Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Quick Votes and Sweet Charity!

Into one question, quick votes magically sum up a topic which can be overly digested.

It's difficult to think of others outside friends and family during the mad rush of the holidays, often forgetting those less fortunate. Today's quick vote is:

Do you give to charity during the holiday season?

Most definitions maintain that being charitable is directed towards the sick and needy. And, of course, that is the case most times. But aren't we all in need at one time or another?

A huge hug and thank you to everyone for having made my 2009 easier and happier in one way or another by your thoughtfulness, kindness, and friendship! When I need to get away and sometimes imagine myself being a recluse, in a flash, I realize I'd be lost without my dear friends!

Love, Petra xo

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Edinburgh and Me!

Well, I found them! Whew! These are just a few of hundreds I'd taken while I lived in Edinburgh! I hope you enjoy them as much as I treasure them!

1. This photo is an overhead view of Edinburgh from Edinburgh Castle.

2. Edinburgh Castle

3. Traveling from Learmonth Court, my residence, onto Princess Street, one of the main streets in Edinburgh.

4. Learmonth Court, once owned by a Duke, was converted into hundreds of flats (apartments). It's in the above background of photo.

5. And here I am donning an 80's perm! Ugh! Never before and never since! ;)

I and my companions from Australia and Japan were at Loch Ness in search of Nessie, but instead, to our delight, were visited by lovely swans.

A lovely trip down memory lane for me! I hope you enjoyed a wee bit of Bonnie Edinburgh!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Citar

Sunday Citar offers quotes which have inspired or can inspire. Its creator is Tabitha at FreshMommy . So grab your coffee, tea, or whatever, while you enjoy different bloggers' favorite quotes! :))

Federico Fellini

"Money is everywhere and so is poetry. What we lack are the poets."

Monday, December 7, 2009

Some of the world's most beautiful castles!

Does anyone else have a fettish for castles? Perhaps my earliest impression was Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle. Or was I Queen Guinevere in a former life? Or her humble servant? I'll never know. But what I do know is that they're the most beautiful works of art!

Above, BAMBURGH CASTLE stands on a rocky outcrop in Northumerland, England. The castle has served as a location for several movies, including Roman Polanski's 1971 version of Macbeth.

More than 900 years old, LEEDS CASTLE regularly received Henry the VIII as a guest. On the grounds are several mazes, a display on falconry, and a dog-collar museum. It was bought by the blueblooded Olive Wilson Filmer. She bought the castle for $873,000 in 1926, outbidding William Randolph Hearst in the process.

Dating back to 1220, Scotland's most famous castle, EILEAN DONAN, is in the middle of a loch, near the Isle of Skye. One of Eilean Donan's 20th century restorers claimed that a dream helped him decide how the castle looked when it was first built. Plans that were later found at Edinburgh Castle proved that his hunch was right.

Ludwig the II of Bavaria, also known as Mad King Ludwig, began planning his famous NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE in the 1860's. A century later it would inspire another visionary structure: Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle. King Ludwig didn't get much chance to enjoy the Neuschwanstein. In 1886, as the castle was nearing completion, he died under suspicious circumstances with his body found floating in a lake.

Dating back to the 1420's, the Danish KRONBORG CASTLE in Helsinger is one of the best-preserved castles from the Renaissance, although it has undergone many alterations since.

The impressively fortified CHATEAU de CASTELNAUD is on limestone rocks above Dordogne River in France.

FRANCES HAUT-KOENINGSBOURG CASTLE is positioned more than 2,000 feet above the Alsatian plain, a location that kept it safe for centuries. However, destruction did arrive after a seige after which it was abandoned to become a romantic ruin. Now, it's a popular tourist stop.

BRAN CASTLE has only the most tenuous of connections with Vlad the Impaler, the real-life inspiration for Count Dracula, but there's no denying the spooky charm of its many turrets and towers.

The CHATEAU de CHILLON is on an island near the edge of Lake Geneva, Switzerland. After a visit, Lord Byron published his long poem "The Prisoner of Chillon." The work refers to the castle's "dungeons deep and old."

It would be a dream come true to visit any of the above. While I lived in Edinburgh, Scotland, there were too many castles to count on the landscapes of Scotland, Ireland, and England. Beautiful memories, indeed!

Friday, December 4, 2009

That's A Wrap: Some of This Holiday Season's Movies

There's something for everyone at the movies this holiday season, from a musical with Daniel-Day Lewis to James Cameron's first feature since Titanic.

Some of the most anticipated movies of 2009 will be released this winter, as studios aim to take advantage of the holiday crowds and slip in Oscar hopefuls ahead of awards season.

Recent releases like Disney's modern interpretation of the traditional Charles Dickens tale A Christmas Carol have already started to build up the holiday


Other upcoming highlights include big-budget 3D epic Avatar, which is due to be released December 18th worldwide, and Peter Jackson's film adaptation of Alice Sebold's heart-wrenching novel The Lovely Bones.

Christmas falls on a Friday this year, and will usher in Rob Marshall's musical Nine with an all-star cast including Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, and Sophia Loren.

Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, will be in theatres Christmas Day.

Just to name of a few!