Storm Eunice is heading our way, so we are bracing ourselves for the windiest day of the year. I know, it’s only February but hey. It’s going to be a big one. I took advantage of finishing early today to go get some images of an abandoned caravan on my way home. Just a few shots but I like them.
I’ve been slowly getting back to writing over the last few months and on Saturday we will be holding the first in person meeting of our poetry group since lockdown began two years ago, it will I hope be successful. I am struggling with my current piece, part the end of something, part cathartic, it comes and goes. Each change brings ideas and fears. Do I want to write this? Can I finish it to make it work for others as well as myself. We’ll see.
I hope no-one has any problems with Eunice. Stay safe out there.
Watching the audience, live music in Camden, London. Before lockdown when we enjoyed the proximity of people and music made us closer. Part of a set from my travels as an engineer, spending time away from home on a regular basis. Finding things to see and do in strange places. The camera had to work hard in this setting, but I love the result, digital grain and a softness I love, but with enough detail to keep the sense of what is going on.
A few years ago, I joined the RAF, trained as an Electronics Engineer and went out to work on the modern equipment of the Royal Air Force. That was the idea, the reality turned out to be the Bloodhound Missile System. Guarding the East coast of Britain from the threat provided by the USSR, a medium range anti-aircraft system. That was over 25 years ago, I’ve been a civvie for years, moved around a bit, done a few other things but will always remember the equipment that taught me my trade.
A bizarre turn has meant that one is going on display in our local museum, the Helicopter museum, Weston-super-Mare. I cheated and got a few pictures over fence.
This one, until recently was a gate guard at RAF Halton and has the 85sqn emblem towards the front, a squadron I was part of during my time. The display is officially opened on the 1st April. So if you get the chance pop along to look.
Last week we returned to Stratford, this time we managed to get tickets to see two plays by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Loves Labours Lost,and later in the week, Loves Labours Won (Much Ado About Nothing) the first time both have been put together, with the same cast and director doing both plays. We weren’t disappointed by either, set before and after the First World War, the acting, music and setting were brilliant. For me, Loves Labours Lost was the best I have seen of any of the plays. If you do get a chance, go and see them.
Later in the week we had coffee at the theatre and a stroll around the public areas, the place is interesting and the staff are friendly and helpful, coffee was good too. It is a place full of history, with remnants of the original theatre that survived a fire in 1926 but has been refurbished recently and is a great place to visit.
The chairs in the picture above are the original auditorium seat, in the position before the fire, other parts of the building like the stairway have also been left to show the history of the theatre.
We had a great week, doing not much of anything except relaxing and getting our thoughts together ready for Christmas, now soon to arrive. For me, it is the Fourth Anniversary of my Blog, I’ve been a bit lax recently on my posts, and also in the background with my writing. Not much to show for my absence, there are a few bits in the pipeline so keep watching. This weekend I am heading out to Dartmoor again I think, to catch the sunrise in a stone circle. Should be interesting, the weather looks promising so we shall see. Don’t get caught up in the hype these next few weeks, enjoy the time and the people you are with.
Where to next, for me the fun part because we are heading to the mountains. To Austria, an Alpine town called Schladming, at the foot of the Hoher Dachstein mountains. The trip across Germany turned into a bit of a disaster with a three-hour traffic jam outside Munich, planned road works apparently, pity they didn’t plan what to do with all the traffic. We still arrived in good time though, to see the sun go down over the mountain and get a cold beer before bed.
Once we were back on track, we stopped for a coffee and a driver swap, Jane took over as we headed for the hills, it’s safer that way, I can’t stop looking around at everything.
The road weaves through tunnels and passes, below castles and through wooded hills striped by waterfalls, all while we get closer to the hotel we shall be staying in for the week. We left the main roads to follow the river Enns to Schladming where it joins the Talbach. Hills rising on both sides of the valley, snow hanging in the high clefts, cloud rolling across the tops, I had the chance to take a couple of pictures before the light was lost.
Morning, and a first day without a drive ahead of us, time for a look around, to see where we have landed. A day to explore, to see the town and get our bearings. A day made for planning, for checking the weather for the week ahead and to see if we could find some way of watching Wimbledon. The town was quiet, normal I suppose for a Sunday in the early summer of a ski town. The cloud was low and rain forecast for the day. But standing again on the balcony, the panorama spread out around us made it all OK.
It’s always fascinating, to walk in a completely new place. Where even the language is something to be discovered. I had visited Germany when I was in my early teens, but very little of the language has stayed with me. We tried our best and the locals were friendly and not at all put out by our ignorance, we could at least say please and thank you.
As is normal, towns in the area are all constrained by the mountains around them and the rivers cutting through them. The two photos are of the Talbach, falling from its high mountain start. Unfortunately rain came, and we scuttled away to look about in the car, and finding some trails local to the hotel to see what could be done.
The next few posts will be about the walking around Schladming, sad to say, we didn’t visit the town much. The call of hills and lazy evenings in a comfortable room won out. We went in for food, for shopping and for information, all of which was provided admirably. The hotel was great, nice big room, and everything we needed to be relaxed, and friendly staff always willing to help and answer questions. I think we shall be going back, it was too good to do in one go, you need to visit a place twice I think to get the best from it. Lots of pictures in this post, hope they do the place justice with my random eye.
Happy trails everyone, enjoy every journey, even the unexpected diversions. It was interesting when stuck in a German traffic jam to see everyone having picnics, walking the dogs and children or strolling ahead to the services for refreshments. A good way to use the time, stretch your legs and get some fresh air, it’s about how you use your time isn’t it.