Monthly Archives: June 2013

Friday Photo — All Roads to London

Making a friend

Making a friend

Hi again, and welcome to another photographic tour of England inspired by the writer in me and images my husband and I took during his work assignments for Land Rover back in 2005.

Next week will be the last in this series as it marks the end of our last trip to the UK (so far!  I dearly wish to go back someday).  Next week will also mark another change as it will be the first “First Friday Photo”; these posts will become a once a month feature instead of weekly in concert with my Slow Blogging plan.

But that’s neither here, nor there.  You may wonder where here is:

(for the moment, it is….)

Fields of rape or mustard seemed everywhere in England.

Fields of rape or mustard seemed everywhere in England.

Strafford

While I had a few days to myself before my husband’s work ended and we could vacation, I spent another day (actually two) meandering around the Midlands. I visited the Boscobel House, The Royal Oak, the White and Black Lady Priories. I walked through towns.

History's Door

When I walked down the steps to enter this section of the abbey, I had to stop and turn around… It was like entering another time

Stones

Though I believe this section of the abbey had once been enclosed (because of the line in the stone work where a floor was marked), the crypt was now a graveyard.

Beyond the Ms and As

Once you get off the motorways and the “A” roads, a lot of roads in England were like this and yes, pheasants often fell out of the embankment onto the car as I drove by

I had to include the above image on my tour because of a wonder comment conversation I had with Ted Strutz (go check out his Thor’s World Tour for some fun) about driving in the United Kingdom.

The Boscobel House keeps up an image of a working farm.  This nesting par of geese certainly thought it was

The Boscobel House keeps up an image of a working farm. This nesting pair of geese certainly thought it was

Garden path

A path leading from the gardens at the Boscobel House to a small “room” and a view of the fields beyond

Magpie

I HAD to take a magpie picture. I’d never seen one until I went to England, despite having read about them constantly in books. They were a lot bigger than I expected

Leaving Birmingham

More contrasts

Like lots of cities, Birmingham had its share of contrasts

Despite having made several trips through Birmingham by this point, Dan and I had never really spent any time there.  It was our last night…  We went out for a bit and met some interesting people.

some guy

Just one of the pictures with people we met during our Birmingham Walkabout

To the East

After Leaving the Midlands, we headed toward the English Channel. We stopped at Audley End House and a few other sites (the peacock image is from Audley End), and I took picture after picture of topiaries and espaliered trees for my home garden plans.

Audley End bookstore gift shop

This incredible place was the giftshop and bookstore library at the Audley End House. I wanted to LIVE in this room.

We ended up reaching the city of Rochester in time for the Beltaine Festivities. The city was packed, there was, literally, dancing in the streets. We had a lot of fun, but we wanted to reach Ramsgate by sunset, so we didn’t stay long.

Walking to Rochester Castle--I'm the one with the red backpack and pink shirt near the right of the picture

Walking to Rochester Castle–I’m the one with the red backpack and pink shirt near the right of the picture

We ended our day at the White Cliffs. Not Dover’s White Cliffs… Those came the next morning.

Chalk Caves

Caves in the chalk rock cliffs of Ramsgate… I was standing there writing stories of smugglers and thieves in my head while Dan took pictures

Stopping at Dover

Dover Castle is a two day visit of its own.  We did not know that when we arrived, and because we arrived in the middle of the afternoon, we missed a lot of the cool bits about how the fortress was used during the World Wars.

Feeling small

I never really felt dwarfed by tall buildings… at least not until I posed for this picture

Give Me Grog

There was a room in the castle for people to try on clothes and pretend they were actually living in a medieval castle. I played a scullery maid; Dan wanted grog

We didn’t have time to go back the next day, given that we had to be in London (Barking actually) in time to claim our hotel room, and I had made plans for the Lullingstone Villa and the Dover Museum as well.

Dover at night

Dover Castle, lit at night from the road outside our hotel

We made it… as you’ll see next week.  Until then, if you would like, I posted more images in my Flickr photostream from this trip.  Feel free to check them (and a few for next week’s installment) out.

If you haven’t seen the other installments of this series., check them out:

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What She Deserves — a WIPpet post

wippetwednesday_zps53e803c0WIPpet

For today’s WIPpet, I’m drifting over to Singer of the Swan Song to introduce you to Atyr, one of the “big three” players in the series as well as Ytramli, who is actually one of my favorite characters in the series, despite his “minor” role (and we all know how these minor characters tend to take on worlds of their own–Ytramli was taking over stories long before ‘Listii and Vissellii were).

Included here for my WIPpet math are 26 sentences from what is the 3rd section of the draft.  Why the 3rd, you ask?  Well it’s the 6th month; the numbers in the year 2013 add up to 6; 12 was just too much, imho, and 6 didn’t take both parts into account, but dividing one out did…  thus 3 or the 3rd section.

Now how is that for some convoluted math?

Her aches, she realized, were not from a beating. Surely it was well past the time for her to have received one. She remembered too well her poor behavior of earlier.

Another person spoke, this time with the voice of her servant Shenta: “I understand, Ytramli but it is not our place to correct the Sieress. Or the Temple Mothers. Now put those away. The Singer has assured me that the girl won’t suffer worse than she deserves–“

“Deserves, Mother?”  The voice was very different from any that Atyriia had ever heard before, a depth to it that did not fade even in the heightened pitch of the speaker’s clear distress. “Deserves? She deserves to be beaten for speaking? For touching the door to her room? You know what Father says about the Singers and what they do to girls, Mother. He calls their behavior an affront to the Bright Star.”

Free Angelic Sad Arcadia Child Under Veil Crea...

Atyriia didn’t dare open her eyes. She had already done so much wrong–to look into the face of a stranger, to acknowledge someone new without the guidance of the fortress Singer… No more punishment than she would deserve was a very generous thought, but she knew what she deserved. Death would be the best thing to stop the willful shell she held for the High Mother since it clearly could not be trained to the expectations of the Bright and Her Faithful. Better death than further disgrace.

“That will be quite enough, Ytramli. What your father and his heathen fellows believe means nothing here to her or anyone else in the fortress. The Temple Mother ruled that Atyriia should not have contact with things that have not been given a special ritual cleansing or preparation blessing. It’s not your place or mine to correct the Temple Edicts.” There was a movement, a leisurely swish of fabric that suggested the movement of the woman as Shenta walked, though Atyriia still did not dare look to see if the distant edge to the woman’s voice meant that the two were leaving. “Now begone with your foolishness, child. I have work that must be done, and this chatter of yours is not letting me any peace to do it in.

Maintained and promoted by K.L. Schwengel at My Random Muse, #WIPpet writers post pieces of a draft (Work In Progress) that somehow relate with the date for commentary and consideration.  Feel free to comment and visit other #WIPpeteers.   We love the company.

Not a ROW80 Check-In

We’re on break between Round(s) of  Words in 80 Days, so there is no check-in today.  I do have a change of plans to announce, however.  Inspired by reading I did yesterday and my own heart’s tug (so to speak), I will be moving this blog to something along the lines of a “Slow Blog” format.   I need to write my manifesto (a project for this summer), and I still need to see how my changes work  in the ROW80 format of two check-ins per week.

ROW80LogocopyYou see, if it wasn’t for the ROW80, I’d be posting only once or twice a month.  I’ve always felt that way, but I tried to adjust my inner nature to suit the format of a project that in many, many other ways I find incredibly helpful and inspiring.  However…  this one part just doesn’t work for me.  Most non-fiction writing stresses me out (including post lik this one).  They slow my fiction writing down to a stagger and crawl until I need the force of a challenge like a NaNoWriMo to force me to spew words onto a page.

Thing is, I don’t know many–if any–, people who can maintain a Writing Month pace month after month, day after day, are rare beasts.  Life has a habit of interfering; editing needs to be done (and sometimes isn’t thoroughly enough)….

So, I’m reducing my blogging schedule to better suit my needs and nature.

  • I enjoy the Friday Photo blogs, but after this excursion to England is over, I will be shifting that to a “First Friday Photo” piece, making it a once a month feature.
  • Wednesdays will pretty much stay the same.  I love participating in the WIPpet posts, and as many WIPpeteers seem to be ROW80 members, it makes sense to keep my posts combined for the two projects.   (I think…  feel free to offer other opinions in the comments; I would appreciate some input.)
  • Sunday posts will be going away.  I will, instead, make a check-in via Facebook/Twitter (I have them linked, though that is starting to seem like a problem).  Just a few words…

So that will be it…. one post a week every week, and one extra photoblog post each month.  I want to get these stories into a format for publication, and I want to give more time and energy to enjoying other people’s blogs instead of feeling I need to race off to post my own.  The racing isn’t me.  The posting isn’t me.

This format is closer to me.  With it, I intend to honor both the intention of the ROW80 and my own needs better.   Because life is compromise and negotiation…  and finding what works.

Stay tuned for changes and updates.  😀

Photography credit

  • Free Angelic Sad Arcadia Child Under Veil Creative Commons (Photo credit: © 2006-2013 Pink Sherbet Photography)

 

Friday Photo — More Midlands

There is this saying out there that goes along the lines of “the best laid plans of mice and men…

I had this post ready last night; I just wanted to review it before posting today.

Papyrus Migraine Therapy

Papyrus Migraine Therapy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then I woke with the killer migraine from…  Having a prescription medication (I take Maxalt) doesn’t help as much when one wakes up with the migraine already full-blown.  Most migraine medications are designed to be taken at the warning signs, the auras and such.  I was asleep though, and I didn’t get the messages my body wanted to send me until the pillow hurt too much to lay on.  We won’t get into my head’s issues with the sunny yellow paint and wallpaper of our bedroom…

Long and short–I’m late with this post.  I also didn’t end up taking the Boodle to the playgroup with our local homeschooling community today as I’d planned.  Then again, I didn’t put a crocodile on my head either.

A special lunch tea

A special lunch tea

But now that I’m feeling better,  I can bring you all on a nostalgic trip to Great Britain’s Midlands.  Next week, we will begin our trip south, taking a circuitous path that will highlight cities along the English Channel, and I am adding one more week to this series  so we can all visit London, our last destination before the flight home.

These images follow less of a theme than some.  After I’d reached some “goals”, my travels took more of a “let’s just stop in a town and see what I see” style.  And no, technically Stonehenge and Old Sarum are not Midlands attractions, but they were great day-trip destinations for my husband and I.

Chestershire

I couldn't help but imagine the soldiers who had to walk this hill to take Beestoke Castle

Imagine the soldiers who had to walk this hill to take Beestoke Castle

The surrounding countryside looking down from the castle base; it wasn't hard to imagine myself transported back several centuries

The surrounding countryside looking down from the castle base; it wasn’t hard to imagine myself transported back several centuries

A street in Chester, and no blue boxes

A street in Chester, and no blue boxes

The old and new merge constantly

The old and new merge constantly

Cats at Peckforton Castle

Cats at Peckforton Castle

In a random Chester building--I should have taken better notes

In a random Chester building–I should have taken better notes

StoneHenge DaY-Trip

Much more dangerous when they leap from the bushes than a deer

Much more dangerous when they leap from the bushes than a deer

Morning Fog at Old Sarum

Morning Fog at Old Sarum

About as close as they let the average tourist get to Stonehenge

About as close as they let the average tourist get to Stonehenge

I think this is one of my best pictures from the trip.  Great view!

I think this is one of my best pictures from the trip. Great view!

They don't look like much, but those earthen mounds in the distance are even more cool historically than the henge itself.

They don’t look like much, but those earthen mounds in the distance are even more cool historically than the henge itself.

White Horses

A White Horse we saw on our way home-- believe it was the Rockley Horse because of its long tail

A White Horse we saw on our way home–I believe it was the Rockley Horse because of its long tail and positioning

Hubby has steadier hands for evening shots--and we don't have anti-shake on our camera

Hubby has steadier hands for evening shots )we don’t have anti-shake on our camera) for this image of the Marlborough White Horse

There are a LOT of White Horses

There are a LOT of White Horses

Toward BridgNorth

On an earlier trip, the hubby and I visited some Shropshire sites (I only had disposable 35mm cameras then) and I wanted to check the area out more on my own.  Something about ruined abbies and castles...  and topiaries at Wenlock Priory

On an earlier trip, the hubby and I visited some Shropshire sites (I only had disposable 35mm cameras then) and I wanted to check the area out more on my own. Something about ruined abbes and castles… and topiaries at Wenlock Priory

Imagine walking through this building in tact, how the carvings would flicker in candlelight

Imagine walking through this building in tact, how the carvings would flicker in candlelight, casting shadows

More contrasts of old and new, save that the North Gate didn't look like this until the 20th century

More contrasts of old and new, save that the North Gate didn’t look like this until the 20th century

Ruins in Shadow

Ruins in Shadow

Back in high school I went to Paris and saw how the basement floors of Notre Dame were "paved" with gravestones; here at Bridgnorth and other UK the walkways as well were similarly paved

In high school, I went to Paris and saw basement floors of Notre Dame “paved” with gravestones; here at Bridgnorth and other UK churches the walkways as well were similarly paved

They say that these ruins of the Bridgnorth Castle lean more than the Tower of Pisa

They say that these ruins of the Bridgnorth Castle lean more than the Tower of Pisa

The Bridgnorth Castle Gardens...  what would someone from the castle's early days think to see it now, I wonder

At End of Day

Waiting for some mutton stew at a pub (this was after we'd gone to Stonehenge)

Waiting for some mutton stew at a pub (this was after we’d gone to Stonehenge)

And one of my more interesting night shots--I desperately needed a tripod, but this church in Birmingham was too gorgeous light like this to pass up snapping a shot

And one of my more interesting night shots–I desperately needed a tripod, but this church in Birmingham was too gorgeous lit like this to pass up snapping a shot