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Copyright – Padre’s Ramblings

Maria Antonia’s photo challenge includes a prompt for “transportation.”  My late wife was, and I am, great lovers of waterways.  We spent many a holiday just enjoying the experience of watching the world go slowly by, whether one the great ship canals such as the Kiel, or the ringed waterways of Amsterdam, or the gentle passage through Norfolk’s Broads.  The photo above is of one of her favourite passages in Venice.

Not every roadway is made of soil,

Not every element is earth,

Transit need not give legs toil,

But ride easy once you’ve slipped from your berth.




Point of View

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Viewpoint: Welsh Mountains

OFMARIAANTONIA‘s 2020 photo challenge includes a prompt for “Point of View.”  The viewpoint I have gone with is the view of the surrounding peaks as seen from my cousin’s home in the Welsh mountains.  The viewpoint shows the progression from the tree line, to the moor-like uplands, and then to the snowline.


Timber to grass, grass to snow

It all changes quickly as up you go

I sit and observe it, dry and warm

Unconcerned by the passing storm

Such is my point of view

As I read a book, and sip a brew



With much appreciation to Tess and Hugh for their hospitality.



Danube Bridges

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Danube Bridges: Budapest

Maria Antonia’s 2020 Photography Challenge includes a prompt to share a picture on the theme of bridge or tunnel.  Bridges feature in the life and history of the Hungarian capital, Budapest.  The city is in reality two cities Buda and Pest, which are linked by the bridges, the first being the Chain Bridge.

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Margaret Bridge



Under Construction

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Sagrada Família

Maria Antonia’s Photography Challenge for 2020 includes a prompts for “Under Construction.”  Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia fits the phrase perfectly.  The Basilica was originally the brain-child of Josep Maria Bocabella i Verdaguer who, in 1866, wanted to create a religious site to honour the Holy Family, and especially Joseph.  Construction began in 1882.   Since then the project has been linked to Antoni Gaudí who took over as architect in 1883.   The construction has had several setbacks, not least being damage during the Spanish Civil War, and a fire in 2011.  But, the work continues and plans are now in place to finish the project in 2026.

Under construction

It seems always to be

Since Gaudi took over in ’83

It’s had some problems

With wars and some flames

But the project goes on-wards

With scaffold and cranes

The site is beautiful –

Though its style’s a big mix –

I can’t wait till it’s finished –

In twenty -twenty and six






“It’s Time”

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Tower Trumpeter – Prague- image: Padre’s Ramblings

The 2020 Photography Challenge from Maria Antonia includes presenting a photo on the theme of “It’s Time.”  The above photo and its companion below are of the clock tower in the old town of Prague.  The Astronomical Clock is amazing, and if its artistic mechanism isn’t enough to draw attention, each hour a trumpeter sounds the time as well.


Now –
It’s time –
The trump sounds –
The clock strikes nine –
Historic figures –
Their hourly paths enact –
Curious tourists gather –
Upwards they stare and gawk – amazed –
In old Prague town the new day begins
The clock-astronomic, has entertained


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image: Padre’s Rambling

The Big Picture

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Image: Padre’s Ramblings

It is the beginning of a new year, and it hold many opportunities and mysteries.  But it isn’t always easy to gain perspective on events as we are experiencing them.  Despite the year’s name, it is the past which actual offers us that 20/20 perspective.  “The Big Picture,” if you will.   OFMARIAANTONIA‘s photo challenges for this year include one entitled, “Big Picture”  I have attached one such Big Picture from Guernica in the Basque Country in Spain.

This image by Pablo Picasso was his response to the Fascist bombing of the town during the Spanish Civil War.  The original oil painting measures 3.49 meters (11 ft 5 in) in height and 7.76 meters (25 ft 6 in) across.  Though huge, the meaning of the painting is perhaps even bigger.  It was painted to raise money for war relief and to bring the world’s attention to the atrocities being committed in the conflict.

Franco’s Fascist government with the aid of the Nazi Condor Legion attacked the Basque capital on 26 April 1937 during market day thus insuring maximum civilian casualties and instilling psychological terror of Franco’s opponents.  The choice of target was calculated on several levels.  First, the aforementioned psychological impact was evident.  But Guernica also symbolised democracy, as the fiercely independent Basque people had their ancient parliament in the town.

The attached photo is of a tile reproduction of Picasso’s work which has been erected in the town as a reminder of the Guernica’s past, and of the consequences of democracy being eclipsed by dictatorship.  That is truly, a “Big Picture,” to remember.





Winter’s Springtime Wonder

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Springtime Snowstorm in Ely, Cambs

One of  Maria Antonia’s Weekly Photo Challenges was to capture the idea of frozen.  The photo attached here is from the 1990s in a freak late springtime snow which fell while we were living in Ely, Cambridgeshire.   The look of surprise on my daughter, Rain’s face is priceless, and it was quite an exciting experience for her as she was on her way to collect the milk bottles from the garden gate.

She seems to draw the stuff to her.  Below is another photo, this time taken by her husband near their home in the Colorado Rockies.


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Rain in the snow

Frozen wonder – Winter’s last little surprise

Coating spring-tides blossom and bloom

A whitewash of wonder covering the green

One last chilly blast – the the warmth resume






Hidden Childhood

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Hidden Childhood

OFMARIAANTONIA’s 2019 Photography Challenge called for one photo to be on the theme of “hidden.”  At the National Holocaust Centre and Museum (Beth Shalom), near Laxton, Nottinghamshire has several thought provoking and/or moving sculpture pieces.  One of these is “Hidden Children.”  While Anne Frank is known by many as a child hidden during the Holocaust, she was by no means alone in this.   Thousands of children were successfully (and sadly unsuccessfully) hidden from the Nazis and their collaborators.   Some were secreted away to attics, false walls, or basements; while others sought refuge in forests or remote farmsteads.  But they were nonetheless “hidden.”

This photo is of the statue, and the artist has done an amazing job in capturing the feels.  Look at the hyper-vigilant gaze on the face of the figure on the left, and the sadness (almost weeping quality) of the one on the right.  This was not simple childhood “hide and seek,” because in this hiding the outcome was a matter of life and death.