Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense

This week the challenge is to share a phoneography picture that means “Future Tense” to us.

Whilst I was away in the USA, I saw my first electric cars. The first one was at a mall in New Jersey at Christmas time. I spotted this beautiful car and went over to have a look. After walking all around it, I was quite puzzled to note that there didn’t seem to be an engine. How weird! My son patiently explained that it was an electric car, and they don’t actually have engines. Well, I’m blonde for sure, because I ‘d never realised this. All I knew was that they didn’t need to be filled up with gas, and I also thought that they all looked like little ‘Noddy cars’. 🙂

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When we got back to Florida, I saw another even more beautiful car at our local mall, and this time, there was no confusion, because they’d thoughtfully written on the side, ‘Electric Vehicle’, especially for me. 🙂

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Wouldn’t it be wonderful if in the not too distant future, all our vehicles could be powered by battery. Apparently they are silent, and of course create far less pollution than gasoline-powered cars. Environmentally friendly is certainly the way we should be aiming for our world’s future. Electric cars are not a new invention, and the first four-wheeled electric car was built by the German engineer Andreas Flocken in 1888. In 1900, 34% of all cars in New York, Boston, and Chicago ran on electric motors, whilst nowadays, the percentage of cars on American roads that are fully electric is less than one percent. I wonder why it’s taking so long for them to become more popular than our gas-guzzlers? I’m sure some technically minded blogger will be able to give me the reason. 😕

WordPress Photo Challenge: Lost in the details.

This week’s challenge had me looking through my photos to see what details I could find that you might find interesting, or not, as the case may be. 🙂

Looking at this photo, you’re probably more fascinated by the skipper’s tattoos, than the small details of hubby and his dive buddy, bobbing around in the water.

Scuba Diving, Belize.

Scuba Diving, Belize.

This crocodile is almost lost in the detail of the water and the undergrowth on the riverbank,

New River, Belize

New River, Belize

Around Phi Phi Island near Phuket, there are cliffs riddled with caves. Here is the Viking Cave which is right at sea level. Within the cave there are ledges which are inhabited by thousands of swallows. These birds make their nests out of their own saliva. The nests are harvested and sold to make birds nest soup, a Chinese delicacy. The cave was so named, because of  ancient drawings resembling Viking ships, which were found on the inside walls. We could see the nests hanging like stalactites from the roof of the cave, but weren’t allowed inside, so the other details were lost to us. 😦

Viking Cave, Phuket.

Viking Cave, Phuket.

In this pic, you’re probably so busy focusing on the details of the magnificent floral arrangement, that you miss my little face peeking out from behind it. 😀

Valentines Dinner

Valentines Dinner

Now I really must get lost in the details of what to pack and what to leave behind. :0

To join in the challenge and see more interpretations, just click here.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

“If music be the food of love, play on.”  ~ Shakespeare

Whilst roaming in Rome, we were on our way to view some archaeological excavations, when I heard beautiful music and went to investigate. There under a shady tree, was a young clarinetist serenading the passersby. People dropped a few Euros into his case, as they literally danced past. An elderly Italian couple, obviously still very much in love, stayed and danced for quite a while, as he played the wonderful love song, “Besame Mucho.”

Besame, besame mucho,
Each time I cling to your kiss, I hear music divine,
Besame mucho,
Hold me my darling and say that you’ll always be mine.
This joy is something new, my arms enfolding you,
Never knew this thrill before.
Whoever thought I’ll be holding you close to me,
Whispering it’s you I adore.

They seemed oblivious to everyone except one another and the music, which obviously evoked for them, wonderful memories. I stayed and watched them dance, and I really felt the love.

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

Today, we had a wonderful trip to Lamanai, one of the oldest sites in Belize, and I have so many photos to sort through, so I thought I would take part in this challenge, with a couple of pics from our flight there and back.

We travelled part of the way in a single engine, Cessna Caravan propeller plane.

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I don’t like flying in small planes, as they get so easily blown around by the wind, and the take-offs are a bit ‘hairy’ to say the least. I opted to sit right at the back of the plane on the way there, because I thought it was the safest place to be in the event of a nose-dive. 🙂 I had a pretty boring view, looking straight forward.

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On the way back, it was quite a different story. The pilot said that because of the weight distribution, only one young girl was allowed to sit on the back seat. I sat across the aisle from a local woman, and just couldn’t stop myself from staring at her hands. I’d never seen anything quite so fancy in my life. They seemed to illuminate the whole cabin as the sun shone through the window, making the gold glint and the jewels sparkle. I tried to sneak a couple of photos with my iPhone, but the angle was all wrong, so there was only one thing to do; I struck up a conversation with her, during the course of which, I remarked on her nails and asked if I could take a photo. She was really friendly, and so delighted that I admired them so much, that she happily posed her hands for my camera.

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She told me that the ones on her little fingers were solid  gold, hence the safety chains. She was on the way to San Pedro for a family birthday party for her pretty little seven-year-old daughter, and assured me that it was being fully catered, so she wouldn’t have a thing to do. I wouldn’t imagine that one could actually do anything with nails like these, especially the washing up, would you? 😆

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

The definition of the word ‘Delicate’ is “Very fine in texture or structure; of intricate workmanship or quality; easily broken or damaged; having a soft or fragile beauty.” These butterflies and orchids definitely do have a fragile beauty.

I also thought of we human beings, as this describes us perfectly. Whilst our bodies may seem strong and resilient, we always live in that delicate balance between life and death. No person can say that they will definitely live to see tomorrow. Anything can happen, from a car crash to a madman going on a shooting spree. We all hope that we and our children will live to enjoy a healthy old age, but nothing is certain. My heart aches today, as I’m sure yours does too, for those who lost loved ones in the horrific Newtown school tragedy. May we always be aware of just how fragile and delicate life is, and each day, take every opportunity to show our family and friends just how much we love them. As Elton John sang in his ‘Song For Guy’, “Life is a delicate thing, is a delicate thing.”

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ~ Mother Teresa

To see more posts for the challenge, just click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Changing seasons

The Weekly Photo Challenge, ‘Changing Seasons‘, had me remembering some places I’ve been, where the seasons have seemed to be rather topsy-turvy. Sometimes weather can be quite surprising, depending on where in the world you happen to be.

Winter in Rio de Janeiro. Most photos of Rio that I’d seen, made it look as though it was all sunshine, and bikinis on the beach.  Just my bad luck to be visiting  Corcovado Mountain in the rain and fog.

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Summer in San Francisco. It was so cold on 4th July, that I had to buy a sheepskin jacket from one of the stores at Pier 39. They did seem to stock more winter than summer clothes, so maybe the cold wasn’t entirely unexpected.

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Spring in Wyoming. We certainly weren’t expecting snow and ice in May.

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Nothing disappointing about the gardens at the Summer Palace in Beijing. They were so beautiful, and just bursting with spring blossoms.

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Autumn in Cape Town South Africa, was decidedly chilly and grey,

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but it was worth the visit, if only for the beautiful view from the top of Table Mountain.

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Travelling on the Blue Ridge Parkway through the Appalachian Highlands, did have some typical autumn scenes, and we couldn’t resist trying a packet of those deliciously crunchy Pork Rinds.

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Autumn in New Jersey certainly wasn’t a lot of fun this year,

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and some of the streets will never look the same again.

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Winter in my home town of Umhlanga South Africa, always feels like summer to most visitors from cooler climes.

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My sister’s dog Dingo, can always find a nice sunny spot by the pool.

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Even though it’s warm and mild in Florida for December, you only have to visit the shopping mall to see that it’s winter, and that Christmas is almost here.

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To check out more entries for the challenge, just click here.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

I don’t have too many photos with interesting reflections, and I had used most of them for Jake’s Sunday Post  ‘Reflections’ challenge, but here are just a few more that I found lurking in my photo file.

No prizes for guessing where this one was taken. Of course it’s owned by the guy with the most famous comb-over in the world. 🙂 When it was completed in 1983, this 58-storey skyscraper on 5th Avenue Lower Manhattan, was the tallest building in the world. Donald Trump lives in the penthouse of course, and other residential parts of the building are occupied by some of the wealthy elite of New York.

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In complete contrast to Mr Trump, here is another duck, although this handsome fellow would rather be called a Great Egret. He is usually the first bird I see every morning, as I look out of my bedroom window.

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Here is some of the a lovely countryside, on our journey from Umhlanga to the Drakensberg mountains in South Africa.

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This one was also taken in the same area.

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This image taken in our Jeep, shows just how hot our South African summers can get. Thanks goodness for air-con.  I can’t make out the weird reflection, but I suppose it must be me taking the photo. I don’t usually look like that. 🙂

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Lastly, I was looking through some photos of our son’s wedding at Lake Tahoe, and found this one of me about to make my ‘descent from the clouds’ into the garden where the ceremony was to be held. I had never noticed the sky reflection before. 🙂

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If you’d like to see what other bloggers have come up with for the theme, just click here.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful

On reading this theme, I at first thought of my wonderful and loving family, my good health and the fact that I have been able to travel so much, but then I looked around my home here in Florida, and decided to rather focus on my kitchen renovations. I remembered that Tilly Budd commented that she’s always fascinated to see DIY projects, so Tilly , this is especially for you. I hope you don’t get as big a fright, as I do every morning when I walk out of the bedroom, to be greeted by this sight in my lounge area. 😀

My kitchen is a mix of old and new at the moment, so things are getting better. I’m just holding the electric screwdriver to impress you. 🙂

Hubby is a serious power tool fiend. 🙂

I was very thankful that he thought to move one entire old cupboard unit around the corner into the dining area, so that I didn’t have to store my pots, pans, dishes and cutlery on the floor.

I’m thankful that we have an enclosed verandah, which at the moment serves as a workshop, and extra storage space.

Despite hitting lots of snags, such as corners that weren’t at all square, floor that wasn’t quite level, and a space for the pantry that was half an inch too short, and required the removal of the dry wall, the work is progressing nicely, and I was very thankful when the first few cupboards were installed, and I could put all our groceries away again.

At the moment, hubby is just working out how he’s going to get the extremely heavy double wall oven up into the cabinet next to the fridge, all by himself, and I’m extremely thankful that it isn’t my problem to solve. 😕

Actually, as I was typing that, he called me to help him, and sure enough, his engineer’s mind had worked it all out. Using one of the old cabinets, and some cardboard packing, one piece at a time, we gradually raised it high enough to slide into place. I think the Egyptians built the pyramids sort of the same way. 😀

So, I’m very thankful that bit is over, and tomorrow, I should be able to use my oven for the first time.

There’s still so much more to do. as that entire sink unit is coming out, and moving to an outside wall, so I’ll keep you updated when it’s looking a bit more decent. I’ll be extremely thankful to be able to take the dust sheets off my piano, and also the rest of the furniture, and put my home to rights again.

Now, I think I’ll go and make my workman and nice cup of tea, for which I know, he’ll be very thankful. 🙂

Gallery

WordPress challenge: Green

This gallery contains 12 photos.

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.  Lao Tzu                                                                                                Click on any image to get slide show. To see more entries for this green challenge, just click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

This is a lovely challenge, and I see that many bloggers have posted beautiful nature pics for the theme.

To my mind, renewal means a bit of respite from the daily grind, and if one is very lucky, even a holiday.

Yesterday, we were on our way to Home Depot for the umpteenth time, to look at ‘stuff’ we need for redoing the kitchen. I spotted a Starbucks along the way, and we pulled in there for a bit of rest and renewal in the form of a cappuccino for hubby and a chai latte for me. I really don’t know why that chocolate brownie is sitting on my keyboard, but it seemed a shame not to eat it. 😀

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my home in South Africa. The summer holidays are coming up, and then the town and the beach will be swarming with work-weary holiday-makers, who have come down to the coast for a bit of well-earned renewal.

Moms will have time to sit under an umbrella and read, whilst dads will become little boys again, as they play sand castles with the kids.

Older couples may prefer to find renewal away from the crowds, and sit contemplating the waves in peace.

Dogs just love to run free along the beach. Their joy and exuberance just says it all.

Some companies send their employees down to the ocean for a few days, for a bit of renewal in the form of ‘Team Building’ activities.

At holiday time, I like to stay far away from the ‘madding crowd’, and find renewal just sitting at the top of our beach steps, watching the ever changing pattern of the waves.

What does the word “renewal” mean to you?

To be taken to more posts on the theme, just click here.