Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z is for Zoetic

It's finally here, the final day of the blogging from A to Z challenge and I am doing Z is for Zoetic, which according to the dictionary is an adjective meaning 'pertaining to life, vital'. I think this is a great word for us as something we love doing is observing and taking part in this wonderful, crazy life that we're all involved in.

Life is about stopping to smell the roses, or as in our case giving the occasional tree a hug.

Life is about communing with the wonderful animals we share the planet with - I always chat to any animals we see as one day I'm convinced they'll talk back to me.

A wonderful part of life is observing what others are getting up to.  It may be a group of people on a narrowboat playing music together whilst enjoying a pint.

It may be a man carrying a mini wookie in his bag as he wanders around a market (I know it's not a wookie, but it's very cute whatever breed of dog it is).

It may be three older ladies sitting on a bench in Budapest enjoying a late summer.  In fact we had been chatting to a young man earlier who told us the late summer they were having was know as the summer of the old ladies, so I thought this picture illustrated it perfectly.

Or, it may be a bunch of people dressed up as Where's Wally taking part in a Ceilidh - I loved watching this group doing the dances, it was brilliant.

Life is also about new beginnings.  We all have times in life when we make changes, whether that be a new job, new house, new friends, new country, and in some cases it may be welcoming a new baby into the family.

Life is about trying new experiences and one of the easy ways to do this is to try different foods.  This is a huge pretzel we had in Budapest.

Those new experiences may also include sitting in a classic older car that has you all excited, like Ken in this Trabant which is an East German produced car.

Life is also about having balance in order to maintain inner and outer well being.  Remember to be kind to yourself and find time to relax in amongst all the craziness that too often can sweep us away.

Whilst at times it is important to be serious in life, remember that sometimes the best thing to do is to daydream about unicorns and trees that glow purple.

Life can also be overwhelming and become too much for even the bravest of us and when that happens the only thing for it is to curl up under our duvet until we feel like coming out again.

Life by its very nature is also about death, because unfortunately none of us are getting out of this world alive.

And no matter what we've done with our lives, rich or poor, we all end up the same way.

When I see epitaphs like the one below I always wonder if these words were said to the person in life - I hope so, as he sounds like a very special person.

And remember, no matter what, life is about silliness....

And life is definitely about love.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and take time to think about at least five things you're grateful for in your life.

Pamela & Ken

Friday, April 29, 2016

Y is for Young at Heart

The closing stages of the blogging from A to Z challenge and we're up to Y, which for us is Young at heart. We try really hard not to take ourselves too seriously and I think we've both got a touch of the Peter Pan inside us (though I'm more of a Tinkerbell).

My beloved can never resist instruments made out of everyday items that you often find in play parks - I think he's a frustrated musician. Here he is doing a bit of drumming at the Horniman Museum and below that he is playing the xylophone at Butterfly world.

Despite just having a big birthday with a zero at the end, my husband is a big kid at heart - he has been know to grope the odd statue but here he is pretending to be a statue on an empty plinth. I should've taken the opportunity to grope him.

Give us a beach by ourselves and our inner child mixed with our competitive nature comes out in the form of sandcastle building competitions.  The first two we built at Fossil Bluff beach, Tasmania in 2004, and when built we took pictures without us in them and asked my parents to judge the best castle.  Shockingly they chose Ken's.

A few years later when we were on Luskintyre beach in the Outer Hebrides these were our efforts. I think I win for decorative efforts, and Ken wins for pure size. It's so relaxing sitting on the sand creating a castle - it takes us right back to childhood.

At the Chertsey Country Show they had this fake cow set up with a set of teets for kids to have a go at milking a cow - look at who's having a go, and look at the very relaxed older gentleman behind him who was giving him advice.

When we're out and about on our wanders we do act a bit silly at times, but we're big fans of the silliness.  The below photos have been repeated in several places around the world - one taking a picture of the other.

Whoever made the below sign is obviously very young at heart - it was in the toilet of a train I had to travel on. I love the thought of someone trying to flush another person's sweater down a train toilet.

This picture was taken at the Roald Dahl museum which is perfect for kids of all ages.  This height chart shows that I'm the same height as Mrs Twit, one of his many characters. 

Climbing up a fallen tree over a lake is definitely the act of someone who is a great big kid - I kept trying to get him to go back further but he didn't fall for it.

One of the moments that I really love is when my beloved gets down on the floor with the brats to help them choose toys out of their toy box. It's so sweet, he picks things out and asks them their opinion before giving it to them (my craziness must be rubbing off onto him).

Anyone who has read much of our blog will know that we're a fan of coffee and cake, and the ultimate of course is Afternoon Tea. We had a fabulous chocolate inspired afternoon tea in London and among the wonderful treats were yummy marshmallow lollipops and something that turned Ken's tongue purple.

When we were in Budapest we went for a walk to Margaret Island which is a beautiful green space where only buses are allowed.  You can hire a lovely little electric cart and drive around - Ken had to give his drivers licence to prove he was safe to take it, but as soon as we were out of site he let me take over - he's very brave as in case you don't know, I don't drive.  It was great fun pootling around in our little love mobile (yes we chose the one with hearts all over it deliberately).

I'm a big kid when it comes to soft toys and one day when we were at Greenwich market my beloved bought me the below sock creature.  The lady we bought him off was equally as child like as us as before she would hand him over she wanted to make sure we were going to look after him like he deserved.  I promised I would and worryingly I never leave him at home when we go away for a few nights or longer, he manages to make it into my suitcase (and again, the word you're looking for is crazy).

Another time when we were in London Ken took me into a build a bear workshop and we adopted a Koala.  When they're making the new member of your family up you get to choose a heart for them, kiss it whilst you make a wish and then it is put into their chest before they are sown up. Koala came everywhere with us that day and the picture is from the end of the day when we were sitting having a drink on the Southbank.

I hope we're always young at heart, no matter how old we get.  I know that sometimes life can get in the way but my beloved is the one who can always make me laugh and the one I'll always want to be silly with.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and do something this week that brings out your inner child.

Pamela & Ken

Thursday, April 28, 2016

X is for Xmas (and no I'm not cheating)

We're so close to the end now and today's letter is the one I've been dreading, but it is going to be a short post as I'm feeling exhausted.  Our blogging from A to Z challenge post for the letter X is for  Xmas, one of our favourite times of the year.  It's one of those words that lots of people hate when they see it so I thought I would look up where it originated.

Interestingly it's not some sort of lazy short hand,  the X represents the Greek letter chi - this is the first letter of the Greek word for Christ, Christos and the word Xmas is thought to have been in use for over 1000 years.

I love all the decorations that you see in the shops at Christmas time and I especially love it if you come across a Christmas store that's open all year round.  Harrods, in London, has some amazing Christmas decorations and they really go all out on their window displays.

Christmas shop in Budapest
This is our lovely Christmas tree from couple of years ago - if you look closely you'll see that there is a decoration in the shape of a cat (remember I'm the crazy cat lady).


I love how towns and cities decorate themselves at Christmas time - it can make the dowdiest place sparkle with magic.

Many years ago we started a really silly tradition, and that was having a family photo to put on our Christmas card.  We don't do it every year but when we do it's great fun.

It's also quite challenging, as getting the brats to pose should be an olympic sport. Here's some shots of them as individuals, but we have done shots with everyone in the picure - by the end I've usually only got  a few scratches.

If we're home in Tasmania for Christmas then the tradition we must uphold is attending the Christmas parade on Christmas eve. The mini trucks are always really popular.

We love visiting Christmas markets, and I think our favourite so far has been the Birmingham one - it's such a colourful event.

That's it for now (I know it's short) be good, stay safe, and be kind to yourself this week.

Pamela & Ken