Larry’s Diary, Week Two Hundred And Twenty-One


Hi folks, it’s another week and I am back at work after a pleasant weekend. I understand the Rich Boy has decided to introduce more legislation to try to stop children vaping. He says he is going to ban disposable vapes, which are cheap and widely used by children. He is also going to ban flavoured vapes, like ‘bubble gum’, and refillable vapes will have to be sold in plain packaging. Some alternatives to vaping, such as nicotine pouches, will also be banned for children. The irony of this is that nearly all disposable vapes are made in China, where they are totally banned.

Back in September last year an Airbus A320 of Ural Airlines made an emergency landing in a Russian farmer’s field. The field was rather muddy, and the plane bogged down. Initially the idea was to wait for winter, when the ground froze, and fly the plane out. However, the ground has frozen, and the mud has frozen around the plane, and it is completely stuck. So, the idea is now to break up the plane for spare parts and remove it in bits. To protect the plane from people stealing parts, a 12-foot fence has been built around and it is patrolled by 24-hour guards. Incidentally the farmer has been paid a year’s rent for the field and is reported to be £11,000 better off for doing nothing.

I hear that earlier this month the captain and crew of a Qatar Airways flight out of Birmingham got stuck in a lift for over 3.5 hours delaying the take-off for over four hours. It seems it was a “temporary” lift and the company operating it failed to get it to move an inch. Finally, the fire brigade were called, and they ripped out a couple of panels to release the crew. I hear Qatar were very generous and gave passengers a refreshment voucher valued at £8. That would just about buy you a whiskey and ginger ale at the Birmingham airport. Pathetic.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Birmingham Airport.
Birmingham Airport, England, Feb. 2008,
Phillip Capper
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

The fallout from the missing door plug bolts on the Boeing 737 Max 9 continues to have ramifications for the manufacturer. Both United and Delta have orders in place for the, as yet uncertified, Max 10 and both are having second thoughts. The plane was originally due in their fleets in 2020 and the fact that it is still not must be costing Boeing in the form of compensation. But the Federal Aviation Administration has announced that it will not allow Boeing to increase the production of 737 family jets until it is satisfied on the quality of planes coming out of the factory, and that additional inspectors will be on the factory floor. Airlines have interpreted this as a further delay in the Max 10 of up to five years and consequently they are looking at alternatives. The Max 10 is the biggest capacity 737, with a 3,100-mile range, but a swap to the Max 9 gives them a 5% lower capacity with a slightly longer 3,300-mile range and a higher seat-mile cost. A swap to the A321neo is an altogether bigger aircraft with high capacity, 220 seats against the Max 10’s, 208 seats and a 4,000-mile range. The Airbus is also in very high demand with production slots sold out for several years to come, although I do hear Airbus has been approaching its customers offering to buy back production slots if the airline can wait a while for some deliveries. In this way it could create earlier delivery slots for United or Delta if they chose to dump the Max 10. If I were Boeing, I wouldn’t be very happy, especially as I hear the United CEO has flown to Europe to meet Airbus over the possibility of swapping the 277 Max 10s it has on order for 277 A321neo.

Last week I told you about the Japanese moon lander (SLIM) that was basically upside down on the moon. It also was turned off as it was running out of battery power because they couldn’t be recharged as the solar panels were in the shade. Well, like on Earth, the Sun moves around the sky and the panels have been illuminated. The batteries have been recharged and it is now communicating with Earth and has resumed its mission.

If you travel north from Angel on the London Underground’s Northern line the next station is Kings Cross St Pancras and then the next station is Euston. At Euston you can do a cross-platform change onto the northbound Victoria line train and the next station is Kings Cross. How can that be? It’s a very odd thing.

I see an opinion poll north of the border on Wee Krankie puts her popularity with the Scottishland electorate at 19% for and 52% against. Apparently, they blame her for everything that has been going wrong in the SNP and Scottishland politics. The SNP funding row has been a killer, as has Wee Krankie’s support for sending a trans man/woman to a woman’s prison. Mind you, Hamza Useless has also done badly with his support of the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists. Why is a party whose sole purpose is Scottish independence getting so involved in things the majority of the electorate will not be voting on at the next general election?


This morning the duty feeder was the one who likes to put the radio on while in the flat sorting me out and talking to me all the time when I want to listen to the news as I eat. Today the man on the radio seemed a bit annoyed that December inflation was down again, this time to 2.9%. All he wanted to do was remind everyone that it had gone up the month before, but neglected to say it had been by only 0.1% which had been caused by extra tax on tobacco and alcohol kicking in. Why do some of the people on the radio and TV rejoice in reporting negative things?

The other big thing on the news looks like the DUP are willing to call off their boycott of the Northern Ireland parliament and return to ‘power sharing’, which should make the government of Northern Ireland work again. I seem to remember that wage increases for many people in NI depend on getting their government back. Apparently, it now all depends on promised legislation being passed at Westminster. I don’t know if it is controversial or if Liebore will support it. I find it strange that Liebore have a built-in majority in the Lords and love to frustrate legislation passed by the Commons.

Sometimes I think the media make up stories. This morning, they were busy telling me that King Big Ears was staying in hospital for an additional day so his operation must have been more complicated than first expected. In the same article it also told me that the Duchess of Cambridge was likely to stay in hospital for several more days as she was going to take between two and three weeks before being released. Then mid-morning it emerged that Catherine had already left hospital by a back door and was at home in Windsor. Shortly after that the King walked out of the hospital front door, accompanied by the Queen, and waved vigorously to the onlookers. So, the media got it wrong twice in one day.

After the door plug dropped out of the Boeing 737 Max 9 the FAA went to recover the cockpit voice recorder tape only to find that it had been wiped clean. Under US regulations there is only a requirement to keep the recording for two hours after landing. However the tape can only be kept longer by pulling a cockpit circuit breaker, but this didn’t happen. If this event had occurred on a plane registered in Europe, Britain or many other parts of the world the tape would not be overwritten or wiped for 25 hours. This is not the first time the FAA has not had the cockpit voice recording because of this regulation, but they refuse to come into line with the rest of the world on cost grounds. Which is more important, cost or safety?

If you ever use Sloane Square Tube station you just might look up and notice the big metal box section crossing over the platforms and tracks and wonder what it is. Well, it carries one of the hidden rivers of London. When London was growing there were about 25 rivers that were tributaries of the Thames. As London got bigger most of these rivers were diverted underground and hence the structure that carries the river Westbourne. In the 13th century the river flowed out of Hampstead Heath and joined up in the Kilburn area with another tributary (from Frognal) called the Kilbourne and then flowed through Hyde Park, Sloane Square and into the Thames near Chelsea Bridge. In the 13th century it was pure and used as drinking water but by the 19th century it became an open sewer and that was one of the reasons it was diverted underground.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
The river is above the platforms.
Slone Square,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

At the weekend Gary Lineker got himself into trouble again. For a change, this time it wasn’t for his political opinions, but because he referred to the Welsh Football League as a ‘farmers’’ league. He was commenting on a Newport County player in the FA Cup match vs Manchester United. It seems that 18 months ago the player had been playing for Bala in the Welsh League as a part-time farmer. Welsh League teams don’t seem to do very well in European competitions so perhaps this time Lineker is right.

I hear that Tesla had to temporarily halt deliveries of updated Model 3s in Australia as it did not comply with the Australian regulations on ‘top tethers’ for child seats. It met the rules for the two outside rear seats but not the centre seat as the tether point was behind a flap. It is not the first foreign car to fall foul of this unique Australian regulation. The BYD Seal had a similar problem and was withdrawn from sale for a few weeks while the problem was sorted out and Honda chose to register a model as a four-seater to avoid the problem.


Morning peeps, another grey day in London today weather-wise, but you should all be celebrating as it’s the 4th anniversary of the Brexit vote. All I can say is thank God you did vote to leave, can you imagine the rules, regulations and laws we would have been forced to implement if we stayed as members?

I read that the liquid products carrier, MV Arina 1, has been banned from docking in any Paris Memorandum of Understanding group ports because of its state of repair. This effectively means that it is banned from docking in nearly all the EU ports, plus the U.K. and Russia. The ship had been detained in Germany for three months after failing an inspection with hundreds of faults. It was released from detention only because the owners promised to go to a Dubai shipyard to get the work done. It now appears that it skipped going to Dubai and instead headed to a commercial port in Turkey (not members of the Paris MoU). I wonder where it floating wreck will be going to now.

Thank God we are out of the EU as I see they have just issued a 68-page document on gender neutrality in terms. It says you can’t use sexist terms like manpower (workforce), headmaster (principal), spokesman (spokesperson), or chairman (chair). But it says you can still use nurse as it refers to both genders, as apparently does fisherman (?). But what really made me laugh was its ruling that you must not use ‘king and queen’, the EU woke alternative is ‘queen and king’. I give up.

Here is a nasty story. It seems that at least five people have been infected with Alzheimer’s after being treated with human growth hormone. Back years ago, human growth hormone was extracted from dead human bodies, however, this was stopped in 1995 when it was shown to trigger human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). But not before some 1,800 people of ‘short stature’, or midgets, as they were then know were treated with it. Now people treated this way may have escaped CJD but have developed Alzheimer’s in their 40s. It seems that scientists have discovered that these people have been treated with the same batch of HGH. So, something in the batch has triggered the development of Alzheimer’s which is intriguing. I wonder if there is something infectious about Alzheimer’s, could it be passed on by something like a blood transfusion? But wait a minute wasn’t CJD caught by eating beef from infected cows, could Alzheimer’s be a similar thing?

I read that the fossil of a big spider has been found in Australia. It’s not huge but it is a type of trapdoor spider, and it is about five times bigger than the nasty poisonous one that currently inhabits most of the country. This spider has a body about a inch long so it’s much bigger than any spider in Britain. I wonder if it was five times as poisonous as the current version? I don’t think I would like to live in Australia, there are too many dangerous animals there.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
A trapdoor spider.
Trapdoor spider,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Could we soon be seeing a new open-access train service between Wrexham and London Euston? A new company called Wrexham, Shropshire and Midlands Railway (WSMR) has applied to run five trains a day on the route, but only four on Sundays. They want to run the train starting from Wrexham and calling at Gobowen, Shrewsbury, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes before terminating at Euston. No, I have never heard of Gobowen but I understand it is a small village in Shropshire near Oswestry.

Saint Marcus Rashford has been a naughty boy; it has been reported that in mid-week he flew to Northern Ireland where he went on a 12-hour bender in a club that lasted into the early hours of the morning and then called in sick. He was dobbed into his club, Manchester United, by a waitress at the club and the man who is reported to earn £325,000 a week could be fined £650,000 (two weeks wages) by them. Why did he have to go to Northern Ireland, is it because his face is too well known in Manchester?


Good morning, all, it’s quite nice this morning with a lot of sunshine. It’s taken a long time, but I see the Biased Broadcasting Company has today started reporting on the angry European farmers. Since the weekend French farmers have been blocking motorways leading to Paris looking for some relief on the EU green levies that have been imposed on them enthusiastically by the French government. But I hear the farmers of Belgium, France, and Italy will be outside the EU in Brussels today with thousands of tractors and piles of burning tyres. I’m so glad we’re out.

I understand we are likely to be sending an aircraft carrier to the Red Sea to replace the US one, the USS Dwight D Eisenhower. USS Eisenhower is a nuclear-powered ship, but it has to return home regularly to give sailors and airmen a rest. As yet we don’t have a full fit of F-35B jets so at the moment only HMS Queen Elizabeth has a full complement, she is on duty elsewhere. That leaves the HMS Prince of Wales which is in dock in Portsmouth and has recently had a refit to sort a problem with a propellor shaft and hasn’t done much mileage since then. But if we do send the PoW will it have to carry US F-35B jets? Many US jets had trained on the two British carriers, and they are interoperable. At the end of 2023 we had only received 37 F-35s and one had crashed so we only had enough for one carrier, with the final 11 currently on order due to be delivered this year. If the PoW is going to the Red Sea we need American F-35Bs onboard, if it’s the QE it leaves us with no planes for our other ship!

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Heading Stateside?
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower conducts an ammunition transfer with USS George Washington,
Official U.S. Navy Imagery
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Sky TV is to lose some 1,000 employees from its 27,000 U.K. workforce this year. It’s partly a money-saving exercise, but mainly it is due to a decrease in the number of people watching Sky by satellite. Currently there are a number of ways to watch Sky, by satellite, cable (such as Virgin) or by streaming onto a Sky Glass TV or via a Sky Stream mini box. It seems that the public has spoken, and the vast majority of new Sky customers are opting for one of the streaming options, as are people whose satellite boxes need to be replaced. Of course, Sky are encouraging this move by making it the cheapest option. Both Sky Glass and Sky Stream just need to be plugged into your router and don’t need an engineer to install them. Hence the loss of 1,000 employees is most likely to come from satellite installation engineers.

The United States has agreed to sell 40 F-35A aircraft to Greece, but there are strings attached. The US says they will give Greece $400 million in military aid, but on condition that Greece transfers a whole load of Russian military equipment that its military uses to Ukraine. Aid money can then be used to buy Western replacements. The Greeks use Russian weapons like S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, TOR mobile anti-aircraft systems, as well as anti-aircraft artillery systems like the ZU-23-2, along with substantial reserves of ammunition. I wonder what Greece will do.

I see Elon Musk has lost a court case in Delaware over a deal he had agreed with Tesla Motors. Basically, he had agreed bonuses based on the Tesla share price that could have earned him $55 billion if the share price hit a particular level. Well, the share price hit a few cents under the maximum and Musk was paid $54 billion. One shareholder objected to this payout, arguing that the monies should have been paid in dividends and took the case to court. Like many of these American court cases, the judge concluded that the agreement was wrong and has ordered Musk to pay back the £54 billion. I somehow think he will be appealing the decision.

Last week the German Airline Lufthansa took delivery of a brand-new Airbus A350-900 and instead of putting it into service it was flown to Spain and parked at an airport that specialises in storing planes not currently in use and then preparing for flight when taken out of storage. In Spain it joined another brand new A350-900 delivered to Lufthansa in late December. It seems that Lufthansa contracted a specialist aircraft interior company to design, manufacture and fit the three classes of seats on its new planes. However, the company is running months late with the seating and the new planes were delivered seatless. I suspect Lufthansa will not be paying the full contract price for the seating.

Since the Highway Code was altered to make things ‘safer’ for cyclists, an odd, unexpected thing has occurred. The number of pedestrians killed in road accidents has gone up sharply. I haven’t yet seen the breakdown of the numbers, so I can’t say if they were hit by lorries, cars or bikes. It will be interesting to see if cyclists have been mowing more pedestrians down now they have been made “Kings of the Road.”


Well, it is dull and misty this morning and a little damp, not the nicest morning. Today is a big day for the National Lottery as the new operators take over. I understand they want to reboot the Lottery that has been sliding for years. The old operators, Camelot, have been tinkering with the games and the cost of tickets and all they have achieved is to lose millions of players. The new operators say they intend to reduce the cost of playing back to the original £1 an entry. I wonder if they will let cats play?

I’m interested to see that workers at all the U.K. Jaguar Land Rover plants in the U.K. have voted to accept a two-year pay deal. The deal was negotiated by the union, Unite, and JLR and was according to both sides a friendly, easy process without any threats or intimidation from either side. The workers will get 6% this year and 5% next year which is well above the current rate of inflation. I suppose it is easier to negotiate a deal when there is goodwill on both sides. I remember the British motor industry when it was ultra-militant, times have really changed.

Last week there was an opinion poll published that gave Liebore a 27% lead and the BBC went potty going on and on about how this was going to wipe out the evil Tories. Since than the poll has proved to be an outlier with none of the seven polls since then hitting that level. The polls have given Liebore a lead as low as 14%, but I haven’t seen this being shouted across the airwaves as this shows the lead almost halved. This is the biased BBC showing its true colours once again.

Yesterday the Liebore Party had a ‘business conference’ where they pledged not to increase corporation tax above the 25% current level for the whole of the life of parliament. They have also said they will not be restoring the bankers’ bonus cap and in the ‘Green Deal’ that was another of Lego Heads 10 pledges. So add to that Labour saying they won’t be increasing tax unless you are one of the wealthiest 1% who already pay the 29% tax. I really wonder where a Liebore government is going to get its money from if it is not going to raise taxes?

At long last Sir Ed Davey has finally got around to apologising for his involvement in this Post Office ‘Horizon Software’ scandal. But it was a little half-hearted apology with him saying he was “sorry I did not see through the Post Office’s lies”. I read that as saying, ‘I was in no way responsible, it is all down to the Post Office.’ He added that his advisers told him not to meet Alan Bates, who led the campaign into the unjust targeting of Post Office operators. Once again, he is saying, ‘Don’t blame me, my advisers got it wrong.’ What a weasel.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
The Limp Dump leader.
Ed Davey, Bournemouth 2017,
Keith Edkins
Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

It looks like Louis Hamilton could be moving from the Mercedes team to the Ferrari team next year. At the moment Red Bull seem to have the best car and it is years since Hamilton won the last of his eight world championships. That is the record number of wins, and he holds the record jointly with Michael Schumacher who certainly isn’t able to add to his tally. At 39, Hamilton sees his chances of another world championship with Mercedes unlikely and Ferrari’s second driver Carlos Sainz only has a year to go on his contract so a space on the Ferrari team is likely to be available for the 2025 season. It will be interesting to see how Hamilton reacts to not being the number-one team driver.

For the past five days there has been a big hunt going on in Scottishland for a monkey that escaped from a safari park. The Japanese macaque (also called a snow monkey) escaped from its enclosure and has been on the run but has been spotted several times never very far from the park. Yesterday he was spotted by a drone equipped with infrared in someone’s back garden where it was snacking on the peanuts in a bird feeder. The monkey was reportedly recaptured after being shot with a tranquilliser dart. The keepers say he will be returned to his enclosure and troop of friends when he has slept off the tranquilliser.


When I first got up this morning it was very grey and grotty. I think we got about 10 minutes sunshine before it came over grey again. Roll on those sunny warm windowsill days. I really can’t understand how the Met can’t find this Afghan with alkaline burns and one eye. You would think he is in agony. I suppose a Muslim doctor has treated him and given him morphine injections and he is hiding out in the Muslim community. He needs to get gangrene.

Boeing have taken a while to come up with an end-of-year summary for 2023, I guess they have had more pressing matters on their mind. The thing I take from the end-of-calendar year report is that they have around 200 x 737 MAX new models and 50 x 787 new models sitting in storage. Many of the 737s have been made for the Chinese market and have been waiting for the Chinese government allowing their airlines to fly them after the well-documented problems with the hidden control software. The inventory is down a bit from its maximum, but Boeing has been having problems finding customers for them as they are mostly not the models Western airlines are currently queuing up to buy. The parked 787s are similarly not the in-demand -8 and -9 models but earlier ones many of which have been re-manufactured because of faults in the original construction.

A Royal Caribbean International cruise ship hit a big storm in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday on its way back to Florida. The Voyager of the Seas took on a list and rainwater flooded several spaces and had to be pumped out. In fact, at one time the list was so bad a slot machine in the casino tipped over injuring a passenger. Maybe the passenger will take that as a warning to give up gambling.

Ukraine has posted video of the Russian Tarantul-III class missile corvette Ivanovets being attacked by drone boats. The first attack blew a hole in the side of the Russian ship and following drones were steered into the hole until after multiple drone strikes some of the ship’s missiles appear to have cooked off and the resulting big explosion caused the ship to sink stern first. I suppose this could be a fake video, you see so much about AI stuff in the media, but Russia has been very quiet about this, not denying it, which is most unusual for them.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Has it been Sunk?
Public domain

Did any of you see the video of Ed Sheeran scaring about a dozen cats with his singing! There he was sitting on a stage with his guitar, with a semicircle of the cats in front of him all eating from identical bowls of food. The moment he starts singing and playing all but one cat scoot away. The one cat that remained eating was a big fat grey cat who just kept chomping on the food. I don’t know if he was so interested in the food that he ignored Ed Sheeran or if he was deaf.

I have heard of Polestar EVs but don’t think I have ever seen one and I had no idea who manufactured them. Well, it became a little clearer to me when Volvo recently published their financial numbers. Volvo was bought by the Chinese motor manufacturer Geely a few years ago, but they don’t like to advertise it, you would be forgiven for thinking they were still Swedish, as they like to pretend. Well Volvo, who own 48% of Polestar, have announced that they will give the EV company no more money and look to dispose of their holding. Well, who would buy the Volvo holding, could it be parent company Geely, who own the other 52% of loss-making Polestar? Wheels within wheels!

The amazing story of the two ferries being built in Scottishland for the CalMac ferry company have hit yet another snag. The aim was to hand the first ferry, Glen Sannox, over to the operator in mid-March. That has now slipped again as it’s going to take 10 weeks for the Finnish engine manufacturer to commission the LNG system once the engine is ready and then another four weeks for sea trails. The whole sorry saga looks like the delivery is now likely to be in the early autumn. Oh and for some reason not explained, this will also add four weeks to the delivery of the second ferry!

I’m done for the week. There are no nice sunny spells out there this afternoon like last week. Instead, it’s been trying to drizzle so I’m back in the armchair this afternoon. Last week the plod on the front door gave me half of one of his Rich Tea biscuits, it was a bit dry but not bad. I should have asked for a saucer of tea! I hope to be back with you all again next week.

© WorthingGooner 2024