Miscellaneous Ramblings by Tony Clegg-Butt October – November

Posted on October 11th, 2017
Categories: News


The powers that be at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport have totally re-organised their parking regime with effect from 1st September. It all (well almost all) makes sense. You’ll re-call my whinge about the brand new multi-storey car park at the airport in the last edition, which was reserved for staff only. Well that’s changed. I hope in some small way that my whinge might have made a difference. There I go blowing my own trumpet, now where did that turn of phrase come from?

The term in its present form is 19th century. Anthony Trollope, in his work Australia and New Zealand, 1873 observed: “In the colonies… when a gentleman sounds his own trumpet he ‘blows.’” That is clearly commenting on what must already have been a well-known phrase, although there aren’t known printed citations to support that from before 1873. The use of ‘blows’ is interesting too, as that matches the current US use as a slang term to describe anything bad or worthless.

 I do go on….

The multi-story car park is now for the exclusive use of us mere mortals, all 4 levels and 1,253 parking slots. Hallelujah! Some other parking lots have already been closed, to include the long-term and staff parking between terminals 1B and 1D.

The central square parking lots will close on 30th September (interestingly 120 parking slots here were reserved for Kenya Airways staff – no wonder it was full most of the time). The parking lots near terminal two are now for staff and taxis only.

Parking in front of the multi-storey car park usually reserved for the red number plate brigade and the self-importants is now closed; except for emergency vehicles.

New drop off and pick-up areas for all terminals have been introduced and are limited to a maximum of five minutes – no parking or waiting permitted. In other words you have to be actively picking or dropping and nothing else.

Mingi thanks to the Kenya Airports Authority Managing Director/CEO Jonny Andersen and his team. It seems our international gateway to the world is at last heading towards its true potential.

While I have his attention one last whinge, why are the escalators post immigration clearance at departures been out of order for the past nine-months?

The pride of Africa – Kenya Airways has been in the news a lot lately, from creditors being coerced into converting debt into equity to finally gaining clearance for direct flights from Nairobi to the US. Although I have my doubts whether this long thin route would be profitable in the mid term. Perhaps KQ’s Skyteam partner Delta Airlines will launch the service it had previously announced from the US. Never the less these flights will be music to the ears of Kenya’s tourism industry as it will to our business community.

Their new Polish CEO is bringing in a management team from his own village which is a little disconcerting. There surely are lots of bright young Kenyans out there, that if considered would shine.

I’ve been doing a lot of travelling, perhaps too much of late. A couple of trips to the UK, some train travel which was nice for a change – and enduring some pretty awful weather on both trips.

Next up is a trip to India, which I was in two minds about until the last minute. Coming from Kenya you require both yellow fever a polio inoculations, I didn’t have the later and was time barred as you have to have had the inoculation 60-days prior to departure.

Armed with a little grease money I went to try my luck at a hospital of note in the city, in an attempt to get the shot back-dated. I saved myself the embarrassment when I was cheerfully told that I couldn’t have the shot (it’s a sugar cube actually), as I was over 65 years old. Another hallelujah moment – not being over 65 but not requiring the shot.

I’ll be visiting Delhi for a couple of days, I’m fascinated by the British architect Edward Lutyens who designed a host of government buildings in New Delhi to include the India Gate, the Jaipur Column, the National Archives of India, Baroda House, Raipath (‘Kings Way’ an east-west ceremonial boulevard), Rashtrapathi Bhavan (the former Viceroys home, now the residence of the President of India) and Janpath (‘Peoples Way’ the main north-south road through New Delhi). I’m looking forward to seeing them.

He is rumoured to have designed a number of buildings in Nairobi, but I can find no conclusive evidence that this is fact.

Then it’s onto Chandigarh in the far north of the Punjab before continuing onto Kasauli a former hill station in the foothills of the Himalaya’s to stay in a wonderfully named house called ‘Windsong’. It belongs to an American Sikh friend of mine – we are both trustees of a global benevolent fund and will be joined by our leader who is from Norway. There is work to be done and no doubt there will be time to enjoy the sights and sounds of this part of India.

Then it’s onto Hyderabad for the Skål World Congress where Mombasa will be confirmed as the venue for its 2018 World Congress. Kenya in the limelight again.


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October-November Cover 2017