Image

Random Fridays: The Commodore’s Cufflinks

Spare propeller blades for Queen Mary 2

Graceful metal curve against a blue sky — but what the heck is it?

Yesterday morning, my first cruise on Queen Mary 2 ended. A short five-night voyage, we left Sydney, visited Port Arthur and Hobart (both in Tasmania, and both maiden calls for this ship) and returned to Sydney. During my days of unabashed over-indulgence, I noticed these metal structures on the foredeck of Deck 7, and had NO idea what they were. Judging from the need to post the notice below, it would seem I’m not the only person who was puzzled!

About the "cufflinks".

About the “cufflinks”.

Spare propeller blades for Queen Mary 2

Spare propeller blades for Queen Mary 2

Spare propeller blades for Queen Mary 2

Spare propeller blades for Queen Mary 2


random-fridays-logo-2

click for more posts of Queen Mary 2

Image

Random Fridays: Venetian mask

There's something eerie about those empty eyes ...

There’s something eerie about those empty eyes …

Masks such as this are common souvenirs from Venice. I bought this one in 1991 and it has travelled with me on my various moves between hemispheres ever since. I wish I could read music, because I’d like to know if the notations along the top are real music or just decoration.


random-fridays-logo-2

Image

Random Fridays: The 12 grapes of New Year’s Eve

New Year's Eve and the 12 grapes of luck.

New Year’s Eve and the 12 grapes of luck.

Two years ago, my parents and I saw in the New Year at the Gran Hotel Ancira, in Monterrey, Mexico. It was a sit-down dinner event with a live band and dancing. We were puzzled by the grapes on the table — each place had a wine glass with 12 grapes. Our Mexican table mates explained that it was a tradition to eat the grapes at midnight, and for each grape you had to make a wish. In Spanish, it’s called Las doce uvas de la suerte, “The twelve grapes of luck”. I’ve read that you are meant to eat one grape on each stroke of midnight, but these grapes were huge! We’d have choked trying to eat them so quickly.

Happy 2016 to everyone! May your own 12 wishes be granted.


random-fridays-logo-2

Image

Random Fridays: Christmas light

Christmas light

In this photo taken in Texas two years ago, the setting sun lights up the lamp post at the end of my parents’ driveway.

With Christmas Day falling on a Friday this year, I couldn’t resist a seasonal photo for Random Fridays! I’d like to wish all my blogger friends and visitors a happy and safe Christmas season, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.


random-fridays-logo-2

Image

Bench Bonanza! (2: the bumper edition)

Right, prepare to scroll down and down … herewith, the remaining Bench Series 2015 photos, presented geographically. It’s a mix of incidental benches and focus benches. I’d like to give a huge thanks to Jude to hosting and organising this challenge all year. I now have to train myself to stop photographing every bench I see!

Czech Republic

Franciscan Gardens, Prague

Franciscan Gardens, Prague (shame about the garbage can!)

France

Along the Corniche, Cannes

Along the Corniche, Cannes

Sri Lanka

The promenade, Galle

The promenade, Galle

United Kingdom

London

The British Library

The British Library

St Dunstan

St Dunstan

And a trio from Kew Gardens, one of my favourite London places.

Strange metal mesh animals at Kew

Strange metal mesh kangaroo lurking behind benches at Kew

Wintry sunlight at Kew

Wintry sunlight at Kew

Bluebells at Kew

Bluebells at Kew

Royal Ascot

Prime viewing benches for the races

Prime viewing benches for the races

Eastbourne Pier

Blue benches lining the pier

Blue benches lining the pier

I love Eastbourne. I used to walk along the coast, up and down those rolling chalk cliffs with the amazing views out to sea.

Somewhere in Wales

I don’t mean to be cryptic about the location, I just forget where this is!

A drizzly day in Wales, and the remains of a church.

A drizzly day in Wales, and the remains of a church.

Stratford

I don’t remember the name of my hotel, but it had this lovely grotto out back.

Grotto, bench and wine glass

Grotto, bench and wine glass

United States

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Benches on the street

Benches on the street

Outside the New Mexico Museum of Art

Outside the New Mexico Museum of Art

Museum of Contemporary Native Art

Museum of Contemporary Native Art

Lamy, New Mexico

Never heard of Lamy? Me neither. But I spent a few hot hours at its train station, waiting for a train whose arrival time became later and later …

Waiting room, Lamy Amtrak station

Waiting room, Lamy Amtrak station

Williams Junction, Arizona

Another place you may never have heard of — unless you’ve taken the train to the Grand Canyon.

A marvellous use for old train parts!

A marvellous use for old train parts!

Grand Canyon Village

El Tovar Hotel

El Tovar Hotel

A bench made from a log. I did not try this one for comfort, I admit.

A bench made from a log. I did not try this one for comfort, I admit.

near New Orleans

This is Oak Alley Plantation, well worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Oak Alley Plantation

Oak Alley Plantation

And that, you’ll be relieved to learn if you’ve made it this far down the page, is the end of the Bumper Bench Bonanza. “Thank you” to everyone who has visited these posts over the past year!


bench-series-logo

Can-US-badge