Nicky Hopkins Park Bench
If you can find Perivale Park on the Western edge of London you will discover the Nicky Hopkins Memorial Park Bench
Nicky, a session muso, played with them all: the Beatles, the Rolling Stone, the Who, the list goes on.
On the the North Walk on the Thames there is the Temple which is the centre of the English law fraternity and where in the 1200s the Magna Carta was signed-making even Kings subject to the Rule of law.
It also has a beautiful garden in the centre of London.
Black Friars Hotel just because it’s there.
Borough Market of course.
If you have your bike or car in London you must go to the Ace Cafe.
So if you have done the Big ones.
St Pauls, the Tower Bridge and all the other big attraction. Look a little further!
I think I have a thing for markets
The colour the noise the beautiful fresh food on Display.
Fresh bread of all sorts
Makes my mouth water
The markets that I really enjoy are those in the centre of big cities.
Like the Borough Market in London.
People from all walks of life.
Dartmoor National Park neighbours Cornwall
Famous for the Dartmoor ponies
Beautiful patches of forest
Such as Lydford Gorge
And of course beautiful riding across the moors with a stop for a pint along the way.
A Celtic nation
Adding to Scotland last year
Gallicia, Brittany, Ireland and Wales to come this.
Cornwall is a long finger of coast and culture
The coast is breathtaking
From the beaches and headlands
To the small fishing and trading harbours
Saint Michael’s Mount
The sculpture of Barbara Hepworth
Rowena Cade’s Minach theatre
The historical grandure of Saint Michael’s Mount
Saint Michael’s Mount castle
The history of the Celts
And of course Lands End
Back in England
Start of my next motorcycle adventure
Canals a starting theme.
Stone in Staffordshire the starting point for this 3 month tour of the UK and Europe
The shakedown trip north to Skipton in North Yorkshire
An old mill town
A canal town
With Skipton Castle playing a special part in the English Civil war.
But my main reason to travel north was the Moto Guzzi Club Pennines rally.
Meeting new friends and experiencing the welcoming biker culture.
And of course riding through the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.
Canal passing through Stone a canal town in the English midlands
The canals wind like watery snakes across the English countryside
The narrow boats once work horses now leisure craft
Wending their way across the country side
Marvels of engineering the locks using the power of water to life the boats, their crew and in times past heavy cargo over hill.
Narrow boat exiting a lock
I’m back in the English midlands staying in the pretty canal town of stone.
Staying with friends
Getting the mighty breva II ready for chapter 3 of my European adventure.
Mighty Breva in distinguished company of a Ducati 900ss and Moto Guzzi 850 Eldorado
Changes are afoot
ch ch changes
Turn and face the strange
ch ch changes
Don’t want to be a richer man
Just gonna be a different man
Time may change me
But I cant trace time (lyrics from David Bowie – Changes )
So changes are the theme of my life at the moment
I have 12 working days left till retirement from full time work.
By mid June I will be back in the UK on the Mighty Breva for chapter 3 of my Moto Guzzi European Adventure
Tracing my Celtic heritage and Celtic history in Wales, Cornwall, Galicia, Brittany and Ireland.
Riding the Haute Pyrenees/Altos Pireneos
becoming more adventurer and less piecemeal
more spontaneous and less planned
more in the moment.
There is a strange mixture of excitement and trepidation coursing through me
from the anticipation
ch ch changes
in front of me
Went to England but not London
Went to Scotland but not Edinburgh
Didn’t do Manchester, Liverpool or Leeds
Touring a motorbike is on a different path
With strange admirers along the way
Started in Stoke
Made it to the top
Coast to coast
From Newcastle in the east
To Skye in the west
Past castles grand
And those that bare the scars of Britain’s violent history.
In search of monsters real or legend
In the highlands
View from the Burway
And in the low
Went to England and didn’t do London
In Scotland missed Edinburgh
But saw a bit.
Mighty Breva II loaded and ready for the European adventure to come
Inverness ancient trading city of the north
All have influenced this city
Inverness castle looms over the city
Destroyed and rebuilt a number of times
The Hanoverian garrison during the bloody Battle of Culloden that ended the Scottish uprising.
But I thing I was touched the by the Celtic Ray
At Hootananny where the beer and good craic flower
Inverness is the gateway to the very north of Scotland
The start and finish of the touring route the North Coast 500
It takes you the top of the British mainland
Dunnet Head the northern most point of mainland Britain
And the beautiful villages and dramatic coastline and history of North Scotland
Flying fox across the fjord
Inverness’ Calladonian Canal opened a trading route into the northern highlands
Locks at the start of the Calladonian Canal stepping up to Loch Ness
So my rediscovery of the Celtic Ray stated in the old streets of Inverness.
Back in Glasgow
The buildings have a new feel
I’ve been touched by the Celtic Ray (the Awen)
Harris Tweed Cap made on the Shetland Islands
‘Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and Wales
I can hear the mothers’ voices calling
“Children, children, children”
Listen Jimmy! I want to go home.
Listen Jimmy! I want to go home.
I’ve been away from the Ray too long
I’ve been away from the Ray too long’ – words by Van Morrison
My heritage is Irish, my great grand parents migrating to Kalgoorlie in the 1890s
Part of the Irish diaspora.
But spending time in the north of Scotland has put me on the Celtic Ray
Fishing harbour John O’Groats
Touched by the Celtic Ray
Glasgow has a new light.
I found the Glasgow Enlightenment
And the fact the the world’s first Afro-American doctor was trained in Glasgow by slavery abolitionists. He was James Mcune-Smith.
I have been away from the Ray too long