Luxembourg (1995)

I posted a few weeks ago about our trips to the Netherlands, and a few months ago about my once-frequent stays in Paris. I figure I’m on a roll, so…Luxembourg.

But now the kicker. I wrote something originally as a single post, but it just grew longer and longer. I don’t know about you, but I lose interest in too-long posts, I suppose because reading is such an effort for me. So this is merely Part One, centered around my first visit. I shall continue with my other visits in the future. This first post will be short, because it was a short trip.

Luxembourg is another of those places that we ended up having enjoyable family times, but my first encounter was as a singleton.

It was entirely at random. I’d been working very hard, and we had a bank holiday coming up, so I hit the local travel agent (remember them?) and said, Find me somewhere to go for the weekend. They gave me a few options, and Luxembourg sounded like it might be an adventure. Also, it was 1995 (I really do have the tee-shirt) and Luxembourg was currently the European Capital of Culture, so special events were planned. I was earning well, so opted for the best hotel on offer – the Intercontinental.

I flew from Heathrow – all nice and smooth – Luxembourg is a small airport and I used to find that smaller generally meant smoother in the world of air travel. The hotel was a little way out of the city centre, but no matter – it was the best.

Luxembourg Ville (ville, to differentiate the city from the country) – where to start? Well, it is built of two levels, for a start, so views like this defined the city:

Luxembourg Ville

The city itself spanned a couple of escarpments, linked to each other by bridges and looking down on a lower level, for some reason called Grund. Grund was largely green. gardened, as you can see, making for a very green city overall.

The city centre was pretty compact, with many designer shops – Luxembourg is not necessarily a cheap place! Luxembourg, after all, had the highest per-capita income in Europe. But – a mix. A few streets from those designer shops, one could quite easily get a pizza or a burger. But after a full-on Friday evening and Saturday, I’d seen enough for this time.

Chamber of Deputies (I think!)

Wanting to see as much as possible, though, and not having transport of my own, on Sunday I got the train into France, destination Strasbourg. A train is also a good way to see the countryside, which outside the cities was very rural.

Strasbourg is a hybrid – right on the border between France and Germany. So it doesn’t feel quite French. Add to that that it is one of the places where the European Parliament meets, and it had a very international flavour. But, some beautiful architecture:

Cathedral, Strasbourg
Petite France, Strasbourg

Strasbourg was about 2 hours from my hotel back in Luxembourg, so another long day. But when you have a limited time to explore, you tend to pull the stops out. After that busy weekend, I flew home on the Monday, ready for work again on Tuesday. A successful trip, no? And cetainly whetted my appetite for times to come!

The Last Post

I voted today. I qualify for a postal vote these days, so it all happens a bit sooner for me than for everybody else. All the bumf came through yesterday, I sorted it this morning, so, for me, the 2019 election is over.

I did have a half-thought of voting tactically, but in the end voted along with my principles. I feel that by doing that, I have at least been true to myself. In previous elections I’ve done the same – certainly since I moved here, one party is so dominant in this area that I may as well vote with my principles.

I honestly don’t see that this will change things. No matter how many times you shuffle the deck, you’re just as likely to get a royal flush!

I just feel pessimistic.

Tick Tock Tuesday #7 (26 November 2019)

I thought I’d create a new challenge. It is a challenge primarily for me, because I’m new to this platform, and because you don’t really know me yet, nor I you. As my name suggests, I am recovering from a stroke, and I like to push myself in all kinds of little ways… including getting to know the Wonderful World of WordPress. Although this is something I will be doing, I invite you, if this idea takes your fancy, to play along with me and share with me some of your own selections.

My plan is: each Tuesday, until I run dry, I shall post some piece of art with which I have some connection – which has helped to mould me, which makes me tick. Okay, a piece of art is a bit vague – it might be a piece of music, a movie, a book, a painting, or ???? – so my phrasiology is deliberate. It might be anything – I will play this post by ear, so I’m not sure what I’ll think of each week. And, I’ll keep posting on the theme weekly until I run out of ideas.

My rules? Well, I’m not big on rules! My choice will be something with which I feel a connection. That’ll be the important thing, just having some kind of fleeting affection for something probably won’t be enough, unless I’m using my choice as an example of something bigger.

It will be one choice per week – I’m aware that long posts can be quite onerous to read, and I’m in no hurry to complete this so if I have two ideas, I’ll probably hold the second until the next week.

In that same vein, I’ve created this block as a Reusable Block, which I intend repeating for every post on this theme. The block ends with a full-width separator, so if you want to skip ahead each week it doesn’t really matter.

I probably won’t post any lyrics, or any kind of analysis – if you like my choice, the information will be out there for you. But I will try to briefly explain why I feel a connection to my choice, just to try and enhance readers’ understanding of what makes me tick.

I will tag my posts #TTT and I will go looking for other posts with that tag. If you’d like to join in, please do the same, or comment, or pingback to this post, and feel free to reproduce my graphic. Lastly, I look forward to reading about what makes you tick.

Last week I published a song which my daughter loved. I have posted a bit about how things later soured with her, but there were good times too. Particularly when she was a toddler, there was no indication of the storms ahead.

To anybody who has children of their own, this post needs no real explanation. Sunday mornings were both special and splashful – bathtime together.

My choice this week is the song we used to go a bit mad to. It also gives me a chance to introduce The Housemartins. I’m glad I got the chance to introduce them, because Paul Heaton (the lead singer) has always been one of my favourites. I came across Happy Hour, their debut hit, and saw them when I first got to university, at a time when I was new to joys of live music.

By the time I left university the band had split, but I followed Heaton through the Beautiful South, and beyond, I even saw him in Bristol about five years ago – imagine me at a gig full of other old farts – every one of us the wrong side of forty!

But my choice today comes from that early, Housemartin era, and is just the raw energy of four young boys. Five Get Overexcited. Probably best not to say anything about the lyrics, and fortunately daughter never asked!