Study in Minimalism: Black and White: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

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In response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge where this week we can choose any subject as long as it is black and white.

 

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Big Swell: Silent Sunday

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Weekend Coffee Share 19th January 2019

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Welcome and come on in. Would you like tea or coffee or with the heat we are having perhaps you would like a cold drink. To tell you the truth we are lucky where we are. South of us are in the midst of a heat wave. Temperatures there have been consistently in the high 40’s for over a week. I emailed a friend who told me she would reply later – they had gone camping in the Barrington Tops to try to escape the heat – and she is someone who loves the heat. We are getting beautiful 28 – 31 degrees during the day. If you ask me that is perfect. What I would like is some rain. We are getting very dry.

This week has felt very quiet with our visitors gone although I have been busy with medical stuff for my Mum and of course my book. Nightmare in Paradise. I am organising a road trip, literary lunch, book launch and today I had my first book signing.

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I can’t say I was rushed off my feet but I did sell double the number that our ex Prime Minister did a couple of weeks earlier when he took up the same position. At times I felt as though I was an Egyptian market seller that the tourists avoided eye contact with. You can’t engage people if you don’t have that initial contact between eyes. At least I can’t. If I was extroverted I probably could but I’m not. I have learnt from this experience that a sign saying Talk to the author – you don’t have to buy anything  – she is bored. would probably have had more people having a chat and that would have been good as the time did at times go a bit slowly.

I have also started on my next project which involves interviewing a 91 year old nurse who had an interesting life. So far I’m not sure where I will go with this or if I will get enough information to use  because at that age the memory does start to have some holes.

Despite having a lot more free time I don’t know where it goes. I still haven’t managed to finish a book and I haven’t seen any films.

Now I think I have taken enough of your time –  over to you. Have you read any good books or seen any films that should be seen? Looking forward to seeing how your week has been. Thank you for dropping in for coffee, it is lovely to see you. Thanks to  eclecticali  who is our host of the weekend coffee share.

 

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Were the Pyramids everything I expected: Travel Thoughts 5

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The oldest of the pyramids discovered to date are found at Saqqara which is near Memphis – the place that we visited on our first day in Egypt. These we visited in the afternoon after we had eaten lunch. This ancient pyramid (the Pyramid of Djoser )  had a flat top and was stepped in structure. Additionally, unlike the later pyamids it was made from cut bricks and not stone.

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It was constructed between 2630 BC to 2611 BC. To me those times are mind boggling. Further behind Christ than we have gone after him and just look how they have survived. And that is without considering that they constructed them with only the help of the stars and man power and no computers to calculate the maths that must have been needed.

 

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I don’t know if this mound is older, or whether it was  a burial mound but my thoughts are that it must have been something.

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We entered this  pyramid, crowding into the smal space

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and saw the first of many reliefs that were on the walls of the temples and burial places.

These small pyramids awed us

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but our first sight of the Great Pyramid of Giza literally dropped our jaws to the ground as it loomed up before us.

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It was bigger than I could have imagined. Made of granite and limestone each block weighed about 2.5 tons.

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We were given an option of entering but were persuaded that it was very musty inside, would cause us respiratory distress for little gain as the decorations were gone and there was nothing to see. Cameras were not allowed inside and for the price you had to pay to enter it simply wasn’t worth while.

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Three of our party opted to go inside whilst we wandered the outside.  They returned saying it was well worth the experience so I would recommend that if you want – take up that option.

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We were soon tagged by someone we thought was a pyramid official.  He insisted on showing us the best points to take photographs from but when he grabbed my camera off me I became particularly perturbed. The camera around my neck was from one who had gone inside.

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He had us posing  touching the top of the pyramid

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and showing how easy it was to lift a boulder. Then after retrieving my camera he demanded payment. Again this came as a shock but I had put money in various compartments so I could pull out a small amount  and not look as though I had more to spend. We gave him his tip.

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Then happily spent the time taking my own photos.

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The chap with the white turban was the one we thought was an official.

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From the pyramids we were taken to another vantage point but that is another story.

In answer to my question: Were the pyramids everything I expected and to tell the truth probably the main reason we wanted to travel to Egypt – I was not disappointed. They exceeded my expectations and I was surprised at how close to Cairo they were. I would even have considered them a suburb of Cairo. The other surprise, which just shows my ignorance, was the proximity of the Sahara Dessert to Cairo. Although we had only been in the country a couple of days we were starting to learn to not make eye contact with the local people which was sad as it would have been good to have some conversation without pressure to buy with them. That aside – yes well worth the trip.

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Birds at Bird World Maleny: Blue and Yellow: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

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Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World was an unexpected find that I know we will visit more than once. We wandered the gardens before heading to our allocated guided aviary tour at 1.30pm. Whilst we waited on the outside the Macaws waited, seemingly eagerly on the inside.

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I think that they enjoyed our visit perhaps more than we did. Lets face it – we weren’t rewarded with nuts and clothes and buttons (and I believe on the tour before ours – an earring).

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We naturally read the sign and took note. My sister in law reluctantly removed her hearing aid and earrings whilst I packed my sunnies into my bag. My S-I-L protested. Like my husband she is not a rule obeyer but by the end of the tour she was relieved.

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Inside we were met by our guide. She gave us all the rules of the aviary including watch where you walk. In the first enclosure were the small birds and many were sitting on the ground. Without blue and white photos here we moved quickly to the second enclosure which were the smaller parrots. The macaw lived in here. He had lost his flight wings and was now too frightened to fly and was thus unable to be released into the wild.

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The centre takes birds that need rescuing and ones that are endangered with a breeding programme. In the third enclosure were the bigger birds. They were so joyful to see us they immediately flew from whereever they were and landed

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on heads

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shoulders and arms. They were jolly heavy as they landed and one on my arm drew blood as I moved whilst it was landing and it had to claw on for purchase.

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Although there were birds of every colour todays prompt is blue and yellow so I have tried to limit it to those colours with the odd bit of green and black thrown in.

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One of the birds favourite pastimes was unpicking seams

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and stealing hat buttons and they were very good at it.

If you are ever near Maleny this place is well worth a visit.

In response to Cee’s Blue and Yellow Prompt for her Fun Foto Challenge.

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Early Morning Weyba Creek: Wordless Wednesday

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Nubian Curves: Lens-Artists Challenge:

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We approached the Nubian village from the Nile. The houses were quite different to the Egyptian Houses we’d been used to seeing. These ones were colourful and used curves to great effect.

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Vaulted ceilings were common and the houses traditionally were adobe bricks (a brick made from straw or dung that was mixed with water and earth.)

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The Nubian people were a separate ethnic race that had its own country prior to the building of the Aswan Dam. They are more closely related to the Sudanese people. On the building of the dam their country was going to be flooded and the Egyptian government offered them Egyptian citizenship which most of the 50,000 residents took up.

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The Nubians have been very successful business people and the thing that Roger and I appreciated more than anything else was that they did not harrass you when you past them with their wares for sale on  a mat. You could freely look without any pressure. Sadly by the time we had arrived here we were so used to averting our gaze – curving upwards and to the right or left- anywhere we could avoid eye contact that we missed out on interacting with a very gentle people.

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We were invited in and found that the curves were as visible on the inside as they had been on the outside.

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Domed or vaulted ceilings were common and were adorned with the luxury of a fan.

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Curves certainly added interest to our visit to what is known as Old Nubia for in times past Nubians ruled over Egypt. They have come full circle and that itself is just a curve.

For Lens-Artists Challenge Number 28 – Curves. Thank you for hosting this week Tina.

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