Sunday, 29 April 2012

April Photo Scavenger Hunt

Hi everyone, time for another Photo Scavenger Hunt - this time for April.  As the first 12 days of April were spent in Jordan the photos are all from that beautiful country once again.  I tried uploading the photos first but then couldnt type above the first one - so picture first, text second this time - well they say a change is as good as a rest dont they?!  OK, so the first item on the list was ROCK - here we have trees and plants growing out of the rock face in Petra.  This photo was taken in the Siq, the mile-long narrow canyon that leads up to the Treasury.

Next up -IN/OUT - this is the entrance to one of the many tombs we visited in Petra.  While we were taking a well-earned rest, a German tour guide came in and started singing - the acoustics were amazing.  The whole effect was quite spine-tingling.

This is the ceiling of the tomb and covers the two challenges of MULTI-COLOURED and AMAZING.  This is not painted, it is the colour of the rock.  It is even brighter in real life - a real wonder of nature.  And even more astonishing as Petra is smack in the middle of the desert. So these colours seem even more eye-popping.

CANT LIVE WITHOUT - water of course!  And boy, did we drink loads of it on that day out to Petra.  The temperature was about 38C - and then we came back to this grey and cold weather - all a bit of a shock!!  In fact, it takes me ages to get back into the swing of things on my return from these trips - each time seems to take longer than the last.  The other day I looked the wrong way to cross the road!  And then yesterday we were looking at a personalised number plate on a car that passed us and quipped "do you think that car is from Turkey"?!  We were so used to seeing the Jordanian plates that anything remotely European looking was usually from Turkey.  People drive there to Jordan.  Another cool thing in Jordan is that you see road signs to all sorts of other countries - so unlike being here when you might spot a sign for Wales (if you live in the Midlands) and Scotland (if you are living up north) in Jordan you regularly see signs for Saudi, Iraq and Syria, and Yemen!!!!!

ON THE MOVE - a centipede spotted in Jerash.  When we visited this ancient city when our kids were small, our second eldest son was reading Harry the Poisonous Centipede, so these are now lovingly known as Harry!  At this time of the year they are everywhere.  They are about 8 inches long - quite cute if you are that way inclined, as we are, but if you dont like mini-beasts, perhaps we should move onto the next pic....

SPRING - this is the black Iris, the national flower of Jordan.  This picture was taken high up on a hillside in the North of the country.  This winter Jordan was blessed with a lot of rain and snow, so this spring was the greenest and most flower-filled that the folks there had seen for many a long year.  And we were lucky enough to witness it.  We had some fun getting to take this picture though, as it was very much "off road" and we were travelling by landrover - the journey up there was like an episode of Top Gear - getting stuck on boulders and then finally breaking down at the top!!  So we went off for a nice walk, let the "rover" cool down, tried again and she fired up!!!  It was such fun as in Jordan people have more times for things, no-one got stressed, we all had a good laugh.  And it was all fine!  Dont worry, be happy....
SMILE - I really did smile when I saw this cat as it looks exactly like one of my darling mum's cats back here in the UK!  We thought she must have sneaked into our suitcases...
TANGLE - this amazing mosaic with its interwoven lines was photographed in Jerash.  My daughter is doing arts award with me at the moment (I teach it at work, so although her school run it she is doing it with me at home instead.  This means she is able to go out on a community action project in a local special school, where she helps out in the classroom once a week for a whole afternoon.  She wants to follow her old mum into the teaching trade, but would rather be in primary/SEN than post-16 with the naughty kids which is what I do!) and her project is looking at mosaic and middle eastern art.  So we were taking loads of pics for her portfolio.
This pic covers both STICKY and INDULGENCE - Jordanian style pizzas.  And then I wonder why I put two pounds on.....
 And finally - direction.  All those dishes pointing up to their respective satellites!  Jordan is such an amazing place, cant wait to go back!

Have a great day, Helenxx

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Invite to Craft it Forward

Hello everyone!

Im gradually getting back into the old routine, having been back at work this week.  Im still operating on Jordanian time though and getting up 2 hours too early! Having said that, Im quite liking it as I can get on with things before the rest of the house gets up and gets going.  I have just made (and eaten!) a traditional Jordanian breakfast of falafel, olives, zatar and oil, and boiled chickpeas with garlic and spices and of course lashings of yummy bread.  This means no more cooking or any kind of lunching nonsense until our main evening meal.  Im sure this is quite healthy and of course labour saving as I only have 2 meals to worry about!  We just have some fruit and yoghurt if we get a bit hungry between times.

Anyway...I mentioned in my last post before my holidays that I had been the very lucky recipient of a Craft it Forward gift from the lovelySue at Kraftycupcake.  I was so excited to have been chosen to receive one of her awesome needlecases.  Im a bit disorganised with needles, and can never find my favourites.  So this is just such a brilliant thing for me to get myself sorted out with - and not only is it highly functional, but looks beautiful too

Just look at the detail on the cover, such sweet bunting

And Sue had thoughtfully filled the pages inside with needles all ready for me to use

so this little cutie is now sitting next to my crafting chair all ready for me to resume my crafting activities!  Thank you so much Sue, it is just what I needed!!

So.....I now need to invite 5 of you lovely bloggers to join me in the Moonstruckcreations Craft it Forward!  If you would like to join in this is what you need to do:

  • leave me a comment to say you would like to join in the Craft it Forward
  • The first 5 bloggers will be chosen - so first come, first served!!
  • During the next year the 5 chosen will receive a surprise hand-made gift from me
  • You will then need to post about the Craft it Forward and invite 5 bloggers to join you - and you will send each of these 5 something hand made by you within the next year
What I love about the Craft it Forward is that we have a whole year to sort it out so no pressurising short term deadlines.  Also the gift received is a surprise!  Although it would be good to check out your participant's blog so you can get an idea of what they are into - as Sue must have done to sort me out such a delightful needlecase!

I really hope you will join me in the Craft it Forward!

have a great weekend


Saturday, 14 April 2012

March photo challenge - better late than never!!

Hi everyone!!

As those of you who read my last post will know, things at work had been even more hectic than usual.

So, I took a break from blogging and routine by visiting my favourite place for a holiday - the beautiful Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan!  How lucky am I?  So my holiday started in March and ended on Friday this week - back to work on Monday, but feeling much better for the change of routine.  So all my photos for the March scavenger hunt were taken in Jordan!

So here we go....


In Jordan, breakfast is a very big thing - and is a fairly leisurely affair!  It starts around 9ish and lasts for about an hour.  These lovely pasties are just some of the things that are on offer - there is also usually delicious falalfel and hummus, salad, yummy bread of various types, cheeses, yoghurt  etc etc.  Then nothing is needed until the main meal which is usually served around half 3. 


bit tenuous but this lizard's eyes were as bright as buttons!!


These blocks of stone are situated at the entrance to the Rose Red City of Petra, and are known as the Jinn blocks - these were worshipped by the ancient residents there.


Traditional kitchens in Jordan tend to have seperate hobs and ovens - all are run on bottled gas.  Here you can see the arabic coffee pot on the boil!! 


One of the two amazing Roman theatres at the ancient city of Jerash - such an amazing place to visit.

Street names:

This sign was spotted in Petra!


 very fancy carving, perfectly preserved by the dry desert heat.


One of the wonders of the world - no photo can ever do justice to Petra  it is awesome.


These two fine camels sporting the latest in camel fashion wear!!


on the label of a very refreshing bottle of mineral water, sourced from springs near Petra.


The beautiful Roman city of Jerash, seen at its best in the spring time.

Half a face:

or should I say half a facade?  This is the amazing sight that greets you as you exit the narrow canyon leading into Petra - strike up the Indiana Jones theme tune please!!

I have been truly blessed to visit Jordan again - it was a very much needed break. 

Have a great weekend!