Tuesday, 28 June 2011

I really have become incredibly annoying!!!!!

Hello world, I'm afraid for you I'm still here and just as annoying as I always have been, actually that last statement is not true. You see I'm even more annoying now.
Ive stopped smoking which makes me a real smug git and what makes it more annoying is that people who I know who do still smoke ask if I mind if they do and I say no, I'm fine with it, puff away it really doesn’t bother me and you know what. It doesn’t. I live with a smoker, there are around 1000 cigs in our house as I type this and I want........... a cup of tea. It really has been one of the best things I've ever done for myself.
To complete my being a really annoying git I've started exercising on a regular basis and losing weight as well.
Now this one really is annoying as with everything I do I tend to do a lot of research first, must be the journalist in me. I see people every day talking about losing weight and some people are truly obsessed with it. They go on fad diet after fad diet and starve themselves they have days where they are not allowed to eat bread or carbs etc but still don’t seem to get anywhere. I think I know part of the reason why.  All those fad diets and not eating certain foods are a load of shite. You may see quick returns for doing them but then as soon as you stop them you pile the pounds back on.
The bottom line is if you burn more calories than you consume on a regular basis you will lose weight.
You see at my age it really is a little harder to shift the fat than it was when I was younger but I'm shifting it and getting fitter at the same time.
The bottom line is this, you have to work at it, like stopping smoking, there is no magic pill, there are things that can help you but you still require willpower and a desire to do it. It’s hard work, it really is and that's the bottom line.
People who starve themselves and have 1 cracker a day with a lettuce leaf are doing themselves no favours at all. All this does is send your body into starvation mode and it stores all the fat that you are trying to get rid of. You need to boost your metabolic rate, to do this, eat more often, less, but more often. Drink green tea, eat some spicy food, EXERCISE. All these things will boost your BMR or RMR.
I'm 5’10” tall and weigh in at around 14 stone. This means that my body will burn around 1894 calories if I was to stay in bed all day and do bugger all. Just keeping my heart beating and lungs working etc. That's quite a lot to be honest, but my biggest downfall is alcohol. I love it but it doesn’t love me you see alcohol contains empty calories and a lot of them. They do nothing for the body and 1g of alcohol is nearly the equivalent to 1g of pure fat. Because we get no nutritional value from alcohol our bodies spend there time getting rid of it as a priority instead of absorbing nutrients and burning fat. Just a bit of info for you, A bottle of red wine contains 510 calories, white 555, pint of lager/cider 250 calories (that's the same as a large slice of dominoes pizza), 1 glass of wine equates to 1 slice of cake!!!!!
I was speaking to somebody the other day who has a personal trainer who has promised to help him lose stupid amounts of weight in next to no time with a special diet and exercises. I'm gob smacked that a personal trainer would be so stupid. A healthy weight loss for most people would be around 2lb a week. Much more than that and you are setting yourself up for a host of problems.
so to the results for me so far at just over the 3 week mark.
At the start I would struggle to run for more than 2-3 minutes and I would not have been able to do more than maybe 2 abdominal crunches.
3 weeks on I am running 6K( 5-6 times a week), 20 minutes of weight training (3-4 times a week)
2 sets of 12 AB crunches, Cycling either 6 or 12 K depending on what I did the day before (5-6 times a week) I eat 4-5 meals a day still enjoy a drink and the odd kebab and I'm still losing weight and inches off the waistline.  Now I did tell you at the start how annoying Ive become and to be even more annoying, I actually enjoy it. I enjoy going to the gym and pushing myself.
Right now I'm billy no mates I hope y'all is great and catch up soon, Peace out y'all, THE BAGSTA XX

Monday, 27 June 2011

Falling off chairs, and falling in general!!!!!

Afternoon world, Ive had a strange few days this last weekend, The boys went off to Glastonbury and left the pub in Nicks hands for a few days. We went up Saturday and Sunday for "a few drinks" Apparently I fell off a chair at one point but have no recollections of aforementioned incident. I did however discover that having loads to drink then going to the gym the following day is a real bad call though.
Sunday was for the most part a day of watching motorsport, F1 and Moto GP. followed by a few hours on the PS3.
And so to Monday, down the gym by 07.00 hours then back home to shower, just getting out of shower when phone rings, Nick and Kate, Nick has had a fall and made a bit of a mess of himself so off I go to whisk him to the walk in centre. Upon arrival at Nicks location it became all to apparent that he really needed to go to A&E. A brief conversation later about the fact I wouldn't be dropping him off at home and there he was. Latest update having a brain scan. I thought I was a walking disaster zone but Nick's worse than me.
Weather been really hot and muggy all day draining any energy I had left away so done bugger all really.
Called into work whilst at the hospital to get my payslip only to be informed that we are now paid on the last Thursday of the month and not the 27th. Well that's buggered up a load of direct debits hasn't it.
Just tried to rain but seems to have stopped again, could do with a huge storm to clear the air and for me to get some pictures.
They have moved all the equipment around at the gym at the end of last week so trying to find my machines of torture has been a bit of a pain, today didn't bother with any weights but did lots of cardio so hopefully lost a bit more fat. Feel a load better but still not sure about going and doing more spin classes, don't know if my ass will ever forgive me.
And on that note I bid you farewell till the next time.

Peace out y'all THE BAGSTA XX

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Clever man that Marcus Aurelius chap

“The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane” Clever man that Marcus Aurelius chap, and it is exactly this quote that brings me back to the catastrophic man made global warming debate again.
You see I think that you will find the majority of people like myself who find catastrophic man made global warming a bit of a falsely advertised phenomenon are old....ish. It’s seen as cool to copy pop idols and rock stars who jet all over the world in their cause to save the planet, you have to see the irony in that one. By their beliefs flying or freight god only knows how many tonnes of equipment around the planet would cause massive amounts of greenhouse gasses to be produced.
You see im old and as such like to look at the evidence first, I hold a healthy level of skepticism which will probably be my downfall one day but as the youth of today would say "MEH"
People are willing to pay a bit more or go without something in the belief that they are doing their bit to save the planet.
Well I believe that the planet is big enough to look after itself thank you very much and has been doing quite a good job of it for a few years now.
Ok, so they could argue that it is a “precautionary principle” Well wasn’t that the same reason George Bush invaded Iraq? A precaution against Saddam having or getting weapons of mass destruction?  So do all these save the planet left wing softy softy ice cream sellers believe in the invasion of Iraq? No didn’t think so!.
I love the way that some people just simply believe, they are sold on it so well that they would sell their soul rather than look at cold hard facts or logic.
I'm not a global warming denier, or skeptic for that matter. The climate of our planet changes, this is undeniable and has been happening for thousands of years, climate stability is not normal and only a fool would say otherwise, there is evidence of such but there are to date no proven facts that say mankind is having an effect on the earths climate.
However with these fanatics logic simply goes out of the window along with common sense and here is partly the reason why.
The Holy Grail for most scientists is not truth but research grants. And the global warming scare has produced a huge downpour of money for research. Any mystery why so many scientists claim some belief in global warming?
"In science, refuting an accepted belief is celebrated as an advance in knowledge; in religion it is condemned as heresy". (Bob Parks, Physics, U of Maryland). No prizes for guessing how my beliefs are taken.
 and so as Marcus advised us, I am trying to escape finding myself in the ranks of the insane :)

Peace out yall, THE BAGSTA XX

Oh and click on an advert, apparently it makes me money!!!!

NB:- No planets were harmed during the writing of this blog post.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Life, the sun and al qaeda hiding goats in mini's!!

Afternoon world, well interwebything anyhow, been a few days since my last update, this has been generally because life has gotten in the way of my ability to bore myself and others with inane thoughts and ramblings.
 Sunday mainly involved watching BTCC and noting with glee the fact that most of the drivers were taking the piss mercilessly out of Plato for whinging like a girl who had lost her favourite shoes and lipstick. Big cry baby.
This was followed by a rather pleasant early evening drink and eats with Jono and Louise who we met on holiday. You meet people on holiday and say “lets keep in touch” but you never do. Well they were down here in Sheffield and gave us a call so we met up for drinks and scoff. A most pleasant experience, I didn’t spill food down myself or drinks over anybody else and even kept the conversation above gutter level, well for the most part anyway.
Monday came and went as only Monday knows how to, with a sort off the weekends over kiddo get some bloody work done or at the very least worry about something because that will make it better.
Ive never understood that, How we as people tend to worry over things that are completely out of our control as if by doing so it will help matters.
It is part of this philosophy or lack of it that helped me stop smoking. When I got stressed or something bad befell me I would have a cig, yeah, like inhaling a thousand poisoness toxins in the form of lung clinging tar like smoke is gonna help any situation.
  Anyway having swept Monday away with the disrespect it deserves I awoke this morning at 04.35 hours, bollocks!!! I'm damned if I'm getting up at this time despite the sun showing it’s intimidating self around the horizon. I think we should be more than a little worried about the proximity and general unpredictability of a huge ball of nuclear fusion but I will discuss this another time.

Back to Tuesday. Well after an early morning workout at the gym I had the pleasures of the Tesco run, dear lord have mercy on my soul. The car park was an enlightening place on this visit to Tesco’s, it appears that after the death of Osama bin hiding, the new leadership seems to be embracing western technology and has traded goats for mini's, as and when it suits it would seem, and that includes obviously the Tesco run.Maybe I should have checked the back to see if there were any goats hiding in there!! Way to small for camels or horses.

Right then, Chicken dinner and tonight I will mostly be drinking red wine.
Peace out yall, THE BAGSTA. xxx

Friday, 17 June 2011

Motivation, Infinity and (not beyond) steering wheels!!!

Well Ive made it through another day, hard work been your own boss, you have to motivate yourself to get off your arse and do stuff and when you work from home, there are so many distractions, my biggest is my fat shiny ps3, so beautiful. Much better looking than the ps3 slim, strange how i prefer fuller bodied women as well, I'm sure Freud would have had a field day with that one.
Anyway, I have managed to salvage a couple more shots from the trip to the Maldives so thought I may as well share them.
This first one was shot at night on a long exposure with high iso number, no tripod so I kinda bedded the camera down in the sand and set the shutter off with the timer release to prevent any camera shake.

This one was shot at dawn (around 06.30 hours) down by the end of the island away from the water villas. The tide was out and the water in the foreground was only a couple of inches deep right out to the sand bank but you could still see reef sharks and loads of tropical fish swimming about there. Just a shame this wasn't the view from outside our villa.
Ive been looking today at moving my interweb connection thing to bt infinity to get better speeds on all things interwebby and maybe if I get better latency figures get a better connection for online gaming. I'm loathed to leave o2 as they are really a brilliant isp and I have my mobile with them as well so I get fantastic deals. They tried offering me all sorts to stay but they simply cannot match the speeds of infinity. So within the next fortnight I will no doubt be ranting and raving about how the speeds do not match what I was promised and my blood pressure will start rising again although I doubt it. I'm really chilled at the moment, I don't know whats wrong with me.
Hopefully ill grab some cash tomorrow and go and buy the Logitech GT steering wheel for the the ps3 and start crashing all over the place with that as I re-learn how to drive with it instead of a controller. Fastest lap competition will start on Monday for GT5 and all relevant details can be found at http://acropolisnow.freeforums.org/ under the GT5 section. Hopefully I may be able to get online for a few races later tonight but working tomorrow night.
Sunday looks like we may be meeting up with Jono and Louise for a drink, we met them on holiday and they actually stayed in touch, and want to meet us again for a drink. WOW!!!! I think people are now so used to me being grumpy that they just ignore the grumpyness, hmmmmm time for a change of tactics me thinks:)
Right then, I'm starving, steak for tea.
catch yall laters. THE BAGSTA XXX

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Sunsets, tourism and Stacey:)!!!!

Hello again world,
                           I'm getting quite good at this getting up thing. Even after a late night / early morning I can actually move my ass out of bed and feed myself. Quite the modern man you know.
I was looking through some photographs that I took on my last trip to the Maldives yesterday trying to find some images that I could salvage from the building site that was our base for a fortnight. I would usually take around the 200 - 300 mark but on this trip due to circumstances that have already been covered in previous blog posts, I managed around 40 (not including the underwater shots).
The particular island that was our base had built some water villas that stretched out into the sea and whilst they were very nice they totally ruined any chance of a decent sunset photograph as the sun set directly behind them.
Not to be beaten by this oversight of a design genius I tried a different approach and came up with the following image. I'm not sure if it works or not to be honest, there is something that doesn't quite work but I'm damned if I can figure out what.
As we are now in that part of the world this moves nicely on to a programme I watched on BBC3 last night called "Tourism the truth" by Stacey Dooley.

The 24 year old was trying to put forward the problems that the people in Kenya that work in the tourist trade suffer, how they are paid sometimes minimum wage or less and how corruption and kickbacks etc are rife.
Stacey must be applauded for her efforts in this show and also for her previous efforts but in this particular show I'm afraid she didn't quite get it right.
Whilst she is undoubtedly a very pretty little thing I'm afraid this came across more of a "Hi I'm Stacey, Ive just finished my degree and I'm doing a documentary and if I flutter my eyelashes enough people wont actually be that bothered about the content"
Whilst many of the issues raised such as water supplies etc and her presence helping solve these issues  a whole part of the programme seemed to miss out a portion of information that was not even mentioned.
Yes Stacey we are aware that the staff at the AI resorts are only paid $3.00 - $5.00 dollars a day and you say that the guests at these resorts think that they do not have to pay for anything because they are all inclusive. Well you know what Stacey, I have stayed at AI resorts myself on many occasions and I tip. Yep there's the rub girl, people do tip. I tip the waiters, bar staff, room boy and even the gardeners. If I do, in all likelihood so do other people, I tip around $3.00 - $5.00 a day to each of the above. Now if only a small percentage of other guests did the same these people are really on a nice little earner for the part of the world they are living in so whilst I appreciate your efforts and I'm sure your heart is in the right place, from a journalistic point of view that particular programme leaves a bit to be desired really.
I hope Stacey does more documentaries as she does tackle some interesting subjects and usually gets the balance right and it goes without saying she is very pleasing on the eye.
The other show I caught the back end of last night was"young rich and house hunting" Wow, talk about a show that makes you want to build a wall around London keeping the vermin in there. Spoilt little rich slappers looking around million pound properties like they were royalty of some kind, give me a break, or better still give me a gun, I already have a reason.
Anyway before I go all Bagsta again and start ranting and raving I better go and breath.
Peace out y'all, THE BAGSTAXX

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Workout, Green Day and Aliens from another planet!!!!!!

Well, good morning world and how are we all today?
I'm still managing to scare myself and others with my current behaviour, by 08.00 hours this morning I had run 3k cross trained 2k and 20 minutes of weights to muscle failure and I feel full of dolphins or whatever they're called and feeling fine. I am starting to worry about myself now, this is just totally unacceptable behaviour for a Bagsta!!
Got home and the neighbours builders are back, not the one over the road but our immediate next door neighbour. They've been banging and hammering, don't know for how long or if they've stopped as mission control is nearly at full volume with Green Day on the noise maker.
Right then, after watching an amazing TV show last night about Manta Rays (my new best mates) I decided to put together a few more snaps and video of my swimming with the fishes. So with no more of a fanfare or further a do here we go.  All pics and video shot by Baggie Bagsteau!!
 Not sure about this one, may be some sort of Parrot Fish, but he didn't eat anybodies lollipops!!
 Just lots of fish hanging around on their street corner.
 I think this is Titan, the nasty giant trigger fish but can't be certain
 low tide first thing in the morning a couple of feet offshore.
 More Maldivian anemone fish.
 I think these are oriental sweet lips.
 Underwater landscape
 Aliens sent from another planet to keep an eye on my new host and make sure I'm not rumbled!!!!
The aliens leader! disguised as cuttle fish.

Monday, 13 June 2011

M.O.T's , age and getting off your ass!!!!!

 Morning campers, Well Monday seems to have rolled around again as it does after every weekend.
I wonder what this week will bring. I know for starters its going to bring more expense as the truck is in for it’s M.O.T. never a cheap time, I think it needs new brake bits for the handbrake and the horn seems to work when it wants too not when you want it too.
I was listening to the radio the other day and there was a discussion on about when middle age ends and old age starts, as in terms of how old you are.
I don't think you can measure life in terms of years. I think life and longevity doesn't necessarily have anything to do with happiness either. I think that  happiness comes from facing challenges and going out on a limb and taking risks. If you're not willing to take a risk for something you really care about, then
your not really living and you may as well sign yourself into a retirement home and have your food liquidised for you.
I mean I'm 42 and have in the last 6 years done more exciting things and achieved more goals than I have in the previous 36.
It came to me one rainy tea time in May on my way back from the NW200 bike races, as I flew through the air at about 80 mph at an altitude of about 12 feet  above the M6, I thought “this is going to hurt” and you know what, damn me I was right.
The sudden connection with the tarmac managed to break 10 bones all in a fraction of a second. It was a short time after this that I decided life really is too short to piss about, no matter how long you live or don’t, get off your ass and do stuff. It’s all too easy to say “I can’t,” or “it costs too much” total bollocks, if you want to do something enough you will find a way. It took me 3 years to get to swim with Manta Rays in the wild   ( http://bagsta69.blogspot.com/2011/05/bagsta-and-manta-rays.html ) and those few minutes I spent with them will last for my lifetime. I will always have that memory (whilst it still works) and emotion.
I think far to many people today do not try and achieve their goals and dreams for fear of failure. But failure will take you one step closer to success so you may as well get busy failing while you still can.
A dear friend of mine was complaining the other day that they had a headache, now that in itself is not very nice but as I pointed out to them, have some painkillers and in an hour or so it will have gone, so there is something to look forward too.
I have found over the years that there is a positive to be found in just about every bad thing that happens, you just need to look hard enough and maybe change your way of thinking.
Ill get back to you with a revised version of all this twadle when the Truck fails it's M.O.T. and costs me a small fortune but until then........
Peace out y'all, THE BAGSTA XX

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Scout party's and parallel universes!!!!

I have a theory.......... Now stop face palming yourself and just listen damn it. Ok well read on then.
I will try to explain but those of you that know me will also know that making myself understood at times can be quite difficult but I'm going to ramble on anyhow.
You see I have this theory about parallel universes, I think that they do exist and I think that they are connected via our dreams. Now now put the phone down, the men with the huggy huggy jackets are sick of calling round to our house so tough.
You see I think that as we dream we create a channel to the other universe or maybe even more than one and we can experience what our self has been up to in the other universes.
Ever had that feeling of deja vu? Well that is probably because you have already experienced what you are experiencing in another universe. The same goes for that sixth sense that we sometimes get. When you know something is not going to end well and it doesn’t.
Now you see, I do not think that our whole self is transported during our dreams but kind of a scout party with Swiss army knives and all singing ging gang goooley gooley goooley watcha, whatever that means.
Unfortunately for me I believe that part of my scout party got stuck and part of the scout party that was visiting me also got stuck here in this universe.
It’s the only rational (“pause for laughter”) explanation.
Ive halved my drinking, quit smoking, eat in a much more healthy manner, Ive lost weight and am exercising on a regular basis in a gym and for the most part am generally a more pleasant person. Damn it I even get up well before my usual 10.00 hours.
Me Julie who I work at the hospital with is in complete shock, she is convinced that I will be turning to religion next and is very suspect when I work a shift with her. I sometimes just have to have an outburst of expletives for no good reason to calm her down and help her relax.
All this is very well and good in this universe but what about the poor buggers who are left with a portion of the BAGSTA that we all know and love, vino drinking kebab munching smoking swearing fatty. Will he return? If so when? What kind of havoc is he reaping on another unsuspecting universe?
Or maybe (are you allowed to start a sentence with the word or?) my soul is off to be rehabilitated.
Maybe the nice me is just a watcher who has been placed inside me as a kind of caretaker whilst the largest part of my soul is off being punished for my sins and will be replaced once it’s sentence and torture are over. Maybe my watcher has to sleep and it is on these occasions that I get to write my blog and theorise over these issues, it could well be that a part of me has to be left within me just to give credibility to the fact I am still the same person. Now that would explain a lot.
Right I think hes waking up now so I'm off for some grape juice, hmmmm yummy!
Peace out yall, THE BAGSTAXX

Update.... I have just been informed that if I STOP drinking Jen will have me sectioned!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

You spin me right round baby right round!!!!!!

Morning world, I am today mostly in a lot of pain. You see yesterday I got up early and decided I would have a look at which free classes my gym were offering that day. One of the classes was something called a “spin class”. Now that sounds fun thought I. I had visions of me standing or sitting on one of those rotating disks on the floor doing a bit of aerobic twisting of my fine looking gut, so I thought ill have some of that then and promptly put my name down for a 45 minute session.
Oh dear, as I'm sure many of you chuckling gits are fully aware, a spin class is no such thing. In fact a spin class is probably the most tortuous thing I have ever experienced and has left me feeling like I have been gang raped by rhinos. You see it involves stationary bikes with seats that are made of concrete, it also involves an instructor who shouts a lot and means pedalling your bike at times as fast as your legs will go with variable resistance settings etc for a solid 45 minutes, the most respite you get is the odd 30 seconds to wipe the sweat from your eyes and take a drink but are still pedalling even at these points and as you sit upright the seat has a whole new intrusive feeling.

After my spin class I got off the bike and actually had trouble standing upright, my legs had gone to jelly and had  individual minds of their own and did not in anyway shape or fashion want to go in the same direction at the same time. It made for an amusing walk back to the car across the car park and I'm sure made every ones  day watching from the treadmills.
All that said though, you know it was probably the best workout I have ever had and when my leg function mostly returned I felt very invigorated, it also apparently burns off in the region of 500 – 750 calories and I would imagine a bit of after burn as well.
It is now my quest to find some sort of gel seat cover for the concrete seats so that if I die they won’t have to bury me face down in a Y shaped coffin somewhere in the Serengeti.

Yours with a sore arese, THE BAGSTA XX

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Thomson reply to my complaints. I reply to them. OH DEAR!

Thomson holidays replied to my letter of complaint with a bit of a "you can fuck off were giving you nothing" letter. This is not going to end well!!!! Below is my reply,
Dear Paul,
                   I thank you for your prompt response to my correspondence regarding our holiday I am saddened to hear that you do not see fit to offer us considerable compensation for the problems that arose on our holiday in the Maldives and the problems that arose on said vacation.

In your reply you have broken down each of our problems and addressed them individually, I will do the same in my reply to yourself.
I would also like to point out at this point before we go any further that I am not an idiot, I am not trying to get something for nothing, I am not a serial complainer, I am a freelance photojournalist of 22 years experience and have had my work published in magazines and newspapers across the world so do not for one minute assume I am some kind of money grabbing idiot who is complaining for the sake of it.
“From time to time our resorts will have a situation where overbooking at one grade of accommodation  necessitates a move to a higher grade. This would of course be provided on a complementary basis  and whilst this is done with the best interests of our customers at the forefront of our reasoning,  there will be times when the new and higher grade accommodation does not suit our customers'' requirements.”
It was pointed out to me at the time that this is a regular problem on Vilamendhoo and that over booking is common place, I have even seen a review where one couple had to spend the first couple of nights on another island, with this in mind please do not insult my intelligence with the above comment.

“I was pleased that our Holiday Experience Team were able to offer you a gesture of goodwill. They  are fully empowered to do so in the light of the circumstances that they see.”
Whilst the “gesture of goodwill” was made I would like to point out that we did not take said gesture as a $100.00 voucher for food at the Asian Wok in no way made up for the problems that we experienced.

“I''m sorry you were disturbed by noise both outside and within the resort. The boat operating offshore  would have been outside our control and as with many islands within the chain, ongoing and necessary  maintenance work is necessary to ensure the continuing amenity.”
I am at a loss on how to reply to this comment but will try, At no point did I say that there was a boat offshore, I said that there was a JCB, just in case you are unaware of what a JCB is, it is a large mechanical digger and no amount of aqua marine coloured paint is going to convince me otherwise. It started at 07.00 hours and was dragging sand around not far off shore, this was to build a sandbank, the purpose of which was to moor sea planes and boats that were coming to Vilamendhoo and as such I believe that whilst it may well not have been in the control of Thomson holidays it most certainly was within the control of Vilamendhoo. Please just for a moment take a look at the attached photograph. This was the view from our room; I also have video footage should you require it. Now tell me that if your good self and your partner/friend travelled 6000 miles on an eleven and a half hour flight to what was advertised as (and I quote from YOUR literature) “pearl-like thread of tropical island is picture-book perfect” to find you were in a room with a view such as pictured with all the accompanying sounds, that you would not feel that you would require compensation of some kind.

As part of my investigation into the issues you have raised I have checked the Customer Satisfaction  Questionnaires that other customers have filled out for the same time you were away - you may have  filled one of these out yourself. These indicate Vilamendhoo was performing above our expectations  in all key areas such as the accommodation overall, food, service and location and when considering  an offer of compensation I''ve been mindful of these aspects.”
As to your “Customer Satisfaction Questionnaires” I have one in front of me as
I type,  Airport arrival, Vilamendhoo arrival, your room, food service, food quality, variety, beverage service, sports activities, resort services and value for money. Each has sub headings. I have seen this type of questionnaire before. In no way on any of the above headings can I complain about the problems that I was having, it a very clever targeted questionnaire. I have filled it in and judging by my responses I had a fabulous time at Vilamendhoo but we both know that isn’t true.
In your brochure it quotes “
Take the Beach Villas, for starters. They're set in tropical gardens, so you get a real sense of privacy.” Now this is the real pearl and if necessary  the one that I would refer to section 4 of the package holidays and package tours regulations. We were in a “BEACH VILLA” the real sense of privacy is none existent as people are walking up and down in front of room 111 morning noon and night, it is like a main road. There is NO SENSE OF PRIVACY at all in room 111 or any other room in that location of the island of Vilamendhoo.
I have read some reviews from trip advisor and whilst some give the resort a great review there are still a fair few that do not, mainly for the exact same reasons that I was not pleased so you can be as mindful as you like about your customer satisfaction surveys, I still require considerable compensation for the blatantly false advertised holiday location that Thomson holidays sent me and my wife on.

I''m truly sorry that on this occasion, we were unable to provide a whole holiday experience which,  for you, fully met your expectations in all areas. Based upon my investigation I''ll be unable  to add to this apology, and the gesture provided in the resort, with any form of compensation.”
I am truly sorry that you do not fully grasp the misery that this holiday experience has brought to my wife and myself, as I mentioned before this was our 4th trip to the Maldives and we have nothing but fond memories from our previous 3 trips and never complained, even when having food poisoning on a previous visit I did not complain, however our trip to Vilamendhoo will remain with us for all the wrong reasons. If you still feel that after reading this letter we are still not eligible for substantial compensation I feel I will have no other alternative but to take the matter to court regarding issues 4, 5 and 6 of the package holidays and package tours regulations.

Yours without prejudice

Gary Bagshawe.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Thomson holiday to Vilamendhoo and a rattle on the back end!!!!!

Evening campers! You know I sometimes think the world IS out to get me, no paranoid delusions or anything like that but the simple fact that some celestial being is truly fucking with me, you know what, I don’t care. Give it your best shot, ill still be smiling and seeing the positive points in it all.
Take the recent Maldives trip, here is the letter of complaint I have sent to Thomson / First Choice regarding our trip to Vilamendhoo.

Dear after travel support team,
 I am very sorry to find myself in the position that I have to write to you to inform you of my utter disappointment in my recent holiday that my wife and I have booked with you. I have been suffering from very high blood pressure and to help lower this we decided to return to the Maldives for the fourth time.
We have booked with you on  two previous occasions and had a fantastic time but our recent trip to Vilamendhoo in the Maldives has been a very big let down and I feel I could do with a holiday to recover from the one we have just had.
Our holiday details are as follows. ################################################
Ref 4656065 Flight 12th May 2011 TOM 188  /  returning 26th May 2011 TOM 189 Total cost of holiday £####.##
I will now give you some details as to why I was so let down by our recent trip, some of the details are beyond what Thomson holidays can control but I feel we should have been made aware of many of the issues before we travelled as we would have expected either a substantial reduction in price or to have chosen another island for our two weeks in the sun.
Upon arrival at Vilamendhoo the beach villa that we had booked had been over booked and so we were upgraded to a Jacuzzi water villa (jwv), whilst many people may have looked forward to this we book a beach villa for a reason, it has a beach in front of it. The jwv’s do not and as we were to be moved after a couple of days there did not seem much point is us unpacking so we had to live out of our suitcases for the first two days.
 After looking around the island we put in a request for rooms on the side of the island away from the main jetty and supplied reception with a list which was basically for any room on the side away from the jetty.
On the morning of our move I was informed that we were to be moved to room 111. Whilst the room itself is a very nice room its location is dreadful. After sitting outside the room for an hour listening to the mechanical digger 200 yards off shore groan and creak whilst it dredged the sea bed for sand to build a jetty I returned to reception and spoke to guest services as the Thomson rep was not available. I was assured in no uncertain terms that there was NO other room available, despite one of the young chaps pointing to a list and saying tomorrow, the guest relations lady said that there were no available rooms.
 I reluctantly returned to room 111 and unpacked. 
Not quite the paradise view I was expecting.
The view from the other side of the island was somewhat better but the building noise was still very loud.
Now maybe it’s because this was our 4th trip to the Maldives that I expect a certain amount of privacy and tropical paradise feel to my holiday that this really wasn’t coming up to scratch. As I sat watching all the people troop past the front of our villa staring at us as they walked by I couldn’t help but feel like I was a busker of some sort on a pedestrian precinct.
The beach itself is very shallow with not much sand before you reach the sea and only receives around 20 minutes of sunshine per day unless you drag your sun lounger to the middle of the path where people would then have to walk around you; incidentally one lady actually did just that. The other problem with this location is that the divers exit the water here and dump all their wet equipment onto your sun lounger whether or not there is a towel on it.
The biggest problem with this location however is the droning creaking mechanical grinding of the digger just off shore. It runs from dawn till dusk and sometimes beyond and really is not what we paid a four figure sum to go on holiday and look at and listen to, If we had wanted that we could have gone anywhere in mainland Europe and not endured an 11 hour flight and 6000 miles.
By day six of our “holiday” I had admitted defeat and despite it going against all the principles of holidaying in the Maldives we went to sit around the pool, not the sunset bar, the one situated to the rear of our room. I have to admit that this was a surprisingly pleasant experience. It was large clean and a total sun trap, the bar was a nice accompaniment and there was hardly ever anybody around the pool, I’m assuming because they had a nice quiet beach area, but it was very nice. That was until more building materials arrived on the island and the work resumed on the garden villa building. The noise from this work actually drowned out the music on my headphones from my iphone it was that loud. So now we were left with a choice, hammering banging drilling and breezeblock cutting or mechanical digger. I took to our room and sat in the shower for several hours.
th or 10th night of our stay I bumped into the Thomson rep at the sunset bar, she made the mistake of asking if I was having a good time, I explained that I wasn’t and the reasons why. She then offered to have us moved which whilst was a very nice gesture along with a $100.00 voucher off a meal at the Asian Wok and or a Robinson Crusoe island experience was I’m afraid a little too little a little too late. We had already had to move after the first two nights and we didn’t fancy having to pack up everything and move with only a few days of our building site experience left.
I would at this point like to point out that had it not been for the amazing house reef and the waiters and bar staff been so pleasant I’m sure I would have exploded in the middle of the Indian Ocean leaving a crater the size of Sheffield which would have meant even more building work.
I understand totally that many of the problems we experienced are out of the control of Thomson holidays but I am also very aware that Thomson Holidays were aware of the work been carried out and as such must take a certain level of responsibility for not informing us before we travelled of the issues that may have arisen.
It is in light of these facts that I believe that we may be entitled to considerable compensation in some way.
I look forward to your timely response in this matter before I decide which course of action to take and whether I should take the matter further.
Yours without prejudice,

Gary Bagshawe

At least I can take my Manta Ray experience away from this disappointing break, something that will stay with me for ever and all the other problems........ Well they seem to make people laugh when I tell the story so there's a positive. :)
Today my celestial nemesis has had another go, I was leaving the gym at around 08.50 hours (I know I'm as confused as everybody else about this) when there was an almighty clatter and rattle type sound thingy from the back end. Please keep your comments to yourself. The end can had fallen off the exhaust system and banging against the body work. After visiting challenger who lightened my wallet even further than it already had been in the last few days I decided lunch at the West End was in order. Very nice angus and chilli burger. I was working out that over the last 2 months the truck has cost me over £1000.00 just to keep it legal and on the road and that's before the mot at the end of this month and does not include fuel costs.
Well one last example would be me trying to arrange some ps3 gaming with me clannies and it was all sorted that tonight from 22.00 hours we would be blowing stuff up and running away from my stabby little Irish friend Hudge, sneaky little fucker. Well the PSN is down once again for maintenance. I cant drink as I have to fast from 22.00 hours for blood tests in the morning but hey, the sun is shining and my belly is full so up yours NEMESIS, I will find out your name and hunt you down. LOL.
Peace out y’all and may you all have better luck than Ive been having.
Reverend BAGSTA69 xxx