Monday, December 31, 2007

Barking mad

As I mentioned earlier, this week I don't have a lot of time this week to blog but since I have written many thousand words since starting this malarkey I found something that I wrote previously, depressingly relevant, that is something had I had the time I would have written concerning dangerous dogs today.

Also rather disappointingly is the fact that Roger Gale is still a Vice Chairman the Pet Advisory committee, which has this nonsense statement on its website "any legislation should judge the individual dog by its deeds and not its breed " ( I think this is Bollix)

Looking after animal welfare and being kind to animals is one thing and certainly in the Flaig household, Mr Puss is a pretty pampered pet but were he capable of anything more harmful than the occasional superior look of disdain then his status would be in question.

Plain and simple people who keep potentially dangerous dogs are not capable of rational or responsible thought therefore the law should outlaw Rottweillers.

For my previous posting on the
Pet Advisory Committee click here

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Working towards the new year

Since Boxing Day I have been working 10 hour shifts up in west London, which means I have very little time to blog, in fact I have not much time for anything except sleeping, even my conversations with Mrs Me have been short and to the point.

This morning I got in about half five decide to have a cooked breakfast my first hot meal, since Christmas day (apart from half a cup a soup), which after shovelling in the wind and rain much of the night was a real treat.

Waking up around one I had time for a brief but futile converstaion with the boss about a new suite for the front room, as with much we dont always concur particular over soft furnishings. Despite my reputation for consuming pies, sausages and burgers, when it comes to seating I'm pretty much a vegetarian whereas Mrs Me has become a carnivore, I just hate leather, it smells, its sticky and cold, but most likely it will be delivered any day now though.

There are some local issues which I hope to get round to, not least the one where Thanet District council have listened to the local opinion and then totally ignored their wishes, or Ramsgate Harbour which could be about to generate big money with these wind farms off the coast, what do the council do, get rid?

I heard David Blunkett the other day on TV, whinge or at least talk in derisive terms about us bloggers, and extol the virtues of professional hacks but when I read some of the tosh which our local papers put out, they seem to have all the independence of Pravda under Stalin. Which is hardly surprising when KCC flush away 6 million pounds of public money on advertising.

One big issue I hope to bore you lot witless with next year is whether our local authority officials have become too politicised, and whether the spend too much time making policy rather that protection the public interest such as in the case of the Kent TV Scandal.

Happy New Year if I dont blog again.

One in a Million not me

I had a comment from local internet bloke Matt questioning my, accuracy re my claimed popularity of this blog.

To make it clear the reference was to Technoranki top blog list this is used by Brit blog
this may well be confused with Technorati for which I don't wish to promote since for some reason, maybe of quality puts me in top million catagory, I prefer to be at position 146 as per Brit Blogs.

It maybe spin and but I'm sure that at least one regular contributor, to thanet blogs, refers frequently to self promotion and geting better rankings, big deal, I write and enjoy the process, I don't cut and paste endlessly republish others works or indulge in back slapping with other self promoting bloggers, the ones I recommend or link to down the side bar are there because their original.

Top and bottom is that some bloggers get wrapped up in rankings.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas is over?

Christmas is over, well it is at least for this blogger and I think the retail trade, which of course moves us swiftly on to the New Year sales which comprise of real price cuts, for those items that are so hideious that even I didn't think Mrs Me would go for and those items that are sold all year round during for the same price albeit summer or winter.

I trust that everyone has survived Christmas, even the odd family rows, particularly that rather nasty one in Eastenders, what better way to celebrate Christmas than having someone roughed up for Christmas and pushed down the stairs, well done BBC.

Blairs conversion to Catholicism has apparently been a tad controversial with some Catholics, cannot see why, since under his stewardship, we became a catholic country, as Blair was too preoccupied groveling to America, to maintain our borders, possibly the last nail, as we lose our British identity.

Well there are a few other things I'd like write about but , I will be at work today as I was yesterday, a couple of final points I see that I'm now ranked at 148 in Technoranki top blogs list, also I would like to thank Thom whatsit from the Gazette, for giving me a mention last week, I would however point out that I'm a track worker as in railways not a truck driver, this explains why I wear orange hi viz clothing.
As I have limited time excuse any errors of judgement or grammar. Happy New Year.
PS I shall be working on Bignews Margates New Years Honours list over the next few days

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Xmas banner takes off

Again thanks to Simon Moores Eastcliffe Richard,Paul Nettleingham and others in the blogging community for raising money for charity, fuller reports available on Thanet Life.

I've got to go to bed before santa turns up, again happy christmas. apologies to Mr Puss who is taking a cut on his fat cat christmas bonus, yes he's got turkey and tuna to look forward but since Eastcliffe decided to go the full hog and bung in a ton, I though I had better match so I've had to cut back on the smoked salmon this year Mr Puss will get over it.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


As you will know I'm not a christian, thank er ... SANTA , anyway I would just like to thank all my readers and fellow Thanet Bloggers for their comments or not over the last year or so, I'd remind you that you pay nothing for this excellent blog (Please note their are some even better ones available from the Thanet Blog list) and that Simon Moores is still raising money see Thanet Life so if you've enjoyed reading this over the year you have till 5pm today to make your mark.

I might not be able to blog any more, this year, it depends whether Mrs Me imposes martial law or not.

I would like wish a happy Xmas and new year to those who have encourage me in my primitive style of writing, readers, those I've worked with , friends, and family but not surprisingly none of them read this.

Friday, December 21, 2007


I got to meet Mrs me , shortly Bignews and ECR have won Simons Moore Ebay charity auction.
For details refer to Eastcliffe.

Hopefully simon is going to auction off the passenger seat via local radio. Since im to heavy and Eastcliffs to er.. SHOWBIZ


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thanet councils office expansion

Well it looks like its moving day for Margate Library, as you will know, Thanet council acquired the Marks & Spencer building a while back, at the time they were frankly clueless with what to do with it. Fortunately it wasn't long before some bright spark had the idea of turning Margate's Library into more office space, for the ever increasing bureaucracy, that is the council.

So for the last few months the Marks & Spencer building has had a use, as temporary home for the library , anyway today its being moved to its new home. Unfortunately it looks like there new home will be the same as the old home except smaller and this time they will have squatters in from Thanet District Council.

Eventually the whole centre of Margate will be set aside for administrators and council "officers", I'm sure that one day Sandy Ezekeil and Richard Samuel chief exec. will be able to stare down from the top of the council buildings and say, all this is ours.

For some strange reason planners at the council have decide to hide and brick up the entrance to the library, hiding the door somewhere round the back of building why, who can tell, maybe someone has a relative, who happens to be a brickie or they just want to make it less attractive to the public.

For the time being they will have a few books presumably until such time as they can freeze the public out.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thanet Bloggers in flying bid

Ebay what a blooming palaver, its taken me the best part of two hours to hunt down and retreive my login details for ebay, but as suggested myself and Eastcliff Richard are joining forces for charity and picking up on Simon Moores charity auction of a flight with his Airads.

Again if one of my regular readers would like to out bid us click here. I'm sure that I can speak for both of us I and say , that if we don't win the bid, we will still hand over the amount of our bid to charity.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


"you scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot"

Just how else could you react to Radio 1's decision to censor, the classic Pogues & Kirsty McColl "Fairy tale of New York" to hack to pieces a Christmas favourite of mine and probably the majority of the country.

The following are quotes from the bbc's own report

But sister station Radio 2 said it would play the track uncut, and Mr Parfitt subsequently said that after "careful consideration", the ban on the uncut version of the song would be lifted.

"The BBC had said that an edited version would be played because "some members of the audience might find it offensive". #

"However, veteran gay rights activist Peter Tatchell said Radio 1's original actions were right.
"The word faggot is being sung as an insult, alongside scumbag and maggot. In this abusive context it is unacceptable," he said. "

As someone for whom christmas is just so much commercial trash this classic, gives me a warm glow of realitiy in a desert of unreal hyped up expectation. Ive heard this song a hundred times and never once thought that it had anything to do with homosexuals, maybe Peter Tatchell (I asume he must be an american since I know a faggot happens to be a sort of meatlball ) should er come out more often, INTO THE REAL WORLD. What a ****** ! Get a life.

BBC news story

Taking a flyer

If you read Eastcliff Richard's blog regularly, you may well have noted a couple of strands on his post refering to Simon Moore's (of Thanet Life) generous offer posted on his blog site and also Ebay offering the chance of having a banner towed behind his plane, with a message chosen by the winning bidder.

ECR commented on the fact that this offer had lapsed (apparently back up on Ebay click here), since the minimum bid had not be received I commented the minimum was not unreasonable and would be prepared to go halves, to which ECR added a few more comments now I didn't pick up on this strand or rather comments till yesterday again( I work weekends constantly change shifts and write this stuff).

So I gave him a ring (ECR), once I passed through security, the man himself deigned to listen for three minutes, just while his man servant, prepared him another G & T before Dinner. I repeated my offer and he is also agreeable going halves.

Simon Moores put this offer up on EBay, now since I have not had chance to contact him so this is all a bit presumptuous. I shall try to get hold of him.

Any how since along with Simon Moores, ECR myself and other Bloggers in Thanet provide , you lot, the reading public with many thousands of words of misinformation, opinionated self indulgence and in my case just middleaged ranting perhaps those of you who get this all for free could consider dipping into your pocket.

Whatever the outcome I shall give 75 quid to Simon for the NSPCC. Incidently having read his blog since starting this post I see its still available, so if your one of my regular FAT CAT readers put something back and place a bid.
Obiviously the opening bid of £150 is what it says, and hopefully someone out their could well offer more.
Its easy to critise people in the public life, but this is clearly a generous offer from someone who pioneered Thanet Blogging for "johnny come latelys" like me and er ....

Monday, December 17, 2007

Council Tax may go up

That's the astonishing claim from this weeks Kent on Sunday,which seems a tad naive but when you delve into the the article below, this is qualified, when it becomes apparent that Paul Carter (Conservative Leader) and his big spending pals in Maidstone, will not be able to contain the counties budget below 5% increase, now there a surprise (whats new, nothing it seems).

You can understand since, multiple junkets, sorry correction business trips like fifty plus to America this summer, top brass like Alex King Deputy Leader (Con) to Virginia I think, to negotiate god knows what at the highest levels, result so far apparently in er jack .....

Oh and Kent TV, with its fascination with Tory cabinet member, freemasons and very few normal types like me. Bus passes for rich kids in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells etc

Who knows what initiatives, Paul Carter and his highly competent mates will come up with this year, one things for certain it won't come cheap.

Just in passing well done to Kent on Sunday for winning best free newspaper in the world I think. Kent on Sunday is a real sucess and I must say that their local papers like Your Thanet are not bad either again well done.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ex-con in denial?

Johnathan Aitken former MP who bought disgrace upon himself and the Tory party with his rusty sword of truth (which turned out to be a pack of lies), crops up once again in the public eye, on page eight of today's Kentish Saturday Observer.

This time he is dishing out advice, on prison, whilst at the same time admitting to being a supporter of Conrad Black, the former owner of the telegraph news paper caught helping himself to share holder assets.

Its strikes me that both of these characters, share a couple of things, supreme arrogance and a private education.

Not surprisingly Mr Aitken, thinks that Conrad Blacks sentence is too long at six and half years, despite Blacks helping himself to many millions of dollars, of share holders money, similarly Aitken probably thinks his telling a few porkies, was of no consequence.

Well its clear to me, that Aitken got off lightly, serving only 7 months for his obscene attempt to pervert justice in the blatant way he did.

I think their is a lesson for all us here, and this is it, there's one law for us at the bottom of the food chain, and another for Tory Toffs and the like.

Finally I think when Aitken admits to himself and the rest of us that his perjury was not some minor misdemeanor but a serious crime, then he'll be able to give advice.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Police doing their job

A subject that I have touched on recently is people trafficking and its good to see that Kent police are doing some good work in driving low life evil pimps out of business.

Assuming its possible to judge crime, as to how low it is, then forcing women in to prostitution, is about as bad as you get. So its good to see that Kent police have arrested seven in connection with this vile trade.

Excerpt from Kent police's press release
East Kent Superintendent Chris Hogben said: 'This is an ongoing operation into a disgusting trade. The individuals who engage in it are at the very bottom of society.
'Disrupting their activities is an absolute priority for us. Personally it will give me great satisfaction to hurt these criminals by stripping them of assets which could total hundreds of thousands of pounds and which they will struggle to prove were gained by legitimate means. That will inflict the most pain.
'What is of paramount importance is to ensure the victims of these crimes are cared for and their safety secured. The support is there for them to escape this terrible existence.'

As I mentioned I have touched on this subject before in a past post and would just like to update you, I have complained to the publishers of several local papers, Northcliffe Media who appear to have some rather dubious advertising offering foreign massage services since they also own the Daily Mail their probably unaware, that out in the real world, the term "massage services" is frequently used as a euphemism for prostitution.

Why does this matter, well like any business even those involved in crime like prostitution need to promote their business pimps have to advertise their product and where better than the local paper.

The amount of money generated by this sort of advertising must be minimal you'd think, but there doing nothing wrong, according to correspondence I've recieved from Advertising Standard Authority although I'm told that after recent meetings between the newspaper society and government their is a commitee investigating.

To me its simple the newspaper industry could just refuse to take advertising for massage services particularly when these are offering foreign girls. If you have information contact Kent Police on 01622 690690 or Kent Crimestoppers, free and anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
People trafficking is the 21st century's slave trade, it would be interesting to know just what price the Advertising Standard Authority place on freedom.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Internet Millstone

Millstone not milestone, yesterday I counted my new emails as they slumped into my inbox (1219). I try to answer my emails but for god sake how more times, I don't want any Viagra.

I can remember back in 1995 or so when an email however impersonal was an exciting novelty to read, now all this shit is just something to be process into the recycle bin.

Still as good as they are, getting round to reading, all the local blogs is getting tougher but at least its worth it for now.

Police go over the top

Interesting article on the Guardian Unlimited website today which shows that its not just Kent police whingeing about their pay, seems that Peter Smythe vice chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation is more than tad miffed as well.

It looks like hysteria is now effecting the ranks with this character upping the anti by saying *"that London Officers are at war with the Government", if this is so, surely this would be treason, in which case lets hope special branch are still loyal to Queen and Country (you and me).

I reckon its time the police looked outside their own narrow world, and take into account how many of us don't get an automatic pay increase each year on time or even a month or two later.

For most coppers what we are talking about is a hundred or so pounds after tax, so maybe these police officers, who are so hard done by, might like to consider that they get fat pensions, early retirement, job security etc, I would swap my some what less reliable income for theirs any day even if I had to wait a week or two for a pay increase.

Back in the dark days of the 1970's, pay was poor for police officers and as a result not surprisingly, many officers particularly in the metropolitan police were tempted to seek er.. private sponsorship, this I do not believe to be the case today, yes of course they have been shortchanged slightly but again their still better off than most.

Its important that police are paid a fair wage, since they deserve it, and since they get more than me I reckon their OK. The vision of a few police officers bleating about society doesn't value them shows what an insular self-centred world some of the live in (did anyone else find that copper on local TV the other day extremely irritating).

Coppers know that when they joined the police force right or wrong strike action wasn't an option, which again is something shared in practice with large swathes of the work force, take the hundreds of thousands who work for agencies, if you don't turn up for work they just get another to replace you.

Lets hope I haven't upset the police, as well as the freemasons last week!

*To see this quote in its proper context click here for the Guardian article, just in case I've got things out of proportion

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

This is going to be, an is it me post? I'm afraid so if you've any sense you will click on to Eastcliff Richard or Thanet Life, any how I'd like to revisit last weeks astonishing news that Kent council are spending countless gazillions of your wonger on self promotion vanity publishing etc

First off in this bonanza of media spending is the Kent TV thing, now earlier in the year I corresponded with Peter Gilroy whom if any of the "county Tories" are to go by is the greatest thing since sliced bread, the subject of my emails was the accountability of Kent TV and more importantly the Independence of any governing board.

Since that time it looks as if Kent Council have cobbled together their idea to independence, the list looks to me as though it is made up entirely of either those connected with the county administration including quangos or media types. Just for the education of the Kent TV bloke, who should have known better there is indeed a Ten Alps member on the board. see list.

Last word for a moment on Kent TV, they have a section on this website entitled "your say" and no surprise to me or you, the comment topics are dictated by er..... well it seems Kent TV and since the guy I spoke with this afternoon who although he thought it a good idea, to ask joe public whether Kent's media spend (6mill) was wise he suggested it might be a while before such a question gets posted. Knowing how egalitarian things are in Kent I have subverted the system by placing a comment on the latest tough "your say" poser " Is Christmas becoming too commercialised? by referring to Kent councils profligate spending.

Anyway I just feel that Kent council are spending money on promoting the political agendas of Kent's "county tories", and its about time perhaps our local media other than middle aged bloggers took up this issue but of course they might just be biting the hand that feeds.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Put up or shut up

*I sometimes have difficulty in getting motivated, particularly when I'm working nights, which is one reason, why I didn't give you the benefit of my concise and opinionated ramblings yesterday, one thing that has effect of motivating me, is when what used to be referred to as civil servants, get up off their bottoms and start venting what must be their personal opinions.

It may be going to far but to my mind but large swathes of the civil service, have become politicised, an example I think of is that of the chief executive of a large local authority, who seems whenever I hear of him, to be driving his authorities policy, being assisted by a compliant conservative leader.

The way I always understood that our society was governed, was that it was safeguarded by separation of various functions in society, so basically in our democracy elected representatives would create laws and policy, these would be applied by agencies of the state Treasury, Home Office, Local authorities etc., finally the lawyers judges and juries would in our system be the final arbiter.

Currently our police force have been given a pay rise backdated to December 1st, rather than September 1st, now disappointing as this may be, to those of us outside the public pay gravy train this seems trivial and it is if you put it in the context of the thousands of people in the county of Kent who work in manual unskilled industries who consider themselves lucky not to be receiving cuts in the wages, due to the governments failure to protect low income groups.

So the imagine the irritation of seeing Mike Fullers (Chief Constable of Kent) interview on the front page of Kent on Sunday, apparently criticising the Home Office's pay deal to police officers. Outside of publicly funded institutions any senior manager in a private company or Plc who openly criticized the boss for not being more generous to staff would probably find themselves updating their CV.

The police earn their money but so do many of us, who earn considerably less, I don't know whether its the same in the police force but in most workplaces if you moan about your employer, the advise is generally the same, get another job.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I would find refreshing if occasionally paid civil servant could refrain from venting the own opinions in public that's what we have politicians for.

Maybe if Mike Fuller reckons that Jacqui Smith has made a mistake perhaps he could hang up his truncheon and see if he would make a better politician, I feel he should concentrate on policing Kent not criticising the Home Office.

*I omitted the first two paragraphs when I posted this yesterday, probably makes little difference to anyone except me, and the first 2 comments where prior to this addition.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

Things that might be left unsaid


This blogging business is time consuming, even when its the ranting however well consider of a middleaged git.

There are several topics I would like to cover but unfortunately I have other fish to fry this weekend, such as police (acknowledging their workload)pay increase being held back, upsetting as it is the fact that its being delayed, might like to console themselves that they are not facing competition from the east such as those of us in mainly manual roles such as construction and even in my world.

I would like to expand on the influence of Kents large sums of wonger into the media world, I could mention my discussion with the BBC top dog who thought, bbc coverage of this topic was adequate. It will be interesting to see if Kent on Sunday titles make any mention particularly as they supply news to Kent TV. If I had time I would research how many media personnel moonlight on Kent council media communications jobs.

On the Kent TV thing I spoke with a busy top er knob RE your money promoting freemasonry, the upshot was that it was suggest I make a film for Kent TV, on suggesting a bit of dosh this character got even more busy, obviously so many meeting s and not enough time in the day.

As for Thanet councils chopping money to local museum this short sighted penny pinching, best have a lie down.

Nice to see that after all those gazillions spent on the marks & Spencer building and the best thanet can come up with is as temporary home for turner contemporary.

Finally as I type these random thoughts I see Mike Fuller chief copper for kent speaking out on the police deal, I suggest he keeps to crime rather than politics.

This has not been honed to my usual near incoherent perfection and needs some revisions. I dont have time to edit so this is as good as it gets

One final thought if someone giving their own money to Labour is sleaze just what is a local authority spending 6500000 pounds on advertising Tory S.....?

Enjoy the weekend DISCUSS


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Comment moderation enabled

I have enable comment moderation for a while as a reminder to contributors that personal accusations are unacceptable on this website.

To elaborate criticism of someones political stance or some element of their public life, office etc. is fine by me. However defamatory statements are not acceptable without substantiation, my suggestion to anyone who has a legitimate statement they wish to make, is that they get their own website. It takes about five minutes.

I would also advise anyone that most activity on the internet leave a trail back to the originator.

Kent TV the tip of Kent's Squander culture

Were it not for the fact, that news of Kent's profligate spending of £6.6million on propaganda, is coming out of your pocket and mine, then Paul Carters performance on Meridian TV last night, would have been quite enjoyable, during which he appeared for once, to me at least, to be in some discomfort as he attempted to explain Kent's excessive spend on advertising.

Still I don't want to be too tough on Mr Carter, since he is one of the main reasons I write this blog as without his calm unruffled performance when he came down to Margate's Winter gardens, to explain how another huge waste £8 million (The Turner Contemporary gallery (Mark 1)) was part Margate regeneration, his attitude and that of other politicians is all the motivation I need.

Mr Carters justifications for Kent high spending never ceases to amaze me, such as Peter Gilroy's salary, wasting money on trips to America, spending on Manston.

Conservatives have in the past pointed to loony labour councils I just find it funny how things have changed, look a Kent TV you might just double the viewing figures, one gem on this service I think you will find is Paul Carter inspirational performance in the classic "Towards 2010".

I think what we have in Kent is a conservative administration who look to me at best amateur, surely the tories could run a tighter ship.

Remember this blog along with my youtube site cost you nothing unlike Kent TV @ £800.000 this year. Again I would like to thank Paul Carter and his ilk, for providing the reason for me to ignore my slight dyslexia, and express my thoughts.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


It's some apparent measure of the arrogance and lack of impartiality that the new taxpayer funded Kent TV shows little if any embarrassment, at promoting and presumably funding what appears to be a PR exercise on behalf of Kent Freemasons. If you do not believe me, click here to view " Freemasons of Kent".

Now whether you happen to be one of those who dresses up with an apron, and exposes yourself in a secret ceremony or the vast majority who at best a view freemasonry as a club for those who seek personal advantage outside public scrutiny or at worst have images of Roberto Calvi allegedly murdered by Italian Freemasons.

Anyway whatever stance you take on freemasonry, the fact is they are a secret society, they are unaccountable, membership lists are not published.

So really you have to ask, just what a public authority thinks it's playing at promoting freemasonry in the unchallenging, way it does on Kent TV.

What next for Kent TV, the benefits of a sharia law, why we should become scientologists etc.

Now I see belatedly that a board of governors has now been appointed, and not surprisingly it seems it is stuffed to the gunwales with those who work with KCC or quangos and or local media. Probably as independent as any lodge might be.

Perhaps it's time for Peter Gilroy KCC's chief executive to justify this enterprise once again, and explain how this Kent TV channel is in any way impartial, perhaps also as a public employee he might also let us know whether he's also a freemason.

For many people freemasonry is a corrupt and corrosive influence in public life, although it's only anecdotal, of those whom I know to be freemasons the vast majority, have made it abundantly clear that their membership is all about personal advancement.


It appears that Thanet's expeditionary delegation led by council leader Sandy Ezekiel to China has arrived home safely, and according to the leader, the Chinese are keen to get things moving.

Disappointingly none of the local papers, reflect how tough negotiations must have been in China, perhaps a small glimpse, of the condition our boys were working under is given in this week's Isle Of Thanet Gazette, where on page two a photograph shows, what I surmise to be Sandy Ezekiel, being forced to hold a business discussions on the great wall of China.

Right now, it looks as if it Chinese businesses are doing Thanet a favour, and maybe they are but maybe it is worth showing some attention on the roles played by KCC, SEEDA etc. because I suspect, we might see a bit of taxpayer money subsidising all this.

Anyway well done to our local representatives, presumably good manners and diplomacy (and possibly censorship), will prevent us from ever knowing the full story of their journey