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my novel-in-progress places to visit Random thoughts

The Ultimate!

Today’s post completes the list. Number four of the ‘Top Four places I want to visit prior to death or rapture’. And as I said yesterday, this destination fills the senses.

From vistas of endless countryside, desolate and strikingly beautiful, to the scent of foreign spices filling the heat-laden air. From the intensity of the sun which presses into your skin, to the taste of pure, clean water which soothes your dry mouth and throat as it quenches your thirst. From the cacophony of the familiar ‘modern-city-noise’ to its striking contrast – the traditional calls of camel-train drivers and the (mostly) amicable religious competition: resounding cathedral bells vs. the five-daily calls to prayer from the tall Islamic minarets. And yes, this is what my imagination tells me that Israel will be like, when I eventually get there.

Of course, it may equally as likely, be completely the opposite. Speaking with a young Israeli couple during our unintentional few days extra holiday the other week, (courtesy the Queensland floods,) it’s now difficult to tell that you’re even in Israel if you’re in the south of Tel Aviv. According to them, there are now so many immigrants living there – mainly from South Africa, interestingly – that they form the large majority of the population. Plus I’d need to add in the concrete walls, the barbed-wire fences, the hundreds wearing military uniform and carrying weapons… yes, it’s probably more than likely that the Israel in my mind will need some radical updating before it reflects the land as it exists today. No matter. I just want to go.

Like the Day 1 Destination, Rome of 350AD, I’ll be doing the touristy bit and visiting the ‘Ancient’ places. Those I’ve been reading about for years in my Bible. I’d like to think I was walking where Jesus walked and seeing the places (well, the modern versions) that He saw. To experience the history with my own eyes, as it were. How incredible that would be!

Anyway, that’s the last one on my list. Four places that I want to visit. It makes me wonder what would be the four places I would NOT want to go. Which is much harder for me to answer – I doubt I’d be able to find four! So I shan’t be blogging about that over the next four days. (Hooray!)

Instead, I have been inspired by two different sources to write on a different, non-travelling topic. But I’ve written enough for this post, so if you’re interested in finding out more, stay tuned for tomorrow’s offering! Have a lovely rest-of-the-day, dear readers! Oh – and I’d love to know what YOUR favourite place to see is…

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places to visit Random thoughts

‘Where the rainforest meets the reef’

I love that slogan. It’s just so picturesque. And it’s certainly got me hooked. I want to see it for myself, which is why the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation area (apparently now all just called ‘the Daintree’, to encourage tourism) is number three on the list of four ‘places I want to visit prior to death or rapture’.

And the good bit is – unlike the Kimberley’s, which was number two on the list – it’s (apparently…) accessible by caravan! (Yesterday’s post described how enamoured I am with my caravan, if you missed it.) Although, having travelled that far, up to the Daintree from all the way down here in S.E.Qld, I’d probably want to keep on going and end up right at the northern tip of our country. Just to experience it, and be able to gloat that I’d been. But apparently, taking caravans further north than the Daintree is just foolhardy. Again – a pity. But that’s okay… I’ll get there one day! (Hopefully I have a lot of time left before my death /rapture…)

So I have the caravan, the 4WD, and the road to get all the way to the Daintree. Which means that the only thing holding me back is ‘time’. Cos I have absolutely NO idea on exactly how long it would take to drive that far. And once we got there, how long would we want to spend exploring the area? A week? Two? A month? More? And how about exploring the areas on the way up / the way back? (To date, we’ve ‘seen’ as far as Yeppoon, with the exception of when we flew into Proserpine and bussed to Airlie Beach on the way to the Whitsundays for a pre-kid holiday.)

Which brings me to my dilemma. I’d like to spend at least 3 weeks there, I’d say. Minimum. Plus a week up(-ish?) and about a similar time back. Around 6 weeks or so. Which is tricky to find when hubby only gets 4 weeks off a year. But I’ll manage something, I’m sure. Stay tuned… I’ll blog our adventures one day, I promise! But not tomorrow. No – tomorrow we head overseas again. Destination Number Four, last on my list, promises to be one to fill the senses. Intrigued? Well, have a lovely day and I’ll see you same time, same place, tomorrow!

PS Some more piccies – again, taken by others. Unfortunately.

 

CC Images courtesy:

Daintree rivers
from thiery49

Cape Tribulation, where the rainforest meets the ocean By dirk huijssoon

 

River in the Daintree
from Mozzer

Categories
places to visit Random thoughts

Travel all over the countryside…

I was one of those kids, growing up in the early eighties, addicted to the Leyland Brothers. What a brilliant show it was! What a sense of adventure it instilled in me, together with the desire to see as much of this wonderful country as I possibly can.

Here I am though, a few decades later, and still barely left Queensland except to do short trips just on the other side of the border. Fartherest south to date? Melbourne. (But that was too cold for me. I’m a sun lover, and probably always will be.)

But all that will change. I’m determined. I am recently the proud owner of a gorgeous, brand-new Montana Hastings caravan, and plan on using it as much as I possibly can to see as much of this extraordinary country as possible! It’s a pretty tiny thing, especially when the three kids are underfoot as was the case just the other week when we were stuck on the ‘island’ of 1770, unable to travel due to the 6+metres of water covering both access roads. (By the way, if you were planning on using the Baffle Creek road any time in the next four months, don’t. It’ll be out for at LEAST that long, they’re saying. The bridge will need complete replacement. Sorry about that, being the bearer of bad news an’ all.) Anyway… back to my caravan…

Yes, I LOVE it. The kids do too. And hubby doesn’t mind it either, which is pretty good seeing as he does all the organising of maintainence, all the driving (to date, anyway! I think he’s a little worried I’ll roll it…) and understands all the ins and outs of the fridge workings and the tuning in of the TV antenna. (Both extremely important, I’ve discovered!) So we’ll be getting away whenever we can, and ‘seeing’ Australia for ourselves.

Well, as much as we can, anyway. Unfortunately, there are a number of places I’d like to take it, but it’s just not going to happen. And today’s post, (which was meant to be the second of four on ‘places I want to visit prior to death or rapture’, but kinda got sidetracked onto ‘my caravan’,) is on one of those places. It’s the Kimberleys, over there in WA. A gorgeous spot, judging by all I’ve heard, but not particularly kind to caravans. Pity. I could spend ages just looking at photos taken from that region of our great land. (Could, but don’t. Too darn busy.) But just looking isn’t going to cut it for me. I want to SEE those places with my own eyes. So once the younger two are out of nappies, I’ll be planning it. Maybe I’ll still be blogging then, and take you all with me in my laptop bag?! LOL!

Til tomorrow, when we meet Destination Three…

Ceridwyn

PS Just thought I’d share some (other people’s) photos that inspire me…

CC Images courtesy:

Kimberley Ranger Forum 2010
from KimberleyLandCouncil

Bell Gorge
from Chip_2904

Hiking through the Bungle Bungles
from David Busch Aus

Palm Spring S32663
from yaruman5

Categories
my novel-in-progress places to visit

Of murders and mayhem…

The Roman Empire. 350AD. Constantine’s legacy is being fought over by his three sons. The new state religion, Christianity, is fumbling to find its feet, as civil war rages across the known world.

Ancient Rome – the setting for my forthcoming novel. Forthcoming, as in: conception has occurred, but I’ve barely reached the end of the first month of the first trimester. And considering conception occurred a few years back, it will most likely be a number of years before the ‘possibly-getting-close-to-being-published-now’ stage. And yes, I feel guilty about that. In our instant society, it seems as though to take your time over something is an indication of something being ‘wrong with you’. Which is sad, I think. (But possibly accurate in my case, anyway!) But it’s true though – how often do modern writers produce at least a novel a year – or if not, then one every few years? Actors are known for what films they have released, and how regularly they work – musicians, too. In fact, I would say that most industries are the same, as it’s a symptom of the time, not of the media. We’re an instant, output-based world now, and the days of a novelist spending years if not decades agonising over a manuscript, are long gone. Which is a pity. But still…

This post is the first of four on ‘places I want to visit prior to death or rapture’. D’Oh! Can’t visit Ancient Rome. Bumma! So I guess modern Rome will have to do. And once there, I guess I’ll just have to do the touristy thing and visit all those places where the ‘Ancient Rome’ has been preserved. Further research on my novel. I want to walk where Theophilus walked and see what he saw. Maybe not smell what he smelled, exactly, but at least be able to imagine it!

So why Ancient Rome, exactly? Well, I first fell in love with the historical novel when I spent many an hour with Brother Cadfael as a teenager. Being half-Welsh myself, I felt a connection with Ellis Peters’ creation, and developed a fascination with her ability to conjure character profiles and detailed storylines from historical figures and factual events. And Rome of 350AD? Well, I’m a Christian. And for almost a decade now, I’ve been interested in the Hebrew Roots of my faith, and the growth of the ‘Church’ in the West, particularly from the time of Constantine onwards.

So yes, that’s why Ancient Rome – or Rome, at least – makes the list of Top 4 places to visit. Tomorrow’s destination is closer to home. Well – it’s in Australia, anyway. So stay tuned, dear readers, and have a lovely rest-of-the-day!

 

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#blog12daysxmas places to visit Random thoughts

Okay, okay. We get the picture now.

I can’t recall coming across many sarcastic songs. But I think I’ve just realised, at the age of 36, that “The Twelve Days of Christmas” which I had always thought of as a beautiful love song, is one such song. Over the past twelve days, I’ve looked at each and every gift, making comment on the meaning behind the gift, and the possible intention of the giver – the so-called ‘True Love’.

Initially, I was impressed at his pragmatism. He gave gifts that showed his understanding of the real world. That relationships need practicality too. The partridge and pear tree, both edible, came before the two turtle doves – symbols of devoted love. Hens and more edible birds followed.

As the days went past, the ‘True Love’s organisational skills impressed me. Not only was he able to source some pretty interesting gifts (geese that always laid, swans known for their singing ability) but he also managed to get a LOT of them. Six geese per day, since Day 6, means (let’s see my maths skills in action again, shall we…) that today we now stand at 42 geese. Seven swans per day since day 7 means 42 of them too. That’s a lot, in my opinion. Finding them, purchasing them and organising them all to arrive on the exact day that they were needed, would have been a task-and-a-half as well, I’d say.

But then the sheer enormity of her household started making more and more of an impression. By Day 8 we were adding people. Milkmaids (with cows, I’m assuming), then ladies dancing, then leaping lords (which again would have been a difficult find!). And finally yesterday, we added musicians. Eleven bagpipers would certainly add to the cacophony.

All of which led to my change in opinion. From incredulity, to suspicion. (Okay, I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, I’ll admit it. Took me til Day 11.) With that much noise, I’m now of the opinion that his intentions may actually have been the opposite of what I had originally thought. I’m starting to think that he may not have been particularly fond of the singer – rather, he wanted to give her a mental breakdown. My proof? Circumstantial, I admit it, but still. Today’s gift is drummers. Twelve of them. All drumming. What’s the bet that they don’t just perform one song?! So by now, we have… 12 drummers, 22 bagpipers, 30 lords flirting with 27 dancing ladies and 40 milkmaids (and I’m guessing, at LEAST 40 cows), 42 swans, 42 geese, 40 pheasants, 36 blackbirds, 30 hens, 22 turtle doves, 12 partridges and 12 pear trees (well… at least they’re quiet!)

Now I don’t know about you, but that to me sounds as though he has had a bit of an agenda, and disguised it with supposed kindness. Sneaky. Underhanded. Not the nicest person you’d want to be your ‘True Love’. So all in all, I’m left feeling rather disappointed. I hadn’t expected that this process would end up as a bit of a downer. Sorry, folks.

On a happier note though, I must admit that I’m very glad I joined in this #blog12daysxmas challenge. I had expected it to be a more difficult task, blogging each day, than it was. Maybe it was easier due to holidays, or something, but now that I’ve started, I’ve decided to continue blogging. And I like the idea of using a ‘list’ on which to structure my writing. @haikugirlOz gave me the idea, actually, tweeting about Wilsons Promenade – a place I’d love to go to, but haven’t. (Yet!) So that’s my plan. Starting tomorrow, I’ll work through the Top 4 places I’d like to visit one day, and why. Stand tuned for Ancient Rome, this time tomorrow! Have a lovely rest-of-the-day, dear readers!!!