Sunday, May 22, 2016

This is me high (up - 2,230m above sea level – oh, and the sequence of writing might confused, so get a grip). Then I give a well-deserved plug to my most recent favourite TV series – give it a crack, ‘cos you will not be disappointed


Like the original kid with a new you, I'm using my new app to wish you well from 2,230 high (1.38 miles apparently) above sea level. More later. I'd now prefer to enjoy the air and sun.

The cable car to the top of Stubnerkogel is on the hour and I had the choice of going up at 11am or waiting till 12 noon, and as I don’t believe in rushing things at the best of times and certainly not when I am on holiday, 12 noon it shall be. Full report to come. (NB A fellow guest here at the Pension St Leionhard who introduced himself as James Moriarty has assured me from the top you get a marvellous view of the Reichenbach Falls which is not to be missed. He’s even offered to take me to them sometime. Worth the trip, he says. Nice chap, seems like a likeable sort.)

. . .

(This was written earlier, before the above)

As for the mountain, well I took the cable car up, but walked halfway down to the cable car middle station. That took the best part of an hour, although to be honest it didn’t feel half as long. I was
going to walk the rest of the way, but I found out that I can’t use my ticket again, so I took the cable car down, and next time I’ll just get a single and walk all the way down. I was also rather put off by reading a sign that the rest of the way was another hour and a half. Well, what with bursting for a pee twice, I thought I would put off the heroics to another day (but I shall – walking down was the first time where everything was beautifully quiet, the kind of quiet I have been craving).

I like castles and I’m told there’s rather a splendid one about two-thirds of the way to Salzburg, about 40 miles away. I was initially planning also to go to Salzburg, but what the hell. Might, and might not. Let’s see. Here are a few piccies taken up the mountain.

. . .

In the meantime, I thought I might advocate everyone here catching a British TV series which, to my mind, stands head and shoulders above almost any other TV series which has come out of Britain and is as good as the best produced by the US and the rest of the world. And as it is available on Netflix, maybe be you can get hold of it. It’s called Peaky Blinders.

I was rather late coming to it, in fact, though not for any particular reason. It’s just I tuned into the first episode of the first series when it was first broadcast on the BBC and for some reason or other went off to do something else after a few minutes.

The same happened with Breaking Bad, which I have still yet to see. I should say that what I find outstanding about Peaky Blinders is not necessarily just ‘the story’, but that its production values, cinematography, acting, dialogue, directing and, almost above all, its soundtrack are simply the best. No corners have been cut, but nor is there a sense of throwing money at a project and showing off. (Producing ‘the biggest’, ‘the longest’, ‘the highest’, ‘the most expensive’ and all the rest of anything is not the Brit way. If that’s your bag, check out any number of US folk and companies who are under the illusion that sort of thing gains them kudos. We Brits like everything, especially our humour, to be understated.)

To write that Peaky Blinders is ‘about gangsters in Birmingham just after World War I – known to those who took part in it or were affected by it at the time as The Great War (they obviously couldn’t have known that the sequel was already in development)’ – risks being misleading. It is about so much more: the brutalisation of men by WWI comes into it, as does the consequences of the Easter Rising in Dublin and the consequences of the Russian Revolution, the disruption to the British class system and to the balance of the sexes by the war and much else.

. . . .

Tomorrow, it’s off to Burg Hohenwerfen wherever that might be. It is said to look something like this. Bet that cost a bob or two. Or three or four...

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