Monthly Archives: February 2015

Potholes!

Motorist at the rim of the Grand Canyon c. 1914

Okay, so maybe this photo, taken of a motorist at the rim of the Grand Canyon about a century ago, might represent a teensy bit of hyperbole but the potholes on Britain’s roads this winter have gone beyond a joke. True, I am not speaking from first-hand cycling experience. Frost and the risky of black…

Snow Scene – Norway

Snowy afternoon in Tromso Norway

Again, not exactly a post about bicycles or cycling other than perhaps a fine example of non-cycling weather, but one of the days when I was in Norway last week we had one of the most beautiful snowfalls I’ve ever seen. It had been snowing for most of the morning, but then suddenly the flakes…

Vlad the Impaler – The Real Dracula

Romanian folklore tells of a golden chalice that once upon a time sat beside a spring along the road to Târgoviște, a market town that was the capital of the medieval principality of Walachia. The cup had been placed there by the prince so that weary travelers, indeed any who were thirsty, could pause and…

A Few Changes

Eastbourne Promenade

You may have noticed there have been a few changes to the site. The Photocrati theme I have been using for the past few months made a nice break from what had gone before, but in the long run it was really not suitable for a magazine-style blog and so I decided a change was…

The Golden Age of Pirates

  ON A SWELTERING AFTERNOON in June of 1719, the Princess, a 140-ton ship out of London, was sitting at anchor off  Anomabu, a steamy West African slave port, waiting to take on a load of slaves for the plantations in the West Indies, when a strange vessel materialized out of the heat haze along…

The Ghost Ship of Filey Bay

It was supposed to have been a straightforward salvage job, or at least as straightforward as these sorts of things are in the difficult, moody waters of the North Sea.  A local trawlerman known as “Killer” Cox had snagged his net on something in about eighty feet of water in Yorkshire’s Filey Bay and with…

Conquering Switzerland’s St Gotthard Pass

When the Welsh chronicler Adam of Usk traveled over Switzerland’s wild and remote Gotthard Pass by ox cart on his way to Rome in 1402, he found the going so terrifying that he had his guides blindfold him so he wouldn’t have to look.  He wasn’t the first alpine traveller to wish there was another…

Banjo Paterson – Bard of The Bush

I had written him a letter, which I had for want of better Knowledge sent to where I met him on the Lachlan years ago; He was shearing when I knew him so I sent the letter to him Just on ’spec, addressed as follows: Clancy of The Overflow…   It started out as a…

Namibia’s Diamond Shipwreck

How’s this for a tale of a dark and stormy night: a mighty Portuguese carrack, laden with gold and ivory and bound for the fabled spice port of Goa, is blown far off course by a wild storm while trying to round the southern tip of Africa and days later, battered and broken, founders on…

Once Upon A Time

A few years ago now – actually it was more than a few; it was the summer of 2000 – I set off on a rather whimsical journey to Istanbul. It was something I had been daydreaming of doing for ages, since I was a kid, really. I’d always loved the idea that the road…