Houston…It’s not a problem….honest!


Up with the larks this morning, well not exactly but I was out and did a 3.26 mile run on a cinder track which I’ve never done before. While doing my thing the sun was rising in the blue, cloudless sky I observed a group of about half a dozen ladies of indeterminate age but not of indeterminate size lying prostrate on some rubber mats. Had I stumbled upon some peculiar Texian cult? Then the leader of the group started barking orders in a shrill high pitched voice cajoling her disciples to rise and exercise vigorously. As I crunched around the cinder track the air was permeated by ever increasing commands from the sergeant major like trainer. What a way to start the day! Having completed my run I was off to the hotel for a shower and a Western Omelette, not at the same time I hasten to add.

Breakfast completed I was off to the Johnson Space Centre on NASA Parkway. This is a working NASA facility and employs over 10,000 people just on this site alone. The exhibit was a worthwhile experience and very different to the NASA visitor centre at Space Kennedy Centre in Florida which in my humble opinion is better organized. However, it was still worth doing and I particularly enjoyed the Astronaut Training area and the very impressive Saturn Five Exhibit. You can see titled photographs of these exhibits and more on my Flickr site, just click on the link on the right hand side of this blog.

Lunch was a desultory affair of a very well chilled Turkey sandwich. It was so cold I swear it must have been made on the dark side of the moon by an alien life force which summed up most of the counter staff.

I decided to have a wander through downtown Houston and journeyed to The Galleria Shopping Centre. The shopping centre was an upscale affair with all the designer names one would expect, Jimmy Choo, Salvatore Bergammo, Prada etc and the largest Chanel store I have ever seen! It was quite incongruous that one could shop for something exquisite while watching hordes of young people hurtling at speed on an ice rink directly below you. I decided that I had enough of the city, which is very functional but in my opinion is a soulless sprawl of a conglomerate of buildings thrown together by someone who was learning to play SIM City and I decided to drive down to the seaside at Galveston.

Galveston is quaint. It reminded me very much of Victorian Blackpool in Lancashire with a similar range of shops, an unprepossessing beach but populated by a Spanish speaking people with exactly the same type of manners as their Lancastrian cousins. Hell bent on not giving you any service.

Now don’t get me wrong I have had an enjoyable day and have been fascinated by the people that I have interacted with. However, should, for any strange reason, the Houston city fathers read this I would like to offer them some advice. Import some nice people from Alabama or Mississippi or Louisiana or Florida. Alternatively, you could blow the whole damn place up, appoint a sensible architect and re-populate the area!

Tomorrow I am visiting a city who’s reputation is a little more cultured!

For the techie people out there I have covered today 138.4 miles at an average speed of 38.4 mph with an average consumption of 21.8 mpg.

Until my next post, Toodleloo!

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