Another photo of what started out as a beautiful clear winter’s day on Lac Leman in Switzerland. Here, one of the passenger ferries that ply the lake was underway to its next port of call. You can see more of our photography on our website, Junagarh Media.
These days as we only get so many weeks holiday a year and have to spend the rest of our time working to pay for them we do go to this part of South America a lot because we have friends there. So here is a photo from a central and very wooded square in the center of Asuncion in Paraguay. It was interesting to see all the yellow cars lined up waiting for customers. Copyright Paul Andrews and Caroline Schmutz, Junagarh Media, http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk
Not those Beatles, the other Beetles seen here in the 2014 Vevey Retro Car Show held on the 14th of September 2014. See other photos on our Flickr or Junagarh Media sites, , http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk.
I took this photo at the 2013 Stony Stratford Classic Car Show. It is always a great show and well attended and on this June the 2nd day we had great weather as well. The picture of the front has the Flying or Silver Lady or Emily as it is known on it and this bonnet ornament carries an interesting history. The second Baron Montagu of Beaulieu commissioned a sculpture for his 1910 Rolls Royce and he asked Charles Robinson Sykes to use Eleanor Velasco Thornton as the model. John Walter the second baron had fallen in love with Eleanor back in 1902 but he was already married and apart from that she was from a lower class. That still stops individuals getting together today, something I hate. Unfortunately Eleanor died in 1915 when the ship, the SS Persia was sunk by a U-boat. She had been travelling to India with John Walker who was being sent there to take over a command. A sad story. Photograph copyright Junagarh Media, http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk.
I pictured this beautifully restored American car in the city of Trinidad with the Museum of the Revolution in the background. While I love cars myself (and I would like to find a way of sharing mine) I’m hoping that two things don’t happen with the thawing of US Cuban relations. The first is that these old cars don’t just get scrapped or exported to collectors in the rest of the world. They are now part of Cuba’s heritage and as such should be restored and used in Cuba. Secondly, I hope that Cuba doesn’t get flooded with new cars as that is the last thing it needs. Many of the streets are small and narrow and the Cuban cities don’t need to end up looking like any capitalist city. As Cuba is starting from scratch as it were it needs an organised scheme of shared car ownership where cars can be booked for an hour or more when needed and are placed conveniently throughout towns and cities. This in association with a decent public transport system should keep the streets clear, safe and clean and not tie up money on these expensive items which for most people sit idle for much of the day. The crazy world of the West is like it is because of poorly designed, inconvenient and expensive public transport systems. My hope that as in most other things that Cuba does that it again dares to be different. Copyright Junagarh Media, http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk.
I’m sure that if you welded together a load of scrap iron and then painted it in the UK or some other countries and displayed it somewhere that you would get paid a fortune for what your average trainee welder probably gets paid a pittance for. Yes, I know I’m very cynical. Maybe in Coro, Venezuela where this photo was taken the person or persons who created this wonderful piece of work were too or maybe they were just paid for doing a decent day’s work like the rest of us. Art is for everyone isn’t it? We did think however that at the time there was very little difference between the buses running and the ones hanging on the wall. On one bus we experienced a dramatic bang from some suspension component failing. The trouble was that the used part that they replaced it with didn’t look all that different from the component being removed. But that’s how a lot of the world still works. Copyright Junagarh Media, http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk.
Today I was incensed to write to my local paper again over the ever increasing rail fares that ordinary workers have to pay to get to the great metropolis. The fares go up each year and this year is no different. The most pathetic utterance of our local Tory MP is that they are not going up as much as before. GREAT. And he probably doesn’t pay for the increase anyway, we pay for him as well. What a joke our democracy is. The Labour and Conservative parties blame each other for their collective failures and meanwhile the people can’t even be bothered to vote. Still, we know where the increased fares are going to end up, in the grubby little hands of tricky Dickie and the two capitalist Christians. I’m tired of paying for tricky Dickie’s island in the sun and what happened to the “meek shall inherit the Earth”, certainly not with these two Christian billionaires running the transport systems. If they have any conscience they would realise that Jesus would have kicked them out of the congregation a long time ago. At least we have a little bit of media freedom. USE IT or LOSE IT.
As much as I love London the current plan to build the HS2 infrastructure is a disgrace to all those living and working in the north of the UK. And anyway it will have little if any benefit for London unlike CrossRail. Whilst CrossRail is a great project for London and similar schemes for many other wonderful UK cities would ease congestion and maybe take cars off the road, our Tory/Labour/Lib political elite continue on with this ill thought out scheme. Much of the planning must be to prove that they can match the French and the Germans with their high speed trains but they can’t. An annual ticket from Milton Keynes to London on Virgin on the ridiculous red trains costs about £5000 per year. You would certainly have to earn a lot more than that to pay for the ticket once you have the 20% tax and national insurance contributions taken away. So who will be able to afford the HS2 tickets? Certainly not the workers on the bastard zero hour contracts that our rich, in the pocket of the corporations, political elite will do nothing about. Our political elite love exclusion, all of them, from all three main parties, they dislike people getting on in life. So instead of investing in public transport systems for lowly paid workers to travel on into other cities they will squander and borrow money so that they can look good in front of the other elites.
A few years back, quite a few, we were very fortunate to backpack around the world and see just how amazing it is, just how much humans are screwing it up and how much they are screwing each other. We kid ourselves if we consider ourselves in any way civilised. With 780 million people without access to clean drinking water I think we are as much in the dark ages as we were over half a millenia ago. Anyway I guess that’s another story. So we spent a lot of time in South America and at one point found ourselves in Uyuni in Bolivia. This town is the gateway to the famous salt flats and sits at 3700 metres so is a bit chilly at least for us. It is also the site of a fascinating train graveyard about a kilometre or two outside the town. It appears that when steam engines were no longer used they drove them out to the desert. When we were there and hopefully it has changed you could just clamber over these industrial monsters without having to pay anything. Such a shame since it so obviously be a tourist attraction. Considering the distance from the town we found this locomotive daubed in white paint with an Einstein equation painted on the side. What do we call this, technical graffiti, technical street art, it is certainly an interesting piece of work.
We have been very lucky to visit Argentina several times in the past and there are some great roads that go straight to the horizon and beyond. That’s fine when you are sitting on one of the comfortable long distance coaches that traverse the almost endless landscape. But if you are on a bicycle like this man it must seem like you are not moving or that the horizon is always moving away. Wonderful country, wonderful people.