Sunday, 31 July 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt

It will come as no surprise to anyone who reads my blog that I love taking photos, so when I saw the link for A Photo Scavenger Hunt on a blog I had to join in. The hunt is being hosted by Kathy of Postcards of the P.P.

As I only saw the link today - the last day of July - I had to move fast to enter the July hunt! After a look through the past month's photos I found I had photographed most of the list already. I have had to supplement the photos in a couple of instances.

1. A Flag
An easy one as I had photographed a Turkish flag whilst on holiday.
2. A Kite
Not an easy one! I could have got my son's kite out, but I decided to use a favourite photo of mine. This is my son using his kite, when it was new, on Fistral Beach in Cornwall back in 2006.
3. Celebration
Another cheat I'm afraid! We don't have any birthdays to celebrate in July and as I am entering this hunt on the last day of the month I have used a photo from the end of June. This is the cake that I made for my son's 16th birthday.
4. Fields
Back on track! :) I took this photo with my new iPhone as the plane approached Dalaman Airport.
5. Flip Flops
I don't do flip flops as I can't bear anything between my toes. Luckily my son has a pair so I took them outside for a quick photo.
6. Ice Cream
What no photos of an ice cream?! Nothing for it, but to raid the freezer! :)
7. Red, White & Blue
Beautiful tiles inside a mosque that we visited near Fethiye.
8. Seashells
I have lots of shells around my house and garden, but I wanted to use these "sea" shells that I photographed on the beach at Patara. These are Loggerhead Turtle eggshells.
9. Something that makes you Happy (not a person or an animal!)
A magnificent sunset. Aren't the colours gorgeous?
10. Stars
Four stars on the front of our hotel.
11. Strawberries
These little Alpine Strawberries are growing in my garden. I love them! :)
12. Stripes
A freebie tray designed by Celia Birtwell.
August's list is as follows if anyone wants to join in :-
a fountain
a boat
street food
a picnic
market day
a festival or funfair
something bizarre
a sport
something ancient

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Let the Summer Holidays Commence!

Finally the summer holidays are here. I know I have been on holiday recently, but the past two weeks have been hectic at work; as is always the case that the end of a school year. I have worked extra hours and my routine at home has well and truly been thrown out! So over the next few days I plan to tidy and clean the house and garden.
I started yesterday with trimming some plants and sweeping the patio - it needed it as the day before I had picked 20lbs/9kgs of Old English Lavender from my allotment and sorted it into bunches on my patio.
I have cut and edged the lawn.
And have been enjoying being in the garden.
The buds on my White Agapanthus are starting to open.
One of the Sunflowers is bringing a much needed splash of sunniness into the garden.
The Astilbes have been enjoying all the rain that we have had.
My Geoff Hamilton Rose is in full bloom again.
I just wish that I had planted it nearer the patio edge so that I could smell it and not in the middle of the flower bed.
My three Buddleias are attracting lots of butterflies.
Yesterday afternoon I even gave Mini a wash and valet!
Now what am I going to do with the next six weeks?! :)
Wishing you all wonderful summer holidays, Pj xx

A Good Yarn ...

Add Image Part 1. At the weekend we took the "children" to the cinema to see the final Harry Potter film.

I say "children", because they are now 16 and 19 years old! Their generation has literally grown up with Harry Potter and they were eager to see the last installment of "The Deathly Hallows".

2. Recently I mentioned that I am taking part in Laalaa's Magic Ball Swap.

Last week my ball of yarn arrived from Gem. My cheeky son said it looked like a Christmas pudding! Well it certainly felt like Christmas for me. :) Wool, chocolate and gifts - it must be Christmas. I love the tag and will probably use it in my scrapbook when I get around to scraping some pages on our trip to Paris last year.

Inside the gifts were these goodies. Thank you from me and the cats. :)

My fingers are itching to start on the yarn, but first I have some other projects to complete, including a few items for Gem's Magic Ball, which I plan to post tomorrow. Hope you like it Gem. xxx

Friday, 15 July 2011

Turkey 2011

Hello, I'm back! I have just spent the most fantastic two weeks in Turkey with my husband and son. We stayed at Oludeniz and had a hire car so that we could tour the area. We aren't really beach people; we like to spend a short time on the beach and as the temperature often reached over 40'C a dip in the sea or swimming pool was most welcome, but the majority of the holiday was spent exploring.
Here are a few, okay lots and lots, of photos from our holiday. :)
The beach at Oludeniz.
The sand gives way to pebbles near the sea.
View of Oludeniz from the road as we climbed out of the valley.
The chain of islands out to sea, viewed as we drove along the coast road.
A local directed us to follow this road saying "you can manage it in this car and the views are wonderful". He was right about the views, but the road gradually petered out to a goat track and we lost our nerve and turned around!
This was our first visit to Turkey and the scenery was more stunning than we had expected.
We drove and walked beside olive and orange grooves.
We trekked through Saklikent Gorge.
Sometimes the water was chest-high on me and we had to climb over boulders worn slippery over millennia by the water that cascades through the gorge.
We even managed a few Geocaches. This one was on the Lycian Way.
One day we drove quite some distance to Pamukkale, which translates as Cotton Castle, to see the spectacular white travertine terraces that have formed from when the hot spring water loses carbon dioxide as it flows down the slope, leaving behind limestone deposits which have built up in steps on the plateau.
To preserve the natural terraces, you can nolonger walk on them, but new terraces have been formed to one side of the slope and visitors are allowed to swim in them.

At the top of the mountain is the site of Hierapolis and before walking around the ruins we swam in the hot spring water of Aphrodite's Pool, amongst the ruins of Apollo's temple.
Throughout the holiday we visited many archaeological sites. Turkey has been populated by many different civilisations. We were amazed that visitors are allowed to walk over these buildings. It felt such a privilege to walk in the footsteps of ancient peoples.
The theatre at Hierapolis, built in 200BC
and one at Myra.

A Lycian sarcophagus at Xanthos. These are found all around the region. My husband is standing next to this one to show how big they are - he is over 6' tall.
Lycian Rock Tombs at Fethiye
and Myra.
The ghost town of Kayakoy, formally known as Karmylassos. This town was deserted in the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey that took place in 1923.

We did spend some time on a beach.
These beautiful 18 kms of sand at Patara are where Loggerhead Turtles lay their eggs.
Nest sites were marked with a few sticks and it was possible to see the trails left in the sand by the turtles, as they had returned to the sea.

We spent a very pleasant few hours sunbathing and swimming here.
We also visited the Blue Lagoon near Oludeniz,
where we spotted a crab and this decorative shell in the water.
Another day we left the car and took a 6 Island Boat Trip.
We did a lot of swimming at various coves
and visited the Butterfly Valley.
One morning we went into two mosques. This one at Fethiye
Close-up of some of the beautiful tiles.
The mosque at Ova.
afternoon my son
and I had a Turkish Bath and massage.
It was so relaxing - something that I could easily get used to! ;) Something I did get used to were the delicious Turkish syrup cakes. I think this photo probably shows how much I liked them!! :)
That evening there was a belly dancer at the hotel and as part of her act she chose men from the audience to belly dance.
Guess who she chose to dress up - I laughed so much that I was crying! It was a case of belly dancing meet daddy dancing!!
Throughout the holiday we made lots of furry friends.
And some not-so-furry ones too.
This cat had 5 small kittens and my son snuck some meat from the restaurant for her.
The kittens grew quite fast over the 2 weeks that we were there.
On the last day of our holiday we went paragliding for the first time.
We had watched the paragliders throughout our holiday and decided it looked like fun. We rode in a Jeep to the top of Babadag at 6550' and then had to wait a while for the right weather conditions.
It was worth the wait, we loved paragliding!
I was amazed at how smooth the ride was and my pilot finished my ride off with a spiral down to Oludeniz.
What an amazing holiday, we experienced some new things and made some wonderful memories.
Turkey is truly beautiful.