Larry’s Diary – Week Two Hundred And Thirty


Good morning friends, and a happy Easter Monday to you. It is also April Fool’s Day. I promise you I will not be telling you any April Fools Day’s stories, at least not deliberately. I did wonder if this new Hate Crimes Act in Scottishland was an April Fool, but it seems not. What bothers me is that the Scottishland Police think this law applies to English people whose comments are read in Scottishland. I think I might have to put a disclaimer on my diary to say it should not be read in Scottishland in case it offends.

My feeder put the TV on over breakfast this morning and there was an advert on for baths with doors in the side. It rather worried me that the lady getting in the bath was wearing a towel. Is this normal? Do the lady Puffins who read my diary bathe with a towel wrapped around them? It seems they also shower that way too when there is a seat in a walk-in shower cubicle. It’s all a bit odd to me.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Where is the lady with the towel?
Ella’s Deluxe Walk In Bath Tub,
Ella’s Bubbles LLC
Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

In 2011 it was decided that Theale Railway station needed a passenger bridge. The work was approved in 2013 and work started on the £1.5 million bridge. Work has been going on ever since and the cost has escalated to £10 million. It was finally announced it would be ready by December last year, but that date was missed. In the meantime, a new booking office has been built and opened. I hear that the bridge and lifts should be open in “the spring”, which I understand is already spring. When the bridge is open work will start on expanding the station car park, I hope that doesn’t take another 10 years.

Are you one of those people who likes to pop into Tesco, Boots, Sainsbury’s, or similar for a ‘meal deal’ for your lunch? You know one of those cheap offers of a main, a snack and a drink. The main is often a sandwich, the snack a bar of chocolate or a packet of crisps, and a Coke for a drink. I hear that Sainsbury’s have upset a lot of customers by reclassifying a yogurt from a snack, to a main. I really can’t see how a yogurt can be the main dish in a meal, even at breakfast you might swap cereals for a yogurt, but not for a full English! I think Sainsbury’s are trying to increase their profit.

Perhaps people will be moving to Tesco for their lunch where I hear they currently are offering a ham, egg and chips sandwich on white bread. The ham is supposedly beech wood-smoked and the egg is sliced hard-boiled with a bit of added mayonnaise. The chips are tiny fries but have a bit of tomato sauce on them. The sandwich costs £3 on its own or £3.40p as part of a meal deal. I wonder what that lot is like and if the chips are crisp or soggy?

I read that ASDA have turned off the majority of its EV chargers at its supermarkets, unlike the other big supermarkets that have been installing them. There are now only 45 chargers left at 22 supermarkets, down from 165 charging points just over a year ago. Apparently, ASDA had a deal with BP Pulse to run these chargers, but the deal ran out late last year and ASDA are biding their time sorting out a new deal.

It emerged this morning that Liberty Media, the group that owns Formula One, bought 86% of Moto GP the Motorcycle Racing company from Dorna, who will retain the remaining 14%. The takeover is said to be worth €4.2 billion. I wonder what the future of MotoGP is? Will it continue with its own programme of 20 GPs around the world or could we see the MotoGP becoming a support program to F1?


It was a bit dull when I first woke up, maybe that’s because the clocks went on an hour at the weekend. But it’s coming out to be much brighter now and there is some warmth in the sun. Mind you it is supposed to become wet later and very wet this evening when I will be curled up in my lovely cat basket. I wonder if I can get out in the sun for a bit.

Late on Saturday evening the very last Air Malta flight took off from London Heathrow and landed in Valletta at 04:20 local time Sunday. Air Malta has been struggling financially for some time and the EU refused the Maltese Government permission to inject funds into the company. Instead, a new company, called KM Malta Airlines took over as the island’s national carrier on Sunday. The new company is a budget carrier on the lines of EasyJet or Ryanair. It has an interesting ticketing structure. Its cheapest ‘Economy Budget’ level allows you to take only 2 kg of baggage on board which must go under the seat. The next level is ‘Economy Value’ and that allows the same 2 kg small bag but adds 10 kg of checked hold baggage. Both ‘Economy Plus’ and ‘Economy Flex’ allow a 2 kg bag, 8 kg cabin bag and 10 kg of hold baggage. To get a decent baggage allowance you will need to fly one of four Business classes. You can buy a meal in Economy, but you have to be in Business to be served a free meal. It all makes flying Ryanair sound classy.

Liebore might be leading in the opinion polls but that hasn’t stopped them losing 23,000 party members in the last two months. Party membership has fallen by over 160,000 from a peak in 2019, and over 11,000 are in arrears. Apparently, the reason for this fall is twofold, the Lego Head stance on Gaza and the ‘U’ turn on its £28 billion a year green policy. I’m afraid that those party members who expect Liebore to bring about a halt in the war in Gaza are stupid beyond belief and those who think Liebore can fund their green policies obviously can’t add up. I see that are still saying that they will pump billions into the NHS from taxing non-doms. Hasn’t that source of income already disappeared?

I had to laugh when I read that cycling obsessive Jeremy Vine was in trouble over his April Fool yesterday. On the internet, he claimed that while cycling to work he had been flying a drone in Hyde Park and it had been attacked by a bird of prey and posted video purporting to show the incident. Well, he has been reported to the RSPB, the Met Police, and Royal Parks, for various offences. So he had to put out a message saying it was all an April Fool. I would love to see him prosecuted for wasting police time.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Where’s his Bike?
Jeremy Vine at the Senedd in 2016,
National Assembly for Wales
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

In Lancashire a total of 20 local councillors have resigned from the Liebore party on three councils. They have quit from Pendle Borough Council, Nelson Town Council or Brierfield Town Council. I understand that they are protesting about the imposition of controls on them by the central party. The 20 councillors say the party no longer represents their views and they will sit as independents. I hear that at least four of the councillors’ seats are up for re-election in May.

I was intrigued to learn that Thames Water has appointed Tenco advisers over the growing financial problems it has between its debt pile and its shareholders refusal to fund it. Tenco were the special administrators who were appointed when Bulb Energy went bust and were effectively taking into public ownership. Thames is struggling to avoid collapsing into administration, but Tenco is now in pole position to become special administrators if it does. Thames has debts of about £14 billion much of which is said to have arisen under previous Australian owners McQurrey Bank who borrowed a load of money and then paid itself big dividends. With some of those debts becoming due shortly Thames has no obvious way of paying them off. I doubt the government would want to have to pump such a large sum into Thames just before an election and I doubt Liebore can want to inherit such a big problem.

So, The Donald is not going to have the suffer the humiliation of having the New York prosecutor grab some of his properties to meet the bail conditions imposed in his New York fraud case. Late on Monday night our time, he posted the $175 million bail bond required by the court to allow him to appeal the verdict. If he loses the appeal, he will have to find the full $464 million fine. However, this could well be reduced on appeal, even if he is still found guilty, as it is an obviously ridiculously high fine when you consider the supposed defrauded bank never complained and had been fully repaid many years ago.


Morning Puffins, another grey morning but at least it’s dry at the moment. I see that the water companies are telling us that we are likely to get hose pipe bans this summer. The story is consumption is up and we don’t have enough storage. It is a “communication” issued in 2007 by the European Commission ((COM (2007) 414 Final) “addressing the challenge of water scarcity and droughts in the European Union” which is to blame. Basically, what it said was climate change was going to leave the EU short of water and the way to fix it was to encourage people to use water “efficiently” and not to build reservoirs for water storage. And that is why we will need hosepipe bans.

Yesterday postage stamps went up in price again, for the third time in a year. First Class stamps for standard size letters go up from £1.25 to £1.35 and large letters go up to £3.45. Second Class also go up 10p to 85p. The Post Office letter post seems to be in a death spiral. The number of letters posted goes down, so the price goes up, so the number goes down and the price goes up infinitum.

With the new hate law in Scotland coming into effect on Monday, I am intrigued to read that J K Rowling has challenged Police Scotland to arrest her next time she is in Scottishland. She is a strong defender of women’s rights and refuses to call a biological man a woman, no matter what the new law says. Police Scotland can use their powers and funding to prosecute all the little people under the new hate law. Despite Humza Useless saying that is not going to happen, Police Scotland seems to indicate otherwise. Mind you if they take on J K Rowling, they might find she has enough money to hire the best possible legal team and could well blow a huge hole in this legislation.

Another video goes viral on the internet, this one showing a Metropolitan Police officer talking with a Jewish woman who has complained about a marcher displaying a Swastika in the pro-Palestine demonstration in London on Saturday. The officer couldn’t be bothered to investigate the incident, saying a Swastika wasn’t necessarily illegal, it depended on context. Even if this is true, he made no attempt to investigate the context. Yet another case of the woke police not doing its duty.

Had to laugh when I saw that you can no longer buy a German national football shirt with the number 44 on the back. Apparently, the old-style font the Germans use makes it look like ‘SS’ in the font the Nazis used! Adidas, who make the shirt, say that no one pointed out the similarities before the shirt went on sale. They, and the German Football Federation, are now said to be looking for an alternative.

I read that United Airlines is suffering a series of incidents of late, many with Boeing aircraft. However, some of the incidents would appear to be down to poor maintenance rather than the quality of the plane. On Friday a Boeing 787 flight from Frankfurt to the US had to turn back to Frankfurt after a toilet overflowed into the cabin. This follows a wheel falling off on take-off and several bird strikes on engines and windscreens. I even read of a collision with a drone over LA. Now I hear that United are to temporarily lay off a number of aircrew due to the very late delivery of Boeing planes.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Mind those wheels don’t fall off.
United Airlines 787-10 N12010,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

The BBC has just published its annual list of highest paid employees and it reveals that Huw Edwards was paid £440,000 as its leading news reader. Unfortunately, he is suspended due to a sex crime investigation, but he is still being paid in full and hasn’t read the news in ages. So why is he still being paid all this time later, is it in his contract to be paid while suspended and being investigated? If so, get on with the investigation and either get him back to work or sack him.


It’s a bit grey once again this morning, but it was not raining when I dragged my old bones out of my lovely cat basket and done the garden. However, I hear we are in for rain later, then a dry spell, and finally rain again. I was interested to see the Rich Boy on TV last night, where he said if the ECHR bans deportation flights to Rwanda he will quit the court. And about time too.

Are we beginning to see the emergence of another ‘Post Office Scandal’ but this time with Royal Mail. Since the Post Office switched to 100% barcoded stamps last summer there has been a dramatic increase in the number of stamps the Royal Mail declares as ‘counterfeit’. One of the reasons for switching to barcoded stamps was the Royal Mail says that the old method of franking the stamps with ink to show they had been used was being cheated by people ‘washing’ the franking off and reusing the stamp. Apparently, the barcode makes this impossible. However, a growing number of people are buying books of stamps at the Post Office and one or two from a book are being rejected as fake. Royal Mail say they deliver stamps from security printers to Post Offices directly so if the PO is selling fakes, it must be the PO cheating. They refuse to accept that the problem might just be with their checking the validity of stamps.

Police Scotland have announced that they have no intention of arresting J K Rowling under the new Scottishland hate law which makes it an offence to say that transgender women are biological men. On Monday Rowling listed a list of transgender women who she said were biological men. Police Scottishland seem reluctant to start a case against her knowing that she has the resources to fight a law that makes it illegal to tell the truth.

I read a story about a group of passengers on an NCL cruise ship who were left on an African island when their excursion was delayed, and they missed the last tender out to the ship that was anchored offshore. They moaned bitterly that the ship hadn’t left but that was because it was still securing the tenders and landing stage. Unfortunately, being left behind at a port of call is a risk you take if you as not on a cruise line excursion and arrive back at the ship after the final boarding time. Cruise lines will normally wait if one of their organised excursions is delayed, but sometimes, for various reasons, they can’t. In that case they will normally organise onward transport to the next port of call. However, if you are on a privately organised excursion or just out wandering the port on your own, it is your responsibility to get back on time.

My favourite story today comes from China. In Guangdong, southeast China, a customer of a dog café left the front door open and 100 excited huskies rushed out and ran amok in the shopping centre the café was located in. The staff also rushed out and started rounding up the dogs and returning them to the cafe. A video on the internet shows packs of huskies scampering around the shopping centre, clearly having great fun, and ignoring the café staff trying to collect them. They were eventually all rounded up and returned safely to the café. An employee of the café joked that they were all going to be rewarded with a chicken leg. I wonder if they would reward me with a delicious chicken leg if I ‘escaped’?

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
These guys seem to have got away.
Siberian Husky family,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

A bit of good news for a change. The Purchasing Managers Index for March is out and has risen above 50 (which means manufacturing orders are growing) for the first time in nearly two years. It only hit 50.3 but that is miles better than last month’s 45.4 which indicated contraction. The PMI also publishes an outlook for the coming 12 months which reflects how purchasing managers feel things are going and that was up to 75.9 indicating that companies think things are going to continue improving.

In Botswana they have a problem with growing numbers of elephants. It seems that the protection schemes in the country have been so successful that they have not just stopped the fall in numbers but have reversed it. However, President Mokgweetsi Masisi is a little upset with the Germans who have threatened to ban their citizens from importing hunting trophies in the name of conservation. President Masisi says Botswanan elephants don’t need conserving, in fact he has already offered to send 8,000 to Angola and 500 to Mozambique. Now he has threatened to ship 20,000 to Germany and for good measure 10,000 to the U.K. I wonder if they will cross the channel in rubber boats like the illegal immigrants. Will they dump their passports in the channel? How many wild elephants can you get on an RNLI Lifeboat?


A pretty grey morning today and rain predicted for later. Last time I had this morning’s feeder on a Friday she was on all day and gave me salmon flavour Felix for my Dinner saying you should each fish on Friday. How do I tell her I am not a Catholic Cat.

This morning, I was reading about a lady in London who received a £12:50p charge on her ULEZ account despite her having sold the car 10 days before. On checking her account, she found the charge and having sold the car for scrap she challenged the charge only to be sent a photo of the car on the back of a low loader being moved to the scrapyard in Enfield. TfL said the car was clearly identified by its number plate and was in the expanded ULEZ zone, so the charge had been correctly charged to her account from which she had not removed the car when it had been sold. TfL said they would not remove the fine as it had been correctly applied. So, TfL believes it is appropriate to fine the ex-owner of a car clearly not being driven, I wonder if that would stand up in court.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
I hope it’s not in the ULEZ zone.
BB44782 (18.04.06, Motorvej 501, Viby J)DSC_4931_Balancer,
Lav Ulv
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

I hear that a woman called Lisa Archbold, had already boarded a Delta Airlines flight from Salt Lake City to San Francisco when a gate agent came on board and hauled her off for not wearing a bra. The agent said the loose white tee shirt she was wearing was both “revealing” and “offensive”. The woman has now hired the same attorney as several women who sued the Donald, and she has demanded a meeting with the Delta Airlines President. Archbold has however received a letter of apology from Delta.

In January 2020 the Russian Airline MAK had a hard landing by an Airbus A320 at a Turkish Airport. In fact, the landing was so hard it drove nose gear through the floor of the plane. According to the Russian equivalent of the CAA, after the accident the airline removed the Cockpit Voice Recorder, wiped it, installed it in another plane and then reinstalled it in the original plane. So have the Russian taken any action against the airline. The answer to that is ‘No’, no one has been found guilty, no one fined, and the company has not been reprimanded. The Russians simply said they didn’t have enough information to establish exactly what had happened. If that wasn’t a whitewash, I don’t know what would be.

Apparently, Police Scottishland have been overwhelmed by complaints under the new Scottishland Hate Crimes Law. The people of Scottishland have decided to ridicule the ridiculous law and have been registering around 3,000 complaints a day. The single biggest number of complaints have been about the Scottishland First Minister Humza Useless and speech he made years ago say he was fed up with being the only black in the room. I wonder the Police will investigate all these thousands of complaints or dismiss them quickly and not try to enforce such a ludicrous law.

The March car sales numbers are out and its bad news for Battery Electric Vehicles yet again. The private motorist has clearly moved away the BEV and back to the Internal Combustion Engine. In the purchase of BEVs the level of support from Fleet sales is holding up but that is because sales in that area is still subsidised. The share of BEVs fell to 15.2% of overall car sales in March down from 16.2% a year earlier. Overall car sales in March were up by 10%, which is of course good news, but BEVs were only up 3.8% meaning their sales are effectively falling. Several manufacturers, including Tesla, have been reducing the price of BEVs and one leading manufacturer has said this cannot continue as it is not financially viable. Analysts say that as with many new products there was a rush of early adopters when EVs first went on the market. Many of them those early adopters are now moving back to ICE cars and EVs have failed to catch on with the mass market.

Boeings problems with it 737Max has led to good news for some people, particularly the big Aircraft leasing companies. Airline have been rushing to order aircraft as air travel has recovered far more quickly from the Covid shut down than any ‘experts’ predicted. The big Leasing companies were not slow to notice this recovery and were quick to place orders particularly for the Airbus A320 family and the Boeing 737Max series. However the problems Boeing have experienced has pushed a lot of airlines into the arms the leasers, who have also been snapping up older aircraft from failed airlines. All this has meant that the monthly cost of leasing an Airbus A320-200 is now up to $335,000 a month more than it was pre Covid in 2020.


A warmer morning but where is the promised sunshine. I really don’t understand how the met office can spend so much money on bigger and bigger super computers and the forecasts get no more accurate. I suspect they could do just as well by guessing.

Would you like a free Goat? I hear that the Mayor or the Italian island of Alicudi, part of the Sicilian archipelago, has offered to give people as many free goats as they will take as the island is becoming overpopulated with goats. I hear the island has 7 times more goats than the 100 human residents on the island. The goat population has leapt so much in recent times that they have become a major problem venturing off the cliffs and scrubland they used to live on into the villages and farms.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Free goat anyone?
Wild goats,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

The Danish Navy has suffered a little embarrassment over the deployment of one of its modern frigates in the Red Sea. It had been taking part in the allied operation to protect shipping from Houthi drone and missile attacks and has successfully taken out several drones. But in the middle of an attack, its main radar failed, and it had to switch to a secondary system. The main radar was down for about 30 minutes, with what I hear was a software bug. However, the bug has been known for several years and no one would take responsibility to fix it. The ship also used its 76mm automatic gun to fire at the drone, only to discover that every other shell failed, exploding only metres after leaving the gun barrel. The problem here seems to be the 30-year-old ammunition has recently been fitted with new proximity fuses and it is these that are faulty. The Danish Defence Minister says he knew nothing of the IT bug and has sacked the head of the Navy. The ship is on its way back to Denmark, hopefully for repairs.

An interesting story reaches me about the MSC Armonia, which is stuck in Barcelona over a row about 69 Bolivians who are said to have fake visas. The ship sailed from Brazil and finished in Barcelona from where the Bolivians were supposed to fly home. The Bolivians seem to have been stung by a rogue travel agent back home, who had booked the cruise and supposedly secured the visas. Once the passengers were on board the ship the flights home were cancelled by the travel agent. I would suggest that if the flights had still been in place the Spanish would have been happy to get them out of the country so would have shipped them to the airport without a visa. But the Bolivians now have a problem, needing to find the fares home a second time. Of course, MSC also have a problem with 1,500 passengers stuck in Barcelona and the next cruise from Italy has been cancelled.

It would appear that China’s Hainan Airlines is poised to order 20 Airbus A330-900 aircraft. Although they have not announced the purchase of the planes or even a Memorandum of Understanding the fact that they have announced the purchase of 20 sets of kitchens to be used in the assembly of 20 x A330-900 planes is significant. The airline already operates earlier models of the A330, the -200 and the -300, so it would make sense to purchase the -900 rather than the Boeing alternative of the 787 and all the new spares and staff training that would involve. This plane is one of the few models that can be purchased with either General Electric, Pratt & Whitney or Rolls-Royce engines so it will be interesting to see who gets the engine order.

I understand that Israel is preparing itself for a strike by Iran in retaliation for the killing of seven senior Iranian Guard officers who were killed in an Israeli strike on a building in Damascus. What is interesting is that the Israelis have been jamming and spoofing the worldwide GPS signal in Israel. This is because many drones and missiles use GPS for their guidance systems. Jamming it has obvious effects in that the missiles don’t know where they are, but Israeli motorists have been reporting odd things happening. One motorist said her SatNav was telling her she was driving in Cairo when she was actually in Jerusalem. That could be a little disconcerting to an incoming Iranian missile programmed to hit Jerusalem.

Apparently, Ukraine say they have developed a new drone with a range of 3,300 km. If true, this is very significant as it puts 87 of Russia’s 99 air force bases within range and would include its Baltic strategic bomber bases. Russia has recently been sending bombers from these bases to attack the Ukraine so if they can hit back at these bases, it could be significant. While talking of airbases I see that Russia has been painting the shape of aircraft on its airfield parking areas to try to fool the Ukrainians. The only problem is that Russian helicopters keep landing on the painted shapes, and that rather gives the game away.

That’s my duties done, and I thought I would be able sit on the windowsill today, but the sun never arrived and now it’s raining again, which wasn’t forecast. This was to be my second Saturday afternoon in the sun this year but it’s back to the reception armchair. Chat to you all again next week.

© WorthingGooner 2024