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Welcome folks,

"Travel is the most private of pleasures. There is no greater bore than a travel bore. We do not least want to hear what he has seen in Hong-Kong". Vita Sackville-West.

Boring perhaps, but if you're interested in what I saw in Hong Kong, or indeed any of the other countries I visited on RTW2, then please feel free to browse.

Richie

Diary Entries

Monday, 09 May 2005

Location: Swansea, UK

Richie: Folks, I've finally got around to adding some more photos.

Tuesday, 12 April 2005

Location: New Delhi, India

Richie: Richie's coming home, he's coming home, he's coming...

And so round-the-world 2 is very rapidly approaching an end. Although 10 KGs lighter and SIGNIFICANTLY poorer, I've many, many fond memories and an awful lot to be grateful for. Perhaps it won't make the most interesting of reading but some thank-yous are definitely in order.

Firstly to those of you that opened up your homes and fed and watered me like a lord, many thanks. To John and Hannah, Fab and Nat, Andy, Jenny and Steve, Sue and Hans, and Dacourt, it was genuinely appreciated.

To those of you that came out to visit. To Geouser, Dai bach, Cath and Mike, Matt and Stu, some good times. Some great times. A special mention for my faithful travelling companion too. Mr Kirk, it didn't quite work out as we'd spent all those important Cardiff pub hours planning it. Still, travelling NZ with you was a true pleasure. May you go well and in good health for the remainder (a word to the wise, skip the Madras when you make it over here).

To my folks, for your initial blessing coupled with your support throughout, I'm most grateful. Mother, you can nearly stop worrying. Pop, yep, I will start looking for gainful employment soon.

To all of you that I met along the way, including those that didn't make a guest entry on the site, a special thanks. For me travelling is more about the people that I meet than the 'attractions' I visit. It was always a pleasure. Please stay in touch.

And finally the readers. I hope this site has given you an insight into what I get up to whilst on the road. I hope you will have gained an appreciation of what a conscientious traveller I am, immersing myself in local cultures with full understanding and tolerance of their beliefs and cultures. It is all about respecting the individual. It vould not ve vight zticking to ztereotypez, or taking the pithth out of the mithfortuneth of otherth.

Cheers also to those of you whom kept me amused with your contributions to the message board. Any final missives are of course most welcome. I'll be adding a stack more photos imminently too so keep an eye open.


"Travel is the most private of pleasures. There is no greater bore than the a travel bore. We do not least want to hear what he has seen in Hong-Kong". Vita Sackville-West.

I hope my ramblings over the past months haven't bored you too much. I look forward to catching up soon.

Friday, 08 April 2005

Location: Delhi, India

Av Appu: An Update.

Mr Moya, I'll admit that I was getting a little worried. Finally though, I think we've got him.

For 2 weeks he pranced around Rajasthan: visiting temples, exploring the myriad of corridors in ancient forts, stumbling around grand palaces, cycling through national parks, and haggling hard over pennies. Everyone called him 'Sir'. He ate good food and drank like a Rajput. Seemingly he had little concern for our business interests.

Well, Mr Moya, I am happy to report that things have changed. With the high pollution and general lack of hygiene, we really can't be certain, but we're pretty sure it was the chicken Madras that kicked things off.

I can tell you, Mr Moya, my staff have been Singh-ing, Dan Singh and generally Joy Singh. It was soon after Lance Singh the chicken that Richie first went Ray Singh to the toilet. I suppose he was Dai Singh eating meat in the first place.

Fleur Singh, Richie's neighbour, reports hearing him Russ Singh to the Johns throughout the night. Without Joe Singh, she thinks he's a Centurion already. Quite Amy Singh.

So Richie has been Lou Singh all the weight that he'd drank hard to put back on. The fat is Miss Singh. Maybe now there'll be some Roman Singh.


Richie: Enough. Quite enough.

Sadly inevitable I guess, getting the squits again. It means I'm stuck in the heavily polluted and extremely hot (39 degrees) HOLE that is Delhi. Mother, a request please if I may, no curry and rice for a while when I'm back home.

Friday, 01 April 2005

Location: Pushkar, India

Vijay Singh (AKA The Camel Man): Holi Water

My friends, welcome to India. I organised a camel safari for Richie. Just him and 3 servants to cater for his every need. As has been the trend on the latter half of his trip, the weather was ridiculous. It simply NEVER rains in the desert in March. It rained.

They exited the desert on the day of the Holi festival, India's unofficial national drinking day. For breakfast we gave Richie a whisky and water. Followed by another. Then another. Then...

I am of high caste, of course. The Holi party I threw was attended by the most distinguished of guests. All of whom got hideously drunk, covered each other in coloured powder, danced like muppets, and passed out by 5PM. All, that is, with the exception of the city's most important resident, the Army General. We left him in the less than capable hands of a rather pale-looking Richie, talking politics.


Richie: An attack on the senses.

I remember writing something similar last time I was in India. The place really does attack the senses. It's a country of contrast. It's sublime and ridiculous.

I've tasted some wonderful chicken curries but I've had some foul fowl. I've seen some grand palaces but have also seen the outcome of eating foul fowl. I've heard the song of the early morning birds but have, all too frequently, heard the desperate cry for rupees. I've smelt the incense burning in temples, masking the stench of the open sewer that runs outside.

It's sublime and ridiculous.



Tuesday, 22 March 2005

Location: New Delhi, India

Ebrique Moya: The Delhi Belly Centurion.

Just as it seemed my days were numbered at TROTS ((Toilet Rolls of Trot Sufferers) South America, Ltd), it seems I've been thrown a life line: Richie has gone to India, his 21st and final country of this trip.

Many a roll manufacturer has tried and failed to set up an Indian paper market - it's the land of the hand. This time though Richie will be back there.

I have appointed Av Appu as SHITS (Secretary for the Headquarters of Indian Toiletary Supplies). Evidently his marketing department have already got things moving. On Richie's webpage they're organising a competition called 'A Ton Of Runs'. Readers are invited to guess the number of times Richie will have to go for a 2 during his 23 days in India. TROTS will present a packet of toilet rolls to the person whom predicts closest. Good luck.


Richie: A little scatalogical? Perhaps. Feel free to have a go though. The current going is good to firm, soft in places. Please bare in mind that I've just had a chicken tikka masala for breakfast. My conservative estimate - a century.

Monday, 21 March 2005

Location: Airport, Hong Kong

Richie: Just Rugby.

Over the past five days I have watched around one hundred live games of rugby, and crucially one televised game. I kid you not.

The Tens tournament proved a more than adequate build up to the main event. Over the years much has been written about the Hong Kong 7s. I'll just say that it was simply awesome. My metaphorical hat gets removed for the gentlemen of the South Stand for the shear quantity of alcohol consumed, albeit predominantly Pimms. A huge thanks to Pop for sorting out the tickets.

Then, of course, was the Grand Slam. A quiet drink or two was consumed after the game, as one maybe able to imagine. I shall not make a habit of hugging strange men (or any men for that matter) on the streets.

To Sir Clive and Gay Nev (Charv's hairdresser), thanks for the messages (see opposite). It is with regret that I must inform you that it all got on top of me and I went for a haircut. Quite an ordeal it turned out to be too. I'll edit a long story. For the third consecutive time I had it cut by someone that doesn't speak a word of the Queen's (including one in Cardiff). It's about time I learnt my lesson. We resorted to pointing at pictures in the magazine. My Ericsson-sponsored Assertivess course proved insufficient as Mr Mopp Chop, the 'Lead Stylist' had his heart set on the style of a Japanese footballer. I'm just off to India in search of a Rhino.

Monday, 14 March 2005

Location: Hong Kong

Rex Patrick: Where east meets west.

It's not how it used to be. Before the Chinese takeaway I mean. You wouldn't have had the Chinky-Chonks working behind the bar back then. Gweilo only, Murphy's was.

Yeah, I come down every Friday and Saturday. Sunday too. All day. I drink price inflated import beer. Pint after pint after pint. I'll speak to anyone, me. As long as they're gweilo that is. I read my International Times and eat my mushy peas and chips. None of that foreign muck - not that I've tried it, mind.

Go back home? Me? Never, I'd miss the Hong Kong culture.


Richie:Back in Hong Kong. Had no luck in the HK Derby yesterday.

Many congratulations go to Mike and sister Cath on the birth of their first child, Emily.

Other significant news, well, I now own a pair of trousers. And I've worn them.

Thursday, 10 March 2005

Location: Macau (not strictly Hong Kong), Hong Kong

Richie: I am in my element.

I was hungover when I arrived in Hong Kong. I badly wanted to sleep. All of the tout's Christmases (or Chun Jies, or Yuanxiao Jies, or Kongzi Shengris, or whatever it is the chap believes in) came at once when I agreed to his origional asking price for a room/box in the infamous Nathan Road mansions. 'This where long people with big bag stay'. My box was opposite the appropriately named Main Lee Tak Hotel.

After a rat interupted doze, I went out to see what the city had to offer. I headed straight for the harbour to take in the much heralded view of Hong Kong's skyline. Magnificent it was too. I took 4 photos and 2 video clips. But not of the buildings. Nor of the boats. There were other attractions.

My timing was perfect as the show was just about to get underway. For some unknown reason, one of the girls had brought her Ghetto Blaster (remember them?) down to the pedestrianised viewing path. She and twentysomething female twentysomethings started to dance. A touch erotically I might add. No rush, Richie thought. Maybe just hang around for a wee while. Others seemingly had the same idea. It wasn't long before I was joined by Fran Sear, Des Prat, Ben Ages, and Pierre Vert, to name but a few.

There was an elderly Chinese chap looking on from afar. Very smart in appearance, with has dapper whistle and flute, brief case in hand. As he approached I was a little suprised to see his head rocking to the beat of the 'modern' music. I was more suprised when he set his brief case down and joined the girls on the makeshift dance floor.

The girls, a little shocked at first, soon warmed to him as they saw a potential target and source of amusement. They took turns to flirt with him. This was until they got more than they bargained for, however. Wan Sum Yung Ass started bumping and grinding like the black guys fifty years his junior do on MTV. I smiled and drew my camera.

When I returned 2 hours later, Wan Sum Yung Ass had drawn quite a crowd. The girls kept their distance.

I can not give Wan Sum Yung Ass the Freak of the Week award. Simply because competition has been so fierce. Both Hong Kong and Macau are rife with bizarre behaviour. I am in my element.


*****************************- *********** NOTICE *********************************- ******
For your own protection, the following paragraph has been censored.

Now, I was hoping to put some photos of my last few months of travelling on the page for you. Unfortunately, some beeping beep was picked the locks on my backpack and stolen my memory cards. You beeping beep. If I catch you, I'll rip your beeping beep beep off, you beep.

Monday, 28 February 2005

Location: Ko Samui, Thailand

Michael Pay: How much?

Alwight Geez? 'Aving a wicked time in Thailand. There are some diamond chicks. I've even got myself a girlfriend. For just 5,000 Baht a week, can't go wrong, Geez. A young one she is too.

Drink, drink, fecking drink - that's what it's all about. After a good sesh I'll sit outside my beach bungalow screeching out songs, Geez. Diamond.

Cracking drink at the Full Moon Party, Geez. Six thousand people - Richie and Stu amoung the number - were off there fecking faces. I managed to collect the black eye that I deserved.

Hey, she's nice. How much, darlin'?


Amy Horre: Hello sexy boy. Welcome.


Richie: I can't walk past a bar in Ko Samui without a dozen or so attractive young Thai girls screaming out to beckon me in. I reckon they just like my hair style.

Ad, congratulations mate. For your Bangkok to KL journey time prediction, you're to become the no doubt proud owner of a fake silver KL plate, complete with stand and presentation box. Actual journey time: 29 hours and 40 mins. I flew back up.

Monday, 21 February 2005

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Frank: Contacts, dear boy. It's all about contacts.

We meet the fine young man whilst watching golf at the Malaysian Open. One of our chaps was playing, you see. Us expats, we must stick together.

We organised Richard a Player's Pass, with all its associated privileges. I must admit that he did look a little out of place drinking the free beer in the Player's Lounge, with his stubble, his hat hair, and his scabby, backpacker's rags on. Still, none of the players, the resort GM, nor the tour director that he was hob-nobbing with seemed to mind.

The natives here seem to be under the false impression that because the name has changed from British Malaya to Malaysia, that they have some kind of claim to the place. What utter nonsense. The chaps and I know how to treat them. 'You - get me another jug - NOW'.


Howell Wong: When Wichie wee wee, we will watch.


Sue Pa Man: I could no give Wichie train ticket. I laughing. Everyone else get delayed. I just laugh. Wichie, he much look like Superman. Ha, ha, ha, ha. I laugh. Superman, ha, ha, ha...


Richie: Yeah, I'd forgetten about that. Seemingly through the eyes of virtually every asian, and indeed the folk from the South Pacific, I seem to have an uncanny resemblance to Superman. Much to their amusement, of course.

A little story for you before I sign off. Now it's very, very rare that I sleep walk. Evidently I did the other night though. As I awoke I was standing at the far end of the hotel corridor. I'd locked myself out of my room. To be fair, they didn't even batter an eyelid as I walked down into reception - as naked as the day I was born.


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Recent Messages

From Gay Nev
I can confirm that all staff can speak fluent English. A few can even do it with plums in their mouths.
Response: Hmmm, fruity.

Gay Nev, we need to talk.
From Gay Nev
Ritchie,

Glad to see your on your way home. Don't forget, here at the salon we have a special offer on bikini waxing. We can also offer a special tash trim for just a few pence more.

Gay Nev,
Hairdresser to the Stars!
Response: Gay Nev,

Can you please assure me that all of your staff speak fluent English?

Richie
From Cat Crowther
Hi Richie,
Kirky's mate here. So are you on your way back? I've not heard from Kirky in ages so wondered if you had heard from him. Shame you guys had to seperate but I guess that is the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. If you see him or hear from him send him my love. Hope you have had an amazing journey. May be introduced one day when the young Mr Kirk gets back.
Have fun
Catgirl
Response: Catgirl,

Rob is fine, just a tad lazy with his writing evidently. He's currently in Aussie although I understand Thailand is expecting his imminent arrival.

Cheers,
Richie
From FTC
Richie, it was a pleasure, thanks for some great memories. You're RTW v2.0 has turned into quite an adventure, but what more could we expect with your insatiable appetite for travel. Good luck with the job hunting.
Response: Thanks boyo.
From Julian,Nevs partner
Well hello Richiekins
Nev asked me to get in touch with you as he's away for a few days in Newcastle tending to Charv's locks ahead of his comeback game on Saturday. Charv wanted to look his best for the day so he's flown Nev up in a private plane especially. That means I'm all on my ownio for a wee while - are you back in the country yet? Are you free? I've heard so much about you from Nev - and I've been an avid reader of your website for some time now - and, wow, those photos (yummy, yummy) - I'm dying to meet you.

Between you and me, things aren't so good between me and Nev just now - so if you're looking for somewhere to stay for a few days when you get back to UK just give me a call. I'll find some room for you.
Like Nev, I too am a hairdresser (and a cross dresser, if that helps?) so if you want a bit off the top I'll be happy to oblige.

Give us a call.

Toodlepip
Jules
Response: Julian,

Being an avid reader, you'll no doubt be aware that, since my departure back in July, I have indeed been Salsa dancing, grown a moustache, appeared on the front page of Odd Shaped Balls, and hugged men in public. At this stage I feel it important that I also write - before the tabloids do - that the other day I had a facial. I honestly only went to the barber for a shave. Before I knew it... There were no cucumbers involved!

Despite the mass of evidence outlined above, Julian, I'd like to categorically assert that I'm not your way inclined. I'm sorry. I hope that Nev and you are able to sort things out, and that your swords don't cross (or do cross, depending on your preference).

Given that I've evidently missed out on a Tour position, and unemployment and homelessness loom large, I may need a little floor space. What was your cottage number?

Richie
From Sir Clive Woodward
Hi Richie
I am writing with regret to give you advance notice that you will not be in the Lions squad to be announced on Monday. My contacts in India have informed me that the 'Hong Kong Crop'is wholly unacceptable for the tour (even as part of the 27-strong back-up party). You were advised over a long period that the Hair Bears, the Charv and even the Shane Byrne Mullet would be acceptable - but the Hong Kong Crop......????

I have to express my sincere disappointment at your actions as I was keen to have your experience and depth of knowledge of local customs, bars, beers, women, etc., etc., available - but the Hong Kong Crop.....!!!

I guess this will be my last message so while we're all in NZ I'll be thinking of you - not!!!

Best regards - and adieu
Sir Clive
Response: To: Sir Clive
CC: The World's media

Please take note.
I was going to wait until Monday to make this announcement but I feel my hand has been forced rather.

Sir Clive, I'd like to expose you as a conniving, self-centred brute. I have finally worked out what it is you've been up to. You want me to switch codes, and not in the Neville/Julian type way. You want me to play for Southampton FC next season.

I'll admit you were very clever organising all those ladies to wear me down with their continous hair-nagging in South America. I eventually weakened and fell into your trap.

You underestimated my determination though. As the media reported of the fine form I was showing in the far east, you panicked and, like I coward, resorted to threats. I now understand why Mopp Chopp was so determined to give me a 'Japanese Footballer'.

Well, Clive, I may miss out on this year's Tour but I will return. You mark my words. With a potential 4 years growth with no apparent need of harvest, I'm confident of reaching Jones proportions. Beware Bear Hair!

If you are considering legal action over these allegations, remember please that I'm aware of your and Matt Dawson's 'little secret'.

Richie

PS All the best to the lads on Tour.
From Sir Clive Woodward
HI Richie

Sorry to hear that you've chopped the locks. However, my spies in HK confirm that you more than held your own in the drinking stakes and, as you also have considerable experience of NZ beers, nightclubs, hotspots, etc., can you please confirm your availability for the Tour? I'm due to announce the squad on 11th April - are you available for the photo-shoot on that day? Or should I put back announcing the squad until you are back in UK - which is when?
Please respond asap
Yours as always
Clive
Response: Sir Clive,

I am delighted. Of course I will be available for the Tour. I shall cancel all other work commitments immediately.

I'm not too sure about the photo-shoot. Would I be able to wear my white socks with the dark team suit, Charv' stylie?

Regards,
Richie the Lion
From Gay Nev
This is Gay Nev, Charv's Hairdresser reporting from Twickers, home of rugby. (I've always wanted to say that!)

Richie, hang in there!

I've had my spies at the salon with their noses to the ground and I understand that provided the regrowth continues at it current rate you are in with a very outside chance. I've had one of my junior stylists put a special ingredient into Adam Jones's hair gel, I won't say where the gel was extracted from, but it should send out pheromones which will attract a horny passing rhino within 300 metres. All you need to do is tempt him to a local zoo and bingo you're on the plane.
From Sir Clive Woodward
Dear Richie

Please don't think you have been forgotten!!!! After the shameful, pathetic displays of the English (tee, hee - didn't I leave at a good time?)I am looking to the Celtic fringes [pun intended!!]to provide the bulk of the Lions squad. I am receiving regular reports from my spies who are in HK for the 7s this week that the mullet-type/Charv-type/Adam Jones hair-bear type of growth that you are rumoured currently to be sporting is coming along nicely in time for the selection process. In fact, as you are also rumoured to be a Welshman, and as the team is bound to comprise mostly those from the far side of Offa's Dyke, then your selection chances must be pretty good. The training on Thai and HK beer is probably not what I would have recommended but we do need for the tour someone who can find the local disresputable bars, crumpet, etc., and this seems to be your area of expertise. Bearing in mind that young Henson has shown the way by shaving his legs, could you please let me know which part of your anatomy you intend to have shaved (not the head!!) in order to enhance your chances. I look forward to this weekend's games to see which position might require support and to which you might be best suited - 8th sub sound good to you?

Let me know about the hair and shaved bits asap.

Best regards
(Sir) Clive
From Gay Neville, Charv's
Thanks Sir Clive for the message. Well I've been thinking long and hard whilst sipping my babycham and I think you're in quite a predicament. In fact not since I was sat next to young Gazza Henson in the sun-bed has there been such a sticky mess.
Now, as I understand it, Sir Clive's preparations include a peroxide and fake tan allowance so I would suggest that O'Driscoll's time on the pitch should be related to both the brightness of his hair and orangeness of his face by the time the test matches come around. In the meantime I'm going back to the salon to work on young Gazza's spiky do (plus I've got an appointment later to wax Adam Jones's legs).
Response: Dear Uncle Neville,

Please, please help. I am desperate. If you can't assist then I can see no other alternative but to chop it off.

You may remember that I made the front cover of Odd Shaped Balls back in November when, in a moment of weakness, I made the foolhardy decision to rid myself of my beautiful locks. Perhaps understandably, Sir Clive acted immediately and my Lions chances seemed all but over.

Well Neville, as driven as I am, I've never given up my dream. I've dedicated significant amounts of time and effort to my regrowth strategy. I've been on a supplimentary alcohol diet, particularly under the eye of Mr Beer (really), my personal nutrition expert, at Thailand's gruelling 'Beach of Pain' training camp. At great personal expense I've travelled the globe to seek hair growth advice from such experts as Scott Johnson (Tactics and Hair Handling, Australia), Charv (Public Relations, Wales (V. expensive!)), Rupert Moon (H2O Application, Roving), Miss Inga Hare (School for the Bold, Argentina), and Dr How Soo Fasth (Acceleration Expert, University of Bouffant, Malaysia). I am currently under the watchful eye of Mr Fuey, Hong Kong's premier Feng Shui expert. He's maximised my growth potential by matching my 'energy lines' with those of Mr Adam Jones.

Uncle Neville, personally I am delighted with the progress that I've made, particularly with the 'push', as Scott calls it, over the last few weeks. I feel I'm starting to show the form that bought me into Lions contention back in the Autumn series. However, I've not heard a peep from Sir Clive. I didn't even get a motivational Christmas card from him.

Unc Nev (can I call you that?), I'm on the verge of giving it all up and having the chop. Please help.

Yours in desperation,
Richie
From FTC
Feck, 29 hours?! Still, the free beer was worth it I'm sure.

Sleep walking, now I seem to remember a time in the Grand Canyon. Howell Wong, was it at reception when trying to claim your key?
Response: Very long!
From Charv's Hairdresser
Phaw!

What an insult. I have been crying all night into my teddy bear. Now that Charv's hair is unlikly to make an entarnce into this year 6 nations I have now been twirling my fingers amongst that lovely Mr Byrne's hair from the emerald isle. He did ask me to put in some highlights but I advised him that his glorious mullet would be just fine for the end of season finale.
By the way, the name's Neville!
Response: Hello Neville,

Sir Clive here. Tell me, I understand that you are the Agony Uncle Neville from such fine rugby publications as 'The Gay Flanker' and 'Odd Shaped Balls'. Is this correct? I do hope so as I'm in need of your advice.

I did so hope that I'd be able to field a purely English Lions test team this summer. Neville, you'll have seen for yourself however, that the whole England squad are pathetic.

My question is then, Neville, should I be bald enough (pun intended) to pick a wholly English team, or should I give in to media pressure and let O'Driscoll have a half in one test?

Yours etc.
Woodie
From Chad & MacSwain
Melbourne Gaol Dude! Is that the History of So-Chair? We're american, yeah, so we don't know much about rugby, or anything else outside our fair shores, but i think you got real lucky against the England, and as for those smelly frogs, bass tards!
Response: The Welsh, the French, and the Irish. Is it luck, you must ask yourselves?
From Karim
You're not getting any photographic evidence because of your poor stealth skills.

If you'd bothered to attend the Splinter Cell training course at Ericsson then you would know to stalk your prey from downwind, you should be sufficiently camouflaged and preferably armed to the teeth.

"If you have a problem and no one else can help, then maybe you should call...David Bailey."
Response: I was supposed to have learnt all that in my SAS training.
From Charv's Hairdresser
Who's Nigel?
Is there another out there in need of a short back & sides?
Response: Sorry. Having an interest in rugby, I assumed you were male. Being a male hairdresser, I assumed you were gay. Being gay, I assumed you were called Nigel.

From Charv's Hairdresser
Hi all, I just thought I ought to let you know that Charv's hair has now reached such proportions as to affect his centre of gravity. As a result he is now having a fitness test on his ankles which are now struggling under the combined weight of the pies eaten and the bouffant.
I offered him a discount on his last hair cut but it seems his refusal was due to his determination to make the Lions tour - presumably as a spare mascot.
Response: Nigel,

You were correct. The weight of Colin's hair has ultimately forced him out of next week's vital encounter. Perhaps the growth of a handlebar mo may help provide a much needed balance. Tell him not to worry if he can't include any ginger.
From Richie's Mum
Re: Fash the Tash for Cash.

How much do I have to donate to the tsunami appeal for you to remain clean shaven and have a decent haircut? Is this something that money can buy?

Mum
Response: Mum,

A new jacket... $300
A new pair of shoes... $200
A ginger handlebar moustache... PRICELESS!

For everything else there's Mastercard. (Which you can use at www.dec.org.uk to make your donation).

From Karim
Whilst surfing for pictures of Richard Gere & hamsters, I found this site http://www.ourreallybigadventure.- com/activities/Facial.html. Ch-check it out...

Although, my suggestion for 'Fash The Tash' would be Merv Hughes or the policeman out of Village People. Are they the same person?? You never see them in the same room together...

Grecian 2000?? Try having to be a member of the Regaine club...
Response: Karim,

Does he expect us to believe that the person in the bottom left corner is the same as that in the bottom right?

How do you find Regaine btw? I ask not for my benefit but for a number of other readers whom are similarly challenged.
From Adam (Moran)
How about a David Boon
http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia- /1500000/images/1504878boon150.jp- g

Ad ;o)
Response: Excellent choice. A very real contender.
From Picko
What about the intelectual as sported by Geouser, Gran Canaria Circa 2000 and a certain Richie Mahoney, Croatia 2004. Then again as your old boy said you did look a bit daft. Stick with it son, go for the "Captain Birdseye"
Response: Ah, how could I have forgotten 'The Intellectual'. A good option, worthy of considerable consideration.
From Richie's Dad
Dear Readers
I should like to thank my son for confirming that I do indeed still have all my hair (and, I should add, teeth and various other essential bits). With regard to hair colour and its suitability for a trip to NZ with the Lions: (i)I am pleased to confirm to Sir Clive that I am available for the trip and (ii) although I have not yet had need to resort to any extraneous substances I am prepared to invest in a (small, very small) pack of Grecian 2000 if it is likely to sway his decision on my selection.
Richie's Dad
Response: Father,

I've just checked with the IRB. Grecian 2000 is listed as a banned substance due to it's performance enhancing properties.

Apparently it's allowed in the geriatric's leagues however. I wouldn't go drinking too much of it though!

Son
From Jelly Legs and the g
Hi babe
We've just been studying your web update and all the girls in the flat reckon that knowing your sophistication and standing, as well as your fashion sence, there is every chance that the person inthe lad or dad photo could be you. And yes you could let your hair get into that state.
Keep safe on your trip.
Love from the gals
Response: Gals,

A perfectly reasoned argument. The truth shall be revealed shortly.

Richie
From Sir Clive Woodward
Hi Richie
Having advised you previously that your chances of joining the Lions tour had been seriously jeopardised by having your hair cut I am now reviewing the position in view of new evidence recently received. This concerns a photograph on your web site which purports to be a likeness either of you or your father. In view of the flowing locks (and your claim to have had your hair trimmed) I can only assume that this is a photograph of your father. Hair of such luxurious quantity is an absolute cert for qualification so I am writing to ask that you let me have your father's contact details in order that I can offer him a place on the plane to NZ next summer. This is, of course, on the assumption that he has not gone bald in the last 30 years and still has a fine head of thick hair. An ability to play rugby would be an advantage but not a necessity.
Further, while in NZ would you be interested in doing a bit of research on Graham Henry's gang?
Yours as ever
(Sir) Clive
Response: Sir,

Once again, a pleasure to recieve your correspondence. You too have thought logically to try to solve the puzzle.

I can confirm that my father still has a full head of hair and that he would be most anxious to accept his NZ ticket.

Can I ask on his behalf though whether there are any playing restrictions imposed in respect to the ratio of grey to black hair?

Wrt the hair scouting, I'd be honoured to take a look. I'll need at least 4 assistants and a water carrier with me at all times though.

Richie
From gerald coles
Hi Richard, Glad to hear your travels are still going along ok.We are all about the same here at beautiful downtown Bridgend, in other words still " p" off. Saw your Dad at Langland in the Past Captains match. I had a good day won 2 bottles of Scotch. not that I would drink it ?? He was looking well almost as good as his description on your website. We all send you are best wishes for the new year and take care of yourself. Regards Gerald.
P.S. There is a lot to be said for older women . I don't know what it is though.
Response: Thanks Gerald.

Regards to the Bridgend folk. Please wish them all the best for the New Year.
From Richie's Dad
To All and Sundry

You may have noticed that my son has published a photograph above (Lad or Dad?) which challenges viewers to decide whether this is a photo of son or father in far distant times. I wish to take this opportunity to defend myself.

Although it has been said on many occasions since he was quite small that Richard has inherited his father's stunning good looks (as well as his charm and amazing personality [and modesty?] - and from where did he inherit his zany sense of humour as witnessed on his web page/log??) how can he be so bold as to suggest that he could be anything like as good looking as his father?

I wish to put on record that although Richard may be younger than his father (difficult to appreciate, I know) and he has inherited his father's hair growth, hair colour, eyes, style, wit, charm, good looks, etc., etc., there the comparison ends. His father is younger looking, twice as attractive, almost(?) as slim, now has a tidier haircut (maybe it was that fashionable length 30-ish years ago [when I was in primary school] but times move on), and is wealthier than his son - apart from that I have nothing going for me!!

So, in conclusion, I hereby declare that the photo is definitely of Richard (or Richie as he cares to be known these days - I guess to fool his creditors) and as his father I can only hope that his looks improve with age in the same way as his father's. But modesty prevails and I will conclude here.

Merry Xmas to all readers.
Richie's (Richard's) Dad
Response: Readers,

The only question I wish to ask is whether you believe a person of my sophistication and standing, and with my fashion sense could possibly let their hair get into that kind of a state?

It's for you to decide!

Richie