Jeritilley www.qualitysparesort.com

Africa

Worse service on the airlines, and more to come

Thought for the day…”The envious man grows lean at the success of his neighbour.”

“Hope is such a bait, it covers any hook.”

It is amazing that so many people are still choosing to fly with airlines, as a new round of cuts in services are leaked in the press.  The Hong Kong based  Cathay Pacific Airlines has announced that it too will follow the trend and squeeze in 10 across seating on its Boeing 777 services (the aircraft was designed for 9 across, so the change to 10 across will mean even less shoulder room).  There is also talk about going to 11 across onboard the A380, with the same result, less shoulder room for passengers.  And following on from that announcement, it seems that the Lufthansa group will move towards a ‘buy on board’ system for food.   It is being trialed at the moment, and apparently SWISS airlines (part of the Lufthansa group) are also going to trial a buy on board system.    Here is an example of one of the ‘meals’ that was served on a Lufthansa flight not long ago…about 100g of cheese and bread.   No plate, no meat and no other food.

So even before they start charging for food onboard, then they had almost cut out the included ‘meals’.  Earlier there was the news that British Airways were going to reduce the seating pitch onboard, meaning that their passengers would have LESS leg room than those on Ryanair.    And Lufthansa have also followed the trend by squeezing in more passengers on their new Airbus A320 NEO aircraft.   They have also removed one of the toilets (to fit in more seats) and made the remaining toilet even smaller.   Less leg room, less shoulder room and now even less food onboard.     The airlines mileage/frequent flyer programmes have been devalued so much that they are now virtually worthless, so the question is, is there any point now to choose one of the original airlines over the budget alternatives? Seems not.   You often have to pay for checked-in baggage, advance seat selection and a higher basic ticket price on thee traditional airlines anyway.    So why choose them?????

In most other businesses, giving a poorer service would usually drive people away, but it seems that the airlines are an exception.   Poorer service now, but still increasing numbers of people wanting to fly.  One thing is sure, the airlines that have increased the seating to 10 across on their 777s will not be seeing me onboard.   The limit has been passed.  Economy class has become a test of endurance, and is far from a pleasure now.

Staying with the theme of aviation, a photo that is now history, an AirNewZealand 747, seen here at Brisbane airport in Australia in 2004

and another photo from the archives….a local man in Southern Oman….

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RESPECT, CONSIDERATION, FAIRNESS.


End of the day…..sunset time

Thought for the day….” Some days you just have to create your own sunshine”.

“If opportunity does not knock then build a door”.

Is it my imagination or are the shops even more crazy this year than in previous years?  Just had ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Blue Monday’ and now the shops seem to be in overdrive for Christmas.    And yet it seems that each year that there is less actual Christmas spirit and just more and more Christmas panic.      Hard to concentrate on Christmas when the shops are starting it earlier and earlier each year.     As usual, it will be madness in the shops in the last couple of weeks.    Happy to see it over !!

Couple of photos to show just how good the Fuji jpegs are.     Slowly going through the masses of photos and I am trying to delete lots, but it is fun to see some of the better photos.     With the great colours from the standard Fuji jpegs, then I can save a lot of time in not editing RAW files.     Much easier to get a good jpeg that is just as I want it, instead of hours of editing RAW files.      Purists will argue that there is more detail in the RAW files, and that you can adjust them more, but for me, the Fuji jpegs are just right.    Have a look at two photos below and see what you think of the colours…….

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and another photo from the archives….. colours of the Caribbean (Antigua)

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How lucky is lucky ??

Thought for the day…”Talent does what it can; genius does what it must.”

Did you see the story in the news about a survivor of the recent air crash in Dubai?    Mohammed Khadar was returning to Dubai from India when the Emirates 777 aircraft crashed on landing.  All 300 passengers got off the aircraft, which later burnt out.  Mr. Khadar, who works in Dubai, purchased a lottery ticket in the duty free shop in airport, and won a USD 1 million cash prize.   Commenting on his win, he said that his escape from the crashed aircraft was a miracle, but that the money would make enemies.   Lucky !!

The photo today comes from the famous dye pots in Fez, Morocco.

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and another photo from the archives…..the night sleeper train from Trondheim, Norway to Oslo.

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They deserve to go out of business……Norwegian Post

Thought for the day…” Make your life a mission, not an intermission”.

Customers can forgive a lot, IF they see that a company is trying.    Mistakes will be made, that is natural, and customers will generally forgive IF the company is seen to be trying to resolve the problem.   But not Posten.no   (Norway Post).   Not once, but TWICE they have messed up a delivery coming from New Zealand to Oslo.   They delivered the letter to the WRONG address, then sent it back to New Zealand for a second time.     But the worst thing is that they do not want to try to put matters right.   They will not even give out the email address of the customer manager.     Try emailing them…..and you will wait a long time for a pathetic reply.  Try asking them for compensation, and again you will wait and wait.   They really are hopeless.    They deserve to go out of business with staff like that working for them.    Bad enough that they messed up the delivery the first time, but to do it TWICE and then send the letter back to New Zealand AFTER I had emailed them to advise them of the problem is unforgiveable.   Guess who will be avoiding Norway Post in future??     I hope that bankruptcy comes soon.

The photo today is from rural Ethiopia……..not sure what they were looking at……..

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and another photo from the archives….autumn in Geilo, Norway

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Plastic or Paper? No choice in Rwanda.

Thought for the day…”Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”

” Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”

It is estimated that at least 1 TRILLION plastic bags are used each year, and that China alone uses more than 3 billion everyday (3 per person).     If you consider that it takes around 1000 years for a non-biodegradeable bag to completely disappear, then it is bad news for the environment.    The bad news goes further, many of these bags end up in the sea, creating even more problems.     One big surprise (but a good one) is that Rwanda banned plastic bags completely, no manufacturing, importing or selling of plastic bags.   And the results of this are VERY easy to see when you travel around the country.   The Rwandans decided that charging for plastic bags in shops was not an option, as the bags would still be dumped around the countryside, so there would still be a problem.   Medical use is one of the few exceptions in Rwanda.   The results of the plastic bag ban are very clear to see when you visit the country, is is surprisingly clean.    Rwanda also has a monthly community cleaning morning, called “Umuganda”.  This is compulsory for every citizen aged between 18 and 65 who is able to work.   On the last Saturday of every month, citizens carry out public works to clean and tidy the country.   Things like cutting hedges, mowing grass and clearing paths to keep the country clean and tidy.   Tourists often are surprised that Rwanda is so clean, and the frequently-heard comment is that Kigali is the cleanest capital that they have been in.   Some other cities around the world are following this idea of banning plastic bags, but the Rwandans have shown that it can be done and that it works.   Full marks to them !!!

Copenhagen for the photo today, and a cruise ship competes with apartment blocks for the views.

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and another photo from the archives…..Caribbean sunset in Marigot Bay, St. Lucia…..

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Sunset in the Sahara

Thought for the day…..” The optimist seems opportunity in every danger, the pessimist sees danger in every opportunity”

“Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it”.

Said to be the World’s largest sand desert, the Sahara is about the same size as the USA, and covers about 30% of Africa.  Antartica and the Artic are larger deserts, but the Sahara is the largest hot desert.  Temperatures in summer can reach up to 57 degrees and some of the sand dunes can reach up to 180m, although the Sahara also includes volcanic mountains as well (the highest point is 3415m at Emi Koussi).     The name ‘Sahara’ comes from the Arabic plural word for deserts.   Seen here is the edge of the Sahara at sunset in Morocco.   The photo was taken with an early digital camera (Olympus) many years ago.

LOW-RES-Moroccoand another photo out of the archives…..a beautiful winter’s morning in Haglebu, Eggedal, Norway…..wordpress-haglebuALL PHOTOS ON THIS SITE ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE.

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Would you turn off your mobile phone for a discount ?

Thought for the day…” Just because nobody complains does not mean that all parachutes are perfect”  (Benny Hill).

Spotted an interesting story in the news about an Italian priest who had installed electronics in his church to jam the signals to mobile telephones.    Signs in the church asking people to switch off their telephones had not worked, so the priest took things a stage further and installed the jamming device.   Local shopkeepers have been complaining that the phone-jammer is so powerful that it is affecting electronics in their shops as well.   That story reminds me of the story about the Israeli restaurant owner near Jerusalem who offered diners a 50% discount off their bills if they would switch off their mobile phones during their meal.    His idea was to encourage people to be social with each other again, rather than being glued to the screens of their mobile telephones.   Other restaurants in the USA have followed the idea, some even offering discounts to diners who give up ALL electronics for the duration of their meal.

No signs of any mobile phones in today’s photo, which comes from southern Oman.  Both photos taken with the Panasonic camera.

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And another photo from the archives… market colour in Mozambique.

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South to North…..Africa to Spitsbergen

Thought for the day….”  It costs nothing to dream, but are you prepared to pay the price to make it a reality?”

”  We learn the ropes of life by untying its knots”.

A photo of the largest land mammal for the photo today, and a scene from South Africa.   Elephants often live in herds of 20 or more, led by a dominant female called a matriarch.    They can live for up to 70 years, and curiously, cannot jump.    When they are born, they are blind, so rely totally on their mothers.  Adults will spend up to 16 hours a day feeding and need around 20 litres of water daily.   They sleep for only about 3 hours a day, and have 6 or 7 sets of teeth, unlike only 2 for humans.

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And another photo from the archives…..a storm approaches Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen

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It’s There Somewhere…..but can you find it?

Thought for the day…” Do coffins have lifetime guarantees? ”        ”   Do fish every get thirsty ?”     ” Did Noah keep his bees in archives? ”

Did you now that in Arabic, that the Arabic name for ‘Morocco’ means extreme west, or that Morocco is only 13km from Europe at its nearest point?   And if you have visited Morocco then you will have experienced the national drink, Moroccan mint tea, which is green tea with lots of mint leaves and an even greater amount of sugar.   Also, in Morocco the liver, and not the heart, is considered a sign of love.   And in the seaside town of Essouria, the inventor of the first pedestrian crossing light, Leslie Hore-Belisha is buried.   Tourists are surprised to learn that Morocco gets snow, as its highest point is Jebel Toubkal at 4165m in the Atlas mountains.   Although Casablanca is the largest city, it is Rabat which is the capital city.     The photo today is typical of the kasbahs (walled fortified cities) in Morocco, and as usual, a crowded market street.

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And another photo from the archives….keeping watch in Ethiopia…..

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Edge of the Sahara – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Do not limit your challenges, challenge your limits”.

”  Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow”   (Albert Einstein).

Did you read the news story that the Bolivian president, Evo Morales gave the UN president (Ban Ki-moon) a cake for his birthday made with coca leaves?     The Bolivian president was earlier a coca farmer, and is an advocate of coca for its use in medicines and teas.     He even pulled out a bag of coca leaves and began chewing on them during a meeting of the UN Anti Drug group in Vienna in 2012.  Coca leaves are used in the production of cocaine, with Bolivia being the world’s largest producer of the drug.

The Sahara is the world’s hottest desert, and after Antartica, is the world’s second largest desert.  The name actually comes from the Arabic (plural) word for desert.  It has sand dunes up to 180m high, and its highest point is over 3414m high.  In summers, temperatures can rise to over 50 degrees.  Today’s photo was taken near sunset in Morocco, in a town on the edge of the Sahara.

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and a photo from the archives…..Mt. Aspiring (3033m), South Island, New Zealand.

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