Friday 26 April 2013

Pic of the Week . . . New York

This will be my last post for a week or two.  Why is that?  I'm off on holiday - yippee!!!

I'm cruising - a transatlantic cruise from Southampton UK to New York!  We'll then be spending a few days out there and then flying back to the UK.  I can't wait!  I've never been to New York - never been to America - and it's been on the top of my list of places to visit for ages.  I'm still in a state of disbelif that I'm actually going.  I can't wait!

So for this week's pic of the week, I've gone for an amazing picture of New york.  It's an old photo with the twin towers but the colours, I'm sure you'll agree, are stunning.

Beware New Yorkers.  I'm almost on my way :) 

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Writing Exercise: Stumbling Into Book Scenes...

It's been a while since I posted one of these, but here's a writing exercise that our writers' group done the other night.

The exercise was to pick a book - any book - and imagine that for some unknown reason you wake up and find yourself in the middle of a scene.  See how long it takes for you to guess which book I chose :)

Exercise: Stumbling into book scenes  


As soon as my vision came back all I could see was red.  Had I really hit my head that hard?

As my eyes began to come round I started to make out shapes in the redness, shadows, objects...a hand.  And as other colour began to bleed in around me, my hand remained its rosy shade.  I twiddled my fingers.  They felt fine and moved with ease, but why were they red?  Looking up, I stared at the scene that unfolded before me, like a coloured fog lifting from the ground.

I was in a garden.  The grass was green and lush, the sky crystal blue, and hedges surrounded me on all sides, all crisp and trimmed to form blocks that opened up for paths to lead off beyond them.  It reminded me of a maze.

A tree grew beside where I stood, a small tree just a little taller than I was, and I noticed the roses that grew on it, fully bloomed and beautiful against their leaves.  The fact that some were red and some were white didn't strike me as odd.  What struck me was why I was here.  One minute I had been painting my bathroom, slipping from the stool, falling and feeling my head make contact with the sink - and the next I was standing in this summer garden.  Where was I?

It could have been a dream, I thought, but the warmth from the sun and the feel of the cool breeze felt so real - and those roses!  Their smell!  That was real too.

"Who's been painting my roses red?"

The voice boomed from behind the hedges, deep and angry yet somewhat feminine.  I thrashed round to look across the way but no one was there.

"Who's been painting my roses red?"

Gasping I looked down at my hand again.  It was still red only it wasn't a fog.  It was paint.  Red paint.  I looked at the red roses on the tree.  They were dripping, bleeding their redness on the leaves about them and revealing patches of white petal beneath.

Was it me?  Had I been painting those roses red?

It dawned on me then.  This sounded familiar.  Where had I seen this before?  Where had I read it?  It involved a little girl; a little girl with blonde hair and a blue dress; a little girl named Alice and a cheshire cat and a...

"Who's been painting my roses red!"

A large form in a boulbous dress burst forth from a path, her face red with anger, and her wide eyes glared around the garden before falling on me and my hand.

The Queen of Hearts stared daggers at me.

I shook my head, unbelieving of the whole scene that was playing out before me.  Was I really in Alice in Wonderland?  No, I thought.  I couldn't be.  Must be a dream, but then the Queen raised her hand and stretched a fat stubby finger in my direction.  The fear I felt was very real.

"Off with her head!"

Before I could argue my defence, before I could plead my innocence, guards rushed towards me from behind her and seized me.  The grip I felt on my arms was just as real.  Too real.  I couldn't control the scream that emerged from my throat as they swept me off my feet and dragged me deep into the maze with the full intention of carrying out what they had been ordered to do.

They were going to cut off my head.

And as they dragged me closer to the guillotine, one question sprang to my mind.

Where was Alice?

Friday 19 April 2013

Pic of the Week . . . Jonas Jakobsson

It's that time of week again.

In connection with my last post, I thought for this week's Pic of the Week I'd go along the line of trees (I feel like a bit of a tree

Introducing artist Jonas Jakobsson, or otherwise known as Yonaz on DeviantArt, and his piece 'TreeLife'.  I loved this piece.  I love the breathtaking beauty of the tree and the landscape, followed by the soft tones that give it an air of mysticism and fantasy.  Be sure to check out his gallery.  He has some magnificent work.

So until next week, enjoy and have a grand weekend :)

Thursday 18 April 2013

Pontfadog Oak

Random blog post inspired by a news article read during lunch:

Last night the UK was battered by high winds - we still are today - and unfortunately it managed to destroy an oak tree in Pontfadog near Wrexham, North Wales.  It's said that their recent spell of heavy snow didn't help matters, and these heavy gusts last night were obviously the last straw for this tree and it sadly toppled over.

But this tree wasn't just any old tree.  With a girth over 42ft wide, it was apparently the oldest in Britain and has reportedly been there since the year 802, making this tree over 1200 years old.

If leaves could talk.  Imagine the history this tree has seen.  It's said that under this exact tree was where Welsh Prince Owain Gwyness rallied his troops in the 12th century before marching into England and defeating Henry II. Just think of the amount of other battles it's survived and the reigns it's seen.  During the War of the Roses, it stood tall and proud.  Henry VIII, it was there. Elizabeth I and the Spanish Armada....It survived World War I & II.  It's seen so many things, and if it could, imagine the tales this tree could tell.

And what should defeat this tree after all this time?  A gust of wind.

It's an end of an era.  Thought I'd share.