturers and were supplied with several electric buses to trial. Many of them were quickly dismissed but one of the top-of-the-range buses remained, so they decided to test it on a typical route. They loaded it with sandbags to represent a typical passenger load, fully charged the bus and off it went mimicking making regular stops. But Santa Cruz is rather hilly, and the bus couldn’t keep to the timetable as it was impossible for it to keep up the 50mph required when climbing the hills. When the bus reached the end of the route it was so low on battery power it couldn’t operate the scheduled return journey before it spent several hours recharging. Instead, they are buying 57 hydrogen fuel cell buses that use the fuel cell to charge batteries. They say the buses can do 350 miles on a single fill of hydrogen, the battery can be fully charged within 15 minutes of it being started in the morning, they are much lighter than battery buses and they will be able to operate in the frequent power cuts in California.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Better than Battery Electric?
MBTA El Dorado Axess (Hydrogen Fuel Cell Test Bus),
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

A lovely story reaches me from China where the Asian Games have been taking place. In an interview, a member of the Thai break-dancing team has revealed worries about hair loss. One of the competitors revealed that because his hair has become so thin from head spinning, he has taken to wearing hats while dancing. He says the more he spins the more hair he loses so he has recently taken to wearing two hats at the same time. He also revealed he is looking for sponsorship from a hair treatment company.

Interesting times at EasyJet, where I hear they have been in negotiations with Airbus over what it calls ‘fleet renewal’. They currently have 158 A320neo aircraft outstanding from its last order which are mainly to replace the A320ceo aircraft in its current fleet. EasyJet has converted 33 of these orders from A320neo to the larger A321neo aircraft meaning they are now due to receive 68 A321neo and 90 A320neo from the current order by 2028. But I also hear they have shaken hands on a follow-on order for 101 x A321neo, 56 x A320neo and 100 options. EasyJet has also announced plans to phase out its fleet of smaller A319. All of this means EasyJet will increase its total fleet from today’s 336 to at least 468 in 2033. Will they be the biggest operator of Airbus aircraft?

Ninety-two-year-old billionaire Bernie Ecclestone has changed his court plea from not guilty to guilty of fraud, over a case where the HMRC had said he hadn’t declared a £400 million trust he benefited from in Singapore. His lawyer said that when making his tax return, he had not declared the trust because didn’t know he benefited from it. It must be wonderful to be so rich that you can lose track of a £400 million trust and not know you stand to benefit from it. Perhaps he is getting senile.

A start-up railway operator, Evolyn, says it is going to operate a high-speed train service between London and Paris. The company, owned by National Express, say they have ordered 12 trains, with options for another four, from Alstom and expect to start operations in 2025. They say that when they launch, the trains will run not stop between London and Paris in opposition to Eurostar who have been the monopoly operator for 30 years. The owners of the Channel Tunnel say they have plenty of capacity. Now that Eurostar are running nearly full trains, a rival service was bound to emerge.

I am intrigued to read about a man who won £108 million on the EuroMillions lottery. Unlike many winners he has not settled for a life of luxury and long holidays although he did give up his job as a car mechanic and paint sprayer. Instead, he did what he always wanted to do, he bought a property with a lake. But this was not just any old property it was 500 acres including woods, six lakes and ponds and a run-down manor house. Since moving in back in 2015 he and his partner have spent the time renovating the house and land. They have dredged the lakes and ponds and cleared the woodland of fallen and dead trees and have removed tonnes of dead trees from the wood. I wonder how much of his £108 million he has left?


Good morning merry readers, it’s a beautiful sunny morning, but my is it cold out there. When I woke up, I was nice and warm and I could see a blue sky out of the window, so I wasn’t prepared for the drop in temperature outside. When I got back indoors, I realised the heating had come on in the night so that was why I was warm. I wonder what temperature it is set to come on at.

The HMRC has had a good couple of days taking in underpaid taxes. First it was Bernie Eccleston who hadn’t paid the tax on a £400 million trust fund for 18 years telling the court that he had forgotten it. Well, I think it is in his memory now as it has cost him £653 million in back tax and penalties. I see he also got an 18-month suspended sentence. If at 92 he had gone to prison it would probably have killed him. Now I hear Microsoft has agreed to pay HMRC £136 million in back taxes in a row over how they move revenue around the world to avoid tax. Mind you this is nothing compared to their row with the US tax man who is claiming a mere $28.9 billion in back taxes, interest and penalties.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
How can you forget £400 million?
Bernie Ecclestone, São Paulo 2022,
Governo do Estado de São Paulo
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

While talking about money I read that a High Court judge has awarded the Virgin Group $115 million in a dispute over a train branding deal in America. The train operator, Brightline, had agreed to brand a new line using the Virgin name, but had pulled out of the deal claiming that the Virgin name had been ‘tarnished’ during Covid when the airline had had financial problems when it had to shut down like all airlines. The judge ruled in Virgin’s favour. I hear that Virgin are not finished yet, a second linked case for another $90 million is still to be heard.

On 25th of November the football match between Manchester City and Liverpool has been chosen to be the match televised by Sky Sports, kicking off at 17:30. But the Manchester Police have refused to allow this to happen saying it would give the louts all afternoon to go drinking before the kick-off. So, Sky have agreed to move the game to an earlier kick-off slot at 12:30. Now that causes a problem because TNT Sports are due to show the Brentford v Arsenal game kicking off at that time. Fortunately, TNT Sports, Brentford and Arsenal have all agreed to the swap to the later slot. What does this say to the police’s opinion of the Brentford and Arsenal supporters, obviously there are trusted to drink all day and not cause trouble.

If you are a fan of Burger King, I have some good news for you. The company has announced that they are to add another 60 outlets to their U.K. portfolio. At the moment they have 553 stores in the U.K., so this is quite a big increase. I happen to know that my scribe prefers Burger King to McDonalds, so he is probably hoping for a Worthing branch to be among the 60.

I read that the new electric version of the Citroen C3 is to debut next week, but not be on sale until early next year. However, its price has been announced and it will start at £23,600 which is cheap for an EV but not for a car of the C3 size. I know my scribe currently drives a C3 and is happy with it, but it is going to have to be something very special to make him trade in his current petrol car for an EV.

After being located in Baker Street for decades the London Transport lost property office has moved to a new bigger site next to West Ham bus garage. It never ceases to amaze me the quantity of items people leave on the buses, tube, taxis and the Overground. Last year 210,363 items were handed in to the lost property office, including 34,593 bags, 46,015 “books, documents and cards” and 26,215 phones. Only 47,000 items were claimed but you will be pleased to know that this included a teddy bear lost on the Jubilee Line, but not even one of the 4,280 umbrellas handed in was claimed! However, items reclaimed included 5,820 wallets, purses or cash, 1,693 rucksacks, 1,367 phones, 112 suitcases, 19 cameras, 18 books and nine shoes, either single or a pair. But only two of the 17 sex toys found were claimed.

That’s another week’s musing complete. The weather in London has changed and the sun has not made it very warm today. I might see what it’s like on my favourite windowsill, but I think it will be a comfy chair in reception today. I’ll be back with you all again next week.

© WorthingGooner 2023