I planned to document a bicycle trip from Cheshire to Kent with images of street art. I imagined this afterword would be drawn from street artists’ words and ideas. Yes, I’d expected that murals and graffiti would be ubiquitous. But no, there was less urban scrawl than I’d expected, especially rare in the heritage parklands of the Peak District. Instead, it was the elusive Chiffchaff that inspired us.[Read more…] about Via Graffiti
Today isn’t our Day 27 on the way to Rome. We’re not making our 24th hike. The discrepancy is that we plan to rest on the seventh day of every week. If we were out on the trail, it would be categorised as an easy 19 km in the Pas-de-Calais. We’d have set out from Wisques after a good breakfast from accommodation unknown. I checked the weather – cloudy but only 9C. Perfect for a hike and another chat. Assuming we’re still talking to one another.
It’s sixty years since Yuri Gagarin landed back on Earth. He was found wandering around the fields in Smelovka, close to the Volga River. At first, the world heard how he landed in the Vostok-1 capsule but later, we learned he parachuted clear. Ejection from the capsules was how all Vostok program landings were designed. The rules needed to be changed so that a flight record did not require that the vehicle and pilot arrived simultaneously. It was the Cold War. These things really mattered. And the Soviets had put a man in space first. So they allowed the parachute story prevail until they couldn’t deny it. And the rules were rewritten and Gagarin’s trip stands as the first.
Frank Mitchell was the Professor of Quaternary Studies when I was a geology student in Trinity College, Dublin. When he retired in 1979, I was already overseas, working in Sharjah. A few job changes and a dozen years later, I was back in Ireland so to speak. In fact, I was commuting to work overseas and never found employment in Ireland in the coming thirty years.
‘We should have walked to Buxton today. It should have been the first stage of the trip to Rome … We’ll do it same time next year .. it’ll be 18 daily hikes before we can catch the Dover ferry to cross to France. And then, well, then it’ll be a mere 96 daily hikes to get to dinner in Rome’ or so I wrote this day last year.
Imagine being a year locked down for a pandemic and two and a half years into retirement. You’d probably get a tad frustrated at being unable to do things you postponed for a decade or two before retiring. Things like exploring new (to me) places and new (to me) arts. Or challenges like going to Rome on foot from Manchester. Of course I’m free to explore new (to me) ideas by way of books and a web of electronic transmissions (without which I couldn’t order the books).[Read more…] about Shambles