Again and Again: Why Not?


… and back again, to the magical mixture of clean, high air, friends (old and new), chemical free beer, home brewed schnapps and to-die-for cakes.

To Linz via a  Germanic-efficient and very dramatic “go-around” (aborted landing) at Frankfurt’s massive hub. Arriving late at the “Blue Danube” airport. Which must have disrupted the lives of people who were collecting me … though you would not know it from their greetings.

Life moves on different wheels here. The pace is human and addictive, relaxing and energising. People are friendly first, ask questions later: no pressure, smiles are big, generosity bigger.

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Been Away II

Lifted gently and efficiently by Lufthansa’s local jets from Birmingham to Linz via Frankfurt. “Ja zu Fra”: the busy hub where I just have enough time to make the twisting up and down journey between gates; hoping my luggage made it too (it actually didn’t last time and caught up with me later).

To a place where the sky and heaven are called the same thing, so that every time I think or talk about the sky I am also reminded of Heaven. It’s not a bad thing, when I think about it. Maybe we have too many words in English. Or not enough.

This is a return trip for me. I have seen this region in different seasons – and every one suits it. The dark skies (Heavens), clearly visible constellations and amounts of snow in one overnight fall that would (and does) bring my country to a chaotic standstill are routine here and decorate the rolling countryside magnificently.

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Excerpt … The Martian.

Here is one excerpt (and it is hard to pick just one, only one!) from a book I picked, pretty much at random from the W.H. Smith bookshop airside at Birmingham Airport. I was at the start of a journey to Austria, going to be busy but you never know … maybe time for a little reading.

Written by Andy Weir, the book is called The Martian (strap line “he’s the most famous man on Earth. Problem is he’s not on Earth”).

martianHere goes :

“It’s a strange feeling. Everywhere I go, I’m the first. Step outside the rover? First guy ever to be there! Climb a hill? First guy ever to climb that hill …

I’m the first guy to drive long-distance on Mars. the first guy to spend more than thirty one sols on mars. the first guy to grow crops on Mars. First, first, first.

I wasn’t expecting to be first at anything …

Now I miss those guys (the crew) … I’m the first person to be alone on an entire planet.

Okay, enough moping. I am having a conversation with someone: whoever reads this log. It’s a bit one-sided but it’ll have to do. I might die but damn it, someone will know what I had to say ….”

I was enjoying the book; I can say now that having finished it. A superb piece of work (though not certain of the science bits I just took them as correct) and the flow of the story is splendid, so is the style.

But, come on, that last paragraph-bit, that “conversation with somebody”.  That’s me, that’s each of us – perhaps – with our blogs eh?



The Original Search Engine?


Something magical about the air in Upper Austria. Altitude? For sure, but also freshness and sparkling light. Amazing skies throughout the livelong days. Sunrise with pinks, lilacs, golds and pale blues hovering over the mountains and forested hills.

Making walking the wanderweg (paths) a treat. Not anywhere near cold, but crisp, clean and invigorating. Not the steep challenge of more serious Austrian Tyrol/Wildekaiser landscapes but gentle, wide walkways, sometimes beside rarely used roads, sometimes alongside quiet, therapeutic streams, the borders of newly turned farmland or through friendly forests. Oh and no snow yet, just end of season glorious warmth, meaning a T-shirt was enough once I had warmed up.

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