Geometry: Lens Artist’s Photo Challenge #141

If only I’d known in Year 8 that Geometry was all about beauty in shape, line, angle and space!

Thanks to Patti P.A. Moed for this week’s photo challenge. It’s been good fun – another Treasure Hunt.

I’ve always liked looking up for possible photos.

Staircases in all buildings are constructed at a 90 degree angle to a wall! Some are fancier than others.

To get boats up to the level where two old canals meet, engineers created the Falkirk Wheel. Tourists love it.

Stairs get you to the second floor to a great, elegant Tea Shop. This Brisbane Arcade is full of angles and only one mistake (mine).

The Helm of Discovery Robert Falcon’s Scott’s ship was specially designed and built in Dundee for his first Antarctic expedition (to reach the South Pole )1901- 4. The new V&A Design Museum Dundee is in the background.

Something new – These flowers show the geometric pattern called “Six around one.”

A neighbourhood find. There’s geometry in all sorts of ordinary places.

And now for an almost unbelievable story –

Walking past the TV one day, I spied three men in wigs, elegant coats, stockings and buckled, high heels struggling through a tropical jungle. And that wasn’t the half of it! I sat down and watched.

The three met up again there and began the task of taking triangulation measurements in the high mountains, in thin air, unpredictable weather, in the wrong clothes for over a year. All in all, the expedition took them eight years to complete – but they had their triangulation measurements which confirmed Newton’s theory that the earth bulged near the Equator. The other two swiftly caught a ship back to France. Condamine got on a raft, to explore a great river instead …

Local guides abandoned them. Where were they? They carried on. There were fierce arguments in French. One contracted a fever, the others left him in the night. He recovered days later and wandered around. He had no idea where in South America he was. (It was Brazil) Charles-Marie de la Condamine walked on alone, discovered rubber, as well as which particular tree bark made the right kind of quinine to cure malaria and managed to reach Quito in Equador.

The TV program I happened upon was a re-enactment of a 1735 – 1743 French Scientific expedition to determine the shape of the earth. If you’re in the UK you might be able to see this episode here

Nothing succeeds like persistence … and accuracy. Thanks to Geometry.

For more on the life and discoveries of Charles-Marie de La Condamine see https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Charles_Marie_de_La_Condamine

hhttps://www.ozy.com/true-and-stories/the-french-expedition-that-shaped-the-earth/79734/

                           All text and photos by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp Copyright © under Australian Law.

Sight-Seeing in Tassie

This week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #136 asks us to focus on any subject beginning with the letter “S’. Thanks to Patti, for this entertaining idea. It got me wondering.

You are invited to match these photos with the clues given in a virtual “Car Rally,” visiting various places in Tasmania’s West.

START Photo A. Scaled by Dame Nellie Melba

Tasmania Blackwood was shipped to UK, stair case built /carved then returned to be rebuilt.

1st Stop Answer –

Photo B. Child’s Bed

Early morning solitude

2nd Stop Answer –

Photo C. Doctor Livingstone, I presume?

Fishing port

3rd Stop Answer –

Photo D. Toot! Toot!

No 5 Engine shipped in pieces from England 1939 ( with no instructions). Now only operating Abt rack and pinion railway in the Southern Hemisphere

4th Stop Answer –

Photo E. Beam me up, Scotty … and it’s not ‘Strachan!’

Type of sunbeams called Jacob’s Ladders

5th Stop Answer –

Photo F. bLIMEY!

Great sign by the shore

6th Stop Answer –

Photo G. Scales for Sale

Squally rain … sometimes 4 seasons in one day

7th Stop Answer-

Clue H. bLIMEY!

Sailboats in a sheltered cove

8th Stop Answer

Clue J. Serene Bay

Absolutely still and calm in the shade

9th Stop Answer –

FINISH – Here’s where Meg’s photos were taken. The ‘word-play’ clues as well as the images link to these places. Start was The Empire Hotel, Queenstown. There are two shots taken at Lymington.

  • Strahan,
  • West Coast Wilderness Railway, Queenstown
  • Lymington
  • Randall’s Bay,
  • Cradle Mountain,
  • Salmon Farm, Huon
  • Stanley
  • Empire Hotel, Queenstown

All text and photos by Meg.

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp Copyright © under Australian Law

2020 Favourites

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge#129. Thanks to Tina & Co. for your commitment and inspiration this year.

Looking back, 2020 was the year I started appreciating life going on quietly around me. Nature always takes me out of myself.

The angle of the early morning sun was just right .Had to return the next morning to try and capture it with my old Fuji camera.
Visited our Gallery of Modern Art February 1st. Silenced by Cai Guo-Quang’s blue waterhole.
Learned more about butterflies in March. This is an Autumn Brown that prefers to flutter about at dusk.
Turned a corner and came across a surprise! Local kids must have spent a lot of time daydreaming as they created this artwork on the footpath behind our library. Cheered me up!
Spent a lot of time looking up in May. Always fascinated by clouds. Is that a cockatoo?
Testing my new phone. Visited Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens to learn more about “Native plants for Brisbane Gardens.” This is a glorious Grevillea.
Just a reflection of a crystal on a wall.
A new kitten explores the jungle that is our herb patch. (Thinks) They can’t see me!
So little rain in September… Rainbow Lorikeets were really thirsty and made the most of blossoms.
A Spring day at the beach with fresh, clear air blowing the ozone our way.
In a tree in the garden, orchids put on a show in November. Those blooms last for months.
Taken on the last day of the year. We’d had early morning rain. Ain’t Nature grand!

All text and photos by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is Copyright © under Australian Law.

Fresh Start

Two old chooks “Off to see the world” after watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s in the Picture House.

Happy New Year, too!

Geometry: Lens Artist’s Photo Challenge #141

If only I’d known in Year 8 that Geometry was all about beauty in shape, line, angle and space! Thanks to Patti P.A. Moed for this week’s photo challenge. It’s been good fun – another Treasure Hunt. I’ve always liked looking up for possible photos. Staircases in all buildings are constructed at a 90 degree … Continue reading

2020 Favourites

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge#129. Thanks to Tina & Co. for your commitment and inspiration this year. Looking back, 2020 was the year I started appreciating life going on quietly around me. Nature always takes me out of myself. All text and photos by Meg Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is Copyright © under Australian Law.

Looking Up: stay present

As I stuck my head out the back door the other morning, I looked up and it dawned on me. Like my thoughts, the sky during the day is always changing. Light and colours and clouds shift. They connect me to our planet’s atmosphere.

My mind gets up and away. “Will it be a fine day or not? Will we get rain?” I grew up with the oft quoted “Red in the morning shepherds’ warning. Red at night, shepherds’ delight.”

Here come some Scottish rain clouds. In the Tropics, you can smell rain before it falls.

Bute shower

Not everyone heeds a warning!

Coogee, NSW.

What I see often stops me in my tracks. What made the clouds this shape? Was it wind, the temperature, or a frothy sea? I slow down and wonder.

Classic morning sky in Qld

What is that! Why is that cloud different? Is it a fishbone? A surf break in the sky?

There’s a different sky show every day and I day-dream as I see patterns in the clouds. Writer Bryce Courtney believed day-dreaming is essential … that a soaring imagination is the glue that keeps our soul from shattering under the impact of a prosaic world.

A TED talk by the founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society also explains how important this kind of aimless activity is … to just be present and slow down. Check out more images of clouds there!

A elephant … a woman reading above Stradbroke Is.
How low can you go? Frosty morning, Loch Tay

Wherever you are, just look up and see what you can see.

Phoenix – an omen or a promise?

Cautionary tales about ‘the sky falling’ are often told to children in several cultures. There’s also a giant called Swallower of Clouds from the First Nations – Zuni people. This one’s for us.

Might the Sky Fall today?

One cloudy day, an elephant almost trod upon a humming-bird las it lay in the middle of the track, feet in the air.

 “Watch where you’re going!” called the tiny bird. “I’m down here!”

“Doing what?” asked the elephant, looking around.

“Haven’t you heard? Animals round here are worried that today the sky might fall in!

The elephant flapped its ears and muttered, “You can’t do much with those skinny legs!”

“True,” replied the bird. “I decided to do what I can.”

The elephant stepped back … and soon, it was lying beside the hummingbird, feet in the air, ready to hold up the sky and noticed the clouds

Adapted from a fable from China “Holding Up the Sky” in MacDonald, Margaret Read, Three Minute Tales: Stories around the world to tell or read when time is short. Little Rock, August House, 2004: 145.

Tell a story … why don’t you!

YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

All text and photos by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp Copyright © under Australian Law.

Other Sources

COURTNEY, Bryce. A Recipe for Dreaming. Ringwood, Vic., Viking/Penguin Books Australia, 1998:i-ii.

For more information on the Cloud Appreciation Society – See Founder of the society Gavin Pretor – Pinney, Gavin give a TED talk. Cloudy with a Chance of Joy. Youtube. 2013. (Downloaded 24 Dec 2020.)

Terms of Endearment

 

In these socially – distanced times, I’ve been making an effort to be friendly, when I’m out. On my regular morning walk, I make a point of wishing passers-by a “Good Morning!” as we give each other a wide berth.

Good morning, darling!” replied the taxi man, parked by the curb reading his paper. I almost tripped and fell into a day-dream about terms of endearment, all the way home.

My father used the word ‘Flower’ re the women in the family. ‘Hen’ was handy when he forgot any woman’s name or was just plain tired. ‘Darling’ was not really on his list.

Cariad’ in Welsh means ‘darling.’ I always explain this when I’m telling the story of The Salmon Cariad and show how shocked and embarrassed that angler was when he hooked her.

In an Iranian fairy tale I tell, the story begins with the main character, a female cockroach, searching for a husband. Sent out into the world by her ill father, she dresses in her best and steps out along main street. When the grocer sees her passing, he calls out

“Hello there, Miss Cockroach. Where are you going all dressed up?”

[Remember this is a folktale. It’s a “What if?” challenge to our imagination, as well as a “How is this similar to, or different from life as I know it?” Traditional stories like fairy and folk tales are worth discussing]

The cockroach takes exception to being addressed so brusquely and replies,

“Cockroach yourself! Can’t you see that I am more fragile than a flower? I could be the crown of any man’s life.”

 

The man wonders, “If I can’t call you Miss Cockroach, what shall I call you? She replies,

“Call me sweet coz (cousin). Tell me you’re glad to see me. Ask me where I am going this fine day.”

The grocer complies but answers more questions unsuccessfully. Miss Cockroach walks on and repeats the process. She demands the same courteous greeting. This time she protests to the butcher

Can’t you see I’m more tender than a rose. I could be the light in any man’s eyes.

Then, to the blacksmith,

“Can’t you see I’m more delicate than a butterfly’s wing? I could quicken the beat of any man’s heart.”

This pattern of call and response repeats when each man’s answer is unacceptable. She then explains, in rhyming couplets, how she is in dire straits and to survive must marry an uncle in Hamadam. (I won’t quote that text here.) Surprisingly, each man listens and asks her to marry him instead – only to be rejected by their response to this final hypothetical question.

 “If I should marry you and if we should quarrel and if you would hit me, what would you hit me with?” 

At last, she meets a mouse, wearing elegant silver trousers as he waits outside his door. He’s been listening all along and calls out to her 

‘Oh sweet sweet coz in dress of silk and almond slippers as white as milk. Tis a pleasure to see you dressed up so. Pray tell me where is it you go?’

All Mr Mouse’s answers satisfy her. She decides he would be a loving husband (as the story goes on to reveal in a comic way). This suitor calls her ‘Light of my eyes,’ and ‘My beloved lady,’ as he proposes. Once they are married, Mistress Cockroach calls her husband ‘His Excellency, Mr Mouse, with Silver Trousers’ … and now their tale truly begins.

In my time I’ve been called all sorts of names. I remember “My Little Cabbage” “Ace” and “Possum.” Others tell me they’ve been called ‘My Lovely,’ ‘Wondy, ‘Lovey’ and of course, good old ‘Mate.’ One friend calls me ‘Moggy” which is an Australian term for just an ordinary  cat.

Of course, your tone of voice makes all the difference when using a term of endearment. I love it when Vera uses ‘Pet’’ to people in their place in a popular TV crime series from the UK. 

What terms of endearment do you remember? In Co-Vid times we need more of them. It’s the feeling underneath those particular words that make an instant connection across the distance between us.

                            XXXxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxXXXXxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Check out some of the links below.

Sources

Coz http://www.finedictionary.com/Coz.html

Languages of love: 10 unusual terms of endearment in BBC News Magazine,30 May 2013.

Languages of love: Readers’ global terms of endearment, 9 June, 2013.

Mistress Cockroach in MEDEVI, Anne Sinclair. Persian Folk and Fairy Tales. Toronto, Random House, 1965. (p 81- 92)

 

The Salmon Cariad in GARNER, Alan. A Bag of Moonshine. illus P.J. Lynch. Collins. London, 1986 (p.63-67)

                                        All text (except quotes) and photos by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp Copyright © under Australian Law.

Just an Ordinary Woman

As a storyteller, I sometimes sing a song to accompany my story. I especially love when the chorus soars and the audience at our local folk club joins in. When I was asked to sing a ‘Celebration’ song at the club last year, I went searching and found a Scottish one I liked.

The Spinner’s Wedding by Mary Brooksbank from Dundee, hooked me in. It tells of a spontaneous celebration in a jute mill, when all the women in a section stop work to dance, sing and give gifts. Knowing very little of the Scottish Jute industry (I’d never seen raw jute or even been to Dundee.) I added ‘Jute mill’ to my up-coming travel plans and began learning more about the songwriter.

                                (Dundee’s Jute Trade Routes in its heyday)

Two months later, one cold Monday morning, I read aloud a green sign, ‘ Verdant Works Open Wed – Sat.’  My companion protested, “Oh no! When you wanted so much to come here. This place is the main reason we came to Dundee! Why did no-one tell us it doesn’t open on a Monday?”

Stepping away from the solid wooden gate onto the cobbles in that narrow lane, I looked up at the stone wall and sighed. I couldn’t see over it. What were we going to do now?

Suddenly, the big gates rattled and opened as a large industrial bin came trundling towards us. “Good Morning!” shouted the head behind it. The look on our faces stopped the man in his tracks. We lamented and pointed to the board. His eyebrows went up at this.

“Och! We’re open in 2 minutes! We’ve changed the times on the website but not that sign there yet! Just go in! The café’s already open.”

The Verdant Works, once a noisy jute mill built in 1853 in the Blackness area of Dundee, opened as a museum in 1996. The High Mill was revamped in 2015 and the whole site is now an award-winning, tourist attraction. When asked what had brought us to the mill site, I told our guide, “A folk song got me here!” and added that I wanted to know more about women working in mills.

They smiled and carried on with their spiel about the history of this place. The High Mill built in 1833 employed 500 workers by 1864. Their 3 steam engines ran 70 powered looms with total of 2800 spindles. At that time, there were 61 such steam-powered mills in Dundee, mostly built round the Scouring Burn as it flowed down to the sea.

By 1901, there were over 100 jute mills in Dundee and two-thirds of their 39,752 workers were women. With 3 times as many women as men working in the mills, Dundee was often referred to as ‘She-Town.’ By 1950 there were only 39 mills left.

 (Breadwinners of all ages)

We were invited to wander through the museum at our leisure and ask questions of any of the volunteers. I became totally engrossed in the history of mill work, the complex machinery and the noise! Some of the exhibits featured sound recordings retelling the worker’s tasks and experiences. I found out where the jute came from.

Up in the rafters of the High Mill, I heard Mary’s voice, as she sang one of her well-known songs.

Oh, dear me, I wish the day was done.

Running up and doon the Pass is no nae fun;

Shiftin’, piecin’, spinnin’ warp weft and twine,

Tae feed and cled my bairnie affen ten and nine.

                       

      ( Renovated High Mill with raw jute and end products)

Imagine a 12 year old starting a twelve-hour shift at six am. In 1909 Mary did just that. Her family’s poverty made her lie about her age. She was taken on as a bobbin ‘Shifter’ but was soon found out. It took another two years, staying home to look after her four younger brothers, before she got an official job. Mary later said that her wishes, desires, hopes, ambitions (were) dutifully suppressed in the interests of those I loved, my father, mother and (four) brothers.’

Five had already died in infancy and Mary had been born blind. At the time, the doctor gave her mother eye-drops, a torch and not much hope. Rose Soutar checked and attended to her baby’s eyes daily. She was so overjoyed that her 14 month-old girl was finally able to see that she ran down to the docks to tell her husband the news!

Mary’s father, Sandy Soutar had been a docker and Unionist, who was black-listed because he founded the Dock Workers Union in the port of Aberdeen. In search of work in 1905, he’d brought his family down to Dundee on a coal boat. Sandy was rarely employed even after that. He continued to be an active Unionist, attending meetings. In the main room of their home, Mary likely witnessed visits, talks, plans, songs and stories from many of the leading Scottish union activists of the day.

 (9 mill-workers pose – from bobbins to bales of sacking)

Alongside her mother, Mary was officially taken on at Kydd’s Mill aged 14. Her (male) gaffer (boss) saw her as quick to learn – ‘ a richt wee smerter.’ Their jobs were sporadic and they both worked in any mill they could. If not, they might be lucky to get piece work and sew sacks – five pence for 25. Her four brothers might have been employed in a mill from the age of 8, cleaning up under the looms as they clattered. In 1900 there were 5000 children still working in this industry. Only 2800 of them had been granted an exemption from full-time schooling. Even if her brothers had unskilled work, they’d be sacked at 18. Women workers were cheaper in the mills – paid half men’s wages.

For many years, houses for mill workers in Dundee were said to be some of the worst slums in Europe. Most workers wanted to live close to the mill and rented in tall tenements – usually two rooms with an average of 7 occupants. There were middens in the streets. One privy served the tenants in a four level block. Outbreaks of Cholera, Typhus and Scarlet Fever were not uncommon. Many children didn’t live past infancy. Despite many reports about that rundown, insanitary housing, the mainly private investors took no action because ‘improving working class housing just did not pay.’ When Mary married Ernest Brooksbank in 1924 and saw their first home near the mill, she wept, saying it was ‘no better than a large dog kennel.’ Decisive slum clearing didn’t start till the late 1920’s. Yet some families were loath to leave their close, tenement community.

When the Soutars moved to Dundee, Mary had quickly learned to play the violin. Across the landing on their stair lived a family of Scots Travellers who would often sing and play music at night and invite everyone in. She liked to say that even at the hardest times “There’s naething that can daunt me long, Gin I have the power tae sing a sang.”

Some months after Mary began work in 1911, the carters went on strike for better pay. They refused to bring the bales of raw Indian jute up from the docks. Fourteen year old Mary joined the other women in her section to successfully demand fairer pay. They got a rise of 15%. This was the beginning of more than a hundred protests by Dundee workers between 1889 -1914.

As she grew more politically active, Mary also became anti-war. As a 21 year old at the 1918 Armistice Day celebration, she led a protest against the shoddy treatment of returned veterans . She was arrested with 20 others, charged with Breach of the Peace and sentenced to 3 weeks in Perth Prison. This was the same year she gave up Roman Catholicism, became an atheist and joined the Communist Party (C.P.) to fight for women’s rights, equality and the demise of capitalism.

Once out of prison, Mary was unable to get mill-work and so went into domestic service at her mother’s insistence. However, working in an opulent ‘Jute Baron’s’ mansion made her all the more determined to follow her strong feelings against inequality. On her days off, during a third domestic post, she attended lectures at The Scottish Labour College given by a famous socialist organiser and orator, John McLean.

 At the age of 23 in 1920 (when The Great Depression began), she was involved in more protests and represented jobless, rental defaulters at Rent Tribunals. She lobbied for Unemployment Benefits for those out of work. Her next arrest was for heckling at a meeting about the unreasonable amount of money workers had to contribute as part of the new Unemployment Insurance Act. Authorities at the time tried to question her sanity – a charge later ‘not proven’ by a judge who found her ‘utterly sound’ in health and judgment.

Within the C.P. Mary established the Working Women’s Guild of Dundee in 1930 which focused on improving public health and social housing. They lobbied successfully for significant improvements to the city’s poorhouse, as well as other housing. A lasting legacy was this group’s commitment to help their 300+ members develop public speaking skills, as well as how to chair and organize, productive meetings.

When she was 34 in 1931, following another demonstration, Mary was arrested for sedition and sentenced this time to 3 months. Crowds gathered outside the Perth Prison gates to sing in protest. The petition for her release had 10,000 signatures. Members of the Railway Women’s Guild in Perth brought her food daily. She wrote poems.

On her release, Mary found out the success of the Women’s Guild in the local branch of the C.P. had caused dissent She publicly expressed doubts about Stalin’s leadership and questioned the allocation of the money they’d raised. In 1932 she was thrown out of the C.P.  From then on, she called herself an Independent Socialist.                      

By this time, Mary could only find occasional work – picking berries, working in canning factories or sewing sacks. When her younger brother died, she took in his son. When her husband of 20 years fell ill in 1943, Mary felt her only option was to catch the ferry across to Tayport, in Fife and play her violin in the streets to get money. Ernest died later that year. She took her parents in to live with her.

By 1948 Mary was no longer employed. While nursing her dying mother, she wrote more poems and songs like The Spinner’s Wedding, full of the ordinary details of her working life, and shared them with her.

Oh, ye’ll no make muckle siller
Nae maitter hoo ye try
But hoard your love an loyalty,
That’s what money canna buy.

IIn the 1960’s and 7o’s Mary began singing in Old Folks Homes. She was Chairperson of the Old Age Pensioners Association for some these years. After a chance meeting at a concert, the popular folk-singer Ewan McColl sang some of her songs and championed her song writing. She sang then at the Dundee Folk Club, at the Blairgowrie Music Festivals and on TV & Radio. Her poems and songs were published in Sidlaw Breezes as well as in her autobiography, Nae Sae Lang Syne; a tale of this city.

She was always willing to speak out, step up and help wherever it was needed. In 1970 during the war in Vietnam she went to Hanoi to help the wounded and to rebuild the ruined city. She was 73.

Mary never gave up her Dundee/Scots dialect. She was 5 foot tall, ordinary on the outside and a powerhouse inside. She poured her energy into making life better for others – actively making her city a fairer, more just community. She died in a Dundee hospital in 1978 aged 82.

Hamish Henderson, founding member of the School of Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh, called Mary

 a heroine of the working class movement in Dundee, and a free – spoken, free – thinking, old rebel who got thrown out of the C.P. for denouncing Stalin in the early Thirties!

In 2009, four lines from her song about jute work ‘Oh Dear Me’ were carved into granite in the new Scottish Parliament’s Wall of Quotations in Edinburgh – the only woman quoted in the 26 selected quotes thus far.

           “Oh, dear me, the warld’s ill-divided

          Them that works the hardest are aye wi’ least provided.

          But I maun bide contented, dark, deep or fine

          But there’s no much pleasure livin’ affen ten and nine.”

Mary’s actions show her life-long commitment to social justice and caring for others in need. Just an ordinary woman to look up to … and not forget.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Some of the many Sources I used. (There’s lots more)

BROOKSBANK, Mary. The Spinner’s Wedding (Lyrics) and singing this song

INNES, Ewan. et al. (ed) Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women. Edinburgh. E.U.P. 2006: 46-7.

HENDERSON, Mary. Dundee Women’s Trail: Twenty-five footsteps over four centuries. Dundee. Dundee Women’s Trail. 2008: 46-48. http://www.dundeewomenstrail.org.uk/

POLWART, Karine. “The Other Mary” in A. J. TAUDEVIN. Mrs Balfour’s Daughters. Oberon Press. 2015. (This post took a while. Finding this essay really helped me pull my writing together. I commend Karine’s work to you – a well-known Scots folksinger, she sings and talks about Mary on YouTube ‘The Jute Song’ with The Shee.)

              &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

                               All text and photos by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp. Copyright © under Australian Law.

Story 1 ? It’s Dun Telve

Yes, it’s certainly ancient and abandoned, but not quite as old as Newgrange in Ireland or Stonehenge, in England.

This is the remains of a broch just down the road from the village of Glenelg, Inverness-shire, Scotland.

This was not a ceremonial site. It’s an Iron-age fortified house with dry-stone walls built to protect a family group and their animals 2000+ years ago. It predates the Roman invasion of Britain.

You can see the walls have a space between. This allowed stairs and passageways to reach upper floors. There’s a possibility these brochs were built by itinerant craftsmen given such skilled work found in various parts of the country. This broch is one of the better preserved examples on the mainland – the best is on the island of Mousa in Shetland.

The wooden frame also supported a thatched roof.

This stone lintel would have been man-handled into position. There was a cubby in the wall on the right … for dogs.

We were the only visitors.

Here’s the gap above the entrance way showing the location of passageways.

The drive into Glenelg is well worth the view from the top of the Mam Rattagan Pass. Here’s the The Five Sisters of Kintail, popular with hill-walkers.

Remind me to tell you my version of ‘The Five Sister’s of Kintail ” sometime. I’d tell it differently from the Secret Scotland Tour guide.

Information from other sources

Local area info – Secret Scotland Tour guide to Glenelg

Undiscovered Scotland: Dun Telve

All text (other sources listed) and photos by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp Copyright © under Australian Law.

The Palace of Bird Beaks

Lovely friend, Naomi, posted this recently. It’s a story I’ve told … but not as well as this.  I really appreciate her Solomon. Thank you, Naomi.

 

Writing Between the Lines

The Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon, bearing opulent gifts, and hoping to see if he was as wise as the stories claimed.

“What can I offer in return?” asked Solomon. “Only ask, and it shall be yours.”

The queen had also heard that Solomon spoke the language of the birds, but didn’t believe it. Here was her chance to kill two birds with one stone.  “Build me a palace made entirely of bird beaks,” she said, “if you can.”

“Oh, I can, ” boasted Solomon.  “You shall have it.”

To her amazement, Solomon summoned the birds, from every corner of the earth.

They heeded his call…

….from the tiniest hummingbird…

…to the majestic eagle.

“We’re going to make our nation the envy of the world,” he told his gathered flock, to the cheering of the birds.

 “But I need your beaks to build a palace.”  And the birds bowed their heads and…

View original post 578 more words