“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
Before I take that first step I’ve spent a few hours pouring over travel websites, books, as I seek out future highlights, (not always the tourist traps), of my next journey. I make a list of what I want to see, and how to get there, but once I’m there I’ll wander off the beaten path, (I’m easily distracted by the shiny). I’ll see something down an empty road, a little side street, a corridor that looks like it could lead to something of interest, and I often find something. Eventually, I do get to my intended destination, later than planned but I had some fun along the way.
I was shopping early one Saturday morning, best time to do this, and as there was hardly anyone in the shop a few of the staff were having a conversation. When I went to the cash, one of them told me they were discussing whether love was an emotion or a choice. I answered I believed it was an emotion, if it were a choice life would probably be a lot easier, and I don’t believe life is easy, (but it is a lot of fun).
What else do I believe in and don’t? There’s a lot but I’ll narrow it down to some of the most frequently asked questions.
I believe there is life on other planets and, and portals to other dimensions and we will meet with them.
I don’t believe they’ll look humanoid, and as much as I want to, I don’t believe meeting with them, or finding our way through the portal will happen anytime soon.
I believe you don’t need to be religious to admire and appreciate religious art. Good art is wonderful no matter what you believe or don’t.
I don’t believe in a god or gods, or any kind of higher power, no matter what you call it, (“the universe” appears to be the latest buzzword). It’s fine if you do just as long as it isn’t causing harm or detrimental to education and human progression.
Sometimes I feel my scepticism has caused me to miss out on some experiences, but what it has saved me from far outweighs what I’ve missed. Last November I was in Paris, while walking across a bridge a woman called out to me, saying that I had dropped something. I was immediately suspicious, mainly because she addressed me in English. She then presented me with what looked like a gold ring, and kept trying to push this ring onto me, I didn’t accept it despite at the time I didn’t know that this was a scam. They “find” a ring and try to pass it onto someone, usually an unsuspecting tourist, and then demand some money in exchange for finding it. Their excuse for not keeping it varies, some they say wearing jewellery is against their religion, I was told that because the ring was “too big” for her.
It wasn’t until later that day, when two other people tried the same scam on me that I realised just what my scepticism saved me from.
It’s not just in Paris that this happens, my friends mum, while in London one day had someone try the ring scam on her, I believe it was even an identical ring to the one I was presented five times in Paris. Her first thought was that some poor man had lost his wedding ring, (that’s what the ones I saw looked like), and was about to turn it over to the police or a ‘lost and found.’ The would be scammer then started to demand money and it was then they knew something was wrong. They got away but I know a lot of people haven’t been so lucky.
When I looked up “ring scam” I quickly discovered hundreds of stories from people who also experienced this, many of them fell for it. This has been going on for years, centuries in fact. This is from “London Labour and the London Poor” by Henry Mayhew, published in1851.
“The second criminal class consists of cheats… and “flat catchers,” or ring-droppers, who cheat by pretending to find valuables in the street”
Then there’s the distraction scam, where one person distracts the victim while the other steals from them. These cretins tend to target the lone elderly person, and there’s been a lot of this happening throughout Canada and the US. One of the things they do is to try to sell you some jewellery, it’s fake of course, but as they push this on you they’re taking the real jewellery off you, and are long gone before you realise you’ve been robbed.
It’s not a pleasant thought, but some scepticism will save you a lot of trouble and heartache.
Last minute Hallowe’en preparations have never really been my thing, I used to spend at least a couple of months planning a costume, or display, (it’s one of my most favourite time of the year), but for years now I’ve not had the time to spare. Then, two years ago there was a costume party at work and a prize for the best costume, my competitive side came out, but my imagination began to falter, I couldn’t decide on what to go as. I finally decided upon a “Weeping Angel” from the Dr. Who series, but I only had a few days to put it together. After a fruitless search on the internet for a quicker solution I decided I would have to make it up myself. A visit to the local charity and a costume shop I had finally scrambled almost what I needed, I only had to put it together. This was late on a Sunday afternoon, and the party was going to be held on the following Wednesday afternoon, (and I was of course working during the day, leaving me only a few hours in the evening to do all this). To put further pressure on this situation, Hurricane Sandy was due to arrive, (although, we didn’t get hit anywhere near as hard as others, it was still very wet and windy). So, there I was, outside in this storm, spray painting the wig and costume, (the dress was a bed sheet in a former life I found at the charity shop), hoping the wind would help dry it quickly.
In the end it worked out in my favour as I won first prize, a gift card for a wine shop, (just my kind of prize), despite the fact that no one understood what I was, (I found out I’m the only Dr Who fan at work).
Grimspound settlement, and the ‘Miner’s Path,’ Dartmoor.
Grimspound is thought to be a Bronze Age settlement, but the place-name is only a few hundred years old so it’s not known what kind of settlement it originally was, defensive, or agricultural, a cattle herding settlement. The ‘Miner’s Path’, is a bit more of a recent development, it dates from the 13th or 14th century.
I was last there on a clear day, but I really would love to return on a misty day. It’s quite easy to find, from the road just follow the ‘Miner’s Path’ until you reach one of the entrances.
When I was a child I would make my own paper dolls from magazines and mix match the clothing styles, so I was a bit excited at finding a fridge magnet version. The only two I could find at the time were fashions from 1967 to 1970, and the other from 1990 to 2000, so there was bound to be a bit of a mess of styles, but I’ve had some fun, and actually I think I could get away with some of them.
There’s a touch of the punk and goth in my style now, but my fashion taste now tends to borrow from styles from the first five decades of the 20th century, still mixing it up.
It’s a wet day for a nice wedding…
Wandering through Paris I came across a small wedding party, too happy to let the weather ruin their day.