"When Piggies Fly" Part 3: An Autumn Coddiwomple

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Rhode trip, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    :lol3 :lol3 :lol3

    That's awesome. There's nothing like a good sense of humor, no matter how juvenile it might be (I share the same @Rhode trip). I can picture the look on Mrs. Trip's face, imagine she smiled and rolled her eyes simultaneously :rofl

    Now that is a seriously cool piece of history @Rhode trip! Holy cow that's amazing, I mean seriously amazing. It's been many, many moons since I've read anything about the industrial revolution - it's nuts to think of that young man grabbing plans and fleeing across the ocean to land in your state to start what became the IR here in the US. I bet it was incredible walking through that mill, thinking back to what it must have been like so long ago.

    Great update man, you posted this as I was replying after seeing the last couple. Can't wait for more :thumb
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  2. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Thanks, liv2day! There's nothing like a little sophomoric humor to liven things up. I'm lucky to be so easily amused. (and to have a wife that puts up with it!)
    Cool, too, to find more confirmation that the world is a very small, interconnected place after all.
  3. dammitdave

    dammitdave Long timer

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    Thanks Rhode trip! I work for an expat Brit and it's nice to gain your tidbits of history and geography that I can Yank-mangle for his amusement. Wonderful work, this RR!
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  4. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Ha, ha. "Yank-mangle"... I'm like the ambassador of that!
    Thanks, Dave!

    **BONUS POST**
    Rude and Funny UK Place-Names for your amusement.

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    A link to the ultimate list: https://www.anglotopia.net/ultimate-list-of-funny-british-place-names/
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  5. Bobbrecken

    Bobbrecken Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the explanation. Following your various travels I had always wondered how you dd it and how far ahead you planned.
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  6. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Friday, October 5th

    We left the Derwent Valley, cradle of industry, still wrapped up in a morning blanket of fog.

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    South, along the line of hills.

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    Passed through farms and a few quiet villages, just uphill from the crowded valleys.

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    Pheasants along the roadside. We have wild pheasants in New England, but they're pretty scarce. Not so in England. I was surprised by how common they are... although I've since read that while they were first introduced by the Romans, as many as 35 million pheasants are now released annually to sustain the hunt.

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    Lambhouse Lane, into the village of Shottlegate.

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    ...and Over Lane south.

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    An impressive brick wall. I wonder what's on the other side.

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    We rode down into the town of Melbourne for petrol. While we were filling the tanks, I noticed the sign on the wall across the street.

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    That sign directs your attention back across the street, next to the gas station, where what is now a chip shop, once was the humble birthplace of Thomas Cook.

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    Thomas Cook, the "Founder of Modern Travel" got an idea while walking to a temperance meeting in a neighboring town. He would organize a group to attend the regional temperance convention coming up in Loughborough, 11 miles away. And he'd secure transportation on one of those new-fangled railroad trains that were springing up.
    Well, the response was overwhelming, and the all-inclusive holiday tour was born! He added more and more destinations... to the continent, and beyond. Thomas Cook & Son is still one of the largest travel agencies in the world.

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    From Marlborough we rode south again.
    Heading for the Fosse Way.
    If you look at a road map of the English Midlands, there's a straight line slashed across the countryside from Exeter to Lincoln. It's said that it doesn't deviate more than 6 miles from absolutely straight over it's entire length!
    It's been there since Roman times.

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    It's still there today. I was looking forward to riding on a Roman road, even one in modern condition following the original route. But it proved to be somewhat of a disappointment. It wasn't particularly straight. Despite being labeled as a "B" road, it had quite a bit of traffic, and the traffic it had moved along at a pretty good speed. It was indistinguishable from any other secondary road. Well, except for one thing. It's dangerous! Mrs Trip was not a happy camper.

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    I had to steal these pictures on the internet because unlike most of the roads we ride, I couldn't just stop and take photos. Hell, I didn't take any photos while we were moving, either… I kept both hands on the bars! Judging from the road signs, there's a lot of carnage on this stretch of asphalt.

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    We ended up riding a good distance on the Fosse Way. It wasn't that bad, and as you can see we survived. There were a lot of "traffic-calming" measures going on: roundabouts, rumble strips, and some sharp dog-leg corners. The road would be straight for a while, then something would pop up to slow things down. That's probably what's taking out all the bikers.....:p3rry
    Eventually, the road curved right, while we turned and continued straight ahead on "Roman Road"... the original course of the Fosse Way. At first it was paved singletrack, but you could clearly see the wider original track and the deep ditches on either side. The name 'Fosse' comes from the Latin word for ditch, fossa. At one point early in the Roman occupation, the Fosse Way and it's defensive ditch marked the western boundary of the Roman state.
    Roman Road took us to an area called Fosse meadows... the pavement ended, the road continued.

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    We're on the original route of the Fosse Way, now a byway access to the fields on either side.

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    Still following the same straight line. It doesn't look like there's much traffic through here, but the route is clear.

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    We popped out of a tangle of weeds and onto a paved road.

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    It doesn't look like a major tourist attraction. The corner of Fosse Way and Bumble Bee Lane is pretty quiet these days. Well, except for the A5 highway just beyond the lane.

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    The A5 is still known as Watling Street, the old Roman road from Dover to Wroxeter, and before the road was rebuilt in the 1980's, the ancient street followed Bumble Bee Lane.
    I found out later, that this exact spot... known now (if its known at all) as High Cross… is the intersection of the Fosse Way and Watling Street. The Romans called it Venonis, and had a garrison here, at the precise geographical center of Roman Britain! Amazing! What a coincidence that we stumbled on this very spot!

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    Minds blown, we left the Fosse Way here and headed more directly south. Rolling backroads, we managed to avoid the A5 completely.

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    ...and it wasn't that far to Stratford-Upon-Avon. The half timbered houses were a tip-off...

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    We found our B&B and changed into 'walking around' clothes. It was a little late in the day, and most of the shops had closed and the crowds thinned a bit.

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    This is Shakespeare's birthplace. Born here in 1564. I tried for a long time to get a picture without a Chinese tourist in it. A whole bus-load needed selfies. I finally gave up.

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    Of course, yours truly needed one as well.

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    Stratford-Upon-Avon is a popular destination. William Shakespeare... still a cash cow after almost 500 years. I wonder if Elvis and Graceland will still be as popular after so many years.

    Meanwhile, a hot air balloon floats overhead.

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    Shakespeare's new place. He bought this stylish home when his plays started bringing in the big bucks.

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    The Guild Chapel has been on this spot since its founding in 1269. Undoubtedly a familiar place to Shakespeare...

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    … since it served as the chapel for the grammar school that adjoins it. Shakespeare's schoolhouse, founded by the Guild.

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    The Shakespeare Hotel.

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    This is the oldest house in Stratford-Upon-Avon, built in 1450. It's known as Mason's Court, and it has been remodeled into a luxury holiday home. Runs around $500 US for a night.

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    After dinner in a restaurant in the center of town, we walked back to our somewhat-more-modest lodgings. Clouds thickened as we walked, dusk coming on. Starting to feel like rain...
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  7. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    Riding the original Fosse Way to the crossroads with Watling! Brilliant! Aye, those signs warning of death on the modern paved bit would put me off a bit, too! After reading this post I searched up '"Fosse Way" and motorcycle fatalities' and found a story from just over a month ago about a rider who was killed on the road. In his case it was the all-too-common "car making a right turn in front of a motorbike at a crossroad." Found another like that from a year ago. Cager said she "never saw him." One popped up that involved 2 bikes. And a story from 2008 about the govt putting up those warning signs you saw, and trying to get riders and motorists to observe posted speed limits, in response to fatalities. Stratford! Great stuff! Years ago I visited the Hathaway cottage nearby.....and had the place nearly all to ourselves....but I guess it'd be crowded now! Thanks again for taking the time to share your adventures with us!
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  8. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Thanks, Blader54! That's interesting background about the Fosse Way. And tune in for tomorrow's account... we visit Anne Hathaway's cottage, too!
  9. Slow Joe

    Slow Joe Been here awhile

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    Always look forward to Rhode trip ride reports. If there was a Best of ADV you'd get my vote! My wife and I hope to be following in your foot steps in a couple of years.

    Joe
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  10. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Thanks, Joe! Best of luck to you and your wife... it's easier than you think it will be.....
  11. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    So great to see this update posted @Rhode trip! I really like the off-road section of Fosse Way you guys traversed, and holy cow - can you imagine the US putting up signs like that? I'm glad you were able to navigate that section without issue and get off onto lesser traveled bits.

    Amazing to visit the birthplace of Shakespeare and see the places he lived. Great pics, even if there were tourists in the mix (lol). And the story about the Cook travel agency - had no idea of the roots of that one.

    Thanks for taking the time to post the update and keep the story going, I appreciate it :thumb
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  12. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Saturday, October 6th

    We got lucky.
    Thanks to the nice Polish woman who owned our B&B, … who said "yes", we could stay another night,... as long as we didn't mind changing rooms. There were very few rooms available in Stratford-upon-Avon on Saturday night, and even fewer at a price we were willing to pay. So we took our time over breakfast and moved our luggage to a smaller room while the rain fell outside. Then we went out for a damp walk about. No riding in the rain today.

    A thatched roof cottage... a steady shower keeping everything wet and shiny.

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    We walked from the B&B to Anne Hathaway's Cottage. It wasn't that far, a few residential blocks.

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    Paid our admission in the gift shop, and then circled around through the garden. This house, like the other very old ones around, is amazing how organic it feels, like a mushroom sprouting after a rainfall... all bowed and settled and curvaceous, with no straight edges at all. Everything has been rounded by the years, even the brick walls bulge and ripple.

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    A modern sculpture focuses on the old building.

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    Anne Hathaway was the wife of William Shakespeare... she grew up in this house, and he probably "courted" her here. It's big, with 12 rooms in the house, indicating that she came from a well-to-do family with a prosperous farm. It's much larger than the average cottage of the day. Although a few years older than young Will, Anne would have been a good catch... and by the time they married, they had a bun in the oven. Sly young Will probably whispered nascent sonnets in her ear in this very garden...

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    even, maybe, in early October...

    "... the year growing ancient,
    Not yet on summer's death nor on the birth
    Of trembling winter, the fairest flowers o' th' season
    Are our carnations and streaked gillyvors…"



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    Peek-a-boo.

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    We had a guide who pointed out the interesting features through the first few rooms... and then I think he ditched us, so we rambled about on our own.

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    The aforementioned upper chamber, spinning wheel and other 'odd trumpery' included.

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    In the master's chamber.

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    The Second-Best Bed.

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    Shakespeare moved down to London after a few years of marriage. Were he and Anne estranged? No one knows the details of their relationship, though Will would return to Stratford every year for an extended visit. In his will, Shakespeare leaves to Anne his "Second-Best" bed. It's been hotly debated.... An odd insult from beyond the grave, or a romantic gesture of bequeathing the marital bed?

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    The study.

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    The "Courting Chair"

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    A corner of the kitchen.

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    The dining room, with a fine display of plates.

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    The hearth. A warm, comfortable spot on a cool October day.

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    We left Anne Hathaway's Cottage through the gardens, still wet, dripping, though the rain has eased.

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    We walked back to the B&B, dropped off our rain jackets as the sky struggled to clear. Then walked the other direction in to town. Down to the river Avon. Canal boats were lined along the banks... most empty... another day might make it worthwhile for the crews, but not today.

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    A hand operated lock, still in use.

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    This is the bridge over the river Avon that made the town prosper. The town gets it's name from the time before the bridge. "Strat" is a form of the word "Street"... indicating a stone-paved road in Roman times. "-ford", well, the wide, shallow place for crossing. So Stratford-upon-Avon it is!

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    A canal boats passing upstream, with rowing sculls on racks along the bank.

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    The river front. Quiet today with the damp and the chill, despite the festive colors.

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    The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, viewed across the River Avon.

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    And further along the banks... Shakespeare sits atop a plinth, surrounded by characters he created....

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    Lady Macbeth

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    Falstaff.

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    Hamlet. "Alas, poor Yorick! ..."

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    Each corner of the plinth has a different mask... here English roses and French lilies flow from the flowered tongue of an actor...

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    And then, we stumbled across the bard himself on the grounds of the Royal Company.

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    ...and the last shot of the day, two chrome swans frolic in a fountain. There's lots of fun sculpture in Stratford-upon-Avon. We had dinner at a kebab house as we walked back to the B&B on the other side of town.

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    And today's bonus link... The Shakespearean Insult Generator http://www.pangloss.com/seidel/Shaker/index.html



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  13. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    And Will may have presaged the arrival of Mrs. RT at his home when he penned "Though she be but little, she is fierce."
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  14. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Ha,ha…. that's true.
    Of course, the other line of that is "O, when she's angry, she is keen and shrewd!"
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  15. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    May my good fortune continue so that I never engender those feelings in the lady.
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  16. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Thoroughly enjoyed the update @Rhode trip, what a treat to walk about town and visit the cottage and experience all the sculptures. The images you captured are fantastic, such a pleasure to look through and see some of what you and Mrs T experienced while visiting.

    Looking forward to the next update, thanks for taking the time to keep this going - it's something I look forward to seeing in my alerts each time I check the forum :nod :nod
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  17. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Hey, thanks liv2day for the comments, and thanks for your patience in getting this done.
    One of the things about this ride... I had more than one camera. I thought, it might be nice to have something besides my usual point and shoot, but what I didn't anticipate is the difficulty in figuring out the sequence of the photos when they are not all in the same file. And while I like the results with the mirrorless, it's too big and unwieldy for my taste. I prefer the little one that fits in the palm of my hand.
  18. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    I hear you on that front, I have the same problem after a ride as I take photos with my phone, my point-and-shoot, my drone, and even with my GoPro sometimes. Getting the chronological order accurate is a serious PIA given the different file names from each of the devices. And then add photos from others on the trip and it's a serious cluster :lol3 :lol3

    I've been thinking about getting one of the mirrorless cameras for sometime, but have the same dilemma - tough to get past the convenience of a good point-and-shoot; especially those with a 1" sensor and decent optical zoom (like my current Lumix). That said, I see shots in other reports from folks with DSLRs and other high-end cameras and it's tough - some fantastic captures by peeps. Where I like to ride means it can be pretty rough on equipment too, already fubard 2 drones and my previous Lumix - seems they don't like the rocks and dust like I do :rofl

    Keep the updates coming when you have time man, they're a pleasure to read and it really doesn't matter how long it takes between 'em - like a little surprise here and there :D
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  19. Bobbrecken

    Bobbrecken Been here awhile

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    I was on a trip with a friend with a Rollieflex. Every time he took a picture his wife would write down the details.
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  20. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

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    RT

    Given the latest news regarding Thomas Cook, when you posted about his birthplace, it was all before the uproar.

    Having been in the travel industry for 30+ years (and at one time an airline sales rep to the local TC), I found your post very interesting and now the demise very sad.

    Cheers for a seriously great RR once again

    Best

    Shane
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