Saturday, 14 May 2016

Broadband

I am mostly without any access to Broadband until the telephone engineer comes on Tuesday afternoon.   I did manage to post the photograph below, which is of the Keukenhof Gardens - a seventy acres site just outside Amsterdam, which is wholly devoted to tulips.   Our visit there, after mooring overnight in Amsterdam, was greatly enhanced because we met our Dutch friends, F and R, who took us all round the gardens; I must say that the gardens were a sight to behold.

The cruise went through the rivers of The Netherlands and Belgium, taking in Antwerp (magnifcent cathedral with three Rubens), Bruges, Arnhem, Veere, Volendam,  Edam and Hoorn and a lot of very pleasant (flat) scenery between.   Apart from Arnhem ( which I found very upsetting and yet felt I needed to go) everywhere was lovely.
I found Arnhem most interesting but it just underlined my abhorrence of war - its futility and its waste of so many lives, often (as in the case of Arnhem) at the sayso of one man (Montgomery) who had the idea that if it worked it might shorten the war by as much as six months and save many lives in the process.   But of course it didn't work as the cemetery points out.

Our ship was beautifully appointed, the crew (mostly Eastern European as that is where the ship does most of its cruising) were a delight - charming and full of good humour- and our fellow passengers, almost all  British apart from a smattering of American, Canadian and Australians, made pleasant company.

Now we are home again, washing and ironing done, food cupboard stocked again and back to normal.   The walking season starts tomorrow for the farmer and friend W and I have booked lunch out - and so the lunching out begins again.

See you tomorrow. 

Incidentally, in the War Cemetery were the graves of three young Jewish men.   They were identifiable by the Star of David on their headstones.   But each headstone also had a line of pebbles placed on the top.   Does anyone know the significance of this?

19 comments:

Gwil W said...

I can't see the photo of the gardens. I'll check back on Tuesday.

War is another word for mass murder I often think. I see that the west is provoking Russia by placing missiles in Rumania. It reminds me of the the Cuban missile crisis. The world leaders seem incapable of bringing us a peaceful planet. I think they are like children who play war games on their computers in many respects. New toys are wonderful.

the veg artist said...

Re the pebbles - this is done at the end of the film Schindler's List. As far as I am aware, it is an honouring part of a funeral.

jinxxxygirl said...

Welcome home Pat!!! I don't know the significance of the pebbles. Perhaps the veg artist is right...sounds right.. Listen to this!!! I've been to those gardens!!! Did you walk on the lilypads out in the water??? When i was there they had a parade and all the floats were covered with real flowers... You could smell them coming before they arrived. :) I hope you show more photos! Hugs! deb

Derek Faulkner said...

According to Google, the Jewish authorities see the placing of flowers on a grave as being linked to pagan rituals and so stones are left instead.

Heather said...

Your cruise sounds so interesting. I have often thought the river cruises would be more enjoyable that any others.

tilly said...

lovely to see you back, can,t see the pictures but pleased you had a wonderful time
Tilly

Devon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gwil W said...

I think Derek might be on the right track about the stones. I went to the bronze age copper mine on the Great Orme and there when they were excavating they found a dead cat on one of the levels (I think there 9 levels but you were only allowed to go down to the 2nd). Anyway this dead cat which had been there since the bronze age was surrounded by a garland of blackberry. We Celtic peoples have always been pagans (or maybe that should be 'tuned into the natural world') and I remember my grandma who lived in Snowdonia saying when the crows land on the roof my grandpa would die. And it came to pass.

Midmarsh John said...

This from reformjudaism.org:
This simple act has come to be a great sign of respect of our deceased loved ones. It is come to signify that the grave has recently been visited and that the deceased have not been forgotten. To make this simple ritual even more meaningful, some bring a pebble or stone from their own garden to place on the tombstone, or select a brightly colored stone to place at the grave. Placing a stone on the grave of a loved one is a tradition that may be personalized to create meaning and bring comfort.

Terra Hangen said...

No photo of the garden appeared but the church is handsome. How fun to go on that cruise and see historic sites.

angryparsnip said...

Along with all the the other comments above, I have heard all you worldly things are gone but your faith is your rock.
Here in Tucson it is alway warm to hot. My brother brings flowers to Mum's grave, I like to bring a rock as it will stay there and it has a link to me.

cheers, parsnip

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

When you visit the grave you say Kaddish and leave a stone for remembrance.
See http://www.jewfaq.org/death.htm and scroll down to tombstones for more information. Your river cruise sounds lovely.

yael said...

We bring flowers to the graves amd put stons every time we visit the grave.

Dawn McHugh said...

I feel for you over the broadband, I hope they manage to fix it for you soon and it does not drag on like ours did, enjoy your lunch :-)

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Oh the pains of the internet. But I'm glad your trip was so enjoyable.

thelma said...

Glad you are safely back. In some prehistoric graves white quartz stones/pebbles were laid, and I think it went on in a pagan tradition for quite a while. Flowers or stones are particular to those that visit the grave, a rememberance, and maybe we still follow the old cult of ancestral acknowledgment.

Dartford Warbler said...

I hope your Broadband it soon restored. How quickly we get to help on modern technology!

Last year we lost one of our oldest village residents. He had been a paratrooper who fought at Arnhem and was then a POW. Most of his friends died there. His stories of those terrible days were humbling and brought home the horror of war.

How interesting to read everyone`s comments about grave gifts and traditions.

Dartford Warbler said...

Sorry - for "help" read "rely". This computer keeps substituting my words for its own, often inappropriate ones!

Fairtrader said...

I've been to Keukenhof with my mother long time ago when we celebrated her 60th birthday, it was lovely. We also visited the market, the auktionhalls, an almost overwhelming experience. The trip sounds so lovely, one day I hope to follow. You made new friends and travelled through beautiful landscape, nice indeed!!

The tradition with pebbles and "kaddish" is spread all over. We've been to jewish cemetaries both in Berlin and other places and those small stones were all over. In ancient times piles of stones where common around burialsites. In some churchyards of today we have those sites were there are no gravestones and those buried there remain anonymous, but in recent years small plates have appeared with names placed close by, often on small heaps made of pebbles, every small stone carries the name of someone buried somewhere in the site.