Thursday, September 27, 2018


We've had a few days in Hamburg, which has the biggest miniature railway layout in the world. It was Son's fine idea that a visit to this should be Mr Life's 70th birthday present (in May, but somehow this was the soonest that we could fit it into our packed schedule) and Mr Life was A VERY HAPPY CHAP.

When I tell you that we arrived at 9.30am and didn't leave till 5pm, this may give you an idea of how big it is.

There were nice little touches for the lesser-railway-enthusiast of the species. These people were taking a risk! There was a sheer drop to their right.

And look at this Venice bag snatching incident! The poor old chap with the plaster clearly fell down while crossing a bridge; easy to do (she said with feeling).

And we did other things too. This is Hamburg's new concert hall, built at a cost of 789 million Euros. Let's hope that roof doesn't spring a leak any time soon.

We visited the Hamburg history museum and, wonder of wonders, they too have a working model train layout. Not so enormous as the other one, but still pretty substantial and this one is 1-gauge, which is very exciting and unusual (evidently). So that was a very nice surprise for Mr L.

Their Botanic Gardens aren't (sorry, Hamburg) a patch on ours, and I wouldn't have given planning permission for that Radisson Blu looming over it.

I shall go to my grave not understanding modern art. Here, from the Hamburg Art Gallery, we have a whole lot of Woolmarks. "This becomes a critique of the modern world trapped in itself, appearing to repeat and reaffirm itself perpetually." That's what the notice said, so it must be right. 

This is much more my sort of thing: Frederick the Wise, John the Steadfast and John Frederick the Magnanimous, Electors of Saxony, painted by Lucas Cranach, 1472-1553. I love those faces, though I'm not sure that Cranach has quite captured the essence of magnanimity. Maybe he didn't intend to. Possibly John Frederick was a bit mean with his commission money.

And look at this! It makes the eyes go a bit funny but it's certainly got a vanishing point. Well done, Wilhelm Schubert von Ehrenberg, 1637-1676. He died young, poor chap.

And this silver jug! Willem Claez. Heda, 1594-1680 or 1682 (he lived a long time) - very good indeed, sir.

And this still life - sorry, painter, I neglected to note down your name, but I salute you.

Look at these stones! You can almost feel their hard shininess.

And then we came home again and went up to visit Son and The Unbloggable Toddler, who is so lovely, so chatty and very good at bouncing.

And because of all this visiting and being visited and so on, I haven't done any patchworking since June, when I decided to do a border of half-square triangles to add to the middle bit of the quilt for my niece. This now seems a very rash and ambitious decision and I'm not sure I can do it. But enough of these feeble procrastinations: off I go to try. 


  1. Impressive attention to detail. Were there leaves on the line at any point?

  2. What a fabulous birthday present! I think artists write the most ridiculous bosh about modern art. I find I often whiz around a gallery of modern art, but spend hours enjoying the older works.

  3. "I shall go to my grave not understanding modern art."

    And THAT is just another fine example of why I love you LOL. I've always felt the same way and am much more attracted to your sort of art. It looks like you had a wonderful visit -- especially for Mr. Life -- what fun with two big train venues!

    As for the quilting -- YOU can do it! You've managed every quilting challenge so far and I know you'll contine. Hope you're having fun!

  4. What an excellent idea for a special birthday gift. My Dad made a very large (comparatively) HO layout in our basement, with two lines of trains that could run on tracks that crossed but the trains never ran into one another, there was a sort of village on a hill in the middle and a little trolley ran around it. But after he built it he sort of lost interest in it. It was designing and building it which was the fascinating part for him, not running the trains. I've always liked the wool mark as a logo, but I detest the idea that this modern world would keep repeating and reaffirming itself! No! I want it to change into something rather better...You will enjoy getting back to the challenges and satisfactions of quilting, I think.

  5. Anonymous9:57 pm

    They obviously had no clue about why we had the Woolmark! Such pretentious claptrap is spouted by some people.

    So happy to see Mr L enjoying what he loves.

  6. The gift of time, travel and experiences together is the best of all! Looks like a fascinating trip!