The Weekend Roundup Photo Challenge: Letter “T”

Self is new to this Photo Challenge.

She thinks her post has to do three things:

(1) Show something starting with a “T.” See below: Trellis

Gamble House, Palo Alto

(2) Show a favorite that starts with a “T”: Christmas TREE.

(3) Show a Top of a Tree: Monterey Pines grow in Fowey, Cornwall, who would have thought??? The story goes that Fowey Hall used to belong to an old sea captain who traveled to California and brought Monterey pine seeds back with him.

New Book: DARK, SALT, CLEAR

Finished A Promised Land. Self never thought she would say this about a Presidential memoir, but it was a lot of fun to read. For example, Sarah Palin’s energy policy summarized in one quote: “Drill, baby, drill!”

44 displays some mighty clear-eyed thinking about bin Laden and the decision he made to authorize the Navy Seal mission. He had choices: he could have ordered a drone strike. But with a drone strike, they could never be absolutely sure they had gotten their man. The identification of bin Laden, to 44’s thinking, was paramount. And he was right.

Yesterday, self began reading Dark, Salt, Clear, Lamorna Ash’s memoir of her year spent living in a small fishing village in Cornwall. Self has been itching to read this book since forever. She, too, has taken that same rail journey from Paddington. Unlike Ms. Ash, she did not continue all the way to Penzance, she got off at Par. The not-quite-a-week self spent in Cornwall, in May 2019, was her homage to Daphne du Maurier after reading Tatiana de Rosnay’s marvelous Manderley Forever.

The prologue to Dark, Salt, Clear describes a life drawing class in which the male model “did not curve his body self-consciously across some chaise lounge but looked at us head on, legs apart, arms outstretched as if to say: Here I Am!

  • His body bore the marks of a life lived hard — his arms strong and sinewy, his face cross-hatched by wrinkles, his back and biceps scribbled all over with dark blue tattoos.

He was a Cornish fisherman.

Below, the harbor at Fowey, Cornwall, May 2019.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 90: DISTANCE

This week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is DISTANCE.

These days, everyone’s talking about and hopefully practicing “Social Distancing”. Since it’s something we should all be doing, we thought a challenge focused on DISTANCE might be an appropriate reminder of its importance.

Self visited New Mexico over the holidays. The place still fascinates.

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Cranes in a field near Albuquerque, New Mexico: Late December 2019

Self loves London’s bridges. She loves the view, she loves the bustling river traffic.

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London, November 2019

Finally, self was fascinated by Cornwall, which she visited for the first time last May, to attend the Fowey Festival of the Arts (Traditionally held in May, the festival’s been postponed to late September),

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Sailboat near Fowey, Cornwall: May 2019

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: CONNECT

The Challenge:

What the world needs now… No, I’m not breaking out into a Hal David and Burt Bacharach pop tune! During this time of social distance, it is more important than ever that we connect with one another. I thought the theme of Connect might make a lot of sense. So, your challenge is to capture anything that either connects or with which you feel connected. 

Self deliberately searched for pictures that show connection despite absence of people,  as a way to honor Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “shelter in place” order for California, her home state.

We will get through this!

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A London Bridge

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This copy of David Copperfield was read over 60 nights in a cave during Captain Scott’s expedition to the Antarctic: On exhibit in the Charles Dickens Museum, London

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Fowey Hall, Cornwall, May 2019

Stay tuned.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 77: 2019 FAVORITES

Great theme!

In 2019, self traveled the world. Her life triangulated between home in Redwood City, California, to England and Ireland, to the Philippines. Side trip to Prague with her niece, Irene!

Here goes, all the images that mattered most to self in 2019, arranged from most recent — December 2019 — to the earliest, January 2019: Starting with her home in Redwood City in early December; to London’s Blackfriar station; to Manggapuri Villa in Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental, Philippines; to Prague; to Oxford University’s Exam School for Alice Oswald’s first reading as Oxford’s first woman Poet in Residence; to Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park; to the Main House of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig; to the fire pit in Manggapuri Villas; to the Daku Balay in Bacolod City, the Philippines; to self’s bedroom; to the Blue Room in Café Paradiso in Cork, Ireland; to Fowey in Cornwall; to Courthouse Square, Redwood City; to the cover of last winter’s issue of Prairie Schooner, which included her story Things She Can Take

Stay tuned.

2019: Grateful For

Patricia Westerford’s Father Explains Trees: The Overstory, p. 118

Her father explains how the trick is done. “Think about it! They’ve figured out how to live trapped in place, with no other protection, whipped by winds at thirty below zero.”

These magnificent Monterey pines were planted by the original owner of Fowey Hall, in Cornwall. Self encountered them for the first time in May 2019.

She had always thought Monterey pines were found in only two places in the world: California, and Kilkenny Park in Northern Ireland (She contributed a piece about Northern Ireland’s Monterey Pine for a book on Trees of Kilkenny, edited by poet Csilla Toldy and published last year)

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Breaking Down Self’s 2019 Reading List

Most of Self’s favorite reads so far 2019 were novels (six out of 10).

Three of her favorite reads of 2019 were memoirs written by doctors.

One of her favorite reads of 2019 was a book about the environment.

Five of her six favorite novels were written by women.

This year she attended the Fowey Festival of the Arts (in honor of Daphne du Maurier) and during the festival, she bought a copy of Jane Austen‘s Northanger Abbey from Bookends of Fowey. She loved loved loved it.

None of the books she read in January and April ended up making much of an impression.

One of her six favorite novels has been optioned for the movies by Lawrence Kasdan.

One of her six favorite novels won a prize.

One of her six favorite novels is a finalist for a Kirkus Prize.

Her 2019 Goodreads Reading Challenge was to read 34 books.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: TREES

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is TREES.

This is self’s second photo challenge post today. She spent a long time poring over her photo archive and came up, finally, with these three:

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Early Morning Fog, Mendocino, April 2018

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Cal Shakes Grove, Orinda, CA, September 2018

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Monterey Pines in Fowey, Cornwall, England, May 2019

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Gulls and Humans: LANDFILL, pp. 17 – 18

This is a gorgeous book. Stunning. A learning to see.

Self heard about it at last year’s Cambridge Literary Festival (which featured a number of panels on the environment)

pp. 17 – 18:

In my lifetime gulls have come toward us. Most other birds have gone in the opposite direction, but the gulls have bucked the trend. In part we made them do so; in part the birds elected to fly that way. And they continue to tell something of how the once-wild can share our present world. Calling them seagulls is wrong — that was one of the first things I learned as a novice bird-boy. They are as much inland among us as they are far out over the waves. Yet, in fact, this state of life for them is far from new. Over the past hundred years, human modernity has brought gulls ashore.

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This gull took off from the balcony of self’s room in Fowey Hall.

Stay tuned, dear blog reader. Stay tuned.

 

 

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