Picturesque Goa

Picturesque Goa
NOSTALGIA - Articles,Poems & Photos


TONFERNS CREATIONS - Tony's Art & Hobbies

Friday, April 29, 2011


It was kind courtesy of Shawn Evans who obliged us by driving my wife, my daughter and myself far away from home to St. Dominic's Catholic Church. It was Shawn's way of making us 'feel' Easter in this magnificent Church rather than in a chapel near by. The solemn Mass service that was conducted, the choir, the trumpet and the organist in the rich and serene ambience of the church really made our day.


St. Dominic's Church is a beautiful example of neo-gothic architecture with many fine works of art inside. The church, established in 1873, also has a rich history in San Francisco.

Founder of the Order of Preachers

Dominic de Guzman was born in Old Castile around 1170 into a noble family. Dominic's two older brothers were studying for the priesthood when Dominic was born. Taking his studies at the University of Palencia, he was ordained and soon joined the chapter of Augustinian Canons at Osma. He was made prior of the canons at an early age.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


For enlarged views please click on pictures. Thank you.

The Cantor Arts Center's diverse collections span continents, cultures, and 4,000 years of art history and include the largest gathering of Rodin bronzes outside Paris.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


This visit came as a complete surprise to me. Full of surprises, as my daughter usually is, she made sure that she did not leave this out. I confess I simply had no idea we were going there.

Rodin! The Complete Stanford Collection



This exhibition presents the Center's entire Rodin collection, 200 works in all. The Cantor Arts Center's collection of Rodin bronzes is among the largest in the world outside Paris. The majority of the collection remains on the ground floor, occupying three galleries. Approximately 170 works by Rodin are on view inside the Center, mostly cast bronze, but also works in wax, plaster, and terra cotta.

Twenty bronzes, including The Gates of Hell on which Rodin worked for two decades, are outside in the Sculpture Garden. The Burghers of Calais are nearby on campus.

Unfortunately we could not view Rodin's monumental bronze sculpture 'The Thinker' . We were informed that is on loan to the North Carolina Museum of Art until 2012. However, not to be completely disappointed visitors to Cantor Arts Center can still see 'The Thinker' incorporated at the top of The Gates of Hell in the Rodin sculpture garden.

A truly wonderful experience. One that wasn't on my bucket list.

Monday, April 25, 2011

SAUSALITO, San Francisco


Many years ago, in the late 1970's, I had a song in my collection of cassettes, called 'Sausalito' a Euro Hit Single, sung by a Dutch duo called Rosy & Andres.

Some few years later, during the early 1980's I had included this song in a compilation that I made for my kids to listen while they were studying at St. Joseph's - a boarding school far away in the misty hills of a place called Panchgani in India.

So, I guess it was fitting to visit this place as my daughter and I saw it on the map of San Francisco, as we were in the process of planning a sightseeing tour of places around the Bay Area.

'Sausalito will always be on my mind', as we had sung the lyrics then, but now some 34 years after the song became a hit, Sausalito will even more so be on my mind after having visited the place.

Finally, a song, that we all loved, has its title connected with the reality of a beautiful and romantic place.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


As a child, teenager and a grown man, I have always marvelled this beautiful engineering wonder of the modern world from afar. Today it became a thrilling reality when my daughter drove me over this wonderful suspension bridge. Going over this bridge seemed an eternity. I kept on clicking away with my camera, and at the same time had goose bumps. I couldn't believe I was driving over one of the most admired bridges ever built by man.
As a young man I read a lot about the concept of the bridge and the way it was constructed. Marvellous indeed. Firstly, in seeing it from afar approaching the bend from the south, and then my dream finally became a reality as I rode over it culminating in one more landmark being taken off from the bucket list.

Thank you, Denise and Shawn.

Tomorrow : Monterey

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Sinister Ramparts of Alcatraz

Vistiing Alcatraz Island has been on my bucket list even since it shot to fame in the 1960's in several movies. Thanks to my daughter Denise, what was on the bucket list, became a reality, not only for me, but also for my wife.

Alcatraz is an island located in the San Francisco Bay, about 2.4 km offshore, in California. It has been often referred to as "The Rock". The small island has served as a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, and a federal prison until 1963. Later, in 1972, Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received landmarking designations in 1976 and 1986.

Today, the island is a historic site operated by the National Park Service. Visitors can reach the island by ferry from Pier 33, near Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. In 2008 the nation's first hybrid propulsion ferry, pictured below, started serving the island. Alcatraz has been featured in many movies, TV shows, cartoons, books, comics, and games.

The commentary over the headphones in the guided audio tour is well presented with spine-chilling sound effects giving it an added dimension as you pass along the various sections of the prison along the corridors, prison walls and ramparts through the entire length of the tour. It almost like watching a film.

Yesterday : A trip to Alcatraz & and later a drive over the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge (which was also pending on the bucket list) and a thrilling drive through hairpin bends to Sausalito - kind courtesy by my daughter, Denise.

Today: She will take us to Stanford University to see the Rodin Sculptures.

For enlarged views please click on the pictures.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Holy Week is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter. It includes the religious holidays of Palm Sundays, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday excluding Easter.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Palm Sunday, the sixth and last Sunday of Lent, is the beginning of Holy Week. The Catholic community in Goa celebrate the day with great solemnity. Young children beautifully decorate new shoots of coconut palm leaves and take them to church to have them blessed. The celebration recalls the solemn entry of Christ into Jerusalem. After attending Mass and special prayer services in the church, children return to their homes and distribute the leaves to the people in their villages.

Palm Sunday

At the triple chimes

Of village church bell,

We rose up early and saw

In the serene stillness before the dawn

The bright morning star in the East

Right above the sky’s edge;

And as we turned our gaze

Southwards above the horizon

Saw the constellation

Called the Southern Cross.

Twinkling just above the backyard hedge.

Too dark and early we thought

To pluck the new shoot

Of the coconut palm leaf;

So while some of us lay in wait

My siblings went back to sleep;

As the sky lightened a little bit

We saw the palm

And cut it in right earnest

With the last shooting star of the night

Hastily streaking towards the west.

Somewhere nearby

The cock crew

Heralding the early morn

With its wakeup call;

And a sudden rustle

As the first bird of the day took flight

From the mango tree

Up my spine sent a slight chill.

Careful were we

Not to rip the young palm open;

We decorated it the best we could

In the light of the early morning dawn;

Then donning our Sunday best

Onwards we walked

To the Church to have it blessed;

Returned home

With the sun up and bright

and proudly we handed over

the holy strands of the palm

To the old folks

In the village

Still busy by the fireside

They thanked, blessed and offered

as a reward

a cup of tea in return

Intoning the timeless saying:

“God bless you my son”.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Tonferns Creations - Farm Tractor

Front: Swing Axle

Removable Overhead Shade Canopy

Separate Chassis / Engine Block / Muffler

Body Assembly: Engine bonnet/hood, Front grill,
adjustable headlamps, seat, mud-guard/fender

Farm Tractor with Multi-purpose Trailer

Trailer Hitch

FARM TRACTOR with Trailer
1/32 Scale 1/8" Recyled Plywood
Hand-cut, no scroll saw used.


TonFerns Creations Creator on a Tractor