Friday, 1 May 2015

Thalatta! Thalatta!

"Thalatta! Thalatta!" "The sea! The sea!"
The cry of Xenophon and the ten thousand when the saw the Black Sea for the first time. To the sea faring Greeks this meant they would make it home from their expedition against Persia where they had been dragged into the wrong war and on the wrong side. It was also the cry that rent the air when I stood next to the great deep and breathed in the brine and rejoiced in the sun glimmering on the endless waves. Getting there however was not as straightforward as I hoped. 

To begin with all went well, the train was on time, the carriage was quiet, the sun shone on the green and pleasant land as we flashed along and even better nobody made use of mobile phones.
The change at Stratford would have been smooth if I could understand how to work the ticket machine, when things are simplified they are always harder to comprehend and I found that technology was not on my side this week.  Eventually however I sat in a tube train full of happy Londoners, cheerful, kind and ...oops, sorry I was deluded for a moment.  However I reached the station that French presidents try not to arrive at and boarded the train where a youthful London lass equipped with all the social graces of a nineteen year old Londoner sat next to me working on her texting.  Joy abounded!  
We moved, the five coach and therefore overcrowded train slowly made its way out of the platform.  The sun shone in our window, no-one spoke in the quiet carriage, an occasional bleep from a mobile or tablet was heard and we settled down for a happy journey.  The train slowly made it's way to Clapham Junction station where it ground to a halt five minutes after departure.  Enter the guards voice from the depth of the Tannoy, "A person has been hit by a train at Surbiton so there will be a hold up as both lines are blocked.  (This occurred at 11:34, one minute before we left.)  This usually takes about an hour or so."  Apologies were made, and resignation ran through the train.  Being the quiet coach we are not allowed to riot.
Having sat at Clapham for almost an hour we moved suddenly and without warning.  No-one believed all was well.  It wasn't.  We parked ourselves at Wimbledon station because it appeared we stood in the way of some 19 trains that could depart and avoid Surbiton, we could not.  The crowded masses on the platforms at Waterloo waiting for their trains did not bother us one bit but must have been a nightmare for the staff.  Here we sat watching the station staff run around like headless chickens, a very interesting experience as I, like you, have been involved in similar situations when nobody has a clue as to what is happening, information does not arrive and customers have steaming heads.  So it was fun to watch others suffer, in love obviously.
Was this an accident that a 75 'hit a train?'  That happened last week on the Tube.  Or was it suicide?  Now it peeves me that people kill themselves by throwing themselves in front of trains not for them so much as for the trouble their action causes others.  The train driver may well be traumatised by this.  He may get a day or two off work but will have to pass this way again and some folks find such things hard to dismiss from their minds.  He may suffer guilt for doing his job and being responsible for another's death even if he is not in truth responsible.  Then there are those who have the job of collecting the pieces from the track who may not be too happy about it either, let alone the thousands who are delayed by this action.  Indeed this is a selfish approach to suicide.  

The late arrival led to confusion at the other end but soon I reached the happy home where we sat scoffing while the birds hammered away at the fat balls in the garden.  What can be better than a small enclosed garden?  Well one by the sea I suppose.  Everybody ought to have one, humans need it!  However it is very difficult to get a decent shot through a window, especially when the brutes will not  stay in the sunny bit while flitting from one seed type to another!  This shot shows a really magnificent example of a fat ball!  I have also numerous pictures of blurred Blackbirds and the rear end of Blue Tits if that's your thing. 
How lovely to be able to sit in another's house and feel at home?  l don't often get that as I am usually kicked out but I did relax here and began to enjoy it greatly.  My second family who I owe much to and I realised I have known for a mere 44 years.  I should add that eating properly for a change helped a good deal, the food in this house is cooked by a  lovely woman, as indeed it should be!  Nothing in this home got burnt, not even when three of us men cooked Pizza all by ourselves!  
We also watched, in spite of murmurings from the corner, Bournemouth football club getting themselves promoted by beating Bolton 3-0.  Jolly good for this little club even though a cynical female woman failed to appreciate the magnitude of the occasion.  Such women still get to vote mind!  Think about that next Thursday!

Thalatta at last!  A trip over the chain ferry at Sandbanks to sit and stare at the sea, what more could you ask?  Well sunshine for a start and an end to the chill in the wind!  Running since 1926 and secured from the tide by two tough chains the ferry runs back and forth across the short distance  saving motorists a 25 mile trip round Poole Harbour. To one side stands the huge harbour area where a mass of sailing vessels and some very big Channel ferries base themselves, to the other side lies the Solent and out into what the English call the 'English Channel.'  Humble eh?  This is one of the delights of this area.  The views are fantastic and I find this sort of thing refreshes the mind.  Air, sea, breezes, sand and a few boats of various designs all combine to relax the heart.  That is why folks sit in the car at the parking bay and stare out to sea.  That is why others, braver than some, walk no matter the weather along the shore.  There is something about the sea that humanity requires daily, no wonder I miss it.  Of course some people do not like water, they will sit in the car muttering while the brave scout for dangerous fish, illegal immigrants or flotsam & jetsam.   None were found here as the water was clean as indeed are the beaches.  The area is quite upmarket, a house here would set you back from £2 - 10 million, but they are well done up.  I do not have one - yet!

At Studland two brave souls wandered down the slope to the tea stall situated, as such things always are, at the far end.  In summertime when the heat is on and the beach huts crowded with revelers, while kids drown one another in the sea or bury dad in the sand this place must be mobbed.  It is not large but when crowded it would be a place to avoid!  Today however the chill reduced the numbers and we watched while this crow (or is it rook?) waited while the lass at the table fed him chunks of her lunch.  Usually timid he was keen enough to jump on to and off the table quickly while grabbing his portion.  Her wee dog considered grabbing him but she would not allow that.

I could have taken a thousand pictures here, often of the same subject but in different ways however some people muttered about 'having a life' and we moved on.  All told I did take 190 fotos although not all were a success and you lucky people will be spared having all of them shoved down the throat.  A hundred would be enough.  What's that you said...?  Oh!  Anyway, that's enough for now.  I have been forced to walk hundreds of miles, OK, well two at least and some of that up slopes, and my knees will not stop moaning, and I canny bide folks who moan.  So I am off to bed to rest up!          


CarolHasANewBlog said...

Blue skies, fresh sea air, good company and different scenery for a couple of days ~ I heard no grumbling mind ~ or chose to skip over them bits.

Mike Smith said...

Some brilliant photos, Mr H.

Jenny Woolf said...

Wow, it looks mediterranean! I really love the look of those clouds out of the train window, all so neatly arranged in the sky!

Lee said...

Good to have you back, Mr. Ad-Man...and I see you brought a note with you to explain your absence!!!

And yet, while surrounded by all that natural beauty you still chose to watch some silly men chase a round ball about a field!!!! Tsk! Tsk!

Adullamite said...

Carol, No grumbling at any time....

Mike, Aye, no bad.

Jenny, Indeed the water has the Med look. Lovely spot to visit. I never took in the clouds at the time but they do line up!

Lee, I missed you! No silly men chased the ball.