Split-Second Story 4: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Today’s edition of “Split-Second Story” comes to you from Oxford, England, where self spent the day on the grounds of Christ Church, one of Oxford’s largest colleges, founded by King Henry VIII in 1532 (Self watched a 15-minute video at the Visitor Center).

Here are a few things she learned from the video:

The chapel is Norman, built in the 11th century.

Saint Frideswide, “England’s first saint,” became renowned for her chastity by rejecting the advances of an amorous king.  Since the king was absolutely relentless, Frideswide took refuge in the woods of Oxfordshire, and became the center of a cult of devotees which included Catherine of Aragon.

And now to the pictures which, of all the dozens she took today, feel most evocative of “story-in-a-single-frame”:

A knight in full armor lies in state in Christ Church Chapel, Oxford.

A knight in full armor lies in state in Christ Church Chapel, Oxford.

Self saw ducks feeding on bread crumbs left by visitors.

Self saw ducks feeding on bread crumbs left by visitors.

Father Haslam, Dublin native:  He is 92, self knew him in the Philippines. He is here regaling the waitress with a story.  He is a fabulous raconteur.

Father Haslam, Dublin native: He is 92, self knew him in the Philippines. He is here regaling the waitress with a story. He is a fabulous raconteur.  We were dining at St. Kyran’s in Ireland.

Split-Second Story 3: The Trials and Tribulations of Self, May 2014

NOOOO!  Aer Lingus went on strike! Self was stuck in Ireland! Her tickets were non-refundable!

NOOOO! Aer Lingus went on strike! Self was stuck in Ireland! Her tickets were non-refundable!  How, how was she going to get herself to Oxford for the Saboteur Awards on May 31?

Self ended up taking the Ferry to Wales. From there, she took a train to London.

YAY!  Self was able to take a ferry to Wales!  Only 3 1/2 hours!   From Bangor, Wales!  Then, despite a body on the tracks, a train diversion, and various improbables, self arrived in Euston Station, London!  It only took her nine hours!

And now, the winner of Saboteur Awards for Best Novella of 2013 is -- DRUM ROLL TA-RA!  (Stay tuned)

Yay!  Self landed in Cambridge!  Then took the X5 to Oxford!  And had a great shawarma at the very end of her journey!  And now, the winner of Saboteur Awards for Best Novella of 2013 is — DRUM ROLL TA-RA! (Stay tuned)

 

Split-Second Story 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

CAPTURE AN IMAGE THAT TELLS A FULL STORY IN A SINGLE FRAME.

Quite challenging, the week’s Photo Challenge theme is, yeah?

Graduation Reception, Claremont Graduate School, May 2013

Graduation Reception, Claremont Graduate School, May 2013

Doggie Love, Trieste:  May 2013

Doggie Love, Trieste: May 2013.  Trieste was a spectacular city.  Self was there two nights in the first week of May.  When oh when can she return?

Love endures:  Graffiti scrawled on a pillar on the portico next to the Doge's Palace, April 2013

Love endures: Graffiti scrawled on a pillar on the portico next to the Doge’s Palace, April 2013

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Split-Second Story: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Split-Second Story :

Capture an image that tells a full story.

First, a picture that always brings a smile to self’s face when she sees it, because it calls up all the joys of summer:  barbecues, being outdoors, evening concerts in Stafford Park, ease:

Summer 2013:  The Wednesday evening concerts in Stafford Park, just two blocks from self's house, are absolutely a delight.

Summer 2013: The Wednesday evening concerts in Stafford Park, just two blocks from self’s house, are absolutely a delight.  They are generally packed with people.  The concerts range from Motown to Country to Classic Rock.

Then, feet heading towards downtown Redwood City for the annual Fourth of July Parade.

Fourth of July, Redwood City, 2013

Fourth of July, Redwood City, 2013

Summer in San Francisco is sometimes more like winter:

Andrew and Jennie, at the Palace of the Legion of Honor.  June 2013.  Typical San Francisco summer weather:  They could be in Ireland.

Andrew and Jennie, at the Palace of the Legion of Honor. June 2013. Typical San Francisco summer weather: They could be in Ireland.

Oh does that longing for good ol’ Americana ever hit home — yes, despite the fact that self’s current trip has been a never-ending series of spectacular adventures.

For instance, she can’t wait to see a movie (Watching “Eastenders” is her only guilty passion.  That and reading fan fiction).  The X5 from Cambridge passed a movie theater showing “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”  Self practically salivated.  She also badly wants to see that new Emily Blunt movie, the one where she puts on her action-hero mojo.  Anyone who saw Blunt chop wood in that time-travel movie with Joseph Gordon-Levitt knows this woman can certainly pack it.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Twist 7: St. Pancras (Formerly a Hospital), London

St. Pancras: Incredible, they at one point were thinking of tearing it down.

St. Pancras: Incredible, they at one point were thinking of tearing it down.  It’s now a very posh hotel, sleek little British sports cars slipping in and out the front driveway.

A friend met self at Euston Station and helped her trundle her rollies. Who knew she'd turn out so shy she wouldn't pose for a shot in front of St. Pancras?  Anyhoo, you can see that the front driveway TWISTS.

A friend met self at Euston Station and helped her trundle her rollies. Who knew she’d turn out so shy she wouldn’t pose for a shot in front of St. Pancras? Anyhoo, you can see that the front driveway TWISTS.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Twist 6: King’s Cross Station, London

Self is in London again.  She was here just a month ago, watching Titus Andronicus at the Globe and having leisurely lunches in Russell Square.  Now she’s on her way to Oxford, for the Saboteur Awards.  It’s great because she’ll see Jenny Lewis again, whose collection, Taking Mesopotamia, self just adores.

From a giant video screen in King’s Cross, earlier in the evening, self learned that Maya Angelou had passed away.  She was 86.

Mourn, mourn, mourn.

She took these pictures of the King’s Cross ceiling.  It’s pretty fabulous.  And meshes beautifully with this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, TWIST.  But, seriously, the whole city of London is pretty fabulous.  Though she has yet to take a really good picture of the London Eye:

King's Cross Station in London:  Fabulous

King’s Cross Station in London: Fabulous

DSCN5524 DSCN5525Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Twist 5: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

It was the first sunny day in Dublin in almost a month.

And what does self decide to do?  She catches the Luas from Black Horse Station, gets off at Abbey Road, walks around a little bit, then decides to pop into Clerys, where she ends up spending almost the entire afternoon shopping for “dress-up” clothes (She didn’t think to bring any from home because, you know, she was on a residency. One’s mind is supposed to be completely focused on work)

The first saleslady self approached was a young woman who wasn’t really enthusiastic about her job but showed self an array of floaty chiffon tops and thin cardigans.  The problem is, the mediums looked baggy, and the smalls were too tight.  And she hated the peek-a-boo necklines.

She moved on to another section of the department store, where an older lady showed her an array of simple black skirts and black and beige tops.

She ended up buying a flesh-colored top and a simple, black, pencil skirt that had a kind of weave pattern:

Black Pencil Skirt Self Bought From Clery's Today

Black Pencil Skirt Self Bought From Clerys Today

Top From Clery's:  It reminded self of the Filipino patadyong.

Top From Clerys: It reminded self of the Filipino patadyong.

Finally, since we are on the subject of “twists,” here is self’s go-to cardigan of the moment.  Ironically, it came from Baguio, and she’s owned it for about 20 years:

One of self's favorite items of clothing is this heavy cardigan, knit in Baguio.  She's owned it for at least 20 years.

One of self’s favorite items of clothing is this heavy cardigan, knit in Baguio. It’s gotten very hard use here in Ireland.

Tomorrow, 8 a.m., self takes the ferry to Hollyhood, Wales.  She asked someone what the ferry ride was like.  The answer:  “Depends on the weather.  I’ve been on rides so bad the water was pitching over the bow. I’ve had others where the water is as smooth as a plane of glass.”  Ah, the Irish have such a way with words, don’t they? The ferry ride is 3 1/2 hours.  Self prays the water is not “pitching over the bow.”

Must be why she began yet another short story last night.  She was up until the wee hours, writing.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Twist 4: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Shortly before leaving for Ireland, self wandered over to the Cantor Art Center on the Stanford campus, where she took these shots.  Gerald B. Cantor, who donated the funds, was someone self interviewed when she was just a lowly student reporter for The Stanford Daily.  You can actually see her byline if you go all the way back to the year the Cantor Art Center was opened.

The interview happened this way.  Mr. Cantor himself was standing on the steps of the Art Center.  A crush of reporters were holding microphones up to his face and yelling questions.  Since self is rather petite, barely even five feet tall, she was all the way in the back.  But she did have the perspicacity to yell, at the top of her lungs, STANFORD DAILY!

Mr. Cantor held up his hand.  Everyone fell silent.  Then he looked over at the crowd of reporters and asked, “Who said Stanford Daily?”  And self piped up, from all the way in the back, “I did.”

And he said, “Let her through.”

And the crowd of reporters parted.  And self, blushing furiously, was ushered all the way to the front.

And that, honest to God, is how self got to shake the great man’s hand.

Many, many years later, self thought of him again, because the Cantor Fitzgerald management company occupied the top three floors of one of the World Trade Center buildings, and sekf heard that the firm lost a stupefying 1,600 of its employees on 9/11.

Rodin Sculpture Garden, on the Stanford campus

Rodin Sculpture Garden, on the Stanford campus

A giant head in the Rodin Sculpture Garden (Behind is one of the engineering buildings)

A giant head in the Rodin Sculpture Garden (Behind is one of the engineering buildings, and they’re getting ready to add yet another)

Still another from the Rodin Sculpture Garden

Still another from the Rodin Sculpture Garden

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Twist 3: The Stone Lintel’s Close-Up

The stone lintel self passes almost every day, in the garden between the farmyard cottages and the Main House of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, is now ready for its close-up:

What is this mysterious thing?  And what is it doing on the grounds of the Tyrone Guthrie Center?  Who made it?  And why?

What is this mysterious thing? And what is it doing on the grounds of the Tyrone Guthrie Center? Who made it? And why?  Her musings about it remind her of her musings on the mysteries of Stonehenge.

Self thinks it is a very good thing to do an artists residency in a rainy place — such as a boggy island like Ireland — because one is given so much incentive to stay indoors.  And since everything else is so far away (like movie theatres, like newspapers, like television), one perforce has to exercise the utmost resourcefulness to keep oneself entertained.  And, in self’s particular case, that means concocting convoluted (yet entertaining) narratives involving ships and voyages and science and spores and changeables and hedgehogs and Commons and bongs and elephants and imaginary cities.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Twist 2: Walking Around (Still in Annaghmakerrig)

An old stone lintel next to a very big fern: on the grounds of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre

An old stone lintel next to a very big fern: on the grounds of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre

There’s a stone lintel that self passes whenever she goes to the Main House.  She finally decided to take a closer look at it today.  She was going to post a close-up of the carving, it looked like a piece of Mayan art to tell you the truth.

But her internet connection has been wisping in and out.

Instead, she’ll post an excerpt from a piece called “Shaft,” by Anne Enright.  It was in a hard-bound book she found in the dining room of the Main House (a compilation of writings by all the various residents who had been at the Centre, over the decades):

I always look people in the eye, you know?  This is just the way I am.  Even if they have a disability or a strangeness about them.  I look them straight in the eye.  And if one of their eyes is damaged, then I look at the good eye, because this is where they are, somehow.  I think it’s only polite.  But I am not always right.  Some people want you to look at their ‘thing’ and not at them.  Some people need you to.

There was that young transvestite I met in the street once: I used to know his mother, and there were his lovely eyes, still hazel under all that mascara and the kohl.  Well, I didn’t know where else to look at him, except in the eye, but also, I think, I wanted to say hello to him.  Himself.  The boy I used to know.  And of course this was not what he wanted at all.  He wanted me to admire his dress.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

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