Are you suffering from ‘End of Year’ stress?

At the end of the year, we often find ourselves suffering from burnout. I remember that when I was teaching in South Africa, everything seemed to crowd into one small space, so that by the end of term, I felt like I’d been through the wringer. It was so great to walk out of that school gate and know that for the next month, I was on holiday. Christmas came in the middle of summer, so there was often a visit to the coast for a couple of weeks of rest and relaxation. Here in America, I don’t think you have such a long holiday to get over the stress, before starting the treadmill of the New Year once again. To relax you just for a few minutes, I thought I’d post my Smiling Dolphin pic. Just take a deep breath and focus on Dolly’s happy face.


I’m sure you’re feeling better already. 🙂

Now, I have a little stress test for you. It’s really simple and quick, and at the end of it, you’ll know on a scale of 1-10 just how stressed out you are. Are you ready? Read these instructions, and then look at the picture below.

You are going to see two dolphins jumping out of the water.
The  dolphins are identical.  A closely monitored
scientific study revealed that, in spite of the  fact
that the dolphins are identical, a person suffering from
stress would  find differences in the two dolphins, and
the more  differences a person finds between the
dolphins, the more stress that person is experiencing.
Look at the photograph and if you find more than one
or two differences you are in dire need of a holiday….



My ‘Capture the Colour’ photos

The travel site Travel Supermarket is running a contest to ‘Capture the Colour’.

They say. ” a picture paints a thousand words. Well, rather than asking you to write a five thousand word blog post, we’re inviting you to produce a blog post with up to 5 photos that really do ‘Capture the Colour’… the 5 colours Blue, Green, Yellow, White and Red.”

I was nominated by “The Retiring Sort” to do this challenge which ends on August 29th. I have to nominate 5 other bloggers, and time is fast running out.

My blue photograph was taken in 2008,  whilst on vacation on San Salvador Island in the Bahamas. This is the wooden dive jetty for the scuba diving boats, and as you can see, the brilliant blue water there is simply stunning.

My green photo, is taken from our Skyway cable car as we hung high above the Kuranda rainforest just outside Cairns. This Cableway spans 7.5 kms of pristine rainforest. It was the most awesome experience, to glide metres above the rainforest canopy before descending through the canopy layers and deep into the heart of the forest at Skyrail’s two mid-stations, where we were able to disembark and spend time examining the rain forest from below, on the walkways provided for this purpose.

My yellow photo is a section of the vaulted ceiling of  “The Gallery of Maps” in the Vatican Museum, which we visited in October last year. The decorations on the vaulted ceiling are the work of a group of  Mannerist artists including Cesare Nebbia and Girolamo Muziano. The visitors there seemed to spend more time looking up at the amazing ceiling, than they did examining the maps which lined the walls.

My favourite white photo is this one of Victoria Falls, taken on a visit in 2004. We flew up from Johannesburg South Africa, and spent a few days doing all the usual things, like white water rafting and elephant rides. Whilst the more dare devil members of my family were being scooted down the river in and out of their rubber dinghies, I was thrilled to experience my first ever helicopter ride above these magnificent falls.

Last but not least, is my red photo. I chose this for its “aaah” appeal. On our  2006 visit to the San Diego Seaworld, we were enchanted by the sight of this baby polar bear, fast asleep and snuggled up with his red plastic ‘comfort toy’.

My nominees for this challenge are as follows:

photography of nia





Good luck to you all if you take up the challenge. Sorry it’s such short notice.

My 7 Super Shots.

My blog friend, Gilly over at Lucid Gypsy chose me for the  I’m supposed to choose seven out of the many thousands of photos lurking on my computer.

The first is to be one that “took my breath away,” so I’ve chosen this one taken over Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, when I did my first and only helicopter ride. I was lucky to be seated in the front, next to the pilot, and took several shots. This is the one that came out the best, and the view from up there did literally “take my breath away.”

The next is to be the one that “makes me think.” Shamu the magnificent Orca at Sea World in San Diego, made me think about how these creatures are really missing out on their freedom to swim the vast oceans, by being confined in such a limited space for our enjoyment and entertainment.

The third photo taken on Sunset Beach on the north shore of Oahu in Hawaii, is one that makes me dream. What about you?

“A shot that makes me smile,” has to be this one of Dolly the Bottlenose dolphin, also taken at Sea World. She sure does look happy. 😉

“A photo that tells a story,” is quite a difficult one, but I think this one fits the bill. Here’s my granddaughter at her school prize giving, with her awards for academic excellency; a story of  hard work and dedication to her studies.

“A photo that makes my mouth water,” will of course have to be food orientated, so I’ll roll out my Godiva chocolate cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory in New Jersey. Absolutely mouth-watering. 🙂

Now for my “worthy of National Geographic” shot. Every time you visit my blog, you will see this photo on my background, taken from the top of Machu Picchu in the Cusco region of Peru. It’s often referred to as “The City of the Incas,” and is a UNESCO site, having been voted one of the new seven wonders of the world in 2007. This is the most awesome place I’ve ever visited, and as you can see, very photogenic.

Well those are my seven ‘super shots’. I’m not sure which one I like the best. Maybe you have an opinion.

I now have to nominate five bloggers to take part in this challenge, only if they would like to of course.

My choice is: