Thursday, 25 August 2016

{quotable thursdays}

This time next week I'll be in bella Napoli.  I'll be away for three weeks conducting archival research, funded by a British Academy grant I was awarded. More on that later, but for now, I'll leave you with a quote from Goethe, written in March 1787:

Of the situation of the city, and of its glories, which have been so often described and commended, not a word from me. "Vedi Napoli e poi muori," is the cry here. "See Naples, and die."

That no Neapolitian will allow the merits of his city to be questioned, that their poets should sing in extravagant hyperbole of the blessings of its site, are not matters to quarrel about... Here one almost casts aside all remembrances, even of Rome. As compared with this free, open situation, the capital of the world, in the basin of the Tiber, looks like a cloister built on a bad site.

-Naples, March 2, 1787.

Stay tuned for the adventures!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

{quotable thursdays}

Hello Thursday! How did you get here so fast?!
Hope you all are having a good week. I've been working so hard this summer that I feel like it's come and gone with no vacation. boohoo...
But, this week I'm putting the final revisions on my book before it goes out again for review...
I have to agree with the quote below:
{until it's done}
Having printed out the entire manuscript, I was able to spend some of my time outside this week in my garden, which also reminded me that: 
With my shed looking all lovely, of course there are flowers to see: 

I'm off to my cousins for a  minibreak this weekend.
Hope you have something fab planned too.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

{sisterly visit}

{reunion at Chota House}

In July, my middle sister came for a visit with my niece & nephew.
We had loads of fun & had a great amount of time to catch up.
We went for afternoon tea at Oliver Hare & Co:

 We wandered the mews of Leighton Buzzard:

 We went to my cousins for a fab weekend in the country:
{started with evening croquet in the garden}
 We then went to Hever Castle (where Anne Boleyn grew up) and met Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII, & the ladies in waiting:

 The gardens are stunning! (not to mention the fantastic mazes: a water maze, an impossible hedge maze, and a tower maze)
{I think I might have caught a couple kissing by accident (!)}

{nice legs!}

We went punting in Cambridge (where my sister did her MPhil):

 Followed by the necessary cream tea at Grantchester (where Rupert Brooke and the Bloomsbury set used to hang out):

{gurham chai sisters (minus three!)}

{cheers!! 2 out of 5 Clark girls!}

Sunday, 7 August 2016

{postcards from Israel-Nazareth and Galilee}

Well,  Jerusalem feels like it was ages ago, but the memories are still rather vivid and it's the kind of place that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
This will be my last post on my trip, and it covers the excursion to Nazareth and Galilee. If you recall, in my first post I included an extract from my Grandpa's book on the life of Jesus Christ:
The story begins at Nazareth, a small town in Galilee, in the land of Palestine, concealed in the hollow of the hills at the head of the busy Plain of Esdraelon. A climb up the hill that hides and shelters the town gives a rewarding view on all sides. To the north, beyond a richly fertile plain, on a clear day, snow-tipped Hermon can be seen. Westwards towards the Mediterranean, the purple of Mount Carmel is an inviting reminder that just beyond are the busy ports and ships. In the days of which we are writing, winding caravans carrying commodities of the famous city of Damascus could be seen. One of the three trade routes from Accho on the seacoast to Damascus passed six miles south of Nazareth. 
It was in this small insignificant town of Nazareth that Mary lived...

Nazareth is where Christ grew up and where his mother and father lived. His most famous and numerous miracles happened nearby around the Sea of Galilee, where he turned water into wine at Cana, fed the 5000, and walked on water, to name only a few. I have to admit that the tour we went on wasn't very good but it did pack in a lot and it was neat to see these historic places, even though tourism has really taken over in some areas. In the case of Nazareth, I was sorely disappointed by the choice of architecture around the humble structure that is reportedly the site of the Annunciation--a modernist concrete monstrosity, which detracts from what would have been a rather beautiful, simple stone structure, in keeping with Christ's humble origins.

We woke up early to catch the coach, walking through the quiet streets of Jerusalem as the sun began to rise:
{Damascus gate at dawn}
 We drove to Nazareth, where we visited the Church of the Annunication
{the possible site of the Annunciation shrouded in modernist concrete architecture}
The driving in this area takes in stunning views:

{Mt Tabor, believed to be the site of the Transfiguration}
 We then went to the Church of the Multiplication, where ancient mosaics depict bread and two fishes, to convey the miracle of Christ feeding 5,000 with five loaves & two fishes:
{detail of mosaic with fish & loaves, at the altar}
 We then travelled to Capernaum, right on the Sea of Galilee, where ancient ruins are all that is left of a once important city.

{the remains of the Great synagogue still stand}

{touching the Sea of Galilee}
and then we drove to the River Jordan, taking in breathtaking scenery:

The River Jordan is where Christ was baptised by John the Baptist:

Today it is heavily commercialised and the hoards of people getting baptised seems a bit phoney, but the setting is stunning if you can block out the mass religious tourism.
{my feet in the River Jordan}
 The drive back to Jerusalem was absolutely beautiful. Arid landscape, dotted with crops and farmers, and at a pitstop we even came across a camel named Pistachio:

{Pistachio, the camel}

Alas, that ends my blogs on Jerusalem and Israel. A fantastic place filled with so much culture and history--a place I think everyone should go, at least once in their lifetime.