The Gerrard Chronicles 2012 - Traveller's Tales

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Elgar research Trip

January 9th & 10th

To prepare Ken's second English composer talk, we drove to Worcester & stayed at the simple but adequate St. Lawrence Hotel. There is an "Elgar Trail" but a bit difficult to follow by van. However, we went to all the main sites, starting with his birthplace at Broadheath but failed to find Craeg Lea & Napleton Grange over the two days, nor the Powick loony bin but Ken had someone else's good photo of that. Doing an Elgar talk is really sad, as he was a somewhat pathetic victim of the English Class System, as his father was 'trade'.

Birthplace at Broadheath

Forli, one of his homes in Malvern

Birchwood, where he lived behind the Malvern Hills

Cruising to the Canary Isles & Azores

April 14th to 28th

...on our favourite Fred Olsen ship, the "Braemar". This is fully reported on this link.

Ken plods the Lake District

June 26th to 29th

For a change & because the new rail timetable round Paris is a disaster for travellers to Switzerland, Ken drove up to Grasmere & stayed at "Forest Side", which used to be a CHA Guest House but now privately run as a B & B. The weather seemed ok until the Kendal By-Pass, where it turned appalling & largely stayed that way, so Ken's week was severely truncated, as it was not going to get any better. He headed up Far Easedale on the first day but was driven back by the rain & crossed into Near Easedale by a new path, before returning to Grasmere. That evening, he drove over to Armathwaite, where lives his friend Charles Weir, who he realised he had not seen for a quarter-century but had kept in touch by e-mail. Even so, we had a lot of catching up to do. Charles runs Penrillian, a software house specialising in mobile telephone & tablet matters & a splendid dinner was eaten, after being introduced to Charles' wife & daughter, Rosalind, son James being away. On the second day, it rained almost continuously but he had palled up with Kate, an American art student in hopeless boots & took her for a drive right round the District.

Helm Crag (Lion & the Lamb) from Far Easedale

Easedale Tarn

River Rothay in spate at Grasmere

The panorama of Maiden Moor & Cat Bells from below Watendlath in the only dry minutes of the day

Dodging the Olympics - Cruising to Greenland & Norway

July 22nd to August 20th

Firmly believing that London's transport infrastructure was incapable of supporting the Olympics, we decided to take two cruises back-to-back on Fred Olsen's "Black Watch", the only one we had not been on before. Apparently, four million other Londoners made the same calculation, which meant that London could cope. The first cruise took us the the Faroe Islands, then to Iceland & Greenland. This is fully reported on this link. Back at Dover, we stayed on the ship & went off to the North of Norway as far as North Cape & this is also reported on this link.

A working Cruise to St. Petersburg

September 11st to 26th

Ken had been 'hired' to give 5 music lectures (actually, 7) on the "Saga Sapphire", which turned out not to be the greatest experience, with Saga & us both resolving never to have anything to do with each other again. This is all reported on this link.

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Contact: Ken Baldry or Avis Saltsman, 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)020 7359 6294 or e-mail him or her
This page's URL: Last revised 1/12/2012 Copyright: ©Ken Baldry 2012 All rights reserved but print it off if you want to.