Generally Speaking

New World

Many of us are finding the simplified life enforced by this strange, strange coronavirus lock-down to be providing us with an opportunity to do things like sorting out records of the past. I have been looking at an album of my own childhood photographs which is bringing back memories of what is probably the most dramatic dislocation of my entire life.

I had my eleventh birthday in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. And in the middle of a change in my life so great that the new world I was about to enter would not seem to have the slightest connection with the one I was leaving behind.

Looking back some sixty five years later, I remember most vividly that feeling of disconnection, together with a pervading sense of unreality – a weird feeling that this tremendous thing wasn’t really happening.

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Kew Gardens and the Dale Chihuly glass sculpture installation

Dale Chihuly’s blown glass sculptures were a memorable feature of our visit to Seattle three years ago, and when we saw that Kew Gardens has a major exhibition of his work running this summer we decided to visit.
Our arrival time, after an hour’s drive, worked perfectly so that we were in position just as Sunday parking on the road outside became legal at 10am.

The whole visit to this superb garden was an absolute delight. So I thought I’d share some of the pictures in the hope of encouraging others to go as well.

Las Vegas to Calgary in four weeks, and a story with a moral

Our route

Our Route
Blue – self-drive car    Red – rail   Green – bus

The above image is a still from the interactive Google map of our route which can be accessed by clicking this link. If you do that you can zoom down to the detail of where we went and/or superimpose the Satellite view.

Some facts and figures

Modes of travel:
Plane:London to Las Vegas 10 hours BA
Calgary to London 7½ hours Air Canada on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Read more…

The Rocky Mountaineer – one of the world’s great rail journeys

SPOILER ALERT If you are ever likely to do this wonderful journey, just do it. For heavens sake just discover it for yourselves.

Otherwise – on we go.  By all means enjoy this feeble attempt to record a few of our impressions.

From the moment we stepped out of our taxi at the dedicated terminal at Vancouver we knew we were doing something special. Read more…

Day 23 : Vancouver – perfect choice for our longer stay

Just as in Monument Valley three weeks ago, and in a Barbara Kingsolver that Lesley has just finished, our fourth and final day in Vancouver brought home to us the extent to which, all over the world, Westerner’s are trying to make some amends for the terrible arrogance with which they set out to obliterate the cultures of indigenous peoples.

image

Having proudly mastered Vancouver’s excellent bus service we put our $1.75s into the coin counter by the driver of the C23 into town and then used the same ticket to transfer to a 14 trolley bus (electric) for 33 stops to the University of British Columbia’s beautiful, park-like campus. (Google Maps’ route-finding app once again invaluable) Read more…

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