Hooray for holidays

[Note: While today was a momentous day in Australian political history, I’m deliberately choosing to talk about something else.]

This post is another in the series of responding to requests.  This one’s for Jo.

I’m finding it hard to choose just one so I’m going to begin by limiting this to my last overseas holiday which was in March this year.  I’m also going to choose one photo from each country.

The first country on the itinerary was UK.  We had about 6 days in/around London but with only a few hours sleep and almost no time to adjust to local time, my brother and sister-in-law took us on a day trip to the continent where we visited graves and memorials to fallen soldiers from World War 1 whom my mother has been researching.  It was a surprisingly personal and moving excursion.

Below is Menin Gate in Ieper, Belgium.  I’m the tiny figure standing at the pillar.  One of my great-great-uncles is listed amongst the fallen (just inside the little doorway you see in the centre of this photo).

We then travelled a little further along to Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck, France. We almost didn’t find the cemetery.  It hides in the farmlands of northern France.  The only sign of it’s existence visible from the road is a reasonably small portico.  The road frontage is tiny yet it stretches back to hold the bodies of nearly 2000 Commonwealth servicemen, including another great-great-uncle.

Back in London, I suppose one of my favourite photos was this one taken by my lovely husband while were defying the laws of nature and conquering my fears in the London Eye.  It’s a pretty darn good shot of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

Our next stop was Ireland but we travelled there from London by train to Holyhead, Wales and then by ferry to Dublin.  So I’m adding this one from the Welsh countryside.  Not sure what castle it is but I think hubby did really well to get a shot of this through the glass of a high-speed train! (that’s me in the reflection…not sleeping)

We spent 2 weeks in Ireland and took so many photos that it has taken me the best part of an hour to narrow down my selection.  You might think it an odd choice but I chose this photo not because it’s picturesque or particularly evocative of Ireland but because it is a place that I remember being at my happiest.  I remember gambolling around this graveyard on my first trip to Ireland in 1987.  I climbed the Killelan Castle when my family returned for a holiday in 1989.  And I climbed it again in 1999 when I returned to live in Ireland.  It’s located only a short walk down the road from my uncle’s house outside the village of Moone, Co. Kildare.  Whenever I visit him and my aunt the rest of the world just disappears.  I can forget everything except the joy of a loving family, the pure crisp smell of the Irish countryside and the wonder of God’s creation.

The last stop on the journey was Hong Kong.  I didn’t like Hong Kong at all.  I found the place to be smelly and crowded and the people to be incredibly pushy and rude.  I’m not one given to generalisations so I will only say that this applied to the people that we encountered and not the entire population.  My feelings about Hong Kong are reflected in my choice of photo.

Oh I tried to nearly forgot to add that we took a day trip to Shen Zhen, Guangdong, China.  I will never return to China if I can possibly avoid it.  Here’s one of the few shots we took of the sprawling mass of pollution…

To finish off on a happier note, I thought I’d leave you with some “Library Porn”.  I’ve noticed the number of #blogeverydayofjune posts related to bookshelves so this my little contribution to that conversation.  However, it’s not so much “Library Porn” as it is “Erotica” because this, ladies and gentlemen, is art.  It’s an installation in a Hong Kong shopping centre.  It is “Reading Room” by Jayne Dyer.

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3 Responses to Hooray for holidays

  1. Penny says:

    *swoons at erotica*

  2. NomesD says:

    great photos, fi. lovely. thx for sharing. i love love love that one of london. /me misses london soooo much

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