Humanity 6: India, January 2012

Because of this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, HUMANITY, self has been re-visiting the pictures she took on her first (so far, her only) trip to India, January 2012.

She’s so glad the theme allows her to publish photos she’s never posted before, like the one of the roadside market on the road to Kasauli from New Delhi, and the one she took in a night bazaar, just outside the Red Fort in Old New Delhi.

Roadside Bus Stop En Route From New Delhi to . . . Baikunth, self thinks: January 2012

Roadside Bus Stop En Route From New Delhi to . . . Kasauli, self thinks: January 2012

Roadside Market, on the road from New Delhi to Kasauli: January, 2012

Roadside Market, on the road from New Delhi to Kasauli: January, 2012

Night Market, Old New Delhi: January 2012

Night Market, Old New Delhi: January 2012

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Venice Beach, Retro-Modern

Self’s room came with an orange slinky.

Seriously, how fabulous is that?

She’s taken about 20 pictures of the slinky already.

Self's Room in Venice Beach

Venice Beach: Orange Love

The neighborhood is fabulous: seedy, yet fabulous.

The neighborhood is fabulous: seedy, yet fabulous.

Self had the BEST waitress, the Best! Her name is Amber.

Self had the BEST waitress, the Best! Her name is Amber.

Everyone here smiles and is so friendly. Can self just stay in Venice Beach forever?

Stay tuned.

Humanity 5: The Shiva Temple at Bajnath (Himachal Pradesh, January 2012)

Self is really loving this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge:  HUMANITY.  She’s got so many photos that fit the theme.

In January 2012, self went to India. Specifically, the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. It was very cold. In the villages and temples, though, people smiled at her.

Pulling a bell = praying/ making a wish

Pulling a bell = praying/ making a wish

Waiting for alms just outside the entrance of the Shiva Temple

Waiting for alms just outside the entrance of the Shiva Temple at Bajnath

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Adventure 4: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Detail of wall carving, Angkor Wat: Self was there in 2004.

Detail of wall carving, Angkor Wat: Self was there in 2004.

The Tyrone Guthrie Centre for Artists in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland: Self was there in May 2014.

The Tyrone Guthrie Centre for Artists in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland: Self was there in May 2014.

Girlfriends! Met these two girls from Beijing in a restaurant in Burano, April 2013.

Girlfriends! Met these two girls from Beijing in a restaurant in Burano, April 2013. They were rooming together in Paris while learning — what else? — French. They both spoke perfect English. They took time off from French classes to see Venice. One cannot dine anywhere in Italy without having wine, hence self’s rather flushed demeanor.

Adventure 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Self saw a production of “Titus Andronicus” in the Globe during a week in London, en route to Ireland and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, in late April 2014. When she told her friend Joan McGavin that she was going to see it, Joan said: “Bring a bucket. Loads of gore.”

And indeed, Joan was right. There was indeed loads of gore. The production was a bit Quentin Tarantino-ish. But it was still bloody great.

Titus Andronicus at the Globe:  Wild, Bloody, Great

Titus Andronicus at the Globe: Wild, Bloody, Great

Then self proceeded to Ireland, where she had many more adventures. Including, her first actual acquaintance-ship with real swans (as opposed to the swans in Hans Christian Andersen or the Grimm brothers’ fairytales). Here is a picture of a loan swan, powering across a blustery lake, early May 2014:

Sighted Yesterday, on the Way to Annaghmakerrig: A determined swan powers its way across a wide lake, in blustery winds.

Sighted on the Way to Annaghmakerrig: A determined swan powers its way across a wide lake, in blustery winds.

She was so impressed with this swan that she started to write a story about swans which evolved into a story about Noah’s ark, after she saw the Darren Aronofsky movie “The Ark.” The last rejection letter she received for her ark story was just last week:  “Sorry,” quoth the young man, “Revisionist Bible stories aren’t really my thing.”

Self’s most recent adventure was attending the Squaw Valley Writers Conference, this past July.  She’d been hearing about it forever. Last year, she finally bit the bullet and applied. And she got in! And they offered her partial aid.  She is so glad she went soon after getting back from Ireland. For by the time she got to Squaw Valley, in early July, she was fit, mentally and physically, from six weeks of traveling all over Ireland and England. And she made so many new friends.

The Olympic House at Squaw Valley: July, 2014

The Olympic House at Squaw Valley: July, 2014

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

 

Adventure 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

On the way to the Grand Canal

On the way to the Grand Canal:  Self took a trip to Venice with Margarita Donnelly, retired managing editor of Calyx, in April 2013

Pat Shelley, who led the tour to Stonehenge self took in April 2014

Pat Shelley, who led the tour to Stonehenge self took in April 2014

Holy Mother of All Monuments!  Our little band of walkers approached the monument in early evening.

Holy Mother of All Monuments! Our little band of walkers approached the monument in early evening. We had to walk across a sheep meadow. That time of day, the tour buses were finally beginning to thin out.  Our group had the monument almost all to ourselves. It was CHILLY.

Adventure: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

The WordPress Photo Challenge for the week would seem rather self-explanatory:

ADVENTURE

Last year, self decided to accept Margarita Donnelly’s invitation to share an apartment in Venice. She stayed almost three weeks. That trip certainly qualifies in her book as an adventure.

The apartment was in Ca’ San Toma. Only a 5-minute walk to the Frari church.

She had seen Venice when she was 11. Of course, it had changed. For one thing, everyone on the vaporetto kept vacating their seats and indicating that self should sit. In the spot marked for “Senior Citizens.” (Self, when will you ever learn to stop looking a gift horse in the mouth?) Although self is not quite a senior citizen, and it stung her pride mightily, she never refused a seat.

On the Vaporetto to Murano, April 2013

On the Vaporetto to Murano, April 2013

Just in front of the Naval History Museum, Venice

Just in front of the Naval History Museum, Venice, April 2013

Also last year, self visited, for the first time, the town of Magalang in Pampanga (Philippines). She visited at the invitation of Alawi Canlas, an English professor at Pampanga Agricultural College.  Self really enjoyed meeting all the students, and discussing her work with them. That trip, too, was an adventure.

Magalang Public Market:  It's huge.

Magalang Public Market in the Philippines, province of Pampanga: It’s huge.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia: “The Heart of the World”

The cover of Colin Poole's TONLE SAP, The Heart of Cambodia's Natural Heritage (Thailand:  River Books, 2005)

The cover of Colin Poole’s TONLE SAP, The Heart of Cambodia’s Natural Heritage (Thailand: River Books, 2005)

In 2004, self and her sister-in-law, Ying, took a trip to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat. We stayed in a house ($10/day for a room, including meals) and hired a driver.

The monument was crawling with tourists. One morning, desperate, self and Ying awoke at 4 a.m. and had the driver bring us to the temples. Across the giant causeway, which was barely light, we saw at least a hundred photographers, cameras pointed at the horizon, waiting for the first rays of the sun to appear. It was very dispiriting.

The thing self remembers most from the trip is not the temples. It was Tonle Sap Lake. Self and Ying hired a boat and threaded our way through the floating villages.

In 2008, Ying passed away in Tel Aviv. Self saw her for the last time a couple of months before. Her eyes were so sad.

Self’s story, “The Peacock,” is about that trip to Cambodia. She’s never been able to get it published, but she keeps trying.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Fray 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Met a Daly City high-schooler touring Dublin with her Mom, on the top floor of the Hop-On Hop-Off bus on the sunniest day in Dublin:

Met Francesca and her Mom when she was on the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus around Dublin. They're from Daly City, CA. (Their ponytails are FRAYED)

Met Francesca and her Mom when she was on the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus around Dublin. They’re from Daly City, CA. (Their ponytails are slightly FRAYED)

Was reading a newspaper one lunchtime in Lincoln’s Inn, close to the National Gallery of Ireland.

Reading a Frayed Newspaper: Lincoln Bar, Dublin, June 2014

Reading a Frayed Newspaper: Lincoln’s Inn, Dublin, June 2014

And spent two nights in Cork in June:

Found this slim poetry collection in her room in Café Paradiso, Cork, Ireland. The cover is slightly FRAYED.

Self found this slim poetry collection in her room in Café Paradiso, Cork, Ireland. The cover is slightly FRAYED.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Texture: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is TEXTURE. It’s about “the designs created by the water and sand,” about “layers,” and “strata.”

Here’s self’s first take:  Ripples on the sea (Amsterdam);  feathery ferns (Scotland); a designer hat (by Jean-Paul Gaultier)

The Sea, on a Cloudy Day (Amsterdam, July 2012)

The Sea, on a Cloudy Day (Amsterdam, July 2012)

Ferns and Grass:  Hawthornden, June 2012

Ferns and Grass: Hawthornden, June 2012

Textured Hat, Jean-Paul Gaultier (de Young Museum, April 2012)

Textured Hat, Jean-Paul Gaultier (de Young Museum, April 2012)

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