Archives for August 2022

Water lilies: Better in colour?

Water lilies tour guide

Water lilies tour guide

The tour guide really impressed the boys with his knowledge of the construction of the panels (each panel mounted on casters so that Claude could move them around in his purpose-built studio while painting, from a combination of smaller-scale sketches and his memory). If you look closely you can spot the seams.

Soon there was a whole procession penguin shuffling around the gallery, everyone looking closely for the joints. Or perhaps everyone was just going that way anyway.

Street Art

Graffiti

Finding your way home is easy when the end of the street is decorated with something subtle like this.

Paris surprise

The apartment

Fay found a lovely apartment in Paris, complete with a great big picture of Amsterdam on the wall. I probably didn't think long enough about the "it's a bit big for two of us but it was the only place in Paris that was available" line...

Eiffel Tower

...surprise!!!

Well played family, well played.

(Planning all that must have made the unexpected Brussels diversion even more stressy! ❀️)

Paris

Apartment Staircase

Paris

Paris

Paris

Paris

Paris

Paris

A day of being tourists and eating great food. Au Trappist was perfect for Moules et Frites with Belgium and Irish beer (!), while L'Alsacien République at the end of the street was a fantastic and relaxed spot for the evening. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The water lilies ranged from beautiful through interesting to errrr; depending on which of us you were. Obviously, they are better in monochrome.

Unexpected Brussels

Brussels

Brussels

Brussels

Brussels

Brussels

Brussels

Our train from Amsterdam to Paris was cancelled... Technically it was disrupted. Due to industrial action it would now start from Brussels; but with all trains that day similarly disrupted, starting from Brussels wasn't so helpful when you are sat in Amsterdam.

So we grabbed the last seats on a late train the night before, and had a lightning quick Brussels experience thanks, again, to some tips from the man in Seat61.

Get on your bike

Bike Amsterdam

The best way to see Amsterdam. We whizzed around. If being overtaken by a chain smoking, mobile chatting, lady on a cargo bike with 3 kids in the front can still be called whizz. My excuse was that we were admiring the views.

Here's an example:

Amsterdam

Food in Amsterdam

Lunch at Gartine

Lunch at Gartine. Lovely. Must book.

Brunch at Greenwood, Amsterdam.

Brunch at Greenwood's. Also lovely. Can't book.

People in Amsterdam

Art in Amsterdam

Art in Amsterdam

Art in Amsterdam

A fish named fred

Dylan, Felix, Finn, Fred.

Art in Amsterdam

Art in Amsterdam

Art in Amsterdam

BREXIT and Black Lives Matter at the Stedelijk Museum.

Art in Amsterdam

The gardens (and some Barbara Hepworth) at the Rijksmuseum (or the Ruk to its friends who misread the typographic short form of Rijk).

Art in Amsterdam

This isn't Banksy, but we did see some (and The Kid) at Moco.

Art in Amsterdam

The art market (which had been the book market the previous day).

Art in Amsterdam

And my favourite, Lost Cat in a Glass Box.

Art in Amsterdam

My humble contravention.

Our Lord in the Attic

Our Lord in the Attic

Our Lord in the Attic

Our Lord in the Attic

Our Lord in the Attic

Our Lord in the Attic

Our Lord in the Attic

Our Lord in the Attic

Oh yes. A church hidden inside a house. It was fine, so long as you weren't overt about it.

Watching the traffic float by

Watching the traffic float past

Conflicted whether boat or bike is the best way to get around this city.

Anne

Anne Frank's hiding house

Anne Frank and her family hid in the house at the end of the canal. Look closely and you can see it.

Remember.

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 πŸ˜•.

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

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Rock

Footprints

Fay

Fay

Sand Snipe Again

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Still unsure

Misty Sail

Camel Views

Paddle v Row

Paddle v Row

Paddle lost.

Paddle did well to make any headway against wind and tide. Muppet.

I love travelling

Ewok

Some (Assorted) Dog Walks

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Dog Walks

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Dog Walks

Dog Walks

Shoes

Shoes

Camel

Camel Estuary

Camel Estuary

The Camel Estuary from the middle-loop morning dog walk.

Give Way

Give way

This is still confusing some people who drive.

After work boarding

Harlyn

Board

Harlyn

The benefits of work from anywhere and a "finishing early πŸ„" appointment in my calendar. Some nice waves @ Harlyn with F and then dinner from Big Pans. Yummy.

Foggy Cove

Hawkers Cove

A foggy morning walk to Hawkers Cove.

Lost boot

I found a boot.

Padstow Architecture Walks

Padstow Architecture Walk

The nook

β„–1: The Nook

Sandsnipe

Sandsnipe

Sandsnipe. Sniping sand.

If only I could be consistent on how the boat's name is spelled. In my defense, that was seventeen years ago.