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Saturday, 14 January 2006

Oh, that tickles!

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This was taken at the snake park in Durban. At the moment it was taken, I was marveling at the softness and ticklish-ness of a snake. It actually feels very nice. I wouldn’t mind getting one, actually. But then you have to breed mice or rats, and it all gets rather messy…

And here’s another:

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I don’t know why I have that expression on my face. I actually rather enjoyed it! So much so that - no, I’ll show you next time. It’s good, though!

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Wednesday, 11 January 2006

Toothpaste?

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This was taken at Phezulu, while we were on holiday in Durban. This female croc is resting with her mouth open to keep cool. Someone should suggest resting in the shade.

On the subject of toothpaste, Clyde, my ride, seriously needs some. He looks all cute and fluffy with his winter fur, but his breath was a killer. Talking of killer, my bum is knackered today, but only light bruising, and I’ll be back in the swing of riding by next week! As for now, I’m sipping my Organic Earl Grey (thanks, bigblue) and enjoying the softness…

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Sunday, 01 January 2006

The eve

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That ole tunnel of life…makesha think, dunnit?

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Monday, 26 December 2005

On the second day of Christmas/first day of Kwanzaa…

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I still have a bunch of presents piled up under my Christmas

tree

pot plant when I get home, but for those unlucky souls whose Christmas celebrations are over, I thought I’d remind you of the true meaning of this holiday:

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus. According to Dan Brown, the bones of Mary Magdeline rest below the place pictured above.
Kwanzaa, on the other hand…well, we’re just not sure about that one.

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Tuesday, 20 December 2005

Chestnuts roasting in the heat of the outdoor sun…

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No wonder Christmas songs are more appropriate to the Northern hemisphere, eh? Actually, I rather embarrassed myself today by trying to sing some popular Christmas songs and not knowing the words or the tune…

Tomorrow morning I leave for South Africa, where we will spend Christmas with rebecca, above (really, that’s her - not a statue!), the Durban familly, brends, and liam. After that, it’s to Cape Town, where we will have New Year with the family there.

While I’m away, I’m not sure how much posting time there will be, so I’ve got an automated one coming up every couple of days at most.

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Sunday, 13 November 2005

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow

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The trench.

In a Remembrance Sunday service four years ago, I wondered at the stately old men crying. When someone told me that they were remembering the war they had lived through, I thought back on how times had changed. Bush had just invaded Afghanistan.

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Saturday, 12 November 2005

Short days ago we lived

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A shelter in the trench. It was small, dark, and muddy when I visited it in May.

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Friday, 11 November 2005

We are the Dead

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The German cemetory, Ypres.

In contrast to the Commonwealth cemetories, this is dark, with dark gravestones and mass graves. As the defeated, the Germans were given only a small amount of space in which to bury their dead, and with the vast numbers of dead, mass graves resulted.

Antigone strove for both of her brothers to receive full burial rites.

When Hitler heard that Belgium had been conquered, he drove directly here.

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Thursday, 10 November 2005

To you from failing hands we throw/The torch

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More craters near the trenches. You can also see the national flags behind, as a reminder to visitors from these countries of the legacy they have inherited.

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Wednesday, 09 November 2005

Scarce heard amid the guns below

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The crater left by a shell, next to the trenches, Belgium. The trees have all grown up around the trenches, now, enclosing them to form a small, secluded space, very different from the places they must have been before.

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Tuesday, 08 November 2005

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

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The Canadian War Monument, Ypres. The Canadians played a huge part in Belgium in the First World War, and as a result, Vimy Ridge belongs to Canada.

Although it was fought in Western/Central Europe, troops fighting in the First World War came from all over the world. In the Commonwealth Graveyard in Ypres there are graves with the emblem of the soldier’s country. It is rather chilling to see pictures of the marching Commonwealth troops, each batallion from a different part of the world, with the different nationalities in their traditional uniform, displaced half-way accross the world, their only interest in this conflict being whether they were controlled by George V or Kaiser Wilhelm.

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Monday, 07 November 2005

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

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On a History trip to Belgium, this is the wreath I laid at the Last Post ceremony at Menin Gate. It was a very moving moment.

The title of this post, of course, is the first line of McCrae’s poem ‘In Flanders Fields’.

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Thursday, 03 November 2005

Burying the past

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The above is a memorial in Prague, for students who lost their lives in the 1968 conflicts with the Soviet Union.

Debate has arisen in Russia over whether to bury Lenin, who has been lying, embalmed, in Moscow’s Red Square since his death in 1924. I won’t post the photo, in case anyone doesn’t like seeing dead bodies.

In 2001, Putin said,

Many people connect their own lives with the name of Lenin. Burying Lenin would mean ... that they had lived in vain.

But it seems that now, with his aides claiming that

Russians are not Egyptians

things may be changing.

What do you think?

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Monday, 31 October 2005

Spooky!

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This is a picture taken in Tecklenburg, Germany, on our tour there. The streets were full of these spooky ghosts and strange creatures, hanging from trees and across houses. You can see a picture of this same street at a slightly later time of year here from Wikipedia.de. It seems that Halloween is far more exciting in Germany than here in England. We haven’t even had a trick-or-treater although being back on GMT and it being very dark very early may have something to do with it…

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Saturday, 29 October 2005

Notre Dame de Paris

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A similar view of Paris’s* Notre Dame, taken in July this year. I wanted to post one of a cathederal in Prague, but it seems we didn’t visit one when I was there with bigblue and granny in June 2004. I know that many are still being converted back from ice-rinks and cinemas, which they were converted to when the country was communist.

*only Jesus doesn’t get the extra ‘s’

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