Favourite Photo(s) Friday: The Blue Lagoon

The Husband won’t let me turn the heat up. He says he’s not made of money and I should wear socks. I don’t understand how turning it up one teeny tiny degree will bankrupt him. It’s been a long week at school… last week of the semester. I don’t want to fight with him, but I’d much rather be here:

IMG_6466 (2)

IMG_6495 (2)

 

IMG_6538 (2)

The water is deliciously warm and I can walk barefoot.

Blue Lagoon, Iceland.

Favourite Photo Friday: The Famous Bean

oPicture 148

“Cloud Gate” more commonly known as “The Bean” by sculptor Anish Kapoor, Chicago

My jumping pose was inspired by seeing other tourists (teenage girls) jumping perfectly in their high heels. Don’t know how they did it so gracefully, I could barely land on my own two feet in my running shoes. Thanks to The Husband for capturing me mid-air..

The One Where I Reveal Secrets –

- not my own secrets, just the work of others!

IMG_4502greece

Photo taken in Santorini, Greece

So you see, those buildings weren’t always white. White gets dirty very fast. In order to achieve the fresh and clean look, the white cave houses on the Greek islands (well Santorini and Mykonos both, as far as I know), need constant upkeep. I was so excited when I came across this man re-painting his wall. I felt like I had stumbled upon some great secret. Of course, I asked for permission before taking the photo. Who wants some gawking tourist snapping photos while obviously hard at work in the heat of the sun?!

Did you know that white paint is used on houses in hot countries to reflect heat? This is also why people in hot countries often wear white.

Colour choices are made for specific reasons. I always thought the white and blue colours you see often on domes on churches, little island building doorways and windows etc. were supposed to represent the colours of the Greek flag. Instead, the blue is a colour meant to ward off evil (similar to the blue colour you see with the nazar, the Turkish symbol to ward off the evil eye). This turquoise-type blue originally came from a mineral found in Turkey (hence the name “turquoise”…). This vibrant blue is the perfect island colour, it’s the colour of a hot summer day, and it’s the colour of my favourite skirt (which is reversible and can be worn 4 different ways, which translates to 4 different outfits, which = a lighter suitcase).

IMG_1110japan

IMG_1112another

Photos taken in Kyoto, Japan

I love the vermilion colour he’s using and the little glass bottle in his hand. Vermilion is not one specific hue. In China, it’s more of a red hue, in Japan, the colour takes on this brilliant orange-red that veers more to the orange-y side.

But look at the size brush this guy is using, it’s going to take him all day… all week if he has to touch up all 10,000 torii gates that line the tunnel walkway of the Fushimi Inari shrine… The Greek guy had a roller, he’ll be done his touch ups in less than 30 min I think! The Japanese are so meticulous about everything. One of the first things that caught our attention in Tokyo was someone cleaning the glass along the side of an elevator in a subway station – a subway station! It’s not just the trains that are super clean, the subway stations were spotless. That’s just incredible.

It takes 2.5-3 hours to hike to the top of the shrine on the mountain through the torii-gate tunnels. The Husband and I walked for about 15 minutes before I knew I couldn’t take another step. I wanted to re-trace the Memoirs of a Geisha (do you remember the movie?) – but that wasn’t happening, not with my heavy boots, and my umbrella-turned-walking- stick which did nothing to help my case.

I was most pleased when I came across the opportunity for these pictures though. Again, it felt like a behind-the-scenes kind of look, a glimpse into the making of the place, a reminder that nothing man-made is ever perfect.

“When you are older, you realize that everything else is just nothing compared to painting and drawing.” – David Hockney.

Favourite Photo Friday: Cafe au Lait & Beignets

Café du Monde is a cute French coffee shop located in the French Quarter in New Orleans. It’s supposed to be a place you can’t miss and everyone raves about their coffee (café au lait, coffee with steamed milk) and beignets (pretty much a donut without a hole… I guess you can picture those fritter things from Tim Hortons… which, come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone actually eat). It was a nice experience sitting outside in the late evening watching people walk by, the place was pretty full, there was a man playing a saxophone nearby and the rain that had been coming down all evening had finally stopped. I suppose in a way, you can’t get more New Orleans than this.

20131215_200428

Café du Monde, French Quarter, New Orleans – Louisiana

 

 

 .

The one about the icy tree.

This morning when I peeked out the window, I was greeted with a scene so breathtaking, I simply had to wake The Husband right then and there (that and the fact that the power was out and I felt the pressing need to inform him about it). He didn’t share my enthusiasm for the beauty of our ice-covered tree, but nice guy as he is, he did insist that I make use of this opportunity and go and busy myself with the camera to better improve my photography skills. That’s the husband, always looking out for me! He went back to bed and I opened the door, stepped outside, and almost immediately slipped on the ice– but the camera was okay – yes the CAMERA WAS O.K. — HUSBAND DARLING, I REPEAT, THE CAMERA IS JUST FINE.

IMG_9790

I know, I know, many a GTA-living person have already shared their icy morning wonders and woes with the world already, but how many of you have this kind of trapped fairy-tale-esque enchantment of a tree with poisonous berries growing so determined in their yard?

I think it’s gorgeous.

I’d sit by the window and stare at this beauty of nature but I have the flu – the Husband likes to share.

IMG_9784.

Repost (from the old blog): Mandela, Prisoner to President

This is Robben Island where former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela (and other political prisoners) were imprisoned during the apartheid. The island is about 8km away from Cape Town and ferries regularly take visitors to the former prison to learn about the site. Two things I found surprising: 1. ex prisoners conduct the tours, 2. people still live on the island. I can’t imagine the strength you’d need to have to willingly want to work in the very environment that represents such a challenging and difficult personal time…

Above: Entrance, barbed wire fence, Mandela’s cell…

Rest in peace Madiba.

“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.” – Nelson Mandela.

The One About Right Now

Finally a moment to breath! It’s been a super busy last two weeks three weeks and all The Husband and I can agree on are the colour of our kitchen chairs. We’re not making progress here. I’m an art teacher and I have a vision in my head. The Husband is having a hard time understanding.

All I want to do is crawl under the warm covers and stay there for a very long time, sleeping.

And then, when I wake up I want to take a nice long walk all by myself. Because the best walks are those taken alone -

mexico-566

And after that, I want to swim in warm water – this colour blue preferably:

mexico-721

And then I want to get back into my nice warm bed and read a good book.

Then sleep again.

Repeat cycle a few times…

Then I’d like to watch Property Brothers on TV but not really pay attention until the end (when they show the final designs and compare those designs to the original rooms), because that’s the most interesting part. The rest of the show is really boring, I don’t know why I bother.

***

Correction: the best walks are not taken alone…because then you have nobody to complain about how cold your hands are..