travel

A Valley Existing for it’s Own Sake ~ Piketberg, West Coast, Western Cape

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SEEN ON THE DRIVE BETWEEN LAMBERT’S BAY AND PIKETBERG.

Coming through the Piekenierskloof Pass on the N7 tonight, at around 6:25pm, from Lambert’s Bay, the sun was setting on the Piketberg valley below. Awash with golden light, the grasses and farms shone in shades of yellow, brown and gold, with touches of red. The warmth of the light created a glow, seeming to suggest that the valley existed purely for its own pleasure and not for the farmers who had created the fields. There was a kind of vibration of peacefulness and perfection, as if nothing painful could touch such beauty, in that moment unsurpassed. The rounded forms of sheep, grey and moving, walking with direction and pure purpose, created eddies of dust, stirred by their feet, in the otherwise undisturbed and silent valley, interrupted only by the occasional windmill. A moment of breathtaking beauty, so sweet.

I attach the eerie sound of the windmill half forgotten from childhood holidays, spent on karoo sheep farms. City girl, listening, with eyes wide open, to the singing metal whine, in the cold and pitch dark:

“A recording of a metal windmill. You can hear the resonant sounds of a metal pole slowly going up and down, lightly rubbing on a metallic disc, changing in tempo, pitch and volume with the slight breeze that was powering the windmill.”

Here is a Vimeo video with the sound and the wind:

Listen to the windmill here from Freesound.org just as I remember it.


Image from Pinterest Kansas by Mary Sue Sander 

If Spanish be the Food of Love Speak On!

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Today I happened to be speaking with a native Spanish speaker and he was saying how Spanish is a very direct language, whereas English is a language more suitable for poetry. So Spanish speakers are as the crow flies and English speakers meander descriptively, with words having many possible meanings. Interestingly, I then happened on two articles which spoke about the finding that people in Spain talk more about love and use more positive language than other countries studied. The Spanish used more words like “love” and “laughter” than other places. So maybe we all need more of this kind of positivity. In a play on Shakespeare: If Spanish be the Food of Love Speak On:

“If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.”

William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

See the MailOnline: Spain’s the Place to Live (I so agree if this is the case)

BigThink: Spanish is the Language of Love

Image: Los Gigantes, Tenerife, Spain from Wikimedia Commons

The Unfurling of my Heart | A Young Woman’s Journey with Ayahuasca in Peru and the Amazon

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Do read the four beautiful experiences of this #YoungWoman, who journeyed alone to #Peru and the #Amazon. A journey of the heart. She encountered #LifeChanging experiences, #ReEnchantment, life meaning, with #Ayahuasca, in the most lovely, loving and life enhancing way. Do read these heart-rending and loving accounts of being true to yourself, facing your fears and living within the immediate experience of life. Someone who is trying to #actualize her #meaning in life.  A delightful read:

The Unfurling of my Heart 

“I embarked on my #journey alone with #courage and love in my heart thinking that not only would I be travelling to Peru alone but that I was going to have all my experiences alone.

I unexpectedly came across such beautiful and special people; I reconnected with my tribe and found my brothers along the way. Life is such a precious and sacred gift. Here’s to living with an open heart, being true to yourself, facing your fears, cultivating courage and love within your heart and living within the immediate experience of life, because that’s where pure joy dares to live.”

Image from free downloads at Creative Market

Sloughed Off | How I Grew a New Skin Such a Magical Thing

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In response to Daily Post | New Skin

As the little green Suzuki Alto entered the 2 600 foot  Outeniqua Mountain Pass in all its majesty, fecundity and wonder, a magical thing happened. Looking down at my arms, my right one in a spasm of carpel tunnel frigidity, my skin began to slough off, much like the dry skin peeling of a snake. My sight extended to a cartoon like vision of myself, a half crazed red-head, driving a tiny car bulging with stuff, a white rabbit in one of my magical extra hands and a bird-cage in the other. Somehow, entering this pass was like being squeezed from a womb through a birth canal, where I came out the other end with not only new skin, but a renewed awe, hope and enthusiasm for what was potentially to come. I was brand new! This indeed was a R. D. Laing landscape, a circuitous and twisted place, the primal journey of coming into being. A true renewal and metamorphosis, and I thought in the words attributed to Francois Rabelais:

“I GO TO SEEK A GREAT PERHAPS”

Image from Wikimedia Commons
See Janus Head for more on Laing See also Laing’s Language of Experience

Belongings in the Sand: The Tale of the Red Heeled Shoes

41xiNMd5N+L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX324_SY324_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA346_SH20_OU01_This is my first short story. I would like to thank Amber Knox for editing and Michael Robert Leask for co-editing and for the illustration.

See here on Amazon, available to buy:

Amazon: Belongings in the Sand – The Tale of the Red Heeled Shoes

This is my venture into self-publishing. Amazon makes it very easy now and you can even use a word document. Go to Kindle Direct Publishing to see just how easy it is.

A fictional short story. A tale of misadventure, from the desert between Dubai and Abu Dhabi and the journeys between. A journey like a Kafka joke, could this be real? Juxtaposition of ordinary and surreal. Would I be able to escape unharmed? What was to become of me?

An Ounce of Home Mini Buddhist Altar Travel Kit

An Ounce of Home Buddhist Travel Altar Kit

You’re embarking on a yearlong round-the-world adventure, and can take only one small object with you to remind you of home. What do you bring along for the trip?

travel altarWithout hesitation this is what I would take with me. The mini-altar kit contains:

a simple Khata blessing scarf,

aromatic herbal Buddha (2h),

herbal mala, votive candle (like a rosary for mantras and prayers),

spicy Nag Champa incense,

and clay incense burner.

All featured inside a gilded Bodhi leaf box made of precious Himalayan hand-made lokta paper. (4 1/2”w x 4 3/4H).

Image from and item can be purchased from Cool Cribs Lifestyles

City Planners | Notre Dame

City Planners Notre Dame

If you could clone one element from another city you’ve visited — a building, a cultural institution, a common street food, etc. — and bring it back to your own hometown, what would it be?

Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris

Image from Wikipedia Creative Commons. Thanks ZuffeNotre-Dame de Paris (Gothic cathedral), south facade, view from the Seine.

This building has a deep reverence about it, a worndownness, an ancientness beyond its years. The Gothic architecture inspires terror and fear as if human torments are made real in concrete. There is a feeling of many souls passing through and their accumulated grief, happiness, religious fervor, peace, praise, prayer has literally seeped into the very being of this cathedral. I felt this the moment I set foot on the worn front stairs. Construction began in 1163 during the reign of Louis VII and it took so long to complete. Almost as if it really struggled to be born and to come into being.

I wept within these walls for the profound effect it had on me, literally making my hair stand on end. And the view from the Seine as one passes under bridges, each different from the one before, just passes conceptualisation. The Notre Dame touches me in all unspoken ways. I just love this building and THIS WOULD BE IT!

It was here that I discovered Gregorian Chants, it captures some of the qualities of Notre Dame – “Gregorian chant, in its all-embracing spirituality and poetry, appeals to the deeper levels of the human heart.” Here is a sample from SoundCloud:

Climate Control | How About Me? An African Violet not a Daisy

Climate Control | How About Me? An African Violet not a Daisy

The idea that the weather and people’s moods are connected is quite old. Do you agree? If yes, how does the weather affect your mood?

Why do I say I am an African Violet and not a Daisy? Well, from experience of travel and living in my home country, I have realised that I need the ‘right’ conditions to thrive, just like an African Violet, which I have never been able to grow, they are just too sensitive. I am physically somewhat fragile.

Traveling in India, I became violently ill on three different occasions over a three-week period. There seems to occur a kind of violent physical travail of some kind, for anyone going on a quest or seeking (spiritual) journey. A kind of leveling or karmic cleansing.

Traveling and living in Thailand, I was plagued by skin ailments which I shouldn’t have had, for example, Chicken Pox, which I had already had, apparently the chances of getting it twice are slim. Rashes of strange kinds appeared and a thing called Prickly Heat. I thought I was losing my mind. I felt as though things were crawling over my skin and scalp, like tiny microscopic bugs, the horror of nightmare imaginings. I contemplated, yes my mind had gone, like the stories of falang (foreigners), who had lost their minds and perpetually wonder Khaosan Road, or the French guy I met who had sold his passport in desperation for Baht, now stuck, wandering round and round.

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I succumbed to bronchitis, food poisoning several times and even ended up in hospital because of my ability to be poisoned. I was visited by Gastroenteritis so many times, it became like a familiar friend.

So, coming from an African Tropical Climate, the above visitations were rather shocking, given that I thought I would be somewhat immune. Not so, viruses and bacteria thrived and colonised wherever I traveled.

Even at home, I really suffer when it is too hot during December, January and February. Autumn and Winter are my best times. So I function optimally it seems during those times, when I am less flustered, less agitated and more calm. Yes, climate does affect me, put me in the right spot on the window sill, with the right nourishment and care and I will thrive. Even though life seldom offers the right conditions, the trick is to manage and balance the in-between, staying in the moment by moment. I work on this day by day.

Image Wikiepedia Gnu Attribution Image by Mr Bullitt 2005

 

Fight or Flight | How about Freeze? | Belongings in the Sand

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365 Days of Writing Prompts: Fight or flight | How about Freeze | Belongings in the Sand

When faced with confrontation, do you head for the hills or walk straight in? Was there ever a time you wished you’d had the opposite reaction?

Frightened, Carol stood, surrounded by her few belongings, staring at the dry sand covering the toes of her new pumps, black, pointy toed, with a flash of red at the heel, just like her, just a flash of the possibility of intrigue. The heat felt like 40 degrees. Cars flashed by at outrageous speeds, but this was only in the periphery of her consciousness. There was nothing but sand and freeway and two individuals arguing in a language she could not understand and two cars parked at an angle at the edge of the desert. Carol was numb, frozen. Her mind could hardly grasp the reality of what had happened. So far from home, frozen in the sand. All she could think in that moment was: “…oh my new shoes are getting ruined. If only I had worn those black ‘takkies’.”

Nothing else seemed possible. No running, no fighting would help her now.

Image from Wikipedia Adbar Share Alike Attribution

Switcheroo | 365 Writing Prompts | Globe-T

365 Days of Writing Prompts: Switcheroo. If you could switch blogs with any blogger for a week, with whom would you switch and why?

I would switch with Bonnet Voyageur | Globe-T

Why? I love the novel approach to travels. The bonnet, or woolen hat, visits places and is photographed there. I would love to see the hat in places around Durban, South Africa. This is the Welcome Message:

WELCOME ON BOARD!

“Born to a knitting pin father and a yarn ball mother, Globe-T. the travelling Winter Hat lives to explore the world. He enjoys posing for pictures in the places he discovers and sharing his travel adventures.”

 

The page design is clean and well laid out and the colours are great. Design is important to me. A pleasure to visit.

 

Here is my hat from the 1970’s, although not wool I thought it would be fun to share.

 

carol's hat new