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Beyond the Lone Islands

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

First Frost

This morning I woke up and found that we had had the first really frosty night. My camera-dog started barking (if you did not understand that, you have not read yesterday's post) and we went for an early walk, about 8.15 a.m. Half an hour and 30 pictures... This one is a straight-from-the-camera shot.

Today at DawnTreader's Picture Book I signed up for Wordless Wednesday, and am showing a series of pictures from the autumn market last Friday. 

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Walking My Camera

I love autumn leaves

Typical behaviour pattern this September month:
I discovered a letter today that I really should have posted last week, and which my dad really really should have posted two weeks before that; only (besides the fact he has not been able to walk to the mailbox for a long time) he had not even opened and read the letter which the return form came in (when I visited him last weekend); and then I too had too many other things to deal with last week, so forgot about this piece of paper; and only re-found it today... (In the meantime, it is more than likely this delay may have resulted in more correspondence from the same authorities, which most likely will also not have got opened...)

Anyway! Realizing how it was, I decided to go post the letter immediately (better late than never). Then I remembered that this is the week they will be taking down some mailboxes around here, and changing the times for emptying the rest of them... So I might have to go further than usual to find somewhere to post the letter. But since it was an exceptionally bright and clear Autumn day, why not bring my camera along, too, and go for a bit of a walk.

Now, I'm beginning to know where that leads to! Last weekend when my brother and I went on that walk with his dog - a Cairn terrier named Harry - I discovered that for me, my Camera has become my Dog! Harry the terrier runs along happily at good pace, then suddenly stops to sniff at something close to the ground, for quite a long time. Walking with Brother and Dog, I disovered that my own behaviour, when attached to Camera, is very much like Harry's... Suddenly I see a mushroom (or butterfly, depending on the time of year), and I have to stoop down and get a macro close-up shot (although I'm really not very good at stooping down). Harry, by the way, got very curious about my behaviour - whenever I stopped and stooped, he did so, too, to be sure he hadn't missed anything...

Brother and Dog, last weekend

Anyway. Back to today... As I said, I'm beginning to know where it leads to, taking the camera for a walk. I intend it to be a brisk 20 minutes. The camera gets quite other ideas. It's a hunting camera, it will want little flowers, and sun shining through yellow and red autumn leaves, and mirror images in water, and whatnot... So besides the camera, I packed a small thermos of tea, and a banana, or I might faint before I got home again (it was getting close to lunch time).

After posting the letter (hooray, the mailbox closest to me had not been taken down yet! - I only hope they also still empty it...) I walked on to a park with a lake where they also have a bird sanctuary. I walked all around the lake. This took me a very long time, because my camera went wild chasing birds. More than usual of the unusual ones seemed to be outside the fence today...

Couple of Swans

Then something happened that really made today rise way above a "typical" camera walk. A couple of strangers (human, not birds) came up to me and promoted me to wedding photograper! They were newly-weds, coming straight from the ceremony it seemed, for a little romantic walk in the park... I took four shots of them with their camera, which I'm afraid I can't show you. But then I sneaked one shot of them from behind with my own, as they were walking away from me, hand in hand... It's a little blurry, because I forgot to put it back from macro-mode. But quite nice anyway, I think.

Couple of Humans

I got home eventually, after stopping to get a hotdog on the way (tea and banana wasn't quite enough). With about 110 new photos in my camera, all taken today. All in all, in the month of September alone, I've been taking somewhere around 600 photographs. I've gone absolutely Nuts!!! Is there a cure?

Monday, 28 September 2009

Quotation of the Week (40/09) - Cheshire Cat

"Cheshire-Puss,", she began rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider. "Come, it's pleased so far," thought Alice, and she went on, "Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where - " said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
" - so long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."


... and this time it [the Cat] vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.

Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Did you ever wonder where the rest of the Cheshire cat disappeared to? Yesterday, I walked long enough, and I found it!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Autumn Market Day

This weekend was Autumn Market, and I took a walk down town yesterday, bringing my camera. It was a grey day but at least it was not raining. There were a lot of people about already, on Friday before noon. I usually do not feel quite comfortable taking pictures of strangers on the street in my own town... But at events such as Market Day it is so crowded, and there are so many other things to look at, that no one really pays much attention to the camera. I think some of the shots came out quite good. I used Picasa 3 to edit these.

A few more market photos may be showing up at the other blogs in the week to come (i.e. Soaring through the world and my new blog DawnTreader's Picture Book).

Raven's Wordzzle Challenge #82

The Slumber Party Mystery
Chapter 30 – Interview with the General

Raven's Wordzzle #82

Tibetan sky, symbols, won’t you come home Bill Baily, shadow figures, brain cortex, practice makes perfect, life, start of school, lavender, chow down

mental hospital, falling leaves, apple cider, packing crates, clues

After leaving Dr Challenge's house, Skittles decided to go to the hospital to check how the Brigadier General was doing. He found the General sitting in his bed trying to chow down his breakfast. He did not seem to recognize Skittles. A young nurse was making up an empty bed next to him, while singing "Won't you come home Bill Baily". The sheets were the colour of lavender. She stopped singing when Skittles entered, and smiled at him while tucking in the last corner. "There, practice makes perfect!" she said. "Are you looking for someone?"

Skittles introduced himself and asked in a low voice if it would be all right if he talked a little to the General. The girl nodded towards a frosted window, behind which some shadow figures could be seen moving.

"You had better ask the head nurse first," she said. So Skittles went out into the corridor, and then into the nurse's office.

"Hm," said the head nurse. "Police, eh? I'm not sure the patient is up to being questioned. He has not been quite coherent. The doctor says the problem is probably in his brain cortex. But all right. You may try. No more than ten minutes, though!"

Skittles went back into the General's room and sat down on a chair beside the bed.

"Good morning, General," he said. "Do you remember me, Lieutenant Skittles? We met yesterday, in your garden, after your" – Skittles made a short pause – "accident."

The General looked sharply at him.

"I'm in a mental hospital, aren't I?" he asked. "Are you here to get me out, or to get me locked up for good?"

"No," said Skittles. "I mean… This is not a mental hospital, it is a regular hospital. You were in a kind of accident and probably had a bit of a shock yesterday. I just wanted to ask you if you remember what happened?"

The General seemed to be thinking hard.

"We were picking apples to make apple cider," he said. "After start of school, but before the falling leaves, you know. But then one of the packing crates fell on me."

Skittles did not know how to respond to this. This must refer to some much earlier event in the General's life.

"Eh… I'm afraid that cannot have been yesterday," he said.

"No?" said the General, looking surprised. "Let me think…" He leaned back on the pillows, and closed his eyes. Skittles was almost sure he had fallen asleep, when he suddenly looked up again.

"Tibetan sky burials!" said the General triumphantly. "I was reading about them, in that magazine with the strange symbols on the front cover."

Skittles sighed, and gave up hope of getting any real clues out of the Brigadier General as to what had really happened the day before.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

The Invisible Are Visible Again!

Welcome back, Followers - I'm glad to be able to SEE you all again today!

I'm a little concerned, though, that yesterday's post may have been misunderstood by some who perhaps were not having the same problem that I had...

So I'd like to clarify that my complaints yesterday were all about a pure technicality: the Followers widget boxes kept showing up empty for a couple of days, without any avatars in them, both on my own blogs and on other people's that I visited, and whichever browser or computer I used...

I did not really think I had lost my followers, and I did not really feel all that "out of touch" with you; I was just irritated about wasting a lot of time trying to find the fault in my own computer (or head), while really it was with Blogger all the time. When I turned to the Help forum, I found lots of people having the same problem since two days back - and Blogger rather unhelpful, not even including it among "known issues", in spite of  lots of complaints about the same thing. Today, however, it seems the problem has been resolved (although Blogger still has not properly commented on it).

So that was really what it was all about; even if I might have happened to add a more philosophical undertone to it when writing my blog post yesterday... That was just meant to lighten up the mood of irritation with technology!

(click on image to be transported)

With the new Picture Book blog, I'm actually more than happy that some people have already found their way to it. After all, it has only been a day or two since I put up the first link! It would truly have been a miracle if anyone had found it before that. (Actually, I did not even particularly want anyone to find it before that, because I wanted to take my time figuring out what it was I wanted to do...)

I'm not saying there aren't days when I keep checking my email for comments, and wish there were more of them. And certainly there is room for a few more followers yet in my widget boxes. But I'm not complaining about those I already have - just so you know!!! I never expected everyone to read everything, or even less comment on everything... (I don't do that myself, so how could I expect it of others?)

If anything, I'm still truly fascinated that I've managed to connect with a number of people "out there" (in cyberspace) at all. When I wrote my first blog post back in January, I really had no idea I would be meeting so many interesting people. Now I'm talking especially to you who are sometimes commenting here, and who know that I sometimes read and comment on your blogs too: You're all amazing, you know! Each in his or her own unique way... I have learnt so much from you already, and I expect to learn more as we move on!

I'm glad I found you, or you found me (whichever came first). That's why I complain (to Blogger) when you disappear out of sight.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

And So We All Went Missing

Click on image to be transported.
 Also see
yesterday's post for more info.

I just spent a looooong time trying to figure out why Followers weren't showing up at my new blog.

Not that I expected a lot of them, yet - since I did not even tell anyone it existed until yesterday! - but I knew I was at least following myself... and when I first put the Followers gadget in place, I showed up. Now I don't. Not yesterday, and not today.

Then I went back to this blog and found that there was no one here, either. Then I went to Soaring Through the World, and the world was empty. Then I went looking for the people who used to hang around, and thankfully I find them all at home each at their own place; but no one seems to have any Followers any more.

Do you all feel as lost as I do?
(It seems from the Blogger Help forum that a lot of people are having the same problem. But no Explanation.)

Picture from our walk in the woods on Sunday afternoon,
compare Sunday and Monday posts. (We did not get lost.)

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

My Picture Book

I've been working quietly on a little side project for a couple of weeks.

Since I started using my camera a lot more than before (this summer) I've been thinking that in addition to my Island of the Voices (that's where you are right now, dear reader!), and the shared photo blog Soaring through the world, it might also be nice to have a photo blog of my own where I can experiment freely with some of my own pictures in larger format against black background. I did not want to change the layout of this blog, because I'm quite happy with it as it is. (I like black background for photos, but not so much for text.)

The result of these ponderings was the creation of DawnTreader's Picture Book, using a blog template called Simple II, without any sidebar. Some of the things you normally find in the margin, you will find at the bottom of the page instead. (Presentations, Blog Archive, Links, Followers etc.)

To begin with, my intention there is to roughly follow the seasons of the year. But I might be throwing other stuff in as well, if inspiration hits me...

This button - here and in my sidebar - will take you to the new blog. (If you wonder about the picture on the button, it is a white cyclamen flower that fell off its stem onto the kitchen sink. I thought that might be appropriate for a "spin-off" blog...)

Quotation of the Week (39/09)

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.

Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

Monday, 21 September 2009

On the hill, in a glade...

"… and on the hill, in a glade, stands the tomb of the old king…"

This is another perspective of the same Neolithic cist as in yesterday's post For everything there is a season.

There is an old legend or folk tale connected to this place:

Once upon a time, there was a king who died in battle, after most of his men had deserted him and fled. The old king bled to death; and on the spot where he died, he was laid to rest in a cist of stone. But one day, in a time of need, the king will rise again, with his twelve warriors, and come back to help his people…

The tale bears a certain resemblance to the New Testament Gospel, doesn't it? And to the Celtic stories of King Arthur... about whom it has also been said that he will one day be back...

Wee look Back - and in spite of all, we also look Forward...

Sunday, 20 September 2009

For everything there is a season

We've had a week of sunny early autumn here. The summer colours are fading out and autumn slowly creeping in. Flowers are withering and the trees have started dropping a few leaves, but the green is still dominating the picture. We've had chilly mornings, but sunny and warm afternoons - with lots of butterflies still fluttering about in the town parks! (see yesterday's post)

The sunny weather is probably coming to an end - it started to rain this afternoon. But just a couple of hours earlier, while the sun was still shining, my brother and I (and my brother's dog!) managed to 'squeeze in' a walk in the countryside and woods near where our dad lives. (And I had my camera with me!)

Between sunny walks, it has been a busy week with some "heavy" things to do. I finally got myself together to order the headstone for my mother's grave - one of those things I've kept putting off. I did that on Friday, still without having visited her grave since the funeral, which was over three months ago now. I can't get there by myself; and those short weekends that my brother has been here (at my dad's) in between, there have been a thousand things to do. (P has been to the grave but without me.) Today, however, we finally managed to fit that in as well.

Since mum's funeral in June, only one more grave has been added to that row, quite recently... There were lots of flowers, candles and a photograph at the temporary cross on that grave. It was a bit of a shock when we realized this must be the grave of a teenage girl whose tragic death was in the papers recently - she was murdered by a boy her own age (which really makes it a double tragedy).

Mum got to be 79. She is missed, and her death was kind of sudden, but not a tragedy: She had come to the end of her life. But that young girl's life was brutally taken from her, and much too soon... How her friends and family are dealing with that, I can't even begin to imagine!
On our walk later in the day, we passed a Neolithic cist tomb from c. 1800-1500 b.C. That again gives some perspective... It's been a strange day, with a lot of mixed feelings!


For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Butterfly Collection

Today I came across this butterfly.
At first glance from a distance, I thought it was...

... a Painted Lady - Cynthia cardui? But no...

... or a Small Tortoiseshell - Aglais urticae? But no...

... or a Peacock - Inachis io? But no...

... It was a Red Admiral - Vanessa atalanta!

I have learnt a lot this summer! :)
(All pictures my own and from 2009.)

Raven's Wordzzle Challenge #81

The Slumber Party Mystery
Chapter 29 – At the Grocery Store

Raven's Wordzzle Challenge #81:
dangerous, engine, sullenly, bespoke, evergreen, bauble, medicine, freight, destined, tinsel, carbon, feelers, outright, ballet, fizzing

The words this week were provided by Argent, and made me want to shout AAAAAAAAHRG...ENT… How am I supposed to fit baubles and tinsel into a story that is taking place in the heat of summer?! (LOL) This is what came into my head, and it's not moving my story forward AT ALL, but I do not have time to rethink, so here it is anyway:

At the store, Saturday morning, William was unloading a lot of goods that had arrived the previous afternoon and had been left outside over night. As expected, his boss, Mr Engine, generally known as just Mr E, was very angry about his late arrival back at the store last night, and did not even want to listen to William's explanation.

"You had better start unloading those fizzing sodas immediately," he said. "They're full of carbon something you know and might explode any moment if they're left out in the sun! It's outright dangerous, so just get on with it! And when you're done with that, you will have to clear a space at the back of the storage room for those boxes over there."

William had his inner feelers out; he knew that in this mood Mr E was not to be reasoned with, so he shut up, obeyed orders and "got on with it". Mr E, meanwhile, went into his office to make a phone call. William could hear him throught he glass door, yelling something about freight and a ship destined for Hell. Or at least that was what it sounded like.

The soda bottles safely inside, William went over to look at the rest of the goods. He was somewhat surprised to find three boxes marked "baubles", "tinsel" and "evergreen festoons". He looked through the window into the office again. Mr E had put the phone down, and was now taking a drink from a bottle of brown stuff. William recognized the bottle, Mr E kept it in a special cabinet and it was labelled "Universal Medicine". Mr E used it frequently. Sometimes it seemed to calm him down. Sometimes not.

William knocked very lightly on the door, got a grunting reply and stepped inside.

"Excuse me, sir," he said. "Those boxes with Christmas ornaments…?"

"Yes, yes, I know it's still summer!" said Mr E sullenly. "They are bespoke. By Mrs E, for the Christmas ballet. Last year we didn't get the stupid things until New Year, so this year she wanted to make sure! As I said – just clear some space and put them at the back!"

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Photo Art Experiment

A photo art experiment in Jasc Paint Shop Pro 9.

Below is the original photo from which the picture
above was cropped and edited.

Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera),
a runaway garden plant, now growing wild,
by some regarded as weed.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Together Through Life (Bob Dylan)

For my birthday a while ago, my friends G&B sent me a gift certificate. I used it to buy Dylan's latest CD Together Through Life. I don't regret it! (Thank you, friends!)
I've liked Dylan since my mid teens, but only own a limited collection of his many albums. The first one I got was New Morning (1970); that one was among my first LPs so it got played a lot . The next one I got was Slow Train Coming (1979), and after that Saved (1980) and Shot of Love (1981). In the late 80's, there was quite a long time during which I only had a tape recorder. When I finally got a CD player, at some point in building up my CD collection I bought a Dylan Best of... (I also had my old LPs transferred to CD.) Then in 2006, I bought Modern Times, and it has been a favourite on my MP3 player since, especially when I'm out walking, because it has a great walking rhytm. My first impression of Together Through Life is that it has a lot in common with Modern Times - it is relaxed and playful and has the same kind of blues rhythm. An interesting addition to the instrumentation is the accordion. You can listen to snippets from the songs at The lyrics are there, too. (I was a little disappointed that they were not included with the CD.)
The CD box I bought also included a bonus DVD included which I haven't watched yet, and the bonus CD Theme Time Radio Hour: Friends & Neighbours, with Dylan as host, playing other people's music. I had never heard of this radio show... I googled it just now (you who have got to know me a bit, will be adding "of course she did!"), and found there are lots more episodes available on the net...  

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

From My Balcony

(Collage made in Picasa 3)

Monday, 14 September 2009

Quotation of the Week (38/09)

Gonepteryx rhamni - Common Brimstone

"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."
Hans Christian Andersen

Sunday, 13 September 2009

About Me and Languages (4)

In 'senior high' I was an 'arts' student (the exact word always hard to find since school systems vary both between countries and in time). Cumpulsory school in those days was 9 years, starting at the age of 7. As I have mentioned, we began with English in 4th grade, and with a second foreign language (for me French) in 7th grade. In 'senior high', a third foreign language was added, and now (between German, Russian and Spanish) I chose German. (In fact, I had made a headstart with a German correspondence course already in 9th grade.) On top of that, for the few of us who chose the classic program, came Latin...

I always hesitate to mention I studied Latin, because it might give people the false impression that I actually know Latin. I do not feel that I do! Our teacher in this ancient language of the wise and learned had been persuaded to give up retirement to teach it to a group of five optimistic teenage girls. He was a kind old man who had accepted that school was no longer what it used to be in his day. He was also the school librarian. Whenever we got tired of Latin (and one does, when one struggles with it for 7 or 8 school hours per week for three years), we could easily get him to talk about other things, like library books or history. He was especially good at demonstrating how Hannibal went over the Alps with the elephants.

That is pretty much what I remember from three years of Latin studies. Our greatest fear during the 3rd year was that our teacher would get sick and someone else would discover how little Latin we really knew. Luckily, he stayed healthy, all five of us got exactly the same good marks (over average), and I never had to decline a Latin verb again afterwards. Ego sum, tu es (I am, you are) is about as far as I got during those three years.

French, if my memory serves me right, I continued with for two years in 'senior high'. At the end of 9th grade, I thought I knew French pretty well. After two more years, I just found it getting more and more complicated. We also had a teacher who much preferred talking about the French wine (le vin) and the French women (les femmes) rather than the language as such. I can read French; but turn off the subtexts on a French film, and I'm in BIG trouble! I never went to France, and the most use I've had of it since school is probably when reading French quotes in classic English or Russian-translated-into-Swedish novels; written at a time when every well-educated person in Europe was supposed to speak it.

With German, I got on better, in spite of all the grammar; and in spite of right now not remembering a single thing about my 'senior high scool' German teacher - not even if it was a man or a woman! I will get back to German later. Before that, I still have a lot more English influence to speak of. But that, too, will have to wait until another day...

Saturday, 12 September 2009

One Of Those Days - Or Not

Earlier this week, I was thinking of maybe signing up for a local photo shoot-out 'thing' this Saturday. They have it every year and I always think that "maybe this year I will", but then I never get round to it. I didn't this year either. At the beginning of the week I though maybe my brother would be coming down this weekend. Then he said he wouldn't, but then it was too late to sign up. Then I felt a little disappointed. Then I woke up this morning and there was fog outside my window, and somehow it seemed to have got inside my head too, so I was just as glad I hadn't signed up. Lousy photo weather anyway!

However, towards noon I found that at least the fog inside my head had cleared up a bit, and then I decided to go into town after all. With camera, although without competing. Apart from all the enthusiastic photographers running around looking for I-don't-know-what-themes, it turned out to be Home Guard Day. The good part for me was that since I was not taking part in any competition, I got to keep my photos.

So here are some sights that one does not see every day in this country:

Riding police

Camouflage dressed hornblowers
(not really very good camouflage in town environment, and making a lot of noise too)

Military band members having picknick on a town bridge

Raven's Wordzzle Challenge #80

The Slumber Party Mystery
Chapter 28 – A Nightmare

Raven's Wordzzle Challenge #80 : Charitable, alligator, tribute, drunk, slave, preparation, carrots, mountainside, propeller, lark, chisel, worship, suicide, organic, plus

Lieutentant Skittles lay awake that night, turning things over and over in his head. He did not usually work on weekends – emergency calls were then referred to the police station in a bigger city - but this Saturday he decided to pay tribute to his own sense of duty and put in some extra hours anyway. He hoped his superiors would see this as a plus in the upcoming promotion talks. The thing was, Dr Adam Challenge had talked of coming down to the police station "tomorrow", but Skittles doubted that he really meant to - and if he did, he would find the station closed, because it was Saturday. But Skittles could go and see Adam…

Adam had not slept well either. He was usually no slave to alcohol, but last night he had got drunk, and in the night he had dreamt very strange dreams, in which he had been running an organic farm growing carrots, which he had then attempted to feed to an alligator. But the alligator had attacked the boat he was sitting in, and had preferred to chew on the propeller; which Adam had then attempted to fix with a chisel, even though it did not really seem like the right kind of tool for the job. Just as the boat was sinking under him, however, he woke up. He fumbled for the alarm clock, but pressing the button didn't help. After a while, he realised that it was not the alarm clock that was ringing – it was the door bell.

Adam, in spite of being saved from drowning, did not feel in charitable mood when he opened the door, and even less when he found Skittles outside.

"Oh, it's you," he growled moodily. "I was asleep, you know. I'm not usually up with the lark on my days off! Is there an emergency?"

Skittles did not answer. "May I come in?" he asked. Adam realized it was no use saying no, and stepped aside to let the lieutenant pass into the hallway.

Skittles looked around curiously and noticed a suitcase in a corner. Had the doctor been making preparations to go away?

"Going somewhere?" he asked, nodding towards the suitcase.

Adam sighed. "I had intended to go up the mountainside to a cabin and do a bit of climbing this weekend," he said. "But that was before I got that possible suicide note from the General. I decided I had to check that out first, and then you know what happened. I'm not planning to run off anywhere now, if that's what you're thinking!"

"Good," said Skittles. "I'm not accusing you of anything, it just struck me that I forgot to tell you yesterday, that I strongly advise you not to leave town."

The two men looked at each other. It was evident that neither of them was exactly in worship of the other.

For the rules of Wordzzle, and to read other stories, go to Raven's Nest. To read previous chapters of my story, click the label SlumberPartyMystery below.

Friday, 11 September 2009

In Memory Poem from 2001

I am not American, but I think the whole world remembers.

I wrote a poem a few days after the "nine eleven" events. If the perspective should seem odd to anyone, there is some personal stuff woven into it as well - some other bad news that I got while the TV images were still burning in my mind. The personal news had nothing to do with the events in New York - they just became forever fused together in my mind.

The scene from the TV news that made the most powerful impression on me was the film sequence of a man who was walking away from the towers, turned round to look when he heard the crash - and then just turned back and kept on walking at the same pace as before. What had happened was just too much to take in.


I was the World Trade Center
minding my own business
and other people's too, if asked
until I was run down
by an unexpected terrorist attack

I'm the man in the street
looking back over my shoulder
but continuing my walk
not able to take in
what just happened here

Now I'm just a ruin
a heap of smoking rubbish
full of chaos and destruction
fire, pain and fear
wishing everything undone

Is there an answer somewhere
a way to rise again
high above the skyline
without fear of new attacks
without the need to fight back

I'd also like to send you over to Wood and Pixels Narratives to look at Dan's pictures for today.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

About Me and Languages (3)

In the summer after 9th grade, before I started 'senior high school', we went to Britain again. This time for three weeks, by car, and spending the nights at various small country inns and hotels ("Fawlty Towers" kind of places…). We arrived in Harwich, went across the country to North Wales, then down to the south coast, up again via Staffordshire to Scotland, as far north as Inverness, and finally back home from Newcastle.

Some of the many sights we visited were Cambridge, Caernavon Castle in Wales, the Roman baths in Bath, the Wookey Hole caves in Somerset, seaside town Lyme Regis in Dorset, Southampton and Isle of Wight, New Forest National Park with famous wild horses (really wild - one of them kicked my little brother!), Beaulieu with Motor Museum - and of course Stonehenge.

Postcard from Beaulieu. (click on picture to enlarge)
(I put this one in as a special treat for blogfriend Dan. Little did he know when he asked about me and languages what extensive reading it would lead to.)

Me at Stonehenge.
Fashion note: This was the year when skirts suddenly went below the knee after having been way up above during the 60's!

On our way north, I got to spend a day with a penfriend and her family in Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, known as the home of English pottery industry. They took me to see an old manor house from the 15th century called Little Moreton Hall. I don't believe there was a single straight angle in that building! My parents and my brother spent the day elsewhere, and picked me up again towards the end of the day.

Little Moreton Hall, penfriend and her family.

On our way to Scotland, we passed Hadrian's Wall, which once marked the northern border of the Roman Empire.


At Loch Ness, looking for the Monster.

We did also visit some places in Scotland where there were less sheep and more people. Like Edinburgh, Balmoral Castle (the Queen's summer palace), and St Andrews to play a little golf (very little – more like mini).

Before we went back home again, we had another whiff of English seaside life, at Whitley Bay on the North Sea Coast:

This is the British idea of beach life. At least back in those days. At most, you lifted your skirt above your knees and waded a few steps out into the water. Preferably, you stayed fully dressed in a deck chair.

Nuns at the pleasure pier in Whitley Bay. My British readers will have to tell me whether that is/was a common sight or not!

Note on the photographs:
The photos including the two postcards have been scanned from my photo album. The sepia coloured ones are originally black-and-white. (Sepia effect applied in Picasa 3.) The colours in some of the coloured photos from this journey have kept exceptionally well. I have colour photos in later albums that have totally faded away and are all dim shades of purple by now...

The story will go on. I promise though - when I get past the teen years, I'll speed it up a bit!


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