Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Pictures from London (2009)

On a visit to London in autumn 2009 it was wonderful to
revisit some of the places I had been so many years earlier
when on my travels.

Even though it was autumn in London, the streets seemed vibrant
with colour and the flowers in Hyde Park were magnificent.  Hyde Park
is beautiful with the Serpentine Lake and on this visit I enjoyed walking
through the park and admiring he autumn colours of the leaves. 

coloured baskets of flowers were hanging from balconies and I had also
noticed this in Los Angeles.  This was noticeable as I made my way
to the British Museum.  It was so wonderful to visit these places and
hope to return.
  At the British Museum are wonderful exhibits of Egyptian
jewellery and artifacts which are also quite fascinating to view. 

By the Embankment/Temple area of London by the Thames is the place
where John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster had his great palace of the Savoy,
with terraced gardens going down to the river and pennants flying high so
all could see from a distance the Savoy Palace.  It is fascinating to wander
around this area where there is also a medieval church from tudor times.
Looking down the Thames River from a bridge can be seen all of the
wonderful splendour and architecture of London.  Domes, spires, cathedrals.
Even on an overcast day of autumn the magnificence seems to tell its own story.

I wrote this poem earlier in the year:


Through these splendoured Halls of Fame
Whence the courtiers and kings came
In the whirls of worlds before
In the in-between shadows
and times forestalled;-
Of life and love
and a reign supreme-
As time turned around
from before
the in-betwixt time
the kings and queens also did shine:

Time is an open book, they say:-
Never to stop,
Not look back
and which, in its path
all life must brook
As the jackdaws at a tower do stalk;

Bells chiming merrily
beside the Thames-
And good wishes from all her friends-

Beautiful London,
green and treasured,
magnificent city
Palaces and shrines;

Old London Town,
which could tell
A thousand stories
many glories;

As Henry VIII and his six wives
moved on,
at a relentless pace,
From a time, the Pilgrimage of Grace;
Reformation, new ideas, - queens
The tower for two, divorce for two,
Survival for one, loss of another one.

And now at the Abbey did she shine:-
Kate looking happy,
“The Most Happy” -
Anne Boleyn's motto
From a not so distant past:-

Westminster Abbey,
beautiful, serene,
a resting place
of kings and queens,
and poet's corner;
A Magnificent Setting,
A Perfect Wedding Theme:-

And now today
the accolades and cheers
A Duchess of Cambridge
at the Stairs:

A magnificent history of Time-
And from whence now,
The King James Bible doth shine:-
400 years, this year,
an anniversary,
and now time revolves again,
A Thousand years of history
And the Wedding Bells did chime
A beautiful, London Wedding fine:

The silver line of
Old Father Thames-
beautiful, picturesque postcard
Atop the bridge,
Tower Green,
the saddest place on earth,
tells its own story;
From along the banks of the riverside-
A feast of sights,
of old churches, domes, beside
Stand out prominently
beneath the gaze
of a traveller who looks in wonderment
at this maze:-

Old London Town comes alive
with its cobbled streets,
horses and carts,
akin to the time of Shakespeare;
and later,
of the Globe and theatres
of the time of Nell Gwynn:-
Herein also lies a story,
Of the magnificent restoration of Charles II
to the throne.

London with its stories
old and new
will never cease to amaze:-
And we can all lift our hearts
to praise:

Mighty London
and strength of kings,
Therein lies a secret
of a Destiny:

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Kaleidoscope of Dreams


Rothenburg ob der Tauber: Romantic Road, Germany from wikipedia:

Old Town of Dubrovnik from wikipedia:

Renaissance splendour in Venice at Ca Rezzonico:

A wonderful travel evening of European travel
was held at the Gold Coast Arts Centre last week.
This was an enjoyable event to attend.
Refreshments were served and there was a great deal of
interest in the European evening with many in attendance.

Wonderful slide shows and presentations were given
of the various options available for touring in Europe.

The beautiful, wonderful scenery of the Romantic Road
of Germany with images of the magnificent towns and
castles found along the Rhine Valley.

In so many places
it is as though travelling in time for the unique aspect of the
medieval architecture of the towns and cobblestone lanes and

The markets of France, the spectacular scenery of travelling
by train in Switzerland, the different and unique advantages
of travelling on a river cruise boat were some of the insights
Travelling on a river gives a different perspective as many
of the old towns and villages are accessible which may not always
be seen when travelling by coach or car. The rivers were also the mode of
transport for the trade of goods from the earliest times.

Russia and Eastern Europe have opened up more for travel since the fall of
the USSR and these places also offer wonderful attractions.
Beautiful medieval architecture and magnificent little villages and towns.
Krakow in Poland, once the old capital of Poland and home of the kings
has beautiful architecture and is a popular destination.
Warsaw is also a city of beauty. I remember admiring the beautiful colours
and architecture of the city and the rolling green fields of the countryside.
Warsaw was rebuilt after the war to the specifications of its appearance
before the war. A city
of unique splendour.

Romania with its folk-lore and images still of horses and carts. I recall seeing
a procession of a brightly coloured wagon and horses and gypsy travellers
once travelling in the rural areas of Romania. I once visited a folk lore
museum in the city of Bucharest, which unfortunately was heavily bombed
during the second world war.

Dubrovnik, the city of marble, was also shown. A picturesque walled town on the
coast with crystal clear sea for swimming.
The Dalmatian Coast and Italy were the first holiday destinations and the
Dalmatian Coast was also
popular with royalty in the earlier years.
Pictures of Montenegro were also shown which looks pristine and beautiful.

Magnificent Russia and its unique and beautiful cathedrals and architecture
is a splendour. Gold domes of churches and monasteries bring magic and opulence
to splendid views and the bell towers and cathedral of St Sergiyev
is a wonder.
Set in a quiet and peaceful setting of gardens and trees
the cathedral is a centre of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Peterhof Palace with its fountains of beauty, statues and gardens
on the Baltic Sea is a place of beauty.
The Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg with its
collection of paintings and beauty is wonderful. This is a magnificent palace
of the Tsars, formerly the Winter Palace.
St Petersburg is a beautiful city, built by Peter the Great in 1703
with European concepts of architecture and design. He had spent time
in Western Europe and some of the designs would have been inspired by
the architecture of France, England, and the Netherlands.

Many of the palaces in Russia were renovated.
The Amber Room of Katherine's Palace was also described. It was also replaced
after the war.

For art, architecture and beauty European travel does seem to have much to offer.
Also the colours, the magical wind-mills, the tulips in the spring time and the reflections
of beauty cast on the rivers by the magnificent castles and palaces, to see Paris in the fall when the colours of the leaves are changing on the trees, it is all a splendour of magnificence.
Well recommended.

So, a feast of places to think about for future travel!

What can I say but a kaleidoscope of dreams!

Last Christmas I booked to go on a trip to Mont St Michel in France, Giverny
(to view the gardens of Claude Monet), Chartres, Normandy towns and villages
and chateaux of the Loire Valley of France and also to Venice for travel in April of
this year.
Beautiful Venice with its magnificent palaces glimmering in reflections
on the waters of the Grand Canal and the lively colours of fishing villages on the islands
of Murano, (famous for glass blowing) and Burano. These are places
which I still hope to visit though unfortunately did not get away this year.

St Michael's Mount in Marazion, Cornwall, England is spectacular, a marvellous castle overlooking
the beautiful sea where can be seen windsurfers and the yachts of sails. I thought
at the time that this was a magnificent setting. There is a causeway to walk across
when the tide is out. I expect that the famous Abbey of Mont St. Michel is similar
also set in a dramatic setting of sea, landscape and sky. Wonderful!

Campfire Poetry

Poetry in Paradise celebrated a wonderful
evening with poetry under the moon and stars in the
wilderness area and mountains of Mudgeeraba
on the Gold Coast.
An enjoyable evening was had by all with some
wonderful renditions of poetry. Bush poetry is
often a favourite of the group of Poetry in Paradise.

Lovely damper cakes (similar to rock cakes with raisins) had been freshly baked by Dawn and
the evening was quite enjoyable.

Banjo may put on a similar camp fire poetry evening
next year, depending on the level of interest of the group.
There was a very good turn out with wonderful friendly folk.
Poetry by night was very nice
and the evening was cool and clear.

For further information Joan Small also has a link regarding the
Campfire Poetry Evening: a fascinating time:

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Golden Book of Venice

The Golden Book of Venice: a Historical
Romance of the Sixteenth Century
by Francese
Litchfield Turnball

What a splendour this book is,
an absolute gem!

I loved this inspirational story set in Venice
of a historical romance set in sixteenth century
Venice, the times of the magnificence
and pageantry of the Doges.

A scholastic work of art, a prose piece of beauty.

This book is available for download by Project Gutenberg
and details the quarrel of Rome and the Republic of Venice.

Fascinating characters from the nobility to the peasantry, of
gondoliers, artists, fisher-folk and ecclesiastics reflect Venetian society
as it was during these times. The clothing and fashions, including
the decorative attire of gondoliers of the noble houses give colour and also
a sense of the opulence and the exotic in this novel of such wonderful
descriptions which evokes the Venetian world in all of its majesty
of the sixteenth century.
Tradition, pageantry, governance, precedence,
family history and pride feature prominently as do also the
the magnificent lions of St Mark's Square, signifying justice
above all and with the motto of Venice decorated in allegory form
“Strong, just, I put the furies
beneath me and the sea beneath my foot.”
The beauty of Venice forms a
special compelling backdrop to the story and the struggle of
Church and State is highlighted as a main theme of the story.

A son of the nobility, whose name appears in the “libro d'oro”
(the Golden Book of Venice) marries a daughter of the people whose
father lives on the island of Murano, famous for its magnificent
designs and glass works.
The spiritual element of the settings
and inspirational aspect of the story is not lost and
the story gives solace for its beauty.

Descriptions of Venice and the times are authentic. The descriptive
quality of the writing is beautiful. Almost as
a play well rehearsed and ready for the stage.
The story is magical.
An older style book with wonderful turns of phrase and beauty.
Well recommended!