Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust was established by James Maxwell in 1999 after his wife died from that hideous disease. Jo wanted to ensure that every woman affected by cervical cancer could get the support and information they needed.
This week, January 22nd to 29th is cervical cancer prevention week, so if you’re behind with your screening go now. Apparently take up has fallen in recent years and up to 25% of women don’t get checked, particularly younger women.
Perhaps you’re one of the ones that don’t go because you’re anxious about it, if so this page on the Jo’s Trust website will help to reassure you.

Ngozi is my daughter, this is what she says on Love your Cervix #speculumselfie
the Facebook page she’s created,

It’s the end of a busy week at Ngozi Towers, not least because I’ve just launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the importance of cervical screening in the prevention of cervical cancer.

I have teamed up with over 30 other CSP, reusables and pants makers to offer a huge range of discounts and freebies to women who take and share a #speculumselfie when they go for their smear test.
I’d really appreciate it if you could Like / Follow / Share this page to help us spread the word for a really good cause.
And if your smear test is due, or even overdue, please make the call on Monday!

Don’t be one of the nearly 4 million, go take a speculumselfie now!





San Gimignano in Tuscany, was on my must visit list for some time and the opportunity to see it finally arrived last September. It has a reputation for being horribly touristy so I went prepared for armies of people. I was pleasantly surprised, a Monday in mid September turned out to be a god day to visit, there were plenty of people but it wasn’t as expected.

When I saw this weeks photo challenge, Silence I thought about bells, how they are silent most of the time these days, just the Sunday church chime and the occasional practice ring. Do you hear bells very often, perhaps if you live in a village?

These bells at the Loggia of the Judge in San Gimignano are unlikely to chime again.

Silence prevails, that’s rather sad don’t you think?


Around a well from the past

Close to Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan there are several step wells, in varying degrees of decay. The one I visited, in Bagar,if my memory serves me, was not considered safe enough to get close to.

But the rather dreamlike surroundings offered a little respite from the relentless heat and dust,

and this smiling gentleman was very proud to be taking care of the well.

These structure has been around for hundreds of years, so I’m posting for Paula’s traces of the past.


While wading through photos just now, I came across this photo of me in 2005.

me pushkar dawn

It was taken in Pushkar, very early in the morning. Our driver Magan Singh had recommended that we climb Savitri hill, reaching the top for sunrise. What he hadn’t realised was just how weak we were from three days of tummy problems. So, we did our best but couldn’t make it all the way. We never did tell him the truth, but I know he stops by here from time to time, so perhaps he knows by now.

There is a very interesting comment from Bittercharm, that explains the background to the story.

Wow Gee,
I love your presentation of famous Brahma Mythological Hindu Story.
For those who dont know it, (With your Permission Gee)
Pushkar (Blue Lotus) was a place where Lord Brahma (the creator) chose for performing a grand worship ritual after victory over an asur ( Demon). His wife Devi Saraswati (Goddess of knowledge) was suppose to sit in the ceremony however since she was not available and the auspicious time of the required ritual was slipping away, He picked a local Gujjar Girl Named Gayatri, Married her and let her perform the required duties which left his otherwise calm wife really angry and she cursed him that since his act made him unworthy of devotion, he will not be worshiped by mortals anywhere but this place. That is why Lord Brahama doesnt have many noted temples in the world.


Lucid Gypsy

Poetics at D’Verse offer the theme of place this week so I’ve chosen a photo I took at Savitri hill in Pushkar, Rajasthan. It’s a place that evokes strong memories for me.


Savitri Hill

Savitri I was beaten

am I Gayatri?

briefly chosen by Brahma

did I displace you?

you sacrificed Yajna

to play games with Laksmi

Parvati and Indrani

you still sit in anger

staring east at your rival

separated by lake

by Pushkar the great

Holy pilgrimage

and the one to defeat me

weak mortal

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Winter Growth

It’s taken me a while to decide what to post for last Wednesday’s photo challenge, I kept hoping I’d have an idea of something that wasn’t predictable. Now I’m fast running out of time and nothing unusual has sprung to mind, so here are my offerings.

These pictures were taken in early February a few years ago, as you know by now, in winter I’m always looking for signs of new growth and spring to arrive. Are you joining the challenge this week?