Rugby World Cup 2011 Drinking Game

September 9th, 2011

This is tailored to us Brits who have to weather ITV’s shite coverage. Specifically, us Celts who have to endure ITV’s coverage of England in the World Cup with scant regard for anyone else watching.

Here is what I propose drinking and when, broken down by category.

Team Scoring / Result

  • Try is scored – 2 fingers
  • Penalty awarded – 1 finger
  • Successful penalty / drop goal / conversion (unless scored by Jonny Wilkinson or Dan Carter) – 1 finger
  • The attempt at goal hits the posts – another 1  finger
  • …and still goes over – another 1 finger
  • Penalty try – finish your drink
  • Match ends in a draw – Down an entire drink
  • A team gets nilled – Down an entire drink
  • A team makes a century – Down an entire drink

General

  • Yellow card – down half your drink
  • Red card – down an entire drink
  • TMO is consulted – 1 finger
  • A good punch – 2 fingers
  • Mass brawl / “99″ – down an entire drink
  • A kick-off doesn’t go 10 – 3 fingers
  • There’s a streaker – entire drink
  • Substitution – 1 finger
  • Blood substitution – 2 fingers

National Anthems

  • 1 finger for every player not singing
  • 1 finger for every player crying

New Zealand

  • Richie McCaw cheats – 1 finger
  • Richie McCaw cheats and gets penalised – 2 fingers
  • Richie McCaw cheats, gets caught AND binned – down an entire drink
  • Dan Carter misses a shot at goal – 3 fingers
  • New Zealand choke – down an entire drink
  • New Zealand’s 24 year drought is mentioned – 1 finger

England

  • Jonny Wilkinson misses a shot at goal – 3 fingers

France

  • “But which France are going to turn up?” or similar – 1 finger

Wales

  • Gavin Henson is mentioned – 1 finger
  • Shane is described as a “wizard” – 1 finger
  • The less-than-glowing Welsh track record against Pacific Island teams is referenced – 1 finger.

Scotland

  • Fail to score a single try – Entire drink

South Africa

  • Steyn goes for a 50m+ drop goal – 1 finger
  • Nelson Mandela is talked about or shown -  2 fingers

Player and coach interviews

  • “Physicality” is mentioned – 1 finger
  • “Fronting up” is mentioned – 1 finger

ITV commentary

  • Jonny Wilkinson is mentioned – 1 finger
  • 2003 is mentioned – 1 finger
  • Clive Woodward is mentioned – 1 finger
  • That sodding drop goal is mentioned – 1 finger
  • That sodding drop goal is actually shown – 2 fingers
  • Someone queries how the current game will affect England’s chances (if it’s a game actually in England’s pool) – 1 finger
  • Someone queries how the current game will affect England’s chances (if it’s NOT a game in England’s pool) – 2 fingers
  • Someone dares bring up the fact that New Zealand played South Africa in 1995 suffering from food poisoning – finish an entire drink
  • …in front of Francois Pienaar – Finish 2 drinks.
  • Anyone side-stepping is compared to Jason Robinson – 1 finger
  • The camera focuses for an inordinate amount of time of an attractive girl in the crowd – 1 finger

By the way, just so you know, this is where to stick your chariots.

New website for Bridgend Landscape Gardener

September 2nd, 2011

Did a new pair of websites for Ceejay Landscapes, a landscape gardener specialising in Cardiff landscaping and Bridgend landscaping.

Laparoscopic Cholcystectomy

August 21st, 2011

So, that’s doctor speak for a gall bladder remove by keyhole surgery by the way.

I found myself in hospital three weeks ago for emergency surgery to remove my gall bladder. I’d been suffering intermittently – but with increasing frequency – with crippling stomach pain over the previous 8 months and it came to a head one weekend when the pain simply didn’t go away. I’d describe it as being kicked solidly in the liver.

So, laparoscopic cholcystecomy it was. Except my IV was blocked and I woke up to no pain relief at all. I screamed the house down! Anyway, fast forward to now. I’m feeling great, the scars have healed, and I’m eating “properly”. By which I mean I can scoff without the risk of pain.

The only snag now is, during the ultrasound they found more kidney stones which are now sat inside me, waiting to cause untold disruption. FML.

Daily Mail Ultimate List Of Things That Give You Cancer

February 19th, 2011

Let’s get one thing straight. I absolutely HATE the Daily Mail. Many reasons come to mind, the primary one being their constant shitting all over doctors and the NHS, but another one high up the list is their constant scaremongering that something benign gives you cancer. The array of such carcinogenic articles is truly remarkable.

Join the Facebook group and fume

ABORTION http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1288955/Abortion-triple-risk-breast-cancer.html
AGE http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-449783/Women-birth-age-30-double-risk-breast-cancer.html
AIR POLLUTION http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-358875/Pollution-cars-linked-child-cancer.html
AIR TRAVEL http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-200443/Frequent-fliers-raise-cancer-risk.html and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-591109/Cancer-risk-frequent-fliers.html
ALCOHOL http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-147083/Drink-day-increases-breast-cancer-risk.html and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-471910/Bowel-cancer-danger-just-glass-wine-day.html
ALLERGIES http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-324732/Child-allergies-raise-cancer-risk.html
ARTIFICIAL FLAVOURS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-55023/Cancer-causing-chemicals-soy-sauce.html
ARTIFICIAL LIGHT http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-391267/Artificial-light-increases-breast-cancer-risk.html
ASBESTOS (as if it wasn’t bad enough already) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1170584/Asbestos-schools-kill-pupils-warns-teacher-dying-lung-cancer.html
ASPIRIN http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-205490/Asprin-link-cancer-risk.html
BABIES http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-157683/Birth-size-link-breast-cancer.html
BABY BOTTLES http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1038697/EU-rejects-ban-baby-bottles-linked-early-puberty-breast-cancer-miscarriage-infertility.html
BABY FOOD http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-199887/Baby-food-cancer-alert.html
BACON http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1102368/Additives-used-bacon-ham-chicken-make-cancers-grow.html
BARBEQUES http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-326153/Australians-warned-backyard-cancer-risk.html
BATH WATER http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-431777/Chlorine-bathwater-linked-cancer.html
BEEF http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-393666/Alarm-beef-link-breast-cancer.html
BEER http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1161843/Just-pint-beer-day-raise-risk-prostate-cancer.html
BEING A BLACK PERSON http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1064547/Black-men-times-likely-prostate-cancer.html and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-508753/Black-women-develop-breast-cancer-decades-earlier-white-women.html
BEING A WOMAN http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-63976/Cancer-risk-higher-women-smokers.html
BEING A MAN http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-306543/Men-twice-likely-die-cancer-women.html
BEING A SKINNY GIRL http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1266092/Skinny-girls-greater-risk-developing-breast-cancer.html
BEING SOUTHERN http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1027331/Why-affluent-women-South-likely-die-breast-cancer.html
BISCUITS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-126342/Cancer-foods-avoid.html
BLOWJOBS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-453843/Oral-sex-cause-throat-cancer.html
BRAS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-182370/Is-bra-bad-you.html
BREAD http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-411506/White-bread-increases-cancer-risk.html
BREAST FEEDING http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-178756/Whos-risk-breast-cancer.html
BREAST IMPLANTS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-41443/Breast-implants-cancer-scare.html
BROKEN HEARTS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-450049/How-heart-broken-grief-send-early-grave.html
BUBBLE BATH http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-403703/Is-bubble-bath-safe.html
BURGERS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-467360/Cancer-scare-food-colour-added-sausages-burgers.html
CAFFINE http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1127473/Coffee-raise-child-cancer-risk-New-evidence-caffeine-damage-babies-DNA.html
CALCUIM http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1052127/Fatal-cancer-risk-men-high-blood-calcium-levels-say-US-researchers.html
CANDLE-LIT DINNERS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1207726/Candles-release-scents-laced-cancer-chemicals-warn-scientists.html#ixzz0dufFps6a
CANNED FOOD http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-44676/Gender-bending-chemicals-tin-cans.html
CARBOHYDRATES http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-313227/Low-carb-diets-beat-breast-cancer.html
CARS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-358875/Pollution-cars-linked-child-cancer.html
CEREAL http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-115696/How-safe-favourite-foods.html
CHEESE http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1002424/Italy-shuts-mozzarella-production-toxin-fears-spread.html
CHICKEN http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-429303/Families-risk-toxic-imported-foods.html
CHILDLESSNESS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/columnists/article-474820/SUZANNE-MOORE-Im-sick-told-fault.html
CHILDREN http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-506501/Prostate-risk-having-family-according-new-study.html
CHILDREN’S FOODhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-201390/Health-warning-childrens-food.html
CHILLIS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-347287/Cancer-checks-spices-new-food-dyes-alert.html
CHINESE MEDICINE http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-75547/Warming-cancer-risk-Chinese-medicines.html
CHIPS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-487571/Parents-told-chips-cause-cancer.html
CHLORINE http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-431777/Chlorine-bathwater-linked-cancer.html
CHOCOLATE http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-386625/Cancer-fears-chocolate-snacks.html
CITY LIVING http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-496495/City-life-blamed-higher-risk-breast-cancer.html
CLIMATE CHANGE http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-452789/Warmer-climate-mean-thousands-deaths-skin-cancer.html
COCA COLA http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-337178/Carrot-day-reduces-cancer-risk.html
COD LIVER OIL http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-379918/Cancer-fears-cod-liver-oil-capsules.html
COLD TEMPERATURES & LACK OF SUNLIGHT http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1267653/Cold-temperatures-lack-sun-linked-prostate-cancer.html#ixzz0ll1ioCBU
COFFEE http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3027/How-healthy-cup-coffee.html
CONSTAPATION http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-193698/Atkins-diet-cancer-risk.html
CONTRACEPTIVE PILLS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-181273/Cancer-risk-45-higher-Pill.html
COOKING http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-382571/Frying-increase-cancer-risk.html
CORDLESS PHONES http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-515970/After-cancer-warnings-mobiles-home-phone-putting-health-danger.html
CRAYONS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6706/Safety-alert-best-selling-crayons.html
CURRY http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-342632/Cancer-dye-Grossman-curry-sauce.html
DENTAL X-RAYS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1283393/Ten-dental-X-rays-raise-cancer-risk.html
DEODRANT http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-205705/Deodorants-linked-cancer.html
DIETING http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-73056/Is-diet-lifestyle-putting-risk-breast-cancer.html and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1266591/Dieting-really-CAN-harm-health-Slimmers-higher-risk-heart-disease-cancer.html
DOGS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-490581/Can-dogs-breast-cancer-Bizarre-medical-theories-experts-claim-actually-true.html
EGGS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-50995/Cancer-chemicals-eggs.html
EGGS (free range) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1287301/Free-range-eggs-contain-times-pollution-caged-birds.html
ELECTRICITY http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-449679/Power-lines-link-cancer-new-alert.html
ENGLISH BREAKFAST http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1049142/Traditional-English-fry-raise-risk-bowel-cancer-63-cent.html
FACEBOOK http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1149207/How-using-Facebook-raise-risk-cancer.html
FALSE NAILS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1174768/Having-nails-skin-cancer-doctors-warn-women.html
FATHERHOOD http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-506501/Prostate-risk-having-family-according-new-study.html
FIBRE http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4903/Fibre-cancer-risk-warning.html
FINGER LENGTH http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1334573/Is-finger-length-clue-increased-risk-getting-prostate-cancer.html
FISH http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-117840/Fish-cancer-scare.html
FIZZY DRINKS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1249305/Two-fizzy-drinks-week-raise-chance-getting-pancreatic-cancer-87.html
FLIP FLOPS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1025915/Wearing-FLIP-FLOPS-skin-cancer-doctors-warn.html
FLY SPRAY http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-459938/Using-pesticide-sprays-home-double-risk-brain-tumours.html
FRUIT http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-371260/Breast-cancer-drug-cuts-death-risk.html
FRUIT JUICE http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1254534/Fruit-juice-cancer-warning-scientists-harmful-chemical-16-drinks.html
GARDENS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-326153/Australians-warned-backyard-cancer-risk.html
GRAPEFRUIT http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-468559/Eating-grapefruit-increase-breast-cancer-risk-third.html
HAIR DYE http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1017259/How-using-hair-dye-increase-risk-cancer.html
HAM http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-490845/Is-safe-eat-Cancer-report-adds-bacon-ham-drink-danger-list.html
HEIGHT http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1064454/Bigger-taller-baby-girls-higher-risk-breast-cancer-says-study.html
HONEY http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-429303/Families-risk-toxic-imported-foods.html
HOT DRINKS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-115696/How-safe-favourite-foods.html
HOUSEPRIDE http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1296134/Could-houseproud-raise-risk-breast-cancer.html
HRT http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1214782/HRT-increases-risk-dying-lung-cancer.html#ixzz0dueJ7qOY
HUGGING http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-436043/Hugging-dad-gave-terminal-cancer.html
HULA HOOPS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1055471/Cancer-chemical-Pringles-Hula-Hoops-Prince-Charless-organic-crisps.html
INTERNET http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-312505/Cancer-patients-risk-websites.html
IVF http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-148228/How-IVF-raises-cancer-risks.html
KIDNEY TRANSPLATS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-459097/TV-prize-kidney-carries-risk-cancer.html
LAMB http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-446559/Red-meat-link-higher-risk-breast-cancer.html
LARGE HEADS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-370870/Big-headed-babies-prone-cancer.html
LEFT-HANDEDNESS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-363477/Left-handers-likely-breast-cancer.html
LIPSTICK http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-499967/Is-lipstick-giving-cancer.html
LIVER TRANSPLANTS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-207838/Cancer-liver-transplant-killed-husband.html
LONG RING FINGER http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1296364/A-long-ring-finger-mean-youre-prostate-cancer-risk.html
MENOPAUSE http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-395201/Weight-gain-menopause-increases-breast-cancer-risk.html
MENSTRUATION http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-68946/Do-women-need-periods.html
METAL http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1081692/The-metals-daily-glass-wine-linked-cancer-Parkinsons.html
MILK http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-328863/Milk-linked-ovarian-cancer.html
MOBILE PHONES http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-473553/Orange-remove-mobile-mast-tower-doom-cancer-rate-soared.html
MODERN LIVING http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-474157/Modern-living-blame-cancer-epidemic.html
MONEY http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1025375/Wealthy-background-raise-risk-cancer-teenagers.html
MORPHINE http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1230208/Pain-drug-morphine-cause-cancer-spread.html#ixzz0dudlHqN2
MOUTHWASH http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1113422/Mouthwash-causes-oral-cancer-pulled-supermarkets-say-experts.html
NUCLEAR POWER (there is no hint of irony in this article) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-42066/New-study-links-nuclear-sites-cancer.html
OBESITY http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-245997/Obesity-raises-risk-cancer.html
OESTROGEN http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4098/Oestrogen-link-breast-cancer.html
OLDER FATHERs http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1223025/Why-older-fathers-likely-children-genetic-disorders.html#ixzz0dudLlJsP
PASTRY http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-115696/How-safe-favourite-foods.html
PEANUT BUTTER http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1164417/Food-watchdog-warning-peanut-butter-brand-containing-cancer-causing-fungus.html
PERFUME http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1051130/How-perfumes-scented-creams-make-unborn-baby-infertile.html
PICKLES http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-115696/How-safe-favourite-foods.html
PIZZA http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-341698/New-food-dye-warning.html
PLASTIC BAGS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1207840/Plastic-decomposes-sea-releases-cancer-causing-chemicals-study-warns.html#ixzz0duexZlFs
PORK http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1093039/After-alert-Irish-pork-safe-beef.html
POTATOES http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-115037/Cancer-chemical-link-cooked-food.html
POVERTY http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/columnists/article-474820/SUZANNE-MOORE-Im-sick-told-fault.html
PREGNANCY http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-82458/Breast-cancer-risk-career-women.html
PRINCE CHARLES ORGANIC CRISPS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1055471/Cancer-chemical-Pringles-Hula-Hoops-Prince-Charless-organic-crisps.html
PRINGLES http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1055471/Cancer-chemical-Pringles-Hula-Hoops-Prince-Charless-organic-crisps.html
RADIOACTIVITY (again, just no irony whatsoever) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-421140/As-radioactive-spy-buried-bar-staff-served-facing-cancer-risk.html
RICE http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-444222/Rice-tainted-arsenic-raises-risk-cancer.html
SAUSAGES http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-550729/Why-eating-just-sausage-day-raises-cancer-risk-20-cent.html
RETIREMENT http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1220446/Oh-Work-good-especially-youve-retired.html#ixzz0ducbviCE
SEX http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-191219/Did-sex-cancer.html
SHAVING http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-206459/Shaving-raise-cancer-risk.html
SKIING http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-206243/Skiers-warned-cancer-risk.html
SOUP http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1132814/Salty-soups-increase-cancer-risk-says-expert.html
SPACE TRAVEL http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1015482/How-astronauts-risk-cancer–premature-ageing–travelling-space.html
SUN CREAM http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-592076/Cancer-fear-childrens-sun-creams.html
TALCUM POWDER http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1063040/Cancer-alert-talc-Women-using-powder-day-risk.html
TEA http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-87131/Too-tea-treble-cancer-risk-women.html
TEEN SEX http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1237530/Girls-sex-teens-greater-risk-developing-cervical-
cancer.html#ixzz0dudvXOF7
THIRD HAND SMOKE (read article and you’ll understand) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1249591/Even-hand-smoke-dangerous–especially-children.html
TILL RECEIPTS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1336770/High-levels-cancer-chemical-till-receipts.html
TURNING ON THE LIGHTS AT NIGHT TO GO TO THE LOO http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1265277/Cancer-danger-night-time-trip-toilet.html
VITAMINS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-320006/Vitamin-pills-cause-early-deaths.html
WAR IN IRAQ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1259393/Colin-Brazier-asks-Did-Iraq-war-cancer.html
WATER http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-13620/Cancer-link-tap-water-radon-hotspots.html
WELL-DONE MEAT http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1267409/Well-cooked-meat-increase-risk-bladder-cancer.html
WI-FI http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-456534/The-classroom-cancer-risk-wi-fi-internet.html
WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-338899/Dye-alert-spreads-school-meals.html
WORKING http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1031934/Why-men-desk-jobs-higher-risk-prostate-cancer.html
X-RAYS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-207035/X-rays-bring-risk-cancer.html

Christchurch DJ, New Zealand

January 10th, 2011

I’ve just done my first ever website for a company in New Zealand. DJ Marrs is a DJ in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Picking The Best Frequent Flyer Scheme

December 20th, 2010

I’ve just given up on Airmiles due to the draconian rules in redeeming the miles I’ve accrued. It’s taken me 3 years but I’ve finally blown the lot on a business class weekend in Budapest (including hotel). Now though I want to find a scheme better suited to me. I have a Lloyds TSB credit card for collecting Airmiles which I’ll no longer use, so I’ll be looking at the following:

  • What does signing up for their credit card get me
  • What will I have to show for an annual spend of £5000
  • How many return economy flights will I need to make to earn a pair of economy returns to the same destination? (I’ll use Dubai for this comparison)

The frequent flyer schemes I’m looking at are:

  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • BMI Diamond Club
  • Lufthansa Miles And More

What does signing up for their credit card get me

For the purposes of comparison, where more than one card is offered I will select the one with the best benefits.

BA: 1000 miles with their standard American Express card, or 6000 miles with their American Express premium card, which has a £150 annual fee. Spend £10k/year and redeem your miles to get a free flight for your companion. This is not enough to even get you one return flight in economy, anywhere.
Virgin Atlantic: 3000 miles with standard American Express card or 6000 for their Amex premium card, which has a £115 annual fee. Spend £5k/year and receive a free premium economy upgrade on an economy booking. Sadly, this does not come close to being a substantial contribution towards a flight. The cheapest economy return is 40000 miles. Next!
BMI: 20000 miles on the standard Amex, or 24000 miles on their premium Amex, which has an £85 annual fee. This is equivalent to a pair of return economy flights anywhere in Europe.
Lufthansa: 5000 miles and no annual fee on their American Express. This is not enough to earn any flights.

Winner: BMI is easily the most generous, with the second-lowest annual credit card fee, and a pair of return economy flights just for opening an account.

What will I have to show for an annual spend of £5000

BA: 7500 miles. Not enough for even a single return flight in economy.
Virgin Atlantic: 10000 miles. Not enough for anything.
BMI: 10000 miles. Enough for one return flight to Europe zone 1.
Lufthansa: 7500 miles. Since airport taxes aren’t included in their scheme, and you can settle them for 15000 miles, this would only cover half of only your airport taxes.

Winner: BMI, again. Two years of average spending and you have a pair of flights.

How many return economy flights will I need to make to earn a pair of economy returns to the same destination? (I’ll use Dubai for this comparison where possible)

BA: A pair of economy returns would be 80000 miles. A pair of full price flights earns you 6800 miles. Therefore you’d need to make the journey 12 times, or spend £53333 on your credit card.
Virgin Atlantic: A pair of economy returns requires 80000 miles. A pair of full price flights earns 6800 miles. Therefore you’d need to make the journey 12 times or spend £40000 on your credit card.
BMI: A pair of economy returns would be 80000 miles. A pair of full price flights earns you 6800 miles. Therefore you’d need to make the journey 12 times, or spend £40000 on your credit card.
Lufthansa: A pair of economy returns would be 80000 miles. A pair of full price flights earns you 6800 miles. Therefore you’d need to make the journey 12 times, or spend £53333 on your credit card.

Winner: None. They’re all the same.

Overall winner: BMI

This.

December 7th, 2010

Back from Wrestlemania 26

April 10th, 2010

I spend 9 great days in the US to see Wrestlemania in Phoenix, plus a side trip to Las Vegas. A very eventuful week which included

  • Meeting and getting autographs of several of the wrestlers
  • Pure luck of being sat next to a kind gentleman who works for WWE who got our nosebleed seats upgraded for free
  • Meeting Jack Swagger at Skyharbor airport, en route to his first championship later that night at Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas
  • Lots and lots of eating

That last point is a killer – I’ve put on 7 pounds in 9 days

Surprise trip to Paris

February 16th, 2010

So, in the tradition of getting Louise awesome Valentine’s Day gifts, I’ve come through once again! i told Louise some weeks ago to take some time off work over Valentine’s Day weekend so we could go to London. On Friday we travelled to London for our weekend away. Of course, London was only a stop on our onward journey to Paris via Eurostar!

As you might expect, we did your usual tourist fare, although is was -1C the whole weekend, which was punishing! So cold in fact, that the head of my tripod fell off (the supporting metal frame contracted and came apart from the glue).

At Sacre Coeur we met Keith Wood and Gabby Logan filming a bit for the rugby coverage later in the day. Louise wasn’t pleased to hear about Wales’ comeback and win against Scotland… especially since the text reached me in Notre Dame and I may have let out a whoop of joy.

The hotel we were in was the Ampere, which was pretty much right next to the metro. Everyone else in the hotel was Irish (including Gordon D’Arcy’s mum) and in town for the France game on the Saturday. I told the barman I was supporting France; he gave us complimentary cocktails!

On Valentine’s Day itself, we did something very romantic. We went to see a lot of dead people at the catacombs! Seriously. It was a rather spooky place, as you’d imagine, though the aura of mystery was shattered by some American tourists walking behind us who were being obnoxious and a bit disrespectful with their “posing” with the bones.

Photos…

Just Married

November 1st, 2009

That is all.