Edinburgh

#10thingsIlove

Turn off the lights.Turn on the stars.

To balance out the good with the bad #10thingsIhate here are my #10thingsIlove.

1. Spending time with friends and family. There’s nothing quite like this, I’m definitely a social animal. Love going out for coffee, dinner or just hanging out at home with my family. Friends both on and offline are the best for supporting and encouraging you to pursue your dreams.
2. Eating tasty food. This just had to be on my list! LOL… I love food, any food, but especially spicy meals, as I grew up with a diet of Malaysian fare – my mum is from Kuching, Malaysia.
3. Travelling. Absolutely, would love to travel more. I grew up with a father who had a penchant for travel so this isn’t entirely surprising.  Recently, I entered Dan Alatorre’s recent Word Weaver writing competition with the first chapter of my dad’s travelling adventures. Sorry, the competition is now closed, but Dan has a great blog so go follow! I’ve been to many places in the world but there are still many to explore.
4. Going to the Theatre to see drama and dance. Where would we be without the theatre to make our imaginings take form? I adore going to the Edinburgh Festival and try to go every year if I can. The buzz is fantastic.
5. Visiting Edinburgh to see my mum, dad, brother and extended family. Love Edinburgh, it is one of the best cities in the world Edinburgh ranked Second in the World for Quality of Life and  is my home from home.
6. Writing prose and poetry, and reading books. Of course, this has to feature here. What has writing done for me? So much, it has given me such confidence, and so much enjoyment. I wish I had started writing decades ago!  Reading books and going to Book Festivals ranks pretty highly up there on my favourite things to do. Books make me cry, they make me smile; they delight me. Where would we be without books? I daren’t contemplate such a fate. And book festivals, again, my favourite is the Edinburgh Book Festival
7. Tai Chi. I have been attending classes in Taoist Tai Chi for many years, and I love it. I find it helps me relax, keeps me balanced and gives me a terrific boost. I would recommend it. Start young and you’ll stay fit well into your old age! Start older and it will keep you young! It’s a win, win situation… Recently, we had a Tai Chi intensive at my local branch.  Here’s the link to the Facebook page to see photos: Taoist Tai Chi Intensive in Cambridge. What’s a Tai Chi Intensive? It’s a special lesson when a particularly awesome instructor comes along to impart their knowledge to us Tai Chi enthusiasts. We partake of a bring and share lunch and generally have a lovely time.

Here’s the instructor considering what to teach us next:

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8. Sea air and sunshine. These two I’ve combined, as I enjoy the seaside best when the weather is nice. If the sun is out,  I can swim, (not in the UK!) sunbathe, eat an ice-cream, walk and explore. When it’s cold I still enjoy it, but I have to wrap up in many, many layers!
9. The blogging community. Have been a blast, so helpful, supportive and amazing. Love you! In fact I love you so much that I set up a special community on Facebook for authors/bloggers and bookish souls. Please do investigate and join …. Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support ClubMy fellow administrators of the group are Colleen Chesebro, and Debby Gies.
10. And last but not least, crystals and cats. I collect crystals and write about them too. My current manuscript is entitled: The Curse of Time – The Bloodstone. I intend to release this YA fantasy this summer. Cats, well I like their independence, and cats always seem to like me! Unfortunately, I don’t own one as both my husband and daughter are allergic but I get my fix over at Samantha Murdoch Blog. Samantha and I are good blogging friends and she has kindly been providing me with lots and lots of photos of her cat Lily who looks like the cat Shadow in my book.

Here are the latest photos of Samantha’s lovely cat Lily.

 

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In life, there is always good and bad but it is always nice to end on a high note.  There is much more to enthuse about when writing about what I love. The list could have gone on and on…

Bye for now,

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My Links: 

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Facebook

Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

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Happy Easter!!!

Happy Easter

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter.

I’m still on a bit of a blogging break until my eldest daughter returns to University so will be somewhat scarce in blogging land.

I had a wonderful holiday up in Edinburgh but it was all too short…

Here are some of my photos:

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That’s one of me and my daughter Georgina before I had my lunch…. I tend to shrink when I’m hungry! We were at a very nice restaurant called The Railbridge Bistro in South Queensferry which overlooks the bridges and has haggis on the menu!

And here’s my lovely mum and dad… Missing them…

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My dad hates the cold, and though the view at South Queensferry is amazing it was bitterly chilly… My mum looks okay, in fact she dares to look a bit amused but poor dad…

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Since I’ve been back in Cambridge, I’ve had a lovely time with my eldest daughter who is visiting from University.

Recently we went out to a cafe in Cambridge…

And she approved of my photo…  The drink looks like some sort of Dr Who concoction but I believe it is a green tea matcha. Oh, by the way did you see the Dr Who episode last night? If you did I bet you didn’t dare have a shower or bath before bedtime. I love it when Dr Who gets all scary!

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Then, there’s me all dressed up as I had work afterwards. Recently, I started working part-time at Ann Summers – which is a strangest job I have ever had! It’s a bit like marmite some days I love it, some days I hate it! Ha ha…. It’s a tricky one for an introvert with extrovert tendencies. Anyway, that plate in front of me is the remains of a very tasty Orange and Polenta cake that we shared at Espresso Library cafe in Cambridge.

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Before I go let me say a big thank you to all the contributors to my Facebook Rainbow Support Club in my absence.

Here are just some of the wonderful links that have appeared:

http://marshajustwrites.com/accidental-tourist/

https://dgkayewriter.com/who-has-a-new-book-the-swamp-fairy-colleen-cheseboro/

http://allanhudson.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/4q-interview-and-excerpt-with-guest.html

https://steviet3.wordpress.com/2017/04/13/friday-roundup-on-a-thursday-13th-april/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-book-reading-and-interview-d-g-kaye/

https://jennyinneverland.com/2017/04/14/bloggers-revealed/

https://scvincent.com/2017/04/12/guest-author-sarah-brentyn-where-i-spin-self-doubt-into-a-post/

https://scvincent.com/2017/04/14/guest-author-d-wallace-peach-room-to-breathe/

All the contributors have done a fabulous job of making the page a fantastic resource of information, help, and collaboration for fellow writers/bloggers.

Do pop over to the club page and take a look, and come give the club some love: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club.

If you’d like to join the club please do message myself either in the comment below or contact me on my email marjma2014@gmail.com, or chat about it with Colleen Chesebro or Debby Gies, my two fabulous blogging buddies who administer the running of the club with me.

All the best for a lovely Easter.

Do pop over to my Instagram page to see the rest of my photos: My Instagram

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Thursday Doors : Edinburgh Queen’s Gallery

 

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For this week’s Thursday doors I’m focusing on my recent day trip to Edinburgh. I’ve been in Glasgow for a few days with my hubby and some friends so I popped over to Edinburgh to see my mum and dad. We went for a Chinese dim sum lunch and then mum and I took the bus to Hollyrood Palace. Here’s a photo of the crags of Arthur’s Seat.

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Now for the doors. The Queen’s Gallery –  an art gallery at Holyrood Palace complex.

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And here it is with a bit of a magic wand makeover… From Prisma.. Using the Gothic touch.

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This gateway… leads to the tea room where we had a very royal Cappucino.

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Hope you liked my Thursday doors post. If you share your posts on Twitter and Instagram remember to use the #ThursdayDoors hastag. If you’d like to join in Norm’s Thursday doors here’s the link to his blog to do so: Norm’s Thursday Doors

Bye for now,

 

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#Blog Battle: The Sunken Statue

I’m taking part in Rachel Ritchey’s writing #BlogBattle this week’s theme is Head. Apparently this is Rachel’s 6th month of doing BlogBattles!!!

Week 25 Theme is Head

Date to Post: Tuesday, September 8th, 2015.

http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

This was the perfect prompt for me as I have been intending to write a short story about a visit I had to The Edinburgh Modern Gallery of Art, where a particular head greets you as you enter the grounds of the gallery. Here’s the link to my post: https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/08/26/edinburgh-festival-photographs-of-my-art-gallery-visit/

So I wrote this very quickly this morning, rush, rush, rush, so hope it meets with your approval!

Genre: Fantasy

The Sunken Statue

He hadn’t always been concrete. He had lived once, an ordinary life, nothing spectacular you understand. Art had been his life, he called himself a sculptor, a very poor one, unknown, and undervalued. He lived alone, had no pets, no friends, no family, just his art. It wasn’t surprising that he became bitter, angry that his works of art were being ignored. His favourite art gallery was in Edinburgh, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art on Belford Road, he went there often to fume. He was aghast when he saw the pathetic nature of some of the exhibits, the nonsensicalness of them. That particular day in August, he scowled as he saw the blocks of square colour that were meant to constitute art. Who were they kidding? A child could have drawn this.

That’s how it began, the answer to him seemed to be simple, a child, he needed a child to rekindle his child-like eye for art, to transport him to great heights of prowess. But how could he even begin to achieve this? He had no wife, no lover to provide him with a son or daughter. The seed of yearning planted deep within his soul he set out to find a child, an artistic child. Where better to look than the art gallery itself?

In the gallery the shop and the café provided him with the perfect place to find a child who had slipped past their parents’ watchful eyes. But how could he justify this? He didn’t consider himself to be a criminal. His conscience was like an uncharted piece of paper but surely what tiny remnants remained would not allow him to behave in such a despicable way? To snatch a young child from the loving hands of a parent? His justification had to be his love of art; art was his wife, his lover. He knew this action, if he carried it out, would be the ultimate heinous act, and though his heart was empty he sensed there would be a dreadful, most shocking price to pay.

He tortured himself for days and days drinking, smoking and ranting. Nobody heard him, apart from his own ears which devoured his angst and his forgotten sculptures, that sighed.  Finally his anguished soul gave in. So with this terrible plan in place he went to the gallery, and waited and waited for an opportunity. The girl was pretty, her rosy cheeks, blonde hair and colourful skirt caught his eye. He imagined her as a watercolour painting, a rainbow of sun drenched colours. She kept wandering off from her mother, exploring, chatting to strangers, her mother didn’t seem to notice or mind. Perhaps she was used to it. This was the sort of girl who could not be confined; she was a wanderer, a free spirit, an artistic soul, so that knowledge more than justified his actions.

‘Hi, that’s a pretty postcard,” he said, standing beside her.

She smiled, a dimple on her innocent face winked at him.

“Yes it is thank you, but this is my favourite.”

She held up a postcard of a statue, an exhibit that he knew was outside in the gardens. A short walk away. How easy could it be? A gift. Not from God, but he was not a believer.

“Would you like to see it? It’s just outside in the gardens I could show you if you’d like?” he asked.

He hadn’t thought what her reaction would be. So when she smiled and said, “Yes please,” he didn’t show any emotion.

He left the art gallery with her by his side, he felt proud that he had found such a wonderful child, his artistic angel. Now he believed that his sculpting ambitions would be fully realised.

She appeared thrilled by the Miró sculpture. She ran her small hands around the circular top as if she was experiencing her own personal ride through life.

She stroked it fondly as if she wished to gain an insight into the artist’s mind.

He knew then without a shadow of a doubt that she was the one.

An opportunity presented itself to him, sneaking into the silent grounds, on tiptoes of devilment it crept. No other soul was about, to witness its wicked arrival. So he grabbed her hand and pulled her towards the exit. She began to shriek. He hadn’t expected that.

“What’s the matter?” he asked, confused by her sudden change of sunny mood.

“You’re making me scared,”

“Scared of what?” he asked, frowning.

“You!” she replied in a small uncertain voice, trembling.

“I just want to take you across the road to the art gallery opposite; there are more wonderful exhibits there too.’

“No, I don’t want to go,” she said, tiny tears began to make a sad appearance on her rosy face.

He dragged her until they approached the crossing; he heard her cries but divorced himself from the monster that he was becoming. Then he stopped. It was sudden, the loss of sensation in his body, the terrible sinking feeling. Was this the price to be paid? He let go of her hand, he didn’t need her anymore. He had never needed anyone. Least of all a child. This was no price, this was the perfect solution. For the first time in his life he felt pure contentment. He was art, he was the Sunken statue. He would be seen and revered by all the art lovers in the world. Nobody would ever dare to forget him again.

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© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

Rules:

  1. 1000 words max
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
  7. Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
  8. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
  9. Have fun!

I hope you liked my entry to BlogBattle, and it didn’t alarm you too much! Apologies to the woman and child in the photo I’m sure no harm came to you on your visit to the art gallery!

Do leave a comment I’d love to know what you think of my short story.

Bye for now.

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica. xx

Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge #60 Bridge and Move

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I’ve been out of the loop of Haiku challenges for a while as I’ve been up in Edinburgh looking after my mum after her operation. Luckily she’s as fit as a fiddle and bouncing back to health at a miraculous pace.  She’s a regular churchgoer and apparently the congregation pray for those who are ill or in hospital, and in her case it seems to have worked, quite amazing, not much pain, just a bit tired as if she’s had a serious case of man flu or something.

So in between helping my mum out I managed to have a bit of a holiday in Edinburgh, taking in the delights of the Edinburgh International Festival, and the Book Festival too, you may have seen some of my recent blog posts.

Now that I’m back in Cambridge, I’m happy to be joining in this week with Ron’s weekly haiku challenge, here’s the link if you’d like to take part: https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-60-bridge-move/

The prompt words this week are bridge and move.

My first haiku is about my experience on the train coming home from Edinburgh. I was sitting opposite a Chinese lady and her son. She was obviously hungry as she rummaged in her bag and pulled out a large chocolate cheesecake, (it looked like it served four people,)  and sat there and ate the majority of it all by herself. Her son nibbled on a chocolate and in a short while finished off the last remaining crumbs of that cheesecake before polishing off a packet of crisps. This amused me no end. I know that Chinese people love their food, (my mum’s from Malaysia so I know this without a shadow of a doubt,) but I always thought they prefer savoury to sweet so this astonished me. In fact they were very entertaining to listen to, the lady started telling the people sitting next to her about all her travels in the Far East, so I got my eavesdropping ears on, (an absolute must if you have any aspirations to be a writer,) and had a jolly old-time. It ended up being a very interesting  journey home.

So this haiku is an eves-dropping thank you for the Chinese lady on the train, and a celebration of her eating so much chocolate cheesecake in one sitting! I hope she likes cats, didn’t have an upset tummy afterwards, and will forgive me for being such a nosey parker.

Isn’t this picture cute?

 

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A Sweet Bridge Too Far

Moving train journey

Kitty! Choc cheesecake delight

A sweet bridge too far?

 

And the next one, which I have entitled We’re Finished Lover, well I don’t know where this one came from!

Oh I tell I lie, whilst I was up in Edinburgh at the Book Festival I saw a  little haiku book that caught my eye, it’s called Haiku for The Single Girl by Beth Griffenhagen, with wonderful illustrations by Cynthia Vehslage Meyers (Illustrator) so it inspired me to write this haiku:

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We’re Finished Lover

Move an inch baby

Don’t dare cross that bridge sweetheart

We’re finished lover

 

Hope you enjoy my couple of  haiku offerings this week. Haiku always make me smile, I hope they make you smile too.

Bye for now.

kk

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edinburgh Festival: The Kelpies Sculptures

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Aren’t these stunning?

These miniature statues are currently a feature of Edinburgh’s West End for the duration of the Edinburgh International Festival. The real Kelpies are one of the largest standing equine sculptures in the world, standing 30 metres high, and located within “the Helix” park, Falkirk, a 350 hectare park situated between Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland. The Kelpies are the creation of sculpter Andy Scott. Next time I’m up in Scotland I will most definitely be visiting the “real” Kelpies in Falkirk.

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Taking photographs of them at different angles, certainly seemed to breathe life into these miniature Kelpies! Also I played about with the exposure, brightness, etc, on a photo editing site: http://www.picmonkey.com/ to get differing effects.

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Links:

http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/news/article/1876/world-famous_kelpies_come_to_edinburghs_west_end

http://www.thekelpies.co.uk/

 

Hope you enjoyed the Kelpies. I loved them. Have you seen the Kelpies?

kk

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

Writer’s Quote Wednesday: Edinburgh First UNESCO City of Literature

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I’m a bit late for Writer’s Quote Wednesday this week as I’ve been away in Edinburgh and trying to catch up on everything now that I’m home, but I suppose it’s better to be late than never!

Anyway if you’d like to participate in this wonderful community of quote enthusiasts here’s the link:

http://silverthreading.com/2015/08/26/writers-quote-wednesday-pure-inspiration/

My quotes this week are inspired by my trip to Edinburgh, and in particular to the Edinburgh Book Festival.

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There are many more wonderful quotes about Edinburgh, the world’s first UNESCO city of Literature. www.cityofliterature.com

Here are some more of my favourites:

“Stepping into Charlotte Square was like stepping onto the pages of a fantastic new story.”

“City of the mind. A writer’s city.” Ian Rankin.

“It’s impossible to live in Edinburgh without sensing its literary heritage.” J K Rowling.

‘Edinburgh is my favourite city.” Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate.

“This is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again.”
Alexander McCall Smith

“Edinburgh is alive with words.”
Sara Sheridan

“Edinburgh is a comfortable puddle for a novelist.”
Sara Sheridan

“From this height the sleeping city seems like a child’s construction, a model which has refused to be constrained by imagination. The volcanic plug might be black Plasticine, the castle balanced solidly atop it a skewed rendition of crenellated building bricks. The orange street lamps are crumpled toffee-wrappers glued to lollipop sticks.”
Ian Rankin

Edinburgh is a great big black bastard of a city where there are ghosts of all kinds.”
Sara Sheridan, Ma Polinski’s Pockets      

“The drinking dens are spilling out
There’s staggering in the square
There’s lads and lasses falling about
And a crackling in the air
Down around the dungeon doors
The shelters and the queues
Everybody’s looking for
Somebody’s arms to fall into
And it’s what it is
It’s what it is now

There’s frost on the graves and the monuments
But the taverns are warm in town
People curse the government
And shovel hot food down
The lights are out in the city hall
The castle and the keep
The moon shines down upon it all
The legless and asleep

And it’s cold on the tollgate
With the wagons creeping through
Cold on the tollgate
God knows what I could do with you
And it’s what it is
It’s what it is now

The garrison sleeps in the citadel
With the ghosts and the ancient stones
High up on the parapet
A Scottish piper stands alone
And high on the wind
The highland drums begin to roll
And something from the past just comes
And stares into my soul

And it’s cold on the tollgate
With the Caledonian Blues
Cold on the tollgate
God knows what I could do with you
And it’s what it is
It’s what it is now
What it is
It’s what it is now

There’s a chink of light, there’s a burning wick
There’s a lantern in the tower
Wee Willie Winkie with a candlestick
Still writing songs in the wee wee hours
On Charlotte Street I take
A walking stick from my hotel
The ghost of Dirty Dick
Is still in search of Little Nell
And it’s what it is
It’s what it is now
Oh what it is
What it is now”
Mark Knopfler, Sailing to Philadelphia      

You can see I’m missing Edinburgh already! My old home town! Still it’s always nice to be home, especially as I know that I can go back to Edinburgh again.

There are so many Literary activities you can take part in here are some links that I’d like to share with you:

Edinburgh Book Festival, Charlotte Square: www.edbookfest.co.uk

Scottish Story Telling Centre: www.scottishstorytellingcentre.co.uk

Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour: www.edinburghliterarypubtour.co.uk

Edinburgh Writers’ Museum: www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk

Edinburgh World Heritage Trinity Apse Storytelling Garden: www.ewht.org.uk

The Edinburgh Book Lovers’ Tour www.edinburghbooktour.com

Edinburgh Book Sculptures via : www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk

Hope you enjoyed my thoughts on Edinburgh for Writer’s Quote Wednesday.

kk

Bye for now…

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

Edinburgh Festival: Photographs of My Art Gallery Visit

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A fantastic motto to live your life by, Martin Creed’s message: Everything Is Going To Be Alright. Keep positive folks…. Yes, Everything is alright, my mum is doing really well after her operation, I’m so pleased, and relieved. She’s such a strong lady, I’m in awe of her really I am. My brother mentioned that he thought he’d have to wheel her out of the hospital after her operation but no my mum was up on her feet telling the nurses she wanted to go home! Amazing!

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I thought I’d share with you this visit to the Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art. It was one of the highlights of my trip to Edinburgh as I got a chance to go out with my mum, just the two of us, which was a treat in itself. She is still a bit delicate after her operation, no dancing for a while yet, so we had a coffee and a chat in the café and afterwards I did a super fast tour, while she read a book and had a well deserved rest.

I always like to pop into these two art galleries when I’m in Edinburgh. This time I just managed to go to Gallery One, but that’s alright as Gallery One is my favourite, it’s always full of inspiring art, has a lovely shop, and a coffee shop too. It is well worth a visit if you are ever in Edinburgh. Currently there is an exhibition of Roy Lichtenstein’s work at Gallery One, as part of Reflections, which is on until 10th January 2016 so still plenty time to see this free exhibition. The gallery is located at 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR, and is easily accessible via bus.

 

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These images caught my eye as I went up the stairs, I liked the idea of looking through the window panes and seeing the view divided into six panes of awesomeness! So I nipped down to the café and told my mum that I wanted to take some photos, and then I popped up the stairs to snap these two images. Yes, I was running around that gallery like a sprinter. We were on a tight time frame, it really was a flying visit, as I was going out later in the day to the …….. yes you guessed it, the Book Festival.

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Here’s another  view of the same spot from the outside, with a Miró sculpture in the foreground.

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Oh and on the way out…. I came face to face with the Sunken Statue, on the way to….. the bus stop!

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Kind of sinister isn’t it? This is what happens to you if you spend too much time in art galleries you sink into the concrete of life and partially disappear! That unsuspecting lady and her child making their way out of the gallery better watch out, they’re heading for a Doctor Who moment if you ask me, they’re following the straight line to oblivion! Poor unsuspecting fools. Yes, the sunken statue doesn’t look too happy does he? Can’t blame him, whatever has happened to his nipples? They look hammered in. Must be the shock, poor chap!!

Links:

https://www.nationalgalleries.org/

http://www.culture24.org.uk/art/art399888

https://www.nationalgalleries.org/visit/modern-one-23559/room-displays/reflections-creed-lewitt

http://martincreed.com/

Hope you enjoyed my post, have you been to any wonderful art galleries or sculpture parks recently? Or had any Doctor Who moments recently?

Do comment and let me know, I’d love to hear from you.

kk

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

#Blog Battle Writing Week 20: Prophet

 Well it’s time for another Blog Battle, if you haven’t come across Rachael Ritchey’s  Blog Battles here’s your chance to join in this fun community of writers.

This link will take you to her blog battle page: http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

The rules are:

Week 20 Theme will be Prophet

Date to Post: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015


Rules:

  1. 1000 words max
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. Post your story by Tuesday 11:59 PM PST
  7. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
  8. Have fun!

The prompt word this week is Prophet.  I thought I’d give you another little taster of my WIP, a children’s fantasy set in Edinburgh.  I have written about 12,000 words in total for this new manuscript, so there is still a long way to go! This is the opening chapter of Morag Eu-Fung’s adventures, which is still to be edited/critiqued, by my writing group so all comments appreciated.

Hope you enjoy!

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Grandma’s Prophesy

Morag shouted, a wide grin erupted on her moon-shaped face, any spirits evil or otherwise were probably deafened and finding a hiding place in a crater somewhere. Now Morag’s voice sounded hoarse. Eilidh rolled her eyes, and frowned, her forehead creasing tightly in a sisterly display of disapproval. Morag acknowledged the frown by sticking her tongue out at her sister, but it was too late, Eilidh had turned away totally missing Morag’s rebellious gesture.

Just at that very moment, the night sky lit up with another jubilant burst of fireworks. The rainbow of light seemed to catch Morag’s dark brown hair which hung loose, and then alighted on her coat which was unbuttoned, thrown on. Another burst of colour settled momentarily on her fingerless mittens. Morag’s face glowed, her breaths panting, like a tribe of joggers, trying to keep up with each quick step of excitement. As if to match the momentum of Morag’s breathing a sequence of fireworks burst into another wonderful display, light fell, illuminating the freckles on Eilidh’s face which squeezed together impersonating a series of tiny black dots. Somehow Eilidh’s freckles reminded Morag of what you might see after staring too long and hard at an optician’s bright light.

Morag’s dad had outdone himself. Where had he managed to find such a wonderful array of fireworks? The firecrackers had been noisy; the neighbours must be at breaking point by now. Morag imagined them in their houses gritting their teeth, and muttering with growing annoyance. She giggled. No doubt they could smell the aroma of burning bamboo sticks too. Anybody would think that they were living in Hong Kong or somewhere equally exotic, but no they were in Scotland, at least they were living in the capital city Edinburgh and not in some back water. The centre of Asian culture, no, not really, but most of the inhabitants of their house thought differently, and those who didn’t kept that opinion to themselves!

Mum, dad, grandma and grandpa joined them but watched from a distance. Morag and Eilidh huddled together in the back garden sharing this moment until Eilidh spoilt it with her selfish words.

“Come on Morag, let’s go, it’s over.”

Eilidh didn’t even have the decency to let the very last firework fizz out properly. Morag ignored her sister, she lingered, savouring the memory of the sight of the sparkling fireworks exploding into the darkness of the night, they might be gone but the atmosphere crackled with the promise of a New Year. She was so absorbed in her own thoughts that for a moment she hadn’t noticed everyone else trooping back into the house. But when she did she questioned why they always did as Eilidh said? Before Morag could wonder anymore Grandmother trudged up and grabbed her by the collar of her coat and yanked her back to reality.

“Whooa Grandma, I’m coming, stop pulling at my coat,” said Morag, as she turned for one last stolen glance at the night sky.

Grandmother might seem to be the patient one but when it came to tradition she was always the first one in line, on a mission, in a hurry, organising the family in her quiet, devoted way. She had come outside to collect Morag without bothering to put on her coat. Her black dress was tightly drawn across her plump body, acting as a fearsome barrier to the cold. Morag studied Grandmother Lean’s wrinkly, tired face. She’d been working really hard, busily preparing everything for Chinese New Year. Grandmother had very rarely sat down, whilst grandfather settled down into the best chair in the house and refused to get up! Typical grandfather!

The reunion dinner had been well worth all the effort. Morag’s favourite dumplings had sat like tempting morsels quivering with expectant anticipation on the dining table. Within one of the dumplings a gold coin  lay hidden and whoever found the coin was considered to be lucky. Morag had hoped that it would be her. She had looked at the dumplings hungrily and wondered which one to choose. Her hunger had got the better of her and she had chosen the biggest, fattest, one. In her haste she had opened her mouth wide and had taken an enormous bite, almost eating the dumpling whole. Of course, her elder sister had chosen the smaller more delicate dumpling and had found the gold coin. Typical! Why did her eldest sister have to be the lucky one? It was so unfair. Ugh! Still, maybe it was just as well, Morag had swallowed the gold coin last year by mistake, and they had had to rush her to hospital! After the gold coin incident, Eilidh had taken great delight in calling Morag a greedy pig. Morag didn’t want that name tag, even though the pig was one of the illustrious animals to grace the Chinese Zodiac.

The first day of this New Year had begun well. Grandmother Lean had greeted Morag and Eilidh with an individual ang pow, a little red packet.

“Spend it wisely, and all will be well,” Grandmother had prophesied.

Of course Grandmother hadn’t said this to Eilidh, she expected Eilidh to spend it wisely without being reminded. Eilidh would too, she knew how to get on the right side of grandmother and keep her sweet.

Morag had bowed respectfully to her grandmother, even though she was a bit annoyed by Grandmother selecting her for the “spend it wisely” message but she knew better than to say anything, and she certainly didn’t intend to open it in front of her. This was considered to be very rude! So she sneaked upstairs and opened the packet in her room, £20. Wow. She couldn’t wait to spend it.

She remembered her grandmother’s words.

“Spend it wisely.”

She loved her grandmother and knew that the spirits of her ancestors had been listening and that to disobey would be very, very, unwise. She must try her best to buy something worthy of her grandmother’s wish. She prophesied that she would be good, a little chuckle escaped betraying her like a prisoner from her lips.

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

 

Hope you like my #BlogBattle story. I’m enjoying writing this WIP. Do let me know what you think. I would love some opinions on the Chinese New Year Theme.  Thanks a million.

kk

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

 

 

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