Friday, 21 November 2014

Forty Winks Friday. Cosy Couch.

The cosy couch in our apartment building foyer was far more comfortable
than balancing on a scooter!

Robyn's Shanghai Nappers

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Moments in time,10 April 2011 Suzhou, China

When we lived in Shanghai, we would often have weekend getaways in nearby Suzhou.
Well, a city of 10 million people has to be more relaxing than a city of 23 million!
On the tenth of April, 2011 we were on one of those relaxing weekends and
found ourselves in the touristy Shantang St in the Northwest corner of Suzhou old town.

The Paris of the East, restaurants and shops line the canal on the main street, 
ancient bridges link the two sides. 
Wander the streets and discover art galleries, crafts
and sample some delicious street food.

Shantang Street, Suzhou, China

12:01pm
We stroll down the side of the canal.

Shantang Street, Suzhou, China

12:13pm
A chat to a local vendor.

Canal, Shantang Street, Suzhou, China

12:16pm
We choose a small man powered wooden boat to glide down the canals.
Much more personal than the larger ones crammed with tourists, 
so much quieter and so more in touch with the local people.

Canal, Shantang Street, Suzhou, China

12:18pm
The boat softly glides under a bridge and the noisy tourist area is left behind as
we seemingly go back in time.

Canal, Shantang Street, Suzhou, China

12:23pm
A local lady does her washing in the canal.

Canal, Shantang Street, Suzhou, China

12:28pm
Soak up the ancient architecture and get a glimpse into the lives of the locals.

Canal, Shantang Street, Suzhou, China

12:29pm
Time for a rest and watch the world go by.

Canal, Shantang Street, Suzhou, China

12:32pm
The canal is the backbone of the neighbourhood.

Canal, Shantang Street, Suzhou, China

12:39pm
Traditional homes, some centuries old, line the canal, everyday life carries on
veggie gardens are grown, chickens are raised, washing is hung.

Canal, Shantang Street, Suzhou, China

12:45pm
The busy, bustling and colourful, Shantang Old Street comes back into 
view, time to re-enter the present time...and go off in search of lunch!

A lovely place to visit, with lots to discover.
Weekends are usually very crowded, especially in the summer.

Shantang Street, Jinchang District, Suzhou 215008, China.



Thursday, 6 November 2014

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

German Gems #3


We were on the road, just out of Frankfurt, when I saw a field of sunflowers. 
I asked my husband to stop the car so that I could take a few photos.
As we pulled in we saw a woman filling the boot of her car up with sunflowers,
how rude we thought, she is just taking the farmers sunflowers!!!

Sunflowers, Germany.

I carefully made my way through the very muddy field in my totally inappropriate footwear 
and snapped a few shots before squelching my way back to the car.

Sunflowers, Germany.

...then I saw this sign...you cut your own flowers, they even supplied little knives.
The lady wasn't stealing them at all...she had bought some...what a fabulous place!

Sunflowers, Germany.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

A refreshing walk in the forest, come along!

Some days, life as an expat are harder than other's.
Today, in Australia is Melbourne Cup day, a horse race dobbed
'The race that stops a Nation' and it does...and it stops Australians
across the globe in their tracks too. The highlight of the year in Shanghai
was the Australian Women's Group 'Melbourne Cup Lunch'.
Weeks were spent preparing for the big day, dresses were made, hats were bought. 
The day would dawn and taxi drivers across Shanghai were surprised to find Women
of many nationalities..we Aussies know how to convert all to the joys of 'A Melbourne Cup Lunch'...
dressed to the nines, hailing taxis in high heels at 8am, ready for fun, frivolity and lots of champagne.
Today it was all over, in Australia and in Shanghai before I woke in Germany,
though a German horse did win so there's something.
But I did reminisce about great times with wonderful friend's who
are now scattered across the globe and the fabulous fun we had!

Today is also the birthday of four of my family and friends in Perth.
I called one of my best friend's to wish her a Happy Birthday.
I sent a message to my beautiful God Daughter on her 21st Birthday.
My cousin celebrated her 40th in style at the actual Melbourne Cup,
another cousin I haven't seen in years, contact lost, but I never forget her birthday.
It's times like this that I would love to be at home celebrating with family and friends.

Instead of feeling left out, I dusted myself off, resisted the suggestion 
of my friend in Sweden to wear my 'Melbourne Cup' fascinator and headed off
to walk the dog in 'our' forest.


We walked by our stream, breathing in air fresher than fresh.


The path has exploded in the colours of Autumn. It seems to get 
brighter and more vibrant every day. I have never experienced such a transformation before.


He wasn't the winner of the Melbourne Cup, but we saw a horse!


We discovered a new path and went to explore.


Fungi and moss made the most of fallen trees.


The falling and fallen leaves saturated the area with colour.


Hello, can you stop taking photos and throw my ball!!!


The scenery just breathtakingly beautiful.


Life in the forest thriving.


Hello...the ball...throw the ball!


...again...throw the ball again!


We walked amid sensational colour, 
the only sounds were leaves falling to the ground....
and the dog chasing after the ball!


Little 'Twitcher' huts are dotted around the forest, bird life aplenty here.


We walked back to the main path, where other people and their pets
were enjoying a beautiful day too. 
I wasn't in Shanghai, enjoying a Melbourne Cup lunch, or in Perth celebrating
birthdays, but I made the most of my day and enjoyed a beautiful walk in 
a magnificent part of the world, walking distance from my front gate.
Life is good!

Friday, 31 October 2014

Forty Winks Friday. Bath Napper

Bath, UK is a most beautiful place.
It has the Roman Bath's, The Abbey, gorgeous architecture...
and...when we visited... a napper!

Rabyn's Nappers

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red


When it transpired that my family would be going to England for a few days holiday, 
I put a visit to the Tower of London at the top of things we absolutely had to do.
I had seen the Poppies at the Tower of London on the news, 
they popped up on Facebook and in travel blogs.
 I just had to see them for myself and experience the atmosphere.

The ceramic poppies are an art installation marking the centenary of the outbreak of
the First World War. Every day, more poppies are added and by 11 November 2014,
there will be 888 246 poppies filling the Tower's moat.
Each poppy represents a British Military fatality in the First World War.  

To see the vibrant red poppies at the Tower of London is moving and thought provoking. 
The Poppy has long been associated with Remembrance Day. Poppies flourish in land 
that has been disturbed. The battlefield's provided the ideal environment, so as war raged, 
fields of red poppies bloomed amongst the fallen soldiers.

The sheer number of poppies in the moat and the life that each one represented is a powerful reminder, of so many lives lost and so many more that were affected. 
A stunning tribute to all those who sacrificed their lives for their country.

We Will Remember Them.

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red