2

Singular sensation – a ripple of laughter

The prompt for July 12 from 365 Days of Writing Prompts is

Singular sensation

If one experience or life change results from you writing your blog, what would you like it to be?

If I make one person laugh or even smile, I am happy.  If the person is struggling with anxiety and/or depression, and they forget their worries for long enough to be amused by something I have written, then I am even happier.

My main aim in writing is to inform and entertain or perhaps the order of importance should be to entertain and inform.

Of course, my loyal readers will be aware that I have two blogs.  My other blog has the same philosophy.  I am writing there about the way the English language was used in my earlier days.  I try to introduce some humour.  I occasionally tweet things, which are supposed to be funny, but with my following of just over 100, the ripple made by any tweet of mine on the Twittersphere is miniscule.  Now did I hear a ripple of laughter?

I like ripples.  A disturbance in still water spreads out in a circle and on and on…

…until it meets another ripple and the ripples interact.  Our words and actions can be like ripples.

My writing might cause a ripple, make someone stop and think, spark off an idea for another blog post, a Tweet, a cartoon, a song or a smile.  Perhaps someone will take a look at the badges on my blogs and click on the links to other sites, perhaps finding out what matters most to me.  That would be an example of a ripple spreading.

I don’t think the ripple will be big enough to cause waves, but if the boat was small enough, might it rock the boat?

Another response to this prompt 

Earworm

July 10 in the 365 Days of writing prompts is

Earworm

Write whatever you normally write about, and weave in a book quote, film quote, or song lyric that’s been sticking with you this week.

As a member of two choirs I quite often find that I have snatches of songs buzzing round in my head.  About two days after the latest practice seems to be normal for a phrase to become an earworm.  This morning it is Slow Boat to China, which is clamouring the most loudly, although I know the syncopated, “Ching, ching, ching, ching” from Sleigh Ride is what I find most difficult.

Now what do I normally write about?  Books, craft, travel, blogging and Twitter are all regular features of this blog.

For this post what should I include?  I am enjoying going out in the sunshine and not always having to take a mack with me.  Most of my regular activities in the local community are continuing for this week and next.  I have been knitting, reading, writing my journal and playing my piano, which sounds much better since it was tuned last week.  Recently I found a book of treble recorder music in an Oxfam shop, which has inspired me to get one of my recorders out once or twice.  The music is quite challenging – and challenges are one of my weaknesses.

My reading matter includes blogs, a pile of books waiting to be read, my homework for Bible study, the local newspaper, my Twitter feed, the dreaded Facebook and cooking instructions.

I have neglected to read my to-do list for months!  Keeping busy and getting priorities right may not be the same thing.  I still have not finished the scrapbook from a trip over a year ago.  Other piles of paper are reminding me of good intentions not yet fulfilled.

It is time to, “Giddy up” as the sopranos sing in Sleigh Ride and get on with all the things I need to do.

4

Tourist trap

For the first time on my blog, I am welcoming a guest blogger. Johanne is responding to today’s prompt from 365 Days of Writing Prompts.

My favourite place on the planet is Florence which I have been lucky enough to visit on two occasions.  It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what I love about it but I’ll try to explain why it means so much to me.

Arriving in Florence isn’t as straight forward as arriving in many major cities.  There is an airport there but most flights arrive in Pisa, 43 miles away.  The easiest way to make the trip is by train.  Pisa airport is typical of modern airports – large, glass and metal, impersonal.  On exiting through huge sliding glass doors you find yourself on the platform of the train station which is a dead-end and looks from a previous time.  There is a machine to dispense tickets and a few benches to perch on while waiting.

The train journey takes about an hour and the train rumbles sedately through a series of villages and towns on the way to Florence.   Cascina,  Pontedera, Empoli.  At each station a variety of people get on and off – students from the universities of Pisa and Florence, business people returning home, groups of shoppers laden with bags from markets and designer boutiques and, of course travellers like us heading to Florence.  As we pull in to each station I get a small thrill knowing that we are getting closer to our destination and that magical moment when I see the sign saying Firenze on the platform.

Santa Maria Novella station is a contrast to Pisa station.  It is a large bustling station with multiple platforms, booming announcements in rapid Italian and crowds of people rushing to their destinations.  On exiting you are in the wonderful city of Florence – well, perhaps not the most wonderful part but Florence nonetheless.

I don’t know the area of Santa Maria Novella well, we tend to rush through it on our way to central Florence butt here is a rather magnificent black and white façaded church there which I will have to visit one day, especially as it has frescos by one of my favourite Renaissance artists, Filippino Lippi.

We have been lucky enough to stay close to the Duomo on both our visits.  This masterpiece of Renaissance architecture dominates the city; there are few places in Florence where you can’t get a glimpse of Brunelleschi’s dome.  You can climb the dome and get a fantastic view across Florence – I admit that I haven’t done this but my husband has and the photographs are stunning.  I prefer to wander round the Duomo drinking in the wonderful works of art by Uccello, Donatello, Della Robbia, and Zuccaro.

File:Santa Maria del Fiore.jpg

(Photo credit  Enne at the Italian Wikipedia project http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Santa_Maria_del_Fiore.jpg)

Florence is a wonderful place for art lovers.  It’s practically impossible to turn a corner without bumping into a beautiful vista, a gorgeous sculpture or some stunning architecture.  I particularly love the Brancacci Chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine.  It has the most stunning frescos by Masaccio and Lippi depicting Biblical scenes.  Now religious imagery isn’t for everyone and there is a lot of it in Florence but these frescos are truly wonderful.  The depiction of pain and loss on the faces of Adam and Eve on being expelled from the Garden of Eden is breathtaking.  The colours on these frescos, which are over 600 years old, are bright and vibrant and the faces are beautifully painted, obviously using contemporaries of the artists as models.  I often wonder how the model felt about being painted as St Peter or Jesus.

There are too many sights in Florence for me to write about here.  It is truly a stunning city which I plan to visit many more times in the future and I still won’t scratch its surface.  Now, where did I put the guide book to plan my next trip?

 

Thank you Johanne for telling us about Florence. Johanne has another blog here. Perhaps you’d like to follow one of her blogs.

I hope you enjoyed reading about Florence as much as I did.  Have you been to Florence?

The prompt from 365 Days of Writing Prompts was:-

Tourist trap

What’s your dream tourist destination — either a place you’ve been and loved, or a place you’d love to visit? What about it speaks to you?

Posts by others for this prompt.

http://chloemayward.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/tourist-trap/

http://melissa5551.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/tourist-trap/

http://dubmandeep.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/one-sticky-night-in-venice/