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My Big Fat Greek Baptism

Greek Church

Featured Image Credit:

Emma Van Sant@emmaView profile@emma

Greek Orthodox Baptism

“We have been invited to my very good friend Lia’s grandchild’s baptism; you ok with going?” my Fiancée enquired. “Sure” I replied, knowing that if my Woman wanted to go along to the service, then so did I. Bearing in mind that where my Woman is, there I wish to be, because not only do I love her, but I love her company, always.
Saturday came and we arrived at the Greek Orthodox Church. I had never been to a Greek Orthodox Church before, but it appeared very similar to the Roman Catholic Church of which I was a member for many years.
As my Fiancée and I stood outside the church, waiting for the previous service to come to an end and people were gathering, ready to move into the church, I became aware of the strong presence of families. There were older folks, younger folks, and a great number of children.

Continue reading My Big Fat Greek Baptism

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Black Rock Castle

Black Rock Castle

The Ruins of Black Rock Castle

The first evidence of human presence in Ireland may date to around 10,500 to 8,000 BC. The receding of the ice after the Younger Dryas cold phase of the Quaternary around 9700 BC, heralds the beginning of Prehistoric Ireland, which includes the archaeological periods known as the Mesolithic, the Neolithic from about 4000 BC, the Copper and Bronze Age from about 2300 BC and Iron Age beginning about 4000 BC, the Copper and Bronze Age from about 2300 BC and Iron Age beginning about 600 BC. Ireland’s bronze age begins with the emergence of “protohistoric” Gaelic Ireland in the 2nd Millennium BC and ends with the arrival of Celtic la Tène culture by central Europe.

The Viking Port Vykyngelo Black Rock
The Norman Castle built on Black Rock

By the late 4th century AD Christianity had begun to gradually subsume or replace the earlier Celtic polytheism. By the end of the 6th century, it had introduced writing along with a predominantly monastic Celtic Christian church, profoundly altering Irish society. Viking raids and settlements from the late 8th century AD resulted in extensive cultural interchange, as well as innovation in military and transport technology. Many of Ireland’s towns were founded at this time as Viking trading posts and coinage made their first appearance.[1] Viking penetration was limited and concentrated along coasts and rivers, and ceased to be a major threat to Gaelic culture after the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. The Norman invasion in 1169 resulted again in a partial conquest of the island and marked the beginning of more than 800 years of English political and military involvement in Ireland. Initially successful, Norman gains were rolled back over succeeding centuries as a Gaelic resurgence[2] reestablished Gaelic cultural preeminence over most of the country, apart from the walled towns and the area around Dublin known as The Pale.

I took a stroll down the historical lane the other day and visited the Port of Wicklow Town. Judging from the pictures, appearing on the Information Board, it is quite a startling fact that these buildings could have been built so many years back. The area around Wicklow was referred to as Menapia in Ptolemy’s map which itself dates back to 130 AD. The Vikings landed in Ireland in 795 to begin their plundering of the land.

The Anglo Norman Castle Black Rock King Edward 11

Situated on a rocky headland to the South of the estuary of the Vartry River in Wicklow Town, County Wicklow Ireland, stand the lone remains of Black Rock Castle. Said to be built by the Norman Baron  Maurice Fitzgerald in the late 1200s.

The castle was built on the site of the original port occupied by the Vikings and who named it, ‘Vykyngelo’, being an old Viking word that means ‘Meadow of the Vikings’ in the 9th century. In the following years, it was captured successively by local Gaelic clans, the O’ Byrne’s and O’ Toole’s, then taken by the English King Edward 11 in 1311. Retaken once more By the local clans in 1313. Over the years the Viking name evolved to the present Wicklow.

My next visit will be to the Wicklow Gaol, once lockdown lifts and I shall give you a few more Irish History titbits

Text Credits: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Ireland. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicklow. en.wikipedia.org .

Picture Credits: Historical Information Board on Black Castle site.

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The Lucky Man – An Act of Malice

Recent release by Author, Monika Martyn

A Review by fellow author – Sir Peter James Dotcomé

The Lucky Man – An act of Malice is the work of Monika Martyn and the story is set in Hawaii and surrounds in contemporary times.

Monika says the story was inspired by a ‘beached whale in Mexico.’

About The Author

Monika is a cocktail of dynamic business achiever and an uncluttered free spirit!

In her teens she emigrated from Austria to Canada, where she achieved phenomenal success in the cosmetic industry, allowing her to retire young and now Monika enjoys a nomadic and minimalistic lifestyle with her Husband.

Apart from her life in Canada, Monika has lived in Panama, Colombia, Mexico, and Europe.

It is not difficult to appreciate that Monika would write a book like ‘The Lucky Man…’ given her life experience and especially her travels. There is more to this though. She mentioned in her blog post entitled “Uncomfortable”: “If you want to make anyone uncomfortable, simply tell them that you own nothing. In a second, their eyes roll slightly inward as they compute the idea of what ‘nothing’ could mean and that you must be joking: they’re waiting for the punchline that what you’re saying can’t imply the same nothing that means nothing.”

As Monika has spoken of herself in this way, we would be safe to surmise that she is essentially a ‘Free Spirit.’ One who delights herself in every nuance and essence of the life that surrounds her, and who finds unnecessary baggage stifling.

Given the above, Monika was more than qualified to write this exciting story.

Genre

The story is fiction, thriller, and has healthy helpings of action and adventure.

Story Flow

I read an e-manuscript of The lucky Man and found the story easy reading. If it were not for time constraints, I would have got through reading in a day. Through eighty per cent of the reading it was brisk and found me excited and intrigued. The other twenty percent, where Monika was dealing with describing the lesser important issues of story, it was slow, but never boring.

In Part Four “One Down,” the flow takes an abrupt ‘detour’ and I went through the next few chapters feeling cheated that I never found out what happened to Jack languishing in his canoe! However, “One Down” is very interesting in itself; introducing a new location and four additional characters, who at the time, were floating on a self-made raft and then returning to an Island where they had been shipwrecked for many years. They found an unconscious Jack in his canoe and I felt happy that I was connected to the main story once more.

Part four moved briskly with a brief interlude of sex in the ranks and a little under-radar planning by two of the characters, Rose, and Mark. The only link missing in Mark’s plan was a lack of suitable transport to affect it.

Jack’s arrival on the island saved his life and solved Mark’s transport issue.

With Marks’s departure and safe arrival in Mexico, he was able to initiate the rescue of the group on the island and this culminated in an assumed happy ending. I say assumed, because there is no detail provided about a joyous reunion with Jack and family, especially his distraught mother, or for that matter, the return of Kai’s beloved canoe, ‘Kilo.’(Boo-hoo, I’m such an emotional sucker.)

I was never on the ‘edge of my seat,’ but was hooked and had, by choice,  to keep reading.

The Plot

The plot was well thought out, but lacked sufficient tight twists, which might have savored the story with little more mystery. The characters were suitably chosen each fitting well into their parts. Sequence of events was seamless.

Characters

From my viewpoint there are, three primary characters: the Protagonist, Jack, Myra, Jack’s Mother and Kai The security Boss. A solid support cast consisting of: John, Jack’s Father, brother Michael, Brody, (Jack’s best buddy), Wayne, and Bruce, two thugs. Finally Mark, Ron and Rosie, the shipwrecked islanders, followed by a host of others in bit parts.

Monika gets kudos from me for her character portrayals.

Jack is a super athletic type, tall, handsome, raised with a silver spoon in his mouth. A strong personality whose exceptional looks caused him to magnetize all women. He struck me as well-meaning and generous, but typical of those to whom all things come easily, he treated the women in his life with a relational indifference, focusing only sexual conquests. Jack gives the expression, ‘love ‘em and leave ‘em’ new meaning. His exploits, especially cheating on Brody, led him on a slow spiral downwards, until, when his life was severely endangered, he repented to the winds of his wicked ways; all the while promising to make good to ‘someone up there.’

Myra is a typical besotted mother, having favored Jack, over Michael, her younger son. Yet she is a strong determined woman who never stops believing her son is still alive.

Kai, the young security boss, is a simple, dedicated, loving husband and Father, caring for his Father, over and above the costly support of his own family. He is dedicated to his job and a man of integrity, who is also compassionate toward Myra and the loss of her son. Considering the inclusion of the shipwrecked Islanders, there is a fair list of characters, but the reader is never confused as to who is who in the milieu.

General

Monika is a master of the English language and pays attention to detail, sometimes lingering a little too long in this area. Her ability to make her description so effective is such, that it forms a canvas in one’s mind; this is a delightful experience, as it makes the tale live. Her technical knowledge of ‘adrift in the ocean’ with its see-saw of terrors and gentle calms; the fish and the ability to secure them in the scene of desperation left me feeling as if she was writing her autobiography. Jack’s shifting mind games, as he fights for survival, caused me to mouth alternately, “Your Karma has come to visit Jack,” to “Hang in there man, you gonna make it!”

Read it or skip it?

I read the e-book version but would have loved to read the book instead. Read it? Yes, yes, yes! My prayer is for it to hit the Best-Seller lists, not just for Monika’s sake, but for the many that would be gifted by its read.

As a writer, I not only loved the read, but learned much from Monika’s inimitable style.

Well done, go ahead now and reap your pot-o-gold Monika!

Buy now available on Amazon

All rights reserved sirpeterjamesdotcom©2021-01-20

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, writings are meant for people, not for dormant files on our computers, and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

If you are spiritually inclined see my other site; www.adcrucemchristi.com

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).

See my Book Review click here:

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Jessica and Pieter-Jacobus

 

Boer War

 

All the while she gazed out her upstairs window – the bright moonlit Transvaal winter’s night revealed a fantasy landscape before her. It was a stage upon which she could set the actors as she wished. Continue reading Jessica and Pieter-Jacobus

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What Land Belongs to Who….?

In May 2015 Thomas Beddy responded to a comment by our then President Jacob Zuma on Facebook.

In the run-up to our next general election, like most countries in the world, hot headed politicians are, in one form or another, broadcasting all manner of gross exaggerations to the their followers and the electorate in general.

The comment of Mr Beddy I thought was absolutely brilliantly written, in response to Mr Jacob Zuma’s statement that, all the problems in South Africa started with the arrival Rand Noteof Jan Van Riebeeck in 1652.

His article reads thus and I quote verbatim from his Facebook Page:

As a header the face of Jan Van Riebeeck is cartooned saying, “Stop blaming me for all your shit!!! Pay back the money”.

“A Brit responded..

I know, I know.. We had the same problems in England you know..

First we had the Picts and the Scots. And then came the Romans who stuck around for for about four centuries. Then we had the Angels and Saxons and all those other Germanic tribes. Oh ho. Then came the Danes and their Viking mates, a nauseating bunch of horney helmeted rapists and looters they were.

Nevertheless the Danes were eventually displaced by the Normans, who turned out to be Frenchmen in disguise – but we were a bit slow to recognize the fact until it was too late; Anyway they were led by the Duke of Normandy, who was a real bastard and who gave our wimpy king a right one in the eye. (The bloody French are still hanging around with their cheese and their bread and their wine  and their accordion music and their fancy restaurants, seducing our people away from our culture of slap chips and custard.)

And then, and then, came the Dutch when King William and Queen Mary of Orange popped over and started causing nonsense with the Irish at the battle of the Boyne. The Irish have never completely forgiven us, so they came over and settled all our building sites.

Then the Germans came back again, surreptitiously, and occupied top of the Mall in Buckingham Palace…

And where are we now…? Now we have Arabs, Pakistanis, Indians, Caribbeans, Syrians, the Oz, Italians, Americans, Canadians, Poles, Portuguese, Saudis, Kuwaitis, Moroccans Egyptians, Iranians, Palestinians, Israeli Jews, Ethiopians, Somalis, Nigerians, Rhodesians, Scots (to run the government), and (whoa!) South Africans…

Its been going on for two thousand years.

It’s an outrage…

And yet, and yet…all these people (well most!) have contributed to make England and the English a great democratic nation.

And yet, I have never felt the slightest inclination to bomb Rome, to shatter the Pyramids, , to close a Pakistani restaurant, to nuke the Ka’aba in Mecca, to blow up a bus in Jerusalem, to chop off the head of a Nigerian etc. (And even if I have, I have controlled myself from saying so.)……”

There is more – find it on Facebook.

I have published this article, because I feel Mr. Thomas Beddy has a good sense of humour, which is something we need more of in this world of ours today.