Birds at dawn

Another early start. This time a seriously early one. A perfect insomniac storm. 3am. Hawklad has woken and can’t sleep. I have not been to bed yet and sleep feels a million miles away.

Hawklad wonders if we can see the dawn brake. On the coast.

So a few moments later and after I had sampled the meanest of espressos, we are driving. Driving past badgers, foxes and owls. Before 4am we arrive at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. It’s still pitch black and we have the site to ourselves. It’s such an eerie feeling walking in the complete absence of light and sound. Even to early for the thousands of seabirds perched precariously on the cliffs. No wind and even the sea was strangely becalmed.

In perfect time to watch dawn brake. No thoughts of an Albatross who was apparently out at sea. Who needs one bird when you get to watch all this unfold.

The dark was a challenge to my iPhone camera but it gave it a go.

By 7am a few people had started to arrive, mainly here to take up prime spots and wait. Hoping on catching sight of one particular bird. They had no idea what they had just missed. The deafening sound of seabirds hides the peace that existed just 2 hours ago.

We were back in the car and driving a few minutes later. The site had lost its appeal to Hawklad. Even a handful of strangers proving too much for him. But he had got to see a spectacular show first hand. Just the two of us so without his anxieties. He slept during the ride home.

Yes it was a ridiculously early start. Yes I went more than 24 hours without sleep. But it was worth it for those couple of hours when Hawklad felt that he had the world to himself. I suspect it won’t be the last time we do this. Yes there will be time for trips out to build those social bridges but those come with anxieties. We all need these times and places of sanctuary. Hawklad does. Yes even a worn down parent needs them.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday here in Yorkshire so it must be time to dream. To dream of being in one of the most beautiful countries on our wonderful planet. Time to dream Swiss dreams. Yes time to dream big.

Yes it’s been 5 years since I was last there. Life has happened. At present getting back to Switzerland seems a distant prospect. So many roadblocks. So many complications. But alpine heaven is still there.

That’s the thing about dreams. Yes they may often seem just like pipe dreams. Impossible. But that doesn’t make them any less precious. Any less loved. AND you just never know. Tomorrow is another day. Life can change in an instant. There is usually always a chance. There is always hope. We will dream. Dream big.

Swiss Sunday

It’s early Sunday morning here in Yorkshire so it must be time for our weekly trip to a stunning alpine paradise. Yes let’s go to Switzerland.

While looking at photos for today’s virtual trip I suddenly recalled a wonderful family memory. We had just had a weeks holiday based in Spiez. One night our 6 year old had asked what Daddies drink tasted like. A small spoonful of lager confirmed to the 6 year old that his time was better spent guarding his Diet Coke bottle. A couple of days later it was time to go home. At Zurich Airport we approached airport security control. When the uniformed official asked if we had anything to declare the helpful 6 year old immediately pointed out “Yes, my Dad lets me drink beer”.

I’m not sure how I ever got through that checkpoint in one piece.

Ok it’s about time this bad Dad shuts up and let’s you get on with looking at Switzerland. A dream land.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to an alpine paradise. To a country which is staggeringly beautiful. Let’s take a trip to Switzerland.

2015 was our families last trip here. Things have changed for us so much since then and certainly not for the better. But life has to go on. So I’m going to look at these treasured old photographs and remember just how beautiful our planet can be. And then dream of a return and the creation of new memories.

Swiss Sunday – Let’s Walk next to a Giant

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to alpine heaven. A country which might be 900 miles away from our home but to this family will always be within our hearts. So many trips here as a family of 3. So many memories. Let’s visit Switzerland.

Today I needed a walk. A special walk in the mighty Alps. It’s a Sunday so let’s be kind to our bodies. Let’s make it downhill all the way. Why not let the brilliant Swiss transport system take us all the way to the top. To beautiful alpine village of Murren standing at 5700ft above sea level. A special village which CANNOT be reached by public road. Yes it is car free.

Then it’s downhill all the way. Walking through along mountain tracks and Forest trails. One of the world’s greatest mountains, The Eiger towering above you. We finally reach Lauterbrunnen. Another stunning alpine village 3000ft below Murren. Set in a stunning steep sided valley. Next to the village is the famous Staubbach Falls. It’s waters crashing 970ft to the ground.

This is a truly epic area. Staggeringly beautiful. That good it was used as the principal filming location for the James Bond movie – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. One day I so want to come back here. In fact these two villages would be just about at the top of my dream home location.

I can dream….

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly trip to Alpine heaven. A land which we haven’t been able to visit since the summer of 2015 but which still has a special place in our hearts.

Time for a bit of Switzerland love.

It’s school half term week here. If life had turned out differently then there would have been every chance that the next time we visited here would have been at this time of year maybe in 2017. Wasn’t destined to be. Maybe a much smaller family will try in 2022? Always hope. Switzerland is always there.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday here in Yorkshire so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to beautiful Switzerland. A place which is so special to our family. Four generations now. Due to life we haven’t been able to visit since 2015. Since then our family is much smaller but hopefully we have many more alpine holidays still to come.

Recent months have been so constrained. Often so hemmed in. That’s why photographs are so important. They remind of a world filled with beauty, amazement and adventures. Evidence that this still can be a wonderful life. No better place than Switzerland for demonstrating this. That’s why we love this place so much.

Thank you Switzerland.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly visit to a little piece of alpine heaven. To a stunning country that our little family has not been able to visit since the summer of 2015. It’s time for Switzerland.

On every visit we would find ourselves spending a few minutes window shopping. Window shopping at the Property Agents. Looking wishfully at all the houses for sale. Dreaming of what could be. Definitely thinking about buying maybe one lottery ticket or suddenly finding that hidden masterpiece in the loft. What a place to live. A place to really live.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it’s time for our weekly trip to beautiful Switzerland. One of most stunning countries on our planet. A place which has a close link with our family for generations. Due to life we haven’t been able to visit in person since 2015. But it’s still close to our hearts and we will return one day.

Although Switzerland is completely land locked you are never far from water. Whether it’s one of its myriad alpine rivers and streams or one of its 1500 stunning lakes. Water always seems to be in the forefront of any Swiss photo. This morning what would I give to be in this beautiful country and stood next to Swiss water.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly trip to alpine heaven. A dream destination. Let’s visit beautiful Switzerland.

Switzerland is a place we haven’t been able to visit since 2015. But it is still so special to our little family. One day we will return.

The weather has been awful here in Yorkshire. Day after day of damp, misty greyness. I so need to experience colour again. To breathe in that fresh mountain air. To experience being alive again. So let’s spend a few moments drinking in the colours of Switzerland.

Take care.