Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Springtime in Syria

Springtime in Syria, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Charles with new friend

Charles with new friend, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Having a WONDERFUL time here in Syria, meeting lots of new friends! The weather has heated up and it is glorious spring weather, all green, baby lambs runing around and lots of wild flowers. Facebook is sort of banned here and there has not been much time to upload pics, so here are just a couple (of the very many which I have taken), Travelling arounhd with a suister and a 13 year old nephew is a little bit different to travelling around with Fred and we have eaten at very good restaurants, become acquainted witha well-known artist in Damascus and been playing pool in the smokey cellar below our hotel here in Hama! More later...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Meanwhile... this is what we left behind in Amsterdam...

getting ready for the Nederland-Scotland friendly match on Saturday 28th March 2009...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The sorry state of England!

Metropolitan, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Risking a ten year prison sentence for taking a photo of a policeman
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j_pj says:

What is the offence?
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CharlesFred Pro User says:

This is what I was told:

Section 70 of theTerrorism Act came into force making it an offence for anyone to take, publish etc. photos of police officers (and other security services staff) likely to be useful to anyone preparing an act of terrorism. If proven the offence carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years!
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j_pj says:

I have had a look at your photo and it does not appear to me to be useful to anyone preparing an act of terrorism.....Although those people in the background do look kind of suspicious. I think they are looking at a street map and possibly even shopping vouchers! There must be a hotline we can call?
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CharlesFred Pro User says:

Yes, there was a policeman behind this one helping out two Italian tourists find their way.

Anyway, Google look like they are the biggest help to any terrorist organisation with their new street views of London and other cities....
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Stuart Phoenix Pro User says:

Ooh, you live on the edge!! It's going to be interesting to see how this law pans out.....my guess is there will continue to be lots of pics of cops on flickr and elsewhere (yippee)
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CharlesFred Pro User says:

Well, Stuart, the policeman outside 10 Downing Street had a laugh when I mentioned the new law (which he obviosuly thought was a nonsense) but such a law DOES make it even more interesting to have a go... doesn't it?
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johninbkk Pro User says:

And when I get back to the UK I intend to test this bloody draconian law to its full. I do wish GB and co. would just get out and make way for real Labour they are a disaster looking to enslave the citizens of the UK further in a lie of terrorism - much of it the making of the gvt anyway.

How can a nation sleep walk into being surveyed and listed and tagged and identified almost 24/7. It never was like this until Blair, Brown and their cronies came to power and lied to the whole country putting the fear of God into the gullible population.

Oh God I could go on rant over and thank God I am living in Asia.
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CharlesFred Pro User says:

I just don't understand why the good people of Britain put up with it? Maybe they are just so happy about having gay rights, cheap alcohol, the Premier League and X Factor that they just don't care.
I am continually shocked and disappointed about the RELENTLESS erosion of personal liberty. So often I hear people say that if you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear. That might be true for now, but if you get the wrong government in power in future and this will all sound very naive.
One of the reasons that so many Jews were removed from Holland by the Germans was that the Dutch had the best system of registration of any country which Germany had invaded...
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markusgl1 Pro User says:

its section 76 of the counter terroriem act, i'm waiting for clarification on the what the act means, but if you take it as read, Charles could arrested if someone downloaded this photo and used it to plan an attack.

Two of the latest things one i would never had belived it if it didn't happen in front of me, I was in Tesco the guy in front of me went to pay in cash, and because it was over £100 they asked for photo id, and one of my customers was stopped from taking photos of his 14 year old son playing football
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CharlesFred Pro User says:

Yes, well, I was stopped last year (around this time) from taking photos of my 12 year old nephew pleying football - 'because not all the parents had signed the relevant form'. This was in London.

I paid cash to stay in a cheap Etap hotel last week and again they wanted my ID. The girl said it was company rules, but I wonder about that. In Italy, they like to have your passport when you stay in a hotel, this being a left-over law from the Fascist era...

Buy paying cash in Tesco? That is absurd. I love paying cash, especially in small shops. It means that THEY don't know how you spend your money and the small shopkeeper can hide some of his/her earnings from the tax man...

Spring bursting through

Spring bursting through, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

This was some springtime colour from London last week, where we had ten days of non-stop beautiful weather. Back in Amsterdam, it feels like winter again, with the plants a good two weeks behind those of London, and with the weather changed. Oh well, we were lucky to have ahd that time over in England!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Trees in (Welsh-English) border country

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hardhatters outside the Lloyds Building

Despite the credit crunch, they are still building in London... thank goodness!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Meeting up with teacher Fred in London - what a treat!

In front of the old Roman Wall in London with Fred and his colleagues, Marieke, Cees and Ineke. This is just at the side of one of our offices in London, where I have my meeting tomorrow.

Monday, March 16, 2009

McMichaels in 1937

McMichaels in 1937, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

It has been a busy weekend. I spent Thursday evening with |Mum in Crewkerne, then schoolboy friend Philip in Stroud on Friday, lunch with university friend Lynne on Saturday and the night with cousin Bruce. Then yesterday, I spent the day with my Dad up on The Wirrall. It was great to see everyone again and we were all buoyed up by the lovely sunny Spring weather. Great!

Cheltenham Gold Cup 2009 - Ruby Walsh on Kauto Star, Winner

I was there when History was made on Friday when Kauto Star regained the Cheltenham Gold Cup, having won in 2007 and coming second (to Denman) last year. What a champion!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Streetkids of Diyabakir

Streetkids of Diyabakir, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

We went to see Slumdog Millionaire recently. Excellent film, exciting to the end. Great lovable characters.


Love, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Here we were recently in Antwerp.

De Dom in Koln

De Dom in Koln, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

I was back in Cologne for a Marc Almond concert on 7th March.

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