Michael Palin

Six word Saturday

A dinner party!  Who to invite?

In time honoured fashion I’ve been invited by Just Fletcher to host a dinner party, with guests of my choosing, of course.  I thought it might make a diverting Six word Saturday post?

At the top of the table I’ve got Elizabeth 1, looking very stern, so I’ll have to mind my P’s and Q’s.  What a character!  What a life she led, though not one that you could really envy.  Will Shakespeare’d be good with the courtly speeches, and I might just get the chance to ask if he really did travel to Italy, and put paid to all that controversy.

I’m sure Michael Palin will be interested, and interesting too, travel being his subject.  In any case, he can charm the birds from the trees.  If Lennon gets a bit disrespectful, Palin and McCartney’ll do the soothing, diplomatic stuff, but rapier wit won’t be in short supply.

I’ve loved Paul McCartney and his music for as long as I can remember, and wouldn’t it just be great to have those two together one more time?  With both in mellow mood, now that fate has delivered both a punch or two.  Maybe a future classic will be scrawled upon the table cloth, as the evening wears on.

An avid reader, I’ve only recently returned to historical novels, and it’s the fault of Philippa Gregory.  She lived and worked for a time in my part of the world, so I’ve always been mildly curious about her.  I was checking out some books at my local library, and “The Red Queen” was on the counter.  I could resist no longer, and was absorbed by the storytelling.  Elizabeth 1st will surely be surprised at where women find themselves in society today.

Which brings us to Helen Mirren.  Well, every dinner party needs a touch of glamour, doesn’t it?  Maybe she can console poor Bonaparte.  Such a sad ending to all those aspirations.

So what do you make of my choices?  I’m not going to nominate anyone, but if you have an inspirational line up that you’d like to share, I’d enjoy to read your post.  Have a look at Just Fletcher’s Virtual Dinner for starters (or dessert).  Cate of Show My Face has been more than tolerant of my Six word Saturdays.  Follow the link or click on the header to see how it should be played.

Before I go, I’d like to share a follow up to my last week’s 6WS.  For anyone interested in Steampunk fashion, here’s the next instalment of Jema’s interview.


My travel inspiration

More excitement!  I’ve been nominated by Suzanne of the travelbunny to take part in Easyjet’s Inspiration Initiative.  Suzanne is a very well-travelled lady and I love her blog, so I musn’t let her down.  Inspiration to travel?  You only need to browse the current dazzling array of travel blogs.  Easyjet would like to know Who, What, When and Where are the inspiration for your travels?  There are prizes!

Who?  Like many others, I have a great fondness for Michael Palin and his gentle way of being in the world, interested but unobtrusive. (unless you count the camera crew, of course!)  His warmth and humour are ever-present, in sometimes quite trying circumstances.

Class 153, Michael Palin at
Cambridge, Wikipedia

I don’t imagine it was much fun battling altitude sickness in the Himalayas, and he’s certainly slept in some strange places.  Still, watching him on TV was the first time I can ever remember thinking “I want that job”.  I want to travel.  Why, he even has two trains named after him!

Living in hostel accommodation in London in my late teens, I explored back streets and wandered the riverside for hours.  I was besotted with the shiny city, so different from my quiet hometown.  Then one of my room-mates announced that she was emigrating to Australia.  The possibility had just never occurred to me!  Tempted though I was, I never made that leap, a new and lustrous relationship keeping me in place.  Who knows where I’d be today if I had, but I’ll never forget my inspiring, adventurous friend, Di.

London Town viewed from Greenwich Park

What?  It’s books for me, all the way.  I can never walk past the Oxfam shop in Durham without nipping upstairs for a peak at the travel section.  Before I know it I’m sunk in an armchair, with a heap before me on the coffee table.  Buddhist temples, multi-hued mountains, languid beaches- the world at my fingertips.

"Lumiere" 2011, Durham City

And planning?  I read everything related I can get my hands on.  I cannot bear to return from a trip and have somebody say “did you see…” and my answer be “no”.

Years ago I used to watch every episode of “A Place in the Sun”, riveted by the snippets of background on each of the destinations.  Every week I was “living” somewhere different.  Little did I think then that I’d fall in love with, nevermind buy, in Tavira, on the Eastern Algarve.

Ponte Romana and the skyline

When?  I still have home commitments and a husband who loves his work, or my gypsy caravan would have worn its wheels down long ago.  I always dreamed of owning a boat and following the coastline into infinity.  The nearest I’ve managed to date is gulet sailing in Turkey, and ferrying between the islands of Greece, but I’m still hopeful.  In the meantime, whenever I can get a well-priced flight the antenna start to quiver.

Where?  Many of my travels are centred in Portugal, but that’s no hardship.  It’s a beautiful country with one foot still a little bit in the past, and I like that.  From its vivid capital Lisbon, inland to the most wistful of castles at Almourel; from spectacular coastline to historic cities, there’s little that Portugal can’t supply.  I’m on a mission to see the Duoro valley this year.  You just can’t take the wanderlust out of Restlessjo, and I’m often to be found with my head in a travel guide.  Moorish Seville, Granada and Cordoba have surrendered, Jerez and Cadiz yet to be conquered.  Did somebody mention “Tall Ships” this year?  It must have been in the Easyjet magazine.

Real Alcazar gardens in Seville

My new found Polish family introduced me to a different culture, whose cities and landscape I find equally beguiling.  Krakow and the Tatry mountains certainly know how to inspire.  Nor can I discount the pleasure of walking on my native North Yorkshire moors, or a visit to my daughter in lively Nottingham.

Balon Widokowy (tethered hot air balloon) over Krakow

These days every morning presents a different trip.  I open up my emails and am transported to Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam, or to play with traditional dolls in Japan, or climb the Great Wall of China.  How much have my blogging friends enhanced my world and inspired me!  Thank you all.

My 5 nominations are:

Have bag, will travel

Bringing Europe Home

Julie Dawn Fox in Portugal

A bit of culture

Travels of a Non Traveller

Good luck and happy travels folks!