Monthly Archives: March 2016


I am still in Yorkshire, up early to write this blog. I couldn’t sleep as I had seen a bit of blue sky through the crack in the curtains and we are going to drive up to Malham in the Dales today for a bit of walking. After 4 days of pretty patchy weather, it looks like we might manage today without rain and a fair bit of sunshine. The Yorkshire Dales are probably my favourite place when the weather is good – which is not very often. Perhaps the lack of good weather makes it all the more special when it is sunny. I’ll take some pictures.

Continue reading


IMG_2299We are now three days into our Yorkshire trip and I am certainly getting my dose of windy days. We went up to Almscliffe crag yesterday and it was blowing a gale. One of my girls got caught slightly off balance and was blown over – she was quite pleased about that. Not many of her friends at school will have been exposed to the sort of wind that can blow you over. We spent a couple of minutes with our coats stretched out above our heads leaning into the wind – something I had done as a kid countless times. Continue reading

Toilet Seat Troubles

It rained all day yesterday. I like golf, but don’t much care for the local golfers so I like to get out on the course when the weather is bad and most people don’t think of playing golf. My plan worked very well yesterday. I was literally the only person on the course. The less succesful part of my plan was that the rain didn’t let up at all and it was cold and windy as well. Golfing in a near gale with freezing, wet hands is certainly a challenge but, as I discovered, not very enjoyable. It looked like the rain was here to stay. Continue reading


In Stuttgart, they are building a new station. The project is called Stuttgart 21 and is a fairly big deal. At the moment, Stuttgart station is a terminus station – all the trains come in forwards and leave backwards. The new station will be a through station. And as if that wasn’t enough it will be underground with a new park to be built above it. Continue reading


I drove to Berlin this morning – an early start and six hours on the Autobahn. I had a meeting there and continued on to Essen where I have a meeting tomorrow. Another 5 hours on the road. I’d like to say it was a fascinating day which inspired me to write a wonderful column on Germany’s capital – but that was not to be. I went from a grey Autobahn into a grey building and that was about it. So I’ll write about last Sunday in Austria instead. Continue reading


As I described in Alpine Sunshine my friend Alan and I spent the day getting sunburned out in the mountains. The morning on skis and the afternoon walking up to our launch site and then paragliding. For two middle-aged blokes a very tiring day. We finished up with a couple of celebratory beers and then decided to make use of the Pension’s sauna before we went out for dinner. Continue reading


Just a little filler today – something that Alan reminded me of as we came exited the roundabout at the top of our road. German drivers use their indicators a lot. Nearly all drivers are taught to indicate before every lane change on the Autobahn, not just when pulling out to the fast lane like in England. You will also see a whole line of drivers in the left or right hand filter-lane at a set of traffic lights all indicating. It seems a little like overkill because being in that lane means you have to turn. Continue reading

Alpine Sunshine

Up at 5:30 this morning to be on the road by 6:00 and beat the Easter Holiday traffic to the mountains. We live near Stuttgart and it is about a two hour drive to our destination, Pfronten, a small village at the foot of the Alps on the Austrian border. We had to set off early because some German states start their Easter holidays today and judging by the licence plates, Belgium and Luxemburg are also on holiday. The traffic can get pretty bad on such days and there is nothing worse than being stuck in a traffic jam on a sunny day in sight of the mountains.

Two hours later we were stuck in a traffic jam on a sunny day in sight of the mountains. We should have got off the autobahn an exit earlier. After a frustrating half hour we did make it onto the slip road and then to the small ski area. Even though it was a beautiful day and the snow on the mountain was excellent, the car park was only half-full and we didn’t have to queue. These small German resorts are very pretty but relatively low and the snow isn’t as reliable as it was 40 years ago.

We had a great day, skiing in the morning and flying in the afternoon. Then a couple of beers in the sun, followed by a shower and sauna in the hotel made us very tired. We then had a large, heavy dinner at the Gasthof Adler (every Bavarian village has a Gasthof Adler* – it’s the German equivalent of a classic pub name like the Black Bull, or Kings Arms).

The combination of fresh air, sunshine, beer and a heavy dinner are not conducive to writing an exciting blog. Apologies – I will write more tomorrow and make up for it. Promise….zzzzzz.

Bis morgen.


*Adler means eagle.