Monday, February 29, 2016

oNe PhOtO a DaY: FeBrUaRy 2016


MONDAY 1st DRINK: A regular tipple for me is vodka and tonic and its drink o'clock right now

TUESDAY 2nd SO COLOURFUL: New strings of prayer flags flying above Thimphu city at our local Lhakhang - just a 5 minute walk from home. I never tire of seeing them and they are so colourful

WEDNESDAY 3rd CAR: This Hindustan Ambassador Classic is almost always parked near our house and in excellent condition. It is a car I first encountered as a taxi in what was then Bombay in the 1980s and I'm pretty sure it's the only one in Bhutan despite being known as the "king of Indian roads" and this model largely unchanged since 1960 is still being used as a taxi in India

THURSDAY 4th TEXTURE: The texture of the bamboo tray and the variety of different textures of some of the shells in our collection always appeal to me

FRIDAY 5th COFFEE: I couldn't survive without coffee and usually drink long blacks, but our regular order when we are out, is an Americano and a latte. Today at Thijha as our beloved Ambient doesn't open until tomorrow

SATURDAY 6th JUST NOW: I just now got everything prepared for our cold rolls with peanut sauce and Beijing salad celebration dinner. What was going to be Chinese New Year celebrations just turned into birth of the crown prince celebrations. The future monarch of Bhutan was born yesterday and the birth announced this morning - the jubilation in the air is palpable

SUNDAY 7th I ATE HERE: making the most of the final few days of holidays on the eve of Chinese New Year I cooked up an Asian style picnic lunch, hiked above Thimphu city and enjoyed the view when I ate here today

MONDAY 8th FAMILY: The wonderful family of Ambient cafe, who treat all their regulars and everyone else who walks in the door just like family. I'm glad to be a member

TUESDAY 9th A CORNER: This magnificent Garuda adorns the corner of an ancient building inside the Tashichho Dzong in Thimphu and today it is Losar or New Year so every corner was filled with buntings and flags. We went there especially looking for a corner and found so many it was hard to choose

WEDNESDAY 10th PINK: These Bhutanese men in ghos are playing 'kuru' or darts. Every time you actually hit the target, 40 metres away you win a scarf. Usually they are red, green, yellow, blue or white. Today I spotted pink for the first time

THURSDAY 11th A WALL: We discovered this beautiful Wall Chorten decorated with prayers and tiny memorials in the College of Astrology yesterday. It's a wall we will explore again for sure. I knew at the time today being the first day of school I would be trapped indoors and have only the classroom walls to consider. Love these traditional wall chortens

FRIDAY 12th PAPER: Traditional Bhutanese handmade paper with its imperfections, varying thickness and beautiful texture. It's made from Daphne fibre and I cover my schoolbooks in it - colour coding the 3 grade levels I teach

SATURDAY 13th A PET: This is actually a stray dog not his pet but boarders lead lonely lives and these two just had an instant sense of belonging together. This is an archive shot from my home class clean-up campaign in Samtengang in 2014

SUNDAY 14th MY HAPPRY PLACE: is out on a nature trail discovering a chorten and faded prayer flags flying against a clear blue sky without another being sight. Ah!! This prompt inspired a strenuous hike one kilometre up and 15 kilometres in total. Thanks PAD

MONDAY 15th YELLOW + BLUE: I struggled with this and only realised I was wearing yellow and blue traditional clothes today, after I got home and took them off. Yellow silk Wongju or shirt with a blue Tego or jacket photographed against my hand woven Kira or long skirt

TUESDAY 16th EMPTY: These empty hallways are usually crowded with students and very noisy. It is eerily quiet now and there is something sad about a school without students

WEDNESDAY 17th A DOOR: In Bhutan almost every lhakhang door has the wheel of dharma painted on the exterior and this one has a lovely patina and offers a glimpse into the activities within

THURSDAY 18th IN THE BACKGROUND: This crowd shot taken at the Paro Tshechu at about this time last year includes the impressive and beautiful circular structure of the National Museum of Bhutan in the background. Today I was simply too busy at school so I had to use an archive shot 

FRIDAY 19th BREAKFAST: bagels with vegemite and tomatoes. Is not very Bhutanese but a great blending of cultures. This is usually a weekend breakfast but we are keeping the holiday feeling alive in this twilight zone while school is back but the students haven't yet arrived. Great start to the 4- day weekend for HM the 4th King's birthday.

SATURDAY 20th KEEPING FIT: This app on my phone has really helped me with my walking goal of 10 kilometres a day minimum and tracking my efforts helps me stick to my keeping fit routine. I screen shoot the personal best every time it changes and this is the current one

SUNDAY 21st HOBBY: Combining two of my hobbies today - hiking & cooking. We climbed up to Chari Monastery and Meditation Centre with good friend Jude today and shared a picnic lunch we prepared

MONDAY 22nd ICE CREAM:  This one is a day late as we were cooking a celebratory lunch for 8 yesterday and then too stuffed to move but there is only one place to eat the most delicious homemade, handmade ice cream in Thimphu and that Ambient Cafe. So no excuses today we had to indulge just for the sake of PAD

TUESDAY 23rd PASTEL: This tiny pastel design teacup was a gift, I was presented with yesterday, by one of our lunch guests and a dear colleague. It contains a jasmine scented candle and is a new product and entrepreneurial venture by a recent graduate in Bhutan. Times are tight and jobs are hard to come by but this young lady is trying out her luck in the market

WEDNESDAY 24th PATH: One of the trails most travelled in Bhutan would have to be this one: the path leading up to Tiger's Nest Monastery. It was the first day  with students at school today and I literally didn't have 5 minutes to think about a photo but this archive shot is the quintessential Bhutanese path festooned with prayer flags and leading to a very sacred place

THURSDAY 25th PEEK-A-BOO: This doe-eyed child seemed to be playing peek-a-boo when we wandered by her home in Gelakha village in Wangdue Phodrang District. Another archive shot as school takes over my life again. Hopefully I will be back on track and taking the photos again daily soon 

FRIDAY 26th OUT OF PLACE: I don't really know what is more out of place a roller left accessible in the play area at school or a Vice Principal deciding to just sit up there and pretend to drive it at lunch time. Either way I can appreciate the fact that is okay to play and overzealous protective legislation hasn't taken hold yet in Bhutan

SATURDAY 27th A SHAPE: Circles actually- made from some of my favourite kitchen bowls

SUNDAY 28th I LOVE THIS: the spectacle of Tshechu performed inside the ancient rammed earth walls of the Dzong and watched by devout Buddhists enthralled by the colourful performance. An archive shot but our first opportunity to see Tshechu this year is only 20 days away and we are anticipating it with excitement. Truth be known I love Bhutan

MONDAY 29TH LEAP: There were so many willing students ready to leap for this prompt for me at lunchtime today. I chose a group I taught and loved last year but don't have any formal instruction time with this year. Thanks Drukians

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