B&W 5 Day Challenge: Day 1 – Spiders in Sneakers

Spiders in Sneakers: Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2014

Spiders in Sneakers: Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2014

I’ve opted for some whimsy for my first entry in the Black and White 5 Day Challenge. These little guys look like they’ve escaped from a 1950s’ B movie, perhaps called Attack of the Spiders in Sneakers!! To see a zoom of a spider’s face, click here.

Jude of Travel Words (and other sites, all well worth a visit) has honoured me by inviting me to join in with this challenge.

There are only two rules for this challenge:

  1. On five consecutive days, create a post using either a past or recent photo in B&W.
  2. Each day invite another blog friend to join in the fun. This is where it gets tricky for me, as I don’t feel that I know five other bloggers well enough to invite them. So I’m going to twist Rule 2 and make it an open invitation — if you would like to join in, please do!

(Six legs, antennae — okay, these are probably ants, not spiders. But “Ants in Sneakers” isn’t a very catchy title.)


Frangipanis – two out of three ain’t bad

Frangipani flowers (plumeria)

Frangipani flowers (plumeria)

A heavy rainfall this morning knocked a number of frangipani (plumeria — or kalachuchi as I recently learned they are called in the Philippines) flowers to the ground. I picked up these two on the way home from shopping. I can share with you their delicate pink shade and graceful shapes but not, alas, their intoxicating scent; ah well, two out of three ain’t bad!

I often use the rule of thirds when composing or cropping an image. In this case, I photographed these two flowers so that their centres fell on intersecting lines of the rule of thirds, using the grid on my camera. No cropping needed.

screengrab showing 'rule of thirds' grid in Photoshop

screengrab showing ‘rule of thirds’ grid in Photoshop

Benches in black and white

The theme for Jude’s Bench Series in February is black and white. I had an idea of the bench photos I wanted to share — all I needed was a reason to be in the vicinity of the Opera House after dark so I could take the shots! Even if you’ve never been to Sydney, you have probably seen photos of the Opera House jutting into the harbour. Benches are dotted all along the broad walkways by the water, perfect for gazing out at the hustle and bustle of Sydney — not that there is a lot of action at 10:30pm on a Wednesday. 😉 I took these photos five hours after the photos in this post.

sydney opera house bench

The lights in the background are apartments across the harbour.

sydney opera house bench

A bench with the Harbour Bridge in the background.

sydney opera house bench

Those blurred lights are a Manly ferry heading into Circular Quay.



Warping the Sydney Harbour Bridge

I had a bit of time to kill last evening before meeting a friend, and how better to kill time on a glorious summer evening than down by the Opera House with a glass of bubbly and my camera?

sydney harbour bridge in glass of champagne

Imagine my surprise this morning when I discovered that I had captured a warped shot of the bridge in the glass!

opera kitchen opera house sydney

I was at a place called Opera Kitchen, the slightly less hectic bar/eatery beside the mega popular Opera Bar.

And here is the obligatory shot of the Opera House.

And here is the obligatory shot of the Opera House.

Travel Album: Switzerland

Walking in the mountains above Interlaken

There was such an enthusiastic response to my recent post about mountains that I thought I would share more photos from the Bernese Oberland area in Switzerland. These shots are from three walks in June 2008 (which explains the less-than-fantastic quality of the photos). To see a much better version of the map below, click here.

Map of trains, buses and walking routes accessible from Interlaken. Just hop on a train, and go!

Walk 1: After my visit to Jungfraujoch and Top of Europe (more photos here), I walked from Kleine Scheidegg to Wengen, a route that takes about 2 hrs and 45 minutes. This was a lovely stroll with a gentle descent of only 800 m.

Walk 2: From Harder Kulm to Interlaken, roughly 2.5 hours – and a descent of 2500 m. My knees were shaking by the time that one was over!

These four photos were taken from the balcony of my hotel, the Metropole. Stunning views of Jungfrau, in all conditions (well, the foggy one is not so stunning).

Walk 3: Along Schynige Platte, a generally flat 2.5-hour circular walk on a plateau.

If you have enjoyed these walks in the mountains of Switzerland, be sure to visit Jo’s Monday Walk for other walks.




Lovely, luscious Limoncello

The theme for this week’s Sunday Stills is anything beginning with L; fortuitously, the base for my first batch of Limoncello was ready to be finished. I used this recipe to make it.


One organic, unsprayed lemon (from the tree of my friend Amanda) hangs suspended over pure vodka. (You’re supposed to use muslin or cheesecloth, but as you can see, I used an ‘anklet’ [washed! rinsed! never worn!].)


Let it sleep in a cool, dark place for a month. Well…it’s Sydney, it’s summer, I live in an apartment exposed on two sides to sun and wind, so “cool” was never an option. And I wanted to keep it somewhere that I could take an end photo without disturbing the condensation inside the jar. So I wrapped up the jar in a padded envelope and left it on a shelf.


The unveiling! Wow, look at the gorgeous yellow colour of the vokda after 28 days of alcohol condensation dripping over the lemon.


Add sugar syrup and the fresh zest of a scrubbed (ideally organic) lemon.


Serve chilled!

Comments on the recipe: If you decide to make this, I would recommend that you don’t add the sugar syrup until the fresh zest has steeped. I used half of the amount of syrup recommended (proportionally), and I still found it too sweet. Also, have extra lemons on hand in case you need to add more zest for extra lemony zing.

There’s nothing like a mountain to make you feel small

Mountains have a great way of telling you just how insignificant you are in the scale of things.

Into the depths of the ocean

Daily Post’s photo challenge this week is Depth — in my case, it’s the watery kind.