life

Dipping toes…


street14©jenhammer copyIt’s good to take risks, don’t you think?

At the same time, dipping toes into unclear waters is frightening for one can’t see what lurks below the surface.

But in order to grow, to learn and to embrace the new, risks must be taken.

Toes should be dipped. For who knows, that unknown water may turn out to be brilliant.

Crystal clear and filled with endless opportunities offering love, laughter and endless happiness.

And those ties that hold on to the past?

They can be released.

Given permission to float into the yesterdays, taking with them those long held regrets that blanket the todays …

 

 

life

Reconnecting…


Life takes us down different roads. In our travels we connect, disconnect and reconnect.

Reconnections can be precious moments that shine light and laughter upon those whose life’s paths have crossed.

Over a year has passed since Isobella & Eddie connected.

Yesterday they reconnected…

 

 

 

photography

Family…


It has been sometime since I have picked up my camera and captured images of wonderful people and places.

Not because I haven’t wanted to, but quite simply because life is what life is. And sometimes it takes you down a different road, if just for a little while.

The other day a message asked me back, back to a place where laughter and love was in abundance and where I captured it for prosperity.

life, photography, travel

It’s all in a days work: a flight attendant’s life…


For the last few weeks I have had freedom – freedom from assignments, textbooks and endless hours studying in order to gain a post-graduate teaching qualification.

And during those wonderful weeks of freedom I have had time to reflect upon a life once lived. And a good life it was. Flying around the world, partying in Paris, having slings in Singapore and lunching in LA.

But as the saying goes; all good things must come to an end. And so with wings clipped and and a life now lived with feet firmly planted on the ground, I thought a flying photo essay (the type of essay I prefer) was in order.

Enjoy…

life, photography

If we take the time to look: life truly is AMAZING…


How often do we take the time to strip away what can be defined as difficult times, only to reveal a different truth to the one we thought we knew?
Yes, that sentence is quite complex. But think about it. We can often think we’ve been dealt a tough hand, a bad deal, a horrible time.
Define it how you will, but it comes down to thinking life has not always been kind.
This may well be true in part.
But look deeply. Look hard. What do you really find?
Personally. At this moment, as I sit here listening to music and lolling through old images on the 23rd of May, 2014. I come to a realisation about life.
I’ve had an amazing life.
I’m truly one of the lucky ones.
I’ve travelled. I’ve lost. I’ve cried. I’ve laughed.
I’ve LOVED. And I’ve been LOVED.
What more could I want?
Here’s a few of my favourite images, taken by me and for me that depict a great life.
Life truly is amazing!
Embrace it!

Always…

life, photography

Meeting Francine: the terror & triumphs…


As of today, I have been living in Penghu for 3 weeks. Notice that on has changed to in, that’s because I have a habit of getting it all a little wrong sometimes, so when it comes to whether one lives in or on Penghu, apparently it’s in. So I stand corrected, I live in Penghu.

Street vendors

And whilst we’re on the subject of habits, I have another: a habit of naming inanimate objects. Trust me, this information is relevant. There have been suitcases named Boris and Gwen, a camera called Colin and an automatic pool cleaner named Bill, to name a few. Those who know me personally will attest to this little idiosyncrasy without protest, yes I know it’s strange, but hey that’s me.

With that done, I shall get down to the business of life in Penghu 3 weeks on.

First order of the day is Francine. Remember I said I name inanimate objects? Well Francine is a rather flash, 100cc Kimco moped, or maybe I should say motorcycle (let’s not have another on or in Penghu moment) that I purchased a week ago. Our relationship didn’t get off to a good start, not that Francine did anything wrong, it was all about me. You see I have always had a fear of two-wheeled motorised transportation that I would have to control, but put me on the back and it’s okay.  I know, weird. On many overseas adventures,  my wonderful ex husband, (yes he’s still wonderful despite being the ex) and I would often hire a bike, and I would willingly jump on the back and enjoy the ride. Yet the thought of being in control was something that sent shivers through my body. So as much as Francine looked quite lovely and she behaved brilliantly when Asha (fellow teacher) took her for a spin, I was still somewhat reluctant to take control.

Frightened would be an understatement, mortally terrified would be a more apt description of how I felt when the time came to mount Francine. Adding to my fear, I had to ride through the centre of town on my first foray into two-wheeled motorised ownership as Asha and I had arrived together on her bike to collect Francine. As a result we had two bikes, so someone had to ride Francine home didn’t they?

A solution to my dilemma was thankfully at hand. Asha decided we would ride together on Francine to a nearby car park and have a quick lesson. Once I felt confident (cough, splutter) we would return to collect her bike, then we would ride home separately.

Sounds simple hey? And as much as I would love to relay some hilarious mishap relating to my lesson, I can’t, as much to my surprise, it actually went smoothly. After about 15 minutes of scooting around the car park I felt quite comfortable. Francine behaved beautifully and we began to bond.

One week later we have definitely bonded and I’m left to wonder why I had never addressed my fear of riding a motorbike previously. I really enjoy it. I can mix it up with the locals, even manoeuvering Francine through the mix of humanity and motorbikes that descend upon the daily market. A challenging, yet highly exhilarating experience.

Buying Francine has also given me the opportunity to head out-of-town, along narrow roads with only cows and the odd villager for company. It heralds a different kind of exhilaration and the kind that comes with being at one with myself: no expectations, no destination and open to discovery. Francine and I did that very thing yesterday. We rode along quiet roads, through remote villages to find stunning beaches and small harbours where aging fishing boats rocked gently upon azure waters.

My three weeks in Penghu have definitely allowed me to make many discoveries and many changes. Not just about this interesting island I now call home, more importantly, I’ve made them about myself. It’s a good feeling.

On a final note though, some things will never change, my need to name inanimate objects. And with that being said, my computer and constant companion here in Penghu (apart from Francine of course) is without a name.

Any suggestions?

p.s. She is a white MacBook 😉

dogs, life, photography

Dogs can speak, just ‘listen’ to their ears…


Dogs can speak. Just as humans use sign language, I believe so do our 4-legged friends, but instead of using their paws, they use their ears. And if you take the time to listen to their ears, you’ll see they actually speak volumes.

With that in mind I decided I would write a post about doggy ear language. On deciding, I thought who better to demonstrate doggy sign language than my beloved Stanley? However there was only one problem with that decision: I needed Stanley to cooperate, but he was too busy sniffing, sleeping, catching a few winter rays or stopping to chat to one of his friends on our daily walk.

So please excuse the quality of the images, it was not an easy task to manipulate leads, IPhones etc to get that perfect shot.  But I was persistent and did manage to capture a little of how his dogship communicates.  Here goes, with a little caption ‘translation’…

And a final note: as Erica says; dogs definitely make everything better. ❤

life

Changing lanes…


When settling into your seat to watch the flight attendant deliver the safety demonstration, have you ever thought about what life is like for that flight attendant?
Maybe you havent. Or maybe you have. And if so you may have thought, hmmm they must travel in one of life’s fast lanes. Paris one week, Rome the week after and possibly London and New York the week after that.
From someone who travelled in that lane for close to 25 years, that’s pretty much it in a nutshell. Well the good bits anyway.
Yep I can tell you, I enjoyed lagers in London, parties in Paris and slings in Singapore. But aside from having a great time, being a flight attendant was also exciting, rewarding and at times, very humbling.
Sipping caprioskas whilst watching a Roman sunset is exciting.
Watching snowflakes search for a place to land amongst the skyscrapers of New York, claiming the soil of Ground Zero as their final resting place as did some 2000 souls on 9/11, is humbling.
And seeing a child totally enthralled by the fact that you, the flight attendant have captured clouds in a teapot, is rewarding. (Dry ice + water = instant clouds).
But being a flight attendant can also be very comical.
For instance, try telling an Indian man that the sanitary napkin you gave to the woman sitting next to him was something he really didn’t need?
My words were to no avail as his reply, with a swift roll of his head went a little like this. ‘No, I’ll be thinking you’ll be not understanding me madam, I’ll be saying that I’ll be wanting what she is having’ as his head again rolled from side to side.
I repeated my words, but they were in vain for he seemed relentless in his pursuit, so in the end I gave up and gave him his much needed package, and as I passed it over I wondered just what he would do with the contents.
On my next walk through the cabin, my question was answered.
There he was, sitting ever so proudly, with a very large,very white, sanitary napkin firmly placed across his eyes!
He had peeled off the adhesive label and quite obviously decided that this strange white object was the latest design in airline eye masks. At that moment, between holding back fits of laughter, I was so thankful that he didn’t discover the little white numbers that were housed in the same package and decide to use them as ‘earplugs’.
Ah yes, flying truly was a beautiful blend of the good, the bad and the downright ridiculous. And for those of you who have aspirations to try life in that fast lane, I strongly encourage it. I lived in that lane for many years, and loved it. Then I began to question which lane was really the more important one to travel in, fast or family?
So now instead of sipping cappuccinos in Rome, seeing rhinos in the wilds of Africa and waking to the sounds of street hawkers in Singapore, I now wake to the sounds of my beautiful children starting the day and my beloved Stanley panting excitedly and the prospect of going for his daily walk.
Yes, I was hostie and I lived in the fast lane, but I chose to put my indicator on and change lanes.

photography

Renewal…


Renewal can evoke many thoughts and feelings. For me this weeks Photo Challenge theme brought about a time of reflection. I have renewed many aspects of my life of late and I have been refreshed and revitalised for having done so.

This challenge reminds me of time spent with my beautiful niece Kate, who is also my friend and travel partner. We took a trip to Europe together to renew and refresh from the rigours of our flying lives. We laughed, we cried, we were lost and we were found, but most of all, we renewed our beings along with our love and mutual respect for each other…

An afternoon in Innsbruck brought laughter, lost ways and parking fines…

Lauterbrunnen

Shadows

renewing the senses in Switzerland…

renewing the love and laughter…