Sunday Stills – Beauty on the Beaches

It is not just the beach that is beautiful in my neighbourhood.  Even on these cold winter days, there are feathered  beauties to be found on the beach.

Beautiful are the variable oystercatchers seen frequently along the shoreline as the incoming tide brings little fish, crabs and shellfish. Taking time out from their endless search for food, the seabirds frolic in the shallows.

Beautiful too are the kingfishers that perch on the driftwood logs, before diving into the streams and estuary ponds to catch a fish.

Beautiful are the Kereru (native wood pigeons} that swoop into the kowhai treetops to nibble on the sweet leaves.

The Banded Dotterel nesting on the shingle beaches are beautiful -and endangered.

Beautiful black swans glide along the seashore, questioning each other as they look for seaweed to nibble.

And then there is the beautiful light to be found at the beach.

From the sunlight reflecting on the hills to the light glowing on the foreshore as the sun is setting. Each beach has a different kind of beauty.

And at the end of each day there are the beautiful sunsets. Is there a better place to be?

i am thankful for all the beauty I find at the beaches.

WQW # 23: Winter Solstice/Winter Stars

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me want to dream.”

– Vincent Van Gogh

Here in the middle of our New Zealand/Aotearoa winter, we have just lived through our shortest day/longest night. So instead of summer we celebrated Winter Solstice. for us, summer is a distant memory.

From late May and into the month of June, there were some exciting celestial events to gaze upon.

Firstly, there was the alignment of four Planets at the end of May.

“For those observing from the Southern Hemisphere, the ecliptic, or path of the planets, cuts sharply down toward the horizon. This more vertical alignment means that Mars will approach Jupiter from almost directly above. Around May 29, Mars slips just to the right of Jupiter and on May 30 the two are side by side. Following this date, Mars will continue in a beeline down toward the horizon”.

I am fascinated by celestial events so I went out under the starry sky in the early pre-sunrise hours with my new tripod, and my 14 year old grandson. His younger eyes were most helpful when focusing on the faraway planets. On the morning of May 30, bright Jupiter was immediately left of red Mars. Venus shone below them, and Saturn was above them. By the time Venus arose, we lost Mars in the coming light of the pre-dawn sky.

This is what they were supposed to look like.     And this is what we got.

If you like the idea of capturing planets and star clusters there are still more opportunities in the June sky.  

The strawberry SuperMoon was supposed to be visible on 14th June. Instead we had over 21,500 lightning strikes, thunderstorms and copious rainfall amidst gale force winds over several days and nights. No night sky photography for me that week. I still held out hope for the rest of the month of June though.

“From June 19-27 the planets will work toward alignment that results in a row of lights across the northeastern horizon. Expect Mercury to dip the lowest in the east, and Saturn will show the highest. While Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn should all be visible with the naked eye, a telescope—potentially, binoculars could do the trick—should also let you see Uranus a touch higher than Venus. If you’re super fortunate with a quality telescope, you may be able to catch a glimpse of Neptune, too.”

Towards the end of June, all the planets along with the moon and a waning crescent will be in alignment on the morning of June 24. The moon will then move out of alignment and continue orbiting around the earth for a few days.” 

This is all I could find in the early pre-dawn hazy sky. I was almost cured of my ridiculous obsession with photographing the night sky in the freezing early pre-dawn morning.

“Metaphor for the night sky: a trillion asterisks and no explanations.”

– Robert Breault

Secondly,  the Matariki Star Cluster (Pleiades) is rising.

Manawatia a Matariki – Happy Matariki 

This weekend, New Zealanders enjoyed the first public holiday to celebrate  Matariki – the Maori New Year. As the Matariki star cluster arises in the Southeastern skies so does the new moon. 

In Maori  culture, Matariki is both the name of the Pleiades star cluster and of the celebration of its first rising in late June or early July. This marks the beginning of the new year in the Māori lunar calendar. Matariki was made an official public holiday in New Zealand in April 2022, with the first celebration on 24 June of that year. 

Matariki is an occasion to mourn the deceased, celebrate the present, and prepare the ground for the coming year. The ceremony had three parts: viewing the stars, remembering the deceased, and making an offering of food to the stars.

This three day long weekend, we have experienced the joy of having 5 grandchildren, two of our sons and their wives, and 3 grand-dogs, to celebrate being together for the first time in such a long while. Walks on the beach during the day and building a bonfire by night (in the gentle rain) and roasting marshmallows. 

The young cousins loved spending time together. We had a mid-winter feast and several new board and card games to play.  There was some healthy competition, and hugs….lots of hugs! Great memory-making.

We had rainwater, gentle winds, a calm ocean, good food from the land and the sea, walks on the beach. Our wellbeing and health was well and truly nurtured. We remembered our dearly departed family members, sharing special memories together.

The Pleiades (Matariki) is visible for most of the year in the Southern Hemisphere (ergo New Zealand), except for approximately a month in the middle of the Southen Hemisphere, Winter solstice.

The Pleiades is also known as The Seven Sisters. The nine brightest stars of the Pleiades are named for the Seven Sisters of Greek Mythology: Sterope,Merope, Electra,Maia, Taygeta, Celaeno and Alycyone, along with their parents Atlas and Pleione.

MāoriGreekGenderProvenance
Matariki AlcyoneFemale Well-being and health 
Tupu-ā-rangi AtlasMale Food that comes from above 
Tupu-ā-nuku PleioneFemale Food that grows in the soil 
Ururangi MeropeMale The winds 
Waipunā-ā-rangi ElectraFemale Rainwater 
Hiwa-i-te-rangi CelaenoFemale Growth and prosperity 
Waitī MaiaFemale Fresh water 
Waitā TaygetaMale The ocean 
Pōhutukawa SteropeFemale The deceased 

Thirdly, and coincidentally, I have just started reading Seven Sisters by Lucinda Reilly.  

The strong female characters in each of these books are based on the Seven Sisters of the Pleiades. I look forward to reading the series.

All this I discovered by following my fascination with the stars. Like the planets, my interests are also in alignment.

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.” – Stephen Hawking

WQW #18: Travel/Transportation: Planes and Boats and Trains

Boats and Trains and planes  – such life- changing journeys and fun adventures I have had over the years.

“All the greatest adventures start with a boat trip”

My first major experience of adventurous transportation was on a troopship. The TSS Captain Cook II was an aging troopship which departed Wellington Harbour on Guy Fawkes Day, 5th November 1959 amidst a backdrop of fireworks displays and streamers.

I vividly remember the fireworks bursting over the harbour hills as we excitedly scrambled around the decks, holding the paper streamers that were the last tenuous link with the people left behind at the wharf. After the last streamer stretched and snapped, it was time to find our little berth which was to be our family home for the next three weeks as we slowly steamed our way across the Tasman Sea. 

Rough seas and violent seasickness are the most vivid memories I recall from those first seven days as the boat rocked and rolled across the Tasman Sea and up the West Coast of Australia to Freemantle, the port of Perth. Oh – and the ‘crossing the line’ ceremony was indeed a momentous event of onboard ship life.

We learned that the equator was an imaginary line not the big bump in the water we had been told to expect as we crossed over in the middle of the night.    We experienced the full ‘crossing the line’ ceremony which consisted of being hoisted onto a canvas chair perched above King Neptune’s pool filled with evil smelling foamy water, having green lather rubbed into our hair, made to drink foul tasting ‘poison’ and then being tipped backwards into the firewater pool was all part of the adventure.

Although I didn’t know to at the time, this was to be this troopship’s final  voyage. And yet, my travel and transportation adventures had barely just begun. 

Even the seasoned  traveller had a first flight”

My memorable first flights:

Aboard a DC6 plane flying back to New Zealand in three 7 hour flights meant airsickness, viewing beautiful coral islands and the night lights of Brisbane.

A spontaneous 4 seater plane trip to Christchurch with my friend, her pilot husband and our first babies. The pilot fence- hopped a couple of times and then landed in a field.

A Bristol freighter trip to Wellington with 3 young sons – 40,000 rivets flying in close formation.And that wind on arrival nearly blew us all away!

An impromptu single-engined plane trip from Nelson to Takaka when the mountain road was closed yet I still had workshops to do over the marble mountain. 

The  Metroliner  (nicknamed the flying pencil) on a cold frosty morning where the pilot had to use paper towels on the windscreen to see where he was going.

A float plane from Wellington to land on the water in the Marlborough Sounds where I live on the beach front.

And then came the big jets – and many long haul flights.  Endless departure lounges, empty flight gates and jet lag.


 “The train is a small world moving through a larger world.”

My train travel adventures started with my first job.  After a week of training in Invercargill, the southern most city in New Zealand, I boarded the steam-powered overnight train to return to Christchurch. Sitting in an unheated carriage all night with no pillow or blanket should have discouraged me from train travel forever, but it didn’t.   Since that early experience, there have been many train trips throughout Europe. 

Whether it be trying to sleep on an overnight train from Milan to Paris, where we shared a couchette with a Russian  fashion buyer and a Japanese Cirque de Soleil dancer, to being mugged on the express train to Charles de Gaulle airport, train travel is an adventure unto itself.

From standing in the dining/bar car on the Eurostar for the trip from Paris Gare du Nord  to London St Pancras under the English channel train, to our ‘walking’ from Milan to Venice!  Well, it took us almost the whole trip to find an empty carriage so we effectively walked the length of the train as it chugged to Venice. We had indeed ‘walked’ for the duration of the train trip.

In Switzerland we were nearly kicked off the panoramic train through the snowy Swiss alps to Interlaken -wrong tickets!  

In Sweden, father and son watched an All Blacks rugby match as the train trundled us to a beer festival. 

In Italy, we were returned to the railway station to catch the last train back  to Bergamo after yet another beer festival. (An occupational hazard when your son is a Swedish brewer) Thank goodness the train actually arrived as we had no clue as to where we were. 

From Munich to Verona, we took the slow train due to the scenic route being closed – a tad disappointing for us.  

The train from Frankfurt to Prague was almost uneventful in comparison although the train was stringently scrutinised by border control.

In Colorado, we loved the Durango to Silverton narrow gauge railroad so much we did the return trip too.

From the Kuranda Scenic train and Skyrail trip in Australia to the Hungerburg funicular cable car in Austria, and from  gondola rides in Queenstown to the London Eye, these unique methods of transportation have helped me to ‘feel the fear’ of heights and do it anyway. 

It’s hard to imagine I have had an irrational fear of falling down stairs for most of my life yet due to having to use various forms of travel transportation, I can now use escalators, gondolas and glass-floored elevators.  How far I have come in my transportation adventures from that first overnight steam train trip? 

“The mode of transportation you choose to travel on your life’s journey matters less than the wisdom of it’s driver.”

Written in response to WQW #18

Sunday Stills – Aqua Awesomeness

Out fishing in the aqua waters of the Marlborough Sounds this summer, I photographed these amazing sea creatures,  and became intrigued. They don’t look dangerous, they don’t look edible, they don’t even seem to be in charge of their own direction, and yet….. they are awesome.

Aqua awesomeness
Teal as in blue
Blue as in moon
Moon as in Jellyfish…..

Jellyfish drifting along in the aqua sea
Pulsating gently as they catch a ride in the tide.
No destination to decide.
They have no brains but,
it's amazing how long they have survived.

I became fascinated in the why’s and wherefore’s of Jellyfish so I googled – (as you do)

And found…… Jellyfish are the oldest multicellular creatures on earth, older than even the dinosaurs.

But wait, there’s more…… Some Jellyfish are also immortal.

“Turritopsis dohrnii, dubbed ‘the immortal jellyfish’ because on reaching maturity, it regenerates into its younger form, so appears to be immortal.” When this jellyfish gets old, or hurt, or even too hungry, it uses a process called ‘transdifferentiation’ to regenerate its old cells.

First, the jellyfish falls to the ocean floor, or coral reef. From there the adult medusa reverts back to its polyp form, regenerating the cells and creating brand new, youthful cells that are genetically identical to the old medusa. The immortal jellyfish can theoretically do this forever, that is, until it gets eaten by some other sea creature like a turtle, whale, or fish. Scientists think that, unhindered, the immortal jellyfish can keep on living forever, with no cap on the number of times it can regenerate.”

The immortality of jellyfish -who knew?

Now that would be a handy thing to be able to do!

The moon jellyfish is the most common in New Zealand. They also make awesome subjects to photograph whilst waiting for the fish to bite. I took some artistic licence when abstracting one of my photos to highlight their aqua awesomeness.

A group of jellyfish is called a SMACK – I’m thinking it should be a STING

ACROSS AQUA OCEAN AND RIVERS

Awesome aquatic adventures across the world’s oceans
Journeys from the river mouths to the sea.
Building bridges to span the waters
to keep us connected and free.

Every breaking wave reminds me
of seashores near and far
with the awesomeness of Aqua
those connections again will be.

Happy birthday – whoever you are!

She came into the cafe to meet friends for coffee. At the counter ordering her coffee when suddenly the staff and then the whole cafe erupts into singing her happy birthday. What a lovely way to celebrate this person’s special day.

It makes me wonder again at the power of singing to brighten someone’s day. 

So just how universal is  that little song? How many languages can you sing that ditty in?

I can sing it in Te Reo Maori, French, Italian, English – how about you?

Special smiles all around. Does this happen in other countries?  

This made my day and it wasn’t even my birthday that day.   It also reminded of my own recent birthday treat at a cafe.  I got $9 off my order as a birthday gift time during my ‘me-month’.  A really cool idea – and a great marketing ploy. 

Back to the concept though. What are we really saying to that person whose birthday it is?  Are we happy that they are another year older? Are they happy?  

Do they want to celebrate their entry into this crazy life?  Or is it enough to just wish that they have a special day?

Shouldn’t every day be special? Well life is short – make sure it is good. This is in our own hands. 

I remember on my birthday a few years ago, I was feeling a bit bereft just because I waited all day without getting any birthday greetings on Facebook- of all places. It turned out that day was the day Facebook went down!  Shock and horror!  I felt neglected, even invisible to my family and friends.  Then I thought – what is so important about recognition? 

It had me wondering why I felt I had to rely on that social media platform to feel remembered and valued?  Why? Am I not enough for myself?  Why do we need validation? Am I so egocentric that it must be all about me?

Should I worry about what others may or may not think about me?  Or get upset if they don’t even appear to think about me at all? Which is worse – to be not thought of or to think that no-one cares enough to acknowledge another year’s living?

And yet, a simple act of acknowledgement is all it takes to make a person feel loved.

Note to self: Remember to remember others’ birthdays and make  the time to do this with meaningful words not just the trite ‘happy birthday’.  Make someone else feel that special feeling. 

Update:

But today really is my birthday and I have been out to lunch at Havelock with friends and then back home to a scrumptious dinner of rainbow trout and creamed mushrooms  and a delicious red wine.

 And I got a singing ‘happy birthday message’ from my grandchildren – and yes lots of facebook messages too.  I feel special all over again if yet another year older – which is of course a privilege in itself.

Life’s for Living – Every. Single. Day.

WQW – 5 Senses: Tasting the memories

Aaah the taste of Bluff Oysters – the new season started 1 March, and at last my blog posts will restart this month. 

I have been MIA for most of February due to our extended summer road trip through areas with limited wifi reception.  I have focused – pardon the pun – on using my camera extensively rather than blogging. 

“Pull up a chair

TAKE A TASTE

Come join us.

Life is so endlessly DELICIOUS.”

Ruth Reichl

This quote is meant to be about food but let’s take it a step further. I have been tasting the delights of travelling around the stunning South Island, especially Central Otago, Fiordland and Southland. I’ve been chasing rivers and waterfalls, mountains and fiords, and the elusive Lady Aurora herself. The Aurora Australis remained elusive but the waterfalls were amazing.

Central Otago: 

Parked over alongside Lake Dunstan in Cromwell, the weather was stunning with very hot summer days  and  balmy evenings. Just right for enjoying happy hour, (G&T, beer, crackers and cheese)  with our neighbours in the campground. after a leisurely stroll along the lake. 

We also parked up beside the mighty Clutha River at Millers Flat, otherwise known as the ‘fruitlands’  where we tasted the famous Roxburgh apricots and had a tasty dinner at the old tavern across the historic bridge built in 1897.

I was thrilled to find an old hand painted aerial photo on the wall. My first job was using photo oils to hand paint photos just like these. A meaningful memory for me and a great overview of the Clutha River at Millers Flat.

Fiordland

We spent a few days relaxing in Manapouri before heading to Te Anau, to catch up with friends, and attempt to capture an image of Aurora Australis -I found just a bit of airglow at Manapouri.

We decided to take the coach tour to the Milford Sound, where we boarded the Milford Haven to cruise  through the Milford Sound towards the Tasman Sea. Although we had been there before, Milford Sound never ceases to amaze me within its spectacular mountains and magical waterfalls. 

If you never been inside a waterfall, this is the place to do just that. I got soaked, my camera got soaked – and it was magical. The water tasted pure and delicious on my tongue (surprisingly – my camera survived another wet adventure).

Entering the Tasman Sea

Southland:

Bluff is the southern- most harbour at the bottom of the South Island.   Bluff is also world famous for these delicious Bluff Oysters. 

Some say that Bluff oysters are the finest in the world. They are grown slowly in the cold clean waters of the Foveaux Strait. In season, (March till about August) they are dredged by Bluffs oyster fleet. Oystering first began commercially at Stewart Island in the 1860s.”

Bluff Oysters

Many years ago the North island company I worked for had a social club which organized a  weekly shipment of fresh Bluff Oysters to be flown in. I had a regular order for 5 dozen bluff oysters which arrived each Friday of the season.  All weekend we would eat oysters. We ate raw oysters, battered oysters, oysters wrapped in bacon   (Angels on horseback), and oysters baked in a creamy white sauce. The taste was divine every which way they were prepared. Another meaningful memory!

And in my world I did find the pearls. 

The Bluff Hill Lookout offered spectacular views across Fouveaux Strait  to Stewart Island/Rakiura, our next destination. 

We had decided on a day trip rather than struggle to find  expensive and scarce accommodation.  The weather was perfect for the one hour catamaran crossing of Foveaux Strait, notorious for its usually wild weather.  

We  scheduled an island bus tour in the morning and a boat ride with guided bush walk on  Ulva Island, a wildlife sanctuary, in the afternoon. These kept us busy. No time for tasting any food at  all but we drank in the peaceful scenery and spectacular sights. We heard the bird calls as we trod carefully and quietly along the forest track. We touched the texture of the trees and leaves.

It was a truly a tasty feast for all my senses. 

https://alwayswrite.blog/2022/03/09/wqw-five-senses-taste

This is also my contribution for Sunday Stills https://secondwindleisure.com/2022/03/06/sunday-stills-making-meaningful-memories/

The complexities of aging – and courage.

I used to be courageous. Whatever happened to that trait?

I used to be resilient. Whatever happened to my bouncability?

I used to be persistent. When did I give up trying? 

I used to be carefree. When did the anxiety begin?

I used to be adventurous. When did that bravery fade? 

I used to be blonde and long- haired. I still am albeit with some streaks of silver amidst the gold. 
My crowning glory is just that. Gloriously gold and silver and left free to fly in  the wind.

This notion that older women need to conform to the  short grey hair norm?  What is that all about? 

It’s more practical (they say). You will look ten years younger (they say). But who actually wants to lose ten years of their life experiences and memories? Every year of my life is memorable and valued. These deserve recognition and acceptance. 

Why is the flexibility of youth overcome by the frailties of age?  Should it? What can we do to take back our freedoms?  

Should I accept old age gracefully?  Or will I retain the courage of my convictions and keep bending the rules of societal expectations. 

Ok, so I can’t actually bend my knees as well these days  but my mind surely goes off in many flexible directions. Especially after midnight – I still burn the midnight oil in the engine of my brain. And it’s freeing to know that I can sleep in the next day if I need to catch up on sleep. 

I find myself rebellious against societal expectations of how older women should be. Just let us be!  Let us be free to be ourselves.

My goal is to retain my own true self rather than give up and conform to societal expectations. This insidious concept of the invisibility of the older woman continues but why?

What does age really have to do with it?  Yes, I do struggle sometimes with creaky achy joints but my brain still refuses to weaken. My creativity is taking another direction ( or two). I’m still alive and at last I have the time to indulge and develop new interests which may yet become passions.

The complexity of my life increases with each new direction, each new interest I find. I wonder sometimes what I am searching for yet then I decided it is just a continuation of how I have lived my life. Taking on new challenges as they arise. Seeking out and finding ways to keep my brain and body active. 

I have glimpsed my own mortality. It calls to me although I am not yet ready to go as I have too much still to discover and do, to think and to experience. Too many of my friends have not had that chance. In some ways I do this for them as well. I will continue to use every single day of my life to expand my creative options and live my life courageously and even outrageously! 

Life’s for living: Every. Single. Day.

I will still need courage to fight against the ageism in society.  After all, I have been courageous at different times of my life. Why should I stop now? 

This year I will work on regaining my courage.

“Your 40s are good. Your 50s are great. Your 60s are fab. 

And 70s are ****@#* awesome!”

~Helen Mirren

“Courage is when you dare to be yourself, in whatever ways you want to be

 – to not be afraid, to just do it.” 

– Loung Ung

Bloganuary #6 Who inspires me?

“Inspiration is a feeling of enthusiasm you get from someone or something, which gives you new and creative ideas.”

I have been lucky to have been inspired by many people over the years. 
Some are my favourite authors whilst others are artists or photographers. Some of these influencers have enthused me into trying out my own creative ideas.

Steven Covey and his “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” had an influence on my thinking about leadership in education. One year, I wrote 365 daily reflections based on the 7 habits.  This led me onto the path of self reflection and writing. His 2014 sequel, “The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness” included the 8th habit which essentially urges: “Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs”.

I have a close friend I met through my early childhood education career.  She is passionate, empathic, courageous and has the strength to reinvent herself whilst enthusing and valuing others.

 Whether it is walking the  El Camino, volunteering in Peru, getting spiritual in Machu  Pichu; or pursuing her professional goals. She started another chapter in her life by creating a consultancy business so she can upskill and train others. Always energetic, fun-loving and generous, she is an inspiration to me and to everyone she communicates with. If only I had half her eloquence and inner strength. She has inspired me to maintain my habit of lifelong learning, especially in my leadership role. 

She essentially ‘found her own voice and inspired others to find theirs’.  I took that inspiration and still do even into this life of retirement.

365 days has been an important theme which has inspired me in other spheres throughout the years too. Several years ago I joined the 365 project online and met such an inspiring community there. 365ers are  a positive and talented, creative community of photographers- their daily photos inspire me to try new camera techniques and challenges. That is a fun and challenging way to keep my brain active too.

And now I have this blog community to inspire me with challenges to follow my creative aspirations. Thank you for the inspiration.

Bloganuary Catch-up – first week!

#2 Road trips – Wherever the road leads is where we will go.

Any road trip that does not depend on negotiating our own rural road (currently closed to the public)  is totally welcome these days.

The very best road trip I would love to take is around my own country which is probably well overdue.  I have been on a lot of road trips in other countries and some of these I would love to repeat. However there are many roads in my own country I have yet to explore. 

The North Island of New Zealand has so many choices! Should we travel the most direct route to Auckland, through the central North Island on State Highway One, enjoying the mountain views of Tongariro, Ruapehu, and Ngauruhoe, past Lake Taupo  and into the geyser land of Rotorua, or should we meander slowly along the West coast past Mt Taranaki, then head on the Forgotten Highway into the inland countryside.

The Coromandel on the East Coast is another long and winding road I have yet to travel so plenty of options.  Once past Auckland city there is Northland to explore.

From Cape Reinga in the top of the North Island to Bluff at the bottom of the South Island, not only would I love to take this road trip, it is very definitely on the plan.  

For now, we will complete a full circuit of the South Island this summer. From the top of the south we will go on our road trip to the East and West coasts, traversing the inland routes to the mountains and lakes, from the coastline to the Canterbury Plains, and hopefully reach the bottom of the South Island before returning as the summer days cool into Autumn evenings. We will go wherever the weather is kind and the road leads us. 

#3 Write about the last (first) time you left your comfort zone.

When the heart starts beating rapidly it is time. Don’t think about what others might think, just speak. Believe that the words will come. Sage advice given to this nervous first time public speaker many years ago. 

Standing up and speaking my mind was a scary thing to do. It’s not that I didn’t have words to say. It’s just that I felt too strongly about what my words meant to me. Where else would or could the words come from if not from my heart. And yet they resisted.

Where are the pages of my notes? What if my voice croaks? What if they laugh at me?My fears threatened to overcome me. Who else has felt that fear? 

Hidden deep within the hidden  tunnels and crevices of my beating heart, I felt them start to stir. With each surge they got stronger. The words were on their way. 
It’s true that we speak when our heart is in our mouth. I hummed to myself…,

“Drums keep pounding rhythm to my brain.  And the beat goes on! “

Then I thought; What  is the worst that can happen?  I set aside those notes. Just breathe. Just do it. And I did.   My heartfelt words found their way. And it was good. 

4 What is something you wish you knew how to do?

If only I could keep on task and actually respond to these daily prompts and write every day!  

#5 What was your favorite toy as a child?

Is it sad that I can’t remember what my favourite toy was?

 Reading books is how I spent much of my childhood time. I did have the obligatory doll or two however  I have fonder memories of the great outdoors building huts and swimming at the beach than playing with an actual toy.

My first camera at the tender age of 10 became my favourite ‘toy’ instead.  Not much has changed for me, except my age, the camera (and book)technology of course.  These days it is a digital camera or iPhone instead of that Brownie Starlet – and the Kindle for the reading might just be my favourite toy!

The starlet that started it all

Bloganuary Day 1: What advice would you give your teenage self?

I’m taking the leap – and attempting this Bloganuary challenge!  Hmmm… I will see where this takes me. Already 3 days behind though!


I thought back to those dim and distant years. Hindsight is such an interesting position from which to share advice. And to be fair, it was a VERY long  time ago.


I was such a ‘good’ teenager….. by that I mean I was way too compliant and indecisive and confused and shy  and…..boring!

But…. knowing what I know now, I would advise that conflicted teenage self to:

  • Find and follow your passions. Who knows where they may lead you. Your passions may change as you navigate your teen years  -and that is ok.
  • Remember to be true to yourself. Self belief is so important. Find your truth and trust yourself.
  • Choose your friends wisely and nurture those friendships. 
  • Make your own decisions rather than follow the crowd.
  • Remember – You are striving for independence. That is your teenage task. Make it worthwhile. 

Life is for living –  Every. Single. Day.