The bitter disappointment that is the SNP Leadership

Well here we are on the cusp of a General Election which will take place on the 12 December. An election that on the 24th October Ian Blackford ( the leader of the SNP in Westminster ) described as “holding an election in December, as ” sheer madness.” However, by Saturday 26 October, two days later, Nicola Sturgeon ( leader of the SNP) together with Joe Swinson ( leader of the Libdems) had clubbed together to put forward an intention to place a bill before Parliament to have a general election on the 9 th December.

Incredibly , Boris Johnson had opened the door to both parties to form a deal to allow the December 12 date to proceed. Now just three weeks before this debacle I had suggested that the SNP do a deal with Johnston to allow his negotiated settlement on the EU withdrawal bill or a December General Election to proceed on the basis that he would agree to a section 30 as long as it could be put into law immediately.

I had quite a reaction to this on both Facebook and Twitter. The Twitter response was hugely positive. The Facebook response , although in the main positive by the amount of people for and against, was met with the usual mind numbingly stupid reactions from a group of well versed Nicola personality cult, abusers, in a stream of invective and outpouring of expletives , common among the less able to think , who incredibly still think Nicola has a clever plan. A plan I remind you changed from ” General election in December sheer madness” on Thursday ,to “General election in December without a deal to gain a section 30, a great idea” within two days.

because Nicola Sturgeon and Jo Swinson had conspired to allow a December election, this bounced Jeremy Corbyn into also agreeing to a December election. Now let me be plain, and let no one be under any misapprehension. Nicola Sturgeon facilitated an election at which according to all polling will allow the most right wing government in British history into office and she did this WITHOUT ATTEMPTING TO GET A DEAL ON A SECTION 30 ORDER, (in fact the leader of this party has twice stated very clearly in parliament that there will be no agreement on a section 30) an act of either deliberate obfuscation as regards an independence referendum or blatant stupidity and believe it or not there are still people who think she has a clever plan.

I do not think I have ever saw such a debacle as I witnessed in the House of Commons as a result of the change of minds of the SNP, Lib-dems and Labour, all vying for their own place in history mixed in with self interest, in particular the SNP, where snouts in troughs replaced the main propose of their existence which is supposed to be delivering independence to Scotland.

So then we had the unedifying spectacle of the hastily arranged rally in George Square Glasgow , An event deliberately designed to divert attention from the fiasco in parliament and make people believe that it was all part of the clever plan of a referendum sometime in 2020 .

Nicola sturgeon gave a rousing speech which was immediately pounced upon as a speech announcing the next independence referendum., Only problem was it did no such thing, and Nicola as usual was very careful with her play on words. Nowhere in her speech did she confirm that there WILL be a referendum in 2020 . The only utterance that came anywhere near that was that she said “I look forward to leading you in PREPERATION for a referendum next year”, something she should have been doing during the last five years. During the speech she made at the party conference a few Weeks ago she again was very careful in her play on words when she was confident that there SHOULD be a referendum in 2020, not WILL be, you will notice. There is absolutely no justification for believing that either speech was not yet another occasion where she has marched the faithful up to the top of the hill and down again as she has so many times in the past.

The fact is, that she has one opportunity left to redeem herself and that is in the formation of the party manifesto for this election. She must make it plain that this election is to ascertain the will of the people as to the strength of opinion on whether the majority of the people of Scotland wish to be independent as required in the UN charter of self determination, just like the 66 countries who have gained their independence from the British Empire since 1945. It should be noted that not a single one of these countries had even heard of the section 30 derogation that Nicola sturgeon erroneously calls ” the Gold standard”

She wont do it, of that I am sure, and then she will be guilty of squandering the most opportune set of circumstances ever likely to present themselves in the history of politics, and let me make another prediction. There will not be an independence referendum before the Scottish elections in 2021 as long as Nicola sturgeon and Peter Murrel ( her husband) are at the top of the SNP.

I have been disillusioned and extremely disappointed at the way the independence cause has been handled by the Sturgeon, Murrel pair since shortly after Nicola was made leader and I do not think it is any coincidence that shortly after she took over, Alex Salmond was sidelined and then basically put out of the game by allegations brought about by a change in the procedure for making complaints brought about by Nicola Sturgeon. I have put my thoughts on this down in previous blogs and I am convinced that the most recent reticence in progressing a referendum campaign has a very close connection to this and believe that revelations which will surely surface during Salmond’s trial might at long last explain this illogical restraint. It is surely no coincidence that Salmond is probably the only SNP politician capable of taking the independence fight forward and he has been muted.

On another matter, because of my frustrations surrounding the constant delays and willful obstructions to the cause of independence I had decided to stand against the incumbent member of Parliament for Dundee West. On a simple manifesto of “independence now”. I had prepared a campaign and had a first class and willing team together and I was indeed looking forward to the fight. Unfortunately because of close family and personal matters I have decided not to stand, I firmly believe that a new party or at the very least a new leadership of the SNP are now required to take the fight forward. I am totally sickened by their insipid performance to date and as this General Election campaign will have, in effect nothing to do with independence ( as witnessed by the candidates literature to date which omits any mention of a referendum) I will not be campaigning, however when eventually we do get into an independence contest I can assure you that the Yes bus will be back on the streets of Dundee and in our city Square.

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An opportunity in the madness that is Brexit

I posted on Facebook to the effect that I thought the SNP should make an offer to support the latest Brexit plan in exchange for a clear run at another independence referendum. this was met with the usual hate the Tories and don’t you dare suggest anything different than our glorious leader suggested the other day So instead of answering them individually, I will say this And I will break it down so that the more intellectually challenged among you might be able to absorb it

What I am suggesting is that every country in the UK gets what they want.

England and Wales voted to leave the EU.

Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain

We in Scotland have no business trying to force England and Wales to do something they did not vote for.

If the SNP backed this latest plan and agreed to vote with the Tories, then every country will get what they wanted except Scotland.

However, if the SNP backed this UK government plan but with the proviso that schedule 5 of the Scotland act 1998 and in particular the item relating to section 30 was amended so that the right to hold a referendum ( any referendum at any time) of which the result would be honoured on all sides was made the remit of the Scottish government in perpetuity. Then that would mean that all the countries in the UK union would then get all that they wanted.

Now as the more awake of you will see, that shortcuts exactly what Nicola Sturgeon was kicking into the long grass the other day in her speech. Not only that but it guarantees an affirmative answer ( something that Nicola Sturgeon’s plan absolutely did not) for what otherwise would be a matter for the British government and remember two prime ministers have said at least five times that they will not allow this to happen.,

Now you will have noticed that legislation can be passed in the British Parliament at a days notice, therefore there is absolutely no reason to doubt that this legislation could be in place before a vote on the latest Brexit plan

Now, is there anyone out there who would sacrifice a chance as we have now to have an agreed referendum simply because they do not like the tory party?
This is a credible road map to independence and should be seriously explored .

A nautical Nomad

Trip to the Outer Hebrides October 2018

Bob Costello

8 October 2018 ·

Day 2, trip to the Hebrides.

Pleasant surprise when I woke this morning to see that the wind had dropped, and the rain had stopped. Nice to walk down to the harbour in Portree and watch the Sun trying to break through the low cloud base. Nice walk along the harbor

A nice breakfast and then on the road heading to Uig and hopefully the ferry but ever watchful of the weather front, once more coming in from the Minch with rain blowing through and ever aware of the change in Ferries necessitated by Laura’s abject failure to book the proper ones (she being a woman of course blamed me)

Image may contain: sky, cloud and outdoor

So, with the weather once again changing we stopped at the fairy Glen, beautiful and mysterious place dedicated to the fairies embedded in Scottish folklore. The old Scots word for Fairies (the mysterious people) is the Shee, prominent in many Scottish place names like Glenshee, the glen of the Fairies.

The rain starting to be persistent we explored the glen and climbed to the top of the most prominent feature, Paddy being difficult to keep under control on the precipitous climb and even more difficult decent. On the way down a fairy did indeed appear (see photo below).



I remember, visiting the Fairy Glen with the production crew of the film Brave and it indeed did leave its mark on them. The film was the idea of Brenda Chapmen who directed it together with Mark Andrews and they were both on the trip around Scotland to research the film plot. I had the most wonderful 15 days with that group of extremely talented individuals, together with my good friend Ian Stewart taking them around Scotland and the islands researching the film and assisting them with the history of the period, the culture and the humour of the Scottish people.

Some years later I had the pleasure to be a guest at the premier of the film in Edinburgh and took my daughter Laura, it was something special to actually recognise my humour in the film and extra special to see my name in the credits (all be it at the very end )
A few days after the premier I took Brenda and her daughter Emma, on a trip around Scotland visiting some of the places depicted in the film and we spent a very pleasant few hours on a gloriously sunny day in the Fairy glen. The film was all about the relationship between a Mother and Daughter and I remember Brenda telling me that she had in fact based the story on her own relationship with Emma, so it was indeed a special trip.

I write this on the ferry from Uig to Tarbert on Harris then there is a drive to Leverborgh , hopefully to get another Ferry to Bernery at North Uist, then a drive down North Uist Benbecula and South Uist to Lochboisdale and the hotel for tonight ( hopefully).

Well, here we are at the Lochboisdale Hotel after quite a day traveling and two ferries later, together with a drive in the dark from Bernary to Lochboisdale, quite a day and Paddy is tired, poor wee thing.

So, a few photos of today’s travels, including the fairy, you will notice that she is a very well-endowed fairy and I am not sure, but I have the feeling she was being photographed for some rather adult, publication or film.

Day two in, and hopefully and more relaxed day tomorrow when we take a ferry from Eriskay to Barra, the jewel in the crown of the Hebrides. So, a couple of pints of Guinness after dinner tonight, looking forward to the trip to Bara tomorrow.

The cuckoo in the nest

I Have felt I had to do a blog this week but when I thought of it, what could I say that would be new and indeed interesting to the people who read my blogs. My blogs consist of travel, General politics and in the main, issues which relate to a subject very close to my heart and that is the fight for the independence of my country Scotland. I decided to simply copy a link to a blog I did on the 6 June this year , it contains links to earlier blogs and indeed to the problems I and others have had with the SNP in trying to get a road map to independence, which is what I thought the SNP were there for .

Throughout the last 5 years since we lost a referendum on independence I have kept a close watch on how our chances were of another attempt to gain our independence and indeed of the performance of the SNP in relation to this task we had given them in successive elections. I am afraid the conclusion I have come to is that they are not up to the task, If you read through the blog a attach below and indeed the attachments contained within that blog you will see a trail of obstruction and incompetence on the part of the SNP and in particular the SNP in Dundee .

Dundee , you will remember was the Yes City , the City that turned in the highest percentage of votes for Yes in the country. I and others in the yes Bus team played a big part in that result and at the time I began to have my reservations regarding the commitment and abilities of the Dundee SNP politicians in regard to the cause of independence. My reservations are well documented in the blogs I have written since then and in deed in the one I have attached below . But it was the attitude of the local SNP after the referendum that gave me most cause for concern and indeed alarm .

Since Nicola sturgeon was crowned Queen of the SNP things have went from bad to worse. Her stated position was that elections were nothing to do with independence and were everything to do with showing that Scotland could be governed well UNDER THE UNION, yes her theory was that people who voted no could be persuaded to vote yes if it could be shown that they could be governed well UNDER THE BLOODY UNION. An act of the highest level of stupidity. Or was it, could it have been deliberate ?

I am not one for conspiracy theories , in fact I fight against them all the time but this whole situation and the amount of glaring opportunities for going for independence that have been wasted have made me to look for a logical explanation., An explanation of why after 5 years we are in effect no nearer independence than we were in 2014 and the small increase in voting intentions since have been down to the actions of the tory party and absolutely nothing to do with the SNP. Yes they have had 5 years and not a single initiative or act of preperation that could be said to take us any nearer independence.

So let us take a totally hypothetical plot where we have a country which controls a smaller country and that smaller country has vast natural resources, resources that financed the de industrialization and monetarism of the larger country. The smaller country has became fed up with the exploitation of the larger country and is beginning to realize that for many years the larger country has been keeping the smaller country down both by force of arms and a relentless misinformation program of indoctrination that the smaller country is subsidized, and there is a fear in the larger country that there could be a case for independence .

So what does the larger country do ? Well it gets its very able security services to infiltrate the smaller countries political system . Now at this point , if there is anyone out there who thinks this is fantasy then I would ask you to look at what happened in Iraq, Libya and Syria .

So what do you think the larger country would do? They would look for people in the political system and recruit them, especially up and coming stars and they would make them sleepers. If by chance these sleepers attained a position of notoriety they would start to work them behind the scenes to undermine the efforts of the people to go for independence . If by chance there was to be a figure head who would take the fight forward then he would have to be neutered and made ineffective. Leaving the chosen ones to string out the process for as long as possible, possibly to the point where people became disillusioned and fell away from the idea of independence or the rules could be changed to make it very difficult or impossible to actually gain that independence that the people so clearly want.

Now this may seem far fetched but I can assure you this kind of thing is going on in different countries all over the planet. What has happened over the last 5 years makes no sense to me and the situation at the moment where it looks as though Nicola Sturgeon will simply ask the British government once again for a section 30 alteration to schedule 5 of the Scotland act 1998, an action she has already been told in parliament that will be refused again., thereby wasting a god given opportunity to use an almost certain mandate in the forthcoming general election. She has blocked a motion by Angus McNeil to have this debated at the party conference . The party of independence being prevented by the leader of the party of independence from discussing a way forward to independence. This is an incredible situation and must be reversed by the membership.

We are in very troubling times and I for one do not get a good feeling. I attach a blog I wrote in June of this year which contains attachments to previous blogs which formed my thinking to date.

https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/bobsblog.scot/3393

What the SNP, brick walls and hitting ones head have in common

Here is a blog I did exactly 4 years ago where I warned that the forthcoming Scottish elections should be used as a mandate for independence, just as I had warned that this should have been done in the General Election which was held a few months previously. Had we done this at that GE then there would have been no need to have written this blog as we would have been independent at that time, as we returned 56 MP’s to Westminster which would have been an overwhelming mandate to begin independence negotiations with the British government. As it turned out the SNP also failed to make the 2016 Scottish elections anything to do with independence, not only that but they committed a massive fraud on their supporters by insisting on both votes going to them. Between sweeping independence under the carpet and the idiotic instruction to cast both votes to them, they lost their overall majority in Holyrood and in effect facilitated a large number of unionist members to be elected.


If the above wasn’t bad enough, only a few weeks after I wrote the blog attached, I and others in the yes bus team were attacked, vilified and abused in the most awful manner in a campaign led by members of the SNP and in particular employees and officers in the Dundee West office, for having the temerity to organise a rally naming it a Road Map To independence. A rally we opened up to speakers and politicians to talk on their particular ideas of a road map. The rally went ahead despite the efforts of the SNP and was a great success without any input by way of speakers from the SNP. I will be writing in more detail about this incident in the next few weeks.


So why am I bringing this up now? well simply because they are about to make the same mistake ( if indeed it was a mistake) again. We are almost surely heading for a general election and the SNP under Nicola Sturgeon are not only refusing to make the GE a mandate for independence but they are also refusing to even have independence debated at their party conference, incredible. Let us hope that some sense can be injected into the hierarchy of the SNP, hopefully by way of Angus McNeil’s motion to conference regarding a plan B
I for one am not holding my breath.


https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10206133630713786&set=a.3031249214260&type=3&eid=ARCYj-v659W345pqNhWqnqUWrCVcQYl__JZm3nhOjoNEc3dHAhQqzLeLz41y3D7w61WG1O3CFkGjgozx

A Bunch of Mugs

Sorry to say it but that is exactly what the SNP are taking us for, Over the last 5 years we have had one promise after the next with regard to independence and none of them have even reached the edge of the long grass. Now it is even worse as the SNP under pressure from the faithful are about as far into the corner as it is possible to go and we have speeches from Ian Blackford and Nicola sturgeon desperately trying contain descent by a play on words designed to get stupid people to believe that there is a referendum imminent. Well, what I would ask you all to do is look at the speeches again because none of them say anything about when a referendum will happen or even that it will happen because the SNP are still going along that nonsensical rout of the “Gold Standard” of a section 30.,

A five year old child will realize that if we ever managed to attain independence through the granting of a section 30, we would be the only country in the World to have done so, so where do they get this absolutely ridiculous “Gold Standard “That is simply a sound bite for the feeble minded.

Still we have this “Nicola has a cleaver plan” and ” why do you think the leadership should tell you their plans” bind faith, which is positively pathetic and I would like to give you a practical analogy of this which happened just a few hours ago .

I am on a cruise at the moment and this Morning we docked in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Now the ship I am on is huge and there was another two of these giant cruise ships in harbor at the same time., So that meant that there was literally thousands of people getting off the ships at the same time., Now unfortunately there was no signs directing people to the town Centre as there is normally at cruise ports, therefor people had to find their own way to the Centre. So what do you think the majority of them did? They followed the person in front of them, Just like the faithful in the ranks of the SNP. What they did was put all of their faith in the leader, the guy in the front. Now they had no way of knowing that the guy in the front had the same agenda as they did but they hoped he did, so because they did not have faith in their own ability they placed all their hope and trust in one person , the guy at the front of the parade . I didn’t do that, I looked for evidence which would lead me to the town center, such as returning local tour busses, and the fact that there was a historic citadel I had read about and as Halifax is built on a hill it seemed logical that the citadel would be at the top of it and the town built around it. So I headed off the main road and up hill and guess what ? I found the city Centre without much bother and looking back towards the harbor I saw a steady line of people following some guy home for his lunch.

This is what is happening with the SNP at the moment and has been since the last referendum. People flocked to them on the disappointment of the referendum result , and what did the SNP do with this new and eager Army ? nothing , and as I warned at the time the worst thing you can do with an Army is let it remain idle. many of these people are still there clinging on to the forlorn hope that their glorious leader knows what she is doing., When people question why nothing has happened since 2014 they attack them , sometimes in the most vile manner. This because they have either never had the ability or have became incapable of, making their own decisions based on evidence and instead flock around the bunker the SNP got themselves into when Nicola Sturgeon was crowned the Queen of the independence movement.

Now over the years since the referendum I have voiced my concerns, whilst the SNP have been the beneficiary of circumstance, as they were in the 2015 General election. Make no doubt about it we won that despite the SNP not because of it, as under Nicola Sturgeon, independence has been deliberately swept under the carpet in every election since and we have paid for it by a loss of seats in every election since , with the loss of over half a million votes in the 2017 snap general election.

Incredibly , the reason for this sweeping independence under the carpet was to allow people to see that the SNP could govern well and people would then come over to support independence, Now just think for a minute at how stupid that was. You have people who voted Yes and people who voted no, The people who voted Yes are ,in the main going to vote Yes again . It is the people who voted no who we have to convince . Now these people voted no for various reasons the main one being that they believed that being governed under the Union was in their best interest. Now how on earth are you going to convince them to vote yes if you show them that they can actually be governed better under the union. This is the infantile thinking of the SNP under Nicola Sturgeon, it is simply stupid.

New recently I have had experience of the mindset of the cult followers of Saint Nicola, as I have made my intention clear that I will be standing against the current SNP MP Chris Law out if sheer exasperation at the SNP refusal to take advantage of the present chaos in the ranks of the Tory government together with the prospect of Scotland being torn out of the EU against our expressed will. I have had quite a selection of mindless and vile comments regarding my democratic decision to stand against something I feel is not in the interest of my country and that is the stupid waste of a general election ( with voting intentions showing a wipe out of Tory and Labour seats in Scotland) to not go for a victory on a manifesto of declaring independence on a majority. The same way as most other countries do when becoming independent.

Scotland has a long history of fighting against vested interests . Both William Wallace and Robert the Bruce had to defeat the Scots before they could start on the English occupiers. We have forever had traitors in our ranks. Even Bruce was a favorite of Edward before he turned against him. So we have the same problem today. We have two problems as I see it . We have Nicola Sturgeon who , it would seem has been working to save the union for some considerable time now and indeed working against the democratically expressed will of the English people as they voted to leave the EU. But there is more in it than that and I honestly feel it is a lot to do with the Alex Salmond affair. I believe Nicola and her husband could be responsible for the set up of Salmond. I am of the opinion that Nicola has very difficult questions to answer surrounding her previous statements regarding meetings which took place at her home and indeed in connections with some of the complainants in the case. If there were to be a campaign for independence and these issues aired then perhaps this would present difficulties , but if that is the case then she should leave now and clear the way for someone new to take the fight forward.

OK still on the theme of traitors in the ranks. One of Bruce’s problems was that he had properties in England granted by Edward so stood to loose if he went against him and this could have been why he never gave full support to Wallace. Ok, so we have much the same situation here, as we have 35 MP’s in Westminster getting around £78,000 + per year some of which probably owning properties which are receiving substantial assistance with mortgages from Westminster. So here we have it the Turkeys voting for Christmas analogy, and that is quite possibly where we have the modern-day traitors that Wallace and Bruce had to defeat before they started on the real enemy.

I had a debate on Facebook regarding my intention to stand against Chris Law, with a couple of SNP acolyte’s who misguidedly think of themselves as intellectuals, the other day. It was a debate punctuated by accusations of vanity and just not knowing what I am taking about, as my betters with all the political experience obviously know better. It was actually quite humorous. I made the point that I have known Chris for many years and like him , in fact I had a big hand in having him selected and then elected to parliament but I am concerned that he has not been doing what we sent him down there for and that is why I will stand against him. They made great play over what they saw as the fact that he has done well as an MP. I asked them to give me a list of the initiatives he has instituted in the cause of independence and after asking the same question several times I asked for only one initiative they could name in regard to independence., Needless to say I am still waiting on the answer and wont get one because there is no answer to that question. These people were sent down to settle up and instead they have settled in. If by some chance I am elected I will cause as much chaos in the interests if independence as one person can possibly cause, and that is a promise.

Another analogy that presented itself today was that when I was on my way back to the ship and entered the harbor area, I came across a large store which was sited right along side where the cruise liners dock , This was called “The Farmers Market” now looking around I could see that as this was right in the dock area and there was really no way that this could be readily accessible to the general public , so why would you get a traditional “Farmers Market” next to cruise liners that it is forbidden to take foodstuffs back on board . Well the answer is simple , it is a marketing exercise as when on say, Caribbean islands Farmers markets are popular with cruise guests , not for what they can take back on board but just for local color and interest. So that is what the SNP are they are a marketing trap, Scottish National Party, the party of independence, right? Well no actually, as the tens of thousands of people who joined the party after the referendum are beginning to realize . The truth is that they are no longer the party of independence they are a unionist party , nothing less

I remember after Chris was elected and I was standing in Mennies having a pint with him before he went down to Westminster. He asked me what I thought . I told him that it would change him, but it was up to him as to just how much of a change it would be ( he is living in a Castle now). I quoted from Wallace’s address to his men before the battle of Falkirk. I said ” I have brought you to the ring now dance best you can” I fully intend giving Chris some dancing lessons in the forthcoming tussle. The coming weeks will tell whether Nicola sturgeon will address the unrest that is growing by the day within the independence movement as she plays with words and attempts to quell dissent by half promises, which amount to yet another mandate for a section 30 groveling acceptance without an ultimatum of what will happen if the answer is yet again no.

Until then I am afraid she is indeed treating honest hard working activists like bunch of mugs.

A Nautical Nomad

Days one to three 15 Sept 2019

So, off again on another wee trip, this time headed to New York with a two day stay here and shortly heading to the pier to board the Norwegian Escape, aptly named as for a wee while I will be escaping the madness that is Brexit back hone. An idiocy that Scotland did not vote for but is being sucked into because of the UK Union.

Ok so enough of Brexit as that is exactly what I am temporarily escaping from. So I started my trip just after four in the Morning with a two mile brisk walk to pick up the bus from the city center to take me to Edinburgh airport. A great new service run by National express and the best part of it was that I used my Sottish government travel card, meaning that all it cost me was a one pound booking fee.

Arriving timeously at the airport and through security without a hitch, I checked into one of the Airport lounges for a relaxing wait and some breakfast. Now on this trip I had decided to travel light and at the same time save some money . I booked with United at an incredible £320 return. New York and back. But hold luggage was extra at $160 for the two flights, so I decided to see what I could take in a carry on and together with a small back pack and I think I have managed it. I will know better when I unpack and realize what I have left out. The advantages of this ( apart from the cost saving) is that I am always in charge of all of my luggage, I don’t have to wait at the luggage carousel and I go straight from immigration to customs and on to ground transport.

Boarded at 8.45 ( early) and believe it or not the flight took off early too. I have managed to persuade the lady at the check in desk to allocate an isle seat as, because of the economy fare I did not get a choice and had been allocated a middle seat. Unfortunately there was two very large people sitting beside me and the over-spill left me kind of leaning into the isle which meant that every time the trolley came past it usually almost took my arm off, or indeed, a couple of times, my head, when I had dozed off.

On my way

Because of the early departure and a cooperative tail wind for most of the way we landed early at Newark airport. Not much of a wait at immigration although could have been quicker if the attendant on the aircraft had realized that I did indeed need an immigration form to pre fill in, She seemed to think it was all done electronically now. I think we are some time off from the day when immigration can read your mind electronically. This meant that I had to hurriedly make out one of the forms whilst waiting to go through immigration. Once upon a time there was also a form which basically asked you if you were ever involved in any acts of terrorism. I think they stopped issuing that form when they realized that not many people were answering that question in the affirmative for some obscure reason.

So through immigration and through customs and on to ground transportation where I realized I had made a big mistake. I had booked super shuttle which is a shared ride operation , basically a minibus service which does various drops around Manhattan before getting you to your hotel. Now I had cleared customs about 12.30 and at 15.00 I was still somewhere in Manhattan still in the shuttle when I told the driver to stop around 48 street and decided to walk South to my hotel which was in 32 street plus a few Avenues to the west. What I should have done was take the bus which goes from the airport to Pen station which it directly across from my hotel, what a Dick.

First view of Manhattan
Manhattan in sight
Holland Tunnel

After an energetic walk , zigzagging through Avenues and streets I arrived at my hotel in time to join a long line waiting to check in, but at least it was good to be in an airconditioned place as apposed to the very warm streets of new York.

Foyer of the Pennsylvania Hotel in a quieter time as I write this blog

Checked in and went to the room to find it was a complete tip, stained carpets and Curtains( for some reason) paintwork dirty , bathroom a complete mess. Tried to contact desk but impossible to get through , No doubt because every one was doing the same as me. Went down to the desk and went right to the front of the line and told the receptionist that I was not happy and if I couldn’t get another room I was going to check into the nearest hotel and send them in the bill for it. The girl went and spoke to the manager, returning to announce that I was to be given a room on the club floor. Great I thought and moved my luggage to the new room. A definite improvement ( which wouldn’t be difficult) but I am not sure what kind of club they had in mind when naming this floor the club floor but certainly not the normal hotel “club Floor” I can only assume it was a club for plumbing enthusiasts as the wash hand basin was precariously hanging off the wall and the tap had a handle missing which made things very difficult getting water out of it. Ok ,I suppose I have slept in worse places, although the last time I slept in a ditch, the Government were paying me to do so.

So out into the only place on the planet that could be new York, the city that never sleeps ( probably because all the hotels in the city are as bad as the one I was staying in). Only kidding , I have been in a number of hotels here and in the main they are all very good. Everything anyone can want is here and at any time of the day and night.

Heading for times Square
Empire State Building, day
Empire State Building at night
There is only one times Square
All the super heroes in one place
All the non Super heroes in one place

So into the night in New York and a meet up for dinner with a few people I have known for some time who are to be on this cruise followed by a retreat to an Irish Pub which at one time was a Scottish pup by the name of The St Andrews Lounge and now called O’Brian’s for the obligatory few pints of Guinness, before heading back to the hotel after a long day.

Saturday and was up with the lark and headed along to Herald Square next to the famous store Macy’s. There is tables and free Wi FI in the Square and a nice place to watch the World go by. Caught up on social media and headed north through New York ending up at an oasis in the midst of the madness that is new York, Bryant Park , again with free Wi Fy and great views of the surrounding skyline and the central libraries. Not bad coffee to. Walked up through New York as far as around 74th street and Central park, passing Trump Towers on the way, asked if Trump was at home but unfortunately he was heavily engaged in matters of state on the golf course, left a message that I was in New York so he will no doubt get in touch later.

Dinner at an Irish Pub off Times Square then an attempt to get into the Copa Cabana, which is a dance club only to be informed that it was a private function last night, so headed back to the hotel, stopping on the way to purchase an extremely large ice cream cone, bliss, Good Night New York.