OR RIBS ARE NEARLY BETTER AND PREPARING SOME ART WHILE DETOXING.
Alert: Links are where the words are underlined in yellow, just click and you’ll get there!
Tough times last year trying to get out of the UK then trying to get back in, (why I came back I’ll never know, what was the matter with me?) and under terrible vicious conditions manufactured by Doris in his eternal house of horrors. Then after leaving Mexico last year being incarcerated in a ‘Quarantine Hotel’ and nearly having a nervous breakdown. Then our beloved dog Brutus got sick (while I was still imprisoned) and later died despite all our valiant efforts. Amongst the demonstrations against tyranny and usual trials and tribulations about resettling in the UK, (I always get ants in my pants after just a couple of months even in normal times) and general stress (bailiffs and all sorts of shite for nothing) and being homesick for Mexico, it seemed that I was in a dark place. So I started to look at property in Bulgaria to live a simple life off-grid growing my own veg and mushroom hunting while creating a studio to carve sculpture when another disaster befell me, in that suddenly Bulgaria became fascist too. This harsh body blow was followed by my having actual body blows when I dislocated my knee then a couple of weeks later cracked and broke ribs in a series of ludicrous strokes of bad luck. A lot of pain from both and as usual I didn’t do anything except home treatment and physio.
SLIDE SHOW OF OUR LOVELY BRUTUS R.I.P. AND THE ESCAPE IN MEXICO LAST YEAR.
Yeah, bummer finale to 21. A shit sandwich of vast proportions.
Now however I have picked myself up and shaken myself off and am planning to have a fabulous 22. We will battle through and have a magnificent new year and soar above all the tyranny and lies. We will not be beaten and we will soar above those clouds of despair and rise resplendent and victorious. Brave travellers and my beautiful old birds fear not all will be well.
Old birds prepare yourself for new plans for South Africa! I am flying towards Omicron and embracing what we all still believe is from whence the human species came if you believe anything taught to us previously. Myself, I am keen to see the mysterious stone circles and the new theories about the actual age of the human race which now it would seem goes back millions of years. Let the scales fall from your eyes and welcome logic and fresh interpretations of all we thought we knew. Come with me there or wherever I end up with all the daily changes in travel, for changes or not I will indeed travel.
First, however, I am looking through my travel and art photos with the idea of having an exhibition before I leave and I’d like to show you some to get feedback on staged and unstaged photos going back five years. First though as you think it’s a bit nippy here let me take you on the great adventure of the Grand Siberian Express
SOME OF MY COLD PHOTOS FROM THE ARCHIVES. THE TRANS SIBERIAN EXPRESS! FEBRUARY 2018.
Starting at St Petersburg I took the super modern train to Moscow then hung out there for two days until boarding the Trans Siberian Express on one very chilly midnight.
I’d stayed on the frozen River Neva in a fabulous hotel arriving on the Liberation of Leningrad Day. I soaked up the culture (and there is a lot) for one week first so I’m including a couple of pics there but my journey began in earnest when boarding the old choo-choo in Moscow. I would be three days on her until Irkutsk and then get off for Lake Bakaal and a couple of days of frostbite. Then on the train again to Ulaanbaatar the capital of Mongolia to hang out there for a few days (well worth it). Then back on to go to the culture shock that is China these days. I’ve kept these mostly of pics of or on the train but a few at my glorious stop-offs to get the vibe of the trip.
Leaving Moscow and acclimatising to train life was all rather dreamlike. I loved every aspect especially because it was winter. Midnight at the station was scary and when finally on the train you had to make your own bed. I had decided I didn’t want to share and boy oh boy was I glad. It would be very claustrophobic with another person let alone three.
The first leg was three glorious days later I would know to stock up on more healthy fare for meals which I did in an Irkutsk supermarket.
Arriving at Irkutsk I had organised a taxi to take me to Lake Bakaal the largest freshwater lake in the world. It was frozen solid and absolutely breathtaking. At -40 degrees it did actually take away your breath! People look like they are walking on water, it’s like a winter mirage
Going on the Mongolian section was lovely as my lady was soo kind after the rather strict counterpart and entering Mongolia was very interesting. First, the Russians come and check your papers and passports in rather a menacing way and search some cabins, then the Mongolian counterparts smile and practically give you a cuddle in comparison to welcome you. All this is aboard the train and at night. The people are lovely and their food hearty!
Leaving Ulaanbaatar was very sad but even more so as you cross the border into vicious China where you have to get off the train and they held us for five hours in a hall with only toilets and hot water for those who had brought instant bloody noodles. It was vile and very intimidating. If you go and want to be on the Beijing route just go the opposite direction than I did and you won’t have that particular brand of hell.
The breakfast and the scenery lulled me into a false sense of security as I looked out the window in the Chinese restaurant car. It’s magnificent countryside there, just a shame about arriving in Beijing.
For more visit my first blog on that amazing train journey and the preparations, then you can go through my adventures starting in St Petersburg, then follow the links or go to the train section. Lake Baikal is here!