Category: Travelling

Maybe its the Lure of the (Scandinavian) Sea

I spend my weeks traveling to and from various Nordic countries. Tired of the procession of planes and nights in formulaic hotels, I decided, for once, to take the big slow boat from Oslo to Copenhagen, only to discover that this was an amorphous mixture of the two. Everyone who boards is staying in the…

Another Unending Oslo Evening

A place and a time where there is no darkness only the all-consuming grey of a damp June evening Never starting, never ending, barely existing in very slow motion without definition or purpose. A dinner where the salmon is tasteless garnished with a disappointingly limp salad – Eating under artificial heating. Will that invisible sun…

To Russia – with memories.

And so, I was about to finally step into Russia. As a kid, of course, it was all part of the USSR. We lived as children in genuine fear of the Cold War between the Soviets and the Americans escalating into Mutually Assured Destruction, wondering what we would do if the apocryphal 4-minute warning sounded…

Three men in St Petersburg

I had three people to find in St Petersburg – Fyodor, Dmitri and Claude. All six-letter names, all artists and all well past their sell by dates. Well, all longtime dead as it happens. So. I would be looking for their faint footprints rather than their living feet. A painter, an author and a composer.…

on a slow boat to St. Petersburg

Today I took a day off from my business trip to Helsinki to embark on an a cheeky visit to St Petersburg – the so-called “Venice” of Russia. A few reasons for this self-indulgence. 1) St Petersburg is, by all accounts, a beautiful and historic city, unblemished by two world wars, with an impressive array…

A little bit of Art in the Heart?

What is art? And what does it do for you? and to you? As we walked through the arty end of Glasgow, along something of a back street, we passed the window of an art studio. We peered inside. We saw a surprisingly large white room containing large bright coloured red cubes arranged across the…

No more killing fields

Passing through Schipol airport four days after MH17 was blown out of the skies over Ukraine, was always going to be poignant. I am sat on the KLM Cityhopper from Amsterdam to Oslo. I have no thoughts or fears of being attacked. But then, nor did the 298 living and breathing people who left from…

Le Tour de Yorkshire

By ‘eck Bonjour – a Day at Le Tour. When France came to Yorkshire. We had been appreciating our own little tour of a small corner of France, venturing out “à pied” and “en auto” to nearby towns and villages. As we returned today from a little run up a picturesque valley, we found ourselves…

Immersing myself in rural France

Three days into our holiday in France, and following my previous blog, one of my sisters suggested that I get off the internet and immerse myself in the rural French way of life. This got me thinking – what is the French way of life? It is one of those things which we can all…