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 beautiful mid winter’s day at the seaside.

Next week, we leave our seaside home in South Africa, to travel to England for hubby’s mom’s 100th birthday parties next weekend. We will spend about ten days touring around England, and then we are all going on a Rhine cruise to celebrate her centenary once again. From there, we will be going back to our home in Florida for six months.

Today was a beautiful mid winter’s day, so after my early birthday lunch, we decided we needed to take a walk along the promenade to have a last look at the beach and the waves, before getting down to the serious business of packing cases and preparing the house for our seven months absence.

It wasn’t very populated along this stretch,

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but a bit further along where the life guards are, there were a lot more people, frolicking in the waves, and sunbathing.

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The huge rocks are a very popular place for a bit of climbing around.

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A lone fisherman looked to be concentrating very hard, probably wishing for a fish to put on his plate tonight.

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These surfers were just chilling, waiting for the right waves.

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This family had set up camp here for the day, also hoping for a few fish to bite.

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Someone had rescued an interesting piece of driftwood, which looked to me like a weird sea monster.

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I’ve never noticed this palm tree in flower before. Isn’t it quite wonderful? I have no idea what it’s called, but maybe you can enlighten me.

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I think I’m going to miss this particular piece of paradise quite a lot for the next seven months, but it will still be here when we return in March, and there are lots of adventures to be had in the meantime. :)

“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?

Happiness is a Beach (and a Rugby win).

My South African blog friend sidey, has a regular weekend challenge, and this week it’s ‘Happiness’.

This morning, we woke up to the most  amazing mid winter weather; blue sky, a slight breeze and a promise of 29C. This, combined with the fact that we had nothing else to do but wander down to the beach, was certainly a recipe for a very happy Saturday. I made a scrambled egg and bacon breakfast, and then we were off on our walk, down the steps and onto the beach.

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Which way to go was the question. This way towards the lighthouse?

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or this way towards Durban?

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My shadow said, “This way,” so we obeyed.

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Our next door neighbour’s son and his mates were really having fun out there in the waves,

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and a bit farther along, there was a morning meeting of the local seagull society. Way in the distance, you can see the Durban sports stadium which was built for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

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A brightly coloured AMS (Red Cross Air Mercy Service) helicopter flew overhead, and I wondered what its mission was, or whether it was just out for a joy ride.

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Our beach patrol guy was zooming along on his quad bike.

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We actually saw a few more people, but you could hardly call this a crowded beach, now could you?

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On our return, we popped in home for a cup of coffee and a chocolate brownie, and then collected the beach umbrella, a chair, a couple of towels and my kindle, and headed back down to sit in blissful solitude until lunchtime.

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Happiness is a beach, for sure.

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Of course, South African rugby fans would argue that happiness is our brilliant Springbok 42-10 win over Italy today in Durban. I saw their green and gold bus outside the Beverly Hills Hotel yesterday. Our boys only stay in the best hotel here, probably because they’re simply the best. :)

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For more takes on sidey’s weekend theme, just click here.

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.

Kissing above the clouds

Sue, of  ‘A Word In Your Ear’, has given us ‘Cloud’ as her Word a Week’ challenge. I have so many sky pics with clouds and sunsets, but I just came upon this really cute one. The clouds are not the main focus, but the love birds really caught my attention. They thought no-one was watching them. :)

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To see Sue’s beautiful cloud pics and links to other bloggers’ contributions, just click here.

 

 

Panama Hats in Ecuador

Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Multiples

Coins in the fountain

Coins in the fountain

 

When I saw Ailsa’s new theme, I thought I might not do it, as I was sure I didn’t have any suitable pics for it. However, going through some of my photos, I was amazed to find lots of multiples in them.

To see more examples of  ‘Multiples’ just visit Ailsa’s blog.

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New year, new beginnings

“If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick up one of those pieces and begin again.”  ~Flavia Weed

A new year is often a time when people start thinking about changing their lives for the better. Fortunately for us, any time is a good time for a fresh start, and dreams don’t have deadlines. A new beginning opens up so many possibilities, as we embark on things we’ve never tried before. People do reinvent themselves, and for many different reasons. Sometimes it can be because of what is often called by those who wish they had the nerve to do the same, a ‘midlife crisis’. The re-inventors however, prefer the term, ‘finding themselves’, but George Bernard Shaw once said,  Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” Many people have been brave enough to take that leap of faith into something entirely new and have found that it was the best thing they ever did. There are many examples of  people who did just that.

For example:

Bestselling author John Grisham was a criminal lawyer, before he decided to take up writing full time, and becoming one of the world’s most successful authors.

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UK BAFTA winning comedian/actress/writer, Jo Brand, who has been listed as one of the funniest acts in British comedy started her career as a psychiatric nurse.

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Actor/comedian/director/producer, Danny DeVito began his working life as a hairdresser in his sister’s beauty salon.

Harrison Ford worked for fifteen years as a carpenter stagehand, before being offered an uncredited role as a bellhop in ‘Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round’ (1966), and then a huge one in ‘Star Wars’. The rest is history. :)

Singer/songwriter, Ray LaMontagne, worked 65 hour weeks at a shoe factory in Maine, until he one day decided to teach himself to play acoustic guitar, and at 30 years old, he quit his day job and went into music full time.

Life is short, and we only get one crack at it, so if it’s a new beginning you want, why not do some careful research, plan your strategy and then just go for it? Who knows, you could be the next Richard Branson, who in spite of suffering from dyslexia, and having a very poor academic record at school, is now a billionaire and the 4th richest citizen of the United Kingdom. Some of his ventures didn’t work out, and he has lost more money than most people could dream of making in their entire lifetime, but he has never given up. It is his daring and willingness to give things a go that has seen him succeed, and he’s always come back stronger than ever. He’s such an inspiration, and reminds me of that 1930’s song,

Nothing’s impossible I have found,
For when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up,
Dust myself off,
Start All over again.

I found a few quotes to encourage us as we start out on this new year. :

There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth… not going all the way, and not starting. ~ Buddha

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Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect. ~Alan Cohen

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I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.  ~ J. B. Priestly

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Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose – not the one you began with perhaps, but one you’ll be glad to remember. ~ Anne Sullivan

You don’t need endless time and perfect conditions. Do it now. Do it today. Do it for twenty minutes and watch your heart start beating. ~ Barbara Sher

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Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Don’t wait for something big to occur. Start where you are, with what you have, and that will always lead you into something greater.  ~Mary Manin Morrissey

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Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. -Maria Robinson

Wishing you all a very happy, prosperous and fulfilling year.