Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

This week’s Photo Challenge is ‘Companionable’, so I’ve picked out a few photos in keeping with the theme.

Here are my three American grandchildren playing at cleaning the kitchen. Who knew that housework could be such fun? 🙂

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Jeff and Sienna choosing cakes for a party when they visited family and friends in Johannesburg last year.

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Here are two of our local lifeguards just hanging out together.

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A companionable couple sitting on our  bench at the end of the promenade.

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A sweet old couple sitting on a bench in the sun, at our local garden nursery. 🙂

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Lastly, here are some crocodiles, all snuggled up companionably together at the crocodile park just up the road from here.

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To see more entries for this week’s challenge, just click here.

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B&W Photo Challenge: Neighbourhood

This is the 2nd week of Sonel’s Black and White Weekly Photo Challenge and the Theme is : Neighbourhood.

As many of you know, my home in South Africa is right on the coast, and just a few metres down our driveway, is the beach and the Indian Ocean. It’s a really lovely beach with golden sand and not too many people.

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The cargo ships waiting to offload their goods at Durban harbour can often be anchored just off shore for days.

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It’s lovely just to take a book and a chair down to the beach and spend a few hours reading or just watching the waves.

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Of course the red and white lighthouse is one of my favourite landmarks.

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Just down the road is the shopping mall where I play piano for a few hours each week.

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Out in the car park there are two musicians who have played their music here for many years. This is their only source of income, so people give generously.

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Many people here use the minibus taxis to get around, as there is no other public transport. The legend on this one always makes me think,

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that there are many folk living here, who aren’t in such fortunate circumstances as I find myself. My last pic shows one of the many ‘squatter camps’, or as our government prefers to call them ‘informal settlements’ which are springing up anywhere that homeless people can find a piece of land on which to erect their shacks.

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So my neighbourhood might be fun in the sun for many people, but certainly not for everyone.

‘Ripples’ for Ailsa’s Travel Theme.

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” ~ Scott Adams

Ailsa’s travel theme this week is ‘Ripple’. Not being a ‘water baby’, I’ve never been a person to make a big splash, either in or out of the water, but I just love the word ‘ripple’. It’s sounds so gentle and not in the least bit intimidating. Ripples on the water can be caused by nothing more than a slight breeze, as in these sunset pics of the small lake outside our home in Florida.

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The surface of the water is always on the move, although the Great Blue Heron manages to stand as still as a statue.

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This anhinga also sits so peacefully watching the rippling water.

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Generally there’s nothing more scary than a few ducks and other water birds creating ripples in the calm water,

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except on the odd occasion when the ripples are caused by something slightly more sinister.

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I do hope you enjoyed my ripple pics. I can’t wait to get back there in September to take a few more.

To see other bloggers’ ideas for Ailsa’s them, just click here.

The Oldest Bridge in Florence, for Jake’s Theme

Jake’s theme this week is ‘Bridge’ and as I’ve shown you many bridges for previous challenges, I decided this time to single out only one. The Ponte Vecchio is the most famous bridge in Florence, and also the oldest, being the only surviving bridge from Florence’s medieval days. Other bridges in Florence were destroyed in World War II, but legend has it that Hitler really took a liking to this particular bridge and therefore ordered it to be spared. This structure with three stone arches replaced a wooden bridge which had crossed the Arno River at this spot since Roman times. The original bridge was destroyed by flood in 1117, and was reconstructed in stone, but was once again swept away in the terrible flood of November 1333, when according to the chronicles of Giovanni Villani, all but the two central piers, was swept away when huge logs in the rushing water became clogged around the it, allowing the water to build and “leap over the arches.” It was rebuilt in 1345.

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The bridge has always had shops along it, and initially these were butchers’ shops, but it is reported that the Medici family, who used the corridor on the second level as a pathway across the river, decided the smell of raw meat was too nauseating, so in the late 16th century, the meat was replaced with something much less offensive to the nostrils; gold, silver and jewels.  Today, as well as jewellers, there are also art dealers and souvenir sellers.

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Along the bridge there are many padlocks to be seen, affixed in various places. This  is a quite recent tradition which has also sprung up  in Russia and in Asia, and is popularly connected to the idea that by locking the padlock and throwing the key into the river, lovers become eternally bonded. In the case of the Ponte Vecchio, it is suspected to have been the bright idea of a locksmith who just happened to have a shop on the bridge. 🙂 Thousands of such ‘love locks’ have had to be removed because they were damaging the metal rails on the bridge, and a sign was put up forbidding the practice and warning of a hefty fine for people caught, but nevertheless people still  do it.

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Hubby and I have no doubt that after all these years, our love will last forever, so we didn’t need to risk the fine. 🙂

I hope you’ve enjoyed my bridge photos and the bit of history too. To see more entries for Jake’s theme, just click here

Vibrant Morocco for Sue’s challenge

Sue of  ‘A word in your ear’ blog, has this week given us the word ‘Vibrant’.

One of the most vibrant countries I’ve ever visited, has to be Morocco. It has been said to be one of the most exotic places in the world. The souks here are a colourful sight, and have an abundance of carpets, traditional dresses and other handicrafts. You can stroll through medieval passages and alleyways, and experience a way of life which has changed little over hundreds of years.

Here are a few photos of some of the vibrant and colourful places and people we saw. Click on any photo to view the gallery.

I hope you enjoyed my vibrant pics. To see more interpretations of the theme, visit Sue’s post here.

Sonel’s B/W Photo Challenge: Nature

This week, Sonel has started a new challenge encouraging us to edit some of our nature photos into black and white. I’ve never thought of doing this before, although I’ve admired many such images in other bloggers’ posts. I thought I may as well have a go at it, and was surprised at how relatively simple it is.

Here are the fabulous curves of the Karst hills which line the Li river between Guilin and Yangshuo. The scenery here has been described as “the best under Heaven,” and I can quite believe it. It was as if I had been transported into an ancient Chinese pen and ink drawing. The elegance was just astounding.

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The great Tang Dynasty poet Han Yu (768-824) was inspired to write. “The river winds like a green silk ribbon, while the hills are like jade hairpins.”  Such an apt and beautiful description.

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More than 40,000 hills lie along the two sides of the river, which runs for more than 150 kilometres.  Along the route, there are banyan trees and bamboo, as well as pretty little cottages and fishing boats. The sense of peace one feels whilst cruising slowly past this amazing landscape, is indescribable.

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To see more entries for Sonel’s black and white theme, just click here.

 

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Daily Prompt: Hahaha

Today it’s really windy here in paradise, so not a day for walking on the beach. We did go to the gym this morning, and I did my usual circuit of treadmill, arms, legs, tummy and posterior toning. It wasn’t very busy, because if the weather isn’t too great, people here tend to hit the malls. Shopping is a national sport, so I do try to keep away on a Saturday.

Yesterday we went off up the hill to visit mom. She treated us and my sister to a very tasty fish and chip lunch in the dining room of her community centre. Hubby, my sister and I were the youngest there by at least twenty years, but it was a really jolly occasion, and mom does like to show us off to her friends. They do a good three course lunch for only R35 ($3.50) each, and this includes tea and coffee. None of us were tempted by the dessert thought, which was very wobbly jelly topped with a layer of custard and sprinkles.  Mom, who isn’t nearly as fussy as her kids, took hers home for teatime.

I have so many photo challenges lurking in my inbox, and need to sift again through my hundreds or maybe even thousands of pics, so thought I’d procrastinate a bit and do something easy, like the ‘Daily Prompt’ I saw on Friday. It was simply ‘Hahaha’.

I’m sure you all have questions which niggle you on occasion, so I decided to add a few more to that list.

 

Why does the sun lighten our hair, but darken our skin?

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Why can’t a woman put on mascara with her mouth closed?

Why is bottled lemon juice made with artificial flavouring, but dish washing liquid is made with real lemon juice?

Why don’t we ever read of a Psychic winning the Lottery?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a ‘Broker’?

Why isn’t there mouse-flavoured cat food?

Who tastes dog food when it has a new improved flavour?

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Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes?

Why are they called apartment when they’re all joined together?

Why do they call the airport the ‘Terminal ‘ if flying is so safe?

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

This post is in answer to the WordPress Daily Prompt, ‘Hahaha’. 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?

Scene from my window

I see that there is a “Thursday’s Lingering Look at Windows” challenge going on, so today I thought I would post the view from my bedroom window. It’s such a lovely day here. The sea and sky are a beautiful blue, and those ships look rather grand.

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I was thinking about what I see through my windows, and was reminded of a couple of years ago when at dinner time, looking out of the window, my attention was often drawn to a cute courting couple on our neighbours’ TV aerial. Every evening they were there, sometimes they were standing close together, and occasionally, they would sit one each end, as though they’d had a fall out. One evening, I noticed that there was only one bird, and that she seemed to be looking all around in a state of extreme agitation.

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After quite a while she flew away, but a couple of minutes later she returned, closely followed by her boyfriend, who fluttered around her, trying to make up. She was however having none of it. She was obviously upset at being stood up, and wanted her boyfriend to suffer a bit,

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He was banished to the other end of the aerial. Doesn’t he look remorseful? That sure taught him not to be late for a date.

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They didn’t turn up for a few days, and then one grey evening, they returned, and I was so relieved to see that they were at least back on speaking terms.  I’m not a matchmaker, but I do take an interest. 🙂

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Windows are such interesting things to look out of, aren’t they? We take our clear glass windows for granted, but there was a time when only the very wealthy could afford to have such a luxury. I was reading about how window glass was developed and how dark people’s homes were before it became an affordable commodity.  http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/quick-history-windowsretrospect-165008

To see more contributions to this theme, just click here.