Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange


I’ve not done one of these for a while so here we go. I originally thought I’d only have 4 or 5 but got a bit carried away, as you can see.  These photos cover 4 continents and about 3 years of my life.  Some of the hues come from nature, some are man made and others are the result of nature’s affect on man’s creations. I’m always drawn to photographing things with red tones, because red is a favourite colour of mine, but I’d not realised I had so may different oranges until I started going through to select some.

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Taking stock of what I have and what I haven’t what do I find?


“Taking stock of what I have and what I haven’t
What do I find?
The things I got will keep me satisfied
Checking up on what I have and what I haven’t
What do I find?
A healthy balance on the credit side
Got no diamond
Got no pearl
Still I think I’m a lucky girl
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night
Got no mansion
Got no yacht
Still I’m happy with what I got
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night
Sunshine 
Gives me a lovely day
Moonlight 
Gives me the Milky Way
Got no checkbooks
Got no banks
Still I’d like to express my thanks
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night
And with the sun in the morning 
And the moon in the evening
I’m all right”

I Got the Sun in the Morning – Irving Berlin

 

It’s the last couple of days in Asia before heading off to Australia and so it’s time to take stock a little.

I’ve been to 5 countries, 2 of them only very briefly, taken thousands of photos, eaten tasty food, been to waterfalls, museums,temples and churches (so far I’ve covered lots of Buddhist, Taoist, Catholic and Protestant Churches, Hindu and been outside a couple of Mosques) grave sites, learned to dive, been caving, visited a school, stumbled upon a photography festival and a national protest, met an actor, had massages and pedicures (and one failed manicure), avoided being sick on boats, buses, trains and planes, not been sun burnt (quite an achievement I can tell you) met some lovely people and only a few who were dicks.

I’ve also ticked some more off the cities list.

 

Australia and New Zealand will be a different experience because for the most part I’ll be with people I know and I’ll also get to go to some music festivals, and I do love taking photos of musicians at work.  I might even get to do some singing too!

Lonely Planet Top 200 Cities

001 Paris, France  
002 New York City, USA
003 Sydney, Australia
004 Barcelona, Spain 
005 London, England 
006 Rome, Italy
007 San Francisco, USA
008 Bangkok, Thailand
009 Cape Town, South Africa
010 Istanbul, Turkey
011 Melbourne, Australia
012 Hong Kong, China
013 Kathmandu, Nepal
014 Prague, Czech Republic (2013) 
015 Vancouver, Canada
016 Buenos Aires, Argentina
017 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
018 Berlin, Germany
019 Jerusalem, Israel & the Palestinian Territories
020 Montreal, Canada
021 Edinburgh, Scotland
022 Venice, Italy
023 Hanoi, Vietnam
024 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
025 Singapore, Singapore

026 Tokyo, Japan
027 Florence, Italy
028 Dublin, Ireland 
029 Mexico City, Mexico
030 Krakow, Poland
031 Toronto, Canada
032 Cairo, Egypt
033 Budapest, Hungary 
034 Chicago, USA
035 Havana, Cuba
036 Madrid, Spain  
037 Munich, Germany
038 Athens, Greece
039 New Orleans, USA
040 Vienna, Austria
041 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
042 Marrakesh, Morocco
043 Sarajevo, Bosnia & Hercegovina
044 Seville, Spain
045 Kyoto, Japan
046 Las Vegas, USA
047 Perth, Australia
048 Shanghai, China
049 Los Angeles, USA
050 Lisbon, Portugal

051 Stockholm, Sweden
052 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
053 Damascus, Syria
054 Luang Prabang, Laos
055 Seattle, USA
056 Phnom Penh, Cambodia
057 St.Petersburg, Russia
058 Cuzco, Peru
059 Dubrovnik, Croatia
060 Delhi, India
061 Moscow, Russia
062 Salvador da Bahia, Brazil
063 Beijing, China
064 Helsinki, Finland
065 Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), India
066 Santiago de Chile, Chile
067 Fes, Morocco
068 Auckland, New Zealand
069 Manila, Philippines
070 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
071 Chiang Mai, Thailand
072 Varanasi, India
073 Cartagena, Colombia
074 Zanzibar Town, Tanzania 
075 Innsbruck, Austria

076 York, England 
077 Mumbai, India
078 Hamburg, Germany
079 Oaxaca City, Mexico
080 Galway, Ireland
081 Siena, Italy
082 Esfahan, Iran
083 Wellington, New Zealand
084 Ljubljana, Slovenia
085 Seoul, South Korea
086 San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico
087 Taipei, Taiwan
088 Tallinn, Estonia
089 Lhasa, Tibet
090 Bled, Slovenia
091 Hobart, Australia
092 Jaipur, India
093 Brussels, Belgium
094 La Paz, Bolivia
095 Quebec City, Canada
096 Valparaiso, Chile
097 Naples, Italy
098 Memphis, USA
099 Heidelberg, Germany
100 Dhaka, Bangladesh

101 Amman, Jordan
102 Monaco, Monaco
103 Washington DC, USA
104 Quito, Ecuador
105 Christchurch, New Zealand
106 Glasgow, Scotland
107 Muscat, Oman
108 Panama City, Panama
109 Dakar, Senegal
110 Bratislava, Slovakia
111 San Sebastian, Spain
112 Bern, Switzerland
113 San Juan, Puerto Rico
114 Aleppo (Halab), Syria
115 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
116 Riga, Latvia
117 Asmara, Eritrea
118 Kabul, Afghanistan
119 Bath, England
120 Copenhagen, Denmark
121 Macau, China
122 Sofia, Bulgaria
123 Hoi An, Vietnam
124 Marseille, France
125 Zagreb, Croatia

126 Manchester, England 
127 Antigua, Guatemala
128 Reykjavik, Iceland
129 Yogyakarta, Indonesia
130 Carcassonne, France
131 Lubeck, Germany
132 Tel Aviv, Israel
133 Hiroshima, Japan
134 Mendoza, Argentina
135 Nairobi, Kenya
136 Beirut, Lebanon
137 Vilnius, Lithuania
138 Montevideo, Uruguay
139 Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
140 Arequipa, Peru
141 Bucharest, Romania
142 Apia, Samoa
143 Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro
144 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 
145 Kyiv, Ukraine
146 Bukhara, Uzbekistan
147 Male’, The Maldives
148 Caracas, Venezuela
149 Tirana, Albania
150 Suva, Fiji

151 Tiblisi, Georgia
152 Agadez, Niger
153 Ushuaia, Argentina
154 Kampala, Uganda
155 Bogota, Colombia
156 Bridgetown, Barbados
157 Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
158 Abuja, Nigeria
159 Christiansted, US Virgin Islands
160 San’a, Yemen
161 Livingstone, Zambia
162 Alexandria, Egypt
163 Belfast, Northern Ireland
164 Savannah, USA
165 Nuuk, Greenland
166 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
167 Johannesburg, South Africa
168 Kairouan, Tunisia
169 Austin, USA
170 San Salvador, El Salvador
171 Cardiff, Wales
172 Minsk, Belarus
173 Thimphu, Bhutan
174 Khartoum, Sudan
175 Anchorage, USA

176 Mecca, Saudi Arabia
177 Aswan, Egypt
178 Yerevan, Armenia
179 Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
180 Georgetown, Malaysia
181 Maputo, Mozambique
182 Baku, Azerbaijan
183 Belize City, Belize
184 Essaouira, Morocco
185 Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
186 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
187 Pyongyang, North Korea
188 Lahore, Pakistan
189 Cayenne, French Guiana
190 Almaty, Kazakhstan
191 Mombasa, Kenya
192 Valletta, Malta
193 Antananarivo, Madagascar
194 Miami, USA
195 Bamako, Mali
196 Saint-Denis, Reunion
197 Granada, Spain
198 Beira, Mozambique
199 Madang, Papua New Guinea
200 Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

…put your hands all over my body…


This post is probably not what about what you think it’s about, but the lyrics in the title seemed fitting, even though, thanks to Jackie Oates and Eliza Carthy, all I can think of with this song is ‘Bill Oddie, Bill Oddie, put your hands all over my body’ instead of the Madonna classic.  I’m not telling you why the lyrics got changed (it’s not dodgy, don’t worry) but now that’s all you’ll ever hear for this song.  You’re welcome.

No, this post is about my first experiences of professional massage. See how the title makes sense now?

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside


Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

From the outside news reports the protests in Bangkok in February 2014 were more like riots, clashes with the police and sadly people died.

Inside, this was not the case everywhere. The protests were spread across a large area, with tents, music, food, I was given free water and invited to write on the pro-democracy walls.

A ten minute walk into the protest site I found these children dancing.

Pink elephants on parade, here they come! Hippety hoppety


Should you visit elephants in South East Asia?

I’ve been to two as part of pre-arranged tours and both have left me feeling uneasy and uncomfortable. But I think part of this may be because I was spoiled in Africa.

When I went to Nairobi I visited the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which rescues, raises and re-introduces back into the wild, African elephants orphaned by poaching and a loss of habitat.  The centre is open only an hour a day when groups of animals walk down to be fed, watered and play, with people able to come and watch. The rest of the time the elephants go wandering around the park.  It was a really great trip and I took some of my favourite animal photos there.  I even had one trunk tickle my feet.

In comparison to that, my two day trip to Kanchanaburi, Thailand included an elephant ride.  I was a little unsure about this as I have heard tales about how animals are treated and forced to work, but I went with an open mind.  As the others in the group were on a one day trip, I stayed at the elephant centre waiting for them.  I watched as elephants loaded with saddles, some wearing chains, were walked up to a platform by their ‘drivers’, knocked gently with sticks to get into place as sweaty tourists clambered on excitedly.  Off they went for around 20 minutes, not much shade around the course, dropped off their human loads and were rewarded by bunches of bananas, bits of watermelon and sugar cane bought for them by the thankful and smiling tourists.  I bought some fruit and fed some of the elephants before they were loaded with people and taken on another ‘trek’.

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Not drowning, but waving


When I was in the Serengeti last March/April time Joe, the Yr 5 teacher, came up with a game to keep us amused.  Any time another safari car came by you had to wave at the occupants of the car.  Easy enough you would think, but the game was to keep on waving for as long as you could, beyond the comfortable limits of being polite.  You won if you managed to wave for the longest time, especially if the others waved back.  If they didn’t they were normally termed ‘miserable bastards’ and waved at anyway with a fixed grin on our faces.  It was like a car version of this:

 

Long car journeys when I was small always involved waving at other travellers, people in coaches, other children trapped in the back of cars being dragged by their parents to god-knows-where and, of course, truckers.  You were most successful if you got a trucker to honk their horn at you as you drove past.  Sometimes this would be accompanied by Dad’s truck driving country song mix tape.  Later, in our battered space cruiser, the Fairport Convention album ‘Glady’s Leap’ got stuck in the tape player and so was on repeat for about 3 years.  When I hear this song, I can still picture myself staring out of the moon roof, trying to count stars as we went Driving In The Dark. 

 

I’ve been playing the waving game a little bit since getting here.  It’s one of the things I do to entertain myself when I’m plodding around on my own.  It seems to work well on boats, although everyone else gives up a little quicker than I do, but then they don’t know we’re playing.  If they did, they’d probably try a little harder. 

 

What I have noticed in most of the places I’ve been to, around the UK, Western Europe, Tanzania, Kenya and now Thailand, is that children still delight in getting a wave out of strangers driving or sailing by.  In Tanzania, children would rush to the sides of the road waving frantically, on the motorways of France, Spain and Germany they press their faces up against their car windows, hands madly shaking back and forth.  In Thailand there’s a mixture of the two, kids by the side of the road, perched on scooters, in the front of pick up trucks.  And anywhere you go you are greeted with huge smiles.  If only we were by more adults. 

Dreams of breathing underwater


The first film I remember seeing at the cinema was when I was 5 years old. It was Disney’s The Little Mermaid.  I was amazed by it, immediately decided I wanted red hair like Ariel.  We went to McDonalds and I got an Ursula toy with my Happy Meal. It was 1989.

Some time not long after I was amazed to see the video in Ritz (as it was then, don’t think it had become a Blockbusters, or indeed a cafe at that point) and begged Mum to buy it for me so that I could re-live that magical underwater world at home.  Mum said no.  It wasn’t the film.  I disagreed, it had Ariel on the front and I could definitely read the words ‘Under the Sea’ there too.  Mum said it wasn’t, it was just in the cinema. I disagreed and must have pestered er for ages because somehow I acquired that video.  Of course it wasn’t The Little Mermaid, it was ‘Sing-a-long Songs Under the Sea‘ which did feature some of the Little Mermaid soundtrack, but also other vaguely water related Disney songs including one from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in which Kirk Douglas seems to be telling his shipmates about some sort of dalliance with a fish or two.  Mr Jim Causley has been known to do an amusing cover of this if you ever get the chance to see/hear it.  Ask him nicely.

My obsession with TLM grew and I was exceptionally jealous of my cousin Rebecca because she had an Ariel doll.  I even used to pretend to be Ariel when swimming at Brackley Pool – the pool has two sets of steps in the shallow end, if you swam around underwater, legs together because you are a mermaid with a tail, singing ‘Part of your world‘ to yourself and timed it right you could push yourself up the steps, breaking out of the water at just the right point to recreate the iconic waves/big stone moment.  To me, I was definitely a ginger mermaid, to everyone else I must have looked mental.

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One night in Bangkok (so far)


‘Bangkok, Oriental setting
And the city don’t know that the city is getting’  Chess

It probably does actually.  The original lyrics are about a chess game between Russia and America at the height of the cold war.  That’s far more dramatic than the sleepy arrival of an increasingly pink English person.

It’s my first day here, it’s 20 past eight and soon I’ll be heading back to bed.  I hadn’t managed to sleep much on the flights, I got maybe two hours altogether. So there was a long taxi ride, got dropped off on the wrong road, so had a little wonder around the busy streets asking bemused looking Thai people to direct me to the right road.  Eventually I got here, had a sleep, a shower and then went off for a walk around the city.

I dozed off on the plane watching Philidelphia (Jet Airlines has a Denzel Washington special video list) and this was what greeted me as I woke up.

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Further along this was the sunrise:

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Obviously there’s a lot of political unrest at the moment.  There are protests, elections being disrupted, people being hot, so I am quite wary as a lone female traveller, but not really any more so than I would anywhere else. One guy was trying to encourage me to go with him to the tourist information as he would get some money from the government for taking me, but the tourist information is near the parliament where it’s all going on, so I politely told him no.

I took a walk to the river, got some street food – two skewers of unidentified meatballs and two of barbequed squid with a spicy dipping sauce in a plastic bag.  It was really tasty, but not great if you don’t like spicy food.  But then if you don’t like spicy food, maybe you shouldn’t come to Thailand.

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I bought my ticket for the boat and waited on the floating pontoon.  There I met 4 English girls on their own adventure – Fiona, Lily, Kate and Laura (Sorry if Laura’s not actually called Laura.  Really should have written things down!)

Lily has eagle eyes and spotted someone who may or not be famous.  He is.  I took a sneaky picture, as you do, then he and his friends headed our way and he got chatting.  He’s been bitten by a lizard and suggested making sure that we head to a decent elephant place when we go north.  And because it’s what I do, I got myself a picture.  So here you might recognise Dominic Monaghan from Lord of the Rings and Lost.  I’ll ignore the fact that I look like a beetroot.  I’m acclimatizing.

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The sun was setting s the boat headed down the river so no great pictures yet, but I’m going to take it again tomorrow morning on my way to the Siam Museum, The Grand Palace, the Emerald Buddha et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

And I’m standing on a platform,


…and now I’m staring from a plane. 

And all the trees roll back beside but I’m so oblivious
To the dark, to the light, it’s all the same


And it makes me fly

 

Apologies to The Sundays

 

Well I’m nearly off.  Was a bit stressed this morning heading to the airport.  I’ve realised I’m wearing almost exactly the same clothes as I did to fly to Tanzania, but this time I’m on my own.  And they’re calling me to board….

Hello new readers…


Hello to any of you who are visiting and reading for the first time, lovely of you to stop by, and welcome back those that have been here before. 

 

Have a look through the old posts if you like, please feel free to share the link, comment, give me ideas of where I should go to for my trip, particularly in the US, SE Asia, New Zealand or Fiji. Let me know if you would like me to pop by on the trip.  I caan make you a good meal if you can give me a sofa or spare bed to sleep on! I’m very open to people’s ideas and suggestions and I’ll be updating here as things develop.

 

Ellie

 

http://www.twitter.com/serenceinwyn

There must be more than this provincial life…


“Little town, it’s a quiet village.

Ev’ry day like the one before…”

Well not exactly the same everyday, but it seems to feel that way a the moment.  I feel like I’m in limbo still, living in the village I was born in, working in the town I grew up in.  I’m doing extra hours as someone left and they’re yet to replace him, so that’s good because otherwise I would probably be spending my days off sitting in bed in my pajamas watching ER or Grey’s Anatomy and eating chocolate.  And frankly that’s not going to do anyone any good now is it?  Nope, better that I go to work, read books (in my lunch break), put stuff away, find books for people, chat too people and help children make things.  And it is a lovely job.  I like libraries, I like talking to people and helping out with things, but there’s only so much time you can spend living with your brother and his girlfriend before you feel like you are very much imposing.

‘Look there she goes that girl is strange, no question

Dazed and distracted, can’t you tell?

Never part of any crowd ’cause her head’s up on some cloud

No denying she’s a funny girl that El (sic)

Look there she goes that girl is so peculiar

I wonder if she’s feeling well

With a dreamy far off look, and her nose stuck in a book

What a puzzle to the rest of us is El (sic)

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