The Train


This week’s photo comes courtesy of Dawn Miller and is taken inside Union Station, Washington D.C.  The marble and columns speak of times gone by and thinking of this led me to my story for Friday Fictioneers. I was delighted to have at least come up with something this week, I failed miserably last week as I was so involved with work, I never seemed to find time to myself to write. Thanks as always to Rochelle 🙂

30 August

The Train

Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 100

Bathed in silvery moonlight, the train waits in the siding. It is empty, except for the ghosts.  Their fingers linger over highly polished mahogany. Fine silks and satins glide over heavily carpeted corridors. Thousands of stories have unfolded in the confines of these sumptuously elegant carriages.

It is morning. Highly trained staff will soon board, the ghosts will vanish and the magic will begin.  Windows will gleam, crystal will sparkle, silver will shine and crisp table linen bearing the world-famous cypher will be laid. The Venice Simplon-Orient Express will be made ready to beguile and charm; another adventure will begin

 

http://www.orient-express.com/web/vsoe/cabins.jsp

 

PS I have just realised that I ‘liked’ this post – I did think it was alright, but never intended to ‘like’ it publicly.  Please excuse my arthritic fingers attempting to get to grips with the new mobile App for WordPress, I promise to take more care in future and only ‘like’ your posts. (02/09/13)

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Phoneography Challenge – Black and White


These photographs were all taken with my iPhone5 and then I used Pixlr to try to make them black and white. The results are ‘old photos’ – hope they are acceptable for the challenge.

 

We went to France for a long weekend earlier in the year, this was the view from our window

St Girvan

 

In May we went to Spain with friends, this is from the boat on the way back to Puerto Banus – I tried a panoramic scene which hopefully explains the odd angle.

Boat from Puerto Banus

 

You can see more photographs here

Where trees are fallen


Another week, another post for Friday Fictioneers. Follow our leader Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, then join our merry band.  Thanks this week for the photo go to Roger Bultot.

copyright-roger-bultot

Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 100

Where Trees Are Fallen

“Jarvis,the car! Get me away from these people.”

“They’ve just returned you as their MP, for a second time sir.”

 “And what happened to my previous majority?”

“Yes that’s odd, especially as you were born here sir.”

We don’t mention that, remember?

 “Sorry sir, I thought….”

“You didn’t think, otherwise you wouldn’t have allowed that moron in to rant at me”

 “But you altered the route of the new railway. The land had been in his family for years.”

 “Tough. It’s called progress.”

“Surely you could have listened sir?”

“I did. Now get the bloody car!

 

 “Sir, about the car…”

 

Give me a land of boughs in leaf,
A land of trees that stand;
Where trees are fallen there is grief;
I love no leafless land.”
– A.E. Housman

At the moment we have great arguments raging here about the new HS2 train which, if it goes ahead, will cut a swathe through huge chunks of the English countryside. The photo made me think of all the trees that are in danger, the ancient woodlands that will disappear.

 

Click on Mr Froggy for more stories

Phoneography Challenge – Macro


I usually only ever take quick snaps with my iPhone and so wondered how a macro type close up would look. The first shot is of a baby fern frond I came across at the back of the garden, just starting to unfold. The next is one of the flowers on the orchid on top of the bookcase – I’ve always been fascinated by the way the centre of an orchid looks to me like a fierce predator. Hope you like them.

Fern frond

Orchid monster

 

You can see other photos in this Phoneography Challenge by clicking here

Mistaken Identity


A little later than usual, here is my effort for Friday Fictioneers this week. A big thank you to the lovely Renee Heath for the photograph this week and to Rochelle for all the time and effort she devotes to FF – we are all truly grateful. Bow, curtsey…

copyright-renee-heath

Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 100

Mistaken Identity

“Stop, stop. Stop!”

My son tightens his grip, his little nails dig into my hand.

“What’s the matter Sam, whatever’s wrong?”

I pick him up. His face is ashen. Two perfectly shaped teardrops hover in the corners of his brilliant blue eyes, threatening to spill over any moment.

I hold him tight.

“What is it? Tell me what’s wrong. Do you have a pain? Just tell me.”

Removing one arm from around my neck and a wet cheek from mine, he points at the fire hydrant and, in the smallest voice, whispers

“There’s a Dalek and I don’t like him.”

 

Click on the little blue froggy thing to read more stories        

 

By way of explanation…

We don’t have fire hydrants in the UK like the ones in the photograph.

In the mid-eighties we made our first visit to America. My husband is a film buff and a Western fanatic; the thought that he could see Monument Valley and walk in the steps of John Wayne had a lot to do with planning our vacation.  In the event we never got to Monument Valley, but did see some amazing and wonderful places on that first trip.

During the stopover in San Francisco, which was much cooler than the weather we had left behind in Los Angeles, our youngest son complained that his legs were cold.  My husband and elder son went off to find a shop where we could get him some trousers instead of the shorts we had with us, and we trailed somewhere behind.  I think we were approaching Union Square when the incident I have written about happened.

A new series of Dr Who had just been screened at home and while my eldest loved it, my younger son and I would hide behind the sofa when there was a scene with the Daleks. They could be pretty scary.

 

 

A summer beach in Cardiff Bay… and a little bit of history


According to statistics, the summer of 2013 is the best in the UK for seven years. Making the most of the lovely weather is the Cardiff Beach, a new attraction that has transformed Roald Dahl Plass in Mermaid Quay.  There are live bands, lots of eating places, traditional seaside rides and stalls, for the energetic amongst the crowds there is also beach volleyball in the specially created beach area. The atmosphere was fantastic the day we visited, everyone seemed to be having lots of fun.

Cardiff Bay 2013

Cardiff Bay 2013

IMG_0156

Cardiff Bay Fair 2013

A little bit of history…

Across the water, you can see the tiny Norwegian Church. In the 19th century, Cardiff was one of largest sea ports in the world. Ships from Norway transported Scandinavian timber to South Wales, for use  in the mines as pit props, they would then take back coal to Norway. To serve the religious needs of the Norwegian sailors and many expats who came to live in and around the dock area, The Norwegian Church was founded by Carl Herman Lund from Oslo in 1868, on land donated by the Marquis of Bute at the entrance of Bute West Dock. It became known as “The Little White Church” a well-known navigation point and home from home for sailors.

The Church also acted as a seaman’s mission, offering food and shelter, Scandinavian newspapers, magazines and facilities for them to write letters to loved ones back home. During WWII many Norwegian seamen could not return to their homeland as it was occupied and as many as 70,000 Scandinavians were said to have worshipped in the little church every year.

In the 1950’s shipping trade had moved away from Cardiff and the mission’s work was discontinued. Eventually, in the early 1960’s the Norwegian Seamen’s Mission withdrew its patronage and the church was closed. It was finally de-consecrated in 1974.

But, that’s not the end of the story.

With the planned development of Cardiff Bay in the late 1980’s, the proposed building of new roads around Atlantic Wharf threatened the destruction of the now derelict and vandalised church. The community however, was not prepared the see the little  church demolished and so the Norwegian Church Preservation Trust was formed to try to save the building and have it relocated to another part of the dock. The children’s writer Roald Dahl, who was baptised in the church in 1916, became the first President of the Trust.  In partnership with the Norwegian Support Committee in Bergen, the trust raised over £250,000 which enabled the church to be dismantled in 1987.  It was preserved and stored pending reassembly on its new site. The remaining original features were rescued, the pulpit, one side window, the chandelier and the model ship were all returned to the church.

In the early 1990’s reconstruction of the church began, on land gifted by Associated British Ports.  In April 1992 the church was re-opened by Princess Martha Louise of Norway in a ceremony attended by VIPs and local people who were  delighted that the doors to the “Little White Church” were open once again.

Today, after considerable refurbishment, including the gift of external wooden decking by the town council of Hordaland, the centre now offers exhibition space in the Dahl gallery, a great coffee shop and function rooms used for weddings, concerts and other events. You can find more information here

Phoneography Challenge – Nature


Here are my iPhotos, taken with my iPhone5  – my contribution to the Phoneography Challenge 2013

This week the theme is NATURE

We have a grapevine growing in the garden – a challenge in itself for a garden in South Wales. Following the lengthy spell of hot sun during the last four weeks, I was delighted to find that we have some grapes at last…some in plain view…

Grapes

and some in hiding…

Grapes in hiding

we also have apples…

First fruits

All the photos were taken this evening, after the rain had stopped…

After the rain

You can see other entries for this week here  it is well worth stopping by.