Munich is an attractive, vibrant city with grand buildings, wide streets and a welcoming atmosphere. The Lonely Planet describes it like this: “The natural habitat of well-heeled power dressers and lederhosen-clad thigh-slappers, Mediterranean-style street cafes and Mitteleuropa beer halls, high-brow art and high-tech industry, Germany’s second city is a flourishing success story that revels in its own contradictions. If you’re looking for Alpine clichés, they’re all here, but the Bavarian metropolis sure has many an unexpected card down its Dirndl.”
And so Munich was our holiday destination for the Christmas period. Despite ALL of the shops being closed between the 24th-26th December, and just missing out on the last of the Christmas markets, there was no shortage of eateries, beer halls and coffee shops to keep us in good spirits. We spent much of our time wandering around the streets in the snow, dipping in and out of coffee shops or sampling gluhwein, bratwurst, saurkraut, schnitzel, apfelstrudel and spatzle (not necessarily in that order). I did a few sketches while I was relaxing, so here is part one!
Airport security is a real chore. Gone are the days when you could turn up at the last minute, throw your bag through the scanner and expect to rush through security to catch your flight just as it was boarding. Now you have to give yourself plenty of time to allow for a full de-robing, body search and Spanish inquisition at the security gates. Don’t get me wrong, the Government is keeping us safe, but I’m forever amazed that even after the enforced de-clothing and de-cluttering of one’s person, I can STILL walk through the scanner and set the alarm off! I’m quite sure that no part of me that is metal, yet it happens to me every time…
“Up on to Dartmoor today via several stops for Amy to gawp at horses and take photos. We a parked at the Postbridge information centre to start the rather boggy walk up to some standing stones with picturesque views of the moors. We ended up meandering around a peat bog for a bit before giving up and following a wall to the obligatory water feature challenge of the holiday…” NB. We often find ourselves traversing fast flowing water courses on our expeditions.
“I think L has underplayed The Bog. We were walking for 8.5 miles and for at least 5 of those miles we were ankle deep in bog. At one point we found ourselves lost in the middle of a vast expanse of moorland (as far as the eye could see) with no visible path in sight. I was secretly calculating our water rations in case we started to sink into the stinky, relentless bog and had to wait for rescue…”
I must mention that today is my mum’s birthday. Happy Birthday Mum!
“We’re sitting in the Pilchard Inn, a tiny pub perched on the edge of Burgh Island, home to a posh hotel where you can stay for a mere £400-600 per night. If you want to come by helicopter, there is a convenient helipad in the grounds. The ‘Rif Raf’ are welcome on the island but only if they walk across the sand bar when the tide is out or catch the giant sea tractor…
We walked from Ringmore along the SW coastal path dotted with flowers and pretty grasses. The winds were high but they blew the forecast showers over our heads and inland. L has become adept at simultaneously pointing out wildlife and dangerous obstacles…”
We recently returned from a great holiday in Devon and Cornwall. Not usually ones for taking a summer holiday in the UK (due to unpredictable weather) we decided to risk it this year and it paid off. Clear skies, turquoise seas, belting sunshine, rolling moorland, white beaches – If you could always guarantee weather like this, who needs to go abroad, there is so much to see right here?
As always we kept a running commentary of the holiday by way of a diary and this year I aimed to draw a cartoon a day to supplement the entries. For the next few days I’m going to share a few short extracts from the diary and a quick cartoon. Don’t expect beautifully penned, Wordsworth-esq, descriptions of the holiday. Sadly, I lack the vocabulary to paint a picture, instead, I draw cartoons.
With my event planner’s hat on, I organised a weekend away in a coaching house owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. The Devonshire Arms is four star luxury on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, overlooking the grounds of Bolton Abbey and into the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This was a far cry from our usual ‘let’s celebrate by camping’ weekends, which are more often than not, marred by bad weather, inadequate bedding and loud, inconsiderate campers. Nay! This time we joined the coiffed, well to do, Range Rover driving, hunting, shooting, fishing folk and settled in for a weekend in front of log fires, sipping champagne and watching the snow fall by the bucket loads. Sadly not enough snow fell to render us stranded in the lap of luxury.
Amongst other things, the Birthday Girl received a book chronicling her life, with comments and anecdotes from friends and family. At this point, I’d like to plug www.blurb.co.uk as an excellent way of compiling and producing books. Whether you are a professional or a lay person, the quality of the blurb books is smashing and there’s no need to faff about uploading images to their website, you can do it all on your own computer (with Adobe Indesign) before sending them the finished product for print.
I also drew here this cartoon which pretty much sums up what she does as a Maxillofacial Surgeon (head and neck surgery). Despite being dually qualified with both a dentistry and a medical degree, she can often be heard telling people to take two paracetamol and go to bed. Surprisingly, this cure works for a whole array of symptoms that I present in order to keep her on her toes. Some might say I’m a hypochondriac.