Silent Sunday: Samoa

Typical Samoan Dwelling

Silent Sunday because the people are all in church – the Samoans are great church goers and they love hymn singing.

This is a typical Samoan dwelling, open to the elements and to the curious gaze of passers-by. They like people looking in and stopping to gaze at their possessions. In some houses you will see maybe 6 or 7 mattresses piled one atop the other, a sign of wealth, but wealth does not much matter here – or it didn’t when I visited many years ago – as the villages live as real communities and help each other, sharing food and resources as needed. If a storm is approaching they cover the openings with large banana leaves and suchlike .

Sculpture Saturday: New Orleans

Statue to famous philanthropist

New Orleans Philanthropist Malcolm Woldenberg in conversation with young boy

Once lined with crumbling warehouses Woldenberg Park (opened in 1984 for the World Fair) is now a pleasant walkway along the Mississippi offering scenic views of the river. It’s a great place for people watching as it attracts tourists and locals alike and a steady stream of street musicians. The Promenade gets its name from philanthropist Malcolm Woldenberg whose life-size bronze is one of many sculptures dotting the riverfront.

One Word Sunday – Arches

Posted in connection with Debbie’s One Word Sunday – Arches

Arches are hard to avoid anywhere with ancient Roman or Greek architecture but I managed to find a ‘natural’ arch to supplement the two historic ones from Sicily/

Cave of the Nymphaen at Syracuse, Sicily
Arch in the rocks off the coast of Lipari, Aeolian Islands
Greek Theatre, Taormina, Sicily

If I had to choose a favourite it would be the Greek Theatre one, through which one can see a snow-covered Etna during the winter or on a still, calm, day, perhaps smoke erupting from the still-active volcano, at all times a perfect background to the play being enacted.

Posted in connection with Debbie’s One Word Sunday – Arches

Sculpture Saturday: Scott of the Antarctic in Cardiff

Mosaic sculpture Antarctic 100 erected in Waterfront Park, Cardiff, to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the polar expedition which left from Cardiff in 1910 led by Captain Scott. The sculpture is by Jonathan Williams and it was erected in 2003. 

It is perhaps fitting that this sculpture stands in front of the Nordic Church which once tended to the needs of the Norwegian sailors who sailed into and out of Cardiff Bay.

It was difficult to get a good picture of this sculpture because it had been surrounded by metal gates as a security measure and there was no way to get into the compound.

Captain Robert Scott’s trip to the South Pole which claimed his life and that of four more explorers left from Cardiff 110 years ago. His ship, the Terra Nova, sailed from the city’s docks laden with 100 tonnes of coal, 300 tonnes of fuel made from coal dust mixed with bitumen, as well as pots and plans from the Llanelli tin works.

His ship was cheered on by thousands when it set sail from the Welsh capital on the afternoon of 15 June, 1910. Three years later, thousands joined Scott’s widow Lady Kathleen and young son Peter to welcome her back.

Caption Captain Scott

In March 1912, Scott and his companions died just 11 miles from a supply depot having made it to the South Pole in January of that year only to find that Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had beaten them to it. Edgar Evans and Captain Titus Oates had earlier lost their lives.


I must apologise to the bloggers who follow me and those I follow: my computer has been out of action now for nearly two weeks, during which time I had no option but to delete all the emails that poured in daily. I find it impossible to work on a phone (I gave up on the IPad last trip when it insisted on me signing in every time I opened it up) not just because my eyesight is bad, but because I find it such an inconvenience, enough to take all pleasure away from reading and writing.

Image by Юрий Коврижных from Pixabay 

It all started when my WiFi went down and after hours trying to get online and waiting for more hours on the ‘phone (COVID is a great excuse for companies these days not to answer the phones) I was informed by my server, BT, that it was the router that was at fault but that they would send me a new – and better – one immediately. I believed them, fool that I am.

Three days later I tried phoning them without success. After nearly 3 hours I decided that life was too short to hand around like this and that I would just await the router’s arrival in a state of reasonable calmness. A week later I got a ‘phone call from a charming young man at BT who was querying what sort of SIM card I had ordered. Moi? SIM card? Sorry, Madam, it must have been a mix-up. So I explained at length what had happened, he promised to get a router off to me asap but, as the weekend was upon us it wouldn’t now be sent until Monday.

Photo by Brett Sayles on

It arrived late on Tuesday. After unpacking it from its box I nearly lost hope and called for an engineer but I had come so far so decided to just get on with it and install it myself. I managed it, WiFi on, computer up-and-running again, me unbearably smug at my technical prowess, but then … no TV. I had done something wrong. I re-read all the instructions, then decided to give it up and read a book instead.

Yesterday dawned fair and I started the next stage late afternoon as I had appointments in the morning. I managed to get the TV working again but although I could get all the paying channels and Catch-UP, I couldn’t get live TV. I should mention that at the same time I was disengaging my You View box for return to BT as I’m giving this up. After a telephone consultation with my tech-savvy friend, he decided I had detached the aerial from the You View Box – which I had – and after I’d put all the wires back in their right places, by 10 pm last night I had a fully functioning WiFi, Computer and TV.

It’s still working today.

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay 

As I said above, I had to just delete everyone’s blogs as they came through but I’ll have a quick shuftie at recent postings and catch up eventually but I won’t add any comments. For anyone wondering why I haven’t been commenting, you now know why.

One surprisingly good outcome is that without any prompting from me, BT has offered a substantial credit which should take care of my bill for the next two months. I’m quite mollified now.

I look forward to re-joining the blogosphere at the weekend. Right now I have to attend to the emails!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


Sculpture Saturday: in Cesena

Sculpture Saturday is hosted by Mind Over Memory

This unusual pairing of bronzes is Gli Equilibristi by sculptor Leonardo Lucchi. I took the photograph with a cheap throwaway instant camera in Cesena, Emilio Romagno in Italy, two years ago but unfortunately, my notes did not survive the trip (not a good one from the point of view of losing stuff).

Gli Equilibristi de Leonardo Lucchi

I stood before this amazing balancing figure with the corresponding male figure at the foot of the stairs for a long time, returning a few days later to try and get a better picture. I could never find a time when there were no bikes or cars or wheelbarrows parked in the space under the stairs and my efforts at removing them were not professional enough so I’ve left them in.

The sculptor lives and has his studio in Cesena, a town I an keen to return to as I only had a few hours there over two days and I wasn’t able to explore enough. Lucchi’s work is so energetic, his figures depict strong movement and I just have to see some more. If you’d like to see some more of his work, check out his website below:

Art Studio

A YouTube which shows some more

Silent Sunday: New Orleans, St. James’s Cemetery

It doesn’t get much more silent that this!

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

It was featured in the classic 1969 film, Easy Rider, and one of the over 700 tombs there has been reserved by actor Nicholas Cage as his final resting place. Founded in 1789 the cemetery houses over 100,000 deceased, including the grave of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau.

It was the first cemetery in New Orleans designed for above ground burial and it is claimed that it was modelled after Paris’s famous Père-Lachaise cemetery but as Père-Lachaise wasn’t used as a cemetery until 1804, that seems a bit fanciful. Also there is a significant difference in that in the Paris cemetery the bodies are usually placed in vaults in the floors of the tombs but in New Orleans the bodies are placed inside the walls of the tombs. Because of the subtropical climate, the tomb then effectively becomes an oven, the intensity of the heat causes the body to decompose in a process similar to a slow cremation and within a year only the bones are left.

This allows the tombs in New Orleans cemeteries to be used again and again. Depending on the family’s needs, after about a year the bones of the departed are swept into an opening in the floor of the tomb, now ready for its next occupant or occupants, as it is common practice to bury all the members of a family in the same tomb.