CBBH Photo Challenge: AFTER THE RAIN

All the time I was searching out my choice of photographs for this month’s CBBH Challenge, a song kept running through my head:

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things

….and the more I thought about it,  the more I realised it’s true – I do love to see raindrops on flowers after the rain.

But extremes of weather often make the TV news,  and the UK in particular has been battered by storms and flooding over the past months, so your interpretation of AFTER THE RAIN might be very different from mine – and that’s where the fun begins.

For the CBBH Photo Challenge during March I want you to post images of your experience, AFTER THE RAIN.

Raindrops on a pepper tree

This is the graceful False Pepper tree (Latin Name: Schinus molle) in my garden, with its clusters of pink peppercorns.   I’ve think I’ve read somewhere that the peppercorns are edible in moderation, but I’ve never been brave enough to try them.

Besides, they look great, just where they are …. especially after the rain, when the raindrops clinging to them are of similar size.

Raindrops on purple flower

I’m a huge fan of the colour purple, so this plant is a favourite, too, but until this morning I didn’t know what it was called.  Thanks to the power of the internet, and my lovely readers, Trish and Maggie I can now tell you that this is Hardenbergia comptoniana, a native of Australia.  This vigorous climbing plant has scrambled along a rocky ledge and entwined itself in one of the almond trees on the bank above the house.  Thanks for putting me out of my misery, ladies 🙂

I love the elegant arching purple flowers, which are even more beautiful after the rain.

Raindrops on lemon

My final photo for this month’s challenge is of the raindrops clinging to one of the fruits on the lemon tree.  I never fail to be delighted at being able to nip outside, at almost any time of year, and pluck a fragrant lemon from the tree.

So now it’s YOUR turn.

Don’t forget that the CBBH Photo Challenge is a little different from some other challenges, in two ways.  First, it’s only once a month – giving you lots of time to consider your entry before the end of the calendar month.  Second, and most important, this is a BLOG HOP (after all, it is the CBBH – Conejo Blanco Blog Hop, conejo blanco means white rabbit in Spanish), so DON’T FORGET that in your post you need to add links to two blogs that you have visited and commented on during the past month.  That way, when we visit each other, we can HOP OVER to your links, connect with others and share a little blog love around!

Conejo Blanco BLOG HOP Photo Challenge

My Featured Blog Links for this month:

*** Hola Yessica follows the adventures of Jessica who grew up in California, but now lives in beautiful Barcelona.  If you’re looking to discover the very best of what the Catalan capital has to offer, then Jessica’s your girl!  Her new video series, “My Barcelona” includes insights as to why football really is a religious experience in Barcelona and explores the fabulous street art around the city.

*** The best way to appreciate the culture of any area is through its food and its wine.  And nowhere is that truer than in Annie B’s Spanish Kitchen.  Annie shares the delights of living in Vejer de la Frontera in southern Spain, and offers  Spanish recipes and cooking tips.  You’ll love her easy chocolate and almond cake or, if you are looking for a delicious Moroccan dish, then try Annie’s Chickpea, Orange and Mint salad.   Mmmmm …. delicious!

Please HOP over and say HELLO to both of my featured links, and tell them Marianne sent you!

So that´s the CBBH Photo Challenge for March, folks.

Remember, all you have to do is post your entry by the end of the month, tag your entry ‘CBBH Photo Challenge’,  link back to this blog and, most importantlydon´t forget to add links to any two blogs that you´ve commented on during the past month, so that we can all HOP OVER and have a look.  Make sure you FOLLOW THIS BLOG so you don´t miss next month’s exciting challenge!

For more information on how the CBBH Photo Challenge works click here.

I hope everyone taking part enjoys the exposure the CBBH Photo Challenge offers to featured blogs and, who knows, you may end up finding a new favourite!  I´m looking forward to seeing your interpretations.

[CBBH logo Image credit: (cc) Mostly Dans]

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CBBH Photo Challenge: ACROSS THE ROOFTOPS

I put off using this challenge because of the spelling of the plural of the word ROOF.

When I was a girl back in England, the plural of roof was rooves.  Nowadays, whilst still being correct, it seems that rooves is considered archaic, with the preference being for roofs.  Whatever next?!

Anyway, however you say it, or spell it in your part of the world, the CBBH Challenge for February is the plural of the word ROOF!  

Looking across the rooftops in the village of Comares, Spain

We have some very pretty, and sturdy rooves in Spain.  You might remember that this is the view from the top of the village of Comares, looking across the rooftops.

Rooftops of Frigiliana, Spain

And here is the view across the rooftops of Frigiliana, with a photo taken from Calle Alta, the highest street in the village.  It’s a fabulous view!

Don’t forget that the CBBH Photo Challenge is a little different from some other challenges, in two ways.  First, it’s only once a month – giving you lots of time to consider your entry before the end of the calendar month.  Second, and most important, this is a BLOG HOP (after all, it is the CBBH – Conejo Blanco Blog Hop, meaning white rabbit in Spanish), so DON’T FORGET that in your post you need to add links to two blogs that you have visited and commented on during the past month.  That way, when we visit each other, we can HOP OVER to your links, connect with others and share a little blog love around!

Conejo Blanco BLOG HOP Photo Challenge

My Featured Blog Links for this month:

*** Dianne Gray is an Australian author and self-professed mosquito magnet, currently living in Queensland, Australia.  Last year Dianne moved a derelict  former Rugby Union club-house building to her farm and has transformed it.  I don’t know where she finds the energy!  OH … and if you ever wondered how cyclones or hurricanes are named – this is the woman to ask.

*** Every week I get messages from people (often in the US) asking about obtaining residency visas, taxes or healthcare.  Because I am English and originally lived in the UK, it was a relatively simple process for me to move to live in Spain, because I already lived within the European Union.  The Wagoner’s Abroad however, are an American family of four, currently living down the road, in the Spanish town of Almuñecar.  They’ve been through the process, and are in a much better position than I to tell you all about the lessons they’ve learned.

Please HOP over and say HELLO to both of my featured links, and tell them Marianne sent you!

So that´s the CBBH Photo Challenge for February, guys.

Remember, all you have to do is post your entry by the end of the month, tag your entry ‘CBBH Photo Challenge’,  link back to this blog and, most importantlydon´t forget to add links to any two blogs that you´ve commented on during the past month, so that we can all HOP OVER and have a look.  Make sure you FOLLOW THIS BLOG so you don´t miss next month’s exciting challenge!

For more information on how the CBBH Photo Challenge works click here.

I hope everyone taking part enjoys the exposure the CBBH Photo Challenge offers to featured blogs and, who knows, you may end up finding a new favourite!  I´m looking forward to seeing your interpretations.

[CBBH logo Image credit: (cc) Mostly Dans]

PS:  DO LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU CALL MORE THAN ONE ROOF, WONT YOU?

CBBH Photo Challenge: STREET ART

Street art in Malaga, Spain

In November, I featured some of the fabulous urban street art in the Soho district of Málaga – which proved to be a very popular post!

Since then, more murals have been commissioned by the city, including these two on the facade of the Colegio García Lorca.  The one the left is by British street artist D*Face whilst the other, (Peace and Liberty) comes from American contemporary street artist,  Shepard Fairey (aka OBEY).

There’s great street art in many cities around the world, so please share some with us in this month’s CBBH Photo Challenge: STREET ART.

Don’t forget that the CBBH Photo Challenge is a little different from some other challenges, in two ways.  First, it’s only once a month – giving you lots of time to consider your entry before the end of the calendar month.  Second, and most important, this is a BLOG HOP (after all, it is the CBBH – Conejo Blanco Blog Hop, meaning white rabbit in Spanish), so DON’T FORGET that in your post you need to add links to two blogs that you have visited and commented on during the past month.  That way, when we visit each other, we can HOP OVER to your links, connect with others and share a little blog love around!

Conejo Blanco BLOG HOP Photo Challenge

My Featured Blog Links for this month:

Casa Az provides an online scrapbook of daily events in the life the Queen of Tapas!  Canadian by birth, Shawn is a cancer survivor now living with her little friends in the Andalucían capital of Seville, where she conducts tapas tours for visitors to the city.

Caroline Angus Baker is a self-professed Duende-loving Kiwi novelist, commentator on modern and historical Spain and Spanish Civil War nerd, full of bullfighting praise.  She’s had a busy 2013, too!

I’d love to you pop along and say HOLA to both of these ladies.  Tell them Marianne sent you!

So that´s the CBBH Photo Challenge for January, everyone!

Remember, all you have to do is post your entry by the end of the month, tag your entry ‘CBBH Photo Challenge’,  link back to this blog and, most importantlydon´t forget to add links to any two blogs that you´ve commented on during the past month, so that we can all HOP OVER and have a look.  Make sure you FOLLOW THIS BLOG so you don´t miss next month´s exciting challenge!

For more information on how the CBBH Photo Challenge works click here.

I hope everyone taking part enjoys the exposure the CBBH Photo Challenge offers to featured blogs and, who knows, you may end up finding a new favourite!  I´m looking forward to seeing your interpretations.

[CBBH logo Image credit: (cc) Mostly Dans]

CBBH Photo Challenge: CURVES IN NATURE

The theme for this month’s CBBH Photo Challenge is CURVES IN NATURE.  Curved shapes in nature are all around us – animals and birds, trees and flowers, mountains, seas and skies.

Show me what you see.  Be creative.  Just be sure it’s a natural curve rather than man-made.  OOHHH …. and, have fun with it!

Don’t forget that the CBBH Photo Challenge is a little different from some other challenges, in two ways.  First, it’s only once a month – giving you lots of time to consider your entry before the end of the calendar month.  Second, and most important, this is a BLOG HOP (after all, it is the CBBH – Conejo Blanco Blog Hop, meaning white rabbit in Spanish), so DON’T FORGET that in your post you need to add links to two blogs that you have visited and commented on during the past month.  That way, when we visit each other, we can HOP OVER to your links, connect with others and share a little blog love around!

My CURVES IN NATURE come to you from New Zealand, where I was fortunate to spend seven glorious weeks during January and February 2013.  Without doubt, New Zealand is one of my favourite countries in the world.

Te Reinga, New Zealand

Right at the top of the North Island is Cape Reinga (or Te Rerenga Wairua in Maori), one of the most significant sites in New Zealand.  For Maori people, this is where a person’s spirit comes after death and departs for their eternal home.  The rocky point jutting out to sea is Te Reinga and, according to Maori legend, the place where the spirits of the newly departed enter the underworld.  Clinging to the rock, there is an ancient kahika tree, named Te Aroha.  The spirits descend to the water on steps formed by the tree’s roots and then continue their journey to Hawaiki, the spiritual homeland.  What a lovely idea – I like that, very much.

Te Rerenga Wairua also marks the point where the Tasman Sea collides with the Pacific Ocean, and often this division can be clearly seen in the colour and turbulence of the water.

IMG_6206

The Northland region is renowned for its beautiful beaches, secluded bays and accessible islands.   We found Langs Beach to be the ultimate destination for simple relaxation.   Gorgeous, isn’t it?

Dolphins in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand

These dolphins were just two of many surrounding our boat during a tour of the Bay of Islands.  They loved showing off, playing and jumping in the wake of the boat.  I have very happy memories of this day. 

Alfonsino fish, New Zealand

What do you make of this big-eyed Alfonsino fish displayed on crushed ice in the Fish Market in the up-and-coming trendy Wynyard Quarter on the Auckland waterfront?

Shell beach, New Zealand

Mount Maunganui is a dormant volcanic cone and focal point of the coastal Bay of Plenty.  As we followed the walking track around the base of the cone we came across a small bay and instead of sand, the surface was made entirely of multi-coloured shells.

Gorgeous tree and bark

The Sunday morning Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ market at Hastings was a real treat and this was where I bought some delicious cheeses and tasty bread for our picnic later in the day.  It was a glorious day and at one point I took shelter from the heat of the sun beneath this wonderful old tree.  It had such a great shape with a mottled trunk and branches.  I wonder how many years it has stood there?

I love travel!

Yes, I love to travel – and am lucky enough to have visited more than one quarter of all the countries in the world.  In fact, as this post is published I will be in Nuremberg, Germany for the wonderful Christmas markets 🙂

How many countries have you visited?  If I asked you to name one favourite – which would it be?

CBBH Blog Hop

My Featured Blog Links for this month:

*** Molly at Piccavey.com is a British expat blogger, living and writing about her adopted home city of Granada in Andalucía, Spain.  Many people are familiar with the Alhambra Palace or the free tapas on offer in Granada, but Molly offers practical information that you may not read in tourist guide books – from the perspective of someone who actually lives there.  If you are considering a visit to Granada, follow Molly’s advice if you want to buy tickets to see the Alhambra,  discover the difference between pintxos, tapas and raciones or find out the main festivites and most popular dates in Granada’s annual calendar.  

*** The Scribbler in Seville is a journalist, translator, teacher, wife and mother living in southern Spain.  Fiona writes with a passion about her home city of Seville as well as about Andalucia as a whole.  She recently told us about the olive oil producing region of Jaen, the fabulous ceramic tiles to be found around Seville and a gourmet hiking adventure aboard Mr Henderson’s Railway in the heart of Andalucía (parts of which were featured on a UK TV programme by Michael Portillo called Great Continental Railway journeys).

So that´s the CBBH Photo Challenge for December, guys!

Remember, all you have to do is post your entry by the end of the month, tag your entry ‘CBBH Photo Challenge’,  link back to this blog and, most importantlydon´t forget to add links to any two blogs that you´ve commented on during the past month, so that we can all HOP OVER and have a look.  Make sure you FOLLOW THIS BLOG so you don´t miss next month´s exciting challenge!

For more information on how the CBBH Photo Challenge works click here.

I hope everyone taking part enjoys the exposure the CBBH Photo Challenge offers to featured blogs and, who knows, you may end up finding a new favourite!  I´m looking forward to seeing your interpretations.

[CBBH logo Image credit: (cc) Mostly Dans]

CBBH Photo Challenge: LOOKING DOWN

We often look forward, left and right, lively or on the bright side – but how about trying a new perspective?

The theme for this month’s CBBH Photo Challenge is LOOKING DOWN.   Tell me what you see.

Don’t forget that the CBBH Photo Challenge is a little different from some other challenges, in two ways.  First, it’s only once a month – giving you lots of time to consider your entry before the end of the calendar month.  Secondand most important, this is a BLOG HOP (after all, it is the CBBH – Conejo Blanco Blog Hopmeaning white rabbit in Spanish), so DON’T FORGET that in your post you need to add links to two blogs that you have visited and commented on during the past month.  That way, when we visit each other, we can HOP OVER to your links, connect with others and share a little blog love around!

SPOILER: SCROLL DOWN FOR DETAILS OF HOW TO GET MY $25 THANK YOU GIFT – FOR EACH ONE OF YOU!

View of Sandeman's Bodega across the River Douro, Porto, Portugal

I’ve just returned home after spending ten days in Portugal, split between the cities of Porto and Lisbon, so my photos for this month’s CBBH Challenge are all from this trip.   The first photo was taken from the top of the Torre Dos Clérigos in Porto.  The views across the city are spectacular and here you can see the famous Sandeman Port Cellars on the other side of the River Douro.

Traditional transport for Port wine on the River Douro, Porto, Portugal

This was my view looking down from the iconic Dom Luis I bridge, spanning the River Douro.  Here you can see one of the rabelo boats – traditional Portugese cargo boats used for transporting goods and people along the river.  These boats do not not exist in any other place of the world and their history is closely linked to the production and trade of port wine.

Our train ride along the Douro Valley, Portugal

During my stay, I was fortunate to take a train ride into the Douro Valley wine region.  The Douro river route is surely one of the great European journeys, as well as being one of the most scenic – a 200 kilometre ride or stately cruise from Porto all the way to the Spanish border.  This was my view looking down the river.  Gorgeous, isn’t it?

Looking down the shaft of Elevador Sao Justa, Lisbon

After riding to the top, I got the chance to capture the view looking down the 45 metre shaft of the Elevador de Santa Justa, the only remaining vertical, urban lift in the city of Lisbon.  At one time steam-powered, the lift connects the lower streets of the Baixa district with the higher Largo do Carmo.

Statue of Christ keeping watch over Lisbon, Portugal

The Christ the King statue is a Catholic monument and shrine looking down over the city of Lisbon. Inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Cristo-Rei was erected to symbolize gratitude that the Portuguese were spared the effects of World War II.  

The moon shining bright

On my journey to northern Portugal, I was invited to stay with fellow expat blogger, Sue, of The Hidden Spain at her home in Alange, Extremadura.  Sue posts wonderful photos every day on her Twitter accountnot only of the spectacular view from her home, but also of Mr. Moon looking down on us all.  My camera is nowhere near as good as Sue’s, and all of my  previous attempts to capture this kind of image have failed.  However, she let me use her camera!  Just look at those craters on the moon!  Thanks Sue xx

My Featured Blog Links for this month:

*** Sandra Danby is a writer and journalist living in a secret valley in the heart of the Spanish countryside.  Her blog, Notes on a Spanish Valley paints a vivid picture with tales of her daily feast of nature, wildlife and food, surrounded by wild land, olive groves and forests of encima oak trees grazed by Iberian black pigs.  I love Sandra’s recipes including Spanish “bruschetta” for tea and sweet, home-grown stewed plums for breakfast.

Another great feature of each of the posts on Notes on a Spanish Valley is the “5 to remember” – five useful Spanish words associated with the post.  It’s always good to learn new Spanish words.  Why not hop over and say HOLA?!

*** I make no excuse for once again featuring Kivaa non-profit organization close to my heart, with a mission to connect people through lending, to alleviate poverty.  Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. Learn more about how it works.

Kiva gives you the chance to make small loans to borrowers working to start businesses and improve their lives. I’m already a Kiva lender and as a way of saying thank you for your support of my blog, I WOULD LIKE TO OFFER YOU A $25 FREE TRIAL.

To redeem your Free Trial all you have to do is CLICK THIS LINK and choose who to lend your money to – BUT HURRY – THERE IS A LIMITED NUMBER OF FREE TRIALS.  IT WON’T COST YOU A PENNY – I PROMISE!   Kiva will notify me if any of my readers take up a Free Trial, but I’d love you to still let me know in the Comment section, below.

TOGETHER, LET’S TRY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE THIS MONTH!

CBBH Blog Hop

So that´s the CBBH Photo Challenge for November, everyone!

Remember, all you have to do is post your entry by the end of the month, tag your entry ‘CBBH Photo Challenge’,  link back to this blog and, most importantlydon´t forget to add links to any two blogs that you´ve commented on during the past month, so that we can all HOP OVER and have a look.  Make sure you FOLLOW THIS BLOG so you don´t miss next month’s exciting challenge!

For more information on how the CBBH Photo Challenge works click here.

I hope everyone taking part enjoys the exposure the CBBH Photo Challenge offers to featured blogs and, who knows, you may end up finding a new favourite!  I´m looking forward to seeing your interpretations.

[CBBH logo Image credit: (cc) Mostly Dans]