Journal Your Ramadan – Day #23: From where I stand

I’ve been standing in a lot of places today, although it started off slightly boring because of the normal work day, and the heat didn’t really give me a chance to go anywhere interesting! Here’s a few snapshots of today, anyway though!

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The view from my office window, a bit boring but if you look closely, you can see the Olympic Stadium, the Orbit and some DLR railway lines. Pretty, see!
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A view on the way home, where I stopped to appreciate some greenery (and also debate going to the supermarket)
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Ending up at the supermarket, in the frozen food section to cool off from the hot sun outside. I’m not saying I did, but I MAY have gone home with about four boxes of ice cream.
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Helping to prepare food for iftari time – this was for a fruity dessert!
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Our first barbeque of the year! We decided to make the most of the summery evening and grill chicken (those aren’t my feet, by the way, they’re my niece’s!)
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The view in my garden (a bit blurry, sorry!) – by now it was getting darker and cooler, plus the trees gave us good shade.
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Some of the food we had! Naturally I was standing around taking pictures before I ate (also do you like our new pretty green and blue glasses?)

Journal Your Ramadan – Day #21: Sky

The garden is blossoming right now (helped along with some scorching sun followed by plenty of rain and thunder), and the part of the greenery we’ve all been enjoying are our neighbour’s heavily-ripe cherry tree, which we’ve all been having fun with. I love the look of trees against an expansive, blue sky, providing an almost romantic silhouette which glows in the sun – so what better than the trees in my gardens against the blue sky for this post? Here’s some of the cherries which we’ve picked, and which we have been enjoying for our iftari too.

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We’re also growing some pears in our garden too, although these aren’t ripe yet and will probably take another month before they’re ready – but in the meantime, the pear tree is growing and providing some nice shade in the garden.

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Journal Your Ramadan – Day #9: This happened today…

To be honest, nothing spectacularly eventful happened today, it was a peaceful, very warm and quite ordinary a day for me – although sometimes these can be the best days, because these can the most serene days where you’re not worrying about things or too busy to relax because of chores. Today I had a great nap, played with my youngest niece, had a filling iftari and relaxed in the breeze in the garden – all normal things in my routine, and all quite enjoyable!

So I thought I’d just do a post about some the things I did today, mostly normal things which aren’t extraordinary, but are still special to me.

Firstly I went to work. Okay work isn’t THAT special to me, but it’s nice to walk in the summer time after months of rain and grey skies (although I’m enjoying it slightly less during Ramadan because the heat is pretty intense and can make you thirsty quite quickly!) Still, I’ve been enjoying the scenery and the rich colours everywhere.

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After work I came home to play with my youngest niece for a little while (I didn’t get to see my other two nieces today, but I saw them yesterday so it’s all good). She was wearing a dress with a colourful harlequin print on it today, because she knows that I like the print, and she also knows about my Harlequin blog, of course. The Force is strong in this one.

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I wandered around my garden for a little while and decided to take a few pictures of the flowers that my mum’s been growing over the last few months. The whole garden has really burst into blossom and looks dazzling in the hot weather, and it’s nice to see my mum’s hard work resulting in beautiful colour.

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I had a nice long nap after that. I don’t have pictures unfortunately, but I can tell you I had a weird dream, possibly about chasing zombies. I don’t quite remember.

After this I broke my fast at iftari time with some scrumptious food – I’ve been eating a lot of fresh fruit and simple meals lately, which has really made a difference to my eating habits and also made it easier to digest food.

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That’s mostly the highlights of the day today – apart from browsing the internet for some sandals and also looking at some huge kundan rings (my favourite piece of jewellery, at the minute!) – although having a sneaky chocolate cookie after dinner also made my day too!

Blue Petal Mondays

I love playing around with colours and lighting when it comes to photography, (and yes, on my mobile phone too) which I often do a lot to see the end result of  – although I’ll be doing a proper post about this soon!

I thought I’d play with the colour of these flowers, and see what I came up with. I did several versions of this photograph, using different apps, but I liked this one best (done with the Photo Studio app) because of how natural and pretty the shades of blue looked (if blue petals can look natural, that is), and the dreamy look it has. I can imagine a little pixie hiding behind one of these (or maybe something from Fergully!), and a tiny little world of flower-beings, perhaps.

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Waterdrops on Flower tops

These are a from a series of photographs I did of my mum’s garden last weekend, which I loved because it looked all dewy and natural (sounds like a foundation advert, don’t I?), and because I love the shades of purple the flowers are in. These are one of my favourite types of flowers, giant daisy-types (I have no idea what the name of these ones are, I’m a big ignoramus, me), but I liked how well my camera picked up the detail of the petals and droplets in these. Next, pester my mum to grow me some sunflowers!

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Flowering Magnolias and Blue Skies

In China, the symbol for the magnolia flower is beautiful woman. I don’t know about you, but I’d say that the meaning is pretty apt, magnolias are certainly beautiful, and are graceful flowers which have lasted almost a millennia, unchanging, strong, and almost un-evolved, which is seen from their early flowering in February – sparks of colour in wintry, cold weather.

Here’s a few which I shot snaps of in my mother’s garden a couple of weeks ago, they were the first flowers to appear and are still freshly and growing even now. I love their silhouettes against the blue sky, and the pretty hues of pinks and whites. And soon, while the other flowers which are brighter, bigger and sunnier will soon take your attention, while the magnolias’ petals will fall and close, the tree will remain, waiting until next early spring to be the first to show its new buds again, which will grow into these beautiful magnolias. : )

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Silhouette of a Pink Rose

My mother’s garden is blooming nicely, and so it should be, the amount of hours and work she puts into it. We’ve had our rose bushes for years, growing faithfully, year after years, in shades of pink, red, mauve, peach and white. Those rose bushes are the oldest thing I remember from my childhood in our garden (well, that and an apple tree we used to have, which our neighbours decided to cut down because it inconvenienced their plans to build an elaborate shed. Rude, I know).

I don’t see myself as a ‘girly-girl’, but I’ve inherited my love of flowers from my mother – she’s spent years tending to her garden, buying bouquets of daffodils, roses and gerberas to put in her special crystal vase on the kitchen table – and it’s something I would like to continue in my own home one day. My view is that you can have as many expensive trappings and furnishings in a house, but all you really need is a pretty bunch  of flowers in a vase to bring life to your house.

For my mum, it’s lilies and roses. For me, gerberas and tulips. But nevertheless, whenever I see these pink roses, which are an odd, almost old-fashioned pink (think shiny party dresses and Cyndi Lauper pink lipstick from the 80s), I always think of my mum’s roses, growing faithfully in our garden, year after year, showing their faces to the sun.

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Mother’s Day Presents and Cakes

We had an enjoyable Mother’s Day with the family this year, with plenty of bunches of flowers, pretty jewellery (I got these bangles) and not least these  lovely Mother’s Day cupcakes made by one of my sisters, which promptly got photographed by several people, and then swallowed.

My sister also managed to get bombarded with presents from her children, who mysteriously managed to pick out and buy gifts she liked with their kiddy-credit cards (they must have an mummy’s section at their local Toys ‘R’ Us) and even my sister-in-law managed to get a few bunches of flowers and gifts (like a really cute, quirky flower plant in a tea-cup) from her five-weeks old newborn. Kids these days, amazing.

While it was a quite affair at home (and aren’t they the best ones, anyway?) we made up for it with plenty of noise and good food. My Dad skulked around a little wondering what was happening though (or maybe he just wanted flowers too, I have no idea), and my mum was beaming at her kids with love (and her grandkids with even more love, because let’s face it, they get all the fun), and generally, it was a good Sunday. Even if we did have to go work the next day : )

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Test Shots from My New Soul-Stealer-Picture-Thingy: Nikon D3000 DSLR

Yes you read the title right, I FINALLY GOT MYSELF A BRAND NEW DSLR CAMERA that I’ve been waiting for since FOREVER. The camera itself is pretty easy to use and has a lot of functions, which I loved because it meant that there’s more to play with. It also stops my pictures going blurry as well, and has a decent flash. Still, lots to discover yet!
So, here’s a few test shots from le new camera, I haven’t taken it out much cos I’ve only had it a few weeks and I’m still playing about with the functions and looking at er…different buttons. I’ll be taking it out soon to some more pretty places to take more clever and colourful pictures, but until then, here’s some nice pics from just around the house and garden, enjoy!