Weekly Photo Challenge – Delicate


Some interpretations of ‘Delicate’

Festoons for fiesta in Valldemossa

Christmas decoration in the Burlington Arcade

Intricate sandcastle on the beach in Pollensa

Quince flowers in bud in my garden

♥♥♥♥♥♥

 I have been thinking too at this sad time, how delicate the balance is between life and death.

I pray that the families who lost loved ones in the heartbreaking, senseless massacre at the school in Newtown can find some peace, can take some small solace from the knowledge that so many thousands of people are sending them their sympathy and heartfelt condolences.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Foreign


Map of Hokkaido showing the subprefectures and...

Map of Hokkaido showing the subprefectures and the primary cities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Foreign – something unfamiliar, something different; this was certainly true of a visit to Japan a few years ago. We saw lots of food on sale in a local market which we had never seen before and which looked very strange to us. Later, dressed in tradional kimonos and seated crosslegged on the floor, we were served a wonderful selection of food at a formal banquet.

 

We travelled to the beautiful northern island of Hokkaido to visit the hot spring village of Norboribetsu-Onsen. Here visitors can enjoy the waters in one of the many spa hotels. It is a sort of ritual, where men and women bathe in separate areas. Once you have undressed and showered, you take a dip in several hot pools, each containing a different water.  It is very therapeutic and strangely refreshing. Above the village is “Hell Valley” where you can see the sulphur pits and geysers gushing up into the air.  The smell is something else……

But the sights and sounds of Japan will stay with me for a very long time

 

Weekly photo challenge – Create – A Bird of Paradise


As soon as I read the topic for the challenge this week, I thought of my grandmother and a piece of work she created when she was 76, after signing up for a night school course to ‘learn something a bit different”. Her eyesight was getting worse and she was suffering with arthritis in her hands, but once she had started the embrodiery course she was determined to see it through. The result of her labours was framed and put on show in the town hall, causing her much embarrassment.

She had knitted, sewed and crocheted all her life; in the early days of her marriage it was through necessity, but in later life she enjoyed giving small gifts to friends and family.  Her’s is an incredible story of love and separation, of loss, betrayal and fortitude and perhaps one day I will write about her. In the meantime, although I appreciate it is not to everyone’s taste, I hope you enjoy her “Bird of Paradise”. I inherited it on her death and it is one of my most treasured possessions.

and a close up of the detail of the bird’s head

Close


On my way to watch morning practise in the riding school in Vienna, a dream coming true. I was chatting excitedly to my sister-in-law about how wonderful it was going to be, when suddenly I had a close encounter with one of the gorgeous Lipizzaner horses. I’m not sure who was the more surprised, but I think he was used to the adoration don’t you?

Unfocused – weekly photo challenge


I don’t usually keep photos that turn out to be not what I expected, but rummaging around for something for the weekly photo challenge, which incidentally is a great place to meet new people, I came across these two shots.  The one of the flowers is a bit blurry round the edges and I’m not sure whether is counts as unfocused, the other is a view of Cairo from the Citadel and is certainly not the view I thought I was capturing.  Anyway, see what you think……