Sirius rises late in the dark, liquid sky On summer nights, star of stars, Orion’s Dog they call it, brightest Of all, but an evil portent, bringing heat And fevers to suffering humanity. Homer’s Illiad A collection of images with … Continue reading →
On Saturday, under fine Northumbrian skies, we completed a 98 mile round trip to Alnwick and Alnmouth in the Elise – roof off all the way. First stop was a too infrequent visit to the glorious Barter Books housed in old Alnwick Station and then, after lunch, a drive to nearby Alnmouth for a meander along the beach. This was my sort of walk; out along the seashore and then back above the sands skirting two golf courses: The Foxton and Alnmouth Village.
My excuse for these less than fascinating facts is that I tend to use this blog as a personal diary but it does put me in mind of this recent letter to The Oldie Magazine:
I haven’t got a computer, but I was told about Facebook and Twitter, and am trying to make friends outside Facebook and Twitter while applying the same principles.
Every day, I walk down the street and tell passers-by what I have eaten, how I feel, what I have done the night before and what I will do for the rest of the day. I give them pictures of my wife, my daughter, my dog and me gardening and on holiday, spending time by the pool. I also listen to their conversations, tell them I “like” them and give them my opinion on every subject that interests me … whether it interests them or not.
And it works. I already have four people following me: two police officers, a social worker and a psychiatrist.
Peter White, Derbyshire.
Of course, none of the above applies to WordPress but I hope you “like” and enjoy this post :D
Beneath my feet on this summer evening, straight lines of stubble leading down the hill from Beaufront Woodhead to the fringes of Hexham. Like me, a field too lazy to shave:
a. the stubs of stalks left in a field where a crop has been cut and harvested
b. (as modifier): a stubble field.
2. any bristly growth or surface
[C13: from Old French estuble, from Latin stupula, variant of stipula stalk, stem, stubble]
… everything changes, just do what you think you should do – To Ramona, Bob Dylan.
More than fifty years separate these images and much has changed in the intervening years, not least me. In the earlier photograph I have adopted a ‘workman-like’ pose in contrast to my usual preference for pulling faces at the camera. In the later image I prefer to hide behind the lens.
The cars from the 1950s are lined up for the Ballachulish Ferry which is now replaced by the bridge, visible in the second image. The hotel remains but the family car has transformed from plain and utilitarian into a sleek object of beauty. In the older image we are gathered around my Dad’s Ford Consul (331 ELG) while the car in front, an ugly-duckling Vauxhall Victor, belonged to my Uncle Ed – they should have kept the Jaguar.
In 1959 we were travelling north to Cullen in Banffshire, a journey that took forever with an overnight stop in Callendar. We used the only section of motorway built in the UK at the time but it did little to reduce journey times – the 8.5 mile Preston Bypass which eventually transformed into part of the M6.
In 2015 I have driven alone to play golf at Traigh near Arisaig, a brief few days away, not feasible in the 1950s. On my return I could not resist the delights of the Dragon’s Tooth Course squeezed between mountains and loch, a few hundred yards from the Ballachulish Hotel. It is a fine test of golf and feels like similar mature courses celebrating their centenaries but in 1959 it did not exist, the fields of Glenn a` Chadias were still being used for grazing cattle. Everything passes, everything changes.
This final image from RMWeb.co.uk shows the ferry in action in 1962 from the other side of the loch, with the Ballachulish Hotel visible in the background. An early implementation of roll-on, roll-off.
I have been driving for an eternity. A two week car journey around Lapland was immediately followed by a 700 mile round trip to Traigh Golf Course near Arisaig. The greater the effort the greater the rewards and both adventures were very rewarding even if I left my golf game at home for the latter. I have limited this post to just two images – the first from our last full day at Abisko in Sweden and the second from a late evening drive between Traigh and Acharacle (the view to the small isles from Glenuig). Hopefully both explain why the effort was worth it:
This first image of Finnsnes was taken from MS Finnmarken on 22nd December 2014. Within a short time we would float under the bridge in the distance, heading north to Kirkenes. At the time my knowledge of the local geography … Continue reading →
The Norway of my imagination survives at its distant edges. It is an imagination fed by a too brief holiday in the early sixties when the sun perpetually shone, the snow-capped mountains reflected a clear bright light and the fjords … Continue reading →