Tag Archives: Cornwall

The Lazuli Portals will be at Saltash and Harewood House Mind-Body-Spirit Fairs

Hello everyone,

Just a quick post about two Mind Body Spirit fairs that Ron and I will have stalls at this month and next. 🙂

The first is at Saltash, Cornwall, this Saturday:

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And the second is back at Harewood House, Plympton on Saturday 3 December:

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If you’re in the area and are interested in crystals, spirituality, lifeforce energy/Reiki, and/or our novels (which combine all of these!) then why not pop in and come and say hello? 🙂

We personally sign all books that we sell at the fairs, and we may be able to parcel your books in one of our special wax-sealed bags, too. 🙂

Even if you’re not local, we’d really appreciate you sharing this post, if you’re happy to, just in case you have friends or family who are! Thank you!!

With lovelight blessings,

Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals

www.lazuli-portals.com

 

Come and see us at these Mind Body Spirit Fairs in May, June, and August

Following the success (and sheer enjoyment) of selling our paperbacks at the Woolwell Mind-Body-Spirit Fair back in March, we have booked retail stalls at three more MBS fairs over the next few months! Yippee!!!

If you’re local to the Devon and Cornwall area, we’d love you to come along, and to stop for a chat with us!

If these events go well – and once we have our individual calendars ‘sorted’ for later in the year – we may book stalls at some of the fairs taking place during the autumn months, too!

First we’ll be at Lostwithiel Community Centre on Sunday 29 May (11am – 4pm). 

Address: Lostwithiel Community Centre, Pleyber Christ Way, Lostwithiel, PL22 0HA

There will be Reiki, card readings, local crafts, jewellery, himalayan salt products, workshops, and demonstrations. Oh, and The Lazuli Portals, of course! 😉

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Entry is by donation (for the building maintenance fund) and there is no fee for parking.

You can find out more through this Facebook Event listing if you are interested.

** Unfortunately the organisers of the Lostwithiel event have now cancelled it. Sorry for any inconvenience caused. **

Next up is a two-day event being held on the weekend of 11 & 12 June at Crocadon Sawmill, St Mellion (near Callington, Cornwall). We’ll be there with our books on both the Saturday and the Sunday. For more details, please see this Facebook Event listing.

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The last of the three is Saturday 13 August (11am – 6pm) at the Elm Community Centre in Plymouth.

Elm MBS August

If you can’t make it to any of these events but wish to purchase a signed paperback from us, then we’d be happy to post one to you – just contact us with your name, the titles of the books which interest you, and the country to which you wish the book(s) to be posted, and ask us for a price. It’s easiest that way, as postage and packing rates change frequently!

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We very much hope to see you at one of the events!
Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals

 

J is for Jason: Character Interview (The Cordello Quest A-Z Series)

Now that I’m actively working on the third novel in the Lazuli Portals series (whoop whoop!), it seemed perfect timing to share with you some insights about Jason, Keira’s boyfriend, whom we first met on a dark moorland night in the opening scene of The Cordello Quest.

We thought the most enjoyable way to do this would be for Jason to be interviewed …

We’ll try not to include spoilers (especially for those of you who have yet to begin your Lazuli Portals journey, with The Cordello Quest), but it’s soooo hard!

Cordello Quest

Hi Jason, thanks for dropping by to chat with us today. So let’s get started. What do you love most about Keira?

Hi, it’s good to be here. My favourite thing about Keira …. her curiosity of mind and spirit, I think. Yeah, I think she’s beautiful and sexy, too – and she doesn’t even know it! But she’s always had this drive to better herself: not just educationally but with how she behaves, and even how she thinks. I never know what she’ll come out with next, and sometimes that’s a bit odd, but it does keep life interesting! I reckoned that was why she was chosen for the Cordello quest. She has a really big heart, too, really cares deeply about people and situations.

What have you found most challenging about your spiritual journey so far?

The uncertainty, I guess. Having to trust where you’re putting your feet, as it were, when you can’t really see the path or what’s ahead. I’m not sure I trust myself that much, so I find it difficult ‘going with the flow’, as Keira calls it, rather than planning something using logic and intellect. I can do practical, no problem – but the universal energy stuff we’ve been experiencing is much more intuitive, less easy for me to get my head around. Perhaps that’s the point: it’s the heart and soul leading the way, not the head ….

Jason, you were born in Cornwall; what do you love most about the county?

Where the hell do I start with that question?! I love its contrasts: beautiful wooded valleys and creeks in the south, and the wild ruggedness of the north where the cliffs and beaches are open to the Atlantic. But to me Cornwall is unique, it has a spirit and romance that isn’t echoed anywhere else, to my mind. I’ve lived here all my life and still haven’t explored it all.

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How did you feel when you first realised Keira had gone missing, and you stumbled across her in the stone circle?

Bloody scared! Sorry … it was a real shock, though, I thought she’d hit her head or something, and had … it was an awful moment, a really sobering one. After that, though, the surprises never really stopped coming!

What are your favourite foods and drinks?

Well, I used to drink a bit too much of the alcoholic variety, to be honest. I’ve got more self-control now, and try to keep in mind that drinking too much left me a waste of space when Keira needed me. I know Keira worried about how much I drank, too, and that gave me the willpower to cut down. I still enjoy a beer or two, but it’s not a habit anymore. My favourite drink is actually tea!

As for food, I have quite a sweet tooth, so really anything from Keira’s cake tin would be my favourite, especially if it involves chocolate! Flapjacks always go down well, too … you didn’t happen to bring any with you, I suppose …?

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Haha! Sorry, not this time. Okay, we’re nearing the end now. Are there any other places you’d like to spend more time in?

Yeah. Cornwall’s great, but I like Scotland and Wales, too. The Celtic link, I suppose. And Brittany, in France, perhaps for the same reason. I’d hoped we could spend some time there once the mosaic of light adventure was over, but it didn’t pan out. I really want to see Cordello, as well, as it sounds amazing. But then there’s New Zealand – I loved the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies – and so many other places. I need a TARDIS, really …

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That would be handy on so many levels, wouldn’t it? Last question, Jason. Cats or dogs? Car or motorbike? Paperback or ebook?

That’s three questions!

Okay, well I like dogs a lot, and had a collie when I was growing up. But there’s something extra-special about cats, so that’s my preference if you’re making me choose.

The car is handy for going out with Keira, or transporting stuff, but my heart says motorbike and an empty road! No way would Keira let me out on that, though!

The book question is more complicated: I have paperbacks of novels that I really like, and would never give them away. But ebooks are definitely easier to buy and read, especially if you’re accessing them on several devices. Makes life easier going on holiday, too, as I can take ten on my ereader as easily as one. At the end of the day, though, it’s the story that counts, for me.

Thanks so much for allowing us to interview you, Jason! We’ll let you get back now. Oh, Keira’s just texted to say she’s taking a fruit cake out of the oven. So we’ll – oh, he’s gone! *waves*

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We hope you enjoyed this interview with Jason! We haven’t written the “K is for …” piece yet so if you have any preferences, please let us know in the Comments section below, or on Facebook or Twitter if you prefer.

Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals

The House at Restronguet Creek

Overlooking the Creek

Overlooking the Creek

~ The House at Restronguet Creek ~

Tide slips away in stealthy retreat,
unveiling new world:
mud-carved sculptures;
deep channels scored through time.

Curlews call: mournful, beautiful;
haunting cries filling the air,
echoes traversing the hollowed river,
lingering among secretive foliage
hugging naked banks.

While her waters mingle with the sea,
boisterous, powerful,
lively and wide,
this restful creek reveals
the lonely beauty of
her private face.


Words and image © Joanna Gawn

Jo and Ron visit Eden

We’ve been to the garden of Eden!

Or, more accurately, to the gardens of The Eden Project, in Cornwall, England! This was a day trip that Ron and I had arranged for the four of us (i.e. Ron, his wife, my husband, and me).

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All four of us love gardens, plants, flowers, and nature in general, so had been looking forward to this trip for quite some time! So on the sixth of July, off we went, intrepid explorers that we are . . .

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We’d watched the final Lions rugby game before leaving for Cornwall (couldn’t miss that!) so we refuelled our bodies with a healthy lunch before preparing to explore the Biomes.

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First up was the Rainforest Biome. Hot, hot, HOT! And so humid. Luckily the roof vents allowed a gentle and welcome breeze here and there, which made it bearable. Staying hydrated was essential.

As you’d expect, this biome is lush, crammed with skyscrapers of leaves and wound with tendrils and exotic flowers.

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This is offset by waterfalls and the amazing grid-windows of the biome itself.

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You have to be careful of some of the vines, though . . . as my husband found out! (Don’t worry, he’s just messing about! He wasn’t really under attack!) This pic of Ron also seems to suggest giant-sized flowers . . . the fun of perspectives, hey!?

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After that, we explored the somewhat cooler environment of the Mediterranean Biome. I love this one: it’s more comfortable for me, for a start, but I really like vivid colour, particularly for flowers, so I always find the bougainvillea and the pelargoniums an impressive sight.

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I also really love the scent of the trees in the citrus grove. The blossom on the grapefruit tree has an exquisitely sweet perfume.

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Outside, the sun continued to blaze. The external gardens have come a long way since the Project began. Now they are excellent in their own right, with alliums, Peruvian lilies, roses, Calla lilies and a myriad of other flowers and shrubs everywhere you look.

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The winding leafy tunnel  in the Spiral Garden almost requires limbo dancing to get through to the centre – somehow, even with an aching back, I managed it! I love geometric shapes and fractals. 🙂 Being six foot four, though, Ron wasn’t going to even attempt it! 😉

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A recent addition is the SkyWire, but thankfully I kept my feet on the ground! The view from the walkway between lift and car park is pretty impressive too – and no need to fly to see it . . .

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As you can probably tell, we had a fantastic time! Now that we have season tickets we’ll be able to visit more often! 😉

To find out more about The Eden Project, how it began, and the conservation work it does, please click here to access The Eden Project’s own website.

We hope you enjoyed this off-topic post! Although . . . for a writer, every experience has the potential to become part of a story!

If you enjoyed this post, please Like, Share and/or Leave a Comment!

Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals

All images copyright R Dickerson, J Gawn or W Gawn. Do not use without permission.

Arrest a WHAT? (A true story)

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This piece was written by Ron for our local Writers’ Circle Christmas competition. We hope you enjoy it!

Arrest a WHAT? A true story

Lucky for me, my office never say “no” when someone calls to say, “can you….?”  On my return to base there was a message for me to contact a law firm from London over an Admiralty Court Case.  Probably tracking another yacht whose owners haven’t paid the mooring bill, I thought.

So I called the number. “How can I help,” said I, in my best telephone voice.
“We need you to arrest a ship,” came the reply.
“Pardon?”
“Can you help us by arresting a ship due to refuel at Falmouth harbour tomorrow?”
“Of course,” I said, trying to sound as if it’s something I do every day.  “Do I need to be a Bailiff or hold any particular authorisation?” I asked.  Whilst not getting a definite answer, I was assured that the Court Papers would be sufficient.  All I needed to do, I was informed, was be at the harbour when the ship came in (some time between 1am and 6am, they expected), meet the Captain on board and advise him of the Arrest Order.  Thinking back to some of my legal training over 40 years ago I asked, “Does the Order need to be fastened to the main mast?” I did not add “me hearties”.  I am sure I sensed a smile at the other end of the phone, but the response came, “No; just fixing to the bridge will do.”

Then came the bombshell – the ship is a huge tanker and will not be coming into port and will therefore be refuelling out in the bay.  “We will make arrangements for you to be transported out so that you can try and board her. You do understand that if the boarding steps are not down you might have to use the rope ladder……you don’t have a problem with that do you.”   Note this was a statement not question!!!

Only the day before I had been reading news reports about pirates taking control of ships, and others disappearing in the Channel.  This should be fun; I need a change of scene.

I turned to my computer and looked up the ship’s name to see what information I could find.  My research revealed yes, she certainly exists.  Nice photo of a really big ship cutting through the seas.  Four large cranes on the deck, a six floor “bridge” and Bahamas registered.

What if the crew don’t speak English?  What if they won’t let me board?  What if I get on board and they lock me in the engine room?  Why didn’t I think about these “what if’s” before I agreed to take on the job? Well, too late now.

After receiving the Order etc. off I trundled with an armful of papers and duck tape to a meet with a weather-beaten looking marine surveyor who was to accompany me and assess the ship etc.  Being an ‘old sea dog’, he had made contact with the Port Authorities who had confirmed that the ship would not be arriving until after dawn.  So at least I would be able to see my watery grave in daylight when I missed my footing, or when the ‘striped-shirted, sword in mouth’ crew threw me overboard!

Early breakfast sounded like a good idea!  Well, what would you do in my place?

With a good full English breakfast inside me and several cups of strong coffee later, I was sure I’d be awake before I hit the water (so to speak). The Papers and tape were safely secured in a satchel, or as my wife prefers to call it, ‘shoulder bag’, but would it keep them dry if I ended up in the water?  Was I really thinking that was possible?

During breakfast my companion brought out his laptop and showed me a website.  He typed in the ship’s name and a few seconds later a map of the bay came up with a light green boat shape and our vessel’s name attached to it.  She was here! Gulp.

What a surprise; whilst typing this I have just revisited the website with the ship’s name and discovered she is off Portland Bill heading back towards me; will this be another callout?

On the way to the dock we used some really high tech equipment, a tourist telescope on the quay.  20p in the slot to add to the coffers of the Local Authority and a good view around the bay was obtained.  The Surveyor took charge and soon found our ship and confirmed she was moored out in the middle of the bay.  I used the remainder of the time bird watching.  Well there was nothing else worth searching for at 6am – and being Cornish I was not going to waste the remainder of the 20p, especially as I had no receipt and would not be able to claim it on expenses.

At the dock all I could see were locked gates, dockside cranes and lots of water.  The experienced Surveyor found the way around the locked gates. How did I miss that ten foot gap in the fence behind the Port Master’s office?  Down the slippery gangplank we carefully trod (sounds like a good first line for a poem that) on to the floating pontoon beside a tender.  The majority of the boat was covered – I do not swim well and …. Well, yes, OK do not like getting wet.  On the tender we were told by the ‘man at the wheel’ he had just returned from our ship after taking the Ship’s Agent out, and that (to my relief) the boarding steps were down ….. at that time.

Before we went, the ‘man at the wheel’ gave us basic safety instructions and showed us a ‘locker’ with what he said were life jackets.  Now I am 6’4” and weigh … well ‘around’ 18 stones, so I looked for the biggest.  For the life of me (and it could well be so) I could not see how that tiny strip of cloth-covered-whatever was going to help my mass float, but what the hey, I’ve come this far.

So out into the bay, life jacket on, we travelled.  Fifteen minutes out into really deep water (which is just what I thought I had got myself into) we reached the ‘gangplank’.
“Not too much swell” the ‘man at the wheel’ told us. “Just a few feet. So watch your step when you jump from the deck.”  That was a disappointment, it was not going to be a boarding like in the films.

The ‘man at the wheel’ radioed ahead and asked for permission of the ship’s Captain for us to come aboard, giving a partly true reason.

Looking up from the tender I could see the rope ladder falling over the huge curve of the ship then dangling above me out over the water.  It’s difficult to describe how it looked, or my feelings; perhaps – ‘There is no way I would have gone up that!’ would sum it up.

The jump from deck to landing stage was managed by the excellent ‘man at the wheel’ manoeuvrings and a quality tender deck hand who said, “Go now.”  No looking back down or up – just at my feet and the moving landing stage.   A safe landing, with wobbly knees.

At the top of the steps we were met by a member of the crew who seemed to understand that we needed to see the Captain.

Now I am not sure what image you may have of international tankers but I was very surprised by how clean, tidy and well painted everything was.  Up the five decks to the bridge house, over carpeted steps with pot plants in the corners!

The Captain arrived and I explained the Arrest Order, but I am not sure how much he understood.  He called the Ship’s Agent and all was again explained, at which time I was advised that they knew all about the dispute and were expecting something like this. Just a minor dispute over $1.5 million worth of steel shipped from Korea to Brazil. So I taped the Order to the window of the bridge and all was concluded very amicably!

Why did they keep calling me “Sheriff” and “Marshall” …  not a shiny star in sight.

Oh well…… a change is as good as a rest.

Copyright 2012 Ron C. Dickerson