September 10, 2017

(You can leave any time you like but you can never check in!)

After a three and a half-hour train journey from Rome I arrived at Mestre railway station and hailed a taxi. He couldn’t take me to the door as it was in a pedestrianised zone and told me that it wasn’t far and described how to get there. After trudging around for twenty minutes looking for the place I arrived exhausted at the door. I knew I had arrived at the right place, not because of the grandiose neon sign above the door but because of the small card in the intercom system of what appeared to be a block of flats.
I rang the bell and a man answered and I told him that I had a reservation but he didn’t reply or open the door. I rang a few more times with no response. I then pressed another bell at random hoping someone would let me in. A lady popped her head out of a window on the top floor and I explained in my broken Italian the situation. She opened the door and I stepped into the hallway. The lady came down and knocked on the door of the Hotel apartment but got no reply. She came down to me and I thanked her and said that I would look for another hotel; I’d booked it whilst in Rome at a public Internet point and used the same booking company that I’ve used often without a single hitch.
We both left the building together and she went on her way. It was then about 6:30pm, a few miles from one of the most popular attractions in Italy in peak season and I was worried.
The place was quiet and I headed back up the path looking for another hotel. I’d walked less that ten minutes when I entered a square and looked around and saw a hotel – Hotel Vivit. I walked in and took the lift up to the reception. I needed three nights and waited anxiously as she looked through the book. I breathed a huge sigh of relief as she said there was a room available.

I received an email from the other hotel about my “no show” when I got home which was in Spanish. Since my Spanish is non-existent I replied to them in English.


PAUL BITHELL, nos gustaría hacerte una pregunta sobre tu reserva en el Venice Bella

13 Aug at 8:46 AM
Número de confirmación:

Código PIN:


¿Cómo estás? El Venice Bella (número de reserva 1476169936) nos ha avisado de que no hiciste el registro de entrada el 2017-08-12.

¿Podrías confirmarnos esta información?

No me alojé en el establecimiento

Me alojé en el establecimiento

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Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for your email. Unfortunately I don’t speak Spanish but I assume that your email relates to my “no show” at your hotel on the 12th August 2017. In the early evening of the 12th I arrived at the hotel and was unable to gain access. On pressing the bell a man answered but did not unlock the front door. On repeated calls he did not answer. Fortunately a lady from the top floor let me in and came down and knocked on the hotel door (1st floor). She didn’t get any response. We both left the building and I booked into another hotel. I would appreciate it if you would refund my payement (£157.42) plus an appropriate sum as compensation.


P.F. Bithell



July 24, 2017

It shouldn’t take an inordinate amount of re-engineering to adapt these robots to enable people with a disability to explore the countryside off-road just as able-bodied people can.


July 8, 2017

The BBC has come under increasing criticism over its Brexit coverage.

A spokeswoman denies the criticism by saying, “The BBC takes impartiality incredibly seriously and we are covering Brexit developments in depth by examining all the perspectives and arguments. We have a wide range of voices on air and will continue to do so.”
“incredibly” – Why not simply say “The BBC takes impartiality seriously or very seriously “? This over-used word often suggests insincerity. Is the use of this word a superlative or a “Freudian slip”? The word “incredible” means unbelievable! The BBC should get its act together and play fair.


June 30, 2017

If these are the opportunities that await us we must boldly take them.


June 25, 2017

Two people attempt to fly around the world and are lost forever.


Photo: Photograph courtesy of Les Kinney/U.S. National Archives)


June 9, 2017


This must be the most spectacular own goal in British political history.

The way to good health is glutton free!


May 16, 2017

Britain shouldn’t be forced into conditional and protracted negotiations over different aspects of Brexit.
Each topic should be discussed independently on its own merit.


May 6, 2017

“Science is a process, not a product.”

This post is NOT about climate change.


A study has been carried out to determine the cause of statin side-effects.

According to the results of this study the side-effects of taking statins weren’t caused by the drug itself but psychologically – a kind of hypnotic effect; Belief is a very powerful force, which is why serious studies are always conducted “double-blind” (Where neither the patient nor doctor knows whether the pills are real or dummies.)

This appears to be a very serious study professionally carried out, but there are serious caveats; The lead author of the study takes the drug himself and the study was paid for by Pfizer – the producer of the drug. This doesn’t mean that the results aren’t genuine, but one would be more confident if such a study were financed by an independent body.

An ecological study


Is the “good health” industry distorting science to create a “band-wagon” effect?

A study by Harvard University has found no correlation between gluten and coronary heart disease.

Put it ON your body, not IN your body!

The way to good health is glutton free! – and TRANS fat!

Lose weight and look fit – but don’t overdo it!



“As YOU have told us, science is critical to our future – science protects our water and air, extends our lives and improves our health, protects our planet, and brings our imagination to life.”

Science has also given us the labour saving technologies that we have become used to – many of which wouldn’t have been possible in a repressive society. It was only by living in a free and democratic society that those inquiring minds were able to do experiments and publish and develop their ideas.



April 5, 2017

But they must have the slots in them!


April 1, 2017

Biomass energy, as a “greener” alternative to fossil fuels is contested.