Capture the Colour Competition, 2013

Georgia of ‘Rainbow Bakery ‘ blog, nominated me to take part in the Capture the Colour competition. The idea is quite simple. You just have to publish a blog post showcasing five of your favourite travel photographs which best capture the colour of these five categories: red, blue, green, yellow and white.

I think the deadline is tonight, so here goes with my entry.

My red photo was taken by my somewhat incredulous husband when we were on holiday in Thailand last year. Yes, that’s me up there. I don’t know quite what got into me, but I just had to do it.  🙂

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My blue photo is a close-up shot of a female Cassowary at the Kuranda Bird Park in Cairns, Australia. “Here’s looking at you, mate.”

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The rice terraces in Bali are the brightest green you could possibly imagine.

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This yellow Orchid  was one of the many gorgeous specimens at the National Orchid Garden in Singapore.

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For my white photo, I chose this one taken from the pristine deck of the  boat which took us out on a scuba-diving trip at Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

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Ese’s Shoot and Quote Challenge: The scent of the sea

My entry for week 7 of  Ese’s Shoot and Quote Challenge – Scent. 

 

“hark, now hear the sailors cry,
smell the sea, and feel the sky
let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic…”  ~ Van Morrison

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This photo was taken at Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

Two Tropical Paradises for Sue’s theme.

Sue’s ‘Word a Week’ challenge is ‘Tropical’, and she’s posted some amazing pics of an island in Malaysia where she has recently been on vacation, so do go and have a look.

I’ve been to so many tropical paradises over the years that I found it difficult to select just a few pics, but I restrained myself and decided to stop at just two and a bit.

Punta Cana is named after the palm trees native to that region, and literally translates to “Point of the White Cane Palms.”

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It’s the major resort area in the Dominican Republic, and has an average temperature of 30°C. The pure white beaches are so beautiful, and there was just enough breeze to wave the palm fronds and offset the heat.

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The azure sea is calm and safe for bathing and sailing.

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It did make me wonder about this though, when I saw the old ship wreck just off shore.

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Bora Bora in French Polynesia, is a seven million year island of volcanic origin, completely surrounded by coral reefs.

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Its real name is ‘Pora Pora’ meaning ‘Firstborn’. There is actually  no ‘b’ sound in the Tahitian language, but the people who discovered the island thought the inhabitants said ‘Bora Bora’ and that name has stuck. It is located about 160 miles northwest of Tahiti, and was discovered in 1722. The author James A Michener described it as the most beautiful island on the planet. It is indeed a very romantic destination, and is very popular with honeymoon couples.

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Its beautiful blue lagoon was described by the author James A Michener, as as “so stunning, that there are really no adequate words to describe it.”

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We spent an idyllic week there, just lazing around as one is wont to do in the tropics. What more can be expected, when one has turquoise waters, lush scenery and lots of pampering? 🙂

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Next stop was Tahiti. This was taken from our canoe, looking back at the island.

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

My Family Hat History for ‘Word a Week’.

Skinnywench’s ‘Word a Week’ challenge is HAT. My sister and I were made to wear hats when we were children, and we absolutely hated them. Our mom was very hat addicted, and looked really chic in her royal blue satin pillbox hat with the dotted lace netting which came down over her eyes, making her look both elegant and mysterious. Her favourite was a gold one very similar, which she wore with a silky blue and yellow dress and jacket. Then there was the one with the long multi-coloured feather on the side, which prompted an old man in our church to loudly remark half way through the sermon, “Oh…… you’ve got your Robin Hood hat on today, have you?” As you can imagine, she was mortified, as the preacher paused and the congregation turned around to have a look. 😀

Mom was the smartest lady on the block, and we were so proud of her. Her obsession with hats did however create a  problem for my sister and I, as we also had to have a hat to match our ‘Sunday best’ outfits. This of course was in the days when kids didn’t have a wardrobe full of clothes and dozens of pairs of shoes. We just had our school clothes, our playing outside in the garden clothes, and our best clothes. The winter ‘best clothes’ were worn from autumn until Easter, and then we got a new outfit for the spring and summer months. Our parents were very sensible with their money,  and realised that children grow very fast, and therefore by the time the shoes and clothes were past their best, we’d outgrown them anyway. The hat and gloves however, were mandatory and non negotiable, and it was during my growing up years that I realized that the words ‘hat’ and ‘hate’,  very closely resemble one another.

Our family were considered quite ‘posh’ for the area we lived in, and when my sister and I ventured out on our walk to Sunday School, we came in for some teasing and ridicule from some of the neighbourhood kids. My mom tried to make me feel more positive about wearing hats, by telling me that I had “a hat face,” whatever one of those is?  I have very unfond memories of our series of hats through the years, and besides the horrid bottle-green school beret, the ones that really stick in my mind are the yellow feather efforts which made us look like a couple of canaries, my sister’s gold-coloured velour bowler hat which was always worn at a rakish angle, and my putty-coloured, blancmange-shaped hat with the gold beads, which was once snatched off my head by the local bully girl and tossed over a shop door’s security gate. It took us quite some time to find a stick long enough to reach it and drag it back through the bars. Needless to say it never looked quite the same after its ordeal, but was unfortunately for me, considered still wearable until the end of the summer.

When I left home, I only wore hats of my choosing, and they have been worn for a purpose rather than as decoration. There was the rabbit-fur bonnet to keep my head and ears warm, which I was wearing when I met hubby one cold November night. He really liked me in that, and we’ve been together ever since.  I mostly wear a peaked cap when on holiday and in the sun. This is my favourite, and I’ve nearly lost it a couple of times.

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In Bali I found a cute straw hat at a market, which served me well for the time I was there, and got left behind when we packed.

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In Ecuador I was cajoled by a very persuasive salesman, into buying a genuine Panama hat which was supposed to be fully collapsible for travel, but when I got it home, couldn’t be coaxed back into it’s original shape and ended up in the trash can. When we visited Mount Rushmore, it was so very cold and windy, that this warm hat was absolutely essential. Those past Presidents don’t look very impressed, do they? I do believe that Abraham Lincoln was trying his best not to laugh. 😀

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My relationship with hats over the years has been a very chequered one. That song, ‘You can keep your hat on’,  definitely isn’t my signature tune, although I really love it. I hope that as I grow older, I can take hubby’s advice when he says “keep your hair on,” as I don’t ever intend to be like the old woman in that poem by Jenny Joseph,  who “wears purple and a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.” Just to end off, no post on a hat theme would be complete without this shot of Princess Beatrice in the hat that launched a thousand Facebook pages. 😆

To see more entries for Sue’s hat challenge, just click here.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

In 30 minutes we leave for Miami airport on our way to Belize.

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I’m looking forward to sun, sea and relaxation,

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but will have internet, so I can keep in touch. In the brochure, it looks a lot like this photo taken in Punta Cana.

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So I’ll probably be doing a lot of this. 🙂

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Before I fly away, I would like to wish my blog friend The Asian, a very happy birthday today, and here’s your cake that you asked for. 🙂

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Chat to you you all soon.

Going round in circles for Ailsa.

Ailsa of ‘Where’s my backpack’ blog, has given us yet another interesting travel theme. This week she’s posted some of her fun circle pics, and asks us to do the same.

I do of course have a few photos to share with you. Just look at this huge fermenting tank at the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. It had been emptied for cleaning, so we were able to look right inside.

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Inside these charred oak barrels that Jack Daniels makes itself in a Kentucky cooperage, the whiskey is maturing in order to perfect that famous rich colour and taste, before eventually being bottled.

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Off to Egypt now, where we witnessed the amazing energy and spectacle of  a ‘Whirling Dervish’. I felt dizzy, just watching him twirling round and round in circles, so fast that he became almost invisible.

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At the Medina in Fez, the sights, sounds and smells were a feast for the senses.This stall had many circular baskets containing all manner of nuts and dried fruit. No tasting was allowed. 😦

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Bignor in the centre of the South Downs National Park in England, is home to the stunning remains of a third century Roman farm and villa. Here you can see a fine example of one of the beautiful ancient mosaic floors.

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When in London, a visit to Harrods is always fascinating, even if one doesn’t buy anything. At the top of  one of the staircases, we came upon this remembrance shrine to Princess Diana and Dodi, erected in 2008, by Dodi’s father Mohammed Al-Fayed, who owned the store for twenty-five years and sold it in 2010 for £1.5 billion.

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The Pillars of Hercules is the ancient name given to the promontories that flank the entrance to the Straits of Gibraltar. I’m sitting underneath the monument at the top of ‘The Rock’, which is the northern pillar.

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Whilst on holiday in San Salvador in the Bahamas, I had quite a successful attempt at the archery. Just call it ‘beginner’s luck’. 🙂

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Here’s another activity I’m not too shabby at. We were on a family holiday in Punta Cana, and I was showing my granddaughter how it’s done.

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This sort of activity is highly recommended after eating too much of one of my decadent desserts which contains enough chocolate and cream to even fatten up Popeye’s girlfriend, Olive Oyle. 😆

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If you would like to see what other bloggers have come up with for Ailsa’s ‘Circles’ theme, just click here.