Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge: Pick a Topic from My Photo

Here’s the link to the photo in question.

The topics self chose from Cee’s photograph are: Sign + Black

Pull Up a Seat: Customer Bench, Hackney Road, East London

The year is just zipping by! As Xingfu Mama reminds us, we’re already in Week 19 of the 2022 Pull Up a Seat Challenge.

Self has found a sweet little coffee and croissant place, around the corner from Hackney City Farm. It’s in a row of other little coffee shops and restaurants, facing the former Queen Elizabeth Children’s Hospital (which is now condos, but still has the sign that says Queen Elizabeth Children’s Hospital). To get there, she walks through beautiful Haggerston Park. Did she ever luck out with her Airbnb or what. She looked at the host’s listing for the rest of the year: Oops, she raised the daily rate by 120 GBP. Hope it’s just temporary, or she’ll never be able to stay here again.

Anyhoo, next to the coffee and croissant place is a bench where patrons can cool their heels while waiting for their orders. They also make delicious panini sandwiches.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Six-Word Saturday: Hackney City Farm, Goldsmiths Row, London

For the past week, self has been exploring East London. Well, maybe ‘exploring’ isn’t the right word: she’s been mostly reading and writing and sending stuff out and trying to get home sooner so she can vote in the California primary — it may seem funny to cut a trip short just to vote in a primary, but she takes nothing for granted these days.

Here are the positions up for vote: California U.S. Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, Member of State Board of Equalization, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, U.S. Representative in Congress, State Senator, State Assembly Member, as well as other local candidates. She is, of course, voting Democrat all the way down the ballot. And if there’s one thing she’s proud about, it’s about raising a son who’ll vote Democrat all the way down the ballot, too!

These past six years have been exhausting: she’s cut off ties with friends she’s known for decades, because all of a sudden they’re calling Hillary “ugly” and say women should not be wearing pantsuits. Think it’s ridiculous? So does self.

Anyhoo, while knocking about East London (which is as far from tourist-y as you can get in London), she stumbled onto a working farm. You can smell the manure from a long way off, it is a little disconcerting, but at least all self had to do was follow her nose.

What a place, though! It sells cheese, grains, veggies — the usual stuff sold by an organic farm. And the minders look exactly like the people in California. In fact, they may even look slightly more hippie-ish than organic farmers do back home. East London hippies — self never knew such a type existed!

Posting this for Travel with Intent’s Six-Word Saturday Challenge.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Light and Shadow

When you see the shadows, you will also see the light.

Rick Ohnsman

More from P. A. Moed about Prompt # 198: Light and Shadow:

  • This week, we’re exploring the interplay of light and shadow–at different times of the day, in different seasons, under natural light, in artificial light. Choose whatever conditions you like. It’s totally up to you. You may also want to process your images in black and white to highlight the light and shadows.

Self is traveling. Her “light and shadow” photos were all taken in Bloomsbury, where she stayed last week:

Self’s Room, The Bloomsbury Hotel

The British Museum

The Coral Room of The Bloomsbury Hotel

Pull Up a Seat Challenge, 7 May 2022

For this challenge, self selected a picture she took last week: the formal dining room of the Titanic Hotel (which is right next to the Titanic Museum) in Belfast. Out of curiosity, she googled the prices. Wowee! She didn’t expect the prices to be so reasonable. No wonder this hotel is so popular for wedding parties.

Yesterday, Russell Square

Yesterday, headed to Russell Square with the morning’s Guardian, sipped cappucino at one of the outdoor tables. Hadn’t slept at all the night before, upset about Roe v Wade. Nevertheless, it is so peaceful there, always.

Took these pictures for Cee Neuner’s Flower of the Day.

Monday Windows: River Mill, Co. Down, Northern Ireland

Love windows, all kinds of windows. Thanks to Ludwig Keck for hosting the Monday Windows Challenge. These windows are from River Mill, a beautiful place in County Down, just a little ways from Ardglass. Run as an artists retreat by poet Paul Maddern, it’s got everything: a beautiful garden, a calm atmosphere, and five-star cooking by Paul!

Monday Window: River Mill

Posting this for the Monday Window challenge.

A week of hard writing lies ahead. And a welcome reunion with Kelly Creighton, who’s written a new novel (Thank you, Kelly, for my advance copy of Souls Wax Fair, which I am enjoying enormously)

To my host at River Mill, Paul Maddern, much gratitude for the writing space and the 5-star cooking!

Will shortly to Belfast for bookstore exploring.

One Word Sunday: EGG


Paul brought a bunch of chocolates for the residents this morning.

I snagged this lovely prize, which put me in mind of Travel with Intent’s One Word Sunday prompt for today: EGG.

These, btw, are NOT Nestlé product. Checked the fine print just to make sure.

The White Parents Take Their Chinese Foster Kids to a Chinese Restaurant in New York

Good scene. Thanks, Lisa Ko. Deming Guo is now Daniel Wilkinson. Kay and Peter are Deming/Daniel’s foster parents. :

The dishes came out fast and were limp, reheated. Turnip cake, broccoli, shrimp dumplings. Angel stabbed holes into the side of a dumpling and even the solitary curl of steam was lackluster.

“Delicious,” Kay murmured, scooping up food for Deming’s plate. The meat tasted old. His mother would never have eaten food this bad.

“This is one of those off-the-beaten-path places,” Elaine said. “We’ve been coming here for years.”

Jim turned to Deming. “You must miss this, Daniel, having authentic Chinese food.”

“We went to the Great Wall that one time,” Peter said.

Deming recalled the tempura and pad thai he’d picked at during a visit to the buffet table at the strip mall restaurant.

The Leavers, p. 88

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