philwhiteland's blog

A Bridge Too Far?

Being the fifth part of The Moscow ChroniclesI Follow the link s for Part 1 - Moscow Calling , Part 2 - Taksi! , Part 3 - Night in the City and Part 4 - The Road to Red Square Having singularly failed to get into Red Square and see the Kremlin, and having been frightened out of my skin by a young couple who just wanted me to take their picture, I decided it was time to head back to the relative safety of my hotel. To add a little variety to the...

The Road to Red Square

Being the fourth part of The Moscow ChroniclesI Follow the link s for Part 1 - Moscow Calling , Part 2 - Taksi! and Part 3 - Night in the City I awoke bright and early the next morning. Well, it was relatively early for me and I’m never all that bright in the morning, but I did my best. I staggered down to the dining room which was somewhat gloomy, which rather matched my mood. The gloom was a consequence of the fact that it was below street...

Night in the City

(image courtesy of Andrew Shiva/Wikipedia) Being the third part of The Moscow ChroniclesI Follow the link s for Part 1 - Moscow Calling and Part 2 - Taksi! Stepping out from the Arrivals Hall of Moscows Domodedovo Airport into the Russian night was more of a surprise than I expected. It was, of course, cold, this being November. However, at an average of -5C it was, apparently, relatively spring-like by Muscovite standards. The real shock to the...

Taksi!

Being the second part of The Moscow ChroniclesI Follow the link for Part 1 - Moscow Calling I'm not a big fan of flying. If I could manage it on my own, I might probably be just about alright, just as long as I didn't go too high. Terry Wogan used to have a correspondent (Willie Gofar, I think) who aimed to circumnavigate the world by hot-air balloon, the only problem was that he didn't like heights, so he had to keep one foot on the floor at...

Moscow Calling

Part 1 of The Moscow Chronicles The darkening skies all around the aircraft rather match my mood. It’s only 15.00 GMT but it’s already as black as night out there. This, I suppose, is only to be expected as it is November and I’m flying eastward, away from the setting sun. I’m on a flight from Heathrow to Moscow - Domodedovo Airport to be precise. It’s the year 2005 and I’m not doing this for fun, as you will have probably guessed, it’s part of...

Mortimer

I'm leaning against the playground wall with an air of studied indifference and boredom. A number of my friends are standing with me affecting the same pose. We are watching the antics of the younger pupils. In particular, we are watching the antics of Mortimer, who is not actually a younger pupil, he is a contemporary of ours. Mortimer is being a plane. It is 1970, it's my last year at Anglesey Secondary Modern and my friends and I are...

Wise About Morecambe

This is a story that begins with a touching faith in the power and scope of the internet and ends with some very old technology indeed. I've always had a lot of faith in the ability of the internet to answer just about any odd or bizarre question you can throw at it. No matter what peculiarity you happen to be interested in, you can pretty much guarantee that someone, somewhere has been interested in it too and has already done the necessary...

On Volunteers and Victorians

A couple of events over the Bank Holiday weekend set me thinking (which is a novelty). The first was on Sunday, when I attended my second day of training, as a volunteer, to learn how to man the Ticket Office at the Staffordshire Narrow Gauge Railway (SNGR) at Amerton Farm near Stowe-by-Chartley https://amertonrailway.co.uk/ , better known as Amerton Railway. Just before you start thinking 'Two days! Strewth he must be slow on the uptake!',...

And finally...Cyril!

Continued from Cyril and More Cyril We first encountered Cyril when we kept our pub, The New Talbot. Mum and dad rather collected ‘waifs and strays’ and seemed to have a weakness for odd characters. It was not unusual to have a living room full of people, after closing time on a Saturday night, enjoying an after-hours drink on the house. On these occasions, mum often put on a bit of supper because she was concerned that a number of her ‘...

More Cyril

Continued from the original article ‘ Cyril ’ My abiding memory of Cyril is inevitably wreathed in smoke. Not by the mists of time but usually via a Players No. 6 Tipped which he held constantly in his mouth. He was one of those people for whom a cigarette was something of a permanent appendage rather than an occasional enjoyment, even to the extent of breathing through his fag as he gave one of his detailed accounts about something you were...

Pages