Departures and Arrivals

Saturday No 1499  5.11.11

I am a perfectly good sleeper. I get into bed, read for as long as I can manage which isn’t normally very long and off I go to sleep.

So why is it that the night before a flight I can’t get to sleep. Take last night. I was all packed, even down to my spare toothbrush, so nothing to worry about there. I didn’t have to leave the house until 8.40 a.m which is a good half an hour later than a normal working day and as I always wake before the alarm I should have been pretty relaxed,  but could I get off to sleep…I could not. Infuriating!  Luckily I’m the sort that doesn’t need too much sleep so woke feeling pretty ok and off to the airport

Airports are interesting places for people watching.  Some maintain a high level of anxiety throughout; hurrying along from check in to gate, making sure they’re there hours before they need to be but endlessly looking at the monitor;  still believing they have probably missed their flight, getting rest where they can.

The anxious rush past people at the opposite end of the anxiety spectrum who saunter along in a semi stupor, seemingly oblivious to time; gliding along the moving walkway never dreaming  of actually walking on it. That would be far too energectic.

Then there are those who take stupor to the extreme like this young man; would he lie on the floor and sleep anywhere else I wonder? Waiting for a train maybe?  Or to get into a concert ? Doubtful! Put people in an Airport and they take on a different persona or maybe their real persona comes to the fore?

Which one of these am I…somewhere between the 1st 2 I suspect though those who have travelled with me might argue one way or the other!

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Now I’ve always been a bit claustrophobic on planes,usually preferring to sit in an aisle seat, but this time I thought I’d get a window seat to get a good view of Venice as we flew over her. Every other time I’ve been to Venice it has been to Treviso airport but this time it was to Marco Polo.Alas the weather gods decided this was not the time, Venice was barely visible through the cloud.

But, as you will come to know,I am a lover of clouds and will photograph them at every opportunity even through the windows of a plane.

This shaft of light couldn’t be resisted.

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Unfortunately when I arrived in Venice on the water bus from the airport I felt unexpectedly and decidedly underwhelmed. Why, when you are carrying passengers to one of THE most beautiful cities in the world, would you design a boat that has the windows so high that you can’t see out of them without half standing up from your seat in the most uncomfortable of positions….. Crazy and everyone was bemoaning the fact. Not even a deck that you could stand on outside…… but then I arrived and there was my beloved daughter waiting at Zattere to greet me; all delighted smiles.

Back to her gorgeous apartment in Palazzo Foscarini for a quick shower, a bite to eat and off out to walk. I can tell you it didn’t take me long to fall in love with Venice all over again; this my first experience of Venice after rain.

The wet streets, softly lit canals and lights in ancient buildings all producing an entirely different view of this my favourite city.

Even the ubiquitous gondolas can take on a new character when taken with a slow shutter speed……..

…and steamed up windows make even a basket of dead fish seem inviting

All in all a very good Saturday indeedy !

P.S on Sunday Acqua Alta was promised and didn’t disappoint…. More about that on another day…..

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Hmmmm… 1st entry to my 1500 Saturdays Blog

 

I guess I had better start by explaining why this blog is called 1500 Saturdays.

The seed was sown some weeks ago when I realised I probably only had about 1500 Saturdays left to live. I will let you all work out what age I might be…..
I can sense you wondering does she think she is going to die young or is she already old and thinks she is going to live past 100.
You’ll have to keep reading and gradually all will be revealed.
I have been coming to the conclusion that I ought to make these Saturdays count and try to do something interesting, mark them in some way or use them to reflect on life so I’m not wasting them entirely;  just letting them pass by un-noticed.
Would it matter do you think if these 1500 Saturdays did pass by un-noticed?

To me it does matter and more and more it seems as I have gotten older ( still not giving the age away though!)
I’ve never been very good at just lying about doing nothing and letting time pass me by ( by the way this blog is likely to be highly contradictory at times so you’d better get used to that) I need to learn to just do nothing – wouldn’t be a very interesting blog then though would it!
So what did I do today.. this 1st of my 1500 Saturdays.
It turned out to be a very mixed day.
My aging car – not quite as old as me ( you won’t guess from the age of the car!) was in the garage having it’s nearside track rod replaced. If you know what that is …..don’t be so damned clever !

( I could do with having lots of my bits replaced! ).
While my car was in there I took a bus, along with the hoi polloi , into the centre of Cambridge and rather enjoyed it. It was only 2 stops though! I determined should use buses more.

I went hunting for a new camera  here  http://www.campkinscameras.co.uk/Pages/and think I have finally decided on the Nikon D5100

Isn’t it gorgeous .

Now I have to decide on lenses. I’m excited about the prospect of a new camera as photography is a great love of mine. I am never happier than when I have a camera in my hand photographing something beautiful ( or ugly) I get caught up in the moment and forget everything else that is going on in the world.
(You will soon realise that I am annoyingly fond of brackets….. oh and these dots …..)
I got back to the garage to find my car still wasn’t ready. It was nearly midday and I was meeting my daughter, son and daughter’s partner for lunch at 1, some 1/2hrs drive away, intensely annoying as this was a lunch I really didn’t want to miss.
Daughter put off lunch til 1.30p.m and I eventually made it by 1.45p.m. Lunch was here  http://www.theboathouseely.co.uk/ and the food was excellent. I had a rather delicious starter – roast beetroot with pine nuts, mixed leaves and some kind of soft smelly cheese followed by dessert ( no main as I’m trying to eat a bit healthier) – 3 scoops of ice-cream- Rhubarb and Ginger, Toffee Apple and a passion fruit sorbet topped off with a wafer thin flat brandy snap or in my case 2 much to the annoyance of my son who also had ice-cream but only one brandy snap. Yum and double yum.
The occasion was our last lunch before my daughter heads off to live in Venice, on her own, for 2 months. How fab is that ! An exciting adventure as she has never visited this most interesting and feminine of places, whereas I have been 4 or 5 times and love the place..

I am delighted she is going and not just because I’ll be visiting her twice, yes TWICE !! Whey hey.

I’ll be travelling there on my 1,499th Saturday next week. Watch out for my blog to read about my arrival.