What goes a-round for Sue’s challenge

Sue’s latest ‘Word a Week Photo Challenge’ is ‘Round’, and as I’m beginning to pack up my house here in South Africa, I’m selling off various items which I already have in Florida. There are two weighted Hula Hoops which won’t be going with me. Each one weighs about a kilogram, and as you can see, they are quite large. I thought I’d show prospective buyers that it’s quite easy to do the hula, so I put this pic on the website. No takers as yet.

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Of course, it’s much easier with the regular lightweight hula hoops.

Hula hooping granny in Punta Cana.

Hula hooping granny in Punta Cana.

If you eat too many of these round delights, you may need to do much more exercise to keep the spare tyre at bay.

Vegas cupcakes for granddaughters 18th birthday party.

Vegas cupcakes for granddaughters 18th birthday party.

I watched this Black Forest cake being made, actually in the Black Forest. As you can imagine, it didn’t remain round for long, but if one eats this regularly, one could easily become very round indeed.

Genuine Black Forest Cake

Genuine Black Forest Cake

To see more round images, just go to Sue’s ‘Word a Week Photo Challenge’ post.

 

 

 

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Wash Day Paparazzi for the Clean Theme

Ailsa’s Travel Theme this week, is ‘Clean’, so I decided to air the clean laundry of complete strangers. Can someone please explain to me why I book my air ticket, pack my cases, brave the scary airport security, travel for thousands of miles to some exotic destination, only to end up taking photos of clothes hanging on wash lines? When I’m at home, I would never dream of photographing the neighbours’ smalls and not so smalls, dancing merrily in the breeze.

Early last year, we travelled to the coastal town of San Pedro in Belize. I do have pics of pelicans and boats etc, but I also have these. I think tumble driers must be very scarce here, but I’m sure the laundry smells much fresher, and the electricity bills are minimal.

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I find that there’s something fascinating about laundry in foreign countries. How many bras does a woman need, and does Captain Jack Sparrow live here?

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Maybe the people here all do their washing on the same day, as there was no shortage of clean laundry to take pics of.

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This brightly painted house had very little on the wash line, but I thought the shrine would make a nice foreground.

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I find there’s something quite irresistible about the laundry and palm tree combination on Ambergris Caye.

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I wouldn’t have minded the loan of one of these wash lines for a day. I do love my clothes to be clean, and it’s really awkward trying to do laundry on holiday. Maybe that’s why I have to  take so many cases with me.

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I hope you also enjoyed looking at Belizean washing. Did you find it more compelling than your own?

To see more entries for Ailsa’s Clean Theme, just click on the link.

 

 

 

 

 

Let Me Serenade You, for Jake’s Challenge

Jake’s Sunday Post Challenge this week is ‘With Musical Instrument’. Being a musician myself, I really admire people who use their musical ability to entertain others. From experience, I know that it can take a lot of courage to actually perform in front of total strangers, but once one gets past the nerves, the performer can enjoy it, as much as the audience.

These song lyrics from the 1960’s American rock band ‘Three Dog Night’, came into my head whilst I was looking for photos of musicians who have serenaded me on my travels.

Let Me Serenade You

I will serenade you, all along the way
I will serenade you, anyway you say

 

A Scottish Bagpiper I found outside Harrods in London.

A Scottish Bagpiper I found outside Harrods in London.

Take you to the country, I’ll take you to the shore
Show you to my garden, I know you’ll make it grow.

Traditional music on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Bolivia

Traditional music on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Bolivia

If you let me serenade you
You know that’s what you come for,
So that I will serenade you

A Guembri player in Marrakesh.

A Guembri player in Marrakesh.

And when the walls begin to fall
Can’t hold back the joy
That love will conquer all.

Belly Dancing in Fez.

Belly Dancing in Fez.

Every moment, every day,
If you want to hold me, I will stay.

Beautiful love songs in Cordoba, Spain.

Beautiful love songs in Cordoba, Spain.

Let me serenade you, I will serenade you
If you want to hold me, I will stay.

Being serenaded in Rio.

Being serenaded in Rio.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my musician pics for Jake’s challenge. To join in the fun, just click on the badge below.

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Marvelous Monuments I have seen.

There have been so many monuments that I have longed to see, and when I eventually got there, I was not disappointed. I’ve seen the inscrutable Great Sphinx of Giza, gazing out across the desert.

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I’ve perused assorted pyramids standing proud under Cairo’s relentless sun.

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The Statue of Christ the Redeemer, perched atop the peak of Corcovada in the pouring rain, was a very moving sight.

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However, the monument which really blew my socks off, was none other than the humongous memorial to presidents George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore. As we drove out of Keystone and headed up towards Mount Rushmore National Memorial, I didn’t know quite what to expect, but coming round the bend at the top of the hill, suddenly there it was in all it’s amazing glory. Absolutely breathtakingly stunning!

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Of course once we’d parked and walked up to view this amazing sculpture, I was even more bowled over by its enormity, the lifelike features, and the fact that the eyes seemed to be looking straight at me.

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For me, this was the monument  which surpassed every other I’d seen, hands down. The entire memorial covers 1,278.45 acres, and the sculptures are 60 foot high. Here is a view from the side, showing the back of the memorial.

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It’s very easy to get a bit blasé about monuments we’ve seen, and I know I’m guilty of this, but my first sight of Mount Rushmore is something I will never forget.

To see more entries for the Weekly Photo Challenge, just click on the badge below.

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La Paz, an incredible mountain city.

 A few years ago, La Paz in Bolivia was one of the places we visited on a ’round-the-world trip’. At 3,550 metres above sea level, it’s the highest capital city in the world. Its Spanish name is ‘Nuestra Señora de La Paz’, meaning ‘Our Lady of Peace’. The airport El Alto stands at 4,000 metres, and I had been warned about the possibility of altitude sickness.
My first view of La Paz

My first view of La Paz

 

On the journey from the airport to our hotel, I began to feel the effects of the extremely high altitude, and that night I really felt as though I was going to die, in spite of being plied with copious amounts of Coca Tea, which many Andeans believe to be a very effective cure. Thankfully, it did seem to work, and the next morning I was as right as ninepence, and off we went to explore.
In the city centre is the beautiful Baroque style ‘Basilica of San Francisco’.
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At first glance, La Paz looked like most other cities, with its tall buildings and nicely laid out streets.
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Although the country is rich in mineral and energy resources, Bolivia is one of South America’s poorest countries, and the majority of Bolivians are low-income, subsistence farmers, miners, or small traders like this mother with her children.
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I think these bored-looking people must have been waiting for a bus or taxi. Note the beautiful decorated  building behind them.
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There was no shortage of tourism police keeping an eye out for any criminal activity. We had been warned to watch out for pickpockets and bag-slashers, just as in any big city.
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Fortunately for us, we weren’t booked into The Hotel Majestic. I’ve since read a review on Trip Advisor, which said “Calling yourself  ‘Majestic’, won’t necessarily make it so, and while its pink bathrooms, smart parquet floors and cable TV provide some distraction from the dirty baths and ‘stanky-like-a-field-mouse’ rooms, The Majestic is one of those last-ditch choices that’s good for a night and not much more.”
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The gift shops were bursting at the seams with locally made items. The best buys were knitted and woven goods, such as rugs, ponchos, sweaters, and wall hangings made from Alpaca wool. I bought a sweater, but sadly, it turned out to be really itchy, and I had to d’itch it.

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These guitar cases were so colourful, although I didn’t think my son would appreciate one, so I restrained myself.
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Internet cafes were plentiful, but tended to be in the not very salubrious parts of town..
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Many informal traders sat on the sidewalks, selling their wares to the passers by.
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The shopping streets were very steep, but we put our best feet forward and got the exercise, both climbing up,
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and down.
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A very popular tourist attraction is the Witches Market, also known as El Mercado de las Brujas. It’s run by the local witch doctors, the Yatiri, and there you can buy a cure for every ailment imaginable. There are lotions, potions, dried frogs, medicinal plants and even dehydrated llama foetuses, which are buried under the foundations of many Bolivian houses as a sacred offering to the goddess Pachamama.
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The truly affluent residents are housed in the lower ares of the city, whilst the middle-class tend to live in the high-rise condos near the centre. As we drove out of the city on our way to Lake Titicaca, we could see the makeshift dwellings of those less fortunate, crowded onto the surrounding hillsides.
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Amusing Signs for Sue’s Word a Week Challenge.

Sue has asked us to share some signs for this week’s challenge. I’m always on the lookout for signs, and have been known to demand that hubby slam on brakes when I spot a good one.

Travelling through Cornwall last August, I was intrigued by this one, and it wasn’t even as though Christmas was just around the corner.

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My sister sent me this one after a visit to her local grocery store. Obviously spelling wasn’t this sign writer’s best subject at school. It did make me giggle though.

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Half way along our beach promenade is a restaurant run by the Life Savers Association. I would happily pay to ring the bell if Dolphins should appear whilst I was eating breakfast there.

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Since our return here a few weeks ago, I’ve noticed a distinct lack of Doggy Doo along the beautifully paved promenade. I wonder if this sign has anything to do with the cleaner environment.

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I’m quite infamous for getting lost, and this signpost in San Pedro would make me even more confused than usual. The ‘STOP’ sign is probably the one I should take the most notice of. I’m sure if I just stood still for a while, hubby would be sure to find me.

San Pedro, Belize

San Pedro, Belize

Today I’ve been so busy in the house, cleaning, washing, and sorting out stuff to take with us and deciding what to give away, as we start to pack for our move. I could really do with one or both of these buttons.

Lanhydrock House, Cornwall

Lanhydrock House, Cornwall

I know one shouldn’t laugh at people’s tombstones, but this one in the graveyard next to the O.K.Corral in Arizona, did make me giggle. Poor old Lester; what a way to go.

OK Corral, Tombstone, Arizona

OK Corral, Tombstone, Arizona

My Sister-in-Law in England has two Irish sons who absolutely fit this advertisement posted out on her deck. I don’t know how much they charge, but whatever it is,  you’d certainly get your money’s worth.

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So there you have eight signs to choose from. My favourite would be the Kitchen Maid one. What’s yours?

To take part in Sue’s challenge, just click here.

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Jeff

It’s thirty-eight  years today since my precious baby son was placed into my arms, and it was certainly love at first sight. Now he’s a father of three and has a sweet son of his own.

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We’ve had so much fun together over the years, and made some fabulous memories. So on this special day, the Mummy’s mummy wishes him a very happy year.

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May you always find space to grow,

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and never be daunted by new challenges.

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You know that life can be a beach,

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but for the most part, it’s really grand.

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May all your wishes come true,

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and also some of your wildest dreams.

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May the music of life be always playing in your head, and may you find yourself in harmony with all you meet.

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