In this blogposting....
*Robinson's Grand Tour
*Blogposting 193: Special Announcement
Now - on with the motley...

Following on from my one-night stops in Brussels and Cologne, my Grand Tour will take me down the Rhine valley into Bavaria - to Munich.

I have mentioned in previous postings that Brussels and Cologne are not entirely unknown to me; I visited both cities on a school trip when I was 16. From hereon in, though, my travels will be taking me to towns, cities and countryside I have never seen before - and this journey to Munich is the first stage in my journey into the unknown.

To many Germans, Munich is not merely Germany’s second city - it is Germany’s second capital city. By report, it is a stately and thriving place with much to distract the travelling shunter of trucks. And once again, this is where you come in, if you will.

If you have any experience of Munich - any tips, suggestions or advice about the city - or if you’d like to do some research into its less predictable aspects (in typical truckshunter style), please feel free to get in touch with me. You can do this by using the Comments option that accompanies this posting or you can email me. See below.

But your potential involvement in this part of my Grand Tour doesn’t have to stop at Munich. This is because, although I’ll be spending three nights in Munich ( - on the first day, and each evening, I should have oodles of time to scratch the surface of what appears to be a proud and bustling place - ) I am hoping to make day trips by train from Munich to two other places not too far away: Ulm and Regensburg. My researches so far indicate that both of these towns are worth a visit - and neither of them is more than an hour or so from Munich by train.

So make haste. Put finger to keyboard and get in touch if you have something useful or flippant or curious to tell me about Munich, Ulm and Regensburg!

Just as my upcoming Grand Tour is tending to dominate this blog, so it also overwhelmed AGM XIII, which took place last Friday 19 Wheezy at the cafe in Newcastle’s new Central Library. I can only apologise for being so damnably obsessed, excitable and talkative about it at the moment. I’d also like to thank all members of the Honourable Company of Truckshunters for their forbearance during these happily turbulent times.

As a matter of fact, I enjoyed the AGM immensely; but then again, I suppose I would say that as I did most of the talking and love the sound of my own voice. I’m also one of those irritating people who think that everybody else loves the sound of my voice, too.

If I tell you that the assembled throng consisted of Maureen, Hildie, Sid, Ada, J Arthur Smallpiece - yes that J Arthur Smallpiece - with his partner Hillary and Nev then you’ll need no convincing that we were a talkative and joyous bunch. We weren’t quite thrown out of the library but it was a close-run thing.

It was especially good to see Nev there. He and I go way back (as they say) to the earliest days of my illustrious radio career on Paul’s Saturday show. He was the agent of a hugely successful AGM at the Tanfield Railway, too, but this was the first time he had attended an AGM as a regular - and, in his case, a real live - shunter of trucks!

Despite all this, he does not appear on any of AGM XIII’s photographs because he scarpered before the cameras came out.

I don’t know what it is about these regular convocations of the faithful but (and I hope I’m not tempting fate here) they seem to be going from strength to strength. We seem to have transmogrified into a happy band of friends. Long may it be so.

I should finally say that I was in the happy position of being able to announce to those attending that the post of Lifelong Honorary President of the Honourable Company of Truckshunters has been filled - by the redoubtable Ada, Walkergate’s finest and a real trooper. She managed to get there last Friday with a strapped ankle. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: What a woman!

Because of my Grand Tour, I will be unavailable for the AGM that would normally take place in Sneezy. But please feel free to hold one in my absence.

The next ‘centrally-organised’ AGM (as it were) will therefore be in Showery and probably in wcm 12. That gives us all plenty of time to set the exact date and venue. Lodge your ideas in the usual way - via the Comments box or through email.

I’m toying with the idea of calling an AGM AGM; a kind of Extraordinary Truckshunt - well, even more extraordinary than they usually are. It would take the form of a carefully organised and faultlessly planned all-day outing to somewhere more exotic than, say, Bishop Auckland but at the same time less exotic than, say, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea.

I would be very grateful for your ideas on this.

The next blogposting - which, all other things being equal, should appear in two days’ time (that is, on Wednesday 24 Wheezy) - will be very special indeed.

At this point, it would be both undiplomatic and foolish for me to elaborate further on the epoch-making nature of blogposting 193. Take it from me, however, that it will go down in truckshunting history as the posting that changed everything; the posting after which nothing could ever be the same again.

You have been warned.

Post comments on this blog or email me: truckshunters@googlemail.com


Sid said...

I await blog 193 with interest Ian. Special Announcement, what can it be I wonder.....

Hildie said...

Ian ... please feel free to dominate the blog with all your excitement about the Grand Tour
.... for heaven's sake, it's happening at long last ... can you believe it?! I don't think you can, can you?!
We are all ears
... we are your listeners, remember! We crazily (some would say) stayed up until all hours of the morning, hanging on to your every word .... so ... who better to tell? We're soaking it up!

It WAS good to see Nev the other day - and heartening to see his long-awaited post on the blog. He did come to another AGM last year,you know, ... February ... the Tyneside Cinema Coffee Lounge ...
yes, that AGM!!!

Oh, and our new President, Ada ....
so glad she made it for the inauguration!

Gerry and Hilary .... how grand it was to see them too.

And Maureen and Sid (best bloggers) .. what would an AGM be without them?!

* A collector of keyrings is
called a copoclephilist.
*The collective noun for a group of cockroaches is an intrusion.
* Ian has never really been a Hartlepool United Fan.
*Nor has he ever been a fan of anagrams.

Kev said...

Why not fit in a quick visit to Oberammergau? It's near Munch and Ulm.
You could buy a small, light momento of your visit by opting for a Christmas tree decoration. There are literally thousands of vsrieties.

Kev said...

Can't spell Munich or varieties (and at my age as well)

mim said...

Hi Ian,
My son is still in Ulm -comes home in july with I hope a doctorate!
The Munster is a must see --well you can't miss it. You should also go to the old Fishermens quarter of the city where you can see some of the oldest buildings including the crooked house which is now a hotel.Then there is also the bread museum in case you really are bored!
Food--if you can find a pub called the Drei Kannen then eat there. If it's fine you can eat outside in a cobbled courtyard. Specialities are of course sausage but they do a platter of a selection of foods, like pork ,sausage, turkey, saute potatoes and two things you must try-maultaschen which are meat stuffed dumplings and spatzle.
Spatzle are the equivalent of pasta or noodles and made with a batter of eggs and water which you push through a press like a potato ricer--I am the proud owner of one--into simmering water . You drain and eat with meats where you get a gravy or they layer with cheese--kas-spatzle which is very filling.
If the market is on you can get lovely sausages cooked and served lots of ways.
There is also another pub there where they brew all their beer on site and you can get a keg to share but I will have to ask Michael the name of it.
I am so jealous you are going as I love Ulm and Munich .
Have fun,

Love Margaret x

Maureen said...

I'm wondering if that trip can be extended Ian! There are loads of suggestions here already and I'm sure that we can all find plenty more for you. Of course we'll miss you, but since you've promised to keep in touch. I see it as more of a travelogue to beat Michael Palin, Alan Whicker and Paul Merton into a cocked hat! Now WHY do we say that? another Truckshunter wondering...

Vivienne said...

Hi Folks,

I'm delighted to see your photos of Friday's AGM. I was very sorry to miss seeing all of you, but hope I'm able to get to the next.

Ian, I agree with Kev about visiting Oberammergau. It's well worth a visit. All I recall about Munich was trying to find our overnight B&B. I came to the same nightmare of a round-a-bout six times. We thought we had the right of way when lights turned green, but traffic shot across our path, causing me to make emergency stops. As I recall, there were about six lanes and we were never in the right one!

michael said...

Thanks for the card folks! Much appreciated!


Maureen said...

The card was thanks to Hildie's detecctive skills Michael! Hope that you have a good day.

Sid said...

I was disappointed you were "day off" on Sunday Michael. Shame my request wasn't played either, but it was a bit naughty to ask I suppose.
Have a great day.

Hildie said...

The card was the least we could do,
Michael. After all is said and done
you've been a super trouper to us
over the years! Have the best birthday!