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History

Janet and John on Holidays: Ch 2 – The second – even bigger bang!

An image of the Omega Nebula created by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory

 

If you’re not already aware of my Sci Fi tendencies – this is probably your first visit to this blog – so welcome.

Given my childhood love for Mr Spock, what else am I going to do on my New Mexico visit than go talk to Aliens. No, not the fake ones at Roswell. I’m talking about the real thing.

On a high dry plateau a couple of hours drive from the Trinity Site is the Very Large Array radio telescope.

I’ve seen “Contact”. I knew they are looking for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence at the VLA – so we headed west.

 

 

 

 

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Janet and John on Holidays: Ch 1 – The First Big Bang

The US Army's guide to Trinity

 

So –Janet and John take a holiday (vacation for my American friends) and where do we go?  The middle of nowhere of course…. But not just any nowhere. A radioactive nowhere in the middle of the New Mexico desert.

Last year, while mucking about on the Internet (as one does), I discovered that on two days every year, the US military opens up the White Sands Missile Base to civilians who want to visit the Trinity Site – the place where the first atomic bomb was exploded on July 16th 1945.

That explosion defined the latter part of the 20th Century. I grew up in the shadow of the Bomb (always with a capital B), the Arms Race, the Cold War, the Space Race and the nuclear power debate punctuated by the accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl… and let’s not forget a lot of pulp sci fi.

 Of course, I had to go to Trinity. Continue reading

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Rusting relics and regal stares…

The Rocket Thrower statue at Flushing Meadows

We set out for Queens last weekend, to explore Flushing Meadows – knowing only that it had a zoo – and that’s where the US Open Tennis is played.

Wow – were we in for a surprise. The Great Gatsby. Alien Spaceships. A giant see-through planet. The park is overflowing with marvels. Continue reading

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Take that Al Capone!

Fall foliage in the Hudson River valley

Fall foliage in the Hudson River valley

Last weekend, we hired a car and headed up the Hudson Valley looking for some of that autumn foliage for which this part of the world is justifiably famous.

It was pretty spectacular.

We also found a wonderful story about how one clever man beat prohibition… and I’m not talking about Al Capone.

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The Ghosts of Ellis Island.

Passengers arrive at Ellis Island

Passengers arrive at Ellis Island

I’ve been looking back at my photos of Ellis Island – and the faces that stared out at me from the walls.

What courage those people had! They were journeying into the unknown place grasping the hope of a better life. And for most, there was no chance of coming back. Continue reading

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The Gateway To a New Life

As a modern-day visitor to the US, it seemed only fitting that I should visit Ellis Island – which was the gateway to a new life for so many migrants. 12 million of them in fact.

Ellis Island

Ellis Island

The first thing that struck me … the island is tiny. It seems far too small to hold such an important place in history. Continue reading

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I Meet a Big Green French Woman

There’s something about cities with a harbour – we are always drawn to the water. New York’s harbour has a couple of things worth visiting – first and foremost of course is that statue.

There she is

There she is

 You approach via ferry. The ferry takes a swing around the island and docks on the far side – almost as if specifically designed to give us all a great photo op.

It’s hard to understand how big she is without seeing her up close.

Madame Liberty

Madame Liberty

She’s big!

I mean really big.  Continue reading

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Writing retreats 2020 - Intensive tutor-led retreats with Janet Gover and Alison May

Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild OneColorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild One
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