Time to travel

I did a bit of a time leap when I travelled on these two trains within a couple of weeks of each other.

The first is one of the steam engines on the North York Moors Railway. A trip on this line is like stepping into a scene from Brief Encounter.  Every detail, from the signs, to the luggage on the strategically placed trolleys beautifully recreates the 1940’s era.  The train itself puffed and blew it’s way across the picturesquely bleak moors from Pickering to the seaside town of Whitby (where, I learnt, that Dracula had resided for a while… who knew??) a journey that would take about 25 minutes in the car, but took nearly two hours on the train!  A brilliantly fun and relaxing way to travel, but pretty rubbish for commuters!

on the other hand…

We travelled on the extraordinary Bullet Train when we visited Japan in June.  I was childishly excited at the prospect of experiencing this sci-fi speedy train, and wasn’t disappointed.

The rail service in Japan is second to none – well, certainly the service here in England doesn’t come anywhere near close.   The stations are easy to navigate, the trains are on time, they are clean, the staff are friendly and helpful, and that is across the board not just the Bullets.

But the Bullet trains.  Ah, the Bullet trains.  They are so beautiful. Swanlike in their elegance.  Seemingly never-ending as they cruise into the station. They’re comfortable – you can actually stretch your legs, and excitingly, you can twiddle the seats ’round… ha! for some reason I found that very pleasing.

And of course, they go fast. Very, very fast. And smoothly fast. Cutting through the countryside like a knife through butter.

By the time we left Japan I’d been on a few of them, criss-crossing from one beautiful place to another, but the excitement didn’t wane, and I’d love to do it again one day.

 

On a pebble beach…

DSC_0449These photographs were taken on Holy Island, Northumberland, where one of the pebbly beaches behind the castle is covered in these piles of stones which have been built by visitors over many years. The one below caught my eye and inspired me to write the little verses underneath.

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Man of Stone

I stand amongst these shining rocks
and observe the swelling sea, where,
in that swaying garden,
my lover drifts alone
while coloured fish play
in her flexuous hair
and fallen stars gather
to weep their salty tears

No forces will deter me nor erode my will
I’ll stand here watching, waiting,
until, until…

Until the earth is sodden and
waves consume my soul,
and tumbling I join her
in the grave grey depths below
where together we’ll blend
into that stony bed
and our blissful cries will echo
forever

On the way to the sea…

Posted in response to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – this week’s theme ‘On the way’

It was my birthday at the weekend and as a special treat my husband took me to the seaside (look, what can I say, I may be getting on a bit, but inside I’m still five years old!).  Where we live it’s always a bit of a trek to get to the beach.  The journey takes a good couple of hours mostly across the windy, up and downy, country roads that transverse the spectacular North Yorkshire Moors, so we don’t do it very often.  In fact we’d never been to Robin Hood’s Bay before, but as you can see from the pictures it is really rather pretty (and quintessentially English), and we had a perfect day there eating ice creams, paddling in the icy sea, eating fish and chips,walking along the cliff, eating cake, lying about a bit more…..you can tell there was a bit of a theme going on!

Anyhoo… back to ‘on the way’. You can’t really drive down to the beach, as the roads are so narrow, so I took this snap of our first glimpse of the sea as we walked down the very steep hill (it seemed even steeper on the way up, especially after all that food!!).

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Although they don’t really fit the remit, I thought you might like to see a couple of other photos we took while we were messing about at the seaside!  I’m afraid I didn’t have my ‘proper’ camera with me, so the quality is slightly iffyer than usual!