Weekly photo challenge ~ achievement

Dubai’s economic achievement and development has progressed significantly in recent years.  I travelled there recently and spent a few days as part of my journey to Europe.  It was a very interesting place and I did not know what to expect apart from the heat and that it was during ramadan – I would stay longer next time although probably not during ramadan.   Being, not used to that level of intense heat and unable to drink water in public during the day I struggled a bit with the heat and environment.    I visited the museum, markets and malls as well as went for short walks around the city in the heat – looking for the shade wherever possible.  The development of the city and the infrastructure is  amazing and the country has really shifted their economic situation.

Display from the Dubai museum

Display from the Dubai museum

And the creative skills of the Bedouin People is indeed a significant achievement.   I am continually amazed at the skills of those people who can create everyday articles, tools and clothing that look amazingly beautiful as well as useful.     This piece in the photo below is a musical instrument and is worn around the waist, producing sound when shaken.  You can see the man in the photo wearing the ‘shekhlebah‘.

The 'shekhlebah' instrument is made from goats hooves and worn around the waist

The ‘shekhlebah’ instrument is made from goats hooves and worn around the waist

This post is part of the Weekly photo challenge of November 14 as posted by Michelle W.  WordPress provides an opportunity for bloggers to “publish a new post with a photo interpreting the theme”.   Anyone can participate and each Friday there is a new photo challenge and theme set.

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My Mother – my conscience!

SHE always states the obvious … my Mother …  with scant consideration of how many times on previous occasions she had given the same lecture and said the exact same words!

A Saturday afternoon game with Mother!

A Saturday afternoon game with Mother!

“I like plenty of butter on my scones!!” (really, you think I have never noticed that before – anyway I say, what’s not to love about butter?)

“You will need your jacket on, it’s cold outside!”  (yes mother, I can feel the change in the weather and cool night air myself)

What is that about?    Why do mothers have to say the same thing over and over again – about the rules and expectations of the family matriarch when we (the offspring of said matriarch) have previously been told for the last 20 plus years what those rules are – do this, don’t do that … ?

“Don’t stay out too late!”  (I know Mum, you worry about people being out at night and their safety  … !)

“Put your dirty dishes on the sink …” (as I take the last spoonful of the soup…)

“Don’t slurp your tea!”

“Don’t roll your eyes at me!”

“Say thank you to Mrs. Smith / your father / your brother … “

She still does this today, My Mother – tells me when to say thank you and please or say hello to the right person at the right time  – I rarely have a chance to do the ‘right thing’ by my mother as she is constantly guiding and critiquing my behaviour and actions.   Although, I must say, it is somehow an endearing quality now – as I have come to expect it from her and now just wait for her to tell me what she thinks I should do and say.   Parents are important parts of our lives and the people we love are often taken from our lives before we are really ready to say goodbye.   I love my Mother and appreciate her love and care of me during my childhood.   So, it is important to me that My Mother can remain a significant part of my life and still feel like a valued parent with a responsibility and ‘job to do’.   Undoubtedly, she is unaware of just how often she critiques the behaviour of her ‘children’ or how unnecessary it is.    Conversations with my adult siblings suggest that it is quite annoying at times as well and yet amusing to their partners.

I don’t think My Mother is alone in this behaviour, I have seen and heard of many other … dare I say … dedicated Mothers who do the same thing.  Telling teenagers of the house rules and parental expectations is probably unnecessary – for example -  if they do not make their bed each day after 15 years of your parental lectures they are probably not going to do so at 16 or 17 years of age!!

Being, a mother myself I am sure I have been guilty of critiquing and guiding more than is necessary and probably still do at times!

“I like the beds made” she tells me, “and dishes washed first thing in the morning, it makes the house look tidy and then if visitors arrive unexpectedly you don’t feel like you’re in a mess”.  “Have you made the beds and washed up yet?”  (I sit here now and look around the  mess of my kitchen and smile as I realise we do not live by that rule in this house today and I understand more why I live in such a disheveled relaxed kind of mess.  It is the defiant child in me determined to do things my way, regardless.)

my highest good

A reminder to me that life has its own rhythm and flow and all is good!

Now, as an adult, when I head out the door for an evening of fun and entertainment, to catch up with friends or join a colleague for dinner – I hear the voice of ‘My Conscience’ “don’t be late home tonight, it’s a work day tomorrow remember“!

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Melbourne airport – Changes

Change is everywhere – The world is shifting and sliding!  Towns and cities are reaching up and reaching out – people are moving in their seats and grumbling to their neighbour.

Is this just me?  Or have other people noticed this as well?

During July, I was at the Melbourne Tullamarine airport and … ‘hello‘ renovations and remodeling are underway.

Melbourne Airport

Then in September, I was in Sydney travelling on a train towards the southern suburbs and was fascinated to see all the new highrise development just outside the inner city.  At a time when people living in the western world are wanting more and more and life appears to be about possession and ‘things’ as apposed to people and experiences, I wonder what we are changing into.

Nothing stays the same for ever and “all movement is change” (Neale Donald Walsch, 1995).  Life, in itself, is movement and change -  the change of seasons, the growth and development of children, the ageing process.

I long for the continued movement towards the enjoyment of simple things – rainbows and daisies and apples picked straight from the tree.  I want to wander slowly along the lane beside the river and be in that moment.  I want to lay down in the grass and watch the clouds drift by.  I want to laugh and love more and worry less.  I want to slow down and stop this constantly changing – unsettled – feeling that is in the world around me.  Let us (instead) delight in the growth and change of children into young women and men, be amazed at developing maturity and wisdom, and marvel in our resilience and capacity to ‘go with the flow’!

Is that too much to ask?

website. joyfulscribblings.com;
Walsch, Neale Donald, Recreating Yourself, 1995.
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Photo Challenge ~ minimalist 2

I have taken up art in recent years.  I have always played around with art in different forms since I was young and been a doodler, scribbling on the page when talking on the phone or (as an adult) when listening to others in meetings and workshops.

According to Wikipedia … “A doodle is an unfocused or unconscious drawing made while a person’s attention is otherwise occupied. Doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning or may just be abstract shapes.

“Stereotypical examples of doodling are found in school notebooks, often in the margins, drawn by students daydreaming or losing interest during class. Other common examples of doodling are produced during long telephone conversations if a pen and paper are available.”

However, this is different – It is a combination of the art (Dr Sketchy’s Anti-art Class) and the simple photo showing the spine of the sketch book.

It is simple, minimalistic perhaps …

minimalist artThe beginning of a new challenge?  I am thinking this could be my 2015 challenge, improve on my art skills – create more art pieces both sketching and photography!

This post was inspired by the ‘wordpress photo challenge’ of November 7, 2014.  This activity gets the creative juices flowing, so if you want to participate check it out here!

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Photo Challenge – Minimalist

little black duckThis post is inspired by Daily Post ‘photo challenge‘ for the week of November 7, 2014.

If you would like to participate check out the ‘how to‘ here!

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I went AWOL!

Yes, I went AWOL!

And, it was awesome!

I have been ‘absent without official leave‘ from my Blog position for two months.  The reason being, I took a vacation to England and France and abandoned the blogosphere.  The blogging world and I took a trial separation, so to speak – but I missed you dear Blogosphere – and I want to rekindle our relationship.

I did have plans to post while I was away and send little snippets and photos of my experiences and journey … but alas the internet access was not as easy to access (or find) as I had expected.  I did find places, internet cafe (Dubai, UAE) and free WIFI access (Josselin, France and Singapore) but it was not a regular activity and it was expensive at the internet cafes for my budget.  It was also a bit confusing to find that some of the keys had moved on the keyboard – I wasn’t expecting that.  Then, there was also the fact that I was eating and drinking my way around Europe like a visitor, taking photos, stopping to look and being amazed and exhilarated by every site and experience.  So, blogging was not my top agenda each day – I guess you are not surprised about that.

My first plan for most days was a  coffee and croissant or some fruit ….

Coffee in France… and at the end of the day it was sleep!!!

Dubai accommodationI created some posts on my mobile phone (HTC one), but now I have to learn how to copy/post them to my blog.  I have much to understand still about our ‘relationship’ and how we can work together.   So I am going into ‘therapy’ for the next month (in other words, participating in the daily post Blogging 101) and I am hopeful that I can further improve on my communication and connection skills and  build a healthier relationship with my blog and blogging family.  I understand that I will have daily ‘sessions’ and ‘tasks’ to attend to and it may be similar to the Zero to Hero project that I participated in some time ago.  However, therapy, understanding self and learning from others is so beneficial for the heart and soul!

But, my first step is to revisit my goals and the aim of my blogs…..!

I think I will have to go away for a little while and ponder on that thought….!

Study without reflection is a waste of time;  reflection without study is dangerous!  (Confucius)

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Photo Challenge ~ Signs

A visit to England and I am reminded of Australia!!!!

No surprise there!   We have a long history – England and Australia.

My ancestors were English and they travelled here to Australia in a convict ship many (over 200) years ago.      As the story goes, there was a young woman who was charged with stealing and sentenced to a life in Australia, as a convict …. and many years later I was born as a descendant of that young woman (and a number of other people!).  Anne White (London, 1771) arrived in Australia in 1790 and she is my 4th great grandmother.   Anne Parker (London 1785) arrived in Australia 1803 and was the wife of my 4th great grandfather.

When I had the opportunity to travel to UK (in 2009 and 2014) I felt a strong connection to English life and curious about places and names that have appeared in my family history.  There are signs of family connection everywhere.

I found this plaque / sign on the wall of a house in Lyme Regis, England.  Apparently, it is the house that Royal Navy Officer, Captain Richard Spencer lived in, before he went to Australia.  According to Wikipedia he moved to Albany, Western Australia in his later years and was granted Government resident of Albany.   His property, Strawberry Hill Old Farm is now a National Trust property, restored, maintained and open to the public.  It is mentioned on the Wikipedia website that he bought 21 of his family and servant members with him to make a new and better life in Australia for his children and family.

Home of Captain Sir Richard Spencer (Pioneer of Albany Western Australia) Lyme Regis, England.

Home of Captain Sir Richard Spencer (Pioneer of Albany Western Australia) Lyme Regis, England.

This post is inspired by Photo Challenge of the Daily Post (October 3, 2014)

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Photo Challenge – Nightime

This post is inspired by The Photo Challenge ‘Nighttime’ as posted by Ben Huberman on Daily Post (September 26, 2014).

A summer evening in Paris

A summer evening in Paris

I hope this photo gives justice to the delightfully warm ‘aout’ summer evening I enjoyed recently, in Paris (August, 2014).



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Photo Challenge ~ Descent 2

While I was on holiday in France this year, I stayed in a delightful small town called Josselin, near Morbihan, Brittany.  We had some sumptuous meals (I recall a very tasty Buckwheat Crepe at the La Sarrazine) great company (hello to my travelling companions) and comfortable accommodation at a lovely ‘gite’ on Rue Glatinier.  This photo is taken of the stairwell in the ‘gite’ (self contained accommodation).

The house was great, easy walking distance into the town to visit the ‘la boulangerie’ (bakery) for fresh bread each morning or ‘le eglise’ (Church) for the Sunday morning service.  The owners were friendly and helpful  ..  and yes I would go back again for more of the same.

Descent of a staircase in Josselin, France

Descent of a staircase in Josselin, France

This post and photo is in response to the Photo Challenge of WordPress (October 31, 2014).

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Photo Challenge – Descent

Walking down the steps into the city

Walking down the steps into the city of Paris

This post is inspired by the Daily Post, Photo Challenge by Cherie Lucas Rowlands (October 31, 2014).

As you would know if you live in or have travelled to Paris – there are many steps and a few hills.   Here are a couple of my photos from my visit there this year.   I shall probably share some more (of my ‘vacances’ in Europe) in the photo challenge posts to come.

There are always more steps  to descend in Paris!

There are always more steps to descend in Paris!

I hope you enjoy!


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