Simply Sunday

Snip20190811_7This has been a very quiet week. The weather here has been cold, blustery, snowy and windy as a polar vortex sweeps the southeastern part of Australia. So we have not gone outdoors much at all except to run errands and stock up on food.

I have gotten into the book The Red Kangaroo by Hannah Blackmore. It is an Australian Travel Diary written by her in 2001. This year she has decided to publish it in the book I’m currently reading.  The author blurb on the back states she is from Jersey in the Channel Islands and now lives in Hobart, Tasmania. She is an artist and writer, working from her studio in Salamanca. She is passionate about art and travel.   Maybe I’ll run into her.  She kept a diary for one year as she travelled around Australia in 2001. Each entry is a paragraph or three about each day from mid 2001 into 2002.  So far she still hasn’t left Sydney. Evidently she is spending Christmas with family members before taking off on her own to backpack around the country.

I am enjoying it so far. She is a good writer and as this is a diary, she is quite concise which I enjoy. I am getting a good look into the life of living in a backpackers hostel on Bondi Beach and she writes a lot about her days at Coogee, Bondi and areas between there and the city centre.  She visits galleries and gardens, works briefly in a local, very busy cafe and spends days at the beach with new found friends and her boyfriend who visited from the UK for three weeks.

I am looking forward to the rest of her trip.  If you enjoy travel diaries then this one is fun and doesn’t take long to read. I’m also wondering if her relationship stacks up while she is away for one year and he is in the UK.

 

My other reading has me going cover to cover with Australian Photographic Magazine, Womankind Magazine (published here in Hobart)  and MindFood magazine (all Australian).  Winter is a great time for long, hot baths, hot drinks and reading magazines.  I get motivation when I read what the rest of the world is currently doing and magazines are good for that.

Our dog Odie and his friend Charlie (greyhound featured a couple of posts ago) had a play date bush walk up the fire track on Thursday and also we visited the donkey up the road. However Odie has either been bitten by something or somehow managed to get something into his foot that has caused quite the infection. Saturday’s trip to the vet with his very sore back left foot had him in hospital for the afternoon for x-rays (no fracture or tumours), a couple of high doses of methadone that made him a very sociable dog and antibiotics. He continues those now he is home with another check scheduled for tomorrow. He is such a drama queen and pretty much refuses to walk on three legs so we are carrying him outdoors in the pouring rain all weekend from the polar vortex. Now who’s being a drama queen?  As he’s 16 kgs this is great fun, while waiting for him to do his doggie business.  Hopefully whatever is causing his swollen, very painful foot will ease off in the next couple of days.

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Most recent photo of Odie- 2019

As Odie spends long days on my bed sleeping and refusing to walk, yet we don’t want him to jump up and down off the bed, I am on the computer sorting through old photographs from a couple of years ago, keeping an eye on him.  I thought I would share a few of my Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary photos that I forgot I had. As I have several North American and European blogging friends I thought they might enjoy seeing some of our wildlife here.

All photos taken at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary that cares for injured animals with view to release back into the wild, if possible and educate the public about our wildlife. They have rescued more than 7000 injured and sick animals this past year.

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Greg, the owner, explains to tourists about the life of wombats. I love the expressions on their faces. 
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Orphan wombat being cared for until old enough to be released into the wild.
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Tasmanian devil, part of the education and research programs
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Eastern Rosellas that just hang around the Sanctuary in the wild.
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Koala. Not native to Tasmania. He is here for education and display to the tourists who love them. They are not allowed to be held but are patted at sometimes under strict supervision. 

We’ll look forward to seeing what this coming week brings. Hope your weekend is sharping up to be a good one and for you Australians, hope the storms didn’t hurt you too much. received_344353279619767

“Foto Friday”

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I woke up the other day, sat up in bed and this was the view from my window. A Tasmanian sunrise over the River Derwent. I love winters here.

Another weekend is rolling around. Where does the time go.  I need a bit of a winter shake up so have decided to putter around with the blog. This blog has been going since 2011 in one or another and it needs a bit of a shake up. No worries though, it will always be about what I’m reading, where I’m travelling and what I’m taking photos of. I don’t seem to be reading as many books lately because I’m spending a lot of my time with photography books, magazines and You Tube instruction around photography and Photoshop/Lightroom.

Never fear though, I always have one, or two or more books on the nightstand and there is always an audible book on the go. I’m getting quite a few photographer followers from Instagram so I will be expanding this side of the blog a bit more. I’m not a steady blogger and I can go a couple of weeks or more with no post, only to add two or three in one week.

That is what retirement is about. No schedules, no commitments. I use my blog as a personal journal and I love my friends who follow me but if I had no followers at all I wouldn’t mind.  I’m too old to worry about how many Instagram Likes, FB Likes or Blog groupies I get.  So having said all of that, let’s get on to what I’m going to do with Fridays.

Friday and weekends are the days I tend to stay around home and pursue my own interests.  I do socialise a lot but tend to do that Monday through Thursday with friends and my Play Reading classes or film nights.

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This is the donkey down the road that Odie and I visit with a carrot on our walks.  I love this old girl but don’t know much about her. I need to meet the elderly lady I’m told owns her and at least learn her name. 

I am going to devote Fridays to my Photography. So if people aren’t interested in that they can tune out. I’ll post about books and other interests on other days.  Streamlining things a bit.

So welcome to my first “Foto Friday”.  When we visited Sri Lanka last year we went to a gem store (as you do in any Asian country) and there was a mine out the back. The mine shaft was narrow and went underground, straight down, quite a ways down. We could not see the bottom. At the bottom of the shaft there are tunnels that go out of the main shaft perpendicular. The miners shimmy down ladders to the bottom and disappear into the tunnels.  It looked very claustrophobic to me and I have quite the respect for these miners, many who are not young that spend their working life digging out gems in these mines. Occupational Health and Safety does not seem to be anywhere on the agenda.

As we looked down the shaft a man popped up out of it. I snapped a photo of him with my phone. I am really happy with this photo as I look back on it and decided to keep it. My main photography interests involve Street Photography, Documenting Life and Travel.

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Sri Lankan miner. You would not believe how deep that mine shaft is. 

I later read about a competition in Fremantle in Western Australia. In raising money for Osteo-Arthritis research which Mr. Penguin copes with on a daily basis an international competition is being held for Portrait Photography.  To make a long story shorter, I entered the photo of the miner.  I was notified two days ago that there were 1700 + entries and my photo is a finalist, landing in the top 6% of photos chosen.

I have until the end of August to now submit the larger image for their exhibition being held in October and if it makes the final cut it will be displayed in said exhibition.

I am more than stoked about this photo being selected. I think it is important for those of us who live in such comfort much of the time to see how others live around the world and this photo depicts what I would love to share more of.

I will share the photo with you and hope it does go further in this competition but if it doesn’t I am more than happy for it to stand where it is.  I will let you know if I hear anymore about it.

I feel this is a great way to begin “Foto Friday”. I hope you find the photo as interesting as I do.

Until then……click that shutter!!!bluejumper

A Bit Late with Simply Sunday

Snip20190720_1Well, I finished The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell. I listened to it on audible and the narrator, Gretchen Mol did an excellent job reading this book.

Penguin and I immersed ourselves in 1920s New York City where this story takes place. Rose, a plain orphan girl grows up and finds work in a New York City precinct police station in the typing pool. She resides in a share room in a boarding house that is run by a WWI war widow with a small child. She doesn’t fit in with the others and keeps to herself. A real plain Jane. She enjoys her work as she listens to criminals give statements, records what they say and types it up. She is infatuated with the Sergeant who oversees much of what goes on day to day and doesn’t entirely trust the more arrogant Lieutenant who is really in charge.

One day a very sophisticated young woman, Odalie,  arrives as a typist in the pool. Dressed to the nines, a fashionable bob, all heads turn.  Rose becomes very infatuated with Odalie, envies her appearance, her character, her fashion sense. She is really taken in by Odalie.

The story is how Odalie ingratiates herself into Rose’s life and completely takes over. Rose moves into her beautiful hotel suite that Odalie lives in, goes out to illegally run boozy clubs, wears her clothes. Odalie becomes Rose’s life. Where does Odalie get her wealth? hmmm

The story is told in hindsight as Rose relives her life from the time she met Odalie to her current circumstances. She is in a mental institution/jail. How did she get there? What happened?  You will have to read the book to find out. No spoilers here.

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bluejumperI found this to be an average though unforgettable read. I enjoyed the time period very much. I enjoyed the location.  I thought the tale was quite predictable as events unfolded with a few red herrings thrown in. It was entertaining to listen to through bluetooth as I drove around running errands. It was worth 30 minutes of listening to at night as I set the sleep timer before I would drift off to sleep. I was interested in Rose and Odalie but I really did wonder why Rose couldn’t see what was coming.  It was quite obvious. I had many theories and I kept listening because I wanted to know if I was right. I was most of the time but not always.

It was just fun fiction without too much energy having to be spent. If this is your type of book you might enjoy it. I did.

I have been studying photography a great deal. Studying Photoshop and learning how to blur backgrounds, clone out unwanted items in the photo, how to change colours, brighten landscapes.

Charlie 2 copyMy friend who has an adopted greyhound named Charlie had a play date with Odie at the beach. I had him involved in a photoshoot and was very happy with the results. So were his owners.  We have another play date scheduled for later this week.

I’ll try to get some of my travel photos up for Thursday or Friday this week. I have been sorting them into categories. Doors and windows, portraits, street scenes, landscape, animals. It has been fun. I’ve even changed some backgrounds in some of them.

The weather here has been a warm wintry 12 or 13 degrees C during the day which has been very pleasant for photography and walking my dogs. I’ll share a couple of photos I took of them yesterday. They were happy to run around in the reserve behind our house.

I’ve started a new book. A travel diary by an Australian author. Actually she is from the UK but now lives here in Hobart and I am enjoying her daily diary she kept during her travels in Australia just after 9/11 in 2001. More on that later. So until then,  say hello to Penguin, Odie and Molly.

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14 year old Molly (Molly Melodrama as a friend calls her)

 

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Dear Odie (the Big Loaf)

Simply Sunday–21 July

It has been a quiet week here (for a change).  Our Play Reading class is about to start a new play next week. Good Reads describes it as:Snip20190720_6

“Ring Round the Moon by. Jean Anouilh,  Christopher Fry (translator). NYTs Brooks Atkinson called it a work “of many moods… wistfully romantic, satirical, fantastic…” To make his points about love, Anouilh invented a story about twin brothers — Frederic, shy and sensitive, and Hugo, heartless and aggressive. To save Frederic from an unhappy marriage, Hugo distracts him by bringing to a ball a beautiful dancer who entrances everyone. The twins are played by the same actor. “Beautifully translated with wit and grace and style,” said critic George Jean Nathan, that plays “like a theatrical miracle.”

Jean Anouilh – June 23, 1910. He died 23 June, 1987.

“Anouilh was born in Cérisole, a small village on the outskirts of Bordeaux and had Basque ancestry. His father was a tailor and Anouilh maintained that he inherited from him a pride in conscientious craftmanship. He may owe his artistic bent to his mother, a violinist who supplemented the family’s meager income by playing summer seasons in the casino orchestra in the nearby seaside resort of Arcachon.”

I think we will have quite a bit of fun reading this. I didn’t know Stephen Fry translates pieces of literature.  I’ll let you know how we go with this.
BOOKS:
I finished the Australian book, My Mother, A Serial Killer by Hazel Baron with Janet Fife-Yeomans.  Wow, what a tale. I will never forget these characters. I found it most interesting to follow the family dynamics throughout their lifetimes with everyone knowing the crimes Dulce, the mother, committed and how their children coped with this knowledge. I thought it was written very thoughtfully and although the crimes were committed, I didn’t feel any of it was sensationalised for the reader. Great journalistic reporting.

Snip20190720_1I am now reading the book, The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell, published in 2014. I remember reading reviews about it at the time. It sounded interesting so I picked it up where it has been sleeping on my bookshelves since.
I am planning a real crackdown on my TBR piles of books. Looking at a serious challenge for the remainder of this year and the first half of next year. We’ll see. More on that later.
The Good Reads blurb is as follows:
“A haunting debut novel set against the background of New York City in the 1920s…

Confessions are Rose Baker’s job. A typist for the New York City Police Department, she sits in judgment like a high priestess. Criminals come before her to admit their transgressions, and, with a few strokes of the keys before her, she seals their fate. But while she may hear about shootings, knifings, and crimes of passion, as soon as she leaves the room, she reverts to a dignified and proper lady. Until Odalie joins the typing pool.

As Rose quickly falls under the stylish, coquettish Odalie’s spell, she is lured into a sparkling underworld of speakeasies and jazz. And what starts as simple fascination turns into an obsession from which she may never recover.”

I love the time period where it takes place, the early 1920’s. I love that it is in New York city.  I love remembering about typewriters!! I loved typewriters. I loved the sound they make, the way the type is imprinted onto the white, crisp paper. The nostalgia of it all.
I remember when in university doing my Masters degree in the early 1970’s at Central Michigan University.  I had an electric typewriter.  It was a high school graduation gift.
I had a report due and spent quite a bit of time on it. I thought everything was fine. Content, structure, you know what I mean. It was handed back to me to do it again. “Why?” I asked.  “Clean the letter /e/ on your typewriter. It has a slight smear on it. You cannot deliver professional reports if the keys on your typewriter aren’t clean.  So off I went, cleaned the key, typed the entire thing again and turned it in.
Younger people out there….. you have no idea.
Snip20190720_2I am also reading a library book that came in about the early days and photographs of Annie Leibovitz. I’ll do a separate post about this book.  It is called Annie Leibovitz: The early years, 1970 – 1983.  I’m finding it very interesting at this point.
The rest of the week went by with my dogs, cats and I pretty much holed up. Mr. Penguin was house sitting for a friend. The wind howled into Tasmania from the Southern Ocean for five consecutive days. We had quite a bit of rain earlier in the week. Lots of snow on the mountain.  I won’t take the dogs out in the strong winds because there are too many gum trees around here and the branches are known for dropping when you least expect it.
We watched some Netflix, read, studied photography, fed and watered animals and cleaned up hairballs and litter.  There is always laundry and Odie had a bath and is very fluffy this week.
That’s our week. Hope yours was under control. See you later.
And just for fun…….
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Mr Penguin gets home from house sitting and Cousin Eddie helps him unpack.
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Odie has a bath and becomes a big fluff ball.
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This is how we spend cold, very windy nights here.
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We’re all staying warm. See you next time. 

Top Ten Tuesday- 16 July

Do you believe it’s mid-way through July already?  It’s time for a Top Ten Tuesday and the subject for today is Ten Bookish Characters in Books (that I have read and enjoyed).

I found it interesting that these bookish characters I enjoyed spent time with me when I was younger. Though I still revisited several of them in later life.

Snip20190712_21.  Anne Frank loved her books in the Diary of Anne Frank. It surprises me how much I think of and remember her and often wonder what would have become of her had she not perished in the Holocaust.Snip20190712_3

2. Atticus Finch is a bookish character that many of us know from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I loved him in both the book and the film. Gregory Peck certainly did justice to him in the film version. A lovely character.

3. Elizabeth Bennet and all of her sisters, for the matter in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen were certainly bookish characters. I often wonder how much more we would all read if we didn’t have tv, Netflix and the internet.  It becomes harder and harder to focus on books at times of tiredness when these are Snip20190712_4available. We must be strong!Snip20190712_6

4. Liesel Meminger shared her reading with us in the wonderful story of The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak.  What a great book that is.

5. Jay Gatsby had that huge library in The Great Gatsby. He must have been a reader to have had so many books in his home.  Another wonderful tale I have read a couple of times. F. Scott Fitzgerald.

6.  Francie Nolan in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and other characters in Betty Smith’s books were readers. Francie would sit on the fire escape outside of her Brooklyn apartment and read during the summer days. A character I continue to love. Snip20190708_5

7. Jo March in Little Women by Louisa Mae Alcott.  Who doesn’t remember the influence she had on our reading as a young person.  I can still see her sitting by the fireplace reading her books. An image Snip20190708_7that will remain forever.

8.  Clare Abshire in the Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.  Although she was an artist I will always remember her as a very old woman sitting in her chair when her husband revisits her once more, reading a book and sees Snip20190712_7her sitting there. An unforgettable image.

9. Dorothea Brooke in Middlemarch by George Elliot. She had such high hopes of working with that awful husband of hers that she thought she would assist. She was most certainly a reader. That early life was certainly a disappointment. Snip20190712_8

10.  This is one non-fiction character who sat in his study with his wife Helen and good friend Seigfried Farnon in front of a roaring fire reading their veterinary journals and books.  I’m referring to the well known veterinarian, James Herriot. I remember the scene fondly from the wonderful series with Christopher Timothy playing the lead role. Mr. Penguin and I went to Thirsk in the early 1970’s to tour the areas the books and series mentioned.  We were fortunate enough to meet the wonderful James Heriott in the flesh. We visited his surgery along with about 12 other people and chatted to him. We saw the little border terrier that he is often pictured with and he signed our

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James Wight, the real James Herriot

book.  It was unforgettable to us.

What an eclectic collection of travels through wonderful books and characters this little meme has been. Snip20181102_18

 

Simply Sunday

This is what Hobart looks like today.

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This is what Hobart looks like today, maybe a bit grayer.  

Weather:

It is a cold blustery day down here and I am loving it. I don’t have to go anywhere today. Mr. Penguin is house-sitting for a friend for a couple of weeks so it’s very quiet. It’s the kind of day where there is time to snuggle with the pets, read a backlog of things piling up, watch a bit of Netflix and eat food that doesn’t go together. Just graze. Did I mention how quiet it is. Phone is turned off. Instant message is ignored. Except for Mr. Penguin.

The last week has happened in bits and pieces. It is that time of year where throats get a bit sore and you hope the flu shot you had works.

Theatre:

Snip20190714_3Last night a friend and I went to the Playhouse Theatre in Hobart. It is the home of the Hobart Repertory Theatre Society that was established in 1926. They feature amateur community productions. One often sees the same actors from play to play. The plays can be excellent and there is a very congenial attitude of mixed ages in the audience. Also chocolate is very cheap. You get a chocolate bar, a glass of wine if you wish, take it to your seat and enjoy the play.  I support them every year by going to most of their performances.  Last night we saw a production of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.  It was a cold and windy night and the audience wasn’t packed like it usually is but the people who bothered to come out had a good time.  They didn’t seem to have enough men/boys for the pirates so many girls played both girls and boys. They made good pirates. A young woman played the part of 14 year old Jim Hawkins and she did such a good job. Long John Silver was great fun. (Can’t find actor’s name). It was a nice way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday night despite the cold.

Books this week:

Snip20190714_4I finished the Mongolian horse race book by Lara Prior-Palmer, Rough Magic.  I found it to be an average read.  I liked her writing and hearing about the logistics of the horse race.  She wrote about some of the Mongolian people she met and that was interesting.  I got a little bit tired in parts when she flashes back to other times in her life. I think she had a lot of time to think of her past as the traversed the long days on the Mongolian steppes.  I know when I rode my Scooter from Hobart to Long Reach, Queensland in Australia (one way 2300 kms/1450 miles) I was on very long straight stretches of road and your mind wanders to all sorts of memories, thoughts, creative ideas, future plans. She put a lot of these thoughts into her book.  I would give it three stars. Just a good read. However I do think she is a character whom I will remember for a long time and I will remember her story. That is always a good measure of a book.

I am currently listening to a non-fiction Australian story called My Mother, A Serial Killer written by the daughter, Hazel Baron and Janet Fife-Yeomans narrated by Kate Hosking who does a brilliant job.

Snip20190714_2Good Reads describes it as:  A gripping and shocking story of a serial killer mother, and the brave daughter who brought her to justice. Dulcie Bodsworth was the unlikeliest serial killer. She was loved everywhere she went, and the townsfolk of Wilcannia, which she called home in the late 1950s, thought of her as kind and caring. The officers at the local police station found Dulcie witty and charming, and looked forward to the scones and cakes she generously baked and delivered for their morning tea.

That was one side of her. Only her daughter Hazel saw the real Dulcie. And what she saw terrified her.

Dulcie was in fact a cold, calculating killer who, by 1958, had put three men in their graves – one of them the father of her four children, Ted Baron – in one of the most infamous periods of the state’s history. She would have got away with it all had it not been for Hazel.

Written by award-winning journalist Janet Fife-Yeomans together with Hazel Baron, My Mother, A Serial Killer is both an evocative insight into the harshness of life on the fringes of Australian society in the 1950s, and a chilling story of a murderous mother and the courageous daughter who testified against her and put her in jail.

I am really enjoying this bit of Australian history of this woman. It isn’t so much the murders. They are discussed but the main part of this story is the psychological machinations of this woman’s mind. Her manipulation, how she fools everyone in the communities she visits. If she were an animal she would be a feral cat. It is a shame she didn’t put her brilliant mind towards something worthwhile.

I am about half way through it and every time I sit down to rest a bit or before going to sleep I put the audible app on another 30 minutes to listen.  It is true to its word as it details “society on the fringes” in the 1950’s which is a time period I enjoy reading about in both Australia and the USA.  If you enjoy this type of book I can certainly recommend it.

Photography News:Camera Penguin

Our photo club meeting is coming up this coming Thursday evening. We have two digital challenges I had to put up. One category is “Open” and the other category is “Hidden Spaces”.  The print challenge category is “Abstract”. We get two of our images printed and upon arrival at the meeting we lay them out on a long table with our names on the back. Nobody knows who they belong to though some put in the same type of genres so easy to guess. I like to mix it up a bit so no one knows mine ahead of time. At the tea break during the meeting, members attending vote on their favourites. The first place (which I have never won) gets a bottle of wine. Second and third places get chocolate.  I have come in third place a couple of times and enjoyed some chocolate.  I love challenges and competitions and enter often both in and out of the club meetings.  It is a good way to learn new types of techniques and genres of photography.

So I’ll pop up the challenge photos for this week for you to have a look at.  They are all quite different. Until next time….the Penguin and I say..Have a good week. If you’re in the northern hemisphere stay cool. If you’re anywhere near Tasmania or Melbourne, stay warm.

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OPEN CATEGORY:  Spain Street Photography:  Two boys daring each other to kiss this mannikin. It was quite funny watching them. They didn’t see me. 

 

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HIDDEN PLACES. Fez, Morocco:  Travel Photography

 

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Print Challenge:  ABSTRACT CATEGORY:  Street Photography- doorway with abstract drawing of a face.

 

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ABSTRACT CATEGORY:  Art work from festival I attended in Mill Valley, California.

 

Penguin’s Thursday Travel Photos

I have a lot of photos to sort through so I thought I’d put a few up here on Thursdays, hence Penguin’s Thursday Travel Photos.  If you aren’t interested in photos then you can just ignore the post. It will be more of a journal for myself and I do have quite a few photographers that check in from my posting on Instagram.

These photos are from Valencia, Spain. I enjoy street photography. My aim is to document what happens on the streets and to find people that are not holding a mobile phone. That in itself is a challenge in itself. I don’t want photos of a bunch of people walking around holding mobiles.

Those who are visiting here today…I hope you enjoy.

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Camera Penguin