Friday, 28 May 2021

Astrid's Photo Scavenger Hunt - week ending 28.05.2021


This weeks word is 'Music'.  In spite of my father's whole life being one way or the other involved in music, I'm afraid it passed me by.  He played the piano, accordion, organ, xylophone, guitar and other stringed instruments.  

Before the war he had his own band and played for 'Tea Dances' in a large hotel on the Eastbourne Royal Parade.  

When WW11 broke out he enlisted, hoping to join the RAF but he was slightly colour blind and had flat feet so was no good for the Army.  So he was drafted into ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association) and was able to take his band with him.  He assembled a 14 man band and travelled round entertaining the troops and being used as a decoy. 

When we moved to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) after the war he joined the Central African Broadcasting Service.  There was very little traditional African music to broadcast so my father, together with a sound engineer and African interpreter, travelled around the countryside to find villagers who would sing traditional songs for them to record on a huge reel to reel recorder.  Occasionally my father felt a tune being sung could be played for a European audience and he would rewrite the music to fit the piano.  One such tune was purchased by Decca Records and recorded by Bert Kaempfert  and his orchestra and forms the basis for African Safari, a piece I still hear played on the radio today.  Pity he did not keep some of the rights, he was only played £80.00 for it. 

Me, I was just not interested, which I regret so much today.  My father had been forced to learn to play and practice the piano and said he would not force me.  I much preferred to be off riding my horse than practicing the piano!!   So today all I can do is play 'God Save the Queen' and some African Kwela music on a Recorder both very badly!!  The only musical instrument we have in the house is a Mbira or Marimba - an African Thumb Piano.  

I only have one more 'music' link.  I read in the 'letters page' in the Saga magazine about readers sick of how BBC 2 radio station was changing to suit younger listeners and it was suggested that readers try 'Serenade Radio' available via your computer.  I did and we have listened to nothing since.  All lovely oldies and no talking, just a few occasional words. Gorgeous. Right now I am listening to Nat King Cole.  So soothing. 


So I'm afraid I don't have any real musical pictures so that's it for this week and month.  Now off to see what others have done with the prompt.



Thursday, 20 May 2021

"Astrid's Photo Scavenger Hunt - 21/05/2021"

 This week we have been challenged to find photographs to fit the word 'Rain' - not too difficult in a rainy country like the UK.  Fortunately 'Threads through my Life' suggested we took photographs last week when we were forecast plenty of rain.  So here are a few taken outside our lounge window.

    Here comes the rain.............

Sky getting really black now.............

It's here, beating against the window.

I have used this picture before but I just love the sight of rain drops falling off the cotoneaster berries after the rain.  Taken by B using his lovely camera Kate gave him.

Finally, after a very heavy African rain storm the ground at the Cat-Eye pan is completely flooded.  I've just found out that it is called Cat-Eye as the camera is literally at cat eye view.  The other cameras are much higher up. 

As a point of interest, the rocks in the foreground are placed right around the camera hides to keep out the inquisitive elephants.  The  piles of rocks completely surround all the cameras at the various game parks. 

That's it for this week. Now off to see what the other bloggers have posted.

Friday, 14 May 2021

Astrid's Photo Scavenger Hunt - 14/05/2021

Friday again, and this time the choice of prompt is 'Mirror'.  Sounds simple enough especially when we have a lot of mirrors around the  house.  But to find something interesting and to take a photograph without including myself was a problem at first.

This  picture was taken with the help of B who suggested it then helped get both me and the ceiling light out of the picture.  The flowers are some he has bought for me for my birthday. 

My next image is a type of 'mirror image' of a different sort.  I have mentioned this before and used a similar picture about rhinos. As you know they are on the endangered species red list as they are being killed for their horns.   When we watch any of the sites and  a rhino appears on the screen the camera is immediately moved, often straight up to the sky, or rapidly sideways.  They don't want the poachers to know where the rhinos are living.  So when we get a chance to take a picture we feel very lucky.  This pair of almost identical rhino, looking ghostly white on the night camera, had suddenly popped out of the undergrowth for a drink.


The next mirror effect is again from my  selection, this time the mirror is the still water of the dam perfectly reflecting the towering giraffe in the evening light.

Finally a pair of soap stone carvings from Zimbabwe of hornbills. They almost make a mirror image, one is just a little larger than the other. 

Last night I suddenly remembered............I do have another mirror picture. How could I forget. So this morning we hurriedly got out the old wedding album from the box of all the families wedding albums and yes, I was right, I did have a couple of mirror pictures.  This was taken 59 years ago in my parents house in Borrowdale, Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (Harare, Zimbabwe today).  I can't believe it was so long ago. How time flies. 

Well that's my lot for this week.  Now to see what everyone else has posted.  As from Monday many restrictions are being lifted and a bit of normality will return to life.  Just hope everyone plays ball and Covid numbers stay down.  Take care and have a good week.

Friday, 7 May 2021

Astrid's Photo Scavenger Hunt - 7/05/2021


This weeks title rather threw me.  I am not often lost for ideas but this one stumped me until I had a text conversation with my friend Threads Through My Life and she made me think clearly.  I'm afraid most of my pictures are not about SPACE  but rather the lack of it!!

My first picture is my banner picture above.  We love the wide open SPACES in Northumberland that go on and on forever, both sand and skies, and not having to go during school holidays the beaches are gloriously empty except for occasional horses and their riders and dog walkers.  This picture shows Bamburgh beach and castle.

My next group of pictures is one I am sure you will all recognise - a picture of an Amazon parcel.  This one rather took the cake.  The parcel arrived and I had no idea what was in such a large box. I left it standing for a while before opening it with gloves on (this was earlier when we were all being ultra careful, before inoculations)

I then after carefully opening it I found this ....................

I'm sure you know what is coming next ....................lots of SPACE   

 around a new strap for my watch!!! 


I thought it would arrive in a padded envelope - I should have known better!!
On the plus side - it was the correct strap and fitted beautifully.

My next picture shows more SPACE - or rather the lack of it again.

Let me explain - whenever we went to Northumberland for a week to stay in a lovely farm cottage our son would look after Jak.  We lived in the same block of flats, we were at one end and DnJ at the other.  D would come in daily and feed Jak and let him out into the garden.  This lasted for a couple of days then Jak would have had enough. By about Tuesday he was fed up with us being away, cross too I would imagine, so he would move in to DnJ's flat.  He loved the dogs, and they tolerated him.  He would scratch at their front door to be let in then would go into the office where the dogs had an old settee.  He would jump up on to it, much to their disgust and make himself at home.

They are not too happy about him being there.

Till eventually Roxy would give up her SPACE and leave it all to Jak!! One smart cat!! 

 Don't know why  he looks a bit bald in this picture.  

This next picture shows a little baby elephant trying to find his SPACE at the waterhole.  He is so little and the others so big.

My next choice is also from my Africam collection.  I have used a similar picture before showing an assortment of animals all vying for SPACE at the water hole.

There are elephant,  nyala, impala and waterbuck all mixing together as water is getting short in the dry season.

My final picture/s is a different type of SPACE...... the Springbok Flats.  They stretch for about 100 miles from Zebediela where we lived, towards Pretoria.  Their name indicates an abundance of springbok** but now few remain except in game reserves.  It is extremely flat so we could see for miles. This was the gorgeous view we had from our garden.   I took these photographs as a panoramic set when I did not have that feature on my camera so I have just lined them up to scan.

** famous for their 'pronking' , strange leaps into the air as they run, lifting all four feet off the ground simultaneously, with legs held in a stiff position. Pronk is from the Afrikaans word describing showing off.

Now off to see what everyone else has posted this week.