Welcome to Heathrow – again

Given that the Olympics is opening in London in the middle of this year it is clear that Immigration Officials have been on more “country ambassador” courses.  I have to share with you my monosyllable exchange this week with a charming female Immigration Officer. Her body language as I approached dictated the direction of our interaction even before it began.  My answers are in italic.

Good morning (said with a smile)

Why are you here?  (Here we go thinks me)


Who do you work for?


Who is xxxx?

They are a business

What sort of business?

They make things

What sort of things?

Internet things

What are you going to do here?

Attend Meetings

Who with?


Who are these people?

People who have flown in to have this meeting

Why are you going?

Because it is my meeting

When you leave, where are you going?


Where is home?


Do you have a Visa?


Why not?

I don’t need one

Why don’t you need one?

I am a permanent resident

Where was this passport issued?


You haven’t filled in that question on the form

Apologies, thank you for filling it in

Yes, we are here to help  (oh yes, very clearly)


Girl “you are sitting on your best asset”

I can’t help but think about this phrase as I have been reading about poor Talitha.  For those of you who haven’t heard about Talitha, it makes for interesting reading here in The Netherlands.  In the press Talitha is best described as a ‘glamour model’, however with a display of spectacular stupidity she found herself to be in Tripoli as it was overtaken by the rebels.  Talitha became convinced that she was going to be burnt alive, so she launched herself off of her hotel balcony, breaking her arm and injuring her back.

This of course begs the question “Why were you there”?  Well Talitha was making use of her best asset and for the avoidance of doubt, that is not the space between her ears!  You see Talitha was a very good “friend” with Gaddifi’s fifth son, having been his former girlfriend until she made the personally shocking discovery that she “was not the only woman in his life”. Of course the direct benefit of this friendship were jet setting holidays in the Caribbean, dinners in Monaco and weekends in Paris and London.  Along the way Talitha was “showered with gifts”.  This of course begs the question, “what exactly is it about Talitha that prompts such a generous response from Libyan playboys.  Well it could be of course her considerable intellect which becomes apparent with revelations such as;

“Of course I knew that it was not right to spend so much money like that,”   she said. “I asked him many times about the welfare of the Libyan people, and he said the schools and hospitals were free, that rice and flour were cheap. It was hard for me to judge life in Libya for ordinary people –   I was always staying in a gilded cage when I visited. They looked happy enough.”

Call me a cynic, but  suspect that it might be more closely related to what Talitha looks like stark naked and on all fours, but that is just me guessing.  Anyway getting back to the central question, what would motivate someone with considerable talent to travel to Tripoli just as the city was about to be over-run?  It would seem that Talitha was being driven by true altruism;

 ‘Assured by Mutassim that the regime was prevailing in its battle for survival, she was also hoping that he would help pay for treatment for her father, who has Alzheimer’s’.

Wonderful stuff, particularly living in a country where medical care is accessible to all.

Researching this a little further I found Talitha’s blogspot page which in itself is quite interesting.  There is only the one entry dated August 16, but I was encouraged to learn that if I wanted a holiday in Ibiza I should contact Talitha and if I want to do business with her I should contact her via her linkedin account.

Life is always interesting 🙂

Cows and Tigers – two excellent books related to India

Since the trip to India last month, aspects of India now keep appearing in my life.  This post is about two really excellent books, each very different.

The first is titled ‘Holy Cow’ by Sarah MacDonald.  Sarah used to work for the radio station Triple J in Australia (the only station worth listening to in the country by the way) and she followed her boyfriend to India after he was posted as the ABC correspondent.  Sarah couldn’t work so she travelled India looking for her own personal enlightenment via yoga or religion.  Her experiences are wonderful and told with such a great sense of humour.  She had previously backpacked around India and decided that she hated the country with a passion.  As she was leaving, a beggar read her palm and told her she would return one day for love.  Eleven years later she does.

The book that I am currently reading is one that I stumbled upon at the airport this week – ‘White Tiger’ by Aravind Adiga.  This is his first novel and with it he won the Man Booker prize in 2008.  It is funny, sarcastic, witty and the pages just keep on flying past.  A book that wont let you stop until you finish it.

If you have been to India already, both these books will pull memories flooding back in and if you haven’t yet been, you will still have a big smile.

Nip Tuck

Having seen one or two episodes randomly quite a few years ago, I sat beside a person on the Thalys going to Paris who was watching multiple episodes.  I have always been intrigued by this series so when I got home I ended up acquiring all 6 series.

I am now half way through season 2 and I am totally hooked.  Great music, interesting characters, love, jealousy, sex, drugs, plastic surgery and an interesting twist in each episode – perfect entertainment.

If you want to get an idea, check out the overview on Wikipedia although there are a significant number of websites on this topic.

The banality of some song lyrics

Over the last few days when I have been driving to work, the lyrics of certain songs have penetrated into my conciousness.  Normally I totally ignore the lyrics and have absolutely no idea what any song is actually about.  But in listening I realised that the majority of the lyrics are total crap but more importantly as a message to young women there not exactly encouraging. 

First song:  – ‘can’t live without you, my life will never be the same again, will love you until I die’.  Translated = this means that he is head over heels in lust but hasn’t gotten into her knickers yet!

Second song – ‘not sure I understand it, haven’t spoken to you on the phone or heard from you for 3 days’.  Translated = achieved getting her knickers off and then realised in doing so that it wasn’t as great as the expectation he had built up in his head.

Third song – ‘i just don’t believe you when you say it is over.  You told me that we would be together until we die.  I am sure you don’t really mean this, I just want you to try again’.  Translated = no sorry, I realised that you are actually very boring and yes, we did shag quite a bit but I honestly don’t want to spend anymore time with you, please get over it and don’t hassle me again.

As I said, whilst this is probably a fairly accurate description of many peoples every day lives, it’s not entirely an encouraging message although I am sure that the sales of these songs are markedly boosted by those in the very same circumstances.