Sunday, 28 June 2015

Photo a Day in June Week 4, Five countries in one week

It has been quite a week for my little family, the girls have studied hard, 
finished their final exams  and are now happily on Summer holiday. 
My husband has been to the UK to sign the contract that will keep us in Europe until December. 
It is all coming together finally. 
This time last year we were in the UK for my older daughter's school prom.
Today we were meant to arrive in Perth for our summer holiday and to catch up with 
family and friends. Life can change in an instant, we all need to make the most of every day 
and all be kind to one another, you never know what is around the corner.

The prompt of the day is in red, the photo and description is my take on the prompt.

Chinese New Year Fireworks, Shanghai, China
Nothing quite as loud...or spectacular as Chinese New Year fireworks in China.

The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Tickled Pink
I was tickled pink this time last year when my younger daughter and I got to go to Paris and 
catch up with our gorgeous Aussie friends who we met in Shanghai. 
So nice to see some friendly, familiar faces in such a spectacular city. 
They gave me a book, The Light Between the Oceans, by M. L. Stedman, 
based in my home state, Western Australia...great book and I was tickled pink to share it with my book club and discuss it today with my Frankfurt friends...the world is small and friendly!

Robyn in the London Eye
I have been into photography since I was a little girl and took a box brownie everywhere. 
I never leave home without a camera...or two. This is me on the London Eye on my birthday in 2010

Tulip, Keukenhof, The Netherlands
Stands out in a crowd
This tulip stood out from the crowd of yellow blooms in Keukenhof, The Netherlands, April 2015

Big Ben, London, England
Tick Tock
Goes the world's most famous clock. Appropriate for today as my husband is in the UK 
signing our contract to stay in Germany until December. Tick Tock...the countdown to 
the end of our time living in Europe is on!

The Big Day
Was a big day, the day I married my long lost love, on my late Mum's birthday in a favourite spot. 
A new family was formed. The day was the beginning of big things, a move to Shanghai 
a month later. A big day that was so right. Have never looked back.

Aussie Bush, Toodyay, Western Australia
Timeless Beauty
The good Aussie Bush, towering trees, scenting the air with the smell of Eucalyptus, the huge blue sky, the red dirt. We were meant to land in Perth this morning, for our "Summer" holiday which was changed for our move home in January 2016...we will have to wait a while longer to breathe in the 
warm, fresh air smelling of home.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Forty winks Friday - Delivery Dozes

When you have delivered goods all morning, the trolley makes a perfect 
little spot for a nap before the afternoon work begins!

Robyn's Shanghai Nappers

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Photo a Day in June Week 3, People and places that have touched our lives

Funny how a picture can transport you back in time.
Back to an alley in Shanghai, a beach in Croatia, a festival in Germany.
Another week of rekindled memories, moments in time relived.
We have been so fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to so many
incredible places and be touched, even for a moment by the people on our expat journey

The prompt of the day is in red, the photo and description is my take on the prompt.

On the Streets of Shanghai
In China, work is very manual as labour is cheap and plentiful. 
This happy guy was very masculine, as he caught and then tossed bricks in his little 'chain gang' 
on a building site! He was so busy smiling for me that he didn't catch those bricks... 
they hit him and he laughed it off! Masculine!

Miao Sister Festival, Guizhou, China
Beautiful, silver hat - A head dress at the "Sister's Festival" in Guizhou, China. 
I had to choose a photo from China today as it was three years ago to the day that
 we left and our lives in Shanghai came to an end.

Cavtat Bay, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Begins with "C"
Cavtat bay, Croatia. Just Glorious!

Magdalen College, Oxford, England
Inside Magdalen College, Oxford, looking out from the verandah.
I loved living close to this beautiful city in England.

PJ's on the streets of Shanghai
A casual stroll to the shops in your PJ's and rollers in the hair!

Shanghai Bride
All dressed up
All dressed up in her wedding finery...and a pair of jeans.
In China, they often have the Wedding photos taken months before or after the big day 
and will don the dress over their normal clothes. I would see brides wearing sneakers as often 
as I saw people in their PJ's

Fasching Festival, Wiesbaden, Germany
The city of Wiesbaden put on quite a performance at "Fasching" this year.
I am so going to miss the German Festivals when we leave. So much colour and fun. 
We have been to China, Croatia and England in my archives this week...
best to finish with Germany, my host country!

Friday, 19 June 2015

Forty Winks Friday - Improvised Bedding

What do you do when you have read your newspaper?
Why you lay it out on the nearest step, use your bag as a pillow and have a nap!

Robyn's Shanghai Nappers

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Life after Shanghai, three years on...we still miss it!

We arrived to live in Shanghai on 16 May 2008, 
we planned on being there for one year and ended up staying for four.
We spent our final day on 16 June 2012, a day spent with friends, making last minute memories,
eating at our favourite Uighur restaurant for the final time...after weeks of 'last times'.

So hard to believe that was three years ago today. 
So much has happened, many more memories and friends made.
Adventures and the discovery of new cultures and places.
Two more countries lived in ...time has moved on.

But we still miss Shanghai and I have come to realise that this will never go away.
Times change, we have moved on and grown, as has the city of Shanghai. 
None of us will ever be the same again. That time of our lives never to be replicated.
Shanghai will always have a piece of our hearts, fond memories of fabulous times.
Wonderful friends now scattered near and far.

 Thanks for the memories Shanghai!

Avocado Lady, Shanghai China

Ahhh...Avocado Lady had just started selling Avocados when I arrived,
when I left she was a mini supermarket giving all the big supermarkets a run for their money! 
Want a vital ingredient that can't be found in Shanghai, 
visit Avocado lady and she will find it for you...even a Goose for Christmas dinner!

Wicker Chair seller, Shanghai, China

As Spring makes way for Summer, the wicker chair guys would appear on the streets.

Birds on the streets, Shanghai, China

The birds get hung out to enjoy some fresh air.

CNY, Xujiahui, Shanghai, China

Shanghai has forever spoilt fireworks for me, nothing like sitting on your balcony and watching 
your very own fireworks display.

Recycle Guy, Xujiahui, Shanghai, China

Local people became part of my everyday life, this guy always had a massive load on his bicycle.
He was the master of balance and always had a big smile for me.

The Pearl Tower, Shanghai, China

The iconic Pearl Tower, love it from any angle!

Robyn's Shanghai Napper

Miss my Shanghai Nappers still!

Fruit Stall, Shanghai, China

The taste of fresh, seasonal fruits.

5 star taxi, Shanghai, China

The absolute joy of jumping in a taxi and finding it has FIVE stars!!!

Plane Trees, Former French Concession, Shanghai, China

The Plane trees of the Former French Concession, a delight in any season.

Street Food, Muslim Market, Shanghai, China

Oh how I miss the delightful street foods, joy on the taste buds!

Fish on wheels, Shanghai, China

Want are sure to find it on a tricycle somewhere in Shanghai!

Panda, Shanghai, China

No time to be melancholy, new adventures and exciting times await, 
but it is great to look back and relive those moments in a special time of our lives.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Photo a Day in June Week 2, more memories of our expat adventure

My month of archive shots continues, which is not as easy as I first thought. 
We have been on so many wonderful adventures since 2008, 
it is wonderful to go back in time and remember places we have been, 
memories we have made and things we have done.
The prompt for the day is in red, the photo and description is my take on the prompt, 
come for a walk down my memory lane!

Pearl Tower, Shanghai
Urban Geometry
The Pearl Tower of Shanghai reflected in the Panorama hotel windows!

Noodle Guy, Shanghai, China
A smile is understood in any language or culture. A smile can make someone's day, 
lift spirits and break barriers. My "Street food noodle guy" always had a smile so big it 
crinkled his nose...I am sure his noodles were the best in Shanghai
 because he smiled when he cooked for you.

When you live far away from your home country, you miss many milestones. 
Birthdays, celebrations ....and some loss.
My friend lost her 4 year old son to a brain tumour while we have been away. 
We could not be there to celebrate Harvey's courageous short life with the family and friends, 
so we sent some brave lion coloured balloons up to heaven for him from England.

Karst Mountains, Yongshou, China
The beautiful, jagged limestone mountains of Yangshou, China.

Robyn in Shanghai, China
Forced Perspective
I always forced my visitors to Shanghai to stand in the right spot and have the top of the 
Westin Hotel become a crown. In the interests of privacy, here is one of me 
from husband made my crown crooked!

Stonehenge, England
The were pretty clever in prehistoric times...How did they get those stones up there???
Stonehenge, May 2013

The beautiful city of Prague
Within my reach
I have so many beautiful, historical and interesting places in Europe within my reach for the next six months. I plan to reach as many as possible before we head home to the most isolated, but beautiful city of Perth, Western Australia. We can drive to France in two hours here in Frankfurt, 
it takes two days or more to reach another state in Australia from Perth!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Photo a Day June Week 1, a trip down memory lane!

I usually try and take my daily photo on the day of the prompt and avoid using archive shots 
where possible. This month is a busy one for my family, end of year exams for the girls, 
scheduling our upcoming move and starting the great de clutter.
So June will be my month of archive only shots. I have many folders that 
need to be catalogued and sorted, using archive shots will force me into actually doing it.
Photo a Day + photo sorting  = two birds, one stone!
The prompt of the day in red, the photo and description is my take on the prompt.

Swan River, Perth, Western Australia
This is Where....
This is where.... I married my long lost love, a month before our move to Shanghai as a 
new family. Beginning our new lives together on an expat adventure. 
I look forward to moving home and walking around the Swan River again.

Snow in the forest, Hofheim, Germany
Leading Lines
Seems my archives are full of leading lines, so hard to choose but I have to go with my fave 
spot in my forest, taken 27 December 2014, we were two days away from having
 our first White Christmas, close enough!!!

Miao Minority Festival, Langde, China
Generations of Miao Minority people in Langde, China have taken part in this ancient ritual.
One by one the people of the village join the dance, an ever increasing group of villagers
spiral around the village totem. All the villagers are included, from babies to the elderly.
Magical to watch.

The Bund, Shanghai, China
The biggest barrier we have had over the last few years hsa been the language barrier. 
In China there was no way we could read some of the signs, lucky some had English on them 
or I may have gone striding into the Huang Pu River.
In Germany Google Translate is my friend. Even in England I had a few language 
misunderstandings. Don't tell an English lady that you like her 'pants'.
I am also very good at charades too and smiling is common to all languages and cultures, 
breaks down the barriers in no time!

The Bund at sunrise, November 2012, Shanghai, China
The evolution of Shanghai is ongoing and rapid. We watched the tallest building, 
known locally as 'The Bottle Opener' go up in our four years there. 
The building on the right was fast catching up when we left.
Buildings come and go, lives change, people move on, locals and expats alike, 
constant evolution. I certainly evolved in my time there.

Sunset, Cavtat, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Bucket Listed
I have been lucky to cross a few places off my 'Bucket List'!
The most rewarding so far, was finally making it to Croatia
It far exceeded my expectations, what an incredible place, so so beautiful.
Crystal clear water, amazing scenery and incredible history...not to mention the fresh sea food 
and friendly locals. I need to go back!
Why is it that my 'Bucket List' gets longer and not shorter??? 

Stari Most Bridge, Mostar, Bosnia
I was inspired by the Stari Most bridge in Bosnia. The old city of Mostar, divided by the 
crystal clear Neretva River, has long been a place of unity, with different religious and
ethnic communities living in harmony.
With Christians mainly on the right side of the river and Muslims on the left, the Stari Most
bridge united the two communities. The bridge was destroyed during the war in 1993 but 
has been rebuilt using the original stone collected from the river bed. 
Mostar has been bought back to life, the mosques and crosses once again dot the landscape.
The colourful and vibrant bazaar linking the two sides of the river once more.

Friday, 5 June 2015