In Puerto del Sol, Madrid
The wild break dancer
On his back
Passion for the night
In the Flamenco Cave
The flashing of the legs
The swirling of the skirts
The staccato beating of the feet
Hard on the floor
Driving the beating of the heart
The Dance of Passion
Looking forward to visiting Spain again to indulge the passion
On the train from the midlands to London. I listened to The Clash, London Calling.
Its both a distopian and resilient view of London. It seemed fitting as a bombing in the tube had set a sombre tone.
But London is London no matter.
Despite the confrontation London open day was in full swing as was Thames week.
And it gave a little sometime for mariner like me.
These 10 Thames barges had sailed up the river.
And were using their motors against the ebb tide to hold formation still in the water. Such seamanship.
And really there is something special about the English is their way with the sea and boats.
Be it Drake’s Golden Hind
Or the uniquely English narrow boats that carried goods and produce from the midlands to London prior to rail
And now provide floating pleasure.
So I did go to London!
The brochure called it the lake of dreams.
But it’s a lake of life and vitality.
From the tourist towns like Bellagio
The narrow streets of the villages full of smells of fine food, chatter and laughter
And beautiful villages that held forged dreams that became Italian classics.
Like Carlo Guzzi’s dream for an industry for his village
So if Lake Como is a village of dreams it’s also the essence of Italian love and lust for live, beauty and exuberance.
Overlooking Newcastle upon Tyne the is the Angel of the North
An imposing piece of public art that hovers on a hill above the Tyne and Newcastle.
There were also some angels of the north at Mo Tech the Moto Guzzi dealer in Newcastle.
The provided me a bit of space out the weather to make a running repair.
Angels come in different forms
A hundred and fifty years ago Glasgow was the second city of the empire
A centre of heavy industry such as shipbuilding and textile manufacture
A centre of design, typified by the Glasgow architecture.
But a century or so later Glasgow was struggling to survive as a city.
Unemployment, poverty and significant population decline challenging the future of the once great city
While in the UK, in Australia, there is tension and a struggle about accepting migrants and refugees.
For Glasgow, have stabilised it’s population.
The cities motto “People make Glasgow” a reflection of the more diverse international city it has become.
People make Glasgow proudly on the new skyline.
Maybe we should all be thinking about people, humanity.
It’s been 17 years since I visited the UK
A cold wet winter of long nights and freezing days.
This trip its summer and the days are long, damp and cool. Not all the different from the Australian winter I left behind.
With help from local guzzista I have the mighty breva II ready for this adventure.
This adventure starts in Stoke on Trent, once the porcelain capital of the world. Here I collected the Moto Guzzi, I’ve bought in the UK.
I rode up the motorway to Glasgow through the damp air and rolling green fields.
To be greeted by the march of the orange men and woman.
Flying the flags trooping the colours and beating the drum
I reflected that this is what confronts and challenges the UK.
Great glories of the past celebrating victories a century or more old. Masking an underlying anger and frustration that divides the country. Orange VS Green, North VS South, the pro brexit VS the anti brexit. It’s a challenging time.
And as I ponder this there is the beautiful architecture of Glasgow.
The great Victorian design from designers like Rennie Macintosh.
And the music
In the streets and pubs.
Cold and damp Glasgow has struggled through some tough times.
But as the city’s new motto says
People make Glasgow
It was a boys big bike bash
looping Tassie like it was a race track
From the cold damp west coast
Misty wet Queenstown
settled in the heart of the wild west coast
windy roads in the mountains
constant dam filling drizzle and rain
looping across to the east coast
The beautiful fishing harbour of St Helens at dawn
Fresh fish washed down by local beer and wine
Elephant Pass and St Mary’s Pass clinging to the side of the mountains range.
From the coast climbing the past Poatina
Up onto the high plains
Winding through Bothwell
The home of the worlds best merino wool
and the high plains lakes
The nature was not the only thing of beauty
In Hobart there we visited a magnificent collection of classic bikes
Perfect for a Boys big bike bash
As the rest of Australia Swelters
In Melbourne has a top to day of 19c
As the Lunar New Year Celebrations draw to the end
There was Chinese dancing at Victoria Market
With traditional music and movement
Then in a change of pace the music for the chicken dance came from the speaker.
Not very Chinese I think
As kids got up to dance to a familiar tune.
But, of course, this is the Year of the Rooster
So why not use a European Drinking song which has chicken in the title!
Only in Multicultural Melbourne
Where cultures and traditions blend happily.