Flower of the Day (FOTD): Walking from Hackney Street to Bethnal Green, East London

Self undertook this walk last Sunday. It was a gorgeous day, lots of people were out and about, maybe because of the Columbia St. Flower Market? She had every intention of scoping out this world-famous Flower Market in East London, but was distracted by all the wee little boutiques and alleys and coffee shops along the way. So dear blog readers will have to settle for these:

Posting for Cee Neuner’s Flower of the Day.

Skywatch Friday: Gorgeous Weather Today in Belfast!

Weather today in Belfast is brilliantly gorgeous. There’s not a cloud in the sky. Amazing.

Self walked around, returned to her hotel just to dump her books (she ordered five books while she was in River Mill) and dashed out again. The best way to get one’s sea legs in an unfamiliar city is to walk, walk without a plan. She’s already seen a number of things. And signed up for an all-day Game of Thrones tour (Don’t @ self. Even though she is over her Gendrya obsession, come on: the Dark Hedges? the Giant Causeway? This might be her only chance!)

Posting this for Skywatch Friday.

Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: 2nd Friday of April 2022

  • Ruth likes the Vast: paintings by John Martin, the Vatican, the Norfolk sky. — The Crossing Places, by Elly Griffiths, p. 16

Cross-posting for Skywatch Friday.

We Are Bellingcat, p. 43: How a Uni Dropout from Leicester, England Used Google Earth To Become an Expert on The War in Syria

The dis-information about what Syrian President Assad was doing to his own people was being spread far and wide (getting a major leg up from Russian State Television) and all there was to counter it were a handful of people from Human Rights Watch (“an early user of open-source investigative techniques”) and the author, who made extensive use of Google Earth to find out whether the information the world was getting was accurate. At this point, the author was doing all of this online investigative work for free, even though “by September 2012,” his “blog had surpassed 200,000 page views … “

But, the sense of righteousness, the outrage at the lies!

“barrel bombs became an emblematic weapon of Assad’s forces, which rained down thousands more as a devastating and cheap alternative to conventional munitions. By the end of 2017, regime barrel bombs had killed nearly 11,000 civilians, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights. Assad had denied that his forces had dropped even one. “I haven’t heard of Army using barrels, or maybe cooking pots,” he joked in a 2015 interview with the BBC. “There’s no indiscriminate weapons. When you shoot, you aim. And when you aim, you aim at terrorists in order to protect civilians. Again, if you’re talking about casualty, that’s war. You cannot have war without casualty.”

We Are Bellingcat: Global Crime, Online Sleuths, and the Bold Future of News, by Eliot Higgins, p. 43

Six Word Saturday: Discovering Small Presses and Literary Magazines

The annual AWP Conference was held in Philadelphia this year. Self spent two days browsing the AWP Bookfair: she uncovered a whole treasure trove of quirky literary magazines and small presses.

Posting a sampling for Travel with Intent’s Six Word Saturday.

Writer’s Quotes Wednesday: Where Do You Want to Travel?

  • Travel has been severely curtailed over the past two years. Maybe travel is nothing but a dream. Today let’s DREAM together. There have probably been some places you have seen on blogs, travel magazines, or heard your friend’s stories. — Marsha Ingrao, Writer’s Quotes Wednesday # 7

Cornwall. Always dreaming about Cornwall.

In 2019 I traveled to Fowey to attend their annual Festival of Art and Literature. While having lunch at a restaurant in town I noticed, on the wall to my left, a framed print of this Ernest Hemingway quote:

We ate well and
cheaply and drank
well and cheaply
and slept well and
warm together and
loved each other.


Stay tuned.

The Ojibwa Women: 1763

Chapter 2 (Really speeding along here!)

During a baggataway game held just outside the walls of Fort Michilimackinac, near Lake Michigan, Ojibwa women played a crucial role. The fort’s gates were open, as it was also a trading post, and most of the people conducting the trade were Ojibwa women. During the baggataway game, an Ojibwa lobbed a ball inside the fort and went after it in hot pursuit, accompanied by his brethren. Once inside, their women “drew tomahawks, knives, and other weapons from under their blankets and handed them to their brothers and husbands, who set upon the garrison. The warriors’ victory was as complete as the soldiers’ surprise.”

Result: “16 redcoats and one trader” killed on the spot.

The fort’s previous (French) commander, Lt. Charles-Michel Mouet de Langlade, had hung around after the fort’s handover to the British. This was a stroke of luck, because Langlade, who had an Ottawa mother and a French father, was able to persuade the Ojibwa to spare the life of the fort’s British commander, who instead was shipped 500 miles down the Great Lakes to a French outpost in Montreal.

A nearby British fort, Fort Detroit, was spared only because the fort’s British commander had been warned of an impending assault by his “Native American lover.”

So, eyebrows really rising here at the notion that mixed race was common in the colonies by the 18th century (Exhibit A: Lt. Langlade) and were moreover holding positions in the French army. Also: the “Native American lover” of the British commander (probably produced progeny?)

So much fun to speculate!

Stay tuned.

Literary Magazine Spotlight: ROSEBUD

from the listing on Duotrope:

  • ROSEBUD is one of the most dramatically eclectic literary magazines published in English, designed for the interests of both readers and writers. Our mission is to encourage a higher literacy by publishing a wide range of modern and traditional writing with a great variety of subjects, literary styles, and cultural points of view. While we publish many famous and established writers, most of our content comes from newer or under-appreciated authors.

One of their regular contributors was a man in federal prison in California (since released). Editor’s note: “Throughout his incarceration, he has continued to produce laudable work in circumstances under which most people would not be able to write at all.”

Here’s the cover of self’s contributor copy, Issue 67, dated 2020:

They published self’s story The Vanishing, which had been hard to place because . . . Juan de Salcedo? Who the heck ever heard of Juan de Salcedo! The grandson of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, who got to the Philippines in 1565 with (she just found out, from reading Conquering the Pacific) an older brother, Felipe. Juan de Salcedo was 17, Felipe was 18.

Felipe became captain of his grandfather’s flagship, the San Pedro, on the vuelta. He succeeded in taking it all the way back to Nueva España (quite a feat for an 18-year-old!). Juan stayed with his grandfather, who died in the Philippines the following year. No one really knows what happened to Juan de Salcedo after, but self found, in a book by the late Filipino journalist Manuel Duldulao, a reference to a group of about 40 “starving Spaniards” who tried to push their way into the Mountain Province. The Spaniards were led by a “boy.” That was a very young and green Juan de Salcedo, trying to survive.

Anyhoo, how can you not become fascinated with that boy? In self’s short story, they call him “Vanquisher.” A fourth of self’s story was written in Spanish, without translation. The conceit was that the Spanish issued from the mouth of the insomniac king, His Royal Catholic Majesty Felipe II, and he really didn’t care if anyone (meaning you, dear reader) understood him or not.

An excerpt from The Vanishing:

His Royal Majesty will grant Legazpi five ships. Two ships more than El Viejo expected. Each ship will be fitted with the usual complement of bronze cannon. And 500 men, he adds, almost as an afterthought. Legazpi thinks how those ships will sit in the water, attracting privateers the way honey does flies. He imagines Portuguese and Dutch sails bearing down swiftly in fresh wind.

Thank you, Rosebud editors, for giving self’s story, as well as that of so many others, a home.

SquareOdds #3: Fleet Street by Night

What is the SquareOdds Challenge all about? Go find out on The Life of B!

London has so many tiny alleys, so many nooks and crannies. She loves exploring by night. One year, she was in London to attend the annual Journalists’ Mass at St. Bride’s. She stayed at a wee hotel on Fleet Street. One night, she went exploring with Old Map Man, and he led her down narrow alleys and into wee churches, and pointed out the building that housed Friends of Friendless Churches.

Neverwhere, p. 9:

  • He realized that the actual City of London itself was no bigger than a square mile, stretching from Aldgate in the east to Fleet Street and the law courts of the Old Bailey in the west, a tiny municipality, now . . .

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

SquareOdds #2

Doing the Squares Challenge this month, hosted by Becky over at her blog, Life of B!

Today’s odds:

On her most recent trip to Mendocino, self stayed in Room #13 of the Mendocino Hotel. The number 13 can sometimes be unlucky, but it can also sometimes be lucky. Guess it would all depend on whether or not you are superstitious.

Self was in Gallery Bookshop a lot. Was tremendously amused by this book!

Stay tuned.

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