Ride out from Keswick chasing the mercurial sunny intervals. I chose the minor roads to Ullswater and Patterdale. Kirkstone Pass looked dodgy weather so I turned around at Sykeside camp site, note the remains of snow drifts on the flanks of Helvellyn etc. Rewarding views for my first ride of 2022.
A sunny interval while I was passing by Windermere in the Lake District. View towards Loughrigg Fell and Langdale Fell in the distance.
Hiking the fantastic fells in Cumbria gives so many stunning views and it’s great to get up there but here’s a reminder that this area’s about the lakes too. The clue’s in the name... Lake District National Park.
The biggest problem with this bottle is the date: 2000. It seems like only yesterday that we were celebrating the new millennium at midnight on the Embankment with bottles of champagne and a fireworks display that has never been bettered in London
Planning my 2022 riding whilst breaking in fresh new leathers. Bought at a useful discount in the Boxing Day sale online, the leathers arrived laid out like a mummy in the packing box. I’m not expecting to use the elbow sliders but good to know they are there.
One of the most dramatic French nineteenth century buildings, the Palais Longchamps is Marseille’s temple to water. Fresh water from the Alps first arrived by canal on the 8th July 1847 and saved Marseille from repeated droughts and disease. The Palais Longchamps was built at the main distribution point, a sort of header tank for the city. Its sculptures and architecture look particularly good with the low angle of the winter sunlight and the sky blown clear by a violent, glacial, Mistral wind.
Rewarding trek to the London Lighthouse gallery to enjoy GPN’s latest annual photography exhibition. A diverse show of prints, videos and slide shows by photographers of the GPN, the Gay Photographers Network. There’s no overall theme to the exhibition, all the images are intensely personal with a refreshing absence of group-think.
I have fond memories of the GPN meeting in March 2020, which was the last organised event I participated in before everything stopped. Great news that GPN has re-emerged and with a strong exhibition.
The centrepiece of the concert was Benjamin Britten’s String Quartet No. 3 which was first performed just after the composer’s death in 1976. Hearing a live chamber music performance again after so long was as emotional as it was therapeutic; this programme was chillingly appropriate in view of the pandemic we are enduring. Cellist Felix Hughes (no relation) introduced the quartet as written by Britten after unsuccessful surgery and when he must have been aware of his own mortality. It is a more contemporary exploration of the themes of illness and death than the well-known Mahler Symphony No. 9, that composer’s last completed symphony.