Tag Archives: Mountain

Snow Returns (or King Richard and the Fairy Warriors)!

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STOP PRESS!! Have you tried the YouTube Playlist featuring all of my compositions for the TRANSFORMATES? Here it is:

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After another exciting week eradicating business risk with the RiskBusters the time arrived for my weekend vaunt into the mountains. Helga, the friendly car rental lady, was already dangling my key-ring on her finger as I approached her counter on arrival at the alpine airport. Hello Mister “Dog-I’ll-buy” I have something extra special to give you in the VIP car park this week.

Snow Back for April in Heidi Land
Snow Back for April in Bavarian ‘Heidi’ Land

Perhaps at this point I should explain why Helga now refers to me as Mr. “Dog-I’ll-Buy”. After hearing many variations of her attempts to pronounce Duggleby I decided to make it a bit easier for her. I explained that my name was derived from my ancestor Sir Henry Dog-I’ll-Buy in the North of England. Sir Henry was King Richard the Lionheart’s official dog purchaser. The English Royal Family is famous for its love of dogs, especially Corgis. During the third Crusade whenever they arrived in a new town or village Sir Henry would go through the streets in front of the King shouting ‘Dog I’ll Buy, Dog I’ll Buy’. I explained to Helga that according to Welsh folklore the Corgi was the preferred mount of fairy warriors and King Richard paid especially well whenever Sir Henry found this magical companion for him.

As was common in the 12th century Sir Henry’s trade became his name. Over the centuries the name “Dog-I’ll-Buy” evolved into Duggleby. I showed her using Google Map the village in the North of England where Sir Henry and his descendants lived. Needless to say there are not many dogs there these days, especially Corgis.

Helga now pronounces my name almost perfectly and I appear to have become something of a celebrity within the airport car hire fraternity. They regularly ask me how are things in the royal dog trade.

So, you may ask, what special treat did Helga give me in the VIP car park? This week’s vehicle was an A3 Convertible. At this point I had no further need for a weekend weather forecast. I drove to my apartment in the dark, parked my little topless beauty and went to bed. The next morning I woke up to see that overnight the whole village had acquired a carpet of pristine white snow. Fortunately I had left the semi naked convertible in my garage.

Although my alpine village gets lots of snow in the winter I manage to escape most of it due to my annual quest to find new sources of vitamin D in the southern hemisphere. This means that for me snow, in moderate doses, can be a bit of a treat. I slipped into some warm clothing, packed the tripod and camera into my rucksack, and headed up the local mountain stream to gets some photo’s of the snowy waterfalls.

Author by the Mountain 'Bach'
Author (Chris Duggleby in tights!) by the Mountain ‘Bach’ (Bad Feilnbach Waterfalls, Bavaria)

It is amazing to think that a week earlier my son Pascal and I had been sitting in shorts and t-shirts in the garden of our local alpine restaurant. Compare this week’s pictures with the ones I published two weeks ago. Within the space of a week the temperatures had dropped over 20 degrees!

I decided that it would be sensible not to take the convertible to the local supermarket. My neighbours know that the Brits can be somewhat ‘interesting’ but I prefer not to overdo it. Just wait until I tell them the story about Sir Henry, official buyer of the King’s dogs!

The Wendelstein taken from the Balcony
The Wendelstein mountain taken from the balcony – still snow capped, still beautiful 

(There is actually another chapter to this story in which Sir Henry Dog-I’ll-Buy had to sell the Royal dogs to help Eleanor of Aquitaine raise the ransom demanded by Duke Leopold V of Austria. This unfriendly gentleman had imprisoned King Richard in Dürnstein Castle on his way back from the 3rd Crusade. The ransom money played a major part in financing the creation of Wiener Neustadt in 1194 – should be worth a few free drinks next time I visit Vienna).

Snow Back for April by the Waterfalls
Snow Back for April by the Bad Feilnbach Waterfalls (Spot the chilly head!)

P.S. Some dog related aspects of this story have been passed down through the family by word of mouth (and via my grandmothers rather messy recipe book) and therefore the documentary evidence may be rather suspect. The stuff that is properly evidence based can be found under the Duggleby History page – just click on the link here

Hello Alps!

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STOP PRESS!! Have you tried the YouTube Playlist featuring all of my compositions for the TRANSFORMATES? Here it is:

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Chris Duggleby (Author) getting some pre-Spring sun on the balcony in Bavaria

After a very hectic week in London at Mission Control with the ‘RiskBusters’ I was certainly ready to escape to the Alps on Friday evening. This was my first weekend excursion to the European mountains since the end of last October and as I stepped onto the flight it felt like I was going home. I was just about to put my bag into the overhead luggage compartment when a friendly voice from behind greeted me with:  ‘Back from South Africa then – did you have a good time?’ It was one of the more hardy commuters between London and the Alps: one that didn’t escape to the south at the first sight of snow. This friendly greeting only served to reinforce my feeling of homecoming.

The welcome continued after I landed and I went to pick up my hire car – Ah Mr Doogelbuy (one of the name spellings you will not find in my ‘Duggleby’ history page), I have something special for you. The lady is always so nice that I just can’t bring myself to tell her that I actually prefer the small cheap cars….. I am trying to minimise fuel consumption!

Mountain stream and waterfalls running past the Alpine retreat in Bad Feilnbach, Bavaria

So within minutes of stepping off the plane I had picked up my ‘Panzer’ from the VIP parking area and was heading down the Autobahn trying to just gently ‘caress’ the gas pedal. After about 40 minutes, in the direction of Salzburg, I was in sight of the mountains. Suddenly a shooting star shot over the Autobahn in front of me! If there was any sadness left after my departure from Sunset Rocks last week the European gods were working hard to make it evaporate.

20 minutes later I found myself trying to manoeuvre the Panzer into my modestly sized garage. Fortunately the inbuilt parking sensors screamed at me as soon as I got too close to the walls. My neighbours had installed solar powered garden lights along the path to my front door. The path follows a mountain stream which runs by the side of the house. Somehow the pretty fairy lights and the sound of the water cascading over the waterfall just added to the magical atmosphere. The sky was free of any clouds allowing me to clearly see a carpet of stars twinkling above. Before long I had settled into my bed with the curtains wide open so I could fall asleep gazing at the stars.

View of the ‘Wendelstein’ from the Bedroom Window in the Bavarian Alps

Dawn broke much earlier than in the UK so after a very short lie-in I was quickly up and inspecting the apartment to see what had changed since I left. Everything was perfect: all the IT systems sprang into action (and more importantly the fridge and the kettle!). Before long I was listening to BBC radio via the i-Player and my screen players were re-playing my various photo collections. I may be something of an international gypsy but I do like to keep in touch with the UK music scene (and the British humour). At lunch time my younger son who lives nearby came over to pick up the socks which Daddy had purchased over in England. Both children prefer to get their socks and undies from a well known UK store. We enjoyed lunch in the garden of our ‘regular’ restaurant which overlooks the mountains. Although it was the middle of March the temperature was an incredible 20C (and certainly much warmer in the direct sunlight).

Three of the local Bavarian birds bending over backwards and doing a little dance to make me feel welcome!

The Chef came out to greet us with the almost obligatory ‘nice tan!’. He served up his latest speciality ‘Baeren Salat’ and we chatted about the weather. A few little personal niceties can make lunch so memorable! One of the simple reminders why, despite the challenges, I rush from work each Friday evening and fly half way across Europe.

Another exciting episode soon….