Mike’s Music Monday #19

It’s quite timely that I should have posted this picture of my two good friends Ian and Martin, as Joe Jackson was a particular favourite of Ian’s and the song always reminds me of a camping holiday that the three of us had in Guernsey in the summer of 1979.  We travelled over on the ferry when the infamous Fastnet storms were beginning.  The boat was pitching and rolling all the way.  Almost everyone on the ship was ill except the 3 of us, who could be found propping up the bar.

Martin played on the wing for York Rugby Union Football Club and was quick as well as strong and he decided to enter the Guernsey Open Athletics Championship.  He chose to compete in  the 100 metres and the Shot Putt event.  (Not many people attempt that ‘double’!)  Ian and I didn’t want to be left out so we recruited another 100m sprinter to form a 4x100m relay team.  We finished 4th out of 5, beating the team put together by the 1500m runners, who had finished their own race only about 20 minutes before!

It’s those sort of holidays that bond friendships for the rest of your life.  Even today, 40 years on, you may hear one of us say “Is she really going out with him?” 🤣



Mike’s Music Monday #1

Like many bloggers no doubt, I’ve been struggling to find new material for this site.  Over the past 4 years I’ve walked almost all of the paths in the Val d’Hérens (many of them, several times over) and I’ve been conscious that long time followers will, perhaps, be getting a little bored with the ‘same old, same old’ pictures.

With that in mind, I do plan to go further afield this year to bag a few more ‘new’ Swiss peaks and Judith and I have at least two holidays booked (so far) to ‘new’ locations later this year.  But that is not enough for yours truly…

The idea for this series of posts came while I was in my car listening to my ipod (yes, they do still exist) and I thought, why should I have all the fun!   So today starts a series which (you may eventually be glad to know) will only last 52 weeks, unless there is a blogosphere outcry of course…

You can look forward to hearing masses of marvellous music including some Motown, Madonna, Marvin, M People and more.  I’m sorry, but you’ll not be listening to any AC/DC nor Leonard Cohen here…  So what better way to start than with a song by ‘M’ called Pop Muzik.  Released early in 1979 (yes, 40 years ago), it reached no. 1 in several countries, including Canada, South Africa, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, the US and even Switzerland.  However, a rather endearing, though some might say soppy, tune by Art Garfunkel, called Bright Eyes, kept it off the UK no. 1 spot.  So it was clearly a popular song at the time.   I hope you enjoy this series and that it brings back some fabulous memories (for those of you old enough to remember this stuff of course!)

I defy anyone, once they hear the words New York, London, Paris, Munich (in any order) in any other everyday context, not to say “Pop Muzik”!  My wife and I always do! 😊

With thanks to Youtube for providing the video and my apologies for any adverts which might appear.  All good things are worth waiting for though. 🙂

The Grand Old ‘Uke’ of York

I got a Christmas card from my mate Andy the other day.  Nothing unusual in that you might think but, intriguingly, it contained a reference to a Youtube link, with no explanation as to what it was.

Now, I should add that I worked with Andy, waaaaay back when, for what was then called Rowntree’s in York (England).  He was one of our regular “Lunchtime runners” and a good runner he was too.  His best marathon time was around the 2h 30min mark.  Though, curiously, during training, he would often be at the back and leave Pete, Liam, Dave, Tim, Colin and I to battle it out in a sprint finish.  But put him on the start line of a race and he was gone!  Anyway, he got fed up of the corporate life and he left to teach people how to play the guitar.

Clearly his repertoire extends to the Ukelele too, as he and some friends have banded together to produce this (rather excellent I have to say) video below, which features many of my old haunts in York, including the Shambles, the Black Swan, the Theatre Royal, the Minster and Bootham Bar (that’s one of four fortified entrances to the city by the way, not a pub!)

For info. Andy, is the one in the natty, Fairisle jumper and playing the ukelele in front of the roaring fire.  Enjoy!

Swiss Holiday Video

At least one of my loyal followers has noticed my absence recently (well done, Paula!)   Judith and I are away on what has now become our annual UK road trip, gathering photos for me to post in the coming weeks.  I’ll not give too much away but stay tuned for some glorious beaches…

In the meantime, I thought I’d post this video, which was created by my niece, Jennifer, of their time staying with us in Switzerland.  It’s exactly a month ago now since I posted some pictures, but this tells the story of their holiday much better I think.  Enjoy!

Switzerland 2017 starring, Alastair, Adam, Karen, Jennifer, Judith and yours truly…!

Evolène and Arolla valleys – drone videos

I recently discovered a series of videos of our region, produced by Sébastien Ruttimann of sr-prod.com.  I thought they were too good not to share… 🙂

Evolène and Arolla valley in winter

Val d’Hérens

For info. also, Sébastien has produced this fabulous video of the Lavaux region of Switzerland, which runs along the northern shores of Lac Léman (or Lake Geneva).  It brings back happy memories for my wife and I as we used to live close by.

Lavaux region of Switzerland