Wednesday, 26 April 2017

TRIP TO NEW YORK

We've been to New York to visit Alastair, Dawn and Indy.

Here we are at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Alastair, Indy (5) , Barb and Iain.

 Indy, aged 5.

Alastair is living temporarily south of New York, on the east coast of New Jersey.  You look up the sandy spit (Sandy Hook) and New York city is 20 miles to the north on the horizon.

There is a catamaran ferry that carries commuters to the big city.  It is a 45 minute ferry ride across the bay to Manhattan island.  Iain is awaiting the ferry on the slipway.  New York is in the distance.

Manhatten is surrounded by water so nothing for it but to take a tourist cruise to see the harbour and the skyline of downtown Manhattan with all its iconic structures.



 

 
And there was lots to see of the New York sights on this day being Easter Sunday.  There had been an Easter Parade but it was in the morning and we missed it.


Times Square... It turned out to be much like Piccadilly Circus except much smaller and not actually a 'square', i.e. more of a triangle.  While perched on a concrete wall the local 'talent' passed us by!!

Spring in New Jersey:

Whole Foods shop in New Jersey.  Wonderful orchard blossom out.

More blossom in a big vase in the entrance of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Wonderful place!  I'd go back again and give it more time.

Inidy in the back yard

We flew by Icelandair. The cabin had novel ceiling lighting!



 

Friday, 7 April 2017

TWO TRAIN JOURNEYS

I recently watched this film on BBB iPlayer. I thought it was wonderful! One of the themes is about the randomness of life or in life; about 'chance' encounters.


It is based on a novel.

Night Train to Lisbon is a philosophical novel by Swiss writer Pascal Mercier. It recounts the travels of Swiss Classics instructor Raimund Gregorius as he explores the life of Amadeu de Prado, a Portuguese doctor, during António de Oliveira Salazar's right-wing dictatorship in Portugal. Prado is a serious thinker whose active mind becomes evident in a series of his notes collected and read by Gregorius.

The book was originally published in German as Nachtzug nach Lissabon in 2004 and was first published in English in 2008. The novel became an international bestseller. Danish film director Bille August adapted the book into a 2013 film of the same name, starring Jeremy Irons as Raimund Gregorius.   [Wikipedia]


The main character follows an incident which happens to him on the way to work. The ensuing story unfolds in which he addresses some of life's, especially in the mature years, philosophical questions.  What would have happened if I had taken the other option, taken a different path? What are/were the chances of this or that happening - both in the past and in the future? Etc etc etc.

About the film, the Guardian states:

Jeremy Irons plays Raimund Gregorius, a repressed academic in Bern who saves a young woman from jumping off a bridge. He discovers in her possessions a poetic memoir by a little-known Portuguese writer called Amadeu do Prado, and becomes obsessed by Amadeu (played by Jack Huston) and his relationship to the woman.

In flashback, as Gregorius traipses round Lisbon meeting Amadeu's friends and associates, we see snapshots of the author's life as a poet, philosopher, doctor, lover and revolutionary.

Gregorius realises how petty his own life is by comparison with Amadeu's. In its lesser moments, the film feels like a European art-house adaptation of a Mills and Boon novel or a Saga holiday commercial, but it is beautifully shot and packed with cameos from big-name actors.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * Chance * * * * * * * * * *

I often say that there is no such thing as Bad Luck or Good Luck; it is just Bad Management etc.  M-m-m-m, I am not so sure...!

This week I went into town to see a printer in the city centre. As there was no place to park at Milngavie Station I drove to Westerton and parked there knowing you can get any train west as they all go through this station.

After I got out of the train in Central Station I headed to the toilet (very clean!) and noticed that I did not have my pink wooly hat, a very much-loved hat.  M-m-m-m maybe I did not bring it with me ... but I was pretty sure I had.

Anyhow after our 45 minute meeting I headed back to get the train home dawdling along the way to visit a fabric shop next to Fraser's. (That's another story.)  I headed down to the platform where 2 trains going west were due.  I took the first one, a short train to Dalmuir.  I entered the door of the carriage, the last in the train, where it came to a halt in front of me.  I sat down.  Along came the conductor.  M-m-m-m... I recognize that lovely Irish accent; he's the same one as the train in (but it had been a long train).  I suppose he could have changed trains in the 2 hours I had been away.  Then I thought... maybe this is still the same train ... I have 5 stops ahead of me.  I will just get up and wander along the train and have a look for my hat which maybe got put up into the luggage rack.  As I moved along to the aisle to the end of the carriage I recogized the turquoise door of the automatic toilet.  I had sat opposite the curved door.  I walked up... nothing on the seat but look what I found on the floor underneath!!
-

Unbelievable!  Now what are the chances of that happening, I wonder??!  


I think of the factors involved:  it's holiday period so the trains are quiet; there is so much litter around that people get 'immune' to stuff lying around; there isn't much footfall in that part of a railway carriage; I am a fairly pro-active person.  I could easily have come home without actually have done a search. (I hear Alastair's voice in my head "M-uh-ummm! Did you have look?  e.g. on Google!!!"   But to step into that particular carriage on that train at that time having dawdled my way back to the station... weird !!!!