I am posting from Liverpool this week. I drove over from Munich, a 20-hour journey from one rainy city to another rainy city; passing Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Koblenz, Aachen, Liege, Lille, London and Birmingham on the way. For anyone who has been reading “PAME!”, my power station in north-west Germany is still there and looked particularly impressive as I passed in the dusk. It was belching out steam and seemed to be throbbing with an inhuman nervous current. I must take a decent photo of the place sometime.
I have done this route hundreds of times but never at the beginning of November and that made it special. There is one part of the journey which I have always disliked; it’s the stretch between Karlsruhe and Koblenz in Germany. This is a wine-growing hilly region and I have always found these flat, bare hills very oppressive. They roll on for miles and are always a sort of sickly pale green. I don’t know what associations they trigger off in my mind but whatever they are they make me feel closed in and threatened.
Well, I was getting ready for this bit of the Autobahn, steeling myself for this unpleasant experience…but when I got my first glance at the first hill, I was amazed…it was awash with autumn colours, reds, golds, yellows and browns. All the leaves on the thousands of vines were at various stages of their slow autumnal decay and it was tremendous. I found myself saying “pwah, wow” all the time as these beautiful colours kept smearing themselves all over my retinas. It looked as if someone had knitted a cover for the hills using random balls of wool in all the golden October colours. Tremendous.
The ferry crossing was also a novum – the first time from Dunkirk with Norfolk ferries.
I don’t know where they got the ferry from but it could have been Titanic II. Thick pile carpets everywhere, stainless steel and wood furnishings…blimey!
I asked one of the crew if the boat was really only going across the Channel to Dover. It looked as if we might be setting sail on a cruise to Bermuda.
I arrived at my mother’s house at around 6. It is a very forlorn, desolate-looking place since she died.Still the morning sky put on a good show…you might have to use a little imagination to look at the picture though…
The dawn sky...the clouds should be a bit more pink