Weekend Coffee Share 29th December 2018

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Welcome and come on in. Pull up a chair and I’ll put a brew on. Tea? Coffee? Who would believe that this is the last weekend we’ll be having coffee in 2018. Next week we’ll be pulling up our chairs in 2019. This year has flown and we have done a lot and if we were having coffee I’d be looking back on the year. Reflecting as you do as the New Year dawns.

In February we had a visit from our godchildren and their parents and went for a trip to Australia Zoo. That is the one where Steve Irwin (dec) and his family have their animals. Although it is a bit like a religious experience going to this zoo and Steve Irwin is an almost godlike figure they do a lot of good work saving the animals and returning them to their native habitat.

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Shortly after their visit we cruised to New Guinea which gave us memories into our time spent on Tanna although parts were sublimely beautiful.

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Then in May we celebrated my mother’s 90th birthday. A couple of her old friends from Sydney came to Noosa to celebrate with us and that was the best birthday present my Mum got.

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Roger’s best friend Bundy died at 15 years

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and when I was in Sydney and the Blue Mountains in June

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Roger found a house for us to move to.

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Before moving in we changed the kitchen from blue to white

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had a new floor put down, painted the entire house inside ourselves

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and had the pool resurfaced. We moved in on the 21st September and Marley came to live with us on the 22nd September.

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In November we headed to Egypt. Having said I felt perfectly safe whilst we were there the bombing this week that left two tourists dead has made me feel very sad. Egypt, I still maintain, is no more dangerous to visit than Paris, London and the United States but when something happens in Egypt tourism seems to drop off  whereas when it happens in the other places there seems to be a banding together with everyone saying we will not change our lifestyle and let these terrorists win in that way.

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On our return from Egypt I found my book Nightmare in Paradise had been published.

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Now we have family from Switzerland and Germany staying with us making us eight in all. Just wonderful. Of course in between these events we lived our life – I became President of Noosa Toastmasters, I did the final edits on my book, I read and blogged and frequently visited my Mum. As I look back over the year I can understand how I became overwhelmed and had to stop blogging for a few months.

I’d love to know how you spent the last year. Your favourite book of the year. Your favourite film? I saw Bohemian Rhapsody with my brother yesterday and it moved me to tears. Of course I knew all the music and I thing they told the story in a very considerate way. I didn’t need to see the debauchery Freddie Mercury got up to to know that his lifestyle had hit rock bottom (which was one of the critic’s comments. If you haven’t seen it – go.

I wish you a Very Happy and Safe New Year and I hope the year allows you to follow your dreams. See you Next Year for a cup of coffee. Thanks for dropping by this year and thank you to EclecticAli for hosting our weekend Coffee Shares.

 

 

 

 

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Food in Egypt: Travel Thoughts 4

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As we drove past the piles of rubbish on the way to lunch our guide warned us about eating Egyptian food – putting the disclaimer that anywhere he took us was quite safe to eat everything but we should avoid lettuce until we had acclimatised to the food. He told us that if we did have a problem there would be no need to suffer as he had medication that would block us up, unblock us and stop us throwing up.

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The difference between the outside and the inside of the place we ate the first day was a stunning contrast. Here we had  an Egyptian smorgasbord. I ate everything, as did most other people. It reminded me of a Mediterranean diet with lots of tomato, egg plant and olives. There were all kinds of meat  and falafel. The kebabs were done on a barbecue. Although it was quite edible it was nothing out of the ordinary.

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We were up early for the trip to Alexandria. The hotel had decided to open the restaurant early  instead of giving us a box of pre packed goodies. I prefered the look of the fairy floss crossing the bridge across the Nile in the early morning mist to anything the hotel was offering for breakfast.

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We got down early only to find the hotel had forgotten to tell the kitchen we were coming to breakfast early.`

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Eventually the food came out only to find that there was nothing there I fancied.

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We ate at Swiss Restaurants, Italian and many that didn’t have a set nationality. None were Egyptian but all had an Egyptian flare and most gave a choice of beef or chicken. None were worth writing home about but they were all okay.

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Breakfast at the Cecil Hotel in Alexandria gave us the best breakfast. The strawberry juice was delicious and everything top notch with a feel for a colonial era past.

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The honey was served in a way I’d not encountered anywhere else in my life – dripping directly from the honeycomb into a bowl at the base. If I could have had every breakfast during our trip here I would have been in heaven

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Once we boarded the boat we had every meal in the ship’s dining room. It was always a smorgasbord and always had a dish of each type of meat, a carvery, vegetables a salad bar and a bread table with a variety of different breads.  Potato was the only item that you could say was superb – the rest mediocre at best. The deserts were strange to say the least. Everything we recognised but none with the taste of consistency of the item we had thought it to be. After a couple of days there was a sameness to the meals and although they were more than edible we found we were decreasing our portion size. Until the Egypt night came along.

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We all filled our plates to the brim with food that we don’t normally eat.

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We did experience a high tea at the hotel, The Old Cataract Hotel, where Agatha Christie wrote Death on the Nile.  It was superb and if it wasn’t for manners preventing me I would have eaten a stand by myself.

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The hotels dining room was in stark contrast to

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two local kitchens we  were priviledged to see in a Nubian Village.

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In summary I would suggest that you don’t travel to Egypt for the food. Although we didn’t eat at street vendors and only restaurants recommended to us, having seen the hanging meat without refrigeration I would not have been tempted. The food we did have was extremely edible and plenty of it however there was little variety in the dishes. Let’s face it though – Egypt is not about the food but rather the antiquities that were jaw dropping in their magnificence.

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Sunset on the Nile: Wordless Wednesday

 

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Motor Cycles & Wagons in Egypt: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

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In response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

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Merry Christmas: Tuesdays of Texture

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As Christmas dawn breaks in Australia and children are getting up to see what joy Santa has left them in stockings and pillowcases the rest of the world sleeps.

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Santa of course has had his busiest night of the year.

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Food will be consumed including gingerbread houses

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And in places there will be a small reminder of what we are celebrating this Christmas. Christmas is the time we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. I know we don’t all celebrate this but I hope you all have a Happy Holiday because Christmas has become a time  of peace and goodwill. Families get together and gifts are exchanged. Sometimes too many in my opinion.

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Lets embrace our differences and recognise our similarities and join in wishing everybody a very Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays and hope that 2019 will be a year of peace. Let it start with each of us. Let us also give some thought to those that are sad or don’t have family. This time of year can be tough on them.

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From Me to you : Have a wonderful day however you choose to celebrate it.

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By Sea and Stars: A Book Review

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courtesy of Amazon

By Sea and Stars  by Trent Dalton is the story of the voyage of the First Fleet which brought the convicts from England to Australia between May 1787 to January 1788. This was an interesting novella size historical piece of non-fiction. Dalton, a journalist, used the eleven journal manuscripts still in existence today to bring characters to life, giving voice to some of the men and women who sailed a voice. We have convicts and commissioned officers that made up the 1420 people who endured the trip from England to Botany Bay. We meet the youngest criminal – John Hudson who at 9 is transported for

At times the narrative is poetic “Sometimes history is only a question of size and space. The size of a pox sore on a young father’s forearm. The space between two kneecaps when the working girls of Drury Lane  open their legs… The 17,000 nautical miles and 252 days at sea separating young John Hudson from a great southern prison about 7.6 million square kilometres wide and long with vast blue oceans for walls.” Sometimes journalistic style writing takes over. At other times the actual voice of the person long dead is heard via journal entries. The narrative shows the different view points shifting from convict to officer, Australian aboriginal to future Sydney (as it now is) and back to past again.

The overall wonder of this book is that we learn what a humanitarian Arthur Phillip was. Although slavery had not yet been abolished he had no intention of letting it be part of Australia’s history. He had a vision of creating a new type of society – one without class based on actions and equality. King George III also ordered that the indigenous people were not to be harmed and anybody doing so would suffer the harshest of penalties. A conversation between the locals and newcomers was to be established with the aim of having them contribute to the new colony.

Would I recommend this book: Yes I would particularly for those who enjoy history, those who would like to do a comparision of their own country’s settlement and how the way it was carried out effected the psyche of the nation. The structure was interesting and it was highly readable. All Australians should read it and it should become part of the history curriculum in high schools around the nation.

 

 

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Reflections:Lens-Artists Challenge

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Double headed Zac

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Headless brother with his head is on the table

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In every ball is a mini me.

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The ever patient (I wish) Roger  waiting for my photography session to be over. The creature I was trying to capture is barely visible whilst our reflections  show up clearly.

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The double reflection is like going to Coney Island to the curved mirror section where you may find yourself normal, distorted, fat or thin. This car captured two different visions of me.

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The poles were tall. In he reflection the poles looked just as tall. The water was no more than a few millimetres deep.

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Paddle boarding in and out of the water.

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The sky is often reflected in the water giving colour

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or textured reflection.

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Highly polished tiles also will reflect.

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Another type of reflection is found in peoples memoirs. In this memoir I reflect on the time my husband and I lived on a remote island in the pacific, partners with the paramount Chief in a small resort and tour business. As we negotiated our way through the culture dealing with villagers, chiefs and witchdoctors we discovered the volcano was not the only thing to explode.

Thank you Patti for this weeks prompt  I wish all Lens-Artists a very Happy Holiday Season and may it bring oodles of opportunities for finding that perfect shot.

Posted in Nightmare in Paradise, photo challenges, photography | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments