Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Did you know just how HUGE a city Rotterdam is?

 

©Shers Gallagher 02 April 2016
Today's trip was supposed to take me to the Central station and then on to another train making local stops. From there a hotel shuttle service was supposed to pick me up, as there's no good connection afterwards besides a good long walk through a well trafficked industrial area.

All was well and good till I called the service before exiting my last train only to be informed their shuttle bus was broken down. So I hopped a city bus that left me off where Google path finder had directed me to, and I thought then that it would be easy enough to find my destination without having to call a cab, taxi services being expensive in the Netherlands.
Well, it turned out that the bus drop off was way the hell past where I was supposed to be. Thank you, Google maps! The little way-finder guy had me turned around in another direction. Fifteen minutes into a walk leading me into an industrial park I realised my mistake and called the hotel, asking for help. But the desk clerk said I should consult my route planner because she didn't really know where I was. Then she hung up! Left to my own devices in what appeared the middle of building and concrete nowhere, I decided it best to backtrack to the main road where the bus had first dropped me off. After reaching this point, I then headed in the other direction, backtracking towards the station, when I spied a bicycle riding out of a long and leafy path that ended with a huge highway underpass following after it. I consulted my map again and saw this as a possibility. 
Walking up the lane and in and out of the underpass I finally found the streets I'd been looking for. By now I was 30 minutes into what Google maps claimed would be an 11 minute walk. Thank God I always go early to new places! So I was actually on time...phew.

But I was also dealing with a developing HATRED of the hotel desk clerk who, when I finally entered the building, asked if she could be of assistance. I walked on by with no words spoken, words in my head I knew if vocalised would be some I'd only later regret.

At last I arrived at my assigned destination, which was a location I don't normally go to but did today as I was taking the place of another out sick. I am, however, having regrets that I'm always so accommodating in the workplace. Yet, ten minutes in, I greeted another colleague walking through the door, sweaty and uncomfortable, having gone through a comparable experience, getting lost with bad directions. At least I knew it just wasn't just me being directionally challenged.
And did I tell you Rotterdam is such a huge effin place?!!! 

N.B. On the way home I found the Metro station, a 15 minute walk the other side (my side) of the expansive highway. This was a doable stretch with metro taking me directly to my train connection. All went well, however, till the last leg of my journey when I read in my on-line train schedule advisory that someone had been hit by an earlier train on the railway crossing in Brabant, the province east of us in Zeeland. 

For those who can read Dutch:
ZA 2 APR - GEEN TREINVERKEER TUSSEN BERGEN OP ZOOM EN GOES V.V. - 15:21 

Tussen 15.00 en 18.00 uur was het treinverkeer vanuit en naar Zeeland gestremd. In de Fianestraat te Bergen op Zoom, is een persoon door een trein aangereden en kwam hier bij om het leven.
[Translation] ZA 2 APR - NO RAIL BETWEEN BERGEN OP ZOOM AND GOES S.R. - 15:21
Between 15:00 and 18:00 train traffic was coming from and streaming into Zeeland. On Fiane street in the city of Bergen op Zoom , a person was hit by a train and lost their life.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Children of Light - Mag 310



© Shers Gallagher 2016

No lingering in the caves of martyrs
nor hunkering down in alcoves of fear,
the children of light embrace the noonday sun 
while tasting the brine of laughter on salt water tongues
as they kick with glee the waves that are lapping 
like puppy dog kisses at their feet.
They are the righteous shining with the dawn,
and their joy rises from the ashes 
of our present despair.
Light a single candle against the darkness
and you will see their dancing shadows 
cascading everywhere.

Aisling Books / Magpie Tales

Friday, 25 March 2016

Among my thoughts on Good Friday through Easter morning....















The Gift

©Shers Gallagher 2016
[excerpted from Uncommon Boundaries ©2012 ] 

The air sighed and breathed life into a virgin womb.
So soft was its pain, cut off and transformed to life again, 
a life in foreign exile.

A leper was born to a colony of misfits and halfwits. 
An outcast, inflicting self to take on the shame of others:
inflicted with their wounds, laying claim to their sores.

Born so human, so debased to family crude in its ways.
Its cry was heard and tears shimmered in the heavens
as a gaze turned away from love’s perfection. 
‘Farewell,’ the ancient starlight whispered.
‘Goodbye,’ echoed the cosmos.
And joy was given to a colony sick in self, embittered fruit.

Grief poured out and sighed into song.
The wind carried the message that what was momentarily lost
would not return void.

This was known and predicted at such a sorrowful turning.
The heart, the soul, the core of being was born
only to break it.

The barter was in blood,
the ransom high, 
the family lost to be found again.

Such cost, such care – such was the child.
He wrapped himself into a gift
to be found and loved that day.















Aisling Books

Sunday, 20 March 2016

The wisdom of Jimi Hendrix and Hugh Grant playing chess on a kid’s play-date - Mag 309


 















©Shers Gallagher 2016

'All along the watchtower,' hums Jimy, overlooking the opportunity afforded by Hugh's last move.
 
And he castles too early, putting his rook in danger too worried to build his defence.

'Leaving home ain't easy,' whistles Hugh, his Queen side-castling to favour more on attack.

I look at the Joker then gaze at the thief, complaining to them both that I have to wee.

'There must be some kind of way out of here,' says Jimy with guarded empathy. 

'Just step outside and breathe the air,' quips an annoyed Hugh, and not too kindly to me.

'But where's the loo?' I demand.

'There's too much confusion!’ And Jimy pawn-storms Hugh's king, adding: ‘I can't get no relief!'

‘But I need to wee!' I tell them.

'I'm on my way!' says Hugh, now rising after having checked. 'Cause I've made my break.'

Yet Jimy checkmates. 'No reason to get excited,' he laughs and kindly speaks.

'I just really really need to wee,' I plead.

Jimy just pats my head, saying; 'There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.'

'I won't look back,' Hugh agrees. 'I've turned my back on those endless games.’

By now my knees are shaking at the trickle-down effect.

Glimpsing this, Hugh sighs. 'Oh, I never thought it would be easy.'

Jimy smirks. ‘And this is not our fate. So let us not talk falsely now. The hour's getting late.’

And I curse them both, saying: 'Don't it look that way? You’ve both got too much on your plate.'

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Sealed With a Kiss - Mag 307
















©Shers Gallagher 2016

She never thought her child would have another,
being a bit of an eccentric genius and free spirit,
somewhat like herself but surely more practically minded.
At her leaving, parenthood was furthest from the mind,
making it easier for her in a third phase of life
to immigrate to another land 
to perhaps be the final rooting and end to her wanderlust.
Now the miles and oceans part her from them,
not only physically but also in cultural misunderstandings too.
Still, she so misses them.

If only she had known how difficult it would be to return
and yet never be the same,  
as life goes on, turning and turning,
reshaping and moulding her life,
their lives too.
She knows it should be this way
and is glad they all are adjusting healthily and admirably,
hoping too that they know how proud she is of each of them
and is more than delighted for the little one too.
Yet she never realised how the leaving would be so hard,
so painful, though never breathing a word of it.
And in this she seals her loving letter with a kiss.

Aisling Books / Magpie Tales

Monday, 29 February 2016

Palette of Spring - Mag 307



















©2016 Shers Gallagher

We shouldn't fight against ourselves when letting go of deadened leaves
while trusting in the signals our bodies give,
the signals intuition provides.
There is a time to let go of dying leaves,
all colour draining from us until left bare
while looking to the process that provides food to the trees,
refuelling their barrenness without dwelling on uncertainties.
For there is always growth and fruitfulness for trees in springtime,

for all life from which we too, in part, complete.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Brain Power - Mag 306



















©Shers Gallagher 2016


There once was a man with as much brain as brawn.
Betwixt and between, 
he could never get the two to meet.
Then he took to drink, 
ending up smelling flowers for a living
and becoming the laughingstock of town.
But when sobering from the mead, 
he used brain power to cultivate his seed
and build an empire towering over the rest.
No longer falling between the flowers,
he sits alone these days imbibing the profits of his greed
while caught between the ebb and flow of trading and investing.
Poor sod with his lofty power 
still towering over the rest. 

Aisling Books / Magpie Tales