Wiltshire County + Oxford With A Side of Sacramento …

Adendum March 5, 2018: As I sit here finally ready to post more about my Birthday Trip in December, I find out that Russ Solomon passed away Yesterday watching The Oscars, probably rooting for another Brilliant Sacramentan, Greta Gerwig (more on her later). He was the Founding Father of Tower Records, a Sacramento based Company that went Global. I have always loved telling people that Tower started in my Hometown and that my first Milkshake was in the Original Tower Drugstore with my Dad. Tower ‘Block’ , for those that are from Sacto, was on Watt Avenue and included Tower Books, Records, and Video:

5807497220_8a52bc1eff_b.jpg… and after I got my Driver’s License, everyday after School, most Friday Nights, and even Saturday Afternoons, were spent trolling the Magazine Racks, sitting on the floor reading Books, flipping through Vinyl Records and Tape Cassettes, and renting Foreign Films. Tower was single handedly responsible for my Creative Aesthetic that I still have today. It was my window to this great big World, and as Greta says,  ‘ … it gave me Roots and Wings’ ! Tower holds such a Special place in my Heart, that I even tried my hand at Archiving some of his treasured Tower Bits! Watch Colin Hank’s (Another Sacramentan) Brilliant Homage to Russ,  All Things Must Pass. Thank You Colin for Rightly honoring him …

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Thank YOU Russ for giving us all things Tower and for giving a fellow Sacramentan a comforting and expansive place where I discovered my Soul.

Rest gently dear Giant xxx

Back to my Post:

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First, Thank YOU Dear Visitors from all over the World! I would love to hear from you, how you found Me, what you like @ my wee Blog! Drop me an e-mail: geniebalantac@gmail.com or leave me a comment!

Second, Finally saw Lady Bird ( Read this Brilliant Review from a British Newspaper!) , Greta Gerwig’s Valentine to our Hometown of Sacramento , with my BFF:

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As stated earlier, last Night was the Oscars and Our Hometown was sending her SO much Love:

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Tower Theater

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Greta’s Alma Mater, St. Francis High School

The Film couldn’t have come at a more Auspicious time in my life. It’s inspired me to start a couple of ongoing Projects this year, a bit of my own Personal Resurrection of sorts. Just in time for Spring:

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Cherry Tree outside my Office Window

And Lent:

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Some Lenten Reading from The Catholic Store

Lady Bird Inspired Project #1: My Sacramento Adventures :

( Click link above for Flickr Set )

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Lady Bird Inspired Project #2: Honoring My Magic Cottage:

( Click Link above for Flickr Set )

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Check back periodically for Featured Posts!

Back to my 50th Birthday Trip:

After the Milestone and the Rush of London, I was Thank – Full for the Second Leg of the Trip. Booked a Tour with Rabbies. Planning a trip to the UK? Book with them, You will n o t be disappointed: Intimate, Personal and wide range of Locations!

Leaving London, it wasn’t Raining or Snowing, it was S u n n y for our trip to Wiltshire County:

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Always ready for a bit of London History on the way to Avebury:

 

 

 We wanted to go to Stonehedge, but after talking to some Mates, Avebury seemed like a more up close + personal experience.

I feel asleep for part of the ride, woke up at a Rest Stop: WISH I had taken a pic of the Magazine Stand, oh my: the Brits love their Rags! The rest of the ride to Avebury I was wide awake for the beauty that is the English Countryside.  It was the first time to roll through it at a semi leisurely pace, and with every Meter that passed by, I fell more and more in Love.

Our Tour Guide’s Musings on Avebury:

 

There are no words that truly express the feeling of stepping in between the Ancient Stones, touching them, and being in their Silence.

It was Soul Soothing.

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Scanned B + W Ilford Print

 

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Scanned B + W Ilford Film

 

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Scanned B + W Instax

 

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Scanned B + W Ilford Film

 

 

 

Swept around the Village a bit:

 

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Scanned B + W Ilford Film

 

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Found these two Mates with matching boots …

 

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Sat Patiently waiting for no cars to get this shot whilst happily chatting with another Photographer doing the same. Who needs to buy things at the Shop? This moment was priceless.

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Scanned B + W Instax of The Red Lion

On the way to Lacock Village :

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iPhone 7 Plus Panoramic

Spot the White Horse + the first of many Orbs on the trip …

The Love continued as we ventured into Lacock Village.  Lacock is composed of the Village, the Abbey (which we didn’t get to visit) , and the  Fox Talbot Museum:  We found out from our Tour guide that Lacock is the ‘Birthplace of Photography’ ( I let out a little yelp, when I heard that! ). I did N O T know that, if I did, we would have stayed the night in Lacock , most likely at the Sign of The Angel , so I could have properly done the Museum.  Had a wonder-full chat with the caretaker however, Bless her in all her lovely-ness. The Museum is on my Bucket List now.

A wonderful Gentleman did oblige me by taking an Instax in front of the Museum, which seems appropriate:

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Scanned B + W Instax

Lacock Village was serene, peaceful, blissfully charming and I can see why Film Crews and people want to be there, it’s a bit of Heaven here on Earth:

 

 

SO happy,  I had to talk about it …

 

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Tithe Barn at Manor Farm was breathtaking.

 

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These Wellies I saw peeking out from under a car, LOVE them.

 

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British Moss is Beautiful …

 

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A Child’s Room amongst old Stonework.

 

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Lovely Couple taking a Morning Walk …

( Via a long shot on my iPhone way down the road )

That will be me one day.

Then a quick trip to  Bath to mostly see The Roman Baths.

 

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Then it was back to London to pick up our left luggage at Victoria Train Station and to hook up with our Driver to take us to Oxford. Really, it was a feat in and of itself, but we did it! Don’t feel like taking a Train? Book with Blackberry Cars for door to door service!

But first, my Beloved Sign was finally leaving London and Traveling …

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Scanned Panoramic Film

As long as I can remember, I’ve been told that I need to go to Oxford.  That I would fall in Love with the ‘ City of Dreaming Spires ‘ …

 

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As Endeavour, a show set in Oxford, ends it’s Fifth Season on Sunday,  I recall when I first discovered it the Fall of 2011 on Netflix. I didn’t know anything about Inspector Morse , I didn’t know how beloved the (Endeavour) Morse Character was on Telly,  and in the Inspector Morse Novels as well. Thank YOU Colin Dexter for opening me up to a whole new World and facilitating my Love for Oxford …

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A Red + Yellow Umbrella walking under the Bridge of Sighs …

… I fell asleep on the M40, apparently a good thing, as my Cousin said it was i c y. But when I woke up, we were magically in Oxford, on our way to Wadham College where we had a room for a couple of nights. Yes, that’s right we stayed at Uni! I wholeheartedly recommend University Rooms when in Oxford:

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My Treasured Wadham College Scarf bought at the Official University Shop  ! It’s not cold enough here in Northern California to wear it this Winter, but it will come with me wherever I Travel in the UK!

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Fancy a Cuppa?

 

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Best Closet of the Trip, even a place for my Hats!

 

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The Best Toiletries ever, that I will never use!

After we arrived, I walked around the Quad + a bit of the Campus on my own.

I was Smitten:

 

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Cheeky Snow People

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Snowy Corner

Then in the Morning we had Breakkie in the Hall.

Panoramic Views of:

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The Quad + The ‘ Staircases ‘ on the way to the Hall …

 

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The Hall, which is the largest in Oxford University …

 

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My inner Hermione was satisfied.

 

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SO kind Hall Staff …

 

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Scanned Color Panoramic Film

 

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Hall Happy in my PJ’s and no Makeup …

After Breakkie, I wanted to visit Wadham Chapel in the daytime and I’m glad we did: It was the second (bone chilling) Spiritual Experience of my Trip.

I  L O V E that there is something this Beautiful on Campus. If I was a Student, I would be here everyday:

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I was so moved I started singing Amazing Grace , and I don’t usually burst out in song, but it felt right.

I had a bit of time on my own to Explore and Document this Venerated Space:

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Scanned Panoramic Fim

Looking at this again, I do see some Ghosty Type Light, and truth be told, I did not feel completely ‘ alone ‘ in my exploration …

 

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 I lit a Candle, said a Prayer, and I left some Pounds.

 

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Took one of these to remember this Special Place.

The visit filled me up deep and set me up for the rest of our Glorious day in Oxford.

We did a short Bus Tour:

 

 

 If Video Bit doesn’t work click this link …

Totally felt like Linda McCartney again, snapping away in the backseat:

 

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Got off the bus and walked around a bit:

 

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At a Shop, for those American Oxford Students …

 

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Wish I had spent more time at The Covered Market but we were on our way to meet our Friend Tom.  But the little time I did spend there, I felt a part of something rather Special.

 

 

One of the main reasons I wanted to go to the Covered Market was because of Brown’s Cafe and it’s feature in an Endeavour Film this Season. Next visit to Oxford, I will be eating there:

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And then I couldn’t resist getting a World Famous Cookie and was it sublime Noshing it in the Rain.

 

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Toyed with buying one of these …

 

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And Visited the Christmas Market  …

But it was the 3 1/2 Hour Walkabout in the Rainy Cold with our Friend Tom, that solidified my Newfound Love of Oxford. Tom, I will be forever Grateful.

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Straight from the off,  the City’s indiscriminate beauty of Colors, Energy, and Unprecedented History, won me over and shook me at my Core. It was surprisingly tangible, inexplicable, and comforting all at the same time.

With every step, description, and moment, I fell deep for this City of Enlightenment.

It was a brilliant ramble of an Afternoon, meandering through it’s Alleys and Narrow Roads. Walking amongst the Spires, Bricks, and Stones. Shuffling through hallowed halls, being in awe of everything we saw and heard, and discovering Endeavor’s Oxford.

I have tried to the best of my abilities to aptly place the images that follow … wish I had been like Endeavor and had a notebook + pen!  If any of you, dear Readers, can help me with my memory, please give me a shout!

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I did however recognize the following places! Thank You Tom for helping me check these off my (Endeavour) Bucket List:

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One. Merton College which stands in for Endeavor’s Fictional College, Lonsdale.

 

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Two.  Formerly the University of Oxford Philosophy Centre on Merton Street :

 

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… Filming Location of the Wessex Bank for the Endeavour Film ‘ Coda ‘ !

Can you tell I’m Chuffed? My fave Portrait of the trip!

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Three. This sorry excuse for a Selfie ( I stayed away from them on the trip ) was taken at the Sheldonian Theater . It’s where Morse stumbled upon these steps after being stabbed in the stacks in ‘Fugue’ !

PS I lost this Brolly somewhere in Oxford, and I want it back!

Four.  Walking by Queen’s Lane I did a short intake of Breath:

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The wall on the left is where Endeavour reflected over a Cuppa in ‘ Fugue ‘ …

I wish I had taken this shot with my DSLR or 35mm Film Camera, it’s just SO Beautiful. It’s one of my most Fave of the trip.

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Five.  This infamous Staircase from the Brilliant Endeavour Pilot that lead up to The Oxford Mail. I had to touch it twice to just bring it home to me that yes, it’s real! Near the Infamous The Turf Tavern where I had a pint + chips at later in the Eve.

 

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Six. Bodleian Library which was featured in the Endeavour Film Fugue. We walked in a bit, but all I could think of was how can I borrow books here? I know, become a Student!

 

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Grabbed this as a Momento …

 

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Click here if Video Bit doesn’t Load …

Seven. The Radcliffe Camera which is everywhere in Endeavour and is truly breathtaking in person. The first time I saw it, I did a sharp intake of breath, S t u n n i n g.

Then there was a bit of the Harry Potter:

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…the Divinity School where the kids learned how to Ballroom Dance!

 

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… and apparently this was the inspiration for the Star Filled Ceiling of the Dining Hall, but I don’t have the foggiest idea where this is? Help!

The weather cleared up, and Oxford at Twilight doesn’t need any Filtering:

 

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Trinity College

 

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Pitt Rivers Museum

We didn’t get to visit, but definitely will be on my Oxford Bucket List in 2019!

 

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Had an end of a Walkabout Respite here …

 

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And after a Pint at a Pub ( Tom, what was the name of it ?), talking about Orbs, My UK Art Dreams, and rightly guessing the Regional Accents of our new Mates at the next table, we said Good Bye to Tom. Thank You again for a Brilliant Afternoon.

If interested, here is my Review of Tom’s Tour …

Them we met up with Sarah for a Pub Tour and a Walkabout at Night:

 

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Sharon is Enigmatic, Thoughtful, and a wonderfully Spirited Tour Guide. We met her at the Christmas Market for some local Gin Tasting which fortified us for the increasingly chilly, yet sublime Adventure of Oxford at night.

Our first stop was at The Eagle and Child which was quite busy, and where we ran into our new Mates from the other Pub earlier.  But what was most exciting for me was that this is where the Pilot for Endeavour was filmed and where I was introduced to the Sublimeness of The Inklings . I was so inspired by seeing the wee corner where they used to ruminate, that I have begun to read their works, starting with C.S. Lewis!

After a quick stop at The Lamb and Flag, we made our way to the third pub of our Tour. It was then, I started to become aware of the allure of the British Pub Culture. I also quickly realized, it’s a practical way to warm up! We arrived at The Bear :

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… which was more busy and smaller I may add, than the other Pubs, but we were determined to have another Pint! London Pride was my Lager of Choice and only a Half Pint at that. I wanted to remember things! What I remember from this pub is the TIES and the SO Lovely and Accommodating group of Mates that let us share their Table.  We talked about the cost of living in Oxford, why I need to m o v e to Oxford, and the Brilliance that is Wadham College. We left as I hugged them Good Bye, and I said this was one of the Highlights of my Birthday Trip!

We walked to our next pub, The Turf Tavern ( A favorite of the Harry Potter Tribe) but first we saw the Inspiration for Hogsmeade:

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Walked under The Bridge of Sighs, again … siiiigh:

 

 

And I touched The Staircase again:

 

 

By the time we got to our last Pub, The White Horse, many an Inspector Morse Films were shot here, it was almost Arctic Cold ! My glasses + iPhone lens fogged up the minute we walked into the Wee Cozy and Quaint Boozer:

 

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This is the only pic that came through!

Thank YOU Sarah for showing us Oxford at night and braving the Cold with us! Can’t wait to come back and have some proper Pintswith you!

If interested, here is the Review I wrote for Sarah’s Tour!

Both of our Oxford Tours were through:

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I highly recommend any Tours they have to offer. Intimate, Thoughtful, and Engaging … you will not be disappointed! Say Hi to Alasdair, Tom, and Sarah for me!

The next day we prepared to check out of Wadham:

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Found the Garden ….

 

 

Had an Epiphany …

Then we had our first Train Experience at the Oxford Station:

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Scanned Ilford B + W Film

 

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Scanned Ilford B + W Film

 

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Scanned Color Panoramic Film

 

 

Our next stop? Edinburgh, Scotland!

All LOVE, G XXX

 

The Milestone …

 

The day had finally arrived:

 

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I had tried my best to Honor my Journey up to this day with my Living 49 Project , revisiting a Lifetime of Memories on my Instagram ( Scroll down, you’ll see the pics ), Journaling, Visual Journaling, and making Art ( perhaps I will make a Zine Issue out of all of it ).
I did feel Special because it was in a City that held a Lifetime of Memories for Me, I was Blessed to have walked this Earth for 50 Years, and I feel I had lived all the Experiences  (Bliss Filled, n o t so Bliss Filled, and everything in between) that God had gifted me with, to the  F U L L .

As I woke up to a ‘ Happy Birthday ‘ from my Cousin and a hand-full of wishes on Social Media, I got ready for my Day.

First, Breakkie in the Restaurant Downstairs:

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Then took an Uber to the only Mural I wanted to take a picture in front of:

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Shoreditch Birthday Angel …

While taking the picture in the Rain, a kind Gent walking by said ‘ Model that Photo ! and My Cousin commented, ‘ It’s her Birthday today! ‘ … He joyfully said ‘Happy Birthday! ‘ To wit I answered, ‘ I’m 50 today! ‘ He then threw back over his shoulder, ‘ Keep looking 17!’  SO touched I shouted back ‘ Thank You, Love!’ …

Perfect Birthday Moment.

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We went to the  Mall near the old Olympic Stadium ( I know ) to get Snow Boots because it was Winter in the UK and I treated Myself to an Instax Camera because I needed a new one!

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Bought my own Birthday Cards as well.

After finally getting a cab in the snow  + regrouping back at the Hotel, we did a bit of Touring via an Uber on the way to Westminster Abbey: 

 

I had been to the Abbey before, but returning as an Adult on my Birthday seemed, Appropriate:

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As stated earlier, this was a Whirlwind trip. Lots of getting in + out of ubers, cabs, and trains but when I had Bliss filled moments, moments of intention and purpose, they made up for all the hurried – ness in spades.

I had about 5 of these types of Moments through out the trip and being at Westminster Abbey was the first.

We weren’t allowed to take photos in the Abbey, but I did sneek in one:

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It seems like a bit of a Metaphor for the trip, for my Journey into 50 … the light at the end of the Tunnel.

From the moment I walked in, I felt an enormous sense of awe, peace, home.

I can’t adequately put it into words …

It was like closing my eyes and tilting my face towards the sun.

And then I cried.

As I lit a Candle for a Loved One, I had a bit of an Epiphany.

I was supposed to be here, at this exact Moment, on my 50th Birthday, and I will not let this Gift go, lightly …

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Thank you God for 50 Years of Life.

We Toured a bit on a Bus we paid a l o t for:

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Had snack before My Birthday Dinner ( Right? It was cold + we were hungry ):

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Crossed Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen off my Bucket List:

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Best Bit One: The Gin

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Best Bit Two: The Last Course of Bone Marrow

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Best Bit Three: My Handmade Chocolate

Thank You Soph for My Birthday Dinner! xx

Somewhere after Dinner, on the way to find Christmas Lights in Minus 12 Degree Weather, I bought myself some Birthday Bits:

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And this happens on my Birthday sometimes, I got a bit Sad.

Maybe because I was turning 50, but mostly because Loved Ones that I thought would Call, Text, or leave a Message somewhere on Social Media, did not … and it hit me a bit hard.

I shared this with my Cousin, and she said ‘ I’m here ‘ as she grabbed my hand in comfort.

I will always Love her for that.

I cheered up considerably when we finally found Carnaby Street ( where we were the night before, we just didn’t turn the right c o r n e r ):

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Click link if the above Video Bit doesn’t play!

 

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As the above video bit states, good thing the shops were all closed or we would have had no money for the rest of the trip!

Back at the Hotel I took some more pics to honor the day:

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Snapchatting

I called my Parents, We packed + had our last night in London.

Not nearly enough time in London, I missed going to an Art Museum, the Sunday Markets in East London, and seeing my Friends.

London will always be a magical place for me, but somehow on this trip it was different.

I will go back to explore on my own, and I can’t wait!

London will always be the place that I turned 50.

Next Blog Post: Avebury, Lacock Village, Bath and Oxford!

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling …

 

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It’s been awhile!

 

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Out with the Old, in with the New …

 

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And I will live this Year in honor of Rodney.

Rest in Peace, Thank You for being a part of this Life, and watch over our Stephanie

XXX

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And 50 is here: Fabulously full of Blessings, full of Lessons.

It all started with a trip across the Pond to the UK, my most favorite part of the World, to honor the Milestone. If anyone truly knows me, knows how much of a full blown Anglophile I am. England has my heart, it has my soul. It was the only place to turn 50 and I am finally sharing this Journey in upcoming posts!

My life long love of England started at an early age: My very first visit to London was when I was 12 on a Two Week, 7 Country Tour.

This is my most fave pic of the trip because I have camera in hand. I will scan those pics one day:

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My Second Trip in 2003 was for an Art Show at Truman Brewery , fell in Love with East London and Brick Lane , and did lots of walking and taking Random Photos:

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The Third Trip in 2005 was for a Second Art Show at The Bridge , more falling in Love with Brick Lane, and playing with Street Photography:

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The recent Trip was the starting point of an 8 Day Journey through 4 Cities to honor the Birthday and to Explore.

It must be said, I do love an Airport and a Plane Ride:

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… Then you magically arrive and the Adventure begins!

First, a bit of a Layover in Dublin ( Cross that off my Bucket List ) + my first Stamp in my New Passport:

 

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Then we finally landed in London: Excited, Tired, and I felt completely at Home.

Thank YOU Sis Cuz Sophia for Documenting the following moment in our very expensive Cab Ride, Documenting numerous other moments on the trip, and making sure I wasn’t on my own when I turned 50!

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We stayed at a Funky Hotel in my East London:

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And seriously, the best Key Cards ever:

 

 

We tried to fit in as much as we could into 3 nights + 2 Days.

Walked a lot in the Rain + Snow …

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Accidentally ran into St. Paul’s Cathedral :

 

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Randomly got off at this Tube Stop ( Tower of London ):

 

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Click this Link if Video Bit doesn’t play!

And we typically took the Tube, got lost on the Tube, made Friends with people on the way to the Tube.

 

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Then if we wanted to make the most of our time, we rode Cabs + Ubers, and sometimes the Music hit me, right there.

 

 

But most times I felt like Linda McCartney , taking photos out of moving Vehicles.

I was creating my own Documentary:

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We finally made it to Brick Lane, a place that epitomizes c r e a t i v e  e n e r g y.

I had wanted to spend the whole of Sunday meandering through the Markets, smelling Curry admist the Graffiti, and reminiscing. But sometimes in Life, you can’t go back.

I experienced what I was supposed to.

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Meandered out of the Snowy Cold and into this Market at the Truman Brewery:

 

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THIS is my London, Folks like him.

Then I randomly stumbled upon, THIS COAT. It took me all of 5 minutes to try it on, find out it fits me p e r f e c t l y, and fall in love with it ( that is the face of H A P P Y below ). The SO sweet booth owner ( should have given him my business card, but at least I introduced myself ) told me it was a 1944 British Red Cross Trench Coat, and with that, it became the b e s t ( 50th ) Birthday Present ever:

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LOVE LOVE LOVE IT.

It weathered the British Rain, Snow, and my backpack heavily laden with Photo Gear for the rest of the Trip.

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These guys.

The conversation + their dandy – ness was the Cherry on Top ( actually my Wood Brick Lane sign was ) of the best Shopping Experience of my Trip, a trip that wasn’t about shopping.

Then out onto the street to Document:

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Yes, I’m back and in front of where I had my first Art Show in London, at The Truman Brewery!

And just a taste of the Famous East London Graffiti:

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In My Element.

Next Blog Post: The Birthday

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 PS Endeavour Season V starts on Sunday, just in time for me to Blog about my new love, Oxford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Christmas …

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Wadham College Chapel

Oxford, Oxfordshire

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Carnaby Street, London

Wishing all of You, A Joyous Holiday Season!

Back from my 50th Birthday Trip + Ready to Shaaare:

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With My Vintage 1940’s British Red Cross Trench + My Vintage Brick Lane Sign + Scabbed Knee from falling in the London Snow

 

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With my Wadham College Scarf + Vintage Scottish Newsboy Cap

Downloaded pics, over 2k DSLR Pics ( not bad considering I have 2 other Cameras + my iPhone ): but we will see what makes the cut!

But I did edit a few for my new Mates Overseas:

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Tom in Oxford

 

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Proud + Cheeky Bagpipers in Edinburgh

Stay Tuned for more!

G xxx

… And we’re OFF …

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Tonight we leave for my 50th Birthday Adventure to the part of this World that has all of my Heart + Soul …

London + Oxford + Edinburgh + Dublin here we come!

Living 49, Thank YOU for all the Blessings + Lessons,

You made me Humble, You made me Happy.

Living 50, I can’t wait to Fill You U P!

G XXX

Inspiration Wednesday …

What a rough three days it’s been:

Las Vegas is still in pain …

Joe_Monteagudo

Just found out someone who I went to Grade School with passed away today.

Rest In Peace Joe Monteagudo xxx …

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Via Google Image Search

And  Tom Petty passed away …

With so much sadness,  I chose to embrace life and look at my own for Inspiration for the Future.  I am most alive when I am putting back into the World.

I used to be a Social Worker.

I Supervised a Group Home with Autistic Adults:

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Ran a Homeless Shelter:

 

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Ran a Homework Center in a Public Library:

 

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Taught Art in Libraries:

 

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Taught Art at The Crocker Art Museum:

 

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I was a Curator for Phantom Galleries and I had some minutes of fame, my Interview click here.

 

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I even helped curate some of Russ Solomon’s Tower Ephemera for The Center for Sacramento History :

 

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My life has been nothing but eclectic.

As long as I’m alive, I will continue to see Inspiration in every damn thing.

G xxx

Motivation Monday …

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Via Google Image Search …

 

Here I sit feeling like the entire world is   b  r  o  k  e  n. How do you wrap your head and heart around something like Las Vegas?

The random senseless violence, the loss, the raw pain.

At the end of the day, I finally turned on the news and a floodgate opened.

I went outside with my camera and did the one thing that comforts me:

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This entire year has been a rough one for the World at large: how do you place yourself in all of that? How do you feel? How do you help? How can you not think that we need to

l     i     s     t    e    n

… the Universe is trying to tell us something.

And if you’ve been following me through this last year of my 40’s, all this totally fits into my existential journey:

 

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I’ve gotten back to being inspired, grounded, at peace.

I’m trying to stay on track with my Living 49 Project .

I’ve made a Career choice that fits me, just right.

And it hit me, is it wrong that I’m so happy and the rest of the world is falling apart?

But as today is Motivation Monday, I realized that even though there are so many  atrocities that happen everyday, everywhere in the World, it is my God Given gift of  life that I will not waste.

 

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I am still alive for a reason and I will try my hardest to find it.

I will not be afraid to say ‘ I Love You ‘ because that is the greatest gift you can give someone.

I will dream hard and work hard for my dreams.

I will strive to help others every second of every day, in some small way.

I will use my Muse to honor, inspire, and put light back into the World.

It may not make a difference in the big scheme of things, but it’s all I have to offer.

In Peace + Love, G XXX

+ I’m going to be blogging more on my Photography site: click here for my recent heartfelt post on Photography.

+ And just in case you missed it , how I came out of Summer into Fall, click.

 

 

 

 

 

Spiritual Being Having a Human Experience …

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First, my Heart + Soul goes out to all those effected by Hurricane Irma + Harvey.

Please h e l p if you can, click here.

ALL MY LOVE + PRAYERS are with those of you that are Rebuilding your Lives + all those who are Helping you Rebuild.

 Summer has ended and Fall is right around the corner.  It’s the perfect time to take stock of my Journey so far this year.

This Summer I didn’t use my Passport (that’s what Instagram + Facebook are for), I didn’t sit on a Beach, I didn’t take a lot of Road trips.

I traveled inward and discovered long hidden parts of my Soul.

I had a Summer Romances with God, Myself, hand-full of my Beloveds, and Sadie Dog.

I sought out ( currently seeking  ) new opportunities + ways to lose my Inhibition.

I took care of Sadie Dog ( Tumor Removal +  Collapsing Trach ). She’s much better now + her Spirit will not be broken!

There were days that I felt accomplished, motivated, contributing to the World.

Other days, I was disappointed and felt no forward movement at all.

It’s been moments of pain + beauty, of Blessings + Lessons.

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Then somewhere in between the Charlottesville Riots and my ‘ Purge + Keep ‘ before 50 …

I discovered something.

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I am at an Existential Crossroads.

I’m pretty sure it’s because of the aforementioned Birthday in December, but with all that digging around in my Soul, it was inevitable.

My Human Side (Rational, Thinking, Pragmatic) is in a tug and pull with my Spiritual Side (Faith Filled, Feeling, Visionary).

And I find myself right back where I started when I was in my Teens.

I want to embrace the whole damn World and see all of it.

I know I have to m a k e a living but I also need to create, give back, to help others.

Which road do I take? Do I have to chose just one?

Many days, Many Journeys.

Then somewhere Mid August, things got simpler … and I remembered:

I    t    ‘    s         a     l     l         A     R     T

It’s the merging of Spirit + Humanity that has underlined everything that I stand for in this life.

It’s why I have always sought out the Poem, the Song, the Still Image in random moments.

It’s the path I’ve always taken, It’s the path I’m always on.

And maybe because of these discoveries or said Birthday …

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I have been on the Edit: literally + emotionally.

Living in the same magical place for 13 years with 40 (OH GOSH) years plus worth of S T U F F,  it felt empowering  to recycle, donate, throw away bits that I don’t need going into the next half of my Life.

The bits that made the cut, it felt good to organize them.

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30 Years of Film Pics + Photo Albums …

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14 Years of the Ex in one Plastic Bin ( Sadie + I are both happy about that ). Because in the end, aren’t we all just Stories (Thank You Dr. Who)?

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30 Years worth of Paper Bits for Art + Visual Journaling into two Plastic Bins.

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30 Years of Magazine Pages into Morgues …

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A Lifetime of Cards + Letters …

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The First time since I made this room Pink, it truly feels organized. These are the Essentials, like if I had to move tomorrow, these would be packed.

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… and then the streamlined Cupboard with almost 50 Years worth of bits.

Inevitably with all this unearthing + organizing, I’ve decided to add a few more Projects ( I am the Project Queen ) to my whole Living 49 – 50 Journey:

One. Writing a Third Issue of my Zine, Life As Art.

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Issues One + Two …

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Cover of Issue Three?

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Two. Making a ( Huge ) Art Piece on my Current Journey: I have Reused this Canvas Three Times ( a charm ).

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Three.  Scanning Old Film Pics +  Blogging semi-regularly on my Photography Website  .  I hope to share musings on my life long obsession with Photography!

Four.  Sharing ( in general ) my wealth of life long bits.

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Instagram has been my chosen Mode of sharing lately.

In sharing these bits, I’ve discovered that I have done a lot, seen a lot, made a lot, and have done my best to give back to the World.

Here’s to another 30 plus more years of doing the same!

Five. Realizing I have SO much British Bits/Memories/Photos ( 36 Years! ) that …

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L    O    N    D    O    N         I    S         A    L    W    A    Y    S         C    A    L    L    I    N    G  and I need to get back there soon + often ( a life long Project, aheem )!

Six.  I’m starting a Bucket List before 5 0 ( I know a bit late ) but in doing so, I realized that most of the things on my list are seeking out those that I want to make amends with + forgive + move forward.

Lastly, it’s my hope that I can get back to my daily Living 49 Project + Motivation Monday Et Al Posts + Vlogging . But, as I’ve mentioned in another Blog Post, n o t feeling Inspired is also part of the Journey … so I will do my best!

Rest assured, when I do share, it will be full of intent + straight from the deepest parts of my Heart.

What more can I can hope for going into Fall, Winter and the beginning of the second half of my Life?

Always BIG LOVE, G xxx

+ If interested go here for Summer Pics!

+  Here for Living 49 Pics!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid Summer …

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Amen!

 

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Freedom Tree

 

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Starting something new

 

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Shutterfly for Promotion

 

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Best Ensaymada ever.

 

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Daddy’s Plums: The best ever.

 

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Mom gives me Magazines + Dad gives me tools!

 

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Bit of Filipinina

Bits from my Tardis:

 

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Snoopy Backpack

 

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First Bit of Art

 

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Oh Savings!

 

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Fave Grade School Lunch Box …

 

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Today: Game of Thrones Season 7 and a Female Dr. Who!

G xxx