Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

UBC 28 - ABC Wednesday - C is for ...

Day 28 of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and ABC Wednesday

Posting a little early for ABC Wednesday but today my mind just went blank and I couldn't think of a single thing to write about.

C is for ... Cable Car

The Cable Car is one of the unique attractions in Wellington. It runs from Lambton Quay, Wellington's Main street to the Botanical Gardens in Kelburn.

The cable car also makes a stop at Wellington's Victoria University so it is often full of students.

It was opened to the public on 22 February 1902.

It's a pretty ride and some spectacular views along the way.

Here are some pictures I've taken over the years of the cable car. Pictures taken from the Botanical Gardens - Kelburn cable car station.

On it's way to Lambton Quay

Leaving Kelburn station and heading towards the University stop.

And this picture is taken on Lambton Quay outside Cable Car Lane. Wellington has some very interesting signs. I love this one.

Have a fun day.

Warm Regards

Monday, January 28, 2013

Day 27 - Haiku - Rescue

Day 27 of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge

Haiku Heights - Rescue

Image courtesy of porbital /

Rain rescues dry plains
Precious water gives relief
Earth finds nourishment

Sun melts Winter snow
Rescues slumbering flowers
Earth colours emerge

Gentle sea breezes
Rescues us from scorching heat
Earth finds cool relief

Warm Regards

Sunday, January 27, 2013

UBC Day 26 - Six Word Saturday - Not doing

Day 26 of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and time for Six Word Saturday

Sometimes not doing is most advantageous

My friends and I were to meet up for a movie and dinner yesterday (Saturday)

We'd planned this for a week and we were all looking forward to catching up as we hadn't met up since before Christmas.

I offered to book the tickets as this was a popular movie "Life of Pi" and tickets were selling fast.

But something or the other came up and I never got around to booking the tickets (online). I felt quite bad as we were all eager to see the movie and I hoped that tickets would still be available.

So yesterday morning, I opened up the booking page and was contemplating which seats I should book when the phone rang. Unfortunately my friend wasn't feeling well and so would be unable to come along and asked if we could postpone our "girls night out" to another weekend.

Luckily I hadn't book the tickets as that would've been wasted. Obviously the Universe knew better.

Sometimes not doing, is most advantageous.

Have you had any moments like this where not doing has actually turned out to be advantageous? Please share your stories. Thanks

Have a great weekend

Warm Regards


Saturday, January 26, 2013

UBC Day 25 - 7x7x7x7

Day 25  of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge.

Corinne at Everyday Gyaan posted a really neat challenge so decided to take part in that.

The challenge is as follows:

Grab the 7th book from your bookshelf.
Open it up to page 7. 
Pinpoint the 7th sentence on the page. 
Begin a poem that begins with that sentence and limit it in length to 7 lines.

7th book on my kindle app that I am currently  reading - "Jedi in the Lotus"

7th page - simply doesn't exixt on the  kindle version so instead I went to the next "7" numbered page - page 17

7th line on that page - "This latter book includes an essay on how Star Wars relates to Eastern wisdom"

So here is my 7 line poem depicting the last 7 words of the 7th line. As the first 7 words are superfluous I will simply leave them out. (7x7x7x7 all in one line!).

A little twist to the instructions - Instead of starting,  I will end the poem in a way that summarises these words.

Also linking to The Thursday Writer's Post blog hop prompt "Masterpiece" - prompt hosted by Jenn at Wine-n-Chat

This is definitely not a masterpiece but I tried!

Jedi Master Yoda - is "yoddha", a warrior of the East

Qui-Gon Jinn with qi-gong - keeps his mind in Peace

Padawan Obe-Wan "can no be" a Jedi Master yet - and so he stills his restless mind to duly meditate

Anakin starts the Kali Yug with despair he could not face - false promise of the dark side but that he did embrace

Padme is the lotus,  the one he loves so dear - She was the jewel in the Jedi's heart, now Darth Vader who we fear

Luke Skywalker battles with Jedi in his soul  - with love he changes Vader, the great Jedi unfolds.

And so Vedantic Wisdom, the basis of it all - translated into Star Wars, the ancient force lives on.

Glossary - a view into the background of my poem -  my understanding only of the words and its use.

Jedi philosophy is based on Eastern (primarily Vendantic, Buddhist, Taoist) beliefs that - force or energy lives in all things, with control over the mind one has the ability to use the force, that the true path is in oneness with nature, that non attachment, selflessness and love is the way to Spirit, that good must and will triumph over evil.

yoddha - Sanskrit word meaning warrior, someone who is able to bring balance between or merge with the physical and spiritual worlds.

qi gong - Chinese practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, healing and meditation.

qi (or chi) is the force that lives in all things.

padawan - a Sanskrit word for life long learner

Kali Yug - kali denotes darkness, yug means age or era. According to the Vedas, we are currently in the age of Kali Yug - the age of darkness and destruction. The Vedas tell us that towards the end of Kali Yug, Lord Vishnu will appear in his 10th avatar to take us back to the Golden Age - Satya Yug, the age of truth (satya) and connection to Spirit, the age where peace, harmony, honour, goodness and spirituality will prevail. The Jedis will return.

Vedas - Ancient Sanskrit Hindu philosophical texts, considered to be one of the oldest sacred texts. Simply put, Veda means knowledge.

Padme - means lotus (Sanskrit mantra - Om Mani Padme Hum - the jewel is in the lotus). The lotus is considered a sacred flower , a divine symbol in Eastern traditions. It represents purity and non-attachment. The heart chakra is symbolised by the lotus, the jewel is the soul within.

Darth Vader - possibly a combination of dark and death to create the word "darth" and Vader possibly a dual meaning of father (Dutch) and Veda (knowledge). Hence Darth Vader = death of the real father or dark knowledge. (my view only).

Vedantic - of the Vedas or in the context of my poem, Eastern.

May the good force be with you.

Warm Regards

UBC Day 24 - Five Question Friday

Day 24 of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge (I've fallen behind - will have to do an extra post on the weekend)

And here the questions for Five Question Friday

1. Do you embrace or dread snow/cold weather days?

I enjoy all the seasons so I don't dread the cold weather days. I like the cooler weather anyway.

2. Which game show or reality show could you totally win?

I have absolutely no idea. Perhaps a quiz show where the questions are provided in advance!

3. What is your preferred climate?

Temperate - not too hot and not too cold.

4. What do you buy every time you walk into the grocery store, no matter what?

Probably bread.

5. If you see a spider/bug in the house, are you brave enough to kill it, or do you call for your hubby?

As I don't have a hubby I have to do it myself. A nice strong slipper and forgiveness from God for destroying one of his creatures does it for me.

Join in the fun and share your answers.

Enjoy your weekend.

Warm Regards

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

UBC Day 23 - ABC Wednesday - B is for ...

Day 23 for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and ABC Wednesday

B is for ...  Byrd Memorial

Thought I would showcase my city of Wellington.

Richard Byrd was an American aviator who mounted many expeditions to Antarctica from his base in New Zealand.

Here are pictures of the Byrd Memorial on Mt Victoria in Wellington, New Zealand constructed in his honour. It was unveiled on 11 March 1962, the 5th anniversary of his death.

I took this picture from the viewing platform at Mt Vic.

Here's a close up I took of the memorial
The sides of the memorial are decorated in tiles representing the Aurora Australis, the Southern Lights and 
the stones that make up the internal wall are from Antarctica (see picture below)

Photo taken by Brett Taylor

And here's a picture of the plane that was used in the expeditions.

I took this pic in 2002 when I visited the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit.

Enjoy your day and check out some more B entries at ABC Wednesday.

Warm Regards

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

UBC Day 22 - Haiku - Dusk

Day 22 of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge

Haiku Heights - Dusk

Light fights to survive
That moment before nightfall
Dusk marks the cross over

Twilight fading fast
Crimson line, an eerie glow
Dusk blends into night

Dusk the end of day
Peaceful drifting into sleep
Wind down and relax

Warm Regards

Monday, January 21, 2013

UBC Day 21 - Exercising - friend or foe?

Day 21 of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge.

Some days the mind goes blank - nothing inspirational comes to mind, no prompts appeal or spark imagination. Then you come across something that fires up the mind and a post starts to take shape.

Over the last few days I've read some posts where weight loss has been mentioned and as I was commenting on one of them, this post started to form in my mind.

Over the years exercising has been friend and foe at different times of my life. When the weight just peals off, I know I've found the right exercise programme and that makes me truly happy. Then wham - something comes along to sabotage it.

The gym membership gets too expensive, or I change my work venue so now need to hook into another gym, or a health condition develops that prevents or limits that type of exercise activity, or I just lose interest.

In 1997 I joined a gym and I was enthusiastic and regular.  The weight just peeled off. I looked good and I felt great. Then the Winter came along, the motivation started to drop and that started the period of "donation" to the gym. I managed to get back in off and on over the years but the pleasure of "gymming" departed.

In 2004 I took up Qi Gung ( Chinese practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, healing, and meditation). I absolutely loved it - it had all the elements I needed. I did it for nearly a year and then one day, our sifu (teacher) just upped and left - went off to China to further his knowledge of qi gung. The venue changed and it was just too far away for me to attend.

5 years ago I started doing karate. I did it religiously for 2 years, lost tons of weight, my fitness soared and again I absolutely loved it. Then suddenly circumstances changed again. My sensei (teacher) left, started his own dojo - again miles away from where I live or work. Karate was also damaging my knees and I was finding myself in considerable pain off and on. I continue practising at home with very lite intensity but it's never the same as attending a class.

Early last year I thought I found the perfect class - a blend of karate, tai chi and qi gung. Well, my back packed up twice and had me flat on my back for a week at a time.

I wasn't listening - the Universe was sending a message - no martial arts, find something else.

I started attending physiotherapy sessions and the exercises sent my mind back to the time I lived in India many many moons ago to my practice of yoga. These exercises were just that and so I started on my yoga practice again.

At first it was hard going and I really had to motivate myself, remind myself that this was good for my back, but the enjoyment wasn't there.

Then I found the perfect motivation.  I make my routines, my time for prayer. I say my mantras with each move. At the gym, I listen to devotional music while I'm on the treadmill and make that my moment of prayer too.

I spend 15-20 minutes of yoga each morning, 30-45 mins at the gym thrice a week and about 15-20mins of lite intensity karate on weekends. If the weather is good I try to take a walk and connect with nature - All in all nothing too arduous or time consuming.

I absolutely look forward to my yoga each morning - this is my peaceful moment of connection with Him. I exercise in His name.

I've made exercise my spiritual connection, not my recipe for weight loss, fitness or health. I believe that having made it a spiritual practice, these benefits that come with exercising regularly, with pleasure and with dedication, will simply fall into place.

So, is exercise your friend or foe?  Please share your stories and thoughts.

I hope that if you are struggling with exercising as I did for many many years, my post may prompt you to find that connection (whatever that may be) that makes it all happen for you.

Happy exercising.

Warm Regards and Namaste

Sunday, January 20, 2013

UBC Day 20 - Five Question Friday

Day 20 of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and Five Question Friday (even though it's Sunday here in NZ)

So here are the questions and my answers

1. If you were going to be stuck on a deserted island, which 5 books, movies, people and foods would you take along?

4 questions in one and very strange  - would we have the luxury of carrying this if were going to be stuck on a deserted island and why would I be stuck on one by choice?

  • The Bhagawad Gita (my spiritual bible)
  • The Tao of Pooh (I can read this over and over again)
  • Way of the Peaceful Warrior - Dan Millman - a book that is truly inspirational
  • The Prophet - by Khalil Gibran - my favourite book of all time
  • Survival guide on a deserted island.

Movies - these would have to be feel good movies
  • If It's Tuesday This Must Be Belgium
  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Nights in Rodhanthe
  • Serendipity

People - I would never subject any of my near and dear ones to the uncertainty and stress of being on a deserted island (none of us are that adventurous). So I hope that these are the people who are with me:
  • A person who knows how to survive on deserted islands
  • A person who can motivate and uplift
  • A person who can build a shelter
  • A person who can navigate the seas
  • A person who loves me and cares for me and will take care of me

Foods - I will assume that eventually we would find food around the island - some fruits, fish, coconuts etc and have the ability to do some basic cooking
  • Canned baked beans
  • Protein bars
  • Rice
  • Lentils
  • Drinking Water - not technically food but important nevertheless

2. What is your thought on year round school? 

We all need time to chill and relax to "recharge our batteries" so why would we subject children to year round school?  Kids need time to play as these are the times when they fuel their imagination without the stress of school work and time to spend with their families without rushing around. The New Zealand school system has 4 terms with 2 week breaks between each term and approximately 7 weeks at the end of term 4 (end of school year). I think it works well for the kids.

3. What is your most embarrassing potty story? (Can't be one of your kids' potty stories either!)

There are a few, but these are best kept within the family so will pass on this one. In any case my kids are all grown and there are none to share there.

4. What's the temperature where you are?

19 Celsius = 66 Fahrenheit.  It's a hot Summer's day.

5. Are you a winter/spring/fall/summer person?

I love each season. Here in Welly, we often have all 4 in one day - it can even hail in Summer. The only things I don't like are gale force winds and heavy rain on a windy and cold cold day.

Please join in and share your answers. Thanks.

And enjoy this clip of "If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium"

Have an awesome day

Warm Regards

Saturday, January 19, 2013

UBC Day 19 - Six Word Saturday - Blobbing out

Day 19 of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and time for Six Word Saturday

Saturdays are my blob-out days - Really?

I got my hair cut this morning. Finally decided to let go of the long hair. I'm doing a lot of letting go this week! Just blissful now - all the weight is gone and it's easier to brush down and manage.

Did my grocery shopping - so that's done and dusted for the week.

Answered all my emails - a whole lot came through today from family scattered around the world.

Had a quick chat with my cousin in India.

Did the usual around-the-house clean up stuff as I have visitors tomorrow.  Thank goodness the weather isn't the best for doing laundry otherwise I would've had to do that too!

Had a lot of catching up to do with reading blogs and commenting - from the ones I read regularly to all those who comment on my posts - special thanks to all of you who keep me motivated to keep writing.

Lately I've neglected my other blog Photos are Fun so thought it was time to pick that one up again.

And I thought Saturday is my blob-out day! The day when I meditate (for longer than usual), watch a movie, chill with some music - basically disengage my brain from thought!

It's 10.00pm and I'm still writing - I think it is time to disengage the brain and truly blob.

I was going to watch "The Sixth Sense" tonight but my sixth sense tells me that's best watched during the day so will have to defer that to tomorrow or perhaps Monday as it is a holiday. Too late now to watch a movie anyway,

Enjoy your Saturday. Mine is nearly over!

Warm Regards

UBC Day 18 - Letting Go - The tale of an earring

Day 18 of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge

Tuesday morning as I was on my way to the bus-stop my gold earring fell off. Unfortunately the bus was due to arrive any minute so had no time to look for it for too long.

I looked around but couldn't find it.

And then I saw the bus come around the corner so had to abandon my search and run for the bus,

I called home to ask my my mother and son to look for it but neither could find it. Corinne's (Everyday Gyaan) post flashed into my head. (read here).

Anyway, I thought I'd search for it on my way home in the evening still no such luck.

So I finally decided that I had lost it forever. But I hoped that it would bring the person who found it a whole lot of luck. And then I let it go.

That very evening my son's school certificate results came out and though he did really well, he was wait-listed in his chosen programme (read my post on this for more details). He was so disappointed. We both said a prayer together and then let it go. We just had to wait it out and have the faith that only good would come out of the final outcome, whichever way it went.

Yesterday, as I was walking to the bus stop in the morning, I just glanced down at the road and there right in front of my eyes was my earring. At that very moment I knew my son would be confirmed into his programme.

And this morning, the confirmation came through. Thank You God.

Both incidents were a confirmation of my belief. That when we let go in faith and with love, the Universe brings the good back to us.

So proud of my son. He worked so hard, he truly deserves that place at Uni.

Wishing you a day when the Universe brings a multitude of goodness into your life and lost things are found!

Not the earring I lost, but I love dangly earrings
Warm Regards

Thursday, January 17, 2013

UBC Day 17 - ABC Wednesday - A is for ...

Day 17 of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge

I took a break from ABC Wednesday for a few weeks but thought I'd get back into it again. And starting at A is a good start.

Not sure yet if I'm going to do a music round again, but I am posting a song for this one.

So A is for ...

All I ask of you from the Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera is one of my favourites and this is such a beautiful love song. Andrew Lloyd Weber's music is always par excellence.

Originally released as a single in 1986 by Cliff Richard and Sarah Brightman.

The movie version is sung by Emmy Rossum (Christine) and Patrick Wilson (Raoul)

Have an awesome day.

Warm Regards

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

UBC Day 16 - Fame

Day 16 of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge

Michelle Liew is the host of this weeks prompt "Fame" at the Thursday Writers Post

Thought I'd be different today and post some quotes - let you all do the thinking.

Fame is damaging when people become reliant on it for their sense of self, and their identity, when fame is linked to how you see yourself. 
~ Daniel Radcliffe 

Wealth, beauty, and fame are transient. When those are gone, little is left except the need to be useful. 
~ Gene Tierney 

I sometimes wonder if the tragedies my family has suffered are a kind of karmic price for all the fame and fortune the Bee Gees have had. 
~ Robin Gibb 

Film is an illusion. Fame is ephemeral. Faith and family are what endure. 
~ Emilio Estevez 

Fame is what you have taken, 
Character is what you give; 
When to this truth you waken
Then you begin to live. 
~ Bayard Taylor 

Have a happy day.

Warm Regards

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

UBC Day 15 - Disappointments are part of life

Day 15 of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge.

My son's school certificate results came out today. He passed really well and cleared the minimum score required for a guaranteed spot in most University progammes, but unfortunately is just 8 credits short of a guaranteed place in his chosen programme - a difficult programme to get into as it requires a higher than the normal score.  He is so disappointed. And seeing him so down, I am simply not motivated to write anything so this post may not turn out very sensible today.

We have to wait a little bit longer for them to confirm his place as he has been wait listed.

He really worked so hard. One of his teachers told him he wouldn't pass her subject - he not only passed, he actually got a merit pass. The system has some internal assessment and some external. He didn't achieve the internal assessment and I am sure that if it had been externally assessed he would've passed and got his guaranteed spot at Uni. Life is sometimes unfair, but that's life. And yet he's had other teachers that have motivated him, encouraged him and help him achieve well. I thank those teachers for their help in giving my son a good chance to get into University.

I tried to take a philosophical view of his disappointment. What was the point of upsetting him further.

Disappointments are part of life. At some point in life you come face to face with them.

I tried to find the lesson in this:

  • For me it was to keep calm and accept the situation without anger, motivate him to move on, to guide him to look at other options or ways to convince them to give him a place in the programme, and most important of all, to let him know he is loved no matter what.
  • For him - a chance to experience the fact that not all things in life go the way we plan, that we need to accept the things we cannot change, but that there is always a solution to a problem.
My father used to say to me - the disappointments and difficult moments of our life define us and it is in times like these that we show our true strength of character. 

Perhaps destiny is leading him down another part - one that will be better for him. Whatever be his path, I will help him through it. Wherever he is led, I know will be good for him.

The Serenity Prayer is perfect for today.

God grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; 
Enjoying one moment at a time; 
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it; 

Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life 
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

Praying hard for my son. That his wait-listed status soon turns into a confirmed place or that another better path opens up for him. Please pray for him. Thanks.

Have a serene day.

Warm Regards

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