Mother Nature is Best!

Daily Prompt: The Natural World

by michelle w. on June 30, 2013

Describe your first memorable experience exploring and spending time in nature. Were you in awe? Or were you not impressed? Would you rather spend time in the forest or the city?

Photographers, artists, and poets: show us NATURE.

ImageMy family prefers Nature over City… This was taken when we camped at Golden Gate in the eastern Orange Free State in South Africa…

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Weekly Travel theme: Sculpture

 

Ailsa gave the weekly travel theme: Sculpture

Just a few sculptures I saw along the way…..

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While I was browsing through my old photos, I also saw this one- Trafalgar Square, November 2006

A Rider for Good…

Daily Prompt: No Longer a Mere Mortal

by Krista on June 29, 2013

You’ve imbibed a special potion that makes you immortal. Now that you’ve got forever, what changes will you make in your life? How will you live life differently, knowing you’ll always be around to be accountable for your actions?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us LONGEVITY.

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Today’s Daily Prompt is so right up the alley of the Comic Book Genre- Immortals who can make or break the world around them. Immortality is a favourite theme- as a child I loved the original Highlander movie with that immortal Queen song: “Who wants to live forever...” 

A more recent movie that I like would make my dear church elders frown a bit.  Ghost Rider

The story of the daredevil who became immortal and now ride around at night, ridding the world of all evil, where it may rear it’s ugly head…  a typical Marvel story!  

Now listen, I do not want to be burning, my pain toleration levels are way too low for that. I surely also do not wish to be a Ghost…  and I do not have any magical powers yet…

But this is a fantasy, somehow a special potion made me immortal and invincible…

I would still, like the Ghost Rider, do good.  This world will never be perfect, and there will always be people who are in need of some help. If I am immortal in this sense, or not, does not make any difference to my life’s point of view.  Most religions also have a sense of accountability of what we do with our lives.  A while back I said in a daily prompt if there was only one rule, it would be for me to do unto others as I wish they would do to me… I try to live that principle every moment, with every person crossing my path.  Storybook story, or real life, this is me… 

I really get a boost when I am able to help someone in need.  It is so good to give food to hungry people.  It is good to help elderly people with their daily chores- go do their shopping for them, or change their light bulbs.  I am not mechanically blessed enough to try and fix their cars or appliances…  

I think there is still the knight in me who wants to rescue damsels in distress.  If I am held accountable for my life, even if not, it gives me great joy when my children describes me as someone who respects women.  I love it when I am part of the solution of the position that women often find themselves in.  I want to be a safe, caring friend in need. If I had superpowers, I think I would love to beat the crap out of any man who hits a woman, or abuse a child!  But I am not a very good fighter, and I am too slow to run away…  Superpowers are definitely needed in this terrain… 

But… I do not yet have the superpowers needed to help everybody around me. I do not have the immortality that this potion promises. But I do have choices, and with my limited powers and resources, I choose to make the world around me, where I can, a little bit better…

If everybody did that, this world would be a much better place to live in and be happy, I believe…

Saturday morning slave…

Saturday morning- my wife got into the gardening mood again… So she dragged me by the ear to all the nurseries in town. She bought plants, and I just played with my Powershot…

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The birds are starting to gather at my bird restaurant…

I still have to remember: I have to preach tomorrow morning- a sermon needs to be born sometime today… Maybe Psalm 8 that says how beautiful all things are that God has made…

Enjoy your Saturday!

If you keep on going long enough, you’ll get there….

Daily Prompt: We Can Be Taught!

by michelle w. on June 28, 2013

Tell us a moment or an incident that you treasure  – not necessarily because it brought you happiness, but because it taught you something about yourself.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us LEARNING

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I think it is just a part of the melancholy temperament, or being INTJ on the Myers Briggs test- I am usually filled with self- doubt.  I am always wondering if I have the ability to do something big, and do it successfully.

One of my bad thoughts about myself is that I am not a good hiker. Walking long distance just do not come easy to me. But there is a history to these ideas. At school, I was usually one of the slowest runners in the school.  I had some really bad hiking experiences in my life as well, and now I know it was caused by carrying too much luggage around.  There was such memories of pure misery carrying huge backpacks, some of them also some SA Army experiences…

So when I started reaching my midlife crisis, I thought about doing something so totally opposite to what I think I can do. I decided to try on a part of the Camino de Santiago.  With the time I had available I decided to walk from Léon to Santiago de Campostela in 2011- a distance of 317 km (each time taking the longer option) in 17 days.  This sounded totally too far to even imagine walking. But I decided to give it all I got, and try. Face the fear.  Look the enemy in the face, and spit in his eye…

So… I did.  I walked to the cathedral in Santiago… Image

I finished the Camino, and got my Campostela.

It took some pain along the way:

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But I learned a few lessons worth keeping for the rest of my life:

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All the Pilgrims have the same testimony in life: If you keep on walking, you get there eventually!  They even build statues for ordinary people who keep on going in Spain!

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 Eventually- the destination (mine)  is reached- Km 0.00 at Finisterre

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If I could do this, I can do anything! Just keep on going…

Let’s Visit… Ireland

How does Let’s Visit work? You take a world map, and put it against a wall. You take a dart, and with your eyes closed, you throw it. Where the dart pegs, you go on a virtual tour from the uncomfort of your own home. If you are rich, you just hop to the nearest travel agent, book a flight there for tomorrow, and Bob’s your uncle- a real tour…  Otherwise, like me, you just virtual travel on your day off.

The dart pegged in the Atlantic Ocean next to the Irish shores… I am lucky- I have been there, I have a sister in law living in Coolaney, or however the Irish wish to spell it…

First stop in Ireland: Guinness Brewery… let me tell you, the black stuff with the white head tastes much better there than across the Atlantic on the underside of the Equator! Image

I was a lot younger here, so not old enough for the good Irish whiskey’s…

Dublin also have a beautiful park worth sitting in, and feeding the ducks… St Stephens Green Image

Ireland is a beautiful island. You have to travel around it… but the Irish are BAD drivers- they have way too much patience behind a steering wheel and will wait for a car approaching two towns away…  This is the Ring of Kerry- patience is needed for Irish roads (did I say that yet?)

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If you do have patience, you will eventually reach beautiful towns like Kildare…

ImageYou get to kiss the Blarney stone to have the gift of being a good speaker…

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You have not been to Ireland if you did not see the Cliffs of Maher- and look across the Atlantic Ocean to where most of the Irish are living on the other side…

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To go to church can be bad on a wet day, as the cathedrals have no roofs and lots of dead people buried there inside… Image The Irish lost a lot of fishermen to the cruel Atlantic ocean:

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The Irish are a nation of poets… ImageThere is a pub for every 3 Irish men, you may use the craic in any pub, but do not mention The Troubles…

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Thus far I got with my own photos. But as usual- you wondered: how does an Irish girl look like?

Ireland is a gutsy rugby playing nation, God bless ’em!

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Ronan o’Gara as shared by thinkwhatyoulike.wordpress.com

Finally- they have quite a lot of musicians- the home of Celtic music, and Enya and Westlife…

It is huge fun being in Ireland, if you are really, really patient behind a steering wheel!

What have I missed? The Island does have 1000 shades of green, it rains every single day of the year, and their hottest summer days are colder than our winters days…  But a lovely place…

Ladies, you just have to Google Image Colin Farrell your own selves…

Beauty in the eye of the beholder…

Daily Prompt: The Artist’s Eye

by michelle w. on June 27, 2013

Is there a painting or sculpture you’re drawn to? What does it say to you? Describe the experience. (Or, if art doesn’t speak to you, tell us why.)

Photographers, artists, poets: show us ART.

Beauty can be found in the most unexpected corners of the world…

I love art in so many forms- nature, the beauty of a woman, the beauty of a song or a dance, but also the beauty people create in various mediums…

Here is just some of so many fine examples of art I love…

My daughter saw an artwork like this in a psychiatrist’s office, and she made her own interpretation of it for me from memory( she was then aged 16)  – it hangs in my study…   Image

A very good friend owns this piece of art- it’s name is “After the show…” and somehow we pastors also relate to this emotion…

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I love the random art you can find in nature by just opening your eyes…

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And in conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, another piece by my daughter, it was one of her first year assignments in Graphic Design… Mr John Lennon …  Image

There is so much art all around us- just look with new eyes around you, even in the everyday things, like an old chain laying next to the life saver station at Melkbosstrand… Image

Just look and enjoy…

A winter evening in the South African Bush…

When I see friends in the northern hemisphere posting in winter time, I see snow and extreme weather. No one dare to be outside.

So let me share some of the South African experience. It was the winter solstice last week. It is supposed to be cold…

Yesterday the day turned at 34 degrees Celsius…   I am so happy that some of my Cape Town friends stayed over last night.  Our European friends would not understand. I live on a rather huge piece of land, with many trees. These trees drop branches or get pruned every now and then.  What happens to the dead branches? Image

I have this stainless steel drum from our very first washing machine- a Speedqueen toploader. And it is making such a wonderful heater in winter… Remember our context- This Is Africa!  We had these two lovely fires going last night, the upper one to keep us warm. And the second- we had a fantastic BRAAI (barbeque), one of South Africa’s favourite ways of cooking!

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Having a Braai, with some excellent export quality KWV wine (Merlot) and good friends sitting around the fireside… MAN, it is hard living in Africa… Not!

Tomorrow President Barack Obama is visiting our country- he will hear sad stories from the ANC– but just look at the parking lot… not all South Africans are poor anymore…  A better life for all politicians… the ANC slogan…

Our prayers are still with Nelson Mandela, but we fear the end is nigh…

Crosscountry by Motorcycle

Daily Prompt: Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

by michelle w. on June 26, 2013

You’re going on a cross-country trip. Airplane, train, bus, or car? (Or something else entirely — bike? Hot air balloon?)

Photographers, artists, poets: show us TRAVEL.

The way I love to travel the most is on any one of my MOTORCYCLES!

Even more so when it is cross-country. I live in the Northern part of South Africa, and Cape Town is 1650 km south, (1000 miles more or less…)

These are just some of the memories- both these bikes are standing outside my house at the moment, both are ready to ride… for I am the RIder!

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De Rust outside Meiringspoort

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Route 62 outside Calitzdorp

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At the Tropic of Capricorn just south of Louis Trichardt (Makhado)

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Trompsburg, Free State, where you can buy lekker vetkoeke…

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I think this is Tredouxs Pass between the Route 62, and the N2 Garden Route…
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Cape Agulhas, southern point of African continent…

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Above Gordon’s Bay on Route 44

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THE landmark of ROute 62

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Entering Meiringspoort

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Travalia just after Three Sisters on the N1, where the mutton chops are awesome!

The BMW at the Shop

The BMW at the Shop

 Except for the Tropic of Capricorn all these photos were taken more than 1000 km from home…

Happy citizen of the 21st Century!

Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen

by michelle w. on June 25, 2013

Do you belong in this day and age? Do you feel comfortable being a citizen of the 21st-century? If you do, explain why — and if you don’t, when in human history would you rather be?

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I am so happy to be alive right about now. There is no other time in history I would rather live in than today.

I think it has a lot to do with gadgets…  I am absolutely hooked on the Internet. It is such fun to have all the information of the world available on my laptop!

When I was still in the primary school, reading was the best discovery ever for me. I had a hard time fitting in with my peer group. The school’s library became one of my favourite places to be during the breaks…  There came a day when there was nothing new to read in the whole school library.

Today, I  am still the same curious person. I still love reading. And by reading a lot of people’s blogs I still get transported to places on the other side of the world from me, like Hawaii and Thailand and Japan, and…  I get to read of people on Route 66, or diving in the Red Sea.  I get to follow people walking the Camino de Santiago. I read a little bit of history, a little bit of sport… what an exciting world!

With the Internet, I also am very good friends with my Samsung Galaxy S3- to have all those apps to play with- I never get bored anymore!

And then- I still do not own a tablet. But I bought myself a Kobo ereader last December. To have a couple of thousand books with me all the time- that is simply heaven on earth!

So I am firmly a citizen of the 21st century. I love the Information Revolution. I love living now- I love being connected…  So please leave me just here, Doctor Who…