Thursday Special, Illusion

St Pancras church in the hear of Exeter sits right in the centre of a shopping centre. It’s built from Heavitree stone and is mostly 13th centuryn but with an 11th century font. It’s tiny, 46 x 16 feet, and is one of the oldest churches in the country with a chancel and nave.

As well as shops, it’s now surrounded by restaurants. I caught this i phone photo though the window of Comptoir Libanais. I’m not sure if the lady in the roof is real or just an illusion, maybe Paula will know, I’ve posted it for her Thursday special.

Rani Sati

October 2005, I find myself in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. It’s early evening and I’ve just had one of the most moving experiences of my life. The elderly lady in the photo below has hugged me, put a red bindi on my forehead, and entered the temple I’ve just left.

I’d seen an Aarti ceremony in the Rani Sati temple, after  the congregation offered puja. The temple is at least four hundred years old and was built in memory of Narayani Bai who self emolliated and became Sati Ji.

The ceremony was incredibly loud, with drums and bells reverberating through every cell in my body. Water was sprinkled around, some of the crowd ran heir hands through flames, before circling the central shrine. We were welcome to take part but there were no expectations. Caught up in the atmosphere and the heady incense, I followed, with thoughts of Rani Sati, who was beloved to be an incarnation of the goddess Durga, running through my mind.

I have no words to describe the feelings, my journal that day had a line, ‘if I have to go home tomorrow, then it’s okay because I’ve had the experience of a lifetime’.

This post is for Paula’s Traces of the Past.

 

Remote Ghana

It’s pick a word Thursday over at Paula’s place, Lost in Translation. This weeks choices are radiant, alimentary, arboreal, frontal  and remote. I may find some more but for now, remote is my choice.

This isn’t the best photo, taken through a bus window in torrential rain, but I’ll always remember driving through this village in northern Ghana.

remoteIf it was sunny it would be okay, but it was really sad to see that day. It felt really remote, we’d left Mole National Park far behind, but the vibrant city of Kumasi and the sunshine Cape Coast were a long way south.

 

Hanging on through winter

These agapanthus are drained of all colour, just six months ago the flowers were a beautiful blue, surrounded by lush green foliage. They look very wintry now don’t they?

But I won’t worry, they’re very tenacious and will be back in July. By next year some of those dark seeds may even have spread new plants around the garden.

This post is for Paula’s Thursday Special, this week it’s ‘Wintry’.

Twilight on the Exe

Paula’s Thursday Special this week is twilight. I wasn’t going to post this week, because any photos I take at twilight tend to be beside the sea or river, and I’ve posted similar many times. But, I had a quick flick through and decided I like this shot of the Exe, taken at 9pm close to the longest day in June.

twilightYou have until Thursday to join Paula’s challenge, meanwhile she has a gorgeous twilight photo of Florence.