'Smoke' On The Water

Just got back from a trip on P&O Ferries Hull. As some of you will know, l didn't make  Patsy's 4th Feb one ... but courtesy of a great group from here 'Up North'. they offered me a place f.o.c. on this one. They were fantastic company and l enjoyed every minute of it. They're not bloggers so l won't put up their names although l have been supplied with audio snippets from run ins with the UKBA ... which l intend to post. Thanks guys.

Went to Adinkerke and Ostende this time so was able to distribute a lot of our info cards for Cross-Border Shoppers there. Met up with Peter from Real Tobacco and we had a very constructive meeting so expect an announcement soon that will be welcomed by Cross-Border Shoppers ... although l expect not so welcomed by the UKBA. I was very impressed by the Real Tobacco shops and their level of service. l can thoroughly recommend them.

P&O were again out of stock of tobacco. Further enquiries revealed that they only have one delivery per week! ... yes, ONE! It truly does beggar belief that this company loses so much business in these austere times. lt's either incompetence or sheer stupidity ... perhaps both. l wonder if l should tell their owner ... the Royal Family of Dubai ... in particular Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum ? Never met an arab who likes losing money, especially one from somewhere were they do actually cater for the smoker despite having non-smoking regs. Wonder if he'd give us better smoking facilities onboard?

l gave out many of our info cards onboard the ferry to smokers. l also talked to them about their rights and how to use them. None of them knew they could record the UKBA interviews and they all thought that they had to sign the UKBA officers notebook. That's a whole load of people that the UKBA won't find so easy to rob. Interestingly quite a few of them thought the guidelines of 800 cigarettes and 1 kg of tobacco were limits. lt was pleasing to see that when they got back onboard the ship for the return journey, they had purchased over the guidelines .l studied the returning passengers and was able to get those that l had missed the previous night (quite easy to spot them with their purchases in hand).

There was one guy who despite the info l gave him said he wouldn't put our advice into action. He'd never been stopped by UKBA and firmly believed if he told them the truth he'd be fine. He didn't want to antagonise them and would be nice and compliant. Well, best of luck mate!

Oh l forgot another thing about P&O. They were doing security checks on foot passengers ... well pretending to, because they were really looking for alcohol. A dopier pair of drones you will never see. They were totally useless but still had the arrogance and power trip mentality. l wasn't playing and voiced my objections to the other passengers waiting in the 'long' queue. This was certainly overheard by one of the P&O staff so when it got to my time for the 2 drones and their security theatre, this P&O person ushered me past them and onto the ship.

This morning when everyone was disembarking, l made a point to be last off. Once past passport control l was then faced by a host of UKBA dressed in their robocop attire. However, there was no-one being interrogated that l could see and l just walked right through the middle of them and was on my way. Wonder if they've been getting our message too? lol

So, l have a lot of new 'friends' and a job well done even though l do say it myself. All in all, a very satisfying and enjoyable trip ... and 6 litres of JD also now in stock in  Smokeyville Towers!

Stay safe and spread the message to fellow shoppers. We ARE making a difference. lt's up to YOU to make even more of a difference!



  1. As we spoke of recently 'off site', we NEED to get the message to people before they and their friends and family are scarred and scared off for life.

    Well done SH. If it saves just one family the nightmare of a seizure and a long walk home then it will have been worth it.

    My next baccy run isn't for a while but you can be sure every smoker in the smoking lounge will be getting a card.

  2. It will be more than just the people you told aboard the boat who will know the facts, because they will probably each go back and tell others too once they returned home, so the word will spread geometrically every time the seed is planted, plus with the cards they can copy and pass along too, even to those who do not use internet or use computers much. That is know as grassroots. What ASH do is known as astro-turf, by way of expensive lying press releases.

  3. we enjoyed your company also,our driver got asked a few basic questions,and declared all he had in the vehicle,no searches and waved on his way,look forward to our next trip before the 2 for 1 offer ends.
    btw,i did place a card on the window of the shop that had no stock on board,ha ha.

  4. As said by Warrior above, I as the driver was asked a few basic questions, but the interesting part was when the UKBA officer actually told me the new guidelines are 1kg BUT "You can bring as much as you like as long as it is for your personal use" She was quite informative explaining how they can monitor what you're bringing in etc and as Warrior said, we were waved straight through with 5 kilos.

    It was great meeting you SH and we enjoyed your company too :-)

  5. Top marks to a fighter.10/10
    As for P&O North Sea Route,after
    40 years of using that route ,
    Next raid on Flanders is a flanking
    pincer "angriff" from the Ardennes
    with the airborne Brigade Via
    Waterloo and Brussels to WestVlaanders.
    If anyone wants any info
    SBC knows where

    White Flags ,,Never
    Keep right on.

  6. Hi Warrior, Stevyba ... interesting the UKBA officer said they can monitor what you bring in. That'd be a good trick if it were possible ... which it isn't as it stands. Was pleased she gave the regs as they are ... signs of integrity can still be found inside UKBA perhaps? lf so, we need more of it.

    Anon 21.25 .... have no probs P&O failing at Hull but would want the route to remain open under someone else. Somebody who knew how to run it would be nice.

    SBC ... yes that's the plan. Nobody else will do it so we'll do it ourselves. :)

  7. I have been using Real Tobacco for years now, I love the level of service and the friendliness of the staff (If you have a philips Senseo coffee machine, their coffee pods are worth buying too, tons cheaper than UK).
    Probably be next month before I get to make my next trip, I might make some inquiries of the coach companies again to see what their policy is regarding the new guidelines. I'll let you know how I get on.

  8. So thats Smoking Hot? He scared the shit out of me when he just came up. He looks like a Hells Angel. l'd like to thank him for making me feel a lot bloody safer shopping for my baccy trips now.He said there was more info here on the site and he wasnt joking! Thanks again, a fantastic site that l'll share with my mates.

  9. we done a baccy run last year,we go every 6 months or so.
    just me and my partner, we took the car and as we drove up near the shed's, a goonie was having what appeared to be an epileptic fit in the middle of the road as soon as he spotted us, and waved us into the shed.
    We were questioned (interrogated) about where had we been, and what we bought, and what the guidlines were,how did we pay,are we employed,when did we last go,and he even threw in some sarcastic comment's for good measure.
    he asked how long we had the car and if it was registered to me, I had bought the car 7 week's prior to going, but the car headlight's had delector sticker mark's on them and a spanish sticker when we bought it from a car dealer.
    we are going again next sat after 7 mths since we last went, me and my partner will be buying just 3kg of gv hrt each and no booze as we dont drink, I have printed the useage calculator for each of us along with a statement of truth and our last trip booking detail's with dfds, also i will be taking my last 2yrs wage slips and our current bank details indicating that we can afford to fund this trip.
    However I am still sh*tting myself in case they stop us, because we will be over the guidelines and try and take the car from us!!
    any more advice would be gratefull thanks,

  10. Rosie,
    make sure you have recording equipment with you and use them. Tell the UKBA you are recording them from the very beginning. l'd print of the FOI that proves you can record them just in case they try and stop you. Personally l have 2 recorders in case l get an obnoxious arrogant twat. the second recorder l use covertly, hidden in my jacket. They never search you personally. The most you'd get is a drugs sniffer dog.

    Be calm at all times but remain resolute and strong, affirming your rights at all times. lf it goes to an interview refuse to be split up from your partner. The video on N2D shows Smokey and Zaphod doing exactly that.

    The other very important thing is to not sign the officers notebook under any circumstances. Even if they are not seizing your stuff don't sign the notebook.

    Thats it really, always stick to RECORD, DON'T SIGN. With everything you've done l can't see you having any problems though.

    Don't forget to talk to other shoppers on your trip and inform them of their rights. We have to help each other. Have a good trip.


  11. Thank's stephen,
    I have already printed out the info card's from this site and will be handing them out on the ferry going and returning.

  12. SH, I think what she meant by the monitoring part was that, they now have on record what we brought in this time. So if we were to go again in a week or so and get pulled in with the same amount alarm bells would ring.

  13. Stevyba ... no probs. You use that as a ref point then. Our downloadable 'calculator' on consumption etc would help on that. That's the great thing about UKBA records, they aren't there to be just used against shoppers ... they can be used against them too! :)

  14. "However I am still sh*tting myself in case they stop us,!"-Rosie

    Trust me, that's completely normal. I'd post the video of me 'serving' the UKBA with the SOT and FOI but I'm too embarrassed:

    "T-tt-t-this i-i-s for y-y-you and I'm videoing this [scared old man tone] and YOU CAN'T s-s-sStop me['Kevin' tantrum tone]"

    ...and I'm male 6ft of Bad Karma normally and make SH look puUUrdy.

    Point is, despite my nervousness, my stutterings and panickings I followed the advice here and everything was fine. VIDEO+FOI+SOT wins. Just accept the fact you'll be scared-that you will be nervous around uniformed 'authority' figures. Its a genetic British thing i think- like not being able to haggle or thinking that Cheddar is a cheese.

  15. SH, I won't be commenting anymore if you don't get rid of the new stupid double word capture. Sweet jesus that's a pain in the arse.

  16. thanks's guy's will let ya know how it goes when we get back...

  17. SBC ...WTF? When did stupid google blogger put that on? I never asked for it ... l hate that form of capture!

  18. "SBC ...WTF? When did stupid google blogger put that on"

    Ahh sorry for bitching- I thought you'd been on one of your improvement drives :p

    One of the big downsides with blogger is that they do just 'update' things for your 'convenience' and blogging pleasure. Like that stupid 'lightbox' or 'slide show' function. You then have to go out and find a hack to get it back to normal...because nine times out of ten Blogger won't you turn it off.

    Anyways on the subject of Real Tobacco, they may be excellent but their own brand tubing tobacco 'Springfield' is the worst I've ever had the misfortune to use-and I've tried a lot, an awful lot, of the brands. I'm told their Springfield fake GV is good smoking though. A good friend brought me back a large tub of Springfield tubing baccy last month and it was awful. Normally good tubing tobacco almost tubes itself straight out of the tin but Springfield is like trying to tube cheap pipe tobacco that has been ground in coffee grinder. It is NOT a 'volume' tobacco and doesn't expand. It burns like wet grass doesn't and the taste is similar.

    Their own brand tubes are appallingly bad quality, I had to use some again the other night so I know...toilet paper would do a better job.

  19. SBC ....l have no knowledge of tubing but l am about to give it a go. As for Springfield l can't venture an opinion for same reasons. 'warrior' does use it though and likes it. I believe he mixes it with another brand?

  20. "I believe he mixes it with another brand?"

    Very possibly, a lot of tubers do mix their own-a cheapo 'base' brand and then something quality to improve the taste. It makes tubing a little cheaper although it is still about twice the cost of RYO AFAIK.

    That with the Springfield is the only negative thing I've heard/know about REAL though so I'm interested to see the upcoming development.

  21. SBC ... We shall see about the developments my friend. l take a man at his word until events dictate otherwise.

  22. "l take a man at his word until events dictate otherwise."

    Ahh yes the old 'English man's word is his bond' thang....*checks today's stock prices*


  23. SBC ... Well, in this case ...Belgian :)

  24. SH has first hand knowledge of my own practice as regards tubing. Last year, I grew a reasonable amount of tobacco myself. I found that tobacco to be rather strong (which I suppose is natural) and so I cut a 'coronas' (Spanish brand) cigarette in two. I then spread that tobacco along the bottom of the tobacco compartment in my tubing machine. (The machine is an ordinary hand-operated one)I then filled it up with my own so that the whole tube had a mixture of both tobaccos.

    At first, I had a problem because neither of the tobaccos are 'expanded' tobaccos, but I used the compressor tool to good effect, and, by trial and error, learned how much tobacco to put into the compartment. I am now sufficiently skillful to make a well-packed, king-sized cigarette.

    Last year, my growing efforts were only partially successful, but I have corrected my errors and intend to grow 60 plants this year. I expect a bumper harvest!

    May I plug my growing methods? They are in the sidebar of:


  25. My better half smokes Springfield all of the time and doesn't have a problem with it. Initialy she used tubes and found she could fill straight from the pack, unlike GV or Amber Leaf which she had to dry out before using. The tubes have gone by the wayside now and she rolls her own.
    On the other hand I don't like Springfield all that much as it's a bit rough for me.... Amber Leaf for me all the way

  26. We went over to Springfield when GV was scarce.Springfield white was our 1st choice but started to get a bit woody and dry.Last 3 trips we changed to Springfield green and everybody who tries it agrees it's the nearest thing you can get to GV and at 2/3rds the price.

  27. "everybody who tries it agrees it's the nearest thing you can get to GV and at 2/3rds the price."

    Like I said, I've heard good things about it...which is why their tubing tobacco was such a disappointment.

  28. ME and my partner only smoke springfield yellow now all the time,using springfield tubes and we get 64 cigs from a pack,look and smoke just like a normal cig,lots of people try them from us and comment how good they are for a rollie,ha ha,couldn't smoke anything else now.


"In the eyes of the Tribunal the review letter contained several preconceptions, prejudgments and non-sequiturs"

"the absurdity of this reason is demonstrated by simply stating it"

"We therefore find that Mr Sked misdirected himself as to the Policy in carrying out the review and his decision is therefore one that no reasonable review officer could have arrived at."

... commonly known here at N2D as 'Skeds' ... that is to say these are Judges comments regarding UKBA Review Officer Ian Sked's reasons for rejecting peoples appeals against seizures.

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