Martin's Blog

from a Slovenian living in Wales

Tag: United Kingdom

Freshwater West meets Harry Potter and Robin Hood

Freshwater West beach in Pembrokeshire

Freshwater West beach in Pembrokeshire

Of course not literally, but it was published today in the local newspaper that the Freshwater West (the location of one of my recent trecks: The difference is in the Angle) will be used as a filming location for the upcoming movies Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood remake.

The debate is now mostly concerning whether the beach will still be opened to the public and when the road will be closed during the filming in May and June 2009. The biggest problem I see is that there isn’t much parking available close to the beach anyway so I suppose that is why they will shut the road off.

See the gallery from the hike here and here are some photos taken of the beach…

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The difference is in the Angle

I am convinced you everyone will see the huge difference in the views you see on the north side of the peninsula, compared to the south – while on the north side you see the beautiful town of Angle, but then as you move further along you are met with the view of all the petroleum and gas industries in the area with their huge piers and tall chimneys. And as you continue to the south part of the peninsula all that you can see is the vast ocean.

The Chevron oil refinery

The Chevron oil refinery

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A small guard fort, probably from Napoleonic times. St. Ann’s head in the distance on the right

The walk started on a very sunny day with hardly a cloud in the sky. As it was Easter Sunday I was better off arriving early as the crowds of tourists were soon to follow. Luckily only the beach parking area and Freshwater West beach were busy, the rest of the path not so much as people opted not move more than 500 metres from their cars.

The tower house in Angle

The tower house in Angle

OK, so I don’t forget to mention this. It is about a reference in the hiking book to a  “leafy lane” – word of warning – the trees above are covered with nests and you would probably want to avoid the poo projectiles coming from the heavens. I also advise changing the path a little bit in the town of Angle by continuing pass the church on the right and turning right on a path through the playground, which, on the other side, continues towards an old guard tower.

As you continue on the coastal path you get the opportunity to have good look of the new LNG South Hook gas terminal – it recently had its first shipment of gas from Qatar and I heard the tanker that was docked in front of the terminal was spectacular.

The more exhausting part of the route is from West Angle beach to Freshwater West, there are many valleys to climb down and just as many to climb up from. A good idea is to pace yourself, especially on the ascent.

Have a look at the photo gallery but the photos, as usual, do not do the »live« views justice.

Blackpool Mill and the Old Slebech Church

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This one the walk no 27 taken from the book and is a bit of a deviation from the books theme – it being that there are 41 circular walks in Pembrokeshire. Well this walk is still in Pembrokeshire but it is not at all circular. However the authors can be forgiven for this as it is a very nice easy walk with some nice views, especially at the main Slebech estate (see their website for more details. If you are a birdwatcher then this walk should definitely not be missed. In quite a few places along the road you can reach the Eastern Cleddau and gaze upon the views of the river and the bird population that occupy it.

See the complete photo gallery here.

There is also quite a bit of history related to the Slebech estate and the church. It dates from the 12th century A.D. when the grounds were owned by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem who “have their roots” in the first crusade. Cool.

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I just love this photo, I think it is good enough to be framed 🙂

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A Message from John Cleese to the Citizens of the US

I saw this somewhere on the internet and found it hilarious. I apologise to any US citizen if he/she is offended but this is really good!


To The citizens of the United States of America:

In light of your failure to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas , which she does not fancy).

Your new prime minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.

A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

You should look up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary.

  1. Then look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.
  2. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘favour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix -ize will be replaced by the suffix -ise.
    Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up ‘vocabulary’).
  3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as “like” and “you know” is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell- checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter ‘u’ and the elimination of -ize. You will relearn your original national anthem, God Save The Queen.
  4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
  5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not adult enough to be independent.Guns should only be handled by adults. If you’re not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you’re not grown up enough to handle a gun.
  6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
  7. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.
  8. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
  9. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline)-roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
  10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
  11. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager.South African beer is also acceptable as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting Nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of British Commonwealth – see what it did for them.
  12. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters.Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.
  13. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Don’t try Rugby – the South Africans and Kiwis will thrash you, like they regularly thrash us. No more Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl, Cereal Bowl or Super Bowl. From now on….. get used to the World Cup.
  14. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
  15. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.
  16. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
  17. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; strawberries in season.

God save the Queen.

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The Queen to visit Slovenia

I was very surprised to hear that the British Queen Elisabeth II. is to visit Slovenia soon.

Buckingham Palace press releases

 

ANNOUNCEMENT OF STATE VISITS TO SLOVENIA AND SLOVAKIA

26 June 2008

THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IS ISSUED BY THE PRESS SECRETARY TO THE QUEEN

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will pay State Visits to: Slovenia, at the invitation of President Dr Danilo Tuerk; and Slovakia, at the invitation of President Ivan Gasparovic, during this Autumn.

Background
This will be the first visit by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh to both Slovenia and Slovakia.

The links in the press release were added by myself and are not part of the original press release.

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Skydive London for a day

Last weekend I did what I wanted to do for a long while – to actually skydive in the UK. I’ve been putting it off for a long time, lately mostly due to the weather we have been having. Last weekend the weather was OK, no flu lingering in the background and no lameness in any of the legs 🙂
The Skydive London dropzone is situated about 3 hours drive away from Haverfordwest, adjacent to the town of Swindon. Being used to relatively small dropzones in Slovenia I was surprised that the DZ which bares the name of the nation’s capital is smaller than most of the DZs in Slovenia. But that is not relatively a bad thing. The environment is very friendly, everybody knows each other by their first name and there is no large scale manifests to have to battle with. The only real drawback for me, as a skydiver, is the focus on tandems which means you probably have to wait a while to get a seat on the next lift.

I heard from some skydivers, that the DZ only has an Airvan and that it takes about 20 minutes to get to 12,000 feet – I must be pretty unspoilt as I though the flight was relatively fast and comfortable. My last high altitude jump was in the Antonov-2 which needs about 30 minutes to get to 3,000 metres and you usually have the opportunity to enjoy diesel fumes and turbulance (with all due respect to our lovely Fata). In fact the Airvan very much reminded me of the Canguro airplane although the two planes are quite different from each other.

I made two jumps and unfortunately the second did not end with a very great landing. Just metres from starting the second stage flare I dropped what felt like about half a meter which resulted in me landing on my knees and not my feet. Ouch! I still have a lot to learn about landing in zero-wind conditions 🙁
It definitely is my fault as the parachute is quite stable and forgiving to my mistakes so you should deduct from this that it is NOT “idiot proof”. The good thing I found about the parachute is that I am slowly getting the hang on the packing. Not long ago, in Prečna, the packing was a nightmare and the only respite came from the last pack of the day, when the increased evening humidity helped with wrangling with the still relatively new parachute material of my Atair Dragon 170.

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How to work as a vet in the UK on a Slovene vet diploma

This post will be dedicated to the description of the procedure I had to go through to get my Slovene veterinary qualifications recognized in the United Kingdom. I must stress that this is the procedure that was applicable to me and may vary for other individuals that have different circumstances.

I first tried to get my diploma nostrified 6 years ago but because Slovenia was not yet part of the European Union I would have to go through professional exams in the area of small animal practice and horses. I also had a problem getting a letter for good professional standing from the Slovene Veterinary Chamber (Veterinarska zbornica) as they told me that they do not issue such documents. The actual first time I asked them (before they were reorganized) I didn’t get a reply at all.

I was also talking to the Slovene Justice ministry (Ministrstvo za pravosodje) where they told me I would have to go through a quite a bit of red tape to get an official copy of my diploma: get a notarised copy, then get the dean’s signature verified and so on. This is completely unnecessary as all you need in cases, where the RCVS asks for a notarised translation/copy is an official translation (in English) that can be made by any court interpreter for the English language. So in fact what you need is a photocopy of a document it and have that officially translated. This means the translator will make two puncture holes (like for putting in a binder) and bind the copy and the translated copy together with a special tri-coloured string.
The translation must have a court interpreter’s declaration (for example: I, the undersigned [name of court interpreter comes here], permanent court interpreter for the English Language, Appointed by the Decree No. [a number comes here], issued by the Ministry of Justice of Republic of Slovenia, hereby certify that this is a true translation of the corresponding Slovenian Document.“. The string I mentioned above is them joined at the other side and affixed with a sticker which is then stamped. In any case, this will all be done by the court interpreter (translator).

Here are the documents I needed to send to the Membership department at the RCVS:

  1. Diploma awarding the professional title of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (dr. vet. med.)
  2. A Certificate from the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food (Ministrstvo za kmetijstvo, gozdarstvo in prehrano) stating, that my school curriculum is in line with the EU standards. This certificate based on compliance of my veterinary qualifications with Article 1 of the Council Directive No. 78/1027/EEC (Official Gazette 362/78) and is gained by applying to the above Ministry and also enclosing a copy of the following documents:
    1. Certificate of a successfully completed state examination (Strokovni izpit / državni izpit) and
    2. Veterinary Diploma
  3. A letter of good professional standing: this letter is now issued by the Veterinary Chamber (Veterinarska zbornica) without any problem. They also do it in English so you needn’t have to worry about translation. The letter must also state, that you are a member of the chamber. So in case you are not, you have to join them, at least temporarily. I suggest you cancel your membership only AFTER you have gained the RCVS certificate.
  4. Certificate of having passed the state examination in the field of veterinary medicine (Strokovni izpit / državni izpit).
  5. The decree/decision stating you have been given the Licence to perform Veterinary activities in Slovenia. This document now issued by the Veterinary chamber, but was also issued by the Veterinary Administration of the Republic of Slovenia – VURS.
  6. Passport (the page where you photo is). This is to show your true nationality.

As I said, you will have to send them the official translations of the document and not the document themselves. Once you have satisfied the RCVS that all criteria has been met, then you will be invited to make an appointment (only certain dates are available and not just every day) where you will have to do the following:

  1. fill-in a form
  2. fill-in another form – just one line is filled per each applicant
  3. show the original documents including the quite strangely sized Veterinary diploma (transportation can be a bit tricky, if you don’t want it to get damaged)
  4. pay the full registration fee or its proportional part, depending how close to April 1st. The registration fee must be paid in cash. More on that can be found here.
  5. read the following oath:
    “Inasmuch as the privilege of membership of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is about to be conferred upon me, I PROMISE AND SOLEMNLY DECLARE that I will abide in all due loyalty to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and will do all in my power to maintain and promote its interests.
    I PROMISE ABOVE ALL that I will pursue the work of my profession with uprightness of conduct and that my constant endeavour will be to ensure the welfare of animals committed to my care”

After the oath is read and if all other matters (documents, fee payment) are OK, you are considered a member of the RCVS, effective immediately. You receive a certificate with you membership number on the lower left and some reading material with additional forms (like for CPD (continuing professional development)). You should aslo be visible on the membership list of the RCVS’s website. For example, my entry can be found here.

Websites for additional information:

Članek v slovenščini: Nostrifikacija slovenske veterinarske diplome za delo v Veliki Britaniji

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