Friday, 28 September 2018

September 2018 Photo Scavenger Hunt

Another interesting but challenging selection of titles but I'm not complaining as I always have fun searching through my archives for as many as possible.  Happy memories.

1. Brightly Coloured

These two photographs were taken at a concert put on by the nurses and staff at Thabomopo Hospital in South Africa where we worked for many years. It was a Psychiatric Hospital for Chronic Psychiatric patients and we had to regularly find stimulating activities like this for them.  The ladies below came from various tribes which explains the different traditional costumes.  The tribes represented here are Khosa (Nelson Mandela's tribe), Pedi, Shangaan, Sothu, Tswana, Venda and Zulu.  I thought their colourful dresses and the beautiful bougainvillea behind and above them suited this topic well.

To my shame I can only identify a few of the tribes these ladies represent.  The lady in the tall hat in the front row in the above photograph will be Zulu, and the Shangaan tribe is represented by the lady with the swinging skirt second from the end above and the nurse with cross over red fabric second from right in the back row.

l - r.  Tswana,   Sothu,   ?,  ?   Tswana, Shangaan.

2. Pattern

While on the subject of  tribal patterns and dress, these two trays have been made by the Venda people who live on both sides of the Zambesi River, some in Zimbabwe and some in South Africa.  They decorate their houses in the same bold geometric patterns too.

3. Upside down

Our grandsons in a gruesome pose - one is definitely upside down.  Taken in 2008 in Northumberland.

        ..........upside down.......................

                       ..................or is it?

4.   Ink

This had me stumped at first till I had a brain wave.........pens hold ink.....masses of pens in supermarkets.  Though I am sure that others may have the same idea as me if they were also stuck. 

5.   Bag

This pretty bag was given to me by Kate one Christmas.  I use it as my Knit and (K)natter bag so it always has happy thoughts attached to it.

6.  My Own Choice

I took this photograph while in Dunfermline, Scotland recently.  We were staying with our son and daughter-in-law in Scotland and they took us here as B's family came from here and he had spent quite a few cold snowy winters here as a young boy.  Living in colonial Africa we were brought home by the British government for 6 months every 3 years.  6 months paid leave, lovely.  Well it was for me as my parents opted to come in April till September. B's father liked to be here for the football season so his family always came over winter and froze.  We travelled either both ways by train from Lusaka, Zambia to Capetown which took 3 days then by boat on the Union Castle line from Capetown to Southampton or one way flying from Lusaka (which took 4 days in the 1950's but that is another story).  Anyway, I digress.  This lovely old pub was situated near the beautiful Dunfermline cathedral.

Well that's my lot for this month.  Now to go and check on other's interpretations of the titles.

Friday, 31 August 2018

August 2018 Scavenger Hunt

August seems to have brought the end of our lovely summer.  Had more grey days this month. Must not complain. We have had a beautiful summer.

 Had fun selecting pictures for this months' selection though after the first when I had both titles in one picture I thought I'd see if I could find pictures for both words each time, just for fun.  Thanks Kate for making us thing twice as hard!!

1.    Tea/Tee

I could not decide which to choose so have used both words for this prompt.

PS  Other Supermarket brands are available.!!

2.    Thyme/time

Last month I struggled to find a suitable picture for 11 o'clock and when I looked at pictures taken during our week in Scotland  I noticed this very handsome clock in Dunfermline. Says a couple of minutes past 11 so a pity I did not have this picture then..

These were my mother's spice jars and I love them.  I have broken one but fortunately not the one with Thyme on it.

3.    Aisle/Isle

This is the beautiful aisle down the centre of York Minster.  Quite awe inspiring.

The isle of Lindisfarne (or Holy Island) is in the distance.  You can see the castle and lime kilns. Picture taken from the mainland north of  Bamburgh. 

4.    Fairy/ferry

During our recent visit to Scotland we went to see the Kelpies - shape shifting mythical fairy horses.
They are part of The Helix, a large water park honouring the horses as the power houses of the early industrial revolution, pulling the barges along the Forth and Clyde canal.
The Kelpies were modelled on two one and a half tonne Clydesdale horses that Andy Scott, the artist, chose as his models. Their names were Duke and Baron.
Excuse the rain drops on the camera lens. To enjoy these beautiful horses, click on the photograph to make it full screen.

Echo the great beasts that work among us. 
Unbridled in this kingdom between canal and firth
Here to harness the river and carry each weary traveller.
Bow down your strong heads to taste the water.
Stretch up your long necks to face the sun.

Jim Carruth.

Taken on the Ferry that crosses Lake Windermere in Cumbria.

5.   Flour/Flower

This is my flour tin that I have had for years.  Bought in South Africa, hence the Afrikaans for Flour on the side.

This beautiful petunia was in my hanging baskets this year.  They were spectacular with a lovely scent too.  I have never seen such huge pretty petunias before.

6.    My own choice

There was something about this self sown poppy in this old terracotta jar and the flaking paint that caught my eye. So it may not be the most beautiful flower specimen but it certainly stands proud amongst all the other flowers in the garden.

Friday, 27 July 2018

July Photo Treasure Hunt

The months are flying by, more than half the year gone and this month has flown by so quickly that it's month end and I have not done my post.
Hawthorn has set us a very varied lot of titles this month.  Had to put my thinking cap on.


This picture was taken in York Minster.  I had quite a few pictures to choose from, all more elegant than this with fancy hinges and beautiful wood but this one intrigued me.  It is obviously a very large door.  Why such a large door right inside the Minster and such security not only on the large door but the smaller one too.  What is being kept behind this locked door?


 I had thought of textures of fabric but then remembered I had this photograph of our dear Jak taken many years ago by my son who loved taking my camera and filling it with lots of odd photographs!
I loved Jaks' strong, prickly whiskers and the velvety feel of his nose and his soft coat, all different textures.


I must confess to not taking this photograph, it is one my daughter-in-law sent  earlier this year. You can see the snow on the ground and on the tops of the hills in the distance. It was taken at a dam near their home in Scotland where they take the dogs for a walk each Sunday.  It is of her and our son and their two Labradors, Roxy and Jess.


We are lucky enough to have a lovely view out of our lounge and bedroom windows.  It changes with the seasons and we have the most gorgeous sunsets all oranges and reds all year round. .  Then in winter it is covered in snow and up till a few weeks ago it was green fields with grazing sheep.  Sadly as we live in Lancashire where we are about to start a hosepipe ban as we have had the most gorgeous hot summer but until a couple of days ago, not a drop of rain and the reservoirs are almost dry, just large puddles.  This is as I like it, slightly autumnal, trees just turning. 

My Own Choice.

In 2011 after the disastrous earthquake and tsunami in Japan where over 22,000 people tragically lost their lives,  many children were orphaned. Kate felt the need to help in some way but had a job to find a way which help would be accepted.  The Japanese authorities did not want gifts but rather money. So after much searching Kate was able to make contact with an English lady with a blog who was in Japan helping at a makeshift orphanage.  She suggested we made small blankets, not to keep the children warm but more of something to be their own and a comfort to them.  So our Knit and Natter group all got knitting and crocheting. After the first parcel was received the lady in Japan put this picture up on her blog showing this little girl holding 'my' blanket.  I was thrilled.  We continued sending blankets and small knitted teddies for some months.

Friday, 29 June 2018

June 2018 Photo Treasure Hunt

Once again Hawthorn has set us an interesting set of picture titles.  I have searched through my  archives and added a few new so hope I have some interesting stories and pictures for you.


 I wracked my brain for something different as I had used yellow rape and flowers previously when I had a sudden brain wave.  Years ago, when living in Central Africa we could not travel without a valid Yellow Fever certificate and I knew I had seen ours somewhere ages ago.  When we found them we were reminiscing when B told me a story I had not heard before.

As a school boy he lived in Mongu, Barotseland, a province of Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia.  It was a small administrative town in the middle of nowhere!  He had to fly to and from school in a De Haviland Beaver. One year when he was 13 he arrived at Lusaka airport with his Yellow Fever Book only to be told his inoculation had expired.  He was immediately put into an isolation room at the airport then moved to Lusaka Hospital where he again was put in isolation for ten days. He had to take what he needed out of  his trunk which was taken to his school.  He said he saw nobody except a nurse checking his temperature and someone who brought him food.  He had nothing to do, no books to read, nobody to talk to so spent his time watching Social Weaver Birds building nests in a thick clump of bamboo outside the window.  His biggest worry was that he had sneaked a packet of 50 Gold Leaf cigarettes into the bottom of his trunk which was not allowed and he was concerned that he would get 'six of the best' (cuts) when he got back to school.  He had asked that his trunk be put under his bed and he would unpack it when he got back to the hostel. When he eventually got back to school he made a bee line for his trunk only to discover it had been unpacked and everything put away in his wardrobe, but no cigarettes.  Nothing was said about them so he thought that a friendly house mistress had quietly sneaked them out.

This is a copy of my Yellow Fever Book. 

It Starts with a T..............Terrible Tonkenese Twins

We were looking for a Siamese kitten but none were available but I saw an advert for Tonkenese kittens.  This was long before Google or Alexa so I had to go and check them in the library and found they were originally a cross between Siamese and Burmese and had characteristics of them particular were 'aerial cats' which was so true.     

After much pouring over an atlas I found  the name Thai-shan, on the border of Burma and the old Siam, now Thailand.  It seemed appropriate.  

We lived in Richmond, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa where there were huge Forestry Commission plantations of pine. One of these forests was to the left of our garden and formed part of 'our view' and we were devastated when they came to cut it down.  Then one day our little Thai-shan disappeared.  Just like that.  One minute she was playing in the garden, the next she was gone.  We searched and searched but to no avail. Then a couple of weeks later I saw a small article in the local paper saying that since the large plantations were being cut down the Vervet monkeys had disappeared too and the various raptors, who normally fed on these small monkeys were now taking small pets, cats and dogs, and then we knew what had happened to our little cat.

We contacted the breeder again and put our name down for two more Tonkenese.  We had to wait a while till there was another litter.  We chose two and called one Thai and the other Shan. Seemed appropriate.  They were the Terrible Tonkenese Twins.  Whatever mischief there was to be done, they did it.........together. 

They lived up to the description of 'aerial cats', they would both shimmy up the curtains and sleep on the top, or on the top of the bookcases and wall units we had, or their favourite spot - on the bird table (although they may have had an ulterior motive there).

But tragedy was to strike again.  This time it was Shan who disappeared, taken by a python.  Thai was  heartbroken as were we.  She searched and called and called for her sister for ages.  Then we moved house to one  a few miles away as the crow flies.  She would stay at home with us for a couple of weeks then go back to the old house, still looking for Shan.  After a while we knew we could not force her to stay so we very sadly offered her to the new occupants of the house and she moved back there.


As soon as I read the heading 'Lilac' I dashed outside and took a picture of one of the last spray of lilac flowers on a small tree.  I had only just picked a few of the last flowers for a vase.  Thank goodness I did as the 'beast from the East' arrived and just blew off the remaining flowers the next few days.  I did however take more pictures of flowers that were not necessarily lilacs but the right colours. 

It Starts with a G............Great Zimbabwe Ruins

Great Zimbabwe is located southeast of the town of Masvingo (formally Fort Victoria) and one of the best preserved stone cities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Site is 722 hectares and name means houses of stone.  Its origin has been debated over the  years with some attributing the ruins to the Phoenicians.  Historians believe they were first erected around AD 1100 and added to up until 15th century with the purpose being more religious and political rather than for fortification.  At its peak it was believed to be home to some 18,000 people who traded in cloth, beads and ceramics from Arabia and China for gold. ivory and copper. It is now believed they were built by the ancestors of the Shona people who are indigenous to the area. (Details thanks to Wikipedia)

It is a strange place, with the Conical Tower within the main structure.  I remember how cool it was walking in the narrow passages on a very hot day. 

My own Choice ....Great Friends

For many years our son and his wife lived a few doors down from us.  They are the owners of Roxy and Jess, two mad Labradors that we saw almost daily.  Jak our cat knew them both from when they were tiny puppies and kept them under control if they got too pushy.  Whenever we went away our son would come across and let Jak out in the morning after feeding him then put him away each evening with his food.  It was always the same, Jak would put up with this for a couple of days then would decide that we had deserted him forever and would never come home again so he just moved in with the dogs.  After his morning breakfast and usual check around ours and our neighbours' properties he would yell at out son's front door then just saunter in and make himself at home.  He slept with the dogs, sharing their old settee.

 Jak with 'his' dogs, Roxy and Jess.
Jess with Jak.

Friday, 25 May 2018

May 2018 Photo Hunt

Don't know what has happened to my month this time.....I had not realised it was the last week of the month and other than think about what photographs I could use, I have done nothing about it.  The penny suddenly dropped and now I am having to do a rush job, not the way I like to do it, especially as the words were my suggestion this month.  So here goes.............


This picture was taken of our Labrador Misty who loved to cool off in the Giyani heat which could go up to the 40's in the height of summer.  She did this on her own accord.  She would alternate between the spray and then lying on the cool grass in the shade.  She had the right idea. 


I have a very old knitting machine, an Empisal No 2, almost the most basic of all.  I was gifted it nearly 48 years ago when we lived in Bulawayo, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).  It is so basic that I would knit the ribbing by hand, hook it on, then to make it work the knitting needed to be pushed back behind the needles, the wool laid across the now open needles then the work pulled forward to close  them.  The saddle is then moved across to knit one row.  Very basic but effective.  I could do simple cable by moving the stitches across each other, or lines in the work by pushing every 5th stitch back and it was terrific for stripes. I made our children's and our own jerseys for years including a cable cricket jersey with the appropriate stripes around the bottom and neck band.   

I have used it more recently for making long strips for Hawthorne's yarn bombing project.   It was for this that we got it down from the loft.  It has 2 pull out rods at the back . One slides out to enable me to push back the unwanted needles out of the way or the one at the back which holds in the needles and I could carefully slide out to replace damaged needles.  I don't know what I thought I was doing but I pulled out the rear rod which released all the needles which came crashing out.  As always, when I do something stupid like that I call for help from poor patient B who not only carefully replaced the fallen needles but first cleaned out years and years of dirt lodging underneath.  It really was a disaster. 


While on a nostalgic trip through old photographs I thought I would show movement in this lovely picture of Ben, our beautiful long haired German Shepherd who B had trained and used in displays with other dogs handled by Hawthorn, myself and friends at dog shows around Mpumulunga, South Africa.  I love the power in his jump and the movement of his long silky fur as he leapt fearlessly through this fire hoop.  This is only a single hoop in this photograph - he happily jumped through three or four standing side by side.


I love this picture of a fence taken at Long Newton. It is one of our favourite beaches we visit when we are in Northumberland.   After a high spring tide there are always interesting bits of china washed up on to the beach from a ship that was wrecked out at sea many years ago.


This giraffe is feeding off an Acacia tortillis tree or Umbrella Thorn in the Kruger National Park.  The tree has long spiky thorns in pairs. each with a smaller hooked thorn on the side.  The giraffe has adapted to feed off these trees, thorns and all.  They wrap their long black tongues around the leaves and thorns and pull them off.  After chewing the leaves they spit out the thorns.  A clue to the fact than a giraffe has been feeding off a particular tree is the pile of thorns on the ground underneath. 

My own choice

Whilst searching through my KNP photographs for the one above I came across this one of a Vulture Restaurant.   This is something private game parks often do, not only to feed the vultures but also to bring them to one central area for tourists to be able to see them feeding.  We were never in time to see any of these in action but have seen vultures in their natural habitat waiting to feed on a lion kill when the lions have left the area.  


Thursday, 26 April 2018

April Photo Treasure Hunt

This month is going to be different.  For a start I have had a photographic assistant, known to us all as Kate!  I have had Total Knee Replacement Surgery and not been out and about as usual.  So on one of her visits to me in the beautiful Gisburne Park Hospital I gave her my phone and the list of headings and asked her to go around the hospital and take suitable photographs for me.  So it may be cheating a little which is why I have confessed to it now.

Gisburne Park is an 18th century country house set in 1000 acres of parkland in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire.  It is a Grade 1 listed building built in 1727 and now used as a Hospital.  It is full of beautiful mouldings and a very grand staircase......I love a grand staircase!    The waiting room is so luxurious.


There were so many swirls it was hard to choose from Kate's photographs but in the end I settled on this one. part of a swirling banister.


This particular moulding caught Kate's eye as the little cherubs were sitting on rocks.  There were so many of these gorgeous panels everywhere.  I would love to be able to explore all the public rooms.


There were a lot of beautifully carved wooden banisters and door and window surrounds but the delicacy of this twirl of wood in with this dainty orchid appealed to Kate.  Only now that I  have inserted the picture I have noticed the carved skirting board behind it.


I was sitting wondering what to use for Letter as Kate had not been able to find anything suitable when I noticed one of my crutches lying beside me had a small label I had not noticed before.  It said on the side......Simply Mad............that's me - Simply Mad!!   I then looked again carefully at the label and realised I had misread ONE LETTER of the word and it was Simply Med, not Simply Mad!!  One letter and the whole meaning changed.


Tucked away beneath a staircase was a scale - what a good picture for balance.

My Own Choice

What to choose...............a photograph of the beautiful Georgian building......

..............or a picture of the domed ceiling in the Round Room which had an amazing fireplace and not to mention a wonderful modern help yourself coffee machine!!  

 ........................or perhaps a picture of one of the delicious meals I was served on a lovely velvety looking black tray with a round tactile condiment set and a good quality paper serviette in a silver serviette ring.  The meals were delicious and the menu extensive.  I kept saying I did not want to go home, the food was too good!  Sausage and mash with Cornish Ice cream and a pot of tea.

So now you see why I have put more than one picture in this section.

PS - I was not a private patient but one on the NHS.