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Washing Lines 2: Nepal

I never found out what the very colourful (mostly vibrant pink!) cloth spread out to dry on the ground was. If you peer into the murk, you may just be able to make out another set of hills; and beyond that, up in the sky, you may, if your imagination runs that way, spot some snow-capped peaks. Due to dust, haze and pollution, March/April 2005 did not offer great views for our trek in the Himalayan foothills.

Monday Washing Lines

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Keeping out the cold

Quite an interesting look, but alas, all the eye sees is a muzzy grey-blue smudge of shapes.

I hate being cold, especially indoors. I lived in Canada until I was 29: yes, winters are below 0degC there, but every house and apartment has central heating, so you’re warm — often too warm — inside. In London, heating in my various rented apartments was dodgy; it would come on at odd hours (when cheapest for the landlord!) and often was wholly inadequate even when on. I remember one especially miserly landlord who loudly insisted an extra sweater would be fine, and forbade electric heaters (I ignored that rule, and moved out asap). And in Australia (Sydney, at least) central heating just doesn’t exist, despite it sometimes getting down to 5degC at night in winter. The combination of plug-in electric heaters (and the associated eye-watering electricity bills) and gappy windows is not a happy one.

We’ve just come out of an unseasonably early winter spell. Nights of 10degC outside — and mornings of 15-17degC inside my 1936-built apartment with its ill-fitting, thin-paned sash windows. I’ve put weather-stripping everywhere I could and stuffed rolled-up towels along the tops of the bottom sashes, which helps with the drafts but not the slow, insidious seeping-in of the cold.

Here, though, is the latest weapon in my war to keep warm indoors during winter: bubble wrap on the windows! The air bubbles act like insulation. All you do is spray water on the window and press the wrap on, bubbles facing the window. Amazingly, it seems to stay in place. You can’t see anything, of course, which could be a drawback.

And I do think those bubbles look rather blobby!

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Washing Lines 1: at sea

Hanging up the washing, Indian Ocean, somewhere between Durban and Mauritius.

On a long sailing voyage (this one was about five weeks long, from South Africa to India), clothes washing day for your group is keenly anticipated. You can hand-wash socks and, ahem, unmentionables, and drape them around the accommodation area to dry (such as my socks, in the feature photo) — but that can’t match clothes run through the washing machine and hung outside to dry in the sun and the clean fresh sea air.

Monday Washing Lines I’ve been seeing other bloggers’ posts for this challenge, but I thought I didn’t have any photos of drying laundry. Wrong!


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A walk around Scotland

The island is hard to distinguish, what with all these trees. Come in maybe 15% from each side and you should see a difference between foreground island and background forest.

Scotland Island, that is! It’s one of Sydney’s “hidden gems”; so hidden, in fact, that many residents have never even heard of it.

Where to find the island.

The island is accessible only with your own boat, or this rather cute ferry.

I stayed overnight at a B&B on the island recently. Once settled in, I headed off to walk around the island. It’s only about 1km in diameter, and the road that runs around the island is about 3km long. Don’t be fooled by the street names on this map; there isn’t a single street sign on the island!

The road is more like a bush track, but it made for good walking.

One thing that struck me is how close together the houses are.

You’d want to be on good terms with your neighbours, living so close to them!

Another thing I noticed is all the ****ed trees blocking the views! A glimpse of a view here and there, but mostly you’re looking at trees. I felt quite hemmed in.

Some of the houses nearest the water would have clear views, but not the ones higher up, tucked among the trees.

For example, this is the view from my room at the B&B: nice trees.

Considering all those trees, and how close together the buildings are, fire is a real concern. I spotted a number of these little fire service depots along the road, plus there is a real station.

A reassuring sight.

I think the only real vehicles belong to the fire service, but I did see a number of golf carts as transport.

This cart has seen better days!

Every house has a water tank or two. According to my hosts, the tanks are the main water supply on the island: no rain equals no water, in which case it must be brought from the mainland. In my best city-dweller manner (and remembering the glasses I’d guzzled in my room), I exclaimed, aghast, “You don’t drink it, surely?” They filter it, both with something mechanical and also with a laser filter (“like they have in hospitals and kindergartens”, she said; I’d never heard of such a thing) — oh well, I’m still here to tell the tale, and I must say the water had a nice taste!

This house needs some attention! Yet you can see the TV antenna and the electricity wire, so presumably it was occupied fairly recently.

Quite a contrast to other houses, prices for which exceed $1m.

I laughed when I spotted this street library housed in a old fridge.

More books are available at this ferry wharf.

Whatever was being given away here seems to have been popular.

If you keep an eye out, you’ll spot a number of curious objects along the way.

Another glimpse of a view, blocked by more trees.

Flowers everywhere!

These people are ready for winter with their stockpile of firewood.

A variety of house number styles.

And here we are at the highest point on Scotland Island, some 100m above sea level. There are some very steep roads on this island. 😦

A lovely, peaceful spot — from which to admire the trees.

Linked to Jo’s Monday Walk.


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Sextets of pelicans

Six pelicans

It may be hard (impossible?) to tell, but the six Australian Pelicans above are not the same six as in the feature photo. I photographed these birds on 3 April at The Entrance, which is on the Central Coast north of Sydney.

One Word Sunday: Six

And, this fits very neatly into “Birds seen in the past two weeks

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Edible Greens

The zucchini had already been cut, so I thought I’d make that a feature.

When Jude asked “What edible greens can you find in your world?” I did a mental inventory of the veggie compartment in my fridge. One zucchini (or courgette, if you prefer) and one cucumber was the grand total; not even a lime! I must admit I quite like the feature photo, which reminds me of the side of a whale that’s been battered and scarred in some rough encounters. (okay, a green whale)

Zucchini: a wider view of the feature photo.

Cucumber (but you knew that, didn’t you?) Bonus greens of anthurium leaf in foreground, and tree in background.

(And, woo hoo!, some experimentation and some tips from helpful followers revealed that clicking on the number of posts under ‘At a Glance’ in my dashboard will take me to the old Posts page, where the dropdown choice of Block and Classic for Add New still exists. Happy day. 🙂 Take that, evil block editor!! )

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Cyclamen on a rainy day

Cheerful spots of colour

Here in Sydney, we are facing days of heavy rain. Summer never really happened, due to the rain (thanks La Niña). Now it’s autumn, and the rain seems to have increased. We shall all soon float away! Sitting on my sofa today, in the early evening, I realised that this small pot of cyclamen on my windowsill provided the only colour in a grey, grey world.

(ps: WordPress, if you are eavesdropping on people’s posts – I HATE this block editor and the associated interface that you are now forcing me to use!!!)