Well 16 days in our travels and what to say?

Just snippets at this stage as I thought I would blog on my phone –  but by the time i have checked and responded to email and posted some daily pics onto Instagram – I want to be doing other things and not be on my phone.

So first time on the laptop in ages, and the words flow faster…

Hong Kong – great public transport, loved the Star Ferry and getting the hang of the trains/metro. Went on the Peak Tram up to the top of HK island for amazing views. Didn’t really see any Chinese temples or historical sites, but we did eat dim sum at a 1 Michelin star restaurant – One Dim Sum – which was excellent, thank you Juliette! Beautiful sui mai and steamed rice sheet rolls. We ordered 10 meals!! Probably should have had 6 or 7, but we finished them all off. Mooching around streets and shops. Couldn’t quite get over the density of HK. Just incredible sights of high rise apartments that must house 1000s of people. Really friendly, helpful people, and I enjoyed seeing many Western folk who obviously lived and worked there…Hot? Oh, just a little – early 30s every day- but a real feel of 10 degrees hotter with pretty fierce humidity.

‘copy watches, copy watches’

Istanbul

I feel a sensory overload in a way that I felt in India…different but same. And I think it’s just that overload of sights and smells and experiences that is common with travel. The processing of it all is both wonderful and exhausting. I admit to not realising just how huge Istanbul is…so I have checked and it’s one of those huge cities – in the top 6 populous cities of the world. But what an amazing and rich history. Exotic, both Euoprean and Asian

And the call to prayer…Where we have been staying in Istanbul – in Sultanahmet – the call to prayer is loud and wonderful. It echoes and replies to other call to prayers from The Blue Mosque and other surrounding mosques. The first call to prayer is around 5am and the last for the day is about 9pm.

Sultanahmet is in the old city near The Blue Mosque and Aya Sofya. Easy walking distance to so very much – the Hippodrome, The Grand Bazaar and the Spice Markets. We have visited them all as well as the Topkapi Palace and walked over the Galata Bridge on a hectic Saturday afternoon when it felt like half of Istanbul was out with us!

Travel is that mix of planned and serendipity. Chance and exploration. Good and bad.

Yesterday we met up with Lucy and Brenton. Lucy is a friend of Jacks and the whole family are good friends from preschool days. We jumped on the ferry to Princes Islands. The ferry was 90 minutes each way and packed with both locals and tourists. The islands are a great day trip away from the city and I imagine a great summer holiday for those rich enough to have a house on one of the islands. And who could know that we would see the sun setting behind Sultanahmet and The Blue Mosque and Aya Sofya. Just magic. One of those truly memorable times.

And the Blue Mosque and Aya Sofya and Ephesus and so many of the buildings and places that we have already seen are just so detailed and huge (or small) that you can really only take photos of parts of them…the intersections of lines and columns and ceilings and spaces.

So a bunch of snippets for now.

And I haven’t even touched on our hot air balloon flight over Goreme/Cappadocia or our remarkable day at Pamakkale and Hierapolis and then our day at Ephesus.

Pics on Instagram and Flickr (Flickr photos are Instagram but I also post a few panoramas that don’t work on IG). I’m handwriting brief notes each day for later.

Truthfully not giving work a single thought. Missing the kids. Missing lovely family and friends. But loving this.

x


#heyho2014 #cbr

31Aug14

Hashtags a go go
Decided on #heyho2014 and then a separate # of the place.
Travel to #Sydney today. Overnight stay. Then flight to #HongKong in the morning.
Already feeling a bit emotional about leaving the kidlets/young adults. Izzy keeps hugging me telling me how much she loves and will miss us.
I love that we love!

And Bowie’s song is going through my brain this morning…’Soul love’

Love is careless in its choosing
Sweeping over cross a baby
Love descends on those defenseless
Idiot love will spark a fusion
Inspirations have i none
Just to touch the flaming dove
All I have is my love of love
And love is not loving.

I don’t know why!
Safe travels to all…whatever you are doing

image

xx


It’s been list after list just lately.
But the list I had not anticipated was the emotional list…felt quite teary yesterday saying goodbye for three months to Carl’s mum – and then it happened again today when saying goodbye to my parents. I guess I’ve been so caught up in home, work, farewells (was out to dinner 4 times last week), that i hadn’t really anticipated the emotional state of leaving family, home, friends, work for three months.
So there it is.
And this time next week – we’ll be in Hong Kong.
I guess it’s sometimes only in leaving that you pause to think – what a lovely bunch of family and friends I truly have…
big hugs and kisses to you all xxxx
me
Me last week- first time ever in about 35 odd years that I have had hair with no colour in it- and no surprises…I’m gray baby!


image
…lol, except posted it twice…one has now been removed.
And image is huge…will change.
This is Dickson Shops, ACT


“The Great Beyond”

I’ve watched the stars fall silent from your eyes
All the sights that I have seen
I can’t believe that I believed I wished
That you could see
There’s a new planet in the solar system
There is nothing up my sleeve

I’m pushing an elephant up the stairs
I’m tossing up punch lines that were never there
Over my shoulder a piano falls
Crashing to the ground

In all this talk of time
Talk is fine
But I don’t want to stay around
Why can’t we pantomime, just close our eyes
And sleep sweet dreams
Me and you with wings on our feet

I’m pushing an elephant up the stairs
I’m tossing up punch lines that were never there
Over my shoulder a piano falls
Crashing to the ground

I’m breaking through
I’m bending spoons
I’m keeping flowers in full bloom
I’m looking for answers from the great beyond

I want the hummingbirds, the dancing bears
Sweetest dreams of you
I Look into the stars
I Look into the moon

I’m pushing an elephant up the stairs
I’m tossing up punch lines that were never there
Over my shoulder a piano falls
Crashing to the ground

I’m breaking through
I’m bending spoons
I’m keeping flowers in full bloom
I’m looking for answers from the great beyond

I’m breaking through
I’m bending spoons
I’m keeping flowers in full bloom
I’m looking for answers from the great
Answers from the great, answers

I’m breaking through
I’m bending spoons
I’m keeping flowers in full bloom
I’m looking for answers from the great beyond

I’m breaking through
I’m bending spoons
I’m keeping flowers in full bloom
I’m looking for answers from the great
Answers from the great, answers

I’m breaking through
I’m bending spoons
I’m keeping flowers in full bloom
I’m looking for answers from the great beyond


I just love my Sunday Body Balance class. It’s on at 9am which is early, but truth be told I am an early bird, and Carl brings me in tea at 8am and I can still comfortably get to the class! Only the latest of Saturday nights or being away for the weekend can keep me away.

Today I rode in minus 5 sunshine in my new goose down jacket, very generously bought and given to me by Jack for my birthday. It is simply the warmest thing I have ever worn – it is like wearing a goose doona! And it folds down into a tiny bag, so it will be just amazing for travel.

I think I have mentioned before about standing poses – I think I love all the warrior poses the most – there is such strength and grounding in these stances. More on standing poses. Last week I also did the Wednesday evening class with Nellie that I also love. A completely different instructor puts such a different meaning to the class. Nellie is more descriptive in the poses and in the breathing which I just love. Although I will soon be putting my gym membership on hold for a few months, I will make sure that when I am back I factor more classes into my week.

And a new phone and new synapses being formed as I move form the eyephone to a Galaxy. So far, so great!!


A phone call yesterday from a friend a haven’t seen for a while, and her mention of a “health scare”…I didn’t disclose because she had her own things to talk through, but I have just been through a bit of a *health scare* myself.

Had a mammogram a few weeks back. I have been on yearly mammograms for almost 15 years, so I don’t think too much about them these days (although I still think that the best description of a mammogram is…take all your clothes off your top half, grab a breast, open the fridge and put your breast in, close the fridge door). So I was a little taken aback when I got a phone call on Wednesday afternoon to say that ACT BreastScreen wanted me back for further testing. I made an appointment for the following day and was warned that I would probably be there for 4 hours.

This sort of thing freaks me out as it would anyone, but with a familial history of breast cancer, and in fact, just cancer – I was just in a daze on Thursday. I ended up spending 7 hours in at BreastScreen – having an interview and examination, followed by more mammograms – different ones focusing on the left breast (and specifically the 11 o’clock area), ultrasound followed by a consultation with the surgeon (who flies in on Thursdays for the day from Sydney), and finally a fine needle aspiration (done by a pathologist who came over from Canberra Hospital) to get a sample of the cells. With results to come this morning.

Well everything is fine. Fatty cells that have formed a lump…no idea why. Best be safe. Oh yes.

For Thursdays are ‘call back’ days at BreastScreen in Civic. The day of the week when the women there are all special, for we have all been called back for further testing. All vulnerable. Scared. Freaking out quietly. Or not so quietly. And I ended up being there the longest, so I was thinking the worst.

I usually like to wear my heart on my sleeve and tell it as it is to those around me. But in this case I chose to really only tell a few people – Carl and the children, my sister and a few close friends (and a couple of people who just sensed a vibe). I didn’t want people getting upset for me, it was too early, and it takes so much energy explaining and worrying about people’s feelings. My biggest, biggest fear was telling my parents – I just didn’t want them to go through another nightmare cancer time….so for now – they are safe.

So if I have been a bit distant, sad, preoccupied or just the same (I am pretty good at seeming normal/happy) that’s why…

And I think of those today who have had a horrid prognosis of any sort…and I send you my love and light.

And can I say how beautiful, professional and caring all the BreastScreen staff were? I used to think midwives were the special ones, but I reckon it’s a lot of health professionals…




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