Stay safe on safari This week the advice is for those planning a safari. If you are off to Africa there are some wild animals in the bush (as well as the ones shooting lions). One of the most scary is the Nile crocodile which can run at 20 mph over sprint distances. If you are chased by a Nile crocodile then the advice is to offer it your arm. You can run away with one arm but not with one leg. Budget Airlines For those of you who have had the dubious fortune to attend previous meetings chaired by myself, you will know that my closing remarks have an advice theme. This week’s advice relates to travelling on budget airlines and is based on recent observations including a trip to Venice. Probably most of you except those with a private jet have used budget airlines. During the booking process you are enticed to add extras such as speedy bathroom where you can jump the queue if you have an urgent toiletry need. These extras take your fare up from around 19.99 to about 350 pounds so be sure you need all the extras. The one that caught my attention at Marco Polo Venice on Wednesday was Speedy Boarding. About an hour before the plane is due to leave and for no obvious reason queues form. On the right are the cheap skates who don’t have speedy boarding and they want to follow the speedy left hand queue as soon as their more affluent fellow passengers have passed through the gate. Eventually, when all the boarders in both queues have passed through the gate, the last remaining passengers leave their seats and join the rest. They walk through the tunnel get the last spaces on the bus, get off first when the bus reaches the plane, board first and sit comfortably. There is one extra that so far is not charged for . I have observed that all passengers take off together. So far the airlines have not found a way of getting some passengers home ahead of the rest. So my advice is accept Speedy Take-Off, if offered, and think twice about Speedy Boarding.
Non Cyclists I continue my advice theme, tonight I shall advise non-cyclists. Cycling has become popular. 25 years ago the only people on bikes were children, and characters from Last of The Summer Wine. Now even Boris Johnson has one. You can spend as much money on a pedal bike as on a Harley Davidson and many aspiring Bradley Wiggins cycle our footpaths, pavements and roads, creating a cornucopia of lycra across the countryside. Some bikers travel well in excess of city speed limits and are not constrained by rules which must be followed by cars. You can be walking in Stirling and get knocked off the road into the window of Top Shop by a meteoric cyclist who will then hurl abuse at you for getting in his way - he was trying to get to the next traffic light to get through before it turned to green. However if you cannot beat them my advice is join them. There is a sneaky bike now with a Lithium battery –get one. When mere mortals are panting up a steep incline just give yourself a power boost and overtake the struggling Chris Hoy on your way to a pleasant afternoon picnic or whatever. We can encourage a new era of gentlemanly cycling now the Australian coach of the national team has been fired for being too competitive for British tastes. Safe cycling. Career choice I’ll continue my closing remarks’ advice theme. This advice relates to a topological subject: If you have children or grandchildren having to make decisions on career path or what to study at university consider this idea: they could combine business studies with geography on the basis that business success depends largely on being at the right place at the right time.