Monday, 29 June 2009

Lost in My Secret Garden

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Few days ago, I promise to post more picture of the big flower meadow in coton manor, northamptonshire. And here it is!
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A meadow of ox eye daisy, dancing in the wind. The bees are buzzing, the butterfly chasing each other.
What a perfect place for a picnic.
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One happy country boy.
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Happily exploring his secret garden.
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As he grew older, Josiah is now more aware of his surrounding. He started to get interested in insect and what are they doing. Unfortunately his vocabulary of insect is not very much developed yet. So, apparently for him all creeping insect is an ant and all buzzing insect (yes, wasp, and fly) is bee.
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This purple flower was not here last year!
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We are so absorb adoring the beauty of God's creation.
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And do you spot the blue dragon fly?
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It's absolutely....Bee-autiful
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Sunday, 28 June 2009

Moon rise

Just as I say on the previous entry : To many people, experiencing sunset in Santorini is definetely a must. However, I believe there is something else that is worth a waiting for in Santorini.

Moon rise.

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I can stand in awe for hour looking at the moon reflection on the still water. Watching the city gleaming red, blue and yellow. It's simply... beautiful!
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With long exposure....
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With shorter exposure....
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To add more credit to the creator, I should say that the scenery was so good that I've decided to left all the pictures in this entry uneditted, not even white balance or saturation.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Santorini

I finally arrove on the main core of my holiday. Welcome to Santorini, the island of dream.
Believe it or not this beautiful island is born out of what human consider as natural calamity.
(Below : a typical santorinian setting, a blue top ortodox church facing the caldera)
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Santorini is essentially what remains of an enormous volcanic explosion, destroying the earliest settlements on what was formerly a single island, and leading to the creation of the current geological caldera. Its spectacular physical beauty, along with a dynamic nightlife, have made the island one of Europe's tourist hotspots.
You just won't believe how many pubs and restaurant along this tiny road, there are literary hundreds!
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Dogs are common in this area.
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Nearby port at night.
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And don't get lost in Santorini, it is very difficult to find address of hotel, restaurant, or traverna as road are generally no-name or the house just left with no number.
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Santorini (Greek: Σαντορίνη, pronounced [ˌsa(n)do̞ˈrini]) is a small, circular archipelago of volcanic islands located in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km southeast from Greece's mainland.
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(Above, the famous photographic point from Oia, a village in Santorini).
A giant central lagoon, more or less rectangular, and measuring about 12 km by 7 km (8 mi by 4 mi), is surrounded by 300 m (984 ft) high steep cliffs on three sides. The island slopes downward from the cliffs to the surrounding Aegean Sea.
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Sunset is the best time to come out. Where the day is generally not as hot as day time, and the sky wearing its best colour.
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On the fourth side, the lagoon is separated from the sea by another much smaller island called Therasia; the lagoon merges with the sea in two places, in the northwest and southwest. The water in the centre of the lagoon is nearly 400 m (1300 ft) deep, thus making it a safe harbour for all kinds of shipping.
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We'll take a closer look of this magical place on the days to come.

Life is Sweet

Today, another dear friend of mine is getting married. We didn't meet up a lot physically but rather through virtual means (read : internet). Looking at their pictures does remind me about my "youthful" days, those sweet carefree days.
However, today is her big day... and I am really touched reading their love story.
Dian and Stephen... Congratulation and may God bless you both abundantly!
***************
Their Story

So let’s go straight to the point, how did you guys met? And who approached whom?
S: This was three and a half years ago. We happened to go out with the same group of friends this one time, to cedar point theme park. On one ride, we happened to be sitting next to each other, and so we talked. That’s how we first met, but I didn’t actually approach her until a couple weeks later. I had to take a couple shot of courage booster to pull myself together and asked her if she would go to church together. You know, like a church date. And I asked for her number of course.
Ah ok, so Dian why him? I’m sure you had other suitors, but what made you want to go into a relationship with him?

D: Haha, I think it was because he was different. He is the best looking one out there, of course. * Wink * And, it was the way he approached me. He didn’t overdo it. Not too much sweet talking or promises. It was just a simple and genuine expression of love. I knew right then I could trust him.
So for both of you, what were the negative traits that you don’t like from each other?

D: He is an only child, so he’s used to being alone. I don’t like it when he keeps everything to himself, being on his own and figuring things out himself.

What do you think about Dian?

S: She’s super sensitive and moody. And can be super unreasonable sometimes.

LOL, I think that’s just how girls are. What about now?

D: He definitely has gotten better; I don’t remember getting mad because of that recently. And yet, I’m still sensi and moody. Uh-oh!

No complaints Ken?

S: This I’ll just have to swallow
For a million Rupiah, when and where did you share your first kiss?

S: Umm…. Pass

D: Skip please!

Haha, Ok then, how long did the two of you dated? Is there any dark moment from that period? And how did you overcome that moment?

S: We would have dated three years and eight months on our wedding day.

D: Hmm, actually our relationship sailed pretty smooth. No icebergs or tsunamis. Maybe small waves here and there, but that’s about it.

S: I irritate her... she irritates me, I get angry… she gets angry. But at the end of the day, we’re cool again.

Ok there were arguments obviously in your relationship or else it wouldn’t set the chemistry in motion but how did you get over the arguments? What was the compromise you had to make for each other?

D: Of course, relationship is about compromising. Right, honey? * wink *

S: Yeah, and I always end up giving in.

You’re very lucky Dian.
So, how did you propose?


S: The proposal didn’t go quite as I wanted to. Well, I took her to the John Myers bridge, which was our first date spot. I had my camera, my tripod, and so we were taking pictures there. I had planned on kneeling down and popped the question while we were posing. I thought it would be cool to have one of the most important moment in our life captured on camera. But my nerves cracked, felt the butterflies just thinking about it. So, I end up blurting out the question while hugging her. I even forgot to show her the ring. So while she was still stunned. I quickly knelt down and did it all over again in a proper way, with the ring that’s been sitting in my pocket for days and the magic question: ‘will you marry me?’

What made you asked the question?

S: I knew she was the one from the start. It was just a matter of when.

How romantic, Dian what made you answered yes?

D: He’s made for me. I knew it when I started to see the beauty of how our relationship is not always the way I plan it. He might not have everything that I hoped for but somehow it’s enough and it was all I need.

S: In other words, we were meant for each other.

D: Yeah, we are just perfect for each other.

Haha, Is there anything you want inside him/her that you want to change after the marriage?

D: stop playing videogames alreadyyyy!

S: What!?! No, you should start playing video games with me. It’ll be good for when we have kids.
Haha, ok ok, do you guys have any advice for other friends regarding to relationship and marriage?

S: Take your time. You’ll know it when you’ve found the one

D: Expect the unexpected. There is no such thing as Mr. Right; you need to work things out to make it right.

How did you manage to become this couple, I mean do you have any role model for a relationship?

D: I look to my parents for guidance. Their love and commitment to each other is inspiring.

S: I guess parents. My perspective of relationship is molded from theirs.
Well now you've taken the same step as theirs, are there anything that you are going to miss/lose, now that you’re going to be husband and wife?

S: What do I have to miss? Everything I need is right here.
Ok, you two seem so sweet, what was the sweetest thing he/she ever did, that really touched your heart?

D: There was this one time he flew down to Indiana to visit. We were just sitting around watching movies when he told me he has gotten scared of flying recently. I asked him why. He said, he couldn’t imagine if anything bad were to happen that we couldn’t be together anymore. Because for once, he felt he has someone to go home to. He is not the romantic type at all so I find it really sweet when he told me this,

How about you ken?

S: Hmm, usually every night I would bug her asking what I should eat for dinner. One day, she made me a box filled with food ideas, recipes, and what to eat for the next month. Maybe she got tired of me asking.
Was there anything that he/she did just because he/she loves you?

D: Too many to mention. But, I always remember this one. Back then when I was in Purdue Musical Organization, there was a stretch where I had late practices, and he would come and pick me up every night around 1 AM. I still remembered it was snowing hard and he was really sick at the time.

S: And she loves me so much she wants me to recover fast, she made me eat all 3 antibiotics in a day. It was supposed to be one per day. Oh meng! It is pretty funny to think about it again tho’.
Ok, last question. if you can send a message to both of you, 25 years from now at your 25th wedding anniversary, what would you say to them?

S: “Oh hot dayam! You look as stunning as always.”

D: “So you are still playing videogames and I still love you”

Haha ok then Dian and Kendra thank you for your time.

There they are, Stephen (Kendra) and Dian, in their utmost honesty revealing each other from their own point of view. I can’t help feeling more happy for them and wishes them the best for the new road ahead. We know that nothing is ever smooth, but with the lessons they learned early in their relationship, I’m sure they have what it takes to achieve that ‘happily ever after’. I’ll see you in the wedding guys.

Jozef Thenu
p.s: I only took a portion of this interview so that it wasn't too long to read :-)

Thursday, 25 June 2009

It does not end here

Update : I was just uploading the pictures I editted (and quickly reminded on how beautiful the real thing was) when a headline news flashing on my yahoo inbox. "Michael Jackson has died". On the news it was described that the Paramedics were called to a home on the 100 block off sunset boulevard. His home described at a French chateau built in 2002 with seven bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, 12 fireplaces and a theater, which he rented for 100,000 USD a month. But now the star is dead bringing nothing to eternity. Only God's know where he is now. My friend, remember... it's always too late to regret.


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I almost forget where was I on my last travel post. Right we were in Mykonos.
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Mykonos is a great place for children to do loads of outdoor activity on the beach. Including swimming and building castle. Or probably just looking at fishes and yacht passing by.
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But even when you are not on the beach, you still can enjoy Mykonos from a distance.
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Whereby you can see thousands of white hora across the island.
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My son seems to enjoy the view from up here too.
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But our journey does not end here. Tomorrow, we'll hop to a different island with complete a different facial features.
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Let's save this for another day :-)

Britain Countryside - The Sheep

What is a countryside without sheep?
When people talking about British countryside, my brain quickly reconstruct an image with hilly landscape with loads of sheep on them.
But having seen loads of sheep this past 4 year. We wanted to see something different. So how about Sheep-Shearing?

Typically each adult sheep is shorn once each year (a sheep may be said to have been "shorn" or "sheared", depending upon dialect). The annual shearing most often occurs in a shearing shed, a facility especially designed to process often hundreds and sometimes more than 3,000 sheep per day.
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Machine shears, known as handpieces, operate in a similar manner to human hair-clippers in that a power-driven toothed blade, known as a cutter, is driven back and forth over the surface of a comb and the wool is cut from the animal. It may look a bit uncomfortable but the audience is assured that the sheep left unharmed.


Tadah...
the new summer look!
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Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Britain Countryside - Introduction

I am taking a break from blogging about my travel pictures now. I still have loads more on that to catch up... and I guess I am getting weary on editting and sorting thousands of them. Right, so this is for a change.
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After going back from Greece, we are now start to realise how beautiful Britain countryside is. While Greece are generally dry and barren and full of dry grass.
Britain, on the other hand, is covered with saturated-green-pastures and full of flowery bushes.
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Britain is proud to have 49 designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 40 National Scenic Areas, 14 National Parks and an amazing 27 World Heritage Sites, 5 of which have World Heritage status due to their outstanding natural features.
And here is one of them...
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Welcome to Coton Manor, Northamptonshire.
This time of the year, the roses are budding and blooming like it never before, so we paid our annual visit to see more of it.
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The lovely scent as we enter the park is undescribe-able. It's truly like walking in other world.
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You can see ducks, chicken and flamingo wandering about in the park as it owns quite a view water features.
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The manor also have loads of other type of flower. You can see more of them on our old entry last year when we visited the park at about the same time of the year.
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And my favorite, lilac poppies.
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But most of all, the park is famous for...
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The flower meadow full of ox-eye daisy and buttercup.
I promise that you'll see more of it few days to come.