Waiting

On the first weekend in September I travelled to Wales for only the second time in my life (first time was ‘A’ level biology trip September 1993 – awesome by the way, in its own teenage way). This time I went with my husband and other couple. We drove from Edgware London at around 9ish and arrived at our campsite at Black Rocks Sands at two in the morning. We had just the most wonderful weekend. I am developing an insatiable love for the outdoors whatever the weather.

The picture I have chosen for the photo challenge ‘Waiting‘ is a picture of the little mountain train at Llanberis station that takes visitors up Mount Snowdon. On the day we went – the weather conditions were such that we could not ascend to the top but it was still a lovely journey anyway.

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Kindness and vulnerability

We went to the Victoria and Albert museum today to see the Pink Floyd exhibition. Before our entry time I walked around some of the free exhibitions and took some pictures in the spare hour that I had.

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The Goddess Purneshvari. She is important of the Goddess of healing. She is worshipped by Buddhists and Hindus. She is seated on a lotus with the Hindu God Ganesh to her right.

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Nyoirin Kannan. This is a Japanese form of bodhisattva. It is Japan’s most popular deity and is associated with the granting of wishes.

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Bodhisattva Maitreya. “Maitreya” is derived from the sanskrit ‘maitre’ meaning loving kindness. He is thought to be the next Buddha on earth. Until then he is resident  Tushita. He is dressed in princely attire but some of his appearance suggests that of Buddhahood the raised hair knot (ushnisha) and forehead mark (urna).

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Vertumnus was a nature god who could assume any shape, and is here shown wooing the nymph Pomona. He gained her presence by disguising himself as an old woman, and proceeded to plea his cause. When this failed, he revealed his true identity as a youthful god; he is shown here having just removed his mask.

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Vertumnus and Pomona


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thetis dipping Achilles in the River Styx. Thetis, a sea nymph, dips her newborn son Achilles into the River Styx. The sacred waters should have protected him. But Achilles was killed when an arrow struck his heel the one part of his body that was left vulnerable.

The Kelpies

Day 6 of our Scottish adventure and the 1st day of August takes us to Falkirk.

We visited ‘The Kelpies’ in Helix park. They are apparently the world’s largest equine structures. These steel sculptures stand 30 metres high and weigh 300 tonnes each. They were designed by sculptor Andy Scott. His borrowed the name of The Kelpies, from the Celtic mythical creatures in Scottish folklore. A Kelpie was originally a name given to a ‘Water Horse’. This supernatural entity could be found in the lochs and rivers of Scotland. The description of their appearance can vary in different tales. Sometimes white with smooth cold skin, or black and grey. In some stories they are described as ‘shape shifters’. They are able to transfer themselves into beautiful women who can lure men and trap them. However, the Kelpie does not always take a female form and are mostly male. They are also described as posing a particular danger to children when in the shape of a horse. Attracting their victims to ride them they are taken under the water and then eaten! Andy Scott’s vision is that the horse represent both the past, present and future of Scotland.

During the conceptual stages, I visualised The Kelpies as monuments to the horse and a paean to the lost industries of the Falkirk area and of Scotland.

I see The Kelpies as a personification of local and national equine history, of the lost industries of Scotland. I also envisage them as a symbol of modern Scotland – proud and majestic, of the people and the land. They are the culmination of cutting edge technology and hand crafted artisanship, created by our country’s leading experts through international partnerships.

They will elevate Falkirk and Grangemouth to national and international prominence and foster a sense of pride and ownership. As a canal structure they will partner the iconic Falkirk Wheel, and echo its grandeur. They stand testament to the achievements of the past, a tribute to artisanship and engineering and a proud declaration of intent for the future of Scotland.

The construction was completed in October 2013 and the sculptures were opened for public access from April 2014

They are indeed magnificent.