Saturday, April 23, 2011

Summer,Trains, Portugal, Blogging

I love this time of year. The full heat of summer isn't on top of us quite yet, although it's a blazing April. Train trips up North to see my aged Dad are marvellous experiences as the green vista of England unrolls past the window. The other day I was on the news desk and watched some pictures come in from the news helicopter as it 'repositioned' over the West Country. There really is a massive amount of water in the lakes and rivers and the whole landscape is incredibly verdant, the sunshine having kicked off a massive growth spurt in the countryside.

I've wanted to write about lots of things in the past few weeks but haven't had the opportunity to simply sit and update things. Watching Manchester City beat Manchester United in the FA cup semi final has to be one of the highlights of this or any year. The following day I was on a train (see a theme here?) and lots of Manchester United fans got on, among them a little boy in full replica Utd kit. He looked utterly miserable. Is this character forming? Is one of the central lessons of growing up how to lose? My heart went out to him.

I've also been on a brief trip to Portugal which was superb. I haven't enjoyed a city break so much in years; the Portugese are tremendously welcoming but you have to put up with wildcat strikes and stoppages in the transport system - in other words it's just like home.

After a few days in Lisbon we were heading into the countryside near Porto and made the mistake of using the trains at a weekend. We were sat in a small village waiting for a connection when a rail worker ambled out and told us the train drivers had just decided to have a strike. We all laughed about it.

"It's just to annoy people." he explained, and who could disagree, it certainly did the trick.
The government finally resigned when we were there, a tremendously worrying period has only just begun for the Portugese. It's a very cheap country to visit by the way, a welcome contrast to Ireland where pizzas now cost £53 apparently.

I keep reading articles which claim the 'fizz' has somehow gone out of blogging. It's certainly true that the hype has moved to twitter and facebook, but I think blogging still has an old school internet cred. I shall keep doing it; having finished my stint at BBC Online I've been missing the creativity of melding writing and pictures.


Anna said...

An interesting Blog. I came to live in this country a long time ago,when I was really young. Ended up in the middle of Fenland, in Norfolk and felt like I had died and gone to Hell. I did move, fortunately.

I've come to love this Country, though... it's my home and though I miss my sunny Italy, I feel happy to be here (most of the time, that is...)


Hendo said...

Thanks for your lovely comment Anna. Fenland is beautiful in its own special way!