WPC Weight(less): Me the Highflier

When I saw the Photo Challenge this week, I thought of my  only truly weightless experience in 2012. I can hardly believe it was so long ago.

Hubby and I were walking along Patong beach in Phuket when I suddenly spied someone attached to a colourful parachute, hovering high above the ocean. I urged hubby to help me find the place where they’d taken off from, as I was curious to not only see how much it cost, but what it actually entailed and how risky it might be. As we arrived, a young woman was just coming in to land. She looked a bit disorientated as she was being divested of her harness, but assured me that it was perfectly safe and very exciting. My mind was made up at that moment, but my beloved wasn’t so sure, and suggested that we go for lunch and that I think about it for a while. This we did, and of course an hour or so later found us back on the beach with me getting ready for the ride of my life.

I was instructed to run as fast as I could towards the ocean until we had liftoff. As you can see, there was no fancy contraption that you sit on, just a harness which actually was rather uncomfortable, and a crazy bare-chested guy with no harness, clinging onto my back. Just look at him holding on with his legs around my waist as he maneuvers the strings to steer us in the right direction onward and upward.
 I did feel totally weightless, and it was so exhilarating to be soaring over the bay with a marvellous bird’s eye view for quite a distance.
I don’t think I was up there for very long, but it was an unforgettable experience, and hubby was very impressed that his wife, who is the most nervous passenger in the car, actually dared to go soaring through the clouds with a strange man, and over water too, which for a non-swimmer surely is something to be avoided at all costs.
The landing wasn’t too bumpy, and I’m sure I breathed a sigh of relief to have my feet back on ‘terra firma’, and hubby was also glad to have me back safe and sound.
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WPC ‘Achievement’: There’s a first time for everything.

This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge, ‘Achievement’ had me racking my brain for something really impressive to tell you all. I suppose there have been a few times in my life when I’ve had a sense of achievement, like the one time when I actually got up the courage to go water-skiing, even though I couldn’t swim and was absolutely terrified. I skidded along on my haunches most of the way, but at least I was able to cross it off my Bucket List. My little jaunt up into the air attached to a parasail in Phuket, some of you have seen before, but it does bear repeating here, as I will probably never do it again.

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I have enjoyed doing gym for quite a few years now, and last week, signed up for the Sunday ‘Boot Camp’ class. I haven’t done such vigorous non-stop exercise for a couple of years, since hubby and I used to attend ‘Cruel Neil’s’ aerobics class at our gym in South Africa. I will never forget the agony, as we hapless victims bent, stretched, reached for the sky, touched toes, did countless push ups, tummy crunches, and weights, whilst Neil’s strident voice kept urging us to ‘Keep going, keep going. One more set…….five, four, three, two, one, relax,” but only for a split second, before we were on to the next tortuous exercise. This went on for a whole hour, and I would keep looking at the clock, thinking. “What am I doing here? Let me rather die NOW!”

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Balancing stork-like on one leg and then the other for a minute each side, always signalled the blissful end of the hour of torture. I can still do this, which I suppose is quite an achievement for a granny. Shortly after joining our gym here in Florida, I was selected to be ‘Gym member of the month’, which I guess does count as an achievement. Although I was sweating streams by the end of the Boot Camp class, the female instructor wasn’t anywhere near as cruel as the dreaded Neil, so hubby and I are definitely going to become regulars there.

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After showing you my sister’s fantastic painting achievements last week, I asked the question,” I wonder how many of us have hidden talents which will never be used? It’s certainly food for thought, isn’t it?” Well, I decided to ‘put my money where my mouth is’, and signed up for a weekly art class. My first lesson was yesterday. It took me ages to work up the courage to put the first splodge of paint on my pristine white canvas, but once I got going, I quite enjoyed myself. This is just the beginning, but in six weeks’ time, I’m hoping it will look presentable enough, at least to hang in my closet. I’m sure you’re not at all surprised that I chose to paint a lighthouse. 🙂

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To see more entries for this challenge, just click on the badge.

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Keeping my head above water.

“Breathe in. Breathe out. Move on.” ~ Jimmy Buffett

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It’s almost done. There have been times in the past few weeks when I’ve felt as if I was drowning in ‘stuff’, and there was so much more still to do. Restless nights were the order of the day. (That does sound a bit Irish, doesn’t it?)

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I had to keep telling myself, “This too shall pass,” and of course it will. The removals guys have been fantastic, and have carefully packed all our belongings to be taken into storage for a while. Tomorrow the big van will arrive, and the house will be empty and ready for its next owner. Of course it doesn’t look like my home anymore, so I feel quite detached from it and have no regrets about leaving it.

We are now living just down the road in a very comfortable ground floor apartment. The thoughtful owner had left us a bottle of champagne in the fridge, a bowl of fruit, a box of cookies, and even a vase of flowers. Our temporary home has everything we need for now, and after tomorrow we’ll be able to relax and enjoy our last few weeks here at the beach.

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Monochrome Madness: My colour photo that had no colour.

An early morning boat trip in Phuket, yielded the only Monochrome colour photo I think I have in my albums. We had booked a cruise on a traditional Junk Boat, across Phang-Nga Bay, but at breakfast time we really wished that we hadn’t, as the sky was dark grey, and the driving rain looked to have set in for the day. However, in spite of he gloomy weather, the trip wasn’t cancelled, and as we’d already paid our money, we thought we may as well go. It turned out to be quite an adventure, and one which I really wouldn’t want to repeat. Click on the link if you would like to see the whole catastrophe.

This is the rather dreary sight which I saw as we arrived at the marina, but by then it was too late to turn back. Our bridges were burned, as it were. If you look carefully, there is a tiny bit of colour, which I think is the lifeboat on the deck of the large white cabin cruiser. Sadly, this was not  the boat we were to sail on. 😦

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA To see more Monochrome Madness, visit Leanne Cole’s Photography Blog, Week 19.

Ed’s Sunday Stills: Pesky Power Lines

Those power lines that invade your photos, and there’s nothing you can do to avoid giving them pride of place. For his Sunday Stills Challenge this week, Ed has asked us to show him some of these pesky visual pollutants that have so often stood in the way of the perfect shot. I think Phuket in Thailand must certainly be a contender for first prize, with its prolific mess of ugly power lines, which tend to ruin every shot one takes. Thanks Ed for giving me a chance to use these photos. 🙂 (Click on any image to see the bigger picture.)

The busy shopping area in the beach town of Patong.

The busy shopping area in the beach town of Patong.

The Tiger Disco on Patong's infamous Bangla Road.

The Tiger Disco on Patong’s infamous Bangla Road.

 

Dino's BBQ Restaurant, Patong. Fight your way though the power lines to get in.

The Dino BBQ Restaurant, Karon Beach. Fight your way though the power lines to get in.

My view of the rather beautiful architecture was marred by the unsightly power lines.

My view of the rather beautiful architecture was marred by the unsightly power lines.

The main shopping street in Kata Beach.

The main shopping street in Kata Beach.

These pics were taken in 2012, and I read that there’s now a project underway to clean up the tangle of electrical cables which festoon the streets. Apparently they were quite dangerous, as the electrical systems weren’t always properly grounded, and electric shock is a distinct possibility for unwary pedestrians who may come into contact with an exposed outlet. In the wet season, someone could easily be electrocuted by stepping into a puddle which had a live wire dangling in it. The occurrence of a few such fatal incidents, has prompted the authorities to do something about it. One really has to ask oneself how it could have got so bad, without anyone noticing. They must have very untidy electricians there.

To see more entries for Ed’s Power Line challenge, just click here.

 

 

 

Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge: No, I didn’t buy it.

For Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge this week, here is an outfit on a model outside a Phuket curio shop in Patong. As you can imagine, it was difficult to resist, but although hubby said it would suit me, I was quite content with just a photo of what might have been.

Not quite me. :)

Not quite me. 🙂

To see more Odd Ball pics for Cee’s Challenge, or to join in the fun, just click on the badge below.

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