It all rather depends on who is looking, don't you think?
As the marvellously eccentric writer and critic Marguerite Young said, "All creatures are flawed, but out of the flaw may come the universe."
Lifting my petticoats high, I raced down the track and leapt up onto the OWOH Gypsy Caravan today to join in with hundreds of other bloggers from all over the world who are participating in the One World, One Heart Giveaway. This is an annual event hosted by Lisa at A Whimsical Bohemian who started the party back in 2007 with just a handful of bloggy friends. It has grown immeasurably since then, and Lisa’s initial premise still holds true. She says, "The blogging world is vast with more created all the time....and through blogging we can learn new things, read about other countries, learn of new ways to promote those vital issues, support causes as well as learn about new artists, writers, photographers, et al. By having a list of those with a giveaway it is like a home tour with a map......going from place to place to see how others "live" and perhaps along the way make fabulous new connections and maybe win a door prize in the process."
If you’d like to know more, click here – you have until February 3 if you want to sign up and join in the fun.
Kano Market, Northern Nigeria - Mama Imani & Aunt Tamu (Thanks, Lori!)
The event runs from January 19th to February 11th, and winner will be announced on the February 12th. I am offering this little acrylic painting (it'll be matted, so you just need to pop it into a frame of your choice) of a market scene in Kano, Nigeria to the winner of my draw. In order to participate, you should leave a comment after THIS post. The comments will close at 9 o'clock UK time on February 11th when I’ll do a random draw and then post the winner’s name the following day.
That basket of red and green chilli peppers in my painting reminds me of a recipe I’d like to share with you. I made it for sups on Sunday night for a gaggle of Bean’s girlfriends before they caught the train to head back to the Big Smoke. It went down a treat, judging by the momentary lull in conversation and the speed at which they devoured it! So easy – and it looks pretty, too.
Thai Fish Broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
25g (1oz) fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
1 green chilli, choppped
1 stem of lemongrass, chopped
1.2 litres (2 pints) chicken or vegetable stock
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
4 spring onions, finely shredded
175 - 225g (6 - 8 oz) salmon fillet, cut into cubes
3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large pan and add the ginger, garlic, chilli and lemongrass. Cook over a low heat until softened.
Add the stock and splash in the Thai fish sauce, soy sauce and lime juice. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the spring onions and cook for a further 3 minutes.
Add the fish with the coriander and simmer for 2 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Ladle into warm bowls and serve with crusty French bread.
Karen at Border Town Notes
Lori at Lori times five
Nicky at AbsoluteVanilla…(andAtyllah)
Renee at Circling My Head
Tam at Fleeing Muses
Sandi at Holding Patterns
Mama Shujaa at Mama Shujaa
Barb at A Cowboy’s Wife
Miranda at The Times of Miranda
David at Authorblog
Angela at Letters from Usedom
Val at Monkeys on the Roof
Janelle at Ngorobob House
Maithri at The Soaring Impulse
The River Test near Stockbridge
Hampshire is where the post-mistress calls you ‘Dearie’ and the milk is still delivered to your doorstep, no matter how far down a narrow country lane you may live.
The seasons come and go without fuss or great calamity. In spring, daffodils nod on cue and bluebells carpet the woodland floor in hazy glory.
Woods near Romsey
The roses bloom bountifully in the summer and bees buzz gently in swathes of sweet-smelling lavender.
Rose in our herb garden.
Autumn brings its misty vistas and the burnished beeches whisper in a cooler breeze.
View from South Down
Badger’s Wood near Buckholt
In winter patchwork pastures are iced in white, the north wind blows and darkness creeps in early.
Our weathervane reveals the cold to come
“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.”
May 10th 1994
"I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve.
"Never, never, and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another... The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement. Let freedom reign. God bless Africa!"
Two great men - one aim.
“For me, the summer will be pure gold - very pale gold, moon gold. With copper and coral, very pale coral. To me, this is the big statement for summer.”
Well, what d’you think, Karl?
Texas, Cape Town, Massachusetts, New Mexico
Horrid, i'nnit? (No - I don't have a black eye. I just didn't open it on time!)
Tembo contained his excitement about passing his exams by feigning nonchalance until he got outside. It was only then that he danced for joy!
The world had turned white when we awoke on Saturday morning which threw us all into a state of childish delight. We skated on the pond, lit a bonfire, drank spicy mulled wine and went for long walk through a winter wonderland.
Shadow Shot Sunday
Last year we visited The Maeght Foundation near St. Paul de Vence in the south of France which houses one of the most important collections of twentieth century art in Europe. Conceived in the late 1950s by Cannes art dealer Aimé Maeght, the idea of creating a contemporary art institution was fairly audacious, indeed unheard-of in Europe. Four decades after its completion, it continues as a place to view, study and enjoy art in the most peaceful and meditative of surroundings.
2008 © Tessa Edwards
We spent hours wondering through the shady gardens marvelling at works by Braque, Chillida, Calder, Arp, Miro and Giacometti.
2008 © Tessa Edwards
**Shoot over to Hey Harriet to see a wealth of fantastic photographs from other Shadow Shot Sunday participants around the globe.**
Madeira is a dream of Eden; a place where fairytales surely come true. (I’m pretty certain I saw a smiling polka-dotted dragon and Eeyore looking happy, oh and Aslan, the lion from Narnia…….) The warm air, fragrant with eucalyptus and pine, is heady and pure. Wild flowers spill over every hillside and valley. Vivid blue Agapanthus and wild hydrangeas line the roads that wind dizzyingly up into mist smudged peaks. There are strelitzias, those floral birds of paradise, poised haughtily on slender stems and red hot pokers compete with waxy white camellias as tall as oaks. Wild lilies, exotic orchids and nasturtiums cascade down mountain sides and swathes of glowing orange succulents crawl over walls and roofs like a living net.
The interior is awesome – in the most literal sense of the word. As you wind higher and higher the spiraling peaks rise through ribbons of mist above the valleys, crystalline streams and cascading waterfalls. The thickly wooded slopes that gave the place its name: Ilha da Madeira (island of wood), rush to meet the darkly glowing basalt cliffs and then plunge in a dramatic dive to the diamond- glitter ocean below.
Do you believe in fairies?
You can climb the towering peaks and watch buzzards riding the thermals or walk a levada, the old irrigation channels that snake their way round the entire island. Cut by slaves imported by the Portuguese from their former colonies in Africa; these men were sometimes suspended by ropes from baskets to hack ledges across the steepest cliffs. The levadas are extraordinary feats of engineering, each cut at just the right gradient to allow a steady flow of water and often bored through solid rock to form long tunnels.
One of the most endearing things about Madeira, in this age of mass tourism and the resultant Disneyesque feel to ‘places of interest’, is that it is a real life, living, breathing working island. There are shops selling hardware and fishing tackle, groceries devoted to dried salt cod and olives, cafes and bars in back streets where few foreigners penetrate, and a covered fruit, flower and vegetable market where stalls are heaped with shiny peppers, tomatoes, aubergines, jewel-like berries, a dozen varieties of fruit and tropical flowers so fresh that the dew has barely dried on the petals.
....and fish so fresh it's still swimming.
Many of the bustling little coastal towns have promenades of Edwardian prettiness, lined with old Portuguese houses: pale stucco, dark wood and decorative carved windows. Sit for a while at a pavement café and delight in the slow pace of life while sipping a frosty glass of VinoVerde, accompanied by a small pan of fried limpets cooked with oodles of garlic and drizzled with delicious, unfiltered olive oil.
The youngies wait for the wrinklies...and look quite pleased to see them!
The shadows lengthen....
Happy happiest 2009, dear bloggy friends around the globe!
“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.”
So far, through the sale of the Armadillo Limited Edition Prints, we have raised $5,326.92 for the Gogos, the orphans and Possible Dreams International - Dr. Maithri's Swaziland Project. Thank you, thank you from the very heart of me. To every single one of you who have reached out with such caring generosity from all over the globe to help build that bridge, I say ngiyabonga. You are all, every one of you, wonderful beyond words. Seriously. xxxx Tessa
Marguerite K, you are truly an earth angel. Time and again you have reached out and touched the hearts of the people of this little nation. Bless you. September 2010: Yet again this amazing lady has helped our Gogos and much of the accolade must to go to her for the fact that we have now reached the $5,000 mark...and still growing! Special grateful hugs to you Marguerite - thank you for your gentle grace.
Many thanks, too, to Caroline (Caroline's Studio) for her contribution to PDI. Dr. M and the Gogos join me in saying a very sincere siyabonga.
'Sit down and be quiet. You are drunk, and this is the edge of the roof.' - Rumi
'Laughter is a melody, a concert from the heart, a tickling by angels, creative living art. Laughter heals and comforts, sometimes gentle sometimes bold. Laughter is a freeing dance, performed within the soul'. -Serene West
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