A New Travel/Literature Blog

It has been a year this month since I last posted an entry on this blog. It hasn’t been a year since I wrote anything, on the contrary my short, ‘River of Blood’ was published in Bunburry Magazine and will be published in print in an Anthology later this year. I finally gained the courage to send off a short story, and I am glad I conquered my fear of people reading my fiction. As Eleanor Roosevelt states,

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”

Bunburry Mag

Bunburry Magazine

But sometimes you just need to switch off, and write for yourself. In September I started a Masters at Exeter University in Creative Writing and English, which has got my fingers tapping harder than ever before. So, now I think it is time to write in the open once more…

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The Harry Potter Experience!

If you are in any way a fan of J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter books or enjoyed the films then the brand new exhibition dedicated to everything Potter is for you. The exhibition opened last year and seems to be growing in awareness by a simple case of chinese whispers. Although a royal visit this year from Prince Harry, Prince William, Kate and the then royal bump probably haven’t been a hinderance in raising awareness of the exhibition. The whole experience was such a fantastic and entertaining day that I am sure those of you out there who aren’t fans of Harry Potter would still have a wonderful day.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry

Costumes worn by Dumbledore

Costumes worn by Dumbledore

Costumes Griffindor at Hogwarts Main Hall

Costumes Griffindor at Hogwarts Main Hall

The Harry Potter exhibition is in Watford which is a pretty shabby area of Hertfordshire. I can’t imagine there being any reason why you would want to visit Watford unless you were going to the exhibition, but there are some clean convenient hotels close by. It is also a convenient and easy place to go into London and enjoy the sights! And if you are going into London then visiting the Harry Potter monument at Kings Cross station is a must!

London

London

After the exhibition we stayed at my brother and his girlfriend’s new place in Dursley, a small market town in Gloucestershire.  Conveniently for my Harry Potter themed holiday (yes, I often theme my holidays) Dursley is featured in Harry Potter. J.K Rowling was born in nearby Yate and apparently she called Harry’s Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon Dursley after this town (recognise the name now?). Maybe she didn’t like the town that my brother has recently moved to!

What does ‘The Road’ teach us about morality?

Do we need religion to understand morality?

“The child is my warrant. All I know is that if he is not the word of God, then God never spoke.”

The Road, Cormac McCarthy

In Cormac McCarthy’s chilling post-apocalyptic book ‘The Road’ the ideas of morality are in the words of the Boy. The Boy has grown up in a world where civilization has disappeared, where the trees and animals are long gone and the world is getting colder. Where the good people (including his mother) have mostly committed suicide and the bad people kill and eat others to survive. A world where religion and God simply does not exist. And yet it was through the words and deeds of this boy that the writer was able to convey the idea of morality.

The Boy understands nothing of God. The Boy simply knows what he feels inside of him, what he and his father call ‘carrying the fire’. To carry the fire is to carry the goodness we all have inside of us. This goodness or fire does not come from Religion, it comes from within. An innate understanding of morality, of what is right or wrong, we are all born with. It is our actions that determine if we are good or bad not the words of God.