The Fields of Bali

Okay, my husband is still mocking me because I truly thought that Sting was actually singing about Bali in ‘Fields of Gold’.  ‘hehe…how can paddy fields be gold?’ he said after calling me a twerp, and insisting that the song is about ‘barley’.  Anyhoo, now we have visited that beautiful island I think he should apologise, as you can see the fields are as golden here as anywhere…

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Lighting

Posted in response to the Daily Post weekly photo challenge. This week’s theme ‘Favourites – your favourite photo from 2017’

Ok.  This is a terrible photograph, out of focus and indistinct. All the magic tools of photoshop couldn’t redeem it. It’s dreadful.  And yet I share it with the world.

Why? you may ask.

Well, one of the main reasons for our visit to Iceland in November was so that I could cross another event off of my bucket list – namely, to witness the Northern Lights. Of course, I’ve seen them on TV, and in books, and there are many, many photographs, but to see them for real….well, it was a dream.

So when it came to it I made a conscious decision not to take my camera, but, for a change, to just live and experience the moment.  At the time, there were hoards of others fiddling with camera settings and peering through lenses and I could have been doing exactly the same.  Instead, I was standing with my jaw dropping, watching the most fantastic natural phenomenon you could imagine.  The lights danced in the sky in rainbow colours and I don’t believe that anyone could every capture the most wonderous reality of it no matter how skilled or fancy their camera.

Of course, I had to just take one snap with my phone, and this is the result.  So sorry an’ all, it’s a duff old picture, but for me it captures an absolute dream of a memory, and certainly one of my favourite moments of the year. 🙂

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Time to travel

I did a bit of a time leap when I travelled on these two trains within a couple of weeks of each other.

The first is one of the steam engines on the North York Moors Railway. A trip on this line is like stepping into a scene from Brief Encounter.  Every detail, from the signs, to the luggage on the strategically placed trolleys beautifully recreates the 1940’s era.  The train itself puffed and blew it’s way across the picturesquely bleak moors from Pickering to the seaside town of Whitby (where, I learnt, that Dracula had resided for a while… who knew??) a journey that would take about 25 minutes in the car, but took nearly two hours on the train!  A brilliantly fun and relaxing way to travel, but pretty rubbish for commuters!

on the other hand…

We travelled on the extraordinary Bullet Train when we visited Japan in June.  I was childishly excited at the prospect of experiencing this sci-fi speedy train, and wasn’t disappointed.

The rail service in Japan is second to none – well, certainly the service here in England doesn’t come anywhere near close.   The stations are easy to navigate, the trains are on time, they are clean, the staff are friendly and helpful, and that is across the board not just the Bullets.

But the Bullet trains.  Ah, the Bullet trains.  They are so beautiful. Swanlike in their elegance.  Seemingly never-ending as they cruise into the station. They’re comfortable – you can actually stretch your legs, and excitingly, you can twiddle the seats ’round… ha! for some reason I found that very pleasing.

And of course, they go fast. Very, very fast. And smoothly fast. Cutting through the countryside like a knife through butter.

By the time we left Japan I’d been on a few of them, criss-crossing from one beautiful place to another, but the excitement didn’t wane, and I’d love to do it again one day.

 

An age apart

Posted in response to this weeks Daily Post weekly photo challenge. This week’s theme ‘Opposites’. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/opposites/  (eek…url linky thing not working!)

I have to pinch my arm to remind myself that just a few weeks ago I was in Japan.  For as long as I can remember, it’s a country and culture that has fascinated me and drawn me to it.  It’s been top of my bucket list for, like, e-ver, and now it’s been crossed off as ‘done’!

And I have to tell you, it didn’t disappoint.

We did a small group tour, and in just two short weeks managed to feel immersed in it’s fabulous diversity – from the madness of Tokyo and Osaka, to the tranquillity of Takayama and Kamikochi. In fact, when I saw that this weeks photo challenge theme was ‘opposites’ Japan instantly sprang to mind, and I was sure I could find a suitable photograph among the, well alright, over a thousand, that I took (excessive I know, but well, it’s so darn photogenic!).   I chose this one, taken in Hama-rikyu Gardens, Tokyo, which illustrates how, despite the towering new glass buildings that Tokyo is known for, the old gardens at their heart remain quiet and peaceful, and in fact, I think, their beauty is enhanced by that sparkling backdrop.

This picture also made me think of the office workers peering out over their computer screens through the window, and down at the gardener working away in the sunshine.  Opposites indeed.

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Winin’

Posted in response to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge.  This week’s theme ‘Dance’

I’ve never witnessed anything so colourful, noisy, and joyful as the Trinidad Carnival.  The parade of dancers, each troupe in different coloured costumes, went on all day.  A senses overload which simply cannot be captured in mere photographs, but I gave it a go. Oh, and of course, these were taken whilst I was having the odd rum or two and ‘wining’ myself. Just to be clear.. wining is a Carribean dance (basically ‘winding’ your hips), I wasn’t drinking wine on top of the rum, let’s face it, I wouldn’t have been able to stand up, let alone dance, if I’d been doing that! 😉

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Vivid dancing

Posted in response to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – This weeks theme ‘Vivid’

Took these in the wonderful madness and chaos of the Tobago Carnival a few years back. We were lucky enough to spend a whole day watching the spectacle of thousands of people in amazing costumes gyrating by – though sadly, it was a bit like watching a party with your nose pressed up against the window…!

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