Happy New Year: Onwards and Upwards

Sunset New Year's Eve 1 (640x477)

Sunset New Year's Eve (640x477)

Sunset New Years Eve (497x640)

Good morning and a Happy New Year from Hastings, New Zealand.  Yes we are already into the New Year.

Usually I say what the weather is doing at the beginning of my posts so today I am showing photos of the sunset last night and then here is what greeted me this morning when I got up.

New Year's Day (640x477)

So here is the first view of the New Year.

My motto is Onwards and Upwards for this year.  I wish to thank you for all your best wishes for this new year.   I really appreciate all your support the past year.  You don’t know how much that means to me. So I hope everyone has a good year too this year and it is onwards and upwards for you too.

I don’t think these are quite the right blues but this is also part of Jennifer’s challenge One Word Photo: Ultramarine

One Word Photo Challenge: Ultramarine

one-word-photo-challenge-badge

Thanks for visiting.

Cheers

Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge: Feathered friends

DSCF8696_Fotor_20141231 (640x477)

Good morning from a bright and sunny New Year’s Eve here in Hastings,

Yesterday was a weird day.  I have found a place to live which is the right price in rent that I could afford.  It is nothing flash but there will only be my son and I, it is a sunny house but no garden.  That was okay.  But then in the evening I found out that the rent is likely to go up as the landlord only dropped the rent for Christmas.  So it is at the lower rent for 3 months and then it will go up.

Just before I left to go and look at this house ex-hubby turned up in violation of his trespass notice.  I didn’t see him but my son did and told him to leave as he was violating the trespass order.  All he wanted was to go out for a cup of coffee and catch up with our news.  As if that was going to happen.  Then later in the day he drops of a letter for me with a small handwritten note on it basically giving the police evidence that he has been to visit.  So I am in two minds – should I go to the police and he is in deep trouble and really ruin any chance of our divorce ending amicably or just let it slide and move without giving him our address and get on with the divorce negotiations.

The last straw was finding out that my disability support will drop drastically now that my son turns 18.  He now has to apply for a student allowance in order for us to even be able to eat.

So all in all a great way to end this year.  So my motto is onwards and upwards for next year.

Anyway onto this challenge by Michelle.  We have a lot of bird life around this house and this blackbird is always in the front lawn so I grabbed a few photos.

DSCF8667_Fotor (640x589)

Then one day I was walking past the back door and looked over to find this fantail flitting around the car and just managed to grab the camera and catch a few rather grainy photos of it.

petchallenge

https://hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/michelles-weekly-pet-challenge-roundup-and-start-of-new-week-69/

Thanks for visiting.

Cheers

Phoneography Challenge: Out and About in Hastings

Good morning from a cloudy and muggy Hastings morning. I hope everyone in Europe are keeping warm and safe through this snow storm.  It is weird sitting in the hot weather watching the snow storm on the news.

Only one more day to a new year for us in New Zealand.  I am going out today house hunting.  I definitely can’t afford to stay where I am at the moment, plus there are other bits and pieces I am not happy about.  I hate moving but it has to be.  So it is to be a fresh start next year and hopefully a bit more money in my hand.  I will be able to have car and contents insurance again.  That was always a worry for me.

So I am showing some photos I took around the CBD for Sally’s challenge.  I had a bit of fun with the editing last night.   I am not entirely happy with the editing, simply because my mind is on other things at the moment.

http://lensandpensbysally.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-editing-and-processing-the-light-of-day/

Hastings has a lot of art and sculptures around the CBD.  The first set of photos are some painted tiles around a tree planter box.  There are always hanging flowers along the shops and of course another photo of the lighting shop.  This time I edited it with the x-ray filter which is the one I prefer. They are all edited with Aviary.

original tiles

Edited tiles

Original overhanging flowers.

Edited overhanging flowers

Original lights

X-rayed lights

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-editing-and-processing-with-various-apps-just-for-fun/

https://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/you-are-what-you/

http://uniqueartchic.com/2014/12/29/christmas-review-2014/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/phoneography-how-to-create-a-labyrinth/

681bc884db3d2fc1ca2c0aefa62fb58c1

Cheers

Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge: Week 43

Table &Chairs (640x518)

Good morning from a hot muggy Hastings.  I am up early as I couldn’t sleep in the heat. But I do know that England has been caught up in a winter storm so I hope everyone is keeping warm and cosy and above all safe.

The last Monday this year.  I haven’t made any resolutions for the New Year as they never last long.   But I resolve to keep taking photos, especially oddball photos like this table and chairs.

I don’t think these would be really comfortable to sit in for too long but I like the look of them.

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: Week 43

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/12/28/cees-oddball-photo-challenge-week-43-seasonal-wearable-oddball/

022714-odd-ball

Thanks for visiting.

Cheers

Travel Theme: Minimalist

Good morning from a sunny Hastings morning.

This week Ailsa has gone minimalist for her prompt this week so I searched through Flickr and found these photos.

Travel theme: Minimalist

http://woollymuses.wordpress.com/2014/12/28/travel-theme-minimalist/

https://geophiliac.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/travel-theme-minimalist/

Thanks for visiting.

Cheers

PS I must apologise if I haven’t commented on your blogs or even replied to your comments but I am finding it hard to be long on the computer lately.  😀

Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Circles and Curves

Cee always comes up with such interesting prompts for her challenges and from what I have seen next year should really be a fun year,

I found this gorgeous double ring light fitting as I was waiting for my son yesterday.  I so want it. I just love bling and what better way to show it as hanging from your ceiling.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Circles and Curves

Thanks for visiting.

082713-bw-banner-1

Cheers

The Daily Post: Warmth

Good morning from a warm and sunny Hastings.

This week The Daily Post are warming up the cold winter in the Northern Hemisphere by getting us to post our warm and cosy photos. So I have chosen some warm spring photos just to brighten up your day and reader.

These photos were taken this spring just as our side of the world was warming up after our winter.

https://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/weekly-photo-challenge-warmth/

http://nowathome.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/warmth/

WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Warmth

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/weekly-photo-challenge-warmth-of-love/

WARM FEET, CHILLY MORNING

On The Inside…

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge Warmth

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Cheers

One Word Photo: Olive

Good morning from a bright and sunny Hastings Boxing Day.  It is strange when we have already celebrated Christmas and other parts of the world are just enjoying their day.

So to all those just waking up to Christmas Day – all the best and have a lovely time with your families.

As usual it was a case of eating too much with my parents so it is fasting time today.

Jennifer has given us the challenge of finding olive so I found these two photos of ivy.

one-word-photo-challenge-badge

https://geophiliac.wordpress.com/2014/12/25/one-word-photo-challenge-olive/

https://bastet1952.wordpress.com/2014/12/25/one-word-challenge-olive-december-2014/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/one-word-challenge-olive-the-other-reindeer/

One Word Photo Challenge: Olive

One Word Photo Challenge: Olive

Thanks for visiting.

Cheers

Floral Friday: Hydrangeas

Hydrangea (/hˈdrn(i)ə/;[1] common names hydrangea or hortensia) is a genus of 70-75 species of flowering plants native to southern and eastern Asia (China, Japan, Korea, the Himalayas, and Indonesia) and the Americas. By far the greatest species diversity is in eastern Asia, notably China, Japan, and Korea. Most are shrubs 1 to 3 meters tall, but some are small trees, and others lianas reaching up to 30 m (98 ft) by climbing up trees. They can be either deciduous or evergreen, though the widely cultivated temperate species are all deciduous.[2]

Having been introduced to the Azores, H. macrophylla is now very common, particularly on Faial, which is known as the “blue island” due to the vast number of hydrangeas present on the island.

Species in the related genus Schizophragma, also in Hydrangeaceae, are also often known as hydrangeas. Schizophragma hydrangeoides and Hydrangea petiolaris are both commonly known as climbing hydrangeas.

There are two flower arrangements in hydrangeas. Mophead flowers are large round flowerheads resembling pom-poms or, as the name implies, the head of a mop. In contrast, lacecap flowers bear round, flat flowerheads with a center core of subdued, fertile flowers surrounded by outer rings of showy, sterile flowers. The flowers of some rhododendrons can appear similar to those of some hydrangeas, but Rhododendron (including azalea) is in a different order.

Cultivation and uses

Hydrangeas are popular ornamental plants, grown for their large flowerheads, with Hydrangea macrophylla being by far the most widely grown with over 600 named cultivars, many selected to have only large sterile flowers in the flowerheads. Some are best pruned on an annual basis when the new leaf buds begin to appear. If not pruned regularly, the bush will become very ‘leggy’, growing upwards until the weight of the stems is greater than their strength, at which point the stems will sag down to the ground and possibly break. Other species only flower on ‘old wood’. Thus new wood resulting from pruning will not produce flowers until the following season.

Hydrangeas are moderately toxic if eaten, with all parts of the plant containing cyanogenic glycosides.[8] Hydrangea paniculata is reportedly sometimes smoked as an intoxicant, despite the danger of illness and/or death due to the cyanide.[9][10]

In Japan, ama-cha,甘茶 meaning sweet tea, is another herbal tea made from Hydrangea serrata, whose leaves contain a substance that develops a sweet taste (phyllodulcin). For the fullest taste, fresh leaves are crumpled, steamed, and dried, yielding dark brown tea leaves. Ama-cha is mainly used for kan-butsu-e (the Buddha bathing ceremony) on April 8 every year—the day thought to be Buddha’s birthday in Japan. Ama-cha is poured over a statue of Buddha in the ceremony and served to people in attendance. A legend has it that on the day Buddha was born, nine dragons poured Amrita over him; ama-cha is substituted for Amrita in Japan.

In Korean tea, Hydrangea serrata (hangul:산수국 hanja:) is used for an herbal tea called sugukcha (수국차) or ilsulcha (이슬차).

The pink hydrangea has risen in popularity all over the world, but especially in Asia. Pink hydrangeas have many different meanings, but generally mean, “You are the beat of my heart,” as described by the celebrated Asian florist Tan Jun Yong, where he was quoted saying, “The light delicate blush of the petals reminds me of a beating heart, while the size could only match the heart of the sender!”[11]

FFF

Thanks for visiting.

Cheers