Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Snot and the Sunday Dad

There I was on Sunday in the Oxfam bookshop (looking for OS maps of Scottish islands), while two metres away a Sunday Dad with his 7yr old son was searching through children's books. Dad was sniffing loudly and often, but seemed determined to be cheerful.

After feeling chilly all evening, I found next morning that I had caught that cold, so now I will battle on with a letter to my MP (with whom I never agree), proposing that people with colds should be required by law not to enter any workplace, nor any public place, therein and thereby spreading germs and making their friends, colleagues, and total strangers unwell and, even worse, likely to spread infection further.

N.B: Defences will include being a Sunday Dad.

Looking around Hay-on-Wye & Brecon


A three night stay and some looking around.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Great Motor Highways of the Alps.

Two days ago I was talking about doing a trip this year in the van along the Route des Grandes Alpes, and doing it alone probably because my wife / navigator doesn't cope well with great heights and steep drops.

Yesterday in Ulverston I bought a few items in Appleseeds on Market Street, then went into the Tinner's Rabbit bookshop, a narrow place with an open coal fire and tiny rooms and fixed ropes on the very steep and narrow stairs.

On the second floor in amongst second-hand mountain and adventure themed books I found "The Great Motor Highways of the Alps", a pretty good coincidence, don't you think? First edition too, not that I was bothered, apart from the expense.

I walked away, had a very good vegan lunch in no-meat Gillams, returned and bought the book for 25% less than the marked price. It has many very good b&w photographs, maps and profiles. Routes to and from Channel ports are all pre-autoroute and remind me of family holidays in the '70s when we travelled through towns Brits nowadays visit only on those odd occasions when we might be dawdling home avoiding péage at the end of a holiday. 

Despite the intervening decades of road improvements and tunnel building, I'm now very much looking forward to finding a few exact locations at which I might replicate some of those 1958 b&w images.