| |
Tours England
  • "...thank you for such a splendid day in the Cotswolds"
    A.F. - Utah
  • "Thank you for a fabulous tour - you are a brilliant guide - we love you !"
    B & N - Tennessee
  • "... a thousand thanks for showing us around in your wonderful and beautiful country!"
    JL - Flanders, Belgium
  • "... the Cotswold villages and the vistas were spectacular. The pub lunch was delicious and the atmosphere one of a kind"
    N & B A - California
  • "WOW!!! What a way for a Yank to see France!!! Having one of our old Allies the Brits showing the way!!!"
    WC & PC - Alabama
  • "... thank you for the wonderful tour I had with my father to Normandy and Paris!"
    JC - Florida
  • "We say more than we bargained for and then some..."
    C &C - Georgia
  • "... a rather seredipitous click on Google that let me to you and I will forever be grateful for that. What a font of knowledge you are! "
    SM - Philipines
  • "We just want to thank you again for making our vacation so special. We had a great time. Absolutely wonderful! Happy memories!"
    Mike & Jane McCool, Front Royal, VA
  • "You did a fabulous and caring job, making sure our trip was perfect."
    J & A - New York
  • "You put so much heart into what you do..."
    BE, China

Rob Little’s Blog – musings of an English / British Tour Guide where I not only vent about things that “get my goat” but, also, publish lovely photos and eccentric stories about “this Sceptered Isle”!

Controversy…..UK–US extradition treaty of 2003…..whoever would make an agreement as one sided of this? Let me tell you who….the same morons in our parliament who seem to want to agree to a similarly one sided relationship with Europe!!
Tuesday, 16th April 2019

In 2003 the British Labour Government agreed an extradition treaty between the UK and the US which is remarkably one sided because it allows the US to extradite UK citizens and others for offences committed against US law, even though the alleged offence may have been committed in the UK by a person living and working in the UK. There is no such reciprocal right for the UK to extradite a US citizen under the same circumstances.

There are also issues about the level of proof required being less to extradite from the UK to the US rather than vice versa. For instance for the USA to extradite citizens from the UK, they only need to have “reasonable suspicion” that the individual has committed an office while the requirement for the UK is to show a “probable cause“, a higher level of proof, in order to extradite suspects from the US to the UK.

Why the hell would anyone have agreed to this – did someone have something on someone? Or did $$ change hands?

Rob Little
Lets Tour England !

Notre-Dame cathedral: Firefighters tackle blaze in Paris
Monday, 15th April 2019

Terrible news – Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris is on fire – possible cause linked to renovation work.

We pray this most wonderful building will be preserved.

Rob Little
Let’s Tour England !!

Gatwick drone debacle was, indeed, just that…..! There were no drones……!!

We drone flyers have a bad press and I, for one, feel intimidated about using my drone in case some idiot yells at me and accuses me of trying to take photos of his wife and kids in the back yard….. It honestly takes the pleasure out of the landscape photography I enjoy so much….taking photos and video of our wonderful countryside from an elevated perspective.

So many of you will remember that Gatwick airport was closed down over Christmas because of a so-called drone attack. A couple from nearby Crawley were arrested and the press called them morons and worse but not a single drone was found or even seen and and the couple…..after having their reputations ripped to pieces. are now totally exonerated.

In the meantime, further even more onerous regulations were placed on hobbyists and professional drone flyers alike as a direct result of this so-called intrusion and, guess what? After the hysteria caused by police and airport authorities and no evidence of any drone having been seen…..it has now ben acknowledged that this was likely an “inside job” by somebody, probably an employee at the airport with a grudge or just pure mischievous vandalism who concocted the whole thing.

Another example of where the knee jerk was totally unfair and without foundation.

Rob Little
Photographic parasite…..
Lets Tour England !

Spring in The Cotswolds 2019…..
Sunday, 14th April 2019

Many past Customers will recognise the locations in this “amateurish” video…..sorry I am not a film producer but hopefully it gets the message over as to the beauty that’s waiting for you in The Cotswolds! And take note of the lack of people in most places – there are just a few locations that are busy.

April brings the Spring flowers – the white blackthorn bush, daffodils, primroses as well as the young lambs. All gorgeous.

Enjoy!

Rob Little
Tour Guide
Let’s Tour England !

Blackthorn Bush – the flower appears before the leaf and later in the summer the fruit is sloes for Sloe Gin !

Primroses growing on the bank

Stone Wall and a favourite cottage in the woods in the background

A familiar view near Compton Abdale.

And finally……a quote from Stephen Hawking about “Black Holes” which the head honcho at the Press Conference about Black Holes in Brussels this morning though was particularly apt…..!
Wednesday, 10th April 2019

The Commissioner at the meeting thought this quote from Stephen Hawking about hopes for the future might inspire the Presidents and Prime Ministers meeting in Brussels today…..!!

Black Holes arn’t as black as they are painted. They are not eternal prisons as we thought Things can get out of a black hole, both to the outside and possibly to another universe. So, if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up, there is always a way out“. 😳

Rob Little
Tour Guide
Lets Tour England !

Not a simulation……this is the first actual image of a Black Hole…..!

This is the very first actual image of a Black Holenot a simulation and its appearance is very much like Einstein and Hawking predicted !

It is the Nucleus of Galaxy M87 – 500,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilometers or nearly 53 light years from the earth – ie the light we are seeing was emitted 53 million years ago and has taken that time to reach us here. The black area has a diameter of 100bn kilometers and is 6.5 billion times the mass of our sun.

This image has been achieved by creating an Event Horizon Telescope – a global scientific collaboration by creating a virtual Earth-sized telescope.

To put the size and distance into some fantastic context, this Black Hole in the image would be like a mustard seed in Washington DC as seen from Brussels !!

Robert Little
Amazing…..?
Lets Tour England….and maybe Galaxy M87 !

Donald Tusk’s proposed Brexit “flextension” is a national humiliation for our country. People are saying that Britain has become a “laughing stock”…..

Thank God we don’t have this lot in Parliament if we were about to go to war. Our MPs – well most of them – are utterly useless and it is them who are the laughing stock – not the general population!!

BREXIT should have been relatively straight forward…..we should have formed a cross party team of pro-BREXIT supporters on a cross party basis and taken our plan to leave the EU and for a future free trade relationship to European leaders in a way that would have gained their respect. But no, we have been betrayed by MPs who refuse to accept the will of the people.

If we end up being offered a “BRINO” (Brexit in name only), remaining in a relationship where we have no authority over our own trade, no influence over the rules and still paying into the EU, then please please another referendum where I would vote REMAIN !

Rob Little
Tour Guide
Lets Tour England !

Mother’s turn to pick the subject for debate today and she elected to discuss concerns over Huawei and their domination of 5G technology…..!!
Tuesday, 9th April 2019

Many of my followers will remember my weekly reports of lunch with mother (now aged 91), but she has been in a care home these past 12 months so lunching out, sadly, doesn’t happen.

However, both she and I watched the BBC Panorama programme last night and she expressed her concerns that Huawei, a huge Chinese company operating at the leading edge of 5G technology, could hold the rest of the world, to ransom, by hacking into its own systems that control our traffic, aircraft, electrical supply and other infrastructure not to mention our internet and telephone systems.

Although there is no suggestion the Chinese want to do this at the moment, the fact is all Chinese companies are committed to helping their government if they demand it.

Mother then said:

But part of their technology is badly built isn’t it…..?”

Indeed their security is flaky so I used the analogy that it was like having a high powered Mustang with Ford Taurus brakes….well I didn’t exactly use that example because I translated it into the “American” language the English equivalent might be a Range Rover Vogue with Land Rover Defender brakes!!

Stimulating conversation!

Rob Little
Tour Guide
Let’s Tour England !

Introducing “Let’s Tour the International Space Station….” – yesterday I met Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka !!
Sunday, 7th April 2019

Brilliant day yesterday – drove four hours north to Pontefract (famous for the “cakes”) in Yorkshire to hear a lecture by Russian Cosmonaut, Gennady Padalka who holds the record for spending the most days in space – 879 days!!

Very friendly and informative presentation of photos and video much of which was evidently his own material; generously shared with us.

Afterwards a question and answer session followed by the signing of photographs which my cousin, Chris, and I didn’t stay for because of our long journey home. Ours will be posted on.

The lecture and photos gave us all a fascinating insight into life on board the ISS, the discomfort of getting there and back in the Soyuz, spacewalks and some of the funny side of life 250 miles or so above our beautiful world. Gennady mentioned more than once the fragility of our world and it’s little layer of atmosphere all that protects us from the radiation of space.

Amazing experience for us all, not least for the school kids who were there….seeing this guy standing in front, speaking to them then seeing him being blasted off in the Soyuz, space walking and demonstrating the eccentricities of life aboard the International Space Station…..like swallowing globules of water floating around the cabin!! 😀

VIDEO BELOW !

Rob Little
Tour Guide
Let’s Tour England !

HOW DOES A “LOVER OF ALL THINGS LEEDS” GET TO PRODUCE A SERIES ABOUT DEVON & CORNWALL??
Saturday, 6th April 2019

I will not prevail on the fact that Devon, the largest county in England along with its’ bohemian neighbour, Cornwall has very little exposure on radio and TV and rarely are its accents heard in a serious programme. So I was delighted, having been born and bred in the West Country and, being a Tour Guide that takes countless Americans to that part of the country, to discover this upcoming series of programmes on Devon and Cornwall on the “More4” TV channel.

I started getting bad vibes when I discovered that the first programme in the series was to focus on Clovelly and Cockington, two villages manufactured for “Grockles” (tourists) to visit and totally atypical of the remainder of the region. But imagine my absolute horror to discover within the first thirty seconds of the programme that we were to be treated to a cringeworthy, narration by a second rate actress, no less – a certain Jenny Coverack – attempting in the most gut wrenching way to mimic a west country accent by dropping more H’s than you’d expect to hear in one of Eliza Doolittle’s rehearsals for “My Fair Lady”! The voice of the actress appears to be polished in all but the words that can be made to sound “oooohn arrrr…..oooohn arrrr” !

Examples:

“Boodyfull” = Beautiful

“Bridgette’s erd” of cattle”

“Two undred men in the arbour

“She was the art of the village” – Heart

“She…..moved ear, thirdy years ago”

The “andywoman” at the Minac Theatre

The “eyes and lows, for usband steve”

Sitting in the Minac Theatre – “perched eye above the sea”

“…..ard on er eels is usband Steve…..”

The “orse back riders and their erds of cattle”

Need I go on?

This highly patronising, even offensive narration by someone who was clearly not from that part of the country made the programme unwatchable. Really, could they not have used somebody local to read out this very shallow and poorly written script?

To cap it all…..I find the true sacrilege of this programme is that it was cobbled together by “True North”, a NORTHERN production company. How would They feel if I was to take the mickey out of their accent…..? And how would they feel if a southern based production company decided to to make a programme about the typical Yorkshire towns of Haworth and Scarborough, and suggest that the people of Yorkshire were typified by the old Hale & Pace “Yorkshire Airlines…..wipe tha bloody feet” sketch?

Even the people who they interviewed and had lived in the west country all their lives didn’t drop their H’s like the silly actress who was no doubt instructed to speak in this “ooooh arrr…..ooooh arrr” ludicrous way.

Rob Little
Eeh Bah Gum Lad…..😳
Lets Tour England !

This is what Yorkshire people are really like – friendly enough but thick as two short planks !