Some observations from travels

Weekly Photo Challenge

Atop: A Point of View

This week’s Photo Challenge is the point of view: Atop.  My interpretation of the word is what’s on top of us.  When I take photos I like taking those on top of me and when I look at them later on I’m surprised at what we actually see when we just look up.


Coconut palms in the tropics


Sun shines through Norfolk Pines


Ferns on trees in the rainforest


Bird cages along the alleyway


Jelly fish growing on trees


How about artwork hanging on trees?


Colourful festival decorations


And one of the classic ceilings of the Palace of Versailles 

Wherever you go and whatever you might be doing, look up! There’s so much to see atop of our heads!

Visit the Photo Challenge page for more contributions and versions to this week’s theme.





It’s been a while.  It’s great to be back and catching up on my long abandoned reader.

Life sometimes caught up with us and other days they seem to run us over.  But, here I am and it surely is great to be back.

This week’s photo challenge, Shadow, can conjure many different meanings.  For me, shadow means a literal dark reflection of the objects on the photo I took on a recent walk along Cairns’ marina.

On the other hand these structure on the marina are also shadows of their past life: the old   wharf.  In the 1900s these timber wharves served as berths for ships and the entry to the Great Barrier Reef.  The old timber wharves were replaced with sturdy reinforced concrete ports to accomodate all the larger ships bringing in tourists and commerce to Cairns.fullsizeoutput_210efullsizeoutput_210ffullsizeoutput_2110

The Trinity Wharf boardwalk is a shadow of its past.  It stands proud and beautiful.  On the old poles there are Aboriginal Australian stories and peepholes that you can look through and see key areas along the harbour beyond.


Most shadows may be dark but they can have many meanings.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting

I’m late for the other week’s challenge, but I couldn’t help myself.  Here’s my addition to the Fleeting challenge.  I hope you all had fun browsing through what everyone has contributed to this challenge.

Sakura, or the cherry blossoms, are revered flowers here in Japan.  It is said that the transience of these flowers symbolises a Japanese cultural tradition, for its blooming en masse as extreme beauty followed by a quick death.  It had been associated with mortality as the ephemeral nature of life.  These beauties have to be enjoyed really quickly as they will suddenly go as quickly as they blossomed.







Weekly Photo Challenge: In The Background

For this week’s Photo Challenge we are asked to show a photo of us in the background.  This is one challenge I get stuck with when taking photos of things on or with glass, mirrors or anything shiny – staying away from view!  Sometimes I don’t notice it until I am cleaning up my photos.  Here are some I have of myself in the foreground or background.



DSC_0012I the last photo, when I was taking photos of these information stands (in stainless steel) and looked quickly at my photo, I noticed dark lines in the middle and thought where did they come from?  I really need to wear my reading glasses more…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

Patterns in any form are very interesting.  Some tend to be quite pedantic in nature and others are purely aesthetic.  Both are equally beautiful.  This week’s Photo Challenge is Patterns.

For this challenge, I thought I would show you some photos I have of various Emas.  Ema is a wooden plaque where Shinto worshipers write down their wish and hang at the temple for the spirits or gods of the temple to receive them.  Here are some of them and hope you like it.













Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture

This contribution is a bit late for last week’s Photo Challenge.  But, nevertheless, I would like to share this bit of cultural experience I had last week from Toyokawa, Japan.

Toyokawa Inari Shrine Spring Festival

Toyokawa Inari Shrine Spring Festival

These worshipers, mostly men, and a lady which can be seen here in peach dress, help lift this shrine placed on a deck of (heavy-looking) timber from the main shrine and around the temple grounds.  Stopping is main halls and lifting it at least three times.  The great spring festival is for harvest prayer.  Around Japan many spring festivals are celebrated for fertility and harvest.  Last year I also witnessed another Matsuri for fertility during spring time.

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Day in My Life

It’s Saturday, 30th March, somewhere in Nagoya, Japan. This was my day.

I know, some of us have to work on Saturdays. I had an easy day today, it started with a sunny outlook this morning. Every morning when I get up the first thing I do is look out the window to see how the day is starting. After breakfast I walk through the park and science museum for the subway station. Everyday, except on Mondays and maybe on public holidays, there would be a long queue of people trying to get into the museum. I take the subway to work as it is fast and reliable. Then I walk up the hill, lined with cherry blossoms, to my work.

I normally work with kids but today they were off for spring break and all we did was prepping for next term. As it was a gorgeous day my colleagues and I had lunch at the park close to work. The streets were busy with people enjoying their Hanami-viewing cherry blossoms. After work I usually stop by a local grocer next to the subway station for a bit of shopping.

When I walked back from the station neighbours were enjoying the day at the park. Once I get home it’s a series of chores-putting the washing on, emptying the dishwasher, putting on fresh sheets, dusting off the floor. Somedays are not as intense as this. Then I enjoy a cup of tea to settle down my blood. When I’m not too tired (after spending a day with 15+ pre-ks) I do a set of yoga.

Sunset did not show tonight. It was obscured by a thick cloud. On to the rest of my relaxing ritual, check what’s on tele-I opted for ‘Shall We Dance.’ Then check emails, Facebook, WordPress. And finally, who said we can’t multi-task that with a glass of merlot! What’s for dinner? Who knows.

That was my typical Saturday. What about yours? I hope you all have a great weekend.

PS. In the interest of keeping in tune with this months’ phoneography challenge, I did all photos and text here. I still struggle with editing photos into a captioned tiled gallery. So I cheated a bit and inserted my gallery through my laptop and finishing this post on my phone. I tried, truly.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense


The other day I stopped by Kosho-ji, a buddhist temple two subway stops away from my work.  This photos shows the initial bloom of cherry trees around the temple – which means Hanami is upon us!  This traditional Japanese custom of viewing cherry blossom (sakura.)  It also indicates that spring has finally arrived and the promise of warmer months and greener trees ahead.

Enjoy your spring! Don’t forget to visit the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge to enjoy more interpretations of this week’s Future Tense theme.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in Details

I like this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge as I love details in any subject.  For this challenge I chose to include details around the National Mall in Washington, DC and neighbouring landmarks.  There were many meaningful details around this huge area which, obviously, I have not fully visited.  For the areas that I have been to, here are some thought-provoking details of the American History.

kennedy speech

The famous line from Pres Kennedy’s inaugural speech

bridge detail

Brass sculpture on the Arlington Memorial Bridge

Inside the Lincoln Memorial

Inside the Lincoln Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial

korean war usa dead

National WWII Memorial

National WWII Memorial

A few of the many lost lives

A few of the many lost lives

ducks on falls

A line from Franklin D Roosevelt's speech

A line from Franklin D Roosevelt’s speech

Cavalry Charge at the National Capitol

Cavalry Charge at the National Capitol

So there you go…don’t get lost in the details now.  Visit the Weekly Photo Challenge blog for more interesting posts.

I got Freshly Pressed!

freshly pressed 12:1:13

And I am quite stoked about it!  It is very rewarding to express an idea (no matter how out of the ordinary) and be recognised for it.  Thank you to WordPress and to all who dropped by and liked my post.  Now, this makes me try harder to put my ideas forward.