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Friday, December 14, 2012

Polar Ice Melting

As a lifelong collector and historian of Polar Exploration; I have noticed an item that has popped up today. Much effort was made in the early years of Polar Exploration by many Sailors and adventurers to find a route around the north of Canada and down into the Pacific to China and India.

Finally the Norwegian, Roald Amundsen in the Gjoa took three years to complete the first voyage East to West in 1906 through the ice and Islands of the Northwest Territories in 1928, and the first West East voyage in the little Royal Canadian Mounted Police Vessel St Roch in 1941-1942. (See photo)

This year the ice obstacles have gone due to Global warming according to the BBC. Stunning graphics show the retreat of polar ice in the high arctic over the last two decades. <> mjn from

Winter in Hungary

There's about 20 cm of snow lying outside of the door here in Eastern Hungary where I am staying until Christmas with Ibi and Janos. Both are teaching at their schools this morning as I write but Ibi will be home at lunchtime. I have been Googling, looking up various things on the net. I am pleased that I managed to track down one very old friend in the Scottish borders. Since I've been here swe have been to Buapest to see the Complete Works of Shakespeare which was performed by three British actors - Very funny! We stayed overnight in a comfortable pension. Ibi's daughter Tűnde is still at Uni but will be home before we go to Bristol. She seems to be doing well in her social studies ciourse at Nyreghaza. (Probably spelled wrong!)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Roman Fall!

I am ashamed that it was January when I last posted to my blog on return from my wonderful Cape Town Christmastmas. SO I am attempting to pick up the threads. At the moment I am again staying with my dear friends the Kalmans in Mezobéreny in Hungary. In two more days Ibolya and I are flying from Budapest to spend a few days in Rome. Neither of us have visited Rome before so we have plans to visit several of the major tourist sites, xample some Roman food and wine and generally soak up some of the ambience.My title "Roman Fall" is an oblique reference to my late father's film "The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone" in which father as Mr Stonde dies on the plane en route to Rome at the very beginning of the film, allowing his widow (played by Vivienne Leigh) to enjoy herself in the Eternal City. I will try to update this blog more often!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Christmas in South Africa

I had a wonderful time visiting my two step-daughters in Capetown for Christmas.
Please click on the title, this will bring you to the collection of my photos taken in South Africa.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Back over Africa

A few days ago I was on board a British Airways Airbus on my way back to London from my excellent Christmas spent with my stepdaughters in Cape Town, South Africa. BA looked after me well and I had an excellent starboard side seat with plenty of leg room. The passenger in the next seat was not talkative, which suited me fine and so I tried watching a film. After a while though, I switched to the aircraft’s moving map display and began to watch our progress Northward. Having flown this route twice before, I was aware that having flown up the West coast towards Nigeria, then northward over the Saharah desert. On a night flight such as this there is little or nothing to see from the windows: occasional settlement lights and so the moving map gives some indication of progress. It shows town names of exotic places, reminding me of books I once read, My boyhood hero Biggles http://www.biggles-online.com/index.php?bookID=50 was always flying off to adventures in darkest Africa or the Gobi Desert and other places. So, it is dark over the desert and only the moving GPS map to guide me. Looking down I could see occasional lights, not many but Touareg villages I assumed and the moving map announces places overflown such as Tamanrasset in Southern Algeria- Have a look at this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamanrasset where goats and camels and many peoples come to the market.
Soon enough we cross the desert and on over the Mediterranean for breakfast over Marseilles then Nothward over the English Channel to Heathrow. Here I changed terminals to catch my onward flight to Budapest, where Ibolya was waiting to escort me home to Mezőbereny by train.