The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Saturday, 20 February 2010


I have, for years, been fascinated by gargoyles, those grotesque creatures sneering at us from the facades and spires of  Gothic cathedrals. Their inclusion on these monumental structures is not arbitrary. Great care was taken to convey a message to the faithful. Each creature had its own symbolism. However gargoyles were not included just for decorative and symbolic reasons. They also have the very mundane function of channeling water from the spires and buttresses of these immense cathedrals to the ground. You may be able to view this happening in this photo of some of the gargoyles situated on Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.
Paris - Lorna's Day 2 (90)
Having a naturally active imagination I tend to focus less on the practical use of gargoyles and let my thoughts take flight to come up with the most outrageous stories. For are we sure that these creatures were carved out of stone by human hands? Perhaps once there were dogs, wolves, sheep, humans, even, who were turned into stone by an evil sorcerer. Maybe, undercover of the night, they turn back to the beings there once were, free to roam the streets but cursed to take up their position as soon as the first rays of dawn appear on the horizon. Or it could be that they invade our sleep, with that perpetual ugly sneer on their face, and turn our pleasant dreams into nightmares.
Paris - Lorna's Day 3 (124)Paris - Lorna's Day 2 (111)Paris - Lorna's Day 3 (123)Tuscany 118
For centuries they have looked down on us from their dizzying perch, grinning at our folly, delighting in our mortality, while they have remained frozen in time. So much must have changed before their all-seeing eyes as the cities below them grew and prospered or fell into ruin and decline. At once grisly, grotesque and eerily fascinating, gargoyles are the product of a different era when war, pestilence and death were a daily occurrence and, even today, when  most of us do not give them so much as a second thought, they serve to remind us of the precarious frailty of human life.
  Paris - Lorna's Day 3 (66) Tuscany 117Tuscany 115 Paris - Lorna's Day 3 (67) 
The gargoyles featured here are from:
- Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
- Sacre Couer Basilica, Paris (this is not a Gothic church but it still has some great gargoyles)
- St Severin Church, Paris
- Duomo of Santa Maris Assunta, Pisa

Thursday, 11 February 2010

An Award

I have recently been awarded the Humane Award by Mary Anne Gruen at Starlight Blog. Mary Anne is a writer and a former actress and dancer. I would like to thank Mary Anne for this award and for her nice words about my writing and my blog. The rules are simple: I need to pass on this award to five people whose blogs have touched my heart. So, without further ado, I would like to pass on this award to the following (in no particular order):

Glynis Smy at
Author Blog: Glynis Smy
Glynis is a British author currently living in Cyprus . She has been one of my first and most constant supporters both here on my blogs and also on other writing sites like Triond and, more recently, RedGage. Glynis has published two poetry books 'From My Heart Inside My Head' and 'Sticky Sandwiches' and has just finished the first draft of her novel entitled 'Ripper My Love'.

Anne Lyken Garner at
‘Sunday’s Child’ Lives at Annie’s House
Anne is a writer, youth project worker, television support actress and occasional model. Her blog is dedicated to the book she is writing. Entitled ‘Sunday’s Child’ it is the true story of a child in a crisis torn South American country. Anne sometimes publishes excerpts from her book on her blog and also provides information about writing and blogging.

Kim McCole at
Dear Daisy Cottage
Kim has the sweetest, most colourful blog that I have ever visited and her posts exude warmth and friendship. Her blog, Dear Daisy Cottage, gives us a delightful glimpse into the love and attention she has poured into her home, Daisy Cottage, and we also get to meet the charming Miss Maggie, Daisy Cottage’s sweet canine member. Kim is a frequent contributor to magazines such as Romantic Country and Cottage Style.

Mary Campbell at
Writer’s Butt Does Not Apply To Me
Mary is a writer currently on a mission to get published. Her blog is full of anecdotes about writing, books she has read or authors she has met at book launches she has been too.

Nadine Laman at
First Draft
Nadine is a published writer of three novels entitled: “Kathryn’s Beach”, “High Tide” and “Storm Surge”. Her blog is very interesting as she gives writing tips and other advice to the unitiated. Nadine is currently running a writing competition on her blog. Click here for the entry rules.

Whilst I have singled out the 5 blogs above I would like to mention, as always, that all the people who take the time to comment on my writing and musings are worthy of an award. I know that I have been awarded several in the last few months which I have neglected to pass on and I apologise for this but sometimes there is too much going on in my life to find time for everything. Nevertheless, they are still greatly appreciated and, who knows, I might still pass them on one of these days. I also appreciate all the people who drop by and who take the time to read but maybe do not leave comments. Please know that your presence means a lot to me too.

Athough I have put most of my writing on the back burner for a while, I am still finding enough time to squeeze out an article, or maybe two, every week. I have started to publish articles on
Triond again and am also considering posting on Helium. If any of you have any experience of Helium which you would like to share, please leave me a message in my comments section. I do not wish to bite off more than I can chew and I know that the rating system on Helium means you have to constantly keep submitting new content. So I would really appreciate any feedback that any of you might have. Finally, freelance writers might want to look into a site I have joined called RedGage. RedGage is a unique site in the sense that you do not have to submit original content but you can just upload links to your blogs, or any content you may have already published online. RedGage also pays you based on the number of times that people click on the links you have posted. However, on RedGage you can also post new content as a blog and you can upload documents or photos. From my experience, people prefer to view and rate photos than blogs or links but the site does help to get more people to view your work. Uploaded content is reviewed by RedGage personnel and may be chosen as Featured Content. This will earn the person who uploaded the link/blog/photo the feature bonus. I wish all you scribblers out there Happy Writing.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Thoughts on Turquoise

The experts at Pantone (the world’s leading colour experts) have decreed that Turquoise will be the colour of 2010. It does not come as a surprise to me that this vibrant and pleasing colour has made a comeback. I have grown up surrounded by the sea and, even though it is not always turquoise, a variant of the colour is always present in the water. It is amazing just how many memories a simple colour will evoke. It is my mother’s favourite colour and whenever I see it, I think of her. Sometimes it is really hard to stop buying turquoise items for her. It is a colour I associate with my childhood because my room had turquoise curtains, my furniture had turquoise handles and my carpet was a wonderful speckled mixture of turquoise, blues, greens, yellow and white. I still think of my childhood room as a kind of oasis where I would be transported to summer in the middle of winter because I like to think that if summer had a colour it would be turquoise.
In the words of Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute® “In many cultures, Turquoise occupies a very special position in the world of color. It is believed to be a protective talisman, a color of deep compassion and healing, and a color of faith and truth, inspired by water and sky.” It is a colour which evokes images of tropical islands and beautiful gems. In my mind it is as if turquoise is bound only with happy memories and calming images. The blue undertones of the colour are very soothing whereas the green undertones provide vibrancy.
Wied iz-Zurrieq 026Wied iz-Zurrieq 021
Wied iz-Zurrieq 025
I do not know whether I do it consciously or unconsciously but I find that whether it is in fashion or not, I like to surround myself with turquoise items, whether as a solid colour or as a print. I also have a small collection of turquoise jewellery most of which has been crafted by Native American Indians (from North America and Mexico ). As a semi-precious stone, the hues of turquoise can range from the lightest blue to the darkest green and the stones are usually speckled with brown, black or white. Apple green variants also exist depending on whether copper or iron is the prevalent mineral in the rock.
Interestingly, a white coloured turquoise was discovered in 1993 and first used in jewellery in 1996.
Turquoise is reminiscent of the 60s and of the bold floral prints of designers like Prada. It is a colour which suits all skin tones and should be worn boldly; a sunny colour which should serve to brighten up these cold, grey winter days. So if any of you are having the winter blues, throw on a bright turquoise scarf or some turquoise jewellery and think of warm summer days, because the daylight hours are already getting longer and slowly, but surely, spring will be with us soon.


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