Leaning

One of the first things you notice living in the hills is that you don’t get many poles that are straight up. There is always a bit of a lean to them. Nowt wrong with that. It feels like I’ve had a bit of a lean for years.

There is a really apt song line that Roger Waters wrote a few years back.

You lean to the left but you vote to the right.

This morning I read a work email exchange. One guy was saying that he had voted for Brexit because it seemed cool but hadn’t voted for higher food prices and more expensive import taxes. He certainly hadn’t voted for the nightmare it had become to own his time share in Spain.

Ok…..

Maybe its just me. 😳

But I guess we all do a bit of that lean to the left but vote to the right thing.

I’m not immune to that. As a kid I fell in love with football. What an exciting game it could be if I picked a great team. I then picked Newcastle United to support. If I liked football so much why did I pick that bunch of numpties.

Then there was a time when I was a fully paid up member of CND. Proud owner of the ban the bomb T-shirt. I picked what look like a really interesting University option. All went well until I found out where my option was based. The National Atomic Weapons Research Facility…… I’m not making that up. How on earth did I get through the vetting.

But it goes much wider. I wanted desperately to be a parent but not sure I would have initially voted to be a single parent. Definitely not this way.

So I guess there are times when things are out of our control. Life happens. But there are times when it is down to our decisions, our actions. If that happens you just have to own the consequences….

Swiss Sunday

It’s early Sunday here in Yorkshire yet my thoughts are drifting to a country a 1000 miles away. A country which I haven’t managed to visit for nearly 6 years now. But it’s still very much on my heart. On our little families heart. A place with so many happy times for my son. One of the most stunning lands on our wonderful planet. Time for a bit of Alpine Heaven. Time for Switzerland.

I’m now seeing those mountains and those lakes. The mesmerising landscapes. I’m hearing the peaceful sounds of this land. Relaxing running water. Often the only other sound is the distinctive ringing of cow and church bells. Other than that it’s the sound of silence.

One day I will hopefully return. I hope you will join me as well.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly trip to an alpine wonderland. To beautiful Switzerland. One of the most stunning countries on our planet.

I have been looking at photos of The Alps in old climbing books since I was a teenager. My home town’s old library didn’t have many books in BUT it did have three about scaling mountain peaks. Every Saturday morning on my trip to the one record shop I would stop off and look at those books. Dreaming of one day standing by those great peaks . The Eiger, The Matterhorn. The Monch.

So how excited was I when I flew into Switzerland for the very first time. Wow those mountains were as fantastic as I had dreamt of. But there was something else. Look at those lakes. Look at the water. I had no idea just how many stunning lakes this place had.

Here’s a fact for you. Little Switzerland has over 1500 lakes and has 6% of Europe’s freshwater stock….

Let’s hear it for those lakes.

Thank you Switzerland.

Delightful

Red sky at night Shepherds delight.

I’m taking Boris Johnson so I guess I might be getting some of those delightful fan mail messages again.

Watching the news and again shaking my head. Just maybe the UK could vote for a leader next time who could be bothered to comb his hair or dress in front of a mirror. So our esteemed PM has been talking again. Amazing considering he has just got others to pay for a £200000 makeover on his flat.

Apparently 120000 deaths is in fact a sign of a job well done. Something to be proud of. It’s silly to compare us with other countries with much lower death levels as comparisons are meaningless. Soon things will be apparently back to normal with most of the restrictions lifted. Crowds will be back. Football grounds, restaurants and pubs will be full again. Life will be good within months. Which is bizarre as he then mentioned that (entirely down to Europe and absolutely nothing to do with lifting restrictions) a third wave will likely hit the UK real soon.

Ok….. Didn’t we already go through our really bad third wave after Christmas when the PM lifted restrictions against the advice of his medical experts. If a FOURTH wave hits then it’s not down to Europe. The threats sources are clear. From vaccine resistant mutations spreading far more rapidly due to premature restriction easing. The threat comes from still not having any meaningful Covid screening checks at many airports and ports. It comes from a bizarre refusal to address overcrowding, design failings and poor ventilation in our schools, offices and public places. It comes from using schools as a way of promoting a discredited ‘herd’ strategy. It comes from pinning all our hopes on a ‘vaccinate out of this mess strategy’ and close our eyes to other long overdue changes. It comes from still not having an effective track and trace system. It comes from a wonderful health service which has been cut back over far too many years and is now utterly exhausted. It comes from mixed messages from the top which is resulting in some people following social distancing and others thinking the pandemic is over.

Moan over….

That sky was delightful.

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

It’s early Sunday here in Yorkshire. I can hear the wet and windy weather outside. It’s grim. So my mind is wandering. Wandering to a beautiful country. A country which is so special to our little family. Let’s spend a few moments taking a virtual trip to stunning Switzerland.

Hopefully one day we can return in person. Create some new memories. I so want that. I so wanted to go last year or this year. Sadly life has construed against that. Let’s set my sights on 2022 then. The last time we went as a family was when Hawklad was 8. Now he’s a teenager. It would be good if he can visit again during his childhood.

There is always hope.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it’s time for our weekly virtual trip to stunning Switzerland. A country which means so much to our little family. A family link which started when Hawklads Grandfather was sent here to recover from a really bad chest condition when he was young. Strengthened when he returned here to work for a charity helping servicemen recover from long term war injuries. Switzerland then became the go to place for a family holiday with his growing family. It became our go to destination.

Times have changed and now the family is much smaller now. Any future family returns are now down to just Hawklad and me. Let’s hope it’s not too long before we return again.

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’s time for our weekly virtual visit to beautiful Switzerland. A country which means so much to our little family. To me. Life happens and it’s meant that we haven’t been able to get to our little bit of alpine heaven since 2015. Our next visit can’t come quick enough.

I’ve been thinking about what it will feel like when I’m finally back there again. It’s going to be at least 7 years since that trip in 2015. Maybe it will feel like the return of a wonderful friend or maybe it will feel like the first time. I still remember what it felt like on my first trip. A flight into Zurich and arrive at the hotel in the early afternoon. Cold and cloudy. The mountains shrouded in mist. But that fresh alpine air. Wow.

Then the next day we headed on the train to Grindelwald. All those books about the massive mountains I head read since childhood, suddenly they were real. I was amongst them. Then a trip up my first Alpine Peak. Not a big one, in fact it’s only a minor summit. But now always a special one to me. The First. On that a Sunday I was up high surrounded by giants like The Eiger.

What a great name for my First Swiss Mountain. FIRST. Yes to me it’s a Mountain. Always my favourite mountain now. Just one of the most uplifting and exhilarating feelings of my life.

Yes the next time I visit Switzerland I hope it feels like the FIRST time again.

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.