Australia’s Summer of Discontent

Australia’s Summer of Discontent

When I arrived back home in Australia in October 2019 the bushfires had already started.

The amazing temperate rainforests of Northern NSW and Qld were already on fire

Rainforests don’t burn we thought but things have change

Beautiful ancient forests dating back to Gondwanaland were on fire

It was heart braking

The long summer of bushfires cast a pall over the country

Dead wildlife, rare forests burning, towns and cities choking on the the thick smoke

My long Bike trip in Europe had left me sore, depleted and nursing some nasty Shoulder Tendinitis

So my mood was low and the acrid smoke that clung to the skies of Eastern Australia only darkened my feelings

Dark like the smokey sky and the burning bush

Dark and disturbing

On a ride to Omeo in Victoria just after Christmas , I was spooked by closeness of the fires the smoke so thick

The town cut off from electricity

An eerie smokey foreboding of the horror fires that were to be unleashed on New Years eve in the east Gippsland forests.

Spooked a bit by the smoke ad proximity of the fires I left

Leaving I had a fall off the bike on some leaf litter while pulling off the road

Dislocated thumb ouch, nothing todo but pull it back in and ride the 400+ km home.

So the New Year was seen in with a cast on my hand and Australia Burning

Indeed a summer of discontent

This summer say the sale of Futura

I did the last slip, scrub and paint

And as I write, she with her new owner is approaching her new home in Whyalla South Australia

As the final blow there is now Coronavirus

Emerging and spreading

Quiet leaving Melbourne Airport

Planes only half full

A friend has told me that I’m stubborn and wont change my plans for anyone or anything

Maybe right

As here I sit in London

I’ve collected the Mighty Breva

And on Wednesday I head to Portsmouth to start the journey south to Morocco on the ferry to Bilboa

The summer of discontent, though, is a weight on my enthusiasm

And as I have been reminded though I’m 35 between the ears im actually in a 62 year old body.

But in the world of the traveller a summer of discontent doesn’t lead to winter.

Its spring here

The daffodils are in bloom in Perivale Park

And life’s adventure must go on

London East End – Brick Lane

London East End – Brick Lane

I first heard of Brick Lane a dozen years ago through a film

Brick Lane is a thoughtful story of Bangladeshi migrants who came to this area of London.

The movie also iintoduced me to the beautiful music of Natacha Atlas.

The area has changes over the years but there are remnants of it’s Bangladeshi migrants

In the food

The best vegetable samosa have taste.

In the Mineret

Stylised and respresenting the forming artist colony

Art even in the Street signs

And modern artistan

Spilling over from the close by Old Spitalfield Markets a real centre of Art and Design.

Once again probably not one of Londons big tourist attractions but worth exploring.

London quirks for the tourist in London who wants to think they are not a Tourist!

London quirks for the tourist in London who wants to think they are not a Tourist!

Nicky Hopkins Park Bench

If you can find Perivale Park on the Western edge of London you will discover the Nicky Hopkins Memorial Park Bench

Nicky, a session muso, played with them all: the Beatles, the Rolling Stone, the Who, the list goes on.

On the the North Walk on the Thames there is the Temple which is the centre of the English law fraternity and where in the 1200s the Magna Carta was signed-making even Kings subject to the Rule of law.

It also has a beautiful garden in the centre of London.

Black Friars Hotel just because it’s there.

Borough Market of course.

If you have your bike or car in London you must go to the Ace Cafe.

So if you have done the Big ones.

St Pauls, the Tower Bridge and all the other big attraction. Look a little further!

London was calling

London was calling

On the train from the midlands to London. I listened to The Clash, London Calling.

Its both a distopian and resilient view of London. It seemed fitting as a bombing in the tube had set a sombre tone.

But London is London no matter.

Despite the confrontation London open day was in full swing as was Thames week.

And it gave a little sometime for mariner like me.

These 10 Thames barges had sailed up the river.

And were using their motors against the ebb tide to hold formation still in the water. Such seamanship.

And really there is something special about the English is their way with the sea and boats.

Be it Drake’s Golden Hind

Replica Golden Hind

Or the uniquely English narrow boats that carried goods and produce from the midlands to London prior to rail

Narrow boat exits a Loch on the 

Along the Grand Union Canal.

And now provide floating pleasure.

So I did go to London!