Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #165: GOING WIDE

LOOOOVE this prompt. Simply love.

Thank you, P.A. Moed.

Yesterday, self was at Cal Shakes’ only production for 2021: The Winter’s Tale. Last year they were forced to cancel their entire season. Wanted to weep.

But whoa, what a way to make a comeback: The Winter’s Tale is ace.

Picnic Grove Next to Bruns Amphitheatre in Orinda

Cal Shakes’s Resident Dramaturg Philippa Kelly leading the post-play discussion.

The Thrill of Anticipation! Audience files into Bruns Amphitheatre to see Cal Shakes’s first production in two years!

Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge: Sweetpeas

For this FOTD post, self decided to show two pictures: one of the first sweetpea sprouts, 26 August, and the sprouts today. There’s been growth!

This is pretty exciting. She’s never succeeded at growing things from seed. This year, she decided to try sweetpeas and jalapeño peppers. She’s growing all of them in containers, and scattered them around her porch.

She had the sweetpeas in three different pots. Only one sprouted. She figured it must be the location. So she moved her other pots over, next to the one with the sweetpea sprouts. Fingers crossed!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Photographing Public Art Challenge (#8): Halloween Swag

Self still playing catch-up!

Halloween’s just around the corner. There was a time when self’s house was mobbed by roving bands of children, but now the neighborhood’s aged (so has she) and she mourns those times.

Still, the neighbors do have a very good Halloween game!

Thanks to hosts of the PPAC Challenge, Cee Neuner and Marsha Ingrao.

Cee’s Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge: Planting from Seed

Self has never successfully grown anything from seed.

Nevertheless, this week, she will try planting sweetpeas. Fingers crossed.

Posting for Cee Neuner’s Flower of the Day Challenge.

“Are you sure you don’t want to just stay at the Sheraton?”

Yes, yes, stay at the Sheraton! self wants to scream at Amanda Lindhout.

Because, even though Ayelet Tsabari, in The Art of Leaving, takes a lot of risks, Amanda Lindhout’s risks are to the nth, on a whole other level. For instance, going to Bangladesh, where she knows no one. She really wants to go to India, but the flight to Bangladesh is cheap. So off she goes to Bangladesh.

On the flight over, she chats with “a middle-aged German guy” who says he goes to Dhaka all the time on business. While self’s insides are screaming “Watch out!” this man is met at the airport by a driver in an air-conditioned white mini-van and Amanda accepts a ride in his car. Considering that she is staying “at a twelve-dollar-a-night hotel” she’d picked out of Lonely Planet, Martin tells her that the ride would take “three hours and the driver would overcharge” by “virtue of” her white skin and gender. It turns out this Martin is a godsend, because he directs his driver to take her to her hotel, and when she gets out of the car he says, “Are you sure you don’t want to just stay at the Sheraton?” and she says “No, no, this is good!” Martin, bless his heart, presses a business card into her hand and says, “All right, then, call if you need anything.” And Amanda is immediately swarmed (which has happened to self: in the city of Taxco, Mexico, but at least there she had a companion, her Stanford roommate Sachiko; and also in some city in Himachal Pradesh whose name she completely forgets, and again in almost every other Indian city she landed in with the exception of Dharamsala, where she made the wise choice to stay in an inn inside a military cantonment)

From the moment Amanda alights from the German’s minivan, “every head on the street seemed suddenly to swivel” in her direction, and a man dogs her heels saying, over and over, “English? Hello? Hello, hello, hello?”

And yet this is nothing compared to what happens when she checks into her twelve-dollar-a-night Lonely Planet recommended hotel, and gets the third degree:

“For you?”

“For me.”

“Where is your husband?”

“I don’t have a husband.”

The man tilted his head. “Then where is your father?”

A House in the Sky, p. 46

Bless Amanda for being so bold. She refuses to lie. In India, because of self’s great age, and the fact that her itinerary included just temples — temples in the mountains, temples in the middle of a forest, temples whether Hindu or Buddhist or Punjabi — people just assumed she was dying and didn’t hassle her too much. Also, they assumed self was poor because she had no guide, and was always using public transportation.

Actually, it wasn’t just ordinary Indians who thought self was dying. Her friends, too, asked: “Are you sick?”

Wanting to go to Dharamsala means you are sick? Okay, then! Whatever works!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Six Word Saturday: To Read, Last Days of Summer

Posting this for Travel With Intent’s Six Word Saturday challenge!

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Question of the Day

How do the pensioners in The Thursday Murder Club know about the Dark Web when self only heard about it a month ago?

She’s on p. 181.

Also, it turns out, the DCI likes Oasis. OASIS.

Normally, she would just barrel through to the end (especially as it’s getting pretty exciting), but today has had all sorts of appointments, and she’s meeting someone for dinner — DINNER! — at the Beach Chalet. Her cousin from Manila, who’s only here for a few days.

Stay cool (it’s hard, that sun’s like a laser), dear blog readers. Stay cool.

July #TreeSquare Challenge #7: Annaghmakerrig

Beginning in 2014, I spent part of every year in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig.

How lucky I was to have this peaceful, beautiful place in which to write and feel my spirit nourished. There is a stillness to the lake, and to the surroundings. It’s like a clear glass bowl has been inverted over the landscape, cutting (dampening?) all sound.

Was supposed to return in 2020, but COVID.

This is Annaghmakerrig Lake. Thanks so much to Becky of The Life of B for hosting this challenge.

Flower of the Day (FOTD) Photo Challenge: Seen at Growing Grounds, San Luis Obispo

Growing Grounds is a wee little plant nursery, right across the street from the San Luis Obispo Mission. It’s so wee, it would be easy to miss. But San Luis Obispo used to be self’s stomping grounds. Because son went to Cal Poly. So, she was so happy today to see that it is still there.

The flowers are so pretty (linking to Cee Neuner’s Flower of the Day (FOTD) Photo Challenge. She asked the saleswoman what the flower was — it looks like a petunia, but it belongs to a succulent (“Easy care,” the woman said. “Just fertilize every two weeks.”)

She’s thinking of going back to the store tomorrow and getting it.

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Still June, Still White or Silver (Life in Colour Photo Challenge)

Every month on Travel Words, Jude posts a new colour for her Life in Colour Photo Challenge.

June’s is White (Bonus: Silver)

Jude in her own words: LOOK FOR THE BEAUTY OF WHITE OR SILVER AROUND YOU THIS MONTH.

Interesting choice. What’s even more interesting: Self keeps finding new examples of White and Silver, every day!

She drove to San Luis Obispo yesterday for a wee break. The weather in the San Francisco Bay Area’s killing her. Over here, on the coast, she feels BREEZE! She’s in a sweet little loft, about a mile from downtown.

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

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