Jerusalem, Bethlehem: 2008

Self is looking through her humongous archive of photographs from past trips when she comes across these pictures she took during a brief trip to Jerusalem and Bethlehem in 2008. She’d flown to Tel Aviv because Beloved Sister-in-Law Ying was sick and being treated in Ichilov Hospital. Self left after two weeks, but Ying herself never got to return home. She passed away in Tel Aviv, Sept. 11, 2008.

Ying and self shared many adventures: in Bangkok, in Angkor Wat, in Bohol. She was the best traveling companion. Self remembers Ying telling her, before a trip to Angkor Wat: “You are far more adventurous than any of your brothers.” To which the only appropriate response was the ironic, evil laugh: BWAH. HA. HA!

During her time in Tel Aviv, self signed up for a day tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. These are her pictures from that day:

A Church in Bethlehem, Not Sure of the Name

A Church in Bethlehem, Not Sure of the Name

Another Church Whose Name Self Doesn't Remember

Another Church Whose Name Self Doesn’t Remember

Bazaar, Jerusalem

Bazaar, Jerusalem

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

From Every Angle: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is FROM EVERY ANGLE:

Place your subject and then shoot from every angle: high, low, wide, tight, left and right.

It helps if your subject is a collection of massive rocks.

Here is Yorkshire, last July: Rocks from every angle.

Yorkshire Dales, July 2015: It rained all night before.

Yorkshire Dales, July 2015: It rained all night before.

More of those Yorkshire Rocks

More of those Yorkshire Rocks

Heathcliffe, where art thou, O Heathcliffe?

Heathcliffe, where art thou, O Heathcliffe?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Today Was a Good Day: On the Narnia Trail in Rostrevor

Self has never read C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

She has visited Rostrevor, in Northern Ireland. Which, according to Csilla Toldy, a Hungarian poet who lives in Rostrevor, was a place particularly close to C. S. Lewis, a place Lewis has said was the source of much of his inspiration.

The day self arrived in Rostrevor, Csilla took her to The Narnia Trail. This is the first time self had even known there was such a thing.

First, Csilla and self walked through a dark wood.

Then, a great expanse of meadow:

Walking to The Narnia Trail, Rostrevor, Northern Ireland

Walking to The Narnia Trail, Rostrevor, Northern Ireland

Then, the door of a wardrobe suddenly popped up out of nowhere:

Start of The Narnia Trail, Rostrevor, Northern Ireland

Start of The Narnia Trail, Rostrevor, Northern Ireland

And a number of trees with tiny doors:

The Land of Narnia

The Land of Narnia

And — voila! — Narnia!

Beautiful trail.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Creepy 3: Whitechapel, London

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is CREEPY.

During a Jack the Ripper tour, one July evening, seld found that the streets off Whitechapel are a garden of sometimes disturbing wall art:

Wall Art, London, July 2015

Wall Art, London, July 2015

Yes, Why Exactly Are You So Serious? Graffiti Wisdom, London

Yes, Why Exactly Are You So Serious? Graffiti Wisdom, London

Figure in Black Has a Screw In His Head, Oh No!

Figure in Black Has a Screw In His Head, Oh No!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Beneath Your Feet 3: Whitechapel, London

The Daily Post Photo Challenge Prompt this week is BENEATH YOUR FEET. As the prompt says:

Experiment with your angle; stand as you snap your picture, or get close to the floor.

Self has always been fascinated by Jack the Ripper (She’s a writer, come on!) In July, she decided to sign up for a Jack the Ripper Walking Tour.

During the tour, self couldn’t help noting how covered with graffiti and trash the side streets off Whitechapel were:

Off Whitechapel Road, London: July 2015

Off Whitechapel Road, London: July 2015

The tour met at the tube stop on Aldgate East. So the tube is “benaath your feet.”

Aldgate East Tube Station, London

Aldgate East Tube Station, London

Self’s last picture that has to do with BENEATH YOUR FEET is not in England.

It’s a path to a meadow in the beautiful town of Rostrevor, in Northern Ireland.

Meadow, Rostrevor: July 2015

Meadow, Rostrevor: July 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Beneath Your Feet: Weekly WordPress Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is BENEATH YOUR FEET.

  • Today, look down and document the world beneath your feet.
This grave in the cemetery next to the parsonage where the Brontes were raised: the deceased was 38 years old.

This grave in the cemetery next to the parsonage where the Brontes were raised: the deceased was 38 years old.

And here’s another one of self’s favorite subjects:  Pigeons enjoying a bath in leafy Russell Square, London:

Self-explanatory: Pigeons, London, July 2015

Self-explanatory: Pigeons, London, July 2015

These shoes were made for walking. Self dedicates this pic to the City of London. She bought this pair of sneakers in Sole Desire, on Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park. She wears them almost every day.

Self's Go-To Pair, Her Best Shoe Investment EVER EVER EVER

Self’s Go-To Pair, Her Best Shoe Investment EVER EVER EVER

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Inspiration: London, June 2015

Self’s mind is restless, in constant need of stimulation.

And some of self’s most inspiring places are in London.

So, here are some inspiring places from London, Summer 2015. She didn’t visit any museums (except for the Wallace Collection: five stars!). For the most part, she walked. She is sorely disappointed she didn’t get to see the Serpentine.

No. 1: The Victoria & Albert Museum

The Victoria & Albert Museum in London, which self visited for the first time in June 2015

The Victoria & Albert Museum in London, which self visited for the first time in June 2015

No. 2: King’s Cross Station

English train stations are full of stimulating sights, such as this statue of Winston Churchill (Self thinks this is in King’s Cross. The day after arriving in London, she took the train to visit her friend Dodo in Cambridge and came upon this):

This appears to be a statue of Winston Churchill: London, June 2015

This appears to be a statue of Winston Churchill: London, June 2015

And, just next to Winston Churchill, this couple celebrating the end of World War II:

King's Cross Train Station, June 2015

King’s Cross Train Station, June 2015

Love London. Love, love, love.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Travel Is So Inspiring! City of York

Street Performer, City of York, England

Street Performer, City of York, England

York is so quaint, and the cathedral is beautiful.

Self was last here (in the City of York) when she was 11.

Self was last here (in the City of York) when she was 11.

And this Magic Ball Man was great fun to watch:

Street Performer, York, England

Street Performer, York, England

The reason these shots are so tight was: last week’s WordPress Photo Challenge was CLOSE UP. And she was trying to find pictures to post. Hence, these.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Inspiration 2: Yorkshire Landscapes

More for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: INSPIRATION

From The Daily Post:

What is your inspiration? What moves you? What is it that never fails to motivate you, to get you going, or make you happy?

Self will focus on inspirational landscapes. Such as these from Yorkshire:

Yorkshire, July 2015

Yorkshire, July 2015

And more of the same:

DSCN0899

And still more of the same:

DSCN0891

Honestly, the landscape of Yorkshire is so amazing. Green and hilly and full of eccentric rock placements. Sort of like the towns of Yorkshire themselves, with abbeys and cathedrals and Haworth coffee shops and Shipley punks and Bronte parsonages and cemeteries and Salts Mills and David Hockneys and Yorkshire teas and Victorian Steampunk and 1940s Festivals.

Self hates that they won’t let you take any pictures in the Bronte Museum in Haworth. Inside as well as outside, according to the young woman who was the first tour guide she encountered, standing by the front entrance. The guide had watched self taking a picture of a yellow flower by the front steps.

But self felt she really had to get to Yorkshire, not just because of the Brontes, but because of Will Herondale and the events in Clockwork Prince, book 2 of The Infernal Devices.

There is a very crucial plot twist that takes place in Yorkshire but, in the meantime, we have:  Balcony scene, Demons Ball, Chiswick. Herondale, what else can self say. Tessa being all encouraging (p. 292): “Will, you need not be so careful. I will not break.” And then, you know, Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff, Tessa saying Will is like her Heathcliff, the moors, whatever.

So brooding and romantic, Yorkshire is!

So brooding and romantic, Yorkshire is! July 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Inspired in Yorkshire: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

There are so many photographs from this summer that self can use to illustrate this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: INSPIRATION.

But she’ll stick to her most recent album: photographs of Yorkshire.

Which means the Hockney gallery at the Salts Mill in Shipley.

Café in the Salts Mill, Shipley, Yorkshire

Café in the Salts Mill, Shipley, Yorkshire

An old high school chum (who self hadn’t seen since high school graduation) drove her around. Fun!

The Salts Mill is a massive place. But the man who owned it was an enlightened being who built subdivisions for his workers and kept them off the drink with strict supervision.

The Salts Mills, Shipley

The Salts Mills, Shipley

And the Hockneys! Incredible. A whole floor is devoted to the first release group of his “The Arrival of Sprint 2011” – David Hockney Editioned Works.

Close-up of one of David Hockney's editioned

Close-up of one of David Hockney’s editioned “The Arrival of Spring 2011” at the Salts Mills, Shipley, Yorkshire

Self had NO idea there was such a museum in Yorkshire. Of course, she knew Yorkshire = the Brontes. And that is reason enough to go and pay homage.

But throw in David Hockney? And a converted mill? Priceless.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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