Tuesday, February 28, 2017

oNe PhOtO a DaY FeBrUArY 2017


WEDNESDAY 1st A STREET: One of our tasks while we are home is to downsize our possessions and move those we intend to keep to a smaller storage unit. This was happening on a street in suburbia this morning. Dealing with our stuff in the "lock up" as we like to call it

THURSDAY 2nd LIGHT: Just one of the lovely things about staying in Glenelg is the nightly light show. Stunning beach sunsets and intense colours

FRIDAY 3rd HAPPY: to be home, happy to be spending time with family and happy to think that our presence would be reason enough to open a bottle of Mo√ęt

SATURDAY 4th MIX: This salad was a mix of roasted, raw and blanched veggies and something I often ate for lunch in Bhutan (without the feta) I enjoyed adding it to the mix of dishes provided tonight at Dallas and Dave's house. We all provided dishes and it was sensational

SUNDAY 5th MORNING SKY: Looking south from the back door of this apartment in Glenelg the morning sky created a foreboding atmosphere and the unseasonal summer rain commenced shortly after

MONDAY 6th CORNER: This Japanese Step Chest or 'tansu' can only be placed in a corner in this exact direction as the two sides, which can't be seen, are unfinished. This shot is our living room from seven years ago. Today it went into a new smaller storage unit in the corner as the first item around which, to pack the boxes (see the picture below)

TUESDAY 7th FASHION: Two things that never go out of fashion- a good sun hat and a polarised pair of sunglasses especially when you live near the sea. My 20-year old sun hat and the sunnies I bought 1 hour ago. The old ones are now 10 years old but will remain as my cycling glasses. Travelling light and feeling free
PS from this you may well assume that I’m not very into fashion and actually loath clothes shopping!!

WEDNESDAY 8th FACELESS PORTRAIT: at Adelaide's iconic balls in the mall

THURSDAY 9th TREAT:36°and  sunny here today. The best treat I can think of is gelato - lime and raspberry flavours

FRIDAY 10th THE VIEW FROM HERE: is delicious as far as the eye can see. We take every opportunity to visit Adelaide Central Market when we are home and always love it. Still my all time favourite market

SATURDAY 11th WORDS: This is just one of many hundreds of postcards I have stumbled across since we started on the task of reducing our possessions. I can't read any of the words except Moissac and that is enough to tell me where I bought it and many memories of France filter back to me despite it being over a decade ago

SUNDAY 12th PATERN: This could be an animal print or feather but it is actually the leaf of a prayer plant in Adelaide Botanical Gardens. The ever- repeating patterns of nature

MONDAY 13th FLAT LAY: The current state of my carry on hand luggage in flat lay looks like this. That's just about maximum weight already. Technology will be my undoing but how could I live without it

TUESDAY 14th HEART: Happy Valentine's Day to my best friend, husband, partner in adventure, co-traveller, soul mate and companion cook. The man who stole my heart 34 years ago

WEDNESDAY 15th BRIGHT: I had this prompt in my head all day when we were wandering around in the city but didn't spot anything. Then we got out of the tram in Glenelg and instantly saw this cyclist's socks. After complimenting him on them I asked to take a photo!! The things we do for PAD

THURSDAY 16th FROM WHERE I STAND: My dear friend Jenny standing with her contributions to the Bouquet Exhibition at Gallery Yampu. She looks fabulous from where I stand

FRIDAY 17th SPORT: The only sport I have ever really persisted with is swimming. This is an archive shot from our favorite hotel in Bangkok taken by Ian

SATURDAY 18th HABIT: The habit I always revert to in Australia is drinking the delicious Aussie wine

SUNDAY 19th INVENTION: This collapsible coffee banet is the best invention ever for someone like me with a serious coffee habit. We take it and the stainless steel cup with us everywhere so we can make REAL coffee wherever we are

MONDAY 20th BOOKS: These are just a few of the books in this beautiful Art Deco apartment where we are staying. They perfectly match the restored decor, character and charm of the place. Beautifully styled and presented thanks Miss Jane

TUESDAY 21st LINES: the lines of the horizon and shadows and pylons of Largs Bay Jetty in the morning. Taking every opportunity to enjoy the beach

WEDNESDAY 22nd ON THE SHELF: the miniature copies of the Chrysler Building and The Empire State Building on the shelf in the kitchen at Retten Building Glenelg

THURSDAY 23rd DRIP: The final drips of water falling from the "deer scarer" in Himeji Gardens today 

FRIDAY 24th TREASURE: The true treasures in our lives are the friends and family who bring us joy and bless us. These are a few of the Adelaide people who fit that category in my life

SATURDAY 25th GRASS: It's the beginning of the autumn here in Australia and the grass is pretty dried out. I took this from the train yesterday and that vista still signals "the green, green grass of home" to my eyes

SUNDAY 26th ARTSY: The graffiti and street art lanes of Melbourne contain many images that are very artsy. This mixed media one incorporating newspaper took my fancy in Hosier Lane near Federation Square

MONDAY 27th NEW: Anyone who knows me knows I love orange and although my birthday is still several weeks away, at a surprise birthday party on Saturday night Vinola gave me this gorgeous maxi dress. I particularly like the detail in the bodice. Now I just have to find the right occasion to wear it. The final addition to my suitcase

TUESDAY 28th EVENING SKY: Taken about a week ago on Glenelg beach at twilight. This evening sky epitomizes summer for me. A sweet and fitting ending to our brief time in Oz

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Snippets of my Sri Lankan Diary

In keeping with my vow to write more this year, I wrote a diary every day in Sri Lanka but as is often the case life took over on arrival in Australia. Only now we are in the throes of a heat-wave and avoiding the outdoors today have I had time to select a snippet from each day’s writing and blog it.

11-1-17 - one day in Colombo
To be honest I was beginning to doubt that Sri Lanka was a good idea at this point in time. It sounded like the thing to do and then leaving Bhutan proved to be more heart wrenching than I thought possible and going home to a comfort zone to lick my wounds seemed a very attractive option. But flights had been purchased and bookings had been made and some research had been conducted so this morning it was time to bite the bullet and see if we would rise to the challenge.

12-1-17 – train to the tea plantations
The train was a treat and our fellow passengers in third class reserved were a group of lively uni students on an outing to a hill station similar to the one we were headed for. They sang, laughed, and slept their way to Kandy, at which point a huge group of Chinese tourists boarded and engaged them in more singing dancing and frivolity.


The tea factory was his (the driver that is) highest priority and not really ours but it proved to be informative and interesting. We stopped along the way when we spotted tea pickers on the slopes and were able to walk up to see them close up and personal. It's a bit disconcerting that every photo taken is followed by a request for money, but I guess wages are low and picking a minimum of 20kgs a day of small light leaves is an arduous task.

By mid afternoon the heat was on and ocean views appeared. The coastal strip is largely guesthouses and eateries with only glimpses of the ocean through the development. Pretty little seaside towns gave way to much bigger cities and then settled back into a linear strip of beaches and basic tourist facilities.

Early evening we returned to the beach to stroll along the sand at the water's edge in the cool twilight. Ending with diner and beers on the beach made it a totally relaxing day and something you could certainly get used to. It had me thinking if we could set ourselves up in Cambodia in a sustainable way, what a luxury it would be to only volunteer and work when and where we wanted to. As Lisa pointed out this should be the year of firsts according to numerology and literally for us!! 2016 was a 9 for endings and completions while 2017 is a 1 and a year of new beginnings. Positive new outlooks and beginnings and doing it our way will keep us happy and focused. "The year of firsts" is the new mantra for me.

The sun rose a red ball and hovered over the harbour and by 7am we were motoring out to sea through gentle lapping waves. I sighted peacocks and peahens high on the ridge above the bay as we departed. Within half an hour I was desperately ill and wanted nothing more than for the boat to stop rolling and thumping over waves. Along with half the passengers I spent the rest of the time eyes closed and head down trying to overcome the nausea of the motion. Ian did see backs, tails and spouts of water from the blowholes of several blue whales albeit from a distance. I however could not look up for even a few seconds without regretting it and eventually accepted one of the boatmen's offer of lying down and that is where I remained until land was mere seconds away, some three hours later.

We have been really impressed with the variety of bird life we have seen here and especially at the beach. It started with pelicans in Colombo and bulbuls in Nuwara Eliya but since we have been at Mirissa we have spotted peahens and peacocks just roaming around, a white throated kingfisher and sea eagles as well as several of the birds that appear on the notes. The environment seems clean and the air must be too to support such diversity. Certainly the beach is tended and cleared of trash but in actual fact most people seem to dispose of rubbish responsibly so even in the early morning there is very little to rake up or collect.

We enjoyed the early morning swim and walk on the beach this morning and were happy to taste the bread offerings of the little van than drives around tempting people with its "short eats". Filo triangles and bread jam at less than 50 cents each were our selections and they turned out to be an excellent addition to the morning coffee.

Our final day and an early morning dip in the ocean and final walk along the beach before packing up to leave was definitely required even though it ensured damp bathers and cloths needed to be transported. We had our usual brew of Ambient coffee and a few selections from the roaming bread tuk tuk for breakfast and then returned to the beach one final time to admire the tree and its unique blooms, we spotted a couple of days ago. Some research since then has revealed it is a Barringtonia Asiaitica. We took last longing looks at the surf and were happy to have spent so long at the beach.