Travel Album: South Padre Island (Texas)

Gone fishin’

On one of the few sunny days during my Christmas visit to south Texas, we went to South Padre Island to fish. People tend to imagine Texas as all cattle and oil wells, not thinking of that long coastline that curves along the Gulf of Mexico. For Travel Photo Mondays (sorry, I’m a couple of days late), here, perhaps, is a new slant on Texas.

I am not a morning person: the only time I tend to see a sunrise is when I'm on the 4am-8am watch while sailing. But even I could appreciate the beauty of the sun emerging from a low bank of clouds and illuminating the still waters of the bay.

I am not a morning person; the only time I tend to see a sunrise is when I’m on the 4am-8am watch while sailing. But even I could appreciate the beauty of the sun emerging from a low bank of clouds and illuminating the still waters of the bay.

To most people, South Padre Island means condos, beaches and Spring Break mayhem. Seen from the causeway, the high rise hotels stand sentinel in the early morning light.

To most people, South Padre Island means condos, beaches and Spring Break mayhem. Seen from the causeway, the high rise hotels stand like sentinels in the early morning light.

Even the dogs had fun!

Even the dogs had fun!

Portuguese Man of War jellyfish. I was stung by one of these in Durban, and took my revenge on the entire species by propping this one up in the sun to photograph it.

Portuguese Man of War jellyfish. I was stung by one of these in Durban, and took my revenge on the entire species by propping this one up in the sun to photograph it.

Another Portuguese Man of War, looking rather pretty and oh-so innocent.

Another Portuguese Man of War, looking rather pretty and oh-so innocent.

Heading into the surf to do battle with the waves.

Heading into the surf to do battle with the waves.

Focus on fishing (well, the rod and reel, anyway).

Focus on fishing (well, the rod and reel, anyway).

They also serve who only stand and wait.

They also serve who only stand and wait.

Got one! Alas, it was only a huge wodge of seaweed.

Got one! Alas, it was only a huge wodge of seaweed.

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Out of place: ships in the city

juxtaposition is “the act of placing things side by side, especially for the purpose of comparison or contrast”. That’s the subject of the Weekly Photo Challenge, for which I’ve chosen a nautical theme.

Looking like one of the nearby office buildings turned on its side, this is Queen Mary 2 in Sydney.

Looking like one of the nearby office buildings turned on its side, this is Queen Mary 2 in Sydney.

Old meets new: square rigger Tenacious against the shiny glass towers of Canary Wharf, London.

Old meets new: square rigger Tenacious against the shiny glass towers of Canary Wharf, London.

sailing-badge

Rainy days and Mondays

Do you know that song with the line “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down“? Well, today’s a Monday, and it’s raining, which means a double dose of the blues. 😦 So I thought I’d share some rainy photos with you.

Even drenched in rain, nothing smells as heavenly as a frangipani (plumeria) flower.

Even drenched in rain, nothing smells as heavenly as a frangipani (plumeria) flower.

Raindrops on my window.

Raindrops on my window.

Sunrise caught in raindrops on the rail, 'Lord Nelson' in the Indian Ocean.

Sunrise caught in raindrops on the rail, ‘Lord Nelson’ in the Indian Ocean.

Sunny Bali.

Sunny Bali.

No one sitting on these park benches in Monterrey, Mexico.

No one sitting on these park benches in Monterrey, Mexico.

Behind the scenes: unknown to me, my mother snapped a photo of me shooting the raindrops on the park bench. That's my father with the umbrella!

Behind the scenes: unknown to me, my mother snapped a photo of me shooting the raindrops on the park bench. That’s my father with the umbrella!

“The dust of everyday life”

I have seen this woman a few times on my walk to the train station after work. Her spirit and determination impress me, and her music does indeed ‘wash the dust from my soul’ after a day at my sometimes tedious job. This photo is my entry in Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Music.

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
– Berthold Auerbach 
Busking flautist, Martin Place, Sydney.

Busking flautist, Martin Place, Sydney.

Framed

I like the way a window’s frame lends mystery to an image: this is what you see, no more. The frame is a boundary beyond which lies the unknown, or at least the unseen. These are my entries for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Window.

Key window, Chinese Garden, Sydney.

Key window, Chinese Garden, Sydney.

One open shutter, Tordi Gar, India.

One open shutter, Tordi Gar, India.

Near Stratford on Avon.

Near Stratford on Avon.

Through a porthole, Galapagos Islands.

Through a porthole, Galapagos Islands.

Santa Catalina convent, Aerquipa, Peru.

Santa Catalina convent, Aerquipa, Peru.

A champagne winery near Reims, France.

A champagne winery near Reims, France.

Me watching the setting sun colour the Opera House, Sydney.

Me watching the setting sun colour the Opera House, Sydney.

Stranded in South Texas

I am one of the thousands of people whose travel plans have been disrupted by Winter Storm Hercules. The snow and ice didn’t reach south Texas, of course, but it grounded hundreds of planes farther north and led to the cancellation of thousands of flights — including mine, two days in a row. I’m now scheduled to leave tomorrow. Maybe.

There are some consolations to being stranded, however: my mother is a fantastic cook! (And these photos allow me to enter Ed’s Sunday Stills Challenge, The Letter F — FESTIVE FOOD, in my case.)

Filo-wrapped jalapeno peppers stuffed with crab and parmesan cheese.

Filo-wrapped jalapeno peppers stuffed with crab and parmesan cheese.

Oysters Rockerfeller (oysters in a cheese and spinach sauce).

Oysters Rockerfeller (oysters in a cheese and spinach sauce).

A trio of hors d'ouevres: asparagus spears wrapped in filo pastry; salmon pinwheels; guacamole-topped cheese crisps.

A trio of hors d’ouevres: asparagus spears wrapped in filo pastry; salmon pinwheels; guacamole-topped cheese crisps.

Pistachio-filo wafers with lemon honey mousse.

Pistachio-filo wafers with lemon honey mousse.

Malakoff Torte (brandy-dipped sponge fingers with a ground almond-brandy-cream filling).

Malakoff Torte (brandy-dipped sponge fingers with a ground almond-brandy-cream filling).

Six covers in search of a novel

I’ve stopped writing novels for a while, but I’ve not stopped thinking about ideas for novels. ‘In Your Sights’ is the only one I am seriously considering, and my editor keeps urging me to stop considering and start writing! If nothing else, they give me an excuse to present six unrelated photographs in a, ahem, ‘novel’ way!

A serial rapist; a secret lover; a cyber stalker who posts disturbing photographs online. And a woman who must distinguish friend from enemy before she becomes the next victim. (photo: Cockatoo Island, Sydney)

A serial rapist; a secret lover; a cyber stalker who posts disturbing photographs online. And a woman who must distinguish friend from enemy before she becomes the next victim. (photo: Cockatoo Island, Sydney)

In the sequel to my novel “Too Close”, Greg’s mother Mona is forced to confront her past when a young woman appears, claiming to be the baby Mona abandoned at birth. (photo: fallen memorial, Waverley Cemetery, Sydney)

In the sequel to my novel Too Close, Greg’s mother Mona is forced to confront her past when a young woman appears and claims to be the baby Mona abandoned at birth. (photo: fallen memorial, Waverley Cemetery, Sydney)

My memoirs. (photo: Chitwan, Nepal, sunrise)

My memoirs. (photo: Chitwan, Nepal, sunrise)

A group of marine scientists charters a tall ship for a mission in the Indian Ocean. Only two people survive a vicious attack by pirates: Dr Miranda Flemming, head of the research team; Matt Smythe-Rogers, head of the security team. They are drawn to each other; they despise each other; to survive in a life raft on the open ocean until a friendly ship finds them, they have no choice but to rely on each other.(photo: INS Sudarshini, sunrise, off the coast India)

A group of marine scientists charters a tall ship for a mission in the Indian Ocean. Only two people survive a vicious attack by pirates: Dr Miranda Flemming, head of the research team; Matt Smythe-Rogers, head of the security team. They are drawn to each other; they despise each other; to survive in a life raft on the open ocean until a friendly ship finds them, they have no choice but to rely on each other. (photo: INS Sudarshini, sunrise, off the coast of India)

As a girl, Eva dreamed of being the world’s most famous flamenco dancer. As a woman, she will sacrifice everything to fulfill her desires. (photo: Granada, Spain)

As a girl, Eva dreamed of being the world’s most famous flamenco dancer. As a woman, she will sacrifice everything to fulfill her desires. (photo: Granada, Spain)

Light, amusing chick-lit about the ups and downs of a woman who owns a flower shop, and her search for True Love. (photo: my Osteospermums again!)

Light, amusing chick-lit about the ups and downs of a woman who owns a flower shop, and her search for True Love. (photo: my Osteospermums again!)