Sunday, 23 August 2015

Photo a Day - August, more holiday snaps!

Our summer holiday is nearly over, we are back in Frankfurt preparing for the new school year
and it will be full steam ahead getting prepared for the big move home in just four months.
Hope to fit in lots of adventures in between sorting, ditching and packing.
So much to little time! Enjoy my recent adventure to England!

The prompt of the day is in red, the photo and description is my take on the prompt.

Strawberries, Borough Market, London
The earth provides us with a bounty of produce.
Seasonal produce in England is exceptional!
Borough Market, London

The Valley of Rocks, North Devon
Between a rock and a hard place.
Our trip to the UK has put us between a rock and a hard place. 
The girls desperately want to move back to England...but we are moving home to Australia!
The Valley of Rocks, North Devon.

Woolacombe beach, North Devon
I hear
Seagulls squawking, children playing, families laughing.
Summer day at Woolacombe beach, North Devon.

Devonshire Cream Tea, Lynton, North Devon
I like a little experimentation with local foods when I travel.
Peking Duck in Beijing, Pad Thai on the beach in Thailand...
a Cream Tea in Devonshire.
Do you put clotted cream and then jam..or jam then clotted cream??

Lynton, North Devon
Fence with a view over Lynton, North Devon

Chinese Lanterns, Hutong, The Shard, London
A wall of red Chinese lanterns at Hutong, The Shard, London

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Photo a day - August, time is marching on!

We have had a crazy busy few weeks with travel for business and pleasure.
We have clocked up some miles in the car and in the air.
At one stage we were spread over three different countries and time zones.
We celebrated a birthday, caught up with friends and family, ate well, sampled local produce,
visited some beautiful places and enjoyed the last of our Summer break.
I am playing catch up with my photos a day, enjoy some of our recent travels!

The prompt of the day is in red, the photo and description is my take on the prompt.

Mort Subite, Belgian Beer, Brussels
I did not think I would find anything sour on the 10th of August, my daughters 17th birthday.
The day she came into our lives was the sweetest.
We took her to Brussels, stopped for a big bowl of mussels and my husband had this 
Belgian was very sour...and he loved it!

M25, Heathrow, England
Perfect day for this prompt, we were up at 5.30am, travelled over 800 km from Belgium, 
through France, over to England on the ferry, up to Oxfordshire, then over to Devon by 7.30pm.
Not the sharpest shot but we were going about 70mph...I was not driving!

Macarons, Brussels, Belgium
Mixed Up
The flavours of these Macarons were all mixed up!

Saint Catherine's church, Brussels Belgium
The precision in the windows of Saint Catherine's church in Brussels is incredible!

Country Lane, North Devon
We had to be very cautious driving down windy, one lane country roads in the rain in Devon. We were on our way to meet a friend but our 1.5 hour trip turned into a 3 hour trip and we weren't even half way there so had to abandon our plans.

Exmoor ponies, Exmoor National Park, North Devon
The places I've been
I have been fortunate to have 'been' a few places was the Exmoor National Park in North Devon with the Exmoor ponies wandering around...stunning!

Sporty Ferrari

We were on the road all day, this was as sporty as it got...a nice sporty Ferrari parked next to us at the motorway services! Still catching up!

Bee and flower, Hughendon Manor, Buckinghamshire
A quick snapshot of a bee on a flower at Hughendon Manor, Buckinghamshire.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Photo a Day - August already!!! Week One

This year is flying by at an astonishing rate, hard to believe it is August already.
The countdown for our move home is on, with so much to fit in before we leave our 
lives in Europe and move back to Western Australia.

The prompt of the day is in red, the photo and description is my take on the prompt!
Enjoy my first week in August!

Many people enjoy walking the ancient city walls of Dubrovnik.
Incredible history and spectacular scenery!

There is something quite special when you see the White Cliffs of Dover, 
marking the land of England after crossing the Channel. I hadn't been back to England since 
October 2014, it felt like I was home.
I didn't see any bluebirds...plenty of seagulls though!

Femininity, the quality of being female. So hard to depict in a single shot. 
I like flowers in my home, I am more likely to drink coffee out of a mug than have a cup of tea, 
I rarely wear pink, often wear jeans but I like to be feminine occasionally.

The temptation of a Terry's chocolate orange is hard to resist, 
who can stop at one segment? It counts as fruit right?

On the water
Kayaks on the water in Dubrovnik.

Ice Cold
Was Ice Cold in my forest in December, a little different to today where we have 36C

The same spot 6 August 2015...36C!

On the edge
My daughter, on the edge of childhood, moving too fast into adulthood. 
On the edge of new beginnings, scared and excited.
Have enjoyed a week of just the two of us, tightening the Mother/Daughter bond.
She is also on the edge of the Rhine!

The is nothing more primal than a Mother's love. 
I never understood how much my Mum loved me until I had a child of my own. 
I would do anything for my girls and would give anything for another chat with my Mum. 
Seventeen years ago today that my Mum left us, the primal instinct is strong today.

There is nothing as magical as the pastel colours of Spring after a long, cold dark Winter!

Friday, 7 August 2015

Have you met Ralph?

We had to leave our beautiful little dog at home in Australia while we were in China and were planning on taking her to England with us, but most airlines have banned snub nosed dogs from long haul flights. Bear that in mind if you have plans to migrate with a dog or cat with a snub nose, including Shih Tzu, Boxers and Pugs.Terrible news, girls were upset but there was no way around it so our dog was left with friends and the girls were promised a rescue dog...with a long nose, on arrival in the UK.

We arrived, had a family meeting and set criteria for our rescue dog. Must be small to middle size, older dog, non shedding, everyone must agree on chosen dog. We then spent hours trawling the numerous dogs' homes locally. They were filled to the brim with crazy puppies and big dogs but none that matched our criteria. My husband instructed my eldest daughter to look online and find a dog called Ralph...thinking she would never find a dog called Ralph...and she did! So off we went to the New Forest to meet Ralph, a five hour round trip.

Ralph didn't fit any of the criteria apart from having a long nose...and he was...a dog. A four month old Border Collie cross. There was much pleading and begging to adopt Ralph on the long drive home...and that was just from my husband. We threw the 'dog choosing criteria' out the window and went to pick him up the following week, on my eldest daughter's birthday! That was three years ago and Ralph is a very much loved member of our family. He is such a character and has been on many adventures with us. We are in the process of getting him to Australia when we return home in January 2016. So glad you picked us Ralphy!

Ralph and sister Ruby

Ralph loves catching bubbles!

The Life and Times of Ralph

He just loves playing in our forest!

The Life and Times of Ralph

He has good sea legs

The Life and Times of Ralph

Loves playing tourist dog.

The Life and Times of Ralph

Enjoyed his trip on a gondola in Venice

The Life and Times of Ralph

Is a 'little' spoiled!

The Life and Times of Ralph

Loves a bone to chew on

The Life and Times of Ralph

Usually has a ball in his mouth, though it can be hard to choose!

The Life and Times of Ralph

Ralph is so clever he sneaks onto the family computer when we aren't looking and
has his own blog..check him out at The Life and Times of Ralph

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Travel Contrasts Beach or Culture, you can have both!

We all have those family discussions at holiday planning time, where to go, what to see! 
Do we sit by the pool or beach with a cocktail in hand or to we put on the 
walking shoes and immerse ourselves in some culture and history?
Swim or museum? Tour or tapas? Sand or cobblestones?

My little family found the perfect travel destination that caters for all.
Beach and culture. Lazy days and history lessons.
Contrasting holidays rolled into one.

We went to Dubrovnik!

A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Described by George Bernard Shaw as "The Pearl of the Adriatic" and 
"Those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik", 
It is a beautiful city that will have something for everyone.

The guides that lead the walking tours of the city wall, provide a wealth of interesting history, 
from as far back as the 7th Century to the recent shelling by the Serbs in 1991/92 
which lasted for seven long months.

City Wall,Dubrovnik, Croatia

City Wall,Dubrovnik, Croatia

City Wall,Dubrovnik, Croatia

City Wall,Dubrovnik, Croatia

The cable car ride to the top of Mount Srdj shows spectacular views of the city below.
The Homeland War museum on Mount Srdj, in the fort built between 1806 -1812 
and defended by the locals in the homeland war is well worth a visit. 
To learn of the very recent history and how Dubrovnik has moved onwards and upwards is inspiring.
The fort is also a pretty nice spot to watch the sun set over the city!

Old Town, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The European Wall of China, built between Ston and Mali Ston to protect the salt pans 
that are still working to this day, a historic walk with fabulous views. 
Best to wake teenagers for an early start...
it gets pretty hot up there at midday, trust me...I know!

The Wall of Ston, Mali Ston, Croatia

After walking the Walls of Ston, refresh with a swim in Mali Ston, crystal clear waters,  
then indulge in the freshest, most delicious oysters on the planet at a local restaurant!

Mali Ston, Croatia

In and around Dubrovnik there are bays to walk, boats to hire, views to gaze at, 
clear water to swim in, fabulous food to eat and pretty impressive local wines to drink.

Lapad Bay, Dubrovnik, Croatia


Cavtat Bay, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Lapad Bay, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The sun set is spectacular, whether you have had a day full of history and culture, 
or a day on the beach sipping a pina colada...or even a bit of both!

Cavtat Bay, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Photo a Day in July - the month comes to an end, ten days of travel and memories!

I was encouraged to start this blog when we were living in China, but with the hassles of
dodgy internet and working with VPN's at the time I never did.
Who would have thought that years later, I would be thwarted with dodgy internet in Germany!
We have had internet issues since we moved into our Frankfurt home
seventeen months ago, losing connection for weeks on end...
not good for blogging and certainly not good for a household of expats including two teenagers!
Fingers crossed the problem has now been found and solved.
I can get back on track and share our adventures of our last few months as expats
before our move back home to Australia in January 2016.

The prompt of the day is in red, the photo and description is my take on the day.
Ten days of memories old and new!

Pearl Tower, Shanghai, China
The multifaceted, iconic Pearl Tower in Shanghai!

Keukenhof, The Netherlands
The flowers at Keukenhof, The Netherlands were a vision!

Paper cut, Chinese Horoscopes
My family by Chinese Horoscope...we have a Pig, a Horse (me) a Tiger...
and a very special year of 2000 Golden Dragon!

Re imagine Ageing
I would like to re imagine my Mum's ageing, have her around to see her grand daughters 
flourish and grow. Mum missed her first grandchild, my daughter by two days.

Miao embroidery, Guizhou, China
Hand making and embroidering traditional Miao Minority shoes in Guizhou, China.

Ferry Crossing, Dover, England
My composition of my ferry, the Chaannel and Dover last Saturday, on our way to England.

Guard, Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic
In good hands
The Prague Castle is in good hands with the guards protecting it.

Mali Ston, Croatia
Why can't I live in Croatia and eat fresh oysters all day???

Black Forest Cake, Black Forest, Germany
Piece of cake 
This Black Forest Cake in the Black Forest was a great piece of cake!

Christmas Market, Wiesbaden, Germany
Loved the atmosphere of the Wiesbaden Christmas Markets at night.

Iconic Red Phone Box, London, England
Love the pop of red from my London phone box after a filter was added.
It was a grey London day last Monday.