Whatsoever Is Lovely Challenge: Raphael

Xingfu Mama’s Whatsoever Is Lovely Challenge asks:

  • What was lovely in your life this week?

Today, self was at the National Gallery in London to see the Raphael exhibit. It was magnificent. In particular, this self-portrait. Because if Raphael really did look like that (the man in front), WOWEEE. Am I right?

Quintessential Phil Trent: Ruth Galloway # 6

If someone had told self three months ago that she would be on Book # 6 of Elly Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway mystery series, she would have said, Get out! Yet, here we are.

In the last book, The Outcast Dead, there was minimal Ruth/Nelson interaction, but plenty of Judy/Cathbad angst. That was okay, since self likes Cathbad. She’s not as enthused with Frank, the American TV personality who seems to have only two outstanding character traits: 1) He flirts with Ruth; 2) He is not Nelson.

Anyhoo, he’s gone back to Cambridge or wherever he is based, and Ruth is back to digging! And digging Ruth is the best Ruth, in self’s humble opinion.

Another really enjoyable aspect of Ruth Galloway’s character is how much her boss irritates her. Of course, he is her complete opposite: hates to do any work (any kind of work), but likes fundraising, and also making public appearances.

He shows up during a dig, early in The Ghost Fields, to which self can only say: HALLELUJAH, HOPEFULLY FIREWORKS!

“Do you want to have a look at today’s finds?” asks Ruth. Although she excavated the skeleton yesterday and bagged up the bones herself, there are still a few interesting objects emerging from the trench.

Phil pulls a face. “It’s awfully hot,” he says, as if the weather is Ruth’s fault.

“Is it?” says Ruth, pushing back her damp hair. “I hadn’t noticed.”

Phil looks at her quizzically. He doesn’t always get irony unless he’s concentrating.

Excellent scene!

Ragtag Daily Prompt Monday: LILAC

Self has the perfect picture for today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt — LILAC — evening sky over Belfast, late April.

Self was on her first-ever visit to Belfast. She’d originally planned to go in 2017, but ended up going to the Philippines instead. Then, the pandemic intervened. So it wasn’t until April 2022 that she finally boarded a flight from San Francisco to this (to her) almost-mythic city (She was a big, big Game of Thrones fan!)

A friend advised her to stay at the Europa. She took this picture from her hotel room. It was about 9 p.m.

Flower of the Day (FOTD): The Merton Borders, Oxford Botanic Garden

The Merton Borders were sown in November 2011. The purpose was to create a natural plant environment by sowing, directly into the ground, seeds of plants that would not require intensive management (i.e. no artificial irrigation, no fertilizer).

This is how the Merton Borders look today. Posting for Cee’s Flower of the Day:

One Word Sunday: PLAIN

Today’s post is a blast from the past: 20 years ago, son and his two cousins visiting from New York, looking out at San Francisco Bay and the urban sprawl from the hills behind Redwood City, off Farm Hill Boulevard.

Posting for Travel with Intent’s One Word Sunday Challenge.

The Guardian, 25 May 2022: Male Afghan News Anchors Mask Up To Support Female Staff

The article was written by Zahra Joya:

Male TV presenters in Afghanistan are wearing face masks on screen to show solidarity after the Taliban issued an order that all women on news channels must cover their faces.

In a protest called #FreeHerFace, men on Tolo News wore masks to mimic the effect of the face veil their female colleagues have been forced to wear after a Taliban crackdown.

The Taliban’s ministry of propagation of virtue and prevention of vice ordered all Afghan media outlets to use masks for female presenters. The decision was final and there was no room for debate, it said.

It follows a decree issued in early May that all women must cover their faces in public and male relatives face fines or jail if they do not adhere. Many women in cities such as Kabul defied the order.

Lema Spesali, 27, a news anchor for ITV in Kabul, said she was given the news of the Taliban’s latest decree on arrival at work on Sunday morning. “Two Taliban members came to our office and said the decision on compulsory masks for female anchors must be implemented.

“We had an office meeting and had to accept the Taliban order, but decided that male colleagues should also wear masks and stand by female colleagues.”

Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) # 48: Honoring Fallen Heroes & Sheroes

Self is so happy she is able to participate in the PPAC Challenge this week! The theme is Honoring Fallen Heroes & Sheroes.

She is currently in Oxford, UK. The last trip she took before the pandemic was also to Oxford, to listen to a reading by Oxford’s first ever female professor of poetry, Alice Oswald, Nov. 2019. She was in the company of friends Jenny Lewis and Joan McGavin. It so happened she was here on Armistice Day, Nov. 11.

She attended a service at Christchurch. No tourists, but she told the guard she was NOT a tourist, she was here to attend the service. So he let her through.

The service was very moving. The names of all the men of Christchurch who died in World War I were read aloud. Later, she saw a wall on the side of the chapel, with all the names inscribed in stone, a single wreath leaning against the memorial.

How very, very restrained.

Ragtag Daily Prompt, Saturday: PILLOW

The RDP Prompt for today is PILLOW.

Self thinks these clouds look pretty pillow-y, don’t you?

Evening sky over Oxford, UK:

The Madeleine Arms, Iffley Road, Oxford

A lot of self’s posts from Oxford have tended to focus on food! That’s because some of the best pubs around are here. Specifically, just off Iffley Road.

Here’s a popular place on Iffley Road. Self had the most delicious steamed cod on a bed of lentils. She was here last week with the poet Jenny Lewis and that time she tried the monkfish. Also delicious!

Posting for Travel with Intent’s Six Word Saturday:

Cee’s Flower of the Day: Poppy

Self’s Flower of the Day: poppy.

Saw this specimen yesterday in the Oxford Botanic Garden. Wowee! Heart-stopping.

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