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Everything posted by MilesA

  1. Great stuff H. Looks as if you are really having fun this season. Miles
  2. Back in the mad 90s that's what I would do. I would fly jumbos and occasionally Concorde, which was a real privilege. For two days I took only hand luggage in the form of an old family Globetrotter briefcase (very robust) with papers, laptop and phone. I took a spare shirt, underwear and socks and second tie in a clever pack called a Stuffed Shirt which also had small clip on wet bag. This also went in the briefcase. Brilliant bit of kit which I still have and use. On returning to Heathrow early morning, there were individual changing rooms and showers. They had a two way 'cupboard' in the door where you would hang your suit and while you were freshening up, it would be taken away and pressed ready for for the trip back to the office and a day at work. That was when BA was excellent and my first choice for any airline journey. Then around the Millennium, passengers became 'the enemy' and my boycott started. As you can imagine I had millions of airmiles which were supposedly for life but somehow were cancelled. So depressing that such a great company rapidly became and remains second rate. Miles
  3. Nothing worse than losing your luggage - sincerely hope you retrieved it. Nor travelling BA by any chance? Great chance for a rant! Along with all their other anti-customer policies they are now specialising in not transferring luggage. There examples from this year alone. First, 10 of us travelling to Venice in January to ski in the Dolomites. Four sets of luggage did not arrive. Some passengers saw it actually being removed from the plane shortly before take off and were advise by the cabin staff that the plane was weight sensitive and it was being moved to the other side of of the hold (yeah, right). Three lots arrived on the evening flight that day. Last item arrived a week later the day before our departure. BA refused to pay the (substantial) wasted transfer costs. Second, my sister returned from Malta in May; her luggage didn't. Four weeks later it was dumped (literally) on the doorstep of a house in south London (my sister lives in Surrey). The house owner opened the unlocked front pocket, found the card with all my sister's contact details (this was beyond the wit of BA staff) and contacted her to collect. BA are still insisting the bag is still in Malta. Third, a month ago nephew and wife visited from Dublin but not their luggage. It was still in Dublin when they returned four days later. BA refusing to pay for the clothes and bag they had to waste time buying in London. I have avoided the scrummage of carry on bags for years. We now struggle with one or two bags with a couple of days worth of clothes to mitigate this additional risk of travelling BA. For completeness, we only travel BA where there is no alternative and have done so for years. Miles
  4. Thank you for your restrained responses gentlemen! I still hold to my view that the left is more prone to discourage discussion about the shortcomings of the NHS. A perception no doubt as I do not have verifiable data so we will just have to differ on this. I am sorry that I do not have details of the recent report comparing patient outcomes (which must be a key objective) with expenditure in national health services. It was mentioned yesterday on the BBC or LBC a couple of time in their news reports which was why John's original posting resonated with me. Yes, we probably were fortunate to get access to the NHS in the past 6 months but therein lies a whole other issue particularly given GP's firm adherence to telephone consultations post pandemic. I actually think there is a role for telephone (and even video which our GPs will not do0 consultation but only if there is effective triaging when the initial call for an appointment is made (ie not by the receptionist) so that a telephone consultation with the GP is not wasted when it is clear it is a case for a physical consultation. The problems with the NHS obviously fall into the micro and the macro and the example above is obviously one of the micro inefficiencies. What has struck me over the past 6 months is just how many such avoidable micro inefficiencies have occurred. Happy to give examples but it may just look like sniping which I am not really doing. Having late in my career moved from a law firm where the profit motive inevitably drove efficiencies and a collective service culture to a non-profit regulator I do not underestimate the challenge in replicating those outcomes in a state funded entity. It takes exceptional leadership and high calibre managers. At the macro level I agree that the NHS has been underfunded by comparison with say Germany and France where I believe they invest more per capita than we do. They do so I think via John's more equitable mix of insurance and state funding. So I absolutely agree that it is possible to move away from a universal state funded system. Where I would disagree with John is that it is possible to achieve a state funded system that works before doing so. I personally do not think that is possible and I strongly suspect many professionals in the NHS would agree. So, the challenge is, how to bring this about without allegations of back door privatisation? Now, given the weather, I really must take the TR out for a run.. Miles
  5. I hesitated to add two this topic partly out of regard for John's experience and commitment to the NHS but largely because any attempt to initiate any discussion about NHS is invariably attacked and stifled (particularly by those on the left of the political spectrum). It is a sacred cow and untouchable. Commentators accuse commentators of wanting to dismantle it and privatise all its services. No. Most people just want an efficient and effective service that puts the needs of patients at it heart. So today we have yet another report which states that we have the most expensive health system in europe with some of the poorest outcomes. In my view, herein lies the greatest obstacle to improving the NHS. Absolutely impossible to address shortcomings and changes unless one can at least start exposing and discussing areas for improvement (I am choosing my words carefully) in an objective and rational way. Unfortunately, both of my adult daughters have had involvement with the NHS over the past six months. "Yes...its pretty broken" is something of an understatement. I won't detail all of the incidents of incompetence and inefficiency, but some of it makes scenes from the TV programme 'This is going to hurt' look like models of rationality. But I will give an overview of one daughter's experience over six months of constant pain which impacted on her employment. After more than 40 hours of (wasted) NHS time (when she never saw the same doctor twice) we finally identified an appropriate consultant and consulted privately. An hour's considered and gently probing consultation followed by two days of self-applied tests and we had a definitive diagnosis, treatment plan and swift progress to a pain-free life. Best £350 I have spent on her. My other daughter's experience is very similar. We are again close to identifying a private consultant with the appropriate expertise and when we have done so, will do the same . No guarantee of success of course but confident that it will be a more constructive experience. So ironically, the state of the NHS is driving a move to greater use of private, self-funded medicine in any event. But this is not just the view of a disgruntled 'customer'. I have half a dozen friends who are consultants (and others who are GPs) in different disciplines in different hospitals in London and Yorkshire. They will now publicly assert that the system if completely f****d, something they would never have said 5-10 years ago. They are all pretty demoralised and frustrated that they find it harder and harder to what they are trained to do and love(d) doing. There is also increasing animosity between the hospitals staff and GPs, both being openly critical of others. Again, something I had not been aware of previously. But of course, we are not allowed to have a debate. Rant over and I will get my coat.... Miles
  6. That's exactly what I have in my 3A from its rebuild by a PO - except not sorted by Mr Cox. I think I know what the solution is if I get tired of the distinctly two movement gear changes...! Miles
  7. Hi Hamish Engine bay looking very purposeful these days and the car is sounding great. Wish my gearbox would permit such fast changes. Miles
  8. Blimey Roger. Are you sure that’s not a drive in brothel!? Miles
  9. Love those photos Phil and also 'wasting' time poring over OS maps. Those similarly smitten might enjoy this book... Miles
  10. As Nick says. With various cancers, by the time symptoms manifest themselves and the individual actually sees a doctor (and men are particularly bad at this), the disease is so far advanced that there is no way back. Liver cancer is just such an example - just ask any doctor - but not the only one. In 2020, a good friend of mine in her 50's was having eyesight difficulties so visited her optician. A few days later, an aggressive brain tumour was diagnosed. She passed away 8 weeks later. And as we know, cancers are so indiscriminate in who they attack. Miles
  11. Absolutely right Roger - 'time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted'. Or 'if you are going touring, give the car a comprehensive service and overhaul beforehand'! However, I am with Hamish on synthetic oil. Tried that a couple of years go in my 3A. An already leaky engine positively wept the stuff and the rest evaporated! Replaced it with stodgy old Halfords Classic stuff and normal usage resumed. Must be something about these old Triumph engines. But if you don't try, you won't know. Hope you get away though as I always enjoy your tour reports. Miles
  12. Youngest daughter (26) is about to get her first car. Am anticipating equity drawdown to pay for her insurance! Miles
  13. MilesA


    Essential to find people that know what they are doing with Webers. In my experience many claim to but few in fact do. Once tuned however, they are very stable and don't require any ongoing fettling (although racing with them may be a different story!). Miles
  14. Roger Best advice, is that the Scout Leader needs to consult a solicitor, experienced in real estate matters. Do the Scout/Guide Associations have any such in-house resources (this must be a common issue)? A local firm (former Scout/Guide? or the firm that advised on the 2002 lease?) might provide some initial pro-bono advice given that is for the Scouts/Guides. Otherwise like any service, it will have to be paid for. Two separate issues here: occupation of the land and ownership of the structure. Answers to both will be 'fact specific'. Lease - not my former area of expertise but in general terms, when a formal lease expires but both parties continue to act on the expired lease (principally paying and accepting rent) and without negotiating or seeking to negotiate a new lease, a 'periodic tenancy' arises on the terms, including notice period and any specific requirements as to giving notice, as the expired lease. Pretty sure that the Scouts / Guides are not entitled to a new lease (other than by negotiation). Hut - ownership of the structure is a matter of evidence not belief! Gather as much (ideally written) evidence as to its provenance. But, I repeat, application of the law will depend on the specific facts and my best advice is to consult a solicitor experienced in the topic. Possession is in this example nine tenths of the law and the Church would probably need a court order in order to prevent further occupation by the Scouts / Guides. But as a former litigator/dispute resolution lawyer, my advice would be to stay away from the courts at all costs unless pockets are very (very) deep! If departure is inevitable, might be able to negotiate a longer notice period though. No disrespect to readers here but I think there might be more lawyers who log on to the 'other' site. Might be worth Sue putting up the above text there... Miles (former Queen's Scout)
  15. John Sensible advice as ever - thanks. I have to say, your GPs are very innovative and conscientious. My surgery has never provided the vaccinations (it seems to be outsourced to other surgeries / clinics). Like an acquaintance of mine who is consultant surgeon specialising prostate problems, I am pretty concerned at the potential further detriment to initial medical services. One solution to take pressure off GPs and existing staff would be to deploy the cohort of volunteers who went through all the (largely irrelevant) training at the beginning of the year to become vaccinators and who have never been deployed. I am sure a couple of hours refresher would have them good to go. I have also heard (anecdotally I admit), that 3000(?) St John's ambulance volunteers were also trained but never deployed. Project planning (rather than soundbites) seems beyond this government though. Miles (also double jabbed, boosted, flu jabbed and working my way through the supply of LFT packs at home as circumstances dictate!)
  16. MilesA


    Looking pretty serious Hamish. Now you've got those Webers, welcome to the 17 MPG Club! Out of interest, which ones are they and what size choke are you using? Your photos reminded me that I've been meaning to fit a second cable to mine but that has dropped off the 'to do' list. A simple Christmas task I hope. Miles
  17. +1! Tempted by the coffee percolator though...would make staring at some bewildering job on the car more pleasant! Miles
  18. We had a single example of poison hemlock grow in our garden this summer. Self seeded. Rapidly got to about 8 feet high. Not unattractive and I thought it was cow parsley. Fortunately, my wife knows about these things and one sniff of its mousy odour confirmed her suspicion as to its identity. We treated it pretty cautiously when we eventually cut it down. Didn't excavate the tap root but will do so if it emerges next year. Miles
  19. John Pretty sure that one of my Garmins has some sort of facility for avoiding 'environmental zones' although I have never looked closely at how it works and how accurate it is. In any event, I almost always use WAZE these days as it is on my phone which I have all the time and it links to the screen in our Mitsubishi. But I am pretty sure it does not have any such EZ function. Miles
  20. Mark I live about a mile from the N. Circular. Recently sold my 20 year old Porsche as I am damned if I am pay Mayor ' No Khan Do', £12.50 each time I take it out for a run (which was at least once a week given Porsche's notorious battery shut down system). For my '59 TR3A, the ULEZ charge is greyed out when trying to pay, so there is nothing to add to the basket. So I am assuming (!) that TFL's penalty system will be equally 'greyed out' having recognised my car from the same database as I drive it around the hated ULEZ area. As for not recognising some of your vehicles as exempt, I did find this page which enables you to register your car with TFL if they have said you need to pay ULEZ charges for your vehicle, and you believe that's not the case: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/compliance-registration/before-you-start It does require you to send them a copy of the V5C though... Miles
  21. Well, I'll defer to John on this, but for me, given your other markers, that looks like flying blindfolded... Miles
  22. Only started watching the TdeF and other events in recent years knowing absolutely nothing about the sport but found it engrossing. Now beginning to understand a bit more about what is going on. Extraordinary human endeavour. Mark Cavendish does seem to be refreshingly down to earth, talented and extraordinarily well supported. Yesterday's stage win and the final lead out was 'text book.' Personally, I think the presentation by the Giro team is better than that of those doing the TdeF, but as I say, a personal view. Miles
  23. As mentioned in another place... Production values and performance improving all the time! Love being able to see all the gear / overdrive changes and the dials spinning furiously. Keep 'em coming! As for external cameras, can understand the MSUK view (presumably, risks associated with them coming adrift causing distraction / debris). In addition to clamps / suction pads, I always try and secure the camera to the car somehow using high strength nylon line so that if it comes adrift, is stays with the car. Of course, I am not driving in the same fashion as you! Miles
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