#writephoto – Waiting

It’s another #writephoto challenge from Sue Vincent, and this week our prompt is this evocative photo of sunset over the ocean. There seemed to be something melancholy about the image – perhaps it’s the combination of the obelisk and the setting sun. This is the poem that came to me:

Waiting

I wait upon the lonely shore

I wait for boats that come no more

Where water meets stone

Where earth meets sky

I watch the long years passing by

 

No one remembers when I came

They do not even know my name

Yet still I wait

Yet still I stare

In hope that I might see you there

 

As darkness ends another day

And golden shimmers slide away

I cry out loud

To an uncaring sea

‘Come back to me, come back to me.’


If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

Wednesday Wander – Parc Guell, Barcelona

It’s Wednesday, and time to wander again. This week I’m heading to Barcelona, Spain, and to Antoni Gaudi’s magnificent Parc Guell.

High on a hilltop overlooking the city, the park is accessed via a series of escalators and steps up a narrow and very steep street. There may have been some complaining from certain family members on our way up the hill, but when we got there it was certainly worth it!

Built between 1900 and 1914, the park was the brainchild of Count Eusebi Guell, who wanted to create a luxury housing estate on the site, and worked with Gaudi on the design. However, only two houses were ever built, one of which Gaudi and his family ended up living in for twenty years – it is now a museum.

Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, the park is full of Gaudi’s signature design style, from undulating dragon-spine rooftops to stylised stalactites and sculpted pillars. The park is laid out across several levels, and can be walked in a circular fashion up to the topmost point (marked by a stone cross) before heading downhill once more.

I’m a huge fan of Gaudi’s design style, so a visit to the park was high on my list of things to do when we visited Barcelona. And I was definitely not disappointed. Although it was a bit crowded at times, the views, the design, the wonderful shapes and whimsy of Gaudi’s unique vision were all there to be seen and enjoyed. There is a freshness and modernity to his work which makes it hard to believe it’s over a century old.

Thank you for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time!


If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

Beltaine Fire and Butterfly Dreams

Today is May Day, or Beltaine in the old calendar, the first day of summer and the festival that falls halfway between the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice.

The garden is green and humming, the blossom almost gone, the promise of Summer’s warmth just over the horizon. Last night I dreamed of a purple butterfly landing on my face, flapping delicate wings as it clung to my cheek. Apparently, to dream of such things is a sign of change, and for the butterfly to land on me signifies that the change will be positive. And to dream of such a thing on May Day Eve? I don’t know, but it seems to add another layer of significance. Or perhaps it was just a dream…

Today the sun aligns with stones, tonight fires will burn on the hillsides, if only in memory, the old customs not yet forgotten. And perhaps I will dream once more…

Note: Ali Isaac, mistress of Irish mythology, has written several posts about the myth and magic behind this festival – click here and here to read more.


If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

Thursday Doors – Hippies on the Canal

As you may be aware from some of my earlier posts, in January I started a new job. I’m very lucky in that it’s close enough to walk to if I choose, and I can walk most of the way along a stretch of the Grand Union Canal, the longest canal in England.

It’s a lovely walk, and one replete with photo opportunities. From golden green vistas

To blossom caught on the water’s surface at an old lock gate

And unique touches on some of the canal boats, like this wonderful knotted mermaid.

It’s also home to some interesting little doors, like this one I photographed earlier in the week. I’ve seen the owner of this boat before on my walks, a friendly fellow with a dog, always ready to say good morning. From the sign I’d say he might have a sense of humour, too.

This is my entry to the Thursday Doors Challenge, courtesy of Norm 2.0. For more doors, or to add one of your own, visit Norm’s site and click the link.

And if you like my photos, follow me on Instagram!


If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

Wednesday Wander – Aquae Sulis, Bath

Aquae Sulis, or the waters of the Goddess, is the old name for the Roman town of Bath. Named for the natural hot springs, it was a sacred place before the Romans came, dedicated to the Goddess Sulis. The Romans identified Sulis with their own goddess, Minerva and, stuck in a cold country far from home, were thrilled to find a place where they could bathe in the warm waters they were accustomed to, and so built a magnificent bath and temple complex around the springs.

After the Romans left the complex fell into decay, the temple torn down by Christians. The baths remained, though the ground level rose, hiding much of the original Roman remains from view. However, in the 18th century, the baths were excavated and restored to their original ground level. A new complex of buildings, including the famous Pump Room, rose around the ancient ruins, as Bath became a fashionable place to ‘take the waters.’

The whole city is now designated a World Heritage Site, and the Baths themselves are a Unesco Memory Of The World. While the Roman baths are no longer open for bathing, you can still experience in the mineral rich waters in a new bathing centre close to the original baths, which includes a rooftop pool where you can watch the sun rise (or set) over the ancient town.

We visited the Roman Baths on a glorious sunny day, the golden stone and green water glowing in the bright light. The statues around the top of the baths complex are more modern additions, sculpted in the 19th century, but work very well, I think. Inside the complex there is a fascinating museum, where you can see artifacts from the Roman past, including the original temple steps, still in situ. The old Roman drains are there too, coated with minerals from the water which still flows through.

And then there is the main bath itself, still a tranquil space after so many years. Apparently bathing here was mixed, the Romans not subscribing to our more modern levels of prudery. The excellent Bill Bryson is one of the commentors on the audio guide and speculates as to what might have gone on in the alcoves and among the pillars, so close to a place of worship. Pleasures of the flesh and of the spirit were not kept separate in those days.

Although a sign warned us not to, I did dip my fingers in the water. (To be fair, I didn’t see the sign till afterwards – apparently the water is untreated and so considered not safe). And what was it like? It was soft against my fingers, and felt luke warm rather than hot, with a slightly sulphuric odour. We did get to drink some of the water as well, a tap offering a treated version at the end of our tour. Again, it was warm, and tasted of sulphur and metal – I suppose it was good for me!

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Baths, as it’s been on my list of places to visit for a very long time. I hope you enjoyed coming on this Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time!


If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

A Thousand Rooms #DBA

What a great way to start the week! A wonderful review of A Thousand Rooms, courtesy of Kev at KC Books and Music. Thanks so much, Kev!

KC BOOKS & MUSIC

Book Review

A Thousand Rooms

You don’t wake up expecting to die.

Katie is thirty-two, single, and works in advertising. She’s also dead. A lost soul hitching rides with the dying, trying to find her way to… wherever she’s supposed to be.

And whoever she’s supposed to be with.

Heaven, it seems, has a thousand rooms. What will it take to find hers?

Review: Wow! I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I picked up this work. Shamefully, I hadn’t even bothered to read the synopsis first which is so out of character for me. Why? I couldn’t tell you. What I can tell you however, is A Thousand Rooms far exceeded any first impressions I may or may not have had regardless of my aforementioned neglect.

This is one of those rare books I simply couldn’t put down. I was immediately captivated from the first sentence, and became…

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The Annual Bloggers Bash – Nominations are open!

The Annual Bloggers Bash, brainchild of Sacha Black, is less than two months away! Ably assisted by Ali Isaac, Geoff LePard and Hugh Roberts, Sacha has arranged another fantastic event in the heart of London – I’ll be attending, can’t wait! I went to the first and second Bashes, where I met some wonderful bloggers, as well as being amazed at how much the event grew in the space of a year.

Suzie from Suzie Speaks and me at last year’s event

Apart from getting to mingle with loads of lovely bloggers, there are also awards given out on the day. Categories include: Funniest Blogger, Hidden Gem, Most Informative… you get the idea. And, Sacha has just announced that nominations are now open for this year’s Bash – all you need to do is visit Sacha’s site and fill in the form. You can also get tickets and find out more about the day, so if you haven’t checked it out, head on over and take a look (and if there’s a blog you’d like to nominate for anything *cough* you know, you can nominate it there).

Throwback to everyone meeting at the very first Bash 🙂

Happy weekend, everyone 🙂


If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.