Saturday, 27 January 2018

Stupid Questions by Tourists

Having worked in the visitor industry and dealt with my fair share of “dumb questions of the day” I used this list when I taught tourism at a vocational college (another place for getting the “dumb question of the day”. What used to amaze me was that often students couldn’t see problems with these questions.

These are real questions taken from the US National Parks Guides, Visit Scotland, Visit Britain, English Heritage and Australian Tourist Board.

"Are there any lakes in the Lake District?"

"In what month is the May Day demonstration?"

"What is the entry fee for Brighton?"

"Why on earth did they build Windsor Castle on the flight path of

"Is this where Sharon and Ozzie actually live?" Asked by a visitor to
Osborne House, Isle of Wight

"Is Wales closed during the winter?"

"Can you tell me who performs at the circus in Piccadilly?"

"Why did they build so many ruined castles and abbeys in England?"

"What time do you switch the mist off?" - Asked a visitor to Dover Castle

"Do you have any information on (former Page 3 girl) Samantha Fox?"

"Which bus do I get from the Orkney Islands to the Shetland Islands?"

"What time does the Loch Ness monster surface and who feeds it?"

"Is Edinburgh in Glasgow?"

"Can I wear high heels in Australia?"

"Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round?"

"I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks?"

"Which direction is North in Australia?"

"Was this man-made?"- A Tourist at the Grand Canyon National Park

"How much of the caves is underground?"

"Do you know of any undiscovered ruins?"

Saturday, 20 January 2018

The Madman by CJ Dennis

26th January is Australia Day so I have chosen a poem by my favourite Australian writer, CJ Dennis.

"I should go mad;' he said, "in such a place!
The lack of company, the loneliness!
Nothing but trees to stare you in the face;
Nothing to do; no life; no pep; no pace!
I'd die of melancholy” I said "Yes?"
"Why, yes’” said he. "The suburbs can be bad.
But this? Why, heavens, man! I should go mad:'

"What do you do?" he said. "How find a way
To pass the time? Of course, the country's great
For rest and that" (I wished he'd go away;
I had a hundred things to do that day).
"Oh, well;' I said, "I think; I meditate
And-" "Think? A man can't always think –
Not all the time. Good lord! I'd take to drink!"

"I'd go stone mad’” he said. "I know the trees
And birds and sky, and all that sort of stuff,
Please for a while. But man can't live on these.
I've got my love of nature’s harmonies;
But, spare me days, man, nature's not enough.
You work, you say. But then, when work is done,
What in the thunder do you do for fun?

"Ah, well;' he said. "It's peaceful, that I'll say.
Er - what's the time? Good heavens, I must go!
I've got a crowd of men to see to-day;
I'll miss the train! I must be on my way.
Can't spare another half a minute. So,
Good-bye. I wonder you're not dilly, lad.”
"Ah, that's just it;' I told him. "I am mad."

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Why I wrote Angel with Drumsticks - the Consequences by Pamela King

In April 2015 I posted a blog titled Why I wrote Angel with Drumsticks As explained in that blog, Angel with Drumsticks is a true story. The information was drawn from recollections of the band’s founder and leader, Angelo Ferrari as well as extensive research.  It is a story you won’t find factually represented on the internet in full.

Since publishing the book there have been some interesting responses to the story.

The subtitle of Angel with Drumsticks is The rock that shook the foundations of the Vatican and I think this accurately sums up the series of events that followed the first performance of La Messa Dei Giovani; the First Rock Mass.

The Catholic church has been under a lot of criticism in recent years for its cover up of a variety of scandals and attitudes and, I guess, this book could be seen is just another one. But, it needs to be remembered that, like so many other scandals, it impacted on the lives of innocent followers.

Firstly, it has been interesting to note reactions of people reading the back cover (see below). Some will eagerly purchase the book wanting to know more about how a revered and long-standing institution has played with the beliefs of its followers. Others, devout members, have scoffed at its claims and even verbally abused me for publishing such “rubbish” and “lies”.

I am aware of at least one bookshop that refused to stock the book based on its subject matter.

More extreme religiously zealous people have written abusive and condemning comments on the Angel and the Brains Facebook page. ( and sent personally offensive emails. Some demanded the withdrawal of the book from circulation.

I don’t know if the Vatican has seen or even heard of the book, but it would surprise me if they were not aware of it. To my knowledge there has been no comment or response to the claims.

I should also point out that many of the facts of the story have been confirmed by other former band members on the Angel and the Brains Facebook page and in personal emails.

If anyone would like to know more about the story they can contact me by email on

Back cover

This is the story as it was told to the author by Angelo Ferrari, drummer, singer and founder of the Italian Beat rock group Angel and the Brains.

After recounting how the band was formed and its music ambitions, it continues to tell the true story about the aftermath of La Messa Dei Giovani (La Messa).

La Messa was conceived to fulfil the desires of the Vatican II to make the Catholic Church more appealing to young people but, because of resulting bitter and vicious arguments within the church and the media, the Vatican took a course of action that was inconsiderate, hurtful and cold hearted.

The story describes how these young musicians, who had responded to an invitation from the church to perform the first rock mass in Rome had their fledgling careers destroyed by the Vatican.

The reader will discover that many articles written in recent years are wrong in their descriptions of what happened following La Messa and falsely acclaim the event as being a successful innovation of the Catholic Church at the time.