At the beginning of November I posted about an exciting photographic challenge that I had discovered... and here are the results.
It's been SO fun, I've found myself thinking about it most days and it's really given me an impetus to take my camera out with me more often. Some shots came very easily, I had an idea of what I wanted as soon as I read the list, but others have proved much more challenging - and I'll admit, a couple were taken today in a bit of a panic as I wanted to write this post this evening!
I was slightly surprised that the finished set don't include a single food-shot, but I hope that they provide a representative picture of my life here in Brunei.
So here we go...
1. Tall. 2 of the 4 minarets of the Jame'Asr Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque in Kiarong, Bandar Seri Begawan.
2. Amazing. This was a difficult choice, but this, er, amazing dragonfly I snapped in the garden just won out. I love the detail in its wings.
3. Round. Our fairy-lights from Vietnam which make me smile whenever we turn them on!
4. Hidden. This was taken on the same wander round the garden as the dragonfly shot. I pulled back a leaf and found this beauty hidden behind it.
5. Green. There seems to be green everywhere you look here in Brunei! It's a country covered with jungle. This however was in the garden (which backs onto jungle).
6. An Animal. What else could I possibly choose for this one?! This was taken shortly before Flat Stanley's traumatic accident occurred...
7. Dirty. I had to choose between this and a photo of some lizard poop...! Still this one gives me an opportunity to get on my soapbox. I'm continually appalled by the state of the beaches here in South East Asia. Much of the rubbish is undoubtedly from shipping, but much is also generated by people who simply can't be bothered to use bins. And plastic bottles? What an environmental curse.
8. Early. Rob was away last week, and I found my sleep-patterns disturbed while I was on my own (largely due to me staying up far too late!). However, one morning I was awake early so just got up and got ready for work. I usually get up at 6am (I have to start teaching at 7.25) but on this particular morning I was up and about at 5.45. The moon was full and looked stunning.
9. Weather. Not a photo of the weather, but a picture of an effect of the weather... we have several of these around the school, and when an electric storm is brewing we hear a tannoy announcement telling us to get inside. It's a little frightening the first time you hear it!
10. An Arrow. Brunei and Malaysia are Muslim countries and we have got used to seeing these on hotel-room ceilings - the Kiblat, pointing West to Mecca.
11. Curve. The Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque in central Bandar reflected in the top of a shiny curved bollard. (Unflattering reflection of me taking said photo cunningly cropped out!)
12. Tomorrow. Every afternoon as I'm leaving my classroom I write the next day's date and a list of what we're doing on the board. I took this today as I left my class... tomorrow is December?! How did that happen?
13. Inside. Frustratingly - but completely understandably - there's no photography allowed inside mosques. I caught a tantalising glimpse through a partially open door as I was walking around the central mosque last week... probably the closest I'll get to photographing the lavish interior.
14. A Ceiling. Obscure... but a feature of all our ceilings here - a fan. We have 3 in the sitting room alone.
15. Watch Out. A storm approaching, this evening actually. It's what stopped me posting this earlier on, as as soon as the thunder started we unplugged the computer and modem.
16. Key. My handful of keys, on my Mr Tickle keyring. The keyring was given to me many years ago by a great friend. It's lovely to have a daily reminder of that friendship, however far apart we are now.
17. Reflection. This was the hardest one to choose - somehow I seemed to end up with lots of lovely reflection photos this month! However, this one is specific to this month - a reflection of fireworks in the water on November 5th. The display was at the Yacht Club.
18. Track. The tracks of a stray dog along the beach. I was on the lookout for monkey tracks - they're great because you can see how the tail has dragged along in the sand - but didn't see any. This would have been made by one of the many many wild dogs living here (dogs are considered unclean by Muslims so they are not common as pets here).
19. Framed. A last-minute shot... our wall of framed black and white photos, 2 by me, 2 by Tom and 2 others.
20. Busy. The ants here in Brunei are a real nuisance - the house is full of them. However, these were in the garden and were quite captivating to watch as they went on their busy way. It looked like they were carrying larvae of some sort, although I'm not sure.
21. Strange. One of the funniest signs I've seen! (On our school trip to the local Health Promotion Centre where, to be fair, there was a giant model set of teeth, just asking to be sat on!)
22. Upside Down. One of my favourite photos, taken when my class were playing with shadows during a Science lesson.
23. Spots. I love spotty things and this is some of my Emma Bridgewater crockery.
24. Shoes. No actual shoes here, but you have to remove them when you enter a mosque. It wasn't prayer-time when I was there, hence the lack of footwear on display...
25. Weathered. Beautifully weathered rock on Pantai Meragang (Crocodile Beach).
26. Sunday Morning. Remembrance Sunday to be precise. We attended an incredibly moving service on Labuan, a Malaysian island.
Phew! So there's my November 2010, in 26 images.