Saturday, December 31, 2016

oNe PhOtO a DaY dEcEmBeR 2016


THURSDAY 1st LUNCH: Recently I have started joining my colleagues in the 4-6 cohort at lunchtime. We are sharing our lunches now that there are no longer students at school and we have no lunchtime supervision. This was my offering to the table yesterday- roast vegetable salad with pickles, pumpkin humus and mushroom, broccoli and tomato frittata 

FRIDAY 2nd I ENJOY.....: walking home from school and almost everywhere else in Thimphu and remembering to stop and admire the everyday sights that will soon become fond memories. Appreciation of the everyday is one of my mantras

 SATURDAY 3rd MORNING SKY: Up at Royal Thimphu College, this morning's brilliant blue morning sky framed by the traditional tower with a backdrop of snow capped mountains was the picture perfect Bhutanese scene. Look closely to see the Buddha at Buddha Point in the gap between the trees

SUNDAY 4th SELFIE: with giant prayer wheels

MONDAY 5th BEAUTY: So glad I could swim again after school today and stopped to take a photo of the beauty of Bhutanese architecture reflected in the pool before I got in to do my laps

TUESDAY 6th BOOKSHELF: Without books a house is not a home but as our packing up process proceeds we are giving away and packing just a few books. This once groaning bookshelf is now slowly emptying and only the pending volumes remain with homeless stationery items and the wrapping for farewell gifts

WEDNESDAY 7th OUTSIDE: Once again I was passing Memorial Chorten on my way home when I noticed the huge crowd gathered outside listening to the special 10-day prayers being conducted there at the moment. Most of this huge crowd have been sitting outside and listening for hours for five days already and no doubt they'll be back for five days more

THURSDAY 8th SOMETHING RED: As we prepare all the book prizes for our Awards Day on Saturday each bundle is tied with a red ribbon. The library is bulging with bundles of books right now. It is very festive

FRIDAY 9th JOY IS..... noticing the bright colours of nature in a bleak winter landscape and giving in to the feelings of nostalgia for everything Australian upon seeing this little callistemon -bottle brush blooming in the near freezing atmosphere

SATURDAY 10th SIMPLE: I walked out of the school gates for the very last time today after Awards Day and had this simple lunch alone in my favourite cafe in Thimphu to celebrate the end of 38 years as a classroom teacher

SUNDAY 11th JUMP: OK this prompt made me have to try it and jump I did while Ian captured it. Why not, I'm jumping for joy right now

MONDAY 12th DECORATION: The woodwork of Bhutanese buildings is usually colourfully decorated but it is the decorations on the temples and Lhakhangs that most fascinate me. This is from Changangkha Lhakhang, which is very near our home here and I needed one more excuse to go up there

TUESDAY 13th I HEAR: the sound of rapidly flowing water on my daily walk almost every day but now it sings of freedom

WEDNESDAY 14th FUN: It was a really fun night with my class X students who surprised me with cake, dinner, a gift and so many words of gratitude tonight. I never thought I'd see them all (minus one) together again and it made my heart sing. They were the saving grace of 2016 academic session and I will hold them in my heart forever

THURSDAY 15th TREE: There was once a long line of these poplar trees along the front of our apartment building, but the chainsaw gang removed them. This one was saved at the last minute and now in its bleak winter barren appearance against the brilliant blue sky it is even more impressive

FRIDAY 16th BREAKFAST: This is becoming a daily breakfast experience as we become more and more addicted to bagels. Perfect combination for an energising start to these freezing winter mornings

SATURDAY 17th FRUIT: Almost all the fruit we have eaten in the past 2 years has been purchased from this charming fruit vendor in the Centennial Farmers Market in Thimphu and today we delivered a Xmas fruitcake style muffin to him

SUNDAY 18th SOMETHING GREEN: The green-faced dragon painted at the very top of the giant prayer wheel at the entrance to the lhakhang we visited today

MONDAY 19TH NATURE: This magnificent Himalayan Cypress, which is the national tree of Bhutan, is in the grounds of the Pangrizampa Lhakhang. It is the largest cypress I have seen in the kingdom and an incredible example of the enduring quality of nature

TUESDAY 20th THREE: The three most common grains in Bhutan - millet, rice and corn. All beautifully packaged for tourists in the OGOP shop. That's One Gewog (district) One Product shop, which showcases the unique produce and handicrafts of different districts in the kingdom

WEDNESDAY 21st POP: In these bleak winter conditions the afternoon sun creates a colour pop playing on the prayer flags on the covered bridge in Changzamtog

THURSDAY 22nd 'TIS THE SEASON TO: cook and bake and make delicious treats: roasted pumpkin and tree tomatoes with mushroom quiche for dinner tonight, sautéed mushrooms and "sunshine pie" for celebrations later in the week. Love that I am emptying the pantry and avoiding the onerous task of packing up with daily cooking and baking

FRIDAY 23rd FOOD: We treated ourselves to the buffet dinner at DRUK Hotel tonight and even though half the dishes were meat there was plenty for us vegetarians and no way anyone could taste everything

SATURDAY 24th SOMETHING TO BE HAPPY ABOUT: Spending the day in an idyllic rural setting in the company of former colleagues and dear friends, whom I have not seen for almost a year, is something to be very happy about

UNDAY 25th SOMETHING NEW: These 2 lovely bags made from Bhutanese textiles will add to my collection of beautiful Bhutanese gifts. They are something new I received yesterday as a farewell gift

MONDAY 26th LAST THING I READ: was this quote which really struck a chord with me considering our current situation packing up for departure to the great unknown

TUESDAY 27th SUPER: views of the prayer flags at the pass with a super blue sky in the background on our hike today. Super glad we got out and hiked too

WEDNESDAY 28th DRINK: We have had our fair share of the standard everyday drink here in Bhutan and tonight was no exception. It is usually ordered as "Druk 11"

THURSDAY 29th HAPPINESS IS...... adopting a positive mindset and always being appreciative. I stared this jar in January in an attempt to be more grateful and focus on life's little joys. I plan to read its contents tonight and remember the happy moments of 2016. A very timely reminder as we set off on our new adventure in just 10 days

FRIDAY 30th ANYTHING YOU LIKE: This is iconic Bhutan. The dzong in the background, green covered mountains, brilliant blue winter skies and multi-coloured fluttering prayer flags in the foreground: I don't just like it. I LOVE it

SATURDAY 31st CELEBRATION: Having finally moved out of our apartment this morning we moved into luxurious (for us anyway) accommodation with the intent of having a little room celebration tonight. The management just knocked on our door and presented us with a bottle of local red to add to the Australian one we already purchased. Yeedzin Guest House what a lovely touch