Thursday, 11 August 2011

Melissa Studdard - what a girl!

Welcom to Thursday's Wobbles! The week is nearly at an end and come weekend the sparks will fly againS in Funckey Friday and Symbol Saturday. But for today, and just for today, I would like to make this post a tribute to a wonderful friend and member of the All Things That Matter Press team  who had her wildest dreams come rue this week! Melissa Studdard's book, Six Weeks To Jahidah immediately went to the number one seller spot on Amazon! How amazing is that for any writer!
We are all at All Things That Matter Press very much in awe of Melissa's accomplishment and I suppose the question on everybody's lips - will there be a volume # 2?
Everybody has a book written, but how many of the ever get published? And that not because it isn't any good, but because there are so many books that sometimes the best go unnoticed and unpublished. The latest statistic is that one in fifty thousand that is 1/50 000 - gets itself into print. And then there is always the question if anybody would want to buy it to read it, anyway.
Melissa Studdard is the new name in print, and I dare say, she will never have to worry about future works - she has made it. 
Here is the link to her sales page:
Lets all support a great writer, somebody who can finally challenge other popular children's fantasy works,
Melissa Studdard.
You rock, girl!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Wow Wednesdays

Welcome to Witchy Wednesday!
As there are elements of the Craft in my book, Storm's Choice, a word of warning - this is no textbook on the Craft. The spells and rituals can't be copied, as they are not completely described. And one should not dabble in Witchcraft. It is a religion like any other, and as such, it should be respected.
That's it for the lecture for today. We're going to have fun on Wednesdays. I'm going to share some interesting facts about the craft - things that you hopefully didn't know - and I hope that some of you out there have interesting things to share in return. 
That's all for today. Starting next week, I hope Wednesdays would become wow days for all of us!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Cape Town City Bowl

Welcome to Cape Town Tuesday! Today, as the title of this post indicates, I'm going to highlight Storm's working life in the heart of Cape Town - without sounding too much like a tour guide.
Nestled between the foot of Table Mountain and the Victoria&Albert Waterfront, in the bowl formed by the surrounding mountains, is Cape Town's Central Business District, ringed by the Victorian residential suburbs of Tamboerskloof (Drummer's Ravine), Gardens, Oranjezight (Orange View) and Vredehoek (Peace Corner). The best way to get an overall picture of layout of Cape Town is from the Table Mountain Cableway.
View of Cape Town from the Arial Car

The cableway was built in 2 years at a cost of 60 000 pounds, and opened in 1929 for visitors. It has had an accident- free run since then. The cableway closes in bad conditions and it's best to keep an eye on the weather - you might go up, only to be stranded on top of the mountain.

Storm's office was in Adderly Street, in the area that used to be and is still known as, Company's Gardens. This was where the VOC - the Dutch East India Company - grew fruit and vegetables for the passing seafarers. Now office buildings and museums occupy this space.
Autumn in the Cape is fine, with the temperatures dropping slightly and rain is possible. There is always wind, ranging from a breeze to the storm-strength northwesterlies in the winter. But in March, the weather is generally mild and pleasant enough for an afternoon on the beach - as Storm thought before she went on that fateful Saturday afternoon for a suntan.
The doctor Storm consulted a few weeks later had his rooms in Bree street, running parallel to Adderly Street two blocks away. A pleasant walk, but that day was a bit blustery, though dry.
And always there is Table Mountain to preside over you, and to guide and direct you.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Ghostly Monday - Able Seaman Just Nuisance R.N.

Welcome to Ghostly Mondays!

Argh! Isn't Monday the day of the week we all love to hate? I thought we could liven it up with a couple of real ghost stories and I hope you will enjoy this one as much as I have.

One 'person' who should be haunting Simon's Town, but who by all accounts aren't, is Able Seaman Just Nuisance, R.N.
This is a great story I stumbled across while looking for Simon's Town's resident ghosts. I wouldn't mind bumping into this fellow on a dark and stormy night!
Born on April's Fool Day 1937 in Rondebosch, Cape Town, this Great Dane pup was sold to Benjamin Chaney, who moved to Simon's Town to run the United Services Institute.  It was in Simon's Town where this large dog became a legend.
It was a dog's life - the sailors on the base at Simon's Town fed him all sorts - beer, pies, etc - and took him for walks. He was a friendly dog and was loved by everyone. He started to follow the sailors aroundthe base and the docks and eventually onto the ships themselves - HMS Neptune was to become his favorite vessel. Only thing was, he chose his spot to lie down at the top of the gangplank, making boarding the vessel difficult, illisiting 'You're just a nuisance!' from the sailors.
He regularly followed the off-duty seamen on their jaunts to Cape Town, 22miles and 27 stations north of Simon's Town. But he knew exactly where he was going. The conductor was not simpathetic and put the dog off at the next station, if discovered. Undeterred, the dog would just board the next train. Sometimes people even offered to pay his fare, but a stream of complaints was sent to Mr Chaney, demanding that he controlled his dog's movements. It was only when the railway threatened to have the dog put down that, due to the massive outcry from the sailors and other people who have come to know Just Nuisance, that the Commander-in-Chief decided to enlist him into the Royal Navy, making him one of the world's most famous dogs.
He was enlisted on August 25th, 1939, his first name became 'Just', his trade 'Bone Crusher' and his religion 'Scrounger', later upgraded to Canine Divinity League - Anti-vivisection, for the rations. His duties seemed to have been self-imposed. He didn't like his friends to squabble and he made sure the got home to barracks after a night in the pub.
Just Nuisance was more than just a dog. He did much for the morale of the sailors in the Second World War, but he was no angel. His wrap sheet is long and distinguished, including offences like going AWOL, travelling on the trains without his free pass, sleeping in the petty officer's bed and refusing to leave a pub at closing time.
Niusance was involved in a traffic accident on January 1, 1944 which left him with thrombosis which slowly paralized him and on April 1, 1944, 7 years after he was born, he was put to sleep at the Somon's Town Naval Hospital. The next day he was buried with full military honors on top of Red Hill that included a gun salute and a lone bugle's rendition of The Last Post.

RIP Just Nuisance.

He is not forgotten, though. His legend lives on at the Simon's Town Museum, where his official papers, his collar and many photos of him is on display. They even run a look-alike competition yearly, ensuring that the legend of Able Seaman Just Nuisance R.N. continue for a few years to come.

Isn't that a nice story? Do you have one about another famour/brave-beyond-the-call-of-duty animal? Care to share it? Feel free to post your story right here on Maggie's Post.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Welcome to Symbol Saturday!
Signs and symbols have been used to deliver messages through the ages. From the Paleolithic cave paintings where symbols first appeared, they have followed the development of civilization, and still speak powerfully to man's intellect, emotions and spirit. The written word is no more than a symbol system representing the spoken word, images and gestures - the reality around us. But symbolism also relates to the inner psychological and spiritual world. In this sense, a symbol may represent a deep intuitive wisdom that cannot be expressed with words.
Some symbols are universal as they occur in similar forms carrying similar power across cultures and time, representing the natural expression of inner psychological forces - what Carl Jung, the Swiss psychologist, termed the 'collective unconscious'. By observing his patients, Jung noted the recurrence of certain deeply symbolic images, leading Jung to conclude that symbolism plays an important part in the psychic processes influencing every aspect of human life. What he called the collective unconscious consists of instinctive thought and behavior patterns shaped by millennia of human experience into emotions and values. These primordial images can't be accessed except in symbolic form. Jung called these primordial symbols 'archetypes' - the common inheritance of humankind.
Next week I'll delve deeper into the archetypes, explore the cultural impact and the power of symbols. 

This weeks sign, the lemniscate, the side-ways figure 8, denotes 'infinity' or simply 'ribbon' in Latin. Like the ouroburous - the symbol of a snake devouring its own tail - and the phoenix - the cycle of rising from the ashes to burn up and start the whole process again - the lemnescate has no beginning and no ending.
The lemniscate appears on the tarot cards of the I Magician and XI Strength.
The infinity symbol was introduced to mathematics by John Wallis, an English cryptographer and mathematician around 1655.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

The Alternative Harbor

  Today is Thursday, August 4th and we are going to visit Jarred's Simon's Town, but first, today in perspective.

Thursday, or thunder's day, is associated with Jupiter, Zeus and Thor, all of whom wielded the thunderbolt. Prosperity, abundance and good health are the concerns for today, to have enough to live in comfort and to be healthy enough for the effort to make a difference. Believe in yourself, wear your game face and stay positive.
Thursday's correspondences are the colors purple, royal blue and green; the fragrances of honeysuckle, nutmeg, sage and clove; and the tarot cards nine, ten and ace of pentacles. (Pentacles are associated with coins = money)

 Siman's Town is one of the most popular villages on the False Bay Coast. It was named after Simon van der Stel, the governor of the Cape Colony between 1679-1699. Born to the daughter of a freed Indian slave, Simon van der Stel was the first Colored Governor of the Colony, though this fact was not acknowledged during the Apartheid Era. We certainly weren't taught it in school!
Simon's Town was developed as an alternative harbor where ships could be secured during the winter months while Table Bay was battered by northwesterly winds. Simon's Town, as was the villages on the eastern board of False Bay, was protected by the mountains of the Cape Peninsula.
The town passed between the Dutch, French, and British, who turned it into a naval base and it was only in 1957 that it became the South African Naval base. It has a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere and historic Victorian buildings still line Main Street, the same street passing through Kalk Bay we chatted about yesterday, on to to Muizenberg (directly translated Mice Mountain) from where it veers onto the Cape Flats and on to Newlands behind Table Mountain and Storm's apartment.

Simon's Town from a different angle

Though Jarred was based in Simon's Town, he had an apartment in Bloubergstrand - literally translated Blue Mountain Beach - which is north of Cape Town, with a spectacular view of Table Mountain. I'll come to Bloubergstrand in a later post.
As an officer in the navy, the ocean was in his blood, so it was small wonder that he bumped into Storm on the beach near his apartment. What Storm was doing there, I'm not telling except to say that, though she had a valid reason, it was also a stupid thing to do.
What do you think so far?

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Kalk Bay - Storm's romantic setting

Today is Wednesday the 3rd of August and the moon is waxing. I am going to chat about another setting in Storm's Choice, but first we should get the day in perspective, don't you think?
To the Romans, Wednesday was Mercury's Day. Mercury was the messenger of the gods and influenced anything that required skill or dexterity, and he was regarded as the leader of souls. With Wednesdays comes opportunities for seeking wisdom, improving ones circumstances and skills.
Today's correspondences are the colors purple or orange, fragrances lily of the valley or eucalyptus and tarot cards the wheel of fortune, the 8 of pentacles or the magician.
Wednesdays are for boldness and daring, for welcoming change and movement and for improving your communication skills. Go with the flow on this wild and wily day of the week, but above all, follow your heart.

Now, back to Storm. The place Storm chose for her romantic dinner with the man she loved desperately, is on the coast of False Bay, on the eastern side of the Cape Peninsula.
It is a very pretty place, with a busy fishing industry and a bohemian vibe. Kalk Bay got its name from the production of lime ('kalk' means 'lime' to the locals) from shells in the 17th century. The fishermen of Kalb Bay are mainly descendants of the Colored Community who somehow escaped being relocated under the Groups Areas Act of the Apartheid era, one of the few colored settlements left on the peninsula.
Though I made the 'Band Stand' up - the open-air restaurant Storm took Trevor to - it could have been any one of the many quaint restaurants in Kalk Bay. Along Main Road there are lots of cute shops and the thatched Holy Trinity Church's stained glass windows are the best in the Cape. Just down Main Road is Simon's Town, the naval base where Jarred was stationed, but Simon's Town is the subject of my next post.
Storm and Trevor arrived at the Bank Stand in Kalk by in the evening. Twilight in the Cape in summer lasts until about 9pm and their view of the Bay was bathed in the soft hues of the falling day. Unfortunately Storm was too disturbed to appreciate it. The date she had planned so meticulously was not a success.
I'm sure I can find us a couple of Kalk Bay ghosts, but we'll get to the ghosts of the Cape in later posts.

What do think you think?