I did the challenge yesterday and I am doing it again. Seems silly not to, especially as I have taken so many photos with the ‘Up’ theme. This one is taken on New Years Eve.

We were up North at Mr P’s family and looked out of the window and the were hundreds of these balloons making their way over the darkened skyline, as the wind swept them all in the same direction. In London people have started to let these more eco friendly (unless you are thatched) and peaceful alternative to fireworks, but with their being so little opportunity to see any skyline in our manor, the sight quite took me by surprise. It was lovely seeing all these orange glowing balloons floating away into the night. I was reminded of them as the nights are already drawing in and people are talking about how they will be spending Christmas…Eek.

SONG OF THE DAY – The Fifth Dimension -Up Up and Away -Written by Jimmy Webb. I went to see Jimmy Webb do a one man evening a few years ago at the Bloomsbury Theatre where he told funny stories about his life and played songs, old and new, just him and his piano, it was lovely insight into the man. I also have a fantastic book about songwriting that Jimmy wrote, which I must read again.

It is true. I have not been in an aeroplane in 24 years and Mr P. has never flown (except in his dreams).  In 1978 I paid nearly £400 to fly to India ( I saved up for months as I was being paid about  £1 an hour working in the local supermarket). When I was a student it was  cheaper to get to Greece from the UK by train and boat than it was to fly. I went to Greece in one of my summer holidays, ( 1979)  on an overnight train to Venice, then an overnight boat from Venice to Athens. It was an amazing journey. When I got to Athens, I boat hopped round the islands.

Flying got a bit cheaper in the 80’s, but was still a big deal when I decided that flying was just not for me, in 1987. Then  since the beginning of the 21st century so many people  sort of think is was their god given right to get on a plane and pay tuppence for the privilege and would not even give a slower journey to the same destination house room.

Suddenly, jetting off to Tangiers for the weekend, or Sweden, or even New York is viable to the ‘common man,’ thanks to Easy Jet and  Ryan Air . Then everyone started getting really sniffy about the  taxes and fares going up…really sniffy…and I missed it all , as I hailed the Eurostar, the ferry, the train, the cab and horse and cart!

Sooooooo   I am a huge fan of the best website in the world…..      (well my ultimate favourite travel website)…drum roll and fanfare puleez. The website is called


‘Maybe you don’t like flying, or are concerned about air travel’s contribution to  global warming .  Or perhaps you just prefer real  travel by train or ship, where the journey is part of the adventure…  Either way, The Man in Seat Sixty-One will tell you how to travel overland comfortably & affordably where you might think that air was now the only option.’

And it does! Check it out. It is glorious, with pictures, routes, fares, comments from travellers –  all sorts. Go on…give it a look . You maybe tempted to make the journey part of your  next trip.


Glen Campbell – Wichita Lineman, written by Jimmy Webb

I was much too cool to like this when I was younger. I saw Jimmy Webb a few years ago live in a small theatre in London. He was an amazing raconteur and performer. He has also written a brilliant book on songwriting –Tunesmith -Inside the Art of Songwriting