I love this picture. It was from a very rainy day in Scotland on a visit to Stirling Castle. In the background you can just make out the Wallace Monument which this cannon was aimed towards. It really is a fascinating place, with such a rich history and some marvellous tour guides. Highly recommended, even in the rain!
Apologies all, WordPress decided to play silly beggars this week so not all pingbacks have tracked. This is the list of links that I can see but of course if I have missed anyone please do let me know.
The camel train continued to walk. Everyone had gotten used to the heat and the smell and were now happy to plod along awaiting the tour guide’s next instruction. Up ahead they could make out the Bedouin temple. As they trotted along, the sand-filled wind began to whip at their faces. Harder and harder it whipped and swirled around them, occasionally someone would cry out. As the wind continued to churn up the sand, it became harder and harder to see the person in front or behind. The camels, unphased by the commotion continued their steady plod.
When the wind settled, everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Some gave a nervous giggle to one another, the crisis was averted. The Desert had revealed its hidden temple. Rushing to and from outside the temple was robed figures. They startled at the approaching camel train. The tour guide scratched his head confused, this was not the way he remembered it.
One by one, the sightseers hopped off their camels and made their way under the archway and into the courtyard. Stretched out before them was a medina with traders yelling to and fro. Yet as the tourists approached the stallholders and market traders quietened. They stared at the incomers. They spoke in a hushed whisper to their neighbouring stall holders occasionally they pointed at the incomer’s sunglasses or trainers.
The tour guide angrily tapped his phone but had no reception.
A commotion started further down the enclosed space. A group of men emerged, weapons swords and shields adorning their bodies. They marched menacingly towards the tourists, who began to back up and huddle together.
At once, the group halted, although the leader continued marching. The tour group edged further and further backwards until only the tour guide remained up front. The leader continued walking towards him, as they reached one another, it was clear to all the weapon-clad leader was much bigger than the tour guide. He lowered his head so that their faces were only inches apart.
The tour guide nodded and turned. The tour group had already begun backing up to the archway.
As they hastily climbed onto their camels and followed the tour guide, no one spoke, only the sound of the camels could be heard.
Not much love for our little camel train this week but thank you to all the wonderful participants.
“Missy that’s just decorative, no-one lives there.”
“How do you know?” Missy turned to face her mother and folded her arms. When her mother didn’t answer, she asked, “Well if no one lives there why is there a door and what’s behind it?”
“It’s just a garden, Missy.” Her mother was sounding a little frustrated with her now. As her mother busied herself packing up her picnic, Missy squated down and patted the smaller door. Maybe someone would answer that one instead.
“Missy, time to go.” Her mother hefted the picnic things onto her shoulder.
“But Mum, I think I can hear something inside.”
“Enough of this now, Missy, it’s time to go.” Missy glanced back at the little door, sure she could hear something inside but her mother’s tone told her there was to be no more debating the issue. Missy ran down the hill to her mother then taking her hand they headed home.
Just as Missy and her mother left the area, the small door opened. Two sleepy eyes peered out but on finding no-one there promptly closed the door and returned to sleep.
Sorry all, I know the round-up is a little late this week, I’ve managed to get a tummy bug. I can’t imagine it’s something I’ve eaten so I can only assume it’s something the toddler has brought home from nursery. The joys of parenthood – haha! Anyway, here is this week’s fabulous collection. Thank you to all the wonderful participants.
This week’s image needs little in the way of an introduction. The photo was taken in London, on a rather cloudy day a number of years ago. I’m always drawn to photographing the clock. Actually, I quite like clock towers in most towns. I’ve lived in a few market towns now which have lovely clock towers.
Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London and is usually extended to refer to the clock and the clock tower.
Big Ben is the largest four-faced chiming clock and the third-tallest free-standing clock tower in the world.
Big Ben was designed by the architect Augustus Pugin and was built between 1843 and 1859.
The clock tower stands at 316 feet (96.3 meters) tall and has a diameter of 39 feet (12 meters).
The Great Bell weighs 13.5 tons (13.2 metric tons) and strikes the hour.
The clock face is 23 feet (7 meters) in diameter and the minute hands are 14 feet (4.2 meters) long.
We happened upon this beauty in London many years ago. The picture doesn’t really do it justice for how large it was but the bridge maybe gives a little perspective. Believe it or not, no filter was added to this image – it was taken on a digital camera in the days before all that tech was really available so I’m unsure if it is a trick of the light or not that the photo has come out this colour but I think it makes for a striking image either way.
Here is the list below (if I have missed anyone, please let me know). It makes for fantastic reading.
He wandered the ruins in an endless, restless state.
He knew every nook, every crannie, and every stone.
Especially the stone from which he had fallen.
The moat looked beautiful today, peaceful even.
He’d followed the guides as they’d walked across the bridge, and heard their whispers, today they were going to do scans of the moat.
They were excited.
The team approached the castle. In search of weapons, jewels and answers to ancient questions.
He wondered if today was the day he’d be free to leave this castle.
The day, they finally found his body in the water.
This beautiful castle is Caerlaverock in Scotland, I’ve been lucky enough to visit it three times now and each time it amazes me. Caerlaverock is a triangular shaped castle and is unique among British castles.
The eagle-eyed amongst you spotted this is the second time I have featured an approach to a castle with the previous one, Raby Castle, shown below. I love both, equally ancient, mystical and mysterious in their own ways. Which do you prefer?
I’ve had so many wonderful responses and enjoyed each and every one. This week’s list is below (if I have missed anyone, please let me know). It makes for fantastic reading.
It was quiet in the town that night. Finishing her shift, Chloe pulled her jacket tightly around her and stepped out into the cold night. There was no one around, even the cars that usually crept past on their slow journey seemed to have taken a break tonight. She turned a corner to the alley. She always hated this bit. The darkest part of her walk, no streetlights, no people – she hoped. It saved her a full 15-minute journey though so it was worth the feeling of trepidation, just for the minute or two that it took her to walk through.
Feeling the cold wind whip through her, she pulled her jacket in tighter and set off along the cobbles. Seconds later unmistakably she heard footsteps behind her. Choosing not to glance behind, she strode on, increasing her pace into a hurried walk. Every part of her body was listening to the footsteps which had quickened their pace too. She reached the top of the lane and turned around rapidly to face her follower. But there was no one there, just the darkness of the alley behind her. Confused, she stood gawping down the lane for a second or two, then pulling herself together made her way home.
Reaching her doorstep she gave a sigh of relief. She pulled out her keys and fumbled with the lock. Finally, inside she let the door swing shut behind her whilst she stood in the hallway unlacing her boots. As she bent over a large gloved hand slid over her face, leaving Chloe unable to scream.
The first prompt of 2023 already! This alley can be found in Thirsk in North Yorkshire, UK. There are many like it around the town. This one is next to a butchers which has been there for many, many years so I’ll let you figure out what all the barns were originally used for. This is actually on the way to the Old Castle at Thirsk, a green mound where a castle once stood.
I’ve had so many wonderful responses and enjoyed each and every one. Here is the list below (if I have missed anyone, please let me know). It makes for fantastic reading.
The carollers were nervous. The dominant doors stood large and foreboding in front of them, but it was the luscious green wreath on the door that convinced them they should knock. The self-appointed leader made their way to the door. Upon it opening the carollers began to sing. The voices echoing in the stone courtyard. From within the house, more and more people came to the front door, eventually both doors were thrown open. Mulled wine appeared and was being passed around everyone including the singers. When they stopped singing some hot mince pies followed. The leader of the group approached tentatively with his bucket, but the family responded that they had no change to give. Disappointed the group turned to leave, but a voice called from within for them to wait. Into the bucket dropped a light piece of paper, it was a cheque for more than the carollers had raised all month.