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.

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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.


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.


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.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Ups and Downs

This is the first time I’m doing Cee’s challenge. She asks us to post photos of the ways people go up and down, and says, “The only limit, is that the person actually has to be outdoors and not enclosed in an airplane or helicopter or elevator.” I have a few photos which I think fit the criteria.

The first is of hubby, just about to fall through the air into the safety net after trying out the trapeze at Club Med in Phuket.

Here is our sweet granddaughter climbing up the Jungle Gym when she visited us in South Africa,

and here she is, coming down the other side.

So many steps at the great Wall of China. They just carried on for ever it seemed. and the wall itself is estimated to be over 4,000 miles from end to end. The Great Wall Marathon is a 7.5km ‘fun’ run, which involves 5164 steps. That should get you in trim, for sure. 🙂

This is me, parasailing off the beach in Phuket. What goes up, must come down….right?  I was hoping like crazy, that this saying was true, and with not too much of a bump either. 😀 ( Do you see that crazy guy with his legs around my waist? He started off standing on my shoulders, and had no harness at all. I was praying that he didn’t fall, or I would have had to work out how to land myself.)

I hope you enjoyed my up and down photos. To see more interpretations of Cee’s Fun Foto challenge, just click here.

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Jake’s Sunday Post: Road

The real winners are not those at the top but those who have come the farthest over the toughest roads. Your victory may never make the headlines. But you will know about it, and that’s what counts. Ernest A. Fitzgerald

Jake’s Sunday Post challenge “Road” had me searching through my photos. Hundreds of roads to choose from, but I’ve chosen a few of those which I remember the best.

Here we were in a busy main street in Hong Kong, one of the best places to shop in Asia, and an added bonus was, no sales tax. 😀

The main road on the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora, was definitely not a shopping Mecca. 😉

I never realized just how wide the Great Wall of China was until we actually walked along it. The section of the Great Wall at Badaling, is about 26 feet high and 23 feet wide at its base, large enough to allow six horsemen to ride along the wall. In mountainous northern China, it served as an elevated highway in ancient times. It was very impressive to see in reality, and we did what tourists do; wandered along it, snapping photos.

Of course we didn’t walk the full length of this road, as it stretches for almost 2,500 miles, from Central Asia to the East China Sea. 😉

At the end of our Li River cruise, we finished up in Yangshuo. As you can see, there’s not a car in sight on the road through this town.

On our way from Las Vegas to San Francisco, we stayed overnight at a place called Bishop in the spectacular Eastern Sierra region of California. The next day, we turned onto Highway 120, the road through Yosemite National Park. You may notice that I wasn’t dressed for the snow. It was the beginning of July, and I’d assumed that being summer in California, it would be really warm.

Another very snowy road, is this one on our way from Thermopolis to Rapid City, on our road trip to Yellowstone Park. We didn’t expect that at the end of May, we would have such wintry weather and with blizzards too.

Driving along the road through Yellowstone, we encountered some rather unusual pedestrians. These Bison thought the road was built for their use. At one stage, we had to wait behind a whole herd, until they decided to move off the road and back onto the grass.

This beach-side road in Bali, yielded quite a few treasures worthy of purchase.

Here is one of the roads through the main shopping area of Phuket. As you can see, once again,  the main mode of transport in this Asian town, is also by bicycle and motorbike.

Well I guess that’s enough roads for one challenge. My post is beginning to remind me of that old Bob Dylan song, “Blowing in the wind………..How many roads must a man walk down…….”

Have a great day everyone, whatever road you may be travelling on.