My firstborn… Happy Birthday

Tomorrow is a very special day. April 7th is when my precious baby girl was born. I was quite overwhelmed with this new little life which was entrusted into my care. What a sweet baby she was.

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She’s grown into a beautiful woman, and I’m so proud of her. Our two men were both taking photos at the same time, so she’s looking at her husband, and I’m looking at mine. 🙂

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It was a fun evening, and we hardly stopped chatting and laughing, but did manage to eat our delicious meal in between. It was so great to see our two oldest grandchildren again.

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The weather is absolutely sparkling, and today we’re going to see The ‘Body Worlds’ exhibition at a museum in Johannesburg, and then out for an Indian meal tonight. Tomorrow is Mandy’s birthday, so more celebrations, with another dinner, and tickets to see ‘Jersey Boys’ at Monte Casino. I’m so looking forward to the show as I’ve heard many good things about it. ¸.•*¨*•.♪♫♫♪Happy Birthday to my wonderful daughter.♪♫•*¨*•.♥˜”*°•.˜”*°•.˜”*°•.★★.•°*”˜.•°*”˜.•°*”˜”

The internet here is not good at all, so I’ll be absent from your posts for a while. I’ll catch up as soon as I can. Miss me, and be sure to have a lovely weekend.  🙂

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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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On Earth Day…….Love is the answer.

On this Earth Day, 2013, I decided to share this wonderful song which I remember England Dan and John Ford Coley recorded in 1976. The words, “Love is the answer” are still as true now as they were then, but the ‘ticket to paradise’ is just as elusive.


“Name your price
A ticket to paradise
I can’t stay here any more
And I’ve looked high and low
I’ve been from shore to shore to shore
If there’s a short cut I’d have found it
But there’s no easy way around it

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer

Tell me, are we alive, or just a dying planet?
What are the chances?
Ask the man in your heart for the answers

And when you feel afraid, love one another
When you’ve lost your way, love one another
When you’re all alone, love one another
When you’re far from home, love one another
When you’re down and out, love one another
All your hope’s run out, love one another
When you need a friend, love one another
When you’re near the end, love one another
We’ve got to love one another.”

Here are just a few pics of some of the natural wonders of our world, which I’ve been privileged to see. The amazing wild animals, some of which are in danger of extinction because man has neglected to properly protect and care for their well-being. “Love is the answer.”

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Another song which also came to mind, of  is of course, “What a wonderful world.” How amazing are the truly natural wonders of our world.

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We need to really care for this wonderful world we live in, to ensure its preservation for our children and our children’s children. Love is the answer.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

The WordPress Photo Challenge ‘Up’ is a great opportunity to share some of my  pics taken whilst looking skywards.

These were taken at our local annual airshow, over the past couple of years. Hubby took them, and I think he did really well. I’m sure I would overbalance if I had to try to take photos of planes flying overhead. 🙂

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You had a view down the steps of the Balinese temple in my last post, and this time you can look up at it.

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Here’s Mount Rushmore from a different angle, showing only George Washington’s profile.

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Another profile now of the Lakota warrior Chief Crazy Horse, in South Dakota. This colossal monument has been sixty-four years in the making, and as you can see, is still nowhere near to completion.

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At the southernmost end of Las Ramblas in Barcelona, is the memorial honouring the great explorer Christopher Columbus, depicted pointing out to sea.

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The dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica, designed by Michelangelo, is the most prominent building  in the Vatican City. It’s as beautiful from the inside,

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as from the outside.

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Of course, I can’t do an up post, without including a photo of my favourite landmark, which is just a few yards up the beach. This is something I would really miss, if we move away from here.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my pics for this challenge. To see what other bloggers have come ‘up’ with, just click here.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Steps or Stairs

Another Which Ways Fun Foto Challenge from Cee, and this time it’s ‘Steps or Stairs’. My legs have climbed up and down so many steps and stairs on my travels, and here are just a few of them.

Let’s start with Venice. To me it is the city of a thousand and more steps. We were constantly walking up and down the sets of steps. All the bridges had their own steps, and in the shopping streets, we were always going up and down like Yo-yos. It’s a perfect way to keep fit, but not good for mothers with baby carriages, or wheelchair bound people. I did wonder about that.

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In Barcelona, the steps up to the main terrace which is the focal point of Park Güell, are divided by the famous Gaudi lizard covered in a kaleidoscope of brightly coloured mosaics. I would think it’s almost impossible to get a photo of this tourist attraction, without lots of people in it.

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The number of steps along Great Wall of China, has never been documented, but I read that it’s about 3700 miles long, and there are maybe 2,000 steps per mile. Do the math. 😉

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Machu Picchu is also a place of many ancient stone steps, estimated at around 3,000 in all.

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There’s an awful lot of climbing to do if you want to get to the top.

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Isle Del Sol, which we stopped off at on our trip across lake Titicaca, has no roads, and the only way to get up to the restaurant where we were to have lunch, was to climb the Inca steps.

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It was a very hot day, but the view from the top, across the terraces and the lake, was definitely worth it.

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Another Inca archaeological site we visited between Cusco and Machu Picchu, is Ollantaytambo, which is in Urumbaba, 9,160 feet above sea level. This is a religious temple site, and one gets to the top of the terraced complex, via a series of stairways.

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Bali is known as the ‘island of a thousand temples’, and we saw quite a few on our tour. This one had very steep steps to reach it.

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I suppose some cultures think that the higher you climb, the closer you are to your particular god. The Mayas also had so many steps to their temples too, as in this one at Lamanai in Belize.

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I can’t do a stairs challenge without including my spiral staircase pic from the Cabiria Restaurant in Rome. We were taken up to the roof deck by elevator, but after dinner, some of us decided that this was a far more exciting way to get back down to ground level. I counted 186 steps.

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Last but not least, is this unique staircase in London’s Regent Street, ‘Anthropologie’ store, which has a three storey,  200 sq metre living wall, aligned with the staircase. It’s filled with lush green plants, which are irrigated by rain water collected from the roof.  I thought this was such a brilliant idea.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my steps and stairs. If you want to see more, just click here.

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Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Benches

I thought I might find Ailsa’s Benches Challenge rather a difficult one, but it’s amazing what one can turn up after a bit of searching.

It’s so great when on holiday, to see a welcoming bench when one’s feet are hot and legs are tired after trudging around for hours, looking at all the sights. Here is one taken in Central Park. We’d had to be out of our hotel in the morning, and had an evening flight out of JFK, so we decided to spend a few hours in the park.

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The rain didn’t dampen our spirits as we watched our son trying out his new roller blades, also in Central Park.

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Here we are at Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. I’d just bought the sheepskin jacket to keep me from shivering, as even in July the weather was decidedly chilly.

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One hot day in Greece, our son snapped us having a welcome sit down  in the Athens Plaka, after visiting the Acropolis and other old ruins.

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Here at ‘Old Faithful’ is a bench to sit on whilst waiting for the ‘old geyser’ to erupt. It was far too cold for me to sit down. I had to keep moving or I would have frozen to the spot.

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I couldn’t resist having my pic taken on this beautifully carved bench in Bali. The price tag is very hefty, but still doesn’t include me. 🙂

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Whilst taking dear MiL out to for the day in England, we were both happy to find this gorgeous bench which someone had wisely placed half way around the park. We sat there listening to the bird song whilst hubby went galloping off down some steep wooden steps to do a bit of exploring on his own.

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Here in Sherwood Forest, is a bench where one can sit and view the famous ‘Major Oak’, inside which, according to local folklore, Robin Hood and his merry men took shelter. It’s estimated to weigh around 23 tons, has a girth of 33 feet (10 metres), and is between 800–1000 years old. It’s not surprising that at such a great age, it needs crutches. 🙂

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Our granddaughter Sienna, visiting from the USA, thought this funny cow at a shopping mall in Johannesburg, wouldn’t mind if she shared her bench.

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Much closer to home, we have a couple of memorial benches just above our beach access, where it’s great to sit and watch the waves.

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Just a little farther along the beach path, there are more benches.

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There are plenty of rocks on the beach itself, which make great improvised benches

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You can even use them for a little get together and a sing along.

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The pier also has a few benches,

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all with spectacular views.

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When you get to the end of the promenade, you can sit for a while and rest your legs, before the return 2 km trek back home. Well that’s what I was intending to do, but someone got there before me. 😦

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Well, I think I’m all benched out now, but if you would like to see more, just click on this link.

A Word a Week Challenge: Old

This week, Sue’s challenge is ‘Old’, and she has some great photos for the theme. This started me thinking about some of the really old places I’ve visited, and things I’ve seen. Of course, as you may have noticed, my background photo is of Machu Picchu, the last stronghold of the Incas. Here is another view of this magnificent wonder of the world.

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This ancient religious site, dates back to the 15th century, and the stonework is a great example of the use of natural raw materials, which were used to provide outstanding architecture, totally appropriate to the surrounding environment. One gets such a sense of awe whilst wandering around this indescribably beautiful place.

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An even older structure, is the Great Wall of China, one of the greatest wonders of the world. The construction of the wall started over 2,000 years ago, and the entire wall with all its branches has been found to measure 21,196 km.

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Another World Heritage site, is the Maya pyramid temple of Kukuikan, also know as El Castillo. This step pyramid found at Chichen Itza, dates back to 750AD and demonstrates the accuracy and importance of Maya astronomy. It has 365 steps, one for each day of the year. Each of the temple’s four sides has 91 steps, and the top platform makes the 365th.

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Another man-made construction of a quite different kind, is the Harrods building in Knightsbridge London. Of course it’s not quite as old as the previous two tourist attractions, only dating back to the mid 19th century, but it’s one of the world’s most famous stores. It covers a 5 acre site, and there are 90,000 sq.metres of selling space, spread over seven floors. This iconic landmark has over fifteen million visitors a year, and lives up to its motto, which is ” Omnia Omnibus Ubique.” (All Things for All People, Everywhere.)

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Now if you want something really old, you could go to the American Museum of Natural History, and there you will see the massive jaw of a Megalodon, the biggest prehistoric shark that ever terrorised the seas. It became extinct 1,5 million years ago, although there have been reported sightings even as recently as 1960. However, fishermen have been known to exaggerate on occasion, so maybe we shouldn’t be too worried. 🙂

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Dinosaurs first appeared 230 million years ago and have been extinct for about 66 million years, so I guess that their remains would definitely qualify as old.

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One of my dearest friends told me that her 5½-year-old granddaughter asked her, “How old is Great Grandpa?” and when she replied, “He’ll be 94 this year,” Taryn digested this news for a few seconds, and then said, “Gee, that’s super old. Isn’t that when dinosaurs were on the earth?” Well hubby’s beautiful mom is going to be a hundred years old this August, and she has never once mentioned seeing dinosaurs when she was a child. 🙂 Just in case you’re wondering; yes that is all her own hair. 🙂

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my old post, and had a few smiles too. You can see Sue’s wonderful old pics, if you click here.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Roads

Cee’s roads challenge this week, had me searching through a few of my albums for something different. I’ve travelled many roads, in many countries, and I do try not to snooze, just in case I miss something.

This long, narrow and very winding road up to Machu Picchu really kept my heart in my mouth. Not a chance I was going to fall asleep on that coach, as I had to keep breathing in every time I saw another vehicle coming towards us down the hill.

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This is the road through the town at the bottom of the hill, also very narrow.

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A dusty, stony road through Bolivia, made for quite a bumpy ride.

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Another sand road through a Bolivian town. Tarmac would be a real luxury.

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Back to the USA, and a drive down the highway in Montana under clear blue May skies, was far less stressful. We could see Yellowstone in the distance.

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As we travelled through Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming the weather became less Spring-like, and the road was quite slippery.

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Back to civilisation, and Times Square is much more populated of course. You can hardly see the road for cars and people. 🙂

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Here’s the Lincoln Tunnel, as we sped our way out of the city. No stopping allowed of course. 🙂

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Hong Kong roads are also very busy, and quite hair-raising to cross.

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In Xian, the roads were extremely congested, even though there weren’t many if any cars around.

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Of course what ever road you may be travelling on, it’s always nice to ride in style, so from the ridiculous to the sublime. I was most impressed when our New York taxi arrived. I was expecting one of those yellow cabs.

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To see more interpretations of Cee’s theme, just click here.

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