TRAVEL – PRAGUE
Most of the statues first put up on the Charles Bridge between 1600 and 1800 have met a sorry end due to wind and weather, but they are being restored.
One statue in particular is of St John of Nepomuk. There are all kinds of stories about him – and it is rumoured the tales surrounding his being thrown off the bridge for one reason or another was to make him important enough to become the first Bohemian Catholic saint.
It’s said if you rub the brass cross at the bottom of his statue you will either a) return to Prague or b) have your wish granted.
Personally, I think they are hedging their bets and I don’t think I rubbed the right bit! There was quite a queue. (DH walked right on past) but us writers take no chances – you never know!
HISTORY – ISABELLA OF SPAIN
Next to arrive with a marriage proposal was the brother of the King of France.
Hot on his heels is Alphonso V of Portugal giving it another try.
He really doesn’t look that exciting does he?
Isabella turns them all down. She is still determined to marry Ferdinand of Aragon and they haven’t even met!
OK, you have to admit Ferdinand on the right looks better than Alphonso and they are roughly the same age. A bit sulky – but maybe the painter was on a go slow?
But King Henry sends her a letter (or something similar) telling her she must marry the King of Portugal or he’s going to lock her up.
She hides out in a town called Ocana where the local people like her.
Will this girl get any peace?
Like many who grew up in Europe or America I had most of the perks growing up – a telephone, car, a roof that didn’t leak, indoor bathroom and food on the table. We were not wealthy by any means but basic needs were met.
I also learned a little about the world from newspapers, magazines and much later the television.
Photo by Dazzle Jam on Pexels.com
So, when I first arrived in Africa – Kenya – it was such a shock. The poverty, the shanty towns, the beggars, the half-clothed children. There was also the sharp contrast with the suited business men, the fashionable ladies – the wealth gap was enormous. I reacted as many a tourist would – at first though, I did learn not to give to the beggars – do it once and in milliseconds there is a crowd with their hands out. I also learned to pay the protection money each time I left the car – refuse and risk four flat tyres, or scratched paintwork.
The day my attitudes changed was when I saw a wee scrap of a child holding a brush, tin of polish and a piece of cardboard. He offered me a shoe shine for cents.
I agreed and every time I went into town I paid him to clean my shoes. Now, I had less respect for the beggars, I could harden my heart to those who wanted something for nothing. It’s something most expats learn sooner rather than later.
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Till next time take care.