All posts by Lucid Gypsy

Gilly Mbachu Goldsworthy is a mum to two kids that are supposed to be grown up and mma to a six year old granddaughter, a two year old grandson, a 16 month granddaughter and another is coming! None of that means that I am grown up though. I love writing – travel and quite edgy fiction – and being an OU student for a degree which remains to be seen. What I do best though is counselling; I’ve been privileged to work with many people through big changes.

5 Photos 5 Stories Day #1

For those of you that live in different climates, these are violets, the wild version of our much loved garden violas and pansies. violets

Whenever I see a carpet of these tiny beauties,  I am transported back to my childhood. There was a tiny little roll of half inch wide, mauve sweeties, and as soon as you opened the packet the scent exploded. When you put them in your mouth it was difficult to decide if you were tasting the taste, or tasting the fragrance. In fact some people would say they taste like old ladies soap. But I didn’t care, they were heaven on my tongue.

Parma Violets were first made in 1930 in Derbyshire, England, by the Swizzels Matlow company and apparently they now make giant Parma Violets, where are they, I need them?  I believe they are a love or hate thing. Now I’m sure there are some of you that remember them, or perhaps still eat them, so tell me do you think they are delicious or disgusting? Of course they don’t smell like these real violets, but nevertheless  a sweet and tempting smell.

Jude at Travel Words has nominated me for the ‘Five Photos, Five Stories’ challenge, and I would like to nominate Tony at 2far2shout, a brilliant storyteller who takes a mean photo too.

Tony there’s no obligation, have fun if you want to!

The challenge is to just  “post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”.

Barcelona, Sant Jordi and the Bus Turistic!

We had a light breakfast in our gorgeous apartment and set off rather later than intended the next morning. Retracing our steps from our walk home the night before, along the Gran via de les Corts Catalanes, I had to reassure my two friends that yes, I did know where we were going.  It was then that I remembered that on a trip to Paris, ten years ago, I was the only one with any sense of direction.  We got a little distracted by the parade of stalls selling single stemmed roses, for Sant Jordi’s day, and by the striking buildings in the university area.

Uni area

In five minutes we reached the Placa Catalunya, a lovely open area from where it’s easy to navigate the city’s main tourist destinations. Sant Jordi is not only a festival of roses but also of literature that coincides with world book day.

book day

I would have loved to linger and choose some books. As well as Spanish and Catalan authors, Ken Follett was among some of the British writers, signing books.The Placa was really buzzing with atmosphere,  Sant Jordi’s dragon was there, Iarge as life.

Dragon

This statue is by Frederic Mares , Barcelona  represented as a woman on horse back holding a ship as a symbol of exploration and trade.

statue

A wider view of the Placa.

placa
A hint of the architecture to come.
Placa buildings

We bought tickets for the hop on hop off Bus Turistic, for 27 euros  for the day. We  chose the blue route , as it covered most of the places we wanted to see.

Open top bus And we’re off, complete with blue head phones to listen to the commentary about the key points around the city. Although I’ll get shot, I have to tell you that Jackie was lulled to sleep by the music between each bit of information, and woke suddenly. She was so shocked by the voice in her ear that she woke with a scream, alarming some of the other tourists and reducing Sonja and I to tummy aching laughter!

I’ll be back soon with views from the bus, including the exterior of Sagrada Familia.

The Intricacies of nature and man

The Bear Hut at National Trust Killerton was reputedly created to house a real live bear in the grounds of the property. I’m really not convinced, I think it was more likely a great playhouse for the children of the family. Either way it’s a cute little place with some interesting decorative features, including this pretty ceiling studded with natural pine cones arranged by man in a pattern on something like hessian.
intricate

This well nibbled leaf has been made into an intricate design by one of nature’s creatures.
intricate2

Some human has used delicate silk to create an intricate design on these hats.
intricate4

When I got my current mobile phone a couple of year ago I was experimenting with photographing a fast running stream. What I didn’t realise at the time was that I had it on a setting called Harris Shutter that does weird things to images, I nearly deleted it, but kept it because I like the intricate mix of colours!
intricate3

This carved and painted arch is inside Exeter Cathedral, it’s one of many intricate and ornate features there.
intricate5

When I started thinking about this challenge and looking at some photos, I concluded that and awful lot of my photos fit the bill, because I like to focus on little details. How about you?
You know how to join in!

A Bright Spring Day

We’ve had some glorious weather in April here in the UK, short sleeves and paddling, interspersed with grey cloudy days as we would expect. Coming home from Spain this week has been a sharp shock though, rain, wind and as low as 10degrees in the day.

But yesterday on my lunchtime stroll there was a mini breakthrough, still cool but a gorgeous spring day. This is where I strolled.


So as it’s Friday already I’m not complaining!

Rambla-ing in Barcelona

 

We arrived in Barcelona on Wednesday afternoon, and finding our Air BnB apartment was simple, just 100 metres from the Aerobus stop. Carmen, the owner met us, gave us some info and answered our questions and then we were off, three old crones let loose in the city. We had been up since 5am and only had a small bowl of porridge at Bristol airport at 9.30 so as it was now 4pm our tummies were howling! We found café to sit outside, where I had Greek salad and we shared a big jug of Sangria in the sunshine. Now we had arrived. Sated, we headed in the direction that I knew would take us to the Ramblas, criss-crossing through the Raval,

El Raval

an area full of old high-walled buildings, strange cooking smells and a million mobile phone accessory shops, piled high with cheap imports from China. The girls were a bit uneasy, not only do they lack my sense of direction, but some of the characters were a bit suspect and it seemed the Ladies of the Night were starting early. They breathed a sigh of relief when we walked into the light.
La Rambla
The Rambla was bustling with preparations for Sant Jordi, the next day, and flower stalls were everywhere.
Sant Jordi preparations
and then unexpectedly we stumbled on a place I’d hoped to visit but didn’t realise was so close. I’m a real market fan, I must have been a trader in another life, so St Josep, Mercat de La Boqueria was paradise.
St Joseps

Delicious fruit, fresh and dried was piled high, with each stall holder trying to out do the next.

My kind of food

Delicious

More treats

Seafood in abundance,
Seafood
I really don’t know how I managed it, but convinced that we would return, I didn’t spend a penny. I regretted that when I went home empty handed!

Ramblas architecture

Then it was time to enjoy some of the wonderful old buildings in the Rambla.

Rambla people
Often very elegant and ornate.

The next building has a little extra elegance, try clicking to get a bigger view.

Mr Marilyn poses in the Museum of Erotica

Yes, it’s Marilyn Monroe, complete with wind- blown, white frock up on the balcony. ‘She’ was attempting to entice you into what I can only guess is entertaining, the museum of erotica.

We strolled on, eyes open for just the right place for dinner, but  our energy had abandoned us totally. Being too excited to sleep the night before and the early start made the tiredness set in. We were five minutes from home and there was a local supermarket on the corner. Crisps and croissants called, as far as real food was concerned, we’d gone beyond hunger. Even the litre bottle of vodka and cola to mix remained unopened and we went to our rooms. My first impressions of Barcelona were great, it was an exciting city and despite being shattered I didn’t sleep for a  couple of hours. Instead, I made plans for the next day.