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In the late 1980’s whilst working for ABB Robotics Ltd, I made a visit to the Saint-Gobain glass bottle factory near Reims in northern France. I was shocked to see the safety guarding around the robot installation was just a low height single rail. This contrasted completely with the H&S […]

Condom – What’s in a name?

We’re making our way slowly up though France, for the moment avoiding the main route and motorways and sticking to the back roads. Soaking up the rolling landscape, the idyllic rural life in the small towns and villages. Only very occasionally the essential French-ness is interrupted by the unmistakably plummy […]

Robbed at the border

The Mouvement des gilets jaunes was in the beginning partly motivated by rising French fuel prices, although today the purpose of the protest is more generally anti Macron. For the last four or five weeks, whilst in Spain we’ve been enjoying low cost diesel at average price of €1.18 per […]

San Sebastian Snitch

For those of you who remember your schooldays, you might recall the unwritten school laws which meant you were never to tell tales or ‘grass up your mates’, no matter how severe the playground crime was. Lesley say’s in Scotland it was ‘to clipe’. I’m sure there are many other […]


Here’s a quick quiz question? Who wrote to the lyrics to this well known song. Clue being on benefits might NOT be the answer. Life is fine every timeThoughts of you leave my headI was wrong, now I findJust one thing makes me forget…. After overnighting in Vitoria Gasteiz, we […]

The rain in Spain

As a soft southerner, when I first moved to Manchester I told my friends ‘daan sarf ‘that Manchester deserved its reputation for being wet, when in reality it averages only 830mm of rain per year. Compare that with the Lake District, which I have to say is particularly moist. Seathwaite […]

Northern pointy bits

As I’m feeling better we’re leaving Leon and heading in the general direction of Bilbao. Travelling as the crow griffin vulture flies you cross some biggish lumps called the Picos de Europa. To cross the Picos our route took us passed the flood town of Riaño, where we had identified […]

León – going solo

Last night just after arriving in León we sat down with a cuppa as is our usual routine when we arrive somewhere and Dave started shivering uncontrollably. At first, I thought he was exaggerating but it became apparent very quickly that he was not. His hand was shaking so much […]

From Skye to the Vine

A food and wine lovers pilgrimage. During our honeymoon in May 2004 we stayed in some special places in the Western Isles. However the Three Chimneys restaurant on the Isle of Skye stands out as most special. The food was fabulous and the wines superb. Our wine choice, guided by […]

The road to Segovia

After the Spanish economy crashed around 2007/08, partly as a result of the housing bubble, the government took the decision to invest in the country’s roads network. So today Spain is crisscrossed with an excellent world-class transport infrastructure. Spain’s State Road Network is over 26,000 kilometres long, making it the […]