A new experience

Llama Trekking

Llama trekking

I’m going llama trekking next Friday.  No, I’ve never done this before so it’s all new to me, and I’m really looking forward to it.

I believe I am going to be in charge of taking a llama for a walk for about an hour somewhere near Brougham in the Lake District.  Poor little thing – I hope I manage to get him/her home in one piece!

Anyone done anything like this before?  If so, I’d love to hear from you.

Shadows and wounds

So very interesting and so thought provoking – I had to reblog this – it’s whirled around my head all night …


Frankfurt – as does the whole of Germany – carries a heavy historical load. There were 26.000 Jews living in Frankfurt in 1933, the second largest Jewish population in Germany, playing leading rolls in the financial, cultural and scientific worlds of Frankfurt. Hitler’s National Socialists wreaked havoc on their lives from the start of the Nazi dictatorship in 1933 up to 1945. In the first six years Jews were totally undermined economically and forbidden to partake in public life, be it at the university, the hospitals or in politics. Many fled to other European countries, the USA or Israel. Kristallnacht on 9/10 November 1938 heralded the sharp increase of violence with the destruction and burning of Jewish property and synagogues. Deportations to concentration camps intensified substantially upto a total of at least 12.000 people. In 1945 there were 160 Jews left in Frankfurt. Nowadays there is once again a thriving…

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Thursday Thoughts

This image I found in the free commons on the web – it has kick-started my imagination and I’m now using it to work an opening paragraph for a short(ish) story I want to write.Man in churchI’ve mapped out the central questions, and have started working on the character traits, the whys and wherefores of the man himself.  I’m rather excited as the story popped into my head last night, not quite fully formed but enough to work with.  It’s more than a fuzzy idea and the main characters in the story have already sprung fully formed in my mind – I can see and hear them.  I’m using an iPad app to collate all the various characters, the scene setting, the outlines, ideas, relationships, the time period (which is not the same as the man obviously inhabits in the image), and the central hook to hang my hat on.

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Wednesday writings …..


Each Wednesday I’ll be posting a piece of creative writing – this Wednesday I’ve tried poetry – for the first time in many many years ………..


How do I know that I really exist
I think, I feel, I taste, I see
But how do I know all this is real
And not another’s fantasy

Brains in vats – I’ve done all that
Philosophy undergrad stuff
The question’s deeper than that, I know
It twists me up in knots

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Something from the weekend

I’ve spent the weekend having a brilliant time visiting my youngest grandson (below), and his parents.  Consequently, I haven’t finished the Blogging 101 course (yet), but will catch up.  This blog is part of the 101 course – creating a weekly feature 🙂


This part of my family live a long way away from us (from my perspective here in the UK anyway).  Unfortunately it always means a tedious journey down the country on the M6 and M5 – and this time it was incredibly busy.  Why is it that some drivers think they are the only people on the road whose time is precious when the roads start to clog up?  I’m seriously fed up with some drivers taking advantage of the tiniest gaps between bumper to bumper cars to slide in and out of the traffic, weaving around and causing problems further down the queues.  A journey that should have taken three and a half hours, at most, ended up taking over six hours!  Most of that spent standing still on the motorways.  We couldn’t even take an alternative route as they were clogged too.  Still, it was worth it once we got to our journey’s end.

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Looking for Alpha Darley

I’m wondering if anyone can help me.  I’ve been tracing my family history for years now and one man, in particular, has left a puzzle behind.  Alpha Darley was born on 7th December 1853 to Mary Ann Darley (no father’s name given on the birth certificate), at Laneham in Nottinghamshire, England.  He married Ellen Charlotte Ward on 15th January 1877 in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, England.  I found Alpha, Ellen and their two little girls, living with Ellen’s father and the rest of his family at Swaffham in Norfolk.

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Can’t work without the internet!

OOOH I’m feeling frustrated.  Our internet has been running like a sleeping tortoise for the past three days now and, today, it just wasn’t going to wake up at all.  I’m currently piggybacking on our next door neighbour’s broadband (with their consent of course).

It’s like the old saying goes, you don’t know what you’ve got ’till you lose it.  We’re all so reliant on this invisible link to the outside world which keeps us connected in so many ways.  Facebook, email, ordering online, checking out the news at any time, researching, even blogging – you name it I do it and when I can’t access the web I feel lost and unconnected (which I am, of course).

I’m old enough to remember when no-one had mobile phones, and I mean no-one.  The internet wasn’t a word in anyone’s vocabulary that I ever knew.  The thought of just typing out anything on a screen was something you saw on Star Trek, and to be able to talk to anyone and see them at the same time on a screen – well that was akin to magic!  Now don’t get me wrong, I love clever technology.  I love that I’m able to tap away and connect to   anyone, anywhere.  I love that I can take a photograph and share it through Twitter, Facebook, email and website/blog.  I also love that I can take it all with me wherever I go so that I’m always available – EXCEPT WHEN I’M AT HOME IN THE HOUSE (yes, that is a scream).

Ok – rant over.  Time to have a calming cup of tea and calm down.  A good cuppa can sort almost everything out.  Now, if I just pour it over my wireless router ……….

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Brilliant Disguise.”

I’m not sure exactly when it happened – when the ‘Me’ I thought I was became a stranger, but I do know why it happened.

I was never very confident being the ‘Me’ I thought I was, so to lose her was not a great problem – in all honesty I found it a relief to be free of her, but I miss her sometimes.  I often wonder where she went – if she exists somewhere in an alternate reality, and if she might come back some day.

The ‘Me’ I thought I was would never have voiced her opinion in a room full of strangers, would never have raised her head or hand for fear of being noticed, would have done anything to stay in the background.  Pathetic little creature.

But what if, some day, she returns and the ‘Me’ I know I am allows her to steal my place?  When I’m old and cannot stop her, perhaps when my mind starts to wander, perhaps if I fall ill and no longer have the strength to keep her out, maybe then she’ll win and kick the ‘Me’ I know I am into touch.

So then, which ‘Me’ is the real ‘Me’ and which one wearing a mask to present herself to the world?  I’ll fight for the ‘Me’ I know I am because, even if this ‘Me’ is the one wearing the mask it is the ‘Me’ I know as myself and the ‘Me’ as others know me.  The other ‘Me’ remains a stranger because life, love and experience has clothed me with the best disguise there is – confidence.