Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge (CMMC) and Flower of the Day (FOTD) AND Water, Water Everywhere (WWE)!

Self multi-posting/multi-tasking like mad!

There’s a brief break in the rain. Self has to fetch a book from the library, then dash to the post office.

In the meantime, she did a quick check of her backyard. And found her plants doing quite well, thank you very much.

Here’s a close-up of her loropetalum razzleberri “fringe flower” for three photo challenges: CMMC, FOTD, and Jez’s WWE!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#bloganuary Day 2: Write About the Last Time You Left Your Comfort Zone

Ha! Self found where the prompts were going. She has now rescued her #bloganuary (She missed yesterday; wonder where THAT prompt went)

She will henceforth make a sincere attempt to post daily through January.

Self spent Christmas in Mendocino. This is actually not that much of a stretch (though driving around up there, during a storm, is a flat-out EXPERIENCE). She turned down invitations to be with people, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (scared of omicron), then the day after Christmas, drove back to the Bay Area, found a walk-up testing site close to her, and the very next day lined up, in bitter cold, for three hours. Now, THAT WAS A STRETCH. She can’t remember ever lining up for that long a time, in winter cold (not even for TKTS, that year she lived in New York.)

The tests ran out, but not until mid-afternoon. By then, there were only about five people ahead of her in line. Then she had two days of anxiety, waiting for the test results. And they came back NEGATIVE.

Hooray!

So, the storm, the lining up for three hours in the cold for the test, all took her out of her comfort zone. But she was happy with the results.

Quote of the Day: 3rd Wednesday of December 2021

The wind is blowing something fierce over the Mendocino Headlands. Self simply cannot believe it, but she has been seeing cars drive slowly down Main Street, all day long. She dare not confess to anyone that she finds the howling wind extremely disconcerting.

Self is on Part One of Ship of Ghosts, “On Asia Station.” Admiral Albert Harold Rooks, Captain of the USS Houston, writes his wife Edith from his station on Cavite, the Philippines:

  • “Well, September is almost gone . . . Day after tomorrow it will be one month since I took over the Houston, and two months since I left you in Honolulu. That makes two twenty-sixths of the time, or 1/13 gone. When you say it that way, it doesn’t sound so interminable, does it?”

Travel Words’ Life in Colour Challenge: December Kaleidoscope

Self is REALLY feeling the season. Christmas is lovely. Halloween used to be her favorite holiday, but ever since the kids dwindled in her neighborhood, it is no longer fun.

Christmas is still fun, though.

Last Sunday, she bought a ticket to see the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden’s annual Festival of Lights. And there were so many things to see! Like this gorgeous snake/dragon/whatever. She went on Sunday, which was just before a massive storm arrived. Great timing, what?

She’s posting this for Travel Words’ Life in Colour Challenge:

Six Word Saturday: Philo, Last Night Before the Storm

A big one’s coming in tonight. Good thing self did her excursion to Philo last night, when the skies were still clear.

Thank you to Travel with Intent for hosting the Six Word Saturday Challenge.

The Last Act of These Men’s Lives

Still on Birdie’s section. It has been a hard, unrelenting slog: nothing but ice, and trying to keep going, and the sunless dark, for sixteen days straight. What’s amazing is how Beryl Bainbridge recreates it all. The human spirit is simply unfathomable, the way it just keeps going. All gratitude to Bainbridge for writing such a brutal, honest, and unflinching narrative!

  • We rose at three the next morning, into moonlight misty with fog. It’s at Cape Evans that the barrier, that great wall of ice which extends 400 miles south and east, meets the land, and we could just make out the tumultuous shapes of the pressure fields jostling the smudged edge of the frozen sea. On Bill’s reckoning it was four miles to the cliffs, and he wanted to get there by midday so as to have the benefit of the twilight hour. Blubber for the stove was now a more urgent priority than Emperor eggs; we were a quarter of the way through the fifth of those six precious tins of oil the Owner had so begrudged our taking.

So yes, dear blog readers, it looks like this is going to be a dreadful slog through to the bitter end, we are going to have to struggle along with these men until they take their last breaths. Self did not much care for Robert Falcon Scott’s section, but Birdie’s, now! There’s a point of view to get lost in.

The horror is unrelenting: they come across a colony of Emperor penguins and start slaughtering like mad! For the penguins’ blubber. And those penguins are too stupid to try and evade the knife. They just stand there, waiting. The men save five eggs to take back to camp, and drop two on the way. God, this is super-depressing. If they ever make a movie about this expedition, self will not watch it.

What makes an author absolutely want to push the reader’s face in it, self wonders. Is it the feeling of being almost god-like, manipulating the reader’s emotions at will? Does she want to show that a woman is just as capable of imagining horror as a man? Ugh, will Bainbridge just HURRY UP AND GET IT OVER WITH.

The last part of Birdie’s section is dreams, dreams, dreams. Snow keeps falling on them, ugh ugh ugh. Self describes it all for dear blog readers so that they can decide for themselves if the beauty of Bainbridge’s prose is worth suffering through such pointless dying. It’s like Joyce Carol Oates, only historical.

The last section is Oates’s. Of course we have to see every inch of his gangrenous foot.

Today’s weather was vastly different from yesterday’s. Yesterday was glorious! Today was cold. Thank goodness self discovered the chocolate shop next to Dick’s Place (bar). What does chocolate have to do with anything? She got three truffles this afternoon and they were really yum, and the weather seemed far less cold after.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Water, Water Everywhere (WWE) Challenge: Avila Beach, June 2021

It is cold today in Mendocino.

For the WWE Challenge, hosted by Jez, self picked an image from this past summer. California was slowly opening up after more than a year of lockdown. Self drove to the central coast for a change of scene.

Long ago, son was a student at Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo, so self headed there and spent a blissful few days visiting old haunts.

Headlands Coffeehouse, Fort Bragg

Well, hellooooo, old friend. There’s another coffeeshop just around the corner from Mendocino Hotel, but as she was headed there, a car pulled up and a woman stuck her head out and said, “Do you know any place that you can get breakfast in, around here?” Self told her, “Lansing Street” and she said, “We’ve just been, and all they have is outdoor seating, and it’s too cold!” So self said, “Fort Bragg,” and then self decided that she would head to Fort Bragg, herself.

Whoa, the drive there. This is what she remembers: IMPATIENT TRUCKS. And it was spitting rain. She passed the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, and Nit’s Café, and the Depot, but everything seemed closed. Then she made a right on Laurel and saw: YAY! People going in and out of Headlands Coffeehouse! She found a parking spot and went in and ordered a cappucino.

Not 10 minutes later, she heard someone saying, “Oh, hi!” and she looked up. It was the same woman who had spoken to her in Mendocino! And she said, “We just followed you here!” The woman and her husband had driven up from Santa Rosa and were staying at Little River Inn. For some reason, the woman thought self was a local, but self told her she was just visiting. “I used to teach at Mendocino Art Center,” though, self said. The woman asked if self was an artist, and rather than get into it, self said yes.

Anyhoo, that is not the real point of this post. The real point is: as she sat in Headlands, sipping her cappucino, she got to a part of The Birthday Boys (p. 138) that made her say: Holy Cow, I am so glad I persevered through all the earlier chapters. Because it’s Lt. Bowers’s chapter (Birdie) and here’s where the real suffering unfolds.

It’s all very well for Robert Falcon Scott to lament his sad fate (being beaten to the South Pole by Amundsen), but he is not the one hauling ass. He is not the one getting frostbite. It is Birdie and Dr. Wilson and the young whippersnapper Cherry-Garard who have to trek the frozen, sunless wasteland, to perform an experiment on DIET that Robert Falcon Scott ordered them to execute. This Robert Falcon Scott was definitely crazes, while the three men have spent six nights in a howling desert of ice.

Finally, the three debate whether or not to continue.

Birdie (p. 139):

“I happen to believe we can stick it.” I was speaking no more than the truth, having always found that willpower overcomes all adversities. One just has to believe that it’s within one’s spiritual domain to conquer difficulties. That is not to say that I don’t recognise there has to be a time to submit, possibly a time to die, merely that I’ve never yet been taken to the brink.

Bill (Wilson) cheered up after this and waxed on about the penguins. I must say they lead terrible lives, in that their undoubted maternal instinct leads more to infanticide than nurturing.

Self ordered squash soup for take-out, so she could enjoy it in the privacy of her room. Holy Smokes, the car was filled with such a delicious smell, she literally floored it from Fort Bragg to Mendocino, she just couldn’t wait to have this soup!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Petty Officer Edgar (Taff) Evans, June 1910

There’s a trick to holding attention, to keeping interest at full pitch, and I learnt it as a boy from Idris Williams, the preacher in the chapel at the bottom of Glamorgan Street. It’s a matter of knowing which way the wind blows and of trimming sails accordingly. All the same, I’ve never found it necessary to alter my description of the cold, or of the ice flowers that bloomed in winter along the edges of the sea.

The Birthday Boys, p. 8

Skywatch Friday 1

The rules are simple: Every Friday, post a picture of SKY.

Here’s mine:

Taken

« Older entries

Bloganuary

The blogging challenge keep you motivated and start the new year on the "write" track!

Photos by Jez

Taking the camera for a walk!!!

Cath's Camera

life through my lens

The life of B

Mainly through the lens of a Nikon

myguiltypleasures

welcome to my past, present and future mixed with whatever pops up right now

Iain Kelly

Fiction Writing

John's Space .....

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust & Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

InMyDirection

fiction, short story, writing, creative content

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

lita doolan productions

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum