28 February 2013

Dreaming of Paris

It is just 11 weeks until I am in Paris again ... and my thoughts are beginning to drift to all the beautiful sights and visual delights in store for me once more.

Such as this little park we came upon one fine Spring day ... I just loved the blossom trees,the statues and the benches made to look like open books.














                            Even the pigeons seemed pretty in pink !










 


20 February 2013

Love a Balinese Ceremony

Bali has changed in so many ways over the past 33 years I have been visiting this Island of the Gods
Unfortunately not all of this progress has been for the best.
However, it is the Balinese people that have always made the place unique with their gentle,smiling manner and their strong sense of family and community.
Their Hindu religion with all its various Gods and beliefs necessitates the daily rituals of offerings and prayers.


The numerous processions and ceremonies are quite beautiful to see and on this trip we were fortunate to come across quite a number as we travelled through the splendid countryside with its rice paddies and lush green jungle.



We were very privileged to be invited to join in the celebrations in one rural area we happened upon by sheer good luck.

 The joyous faces and colourful costumes of the entire village delighted us all.




 All ages were out and about and made us feel so welcome - what a treat !










The full gamelan orchestra looked immaculate and sounded wonderful.



































 The offerings were a fascinating mix ...

Not sure if my daughter, the redhead in the background,realised these poor bebeks(ducks to us)were actually live offerings !





 My sweet grand daughter Sophia loved every minute of the whole experience ...

   ... and fitted in with all the happy Ibus!
 


 The high priest with his wonderful face and very fine walking stick ...

Every where you look in Bali there are all sorts of offerings - I think they are just lovely and can never resist a photo, of course!

 This looks like elephant hide, but is actually just wet concrete.











Along the roads shops sell various ornaments in all shapes and sizes for temples and shrines, all adding to the interest and vibrancy of a more authentic Bali.










 This was the little temple in the garden of our villa. Each day the gardner's wife placed the offerings here to keep us safe from the evil spirits and blessed by the Gods. 
I can happily live with that !

 






 My blessings to you all ...