Flashback Friday #2

This post was originally published on 8th January 2014 when I used to join in with Cee’s Which Way Challenge.

Shropshire has an odd name for its alleys or passageways, particularly those that pass through a building from one street to another – shuts – derived from shoots as in “shoots through”. In Ludlow there are a few of these as well as several cobbled lanes and hidden courtyards which date from the medieval period.

This post is a contribution to Fandango’s Flashback Friday. Have you got a post you wrote in the past on this particular day? The world might be glad to see it – either for the first time – or again if they’re long-time loyal readers.

All You Need is LOVE

CAT
CAT

David Jones department store is famous for its animated Christmas window displays. And rightly so. I’m only sorry I didn’t get out in the evening to capture these all lit up, but trust me, they are superb and every child in Sydney ought to be taken to look at them.

Guinea Pig
Guinea Pig

Ursula Dubosarsky the award-winning Sydney children’s author was thrilled when asked to write an original story with an Australian flavour for the windows this year.

“I was thinking kangaroos, wallabies and koalas,” Dubosarsky says, but she quickly came around to the idea of using a reindeer. “It suggested a nice story of the Australian experience, which is very often an immigrant experience. Apart from indigenous people, we all appeared here from other cultures.”

Guinea Pig
Guinea Pig

Dubosarsky took home the toy reindeer to use for inspiration, as she often does. “You get a bit more personality from a toy. You know how it is, you think your teddy bear is talking to you,” she says. “I still use that technique, so I sat there with the reindeer.”

The tale he told her, Reindeer’s Christmas Surprise, was about visiting all his animal friends with presents, before getting a lovely surprise himself at the end of the story.

Finale
Finale

 Happy Christmas Everybody…!

New Zealand Wrap-up #1

A new week, a new country and a totally new destination for me. For 10 days I will be in the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’, and several smaller rounder ones. Staying near my son’s partner’s parents in the Waikato home to some of New Zealand’s most stunning landscapes. I may get to explore a little further, but I’m actually quite content to soak in the views from where we are staying and chill out with my new grandson.

Home Sweet Home
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We are staying high above Ngarunui (Ocean) Beach. Located 5km west of town this wide expanse of black sand beach lends itself to lazy beach walks and picnics in the sand. It’s also a popular spot for surfing, bodyboarding and swimming.

Aqua

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Views from the Barn

What transfixes me the most is the colour of the water – a cloudy, milky turquoise, possibly because of the black sand, which is the finest powder sand I have come across and glitters in the sun.

Surfing

Raglan is a small surfer town on the coast and boasts the world-famous surf break Manu Bay. The long, peeling left-hand break, said to offer one of the longest rides in the world, featured in the 1966 surfing film Endless Summer. Situated on the West Coast of New Zealand’s North Island, just a 45-minute drive west of Hamilton or a two-hour drive south of Auckland, Raglan  offers stunning scenery, beautiful beaches, inspiring arts or simply a good old cup of coffee.

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 Golden

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You may have eaten Kiwi fruit,  but these are golden kiwi fruit and taste SO much better. Sweeter and without that odd chemical reaction that I and many others have when eating the green fruit. I am becoming addicted!

Christmas Trees

Pohutukawa Tree
Pohutukawa Tree

The pohutukawa tree (Metrosideros excelsa) with its crimson flower has become an established part of the New Zealand Christmas tradition. This iconic Kiwi Christmas tree, which often features on greeting cards and in poems and songs, has become an important symbol for New Zealanders at home and abroad. It is just about to flower so I hope to capture some good shots of trees in full bloom before I leave.

 Happy Days…!

Travel Theme: Colour

There are some wonderful colourful birds in Australia. Here are a few taken at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney last week.

Forest Kingfisher

A beautiful Forest Kingfisher flashed by. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Such a gorgeous colour!

and finally another picture of the cheeky female Electus Parrot (apparently the males are green).

Electus Parrot

Now hopefully that’s brightened up your day 🙂