My own personal version of Desert Island Discs, Track 1, “Saltwater Joys”

The elements conspired on me earlier today to rekindle some old memories and to bring a special kind of warmth to me that I hadn’t felt for many a long time.

As I mused over the quiet enjoyment of the moment and allowed my mind to follow its own path it bumped into an old fantasy, one which will never come true in the real sense but which I realised that I can live out through the pages of my blog.

I’m one of those people who dreams of, some day, being invited onto “Desert Island Discs“, a long running radio program on the good old BBC. The program has spawned numerous copycats over the years, all based around the theme of “pick some favourite music and tell us how it fits into your life“, and I realised long ago that I was never going to become famous enough to receive my own, personal invitation.

I can, however, reverse the situation and create my own version of the show here, and you are all invited.
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Remember – Location, Location, Location

As part of my regular trawl through the blogging world here on WordPress I keep an eye on NewfoundSander.  Sander is a Dutch guy who is lucky enough to be living in (or near) St. John’s, Newfoundland, seems to have endless spare time (luckier still), and (really lucky for the rest of us) takes lots of walks around the area, cameras in hand.

Last night I came across his post Visit Newfoundland Online where he announces to all interested parties, such as me, that Google Maps have trundled their amazing Street View camera van around the St. John’s area.  His post is set out like a menu of places to visit around the area, and is well worth following up.

As I miss “The Rock” so much I couldn’t resist having a quick troll around, courtesy of Google and co, and so after a quick return visit to Cape Spear (the most easterly point in North America), I started roaming down Fort Amherst Road taking in the view of Signal Hill from the other side of the narrows and remembering the way little roads in Newfoundland such as this seem to eat into my soul.  On my visits to St. John’s I had never gone over to the south side, so this was a view of the area that was new to me.

I got to about the point where Fort Amherst Road blends into Southside Road and was drawn to the view of The Battery, the road which runs along by the water under Signal Hill.  Fascinated by what I was looking at, I then realised that there were other pictures available (courtesy of Google and Co.) and started clicking away.  This picture came up….

The Battery, St. John's, Newfoundland

The Battery, St. John's (

I have driven up to Signal Hill in the past but, with so many other things to take in, had been unaware of what was below me.

What a crazy way to build houses !  It’s as if everybody wants to own the house that’s nearest to the sea, no matter what the difficulties involved.

Then today, totally coincidentally, I get an email from a friend in Vietnam with a Powerpoint presentation attached.  And guess what ?  She out-did The Battery….

Xuan Kong Si Hanging Monastery

Xuan Kong Si Hanging Monastery, Shanxi Province (source unknown)

Newfoundlanders, you still have a long way to go……

Given my fear of heights and the narrowness of the stairways and boardwalks at the monastery, I don’t think it will on my travel itinerary anywhere in the near future, but what is it with precarious buildings all of a sudden ?

Have you been to Springdale ?

Well, have you ?

I’m talking about Springdale in Newfoundland.

If you’ve been there and stayed with Francis and Stella Hull at Hull’s Riverside B&B then why not join up to my community.  Check out the page on my profile and let’s all swap notes…  about the driving range, the golf course (!), the forest, the river, the beavers, the cats and dogs, the breakfasts… 

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