Darlene Foster's Blog

Recently, a dear cousin happened to be in Barcelona for a day before she embarked on a cruise. I love to see family so took a quick trip to my favourite Spanish city to spend the day with her. We packed a lot in and had fun.

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Cousins at Plaça Catalunya in Barcelona

We managed to see quite a bit and catch up on family news. One place she really wanted to see was Gaudi’s Sagrada Família. Every time I visit this amazing work in progress, more parts of it have been completed. She was awestruck, as everyone is when they it.

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Happy to see La Sagrada Família

After a bus trip around the city and a delightful lunch on Passeig de Gràcia we visited another of Gaudi’s magical buildings, Casa Batlló, all decked out with roses.

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Casa Batlló dressed in roses

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Inside Casa Batlló

The roses were in honour of St. George’s Day or Día de San Jorge as it is known here in Spain. I loved all the references to roses and books scattered about the intriguing house.

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I found out later that Día de San Jorge is also known as the day of books and roses. A day where lovers exchange books and roses to honour the legend of St. George or San Jorge, who is the patron saint of Catalonia.

We ended the day by strolling along La Rambla and having dinner on this iconic street. This building covered in umbrellas with a dragon on the corner caught our attention.

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An umbrella building on La Rambla

I had the next morning to myself before flying back home so after a cafe con leche and a chocolate filled croissant across from Plaça Catalunya, I decided to walk to the Gothic Quarter which was nearby. I came upon the impressive Barcelona Cathedral built between the 13th and 15th centuries, the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona. Beside it is the Gaudi Exhibition Museum. Since this had been a very Gaudi trip,  I went into the museum and had a good look around. The displays depicted items from the great man’s life and things that influenced his work.  It was very informative and I got to know more about Antoni Gaudi and how he came up with his unique ideas.

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The legend of St. George slaying the dragon influenced Gaudi’s work. In fact, the roof of Casa Batllo is meant to look like the back of a dragon with a sword through it.

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Gaudi’s workbench

The building housing the exhibition was incredible. It was built in the 12th century as a hospital for the poor. Gaudi himself was a patron and would often visit the sick. Remains of the old walls and frescos added to the experience. It was well worth the visit.

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And when I went back outside, a bride and groom were preparing for a photo shoot by the cathedral. How special.

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And an orchestra played music on the steps of the cathedral

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People in the audience joined hands and danced to the music.

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The sun shone, music played, people danced and I was overflowing with happiness. A perfect little getaway to a city that never ceases to amaze me and a chance to see a family member.

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Don’t you just love this outfit made of fresh flowers?

We are off on a driving holiday to France so I may be offline for a few days, but will respond to your comments as soon as possible.

Pam over at RoughWighting answered the questions to the Real Neat Blog Award in a clever fashion. Please do check it out. She has a great question at the end for all to answer. You can see my answer in the comments. Enjoy!

roughwighting

pansy, blogging, getting to know youWhat’s a fun way to learn about individuals? Perhaps by asking them to list the books they’ve read. Or, even better, to read the books they’ve written. Even though we authors may revel in our fiction (allowing our characters to act in ways we’d never dare), still, there are ways to delve into the likes and dislikes of someone by reading between the lines.

Here’s an example through my innocuous flash fiction, below, based on a set of questions I was asked when nominated last week for the Real Neat Blog Award by Darlene (a real neat blogger). The questions are included at the bottom of this post.

Spring is blooming toward summer, and I am zooming off to meet my girlfriends in San Francisco for a long weekend. Rose will be there, as well as Daisy, Iris, and Lily.

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Here are Esme’s awesome answers to the Real Neat Blog Award. Check out her blog, filled with amazing recipes and other real neat stuff.

Jennie over at A Teacher’s Reflections posted this today and I just had to share it.

Check out Thank You, Superheroes and Jennie’s blog where she shares her teaching experience and the wonderful way she introduces her young students to books, reading, music, art and life. You will be impressed.

Today is National Superhero Day and this is what Jennie has to say about superheroes.

A Superhero is brave and caring, perseveres, takes risks, helps others, and saves the day.  A Superhero makes a difference.

Teachers fit the description perfectly.

I recently spent a fabulous day at an international school close to my home in Spain. I visited five classrooms of Grade 5 and 6 students, where I did a PowerPoint presentation about my writing and read from my Amanda Travels books. The students came from all over the world and enjoyed hearing about the places Amanda has travelled to. They were attentive, enthusiastic and asked well thought out questions. They were a delight to spend time with.

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Presenting to students at El Limonar International School

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A book-loving grade 6 class 

I was very impressed by the efficiency and dedication of the teachers. They are certainly ensuring that future generations are well educated and prepared for life. I consider them all superheroes.

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Display for Book Week at El Limonar International School

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With my Grade 3 Superhero, Miss Roll

A good teacher can make a huge difference in a child’s life.

Did you know a teacher that you consider a superhero?

Thanks very much to Stevie Turner for nominating me for a ‘Real Neat Blog Award’! I’m honoured!

The rules of the ‘Real Neat Blog Award’ are as follows:

Put the award logo on your blog.
Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
Nominate any number of bloggers you like, and ask them 7 questions.
Let them know you have nominated them.

Stevie has asked me these 7 questions below:

1. If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?

To get a university degree. I know I have done just fine without one, but I always felt it was an experience I would have enjoyed.

2. Do you think we have been put upon this earth for a purpose? If so, what is it?

I think we have been put upon this earth to love one another. Too bad not everyone feels that way.

3. Do you think life was better before the Internet and explosion of social media sites?

No, I don’t. Life is always best, right now. I’m not one of those people who wish things were the same as before. I embrace change and use it to my advantage. Without social media, I would not have been able to move to Spain and be away from my family and friends. Also, the internet and social media helped me to become a published writer.

4. Which of your possessions can you not do without?

My computer. See answer to number 3.

5. What would be your dream job?

A tour guide. It would be fun to show people around interesting places.

6. If you won the lottery, what would you buy first?

A ticket to an around the world cruise.

7. Do you believe in an afterlife, or do we just die and that’s the end of it?

Yes, I do. I believe we will see our loved ones again in the afterlife.

So, now it’s my turn to nominate some people for ‘The Real Neat Blog Award’ and ask them 7 questions.  Here goes – I’ve nominated these 6 amazing bloggers:

Beth Ann Chiles

Robbie Cheadle

Esme

Christa Polkinhorn

Lorna McInnes

Pamela Wight

Here are your questions my friends, let’s have fun with this:

  1. What is your favourite season and why?
  2. If you were given a plane ticket to visit any place in the world, where would you go?
  3. What is your favourite savoury food? sweet food?
  4. If you could change your first name, what would it be?
  5. If you could be a character in a book, which one would you choose and why?
  6. What is your one guilty pleasure?
  7.  If you could be any kitchen utensil, what would it be and why?

I can’t wait to hear your answers. xo

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Me being Jane Austen.

Sally has asked me to dig out an article from my archives about visiting Jane Austen’s cottage. Many of you are aware I am a Jane Austen fan, so this was an exciting occasion for me. If you would like to participate on Sally’s blog by sharing some of your travel themed posts, written before October 2017.. contact sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Time for a new series of Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about travel.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog since you began blogging up to October 2017 and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been…

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I am honoured to have my story about my inspiring great-grandmothers featured on Bernadette’s blog. Some of you may have read it before but if you haven’t, please pop over and have a read and leave a comment if you wish.

Haddon Musings

“We can have feminist icons, but the real heroines are just quietly doing what is needed.”  Osyth

The following post was written by Darlene Foster who writes at Darlenefoster.wordpress.com.  It is the tale of her two great-grandmothers who made a fulfilling life for themselves and their families while enduring great hardships.  What struck me about this story, of these two real heroines, was that Darlene said that because of the legacy of these women it has given her the confidence and courage to know that she can thrive under any circumstance.

A Tale of Two Katharinas, a Legacy of Strong Women

“People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.” Edmund Burke

I was fortunate to know both of my maternal great-grandmothers. They passed away when I was in my early teens but I remember them well. They were formidable women with hearts of gold. One…

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