27 August 2007

ODI at Edgbaston...

We sat in the "India" section next to Sikh Superman and Sikh Batman
and surrounded by their extended family and other guests...

Erik was not amused...

26 August 2007

Back at Harborne Church Farm - Simon and Martin are
amazed... 3 meals for a total of £7.20 and..

9 holes of golf for £3.75.. "you don't even get a bucket of
balls at Reading range for that!"

Things are different in the north!

and from 3 years previously...

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"Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black"

Henry Ford
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20 August 2007

Palace of Culture, Warsaw - A 'gift' from
Stalin - photo taken from my improbably
positioned suite in the Intercontinental

13 August 2007

I came back early from my holiday to go to this big SAP
meeting in Wroclaw...

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11 August 2007

Back in Blighty - White Cliffs of Dover.. and guess what
the motorways through Kent and back up to Birmingham
are in way better repair than any I drove in in Denmark, Germany,
Netherlands, Belgium and France - what a surprise!

4691 miles - Bournville to Bournville via:
Newcastle, Haugesund, Lillehammar, Ostersund,
Umea, Grimsmark, Nord Kapp, Roveniemi, Kokkola, Helsinki,
Turku, Mariehamn, Stockholm, Busum, Ypres and a whole lot of
other places on the way...
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10 August 2007

Ypres, Belgium - the MG Z owners club annual outing

At Tyne Cot Cemetery - still remembered...

Ypres 1917 Battle of Messines - the British planted 21 mines
19 exploded to plan one making this, now tranquil, crater:

"The largest of the 21 Messines mines was at Spanbroekmolen, the "Lone Tree Crater" formed by the blast was approximately 250 feet (80 m) in diameter, and 40 feet (12 m) deep. The mine consisted of 41 tons of ammonal explosive, located in a chamber dug 88 feet (27 m) below ground. In 1930 the crater was purchased for preservation by Lord Wakefield, and is now owned by the religious group Toc H. The crater eventually filled with rainwater and was later dedicated as the Spanbroekmolen "Pool of Peace" in 1932."

(from Wikipedia)

Number 20 exploded after a thunderstorm many years later and number 21
is still buried somewhere waiting to 'go off' (or possibly was discovered by the
Germans and put out of action, who knows)

09 August 2007

Busum in Germany - the port for Helgoland

Whale boats at Helgoland

"Funny Lady Vom Busem"

The only island ever to survive an attempted sinking
by the British Navy:

Heligoland. On April 18, 1947 British engineers attempted to destroy the entire island in what became known as the "British Bang" (or "Big Bang"). 4,061 (another source claims 6,800) tons of surplus World War II ammunition were placed in various locations around the island and set off. The island survived, although the extensive fortifications were destroyed. The blast was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records under largest single explosive detonation (Not to be confused with the Halifax Explosion, which was not a detonation.)

(from Wikipedia)

A gannet...

08 August 2007

The big bridge from Sweden to Denmark - seen it so often
from the plane - now I get to drive it all (for 300SEK!)
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07 August 2007

A night trip across the Baltic from Turku to Åland

Please save me from Chinese tourists!

It was amazing - 13 decks, 3000 partying passengers, 800 cars and all going
between skerries and islands through a channel sometimes less than
200m wide - and all at 25 knots in the dark! They stopped at Langness, one o'clock
in the morning and just to let the one car off (me!) - through they have to stop
anyway to maintain 'duty free' status

05 August 2007

by now right in the south of Finland - the mozzies are huge...
and so are the creative hunting towers...

04 August 2007

The best roadside cafe in Finland - there was a wedding reception -
men in best suits, women in finery and little kids having fun...

Its on the road south out of Roveniemi
Roveniemi, Finland
Where the E4 (?) crosses the Arctic Circle

Above - 2007, below 1987

Where there was previously just a wooden hut
containing a post office and 1000's of letters to
Santa Claus there is now a huge shopping mall,
factory outlets, restaurants, a petrol station,
a husky dog attaction, "santa world"
and so on...

my favourite was the elves...

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02 August 2007

5-a-side at Honningsvåg

The first visit in my unbroken sequence from 71N26E to 61N25E

11 visits in a row and no lines of latitude missed - I made the front page
at www.confluence.org

By the time I got to 69N27E I was back in mozzie country

And sometimes my GPS was a little enthusiastic
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Heading for the North Cape...

About every 5km an 'emergency stop' was in order

£20 to get in - "yours is the first GB car I have seen this season!"

But there were many Italians in motor homes

A rather nice Latte with Waffle at the North Cape
served by a Danish 'English' PhD
using a vocabulary straight out of Wodehouse

01 August 2007

@ Grimsmark...

Site of the first (or possibly second I can't remember for sure)
Hjelm Homestead

The paintings go back 60 years (possibly!)

All packed and ready for the big trip...

Last view as I head for the E4