Today our glorious leader will be sending a letter to the European parliament to formally announce the start of the process for the UK leaving the EU.
I am hugely sad about this for a number of reasons – I was stunned by the result of the referendum last year and have been quietly hoping that it was either all a bad dream, or that there was some undercurrent within the political machine that would make it possible to review the decision in the cold light of day and with some truthful data, rather than the hate-fuelled scaremongering that characterised the original campaigns.
And yet here we are, several months later, with the main protagonists in this awful storyline having slunk away into the wings until everything has blown over, about to drive the bus off the cliff because that’s what the passengers have voted for.
I feel sad that the idea of being part of a world greater than our own small shores is so scary to so many people. I feel sad that so many of my fellow countrymen can’t see the benefit of the free flow of people as a positive thing, despite all the evidence to back this notion up. I feel sad that so many people in our small island see the self imposed exile that we are about to inflict on ourselves as ‘taking back control’.
But I shall travel. I shall see new things and I shall continue to be bewildered by the little Englanders who see anything not draped in a Union Jack as somehow lesser.
Last week was quite a week.
It all started sanely enough on Monday at 6am, after my first (sort of*) weekend off since January. I headed off to the office and was home again around 6.45pm. I made dinner for Mrs A and I, we ate together, watched TV for a couple of hours, before going to bed and sleeping the sleep of the just until 6am the following morning. (more…)
Post Indian odyssey things accelerated pretty quickly. I’d had a good few months of doing my own thing, which was delightful. I’d travelled and hiked and wildcamped. I’d watched sunrises over new places and sunsets over old haunts and it was great.
It was time for new things. So I’d signed up as a retained firefighter. (more…)
It was an unusual journey to the airport. The hotel that we’d stayed at overnight was very close to the terminal building, one of the big, corporate places that spring up around most airports, surrounded by similar hotels, empty roads and not much else. Eight days after we’d arrived in India I’d become (almost) acclimatised to the traffic to the extent that the lack of cows, camels, suicidally reckless cyclists or certifiable Tuk Tuk drivers trying to occupy the same small patch of tarmac as us felt odd. Not even so much as a single truck heading towards us on our side of the road…..
Another day, another early start.
We loaded our kit back into the cases and hit the road again, this time east towards Jaipur. We stopped off at Fatehpur Sikri on the way, a town built to be the capital at incredible expense and then abandoned a few years later for reasons pretty much unknown. It was an incredible place, made all the better by the approach – the huge gateway arch soaring over us as we ascended the steps was very intimidating and once inside the walls it was all the things we’d come to expect – serene, beautiful and incredibly detailed. We spent a couple of hours happily wandering about getting told more tales by our guide in his idiosyncratic style.
OK, so there may be questions as to where I’ve been over the last few months – things have been a bit less busy on the travel front and a bit more busy on the life-in-general front. I’ll spill the beans over the next few posts, but first the remainder of the Indian odyssey, back in August…
Prepare yourself for a shocking sentence.
Our flight from Birmingham to Dubai was an absolute pleasure and I was genuinely a little bit dissapointed when we landed.
The latest trip for Mrs A and I has been India. I’m there now actually, hurtling along a Rajasthani motorway in the monsoon. It’s really not for the faint of heart as in addition to the torrential downpours there are cows, dogs, tuk-tuks, cyclists and disinterested pedestrians to contend with, all of whom seem to view the basic principles of dual carriageways as advisory at best.
Did I mention this was a motorway?
Anyway, we’re on our way back to Delhi to catch our flight tomorrow to Dubai, but India has been glorious. We’ve been here for 6 days and as well as visiting Delhi, we’ve been to Agra and Jaipur too. It’s been far too interesting for one post only, so there’ll be a few. You have been warned.
Today marks the passing of another great man that I’ve been lucky enough to call father.
Today my father in law, Jim, died.
Jim lived a life that I am envious of. He was a man of character and humour and grace. He welcomed me with open arms and was a warm, honest man of integrity. He was full of the qualities to which I aspire.
Thank you for the smiles and the happy times Jim, your like is a rare thing.
The Lake District smiles on me. I love North Wales and the mountain ranges of Snowdonia, but almost without exception when I’m there the Goretex will be on my back before I’ve trudged out of the car park.
The lakes are different. I know they’re officially one of the wettest places in the UK but in recent times the sun has always shone on me, so I feel like the place actually doesn’t mind me being there, like it isn’t giving me a great big cumulonimbus-shaped “sod off” every time I haul my pack onto my back.