My photograph for today is of Dale Chihuly’s glass sculpture which stands in the reception area of the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai. I was lucky enough to see this earlier in the year. You can see it below, along with a close up of the detail that makes up this 18metre high work of art.
There has been quite a lot happening in my life just recently and the urge to write just got up and walked out. I had to have the lenses in my eyes replaced – not as horrific as it sounds I assure you – but a worry nevertheless. My work has also taken up too much of my time and I found I didn’t want to write – anything. I have missed Friday Fictioneers very much indeed; missed the contact with people who had become very supportive friends; missed the exchange with people who are kind enough and interested enough to follow my blog, such as it is. I did try to post something for the prompt last week, then deleted it as it was not much good. I am back to try again.
Forgive the out-pouring, but it matters to me that you know why I have been AWOL.
Word Count: 100
Beth found the bones at 6pm.
They lay in a shallow space between the overhanging rock face and the old irrigation channel she was working in; she had been clearing stones and old debris from it for the past two weeks.
Rob came over when she called and casually inspected her find.
‘Looks small, a child perhaps?’
‘No!’ Beth shuddered at the thought.
‘Children worked in places like this; the find is not unusual.’
As he gently moved the bones to one side, a soft sigh whispered past them and floated up on the cool evening air.
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.
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
Genre: Romantic fiction
Word Count: 100
…In the distance, the spectacular Pont du Gard, a reminder of the Romans’ talent for engineering, built centuries ago to carry water from the springs at Uzes to the Roman garrison in Nimes.
I switch off my voice recorder. It’s early and hot, what exactly am I doing here? I should have ignored Sally’s advice to get back to work; she was wrong, I’m not enjoying it!
I enjoyed having a husband. Now I feel directionless, insular, empty, separate.
The air changes, becomes still. I can sense Adam is beside me.
I relax and breathe the sweet fragrance of life.
There are lots of Christmas traditions and I came across a few interesting facts on some of them –
Why do we eat turkey?
Long ago, it was the smell of roast goose or the head of a boar that filled the Christmas air in Britain. Then in 1526, a trader named William Strickland imported six turkeys from the US and sold them in Bristol, for tuppence each. The birds were popular because they were tasty, and practical. Cows were more useful alive, chicken was more expensive than it is now, and other meats were not as popular.
……….. And why mince pies?
Mince pies are the modern descendant of the Christmas Pye, a large dish filled with shredded pigeon, hare, pheasant, rabbit, ox, lamb, or mutton, mixed with fruits and sugar. It had an oblong shape, said to resemble Jesus’s cradle. After 1660, they became more like the pies we eat now.
What about Christmas cards?
The first person ever to think of selling Christmas cards was a civil servant named Henry Cole, who had worked on the introduction of the first postage stamp, the Penny Black, in 1840. He was too busy that year to write to all his friends, so he commissioned a designer named John C. Horsley, of Torquay, to design a card with the words “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year To You”. In 1843, the year that Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol, Cole went a step further, by commissioning 1,000 cards. He used some, and put an advertisement in the press offering the others for sale at 6d each. One card from that batch was sold in December 2005 for £8,500.
( from “What’s Behind Christmas Traditions?” by Andy McSmith, 2008 Independent)
Each year I tell myself that I will be more organised and not leave things to the last minute and each year I do exactly the same as the year before. I think that for me, all the rush and bustle involved in the run up to Christmas is part of my “tradition”.
I love the carols played in the shops, the fact that people seem more friendly toward each other, the last minute present wrapping, the food that we wouldn’t buy any other time of year, the board games, the falling asleep after lunch, the old films on tv, the presents from relatives who seem to forget our age and size, the list could go on. But most of all I love spending time with my family and friends, I just love Christmas.
I want to share this card with you, it’s by the brilliant Jacquie Lawson and sums up my memories of happy childhood Christmases
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2013
I was sent this by a friend and thought it was hilarious. I hope you think so too
It certainly is a different approach to exercising and one that I’m sure would catch on…….
Love the pink bikes, just click on the link
A few things I’ve been lucky enough to see on display……..
Travel theme by Ailsa see more posts here http://wheresmybackpack.com/2012/10/12/travel-theme-on-display/