Jake’s Sunday Post theme “Pet.” Man saves his best friend.

Jake’s Sunday Post theme, ‘Pet’, reminded me of a story I saw on Sky News in February of this year. This incident really illustrated to me what true love for your pet can lead you to do. I believe that when you are in love with someone, you will do anything for them, and go to any lengths to be with them. If they are in danger, you will even risk your life to save them, which is exactly what this man did one bitterly cold Sunday morning in England. His dog had got itself stranded out on the ice-covered River Stour, so without a thought for his own safety, and with no hesitation, this foolhardy man stripped right down to his underpants and crawled inch by inch across the ice to save his beloved pet.

Miraculously he managed to reach his best friend, just as he himself tumbled into the icy water. Thankfully, they both managed to clamber to safety, whereupon this hero calmly got dressed again, and they continued on their walk. The incident was captured on camera by another dog walker, who found it hard to believe what he was seeing. This may seem like a foolish act of bravery, but it just goes to prove that when a loved one is in danger, be that a person or a pet, we are likely to throw all caution to the four winds and just do whatever is necessary to save them. I think it’s such a wonderful story, and am so glad it had a happy ending.

Have a great day everyone. Chat again soon.



Jake’s Sunday Post theme “Work” (#2)

Hi again, everyone. I couldn’t resist a second entry for Jake’s Sunday Post theme, “Work.” My first entry, earlier in the week, was a bit sombre, dealing with the plight of workers who have to travel to work in less than safe conditions. Here is are some pics of both people and animals, busy working  away, whilst I was enjoying my holiday.

Firstly we have the Chinese meat delivery in Xian. I had to ask myself how hygienic this method of transport was, considering that ours gets delivered in refrigerated trucks, and this was open to the heat of the midday sun, as well as the flies which abounded there. Much of the goods transport here was done by bicycle. Those delivery workers must have very strong calf muscles.

This second pic was taken in the Medina at Fez in Morocco. This poor donkey was certainly heavily laden, and even had his diaper in place so as not to soil the walkway for us pedestrians. Laughing He and his owner were taking these boxes of Nivea cream to be sold at the market.

Here is my taxi ride to the restaurant one evening in Marrakech. We were taken through the streets in a horse-drawn carriage to Djemaa el Fna Square, which was full of snake-charmers, palm readers and endless market stalls. I have to say that it was a bit smelly along the route, as many horses had been there before us. Surprised The traditional Moroccan dinner was wonderful though.

Here out in the Atlas Mountain town of Oureka, we saw this Moroccan equivalent of the tandem, except that these passengers are sitting side-saddle. This donkey taxi had a double fare, and looked like he wasn’t too happy to have to work so hard.

Here’s wishing you all a very pleasant and enjoyable weekend.



Jake’s Sunday Post theme……”Work.”

Jake’s Sunday Post theme on WordPress, this week, is ‘Work‘, and this got me thinking about our South African manual labourers, who one often sees being transported to work by their employers, in this fashion. I took this pic on our way up to Johannesburg a few weeks ago.

It  troubles me greatly, whenever I see these pick-up trucks, sometimes heavily laden with equipment, whilst the unfortunate workers, have to sit either on top of all this stuff, or around the sides of the truck, whilst it speeds on its way down the highway.

Yesterday, whilst driving back from the hospital, we were behind a vehicle which had large sheets of wood stacked on it, at an angle. The worker was lying across the wood, holding an unsecured upside-down wheelbarrow against it. This of course is highly dangerous, both for the man on the back, and people travelling behind, as should that wheelbarrow slip, it could fly off and go straight through the windscreen. If the truck driver had to brake hard, both the worker and the wheelbarrow would be thrown off. Of course we overtook as soon as it was safe to do so, and didn’t hang around to take a photo. I remember many years ago, hearing a news report, of a woman driver being tragically killed when a sewing machine came off the back of the ‘bakkie’ in front, and was projected through her windscreen.

Every week, there are so many reports of accidents, with maybe ten to fifteen people being injured or killed, when the two-seater vehicle on which they were being transported, was involved in an accident.
(pic from ‘Drive Alive’ site)
I just can’t understand why nothing is done to legislate against these contractors who have so little regard for the lives of the people who work for them. Not only that, but the traffic police turn a blind eye to this dangerous practice. I’ve seen police vans drive past these vehicles and their human cargo, and just ignore them. We, including the drivers of these vehicles, can be heavily fined if spotted not wearing seat belts in our cars, and there are campaigns to encourage us to always “belt up.” Motor cars are specifically designed for the conveyance of persons, and have all the modern safety devices, such as seat belts, air bags etc., but for people being carried in the goods section of trucks, there are no effective safety devices! How can that be? I’ve never seen this phenomenon in the UK, or in the USA. Could it be that the lives of our workers are considered cheap in Africa?

Have a great day, everyone. Chat again soon.



AD the ‘Belly Dancer’, rises to Tilly’s challenge. ;)

Hi again, everyone. Last week, I happened to mention in one of my posts, that when we did the Nile cruise, I got the chance to impersonate a Belly Dancer. Funny-lady blogger, Tilly Budd, demanded that I put up some proof in the way of photos, so here are a few pics from my Egypt experience, included in which is the required proof. Embarassed

Of course, as soon as we stepped off the plane in Cairo, we were cajoled into trying out the local transport. It was a bit scary, as the steed my son and I sat astride, suddenly spotted a mate of his,in the distance, and started galloping off to have a chat, and a bit of a spat into the bargain. The minders really didn’t seem to have an awful lot of control over their charges, and I don’t know if I would do it again. Yell

The most photographed icon in Egypt, has to be ‘The Sphinx’, which stands on the west bank of the Nile, at Giza. This gargantuan statue which has the body of a lion and the head of a human, was much bigger than I had ever imagined. It is 73.5m long, 6m wide, and 20.22m high, and dates back to between 2558 and 2532BC.

The Colossus of Ramesses, an enormous statue carved in limestone, is about 10m (33.8 ft) long, even though it has no feet, and is located near the village of Mit Rahina. This piece was discovered in 1820 by an Italian traveler Giovanni Caviglia, and was donated to the British Museum, but because of it’s size and extreme weight, they were unable to transport it over there.

Here is the Muhammad Ali Pasha, or Alabaster Mosque, which is situated on the summit of the citadel,  the largest to be built in the first half of the 19th century, and the most visible mosque in Cairo. It is one of the first landmarks to be seen when approaching the city from no matter which side.

Even though I considered myself to be ‘modestly’ dressed, One of the officials, obviously judged me to be showing too much flesh, and rushed over to cover me up with this green cloak.

On the river cruise, there was a fancy dress evening, and during the day, many traders along the river bank, were trying their utmost to sell us Egyptian attire. They would throw it up onto the deck for the passengers’ perusal, and then if it was considered suitable, the money would get thrown down in a plastic bag. Both hubby and son bought their Galabeya (long shirts), this way.

I decided to go to the costume-hire boutique on board, and the guy there insisted on kitting me out as a belly dancer. He even stuck a jewel in my navel to complete the look. Later in the evening, during the entertainment, the authentic belly dancer, spotted me, and press-ganged me into dancing with her.

Our dual act met with so much applause, that I was persuaded to do a bit of a solo, and surprised myself when I quite enjoyed it.  I  wasn’t however, tempted to take it up as a full-time career. We all had such a lot of fun that evening.

Here is one entertainer I wouldn’t even consider trying to emulate. This ‘Whirling Dervish’, made me dizzy just watching him perform. His frenzied, ecstatic dance, accompanied by weird howling utterances, was quite sight to behold.

I hope you all enjoyed the photos, especially you Tilly.

Have a great day, everyone. Chat again soon.



The colour blue for the Weekly Photo Challenge

I love the colour blue. There are so many beautiful shades, and here are a few pics to demonstrate this, for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

Firstly, here is the beautiful blue sky at Ellery Lake, at 9358 feet, near Tioga Pass in Yosemite National Park.

Just look at this gorgeous azure sea in Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic. I was mesmerised by it’s beauty.


Her we were in the Blue Grotto, “La Grotta Azzurra” on the Italian island of Capri. In order to get into this grotto, we had to climb aboard a small rowing boat, with a capacity for two, maximum three passengers and, lying on the bottom of the boat, we were able enter the low and narrow mouth of the cave. It was such a magical experience.


Lastly, here is the blue orchid that hubby bought me for our wedding anniversary last year in December.

I hope you enjoyed my pics. Why not enter some of your own, so that we can all see them?








Mom hasn’t always been good, and my too perfect vision. ;)

Hi again, everyone.What a lovely weekend I had, and especially the lunch we shared with my dear mom. When we arrived, she was looking lovely, and was so thrilled with the Cyclamen plant, and the box of chocolates. Here we are outside her pretty little cottage. Her garden was looking stunning, even in our so-called winter, which has been really mild up to now.

It was the most perfect day, weather-wise, and we had tried earlier in the week to book at a restaurant called The Pot & Kettle, which has wonderful views over The Valley of a Thousand Hills. We often go there for family birthdays and celebrations.

Unfortunately they were already fully booked, as were a couple of others we tried, so we had to settle for the Mugg & Bean in Hillcrest. Mom didn’t mind at all though. She’s so easy to please and was just happy to be out with us. We enjoyed a delicious lunch, and had lots of laughs. I’m not sure how we arrived at the subject, but my mom got to remembering back to World War 2, when as a teenager, she was sent to live for a while with her older married sister, because it was safer than her staying with her parents in London. The two sisters had a bust up one day because my mom wouldn’t accept any discipline from her, and rebelliously stamped her foot, shouting, “I won’t! You’re not my mom!” Her sister hit out at her with the tortoise-shell hand mirror, which cracked right down the middle. Mom was sent up to her room, and lay face down on the bed. She suddenly realised that her nose was bleeding profusely, but although the bedspread was a beautiful white satin one, she just lay there and let the blood soak in for ages, just to teach her sister a lesson. Oh yes, I do remember now what jogged her memory to tell me this. I’d said to mom, something like, “I’m sure you’ve always been such a good person, and I bet you never did anything naughty in your life.” Well, she put me right on that one. Surprised This reminded me of when my darling sister once hit me over the elbow with the pressure cooker, and got such a fright that she made me promise not to tell mom. I had to play the piano at church that evening, and I remember that it wasn’t easy with such a bruised elbow. I also had to wear long sleeves for over a week, to hide it. Just goes to show, that although we might fight like cat and dog as kids, we usually grow up to be the best of friends. Kiss

Tomorrow morning, I go for my second eye op. I’m so looking forward to it, although I’m not too keen on the hair soaking again. I should take my shower cap with me. Do you think the doctor would think I was crazy to mind about getting my hair wet, when he is giving me perfect vision in the process? Undecided It took me much longer to do the housework today, as now the vision in my right eye is so amazing, that I can see every tiny speck of dust. Goodness knows what I’ll be like after tomorrow. I’ll probably have to carry a duster around with me on a permanent basis.

Hope you all have a great week. Chat again soon.

AD is celebrating Mothers’ Day

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”  ~ Elizabeth Stone

Sidey’s weekend theme, “A hug or a kiss,” seemed to me very appropriate for Mother’s Day weekend. What can be more wonderful than getting a hug and a kiss from those you love?

Some people deride the ‘commercialisation’ of Mother’s Day, saying that you should just show your love and appreciation every day, not only on one special day of the year. For those mothers and their children who live far away from one another, and have to make do most of the time with phone calls, Skype calls, and photos on FaceBook etc, I believe that this day is really wonderful. Of course I know that my son and daughter love me to bits every day of the year, but on Mother’s Day there’s an extra special bond of cherishing one another. It’s a celebration of being a mother and having a mother. Most of the year when we’re apart, our virtual hugs and kisses are made up of OXO, and as tasty as Oxo might be, it’s not nearly as delicious as chocolates, or as pretty as flowers. Wink

So, I’m really blessed to have such loving offspring, and they’ve really spoilt me from afar, this weekend.

Hubby, not to be left out of the celebrations, gave me a lovely card and this stunning orchid. How lucky am I?

I don’t have either of my children here today, but we’re off up the hill this morning, to take my dear Mom some flowers and chocs, and then out for a special lunch.  Wishing all you mothers out there, lots of hugs and kisses, whatever form they come in, as your families show you how much they treasure and appreciate you. I would also like to say a special ‘thankyou’ to my daughter and daughter-in-law, who by becoming mothers, have made me a very proud and happy granny.

Have a great Mother’s Day. Chat again soon.

Ships and boats from my travels.

Hi again, everyone. Whilst I was looking for photos for http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/2012/05/05/sunday-post-vehicle/ “Vehicle,” and before I’d read the guidelines properly, I found some pics of boats that I’d seen or been on in the course of my travels. Sea-going vessels didn’t qualify for the theme, but I thought I’d just do a post about water transport. Of course I have a great variety of pics, but here are just a few of my favourites.

This is a Nile cruise ship just in front of ours, on our  trip which took us from Aswan to Luxor to see many of the temples, most notable of which were the Temple of Queen Hapshepsut, the Karnak temple complex at Luxor, and of course the Valley of the Kings, which was spectacular. Here, we were alongside the Kom Ombo temple. We spent a very happy and entertaining week aboard, and I even got to impersonate a belly dancer at the fancy dress party.

The hydrofoil across Lake Titicaca took us from a resort outside La Paz to Copacabana, with stop-offs at Moon Island and Sun Island on the way. As you can see, we were the only passengers, apart from our guide. It was a wonderful sensation, speeding across the glittering lake in the bright sunshine, with the snow-capped Andean mountains to our right

These long-tail boats, known as ‘Ruea Hang Yao’ in the Thai language, are on the beautiful Phi Phi Island in Thailand. We did a day trip to this paradise, from Club Med Phuket, which also included a visit to Kho Phi Phi where the film, “The Beach” was made. We didn’t see Leonardo diCaprio, or a giant Marijuana plant. Laughing We have another trip booked there for early next month, and I can’t wait.

Our Venetian gondola ride last year, was a real highlight of our Italian tour, mainly because it was so funny. As you can see, our gondolier doesn’t look like the happy, singing type, and certainly wouldn’t pass the audition for Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta, “The Gondoliers.” We set off under the Bridge of Sighs, and as we sailed along, we asked our boatman to sing to us, but he said that would be extra. LOL! The guy in the gondola in front of ours started to sing “Buona serra senorita,” and ours joined in, albeit somewhat halfheartedly. A local man walking along the path, called out to us in Italian, “He can’t even sing. Why don’t you just tell him to shut up?” We creased ourselves laughing, but ‘Mr Sourpuss’ did NOT look amused. Frown

Here is a vessel we intend to take a trip on when we return to Florida. We went boat watching one day earlier this year and saw the luxury motor boat, The Lady Delray, which takes one on a leisurely two-hour narrated tour from Veteran’s Park through the calm waters of the Intracoastal Waterway, and past some of the area’s most beautiful mansions. We’ll be able to see a variety of marine life in its natural habitat, and learn a little about the area’s history, all this whilst snacking on tasty morsels and sipping cocktails. I’m so looking forward to it.

This vessel in the play area of our local mall in Florida, might not be a real boat, but it does contain my two gorgeous little granddaughters, so I thought I’d put it in anyway. Wink

Have a great day everyone. Chat again soon.

I can see clearly now ;)

Hi again everyone. Well here I am, rejoicing at the outcome of yesterday’s eye operation. Thanks so much for all your good wishes. I now have such amazing vision in my reading eye, that I can even read the classified ads in the local paper, and more importantly, the instructions on my eye drops bottle, which are written in miniscule type. I could never understand why manufacturers should have directions on bottles, which are impossible to read, and why these letters had been reduced in size over the years. Now I know, that it was not a conspiracy, just that my eyes were at fault. Smile

The procedure was painless and quite quick. The young anesthetist introduced himself as “Dr Savage,” which I thought rather an unfortunate name for a doctor. He was however, anything but savage, and so gentle with that needle, I could have kissed him. My eye surgeon, who goes by the nice gentle name of, “Carey,” looked really dashing in his surgical scrubs, favoring a sunny-yellow hat rather than the usual blue or green. I hadn’t been allowed to eat or drink since the previous evening, and of course, all the ads on the TV in the waiting area, were food ads, with one in particular showing some woman enjoying a huge bacon and egg breakfast. My tummy was rumbling, but I consoled myself with the fact that there would be a chicken mayonnaise sandwich and a glass of juice waiting for me after the op.

I was awake throughout the procedure, but thankfully, didn’t feel a thing. I just saw lots of bright lights flashing, but not so pleasant, was the feeling of water running over my face, into my right ear and trickling around the back of my neck to soak my hair. I had been really happy about the fact that I didn’t have to undress at all, but just put the gown over my jeans and T-shirt. I certainly could have done with a shower cap though, as when I was finished and wheeled back into the ward, It looked as though the right side of my hair had been under the shower. I was hoping that when hubby arrived with my handbag, I could at least comb my sodden locks into some semblance of a style, but that was not to be. He’d left it in the car thinking I wouldn’t need it. Men just haven’t a clue about how essential our handbags are to us women, in absolutely every situation.

Anyway, not to worry. When there’s a large plastic shield taped over one eye, who cares if the rest of you resembles Longfellow’s ” Wreck of the Hesperus.”

Hospitals are definitely not places to encourage any sort of vanity, are they? Pride of appearance flies out of the window as soon as you submit yourself to their mercy. It’s difficult to look glamorous, bare faced and wearing a hospital gown, and of course if half your hair is sopping wet, there’s just no hope at all. Embarassed

I went back this morning for a checkup, and he said that everything’s perfect. I can’t wait for next Tuesday to get the other eye done. I feel a little unbalanced at the moment, but it’s great to be be able to see without contacts or glasses. What miracles they’re able to perform these days. I’m so grateful to be living in this era of amazing medical technology, rather than to have to slowly go blind as my Gran did. I was also reading that in the ‘olden days’, a cataract op involved prolonged hospitalisation and total immobilisation, with the person having to lie flat on their back for two weeks. So I’m very fortunate to be up and about in no time at all, and able to sit here at my computer, writing to you all.

Have a great day, everyone. Chat again soon.

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