Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour.

I am enraptured with the golden hour every day from my new home!  The sky seems to be a different colour here in South Africa as the light projects in an alternative contrast to the big Australian skies.  Why is it that even though you have seen the sunset more times than you can count there is this compelling force that makes you look…?

Like flashes of lightning or the site of a rainbow, you simply cannot refrain from taking them in.  Perhaps because the golden hour comes with the knowledge it is always unique, never to be repeated in exactly the same way, and is therefore something magical to enjoy as one of those lucky enough to see it.

Recently I have had the pleasure of soaking up the golden sunset every evening down by the beach and I must keep reminding myself that staring at the sun, particularly through a camera lens, is not good for ones retina’s even though it is amazingly soothing for the soul.  So do watch yourself when its beauty compels you to look and try to keep your vision off centre!

Spreading a little magic with the weekly photo challenge.

Colour and detail on the Western Cape…

I have been mulling over how I am going to show you Cape Town in an out of the ordinary way.  There are many websites you can use to research the top things to do in town and the must see places to go, they do a very good job and so I will leave this to them.  I can confirm this because the first time I came here I was a tourist taking in all the usual highlights.  Believe you me there is so much to do it was difficult to fit my hit list in to a week and that was just following the top ten sights to see.  They were all worth it I might add.  I mean seriously, the ride up to the top of Table Mountain in the James Bond style revolving cable car was a good start to my insatiable appetite to see it all and you almost can with 360 degree views of the Cape from up there!  However, I want to show you the detail in different ways and so this is just the beginning as I embark on this intrepid pursuit with great enthusiasm and intrigue.

Now I have the glorious feeling of knowing there are an abundance of weekends streaming into the future, I can approach this journey of discovery in a different way than through the eyes of a tourist.  Perhaps unearthing delights with the mind of an excited child for the first time but also with the relaxed pace and calm of a local as I become more familiar.  For a start, the walking trails I have since been on are opening up more views, angles and familiarity with the mountainous landscape than one can first appreciate with the lazy route to the top I initially took.  Now I can get my shoes dirty and inhale oxygen until my lungs can’t expand any further as I stroll along the array of winding routes.

I have been a little nervous of carrying my larger camera with me as safety precautions do need to be taken more vigilantly here.  So in an attempt to look less like a tourist with something of value that might be tempting to snatch, I have been walking without it and this has seriously hampered my photographic opportunities.  So I am now finally armed with a new phone (p.s. to acquire this was another very long procedure which helped push my levels of patience to new lengths as I appreciate things take a little longer here)….. and it is an iPhone!  I used to have one and it’s a long story of woe as to how we became separated for the last eighteen months but I won’t bore you with that.  I was also having a stand-off to being sucked into everything apple but to be honest it is a good product and I can do so much more armed with one.  Including now being able to take discreet photographs as well as not carry too much with me.

Although, the usual rule of don’t go out bush-walking without your phone is actually contradicted here with the suggestion you are better to go without it for fear of robbery!  I have decided I would rather take my chances, get some photographs, be able to make a phone call in case of an emergency and worst case hand it over if push comes to shove.  That is why insurance exists and the option to lock and delete all content is carefully installed.  I will of course be venturing out with my SLR so watch out for those shots too in the coming weeks but now I have got more opportunities covered.

So coming at you my first shot with the phone and a little bit of colour box fun just because it would be rude not to make the most of all the incredible things that can be done at ones fingertips!  Well, I did say at the start it would be out of the ordinary!

Here we have colourful Camps Bay…

Artistic colour image of Camps Bay.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic!

Beach holidays, the seaside, childhood memories, or even the modern version of deck chairs on astro turfed rooftops to watch a moonlight cinema screening…. the stripes still capture a feeling of relaxed happy times gone by.

Striped deck chairs.

Striped deck chairs on astro turf!

Spreading a little magic with the weekly photo challenge. 

Contentment…

How many chapters are there in a life time?  I feel like I am entering a new chapter right now and not just because I have recently moved to another country but also as my age ripens and my being changes, mentally and physically in subtle but developing ways.  I am also enjoying the first chapter of married life which is testing our commitment to the vows we made less than a year ago and challenging us to explore the depths of a harmonious and happy life together; as well as keeping our status quo as individuals!

Before you can make anyone else happy you need to be content within yourself and this is not always straight forward on a daily basis.   For example, at the moment I am feeling a little out of sorts and unsettled with moving to South Africa but I am trying to focus on not letting these feelings get the better of me or shrowd the bigger picture, for if they do, they will also come into my relationship in a negative way.  Instead I am trying to by all means share my feelings, a problem shared is a problem halved as they say, but also step back from them.  Keeping contentment in mind gives me a hugely satisfied feeling and appreciation for what I have in my life.

Contentment is not to be confused with ones desires, for desires just create cravings and the want for more.  Contentment is found in every day things, appreciating what you have in the very moment you are in.   Even if it is turning out to be a bad day find one of the thousand things around you that is giving you contentment.  For example,  walking in the great outdoors, eating some fresh fruit,  catching up for coffee with a friend, holding the hand of someone you love, watching the sun rise or set!  They exist every where, you just need to focus on them rather than the areas making you feel blue or frustrated.

Living in contentment takes some practice and it is most easily done in the joyous times but it can become very effective if you can equally embrace it during difficult moments.  When you learn how to be content during the challenging and tough times you become truly free.  Just as important is the ability to accept the people in our lives for who they truly are, and not what we want them to be.  This is also the secret to wedded bliss!

Cup of coffee with the shape of a heart in the milk.

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.”    Buddha.