WPC: The Blue Hue of me

“Blue colour is everlastingly appointed by the Deity to be a source of delight” ~ John Ruskin

The color of ocean and sky, blue is perceived as a constant in our lives. I think if I had to choose just one favourite colour, it would have to be blue. I’ve seen so many beautiful shades of blue, and they never fail to lift my spirits.

There’s the cool refreshing aqua of the ocean.

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The celestial blue of the sky on a clear day.

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The welcoming  shade of blue umbrellas on the white sandy beach.

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The indigo blue of the sky peeping through fluffy clouds.

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The gorgeous blues of the ocean seen from above the clouds.

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The always sparkling blue of our swimming pool here in Florida,

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and not forgetting the beautiful blues of the sea and sky back home in South Africa.

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“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.”  ~ Eleanora Duse
To see more entries for this challenge, just click here.
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A simply gorgeous glider for Ailsa’s Theme

Ailsa’s new travel theme is simplicity, and she quotes Leonardo da Vinci, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Yesterday, hubby and I drove up the road to watch the annual Virginia Air Show. We were intending to actually buy tickets and go inside, but when we drove up, there was no inside parking. The parking in the roads around there was absolutely chaotic, so we decided to watch from the beach; much simpler.

It was a beautiful mid winter’s day, and we sat down on a sand dune to await the start of the show.

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It was such a clear day, and we could see the city of Durban quite plainly, even though it’s about 8 km away.

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After seeing a couple of jets doing their manoeuvers, I was quite unprepared for this wonderful sight. An AJS-1 glider was being tugged into the air by another plane.

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It was the first time in many years that such a spectacle had been seen at the show, and I was totally mesmerised by its silence, and the simplicity of its beautiful lines. It was like watching a beautiful giant bird, as it silently soared overhead,

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and even did some aerobatics, which weren’t all that easy to photograph.

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Here you can just see the pilot and owner, Oscar Goudriaan. I read in a report that he said about flying in this stunning aircraft, “It gives me a great sense of freedom whilst also challenging my abilities. A good friend once said it’s like having a conversation with nature.”

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A glider is a heavier-than-air aircraft that doesn’t depend on an engine to fly but uses thermals or rising currents of warm air to propel it upwards. It sounds like it works on very simple principles, but I’m sure there’s a lot of skill required to fly one of these. Oscar certainly made it look like simplicity itself, and I was enthralled. To my mind, this was the most elegant star of the show.

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.

A perfect autumn day in paradise.

Some of you who haven’t seen me on your blogs, might have been wondering what I’ve been doing for the past couple of days. Well, the weather here has been absolutely perfect, around 26 C, humidity in the low 50’s and wind speed only about 8 km. This is the best time of year here on the south-east coast of South Africa.

On Tuesday I had to spend some time traipsing around our local ‘Theatre of Shopping’, as our nearest big mall is described. I was looking for suitable presents for my mom and sister who both have birthdays within a day of each other. I found mom a lovely duvet  set, but do you think I could find the elusive turquoise top that my sister wants. Not a chance, so when I see her today, we’ll go searching again at a different mall.

Yesterday, after playing piano for two hours at our local shopping centre, I definitely needed to get out and breathe in the fresh sea air. Our shops are full of winter boots, jerseys, jackets, scarves and woolly hats, but this is the best way to dress for our wonderful climate.

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The beach wasn’t very busy, except for a few fishermen on the rocks.

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There was also someone doing a bit of spear fishing.

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I didn’t see him spear anything, I just saw his flippers disappearing under the water.

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In a couple of week’s time, these aloes, of which there are many along the beachfront, will be blooming bright orange.

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I was delighted to see that the missing piece of plaster at the top of the lighthouse, had been repaired and repainted, although the red doesn’t quite match, as the original paint has faded. I think they should have splashed out and repainted the whole thing.

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Of course, not everyone here is on holiday, and these window cleaners were busy on one of the apartment blocks. Their platform was swaying around quite a lot, and I was really glad it wasn’t me up there.

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There was one little snag here in paradise. The tractor which is used to launch the boats at Grannies Pool,

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seems to be somewhat out of action. I wonder how this happened.

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I’m off up the hill to meet my mom and sister for lunch, and then I’m bringing mom back to stay with us here in paradise for a few days, as it’s her 88th birthday on Sunday. We’ll probably be out and about quite a bit, so I may not be on the blogs much, but will endeavour to catch up as and when I can. Have a great weekend.

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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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.

Jake’s Sunday Post theme: From a distance

Jake’s theme this week is a lovely one, and I have found a few photos to show you.

The first one is of Alcatraz Island, taken from Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. It’s often referred to as “The Rock,” and was firstly a military prison in 1868, and then a federal prison from 1933 until 1963. In 1972, it became a national recreation area and in 1986, was designated a National Historic landmark. I was reading some of the history of this island on Wiki, and it was so fascinating. One of the best know inmates was Al Capone, who was incarcerated there in 1934, for four and a half years.

I guess I had to include one sunset shot, and this photo was taken whilst crossing the Nile from Luxor. In the distance is the ‘Valley of the Kings’, where can be found the tombs of the Pharaohs and noblemen of ancient Egypt.

Back on dry land, you can see the pyramids way in the distance. You can tell how far away they were, because my teenage son looks so huge in comparison. 🙂

This photo, was taken whilst skimming across Lake Titicaca from Bolivia to Peru, in a high-speed Hydrofoil. We had a breathtaking view of the snow-capped Andes mountains in the far distance.

This last one was taken much closer to home; in fact from my bedroom window. If you look carefully, you will see a funnel-shaped cloud, which is a tornadic water-spout, way out at sea in the Indian Ocean. This is apparently quite a rare event, but not uncommon off our part of the South African coast towards the end of summer.

I hope you enjoyed my collection of “from a distance” photos. To see what other bloggers have come up with for Jake’s theme, click here.

Travel Photo theme ‘Oceans’

Ailsa’s travel photo theme this week is ‘Oceans’, in honour or World Ocean day which was on June 8th. The five oceans of the earth are the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Antarctic Ocean, which is also called the Southern Ocean.

My home in South Africa is just a few yards from the Indian Ocean, which stretches from the east coast of Africa across to the west coast of Australia, including the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. I can see it when I look out of my bedroom window. Sometimes it’s grey and foreboding,

but today it’s blue and enticing.

We often go walking along the ocean front, past the new pier,

and the lighthouse, which has been around since 1954.

Whilst on a cruise of the Great Barrier Reef, we went snorkelling in the Coral Sea, which is right on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

A few years ago, as our plane flew into Bora Bora in French Polynesia, we could look down and see the beautiful blues of  yet another part of the Pacific Ocean, the largest ocean on earth, which stretches from the western side of North and South America across to Asia and north to south from the Arctic to the Antarctic.

Here is a photo taken next to the north Atlantic Ocean when we visited Casablanca, Morocco, a few years ago.

This same blonde woman who often pops up in hubby’s photos, (I’ll have to ask him who she is), 😉 is standing next to the south Atlantic Ocean at Copacabana Beach in Rio. You can see Sugarloaf Mountain in the background.

The Arctic and Antarctic oceans will probably never be on our ‘to visit’ list. I think we’d find them a bit too cold for our liking.

Have a great weekend everyone, wherever you are. Chat again soon.