To Infinity and Beyond

Ah Buzz Lightyear. When my son was about 6 years old he had only one thing on his Christmas present list for Santa that we placed up the chimney and that was for a Buzz Lightyear toy. Now at that time we were living in deepest Devon in the West Country close by Dartmoor. In fact the village was only famous for one thing and that was that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had rented a house there while he wrote Hounds of the Baskervilles. Indeed Baskerville was the name of the guy that drove him around in a pony and trap while he researched the book.

Buzz Lightyear and Toy Story were unheard of down there . Our local cinema had only just got rid of the pianist and the piano from the showing of silent movies I think and rumour was talkies were on the way.

London proved no better as every Buzz Lightyear had been snapped up by other parents faced with the same issue. Luckily I got asked to attend a business meeting in New York by my Company and so set off though Buzz fever had hit America as well that Christmas.

After my meeting I tried Toys R Us near Times Square and the sales girl just fell about laughing so I went to the greatest toy store in New York and maybe the world FAO Schwarz on 5th Avenue. The sales lady there listened to my impassioned plea of having travelled the Atlantic trying to get the present for my son and went off to the back. I don’t think she really believed a word of it but she loved the British accent. A few minutes later she was back . I’ve got this one it was ordered by a customer but he hasn’t turned up to collect it and we said we would only hold it a day. Buzz was mine

Not only that my BA flight back was delayed and they transferred the Club Class passengers to Concorde. So my son had probably the only Buzz Lightyear that really had flown supersonically.

And the purpose of this story ? Well merely to tell you that the Villa Aria where we are staying has an infinity pool and here it is


Infinity pools are great for testing Archimedes Principle as they overflow the moment anyone enters the pool. Our 10 Russians used to have quite an impact on it when they took to the water I can tell you.

Now I’m sure you have been dying to ask if Russians eat breakfast and here is the proof

Breakfast at Russian Hotel

These are all the empty bed chairs at the big Russian hotel down the beach just after the breakfast bell sounded. See anyone at all on them ? Not a soul but an hour later they are again groaning under the weight of their sunbathers.

This morning the fishing boats were trawling much closer to the beach than normal. Usually they are well off in the distance but today you could almost touch them

Mui Ne Fishing Boat

They trawl for an anchovy type of small silver fish and these are made into fish oil. Phan Thiet the big town is very famous for it’s fish oil and there are several large factories . They clean the fish and then put them in brine and salt for 8 months before bottling it and sending all around Vietnam. You can tour the factory but instead of having to don white coats and hairnets you get a pair of nose clamps as the smell is so bad. So visitors walk around looking like the Russian synchronised swimming team I guess.

Walking the beach each morning I see loads of jelly fish. Not your little numbers either these are at least 2 feet across. Now logic says they are caught in the nets by the trawlers and dumped back overboard much further out at sea. Still I have always thought it is better to be safe than sorry so my sea swimming is now done using the human shield technique. I wait until a group of say 14 Russians are heading into the briny and then tuck in behind them a few paces to the rear. These trust me are big people . It is rather like following the English and New Zealand combined rugby scrums into the water or being a quarterback behind the best offensive line in the NFL. Nothing is going to get past these people let alone a 2 foot wide jelly fish. I swim almost as it there was a concrete breakwater in front of me and as they start to come out I am just in front of them as we exit. Works a treat and I’m now very grateful to our Russian visitors.

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