For reasons I cannot fathom, my good lady has turned camera shy. Any attempt at the candid image will be met with “Oh, please don’t Robin!”. Undeterred, and as with most things, I carry on regardless 😀
Hey, where did we go
Days when the rains came ?
Down in the hollow
Playing a new game,
Laughing and a-running, hey, hey,
Skipping and a-jumping
In the misty morning fog with
Our, our hearts a-thumping
And you, my brown-eyed girl,
You, my brown-eyed girl.
Alice Pleasance Liddell was the primary inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.
The connection between Alice Liddell and this image is temporal but I am not permitted to say how, people get tetchy about time:
The Hatter said, tossing his head contemptuously. `I dare say you never even spoke to Time!’ `Perhaps not,’ Alice cautiously replied: `but I know I have to beat time when I learn music.’ `Ah! that accounts for it,’ said the Hatter. `He won’t stand beating. Now, if you only kept on good terms with him, he’d do almost anything you liked with the clock.
The other connection is that I cannot look at this image without being reminded of Charles Dodgon’s favourite young friend. But for the vagaries of time and place it might have been Pamela’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Boxing Day in Hammerfest, we are at the world’s most northerly town. At only -4c it feels spring-like compared to Kirkenes. At the Polar Bear Club adjacent to the ship’s mooring we are briefly over-awed by a stuffed example but, not so much as to be enticed into buying the equivalent miniature version. I am too cynical about souvenir shops (and much else besides 😉 ) such that I close my mind to thought of buying anything. My suspicion is that everything is made in China – I learn from a fellow passenger that even Helly Hansen is manufactured in the Orient.
From the quay we climb the ridge above the town, closed in winter due to “the risk of serious accident” – everyone is ignoring the sign. There are steps but we never feel them beneath our feet, instead, we trudge through deep snow to the 80 m summit – it is a struggle but worth the effort. The views across the bay to Melkøya are stunning.
Hammerfest feels prosperous and across the water is the explanation – vast tanker ships laden with LNG (liquefied natural gas) from the Barent Sea, heading for southern Europe. It is highly advanced extraction technology such as this which enables us the luxury of considering suspect alternatives; the dream of replacing that which works with that which does not. I have not seen a single wind turbine on this entire voyage.
That said, much of the journey has been in darkness so there is every justification for returning on lighter days to confirm my prejudice.
We had planned ahead fully aware that the quieter moments onboard would be inadequately filled by Scandinavian television – actually many of the programmes are bought in from the UK and broadcast in English with Norwegian subtitles. However, I have no desire to see repeats of Midsomer Murders – I didn’t want to see them first time around.
Consequently among our winter baggage are The Wire Seasons 4 & 5 and The Sopranos Season 3. I love these edgy series but sometimes struggle with the Baltimore and New York street dialogue – in part because my hearing is no longer fully Dolby compliant. This got me thinking – I also love Spiral (and Caroline Proust!) and Scandinavian crime series such as The Killing and The Bridge – and why are these foreign language TV programmes so popular with those of a certain age? It’s the subtitles 😉
To round off, this is not the best photograph due to the intrusive light leaking from the streetlamp but the subject I know to be utterly mischievous – it is of course the good lady, undoubtedly up to no good 😀
My wife is a Geordie. Pam speaks a language that, even after these many years, I sometimes struggle to interpret. She is a constant source of amusement and surprise. She does a fine impression of Kate Bush which, at its best, might shatter glass. She is a rare treasure:
The photograph was taken in Todi Cathedral. We had driven there from Perugia in a searing July heat so the cool shadows of the Duomo provided welcome relief. The bright summer sun pierced the dark interior as shafts of dusty light from high windows. You could choose your moment and step into the limelight – anyone could do it – the good, the bad, the rich, the poor, the loveliest and the best.
I guess this could be an entry in this week’s Travel Theme: Symbol, but I am not certain what Elvis symbolises – I prefer to call it The Good Lady in Bad Company.
We escaped to Glasgow for a couple of days with the prime purpose of getting the sensor on my D600 cleaned, this being our nearest Nikon Service Centre. It would have been easier to put it in the post but then we would have missed out on an excuse for a few days in this grand city. I have never spent any time here before, just quick business trips in and out, mostly on the same day. It is a wonderful place where we made some delightful discoveries – more posts will follow: