I have been absent from Word Press for a week now and it looks as though it will be another week before my work is finished helping dispose of the contents of the house of my friend who died recently and whose Probate has just been granted enabling the sale of the property. The executors live some 300 miles from here and they have done their best travelling up and down to dispose of what they could, seeing solicitors and hoping, always hoping, for completion of the sale.

Due to Covid ….. (you’ve heard this often enough), charity shops in my catchment area are chock-a-block with furniture, books, linens, etc. and we can only get rid of the very best of the furniture – both nothing in dark wood. Chairs, beds and mattresses can’t go because they have been recovered and don’t have the fire-retardant label attached. After 3 weeks on Free Cycle we only managed to dispose of one bed and headboard. Now what is left has to go to the tip. Seeing lovely old furniture being thrown away like this sits heavily on me but there’s nothing we can do. AND, removal of same is costing in the region of £400!

So, think about what you have lurking in corners that you could maybe find a useful home for and dispose of it NOW if you can. It has certainly shown me that it’s time I got rid of a few more items. The days when you called in a house clearance firm have long gone and unless you live in an area where you can leave stuff on the pavement for anyone to take away, you may be leaving problems for your executors.

Meantime, I am having to ignore/delete all emails as I just cannot make time to read them, but I hope to be back within a week. See you then.



Pond or Ponder

This week for one word Sunday, Debbie at Travel with Intent has chosen “Pond or Ponder”. My take on this is below.

I think its one for each girlfriend!
Pond with reflections Kykr National Park, Croatia
The six passengers onboard cargo ship The Author, ponder what awaits us in Venezuela as we pass the favelas on our approach to the Port of Caracas.

Lens Artists Challenge # 155 – On the Water

I’ve been tempted to submit to this challenge after looking at Ann-Christine’s lovely photos, not that I think mine come up to her standard, but it has pushed me to look through my own folio and see what I could come up with. Too many, it turns out, but here are a few of my favourites, mostly here because they remind me of some long gone precious days.

Elephants need water for washing and, if possible, a mahout to do the work with a scrubbing brush, which they love. Here is one I took in northern Thailand at a time when elephants were still used in farming.

He’s just had a good scrub down and now it’s off to the corral for rest.

While with the animals here’s one from Cambodia where the water buffaloes were enjoying the water.

Next we move on to canals and to the very first summit level canal built in Great Britain. Built in N. Ireland in 1742, it is the Newry Canal which pre-dated the more famous Bridgewater Canal by nearly thirty years and it was built to link the Tyrone coalfields (via Lough Neagh and the River Bann) to the Irish Sea at Carlingford Lough near Newry.

Newry canal flows through the town past what were once mills and lumber yards

And still with canals, my favourite canal trip of all time, the 6-day journey on board a historic ship along the Gota canal, from Gothenburg to Stockholm across one river, eight lakes and two seas. The ships have scarcely been altered since they were first used to take immigrants from Stockholm to the departure port for America and few concessions are made to tourists, i.e. no en-suite rooms, communal showers only and, it must be said, rather cramped quarters (so luggage must be kept to a minimum). Yet what a magical journey that was, across a black lake and a dark sea with stops along the way to visit historic sites. I went in midsummer, almost permanent daylight and that had its own magic, eating cherries and wild strawberries and drinking hot chocolate at 3.00 am on deck as the beautiful Swedish landscape glided by.

The William Tham negotiates a lock.

Just a few more watery memories and then I’m done:

Rivers, Oceans, Lakes and Marshes.

Saturday Sulpture:

Outside the Caen-Normandie Museum of WWll in Caen, France.

That joyful moment in 1945.

Based on a photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt which appeared in an issue of Life magazine in 1945, this sculpture has been much criticised by women’s rights groups since it was erected at the city-owned Mémorial de Caen. The French group, Osez le Féminisme, said at the time “we cannot accept that the Mémorial de Caen holds up a sexual assault as a symbol of peace,” but the city-owned Memorial de Caen refused to take it down. They based their objection on the fact that the sailor had been observed kissing ‘all he met, young and old’.

There are many copies of this sculpture (by Seward Johnson) in other parts of the world.