Friday, 3 January 2014

Castles and mystical happenings

 This is a photograph of a castle which I took during my tour of Germany in the late 1970's.

 I recently wrote a dragon based story around the castle and the story is for sale in the book "Faeries, Pixies and Dragons, OH MY!"  written by the charity group The Peacock Writers. Every year we write and publish two books and the sales money goes to children's charities, this was our spring issue for 2013. If my health permits, I hope to write my own dragon themed collection during the year too.

Before my tendon injury happened I used to travel the UK, going to various music festivals from jazz to folk and classical music. One such gig took me to a place near where I live -- Stroud, in Wiltshire, near Swindon -- it was at this end of the festival I witnessed a strange happening, which would have passed many people as incongruous, had I not spent two and a half years in Germany and knew a little more of the geography of the country than most British people.

 I was about to leave my room in the guest house, when for some unknown reason I put the TV on. Being a Saturday there was a soccer show on the TV, as I watched I heard the interviewer and the interviewee talking in German; this didn't surprise me as there was a growing number of German players in the UK leagues at the time, it was only when I saw the channel sign I got my surprise.

The show wasn't from either BBC or ITV -- as you would expect in the UK -- the show was broadcast on ZDF. ZDF is the main German TV channel and is broadcast from Mainz -- the nearest major city is Frankfurt, although the US base at Wiesbaden is the nearest city -- here I was in the heart of the UK watching a channel broadcast from deep in Germany and to this day I cannot explain why. Most French or German radio signals are Long Wave, which by definition means they need to be sent to a receiver to be picked up unlike short waves which bounce of anywhere and can be picked by anyone -- hence their use for emergencies -- and why after the San Francisco quakes of the late 1970's only SW messages came to rescuers.

 The picture at the top is one I took of a castle near Mainz, the story of which will appear later in my RAF recollections on my friends page during the piece I will also mention the ignorance of the officer classes, proving education does not always mean intelligence.

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