Thanksgiving: 26th November 2020 – Illuminate – “One small candle” — Bassetlaw Christian Heritage (Reblog)

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower Pilgrims in North America. For this year’s Pilgrims Festival, we are inviting people to safely display battery-powered lights in their windows on the evening of 26th November (Thanksgiving), photograph them, and share them on social media with the hashtag #OneSmallCandle, or send by […]

Thanksgiving: 26th November 2020 – Illuminate – “One small candle” — Bassetlaw Christian Heritage

How Mayflower Compact Influenced The American Concept Of Rule Of Law — PA Pundits – International (Reblog)

By Angela Sailor ~ A group of scholars meets this week to discuss the impact of the Mayflower Compact—signed 400 years ago last week, on Nov. 11, 1620—on the American concept of the rule of law. The Heritage Foundation and the Religious Freedom Institute are co-hosting the second event in a webinar series exploring the […]

How Mayflower Compact Influenced The American Concept Of Rule Of Law — PA Pundits – International

10 Places That Tell the Story of the Mayflower — Heritage Calling (Reblog)

2020 sees the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower. Here are nine places that tell the Mayflower story.

10 Places That Tell the Story of the Mayflower — Heritage Calling

MayFlower – A Poem — Suzette B’s Blog (Reblog)

Crataegus monogyna – Mayflower – Image by leswalley from Pixabay The Mayflower, in petal hull traveled ocean soil, A nation, germinating in dreams of independence, sails. From hope’s lookout, oared stems envision new roots – As destiny’s voyage brave storms to freedom’s tribute. Out of Plymouth, a pilgrimage exodus, a magna carta, A nation-family birthed […]

MayFlower – A Poem — Suzette B’s Blog

What on Earth’s Been Going Down in Antarctica?

cold nature cute ice
Photo by Pixabay on

There have been rumours and several ‘conspiracy theories’ since the Second World War claiming that the Germans built a secret base in Antarctica, creating a kind of breakaway civilisation.

Now, with another story in the news about an apparently sophisticated 400 ft ship being found in an iceberg off the coast of Antarctica, these stories have resurfaced once again.

It is known that the Germans made several expeditions to Antarctica prior to the war. When by 1942 they realised they were going to lose, they apparently began to secretly transfer men and materials to a hidden base they had created in Antarctica, in a region called Neuschwabenland. Here, allegedly, they found areas free of ice, as well as areas under the ice they could inhabit safely.

Are Flying Saucers Real?

Of course, it would seem there is no way of verifying these theories and rumours, but it is definitely known that the Germans were also experimenting with some serious hi tech, in the form of flying discs. The blueprints for these craft are available and some of them were actually built and could fly.

However, it is indeed a huge leap of faith to associate these (as some do) with the flying saucer phenomenon, or UFOs, which exploded in to the news controversially in 1947 with the Roswell Incident.

How much actual truth lies behind these rumours I cannot say. As far as we know the biggest populations in Antarctica are still penguins. Nevertheless, it is intriguing to speculate.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

The Titanic Exhibition, Belfast

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On a recent trip to Belfast, we visited the Titanic Experience.

Located a short trip from the city centre, the exhibition lies, quite fittingly, in the old industrial dock area, for so long the life blood of the city.

As you arrive you see the old yellow Harland and Wolff cranes, nicknamed Samson and Goliath; what better sentinels could there be?

New Meets Old

The centre itself is of course very modern, the style of the design reflecting a new take on the industrial old.

Inside it is huge, and as ever in Belfast and Northern Ireland in general, the staff were very helpful and kind.


Going around, however, although there were several reconstructions of the kind of cabins that could be had on board the Titanic, we were a little disappointed that we couldn’t ‘interact’ with them more.

Lack of Interaction

For instance, you could not walk into the third class cabin. Everything is behind glass, or perspex. Perhaps they don’t want things to disappear, shall we say, considering the volume of tourists they must get.

And also, considering that this event, which occurred in April 1912, was one of the greatest human tragedies of the 20th century, I don’t think there’s quite enough about that human element. Maybe we’ve seen the film too often.

Short Ride

There is a short automated ride around a kind of reconstruction of the shipyard at its height, with all the noises and sights you might have seen. However, I think this is too short and did not convey enough atmosphere for me.


I don’t think it’s quite on a par with the Yorvik museum in York in this regard, for instance, where you get a better sense, I feel, of what Viking York might have been like a thousand years ago – stronger smells and all.

Evocative Style

Just across the way in an old dry dock, lies the SS Nomadic, a much smaller ship, but which allows you to explore more of what it must have been like aboard the Titanic on its only voyage. The styling and the sense of the pre-war period is evocative.


So overall, I think the Titanic Experience does a good job. It’s well put together with lots of detail. There is plenty to keep people of all ages occupied for a couple of hours, on several levels. You get a strong sense, too, of how fundamental ship building is to Belfast, the industry which turned a small town into a boom town in the 19th century.

Overall I would give it 7.5 out of 10.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Poem: ‘Picture’


There’s a picture
it’s been hanging on my wall
You know it tells a story
the truth of it all

Now it’s time to tell you
with the sun streaming in
After all the silent years
I should begin

For love is like the summer time
in the northern lands
This cold barren soil
through my hands:

And we shall never pass this way

So how long did she stand? I don’t know.
Waiting – those poor women –
for a tall mast to show

Yes, he was a treasure
fresh flowers in the jar
Cap in hand, feet ten and two
like an evening star

Most nights she takes the air
down by the sea
Out there she can feel him
where the ocean sets her free

For love is a precious time
a sacred space
Give into the water
and its healing grace

And we shall always have this day

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Mayflower Blossom Time – in February Temperatures!


It’s hard to believe that around this time last year we were basking in temperatures around 30 degrees centigrade in ‘dear old Blighty’.

Today it’s about 10 at best and with the lack of sun and the cool wind it feels more like 4!

That said it got me wondering, laterally as usual, about why the famous ship the Mayflower was called as such.

According to the sources I came across it’s because the original owner of the ship was Florentine (from Florence, Italy) called Guicciardini; the Mayflower, or ‘Giglio’ in Italian, is the symbol of Florence. And the ship was due to set sail, in May.

By William Halsall – Pilgrim Hall Museum, Public Domain.

Oh to set sail for pastures new!

So the Mayflower became the symbol of new beginnings in the so-called New World and is still one America’s greatest cultural icons.

I don’t know for sure but there may be other explanations. At least according to the above its naming had little to do with the Pilgrims who sailed on it, nor indeed Plymouth in western England from where they sailed.

Nevertheless it’s fascinating to hear of people in America who can trace their lineage back to the Mayflower. I will have to look out for examples of this, I would love to speak to some of them.

Poem ‘Horizon Line’


There is no love on those horizon lines,
nor in the sight of ships
tacking their finite courses to
oblivion, spilling me

So who is it waiting
in the rain, feels its spots
cool on their skin, can smell
its sweet aroma
off the hard hot road, stretching away
around the lonely coast?

poem and picture © copyright David F. Barker 2012


Poem ‘Boats’


One of these boats is mine,
let’s say this one right here,
all ship-shape
and eager for the tide.
So come on, take my hand
I’ll show you around,
there’s no time to lose
because summer’s on its way
and I can feel the warm winds
arrive on this scented ocean air,
promising to take us beyond
that blue-on-blue horizon
to those lands unimagined
in all our dreaming

We shan’t follow the tireless tern
who labours from pole to pole
every year of his life,
merely to survive.
No, ours are the balmy seas
and first port will be St Tropez.
We’ll saunter ’round as if we own it,
then sail slowly on hugging Italy’s leg
all the way to Venice,
where we’ll flop onto chairs in Florian’s,
order the most exorbitant espressos
and demolish bite-sized cakes

And after that? Well,
I propose we simply wander,
let the currents of nature and time
take us where they will.
Because you see, there are no plans,
no timetable.
We’ve earned this shot at life— at living—
this precious smiling space

poem and image © copyright df barker 2012