Friday, January 27, 2023

This was me!


To celebrate CUNARD'S centennial, their SEA VIEWS exhibition will be available in late February. World-renowned photographer and filmmaker Mary McCartney (Sir Paul's daughter) will curate a collection of 100 photographs taken from the company's 14,000 images archived in Liverpool, England . . . . . and include never before seen treasured photographs from former sea going guests. Anyone who has traveled on board a Cunard ship can submit digital photos - but you only have until February 5, 2023 so get going if you want to join in. Being a Cunard customer, I received their email just a couple of days ago.

Today, I pulled this one out of an old, dusty storage box and have sent it in with the requested short story of when and where etc., and the requested smidgen of personal info. They immediately sent a thank you and said I will be informed if my photo is used - which I doubt will ever happen. 

I have plenty of later photos taken when I've sailed to far away places on Cunard's ships, in lovely color, wearing casual shipboard clothes, eating, drinking, lounging around in deck chairs, sparkling swimming pools in the background, laughing with hubby and close friends. But then there's this one of me in 1964. Somewhat somber perhaps. I'd just turned 21 and was in the lounge of the first Queen Mary (docked in Long Beach, California since 1967), sailing home alone to England for Christmas, spending the evening with other shipboard guests. I'm sad to see I was smoking back then but gave that up later. My teased 'bob' was the hairstyle of the day thanks to popular English singer Cilla Black, and my dress was a lovely soft black wool with a ruffled neck and low V-back (wish I still had it!). Hemlines had climbed but this was not a mini-skirt, and we still wore sheer pantyhose. This photo brings back many memories of my life back then. It was my first visit home since leaving in 1962 and for some reason I decided to go by ship, a new adventure for a girl who had grown up at the seaside but not done much boating. Since then, I've always loved traveling by sea which has enabled me to see some amazing places which would otherwise have been inaccessible.

Above ~ my treasured photo sent to Cunard.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

At Home in January -


It's Saturday morning here and the living is easy! Only because it's too chilly to go out and be somewhere. Who needs to be somewhere else when home has everything required for warmth, comfort, wellbeing, happiness . . . . . .and freshly made coffee on the kitchen counter. 
I watch the neighbors across from us. They are fairly new and renting the house while their own is being demolished and a new one built. . . . . . . something going on all around the neighborhood. They have school age children who are involved in what seems like everything sport-related. By 10 AM they've been transported with their backpacks, gym bags and soccer balls, via two cars, to who knows where venues. Earlier the parents have picked up coffee by car from somewhere nearby. Do all young people buy readymade coffees and bring them home? Who then is purchasing all those fancy coffee machines we see advertised? 
Other neighbors without children but very 'sporty' - think tennis, soccer, gym - have also been back and forth in two cars. Meanwhile, we've read the paper, checked our phones, watched a little TV news, filled the bird feeders, taken photos of the many songbirds drinking from the bird baths, eaten our healthy breakfasts. . . . . . . and enjoyed enormous mugs of freshly brewed coffee a few steps away in the kitchen!
What I guess I'm thinking here is really this. . . . . . . . . perhaps we're getting old and becoming nosy peeping neighbors, despite not having lace curtains at the windows!  
Here's to your weekend whether you're out and about or, like us, just taking it easy at home.  Just enjoy.

Weekend Tulips

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Ten years ago. . . . . . . . .

Ten years ago, in January 2013, I was heading toward Antarctica. Some of you were already blog friends and followed that amazing journey as, dressed in many warm/waterproof layers, and often sporting a red nose, I sailed to the "end of the world" aboard an expedition ship with 120 excited passengers and a fabulous crew. Shipboard life was not new as I had already sailed the sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia in 2011 on another ship, and then traveled by that same ship to the Kimberley region of Western Australia in 2012. I had earned my sea legs, learned how to fend off seasickness, and become an adventurer rather late in life!  Other expeditions followed where being at sea for long periods became the most exciting times of my life.

This year January is following a December that was a month of joy and sadness. I'm not doing much here in blog land as my mind is still so busy with other things. My daily routine feels different. The weather is changeable from below freezing nights to a balmy 70F today. Brilliant green bluebell leaves are poking through the ground. Will the deer nibble them, will the cold nights freeze them? The garden looks sad and uncared for at this time of year. Thoughts of spring are mostly of hard work waiting out there to get plants and shrubs back to growing and blooming, and general cleaning and tidying up. 

In all honesty, I would like to be back in Antarctica. Any thoughts of green gardens and all the work they entail, would be struck from my mind as I once again sailed silently between mile long icebergs, viewing whales, seals and delightful penguins. Boarding Zodiacs to go ashore was a daily ritual I really loved. You do know I hope that Antarctica is not all white!  Blues of every shade are a feast for the eyes. . . . . you don't even miss the greens!

If you have the opportunity to go, do it, you won't be sorry!

Monday, January 9, 2023

January - Antarctic Memories - Amaryllis Blooms.

Two of the re-blooming amaryllis are quite lovely and doing well in the dining room, They are several years old and have spent outdoor time planted in the garden in summer months where they threw up bright green leaves, waving to the hot breezes, and a couple of years beautiful flowers appeared unexpectedly. Later, returned to their pots for winter, they bloomed again indoors. 

You can see the taller one is huge - 31 inches from top of bulb to tip of three huge flowers. There is also a new stem with bud peeping out at the base which is exciting! The other one, shorter, has two flowers tinged with pink, and being the older plant I think struggled to make it again, but it did and it's really lovely. In the rear is another pot with not much happening - in fact I've just cut back its two tall leaves to see if it will make a growth spurt with a stem - we'll have to wait and see.

January is not always a great month, especially if you don't enjoy the colder weather of the northern hemisphere, however it does sometimes bring surprises and now and then, wonderful memories. On this day in 2013 I was heading south toward Ushuaia, Argentina - via a colorful stop in Buenos Aires - to board an expedition ship for a 3-week adventure to Antarctica. It will always be the most exciting, memorable time of my life. . . . .and definitely of January!

Enjoy your January days. . . . . . . .embrace life.

Monday, January 2, 2023

. . . . . . .fogged in!

A stratus cloud that touches ground level is referred to as fog. Water vapor condenses and mixes in the cool air, forming tiny wet droplets.  It can reduce visibility and cause life to take pause and slow down. The formation of stratus clouds occurs when a sheet of cool air passes under a sheet of moist, warm air. Stratus is the Latin word meaning to spread out or layer.

This morning............

Personally I like a foggy morning. Shrouds of grey enveloping the trees behind the house, muted sounds, silence. Staying indoors, I glance through the windows and see a blank slate for the day ahead. Nothing stirs. When the sun breaks through the colors start to glow. . . . . . . . and life goes on.

Sunday, January 1, 2023