Expensive food and trips to the Ivory Coast

Back from a busy week. Busy but nice. Six days away  (I know I know, that’s not quite a week but hey ho, let’s not be constrained by petty protocols :o)) and a different bed every night. Come to think of it, I’m not sure it was all that nice, bit of a pain really.

Anyway, I digress. Rotterdam and the trip to the semi sub was very interesting. Goodness me they’re huge (pause here for a melodramatic Franky Howerd type moment, ooh er madam) when you see them in a dry dock. Basically it’s an old rig that’s being converted, from the bottom up, at the cost of hundreds of millions, into a super dooper deepwater modern thing. It’s been in the yard a couple of years and should have been finished in February. It wasn’t, but will be soon. Allegedly.

Meetings and visits completed there it was on to the choo choo from Rotterdam to Schipol airport and a quick flight to CDG. Into the airport Hilton, very pleasant but not worth the goldcard melting rates that they charge. Eye watering. ‘Chokka block full too’ the divinely formed receptionist informed me in an accent that made me wish I was twenty years younger, 30 kilos lighter and a whole lot less clumsily gauche. Sigh.

The Air Chance trip to Abidjan was pleasant and hitch free. The ordeal through immigration formalities without a visa in my pasport, wasn’t one and the town looked positively ‘well ordered’ and functional by West African standards. Returned to Blighty on Tuesday (without luggage but otherwise after a hassle free trip) and was saddened but somehow not surprised to read that riots on the day after  I left Abidjan had resulted in shootings by police and many arrests. The poorer peope of the city were protesting about the ever escalating costs of food. Grains cereals and cooking oil have doubled in price over the last year or so and hunger is becoming an issue for more and more of the population. The really crap thing about that issue is that our beloved, short termist, bandwagon jumping on, ego centric, self preserving, buffoon-like politicos in the west are demanding, legislating in fact, that vast tonnages (millions of tonnes) of food is grown not to eat, but to put into our motor cars, ships, planes and generators as fuel!!! All so that some poor African can’t afford to buy his dinner …… oh sorry….  I mean that the politicos can be seen to be doing something about global warming. Hmmm. Well I think that most of us can see through that bollocks.

The words ‘crime’, ‘humanity’ and ‘against’ spring to mind.

On the subject of global warming, I’m doing my bit on saturday. Off to Ulan in Korea. I’m not walking or cycling there either. To be honest though, my trip is jolly important and can’t be avoided. I’m going there because there’s a 4 day HAZID to attend.


Four days to sit round a table and talk about, er,  hazids. Now that does make it worth a couple of hectares of rapeseed or millet. Sorry Mr Ogwanna and family, my need is greater than yours.


About allatsea

Sixty year old master-mariner. Absolutely gorgeous. Well wedged.....when compared to a Nairobi street urchin. Sorted, in that I haven't been in court recently. Hopelessly optimistic, terminally disappointed. Good with cats and other fluffy things. No musical talent. Generous to a fault provided it's someone else's round. Political centreist with far right and left viewpoints. A green activist from the hydrocarbon position with nuclear leanings. Averse to avarice but always happy to receive lottery wins, gifts, windfalls, legacies, prizes and wet sloppy kisses.
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