Daily Archives: July 17, 2011

Here Be Dragons

For some reason yesterday’s post  didn’t publish so it has now been published today.  And you are getting a second one today so that I can fulfill my commitment to myself to post a blog a day

“When you are describing,
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don’t state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things,
With a sort of mental squint.”
~Lewis Carroll

Let there be dragons or anything else your mind or imagination can conjure up. We do have total and absolute control over our imagination.  Others can make suggestions as in when reading a book and imagining the setting but only we can use our imagination as we see fit.

Those of you very clever bloggers who write fiction, use your imagination.  My blogging friend Carl uses his imagination and produces very clever cartoons with apt comments accompanying them.  Val Erde uses art, poetry and prose to show us her imaginings.  Other bloggers use photography to enhance what is in their imagination and some of us just write.

Taking the dragon as my symbol for the imagination I see that according to Wikipedia ” A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or otherwise reptilian traits, that feature in the myths of many cultures.”  That being so, we are free to imagine the dragon in any form we please.

Will it be

Dragon statue

The Ljubljana “Dragon of Slovenia” via Wikipedia

or perhaps a fiery dragon

Fiery dragon

Google image

or even the Komodo dragon which isn’t imaginary but is  a type of monitor lizard.

Komod dragon

via Wikipedia

Looking at that photo one can understand how people thought this was a dragon.  Look at the forked tongue.  That tongue flicking in and out could perhaps  look like a small flame.

So what’s in your imagination today?

I am imagining a sunny, summer’s day with nothing more to do than sit and read a book.  Or maybe a walk in the park or along the beach with Lotte, my ever present companion, at my side.

I am imagining getting out my only just started novel and spending some time on it.  What will it feel like to go back to that?

Then my mind wanders to dinner and I imagine what I shall make to eat for tonight.

And the title of this blog?  Well it is commonly thought that English mapmakers formerly placed the phrase “here be dragons” at the edges of their known world.  Well here is the list of all known historical maps upon which these words appear – only one.  That is the Lenox Globe.  The globe was purchased in Paris in 1855 by Richard Hunt, who gave it to James Lenox, whose collection became part of the New York Public Library.

And no doubt you all know Dr Seuss’ ‘The thinks you can think”.  My children and grandchildren all loved and I still love  Dr S.  And now I have passed on the complete set to my friend’s grandson.

So – Book cover

“Oh the THINKS  you can think up if only you try!
If you try, you can think up a GUFF going by.
And you don’t have to stop.


Changing Seasons and Time Changes

“The changes from season to season,
The dawning that brings the new day.
These wonders mist all have a reason,
It was intended that way…..”

It’s Saturday evening here in New Zealand and I know that for many of you it is still Friday or perhaps even Saturday morning.  We are lucky in that New Zealand’s East Coast sees the sunrise before any other place in the world.

Of course, as we are on the other side of the world, we have the seasons the wrong way up – that is if you are a Londoner as am I.

I remember when we first arrived – June 11 1967.  I had two small children and June in Scotland where we had been living, is summer time and time for going to the beach or pool.  Not in Auckland New Zealand.  That first winter it rained almost every day and the children were at a loose end.  We were in a hotel and of course, at that time, hotels didn’t really cater for children.  So each day I took them out to amuse them.

Things improved when my daughter went to school – well at least for her – my son still had all the hours to fill in without his playmate.

I clearly remember that first Christmas.  Can you imagine the scene – Auckland, hot and humid and a Christmas tree was delivered.  As was our tradition, the children ‘helped’ me decorate the tree.  Outside the temperature soared and the pool looked very inviting.

Then my daughter asked in her little piping Scottish voice “But Mummy, when will it snow?”  Up till then she had seen snow each Christmas.

Even after all these years, Christmas in the heat seems wrong.  When I had Christmas at my house I did all the traditional things, roast turkey and the trimmings, roast vegetables, plum pudding and sauce.  My children who now take it in turns to do Christmas dinner don’t do this.  Instead they acknowledge the heat and usually have a barbecue outside.  It is always a festive occasion but where is my tradition.  They are of course, making their own traditions as they should.

So a couple of years ago, some (Northern hemisphere) friends and I got together to have a winter Christmas in July.  We are talking about doing it again this year.  We will have to wait and see whether or not we follow through on this discussion.

Christmas dinner

Google image

One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating.
And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends.”
Laurie Colwin ‘Home Cooking’