Saturday 31 May 2014

Beautiful Bookstores

This is an extract of an article by Emily Temple on Jan 1, 2013.  To see the full article click here.

A gorgeous converted Dominican church gives the power of reading its due diligence. Selexyz Bookstore, Maastricht, Holland

This divine neo-gothic bookstore, opened in 1906, contains what we consider to be the ultimate definition of a stairway to heaven. Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal

This majestic converted 1920s movie palace uses theatre boxes for reading rooms and draws thousands of tourists every year. Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina

For those browsers not as impressed by architecture as they are by the beauty of books upon books upon books in narrow hallways — not to mention a place to nap. Shakespeare & Company, Paris, France

This store has a flying bike and books to the ceiling. Need we say more? Ler Devagar, Lisbon, Portugal

I hope you enjoyed those - I just wish I could be there and browse some of those shelves...   Do you have a beautiful bookstore near you?

Friday 30 May 2014

Friday My Town Shoot-out - Sculptures

The theme for FMTSO this week is Sculptures.  For once I don’t have to leave my home city of Liverpool in the UK.  There are plenty of sculptures there.

On top of the Liver Building on the waterfront stand two Liver Birds, symbols of the city for centuries. 

They look like a cross between a cormorant and an eagle.

And they feature on the Liverpool coat of arms.

A modern symbol of the city is the Superlambanana.   Superlambanana is a bright yellow sculpture weighing almost eight tons and standing 17 feet tall.  It is intended to be a cross between a banana and a lamb and was designed by Manhattan-based Japanese artist Taro Chiezo.   In 2008, as part of Liverpool's year-long position as European Capital of Culture, 125 individually designed miniature replicas were created and each individually painted and decorated.  

There are also a fair number of penguins to be found around Liverpool.  'Go Penguins' was a public art event held in Liverpool, Wirral, and St Helens, on Merseyside, in 2009 / 2010. It consisted of over 200 penguin sculptures which were painted and decorated by artists, schools and community groups.

One of my favourite Liverpool; sculptures is that of Lord Nelson.

Some idea of the scale of this monument can be appreciated from this 1887 photo.

This grand creation is the Victoria Monument. 

This large neo-Baroque or Beaux-Arts monument was built over the former site of Liverpool Castle.  A large ensemble featuring 26 bronze figures by C. J. Allen it was unveiled in 1906.   A less dramatic statue of Victoria is in front of St George’s Hall. It was created by Thorneycroft in 1869. 

In the background of this picture that I took in the 1960s is Wellington's Column, or the Waterloo Memorial, a monument to the Duke of Wellington standing on the corner of William Brown Street and Lime Street.  Completed in 1865 it has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building.  Also on this same plateau are four huge lion sculptures by Cockerell reminiscent of the lion sculptures by Sir Edwin Landseer at the base of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square.

One of many dozens of traditional statues around Liverpool is this one of Queen Mary, wife of George V, at the entrance to the first Mersey Tunnel which was named Queensway in her honour.

At the base of Wellington’s Column is the Steble Fountain. The cast- iron fountain, in front of the Walker Art Gallery, is also a Grade II listed building and dates back to 1879.   

There are plenty of photos of children playing in the fountain, dating back as far as the 19th Century.  The attraction of water sculptures for adventurous children is no less in the modern era.

After a period of the twentieth century when few statues were erected we have now entered a new phase of artistic creation on the streets. Many of these revolve around the Liverpool music scene, like Ringo Starr in Cavern Walks.

And Eleanor Rigby, sculpted by Tommy Steele in 1982.

If you would like to see more sculptures from around the world please click on this link

Sunday 25 May 2014

A Sunday Afternoon Saunter

Hello Guys, Boys and Girls, Fellow Bloglings, Postcrossers, lieve Wereldbewoner and Rambling Readers in general.

I must begin by mentioning the latest word to be banned by the BBC. I have a degree of sympathy with those who suggest certain words and phrases that should no longer be used for the sake of political correctness. When my son died I found there were certain things that people said to me that I found offensive even though I knew the people concerned didn’t mean them to be offensive.  So it must be the same for others.  And then there are the words that are without doubt meant to be derogatory.... 

So what is the latest BBC non-word?  I’ll give you a clue – it begins with a G and I’ve used it already in this post.  The dreaded word is ‘Girl’.  A sports reporter, record breaking cyclist Mark Beaumont, joked that he’d been beaten in a judo bout by a 19-year-old g*.  The word was left in when it was first broadcast despite being checked by a lawyer and a BBC executive.  But subsequently this sexist word was excluded from the broadcast leaving a weird awkward pause in place of the offending word.  The g… oops, nearly used it myself.  The young female person in question was Judo champion Cynthia Rahming and she was left as bemused as everyone else - she'd always thought she was a girl.

The Postcard Happiness Project
The Postcard Happiness Project is an initiative that enables us to send postcards to others who could benefit from a little postal kindness. This page is about potential happiness. It’s not meant to make you sad about challenging times. It’s designed to lift your spirits in the knowledge that there’s something small and inexpensive that you can do to lift a stranger’s spirits in a big way somewhere out there.  Tatjana Buisson posts stories of people who could do with a little encouragement or support in the form of friendly, physical postcards.  You can check out the Postcard Happiness Project page, pick a person you resonate with, take down their postal address and send them a friendly postcard (like in the good old days).

A Third Item
I had a third item for this post but I've forgotten what it was. 

Maslow Revised
A Revised Maslow Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid -


 It's the Monaco GP today.  All the great and good will be there on their yachts  to watch and drink their champagne. 

If the race is half as exciting as qualifying it should be fun today.  The qualifying revolved around the two Silver Arrows - the Mercedes.

Nico Rosberg did the fastest lap in qualifying but then, on his last lap, he 'made a mistake' and ended up down a side road bringing out a yellow flag.  This spoiled Lewis Hamilton's attempt to beat him to pole position because you can't go too fast through an area with a yellow flag. (Who remembers Michael Schumacher going into the barriers at Monaco after setting pole a few years ago?)

Lewis, on the left, maintained a stony and unhappy silence after the qualifying.  Nico, of course, apologised to his friend (or should that be one-time friend).

Saturday 24 May 2014

Friday My Town Shoot-out - What does your town celebrate in the streets?

(OK - it's Saturday but I nearly made it on time...)

The theme for FMTSO this week is ‘Street fairs - What does your town celebrate in the streets?’  I could have chosen Chinese New Year celebrations from Liverpool or Chester, or farmers’ markets in various local towns but instead I decided upon Morris Dancers in Exeter and Liverpool...

...and a Town Criers’ Parade in Tiverton in Devon.

 If you would like to see what other folk around the world celebrate in their streets please visit the link site.

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