This is Tom's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Tom's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Tom
London, England
Ex-international lawyer, ex-expat. Returned to London to enjoy his financial independence while pursuing his lost creativity.
Interests: travel, photography, writing
Recent Activity
I agree, James. I am working on my life/life balance!
Toggle Commented 14 hours ago on To Prague via Telc at The Last Ditch
1 reply
I have spent a lot of time over the years in Prague and it's good to be back. I am having an educational and fun experience. I agree that the old Warsaw Pact countries are well-inoculated against statism. People whose parents and grandparents lived under near total state power are less likely to fall for the old lies of the charlatans who promise to solve all problems if they are given enough authority. But as the harsh vaccine wears off, the snake oil salesmen will return. The central problem of democracy is to stop them subverting the education system as only the honest teaching of history can extend its effectiveness.
Toggle Commented 14 hours ago on To Prague via Telc at The Last Ditch
1 reply
Image
My fellow-students took a bus from Vienna to Prague yesterday. Having bought yet another "vignette" to drive on the Czech "motorways", I met them at the lunch (and photo shoot) stop in the UNESCO world heritage city of Telc. Speranza performed patiently at the slower pace of motorised Czech life,... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Last Ditch
I cannot dissent, but my oath against politics forbids me to join in :-)
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Hitting Jack's road at The Last Ditch
1 reply
Image
No travel today. Speranza is resting peacefully in my hotel's basement. I, however, have been shooting photos as part of my class here. You may see more of them, if you wish, here. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at The Last Ditch
Interesting, thanks. I guess the AA keeps it simple, not least because it sells the damned things! One reason I am a libertarian is that I like to comply with the law. Having laws you don't enforce diminishes respect for law itself and puts you at the mercy of the men of power who throw the book at you when you tick them off. Few, only necessary laws - strictly enforced with widespread public support - is the right approach. Fat chance these days.
Toggle Commented 4 days ago on Hitting Jack's road at The Last Ditch
1 reply
According to the AA they are still needed.
Toggle Commented 4 days ago on Hitting Jack's road at The Last Ditch
1 reply
Image
Grüß Gott! I had a splendid run through Germany to the Austrian border this morning. I left Nuremberg at 0700 so had a quiet hour or so before traffic built up and was able to improve on yesterday's speed. Bear in mind that's still short of Speranza's maximum by some... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at The Last Ditch
Image
The sun shone. I drove on unrestricted autobahns with the roof down at some speed. My Dunhill flat cap puzzled German motorists by not flying off. It's a matter of aerodynamics. My football team won at home, which means "the great escape" from relegation is still on. And I made... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at The Last Ditch
Image
Speranza, entrained The problem with the French language is that everything - for example the word for a tax expert (fiscaliste) - sounds glamorous, whereas - even in le monde francophone - everything isn't. The name of my overnight stop for this evening - Verviers, in the French-speaking part of... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at The Last Ditch
That would be a particular delight. Please email your co-ordinates and I will aim to break my journey there.
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on Hitting Jack's road at The Last Ditch
1 reply
Thanks for the encouraging words, James. Live in such fear and we go nowhere!
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on Hitting Jack's road at The Last Ditch
1 reply
This post will remain at the head of the blog for the duration of my current road trip. You can track my tour map here. Please chip in with suggestions for things to see, people to meet and diversions to make. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at The Last Ditch
Not documents these days if you stay within the EU. Licence and insurance work EU-wide. Two breathalysers for France. Hi viz jackets for several places. Warning triangles. Spare bulbs and fuses. That kind of thing. Also stickers certifying your emissions level to enter certain restricted zones in German cities, which I shall stay away from; freely translating the relevant signs as "spend nothing here". The French insist the hi viz etc is in reach, cluttering my normally immaculate cockpit, so one can't even tuck it away. A gentleman's personal space should be his own, surely?
Toggle Commented Apr 10, 2014 on Hitting Jack's road at The Last Ditch
1 reply
Thanks, Peter. All advice humbly and gratefully accepted...
Toggle Commented Apr 9, 2014 on Adventures in MittelEuropa at The Last Ditch
1 reply
Image
I have checked the traffic regulations and the paraphernalia required to be carried onboard by the busybodies of six European nations. I have everything apart from my Austrian motorway sticker and apparently I can pick that up at the border. Speranza is looking and sounding good. I am looking forward... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2014 at The Last Ditch
14
If you want to digitise that scrapbook in a series of photographic posts, I would happily give you guest author rights. It would fit the new format well.
Toggle Commented Apr 5, 2014 on Recent excursions #3 at The Last Ditch
1 reply
A tour delivering cars sounds like a great gig. What kind of machinery were you driving?
Toggle Commented Apr 4, 2014 on Recent excursions #3 at The Last Ditch
1 reply
Image
I collected Speranza from Joe Macari in Wandsworth yesterday. The team did a terrific job repairing some small damage I had done in the South of France. They service and maintain modern Ferraris and Maseratis but they are really specialists in rebuilding and/or restoring classics. Not only do their skills... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2014 at The Last Ditch
I am as conservative a driver as an investor. I don't perform *any* manoeuvre unless I can see a safe exit. In consequence I am often passed by braver drivers (and investors!) which does not bother me at all. When driving Speranza I know that such occasions give young petrol heads a story to tell their friends and I am happy for them. I recently spent a happy hour or so in a Las Vegas bar chatting to a young lady (Hi Stephanie) who owns a Dodge Viper and has a far more aggressive approach to motoring than I do. Her father taught her proper driving when she was even more very young and she now races Ford Mustangs for fun. If I had met her when I was young, I would have proposed marriage on the spot; she was a petrol head's dream woman. At my age, I am simply happy to leave such driving to her and others with her youthful reflexes. Bear in mind I drove 14,524 miles on the Great American Road Trip of 2013 and did not pick up a single speeding ticket (though I did get a couple of warnings). The joy of driving a serious car on public roads is not the cruising speed, which is always legally capped, it's the opportunity to pass in shorter distances than others can; what I call my "Ferrari moments". I can only imagine doing 194mph in a straight line on an unrestricted dry road with light traffic on a clear day. So fast, yes, if conditions permit but wild, no. I like my life and want it to last at least until I am too doddery to renew my driving licence. I am not much bothered about lasting beyond that, mind. I would miss driving way too much.
Toggle Commented Apr 4, 2014 on Adventures in MittelEuropa at The Last Ditch
1 reply
You show no sign of flagging with yours at any rate. It has survived the cull in my RSS feed and I look forward to enjoying your trenchant views for many years to come. Thank you.
Toggle Commented Apr 4, 2014 on Goodbye and good luck at The Last Ditch
1 reply
You are using some different definition of honest, I think. Also, given your hackneyed ideas, a very different definition of "thinking". Bitching about your underachievement and shouting demands for others to support you in idleness does not constitute an argument, Mark. It has been more like a sustained tantrum, which I have encouraged mainly to allow you to support my arguments by displaying every negative trait of the modern Welfare Statist. You hate your job, we get it. I have employed many people in my time, most of whom are still supporting their families from businesses I helped create. I would never, ever employ anyone with the attitude you have displayed here. If our dialogue had been a job interview, I would assess you as a sneering, sarcastic underminer of every initiative, a dodger of every work burden and the person most likely to piss off a customer. If I am in any way typical of employers, that might explain your situation quite adequately without any need for theories about the evils of capitalism.. I suspect that under communism you would not merely be sidelined but shot, so perhaps you ought to be happy with the status quo. :-) The world does not need to be remade to elevate the likes of you, Mark. You need to remake yourself to suit the world. Retrain. Get a job you enjoy. Earn a sense of satisfaction with your life and stop whinging like a spoiled brat.
Toggle Commented Apr 4, 2014 on Goodbye and good luck at The Last Ditch
1 reply
Thank you. I appreciate that assurance!
Toggle Commented Apr 4, 2014 on Goodbye and good luck at The Last Ditch
1 reply
Please recommend away. I would be happy to be the best informed photographer on the course and lead my companions to photogenic venues! You can share the suggestions here for the benefit of all or click the email link to send them privately.
Toggle Commented Apr 3, 2014 on Adventures in MittelEuropa at The Last Ditch
1 reply
Who says Germans have no sense of humour, eh?
Toggle Commented Apr 3, 2014 on Adventures in MittelEuropa at The Last Ditch
1 reply