Remembrance Day

This morning, Bailey & I went for a walk. We stopped at the Village War Memorial, as we always do on this day, and observed a two minute silence. I was pleased to see that despite attempts by the government to prevent it happening, nearly 40 people had gathered together for an act of remembrance …

Gallipoli (no, not that one, the Italian one)

Our final full day in Italy, before we fly home tomorrow. We visited the Italian town of Gallipoli, A walled island city at the end of a peninsular that sticks out into the Ionian Sea. We were back on the train today, and this time in air-conditioned comfort. Nardò Centrale station is a busy hub …

Ouch!

Like a fool, and despite training, I lifted and twisted something today and now my back hurts. I’ve decided to have an early night with my new best friends, Ibuprofen and Paracetamol. Tonight’s post will be light on prose. Today we visited lovely Otranto, the most Easterly point in Italy. You can just see Albania …

Trulli Scrumptious (I know… Sorry)

Yesterday was a Free Day for my clients - so no Tour Manager chasing them around on and off trains and busses. They made good use of the time, walking, cycling, exploring and even going out on the ocean in a boat. They’re not supposed to have that much fun without me! Today we made …

TimOnTheTrain is now BackOnTheTrain

Yesterday was a full day excursion to the large town of Lecce and or first opportunity to travel by Italian train. Our faithful bus driver, Mimino, picked us up and transported us to the station (tiny building, unmanned and closed) where we picked up the regional train to Lecce. Lecce’s more famous residents include Gerard …

Nardò

It’s not NARdo. There’s an accent on the last ‘o’ so that’s where you put the stress. It’s narDO. And the ‘o’ isn’t rounded like at the end of Tomato - it’s flat, as in ‘Block’. You’d know that if you were an Italian, like me 😁😁 While I’m here, I’ve decided to improve my …

I’m an Italian. Buongiorno

Well, we made it, and as I write I have now become an Italian. My hotel last night was the Premier Inn at terminal five. I’m usually rather fond of Premier Inns but they seem to be struggling a bit at the moment (who isn’t?). I went down to the bar in the hotel to …

Things Change Fast… Last Minute Puglia

Got a phone call today from Great Rail Journeys. A Tour Manager has become unwell and can’t operate his scheduled Tour, Puglia & The Salento Coast - All Inclusive. They asked if I would be happy to pick up the Tour at short notice; it leaves very early on on Saturday morning so I’ve got …

Travel With TimOnTheTrain To… Poland

The second Tour that I have pencilled in for 2021, departs on 06th March 2021 and couldn't be more different to Sri Lanka. It combines history with rail travel. I'm something of a nerd when it comes to the Second World War; office shelves sag under the weight of military history reference books. Railways and …

Travel With TimOnTheTrain To… Sri Lanka

The good news is that Tour Allocations are starting to come through for 2021, holding out the promise of returning to work, and travel, at last. I decided to do a series of posts about the Tours that I have pencilled in. The aim is to inspire you to join me on Tour, and in …

The BBC… So, What’s The Fuss About?

The BBC want to remove 'Land Of Hope & Glory' from the Last Night of the Proms - because somebody, somewhere, might be offended. There is no more eloquent rebuttal than to show people what it actually looks and sounds like, so here we are. Take 09:51 minutes out of your life to watch a …

Well… That didn’t last long!

I guess that'll teach me to try and be happy during lockdown. Shortly after my last post, the UK Government decided to put France on the Naughty Step, and as a result I've just been told that my Italian Tour to Sirmione & Lake Garda has been cancelled. For a couple of days there was …

VJ Day

75 Years ago, it was Victory over Japan day - VJ Day. It matters not simply as a just and deserved victory over the cruel regime of Japanese Militarism, but also as the conclusion of the entire 7 year period of the Second World War. It's tempting to describe in detail the epic battles of …

Back On The Rails (Maybe…)

It has been a long, and frankly, lousy Summer. All of my Tours were ultimately cancelled with the cancellations being drip-fed month by month as the situation changed, or rather, didn't. I was lucky enough to receive some financial help from the government, but this was rather soured by their laissez-faire attitude to support for …

D-Day

Today, 6th June, is the 76th anniversary of the D-Day Landings. The weather that day was similar (slightly worse) to today. At 06:30 some 156,000 American, British, Canadian & Commonwealth forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region. The courage and fortitude of those involved …

Your personal computer can help scientists fight COVID-19

If you're reading this on any kind of computer, there is something that you can do that actually provides concrete, actual help in the battle against COVID-19. There is no commitment of money or time. By installing a tiny Folding@Home app on your computer that will run calculations of complex protein computer modelling using the …

Do you really need ZOOM?

So here we all are in lockdown and suddenly, everyone is talking about ZOOM, the video conferencing software. ZOOM itself has seen their market cap stretched beyond $40.3 billion, worth more than Uber and Lyft combined. This exponential growth has been driven not only by business use when working from home, but also by the explosion …

I met a girl who sang the blues, And I asked her for some happy news…

Not much has been posted on here recently, for reasons that are hopefully obvious. I was reviewing this blog and thinking about some of the Tours that I've done while listening to some of my music. My mind went back to one of my favourite Tours, Tracks of the Deep South, or, as I prefer …

It, Me, We, Us & Them

It ... is of course COVID-19, the Coronavirus Me How is it affecting me? So far, it's not a good news story. I've now had two China Tours cancelled, and this represents a significant financial hit, which could be as much as 30% of my annual income. As things stand, I have no work for …

Angkor’s Away

Sorry about that but I couldn’t resist. I have 2 hours left in Cambodia before the Tour ends and I think I’m getting De-Mob happy - as the Vietnam troops used to say, I’m on short time. Yesterday, and this morning we visited the Temples at the Angkor Wat complex. A mixture of Hindu & …