A Lingering Look at Windows

Over at The Day After there is a blogger obsessed with windows, especially windows that tell a story. And I also have been afflicted with this obsession.

What a view!! I would waste a lot of time if I had this window to sit beside! Hutt Valley, New Zealand

Day 2 New Zealand

Something to Ponder About

 

Proverbial Thursday – Proverbs from around the World

I find profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and across cultures, and speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes like proverbs, can make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking.  I hope you will too.Macro Monday

 

“A decision made at night may be changed in the morning.” – Samoan Proverb

 

The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple. Oscar Wilde

 

Something to Ponder About

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Black and White

Old world Home baking

My contribution to the challenge by Sally from Lens and Pens – Black and white photography always gives an historic slant to pictures. Shot with my Nexus 4 phone camera.

And fewer people make their own snacks. Kitchen reality shows have contributed to cooking gourmet meals, but home bake for children, comes more and more from a plastic packet, as being discussed by Karena at the blog: Living, learning and Letting go.

Something wholesome to ponder about.

Recipe on request!!!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Fire/Summer

Hellesylt, Norway

Although I am in the throws of winter in the southern hemisphere, I have just been holidaying in the far north, and enjoying early and midsummer in Norway. Here is my interpretation of the foto challenge from Cee.

Another photo of these gorgeous blooms is found here

The background is just as nice!

Summer and Poppies: Something to Ponder About

Australian’s Shame – A Tween’s letter to the Prime Minister

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Out of the mouths of babes….. this is a letter to the Prime Minister of Australia by a 13 year old Australian child, who feels strongly about Australian’s policy on illegal immigrants and their indecent treatment. To me, it expresses what most of us feel, the shame that our country is not doing more to help those less fortunate than ourselves, and we are all, unless we are amongst the indigenous people, immigrants to this new world. Tony himself, is the product of an open and tolerant society, one that his government’s policies, appear to threaten.

Dear Tony Abbott,

My name is xxxxx  xxxxxxxx, I am 13 years old and I feel concerned about the choice you are  making with the immigrating “Asylum Seekers.” I hope this letter gives you a different perpective about this issue.

The word ‘Asylum Seeker’ is designed to scare people, but really it is just a innocent human being like us. Why should we treat Asylum Seeker’s any differently? Why are we pushing them away from Australia?  We should be extremely great full that we live in a economically,  rich country that lets numerous people of different races come to Australia. Unfortunately, county’s like Iraq, Afghanistan, Burma and many other’s, don’t earn enough income to pay for a flight to Australia, instead, they try and start a new life by boarding a boat, and illegally, coming to Australia. The word ‘Illegal’ is a powerful word. It means that you’ve broken the law, and should be punished. But in this case, I don’t see why they should be punished. Just like us, they are trying to start a new life for them self or there family, yet we are stopping them. So I guess my question is, why?

When making this decision you also need to think about financial issues. You will be paying the Australian Navy hundreds of dollars to go out to sea and watch for Asylum seekers trying to enter the country illegally. It’s a huge waste of money! When the Navy spots a boat in our waters, they inspect it and tell them to turn around or send them back. To go home, only to be told again, that their own country also does not want them to return. They have chosen to leave and are not allowed back. So these people are desperately in need of our help. They have nowhere to go and are stuck our in the sea. How does that make YOU feel?

We need to give these people a chance because they deserve it. We need to acknowledge  the fact that they travel so far across the world to start a new life to better themselves. They will be motivated to make a contribution to our society. They will be grateful to  live a life in peace. Everyone should have the choice to change and start a new life, so why not give them this chance? Imagine yourself in their shoes? I think you need to re-think your decision and really think about what you are doing to these people and how you will be making them feel.

Why are we not feeling grateful that these people are wanting to come to OUR country?Why aren’t they going to another country closer to home? Because they think that if we try to immigrate to this country, I might have a chance – a chance to change my life.

Think about it! Imagine that you are a man from Iraq, trying to immigrate to Australia to find a job to pay for your family to survive back home. You’ve paid all your savings to an agent, boarded a leaky boat and you are going to be travelling for hours and hours to get to Australia. It is cold and wet, but you get through it. You can see land ahead. as you are getting closer, you are stopped by the Australian Navy. They inspect your boat and tell you to turn around and go back. go home. YOu and the others on board beg to stay, but they don’ t care. (They wouldn’t care because they have no idea what you are feeling!)

But more importantly, how will you feed your family back home? The money is all gone and as you travel back home, you are stopped again, only this time by some of your own people. They say you can not return to your homeland. You have chosen to leave and you must stay out. If you continue you or your family may be killed. How would this make you feel?

I hope that this letter has given you a different perspective about this issue and the decision that you are making. 
Sincerely,
xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx
 
Shame, Australia, shame…. something to ponder about.
 
 

Monday Mystery Photo – Where in the World Are We Today?

Each Monday I post a mystery photo, or occasionally a mystery object on my blog. Leave a comment if you think you know where this is located. If you guess correctly, I will credit you the following week and post a link to your site/blog.

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Last time I was at Trollstigen road, a mountain road in Rauma, Norway, with its 11 hairpin bends, opened in 1936. At certain points, large buses have to reverse in order to drive around the tight hairpin bends. We were lucky this day with the weather. Five minutes after this photo was taken, you could not see anything behind the lookout. It was then, just a solid white wall of mist.

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Last time, Christopher correctly identified the location as Norway. You will find Christopher’s blog, ” Something for Pok” here, and if you are a bicycling enthusiast, you will find it especially interesting.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHA8oULEky4

 

By the way, I did NOT go down the “Troll ladder”, only up!!! I wonder how often accidents happen on this nail-biting stretch of road?

Something to ponder About.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

Many things can fit within another…. not just Matroyska dolls either

Europe 2011second batch 006

All the following photos were containers for people. People who smuggled people from East Germany to Berlin during the Cold war, via Checkpoint Charlie and are now in the museum in Berlin.  It is a sobering thing to ponder about…. in the photo below you can see the “dummy” squashed into the boot space of this little car. Desperate people squeezing their way through desperation. I admire their determination and tenacity.

 

http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/weekly-photo-challenge-containers/Europe 2011second batch 701Europe 2011second batch 690 Europe 2011second batch 691 Europe 2011second batch 695 Europe 2011second batch 696

More here:

http://whichwaynow101.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/photo-challenge-containers/

http://thephotoseye.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/weekly-photo-challenge-containers/

Travel Theme – Purple

travelthemepurplejuly14

Giardini di Villa Melzi

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Ailsa’s Travel theme – Purple

Singapore Purple

Singapore Purple

More here:

http://thatmontrealgirl.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/travel-theme-purple/

 

Some Purples to ponder about, or is it magenta, lilac, or violet?

 

 

Proverbial Thursday – Proverbs from around the World

I find profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and across cultures, and speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessoIMG_5251ns learned. Quotes like proverbs, can make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. I hope you will too.

“Don’t let your sorrow come higher than your knees.” – Scandinavian Proverb

“Strangers are the ones who give a meaning to the word caring. They don’t give us expectations nor do they have any expectations from us” Anon

Something to Ponder About

Proverbial Thursday – Proverbs from Around the World

I find profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and across cultures, and speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes like proverbs, can make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. I hope you will too.

“A borrowed drum never makes for good dancing.” Haitian Proverb

A fool writes his name everywhere, Hege glad – livetleker.wordpressTe Mata Peak New Zealand

Something to Ponder About.

Monday Mystery Photo – Where in the World Are We Today?

Each Monday I post a mystery photo, or occasionally a mystery object on my blog. Leave a comment if you think you know where I am standing. If you guess right, I will credit you the following week and post a link to your site/blog.

 

 

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Where in the world is this fantastic sight?

Last week (s) we were at the old bridge in Trondheim, Norway. A fabulous city filled with old wooden houses. A new favourite place of mine. Something for me to ponder about.

 

mmp16th June

 

 

 

Packing Tips for Overseas Travel – Part 1

Travelling around at the opposite end of the planet, means fewer blog posts, as I am wholly dependent on wi fi quantity and quality. A topic that is particularly pertinent is packing the suitcase!

How many of us have been forced to sit on a suitcase to close the zip or stress over potential excess luggage charges because we have packed too much stuff? PHOTO_20140302_130734

Unless you are going to a extremely warm/cold place, here are some tips I have found useful:

Travel light- How often does one hear this? Nevertheless,  I repeat: travel light and this way you can fill up your suitcase with all the things that you wish to bring home, such as mementos of one’s trip and gifts for family or friends. My suitcase is filled with gifts when I go overseas to visit family and comes back filled with gifts for family at home. But what should we pack?

Clothes

Always the eternal question: How many do I take/not take? We all take more than we need, always!!

So, only take 3 warmer or 3 cooler outfits depending on the climate of where you are going, and 1 set of PJ’s or nightwear. This way you can wash one out and have it drying whilst wearing the second, and the third is your backup. Seriously, you don’t really need any more clothes than this – seriously.

Wash and rinse your clothes under your feet whilst you are bathing in the shower, unless, of course, you have been digging in fertiliser on a farm in which case you need to wash off first.

Roll your clothes, rather than laying them flat in suitcases.

Socks and underwear can be stuffed around delicate items and inside shoes.

A raincoat can double as another layer in colder weather.

Wear black… it doesn’t show the dirt of the spots of coffee or soup that invariably find their way onto light coloured or white clothing.

Scarfs : They don’t take up much room and are a great way to keep warm in cool climates (lots of warmth can be retained in the core area of the chest by wearing a scarf). It also serves as a way to jazz up an outfit to provide a bit of variety in one’s travel wardrobe.

Shoes

Take 2 pairs of shoes maximum: one comfortable and one walking shoes. Alternatively, you can take one comfy walking/hiking shoes and a pair of thongs for public showers/swimming pools/wearing at the beach.  I promise you unless you are a fashion queen, you won’t need any others and you will just be carrying dead weight around needlessly.

Zip Lock Bags

Zip lock bags can replace the need for toiletry bags and prevent spillage

Carry extra zip lock bags (for soiled clothes or laying between ckothes to eliminate wrinkles

Fluids

A refillable water bottle is environmentally friendly and can be topped up along the way, beware of filling disposable plastic bottles.

Nutrition

Take enough vitamins to last you the entire journey if you can. Otherwise buy on route but be aware different countries may restrict dosages on certain vitamins. eg: in Sweden I had to swallow five tablets a day to get the same amount of vitamins I would have at home.

Carry a small plastic spoon, knife and fork in your backpack. (You could save them after your finish your airline meal.) This way you can purchase a yoghurt or smaller item of food at a local supermarket, (a less expensive option than cafes/restaurants), and get to eat it without spillage or making an animal of yourself. Have you ever tried to yoghurt/corn kernels without a spoon? Not easy!

and finally:

Pack your suitcase up the night before you plan to leave the next day, leaving out your toothbrush and fresh set of clothes. You will thank yourself for doing that in the morning.

Even the best organized suitcase will swallow things from time to time, and these things will invariably re-appear when you least expect and need them. Why this is, I will often ponder about.

 

I would love for anyone with further contributions to add them to this post in the comments box. Feel free to do so… I don’t bite!

 

 

 

 

Proverbial Thursday – Proverbs from around the World

I find profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and across cultures, and speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes like proverbs, can make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking.  I hope you will too.Collage cut out original #2

 

If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve

Zen Proverb

Barking dogs seldom bite‘  – Anon

Dogs or people may threaten you, but in both cases, they rarely take action

 

Something to Ponder About.

Monday Mystery Photo – Where in the World Are We Today?

Each Monday I post a mystery photo, or occasionally a mystery object on my blog. Leave a comment if you think you know where I am standing. If you guess right, I will credit you the following week and post a link to your site/blog.

mmp16th June

As I have been away it was two weeks ago that I postede a photo of this marvellous facility: Pet Porpoise pool, a.k. lately as Dolphin Marine Magic located on the beautiful Mid North Coast of NSW, in the city of Coffs Harbour  midway between Sydney and Brisbane.

David, from the blog morninggloryphotography (sunset photographer extraordinaire) correctly identified the location as Coffs’ Harbour Pet Porpoise Pool. This is a small establishment but I can promise it will give you a much more fulfilling experience than the larger Sea World on the Gold coast. You can pat a dolphin, feed a dolphin, kiss a sea lion, feed a penguin for free once you enter the park. An intimate experience you will not find anywhere else or if you do, you will pay $300 or more for a 5 minute swim. The keepers here really care about the animals and are friendly, informative and helpful.

 

pet porpoise pool

Athena the Sea Lion and I get acquainted

This is what they say about themselves:

We are one of only two facilities displaying cetaceans in all of Australia. What really sets us apart from other animal parks is our ability to engage visitors with our animals in an extremely ‘up close and personal’ manner. No other facility promises every guest an opportunity to be kissed by both a dolphin and seal for FREE allowing guests to …be touched by magic!

On Boxing Day in 1970, the marine park opened as a rescue and rehabilitation centre for native marine animals, and we continue with this work. We permanently home and care for marine mammals that have been brought into human care as a result of an injury or event that prohibited the animal being released back to the wild. The offspring of past and present marine mammals and animals from other like minded institutions in Australia also reside permanently here at the park.

We are the home to dozens of animals, more notably our Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins, seals, a flock of Little Penguins, Green Sea Turtles, fresh water turtles and a variety of endemic fish species. We have the most successful breeding record in the world of the endangered Australian Sea Lion, with less than 12,000 left in the wild.

We acknowledge the Gumbula Julipi people, the traditional land owners. Back at the turn of the century these people documented sacred legends which referred to incidents involving wild seals and dolphins near and surrounding our current site. These legends connect and encourage people to protect our native marine animals, and we continue to deliver this message today.

Something to ponder about

 

Book Review – Karin Fossum “Broken”

As most bloggers have a passion to write,  I have picked the following novel to review, from one of Norway’s most popular authors, Karin Fossum, as it is a story that gives a window into an author’s life and their thinking processes. Reading this book, after having visited the town in which it was set, (Drammen, in Norway), was an added bonus that made the story come alive.

Karin Fossum – “BROKEN”

Genre – psychological suspense (Norwegian author)

 A woman wakes one night to find someone in her room. She lies there in terrified silence, unable to move. The woman is an author and the man begs her to tell his story.

Initially, the reader may be a little confused  with this unconventional approach in telling a story, as it is written from the perspective of a writer. At times, the  boundary between the author in the story, and the main character, become a little blurred. The female author imagines the characters in her future book, to be standing in a queue outside her door, waiting to enter. One man gets sick of waiting and “jumps the queue,” appearing beside the story-teller’s bed one night, begging for her to tell his story. He can’t wait any longer, he tells her:
 “There’s always someone ahead of me — I’m used to that. But I can’t bear it any longer. I’m exhausted. You have to tell my story now — you have to start this morning!”

And so she does. She creates his name, Alvar Eide and begins to tell his story: that of a shy, middle aged social misfit who lives on the fringe of society, seemingly content with his life working in an art gallery. Little does he know that a simple act of kindness will irrevocably change his well-ordered, but predictable, life. A young, thin, drug-addicted girl enters the gallery one day and instead of turfing her out, he offers her a cup of coffee. From then on, he is unwittingly drawn more into her world, while his, spirals out of control. Alvar Eide is a good man, but the vulnerabilities of living a sheltered life lead him to a situation, where he is not only taken advantage of, but also one he cannot control.

“BROKEN” is about vulnerability, control and the perils of good intentions. How much should we become involved in other people’s lives? Is there a personal cost? A suspenseful story rather than a mystery, Broken is a story set in the town of Drammen, Norway and explores issues such as control, emotions and destiny and the role these might have in shaping personality and experience. It is a really enjoyable read and I so liked the window into both the writer’s mind and her thinking processes.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

If you liked this novel, Karin Fossum has a series of other stories, all set in Norway, with Inspector Konrad Sejer as the central character.

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Drammen

Drammen, is a town a little under an hour away from Oslo, the capital. For the tourist, it is worth a visit, not least because of the scenic lookout, called ‘Spiraltoppen’, (see pics attached) accessed by a road tunnel, constructed in 1961,  that spirals six times around inside the mountain itself. Visitors can enjoy the view  at 1650 metres, lunch at a restaurant, or stroll along the many forest walks and winter ski trails. Spiraltoppen also has an open air museum, with well-preserved examples of Norwegian cottages and farm buildings of yesteryear. If you visit in summer, Spiraltoppen comes alive with festivals of folk- dancing, music, traditional painting and craft, and if you are really lucky, you might even spot both moose and deer, enjoying the scenic countryside that you find here.

Here is what you see when you drive to the summit of Spiraltoppen:

 

 

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Reading crime fiction always gives me something to ponder about.


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