Hi everyone Ethel the Mermaid here.
Guest posting for Julie again who is busy cleaning up the mess from Sydney's 'Red Wednesday'. [actually she doesn’t know I am here… so I won’t break the rules and will stick to the scheduled Venice posts although SHE broke the rules with that ugly red post!]. Well I am so glad to be back here with you again!! I really wanted to introduce myself last time I posted [here], but Julie said I shouldn’t. You see my name in mermaid speak is ’~~eeeEEEEeee~~’. I know, it’s hard to read, believe me it is even harder to pronounce & if I did, there would be danger of permanent hearing damage. So just call me Ethel.
Today… I want to take you on a tour of the mermaid’s favourite vacation spot, and dispel some ‘Old Wives TAILS’ about Venice [huh .. like old wives have tails, mermaids don’t marry!!]
Myth #1. Humans designed Venice. You may or may not know this, but the wonder that is called Venice, was originally planned by mermaids as a summer vacation resort.. many many centuries ago when I was just a wee thing with with only a flutter of a tail. We mermaids needed somewhere quiet and beautiful to relax, have fun and be sheltered from the stormy seas [even mermaids get sick of all that rocking motion], so a committee was formed, plans were formulated and a task force went to work, resulting in the masterpiece of town planning known as Venice. You see it just made logical sense not to build roads as the main form of traffic flow.
Roads are not really a priority for us mermaids and Venice is purpose built to accommodate OUR needs. Right, you can see that can’t you? Being able to get to your front door, shop at the fisher’s market or even just buying a simple spray of flowers was always an enormous burden to a mermaid. But in Venice, all these little luxuries are conveniently accessed via miles of winding canals filled with that wonderful miracle called the Sea! Alternate locations were suggested but none were viable, as you can see below.
Myth #2. Humans invented Gondolas. Why do you think they are the shape you see here? Long shapely curved body forming a stylish pointed tail! You think it is for manoeuvrability right? Of course it is! … and that is exactly why it was modelled on a mermaids tail! Not to mention it really is just so comfortable to lie back and know there is going to be ample leg room! I mean really, finally 1st class! We designed them and that is why to this day… a mermaid can be seen riding on the bow of all the better know Gondolas. And the serrated shaped blade on the stern.. handy for cutting & preparing fish!
Mermaids have always been known for their flirtatious nature, so I’m sure you won’t be shocked when I tell you that.. whilst a young lady is adoring the gorgeous architecture, her beau might be adoring a flirtatious kiss by a mermaid! It’s true… we are playful little things and like to sneak up to the side of the Gondolas and steal a kiss when no one is watching… always catches them by surprise! Even that cheeky boy Casanova couldn’t resist our charms!
Myth #3. The Bridge of Sighs was named for human angst. OK this you won’t know.. but the famous Bridge of Sighs, was named for the fact that during Acqua Alta mermaids could gain access to the crossing point and visit the human realm. Once they discovered things such as hand-blown glass, venetian jewels and gold leafed interiors, their sighs could be heard as far as the outer lagoons. [you thought it was going to be something else didn’t you?]. Back to low tide, these treasures would escape them once again, and they would have to resort to adorning themselves with seaweed & cockle shells.. Nice I admit.. but not quite the same.
Myth #4. Carnevali was invented by humans. Again this was invented by the mermaid. Back in the old days when we first built Venice, hiding our true nature wasn’t really an issue. People accepted the mermaid then. But now, sadly, we need to keep a low profile, so when we yearn to return to the plazas of Venice, the cloak of fanciful costumes and disguise, allows us this pleasure. The Doge here also knows a thing about fanciful costumes. He looks a bit fishlike to me too.. maybe he is a relative!
So there you have it! Some myths debunked. I’d love to stay and rattle on about more of the glorious antics of the mermaid but I can hear Julie returning
This post is linked to Waterside Wednesday hosted by Barbara @ TheBookBlog . Pop over via the link above to see more Waterside Wednesday participants
IMAGE SOURCES: Mermaid – John William Waterhouse via Isidore-of-Seville.com, JSS Gallery.org & Forgotten Futures.com, Gondolieri.it, JSS Gallery.org, Portale di Venezia, JSS Gallery.org
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