Dear London – Short Poem

Dear London and Manny, thank you for your spirit,

Through tragedy and trial, with love you pushed through it,

Those shocking, heart-breaking and gut-wrenching nights,

Of so few so cowardly, it begs the question “Why?”

Disastrous, unfathamable, careless-little-minds,

Descended on your streets, steeling from them many lives,

Demonically possessed, with intent to spread fear,

Instead were met with bravery, and love beyond compare,

Arising from the ashes, dusted off in defiance,

“Enough is enough!” Fear shall never define us,

Nor will it divide us, but bring us ever closer,

Lest victory be handed, to those mindless little loners,

In a game of top trumps, love triumphs over all,

Not acting like Pharisees, who’d look but ignore,

And to the many helpers, who acted on instinct,

Stared death in the face, yet helped without flinching,

Known to mind your business, the way you mind the gap,

Instead you flipped the script, with love unwrapped,

We thank you for you bravery, we thank you for your love,

Refreshing and brotherly, beyond and above.

Glasgow x Edinburgh 2017 – Part 2

Edinburgh day trip continued..

National Museum of Scotland (free entry)..

Didn’t leave enough time to see the full mummy collection..

Dolphin smiley..

Impressive courtyard..

Animal world display. Features life sized, embalmed/stuffed animals..

This beast welcomes you.. or sends you running..

“Only the brave – Diesel”

Not really keen on string propping up an entire hippo above my head..

#squadron

Gang wars

So much more to see, but not enough time on our day trip..

David Livingstone, I presume..

Back to Glasgow..

Glasgow x Edinburgh 2017 – Part 1


Posh Indian takeaway; Night before the epic road trip..

7 hours on road.. Wow this place is far!!

Off we went..

Lunch break at Tebay Services; best in the country apparently (I can see why)..


Boom.. we made it 🇬🇧

Outside Glasgow train st. Off to Edinburgh for a day trip..

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh..


Arches along The Royal Mile..


Side streets.. Royal Mile..


Bagpipes and Kilts.. classic Scottish stereotype..

From headless people to owl handlers, sword wielders to fire jugglers, there were a wide range of street entertainers along The Mile..

Georgeous old church building along The Mile, Edinburgh..

Edinburgh Castle..

Castle and views over the city with North Sea (I think) in the background..

Old school draw bridge. Used to be raised in ancient times to prevent enemies entering the castle..

View leaving the castle..

Where J.K Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books over coffee and cake..

Not the same cafe but still worth the pic.. fuelling that caffeine addiction..


Lol. Funny signs outside a shop..

More to follow..

Zambia: Day Twelve – Fly-Tripping

Background: Recent extracts from my travel journal taken at the end of each day whilst on holiday in Zambia, my home country. Enjoy!

Day Twelve:

The early morning flight out of Lusaka that left at 1am, should have been a straight forward affair. It would pass through Lilongwe, then Nairobi and finally London.

However, what transpired was quite the opposite. On approaching Lilongwe (Malawi), there was a very thick and low-lying fog which rapidly reduced visibility. After a period of hours circling around the airport with several failed attempts to land, the pilot was advised to make the 1 hour journey back to Lusaka.

Trivia: this was the first time I took off and landed at the same airport.

It was frustrating enough for people connecting flights in Nairobi, but possibly more so for those going to Lilongwe as they got a glimpse of there final destination only to be led back to where it began.

Another few hours in and out of sleep whilst on the Lusaka runway and the sun came out. I remember waking up to medics attending to a woman 2 rows behind who was led off the flight for some reason. My travel partner assumed it was a nervous first time flyer as several prayers were heard whilst hovering over Lilongwe.

We were finally off to Kenya around 9am. The connection in Kenya was due to leave at 8:30, so we missed it. The airline arranged a hotel for us to spend the night in Nairobi and catch the same flight the next day.

Nairobi, Kenya


The initial frustration of this added extra journey was soon replaced by the realised opportunity to explore a new city in a new country. Fun times!


Nairobi lunch time rush hour on route to the hotel.


Nairobi had a ‘big city’ feel about it. All the traffic, huge road network, high rises and crowds of people gave me that impression.


Not bad for an unplanned hotel stop off.


And then there were the rooms 😮 wow!


Great views to end another long and incredibly tiring day.

Thanks for joining me these past few weeks. Hope I get the chance to do this again soon!

Peace,

Gome

Zambia: Day Eleven – Final Goodbye

Background: Recent extracts from my travel journal taken at the end of each day whilst on holiday in Zambia, my home country. Enjoy!

Day Eleven:

Our final day! And how quickly it had come round. Today, much like the first, was riddled with tales of mild frustration mostly due to poor customer services. However, we were determined to not let these get in the way of an enjoyable last day.

The trip now seemed way too short and we weren’t able to see everyone we’d hoped to. One or two reunions almost happened, but sadly fell though at the last. Still, it was nice to touch base with the place I call “home-home.”

Pics whilst out and about…


A government building or embassy, I guess..

Quite possibly my favourite version of VW Golf.. maybe it’s the ‘wow factor’ whenever I saw one as a kid?

Cool looking office block..

Close to Embassy Park where the country’s late presidents are all burried..

Independence Avenue.. Quite a fitting name as Zambia has enjoyed (to this point) 52 years of independence and relative peace. Praying it may long continue.

Outside State House – The Presidents crib..

And finally, our last bit of African sunset before heading back to England. What an incredible trip, seeing family and friends, enjoying some sunshine, and touching base with home.

Following on from this photo journal series on Zambia, I hope to delve more into the world of series writing. I feel it offers greater scope for regular writing, reflecting and opinion pieces.

Has it been at all insightful or interesting? Please let me know in the comments. All feedback appreciated.

Stay tuned for days 12 and 13; the eventful, and rather stressful return journey to England.

God bless x

Zambia: Day Ten – Recuperation

Background: Recent extracts from my travel journal taken at the end of each day whilst on holiday in Zambia, my home country. Enjoy!

Day Ten:

After all the pacing around of the last few days, today was a much needed rest day. The only trip of significance was to a local clinic. Along the way, we past through Ibex Hill, a residential area with some beautiful homes. Here are a few of them.









More to follow soon..

Peace

Zambia: Day Nine – Heaven’s Opened

Background: Recent extracts from my travel journal taken at the end of each day whilst on holiday in Zambia, my home country. Enjoy!

Day Nine:

What a change it was. From boiling hot one day, to a heavy downpour the next.

Today was the first day of our trip that it rained, and my goodness did it. It’s the rainy season at the moment in Zambia and the rains provide some spectacular scenery with thunder storms and lightening.

Dealing with customer services was a tad frustrating today, but we met two brilliant cab drivers along the way who made for interesting conversation.

FNB bank at Arcades Shopping Mall. Not long before the heavy downpour.

All we could do was wait for it to settle down. Not really a day for taking pictures.

As it wasn’t a day to be out and about, there was only one place to hang out. My favourite take away from back in the day. Now it felt a bit too greasy but still lush!

Zambia: Day Eight – Out And About

Background: Recent extracts from my travel journal taken at the end of each day whilst on holiday in Zambia, my home country. Enjoy!

Day Eight:

Today was possibly the busiest day of the whole trip as we dashed around Lusaka, visiting lots of family and friends. Some for two minutes, some for two hours. Each reunion memorable.

Not sure what building this is, but it had a “government complex” sort of feel, or something for “officials.” It looks like a building symbolic of power with its solid, concrete face overlooking us commoners that dared to pass by.

This building is next to Arcades Mall just off Great East Road.


Hotel (I think) behind Arcades.

New office tower under construction. Took it from a different angle yesterday.

And finally, we passed through Manda Hill shopping mall, built several years ago as the first of many in Zambia. It had a major facelift since it’s original design to help keep up with the newer, more plush malls like Levy Junction and East Park Mall.

Zambia: Day Seven – Lord’s Day

Background: Recent extracts from my travel journal taken at the end of each day whilst on holiday in Zambia, my home country. Enjoy!

Day Seven:

We spent our only Sunday in Zambia visiting Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka. So good to see and hear so many people singing God’s praises. We joined them during a very challenging series of talks titled  the “lethal poison of hypocrisy.” Here’s a link to the sermon: Hypocrisy and External Righteousness.

Great bumping into old friends after the church service.

Out and about..

The rest of the day was chilled, mostly with friends and family.

Sunday morning traffic in Lusaka (Lsk)

Approaching the Central Business District (CBD) in the distance from Independence Avenue.

Approaching Kafue roundabout from the east.

Old icon: Findeco House standing proud with its iconic silhouette an integral part of the Lusaka skyline.

Cairo Road heading north.

New Society House Tower.

New Society House clad in copper.

Beginning of the Great North Road towards Kabwe, Kapiri Mposhi and the Copperbelt Province.

Great North Road, Lusaka.

Heroes National Stadium..

The home of Zambian football. A week earlier, this stunning venue hosted Zambia’s successful 2-0 win over Senegal in the final of the Afcon under 20’s cup. I can only imagine the crazy scenes out here at the time.

This Stadium has become something of an icon as you enter the city from the north. It’s name draws inspiration from the ashes of our fallen national team of 1993. The national teams plane crashed off the coast of Gabon as Zambia was on it’s way to a world cup qualifier. Everyone on board died killing what was widely regarded as the country’s most talented generation of footballers. I was only 1 at the time, so don’t have first hand memories of the day, but have grown up to understand the significance of that tragic day. Born from the ashes, a new generation of gifted young stars has risen to take their place at the pinnacle of Zambian football, even winning the African Cup of Nations 2012. This is now their home.

New mixed-use tower going up in Olympia, just behind Mulungushi Conference Centre.

And finally, Great East Road heading east passed the University of Zambia.

End of another great day, more to follow tomorrow.

Stay tuned..

Peace

Zambia: Day Six – Goodbye Copperbelt

Background: Recent extracts from my travel journal taken at the end of each day whilst on holiday in Zambia, my home country. Enjoy!

Day Six:

Like the saying goes “all good things come to an end.” Today marked the end of our Copperbelt adventure and it was time to say goodbye. It felt like I was leaving with a renewed love for my home town. Despite things that still need to be done, it feels like it’s heading in the right direction.


Lots of good quality residential developments going up everywhere. This one was on the outskirts of Kitwe.

Back on the road again headed for Ndola.

Clear run of open road ahead. Dual carriageway between Kitwe and Ndola. Once the traffic clears, this is a sweet road to drive on.

Back to Ndola..


And past this place again.


Kafubu Mall, Ndola: With the rise of Zambia’s middle class, a lot more people have disposable cash to spend. This has in turn led to the massive explosion in construction, mainly residential but also in retail. At times it may seem like overkill, but if that’s where the demand lies, then investors would be mad not to cash in. The main concern, however, is that most retailers are foreign owned companies (predominently giant South African chain stores). For a more in-depth look at this issue, take a look at this video on Zambia Construction – Doing business in Africa.


Zambia’s 6th president, HE Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

This poster is on your way to Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport and must be a few years old now as the election was in January 2015.

18 Seater Plane..


Till next time Copperbelt, Mi Casa. It’s been a pleasure. Now back to the capital city Lusaka for more of these blue skies.. It’s really like that everyday!

All my qualms about the tiny 56 seater on the way here were quashed by the even smaller 18 seater. You could see the pilot (or driver). 

Lsk..

No fancy sunset shot to end the day on, just a set of grateful travellers having arrived safely.

Join me again tomorrow for day seven.

Peace