My trip begins

Blogging from a small iPhone – is it possible? I’m on a trip with no laptop or iPad, so I’m evaluating the possibilities of travelling light.
The trip began with a train cancellation and consequently a squeeze to catch the connection in London, but it turned out ok. Another connection from Birmingham and then buses from Gobowen and finally from Oswestry took me to the lovely village of Llanrhaeadr. This final leg wasn’t without incident due to diversions that required the bus to negotiate even narrower country lanes than the normal route.
After a settling in at my holiday cottage, followed by an hour or so with my aunt, I picked up a few basics from the small supermarket.
Being a Saturday night, a pub meal for dinner seemed very appropriate, and a steak and ale pie and a Shiraz were duly consumed.

And now, the final episodes of Spiral.

Saturday’s newspaper

When did Saturday’s paper stop being interesting? We’ve always bought a Saturday paper. A couple of years or so ago we switched from a lifetime reading The Guardian to The Times. But today I switched back, partly because we were getting tired of The Times. But today’s Guardian is no improvement and costs a monstrous £3.20 (The Times costs £2!).

Is it that we’re already saturated with news? We listen daily to Radio 4’s Today programme and to TV news bulletins, as well as checking out many of the newspaper sites on the Web.

Our daughter has suggested switching to a Sunday paper so maybe that’s worth a try.

I think that at my age I’ve become worn out by politics, endless tragedy, conflict and disaster. I need a rest. I need to block it all out.

A foggy, Autumn day

Yesterday, on a lovely, sunny day, I drove along a country lane from Headley towards Leatherhead and saw this amazing display of Autumn colours. Today I was determined to have another look and so I took a driver with me so I could capture the scenery. Well it turned out to be a foggy day, but with some help from Photoshop, the pictures taken through the car windscreen have captured some of the beauty.

By the time we had arrived at Polesden Lacey, our coffee-break destination, the fog was more obvious and the resulting pictures look better in black and white. And gosh, wasn’t it cold!

River Wey Navigation

A glorious Autumn day and I was hoping to see some lovely colours, this time walking from Ripley to Send. Success! A bus from Send back to Ripley, followed by a coffee and cake in the always reliable Nest Cafe, rounded off a perfect day.

Click the image below for larger images.

Shut Up and Deal – Jesse May

Shut Up and Deal, by Jesse May, is a gritty, relentless exploration of what it’s like to be an addicted, professional, poker player. Sometimes it got a bit wearing but I kept on being drawn back into this fascinating tale of hopelessness and addiction.

Recommended, for some.

I took them – I hate them


I’ve made this mistake this before – a walk along the Wey Navigation, expecting the Autumn colours and a sunny day and being disappointed that neither was (were?) present. And I underexposed the images to protect what little there was in the sky, and I just can’t get Photoshop to make me happy with the results. On top of that the riverside pub charged me £3.95 for a coffee with hot milk. I’ve no idea what the dog was hoping for with its pleading eyes – it obviously didn’t know I’m not a dog lover.

OK, so I’m tired and grumpy. It was a long day – two trains, three buses, and no cake. Continue reading “I took them – I hate them”

Lisbon vehicles

There’s an amazing variety of vehicles used to move visitors around Lisbon. There’s a plague of electric scooters and electric bikes around the tourist areas, and for the adventurous / foolhardy there’s also Segways that can be hired. There’s a small, easy to use Metro system as well as buses and the wonderful trams. Finally, there’s a varied range of taxis.

Continue reading “Lisbon vehicles”

Not taking enough books on holiday

What was I thinking by taking just the one book on holiday! I should have realised that John Grisham’s The Racketeer was never going to last five days and two flights. And what a disappointing holiday read it was. A crazy plot, no pace, and not much in the way of characterisation to excite.

So with two days and a flight remaining, with one of those days forecast to be wall to wall thunderstorms(!), I desperately needed to find a bookshop that sold English language novels. Thanks to Google I located Bertrand, ‘The Oldest Bookshop In The World’, here in Lisbon, where it was claimed they have a small English Language section. Yes it was small and I really struggled to find anything, reluctantly settling on an early Jo Nesbo, Cockroaches. I may have already read it, though it’s not mentioned in the list of books I’ve read. But since I can barely remember the stories of books I have read, hopefully there’s something to enjoy for the next couple of days.

View of Sintra from Quinta da Regaleira

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