Most of it!

What place in the world do you never want to visit? Why?

OK, but why?

The Earth is quite a large planet to humans, but it is also a finite place. It doesn’t go on for ever and it has limited resources.

I know there are wonderful places to visit and also terrible places, it depends mainly on human activity. We may preserve a place or tear it apart. Every time a person travels though they have a carbon footprint, the amount of carbon dioxide that is produced by the vehicle you travel in, what energy it takes to make it and what is used to fuel the vehicle.

But with satellites, television and the Internet I can visit almost every corner of the world without actually going there. So why should I? I visit places in the UK because it doesn’t cause too much pollution. If I could, I would cycle to where I want to visit. If I want to go abroad I would prefer to use a sailboat or at the most a ferry. I don’t want to fly unless there are solar powered planes.

Another reason not to travel is the fear of disease. There have been films about escaped viruses and diseases, but I never thought I would experience a real pandemic. I guess it’s a case of once bitten, twice shy. I don’t know what I might catch ‘out there’. I am not xenophobic, I’m happy for anyone to come here. I just want people to think first. Do you need to visit, do you want to increase your carbon footprint? It’s a different situation if you are fleeing violence or oppression, then in my opinion you are very welcome. The world is a strange place. I’m lucky to be here.

It was cycling

What’s the most fun way to exercise?

When I was a lot younger my then boyfriend (now hubby) encouraged me to buy a bike because I couldn’t afford a car. We would cycle short distances but gradually I got fitter and we found we would go off into the countryside to enjoy the landscapes or put the bikes on the train and visit our families (both about forty miles away).

But then we started to cycle to and from the family homes, we had both got to the stage where we had got fit and healthy. It’s a great way of getting around and we eventually bought a second hand tandem which was actually two bikes welded together! We manages a hundred mile reliability trial, despite a pedal falling off because one of the chain wheels had been put on back to front. We then got a Gitane tandem, it was much better but the chain was always too slack. We could get up a good speed on it. We would cycle along and down country lanes. Once we ran into a boy scout jamboree, and also a pony trek with ponies stretched across the road up in the Staffordshire moorlands.

My regret? I got knocked off my bike and ended up with a fractured skull. I carried on cycling for a year. But then one day I was cycling up a hill and the bike collapsed underneath me! I took it in for repair and the cycle shop lost my bike for a year! I got it back eventually but I’d got a car and although I still cycled work got in the way and I didn’t use my bike as often. I now can’t get my leg over the bike because my hips are too stiff. I regret losing that fitness and a wonderful exercise.

Forty years ago

Distant memory

A memory of something that happened to me when I was at college just popped into my head. We wereon a London trip to look at Art galleries and museums. For some reason wewere given cloakroom tickets (raffle tickets) instead of actual train tickets on the way down. We spent several hours visiting the National Gallery, the Courtauld Institute, the Tate and the Whitechapel Gallery. But then I miscalculated the distance from another gallery to Euston Station via the Underground (the map is very beautifully designed but the distances are altered to make all the stations fit. And so me and my friend arrived on the platform at Euston as the train yo Stoke-on-Trent started to pull out. I ran but couldn’t jump up to the train door. We had to go to the station ticket office with our raffle tickets! After explaining they agreed we could catch the next train, two hours later we were off. But unfortunately it only went to Stafford, I don’t know how we got back from there but we did… Bus I think, yes, I couldn’t afford to get a taxi the twenty miles we were short on a student grant…


My mind flits

From one thought to another

Over the same land

At different stages of coherence.

Dreams of silky seas

That were not mine

Or high mountain peaks

All is enfolded within.

Pictures taken by others

Hidden folds and valleys

Corrugations of brain.

Dream travel can be overwhelming

Or limited to a single room

Hidden meaning or memory.

Then the cotton thread snaps

And you wake,

To grey darkness

Stuck back in reality

Only a thin film away

But so far

From dream country.

Singing trip

We are just back from a day out to the Black lion at Consall forge near Cheddleton, Staffordshire. It was a singing social. A group from our choir decided to take a minibus and just enjoy the day. We saw the steam train that runs through the valley, people kayaking on the river next to the railway. Walked over the canal that also runs along the valley below the pub and lots of singing, under a gazebo at the pub and also in the minibus. More photos to follow, but I had a bad night’s sleep again, so I’m going to have a nap!

picnic time

Nothing nicer when you are travelling to stop off for a break. In this case we were on our way down to Falmouth and stopped off at Tewkesbury Abbey. My friend who runs provided a picnic hamper full of goodies. I want to go on another trip like this. Its great not to have the responsibility of a long drive and to have an itinerary sorted out by us but undertaken by someone else. I kept saying it was like having a butler!

Floating in the sea or sky?

It was a grey, overcast day at Bovisand yesterday. The port of Plymouth off to the right of this photo was busy. There is a breakwater to protect the harbour and make the inlet safe as ships and boats travel up to the Tamar and Plym Rivers among others that flow into the sea here. But because of the grey light and indistinct sea surface, some of the ships seemed to be floating in the sky! In the distance is the coast of Cornwall. The Tamar river is on the boundary between England’s two most westerly counties. Warm and welcoming in the summer. It can be cold and wet, blustery and stormy at all times of the year. But a very beautiful place to visit.

Three hectic days!

Three day trip to Falmouth in Cornwall and back with . We stayed at a lovely hotel. Travelling through the West of England on the way down, through Ludlow and stopng off for a picnic at Tintern Abbey. We went over one of the bridges over the river Severn. We arrived at the hotel in the evening and went off to find food at a pub called the Red lion. After that we walked back to the hotel over stone stiles through farm fields.

Day two was up at the Penryn Campus at Falmouth University. I was graduating so we joined in the celebrations with other students who were graduating in different aspects of the creative arts. The actress and comedian Dawn French is the Chancellor of the University and handed out a chocolate coin covered in gold foil out to each student. Later, I got to throw my cap and gown in the air with my fellow students. We left in the early afternoon to go in search of a cream tea. Instead we found a shop that would post out cream teas all over Britain. The ships figurehead was down a sloping alleyway that led down to the sea. We sat by the harbour and ate our scones with jam and cream (jam first!). A lovely meal at the hotel and then a hot and sleepless night as the temperature continued to soar.

On the final day it had cooled down, but even though I would have stayed an extra day it was not possible because of the cost. We decided to call at Bovisand Bay near Plymouth in Devon on the way home. We had a picnic there and a paddle (hubby swam). Then a steady drive back up the motoein increasing heat. We stopped off a few times. I’m sunburnt but happy. Very tired. I couldn’t really post much here as I didn’t have much Internet connection.

Earth moves…

We think the Earth goes round the Sun and the Moon goes round the Earth. So at the end of a year the Earth is in the same place as a year ago. Right? Wrong! The Galaxy is spinning and the Sun moves with it through space. The Earth orbits the Sun but because the Sun is moving the Earth spirals along around it, and the Moon curves and spirals round Earth. So hard to try and draw! If we could time travel we would have to move through time and space to get back onto the Earth. But if you take into account the speed we are travelling and the distance we will have travelled around the Galaxy, I imagine it would take a great deal of energy to do it!


Yesterday we were ‘up north’ in Carnforth visiting relatives and we went to a model train show at Carnforth railway station. The station was the setting for the film ‘Brief Encounter’. There is a museum at the station about it. I might write a bit more about the model railways. We stayed at Lancaster University guest rooms, OK but no TV or radio and the WiFi wouldn’t connect to the Internet. Hence my lack of posting yesterday. A wet and misty morning meant an early breakfast. We came home by 1pm, so about 200 miles done in around twenty four hours!