Posted in Books / Reading

Where Harold Fry was – and there were dolphins.

A few years ago, I discovered the debut book by Rachel Joyce: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. What a wonderful gem! One can’t help but admire Harold Fry. Rachel Joyce is an excellent writer. I have read all her books since that first one.

She’s even messaged me personally on Instagram. So that’s pretty cool! 🙂

I love how she writes. I can often just sat with a paragraph and took in the scenery. It’s amazing how descriptive she could be with just a few words.

The story of Harold Fry is so delightful and moving. Essentially he walks across England – from Kingsbridge (Devon) all the way up to Berwick Upon Tweed.

He believes that with his walking he can save his friend, Queenie. As he walks, with each step, the author begins to unpack his thoughts and his life that led him to that point.

No spoilers here, I promise.

The ending of the book is interesting. Not much fuss, no fanfare. In a weird way, quite nondescript. But that adds to the story on a whole. Read the book, and you will see what I mean.

So at the end, when Harold gets to Berwick-Upon-Tweed and sees his friend, Queenie… after a moment together – he heads out and goes and sits on a bench looking out at the sea.

I imagined what that scene would have been like. I imagined what bench it would be. Isn’t imagination a great thing? 🙂

So on my recent road trip with my dad, I insisted we go through Berwick-Upon-Tweed and “find a bench” – the one that fitted with my imagination. This is what I found:

As the book ended in a “quiet” way, so was my visit there on that bench looking at the sea. I even tried to share my reason for being there with a pasing couple. (But they didn’t seemed to interested.) However, they did point out the dolpins swimming in the bay.

That was a treat! It was as if this little nondescript moment I was having on the bench came with a blessing: seeing dolphins!

If you have not discovered or read any Rachel Joyce books – Order your first book, now.

Posted in Music

Number 10 in my Hard Rock Cafe Collection

What do you collect?

We go through seasons with our collections. I collect Lego Mini Figures (I have sort of stopped that now.) I also collect postcards from certain places I visit. And over the last few years, I have been collecting Hard Rock Cafe guitar pins!

So on Friday 11th September 2020, I retrieved my 10th guitar badge. 🙂

Some things about this collection: My friend, Darren inspired this collection. He started me off with the San Diego badge (I think) which was from his earlier travels on a crusie ship.

I missed an opportunity to get one from Buenos Aires in 2017. We even walked passed the HRC. But we did not stop or go in – the visit to Argentina, wasn’t that sort of visit…

But I have this rule with this collection. I need to either have a drink or a meal at the etsablishment. I can’t just walk into the store and by a pin…

I need to actually BE THERE. Take in the surroundings. Read and see the different music memorabilia mounted on the walls.

The last badge I got was in Cape Town in 2018. Then prior to that, the last one was way back in 2011.

I have got guitars from: London, Manchester, Rome, Prague, Cape Town, Edinburgh, Warsaw, Berlin, Amsterdam and Johannesburg.

So that’s my story about Hard Rock Cafe.

Posted in Books / Reading

My journey to Hogwarts

I have already watched all the films. But by many recommendations of avid readers and Harry Potter fans, I was persuaded to read all the books.

It started like this. A few years ago, for Christmas 2015, Catherine bought me the Philosopher’s Stone (Book #1) in an A4 brilliantly illustrated version.

I was hooked.

The graphics were so well done. Different to the imagery of the movies. So it was good to get fresh input. After that first book, I decided I didn’t want to just acquire the books in a usual way. I could have just ordered the set… but that seemed too easy.

I wanted to get them from second-hand stores or I want to get them as hand-me-downs. Buying them new seemed so cliché and wasteful…

Book #2, I got from a second-hand bookstore in Doonside, South Africa. For only R20.

It’s possible, I got the Prisoner of Azkaban from there too. But I’m thinking of one of my favourite second-hand book store in Gordon’s Bay, South Africa. (Bikini Beach Books). Definitely worth a visit if you ever visit Cape Town.

See, it looks cool, right!?

A few years go by, many books later… I met a lady in my current church: St Mary’s Bletchley. She too is (was) an avid reader and a massive HP fan.

With age, her eyesight isn’t that good for reading.. So now she listens to audio books.

The other day, 16 August 2020, she gave me book #4 to book #7. So my Hogwarts journey has resumed after a few years.

The Goblet of Fire
Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life, People, Travel & Explore

There’s something about London

There is something about London,
I never get tired of it.

It’s a Friday afternoon,
And I enter the city,
My windscreen, a cinema screen to a busy world:

I notice the sensory overload
But I am strangely calm
Because it’s the wonder and excitement that accompany me
These streets, this city is soooo busy
So full of life.

I notice the famous London buses
I see the delivery bikes whizzing through the hundreds of cars
I notice cyclists riding by in bike lanes or just on the side of the road
I see the pedestrians walking to and fro.
I notice some people sitting at the pub enjoying a pint and each other’s company (After all, the weekend has arrived)
I see a man sitting by himself by a (chain) coffee shop, having a smoke – accompanied by his latte.
I spot a resident peering out from his first floor apartment.
Runners, jog by as the traffic crawls
Those push scooters, seem popular and some folks scoot by…
I observe some venders on the pavements, with pop up stalls.
I drive by all sorts of shops and businesses:
Some shoddy looking ones.
Some classy ones.
London is an array of people
Locals and tourists.
People, trying to get by.
People, thriving.
Ordinary life.
And for some, an extraordinary one.
Some see the city with gloom in their souls,
Others see it with light in their eyes.
How do you see it?

There is just something about London,
This hive of activity
These millions of lives.
I am humbled.
I am marvelled.
I am thrilled.
I am a small fish in a very large ocean.

This picture doesn’t do justice (it was taken on a moody weathered Saturday):

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(However here (above) is a ‘sample’ of a London street.)
This one is in fact, not too busy…


Another random blog.
Have a good week!

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life, Travel & Explore

I found this list…

My friend who blogs HERE shared this list with me:

https://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2016-05-31/the-most-beautiful-small-towns-in-the-uk?verso=true

Weymouth, Ballintoy, Bakewell, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Rye, Crail, Burford, Bowness-on-Windermere, Portmeirion, Whitby, Mousehole, Lavenham, Blakeney, Tobermory, Upper and Lower Slaughter

(Imagine a place called Slaughter??!!)

The list of towns welcomed a challenge that grew in me. Let’s try and visit these towns on this list. In time…

I was surprised that I had only visited one of the 15 previously:

Bakewell. Here is a picture of my dad and I doing a road trip back in the day (2010) trying the famous Bakewell Tart:

I think I have been through some part of Windermere in The Lakes District… but not 100% sure…

Next on the list is Berwick-Upon-Tweed. My dad and I will get to through next month: Sept 2020.

BUT TODAY, I got to visit Burford. Here are some pics of that quaint little village in the Cotswolds:

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Thanks for visiting, yet another random blog of mine:

“OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO.” – DR. SEUSS

“I HAVEN’T BEEN EVERYWHERE, BUT IT’S ON MY LIST.”- SUSAN SONTAG

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

A picture paints a thousand words

20200730_175502

What does this picture say to you? What is the story it tells you?

I captured it the other day. And I like how it summarised a lot of who I am:

I like to read (book), I am a believer (the second book: my life with the saints), I like a good drink (the gin in a whiskey glass, oops!), I like music (guitar), I live solo (the general feel of the pic), I like a good story. (The series Unorthodox, on the TV – I really enjoyed that.) The candle reminds me of slowing down.

So yep, this pic says a lot for / to me.

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

Who Stole October?

This is Part III of Part II which followed Part I.

Where did October go?
If it’s not July for you?
And now the tenth month is gone too?
What on earth are we going to do?

Perhaps its all part of the greater theme
Of 2020
A year flipped on it’s head
They suggested the year of 2020 vision
But half of their eyes are now squared from their television

So day by day,
We take it.
Well done, dear October lady
For taking a step to recovery

You took down October 2019
And now you can here in with two feet
In July 2020.
Each day, is a gift.

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life, People, Poetry and Prose

A place over me

a country over me

the room seems bigger and small
as her words come out like daggers thrown in confusion
“you seem to be choosing a country over me”
And I sigh again
Yet another argument, that goes in circles

“One gets tired of having to translate their soul all the time”
Ironically, that was a post on her wall
A few weeks after we signed the papers
and I thought how fitting
Our demise in the perfect phrase

a country and a person
where never the options of
a multiple choice question
they were never supposed be considered that way

back up, to a beginning
when you met me, you met me
full of goals and dreams
and likewise – I to you…
My goal was to get back to the UK.
Because I loved that place.

It was there, the first time that so many things opened up for me
And I often battled to get the words out
You heard the “sinful” or “worldly” sides
and got stuck there, like a song on endless repeat

My God, My God, how I found You in a refreshing way
across the waters
Beyond borders
Knowing as the Psalmist said, the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it

As I walked these streets of this new place.
There is a freedom, I can’t put in words
The woods, the fields, the sheep, the seasons
A wonderful picturesque beauty

The opportunities here
the way things work
A postcard that arrives
A these wonderful old and quirky and fascinating cities inviting me in
I never knew she would arrest my soul.

But oh God, He knew
Wanderlust walked in to my life and she changed everything
Made me realise how small I am
and how the world is so wonderful!

And how I can start a sentence with And
or I can start a line with a CapitAL
How life doesn’t have to be so linear
and that I am restless.
and that’s not a problem to solve
But a friend to journey with.

So i feel at home here.
I feel like the me I am supposed to be.
Yes, full of questions.
Still restless
Still learning a new society
And so thankful that God made me, me.

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life, Poetry and Prose

Saturday

The hour decided not to race by
Some days know just what you need
Life is happening in many ways
Some are busy
Some have slowed down

The man next door…
“Hello there new neighbour”
… hacks down the overgrown grass
With a weed eater
The whiny noise not disturbing
The serenity of my sofa

I sit in house in a country where the weather seems to be
Continually arguing with itself
As if it were bipolar
Eventually the rain seems to have the last say

The pitter patter
Matches my mood
I don’t often sit on thiis sofa
Now I am here with Britt Marie
She’s in Borg

Isn’t that amazing
I can be in one world
Holding another in my lap
I devour the hundred and forty five pages
Because I want to know what happens

Books remind you that life is full of beautiful and hopefully and lovely things
Dare we forget?

The coffee cup stares at me
Wondering if it has been forgotten
It’s just difficult to peel my hands away from this spine
And grab the handle

I sip,
I pause.
I get up doing the dishes,
Because according to Britt Marie,
Cleaning does help solve things.

Perhaps that true.
I grabbed the hoover and do some vacuuming too
Ordinary moments.
Life is beautiful.
Today is Saturday.

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life, People

The October lady

I guess this piece is the Part II of THIS

So it’s a week later,
And I stand at the threshold
Holding the box of supplies
The smell of cigarettes lingers in the foyer of the council flat

The calendar greets me again
Still displaying October
But it’s only July?

I decide to bring up the topic
With our brief few seconds of exchange
So I ask about the calendar?

For a brief moment, you stare at me as if I have asked something very personal?
You shrug
Words battle to come out
Like the confidence to speak to another human being, has longed moved out

When did life get sapped out of you?
What is your story?
How is life so difficult for some people?
I place the box on the floor of your entrance way

And I walk out.
Wondering how why it takes so much effort to change a calendar?
Why it takes so much effort for people to even live?