Deep Breath Now…

Canale di Cannaregio, Venice
Canale di Cannaregio, Venice

Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t been around very much here on WP in the last few weeks. It’s been quite strange not to be posting daily on my various blogs, particularly in the last week. July is always a busy time of year, with a lot happening as the academic year draws to a close and my children are involved in various events to do with school. My partner too works in education and has been working hard with his students to stage an ongoing project with the BBC for the Worthing Birdman 2013 event in a couple of weeks time. They’ve been constructing a Leonardo da Vinci-style glider that will be launched off of Worthing pier with a new BBC TV personality attached! Should be very amusing 😉 I’ve seen pictures of the glider and it looks fantastic, but as it’s not been released to the press yet, I can’t share. But I will as soon as I have them.

As I say it’s been a hectic time. I’ve also managed to organise and book a week away in Venice, due to fly in just two week’s time. Unfortunately my friend who was supposed to be travelling with me has succumbed to the Venice curse and is medically unable to fly due to a rather unfortunate illness that cropped up just as we were planning our trip.

Then as if to add insult to injury, just as I decided to go anyway and made all the arrangements, my family including me have all become ill with gastroenteritis. I’m still not quite 100%, but improving, and hopefully I will be fully recovered by the time I fly. I really do not want a repeat of last year’s trip to Venice, hence the reference to the Venice Curse, that caused me to end up in hospital for a week with a mystery illness that flummoxed all the doctors, even though several types of heavy-duty antibiotics did the trick eventually. I remember when I made the booking last year my partner became extremely ill with a similar mystery illness. I thought at the time that it was a subconscious protest on his part that I was leaving him for almost a week with all three children (probably not untrue), but then I succumbed to it. I have never been so ill and for so long in all my life and it changed something fundamentally within me.

I know I’ve already mentioned this in various posts but there are some things that happen to you in life that leave a very deep impression.

A couple of years before my cousin had passed away at age 38 from stomach cancer, she also had the same genetic condition as me, though not considered life threatening, some of the related conditions and symptoms can be, of which her cancer I still believe was a complication of such. So naturally when I became ill just weeks away from my 38th birthday you can imagine the kind of turmoil my head was in, particularly because of my symptoms. I thought the worst.

I remember the whole time I was in Venice with a permanent raging fever, every time I slept I would have the same recurring dream of being stuck on a Vaporetto [Venetian water bus], going round in circles along the Canale di Cannaregio desperate to get off and not miss my stop. I had the image of its white marble bridge fixated into my mind. I had this same dream for almost three weeks solid thereafter until the antibiotics started taking effect and my fever began to subside.

I recall sitting by the water’s edge of the Grand Canal and thinking if there was anywhere that I would want to die it would be right there in Venice. As morbid as it sounds, I absolutely fell head over heels in love with Venice and could think of nowhere better to spend my final days surrounded by such beauty and serenity despite the hustle and bustle of the place, as we were on the subject.

It occurred to me just the other week as I was planning my return that the bridge over the Canale di Cannaregio is like my personal bridge over the river Styx. It’s a notion that sparks a sense of the dark satirical humorist in me, not least because I sense an unmistakable ounce of truth in there. Had I not the nous to go to hospital when I did I may not have made it this far. It was one of my more significant and sobering encounters with the Ol’Grimster in recent years.

So with a level of trepidation I look forward to my fast approaching week away. I shall not be beat [gulp]. But if I am, know that this journey has been fun, and I shall keep posting as long as there is magic fairy dust in my lungs. I have every intention of being well, and returning in one piece, preferably still twitching 😉

For now though, I hope to be able to come and visit all your blogs a little more frequently than I have been and have a good chuckle along the way. As someone recently said, WP is better than TV! 🙂

Have a marvellous day and coming week everyone!



37 thoughts on “Deep Breath Now…

  1. Wow, so much life packed into this post! I’m thinking of you, imagining you with your arms wide open under the big blue sky, embracing it all. Rock on, sister, you’re beautiful.

    1. I used to live out in the sticks when I lived in Germany, lots of trees and few germans, bliss! 🙂

      It isn’t that odd that Venice is pronounced as in Dennis and not Denise, it’s because it’s spelt with a ‘c’ not ‘s’ otherwise it would be like Denise… grammatical anomaly you know…

      1. Then it should be de nice,
        As in once, twice, and thrice
        And while you scratch for lice
        Here’s some advice,
        If Dennis is in Venice
        He’s de nephew not de niece.

      2. Except such terms have been outlawed from the french language, for some years now. You can’t even say Le weekend, which is what I learned when I was a kid. Instead you have to faff about saying it in french! 😉

      3. You are Le shitting me?
        Oh, btw, paarsurrey is being a silly person over at my spot.
        He has mentioned an atheist here in blogland that has a degree in archaeology. I seem to recall something about you and archaeology over on John’s blog. Is he referring to you?

      4. Oh Mr. Lighthouse? You know that totally went over his head when I asked him about that.. of course I know it’s a minaret, silly person!
        No, I don’t have a degree in archaeology but I did do a short degree level course in it, which is what I said to him, so I’m fairly well versed in the subject.

      5. On the strength of this one comment he is stating that all the work conducted by Finkelstein and Herzog regarding the Exodus should be considered moot, and merely ”their opinion”

        He is a strange fellow.

        Out of curiosity, would you dispute Israel Finkelstein’s opinion regarding the Exodus?

      6. He has a strange habit of misinterpreting everything I say and twisting it to suit himself despite my objections and corrections. I’m on your blog now reading through his argument, aww he likes me… sweet… anyway as you rightly pointed out I did elaborate on the point I had originally made that archaeology was still a better guess than pure hearsay that the Quran and Bible are both based upon.
        What I know from intensive archaeological digs is that literally no stone is unturned and Messrs Finkelstein and Herzog must have had enough conclusive evidence in the form of coinage with dates on in order to claim such. So yeah, I believe them. *Put that in your lighthouse and smoke it young lad!* right Ark?

      7. Actually Finkelstein was ”ordered” by the Israeli government to go out to the desert and show once and for all that the Exodus either did or did not happen.
        The findings have been known for a long time but there was no evidence at all. Certainly no coinage. And this is the point, of course.

      8. Ah well not knowing the details of the evidence gathered it is difficult to say either way whether it is worth its salt. You see it’s a matter of economy, and how many funds a particular dig has in order for it to get anything resembling conclusive. Dating techniques are very expensive and laborious, usually most digs will have a limited window of operation, unless they are ongoing (but that usually requires much continuous funding). Also dating techniques are not infallible, and the dates given are approximations which may not actually be correct in and of themselves. So, archaeologists still rely on pieces of pottery, bone, grave burial structures and coinage to determine a time-frame. Archaeology has certainly been very instrumental in pointing out major flaws with religious texts, and joining all the dots can certainly give a cohesive enough picture to work with in order to evidence something like the Exodus not having occurred. I still believe the archaeologists. Anyway, both the Bible and the Quran are philophies not historical documents. Except for the OT which does indeed seem to have some historical legs according to archaeological research that has been carried out in the last 15-20 years or so.

      9. Í have written several posts but John did one that was a lot more comprehensive.

        I would be interested in knowing what archaeology has dug up (sic) that verifies OT claims.
        Save me trawling the internet for hours!
        I have read about Kenyon and her demolishing the Jericho story, and Albright, a Christian who set out specifically to prove the bible right, was shown to be off base with most of his hypothesis/ and dates.
        I am still in two minds over the Merneptah Stele, and so are many people it seems.
        There’s even talk that the Priestly course, found at Caesarea that supposedly identified Nazareth is a fraudulent.
        All quite fascinating stuff.

      10. I refer to David Rohl, egyptologist and author who has penned a fair few books on the subject of the OT, check out Amazon, but the evidence that exists is still very piecemeal by all accounts, and open to all sorts of interpretations. I remember years ago, over 20 years ago now when I was in Israel we were being given a guided tour by one of Israel’s top archaeologists, who also happened to live on our Kibbutz, and he said then that Jesus having hailed from Nazareth was unfounded. Being a staunch atheist and non-practising Jew it was obvious he wasn’t too interested in finding biblical evidence, but he gave it lip service because he had to as per American interests!
        I would imagine though that John is no doubt more well versed about such things as he takes an especial interest in it. Although as a general rule archaeology should be taken with a pinch of salt, but it is still better than hearsay!

      11. Yeah I remember the guy in back in Israel would laugh every time somebody asked him a question about Jesus’s historicity, and as we drove past Nazareth on the tour bus (converted army lorry with no suspension) he said very loudly something along the lines of “…and Jesus was not from here” pointing at the sign with obvious glee 😉

      12. To be honest I don’t think Israel would function too well without the US hand firmly placed… and there is a certain amount of kowtowing that goes on by Israelis in order to keep the funds coming regardless of the dissent that obviously existed. Itzac Rabin was assassinated during my stay there which was clearly a middle finger up to the establishment (the US) by Israeli-Jewish fundies, and it was a manoeuvre that has over the years has become evidence of the ‘new’ Israeli government trying to take back control and make its own decisions by putting paid to any kind of peace accord that may have been in the pipe-line. Any archaeology linked to the OT with regard to Israel is exceptionally sensitive and heavily censored no doubt, so more focus is placed on what is available in nearby Jordan which is still very accessible to academics in the field. I was lucky for want of a better term to have been able to travel to Israel when I did and see the magnificent ancient sites, and archaeological digs up close because of our learned guide. The death of Rabin marked a major turning point and they began battening down the hatches from then on. I was there in the middle of a war zone as it was with it having been just a year since the 1991 Gulf War. There were bombs going off all the time, mainly inside terrorist attacks, and I barely got out of Israel by the skin of my teeth because of it.

    1. Dressed as a jester no less, did you know they were women, or at least the ones depicted in the Renaissance paintings housed at the Academia in Venice were.
      It’s funny because I couldn’t quite work out how I fitted into Venice, but I have a deep affinity with the place, have done since I was in my mid-teens.

    1. Apparently the place in Venice has free WiFi so I’ll be able to check in and comment at least as I’m only taking my ipod touch with me. I’m attempting to travel as lightly as possible by only taking hand luggage and very small clothes (I’m not very big anyway)! 😀

      1. I detest having to wait for baggage, or being hampered by it, so it’s got to sit comfortably on my back and I’ve got to be able to walk without falling over. Too many years of travelling solo, I’ve learned the hard way 🙂
        I plan to do some exploring, maybe go and visit John’s family mountain if I can!
        But no doubt I will return with many many photos.

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