I’m back..Where do I begin?

Snip20180427_2Whoever devised the term, “Best Laid Plans…”, well, you know what I mean.

First things first….We returned from our holiday trip to Sri Lanka.  Guess what! I forgot Penguin.  I am getting old. He remained on my book shelves while I was away.  I could not believe it.  I have promised him a trip to Spain, Portugal and Morocco in May. More on that later. You have to laugh. This almost 70 year old person feeling bad on the trip because her Penguin was left behind in Hobart.

A Catholic Church that needed painting so the community all chipped in and raised the funds. Sri Lanka is around 8 % Catholic. 70% Buddhist. 7% Muslim and also have some Hindu. They all live together and get along. No problems. They often have interfaith marriages without too much trouble. 

I will post up some of the photos in future posts. Sri Lanka is a wonderful country to visit.  Not overrun by tourists yet. Portuguese, British history. Stunning wildlife especially the bird life.  Beautiful mountainous tea plantations. Friendliest people on earth.  I documented all of it in photos.  I don’t want to bore anyone stupid with travel photos so will just pop up a few at the end of some posts as I go along.  As I am concentrating more and more on my photography, I will share more of that on this blog in 2019.

Speaking of 2019.  I can’t believe 2018 is gone already.  I know everyone is saying, “Where did this year go?” but it is true.  Where DID it go?

Speaking of 2019- I’ve been thinking of what I will focus on for our next year.  I’ve made a bit of a list.  First off, more time at home devoted to study, reading and dog walking. No running around like a blue ass fly next year.

More reading, study, films, photography, and more frequent posts. No reading goals except to focus on library and TBR stacks. Travel will always be there especially regarding my photography.  It might be overseas or just lots of Tasmanian local.  Photography is wonderful in our beautiful, four seasons island state.

I need to put dog walking exercise in there as we don’t want any muffin tops here.  My vet actually told us our dog is a bit of a muffin top.  “A bit of a nanny dog”, she said.  “What’s a nanny dog?” I asked.  “You know those old ladies that walk with those old fat dogs down the street.” We’ve been successful in getting his weight down to where it should be but now we need to work on ourselves.  Nanny dog fixed. Now I just need to work on the ‘nanny’.

Snip20181218_8On our trip I did read two ‘fluffy’ books. Those are books that don’t have much to them and one reads them when exhausted at night to the point it might be difficult just turning the page. This is usually when I read fictional crime.  I read book 26 in the Alex Cross detective series by James Patterson.  Before you all cringe, I started this series back in 1993 with Along Came a Spider.  I continue, not because the stories are substantial, but I do like his characters who I’ve known now for 25 years. His kids, his 90 some year old grandmother. The setting of Washington DC.  They have gotten a bit more violent over the years but I skim over that as I know they will generally be ok, except for some of his girlfriends over the years. Need that revenge story line once in awhile. Snip20181218_1The latest, Target: Alex Cross. It was over the top and far fetched. The plot is the four top White House people, President, Vice President, Secretary of State of Leader of the Senate are all assassinated in the same week in four different locations.  It really was a free for all as everyone scrambled and I enjoyed watching how the country was going to handle it all. To tell you the truth it wasn’t that much crazier than what goes on in Washington DC now.  I read it in two sittings.  I saw James Patterson interviewed once. The interviewer asked him how he copes with all the criticism he gets about his writing.  He was quite honest when he said, “I don’t have the ability to do strong literary works so I write books that people read for entertainment and I make a bucket load of money doing it.”  I have always been one who does not judge what people read. I simply want them to read. One woman in my book group once made a derogatory comment when Bryce Courtenay died, “We don’t need writers like him anyway so I’m not going to feel sad.” I admit, I turned on her. He may not have won the Booker prize or the Pulitzer or the Nobel Literary awards but by gee, generations of people read his books and loved them and him.  I met him at a book signing once and he was a lovely man that took time to talk to people and never looked down his nose at anyone.  So get off your high horse and be quiet. We all need to make a living and/or do what we love.

Snip20181218_2I also read Lee Child’s latest book, Past Tense. I spent time with a young couple who became stranded in an old motel room and later kept prisoner.  Rich, well dressed men began to arrive in luxury cars. We didn’t know what was going to happen to the couple until halfway through the book. Jack Reacher also just happened to be in the same area researching his genealogy. As the story continued and we figured out why the young couple were being kept hostage the suspense builds and Jack Reacher’s path intersects with theirs. There was quite a bit of page turning suspense. I’ve probably ever only read two or three Reacher books in my life but they are fast paced.

Travelling in Sri Lanka we began our day at 5:30 or 6:00 am. We walked miles in high temperatures, climbed rocky outcrops, listened to long talks from our guide and ate tons of food and didn’t get back to our beds much before 10:00 or 11:00 at night. When we got home we said we felt like we have attended a university course. We learned so much. Would you read an obscure, complex literary tome at this time of night? Point made.

Snip20181218_9The last time I posted I also shared the competition photos I sent in to Australian Photography magazine the day before they were due. I am happy to say the magazine people contacted me and have told me the photos have been moved to the short list. At least I will get a commendation from them and at best they will be first or second prize. (I should live so long.) I am happy with this result and don’t need anything more but the two top photo portfolios will be featured in the February issue and I should know results towards the end of January.  I can’t begin to say how pleased I am.  I think 2019 will have me entering more competitions and if I never win anything the skills I learn are more than enough.

I’m wishing everyone the merriest of Christmases and all the very best for a happy 2019. I look forward to places visited, books published and interaction with blogger friends. Snip20181218_10

I’ve popped in three Sri Lanka photos below.  More soon,  very, very, soon.






We stayed in this hotel. We were amazed to see the size of this swimming pool. 100 metres. Very high temperatures that day so it was wonderful.
Do you ever wonder what happens to all the fresh fish you see in fish markets that aren’t sold? They go to this beach, get laid out and the sun dries them.  We were very surprised at how many fish were laid out on tarps on the hot sand.  I cannot even begin to describe the smell. 
This man was happy to show us this large tiger prawn for sale.
An example of old architecture we viewed on the way back from the fish market.