Stay Calm and Carry on

Sometimes I wish that I could go into a time machine right now and just look at my self and say, ‘Calm down. Things are gonna be fine. Things are gonna be all great. Just relax.’ Tristan Wilds

Chaos runs amok in my life and the lives of my friends these days.  Surgery, work, construction, sickness, death, language practice, social commitments, and just life in general.  It’s always easy after the fact to remember that these things come and these things go.  In the heat of the moment though.. not so easy.  Sometimes I’m just chugging along and “BAM” there it goes again.  When I finally calm down.. I realize it was never that bad.. or even if it was, it’s over and life is good again and I feel silly for taking it all so personally.  That’s one reason I’m so happy to have some visual reminders of the calm that exists in my life no matter how chaotic my mental state can sometimes be. I hope you enjoy the visuals that I have been exposed to recently.  Sunsets, sunrises and grandkids first day of school!

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. Publilius Syrus

“How you can sit there, calmly eating muffins when we are in this horrible trouble, I can’t make out. You seem to me to be perfectly heartless.”

“Well, I can’t eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them.”

“I say it’s perfectly heartless your eating muffins at all, under the circumstances.”
― Oscar WildeThe Importance of Being Earnest

Where’s my Backpack,  Leya, WoollyMuses,Roaming Urban GypsyLadyleemanila, Oh, the Places We See . . .Netdancer’s Musings, Jaspa’s Journal,WordsVisual,  A Day In The Lifeceenphotography.comOuch!! My back hurts!!,Mama Cormier,Figments of a DuTchessTravelrat’s TravelsOut an’ About, Une photo, un poème,  Musin’ With Susan, The New 3 Rs: Retire, Recharge, Reconnect,


Bikes and Birds in Amsterdam

You can’t show more balance than a bike or a bird.  Unless you are looking at 2 drunk men on top of a building.  Oh Amsterdam.


So yeah, I mean, I guess you could, but for this trip, it was a perfect theme to end the month.  Work life and travel balance.  But back to birds and bikes.


I hope you enjoyed.

Other balanced posts.

  1. Naomi
  2. Travel with Intent
  3. Dancing Palm Trees
  4. Wind against current
  5. TVOR
  6. Lady
  7. Another day
  8. Travel Rat


Ancient things in Bangkok

I’m back after 5 weeks of being away.  I spent a week in Bangkok, Thailand where I met up with some great friends and mostly lounged and did a little sight-seeing.  I then moved on to spend 3 weeks in Vietnam traveling from Hanoi to Ho Chi Min City.  My final week was back in Nepal in a city about a 20 minute flight from Kathmandu.  It was work but felt like a continuation of my vacation.

I will start off by incorporating some of my travel photos into some of the theme/photo challenges I missed out on while I was gone.  The first one being Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Ancient.

While in Bangkok I went on a river boat tour and we stopped off at an old temple named Wat Arun that sat along the Chao Phraya River.  It was amazing.  The steps to climb to the top of the temple were about 8-10 inches wide and each step was at least 2 feet tall.  Apparently this temple is a representation of Mount Meru which plays a large part in the Buddhist religion. There are supposedly 3 symbolic levels that emanate from the central prang.  The first level relates to all realms of existence the middle is where all desires are found or gratified and the 3rd indicates six heavens within seven realms of happiness (according to wikipedia).  This temple was built sometime in the17th century and is said to represent the radiations of the rising sun.

Though there are approximately 31,000 Buddhist temples spread out around Thailand, this was the most impressive one I saw on this trip.  It’s named after the Indian God of Dawn, Arun and was most impressive right at sunset.  Many of the “prang” are decorated with seashells and bits of porcelain which glitter in the sun and are stunning when the sun is rising or setting.

I hope you enjoy.

Other blogs representing Ancient that I really liked.

  1. Travel Theme: Ancient | Ese’ s Voice
  2. Travel Theme: Ancient | Edge of the Forest
  3. Travel Theme: Ancient | Geophilia Photography
  4. My lens and universe: Ancient
  5. Oldies but goodies
  6. Travel Monkey/ ancient
  7. More ancient Quotidian Hudson
  8. Retirement and Beyond/ Ancient
  9. Travel Theme : Ancient / Purba
  10. Wolly Muses – Ancient
  11. Beyond the Brush
  12. Stefano Scheda
  13. Ancient – Ailsa’s WTT | Ouch!! My back hurts!!


Yellow and the shades that surround it

Yellow.. my favorite color. Thanks Ailsa for a great theme!! I love yellow.  I really love it.  It makes me happy.

“The yellow glistens.
It glistens with various yellows,
Citrons, oranges and greens
Flowering over the skin.”
― Wallace Stevens

I present to you YELLOW.

The problem is I cannot just stop at yellow.  It is not my only favorite color.  Oranges and red-oranges are my next favorite color. Especially when they stand out against other more subtle colors.

Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint.       Pablo Picasso

Lastly there’s something about a black and white photo that just draws me in.  Maybe because it makes the picture timeless.

Other yellow ideas:

  1. Travel Theme: Yellow | Jinan Daily Photo
  2. Travel Theme: Yellow | I did it … for Johnny
  3. Travel Theme: Yellow | Northwest Frame of Mind
  4. Travel Theme: Yellow | The Retiring Sort
  5. Travelling in yellowish shades | Le Drake Noir
  6. Travel Theme: Yellow | AngelineM’s Blog
  7. Travel Theme: Yellow | Wind Against Current
  8. Travel theme: Yellow | So where’s the snow?
  9. Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Yellow | Stephen Kelly Creative
  10. Travel Theme: Yellow | mvschulze
  11. Travel Theme Yellow (Kidnapped Edition) | The Quotidian Hudson
  12. Travel Theme: Yellow, Take Two | Wind Against Current
  13. Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Yellow | Travel Monkey
  14. Not So Mellow Yellows | Cee’s Photography
  15. Travel Theme-Yellow | WoollyMuses
  16. It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see – Thoreau
  17. TRAVEL THEME: YELLOW | Francine In Retirement
  18. Travel Theme – Yellow | alien shores

Bandh – Short views of another life

This week’s travel theme from Ailsa was Short.  What immediately came to mind for me regarding this theme was how easily our short term desires and our need for immediate gratification can have such long-term affects on our planet and and how big of a difference a short term action can make.

In Nepal, bandhs are very common. The word actually means to close or to hold a strike in protest and is usually used by political parties.  However, anyone in the society can declare a “bandh”.  Sometimes bandhs can become violent and they always cause a huge disruption in society because stores are expected to stay closed, public and private transport is expected to stop and for many years it was a tool of protest and civil disobedience.

Nowadays many people have complained about the bandhs because during these events violent clashes often break out, burglary and economic loss is the most common result rather than positive change.  Despite this, I’m a bit in favor of bandhs.  If only for the short-term effects they had on my morning and evening commute, the view of the mountains that I had for nearly the first time in the two months I have been in Nepal and for the general lack of stress one feels when nature is apparent around them.

I walk to and from work most every day.  Most days I need to wear a mask due to auto pollution and dust on the road. Not to mention my annoyance with walking due to the extremely disrespectful driving habits here.  I was also able to see the mountains that surround this city both in the morning and in the evening.  In November alone there were a total of 11 days of bandh.  That’s nearly half the month where transportation was to be shut down.  I was told that what we’ve been feeling for the month of November but especially for today, election day, was how it was over 15 years ago. It was just a glimpse but I could actually imagine what life might have been like not so long ago.

All of these pictures were taken with my iPhone.  Once again I wasn’t carrying my normal camera.

View with a bandh…

View without a bandh…