Château Ghastanbury has at times resembled grand central station with so many people arriving and phoning over the last few weeks. I am not grumbling mind but it is one of the reasons for so few blog entries of late. As usual many things have got my goat recently, not least the fact that ticket touts inflate the prices of tickets required by Joe Public. For example, last week tickets for the ACDC Black Ice Tour went on sale at 9am. By 9-20am the box office for the venues had sold out and only promotion companies had any for sale at all. My usual port of call, “master of tickets” (made up name naturally) was selling tickets with a face value of £40 for almost £180 each and merely one hour after being on sale.

This represents an absolutely monstrous profit but worse still is the fact that so many vendors had managed to obtain tickets at short notice at the expense of Joe Public. When will tickets be sold to the people that actually want to buy them and isn’t it about time that concert tickets, like airline tickets had to be purchased with some form of identity and that identity shown when entering the arena? Such a simple action would at a stroke stop profiteers from buying tickets they have no intention of using to sell on ebay or to unscrupulous touts who wish to make an obscene profit from honest fans. I have no problem with people making a profit from a commodity that supply far outstrips demand for but touts and tickets agencies are up there with solicitors and estate agents and I suppose these day’s bankers. Vultures with a human face!

There is almost a happy ending; I managed to acquire tickets in the end but not for any venue in this country. With tickets for the MEN going for £180 each it was cheaper to buy tickets for Paris with a night’s accommodation thrown in. The cost of the tickets for Paris? £179 each. It has taken some time to warm to the new Album from ACDC with the tour of  the same name but I am getting there. There is not one track that leaps out and grabs you with the same ferocity that “Whole lotta Rosie” did nor “Back in black” to name a few but the whole album is starting to grow on me. By the day of the concert I expect to know them word perfect.

Summer has finally bowed out and the clocks have gone back bringing short days and long nights. Sadly it has been accompanied by a dramatic drop in temperatures and for the first time in what seems like ages I have had to switch on my central heating. Naturally such actions have had me turning green with envy at the thought of friends far away in sunnier climes. Friends of over 20 years standing have recently moved to Spain to run a coffe bar in Camposol Spain. It is called the Costa Café and Tearoom and naturally it based in Camposol on the east cost of Southern Spain. As soon as I obtain more details I will post them here for any one who wants to pop in and try the menu. I wish them all the best and if you are in the area and passing, pop in and let the hard working staff behind the counter know Smokehouse sent you. The Traveller is now working in Oz and from the sounds of it may well obtain an extended work permit and perhaps a living permit. Will I ever see him again? Who knows but if our positions were reversed I would not be coming back!

The big news is that I am to become a great uncle. Well not exactly, but Little Miss Sunshine’s daughter is pregnant and as I am an honorary uncle to the daughter it follows I would a great uncle to granddaughter. I wish both mother and daughter the very best and all that they would wish for themselves. It never ceases to amaze me how many nephews and nieces I have. I seem to be the black sheep of the family, the one who is spoken about in whispered voices and never in front of the children! My extended family grows by the day.

Desperate times require desperate measures and the current economic situation has thrown what plans I had into complete disarray, so much so that I have taken to looking at alternative lifestyles and accommodation. With this in mind I have booked a short stay in a Yurt some time in the summer months of 2009. As well as being a break it will give me a chance to see if these dwellings live up to the reputation of the Mongols as being somewhere you can live in for years, completely waterproof and capable of withstanding temperatures of minus 35c whilst having a life span of 20 years or more.  In short a glamorous tent which has coined the phrase Glamping.


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