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Serendipity: Pensioners inventing things like the MicroMite PC on a chip, or chatting to foreigners on holiday, might be a force for good. Hobby projects like Snoopy's Robot Boats could be the catalyst. 40% of the World's Population of 7.4 billion people are now on the Net. Automatic translation, such as in Youtube subtitles, has massive benefits.

Click on a picture for more information, like Aleksey's Sailing Saucer page, or work with the MicroMite . Our friends in Shenzhen can help. See Christmas 2015 and the Shenzhen mudslide disaster. Their technology often leads the World. The Rogues' Gallery of my Extended Team-Joker friends is near the bottom of this "Holiday" page.

... and now our original "Holiday" page ... black strip Click here for map of Sicily and places we often return to

Of all Italy, it seems we love Sicily the most. Click on the map to see places we often return to, such as Naxos and Scoglitti ...
See the 2016 Sicily Holiday page then maybe watch some of the 30 minute video of "Sicily in 2016"
See the 2015 Sicily Holiday page then maybe watch some of the 26 minute video of "Sicily in 2015"
Here is 15 minutes from our 30 minute home video of "Sicily in 2014". Or just see some 2014 Holiday Pictures.
Here are 4 minutes from our video of "Sicily in 2013". See 40 secs of the video of Sorrento and Rome in 2012 :-)
See 2011 Sicily pictures or 22 minutes of the Sicily 2011 holiday video - with Sicilian cats, cows and the little donkey :-)
The first two minutes of the Sicily 2010 holiday video is here - with Sicilian kangaroos and penguins !

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Robin and June's Holiday Page

Hi ! Welcome to Robin and June's "Holiday" page.

Since 1999 we have been taking most of our holidays in Italy every year. After England, our home, we think of Italy as our favourite country - the Weather, Food, and - of course - the Italian People.

June and I have been taking Italian lessons - for years now. I guess we have now progressed beyond "Ciao !" - but not a lot :-) Here are a few pictures and videos from our holiday this year, followed by those in earlier years - enjoy !
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Sicily in 2017 - the video ! ... pictures and more information to come :-)

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Sicily in 2016 - pictures and the video.

See the 2016 Sicily Holiday page for more pictures, and the 30 minute video. We had another lovely two week holiday in Sicily, staying in our favorite Hotel La Riva in Naxos, below the more famous Taormina. June spent much of the time, as always, sunning herself on the beach, and reading a book. Robin took cigar-smoking lessons from Enrico, until interrupted by June. We spent three nights in a B&B with Enrico and Matilda, at Scala di Turki (Turkish Steps) near Agrigento, in the south. We saw lots of other places with Enrico and Matlda, including picking cherries near Antillo, and attending the famous "Territorio in Festa" in Punta Lazzo.

Sicily in 2016

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Holiday videos with the most recent first. The rest are still on VHS ! :-)

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Snoopy on BBCTV in 2012... the full story ... 2014 with history of Snoopy's boats... Snoopy's 2015 Atlantic Attempt ends in Brighton ! How ? ... New "Snoopy's Drones" video ! :-) white strip

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Tennis on Corfu in September 2015 ....

See Pictures from our Tennis Holiday in Corfu - June had the tennis lessons, but Robin assisted with seeing Corfu, enjoying good company, and tasting the wine ! :-)

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Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight in August 2015 ....

See Robin's GPSS on Water page for details of this weekend break with Stuart Quarrie, Robin's flat-mate, and Best Man at our wedding in 1971. Play our Cowes Week 2015 video.

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Sicily in May & June 2015 ....

What a fantastic two weeks - and this year we used the bus instead of the usual hire car. They work great - and are really cheap ! Our main base was our much-loved Hotel La Riva, in (Giardini di) Naxos, and just a long walk or a bus ride from the famous Taormina, on the hill. We took day trips by bus along the coast, north the Letojanni, for the tandem hang-gliding, or south to Riposto or Achreale. We spent lots of time with our crazy italian friends, including those in the picture near the giant bell, in the hills towards Messina. Enrico and Matilda took three nights holiday with us on the remote island of Salina, reached by train and ferry. Enrico showed Robin how to light a Tuscan cigar, so Robin could blow the smoke in June's face. Matilda and June just LOVE the smell. More pictures are on our 2015 Sicily Holiday page, uploaded while in Sicily.

You need only watch the first 2 minutes introduction of the 26 minute video of "Sicily in 2015" now ready !


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Sicily in September 2014 ....

Another lovely two weeks holiday in Sicily, but this time in late September. June loves the sun and warmth, and Robin enjoys hanging out with the other old men sat in the town squares. Next year, we will probably go in late May again - later sunsets, to coincide with the prosecci before eating, and fewer months to wait until the next ! :-) We stayed the first few nights in Naxos, and then the majority in Scoglitti, on the south coast. We managed to visit many of our favorite places, plus a few more, like Ragusa Ibla, where we had not spent time before. Many Thanks to our friends, for making us feel so welcome, and spending time with their friends and family. The 15 minutes from our 30 minute home video of "Sicily in 2014" gives you a "flavour" of why we enjoy Sicily so much: or just see some 2014 Holiday Pictures.

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Sicily in May 2013 ....

Here is a little mosaic of pictures from our holiday, and there is now a short video, after a few words below the pictures. Enjoy! :-)

We spent several days with our old friends Enrico and Matilda, and joined then for a day out with their Zefferana biker's club, on a day trip to the "deep south", not far from Montalbano's home in Punta Secca. Who would have guessed that Montalbano was a keen biker, photographer, had a shop in the town, and that we would actually meet him ? We had visited Punta Secca before, but this was the first time we'd spoken to him on the 'phone and actually spent time with him ! We visited Cava Grande again, the 300 metre deep canyon near Noto. We walked the 2km down to the river and lovely clear lakes at the bottom (right), then walked all the way back up again! It was great to see familiar faces again, at places we had stayed before: Hotel Riva in Naxos, below Taormina, for five nights; Hotel La Ferla in Noto two nights - we visited "Il Buco" to eat, who introduced us to Pasta Con Sarde years ago; Then to the south and four nights in Scoglitti, at our favourite Hotel Oasi - to watch the sunsets - and visit places like Punta Secca. Then a lovely one day with our biker friends in Mazzarino, from where we could still see Mount Etna, even though 55 miles/88 km away ! (see below) We also checked out a wine factory, a few miles from there, via dusty pot-holed roads. That night we stayed just outside the town of Piazza Armarina, near the Roman villa with the floor mosaics of girls in bikinis. We loved the stay in the bed & breakfast named "My House in the Garden" and trying to chat with Maria in her local Sicilian Dialect - even Enrico and Matilda found it difficult! :-) That night we ate in the smallest but nicest family restuarant "da Gianna" in the town. Then, for the first time, we stayed with our old friends, Enrico and Matilda, with their four young men and pack of guard dogs - including "Spike", "Duke", plus Duke's two wives and a host of puppies ! Here is a flavour of our holiday in the 4 minute video of "Sicily in 2013".

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Sorrento then Roma in October 2012 ....

It was 1999 that we last saw Rome - all in one day - see below! We stayed in Sorrento 11 years ago, and this year we booked the usual cheap Easyjet flights, but instead of a hire-car, we took the trains and buses - more adventure! It was lovely to enjoy some of our favorite places - like the lemoncello forest in Sorrento :-) See the first 40 secs of their holiday video here :-)

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Sicily in April 2012 ....

We only had a week in Sicily this year: 2 nights in Siracusa, home of Archimedes, then 5 nights in Naxos and our favorite Hotel La Riva.

It was great to visit new places we had not seen before, like the "Ear of Dionysus" in Siracusa, and Castelmola, the hill top village even higher than Taormina.

We took the bus up to Taormina, but walked back down to Naxos, despite the warning signs about a landslide - now fixed. But most of all we enjoyed seeing familiar places and friends, including this spot on the beach, after a stroll through the Gardens of Naxos, and along a small stream that runs down to the sea. white strip

Sicily in June 2011 ....

Here are just two of the pictures taken this year in Sicily Last year's video is here. We just loved the baby donkey - and Sicilian kangaroos ! :-)

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Sicily in May 2010 ....

This year the cheapest flights were Easyjet into Palermo airport. We decided to see Palermo for the first time, but stayed in Monreale, a small city on a hill overlooking Palermo. It was an easy bus ride down to see Palermo.

We saw "interesting" bits of road, and heeded the signs. Then we stayed near the ruined, ancient greek town of Selinunte. We enjoyed a long walk through dusty paths of wild flowers between the ruins overlooking the sea.

Scogletti is the best little town on the south-west facing coast: within reach of Agrigento (greek temples) and less well known spots. Then Noto, preparing for the flower festival, then Naxos and a bus trip up to Taormina and it's amphitheatre.

The majority of our stay was in Giardino Naxos and our friends. We were honoured to attend the 25th birthday celebration of son Luca and to meet their extended family including Gran and Grandad. We ended our stay in Castellammare, not far from the airport.

You can see the first two minutes of our Sicily 2010 holiday video here - including glimpses of Sicilian kangaroos and penguins ! white strip

Sicily and Lipari in 2009 ....

We spent much of our holiday in Naxos, and near our friends Enrico, Matilde and the boys on the slopes of Etna.

We also got to meet up with David and Jeanette in their boat on it's way from Malta via Sicily to Corfu.

We enjoyed a few days in Lipari after a stormy but safe crossing to the island by car ferry.

We took boat trips to see eruption of Stromboli and people bathing in smelly mud on Volcano.

After returning from the islands, to the mainland of Sicily, we found ourselves in Naxos again, and still managed to find lovely and interesting places we had not seen before.

This was another fly-drive holiday: booking the cheapest flights we could find, and the lowest cost hire car.

We flew out on 10th May, drove to Naxos, and found "La Riva" - our favourite hotel there. After a few nights, we drove up to Milazzo and stayed there two nights before catching a car-ferry to Lipari. A few nights there, taking boat trips, then back to Naxos for the remainder of our holiday - never long enough !
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Italy and Austria in 2008 ....

In 2008 we have drove our old E240 to northern Italy and Austria instead of taking the usual fly-drive. We did not expect to clock-up 7200 km (4472 miles) but that's what we did. The Channel Tunnel is certainly better organised than airports - and maybe even quicker ! :-)

Here are the places we slept: Aosta in north-west Italy, Jeselo near Venice in the east, then Vienna in Austria - after attending the robot boat event at Breitenbrunn.

It was our first visit to Vienna, and we enjoyed the lovely buildings, statues, and the famous "singing toilets" at the Opera underground station. Then back into Italy, and Belluno in the Dolomites, where we met friends Gino and Carolina.

Then Bologna, with it's leaning tower (yes, it too has one), Pesaro, Bracianno, Orbetello, Albenga - where we could meet our old friends, the Costa family. Then Verona, home of Romeo and Juliet. We also took in a few nice places such as San Marino and Viterbo, sometimes on days where parking was the problem, rather than just finding a hotel. Then back into Austria so we could stay with old friends Walter and Gizzy in the lovely Tirol village of Kossen. Then a night in Strasbourg, to break our jouney back to Calais, Folkstone and home to Sunninghill. A lovely break ! :-) white strip

Sicily in March 2008 ....

... the view of Etna from the balcony of our hotel near the gardens of Naxos ... a stroll through the gardens... wild flowers, orange trees, with Taormina in the background ... and a walk up to the ancient theatre in Taormina. ... although one week is never enough, we did manage to stay in Siracusa and the lovely city of Noto again... also to enjoy the company of Enrico, Matilda and the boys.
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Sicily in 2007....

Robin and June went to Sicily for the first time, for a few days in January 2007. They enjoyed it so much that they took their two week summer holiday early - in May. They took cheap Air Malta flights, a Hertz hire car, and found hotels as they needed them, in lovely cities such as Catania, Noto, Cefalu, Castellamare, Naxos and Capo d'Orlando. Below you see Robin standing beside the Ape50 - which he hopes to persuade June to drive instead of the SL500. Thankyou to all who made our brief stay so enjoyable, including Enrico e Matilda, Hugo e Lorenza, Maurizio e Francesca.

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Winter 2006: Portman, Spain again :-)

Yes, June did not need to twist Robin's arm too hard for him to agree to them taking another cheap winter holiday in Spain's Murcia region, staying with Sally and Michael in Portman: see earlier years below. The bay silted up with toxic waste, and derelict factories, has it's own own special charm: in fact, we will probably all miss these unusual attractions when Portman gets it's "makeover", starting in early 2007. In another five years they say we will see a green golf course, lake, harbour for 700 small boats and a beach of yellow sand - instead of that sooty stuff.

On the left you see what we saw, walking up to find a geocache, on the way to the big guns that overlook the bay. Below, you see the view in the other direction, past the La Manga Golf resort in the foreground, over the lagoon, to the distant high rise hotels of the "La Manga Strip". There's June, putting our "no expenses spared" ball point pen and UK 2p piece into the geocache. Robin, Michael, June and Sally make a new friend at the bar where we paused for an evening cocktail.

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Summer 2006: 2 weeks in Sardinia, Italy

This was our first holiday in Sardinia, and will not be our last. The island was far greener than we expected - particularly when compared with much of Italy and Spain. The Sardinians make sure they catch all the water before it enters the sea ! There was much to surprise us, such as interesting names given to villages, and roadside signs used for target practise: the photo on the right only shows what look like 303 calibre holes - there are often hundreds of 177 and a few 202 dents. Most road signs in Sardinia seem to get this treatment :-) As usual we made no definite plans, flying into Calgliari on 4th June, picking up the cheapest hire car we could find (National), and searching small towns for a cheap hotel within a short walk of where the locals gather in the evening to drink, eat and talk. This year Robin took his GPS and Pocket PC to help them get lost, and do a little geocaching. That's June about to put a ladybird toy into the cache we found at a remote spot in the hills near San Antonio di Gallua. I say "remote", but it was the weekend that the whole village have a "festa" and take their picnics - just yards from the geocache location. But it was not difficult to visit the cache without being seen by others, fill in the logbook, etc. We started and ended our holiday in Portoscuso, on the south west corner. Do not be put off by the massive industry south of the town: it ensures the town has a little "life" in it - particularly the first weekend in June, during the festival to celibrate the tuna arriving. The picture on the right is typical of the many lovely beaches in Sardinia - this one near Santa Maria Navarresa, on the east coast. In the north, we enjoyed Palau - another small town big enough to "watch the world go by" in the late evening - don't expect to see many people before 9 or 10 pm in any of these places. Next Year ? Sardinia or mainland Italy of course :-)

P.S. Oh yes: British Airways managed to lose both our suitcases this time :-) But clever June knew to pack what we needed in the hand-luggage. We felt sorry for several other groups of passengers who had the same problem: one couple were passing through Sardinia to Corsica and had little else with them. Thanks also to Francesca and Carlo - our new friends in Sardinia : for that lovely meal in such a nice spot not far from Cagliari.

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Winter 2005: 5 days in Portman, Spain

See "winter 2004" below, for more about Portman in Spain, where June and Robin grab the occasional few days of winter sunshine.

This year Robin took his little camera-carrying 'plane and got his sister Sally and hubby Michael to help him get TV pictures of where they live in Portman (see left), and over a friend's place near the big lagoon. June took the piccy on the right, in one of her rare breaks from soaking up the sun or nagging Robin into getting something to replace his tatty leather jacket.
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Summer 2005: Albenga and the North

We made no special plans this year - other than to spend the middle week of our precious two, in Albenga, in the lovely "oldy-worldy" property of Michael and Mario, just a few yards from our old friends the Costas, in the centre of the town. As usual it was cheap flights through Milano and and a hire car. This time it was the first two weeks of May: too early for the jasmine and bougainvillea to flower, but with snow still visible on mountain peaks and a little more water in the streams. We flew out on Saturday 30th April and drove down to stay the first night at Hotel Gina in Vinci (on left) - as we did last year. N 43° 47.371 E 010° 55.765 - for those with a GPS. we drove down through Toscana, past San Giamiglano, with it's tall towers, and Robin got to spy some black kites over what must be the prettiest land-fill site in Europe - see above right. We stayed in Hotel Vittoria in Anguillara on Lago di Bracciana so we could visit the Tolfa Mountains and maybe see some red kites - no chance - it seems there are very few birds of prey in Italy. However, our visit to Riserva Naturale Montevano was rewarded by a lovely walk down the ravine, past sulphur fumes bubbling up through streams (very top), and the ancient ruined city (right). N 42° 07.900 E 012° 05.396 - I think is where we parked the car. Then, returning north, we visited the hill town of Montelcino, home of Isabella Duci who wrote the book, "Vanilla Beans and Brodo" that June finished this year, after starting it last year - June is a slow reader. That's June on the left, stood next to the "Spectacle Well", one of the works of art in the town - although Robin thinks it is where they throw old pensioners. We stayed in Bolsena on lago di Bolsena as we made our way back via shoe factory outlet shops for a night on the edge of Firenza, on the river. Petromoli was a lovely town, situated where two small rivers meet, and we stayed there one night and ate in Norina's place - including the local specialties such as wild mushrooms and "Testerina on Toast" - Robin was a little dubious on what this dish was - but they were tasty. Petromoli has a lovely wild park, on the downstream end of the old town (below left).

Then back for our relaxing week in Albenga - there's June pointing at where we stayed: 9 Vico Poggia: walk along the river towards the sea and turn left near where the geese sleep and at the only skewed zebra crossing. This time we got to check out more bars and restaurants - including "Blu Bar" in the centre and "Luna e la sole" bar, on the main road to the sea, which gets sun in the evening. The "Falcone" restaurant - just a short stagger from 9 Vico Poggia. More shoe shops and markets, of course, and Robin even got to fly his little aeroplane with it's TV camera to see Albenga from the air ! That's a still on the left from the short video given to Michael, Luigi and neighbor Silvana. If you are on broadband, or don't mind the download delay, you can see some of the video here (4MB) Yes, it was a rapid descent for landing :-)

Then we decided to end our holiday further east past Genova around the coast at Santa Magharita. We stayed one night at the Hotel Elena Regina, enjoyed their restaurant but noted it seemed a mile walk from the town centre. So the next two nights were enjoyed at the lovely Hotel Miramar in Rapello, opposite where the little (road) train and water taxi parks. Our biggest adventure must have been our long walk over the hills and down into the little cove of San Fruttuoso, reachable only by footpath or water taxi. After the three hour walk, and ice-cream when we got there, we were very happy to take the boat back to Rapello. Oh yes, we started our walk in Santa Magharita, after taking the boat there from Rapello. Above pictures are looking down into San Fruttuoso, on the boat, approaching Rapello, and from our hotel room. On the right June relaxes for a few minutes on our walk, before we make our way down the hill, and to a bar :-)
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Summer 2004: 13th - 26th June: Vinci, Toscana, Lago di Como

Cheap BA flights via Milano, then the cheapest hire Europacar for another fly-drive. Just two pictures here: that on the right is Vinci, where we stayed for our first few nights - partly because British Airways managed to lose one of the two suitcases :-) However, it did mean we got to do a few walks in the hills around Vinci - home of Leonardo, including to his birthplace on a hill north of the town. The museum in Vinci is well worth a visit, and it includes models of his numerous inventions, including a bicycle, clockwork car, helicopter and diving suit. Robin found out about Vinci, and the museum, while searching the net for wind speed meters - yes, the great man invented one of those too. Below is where we stayed at the end of these lovely two weeks: Bellagio on Lago di Como.

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Winter 2004: Portman, Spain

Our very first winter break, even if only 5 days, but this time Spain. Robin and June stayed with Robins' sister Sally and Michael, at their new place in Portman, a nice little seaside village in Murcia - although you might not choose to go there if you read under "Toxic Threats" on the greenpeace site. We enjoyed exploring the local derilict industrial wasteland, the two 380mm cannon high above the "contaminated bay" (to ward off tourist shipping), and the huge thriving oil refinery further along the coast - but we also enjoyed watching the locals catch fish to eat from the beach, driving on quiet roads, eating good food, and the rare experience of sun-bathing in January.

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2003: Northern Italy again

We decided to drive our old silver Merc (C4 GPS), instead of fly-drive. The last time we did this was 1999 - see far below. We took the Dover-Calais Ferry on 29 May and drove through Paris before staying in a low cost but nice modern little B&B Hotel south west of the city. Next night was Cannes. The first week in Italy was on the coast, between Alasio and Albenga - much loved by us. Later we took in Pisa then Lake Garda and tasted the trout again :-p Finally we came back via northern Italy and Austria (just where was that border :-) stopping on the German side of the River Rhein. Then across small roads of France to catch the ferry back to UK on 15 June.

Apartment in Monte e Mare.... up to the old Roman road.... for Views of the sea...

Alasio is only an hours walk south.... as is Albenga to the north.... with much to be enjoyed....

old Roman baths beside the river.... Olive Oil Museum.... or just relaxing in the sun....

then down to Pisa.... up to Lake Garda.... north to the mountains, para-gliders and Austria....

through to Germany and the Rhein.... la belle France.... including friend Pascal's place :-)

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2002: Napoli and Sorrento to the southern "heel"

Last year Samantha, our eldest daughter came with us. We flew out on Air Italia to pick up a hire car at Roma on 22nd June and returned to UK on 6th July. 2 days at Albano, just south of Roma, then 7 days in Sorrento south of Napoli, then down south, to Lecca and Capo Santa Maria di Leuca, on the southern "heel" tip of Italy. Back up the Adriatic coast to Manfredonia for a night, then into the green mountains west of Isernia - Colli a Volturno - tasty trout :-) Then back for a few hours near the sea south of Latina before returning via Roma Fiumicino to UK. The last time we took Samantha to Italy was over 20 years ago - I remember her in the back of a small hired Fiat 600 shouting "spaghetti !" :-) June and I showed her some now-familiar places, like Roma, Sorrento Pompei and Capri, and we found some new places - maybe also to be visited next year :-)

near the Colosium in Roma.... Ostia Antica near the airport.... Capri daytrip from Sorrento...

Pompei amphitheatre.... waves crashing near Leuca.... Samantha and June in Lecca....

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2001: Firenze-Roma-Napoli-Albenga

Yes, we are slowly begining to think in Italian - for place names at least :-) We flew out to Italy on Friday 18th May, and returned to UK on Monday 4th June; picked up a hire-car at Linate, then two nights at Prato, near Firenze; Then on south to Siena; then Albano south of Roma; nearly a week in Sorrento, across the bay from Napoli and Pompeii; back north to stay with friends in Albenga; then back to Linate and home; a clear day - could see the Alps from 100 miles, including where we stopped for a picnic on the Po River.

Over the bay from Sorrento, Pompeii overshadowed by Vesuvius... theatres... kitchens...

ancient cart-rutted streets... childrens laughter as they play on scented clover lawns...

a gentle stroll from the centre of Albenga, to the seafront, where June has a paddle...
Robin and Luigi... his parents... and a small part of their impressive ancient family home...

and back via a picnic on the River Po to Linate and Sunninghill - with lawns to cut :-(

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2000: Fly-Drive via Milano to Albenga

In 2000 we had another great holiday. But this time we flew to Milano then hired a car: less driving - more time to relax :-) More time to enjoy Albenga, Little Leca and Liguria.

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1999: over 3000 miles in an "old banger" :-)

Prior to 1999, it had been many years since Robin and June last took a holiday to Italy (1981 ?). In June 1991 they decided to "live dangerously" and drive their "old banger" of a Mercedes down through France and around Italy. Places visited included Florence, Rome, Ferrara, Allasio and Albenga. They had a fantastic holiday - made the more enjoyable by meeting some of Robin's "Internet Friends".
Home to Rome

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Albenga, Friends and Florence

Lovely warm weather, even warmer people, fantastic food.....
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Roma - Some in One Day

Rome was hot, and full of 'old and big places' - LOTS of walking that day !

After Trevi Fountains, the Vatican and St Peter's square, back via the Collosium ...
It was great to relax, when we got on our train from Roma back to Monterotondo.
Robin on Train from train June on train
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Campotosto in the Mountains

- a complete 'change of pace' - quiet, but for sounds of sheep bells, and frogs croaking.

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Numarna on Adriatic, Ferrara and Friends

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- then back to Alassio by the Sea

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- and home via Dijon and the Hovercraft

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- with GPS to help us Get Lost :-)

...of course, we HAD to take a Laptop computer and GPS - just in case we got lost - and we still did a few times... well, not so much lost, as took the wrong turning off the road - but the GPS got us back out of difficulty... We humans were less confused than the GPS, everytime we went into a tunnel - and there were a lot of those on our 3000 mile trek - some miles long.

The 'old banger' of a Merc did not let us down... a puncture in Alassio cost us a couple of hours, and 7 GBP for a repair. After we got back, the water pump started to leak, and that cost all of 25 GBP, and a few hours to fit - so 'the old girl' can be congratulated :-) The old brown Mercedes lasted another few months, but then it eventually "died" due to rust - so we sold it for £90 :-) We now have another Mercedes which is a little newer, with registration "C4 GPS" (see for GPS) - so you don't know how old it is :-)

Many Thanks for taking the time to look at these pictures.

Robin and June would like to say sorry now, to all those that we did not have time to see while we were in Italy, and a great big 'Thankyou' to those we did see - and who helped to make this such a wonderful experience. We certainly hope to see Italy again. ....... that was back in 1999. Well, I guess we've been a few time's since :-) GPSS

Back to the Present Day....

Dr Strangelove

Did you know that you can switch on subtitles on Youtube videos, and display them in your own language ? Click on that "settings" icon in the low right of a Youtube video.

Ferranti Pegasus at the Science Museum - and Robin :-) That 1964 Film Dr Strangelove goes in further back to the 1960s when I watched it projected on the wall in The City University's Hall of Residence in London. Stanley Kubrick's 1964 "Dr Strangelove" is a brilliant anti-war satire. It would be good if our World Leaders - AND especially those that advise them - have all seen this film at least once.

You could watch clips of the film on Youtube, using that automatic translation above. I keep a stock of Dr Strangelove DVD here, to send out to special friends, or press into peoples hands, as my own type of Propaganda. I regulary top up my stock of Dr Strangelove DVD.

Please let me know if there are things in it to discover: like ability to speak the embedded digital text, perhaps out through the Microsoft Windows speech in Windows ?

Perhaps it's too much to ask: how about World Peace between Google and Microsoft ? How about Android being able to run old 16 bit Microsoft applications like my 16-Bit GPSS.EXE or Windows Mobile GPSSPPC.EXE ? Then our extended Team-Joker guys, around the World, could use a cheap modern device using Android, for all the things this software can do that modern SatNav cannot - in any country or language. When I buy a cheap Windows PC like the Lenovo, off ebay at £60, it comes with Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit, so I also buy Win7 32 bit, so I can run my old GPSS/GPSSppc - and also the Visual Basic 2 (VB2) in which it is written.

Grumpy Pensioners Off the subject of holidays eh ? Not if you understand this Serendipity of Politics/Charity/Business/Tourism/Technology - and Grumpy Old Pensioners, who have the power to make things happen. Sometimes our weaknesses can be put to good advantage. I will not give all my tricks away, but, I never heard what my wife says, because of my deafness in one ear. The same applies to memory, eyesight, and physical agility. Wisdom comes with age ;-)

Don't forget that I retired years ago, and that the software on my web site is free. If there is any small donation for a licence key, it would not go through me, and it would be to a good charitable cause - where the money goes where it is intended.

I also reccomend watching episodes of the American Film the TV series M*A*S*H - also a satirical black comedy, set at the time of the Korean War. Everybody knows that, in fact, it was all about the Vietnam War, that was still causing slaughter. My wife June knows that my routine almost every evening, from 1900, is to watch M*A*S*H on Freeview Channel 61, the Discovery Channel.

The nice thing about being a grumpy old man, is being able to enjoy every episode, as if you were watching it for the first time.

Yes, I do have an aggenda, in the prominent promotion of Dr Strangelove. That testing of displaying youtube subtitles could start with that first Snoopy video below, of me wading into the sea to launch Snoopy. The lady BBC TV presenter is probably talking too fast, for you to read and understand the subtitles. A solution is to use those same settings, in the low right of the Youtube video, to slow it down.

When she says, "Retired NATO Scientist, Robin Lovelock", do not be alarmed. I was in the Defence Systems Contracting Business from when I was an apprentice. I may have been in the defence business for all my working life, but I was never a war monger, or a pacifist. Since the 1960s, I have always been an agnostic - on practically everything, including religion and politics. That's enough of me: there's more on my History page, including my first home computer, the 1949 vintage Ferranti Pegasus. white strip white strip

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BBC News; Ethiopia & Africa; UK Overseas Aid; Akalu Alemu; GPSSppc; Robot Boats; the MicroMite: Aleksey.

BBC TV World News at 0700 22 February: Ethiopian Famine, and Africa. Perhaps Pensioners can help bring a little Peace and Understanding in the World ? white strip Click here for more information Roy's MicroMite That BBC TV World News broadcast at 0700 22 February 2017 was about £2 million of UK Government Aid, being given to help those suffering from famine regions of Africa, including southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Syria. These humanitarian crises are often the result of war, rather than drought. This BBC Broadcast came at a time when there was intense technical discussion and collaboration, around the amazing MicroMite computer, best described as a "PC on a chip". My light hearted description of the guys as "Grumpy Old Pensioners", matches well into my Grumpy pages. Perhaps I should call them "Pensioners". The MicroMite was developed by a pensioner in Perth, Australia, and most of the expertise is there.

Sailing Saucer Akalu Alemu in Addis Ababa Ethiopia Click here for GPS Software on Pocket PC The MicroMite can be programmed in MMBAsic ( MicroMite Basic ), which is practically identical to the Microsoft Basic used to program the Laptop PC and Pocket PC. When we saw that BBC TV News about famine in Africa, I was immediately reminded of Akalu. He had added the required data to turn the Mio or iPAQ Pocket PCs, into an electronic Tourest Guide. This was exactly what their target markets were.

Aleksey in Siberia contacted me in January, about his ideas for what I would best describe as a "Sailing Saucer". We soon had exchanges of emails, much being about Aleksey and his home town. He knew from my "Home" page that I'd worked for SHAPE Technical Centre, and we joked about his home town being high on any NATO Targetting list. We also exchanged our concerns about Global Warming and "sleep walking into Nuclear War". It was enlightening for our "inner circle" to explore his on Google Maps and Streetview, and to have detailed dialogue through excellent translation software. We are now expliting that hidden feature of automatic subtitles in Youtube.

The Life of the Prophet Muhammad Akalu1 video It is only recently that we have seen a technical way forward, involving use of my Pocket PC, for our first Autopilot, because they are very easy to program, with mapping all over the World. That cartoon I drew was a temporary one, since he liked my name "Sailing Saucer". ( Aleksey: I will put those three drawings in again, after making them darker. I also expect to make a working Snoopy Sailing Saucer very soon, using a spare iPAQ, and a Pizza base we got from Tescos today. It will be easy to use my wife's kitchen knife to cut a thicker cicular slab of polystyrene, The rest is easy :-)

I set up a special Aleksey's Sailing Saucer page, to provide an introduction to his ideas. Aleksey is now part of our extended Team-Joker, and if nothing else, he might provide some lateral thinking. But it has been more than that, due to a series of coincidences. It is difficult to express in words, but it should not be too difficult to see how positive things may happen. Use your imagination and experience :-)

Akalu Alemu in Addis Ababa Ethiopia Alex and wife Akalu in Ethiopia, and Alex in Corfu, were both developing GPSSppc Pocket PC Tourest guides. These systems were still more advanced than modern SatNav, with speech and display in the users language. Most of the work they in collecting the data such as lists of restaurants, interesting places, etc. They could search for the nearest, ask for more information, from a recorded description, and display of a photo. They both collabated by email, CCing me for information. I just LOVE that picture of Alex and his wife on that old Corfu Page. See the details of June and I having our first Tennis Holiday on Corfu, especially since I did not even lift a tennis racket: 2015 Holiday on Corfu. This was with the "Active Away" lads.

Akalu also did pioneering work with GPS technology for the blind, in Addis Ababa. e.g. the chap with dog and white stick would be told "Attention! Lamp post 3 yards ahead, at your 1 o'clock", or "railings on you left",to run his stick on.

Click here for GPS Software on Pocket PC But it was only when we realised that the Pocket PC software already had an autopilot, that would work anywhere in the World, that I saw the potential for doing good. The Tourest Industry is often a major source national income. It is also the means by which grumpy old pensioners get to meet face-to-face with families from countries, sometimes devided by tension. Giardini Naxos and Sicily is a lovely example of where this happens: Russians, North Africans, Israeli, American, Dutch, French, etc, etc. The MicroMite is a tiny little chip which has the power of a PC. This is due to the clever software inside, developed by a Grumpy Old Man in Perth Australia. "Grumpy Old Man" means "Pensioner". Most of the experts helping are in this category: they have the knowledge, experience, and the time. They communicate on what Robin's calls the MicroMite Back Shed Forum . If Aleksey is to get a good GPS Autopilot into his first protype Sailing Saucer Robot Boat, he best start with a Pocket PC and use what is free. If Team-Joker get the MicroMite working well, this will be easy for Aleksey to re-program himself. e.g. sailing the boat on local lakes, and collaborating with his friends in Russia, Australia, China, USA, and, of course, UK.

Robin's Extended "Holiday" Page continues with his Rogues' Gallery of Extended Team-Joker friends ...

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The Rogues' Gallery of Robin's Extended Team-Joker friends ...

This was the Bottom Line in Robin's Bigger Picture page. Do you recognise these guys ? They are in no particular order. Click on a Mug Shot to know more.

white strip George Gourier Len Lovelock Pam Coughlan Derek Cole David Gooch Steve Squires Ian Perkin Bleddyn Hancock Adam Afriye Jack Ponsford Paul Burstow Nicola Mackintosh Nick Knowless Stephen Johnson Stuart Quarrie Luigi Costa Trevor Saunders Klaus Hirschelmann Eric Wardle Alexander Haag Bernard Rogers Akalu Alemu Fake SACEUR Dog Fight Pilot Angel Frett Peter Carrington Gianfranco Parinetti Walter Schmidt Aenne Jackson Shamsul Bahri Raaed Gus Russell Roger Pegram John Maniello Layla Curtis Gary Carter Tony Wale Jhinns Cheng Alex Fritz Wurstlein Janet Wurstlein Dave Marsh Stuart Wickes Prof Lefcos Middleton George Chung Chris Carnegy Ruby Sharp Pete Wilson John Silvester Jamie Styles Dick Baldwin James Lovelock Piotr Bolanowski and Jagdish in Ascot Hardware & Homecare Enrico and Matilda Ferrucio Dick Bailey

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Recognise anyone here, including yourself ? Click on a person below, for the old page of our Italian Class :-)

Our Italian Class at Bracknell College

Have you got the video ? A television feature on the GPS Hobby of Geocaching , was broadcast into 200 million homes. Robin, Tony and friends helped BBC World make this "Click Online" TV feature. It was broadcast on worldwide TV networks nine times from 10th until 16th January 2002. It was filmed in Richmond Park, and Jack, then the World's oldest geocacher, was bitten by a squirrel. The squirrel did not survive :-)

Geocache Page

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Who visits this page ?
40% of the World's Population of 7.4 billion people are now on the Net. Thank God they don't all visit this site at once :-)
Some may wish to bookmark these sites below. Some people have all the site on DVD or a USB stick.
This copy of is hosted on and <- remember these.
The old hosting on was to end in January 2015, but still seems to be there :-)
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white strip There have been Hit Counter by Digits visits to "Holiday" on TSO hosting of counted by Web Counter since 1800 Friday 3rd March 2017.
How the web counters work, and don't work, is explained at the very bottom of the Snoopy page.

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Stuff below is for some of our software guys in extended Team-Joker ...
< black strip Features or Bugs ? Features or Bugs ?

(c) 1991-2017 Robin Lovelock.
Robin Lovelock, Sunninghill Systems, 22 Armitage Court, Sunninghill, Ascot, Berks SL5 9TA, United Kingdom.