Friday 8 April 2011

Preferable to 'iron in HIS soul'

Back home after a cruelly short night to sunrise on a crisper but still lovely day here in Auckland, and the pleasure of seeing another of my photos on the cover of the Herald on Sunday, and a story inside about a mere five of Scotland's engineering marvels.

The photo is of the Glenfinnan Viaduct over in the west near Loch Shiel: it's a remarkable curved span of 21 arches, the first ever construction of its type in concrete. To get the photo, my friend and I had to wade through wet thigh-deep heather up a hillside, and then wait for half an hour to hear the distant chuff-chuff of the train approaching. Earlier we had scoffed at some upper-class twits who turned up to breakfast in our lovely old hotel in their tweed plus-fours - but they would have had the last laugh (a Public School nasal bray) if they'd seen us return with our shoes sodden and muddy, and our jeans soaked through.

There was another lesson in not judging by appearances in the foyer, where a quartet of elderly people were having afternoon tea by the fire - "Och, I'll take a wee spot of milk in my tea" - and I was thinking they looked just like characters straight out of Dr Finlay's Casebook, when their conversation moved on to the Rod Stewart concert they'd recently attended.

My story's appearance was well-timed, because today I went to a Tea Royale at the Langham in honour of the visiting VisitBritain CEO, and as a nod to the upcoming nuptials of Wills and Kate (when he travelled to NZ recently on Cathay Pacific, it was under the name of Mr Dove) and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee next year. Never were fancies so fancy!


Brett Atkinson said...

Great cover shot - just leaving Vietnam to kick off an 18 hour Hanoi-Singapore-Auckland homeward journey

Oh joy...

the queen said...

Kill me, why don't you? Tea Royale! What did you wear?

TravelSkite said...

Brett: Deepest sympathies. Have to tell you, though - we went Business to Perth (at our own cost - but it was a special deal that was actually cheaper than the regular economy fare). But even so, there was no escaping that naff new safety video.

Queen: I did think of you. I wore a sleeveless linen number, but no hat (last time there, I did, but then it was an Alice movie-themed Mad Hatter's Tea Party, and my hat was a clever but deeply unflattering kiwi).


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