Absolute statements

George Bush Snr.

Read my lips; no new taxes.

Bill Clinton

I did not have sexual relations with that woman.

Brian Cowen

We are not in negotiation with the IMF.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter

Crisis? What is the crisis?

Taoiseach, Enda Kenny

Let me say with absolute clarity there would be no need for a second bailout.


During my adventure to Australia I took off and landed in the following airports – Abu Dhabi (twice), Sydney (three times), Uluru (Ayers Rock), Melbourne and Singapore. From the smallest to the largest all these airports were modern, well designed and efficiently run.

At Dublin, traffic congestion resulted in a wait of nearly half hour on a taxiing runway before disembarking. We were then processed in a dirty, pokey immigration area accompanied by a background noise from a tinny PA system apologising for the chaos caused by the accidental triggering of an alarm system.

I was home.

Ryanair provides laugh of the week

Ryanair has revealed that 50 people have now contacted them claiming they ate the €10,000 scratch card onboard a Ryanair flight from Poland to the UK last week (Irish Independent).

It was claimed that a passenger on a Ryanair flight had eaten the winning scratch card in protest at being told he couldn’t claim his money straight away.

Ryanair spokesperson Stephen McNamara said: “Ryanair loves a trier but not a chancer and 50 chancers so far have contacted Ryanair.”

McNamara said that 40 out of the 50 claimants were not even on the flight from Krakow to the East Midlands when the alleged incident occurred.

The budget airline confirmed that the consumption of the winning ticket made it null and void and that the prize money will now be donated to charity.

Ryanair passengers will have the final say on which charity receives the cash by voting on the company’s web site.

Seeing the lights in Sweden

Just back from a holiday in Sweden. When we arrived in Stockholm it was 14 below which, in our ignorance, we took as normal.

After speaking to some locals it became apparent that such severe weather was in fact unusual and had caused all sorts of problems particularly with transport.

Our plan was to travel by overnight train to the very North of Sweden to the small resort of Abisko where we hoped to see the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights.

The journey which should have been a non stop 19 hour trip actually took 25 hours. Because of weather conditions we were told that we would have to change trains at the town of Boden but during the night we were informed that at 38 below this was too dangerous and we would have to go on to the town of Lulea on the Baltic coast.

After finally arriving at Abisko we quickly found ourselves partaking in a three hour shoe shoe nighttime trek in the wilderness in the hope of experiencing the magical lights.

Unfortunately, they didn’t make an appearance but our guide advised us that if we got up again at 3 a.m. we might be lucky.

Although wrecked after 28 hours of near sleepless traveling we did set our alarms and lo and behold we saw the lights. Not the most spectacular appearance but beautiful nonetheless.

Our decision was fortunate because for the rest of the holiday cloud cover prevented all sightings.

Seeing the lights, having a drink in the ice hotel and many other experiences made it a very memorable holiday.

Breaking the lotto bank

I went a bit mad last week and invested in a €4 lotto quick pick and won the stately sum of €5.

When I went to cash in my fortune, however, the shop assistant, with a sheepish grin, said that the lotto till didn’t have enough cash to cover my winnings.

Feck, says I, this must be the first time that the lotto bank has been broken.

The same shop assistant was on duty last night when I called in on the way home from a walk.

Sorry, she said, with a big smile, the lotto closes at 10pm, I hope you haven’t booked a holiday in the Seychelles?

We laughed but I was thinking to myself – How did she know?

Rock makes clean getaway

A news report on disturbances during the recent Halloween celebrations went:

An ambulance was attacked and its window broken by a rock on its way through Finglas

I reckon that rock is in Iceland by now, if it hasn’t run out of fuel. 🙂

Great to be back

I left the room for just a few minutes but when I returned my computer was zapped, gone, dead. With my limited technical knowledge I tried to figure out the problem but to no avail so I called in my nephew, Gavin.

It’s not the first time I’ve had to call on Gavin to save me from the brink of technical oblivion but even he admitted that on this occasion the problem was serious. He’s still working on resolving the matter and in the meantime has generously provided me with a replacement computer.

Of course, I have no doubt that the problem was caused by a deadly Fianna Fail virus and have established a tribunal of inquiry to look into the matter.