Flower of the Day: Nasturtium

Dropped by the Gamble Garden today, and saw nasturtium in a raised bed. Did you know the leaves are edible?

Posting for Cee Neuner’s Flower of the Day.

Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) # 48: Honoring Fallen Heroes & Sheroes

Self is so happy she is able to participate in the PPAC Challenge this week! The theme is Honoring Fallen Heroes & Sheroes.

She is currently in Oxford, UK. The last trip she took before the pandemic was also to Oxford, to listen to a reading by Oxford’s first ever female professor of poetry, Alice Oswald, Nov. 2019. She was in the company of friends Jenny Lewis and Joan McGavin. It so happened she was here on Armistice Day, Nov. 11.

She attended a service at Christchurch. No tourists, but she told the guard she was NOT a tourist, she was here to attend the service. So he let her through.

The service was very moving. The names of all the men of Christchurch who died in World War I were read aloud. Later, she saw a wall on the side of the chapel, with all the names inscribed in stone, a single wreath leaning against the memorial.

How very, very restrained.

Ragtag Daily Prompt, Saturday: PILLOW

The RDP Prompt for today is PILLOW.

Self thinks these clouds look pretty pillow-y, don’t you?

Evening sky over Oxford, UK:

The Madeleine Arms, Iffley Road, Oxford

A lot of self’s posts from Oxford have tended to focus on food! That’s because some of the best pubs around are here. Specifically, just off Iffley Road.

Here’s a popular place on Iffley Road. Self had the most delicious steamed cod on a bed of lentils. She was here last week with the poet Jenny Lewis and that time she tried the monkfish. Also delicious!

Posting for Travel with Intent’s Six Word Saturday:

Cellpic Sunday: Jenny

I took this picture yesterday evening. Poet Jenny Lewis is an old friend; we met in Hawthornden Writers Retreat back in 2012. Last night, Jenny and I had dinner in Chiang Mai on High Street, then walked around a very quiet section of Oxford, around old courtyards bursting with spring flowers. It was 8 p.m., the light was otherworldly. Jenny knew her way; we walked down one twisted lane after another, me following. I hung back to take a quick picture.

Posting for Journeys with Johnbo’s Cellpic Sunday.

Six Word Saturday: Contemporary Ceramics, Great Russell Street, London

This is self’s post for Debbie Smyth’s Six Word Saturday challenge.

Self started going to London regularly in 2015. She visited every year and stayed at The Penn Club on Bedford Place, in Bloomsbury. The Penn Club became her home away from home, a place where she formed fast friendships. In 2020, the pandemic killed it. Most of its patrons were elderly. She hopes they didn’t get covid, but she suspects many of them did. After a hundred years in Bloomsbury, The Penn Club closed its doors, permanently.

Now, self is back in London. She couldn’t imagine staying anywhere else but in Bloomsbury. Another of her favorites, a French restaurant on Hanway Place, had closed. She spent days walking up and down Great Russell Street, dropping by the British Museum, seeing their special exhibits (Right now the special exhibit’s about Stonehenge), dropping by the London Review Bookshop.

An architectural firm used to be next door to the bookshop, but the large windows through which self had peeked many and many a time to watch people industriously working at giant drafting boards were boarded up. She was so relieved to see the Contemporary Ceramics gallery on Great Russell Street was still there! She wandered in. Several other people were there — most young. Wonder of wonders, they were buying!

Self wanted to buy a piece, too. But she is traveling, and her bag is already quite heavy. In fact, the airline slapped a HEAVY BAG sticker on it, when she checked in at Belfast on her flight to Heathrow. But if people are buying fine ceramics, the gallery will make it.

The ceramic artist whose works are on exhibit is Ruth King. Her works stay up until May 21. Here’s a quote from the flyer the gallery gave out:

  • Ruth’s sculptural forms and vessels are fashioned from soft sheets of clay cut and assembled to wrap and define a space. The surface is then enriched by the passage of salt vapours in the firing reacting to each twist and turn of the form adding colour, texture and articulation.

Not Your Usual Quest


In the center of the room stood a stone table, and on the stone table lay a worn red velvet pillow, and on the pillow lay a golden key, with three teeth.

Next to it was a yellowed slip of paper on which was neatly written:


The Magician King, p. 102

How can this be happening? We’re only a third of the way in!

This is hilarious! Like a Monty Python script!

Flower of the Day: Deciduous Magnolias

From the beautiful garden at River Mill, County Down, Northern Ireland:

Posting for Cee Neuner’s Flower of the Day.

Weekend Sky: River Mill, Northern Ireland

Take a look at other skies on Hammad Rais’s blog.

Marie Colvin: We Are Bellingcat, p. 22

If tabloid manipulation represented the ugliest side of reporting, Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times stood for its nobler motives. In early 2012, she was among the few foreign journalists to risk a trip to Homs, a Syrian city under bombardment from the Assad regime. An experienced war correspondent of fifty-six, she was renowned for courage and her distinctive eye patch, worn because of a wound in another war zone. “It’s a complete and utter lie that they’re going after terrorists,” she told CNN via satellite link-up. “The Syrian Army is simply shelling a city of cold, starving civilians.” The following day, Assad forces attacked a makeshift media centre, killing Colvin herself. Some believe that the live TV linkups hours before allowed them to obtain GPS coordinates of her location.

After Colvin’s death, even fewer Western journalists dared to enter Syria. In their absence, the war grew crueller.

I thank the journalists who are reporting right now from a war-torn Ukraine. If not for them, ‘I Stand With Ukraine’ would not have turned into such a worldwide phenomenon. We would not have SEEN the courage of Ukrainians and Zelensky.

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