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Monday, 27 September 2010

Malta day 1 (photography wise)

Ok so this is technically day 2 but I'm writing about day 1.  Hmmmm ... no hold on.  It's really day 3 because I got here in the middle of the night on Saturday.  Confused?  Try being me!

Anyway.  It's warm here ... very warm.  The people are friendly and tolerant of tourists, as you'd expect in a country where tourism is the major source of income.  The best way to get around is by bus.  You can buy a 7 day pass for 13 Euros and that covers your travelling expenses for the most part.  The downside being that the buses stop running around 9:30pm in some areas and then the cabs take over.  All the buses have air-conditioning as standard - they all drive around with the passenger door open.

My initial feeling on seeing parts of Malta was that it still looks like a garrison island.  It's a big collection of forts and churches ... so many churches that they actually outnumber the branches of McDonalds on the island.

I photographed parts of Valletta and Medina yesterday.  A combination of colour and B&W images.  Part way through I stumbled onto the film set of a forthcoming film called 'The Game of Thrones'.  At least I think that was the name.  I think my memory got an upgrade from hoover to dyson - sucks big time now. 

I was very surprised to see a large shoal of fish resembling neon tetras in one of the inlets and regret not bringing the underwater housing and a wetsuit to do some marine life photography.  I'm not sure that they were neons though as the I'm assuming the Mediterranean Sea would be salty and neons are a fresh water fish from the Amazon.  Unless of course - someone released some here.

There's a distinct lack of wildlife on the island.  The migration season has started and this island is one of the stop off points for many species but I haven't been able to find out where they may be exactly.  I'm assuming that locals that are animal friendly will be keeping them a secret as around 50% of the population have a reputation for hunting (web research only so don't take the percentage as gospel).

Rain has stopped play today.  I need to go and suss out a good sheltered spot for later though as there's a thunderstorm due and it'd be cool to get some lightning shots.

Have a good one.


Thursday, 23 September 2010

Like a jellyfish caught in the current of an ocean storm ...

I'm adrift, floating aimlessly between memories that seem to emerge randomly ... without warning.  I watch the strands of my past tie themselves to my present and understand the patterns.  Every now and then there's a shaft of light emerging from the cloud of my subconscious mind allowing for a moment of enlightenment that I have to somehow record before my ailing memory allows it to disappear as whispy smoke between my fingers.

It gets frustrating as I sit within myself and contemplate the lesson, only to emerge a while later, feeling like I've just sat in a timless bubble for a few hours ... having forgotten the moment.

I keep telling myself to sit with a pen and a pad and to write these ideas down ... but that can cause more frustration, as I keep forgetting ... and I refuse to be hard on myself, as that is one lesson that I have learned and remembered ... that I have to be kinder to myself. 

The more that I explore my journey, the more I understand myself, my ideals and my reasons for taking this path.  The more that I remember the hurdles that I've cleared, the more I accept and respect my 'self'.

I wish this part of the journey was more easy going though ... or is it and I'm less able to cope with the hurdles now?


Thursday, 16 September 2010

Scent ...

A smell ... or scent, can put me in the past or in an alternative state.  I felt that today as the rich particles of a particular being wafted up the old nose box.  My red roses have opened and there's something that I can't put into words about the scent.  It crosses boundaries of culture and religion, used by different faiths for different things - all positive uses as far as I'm aware.  It's come to represent love ... and when I smell the red roses in my garden, it's the one word, feeling and purpose that flashes up inside of me.

Happy Thursday folks


Friday, 10 September 2010

Yesterday in the garden ...

As the finishing touches go on to the lump of tarmac and concrete that was the garden past, I'm enjoying the garden present more and more.

I cleared out the kickbag station yesterday and will get part of it attached to an external wall for when I feel like a workout.  The rest of it is lying in the front garden, waiting for a scrap metal merchant to claim and recycle it for something.  I then moved the sofa bed down to the conservatory from my bedroom, which has left the bedroom feeling 'clear'.

The second of the 3 wind chimes arrived yesterday, so that's been fixed up and makes a nice contrast to the delicate metal chimes of the 1st one ... this one being made of bamboo.

All of the roses are opening now and their beautiful scents waft through the garden attracting what ever they need to.  There are a lot more bees in the garden at the moment and a lot of other buds are forming and opening as the plants settle down after having been re-potted.  It doesn't matter how gentle you are with plants, it's still got to affect them when their roots are touched.

After doing the moving around I sat on the sofa bed, tuned out the traffic from the main road and just watched the birds and bees until sleep took me ... and had a lovely nap.

It feels as though I've finally claimed this space as my 'home'.


Thursday, 9 September 2010

It's nothing personal ... just the politics of dancing ...

I was talking to a couple of the guys at salsa and it was interesting to hear other guys saying the same things about some of the ladies that we dance with.  I think that a lot of the guys that do dance salsa and bachata tend to be on the sensetive side and that's lost on some of the ladies ... and it comes across in their attitudes on the dance floor.

So this is my way of saying, 'don't worry mate - just dance with someone that wants to dance with you'. ;o)

You'll meet all sorts.  Some will blame you for not leading well, even though they're not interpreting the tune and thinking for themselves as to whether the beat will allow them one spin or two at a given spot.  Some will literally clash with you on the floor - hence bumping uglies - literally.  Some will bounce and prance and forget that the extra bits of jiggling take more time if you don't compensate for them with a bit more speed ... and they'll end up out of sync with you.  Some won't appreciate that you're coreographing the moves on the fly for both of you ... and that you are actually leading, as well as keeping them safe from collisions ... and that you need your dance partner to be in a particular place at a particular time ... or you're going to be out of time (for which you might be blamed ... again)   BUT ...

Every now and then you'll meet beginners that have some natural ability and will be grateful for a chance to practise new things with you ... but THE best thing to happen on that floor is when you meet those dancers that move in perfect sync with you.  They know the music, the timing, their own bodies and capabilities .. and the dance flows between you both ... and that's chemistry!  Two souls become one, lost in the music - smiling, grinning, laughing ... and even if you do make a mistake. you both laugh it off and get back in sync really quickly.  Dance for those moments ... and try not to be put off by the other events?  Remember the dance isn't just about being able to lead, it's also about the woman's ability to follow ;o)  You can't get on with everyone in the world, there are so many different personalities out there ... so don't expect to get on with everyone when you dance ...


Monday, 6 September 2010

Finishing touches to the garden ...

The door bell rang at 6:45am ... I just got up assuming that I'd slept in and opened the garden gate for the courier and took delivery of the flatpack containing my garden bench.  I then had a bath, smudged, did some meditation and put the bench together and waited for lunch to turn up.

I watched a couple of episodes of the Cosby show with lunch and then went and had a look at the garden.  Something wasn't right ... and an idea started to form about the rear segment of the garden, which was looking pretty shabby compared to the rest of the space there.  Hmm ... what if I get a couple of panel fences and just section that bit off?  I could just get concrete blocks  - attacj (I believe that's polish for 'attach')  brackets to the wooden panels and slide them between the stacks of concrete blocks  - and voila - an instant screen!  That's exactly what I did.  The hedgehog house is behind the partition, affording them total privacy, should they decide to use it.  I even shoved some fresh hay in there today.

Being quite an accomplished DIY buff, the panels weren't level and have an inverted 'V' between them ... what the hell - I hid that behind the winter jasmine.  I also put the garden bench and the chimenea on paving slabs to protect them from accumulating rainwater and put their protective covers on them.

Lastly, I moved some of the plants around to finish off the rear portion of the garden.

Not much more to be done there now  :o)  I'm tired and sore .. but happy.

Hope you're ok too.


Saturday, 4 September 2010

Squirrel mayhem ...

I was out in the garden yesterday afternoon, enjoying the peace and energy of it.  The sun had dropped behind the trees and that's the time I usually water the plants.  All of a sudden a mother squirrel and a baby drop to the floor in front of me!  The mother climbed up the fence and took off like a shot ... me and the baby just sort of stood looking at eachother.  Eventually it came nearer and then went past me into the garden ... which was fine by me because I could keep an eye on it until the mother found a way to get it out of here - it couldn't climb the fence yet.

Then there was some commotion next door and I found another baby being 'ahh'ed at by Edna and her visitor.  I coaxed it into my garden so that both siblings were together and then tried to catch it to put it up on the fence so that they could both follow their mother ... no joy though.  So, eventually, I just left them to it.  There were no blood trails or carcasses this morning, so I assume the neighbouring feline population didn't dine on them.

Isn't it a bit late for squirrels to breed?

Hope you're having a good Saturday ...


Thursday, 2 September 2010

Project 'Prickly' ...

I've gotten into the habit of visitng my garden in the dark to feel the calm stillness punctuated by a simulation of a tiny flickering candle.  It just feels nice and you don't really see that much .. just the ghost of what you saw earlier as the colours leave a footprint in your subconscious mind.

A shape caught my attention that was out of place - darker than it's surroundings and unfamiliar.  I wondered what it was and walked around to the other side of the garden.  This activated one of the security lights and I saw what it was ... curled up asleep on the floor by the bird feeding station was a hedgehog.  It eventually woke up because of the light and then scurried off to hide behind some of the new plant pots.

So ... today, I built a little hibernation space for it in the hope that it will use it.  I think hedgehogs hibernate .. don't they?

I made it from off cuts that I bought for a fiver from a local builder.  Glued and screwed the bits together and then bought a couple of paving slabs for its foundation.  Lastly, I got all the bits of pine needles and dead twigs etc and pile it all over the structure for insulation.  I'm just waiting for the half pipe entrance to solidify now and then I'll cover that up to with dead twigs etc.

I don't know if I should feed it though as I think I saw one chewing on a huge slug and I'd rather it kept my garden clear of them for the sake of my plants.

Time to find some food for myself ...



Osprey - Nature section

Osprey - Nature section
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