Ok, so I’ve been off the radar since last week and I may or may not catch up on the assignments. Only time will tell. Perhaps I’ll bombard The Commons with six posts tomorrow.
For today’s assignment we have to consider the beauty and complexity of architecture, and explore the drama in black and white, or monochrome.
The first photo is of a beautiful Edwardian villa in Kalk Bay, a classic colonial style. It’s been a guesthouse since about 1917.
The shadows cast by the buildings along the narrow streets of the Bairro Alto in Lisbon at night lend them a monochromatic cast. Sounds are muffled creating invisible walls as one walks through the streets at night.
If we were having coffee today I’d tell you that I’ve done the editorial calendar for the blogging from A to Z Challenge. It’s the first time I’m participating and I know how it goes…life gets in the way and I miss one day of blogging, then another, then another…I want to be prepared for those days when I get home too late and too tired to blog.
Oh yes, and for the first week or so of the challenge I’ll be on holiday in Cape Town and may be too tired from exploring to blog. Or not…we’ll see.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you how excited I am to be going to Cape Town at the end of the month. Che and I are going to the Cape Town Jazz Festival. We try to go every year and have missed it for the last two. It’s such an amazing festival, the vibe indescribable. It’s the 16th year that it’s been running, initially known as the southern hemisphere version of the North Sea Jazz Fest. Check out the amazing lineup here.
From Al Jarreau to The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, from Victor Masondo and Friends to Yvonne Chaka Chaka. I’m getting goose bumps just writing about this :-)! It’s two nights of music spread among five stages. CAN’T WAIT!
If we were having coffee I’d tell you that spending time with family was the most precious time I spent this week. I upgraded my Dad’s iPad to the latest OS, and am trying to get the photos and contacts from my Mom’s HTC onto her laptop (or her Google account) so that they can be transferred to her new iPhone. Yeah, I’m a shameless Apple fan and am succeeding in getting all of my family onto Apple products too – well, except Che and my brother and sister in law. Clearly lots of work to be done there.
In any event, I’m searching for the HTC Wildfire device driver for Windows 7 so if you can point me in the right direction I’d be grateful. I’ll buy the coffee for the next month.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I got to day seven of the Photo 101 course and because I was away from home, didn’t complete the last three assignments. Maybe I still will and use them as posts for next week. I have some of the pics lined up already.
If we were having coffee I’d mention how excited I am that my toastmasters friend, Tracy has joined Sparky’s Blog Challenge – welcome Tracy and I am so looking forward to your witty and authentic writing. If you have a moment, go on by her blog Trasles, and check out Sparky’s too.
(This conversational coffee post is part of a weekend link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster. Join in the fun!)
This week's theme is Wall: "This week, consider the walls you’ve erected and decorated, the halls you walk down each day, or the exteriors you’ve ignored or neglected. What do these walls reveal about a place, people, or you??"
Wall of Books at Barn Books (The Food Barn, Noordhoek, Cape Town)
Harbour Wall at Ericeira, Portugal
South Africa’s Wall of Names at Freedom Park
Remnants of an ancient wall, presumably Roman. (Ericeira, Portugal)
Ent-like, the gnarled branches of the tree in the photo belie its age. I have no doubt it’s been around for many many decades.
When I took this pic I was cognisant of the fact that all I had was an iPhone. There was a wall behind me preventing me from walking backwards enough to capture the immensity of the outstretched branches.
I tried to show how far the branches stretched in the pic below.
Connect: to join or fasten together, to associate or consider as related, to become joined or united.
In India, there are times of the year that are most auspicious for getting married. During these times, weddings happen 24 hours a day. This is known as “wedding season”.
Because of the traditions in North Indian Hindu weddings, the time of a wedding is determined by the availability of horses, the wedding venue and the musicians for the bridegroom’s procession known as the baraat parade.
The stated time for the ceremony is very loose because it’s dependent on many external factors – some outside the control of the wedding party.
What I understood to be outside the control of the wedding party is the time of the baraat parade. It starts at the bridegoom’s home when the horse and baraat band arrive, weary, from another baraat parade at another wedding.
The baraat parade can get very large, as the procession winds, slowly, to the wedding venue. The groom’s friends and family dance alongside him on horseback, with the band in front. The procession can get larger (and slower) as more people, presumably strangers, join in as the procession makes it’s way in the street.
I was told to be ready to travel to the wedding venue at 8pm. At the appointed time I received an SMS:
“Baraat parade not yet started”
It eventually got to the wedding venue at 11pm, when the ceremony took place.
The food was delicious, the wedding guests welcoming and friendly and the colours riotous. I loved every minute of this wedding.
If we were having coffee it would be a leisurely affair – no coffee on the go this week.
It’s been a week of photo blogging with WordPress’s Photo 101 course. I’ve enjoyed interacting with other bloggers in The Commons and posted every day. The post I most enjoyed writing was A Lullaby for my Senses, where the assignment was to play around with a photo’s orientation using the theme of Water.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you about the Cape Peninsula fires that have devastated a large part of one of the most scenic parts of the Cape. In January I was taken on a drive from Kalk Bay, past Noordhoek half-way up Chapman’s Peak. We stopped in the middle and looked over at Hout Bay. The photo below shows the view to Hout Bay from Chapman’s Peak a month ago.
This is what the area looks like now – click on the image or here for one of the many stories and photos.
So that blaze was controlled but more have sprung up. It’s exceptionally hot and dry in the Cape Peninsula – and thunderstorms have not helped quench the fires but have started new ones.
Firefighters, professional and volunteer, have worked many long hours, heroically. The communities have helped with keeping them sustained with food and drink. Sadly, a helicopter pilot was killed this morning when his chopper crashed while extinguishing a fire in Cape Point.
If we were having coffee I’d say that while fires happen every year, this year it’s been particularly devastating.
Orange you glad it’s photo challenge time? I mean…really..?
Click on any photo to see the gallery – captions tell the story behind each photo.
Clivia Miniata aka Bush Lily, named after Lady Clive, Duchess of Northumberland. It is at the risk of extinction, sought after in traditional medicine and horticulture. Wild populations have declined by nearly half in the last 90 years due to ongoing harvesting and the destruction of their habitat through deforestation, crop farming and urban development. Instead of picking a clivia from the wild, rather buy them from a reputable nursery.
Beautiful gold fish in a pond at Sam’s Giardino guesthouse in Swakopmund.
There are flowers wherever one goes in India. Bowls of bright orange marigolds at the bottom of a stairwell. The Portuguese introduced marigolds to India. They are also known as “The Herb of the Sun” and are symbolic of passion and creativity. Curtains of marigolds are strung up at Hindu weddings. Lord Vishnu and his wife Goddess Lakshmi, the ideal couple are worshiped with marigolds, hence they are auspicious at Hindu weddings, blessing the couple divine blessings and a happy and prosperous life ahead.
An old plough, orange in colour, at an old farmyard.
This cute little pigmy pony was very shy and he didn’t enjoy the attention he was getting from my camera. Such a sweet looking animal.
The promenade walk from the bus and train station to the FNB stadium in Soweto, also affectionately known as Soccer City where many matches, including the final of the 2010 World Cup was played. Popular soccer venue, it also hosts many music concerts, such as Lady Gaga, Linkin Park, Metallica and many others. It seats 94 736 people.
The crowds gathering for the Linkin Park concert at the FNB stadium
Tiles clad the exterior of many townhouses in Lisbon. This one is colourfully clad with orange-patterned tiles.
Sunrise over the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
Sunset over the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
A drawer full of fruit – I just couldn’t resist this one – it’s my colleague’s drawer at work, full of fruit.
Click here for more photos depicting other blogger’s entries in this week’s challenge.
Photo 101 – Day Five: Solitude & the “Rule of Thirds”
I remember a movie, many many years ago, about an explorer couple who’d set up a tent in the middle of the bush. They were plagued by mosquitoes, it was hot and they looked sweaty and miserable, drowning their sorrows with gin and tonic, hoping that the minuscule amounts of quinine in the tonic water would protect them from malaria. One can still rough it like that in Africa.
My idea of roughing it, however, is an upgrade from that of yesteryear. This tent came with air-conditioner, wi-fi and a corner bath.
I’m an explorer of a different sort and the solitude afforded me by this tent, spaced well apart from the next one, enabled me to relax and pretend that I was an intrepid explorer armed with a panga slashing my way through the bush. With all the mod-cons.
Does it count that I could hear the lions roar in the distance and the bush around the tent had a few black mambas slithering around?
Bliss: complete happiness, great joy, paradise, or heaven.
Via the shortest route, Cape Town is 1 399,6 kms from Joburg. 12h53 minutes by car on the N1. I prefer the 2 hour flight, after all my bliss place is waiting, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain.
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