Germany – Artistic Arrangement of Produce and Architecture

How to eat spinach like a child – Divide into little piles – rearrange again into new piles – repeat. After five or six maneuvers, sit back and say you are full.
– Delia Ephron –

GermanyAt a Saturday market in  Bamberg, Germany –  one vendor arranged his produce on elliptical shaped platters. Almost too beautiful to eat! The Car Guy would have had a quite a challenge if he had tried to prepare some of these unfamiliar edibles.

Germany pink red flower boxesAlso in Bamberg – an interesting arrangement of beams on this delightfully pink half-timbered shop/residence.

Alberta – Remember to Breathe (Video)

I hope you have time to watch this three minute video from Travel Alberta . It is called “Remember to Breathe” and it won the Diamond Award as the best entry in the film and media competition at the International Tourism Fair (ITB) in Berlin. The video is wonderful, though I might be a bit biased because I was born and raised in Alberta.

My Alberta – it is the fields behind our house where moose sometimes amble by and the neighbour’s horse curiously watches.

It is the field across the road where hawks hunt mice and deer feed.

Alberta is the cattle country that bumps up into the Rolling Foothills.

It is the jagged peaks of the Rocky Mountains that form the backbone of the province.

My Alberta is the Little Lake near our cabin – home of frogs and snakes, and a magnet for little children.

And it is the Sweep of Snow across our back yard each winter.

And they say once you leave you can’t go home.
Well now, I disagree, though at times I might be a rolling stone.
But there’s something so special about the places you know.
Oh, there’s no place like home.
– Colleen Peterson (Song from Work of the Heart, Quartette) –

Colours of Water – Aquamarine and Boysenberry

My skin is kind of sort of brownish
Pinkish yellowish white.
My eyes are greyish blueish green,
But I’m told they look orange in the night.
My hair is reddish blondish brown,
But it’s silver when it’s wet.
And all the colors I am inside
Have not been invented yet.
– Shel Silverstein, Colors-

One of the bloggers I follow said he had a favourite colour – aquamarine with a hint of boysenberry in it.

I had to look both colours up to be sure what they are. Aquamarine – I think that is the official colour that timeshare units are decorated in for the Canadian visitors to Florida.  Boysenberry seems to be quite a regal colour, but because I have never seen a boysenberry, let alone eaten one, I’m not entirely sure this is the colour the blogger was thinking of.

No matter. With a little bit of magic in Photoshop Elements, I came up with a colour that I have named Aquaboyse.

I scoured my photos in order to show aquaboyse at work, but I was not all that successful. It doesn’t seem to be a colour in Mother Nature’s palette.  The closest I could find were four photos of water. The Latin word for water is aqua, hence the word ‘aquamarine’, which must mean sea water;  ‘Aqua pura’ meaning Pure Water; ‘Aqua vitae’ or the Water of Life (alcoholic spirits) and ‘Aqua concus dipporum’  meaning go soak your  head.

MexicoMy first  water photo is at the Xel-Ha Park in Mexico. It is a nature reserve, but also a tourist recreation park. The lagoons are full of fish watching people, and people watching fish. The water is crystal clear and almost aquaboyse in colour!

British Columbia AlbertaThe second photo is a lake at Fairmont Hot Springs in British Columbia. Because it is fed by a creek that flows down from the hot springs above, it stays ice free all winter long. The plants that grow on the bottom of the lake help to give the water a bit of an aquaboyse colour.


The third photo are the Dhows in the Doha Harbour in Qatar. The water is the Persian Gulf. There is a colour called Persian Blue, but I think the water looks much more like aquaboyse.

The last photo is a fish tank at The Vancouver Aquarium – a bit too green for aquaboyse, I’m afraid.

And there you have it – a brand new name for a colour.

Contrast – New and Old in Doha Qatar

They say it is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but how about a compromise like moderately rich and just moody?
– Princess Diana –


The country of Qatar, in the Middle East, has the highest per capita income in the world – for the people who are Qatari. Large numbers of workers from other countries voluntarily migrate to Qatar as low-skilled labourers and domestic servants, and some subsequently face conditions of involuntary servitude.

This creates a land of immense Contrast. In the harbour along the Corniche, fishermen tie up their wooden Dhows.


On the others side of the harbour – large yachts!


Local merchants keep shop in concrete buildings.

Qatar blue

Office towers such as this, the Barzan Tower, are a beautiful blend of old world and new world architecture.

Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale and Dubai – Indulge in Extravagant Architecture

Definition of Indulge – to practice a forbidden or questionable act without restraint. In that case, my love of dark chocolate clearly is not an indulgence – it isn’t forbidden or questionable – not by me, anyhow. Let me take you further afield to show you indulgence.

high rises on The Strip NevadaHave you been to Las Vegas lately? Is there any part of The Strip that doesn’t scream, “Step inside and indulge your every whim!” (The Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop is in Harrahs, I hear.)

Florida yachtHow about the Grand Canal area of Ft. Lauderdale? Does anyone there own a little paddle boat that they park behind their  humble bungalow? (Kilwin’s Chocolates is on East Las Olas Blvd)

Middle East United Arab EmiratesThen there is Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. One of their lesser indulgences is the Wafi City Mall. It has a facade that convincingly recreates ancient Egypt. (Godiva Chocolates are on the Ground Floor. Patchi’s Chocolates are on the First Floor. That is me in the red shirt, carrying a box of….)

The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.
– Elizabeth Taylor –

Arizona and Utah – Looking Down a Canyon – Grand, Bryce, deChelly

I ran down the hallway to the office and discovered that the computer was down. That got me down so bad that I had to down a drink or two (of milk), then I curled up on the couch with my quilt made of down.

Down – what a versatile little word. It can be a preposition, adverb, adjective, verb or a noun. Did I achieve that in the sentence about the computer? Actually, I’m not sure.

For a Photo Challenge this week I’ve selected some special places with ‘Down’ view points. The American Southwest is home to many wonderful canyons, some that can be viewed from all along the rim.

ArizonaThe most famous is probably The Grand Canyon in Arizona. On a scale of 1 to 10 for depth, width and wow value, this canyon is a 12!

snow winter red cliffs UtahAnother beautiful canyon is Bryce in Utah. Most people don’t visit the canyons in the winter, but I think they are most dramatic in a coat of snow.

ArizonaOur most recent Canyon experience was Canyon de Chelly in Arizona. It happened to be raining that day, and that added a magical touch to the landscape.

ArizonaCanyon de Chelly is dramatic, but not so deep that we couldn’t watch tiny people and small vehicles navigating up and down the valley!

I Regret I Didn’t Take More Photos

Don’t regret growing old. It’s a privilege denied to many.
– 60 minutes –

I had difficulty finding photos of the emotion Regret. Times that I’ve felt sorry or distressed – no photos.  Times of mourning – no photos. Even regret as the polite refusal to an invitation – still no photos.

Disappointment – now that is a form of regret that I could find dozens of photos of, and it all relates to the fact that digital photography for the masses is a relatively recent development.

England brick wall gateIn 1999 and 2000, when The Car Guy and I were spending all our spare time touring southern England, we were taking photos with film cameras. Now, I realize that some of the most wonderful photographs in the world come from film, but not my most wonderful photos!  The ancient cemetery above – I took one picture and I was disappointed in it.

hedges lawnThe Manor in Avebury – again, just a single photo.

I was stingy with film, but with digital, I’m absolutely extravagant!

Waiting – Fisherman on a Wharf

The opposite of talking isn’t listening. The opposite of talking is waiting.
– Fran Lebowitz –

We were at the coast (British Columbia) last week. The weather was chilly, but not too cold for avid fishermen. I photographed this gent fishing … and waiting… and waiting… and fishing. I think you have to be patient if you want to enjoy this sport.

Last year I went fishing with Salvador Dali.  He was using a dotted line.  He caught every other fish.
– Steven Wright –

Alberta – Land of Opportunity

Alberta prairie clouds100 years ago, my great grandparents arrived in a place much like this, and declared, “This is the Land of Opportunity.” With little more than determination, they made Canada their home.

Alberta riverIt wasn’t easy to live in this land of vast prairie grassland with howling winds year long. But the pioneers knew that this land would give them a life that was better than the one they left behind. “This is the Land of Opportunity“, they said.

This week my grandson, Curious George, looked out over the river valley near the cabin. He stood still for a few moments and scanned the vista for signs of wildlife – a fish jumping, a bird flying, a bug crawling. This is a Land of Opportunity for his generation too.

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
– Winston Churchill –

What is your heritage? Do you know when you ancestors arrived in the country you now live in?

Utah and Washington – A Definition of Fall includes Fall Down

FALL – a word with quite a few meanings, and even more idioms! I’ve chosen three photos, all taken in the season we call Fall or Autumn, but demonstrating the direction ‘down’.

waterfallThis Water Fall is in the Cascade Mountain Range in Washington State.

cabinHere is a cabin on Whidbey Island that is starting to Fall Down.

fall leavesMost of the leaves had Fallen Off the trees in Zion Park in Utah.


A man should be judged by what he stands for, also by what he falls for.
– Mark Twain –

We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies.
– Roderick Thorp –

Someone once asked Paul Harvey, the journalist and radio commentator, to reveal the secret of his success. “I get up when I fall down,” said Harvey.
– Bits & Pieces, March 3, 1994 –

What do you think of when you hear the word Fall?  What is the most significant Fall  you have ever experienced?