Wednesday, January 30, 2019

oNe PhOtO a DaY jAnUaRy 2019


TUESDAY 1st HELLO: Only one thing on the agenda today and that’s to say “hello” to 2019 by reading over the memorable moments of 2018. I record them all year and delight in the recollections and reflections as the new year begins. Just one of my gratitude practices

WEDNESDAY 2nd NEW: Each of the three, spindly, little orchids I bought has now flowered prolifically and each one also has three new shoots. This determined, new shoot broke through the thick husk of the very faded coconut shell hanging basket

THURSDAY 3rd CURRENTLY READING: It’s now immediately after the little monks’ class and I’m currently reading the writing tasks from today, having just created a new worksheet to consolidate the phonics we are working on

FRIDAY 4th YELLOW: A grey ole day in Kep today but I did buy one yellow capsicum at the market and discover a few naturally yellow leaves in the garden

SATURDAY 5th A FAVE THING: Taking our first hike in Kep National Park for the year and admiring this amazing tree

SUNDAY 6th BREAKFAST: After years of only muesli or fruit and yoghurt, with Sundays or celebrations as the special exceptions, this is our regular daily breakfast. Oh, the joys of living in a French expat haven with access to real baguettes

MONDAY 7th LOOK UP!: After swimming today we stopped to look up at the coconut palms along the foreshore at the Crab Market

TUESDAY 8th QUIRKY: This statue is in one of the small offering-altar rooms in the pagoda where we teach the little monks. It is certainly quirky and I have no idea of its significance. Perhaps it’s meant to be a devotee but it doesn’t look in the slightest bit Cambodian to me

WEDNESDAY 9th THIS OR THAT: It shouldn’t be this hard to decide this or that combination of colours and clothes for three nights in Phnom Penh. Ha! Having seen it like this I think two pairs of shoes and both is the only answer

THURSDAY 10th PLAY: We used to play Dicewords lots more when we first arrived in Kep but we do still occasionally play. We also play ziltch, 10,000 and Yahtzee with the number dice

FRIDAY 11th PINK: roses at one of the flower stalls in the Central Market Phnom Penh today

SATURDAY 12th BEGINS WITH T: Tasty dim sum at Emperors of China. Tasty treat for us today courtesy is Yary - not that this was our lunch but ours was equally delicious. We’d eaten it before I remembered to take a photo

SUNDAY 13th LUNCH: 7am train to Kampot from Phnom Penh and beeline to Expresso for coffee but Simple Things is the only choice for food. Open tempeh sandwich to die for

MONDAY 14th HANDFUL: On our first visit to Orussey Market in Phnom Penh on Saturday, I bought some of this handful of paper decorations to put up for Chinese New Year or Spring Festival. I remodelled last years’ Japanese door decoration with pigs to replace the dog this morning. Having lived in China for five years, we always cook a banquet for friends and this year will be no exception.  We have Year of the Pig decorations to hang and will prepare a Chinese/Japanese fusion feast

TUESDAY 15th PAINT: In our little monks’ class this morning, they were using the alphabet sets I painted for them. They were racing to get the alphabet in the correct order and spelling words today. Having manipulatives is a huge motivator and they love using them. I also can’t believe we made it to the middle of the month and this is the first little monks shot for 2019

WEDNESDAY 16th GLASSES: Couldn’t decide which glasses to go for, so both - my transitional multi focal glasses and one of the etched glasses I bought from the second-hand, Japanese, recycle shop in Kampot

THURSDAY 17th CORNER: The old hippie in me just loves locally made cane furniture and we have 6 of these stools. I use them as bedside tables and side tables and love that we will always have extra seats for parties. The clever weaving rounds the corners off and you never get hurt if you bump into them

FRIDAY 18th TURQUOISE: A fabulous, turquoise, weatherboard, stilt house in the fishing village at Kep, with a stunning sunset view of Rabbit Island and a gazebo on the outside deck. Dear friends lived here last year and now it’s a BnB

SATURDAY 19th FENCE: One of the upmarket resorts on the foreshore at the Crab Market in Kep has this fence concealing their pool and offering privacy. The spirit house is clearly visible

SUNDAY 20th DINNER: Build your own Buddha Bowl for dinner tonight. A base of buckwheat noodles, with roasted, raw, blanched and pickled vegetables, spicy chickpeas and marinated tofu topped with holy basil Peso. Doesn’t get better than that!

MONDAY 21st NICE: A nice new guesthouse has recently opened in Kep and it is managed by a really nice couple but the views from it are the nicest aspect of all. That is one magnificent tree

TUESDAY 22nd I WENT HERE: First archive shot in nearly 2 months! It’s Taktsang, a sacred Buddhist temple in Paro, Bhutan. I first went there on this day in 2011 and returned three times during the time we lived in the kingdom. We hope to have the opportunity to go back again this year. It’s a truly magical environment. I think I left a part of me in Bhutan forever

WEDNESDAY 23rd A DRINK:  my regular pre-dinner drink of Vodka, lime and soda. After 24 kilometres on the bike and almost a kilometre and a half in the pool today, I feel I’ve earned tipple

THURSDAY 24th LANDSCAPE: Well more of a seascape actually but then again that’s Kep

FRIDAY 25th WHITE: smoothie made with coconut water and green coconut flesh. Perfect refreshment after cycling and swimming

SATURDAY 26th WHAT I WORE TODAY: my every day, silver “om” pendent and a lacquered razor fish shell pendent I bought in New Zealand a decade ago. Two of my favourite pieces of jewellery

SUNDAY 27th SIGN: Kep’s iconic crab and welcome sign

MONDAY 28th THE SKY: was pretty grey and overcast all day but while were swimming the blue appeared and by the time we were cycling home sunset was giving out it orange hues

TUESDAY 29th EMPTY: When it’s sweltering outside, the hotel is booked out, there is shade and a lush tropical garden environment how can the pool be empty?

WEDNESDAY 30th MONOCHROME: Buddha at our living room altar

THURSDAY 31st MORNING: After this morning’s English lesson our little monks had some new toys to play with but some still preferred to create their own fun with the wheelbarrow. Morning playtime is always a highlight

Sunday, December 30, 2018

oNe PhOtO a DaY dEcEmBeR 2018


SATURDAY 1st I STOOD HERE: paddling in the water at Kep Beach just before sunset. We rarely go to the beach on the weekends as that is when it is most crowded but this prompt was the motivation

SUNDAY 2nd A GOOD HABIT: A balanced vegetarian diet based on the principle of eat a rainbow has been a good habit of mine for more than 30 years- everything in moderation and aim for variety and taste sensations.  The photographed selections were all made at home and consumed within the last few days. PS We just had to taste the first batch of Xmas cakes and they have been declared delicious and packaged to give now so we don’t eat them all before the big day

MONDAY 3rd TREAT: We had a special treat of coffee and a slice of freshly baked pecan pie with ice cream this afternoon. I was hoping to cheer Ian up as he has somehow come down with a terrible cold

TUESDAY 4th TIME: These little guys must have had some free TIME because they came to visit us at home for the first TIME. How they even know where we live is a mystery but once they had arrived they had extra play-TIME and had to explore and touch everything in the house and name everything they could. We haven’t stopped laughing about it yet

WEDNESDAY 5th OVER: For over 4 months on this track we were mud splattered and often bogged but we can now definitely say the rainy season is over

THURSDAY 6th MAIL: isn’t delivered here. You go to collect it yourself at the post office. The problem being how do you know it’s there! If there is a phone number included in the address they will call you, otherwise a local friend might alert you to its existence, which is what happened yesterday! We got this postcard from Alaska written in June. Not sure how long it’s been collecting dust but thanks to Maya for telling us it was there. Now writing a reply, is on the to do list today, especially as all three children penned a sentence to us. I love snail mail

FRIDAY 7th UNDER: an old decaying jetty in the fishing village with views of Rabbit Island in the background

SATURDAY 8th DINNER TIME: Freshly baked zucchini
muffins with homemade tomato sauce and a rainbow salad for dinner tonight

SUNDAY 9th I BOUGHT THIS: Today was the 9 market of local artisans and I bought handcrafted Aiyana organic essential oil soaps and passionfruit syrup from two local gals who regularly set up stalls there. Think global, buy local

MONDAY 10th JOY: I’m not big on Xmas but I just bought my first ever Xmas decoration. It’s made from recycled newspaper, glued and painted by the children in an orphanage in Kep! In the past I have only ever used objects from nature or made edible decorations. Now to hang my red and white star in the living room

TUESDAY 11th BEGINS WITH S: That has to be spelling! These little monks have mastered the upper and lowercase letters and some basic phonics and are applying all they know to get the hang of spelling. The coloured letter manipulatives sure add to the motivation to complete the task

WEDNESDAY 12th LIGHTS: The few candles we have in the house surround a precious little Buddha. They were lit and reflected in the mirror create lights that appear devotional

THURSDAY 13th DECORATION: A standard temple decoration is this kind of huge flying banner. This one was erected at the pagoda where we teach the little monks for a recent festival a couple of weeks ago. In today’s windy conditions it was flying nearly parallel to the ground

FRIDAY 14th I MADE THIS: Shortbread. I used to only make it for Xmas to gift and to hang wrapped in red and green cellophane on our edible Xmas tree, but now since I make it often, I made a special batch of chocolate and walnut as well as the usual vanilla and chocolate chip to give away as Xmas gifts

SATURDAY 15th PEACE: and tranquility Kep Style. For some reason it wasn’t the usual noisy picnicking crowds at the waterfront today. Instead it was all calm and quiet. Perhaps the calm before the storm as the outdoor stage was being erected for a concert tonight

SUNDAY 16th HAT: Beach day on Rabbit Island with our little monks today. They were over the moon excited. I did take my hat but it wasn’t needed and among those shaved heads it looked pretty out of place. Little treasures collected from the ocean floor and offered to me by An

MONDAY 17th SNACK: This prompt was the excuse I needed to indulge in my favourite tipple and a snack - dry roasted peanuts

TUESDAY 18th CARD: We buy commercial flashcards and blank cards to create the teaching resources we use with our little monks. All of these got an airing in today’s class

WEDNESDAY 19th TREE: The simple tree design of the labels for our first batch of Xmas cakes. We boiled the fruit for the second batch this morning so there will be plenty to give away when the time comes

THURSDAY 20th WRAPPING: A Japanese wrapping cloth or “furushiki” is the perfect item for wrapping and carrying: whether it is washing to the laundry, food or wine to a party, books to return to the library, your daily lunchbox or a gift. It’s is Eco friendly and can be tied in a variety of ways to create a handle and when you are done you have a simple cloth to fold and put in your pocket. No waste and any cloth will do: a pretty handkerchief for a small piece of jewelry and the wrapping is part of the gift. Some of these cloths are real, Japanese furushiki, one is a recycled piece of an Indian sari, one is an African shuka and another is a handkerchief. A lasting legacy of the years we spent living in Japan is that I always do this and often give the cloth as well as the gift

FRIDAY 21st SOMETHING GREEN: A chilled, fresh, green coconut to drink at sunset. Perfect refreshment after swimming and enough for two. Just remember to bring your own bamboo straws

SATURDAY 22nd MAKES ME FEEL MERRY: and somewhat overheated baking the final batch of Xmas cakes and shortbread in 30°C heat! One more batch of shortbread still in the oven and then it’s time to think about cooling off

SUNDAY 23rd TOGETHER: I spent this morning checking alphabet writing and colouring by the little monks and then went out to print new worksheets and bought these. Stickers and chocolate will be used together as rewards for their fabulous effort and results. (Only one with less than 70%). I’m thrilled and I think they will be too with these together with Xmas cake and shortbread at the next class which is on Xmas Day

MONDAY 24th GIFT: We received this beautiful poinsettia as a gift a little over a week ago and I love it. Thank you Yary. I was admiring it as we entered her house to swim and was completely gobsmacked when she emerged and declared she’d bought it for us. The first one we have ever owned and I so hope we can keep it alive

TUESDAY 25th MORNING: Classes as usual this morning for these little Buddhists but Xmas cake and shortbread for morning tea is still a treat

WEDNESDAY 26th RELAX: Perfect recipe for relaxation- black coffee and a good book. Proud to say I set this up to take my photo and then several hours just evaporated

THURSDAY 27th FREE CHOICE: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s super monk! Even little monks have dreams of being superheroes, it seems. He wore his cape for almost the whole lesson this morning

FRIDAY 28th FAVE ANIMAL: This was a tricky one as there is no one animal I could choose and so many came to mind. We don’t have pets due to our long-term nomadic lifestyle and my commitment to taking every photo on the day: no archive shots this month, meant thinking outside the box, to still be able to reflect on our lives here in Cambodia. So, the mythical dragon it is. It has a symbolic connection to so many of the cultures we have lived in. This one is the thunder dragon as depicted on the Bhutanese flag. It is on the bag we use for our goggles, beach towels, sunscreen and bathers as we swim on a regular basis here

SATURDAY 29th MADE ME SMILE: that the beach was packed with vendors, locals and tourist and not one kilometer away this serene scene was without any admirers. Just had to stop and photograph Kep’s two most popular attractions- the Big Crab and Rabbit Island. The late afternoon light was just gorgeous

SUNDAY 30th SELF PORTRAIT: I resisted the urge to put some makeup on, then took about a dozen shots, none of which I’m that happy with, so as I’m
fond of saying “That’s as good as it gets!”

MONDAY 31st YAY: Yay yay yay for 2018. It was great and I’m filled with gratitude. Lots of happy memories and supplies at hand to ring in the new year tonight!