Monday, 21 March 2011

Harlech Castle and the Elephant Rally

Here is the other watercolour I did from the sketch of Harlech castle. Today I stretched some watercolour paper and then did preliminary drawings for a commission. This all took a little longer than I expected so I didn’t start painting as the afternoon was progressing and the light was okay but going downhill. I walked the dog then picked up my book for half an hour.

Alex has been getting on with zeal and now the garden is pretty much under control the framed work is flying out.

I did a post a couple of days ago about our first Elephant Rally in Germany. Well here is the summary of the second.

Alex and I went to the Elephant Rally in February 197? on our motorcycle combination taking my brother who shared the driving. I had a very nice Triumph 750 Tiger to which we changed the gearing and attached a sidecar. All was going splendidly until we got to a forest near Eupen.

This at the time (at the height of the Cold War) was in the middle of a military restricted area. Typically the spokes in the rear wheel decided to rip out of the rim. We were stuck in a forest with no rear wheel in an area where we were forbidden to even stop.

We had no mobile phones in those days, no AA, and the nearest Town was many miles away. What was worse we had no food or drink. Being late we set up the tents in the snow and went to bed. We were rudely awoken in the middle of the night by Armed Military Police. I woke to German voices with the tent collapsed around me. I found a tent pole in the dark and promptly stuck one end in Alex’s eye. She appeared and sounded very nonplussed about the incident. I stuck my head out and tried to explain the reason for our predicament to our visitors. My brother crawled out of his tent wrapped in tin foil looking like a Christmas Turkey. This fortunately brought some merriment to the proceedings. I showed the Police our wheel and they left telling us to be gone tomorrow!

The following morning a motorist stopped and took my brother to the nearest town to get the wheel re-spoked. Alex and I waited all day for him to return and ended up drinking rainwater from a ditch. When he did return he admitted he had been in a cafĂ© drinking most of the day. Although he didn’t bring back any food or drink he had managed to get the wheel re-spoked.

We had now spent the entire weekend of the rally in a forest and headed back to Ostende. Unfortunately the rear wheel had not been done properly and couldn’t carry a lot of weight. This meant we had to hitch lifts while my brother rode the bike.

All in all an interesting weekend. More about the sidecar in another blog.

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