Monthly Archives: September 2010

Contentment

Contentment is not continuous.


AFRICAN SUNSET – Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana

This simply seems to be the way we’re wired. Like blowing the perfect soap bubble. We’re drawn to catch it as it drifts away, only for it to burst, leaving us with nothing but slippery fingers. But there are always more where that came from. Bigger and better ones.

Similarly with sunsets. Time’s relentless march sucks the molten orb into the night. No debate. Until tomorrow. And the point of it all is? Perhaps partly to teach appreciation, moment for moment, while allowing discontent to guide us in the direction of greater Contentment. Maybe one of these days I’ll manage the process with more grace 😀

Quotes to consider:

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” – Epicurus

“There is no end of craving. Hence contentment alone is the best way to happiness. Therefore, acquire contentment.” – Swami Sivananda

“It is better to want what you have than to have what you want.” – Proverb

“Contentment is a pearl of great price, and whoever procures it at the expense of ten thousand desires makes a wise and a happy purchase” – John Balguy

“Contentment is a kind of moral laziness; if thare want ennything but contentment in his world, man wouldn’t be any more of a success than an angleworm is” – Josh Billings

Just because it’s beautiful, here’s another pic of that Kalahari sunset, closer to complete . . .


AFRICAN SUNSET – Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana

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Daytona’s Debut Xtreme Enduro X

Time for some more bike action on the blog!

As mentioned in my last post, Dave took part in the Xtreme Enduro X at Daytona, here in Johannesburg, on Saturday. Talk about a hectic ride! He landed hard from this high drop-off during the first heat, damaging his ankles, which are still painfully swollen:


DAVE ESTMENT – Daytona Xtreme Enduro X, Sep 2010

Of course he continued – to win his semi-final convincingly. Unfortunately his chain came off twice in the final, contributing to a fourth place finish. Here are two more battle scenes, the first showing Dave (racing for Team Pro-Action KTM) fighting it out with Justin Hawley, who took a well-earned gold in the intermediate class:


JUSTIN HAWLEY & DAVE ESTMENT – Daytona Xtreme Enduro X, Sep 2010


DAVE ESTMENT – Daytona Xtreme Enduro X, Sep 2010

Meanwhile among the pro’s, masterful mayhem ruled. This is the start of one of their heats, showing Jade Gutzeit (#2 on the left) and Louwrens Mahoney (#3 on the right):


PRO CLASS START – Daytona Xtreme Enduro X, Sep 2010

Jade was leading their semi-final when his bike gave in. Accordingly disqualified from the final, he requested to ride anyway (for no position). The rest of the field agreed, gleefully insisting he did fifteen push-ups prior to starting. No problem for Jade. He not only complied, but raced on a borrowed bike to an unofficial fastest time.

Louwrens won first place, giving a great demo on how it’s done! This is him in action:


LOUWRENS MAHONEY – Daytona Xtreme Enduro X, Sep 2010

These pics show some more of the drama:


Daytona Xtreme Enduro X – Johannesburg, South Africa, Sep 2010


Daytona Xtreme Enduro X – Johannesburg, South Africa, Sep 2010


Daytona Xtreme Enduro X – Johannesburg, South Africa, Sep 2010

Special mention too to the only lady rider, Kirsten Landman, who rode excellently!


KIRSTEN LANDMAN – Daytona Xtreme Enduro X, Johannesburg, Sep 2010

By the end of the day, we all had filthy faces but loads of fun 😀 Great job on an awesome event, Greg & team, and WELL DONE EVERYONE!!

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Congrats to the Top Two’s!

CONGRATULATIONS to our fabulous friends at SA Venues, along with all the others who’ve made it into the Top Two Finalists of the 2010 SA Blog Awards!

Pity we’re not among them, but BIG THANKS to EVERYONE who voted us into the Top Ten Best Photographic blogs! Here’s a Protea in appreciation of ALL your awesome efforts:


PROTEA – Johannesburg, South Africa

Proteas are special here in South Africa, being our national flower and the name of our national cricket team. Since we’re into cricket season, we may as well celebrate that too 🙂

This one is part of a beautiful bunch of flowers that Dave gave me a few days ago, simply because he’s such a darling. On top of that, he photographed it for me to share with you. Just gotta LOVE this man!! He’s not well today, coming down with bad flu after a lion-heart performance at Saturday’s Xtreme Enduro X, which also sprained his ankles seriously. I’ll post some pics of the event soon, but first to treat him to some TLC . . .

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Preserving Penguins and preventing seasickness…

Those of you who’ve read about My Books, will know that our endangered African Penguins are close to my heart. This stems from childhood, when my late father sailed on our national research ships to the Southern islands and Antarctica, sometimes returning with penguins and seals. Despite the passing decades, I’ll never forget them, nor the pungent cocktail of diesel and oil mixed with the sea, so characteristic of the Cape Town docks. The docks of the old days, before the development of the vibrant V&A Waterfront.

So it’s wonderful to learn of support for the world’s penguins. My fabulous Facebook friend, Dyan deNapoli (The Penguin Lady) is in the process of launching her book The Great Penguin Rescue. Documenting a devastating oil spill that threatened 40,000 African Penguins, it will no doubt be a PHENOMENAL read, so take a look! For anyone unfamiliar with these birds, here are some pics of the Boulders Beach colony in Simonstown:


AFRICAN PENGUINS – Boulders Beach, Cape Town, South Africa


AFRICAN PENGUINS – Boulders Beach, Cape Town, South Africa


AFRICAN PENGUIN – Boulders Beach, Cape Town, South Africa


AFRICAN PENGUIN – Boulders Beach, Cape Town, South Africa

Dyan also recently drew our attention to a stunning new website of the Global Penguin Society, which ‘is dedicated to the survival and protection of the world´s penguin species, fostering integrated ocean conservation through science, management and community education.’ High five to them for all for their amazing effort!

As an aside about sea travel, Dyan offers invaluable advice for preventing seasickness: ReliefBands. She apparently felt no discomfort during five days of crossing the Drake Passage (to Antarctica and back) on a stabilizer-free ship, while others on board were beyond green. The bands ‘have a metal plate that sits against your wrist and provides an electrical pulse that stimulates a nerve, reducing peristaltic activity in your stomach’.

This recommendation came in response to a query on my Mom’s behalf, as she plans to visit ‘The Ice’ next year, shortly after turning seventy. Hard core women, or what? I can’t take the thought of those hectic seas, preferring to stick much closer to coast-lines, but these bands are a definite for future dive trips! I’ll task my Mom with photography 🙂

And how’s this for a cool side benefit? A user testimonial for ReliefBands mentions going on Adventureland rides that kids adore, with ‘NO ill effects whatsoever’! WOW, if that’s possible, perhaps there’s hope for me to read in cars. Now that would be AWESOME 😀 Continue reading

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Treasure

Treasure is best shared.


LITTLE PINK FLOWERS – Johannesburg, South Africa

TREASURE

Sugar pink
candy floss
Spring fresh
Flowers

Caught in Nature‘s
light show,
you’re Laughter
brought to Life

What a Gift
to the World
that you share your
Treasure!

Quotes to consider:

Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves.” – Carol Lynn Pearson

“One’s own self is well hidden from one’s own self; of all mines of treasure, one’s own is the last to be dug up.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” – Bible

“A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals a secret of hidden treasure.” – Buddha

“Truth is the property of no individual but is the treasure of all men.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

. . . and some more pics, because I just couldn’t contain myself to one 🙂

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Pending Trip of a Lifetime with Hills of Africa Travel!

Soul Safari 2009
Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

‘Thank you, Amy, for your excellent suggestion!’ Because of it, we’ve become a group within a group. Threaded together through our shared passion for photography, we’re allocated our own vehicle. Oh, the lush abandon of unreserved agreement to linger with wildness! Indulgence permeates our journey like French perfume. We’ve barely left the lodge when we spot our first subject. My heartbeat accelerates. This is unusual. Sitting a seat away from Dave, I feel his same response. All hands on board close around cameras.

The Martial Eagle rests on a bare branch, eyeing our every move. Marc manoevres the Land Cruiser so that the sun bathes our backs. A flurry of whispered questions fires from the back, fielded by him and Dave in the front. Brand experts both, they support Canon and Nikon respectively. Not that the raptor cares. It perches just long enough to allow an explosion of shutter clicks, like popcorn passing its eruption point. Huge wings unfurl for a preliminary hop. Then with a mighty flap, the bird is airborne, becoming a small speck on a distant tree. Never to be erased from memory, digital or otherwise.


MARTIAL EAGLE ABOUT TO TAKE OFF – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


MARTIAL EAGLE ABOUT TO TAKE OFF – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


MARTIAL EAGLE IN FLIGHT – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


MARTIAL EAGLE IN FLIGHT – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

Here’s the group of photographers, brilliantly guided by Marc, with Dave fooling around! Amy is the lovely lady second from right 🙂


PHOTOGRAPHERS – Soul Safari 2009, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

. . . and the whole happy tribe!


SOUL SAFARI 2009 – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

That raptor sighting was one of countless magical moments on Hills of Africa Travel’s Soul Safari 2009, with Oprah-featured psychic, Ainslie MacLeod. Dave and I were fortunate to be the official photographers, documenting what was truly a trip of a lifetime. Perhaps this video clip of Day 3 explains it more fully, starting with the eagle taking off:

NOW FOR THE GREAT NEWS: Our friends at Hills of Africa are planning another dream adventure for Sep-Oct 2011, also including Madikwe and Cape Town. This one will feature personal participation with Dr. Jonathan Ellerby, the ‘Spiritual Program Director for the acclaimed Canyon Ranch Health Resorts and an esteemed expert of holistic healing, spiritual counseling, and integrative medicine’. Read about all the AWESOME details here: Awakening Inspiration Safari – with our heart-felt recommendation!

To summarize in Dr Ellerby’s words: “At the end of this amazing safari, participants will be culturally enriched and spiritually inspired to live a life they love.”

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Awakening

Awakening → Awe


BEE DRINKING FROM WATER LILY – Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana

AWAKENING

Enticed
by Morning’s
first
Caress

her Heart
swells
to embrace
the Sun

Warmth
from without
Light
from within

She is
all at once
immersed in
Radiance

Quotes to consider:

“We are near awakening when we dream that we dream.” – Novalis

“If every day is an awakening, you will never grow old. You will just keep growing.” – Gail Sheehy

“I would have the studies elective. Scholarship is to be created not by compulsion, but by awakening a pure interest in knowledge.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Creativity comes from awakening and directing men’s higher natures, which originate in the primal depths of the uni-verse and are appointed by Heaven.” – I Ching

“The poet knows himself only on the condition that things resound in him, and that in him, at a single awakening, they and he come forth together out of sleep.” – Jacques Maritain

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