Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Insanely Cute!


This is so cute. I wonder if this ginger kitten has been mislead
into thinking that this loving Golden Retriever is it's carer
and Mother.

Video uploaded by Viral Paws.

LONDON'S NEW TUBE TRAINS

So London is to finally install some new trains for our Underground system.
All fully automated with the added comfort of air conditioning, something
badly missing on our current crop of trains that run on the deep level sections
of the Tube.
Unfortunately we might not see any of the new trains until 2023. And from
then on, new stocks will spread onto the all important lines
with the hope that the whole Underground system should be updated by the
end of the decade.
Apart from the new design at the front of the trains, they don't actually look
much different from the current trains. That may have a lot to do with the fact
that the new trains are sporting the exact same colours of red, blue and grey.
But we are promised that they will be superior with more space and doors and
will run more regularly to cater to London's ever increasing population.

Below is London Transport's promotion video.

More can be found out on the pages of THE LONDONIST

Rossini's Spectacular Swansong Finale..... Not Forgetting Mahler.


I imagine that even non music fans would have heard at some point in
their lives the ever popular William Tell Overture by the great Italian
composer Gioachino Rossini. But it was only a few years ago that I
heard the climax of this opera, also known as Guillaume Tell. Well it is
quite simply spectacular and a tour de force.
In the video above we see the great Riccardo Muti at the helm and
conducting this performance at La Scala back in 1987.

Surprisingly Conductor Muti seems somewhat reserved in this climatic
performance. Now aged 87, but back then at his physical peak he was
prone to throw himself about a lot and audiences certainly got their moneys worth
when he was in charge, as you can see in a couple of gifs I made below.

And how surprising that Rossini having composed at least 34 operas
simply walked away after producing this last offering Guillaume Tell
in 1829. And he was still only young in his late 30's. Perhaps it was due
to health problems. It's still not really known why.

And when you watch the climax of this work (above) with Muti as
conductor, you can only say to yourself about Rossini, well, what
a way to go out.

Further down below  is also another staggering piece of music,
the climax of Mahler's 8th Symphony.
On both videos I have slightly pushed them forward so you
can enjoy the climax.


ABOVE VIDEO UPLOADED TO YOUTUBE BY PROMETHEUS 1889
Above is the new young pretender American Conductor Robert Trevino
who is about to take up his new post as Chief Conductor for the Malmo
Symphony Orchestra for the 2019-2020 season.
And like Riccardo Muti he is a real showman. Here (above) we see him
in a gif I made conducting the Finale of Act III of Verdi's Don Carlo.
Having practiced Conducting from the age of 16, it was actually in this
above performance of Don Carlo that he suddenly became noticed
internationally.

Below: The great Italian showman and Conductor Riccardo Muti
conducting in one of his favourite pieces The Overture to Verdi's
Nabucco.

"
THE GREATEST AND MOST POWERFUL FINALE EVER WRITTEN IN THE
HISTORY OF MUSIC."     arrup3 - Youtube uploader.

"EPIC.  SIMPLY THE GREATEST FINALE EVER WRITTEN."   Greg Raines.

"I FEEL SAD WHEN I THINK THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE BORN AND DIE
WITHOUT EVER HEARING THIS."   Pedro Teixeira.

"MAHLER'S 8th SYMPHONY FINALE HAS JUST TAKEN MY MIND TO
ANOTHER LEVEL..... OUTSTANDING."      Allpress inc.

"THIS IS EASILY THE MOST BEAUTIFUL 5 MINUTES OF MUSIC I HAVE EVER
HEARD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. THANK YOU GUSTAV MAHLER FOR SHOWING
ME LIFE'S UTTER BEAUTY."   Charlie Zandieh.


Well, who can argue with any of the above appraisals. All I can say is
that if there really is a Heaven and that our dying brain takes our souls
through a long bright tunnel, then this is the music to take us through that
supposed journey.

(Strictly headphones for the full on experience).


Friday, 4 October 2019

October Already!


ABOVE: AUTUMN ON HAMPSTEAD HEATH (2015).
BELOW:  HOLLAND PARK  (2016).


So it's October already and the nights are starting to get chilly.
It's also a time to reflect and make some decisions that will give
me peace of mind.
I didn't ever think having two blogs would never work.




Sunday, 22 September 2019

SUMMER'S FINALE AT RUISLIP BEACH AND RUISLIP RAILWAY


Over this past Friday and Saturday we visited The Ruislip Lido and Railway in the far West verges
of London. The trip out was something we had planned all Summer but just never got around to it.
So yes, we virtually left it right to the last day when Britain tasted it's last spell of Summer.
The Lido was once a Reservoir and was first opened as a public pleasure Lido in 1933.
And in 1945 it opened it's well known Ruislip Railway.

Of course it was a surprise to see the Lido virtually empty on the Friday, but with even better
weather predictions for Saturday, it was clear that the Lido would be packed, as it was,
for that final Summer blowout. And even as we left on the busy Saturday, the cars
were still piling in and heading 
for the Lido Car Park.

Ruislip Village itself looked very quaint and interesting as we came in on the little bus. There was some

old Farmhouse style houses as well as some old cottages. And an ancient old Church in the Village
High Street looks like it's worth exploring next time. The Village reminded me of Mill Hill in North London.
Hopefully another visit next Summer will be a must do next year.


THE RUISLIP LIDO WEBSITE
 



Above: The Lido Cafe and Woodland Centre

Above: The Ruislip Lido Railway Shop and ticket booth
for the Railway trips.
(BELOW ) TAKE A RIDE ON THE RUISLIP LIDO RAILWAY WITH
TIM DUNN FROM THE LONDONIST.
( @mrtimdunn )

So I bought my single journey ticket at Woody Bay Station and headed out
through the Ruislip Woods to Willow Lawn Station on the other side of
the Lido pond.
And even though the railway was quite narrow at 12 inches it was a pleasant
and smooth journey.
I was hoping that the engine pulling us was going to be the Railway's most
popular engine 'Mad Bess' but instead it was the 'Bayhurst.'
Apparently 'Mad Bess' was being worked on in one of the holding sheds.
It seems that it's gauge is quite adaptable up to 15 inches.


THE RUISLIP RAILWAY ONLINE HOME PAGE

All boarding and waiting to take off.

And so off into the Woods.

Passing another train returning to Woody Bay Station.

Approaching Willow Lawn Station.

Journeys end at Willow Lawn Station.

The front engine 'Bayhurst' moves forward to the turntable where
it rotates so that it can take the carriages back to Woody Bay Station.
And from here it was a short walk back to the main Beach area.

Above is the map of Ruislip Lido showing the Railway route from Woody Bay
Station all the way to Willow Lawn Station.

Getting to Ruislip was fairly quick and easy. We took the 13 bus from home
to Finchley Road Tube Station. From there we jumped on the Metropolitan
line train to Uxbridge, getting off at Ruislip Station.
And from Ruislip Station you get the H13 bus to the Lido which takes
about 10 minutes and stops right at the entrance to the Lido.

Above: An aerial view of Ruislip Beach.
(image via Secret London).


THE LOVELY LONDON BEACH YOU CAN 
GET TO ON THE TUBE

This is way too crowded!
(picture by @wisemanbrian)

Above: The front of the Cafe area and the Children's Water Park.

Above and below: The main Lido Beach.
FRIDAY'S VISIT TO THE RUISLIP LIDO.


Friday's visit to The Lido was a sort of dummy run to the area. And even though
the weather was quite spectacular, I was surprised how empty the place was.
Many of the Lido shops as well as the Lido Railway was closed, only running
it seems at weekends in September.
It really did feel like visiting a popular resort out of season. But one thing I knew
was that the following day (Sat 21st Sept) was going to be spectacular weather
with uninterrupted sunshine all day long and 25c/26c temperatures. So of course
I had to go back the following day on Saturday. I knew that I would see the Lido
at it's best with huge crowds determined to enjoy what will no doubt be everyone's
final Summer day out. And of course the Lido Railway would be up and running.

At the same time Friday's visit gave us a chance to enjoy the Lido's peaceful and
serene surroundings without the crowds and noise that was to follow the next day.

Below are a few pictures taken on the Friday.

Above: This lucky fella managed to hog up the beach and beach
swing all to himself.

On the top left of the picture is a row of three or four houses situated
by the Lido entrance. They're the only houses around here that have
an unobstructed view over the whole of the Ruislip Lido.
No doubt their house value might be well higher than their neighbours.


Below: A closer view of those houses by one of the main Lido entrance gates.