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Travel Memories 5: Coober Pedy

Hole in one, maybe?

Hands up if you have actually heard of Coober Pedy. I certainly had not until I’d lived in Australia for a while. However, if you’re an opal lover, you probably are familiar with this small mining town in the outback. Due to the searing summer heat, many people live in underground houses carved from the rock; there are even underground churches.

However, it was the golf club that really caught my attention. There’s no grass whatsoever, but there is carefully raked sand and gravel. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Forgot your clubs? No problem, you can rent some.

Travel Memories: a single photo from a trip — one that always makes me smile, or reflect, or want to go back.


click here for a larger version of the map below

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Travel Memories 4: Granada

Flamenco in the afternoon.

The reason I went to Granada was to see the Alhambra, the Moorish palace/fortress. Checking online just now to date the Alhambra (largely 13th and 14th centuries), I see that these days (well, pre-pandemic) the site is so popular you must book timed tickets in advance; in 1992, I simply walked up from town when the mood took me. I wandered the back streets of the old town, stopped for tapas and sherry, listened to guitar and ‘canto jondo’. I strolled around the Generalife Gardens, where there always seemed to be the sound of water — gurgling, trickling, tumbling water. And I marvelled at the flamenco. Not paid performances or professionals, these were ordinary men and women, in jeans and skirts, having a great time dancing in tents set up in the streets. Some of the women wore elaborate (and heavy!) dresses. The makeshift tent floors vibrated and rang with the stamping of people’s feet, mothers danced with young children, and girls in their own ruffled dresses looked on hopefully from the sidelines. It was totally unexpected, and quite stupendous.

Travel Memories: a single photo from a trip — one that always makes me smile, or reflect, or want to go back.


click here for a larger version of the map below

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60th Wedding Anniversary

Two very young-looking people cutting the wedding cake.

Today (20 August 2020) is my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. I’m very sure they’ll be enjoying some bubbly and nice food to mark such a momentous occasion. Because they live in Canada and I live in Australia, it’s not really possible for me to pop ’round and join them, but I am thinking of them.

Happy Anniversary, Mum and Dad!

Here’s to you!

(my mother sent this photo of the balloons I had delivered on the day)

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Hook, Line and Sinker

Line and Sinker are visible, but I’m afraid the Hook is in the fish’s mouth.

South Padre Island, part of Texas, is situated in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a popular surf fishing destination. If you think these sinkers look enormous, well, they have to contend with some pretty heavy surf and strong currents.

Lines, Hooks, Sinkers! Plus rods and reels. (And Kevin, a family friend)

Here are my parents, proudly holding dinner.

Another hidden hook.

Posted as part of October Squares Lines&Squares

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We like to watch

Watching the change of engines.

Yesterday I travelled in a vintage train from Sydney to Bowral. The train was hauled by vintage diesel engines to Picton, where the real star of the day took the place of the diesels: steam engine 6029. As you can see from the heads sticking out the windows and the people watching from the bridge, it was quite a popular show! (And yes, I got these shots by sticking not just my head but also part of my body out the window. The adjoining track was closed while the engine change occurred, so I figured I was safe.)

The train carriages were an assortment from different years and different trains; my carriage, the lounge with observation deck, dated from 1936 and was refurbished from a decrepit shell in 2004. It was at the rear of the train going to Bowral. This position gave the opportunity for some marvellous shots of the train curving around bends and also for the photo below that shows the full length of the train.

Unzoomed view of the train from the end carriage.

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Summer Splash

fountain south bank centre London

This fountain is called Appearing Rooms and first popped up at the South Bank Centre in London in 2007 (this photo is from August 2018). The “walls” jet up and fall back with no apparent rhythm. If you’re brave (or willing to be soaked) you can make a dash for it. The people in this photo look content to stay in one place! On a hot day and with a change of clothes, it looks like great fun.