I celebrated New Year’s having port with two new friends up in the Commodore Room. It was subdued as opposed to the racket in the Grand Lobby (way too loud music) and in the Queen’s Room. Though I love having the day off and using it as a marker for the Christmas season, I really don’t consider New Year’s something to celebrate. To me it was always an excuse for people to get drunk—basically a drinking holiday. The decorations for the holidays quickly disappeared as the days progressed.
Now the trip is quickly coming to an end. Where did the time go? It seems like I’ve been on this ship for many weeks instead of twelve days.
Here’s a picture of the plate that Cunard gave all passengers as a holiday gift. I guess I could use mine for nuts or candy.
And the characters that stood at the base of the large Christmas tree on the Queen Mary 2? They were Badger, Mr. Toad, Rat, and Mole from Kenneth Graham’s The Wind in the Willows.
I walked into Bridgetown and got sunburned on my neck and arms as a result. At least the distance to the town wasn’t as great as it was on St. Thomas. I walked around a very busy town. Lots of traffic. I passed by the Old Town Hall and went into St. Mary’s Anglican/Episcopal Church’s yard.
I watched us leave Barbados, and took some pictures of the ship leaving the harbor. What struck me were the people around me snapping picture after picture—of what? I took several photographs, but not one after another. These people had big cameras, too. I’m happy with the results of my little camera.
Some of the people decorated their doors for the holidays. It never occurred to me to pack decorations for my cabin door. Some of the decorations were clever. Here’s a sampling of some interesting ones.
The Queen next to a Royal Caribbean ship
I took a tour of “the best of” St. Kitts. Someone I know who is from there told me that the island highlights could be done in one day. I saw four of the highlights, two from the bus.
Romney House was named by the Earl of Romney when he bought the house from Sam Jefferson, the great great great grandfather of Thomas Jefferson. The site was originally the settlement of the king of the Caribs, who were slaughtered by the French and the British. (I saw the massacre site from the bus.)
Then we ended the tour by climbing the Brimstone Hill Fortress, restored at the behest of Prince Charles. It was the biggest fortification in the Caribbean at one time. Climbing up the hill reminded me of the Acrocorinth, as the “steps” were all at an angle; you never stod on a level pavement. Unlike the Acrocorinth, though, at the top of the hill you were standing on level land. The views of the island were excellent.
Oh, and to answer the questions I’ve been asked: yes I can see your comments; and no, the Internet is not free nor is it cheap. It’s actually by satellite and it isn’t very good.
When we think of graffiti, we usually think of spray painted signs, walls and doors with anything from a symbol or word, a hodgepodge of designs to a unified mural. In most cases, graffiti is considered bad, disrespectful, and ugly.
What about graffiti from 1,850 years ago?
These two profiles were etched into a column with other signs and symbols in front of the Southeast Building (built ca. 150 CE) in the agora in Athens, Greece. The profiles could have been drawn by anyone living today. However, they were not.
These copies come from an American School of Classical Studies at Athens agora excavation report. When I saw them I got chills. Who were these people? (I assume at least two, as probably the latter one was added close to the earlier profile.) Were they students at a school? (The Library of Pantainos was next door to the Southeast Building and apparently had similar graffiti on its columns.) Did these people know each other? Did they end up as artists? As philosophers? There is no way to know.
Nonetheless, these doodles are a bridge to people who lived in another time and place.
On January 21, I marched to support the rights of women in Poughkeepsie, New York. A close friend of mine braved the trip to Washington, D.C., which I did not want to try and do. So, when Tara, a friend from the Historical Society, suggested Poughkeepsie, I liked the idea. Poughkeepsie, after all, may not be a major city of the United States, but it is still a city with a statement to make. Why not help them make it?
It was cold, but not as cold as it was walking across the bridge over the Hudson. It got colder as soon as we neared the other side, and remained cold until we crossed back over. There was a lot of positive vibes from the participants, and the march was upbeat. I got a cool tee-shirt to mark the occasion.
Besides Tara, her friend Joanie came along. We took Metro-North in the wee hours of the morning and then walked over to the site of the march. There was no parking anywhere close to the sight as the lots were packed with participants, with many more looking for places to park.
The pics are of the crossing, of Tara and Joanie, and of a Christmas tree that was still decorated at this late date.
I can’t take any real credit for decorating the Historical Society. I did do some additional touches, but the majority of the work had been done in the weeks before by other volunteers. They did a great job in getting the place ready for the holidays.
The recent gift of a rope bed became the centerpiece of a festive display. Rope beds were what they are called. Instead of boxe springs or a mattress, which is what are modern beds are made of, a rope bed was a bed frame with rope being used to create a web in the frame for someone to lay upon. It is possible that some type of mattress would be put on top of the ropes, but in this case the mannequins were placed on the ropes.
The rope bed was a central piece in ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas display. Two adult mannequins were dressed for “a long winter’s nap,” except the children were up and standing next to their parents’ bed. The baby was asleep in the cradle. A corner of the bed covers were pulled back so visitors could see how the ropes were strung to create a surface. I do wonder how comfortable the bed would be. While in Scotland, I slept in a twin rope bed that did have a mattress on it. As I remember, it wasn’t that comfortable. I didn’t sleep well in the bed.
In one of the front rooms is a display to Virginia O’Hanlon, the little girl who wrote to Francis P. Church, the editor of the New York Sun, one of the prominent newspapers of the city at the end of the nineteenth century. The eight-year-old wanted to know if there was a Santa Claus. Church’s famous editorial defending the existence of Santa Claus is known throughout the world. The display also included a copy of Church’s reply.
Following are some images from the society. I wanted to get these posted before the year ended and the holiday season fades from memory.
Oh, the photo here is of what has become known as the “Evil Clown.” There’s a debate among the volunteers of whether or not this toy is scary-looking. I think that everyone would agree that no one would give such a painted toy to a child of today. At some point in the distant past, this toy must have been beloved by some child. Nonetheless, by today’s standards this clown has scary-looking features. What do you think?
This pumpkin-headed scarecrow is at the top of Beekman Avenue in Sleepy Hollow, standing in front of the clock. I snapped it last Saturday, during the fall festival on the street.
It’s that time of year again.