Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Summer update!

It's amazing how quickly time goes by, especially when you're waiting for the promised hot, dry summer this year. But then, despite all the sophisticated technology, they still can't get the weather forecast right from one day to the next, so it's just a long-shot when they try to predict so far in advance!

Presently things have quietened down, students are away on their summer breaks, and the concert season for reviews has all but stopped, and won't be resuming until September.

In the meantime, Dad and I had another visit to Malta which, we're sorry to say, we didn't really enjoy as much as when we were there back in 2007. The main reason, of course, is that the island is now firmly within the euro zone, which means that prices are so much higher and you get the feeling of being ripped off, right, left and centre! Indeed, someone commented that they now have three-tier pricing there - one for the Maltese, one for ex-pats, and one for the poor bloody tourists! It's certainly taken the edge off going there, and the feeling just isn't the same. Also there seemed to be so many more cars about, even in June, and parking the hired car wasn't quite as simple as before, where you could virtually park anywhere, within reason.

We had another lovely 5-star hotel this time, the Radisson SAS Bay Point Resort (see photo), not far from the Hilton, and where the food in particular was excellent! We went over to Gozo again, this time driving ourselves via the car-ferry, and had a good day out, despite the roads which, of course, are still pretty bad, and full of pot-holes, even though some will argue, rather like the antique buses, that this is all part of the island's charm!

Once more we flew from Exeter Airport, our local airport - well only some 45 miles up the A38 - but even here things weren't quite as good as on the last two occasions we were there. Admittedly they had had a power blackout, due to a thunderstorm, which had caused serious problems to the computer systems and resulted in unusually long queues when checking in. But also, on our particular flight, which was a scheduled Air Malta one, instead of the normal three-stage boarding process, ours was a free-for-all, and may the best man win experience. Needless to say I complained about this on our return, and we did receive an apology, as apparently ours was an isolated incident when the normal boarding procedures weren't adhered to. But, at the end of the day, passengers are fast becoming mere human freight, to be herded around at the convenience of airlines and those that work there, with the result that it's really getting more and more of a hassle. Yes we had good weather, which is impossible to guarantee in the UK - but at what cost?! I'm afraid it will simply just get worse, and when you consider that the German word for passenger is Fahrgast - literally 'travel guest', it makes a mockery of what you have to be subjected to both leaving the country, and coming back!

On the home front, we have already had another couple of excellent meals with Cousin Ken at Topsham, and have found that the Passage Inn is excellent for the quality and quantity of its food, even if the service isn't exactly lightning fast! If you're in the area, then you should certainly give it a try, but booking is vital, if you want a particular table at a particular time!

Well, that's about it for the moment - we've also had a new gas boiler fitted, but I'll talk briefly about that, in a separate blog! Enjoy the summer - that is, when it actually arrives - or did we have it during that hot spell back in June?!

Blog Archive