Let there be music everywhere

Day two of the lockdown and it’s quiet out there – too quiet. Time for some music, and what could be better than a curated playlist to suit these odd times.

  • We Gotta Get Out Of This Place – The Animals

  • Dancing With Myself – Billy Idol

  • Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley of course

  • All By Myself – Eric Carmen

  • I’m In Chains – Tina Arena

  • The Walls Are Closing In/Hangman – The Pretty Reckless

 

  • I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free – Nina Simone

 

  • Me & You Together Song – The 1975

  • Mad World – Tears for Fears

  • I will survive – Gloria Gaynor

  • All Revved Up And No Place To Go

 

And, of course, anything by Small Spaces. All suggestions for additional songs are welcome.

 

 

It’s 24 hours from lockdown

We live in extraordinary times. In the next 24 hours we will give up our freedom willingly (for at least 4 weeks and possibly longer) and retreat to the relative safety of our homes, isolated, socially impotent and very likely bored out of our minds.

Today and tomorrow are the days to tidy things up – to sort all that life admin that needs to be done for a month in isolation. Not wanting to appear shallow, but top of my list was to purchase some of the delicious SmokeHouse Salmon Pate that New World stock. Ok, not earth shattering but just something that seemed important at the time.

Of course if I’d thought for another moment I’d have realised that it was possibly the least important thing I could have done in the day. But my brain ended up fixated on this damn pate.

So off I went to Chaffers New World to buy my limit of 2 pots. A llimit we can blame on all those who panic bought toilet paper, hand sanitiser, coffee, chocolate, baked beans and whatever else was panic buy of the day over the last few weeks.

I was expecting the supermarket to be chaos, queues out the door, police in attendance, possibly some tear gas being fired around but – no. It was quieter than any time I’ve been there recently – from a certain angle the store almost seemed empty.

Never one to miss an opportunity, I went in for some good old fashioned panic buying – well as much as you can do with a two item limit. When Jean saw my purchases she said I’d missed the point.

Poor women, she’s now stuck with me for 4 weeks – alone, together.

 

 

Christmas in Colorado

For someone who is used to Christmas being summer days, shorts, a tee shirt and barbecues, Christmas in Steamboat Springs, Colorado was a bit different – as it was for the whole team who travelled from a New Zealand summer to a Colorado winter.

We were treated to a white Christmas with about 3 inches of snow falling on Christmas Day, all of which led to a magical day. Dinner was roasted chicken and duck with all the trappings. Presents were under the tree and the kids played outside building a snowman.

Andre also continued a Christmas tradition of barbecuing the breakfast – despite the temperature.

Skiing? There has been some of that as well. Steamboat is vast with 169 trails spread over 3,000 acres. No matter what your skiing level, there are multiple runs for you.

And when you need to take a break there are bars, restaurants and cafes at the base of the mountain for that whole apres ski thingy.

Today – Friday 27th in the early evening it’s -17 degrees celsius. That’s 17 degrees below zero. That’s quite cold, with more snow forecast over the weekend.

 

It never rains in Positano?

As we move from August to September the weather in Positano shifts slightly. The temperature is still late 20s, the days can be humid and “close” but there is a bit of rain about.

Since our arrival the locals have been bemoaning the lack of rain. Too dry for too long is the general feeling. Well that has changed in the last few days.

We have seen some stunning displays of lightening and thunder in the evenings – but with no rain – until Tuesday afternoon when it rained. Not just a few spots here and there, it was a full blown tropical downpour.

It lasted about an hour and then normal transmission resumed – the sun came out, the water dried up and we went to dinner, sitting outside under the stars.

Back to Arienzo Beach

Yesterday we went to our local beach – Spiaggia Arienzo. I blogged about it before in 2011 when we last visited it. In particular, the blog mentioned the number of steps from the road down to the beach – 239. Easy on the way down, not so much climbing back up.

Although the price for a lounger, umbrella and place on the beach at the Arienzo Beach Club has gone up from 9 to 20 Euros in the last 8 years, it’s still worth it with table service to your lounger being a winning idea. Lunch at the beach club was great and it is still amazing they can produce such good food, in such quantity, so quickly for lunch from a kitchen the size of a closet.

At the end of the day the 239 steps up to the road felt a lot steeper than 8 years ago and this old man needed a couple of stops along the way. Ideal breaks to grab a glance at the luxury villas that cling to this part of the coast.

 

Moon over Positano – Take 2

As often happens here, last night was a repeat of Monday night with the moon appearing above the sunset. This time I managed to capture the event crisply without the use of a tripod.

I simply took the shot about 20 minutes earlier. The shot is not quite as dramatic, but it’s all there. I also took a shot with a different camera which provided quite a different look.

A slightly blurred moon over Positano

If you have ever wondered why a tripod should be part of a photographers travel kit – here’s the reason.

Last night there was a fingernail moon over the bay as the last of the evening light faded. A perfect shot – but without a tripod it was a succession of ever so slightly blurred shots. No amount of ISO pushing or aperture opening could bring the shutter speed down to avoid camera movement.

The camera was braced, I was braced, but the result was always the same.

Note to self – next time pack the damn travel tripod.