Cee’s FFC: Sand and Dirt

This week, Cee has asked us for some pics showing sand and dirt.  Here are a few that I’ve found to show you.

This one was taken in Morocco, where there was quite a lot of sand and dirt underfoot. These two guys obviously didn’t want to get their feet dirty.

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I think this is a rather funny pic of me in Peru. It looks like a standoff between me and the local women. They took this opportunity to try to sell their wares, and were actually quite formidable, not taking no for an answer.

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There was beautiful white sand in San Pedro, and also lots of bicycles.

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A sand sculpture  still under construction on my beach in Umhlanga Rocks, with an important hastily written message for passers-by.

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It’s quite strange how people get the urge to dig when they get to the beach. I bet he’s not nearly as keen in the garden at home. :)

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These white lions are well camouflaged against the sand and dirt of the South African Game Park.

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This is my favourite way to see the sunrise, as a beautiful backdrop to the sand and the sea.

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To see more entries for this week’s Fun Foto Challenge, just click Cee’s badge.

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Sunday Stills: Shorelines from my travels.

Ed’s Sunday Stills challenge this week, is ‘Shorelines’, and the rules are that the pics must have the sea, ocean, lake or pond and land. Quite simple really, and of course there is always my blog header, which is the shoreline of the idyllic island of Bora Bora in French Polynesia. :)

Here are a few more shorelines that I’ve enjoyed on my travels. I’ve tried to include something interesting on each shoreline. You can click on the photos to get the bigger picture.

Elephants on the shoreline of lake Kariba in Zimbabwe.

Elephants on the shoreline of lake Kariba in Zimbabwe.

Pelicans on the shoreline of San Diego.

Pelicans on the shoreline of San Diego.

The windswept shoreline of San Pedro, Belize.

The windswept shoreline of San Pedro, Belize.

Windmills on the shoreline of Kinderdijk, Holland.

Windmills on the shoreline of Kinderdijk, Holland.

The fabled Lorelei Rock on the shoreline of the Rhine River.

The fabled Lorelei Rock on the shoreline of the Rhine River.

An Aloe 'candelabra' on my home shoreline in South Africa.

An Aloe ‘candelabra’ on my home shoreline in South Africa.

The shoreline viewed from the cliffs in Cornwall, England.

The Atlantic Ocean shoreline  viewed from the cliffs in Cornwall, England.

The shoreline of New Jersey, as we flew home this week.

The New Jersey shoreline, as we flew home this week.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my take on Ed’s theme. To see more entries, just click here.

“A little bird told me” for Sidey’s theme.

Yesterday, a not so little little bird, pecking away at the dune foliage, told me

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that it’s midwinter here at the seaside.

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Do you believe him? :?

This post is in answer to my South African blog friend’s, weekend theme, “A little bird told me.” There will be a new challenge out this weekend. Why not join in too?

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves

This week’s photo challenge is ‘curves’.

My first pics are taken at The Vatican. Here is an Arnaldo Pomodora sculpture which I saw in the grounds outside. It’s a sphere within a sphere, and the original was designed for the Vatican, although several others have since popped up around the world. It looks like a new world trying to burst out through cracks in the old one, don’t you think?

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Another curve very close by, is the Dome of St Peter’s Basilica, the tallest dome in the world, being 136.57 metres (448.1 ft) high.

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The inside of the dome is even more exquisite, and was painted by Michelangelo himself.

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Another curvaceous construction in Italy, is the Colosseum in Rome, the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, which was opened in A.D. 80, and for many years, was the site of many bloody combats between man and beast.

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I couldn’t resist adding the beautiful curve of a rainbow at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

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Last but not least is this painting of African dancers enthusiastically shaking their curves. It’s been for sale for over a year at one of the stalls along our promenade. I can’t imagine why no-one has bought it yet. Wouldn’t you like it for your entrance hall? :)

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To see more contributions to the curvy theme, just click here.

Cee’s FFC: Walks, Indoors or Outdoors

I thought I’d keep the photos for Cee’s new challenge, local. We went for a walk yesterday afternoon along the beachfront past the lighthouse,

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a few fishermen,

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the luxury ‘Edge of the Sea’ holiday apartments,

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and up the hill to the town.

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The indoor shopping centre wasn’t at all busy, unlike the pubs and restaurants along the main street.

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After making a couple of purchases, we walked home along the top road and down the steep hill past the church. I thought this would make a good shadow photo. :)

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This morning it was time to exercise once again, so it was off to the gym. The approach from the car park and the drab grey paintwork, isn’t very cheerful or inspiring, :(

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but the front entrance looks just a tad more inviting.

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There are a dozen workmen replacing the rusty roof sheeting, and it’s taking them forever to do this. Every time we go, there’s some area of equipment cordoned off, with a sign, “Workmen overhead!” Well if they were really ‘work’men, they’d have finished the job weeks ago.

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I just walked into my bedroom to start packing for our trip up to Johannesburg tomorrow to see our daughter and family. There are a lot of ships parked outside our house; just sitting there doing nothing. They’ve been there for days. Our port workers are also very slow. :)

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To join in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, just follow this link.

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A windy day in Umhlanga

Last night I slept like the dead, and woke up to brilliant sunshine streaming through the curtains. I jumped out of bed to look out of the window, and was greeted by beautiful blue sky for a change. Fine weather really does lift the spirits, doesn’t it? Yesterday when we arrived home, there was so much to do, and not just the unpacking of our cases. There were piles of dead bodies on the tiles in the dining room! Well, they were very tiny dead bodies, but they needed vacuuming up before I could go to bed. I would not sleep well, knowing there were hundreds of dead ants on the floor downstairs. :)

Today has been really busy, with washing and shopping for food. Of course the cupboards and fridge were like ‘Old Mother Hubbard’s’……..absolutely bare. There was not a single skerrick of food to be found. Then there was the gym membership to sort out, and whilst we were there, we decided we may as well  have a good workout. I’ll probably ache all over tomorrow, but too bad, because we’re both going to ‘Cruel Neil’s’ shape class at 9 am. I remember his classes from a couple of years ago. He’s a hard taskmaster, and I could hardly walk down the stairs afterwards. It was nice to go to a gym with lots of young people, instead of the one at our club in Florida, where we’re about the youngest.  I’m sure some of the Florida gymmers are well into their eighties, but you have to admire their energy, even if they don’t display impressive muscle tone.

It was  really windy today, and these kite surfers were making the most of it.

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The beach is looking stunning, and we may have to go and sit on it tomorrow. It’s been a while.

Thursday’s Windows: Anyone for London?

Anyone who has children and grandchildren will know that when visiting shopping malls, the coin-in-the-slot rides are irresistible to the little ones. Sienna was no exception, when she visited us in South Africa this year, and although she only just fitted inside this bus, she really enjoyed the ride.

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To see more entries for Sandra Conner’s ‘Thursday’s Windows’ challenge, just click here.

The cell phone dance

 Can you remember life before cellphones? I resisted getting one for quite some time after they first made an appearance in South Africa in 1994.  “Whatever would I need one for?” I asked myself, and besides which, I’d never be able to perfect the steps of that cell phone dance which users apparently have to learn. :)  My sister once related a story to me of when she and her husband were in England on business. It was before cell phones came to South Africa, so not owning one, he had hired one.  She said she was so embarrassed to be seen with him in the street, talking on this brick of a phone, complete with aerial, that she made him go into a telephone booth to make his calls.  They were in Hampton Court gardens one day when his phone rang. In my sister’s own words,  “I was mortified, and walked away, totally disowning him. It just seemed so stupid to be standing outside chatting on the phone.”

How times have changed and I don’t know how I ever survived without one.  I am very geographically challenged and often get a bit lost, so it helps tremendously to be able to call my hubby and describe exactly where I am, so that he can direct me home. (of course, there is now GPS, so I can at least find my way to various local destinations). Most people can’t function without their mobiles, and I’ve heard various one sided conversations in the supermarket,  “Was it baked beans or green beans you asked me to get?” and in restaurants, “I’m here. What time did we arrange to meet?  Oh, it was Friday; I thought you said, Tuesday.  Ok, I’ll have to go home and cook. See you Friday.”  Of course, the one phrase we all have off pat, is “I think you’ve got the wrong number.”  I said this to someone after waking from a deep sleep about midnight one Saturday.  I’d forgotten to switch my phone off, and when I sleepily answered it, someones teenager, informed me, “Okay Ma, the party’s done. You can come and pick us up now.” Maybe they’re still waiting to be picked up. :D

Cell phones have had quite an influence on our lives. For example they’ve messed up every movie plot ever written. Those spooky thriller movies where the damsel in distress finds herself stuck all alone in a really desolate place on a rainy night, with a flat tyre and/or no gas, and the plot thickens from that point on, are no longer plausible. If she’d had a cell phone, she would simply stay  in the car,  and call the nearest garage for help, instead of having to stumble through the dark woods in the pouring rain, with her low-cut, wet T-shirt clinging to her breasts. Yes, cell phones have certainly made screen writers become far more creative. :)

They do have their disadvantages though. Being constantly in touch, can get very tiresome. I was once in a Barnes & Noble coffee shop, and at the next table was a guy in a business suit, enjoying a coffee and a sandwich. His cell phone rang, and he proceeded to tell his boss the biggest pack of lies. “I’m waiting to see a client. He’s busy right now, but as soon as I’m finished up here, I’ll head right back to the office.” He grabbed his sandwich and scooted out of there like a bat out of hell.

Nowadays, errant husbands have to explain to their wives why they were unreachable because their cell phones were switched off. Teenagers know that if they’re late coming home at night, dad will be on the phone demanding to know why. You simply can’t get away from the phone. So many positives and negatives, depending on which side of the fence you are.

Cell phones have revolutionised the way we communicate, and are now ‘de rigueur’ and ubiquitous. We all depend on them for social and business contacts.  Do you think that one day in the not too distant future, we will evolve into human beings with iPhone attachment? Is it possible that babies will be born with the latest model fused to their ear, and as they grow up, the model will keep updating?

Stockbrokers seem to be getting younger and cuter all the time. :)

Pic stolen from my son’s FB page.