c r o s s o a k


Images from the land of the slightly upset oak tree

Morning coffee in the bike city

Morning coffee in the bike city

Kafenion Amsterdam. Taste and a view.

Day 1 in Amsterdam

Day 1 in Amsterdam

Fay found an awesome house boat to stay in while in Amsterdam.

Day 1 in Amsterdam

A perfect location and a lovely spot for some sketching.

Day 1 in Amsterdam

There's even a little library nearby.

Day 1 in Amsterdam

Day 1 in Amsterdam

We've been rather taken by the various seating out the front of houses.

Day 1 in Amsterdam

And become rather too interested in the drainage systems and steps down to small back doors. Remind you of anywhere?

Day 1 in Amsterdam

As well as the servants quarters in the house of the Van Loo's.

Day 1 in Amsterdam

And, of absolutely no surprise, stumbling over an Antropologie store.

Day 1 in Amsterdam

Parking isn't easy here. Except with no car.

Day 1 in Amsterdam

Selfies at the bulb market.

Day 1 in Amsterdam

We stumbled on the place for the Van Hof technique - but unfortunately the courses were all fully booked.

Day 1 in Amsterdam

Back home in time for a pizza from the local, and very good, La Perla.

Day 1 in Amsterdam

Oh, and somewhere in all of that we passed the Teddy Bear Tree.

This is a footpath

Footpath

"What I don't understand is why don't bikes pull over to get out of the way of my car when I'm clearly capable of going faster"

roof architecture

James Street Tavern Courtyard Roof Architecture

Admiring the roof architecture of the James Street Tavern courtyard.

Forked

Forked

Results Day

Results Day

Nice one Finn. You're a star.

Ready

Next up

Cleaned and tidied. Ready for the next visitors.

Tree fern damage

Tree fern :-(

Something, or someone, didn't like my tree fern 😕.

Padstow sunset. Maybe.

Padstow sunset. A painting generated by midjourney AI

A computer generated painting of Padstow Harbour Sunset, generated by Midjourney AI.

Wally might be impressed.

Pint and a read

Pint and a book

It chucked it down just before midday, and it sounded like everyone made a beeline for the nearest eatery. By about 8pm the Harbour Inn was just calm enough for a quiet pint.

Estuary View

Estuary View

Not a bad view.

Screwfix on a fixie

Camel Trail

Camel Trail

I had a delivery to collect from Screwfix, simple, except I was on a single-speed (not quite a fixie) and Screwfix is at the top of the hill.

Getting there was puffing, but let's just say home down West Hill to the trail was fuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnn!

Spring High

Spring high

Normally you're looking down onto the yacht decks. Not when it's a spring your not.

Challenge - Padstow by train and bike

Train to nowhere with a bike

Challenge accepted, can I get to Padstow on public transport and a bike? Should be easy, what with our new Great British Railways (with both the words Great and British together it must be awesome).

Let's use the GWR app to book the ticket and a cycle reservation. Sorted. ish. It can't give me a digital ticket, instead I must collect the ticket from the station. OK, I'm leaving from a station so let's do that!

Train to nowhere with a bike

Oh.

Train to nowhere with a bike

Dear. Machine out of order and ticket office closed. Nice.

Train to nowhere with a bike

OK, let's hope I can collect the tickets at the connecting station. Reading here we come!

Train to nowhere with a bike

Success. Ticket for me and ticket for the bike.

Train to nowhere with a bike

And no disruption on the network. Honest gov, none.

Train to nowhere with a bike

But if you look closely you'll see the train is delayed. Get comfy because it's going to stay delayed while you sit here for an hour. And then it's cancelled.

Train to nowhere with a bike

And still no disruption on the network. Honest gov, none.

Train to nowhere with a bike

No worries, there must be another train, or an alternative route. Nope. Nada. Nowt. Not with a bike. Sorry mate, no bike reservations on any train heading west until tomorrow.

Train to nowhere with a bike

So no option but to head back home on a local service. This is fun.

Train to nowhere with a bike

Finally, I'm there. Back to where this sorry story began.

After 12 years of conservative government leadership the railways lack a guiding focus on customers, coherent leadership and strategic direction. They are too fragmented, too complicated, and too expensive to run. Innovation is difficult. Incentives are often perverse. Some working practices have not changed in decades. There must be single-minded efforts to get passengers back. In short, we need somebody in charge.

Eloquent words you say? Sorry, but those aren't my words. They're copied verbatim from the government's own Williams-Shapps plan for Great British Railways. You can read all about it here. And before you complain about my blatent copying, the 'Shapps' in Williams-Shapps is the beloved member for Welwyn Hatfield; also the previous chair of the conservative (and unionist!) party; the same Shapps named when "Google blacklisted 19 of the Shapps' business websites for violating rules on copyright infringement"; and, hysterically, also the same Shapps that used multiple made-up names in some pyramid scheme. You couldn't make this up.

Expectant

Yogi

"It must be almost dinner time" said Yogi.

"In fact, it always must almost be dinner time" he thought.

Sailing!

View from a Wayfarer

Treated myself to an awesome couple of hours sailing on the Camel with H from Camel Sailing. It's been a while. The last time was also here, but back in 2005.

I could get used to the view from a Wayfarer, but maybe not following the views experienced by Frank Dye.

Morning Padstow

Morning Padstow

Morning Walk

IMG_9604.jpg

Rock

Footprints

Fay

Fay

Sand Snipe Again

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Still unsure


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