Wednesday, 22 November 2017


(Scottish Gaelic meaning: Home)
Ancestors whisper sweet songs on the wind
Calling us home
Calling us home
Awakening wisdom and magic within
Wilfully calling us home
Sunlight pours over the heart of woods
Calling us home
Calling us home
Lighting a pathway that leads to our roots
Hastily calling us home
Pockets and pebbles and dreams turn to dust
Calling us home
Calling us home
Dreams of a child that now wither and rust
Urgently calling us home
Stars twinkle wishes released to the night
Calling us home
Calling us home
Hope yields a promise within candlelight
Speedily calling us home
Under the moonlight, a wolf shares his woes
Calling us home
Calling us home
Beckoning mankind to unfurl his toes
Hurriedly calling us home
Stories unfold by the light of a hearth
Calling us home
Calling us home
Yearnings are met in the arms of the earth
Calling us lovingly home
© 2016 Amelia Dashwood.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Fair Maiden Of Autumn

With tresses of crimson and lips of the rose
She moves through the meadows as artistry flows
Surrendering beauty to life set below
She moves through the meadows as autumn winds blow
She scatters her wishes into the wild air
And upon every being, she whispers a prayer
From the orchards and valleys to the fox and the hare
She moves through the meadows revealing her wares
Fine clusters of claret and blankets of gold
Wild cradles of russet and layers of old
As the earth gently slumbers, she recovers threefold
As above in the skies, so below as foretold
She moves through the meadows conveying her spells
To a wealth of creation, her sorcery tells
Of a tale set in darkness as life waves farewell
With a promise of rebirth as roots break her shell
With a heart made of passion and ruby-red hair
She scatters her blessings into the wild air
From the forests and oceans to the fox and the hare
Fair maiden of autumn, deliver your prayer
© 2016 Amelia Dashwood, All rights reserved
Art Wendy Andrew

Friday, 17 November 2017


“But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flower, it's bloom is shed;
Or, like the snow-fall in the river,
A moment white, then melts forever.”
― Robert Burns, Tam O'Shanter

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The Secrets of Medieval Castles: Stairs are built in a clockwise fashion for a clever reason

Medieval Castles were more than just large fortresses with massive stone walls. They were ingeniously designed fortifications that used many brilliant and creative ways to protect their inhabitants from attacking enemies.
Guest Blogger Will Kalif from the website  All Things Medieval takes us through The Secrets of Medieval Castles
A lot of thought, ingenuity, and planning went into the design of Medieval Castles. Everything from the outer walls to the shapes and location of stairwells were very carefully planned to provide maximum protection to the inhabitants. Here are some of the unique and lesser-known secrets of medieval castle designs.
The Moat – A moat, which is a body of water that surrounds a castle, is often thought of as a water obstacle that had to be crossed; but this wasn’t the primary function of a moat.
One of the biggest concerns of the inhabitants of a medieval castle or fortress was the fear that an invading army would dig tunnels under the fortification.
This tunnelling could either provide access to the castle or cause a collapse of the castle walls. A moat prevented this because any tunnel under the moat would collapse and fill with water.
It was a very effective deterrent against tunnelling. Often times the moat wasn’t even on the outside of the castle. It was on the inside between the outer wall and the inner wall.
Concentric Circles of Defense – This was an extremely effective method of defense for the inhabitants of a Medieval Castle. It was a series of obstacles that started on the outside of the castle and worked their way in.
It was usually a progression like a cleared field, an outer wall, a moat, an inner wall, a keep and then a strong hold tower. An attacking army would have to overcome each of these obstacles one at a time. And this took a lot of time and effort to do.

The Main Gate as a Death Trap – The main gate of a castle was often the most dangerous place in the castle because it was also a deadly trap.
It often opened into a small courtyard that had another main gate at the far end. The forward main gate often had an iron portcullis that was held in the open position and if the main gate was broken through and attackers made it into the small courtyard the portcullis was brought down and the attackers were trapped in the small courtyard.
The walls of the courtyard had small holes called death holes where the defenders could fire arrows and other projectiles at the trapped attackers.
You can see more of Will’s work here All Things Medieval 


Photo credit: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.The hidden secrets of Stairwells – Stairwells were often very carefully designed in Medieval Castles. Stairwells that curved up to towers often curved very narrowly and in a clockwise direction.
This meant that any attackers coming up the stairs had their sword hands (right hand) against the interior curve of the wall and this made it very difficult for them to swing their swords.
Defenders had their sword hands on the outside wall, which meant they had more room to swing. Another ingenious design of stairs was that they were designed with very uneven steps. Some steps were tall and other steps were short.
The inhabitants, being familiar with the uneven pattern of the stair heights could move quickly up and down the stairs but attackers, in a dimly lit stairwell, would easily fall and get bogged down in the stairwells.
This made them vulnerable to attacks and slowed their attacks down significantly. You can see more of Will’s work here All Things Medieval 
Secret Passages – What Medieval Castle would be complete without secret passages?
Many castles had secret passages and they served a variety of purposes. Some passages were designed to open up a distance from the castle so inhabitants could escape during an attack or get supplies in and out during a siege.
Secret passages also led to secret chambers where people could hide, supplies could be kept or a well for water was dug A medieval castle was more than just a large glamorous palace with massive stone walls around it. A medieval castle was a structure that was totally designed right down to the last detail with the protection of its inhabitants in mind.
If you ever visit a medieval castle and you notice that the stairs are very uneven you will know that it wasn’t because the builders couldn’t measure out steps evenly.
It was just that this is a little secret of the builders of the castle.


Soul ties

Fernando Martinez
17 hrs
I know the sketch is a little much, but this is so real People can 
become spiritually broken. (Soul ties)

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Devil’s Bridge in Kromlau Park, Germany, was designed to reflect a perfect circle in the water

There are plenty of unusual places to see as we roam the planet, like the majestic Wisteria tunnel in Japan. This site is the main feature of the Kawachi Fuji Garden and visitors can walk within a tunnel blooming in the color purple. Or there’s the so-called Tunnel of Love in Ukraine, which is actually a three-mile-long section of industrial railroad embraced by a green arch. The ride can be taken in between the two Ukranian towns of Klevan and Orzhiv.
Unlike such landmarks as the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, these sites do not make the front page of a travel guide, but they do provide an extraordinary experience. Across Europe, oftentimes lurking hidden in nature or in the proximity of some lesser-known city, are the so-called Devil’s Bridges.
Pont du Diable in Ceret, southern France. Photo Credit
Pont du Diable in Ceret, southern France. Author:Tubamirum CC BY-SA 3.0
These are typically very old arch bridges, splendid examples of masonry workmanship, and in the times in which they were built, they made for a great technological and architectural achievement. What’s even more interesting is that these Devil’s Bridges are associated with folklore. As the name of the bridge goes, one of the main characters in the tale is, of course, the Devil himself.
As mentioned, Europe has many of these bridges. France alone possesses around 50, and they are known as Pond du Diable. They can also be found in Italy, under the name Ponte del Diavolo. More can be seen in almost any corner of the old continent, from Portugal on the Atlantic Ocean to Estonia on the Baltic, or from the United Kingdom in the northwest to Romania and Bulgaria on the Balkans. But probably the most spectacular example of this type of bridge is nearly hidden in Kromlau Park, the largest park to be found in the German region of Saxony.
Rakotzbrucke, Germany. Photo Credit
Rakotzbrücke, Germany. Author: svolks   CC BY-SA 3.0
The Kromlau Park’s bridge is also dubbed the Rakotzbrücke, and the most striking trait of this bridge is its parabola, designed as such to form one-half of a flawless circle. Therefore, when then the waters beneath the bridge are calm and the light is right, it forms an illusion of a splendidly complete circle made of stone, the dream of any photographer. Under these circumstances, the majestic sight of the Rakotzbrücke offers a fairy tale experience for spectators.
Rakotzbrücke Author: designmilk CC BY-SA 2.0
According to legend, these unique bridges were made with the help of the devil. But they all developed on their own in distinct European countries. In the majority of bridge narratives, there is a dose of enmity between the bridge builder and Satan. At first, the builder pursues a deal in which the Devil helps the bridge construction, and in return, the devil will claim the soul of the very first living being who happens to walk across the arch.
Rakotzbrücke Author: A.Landgraf
The end of these stories are also predictable, as the builder always looks for a way to trick the devil. He usually lures an animal, maybe a dog, to cross the bridge and to save the life of a human. But the Rakotzbrücke legend supposedly ends bit differently. Upon completion of the bridge, it is the builder himself who walks the bridge and sacrifices his own life to Satan.
Most of the Devil’s Bridges in Europe were erected in the medieval days, or to be more exact, in the period between 1000 and 1600 AD. However Rakotzbrücke appears to be a bit newer than that. This bridge was completed in 1860, after its construction had been commissioned by local town authorities. The marvelous piece blends fieldstone and basalt in certainly one of the finest examples of its kind. In order to compose the basalt columns, the bridge builders needed to ship the material from far away quarries.
Rakotzbrücke Author: Michael Bertulat CC BY-SA2.0
Kromlau Park, where the Rakotzbrücke sits, opens into an area of 200 acres and is located within the realm Ofblenz, a little less than four miles from the German border with Poland. The park makes a great example of an English garden style, having numerous ponds and lakes. No fee need be paid to enter the site, but crossing the bridge, the park’s most prominent feature, is not allowed, in order to preserve it.
Should you need an Instagram hit or just to take the moment to enjoy an extraordinary view, the Rakotzbrücke will make for a perfect destination either way.


A Simple Hug

There's something in a simple hug
That always warms the heart;
It welcomes us back home
And makes it easier to part
A hug's a way to share the joy
And sad times we go through,
Or just a way for friends to say
They like you 'cause you're you
Hugs are meant for anyone
For whom we really care,
From your grandma to your neighbor,
Or a cuddly teddy bear
A hug is an amazing thing -
It's just the perfect way
To show the love we're feeling
But can't find the words to say
It's funny how a little hug
Makes everyone feel good;
In every place and type,
It's always understood
And hugs don't need new equipment,
Special batteries or parts
Just open up your arms
And open up your hearts
by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr

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