WPC: Good Morning – Cockadoodle doo

When we lived in Johannesburg, I did not have such good mornings. After a few years of really enjoying living in our home, the house next door to ours was sold. Our new neighbour kept Silkie cockerels in her front garden, right on the other side of the fence from our main bedroom. This was in a suburb with half-acre stands, so as you can imagine, when those roosters started crowing at the crack of dawn and more often than not, even earlier, it was impossible to stay asleep. There was hardly a moment during the day, when one or other of them wasn’t crowing, and it used to drive me nuts, especially as I’d been woken up at some ungodly hour. Their owner gleefully told us that she had been brought up on a farm, and absolutely loved the sound. She even gave a home to their friends’ Silkies whilst they were away on holiday. Now, whilst I love birds, I came to not love roosters one little bit, so when I was in London, and saw this sculpture of a giant blue rooster, by Katharina Fritsch, which had been erected on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, it brought back rather unpleasant morning memories.

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We decided to sell our house and move down to the coast. Our neighbour saw us as we were driving away for the last time, and said somewhat sardonically, “Goodbye. I do hope that there are no roosters where you’re moving to.” Thankfully, the only sound as we awoke in our new home, was the soothing sound of the Indian Ocean. We have very good morning walks along the beach, as the fishermen silently wait for the fish to bite.

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Our good morning breakfast is often eaten at a restaurant overlooking the ocean.

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The service might be a little slow, but no-one is in a hurry there.

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It’s always definitely worth waiting for. Yes, the mornings are very good there, and even though life here in Florida is wonderful, I have to say that I’m rather looking forward to getting back to those good beach mornings.

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I do hope I haven’t upset any rooster lovers. The neighbour across the road was much more considerate. He had a big Koi pond, and as you probably know, fish don’t crow at all. 🙂

To see more entries for the WordPress Photo Challenge, Just click here.

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Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Benches

I thought I might find Ailsa’s Benches Challenge rather a difficult one, but it’s amazing what one can turn up after a bit of searching.

It’s so great when on holiday, to see a welcoming bench when one’s feet are hot and legs are tired after trudging around for hours, looking at all the sights. Here is one taken in Central Park. We’d had to be out of our hotel in the morning, and had an evening flight out of JFK, so we decided to spend a few hours in the park.

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The rain didn’t dampen our spirits as we watched our son trying out his new roller blades, also in Central Park.

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Here we are at Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. I’d just bought the sheepskin jacket to keep me from shivering, as even in July the weather was decidedly chilly.

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One hot day in Greece, our son snapped us having a welcome sit down  in the Athens Plaka, after visiting the Acropolis and other old ruins.

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Here at ‘Old Faithful’ is a bench to sit on whilst waiting for the ‘old geyser’ to erupt. It was far too cold for me to sit down. I had to keep moving or I would have frozen to the spot.

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I couldn’t resist having my pic taken on this beautifully carved bench in Bali. The price tag is very hefty, but still doesn’t include me. 🙂

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Whilst taking dear MiL out to for the day in England, we were both happy to find this gorgeous bench which someone had wisely placed half way around the park. We sat there listening to the bird song whilst hubby went galloping off down some steep wooden steps to do a bit of exploring on his own.

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Here in Sherwood Forest, is a bench where one can sit and view the famous ‘Major Oak’, inside which, according to local folklore, Robin Hood and his merry men took shelter. It’s estimated to weigh around 23 tons, has a girth of 33 feet (10 metres), and is between 800–1000 years old. It’s not surprising that at such a great age, it needs crutches. 🙂

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Our granddaughter Sienna, visiting from the USA, thought this funny cow at a shopping mall in Johannesburg, wouldn’t mind if she shared her bench.

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Much closer to home, we have a couple of memorial benches just above our beach access, where it’s great to sit and watch the waves.

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Just a little farther along the beach path, there are more benches.

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There are plenty of rocks on the beach itself, which make great improvised benches

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You can even use them for a little get together and a sing along.

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The pier also has a few benches,

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all with spectacular views.

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When you get to the end of the promenade, you can sit for a while and rest your legs, before the return 2 km trek back home. Well that’s what I was intending to do, but someone got there before me. 😦

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Well, I think I’m all benched out now, but if you would like to see more, just click on this link.

Simple Pleasures for Marianne.

Marianne of East of Malaga, has asked us to think of some of the simple pleasures in our lives, which don’t cost much, and are often free. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of our lives, we just take them for granted and forget  to be grateful for these small things which are essential to our well-being.

A perfectly formed Hibiscus flower. Such a miracle.

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A scrumptious bit of self-indulgence which you know you really shouldn’t have, but can’t just resist.

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A delicious breakfast, which for a small cost, can be cooked by someone else, who will also do the washing up. 🙂

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The angelic sound of little children’s voices singing Christmas carols.

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Just sitting dreaming, whilst a sunset unfolds its magic before your very eyes.

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The daily pleasure of seeing the resident water birds cavorting on the lake outside our kitchen window,

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such a wonderful start to the day.

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A walk along an almost deserted beach, and listening to sound of the waves as they wash up against the rocks.

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Seeing an unexpected sight in a busy car park.

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These simple delights which cross our path, may seem like nothing much at the time, but looking back at my photos, I realise that it’s the accumulation and the memory of these serendipitous pleasures, that make life all the more enjoyable.

To see more entries for Marianne’s CBBH challenge, just click here.

One of the stipulations of this challenge is that I introduce you two two other bloggers who I follow.

First up is Paula, of  ‘Lost in Translation’ , who describes herself as “A life’s traveller, a soul explorer, a thinker and a linguist with a lot to learn.” Do pay her a visit. Her posts are always fascinating , and more often than not, her photos have a musical accompaniment.

Secondly there is Cindy-Ann, of ‘The Only Cin’, who is a South African blogger living in Johannesburg. The link will take you to her ‘about’ page, which I’m sure will tempt you to read more of her fascinating and witty writings.

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.