The Japanese art of Haiku poetry goes back to the 9th and 12th centuries. At my writing class this week, we practised our own attempts at Haiku, by using sets of images to inspire us. Most of the images were of flowers, greenery, exotic animals (such as cute baby elephants) and of water; lakes, ponds and oceans.
This is my attempt at Haiku from a photo I took of my local beach.
I have just recently discovered Susanna Kearsley’s books, but I’m becoming a fan. Her style is historical fiction, mystery and a touch of romance, a combination I love. 🙂 The Shadowy horses was published in 1997 so I’ll have to troll my local book stores for more of her works. This one is a goodie.
The Shadowy Horses Susanna Kearsley
Verity Grey is an archaeologist working at the British Museum in London. When she is offered a position at Rosehill in the Scottish Borderlands from an ex boyfriend, she is initially sceptical. Then she finds out that the job means looking for the remains of the legendary Ninth Roman Legion, said to have marched there to do battle with the Scots.
Her boss, the ‘mad’ Peter Quinnell, has spent his life searching for the Legion, and is going on the hunch of a local lad Robbie, who has second sight and claims to have ‘seen’ the Sentinel, a ghostly figure who is guarding the bodies of his long-dead comrades.At first sceptical of the site, she soon becomes embroiled in the search, and finds the wild landscape and atmospheric setting overwhelming to her senses. Soon, she hears the past, at the house and at the dig. Who are the Shadowy Horses that roam in the dead of night? What do they want from her?
So, we have a solid character in Verity, and an eccentric professor-like character of Quinnell, a handsome colleague, David Fortune, and a boy with psychic powers.There is a mix of history, ghostly mystery and romance; a winning combination.
It promised so much, and it delivered. Would recommend it 4/5
I have decided to run a quote day every week until Christmas. Tuesday is one of those neither here nor there days (too far away from last weekend, not near enough to next weekend), so it makes an ideal quote day. So, Christmas is 13 weeks away (yes, really), so I have 13 quotes to share with you…:)
A good first choice, Franklin was known as The First American for his fearless campaigns for colonial unity. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, and was an inventor, scientist, statesman, politician, leading author and a Freemason to boot.
His inventions included – bifocal glasses; the urinary catheter; and the Franklin stove. He was also a leading figure in the discovery of electricity (see image).Wikipedia
A very gifted individual, who quite rightly deserves first quote day 🙂
Food plays a major part in how we live, socialize and interact with each other. For me, it is one of the main pleasures in life, and when I think about getting together with family or friends, or going out and socializing, then preparing or ordering food is a must. Precious memories revolve around the comfort of food in our lives. I remember taking my children out to the park to play when they were younger, and food was always a part of the pleasure of the afternoon. From feeding the ducks, enjoying ice cream, having a picnic or eating a bag of chips on the way home, tired but happy, food has played a large role.
When we moved to Australia, we were so excited to be introduced to new cuisines. There is a large Asian influence on the Gold Coast, so we enjoyed trying out the Thai, Chinese and Japanese restaurants in our new neighborhood. Suddenly our cultural cuisine had escalated. I remember my son Liam (who was 9 years old at the time) coming home from school and telling us that he’d had sushi at school, a food that I’d barely heard of then, but now enjoy. To this day one of my favorite foods is sushi, and my daughter agrees. We always plump for the tuna dishes with lots of soy sauce!
One weekend in the month, Jessica and I have a baking weekend. We spend most of the day in the kitchen, and bake goodies such as pasties, cheesecake, and caramel slices. We don our pinnies to look the part – I have a Welsh dragon on mine, and Jessica has a frilly pink one – so cute! We look at different recipes online, and this weekend it’s going to be apple crumble and custard, and a nice savory beef pie. For St David’s Day a few weeks ago (March 1st) we made Welsh cakes which were eaten 10 mins flat.
Food is a pleasure when things are ‘right’ in the world, and a comfort when things go ‘wrong.’ A world without food would be a very desolate place indeed. It is a main part of the way we socialize, communicate and share our emotions. It has gone way beyond the notion of ‘eating to survive,’ in a physical sense, but is an integral part of our emotional existence too.
The journey continued southward, climbing over high winds and mountains to reach fields of cattle spread out either side of us. We had booked a room in advance at Wangaratta, just 2 hours north of Melbourne. After spending a comfortable night at the motel, a short drive took us to Glenrowan, the place where the outlaw Ned Kelly was finally caught. It was easy to imagine the time of Kelly (late 19th century) as the buildings had remained the same; perfectly preserved for us tourists. We parked up across the road from the Post Office and looked upward, where a giant statue of Ned stood, in full Armour, holding a rifle, with a pistol in his pocket.
Photographs duly taken and a visit to the souvenir shop (where you can get t shirts, tea towels, fridge magnets, you name it; all with a link to Kelly and his gang), a short walk took us over the railway bridge and to the site of the siege, now part of Australian history. This was where the Kelly gang hid, in the back room of Anne Jones’ pub, whilst the police had them surrounded. The pub has long since gone; burnt down on that very night, and all that remains is a grassy overgrown lot. BUT there’s a boulder to mark the entrance to the pub, plus a plaque and a map of the pub layout. With some imagination, you can easily find yourself cowering in Anne’s pub whilst the police shots rang outside….We walked towards the now infamous railway crossing, where a police post marks the spot where a pistol was found…its all quite eerie, knowing the drama that occurred at that patch of grass
Kelly survived the siege, but was caught that same day and later hanged at Melbourne Old Gaol (November 1880; he was 25 years old). Today he is regarded as a cultural icon; some say he was a Robin Hood figure, whilst others see him as a ruffian and a murderer. Either way, more is written about him than any other Australian.
On the second day of our trip down to Melbourne, we stopped off at a quaint historic village of Berrima. Established in 1831, its just a couple of hours drive from Sydney, and was an unexpected gem to find.
Its website describes it as “the best preserved example of a Georgian village on the Australian mainland,” and it does not disappoint.
We stopped the car and parked up outside a charming row of shops just off the main road. The weather was beautiful and sunny, although starting to get chillier after the Gold Coast heat. After wandering around a little while and taking in the ambiance, we decided to have lunch, and found a quaint cafe that served the best pies! The bakers were baking the pies in front of us – so how could we resist? Delicious.
Next stop, we wandered down a side path and encountered the “Lolly Swag man,” selling sweets, lollies and nick knacks.
A lovely morning spent in another time…..next stop off, Glenrowan and Ned Kelly’s last siege 🙂
I’m off to Melbourne in the morning; my son Liam and I are driving down (a journey of around 20 hours). We’ll be stopping off along the way, especially when we get past Sydney and start driving into Ned Kelly country! Love history so much…..:)
So before I go I thought I’d share my book Elen. Originally published as a much shorter version, it’s now available on Amazon with an added 12,000 words.