Thursday, 31 March 2011

March Memories Photographic Challenge - The Results

I'm writing this two thirds of the way through March because I have realised that I won't be able to post at the end of the month.  In fact I can't post at all during the last 10 days of March because I'll be on holiday in Myanmar...  We booked this trip ages ago, well before I even thought of this challenge, but I didn't put the proverbial two-and-two together and set the challenge anyway.  Idiot!

Anyway, despite inadvertently giving myself 10 days less that I should have had, I have managed to complete my own challenge (phew!) and have, through the magic of Blogger, set this to post on March 31st.

So here we go, my 16 things for March 2011:

1.  Celebration.  We've had lots of birthdays in my class over recent weeks, and the children seem to have started a very nice habit of bringing a birthday cake in to share with their classmates (and teachers).  This was a particularly tasty one - a dense chocolate brownie cake with crunchy praline on the bottom... yum!

2.  Stripy. I thought this one would be simple, but wasn't struck with much inspiration for stripes this month...  still, here's a slightly unusual take on the theme.  As part of our Eco-Week in school our year group visited a local recycling centre.  The kids were fascinated by the place, and so was I.  This is a close-up of a huge bundle of cardboard which has just come out of the compressor.

3.  Empty.  All out of Sauvignon Blanc...

4.  A Game.  I'm a total Scrabble-on-Facebook addict and am usually playing about 7 games at a time, with various people from family members to friends from primary school.  I took a shot of this particular game because I'm winning it!

5.  New.  My new toy - an iPhone 4.  Buying this was a big event for me - I'm not really a 'gadgety' kind of person, and I've always just had the cheapest possible pay-as-you-go phones, but I'd been hankering over an internet phone for about a year.  I finally made the leap into the world of the smartphone at the beginning of March.  Unfortunately within a week the stupid thing had gone wrong...  so this is my second iPhone of the month.

6.  Work.  This term Year 3 have been focusing on environmental issues, culminating with an extravaganza entitled 'Trash to Panache'.  This was a catwalk-themed assembly where the children modelled their 'wearable art' - inspired by some aspect of Brunei - that they had created from rubbish as a homework project.  Never one to miss out on the opportunity to dress up and make myself look ridiculous, I couldn't resist joining in with a floral-inspired tunic-top, created from carrier bags.  Chic.  Sometimes I can't believe I actually get paid to do this job.

7.  Growing.  I had SO many potential shots for this one, Brunei being a pretty verdant country!  However, I was most excited by this one.  Earlier this month we went for a walk in an area called Bukit Markuching, a new area for us to explore.  As we climbed up the first hill we found ourselves walking through a little plantation of various fruit - lime, banana, papaya... and pineapple!  I had never actually seen a pineapple growing before, and in case you haven't either, they don't grow on trees (as I had previously assumed) but on small spiky bushes.

8.  Home-made.  It's hard to find 'nice' bread here; much of it is full of sugar, which really isn't to 'Western' tastes, so I've taken to making my own.  That probably makes me sound really smug, but it's very simple and I only make one loaf a week, which is plenty for us. 

9.  Favourite. One of my favourite things about being in Brunei is the amazing wildlife, and this is one of my favourite creatures so far.  He was spotted on a walk at Tasek Lama, and I spent a good 10 minutes photographing him - he barely moved, no matter how close I crept.  What a poser!

10. Blue.  A particularly gorgeous day in Brunei with clear blue skies.  This is the palm tree in our garden (yes, I know, don't hate me).  The sky was bluer than this really so I'm not 100% happy with this one, but it was the best blue photo I managed this month.

11.  Evening.  Egrets at the Saddle Club as we cycled back from the beach one evening.  I used to get very excited whenever I saw an egret in the UK, but here they're common as pigeons (only much more beautiful).

12.  Pattern. This was another one I assumed would be easy.  I thought I'd just pop into a mosque and snap some of the tiled patterns...  but it just didn't happen, what with the busyness of the end of term.  So here's a beachy one instead.  Our beach is covered with these starburst patterns; they're made by little crabs who excavate burrows by rolling up little balls of sand and pushing them out of the holes.  Amazing.

13.  Flight.  We live fairly close to the airport here.  Actually this is Brunei, which is about the same size as Dorset - we're fairly close to everything here!  The flight-paths seem to vary but there are days when every plane that takes off or lands goes right over our house (that's our roof and palm tree in the picture) and there are times when it sounds rather as though they are about to land in the garden.

14.  Yesterday. I'm so tired today (17th March - when I'm writing this particular entry) because yesterday was the day of our year-group trip.  After the recycling centre (see photo 2.) we went to Muara Beach to do a beach-clean-up.  It was boiling hot and we were eaten alive by the sandflies, but despite all this it was fantastic.  In a mere 15 minutes we filled loads of bin-bags with various detritus found on the sand - and best of all it really brought home to the children this very real environmental problem.

15.  Fabric.  Some beautiful Robert Kaufman fabric from Hokko.  I couldn't resist it.  Despite thinking it's slightly too silly to actually wear, I'm having it made into a simple skirt.

16.  Loud. Small but VERY loud, these geckos aren't known as 'Chit Chats' for nothing!  This one is - thankfully - outside the window, but there are plenty who reside in our bedroom and act as spookily accurate alarm clocks, generally shouting to us at about 5.30am...

I'm looking forward to seeing other people's March Memories soon!


At Anna's kitchen table said...

I really enjoyed that.
I'm afraid my entries aren't going to be half so exotic.

Btw are you still on your hols? We worried about you after hearing of the earthquake! Xxx

At Anna's kitchen table said...

Just to let you know I've posted my entries on my blog Kate.

Anonymous said...

Wow absolutely fab and so enjoyed reading that as well as all the great pics.

julie said...

Nice photos, Kate!
Love the fabric :)

nic @ nipitinthebud said...

cripes didn't realise it was a double challenge - getting photos snapped and poste by the end of the month. Best get cracking on uploading then...

snowy said...

Great photos Kate. Love the pattern and the fabric. Have got to get mine sorted and will then post them.

Dianne Neale said...

Hi there
Just came across your blog from ... somewhere else, you know how you get lost in blogland sometimes. Love the idea of this - will you be repeating it again in April. I think I'll have a go anyway

Norm said...

Hi Dianne! Yes, I know how it happens - I'm always following links on blogs and stumbling across new ones. It's fun though!

I don't think I'll repeat this for April - maybe in a few months though. I enjoy doing them and it's lovely if anyone else wants to join in too.


nic @ nipitinthebud said...

Hi Kate
Finally blogged my results!
Same words, such different pictures - thanks for the inspiration :o)
N x

Joanna @ Zeb Bakes said...

How lovely! I just followed Nic over here following the trail. Guess I'm too late to join in now. Maybe another time - I particuarly like the teapot fabric and the sand crabs :)