Northbound Journeying

Our journey up here was interesting to say the least. Our darling boy came on the longest trip he had ever been on in the car. He hated almost every minute of it and was very distressed crying and whining. He did not understand that it would be alright when we arrived. He wanted cuddles and reassurance it with his Mama in the front and him in the back it wasn’t possible. At nighttime he didn’t like the traffic noise of the lights of the vehicles behind us. It was a long Journey anyway it made all the longer by stress and tiredness. 

As we reached the border we were met with a beautiful red and orange sky, following the contours of the hills and mountains with silhouettes of the trees and occasional building or cottage.

Higher than our current landscape set way above our heads the colours did not reach all the way to the road ahead of us. 

It’s ethereal light creating another world somewhere above ours where all was at peace. Our own route now being cast into the darkness as we travelled onwards, but yet we were bathed in this warm orange glow. It warmed the soul sending shivers down my spine. “Look at that Sky!” he said to me. I am, I answered my voice almost hoarse with emotion tied up in a truly beautiful experience. Taking us away from the situation we have been in and leading us hopefully towards the next step. The orange sky like a molten sea coming down through the hills that night pooling into lakes with pine trees all around as we reached the border and our welcome to Scotland. The smile spreading across my face, heading home at last. 

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My Blogging Birthday.

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I read an article the other day on Linked in which inspired me to write one of my own on the subject of blogging. Later last night I read another linked here from a blog I follow A Thousand Bits of Paper  who tells of her draft folder and subject matter and how she dives in and out of there. I think that we all do it. Save some for later post it when it seems right, or not at all. I have on several occasions written thought I had finished a draft and then not felt quite right about publishing. Waiting for the right time to do so and having to edit it so much because the timing is out. But since I have the opportunity to elaborate here on my own blog about my own writing I feel inclined to.

As I head towards a whole year as a blogger, it feels kind of strange to be writing this. Firstly that something I had thought at first might not take off or might be short lived would become quite a big part of my life. When I thought that a little bit of writing here and there would turn into something that would consume so many of my waking hours and that my thoughts, however random they might be would be down on paper and/or the blog and I would be letting it all out in the open.

At first my partner was apprehensive about it. Having life as we know it out there for all to see and that is why you do not see his name here when I write. It’s easier that way. I wanted to keep him separate and protect him in some small way.  

Blogging has changed my life, I hope for the better. I have an outlet for thoughts and creativity which means I no longer carry them around bursting at the seams, an emotional wreck full of baggage clogging up my life, which is how I felt previously.

True, I haven’t done a great deal of go getting or living in the past year and have often felt constrained but not in the same ways as before. So it has helped me grow as a person, my writing has improved I think and I have connected with some wonderful people and writers along the way. I have found them to be both informative and supportive and thankfully right when I needed it, totally non-judgmental. I had been so fragile previously I don’t know if they sensed this in my writing, or just that I have been so extremely lucky. Either way, I am truly grateful for them and the experience of writing. I will continue with this blog it wasn’t a five minute wonder for me. More like the start of something wonderful and your comments have spurred me on. I have written a book and got it out there on Amazon at least. It’s a little acorn at the moment, but I felt that I would continue with my poems and there might be enough for a second one, who knows maybe even a third on the same vein. I am testing my writing language. I may decide to write that raunchy book too, since they also seem to be all the rage and at least it will get that little lot out of my head and I think that there might also be a novel hiding in there somewhere.

I still have a fight going on with my partner from time to time about my writing.  After all, He has demands upon my time more so while I have not had a job. I need to work but since I haven’t been able to this has kept me sane and given me the outlet to keep working towards something however small it might be. I also need space for my own thoughts, to release them without judgement. We don’t always agree and I don’t want to argue. We don’t often unless it’s something important or I feel really strongly about, but we talk about everything. I mean everything and sometimes I just crave some peace and quiet and it feels like overload. If I can’t get out on my own then I go and write. It helps to have some of your own space to do this uninterrupted. I make sure that I write most days even if it is just a diary entry just before I sleep. The pages on my phone have become my silent notebook if I need to write in the early hours or the morning and not all of it gets published here.

I used to carry notebooks around when I was working. I still have many of them and will go back to that since the batteries on the phone are always running low and it still needs to work as a phone I have been thinking of getting an electronic notebook though it might save me time when I’m going to work again. I like to get things put on the laptop and backed up since losing my hard drive a couple of years ago. I found it devastating. I don’t like to lose things.

I have recommended and encouraged others to venture into the world of blogging, to begin their own journey and see where it takes them for me  so far it has been such a wonderfully rewarding experience.

Today I received a notification that I had received 1337 likes to my blog.  A strange number to celebrate, but hey I’m glad that people out there in the big wide world are still liking what I write. I also now have 160 followers, so to all of you. I Thank You, I am grateful for you all making it worthwhile.

 

Dali v Gaudi

I do feel the need to explain. For those die hard art fans out there, it is simply my own opinion and fighting my own inner thoughts why I had no desire to go and see Salvador Dali’s work whilst I was in Barcelona. You see, I have never felt entirely comfortable with what little of his work that I have seen.  My mother said it quite succinctly “Well, he was totally mad!” and thankfully she didn’t want to go either. I know there are lots of “mad” people out there who are great artists, however I have always felt more than slightly uncomfortable with his work. Yes, he was probably a genius.  But very little of what I have seen makes me want to see more.

The same could certainly not be said for Antoni Gaudi.
Although I only recently came across his work, I have an absolute thirst to find more of it, he was brilliant in his architecture.  I don’t know what it is about it, but I am in awe of the colours, textures and patterns and the skills that were used.  It was a later arrival to my Barcelona wishlist, once I knew that I was going there and I certainly did not want to leave without visiting at least one of his projects.

Casa Batllo, on the Passieg de Gracia was the place we settled upon visiting whilst we were there.  Well it had to be once I saw the front window alone. It’s curves and frontage pleading me to venture there and see what else it would show me, I was little prepared for it and as it turned out we were in for one of the biggest surprises of our trip.  I walked around the place in absolute awe, listening to the pre-recorded tour, eyes wide from what I was seeing and was totally besotted with the house. Mr Josep Batllo was a very lucky man to live and work there and commissioned Antoni Gaudi in 1904 as architect to create a fine home for his family.  In 1906 it was completed and over 100 years later, it is a celebrated Unesco world heritage site, which is privately owned and the upkeep and restorations now financed by the admission fees.

I can quite honestly say that I have never experienced anything like it before.  My eyes were drawn to the colours, the shapes and wondering how on earth they managed to do it all.

I probably took about 300 photographs whilst I was in that building, possibly even more.  I could easily split them into monochrome and colour sections but I will not, I think there will be some stills and also a slideshow for here.  There was so much to see, a glorious assault upon the senses, which left me dizzy and eager to see what was around the next corner, or in the next room.  I adore the place and have happily dreamed of living in a building like that, if only I were lucky enough to do so.

The sitting room holds the most beautiful windows I have ever seen. Being very keen on architecture this is quite an achievement and deservedly so. The large bay windows are cavernous and have stained glass sections in multiple shades all around the top, as have the doors within this section of the house. It is simply breathtaking to see it for the first time and my photographs do not do it justice.


We walked around the house loving the design, it was a touchy feely building, your hands are drawn to the curves everywhere and the warmth created by the honeyed tones of the wooden fittings I think that this place brings a whole new meaning to the term “love handles” here are just a few of them here and they were exquisite.


The handrails of the stairs strong yet smooth where possibly millions of people have done the very same thing grabbbed the rail in eagerness to see what is next.

This is a place to reawaken your creativity. It is exciting, both in it’s form and humour. Likened to a dragon, it is a great beast of a building, fascinating and makes wonderful use of my favourite colour throughout.

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The light well is central to the building and which houses the entrances to the various apartments, the staircase and elevator is something to behold and the colour blue deepens the higher you climb, being the darkest at the roof. It occurred to me that it must hold every shade of the spectrum in that one building.

If you like ceramics or glass in any form then you will probably love this place after all, What’s not to love? 

As the tour continued upwards throughout the building, I felt that the clever architect brought a new feeling of calm as I walked through the rooms.

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The staircases, the curves in attic bedrooms of the servants quarters were welcoming and I think at the end of a long day, I would feel safe and secure being looked after within it’s walls. Everywhere we went, the light was wonderful and so cleverly used throughout. There was no dark cramped attic rooms in here, they were white and bright and yet had such softness, it must have been the curves and the clever touches throughout for storage. Not as flamboyant or colourful as the main quarters but just as lovely.

The sunny terraces were at the rear of the building and up on the roof.  I remarked upon the similarities to the enamelled ceramic colourful plaques in the rear garden and the artwork that my mother had produced years earlier in art college. She said that at the time, she had no idea as to what was possible and this had opened her eyes to it. I have quietly hankered after one day owning a particular piece of her pottery from that era. The rooftop also housed the highly decorated chimneys and the amazing roof which curled around the front of the building like a sleeping dragon its multicoloured scales at the front.

 

I think that my hardest task was to capture photographs without people walking across them. But I have to say the other visitors were very accommodating and would wait if you were poised for a shot. All these photographs I took on the iPhone I will ensure that next time I travel I will take a battery bank or two as my only complaint was that it ran out on me too early in the day. I decided to purchase a book, it was not hugely expensive and the photography was lovely. It also gave a potted history of the house which I could show my partner upon returning home.

We walked out late afternoon elated from the experience, so pleased that we had been able to see it on our last day, the sunlight on the building casting yet more glorious shadows upon its curvaceous form. I felt that if God took me now, then I would die with a smile on my face feeling as though I’d lived and grateful for the experience.

The Daily Post – Interior

Hope is Waiting

Hope sits waiting.

She is ready, willing and able.

For when you have conquered it you can go out and face it all once again.
Garaged, Off Road for when your new life awakes.
A tank full of fuel and her bodywork gleaming, like a crystal blue lake.
Bringing back your smile, as you race towards Adventure together once again.
She is patient, relaxed and all the things you are not.

You must never abandon Hope, you must allow her to pick you up and travel the journey together, experience what Life holds just around the corner, as you travel along the road in your bid for freedom.

There may be twists and turns, unexpected obstacles, but Hope will get you through.

India Blue – Hope is What it Represents

The Daily Post – Hope is Waiting