Tuesday, 28 February 2017


Kinderdijk is a village in the Netherlands, belonging to the municipality of Molenwaard, in the province South Holland, about 15 km east of Rotterdam. Kinderdijk is situated in a polder in the Alblasserwaard at the confluence of the Lek and Noord rivers. To drain the polder, a system of 19 windmills was built around 1740. This group of mills is the largest concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands. The windmills of Kinderdijk are one of the best-known Dutch tourist sites. They have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Sunday, 26 February 2017


"There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

And it took me two minute to photograph this one, and eight minutes to enjoy eating it!

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Saturday, 25 February 2017


Lake Burley Griffin is an artificial lake in the centre of Canberra, the capital of Australia. It was completed in 1963 after the Molonglo River—which ran between the city centre and Parliamentary Triangle—was dammed. It is named after Walter Burley Griffin, the American architect who won the competition to design the city of Canberra.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme.

Thursday, 23 February 2017


Convolvulus is a genus of about 200 to 250 species of flowering plants in the bindweed family Convolvulaceae, with a cosmopolitan distribution. Common names include bindweed and morning glory; both names shared with other closely related genera. They are annual or perennial herbaceous vines, bines and (a few species of) woody shrubs, growing to 0.3–3 m tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, and the flowers trumpet-shaped, mostly white or pink, but blue, violet, purple or yellow in some species. Many of the species are invasive species weeds; but others are cultivated for their attractive flowers, while some are globally threatened.

This is Convolvulus erubescens, commonly known as blushing bindweed, pinkflower bindweed or (in Britain and Ireland) Australian bindweed, is a perennial herb in the Convolvulaceae family that is native to Australia. It has trailing and twining stems and variable leaves, ovate to triangular or arrow-shaped, 25–55 mm long and 2–40 mm wide. It has rosy-pink or mauve, funnel-shaped flowers, 7–15 mm long, 8–20 mm in diameter, with a pale, greenish throat. It is found in coastal and subcoastal areas where it inhabits eucalypt forests, the margins of rainforests, grassy woodlands and grasslands.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017


The Gopher and Gnat

The gopher is a humble beast

The gnat a proper nuisance;
And when the wind is hot and East,
(As is its proper usance),
The gnat will swarm and bite and fuss
While gopher suffers – like us…

Poor gopher grey, so meek and sweet,

You really should go elsewhere!
The gnat’s for you no match to meet
In field, in nest – well, really nowhere!
The gnat will ghost and sting and cuss
While gopher suffers – like us…

O gopher dear, I feel your pain

The gnat is such a nudnik!
I think that both of us would gain
If all gnats were in a sputnik.
Yet gnats will multiply and mass and buss
While gophers suffer – like us…

This post is part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,

and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017


Alexandria (اسكندرية, pronounced [eskendeˈrejjæ] in Egyptian Arabic) is the second largest city and the second largest metropolitan area in Egypt after Greater Cairo by size and population, extending about 32 km along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. It is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. Alexandria is Egypt's largest seaport, serving approximately 80% of Egypt's imports and exports. It is an important industrial centre because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is also an important tourist resort.

Alexandria was founded around a small Ancient Egyptian town c. 331 BC by Alexander the Great. It became an important centre of the Hellenistic civilisation and remained the capital of Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Egypt for almost one thousand years until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat (later absorbed into Cairo). Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; its Great Library (the largest in the ancient world; now replaced by a modern one); and the Necropolis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages.

Ongoing maritime archaeology in the harbour of Alexandria, which began in 1994, is revealing details of Alexandria both before the arrival of Alexander, when a city named Rhacotis existed there, and during the Ptolemaic dynasty. From the late 19th century, Alexandria became a major centre of the international shipping industry and one of the most important trading centres in the world, both because it profited from the easy overland connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, and the lucrative trade in Egyptian cotton. Alexandria was the second most powerful city of the ancient world after Rome.

We visited Alexandria in 2005, and enjoyed the experience immensely, two of the most memorable sites being the new Library of Alexandria and the house of Constantine Cavafy (1863 – 1933), the great Greek Alexandrine poet.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Monday, 20 February 2017


This is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Sunday, 19 February 2017


The Queen Victoria Market (also known as the Queen Vic Markets or the Queen Vic, and locally as '"Vic Market"') is a major landmark in Melbourne, Australia, and at around seven hectares is the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere. The Market is significant to Melbourne's culture and heritage and has been listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.

The Market is named after Queen Victoria who ruled the British Empire, from 1837 to 1901. The Queen Victoria Market is the only surviving 19th century market in the Melbourne central business district. There were once three major markets in the Melbourne CBD, but two of them, the Eastern Market and Western Market, both opened before the Queen Victoria, closed in the 1960s. It also forms part of an important collection of surviving Victorian markets which includes the inner suburban Prahran Market and South Melbourne Market.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Saturday, 18 February 2017


This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.

Thursday, 16 February 2017


Borage (Borago officinalis), also known as a starflower, is an annual herb in the flowering plant family Boraginaceae. It is native to the Mediterranean region and has naturalised in many other locales. It grows satisfactorily in gardens in the UK climate, remaining in the garden from year to year by self-seeding. The leaves are edible and the plant is grown in gardens for that purpose in some parts of Europe. The plant is also commercially cultivated for borage seed oil extracted from its seeds.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017


Fish and Bird

A bird a fish espied,
In deep blue sea cavorting;
A fish a bird so pied
Saw high in air up sporting.
The two exchanged sweet glances,
And after leaps and dives
Decided such romances
Were on what a heart thrives.

The bird trilled in a burble:
“My love, you swim so well...”
The fish not quite so verbal,
Tossed him a pearly shell.
A fish a bird enamoured
A bird a fish loved back –
Now isn’t that thing contrary,
And yet they chose to marry!

The fish in air was choking,
In water the bird drowning.
And yet they met on sandy beach
And made a fine, short speech:
 “If love is in your heart, dear,
All you shall overcome, no fear!
For love will all sharp edges smooth
And all great pains will soothe.”

This post is part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wednesday Waters meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Poets United meme.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017


Burano is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy; like Venice itself, it could more correctly be called an archipelago of four islands linked by bridges. It is situated near Torcello at the northern end of the Lagoon, and is widely known for its fine lace work, which is very expensive because it is extremely time-consuming to make.

Burano is also known for its small, brightly painted houses, which are popular with photographers and artists. The colours of the houses follow a specific system originating from the golden age of its development. If someone wishes to paint their home, one must send a request to the local government authority, which will respond by making notice of the certain colours permitted for that lot.

Other attractions include the Church of San Martino, with a leaning campanile and a painting by Giambattista Tiepolo (Crufixion, 1727), the Oratorio di Santa Barbara and the Museum and School of Lacemaking.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wednesday Waters meme.

Monday, 13 February 2017


This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Sunday, 12 February 2017


Zürich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zürich It is located in north-central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zürich The municipality has approximately 390,000 inhabitants, and the Zürich metropolitan area 1.83 million. Zürich is a hub for railways, roads, and air traffic. Both Zürich Airport and railway station are the largest and busiest in the country.

Permanently settled for around 2000 years, the history of Zürich goes back to its founding by the Romans, who, in 15 BC, called it Turicum. However, early settlements have been found dating back more than 6400 years ago. During the Middle Ages Zürich gained the independent and privileged status of imperial immediacy and, in 1519, was the place of origin and centre of the Protestant Reformation in German-speaking Switzerland, led by Ulrich Zwingli.

Zürich is a leading global city and among the world's largest financial centres. The city is home to a large number of financial institutions and banking giants. Most of Switzerland's research and development centres are concentrated in Zürich and the low tax rates attract overseas companies to set up their headquarters there. According to several surveys from 2006 to 2008, Zurich was named the city with the best quality of life in the world as well as the wealthiest city in Europe. Many museums and art galleries can be found in the city, including the Swiss National Museum and the Kunsthaus. Zurich also hosts one of the most important theatres in the German-speaking world.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme.

Friday, 10 February 2017


This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday, 9 February 2017


Thelymitra ixioides, known as the Spotted Sun Orchid is a common plant in eastern and southern Australia, it is also found in New Zealand and New Caledonia. Leaves are thin or lanceolate, up to 20 cm long. A small plant of the Orchidaceae family, it has spotted flowers, forming from August to January. They are usually blue, but sometimes violet. It grows in eucalyptus woodland or heathland.

Thelymitra is derived from the Greek thely, female and mitra, a headdress, referring to the appearance of the plumed column (the fused stamens, styles and stigma). The specific name ixioides means similar to the genus Ixia. It is known as the "sun orchid" because the flowers of most species only open fully on warm, sunny days. There are about 80 species of terrestrial orchids in the genus Thelymitra.

As T. ixioides has fairly specialised cultural needs (like most terrestrial orchids) it is cultivated mainly by orchid enthusiasts. Generally the plants are grown in pots in a freely draining, sandy mix. They require good air circulation in a protected position of about 50% sun during the growing period from autumn to spring. During this growing period the plants must not be allowed to dry out. After the leaves have turned brown in late spring to early summer the pots are allowed to dry out completely. Repotting of tubers can be carried out in summer. This orchid is not considered to be at risk in the wild.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017


The Elephant in the Room

The elephant in Ecuador
Is very large indeed!
He will not enter through the door
It is by all agreed.

The elephant inside the room
Somehow needs to enter;
Perhaps we need to shrink and zoom
Until he’s in the centre.

And once the elephant’s in the den,
A great hubbub arises;
For we can talk about him then
In all his various guises.

This post is part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017


Detroit is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the fourth-largest city in the Midwest and the largest city on the United States–Canada border. It is the seat of Wayne County, the most populous county in the state. The municipality of Detroit had a 2015 estimated population of 677,116, making it the 21st-most populous city in the United States. The metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people and lies at the heart of the Great Lakes Megalopolis area, with around 60 million people.

Roughly one-half of Michigan's population lives in Metro Detroit alone. The Detroit–Windsor area, a commercial link straddling the Canada–U.S. border, has a total population of about 5.7 million. Detroit is a major port on the Detroit River, a strait that connects the Great Lakes system to the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The Detroit Metropolitan Airport is among the most important hubs in the United States. The City of Detroit anchors the second-largest economic region in the Midwest, behind Chicago, and the thirteenth-largest in the United States. Detroit and its neighbouring Canadian city Windsor are connected through a tunnel and various bridges, with the Ambassador Bridge being the busiest international crossing in North America.

Due to industrial restructuring and loss of jobs in the auto industry, Detroit lost considerable population from the late 20th century to the present. Between 2000 and 2010 the city's population fell by 25 percent, changing its ranking from the nation's 10th-largest city to 18th. In 2010, the city had a population of 713,777, more than a 60 percent drop from a peak population of over 1.8 million at the 1950 census. This resulted from suburbanisation, corruption, industrial restructuring and the decline of Detroit's auto industry.

In 2013, the state of Michigan declared a financial emergency for the city, which was successfully exited with all finances handed back to Detroit in December 2014. Detroit has experienced urban decay as its population and jobs have shifted to its suburbs or elsewhere. The erstwhile rapid growth of Detroit left a globally unique stock of architectural monuments and historic places of the first half of the 20th century, with many of them falling into disrepair or torn down since the 1960s. Conservation efforts managed to save many architectural pieces since the 2000s and allowed several large-scale revitalisations.

Downtown Detroit has held an increased role as a cultural destination in the 21st century, with the restoration of several historic theatres and entertainment venues, highrise renovations, new sports stadiums, and a riverfront revitalisation project. More recently, the population of Downtown Detroit, Midtown Detroit, and various other neighbourhoods has increased. Some other neighbourhoods remain distressed with abandonment of properties, partly revitalised by initiatives like Blight Busters, or renovated by new inhabitants for affordable housing and homesharing, like students and young entrepreneurs.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Sunday, 5 February 2017


Festive Crêpes
Ingredients - Crêpes:
4 eggs
1 and 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup water, about
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsps vanilla, about
1/4 cup butter, melted, plus more for the pan
2 cups flour, sifted
Ingredients - Filling:
1 cup blackberry jam
1/2 cup sultanas
1/3 cup glace cherries, chopped
2 tbsp brandy
Ground cinnamon and cloves to taste
Optional: Custard, cream or ice cream to serve

Prepare the filling by soaking the sultanas and cherries in the brandy. Stir a few times, leaving the fruit to soak for about 15 minutes. Then add the blackberry jam and spices and stir well. Leave to macerate for 30 minutes.
Beat eggs with a whisk until frothy. Beat in milk and water. Still whisking, add in salt, sugar, vanilla and butter. Add in flour in stages, about half a cup at a time, whisking well to incorporate.
Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes. You can also make the batter the night before and let it rest in the fridge overnight. Stir before using. You will probably need to add more water before using because the gluten in the flour will have soaked up some of the liquid in the batter while it rested. If it seems too thick, add just a little cold water– you can always add more later if the crêpe batter is still too thick.
Heat non-stick pan over medium to medium high heat; when it is hot enough, a few drops of water will seem to bounce across the surface before evaporating. Add a pat of butter and as soon as it has melted, add a small ladleful of batter. Swirl the pan around to distribute the batter evenly. When it is time to flip, the batter on the surface will lose its glossiness and the edges will start to look brown. Cook the second side for 30 seconds, no more.
Put a little of the filling in each crêpe and roll into a cylinder. Serve with custard, cream or ice-cream.
Stack the cooked crêpes on a plate with non-stick baking paper between each crêpe. Any left over can be frozen like that in a stack. Batter here makes about 12 crêpes.

This post is part of the Our Beautiful World meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme.

Thursday, 2 February 2017


Hydrangea macrophylla is a species of flowering plant in the family Hydrangeaceae, native to Japan. It is a deciduous shrub growing to 2 m tall by 2.5 m broad with large heads of pink or blue flowers in summer and autumn. Common names include bigleaf hydrangea, French hydrangea, lacecap hydrangea, mophead hydrangea, penny mac and hortensia. It is widely cultivated in many parts of the world in many climates.

H. macrophylla blooms can be blue, red, pink, light purple, or dark purple. The colour is affected by soil pH. An acidic soil (pH below 7) will usually produce flower colour closer to blue, whereas an alkaline soil (pH above 7) will produce flowers more pink. This is caused by a colour change of the flower pigments in the presence of aluminium ions which can be taken up into hyperaccumulating plants. There are many proprietary 'bluing' chemicals that can be added to the soil around the plants to make the flowers blue.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017



There were four ducks from Dover,
That flew so quickly over –
I hardly saw them streak
Up in the sky so quick!

Four ducks that darted past,
So hasty, swift and fast –
I thought they were airplanes
Or express rushing trains!

Four ducks so sleek and fleet,
No time to meet and greet –
Goodbye, Dick, Dot and Dean;
Des too far to be seen!

This post is part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wednesday Waters meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme.