My Most Memorable Cups for Ailsa’s Travel Theme.

As some of you may know, we’re busy packing up our home in South Africa in preparation for our move to Florida. Some items aren’t going with us, as we already have a house full of stuff over there, so I’ve had to decide what to part with. Years ago, I fell in love with this Royal Albert tea service, and when we lived in Johannesburg, it was used regularly at tea parties, together with gold spoons and cake forks. The trend has since been towards mugs instead of dainty bone china cups, so it’s been unused for about ten years, cluttering up my cupboard. I advertised it for sale, and the person who managed to get here first at breakneck speed, just pipped a couple of others at the post. I had no idea it would sell so easily, but she was absolutely over the moon with her bargain. I felt a little tug at my heart strings as we packed it up and watched it disappear down the driveway, but I’m sure it’s gone to a good home.

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This black  ceramic coffee set was a wedding present in the late 1960’s, and also hasn’t been used for years, so it’s also up for sale, and someone is coming to look at it tomorrow. It travelled over from England with us in 1970, and holds many memories of after-dinner cups of coffee, accompanied by the lively chatter of good friends.

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More up to date, is a delicious cup of Chai Tea Latte sprinkled with cinnamon, just the way I like it.

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Now for some really cute waterlily petal cups full of smiley grandchildren.

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A particularly proud and memorable moment, was when our eldest granddaughter Tamsyn, won these coveted cups for academic brilliance.

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To see more entries for Ailsa’s “World Cups” travel theme, just click here.

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A trip to meet a Saint and a Blog Friend.

A few years ago, I started blogging on a South African blog site, and before too long had made contact with some really nice people there. Occasionally someone would organise a MOB (a meeting of bloggers), and it was at one of these that I met ‘Kragenhai’ of the ‘My Beach’ blog. If you want a daily dose of beach and the Indian Ocean, just click on his link and follow him. He lives just down the coast from me, and I decided that hubby and I should take a trip to see him before we leave here. Of course, the fact that he has a gorgeous Saint Bernard puppy that I hadn’t yet seen, had nothing whatsoever to do with my decision. 🙂

It was a beautiful day as we drove to Ansteys Beach.

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We had arranged to meet at the Green Dolphin restaurant, which wasn’t hard to find, as it was the only one there, and right next to the car park.

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Cindy and her master were waiting for us, and as you can see by the damp patches on my jeans, Cindy was very pleased to meet me, and greeted me with sloppy, wet kisses.

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We spent a very pleasant couple of hours together, and Cindy was so well behaved whilst we caught up on our news. Here are a few pics of our time together. Click on any pic to enlarge, and to see how utterly adorable she is.

Our route back home took us through the Durban city centre, where we haven’t been for years. I noticed a couple of strange anomalies.

Do these lamp posts look a bit skew to you?

Do these lamp posts look a bit skew to you?

What is the purpose of this bridge? It goes from nowhere to nowhere.

What is the purpose of this bridge? It goes from nowhere to nowhere. I notice that if one does manage to somehow get up there, that there are safety railings to stop you falling off. How very thoughtful 🙂

It was a lovely outing, and something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. Marianne of ‘East of Malaga’ blog, encourages us to do “One Trip Every Month,” so why not take up her challenge?

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Michelle “The Happy Hugger” has a Weekly Pet Challenge, so as I don’t have any pets of my own, I’m entering Cindy the Saint for this week’s challenge.

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Feathers on Friday: A Flash of Pink

Charlotte of ‘Prairie Birder’, hosts a weekly challenge called “Feathers on Friday.” Whilst visiting the Wacodahatchee Wetlands in Florida, I was so thrilled to see my first ever Roseate Spoonbill. This has to be one of the most spectacular birds found in North America, with its unique spoon-like bill and its beautiful pink plumage. (Click on any photo to get a larger image.)

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At the turn of the 20th century, their lovely pink feathers were much sought after for the making of ladies’ fans, with the result that in the 1930’s, their Florida population was down to only 30 to 40 breeding pairs. Thankfully, since the 1940’s they were given full legal protection from hunters, and there are now over a thousand pairs nesting there.

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If you would like to participate in Charlotte’s weekly photo challenge, just click this link.

 

Thursday’s Windows: A Dreary Day Train Ride in London.

London is renowned for its grey skies and drizzly weather. Our ride from the Hatton Cross underground tube station to the Westfield Mall on a very cool day in March, was very uninspiring.

Pulling out of the cold and cheerless station.

Pulling out of the cold and cheerless station.

Even on a sunny day, the view from the train windows isn’t exactly sparkling, but on this day, the sky was a very pale grey, and promised rain.

The houses are so close to the railway line, but I suppose one must get used to the noise after living there for a while.

The houses are so close to the railway line, but I suppose one must get used to the noise after living there for a while.

Many of these Victorian three storey houses have been converted into flats. Property prices in England are really crazy nowadays, and a five-bedroom terrace house in the greater London area, can cost about £2 million, with a one room studio apartment around £200,000. It’s not surprising that there’s been a rise in the number of ‘stay-at-home’ grown up children, and that the two family home is the fastest-growing type of household in the UK.

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Almost at our destination, here are more windows, and also, as an added bonus, a peek at some very British chimney pots.

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To see more entries and the windows that Dawn has for  Thursday’s Lingering Windows, visit Dawn’s blog.

 

Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge: Does your chewing gum lose its flavour?

On our trip to Costa Rica last year, we stayed for a few nights at the Hotel San Bada in the beach resort of Manuel Antonio. In the grounds, we came upon this rather odd concrete sculpture. It looked in need of some finishing touches, and someone else had obviously been of the same opinion, because they’d stuck pink chewing gum in its nostrils.

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I think this qualifies for Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge, don’t you? To join in the fun, just click on the badge below and submit your own ‘Odd Ball’ pics.

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If you don’t get my title, you’re probably too young to remember ‘The King of Skiffle’, Lonnie Donegan, who had a big hit on the 1950’s with this song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6bFTVi0hHs&feature=kp, “Does your chewing gum lose its flavour on the bedpost overnight.”

Jo’s Monday Walk Challenge: Up the hill, and back along the beach front.

If we need to buy just a few groceries, we go for a walk up to the village. So, it’s turn right out of the gate, across the road, and then up the steep hill which is very good for the calf muscles and the heart rate.

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Click on any image to enlarge photos.

The lighthouse is having a fly past by some advertising banner.

The lighthouse is having a fly past by some advertising banner.

A perfectly peaceful way to spend a morning.

A perfectly peaceful way to spend a morning.

This lady has a very nice backrest, built by her kids.

This lady has found a very comfortable back rest.

A great place to sit and read the newspaper.

What a great place to sit and read the newspaper.

These ladies certainly won't need any sunscreen.

These ladies certainly won’t be needing any sunscreen.

The beach vendor is a man of many hats.

The beach vendor is a man of many hats.

This guy could do with a bit on his back, though.

This guy could do with a bit of sunscreen on his back.

Can you see the face on this huge rock? He doesn't look too friendly.

Can you see the face on this huge rock? He doesn’t look too friendly.

The stroller brigade are out in force today.

The stroller brigade are out in force today.

One more hilly bit, and we're almost there.

One more hilly bit, and we’re almost there.

Then it’s just a walk through the park and a wave to the monkey on the climbing frame, and we’re back home.

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I hope you enjoyed your walk with me. To see more entries for Jo’s challenge, and also join her one her Monday walk this week, just click here.

 

 

Ed’s Sunday Stills: Sunday Morning Walk Macros

Ed’s Sunday Stills challenge this week. is ‘Macro’, so here are a few shots I took on my walk this morning.

The beautiful Erythrina Coral Tree bears these bright orange flowers throughout our winter.

The beautiful Erythrina Coral Tree bears these bright orange flowers throughout our winter.

Gilly has asked me to show this flower from different angles, so here are a couple more,

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The Hibiscus outside my front door is in flower all the year round.

The Hibiscus outside my front door is in flower all the year round.

This frothy flower was growing out of the trunk of a palm tree just up the road.

This frothy flower was growing out of the trunk of a palm tree just up the road.

These lovely Proteas were for sale at our local supermarket.

Lovely Proteas were for sale at our local supermarket.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing some of the beauty I saw on my morning walk today.

 

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: Honey, who shrunk my Mom?

A few years ago, we took my 84-year-old Mom all the way from South Africa to visit family in New York. She’d heard the saying, “Everything is Bigger in America,” and I think this monumental bronze sculpture of ‘Eve’, in the Great Room at Time Warner Center, convinced her this was true.

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Isn’t it strange how we often seem to feel when photographing a work of art, that it will be improved by having a friend or family member stand next to it, and it then ends up being an ‘Odd Ball’ pic?

To join in Cee’s fun ‘Odd Ball Challenge’, just click on the badge below.

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