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Tom
London, England
An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about threats to liberty in Britain
Interests: liberty, travel, photography, writing
Recent Activity
Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed reading it. It’s a relief to write about joys when the usual fare on my blog is the whinge, the rant and the moan.
Toggle Commented Jul 4, 2019 on Home again at THE LAST DITCH
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Small world. I grew up just over the Welsh border from Chester and that was where I shopped, pubbed and clubbed when I was young so I can certainly see why you hear “Spezza” in Scouse! Ta for sharing lad.
Toggle Commented Jul 4, 2019 on Home again at THE LAST DITCH
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All good things do have to come to an end. Safely back in London our honeymoon is already a happy memory. Any nervousness about attempting such a trip in a ten year old car — it’s Speranza‘s birthday this month — seems silly now. She acquitted herself magnificently. It’s not... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2019 at THE LAST DITCH
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We took our time over a shorter drive from Beaune to Épernay. French autoroutes somehow sit more lightly on the landscape than British motorways. They lack the embankments to screen them from their neighbours, the gantries to monitor and nag their users and the ugly safety infrastructure that makes a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2019 at THE LAST DITCH
It *was* cool and in both senses of the word. We are glad to have you along virtually. You are the patron saint of this marriage. Mrs P II sends her love.
Toggle Commented Jul 2, 2019 on Beaune, idle at THE LAST DITCH
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Today was one of the more ambitious in terms of driving. Our South of France idyll over, we reluctantly locked the door of our friend's villa and headed to the autoroutes. Our destination today was Beaune, which is 370 miles from Mougins. We decided to make the trip slightly longer... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2019 at THE LAST DITCH
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Bastide means either a fortified village from the Middle Ages (a small bastion, I guess) or a small country house - a Manor House perhaps. This particular Bastide may once have been the latter but is now a cathedral of French cuisine. We had planned for the dinner last night... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2019 at THE LAST DITCH
Always. Trying to be a healthy one these days, but without becoming a crank.
Toggle Commented Jun 30, 2019 on Heaven at THE LAST DITCH
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Not as much as you’d think, I suspect. The South of France is outside the normal timeline and much the better for it.
Toggle Commented Jun 30, 2019 on Heaven at THE LAST DITCH
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I have still not found my lost faith but if I do and make it to Heaven, it will be like the place I took Mrs P II tonight. The one fixed point in this trip to the Côte d'Azur was, as it has been for me on every such... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2019 at THE LAST DITCH
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We had two objectives today. The first was to visit Cannes; a town where I have spent a lot of happy times – mostly during an annual real estate fair called "MIPIM", which I have attended almost every year since it was established more than thirty years ago. Visiting Cannes... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2019 at THE LAST DITCH
Thank you kindly. That's good to know.
Toggle Commented Jun 28, 2019 on Back to Italy at THE LAST DITCH
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We returned from Maranello today without incident. We rose late and would have missed breakfast by five minutes were it not for a kindly Italian waitress who gave us an extension. Before we left I photographed my favourite artwork at our Ferrari themed hotel - a painting of a Ferrari... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2019 at THE LAST DITCH
We’ve been there and done that. I was 50kg heavier at the time so my problem was fitting through the hatch. Especially with a big pack of photography gear! I can sympathise though. It was a bit unnerving.
Toggle Commented Jun 27, 2019 on Another day in Florence at THE LAST DITCH
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I understood Ferrari’s concern about photography inside its factory on my tour yesterday and cheerfully signed a non-disclosure agreement. However Bradley, another Ferrarista on our tour, later sent me a link to this video. Judging by the quality I imagine it was authorised so the company could edit it to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2019 at THE LAST DITCH
Rome is on our to do list too but Florence was my wife’s special request for this tour.
Toggle Commented Jun 26, 2019 on Florence at THE LAST DITCH
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Do tell your story please!
Toggle Commented Jun 26, 2019 on Another day in Florence at THE LAST DITCH
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We have enjoyed restful days at our temporary home in Mougins; former home of Pablo Picasso and my favourite village anywhere. On Monday we dined with friends who are lucky enough to live there permanently. On Tuesday we visited my second favourite village, St Paul de Vence; formerly the home... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2019 at THE LAST DITCH
We visited Skye when dating. I inflict my love of Scotland on all my friends but she loved it already. I’m not sure she gets the mystical feeling I have standing on the oldest part of Dunvegan Castle and looking out to sea where Lud must first have appeared in his ships though. But she likes it well enough. The only other place that gives me the same feeling is Callanish. Standing in the stone circle I feel a connection I can’t explain — as if it had been built by my family, perhaps. I love the Côte d’Azur too. I always have and have had many happy experiences here that I will remember fondly to my end. But I will never feel at home here — just an appreciative visitor, envying another people’s lifestyle.
Toggle Commented Jun 25, 2019 on At home in France at THE LAST DITCH
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We drove for five and a half hours today, as planned, despite having an excellent run in brilliant weather on fine roads. We could have shaved an hour off but our lunch plans went awry. We’d aimed to find a nice restaurant en route and take a long break but... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2019 at THE LAST DITCH
We agree. We’re already working out what to do next time we’re there! You were lucky to spend so long. How’s your Italian? Do you have a Firenze accent?!
Toggle Commented Jun 23, 2019 on Florence at THE LAST DITCH
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Our B&B is agreeably like staying in someone's home. We had a simple breakfast on the terrace in the morning sunshine before setting out, dressed in our lightest clothes, to face another 30℃ day. The queues at the Uffizi Gallery were an hour long, so we bought tickets in advance... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2019 at THE LAST DITCH
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I am back in my favourite city and Mrs Paine II is enjoying its delights for the first time. After yesterday's stress, we had only a two hour run to Florence, so took a leisurely breakfast and sauntered automotively to the autostrada. South of Modena a convoy of three Ferraris... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2019 at THE LAST DITCH
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We set ourselves too hard a task today. This is meant to be fun and relaxing. Mostly it was, but a couple of delays in leaving Switzerland due to accidents ahead of us meant that we fell behind. As much of our journey was on Swiss roads, we couldn't make... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2019 at THE LAST DITCH
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A Ferrari factory tour and the Tazio Nuvolari Museum in Mantua seem romantic enough destinations to me but one of our friends last night suggested a nature ramble might be a more appropriate honeymoon activity. So after breakfast this morning we set off to the BaumWipfelPfad or "Treetop Walk" at... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2019 at THE LAST DITCH