In the age of steam every boy wanted to be an engine driver. In my boyhood this desire became a fighter pilot and in modern times it might be an astronaut or a pop star. The nearest I got to being a fighter pilot was to sit in the cockpit of a spitfire and press the firing button. Then came the jet age and we aspired to becoming test pilots.
(Editor’s note: For new readers to Chandler’s Ford Today, just to say that once in a while this site has kind of become Sri Lanka Today, while our well-loved writer from Chandler’s Ford travelled to Sri Lanka as analysing snake poisons seems to be a fun hobby when you retire.
A few more interesting stories from Sri Lanka will soon appear in the next few days. Happy reading!)
To get to our house in Kandy we have to go through a tunnel. The alternative is a 3 km detour. The other day we had the Granddaddy of Tropical Storms with torrential rain from 3.00 pm until about 3.00 am. In the morning the tunnel was blocked and we had to get to work via another route. [Read more…] about Dispatches from Sri Lanka – The Tunnel in Kandy
Two or three times a year, the coconut boy comes around to harvest the coconuts. This year he was delayed as there has been so much rain it has left the palm trunks slippery.
There are six coconut palms (Cocos nucifera) in our garden here and they all have a ‘loverly bunch’ on them. Two of the trees are King Coconut, a variety of large yellow nut found in Sri Lanka. [Read more…] about Dispatches from Sri Lanka: a Loverly Bunch of Coconuts
Some of the fringe benefits of owning and walking a dog include getting to discover some beautiful areas of Hampshire. Some of these are on our doorstep in Chandler’s Ford. One of those is The Monarch’s Way, which is a short drive away, and takes you into some glorious countryside.
This post shares some of my thoughts on the walking and wildlife found in and around The Monarch’s Way. [Read more…] about Hidden Hampshire: The Monarch’s Way
It is good to be back in Sri Lanka. We have been here enough times now to feel it is a second home. All those weird tropical things are becoming familiar. I had forgotten how noisy the night is after rain. All those frogs and things calling out for a mate. The fireflies too, silent and magical in the darkness. [Read more…] about Back to Sri Lanka
After two days driving through France we arrived at our gîte in Provence for a holiday.
It is a delightful place in a 40 acre estate of olive trees and a lavender field. There were no guests in the other gîtes so we had the whole place, including 3 swimming pools to ourselves. One border of the estate was a river and half a mile upriver was a waterfall or cascade as the French call them. [Read more…] about The Waterfall
Are you a tourist or a traveller?
With the holiday season upon us, you have probably already decided. Travelling can be nerve-wracking. What’s the difference?
Shall we say that a traveller decides where to go and arranges it, but a tourist buys a dream sold by a travel company. [Read more…] about Travellers Need Brains
Our gliding flights in the Pyrenees were going well. A friendly rivalry arose with the two pilots of another glider and we were determined to outdo one another.
Today was my turn as pilot in command of our 2 seater, Whisky Bravo. The tug plane took us from Santa Cilia airfield on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees towards the local hill where there was some rising air. [Read more…] about Forced Landing
I love travelling. I love seeing what’s going on around me and comparing different places with home.
But despite living near an airport, flying is the one major form of transportation I’ve never used.
I’ve travelled in many different forms, including having a donkey ride on a beach and a pony trek (when I was a child), but have yet to be above terra firma. [Read more…] about From Chandler’s Ford I Get around
We can all enjoy Christmas. It is not necessary to focus on baby Jesus and the traditional story of shepherds and three wise men.
Last Christmas was spent in Sri Lanka, a country with only 10% Christians but where the Buddhists (70%), Hindu and Muslim all joined in the celebrations.
We had to dress as Santa and his helper [Read more…] about What Does Christmas Mean For Non-Christians?
Today one of the boldest, most audacious and exacting feats of space engineering will be attempted. The European Space Agency (ESA) will attempt to land Philae, a lander module, from the Rosetta spacecraft onto a comet known as 67P Churyunov.
Rosetta has already made 3 orbits around the sun and is near to completing a fourth. [Read more…] about Comet Rendezvous
First – a bit about the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST).
The charity was formed in 1978 and has two tall ships (Lord Nelson and Tenacious) that have been specially adapted so that anyone over 16 can crew.
The crew is made up equally of able-bodied and disabled people – some who have never sailed in their lives before. [Read more…] about Atlantic Crossing With Jubilee Sailing Trust
Off Vancouver Island last Monday, we saw a Killer Whale with baby. It went on to take a seal – this type of Orca is a mammal (rather than fish) eating one. Baby seals and dolphins are its main food.
Oddly enough an adult seal on seeing an Orca will take to land. Baby seals [Read more…] about Neighbourhood Killer And Child
This summer, Kati Csiszar, member of Rotary Club of Chandler’s Ford & Itchen Valley, will be throwing herself out of a plane for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.
Kati will be skydiving on the 13th of September at Netheravon Airfield, Wiltshire.
What motivates Kati to sky-dive (as she was pretty scared)? [Read more…] about Kati Csiszar Skydiving For ABF The Soldiers’ Charity
The train leaves Kandy at dawn before the sun colours the land. [Read more…] about Dawn Train Down The Mountain To Colombo
Not as big an event as in Glasgow but Hillwood College Sports Day for the Nursery and Playgroup was great fun.
We knew we were to be invited but when the invitation came it specified us as “special guests” and that, before the prizes were distributed the special guests would make a speech. We thought we had better try to speak in Sinhala. How would you do it? [Read more…] about Commonwealth Games In Kandy
Anuradhapura is about 100 miles from Kandy. On our travels, Bernard, our driver, advised us that we passed through the best area in Sri Lanka for mango.
He sampled a few before advising us which to buy at 12p each. The farmers are keen to sell at the roadside stalls. If they sell wholesale they get only 2.5p each. Six weeks later the season was almost over and the price was 25p each. Never mind, they are still very good. [Read more…] about Life On The Road
The ubiquitous tuk-tuk makes Asia work. Just a motorised Rickshaw, a driver, a bench seat for 2 passengers and an engine. No doors, no safety belts, no baggage space, no in car entertainments but what a lot of fun.
The warm air blows around you, when stuck in traffic you can strike up a conversation with the people in the tuk tuk alongside you. [Read more…] about Tuk-tuk: My Transport Of Delight
I am Russian and I moved to the UK about 9 years ago. My wife and I have a little girl and we live in Chandler’s Ford.
I am working as a data analyst for Aviva health and my specialty is building mathematical models to detect fraud in Health Insurance.
From 26th to 29th September this year, I’ll be taking part in the London to Amsterdam Bike Ride 2014 [Read more…] about London to Amsterdam Bike Ride For LimbPower
No, not Orlando Gibbons’ anthem of John the Baptist, but another John who served his community in Sri Lanka for 15 years and what happened to him next.
Who was John?