Thursday, 26 September 2013

Capture the Colour Travel Photography in Five Colours


I have been set the challenge of capturing the colour of my travel experiences in the Travel Supermarket's Capture the Colour second annual travel photography competition by the lovely Fiona from Life on Nanchang Lu. Do yourself a favour and check out her blog, it's all about China. I guarantee you'll be planning a trip there after reading her descriptive posts on travel and street food.

Guizhou, Miao Minority

These Miao minority dancers from the Guizhou province in the south of China were as beautiful and as vibrant as the countryside they live in. They also have all five colours, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow and White represented in their intricate handmade costumes.
Buckinghamshire Countryside Poppies

Vibrant red poppies tucked in a field of rapeseed in the glorious, fresh countryside of Buckinghamshire, England.
Henley Bluebells

The woods near Henley on Thames came alive in May with seas of bluebells. The fresh air, the scent of bluebells and the spectacle of colour were magnificent.
Yongshou, Giggling Tree

The sensational countryside of Yangshou in the Guangxi Province in the south of China. The vivid green fields surrounded by thousands of karst mountains, breathtaking!
Shanhai Street Food, Pineapples

In the heat of summer, tucked away in the old lanes of Shanghai you will find beautifully carved, fresh pineapple. Delicious, sweet and refreshing after a walk though the old town.

Qibao,Happy Cook

Beautiful cook in the water town of Qibao, taking a break on a hot day and happy to smile for my camera!


I now nominate five ladies whose blogs I enjoy!

Emma at Adventures of a London Kiwi

Laura at Happy Homemaker

Kristin at Donuts to Dumplings

Ariana at And Here We Are

Sara at Big World, small me

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Dawning of Autumn

The days are drawing in, the evenings are getting chilly, summer is but a pleasant memory.

There is change in the air, a freshness. A transformation begins.

The colours of the countryside are changing, the incredible riot of autumn hues beginning. A hint of the breathtaking fall on the horizon.

The autumn harvest on our doorsteps.

 In our own backyards.

Looking forward to the magic that is coming, walks in the woods, golden days ahead.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013


Kullaberg is a nature reserve located on the spectacular coast of south west Sweden. Steep cliffs, rugged coastline and archaeological evidence of stone age inhabitants make this a wondrous place to spend a few hours wandering the hiking tracks and imagining the different settlers as times changed. The Stone Age, the Iron Age, the Vikings, the stories these craggy cliffs could tell!

The Kullen lighthouse, built in 1900 is the most powerful lighthouse in Scandinavia and is still in operation and though automated in 1979 it is still operated by a lighthouse keeper. 


There are many trails to explore, giving magnificent vistas of the ocean, with Denmark in view on a clear day.


Dramatic views of cliffs against an impossibly blue sky.


Fresh blackberries to snack on whilst taking in the beautiful surrounds.


The salt tinged air is so fresh and revitalising.


Love the power of the ocean, the smell of the sea spray. The rocky shoreline provides dramatic scenes as the waves roll in.


The stone lighthouse stands guard over the sea and the magnificent surroundings.


The picturesque town of Molle is nearby. I hear they have pretty nice ice cream there, perfect after a hike through the amazing landscape of Kullaberg.

Molle, Sweden

Monday, 9 September 2013

Apples and Blackberrys...a foragers delight!

I was out in the local field walking the dog, when I met up with a dog walking buddy. We walked together, throwing balls for the dogs when we came upon a tree laden with apples. My friend told me that they were cooking apples and I could help myself.

Really! I could not believe you are allowed to pick apples to your hearts content. So I selected a few!

Then we walked by a heap of blackberries, "yours for the picking" she said. So I picked some blackberries to go with my apples. I learnt that it would be wise to wear long sleeves when picking blackberries and how it feels to brush up against a stinging nettle! I also learnt that the leaves of the "dock plant" relieves the sting of the nettle and that they often, very conveniently grow around nettles.

Freshly picked apples.

Newly picked blackberries.

I decided an apple and blackberry crumble would be the perfect way to use my haul and a great accompaniment to our traditional Sunday Roast! 

The kitchen filled with the sweet bouquet of my fruit simmering on the stove top.

After our slow cooked roast beef dinner, my little family enjoyed the fruits of my labour, our delicious apple and blackberry crumble. I like this foraging idea!

Friday, 6 September 2013

Refreshing the soul

One of the joys of being an expat is meeting people from all over the globe. Friendships are formed, some we know will only be fleeting and last for that posting while other friendships grow stronger with time and distance. Your friends become your family and support so far from home and some bonds are made for life. I am very fortunate to have made several long standing friendships in Shanghai.

One of my best friends in Shanghai went home to Sweden around the same time as I moved to England. Our daughters are weeks apart in age and also became very close friends. Last week my daughter and I flew in to visit and surprise her friend for her birthday. Was so good to spend a few days catching up, hanging out and reminiscing.

Day broke on our first morning in Sweden, our friends had work and school for the day so my teenager and I went for a long walk along the beach. If my day trip to the beach in England cleared my mind, this walk along the seaside refreshed my soul.


Sunlight sending sparkles across the water, the air so fresh.


I grew up on boats and spent my early years down at fishing boat harbour in Fremantle, WA with my Dad on the weekends, the sound of water lapping on boats, chains and ropes swaying against the wind is comforting.


This little harbour in Lerberget was formed around 1764, 65 years before Western Australia was even founded. By the end of the 19th century it was a large fishing harbour with fourteen herring boats working out of the harbour.


No fishing boats are based here now, pleasure craft are now in residence and with beautiful coastline to explore and the shores of Denmark a quick 20 minute boat ride away this would be a perfect place to spend long summer days.


A day of peace, silence apart from the movement of the water and the occasional birdsong. A day to spend some time with my daughter, enjoying each others company, reconnect with the sea, my spiritual home.


Reaffirm how fortunate my little family is, to have such wonderful friends dotted all over the globe.

View to Denmark

Breathe in the briny air, take in the view, refreshing in every way.


I could spend hours just gazing out over the ocean, watching the boats go by, the birds preening themselves on the rocks, refreshing my soul.


...and maybe I did!