Weekly Photo Challenge: Relax

I have put together three images of relaxing.

Firstly, here we have a biker relaxing.


biker relaxing

This week’s challenge is Relax (click the link for other interpretations).

Secondly, an old photo from a couple of summers ago of three old men relaxing in the waves at Qobuleti on the Black Sea Coast.

Old men and the Sea

The Old Men and The Sea

Finally, a dog and his pup relaxing on the stone steps of an old church.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Weight(less)

Here you can see other responses to the challenge : Weight(less)
One I particularly like is: Weight(less)

I have a few photos for this. The first is of a youth jumping from a pier into the Black Sea at Qobuleti. The photo freezes him at the peak of his trajectory.

High Jump

Jumping from the pier at Qobuleti


The second picture is also at Qobuleti, where paragliding is popular.


higher and higher

The third picture is on self timer, a picture of me trying to juggle four balls, a feat which soon succumbs to the pull of gravity.

juggling with ana 064

Me juggling

The final photo is of some red balloons floating in a blue sky, an image that recalls a Miro painting.


balloons after Miro

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy Place “The Sea”

I don’t have one specific “happy place” but I love being by the sea, or even in the sea. As a child I was excited on car journeys when we could finally see the sea. The sea has always had a magical allure. I lived by the sea at university in Aberystwyth then again when I was in Australia in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. Now I live far from the sea (around 300km), and I miss it greatly. Our last trip to the beach was at the end of August to Qobuleti (Georgia) on the Black Sea.

in the Black Sea at Qobuleti

In the Black Sea at Qobuleti

standing on my hands in the sea

standing on my hands in the sea

Pablo Neruda, the Chilean poet and nobel laureate, wrote lovingly about the sea.

El Mar by Pablo Neruda

NECESITO del mar porque me enseña:
no sé si aprendo música o conciencia:
no sé si es ola sola o ser profundo
o sólo ronca voz o deslumbrante
suposición de peces y navios.
El hecho es que hasta cuando estoy dormido
de algún modo magnético circulo
en la universidad del oleaje.

The Sea (English translation…it is better in the original Spanish)

I need the sea because it teaches me:
I don’t know if I learn music or consciousness:
I don’t know if it’s a single wave or deep depth
or a hoarse voice or a shining
suggestion of ships and fish.
The fact is that even when I’m asleep
in some magnetic mode I move
in the university of waves.

Other interpretations of the challenge can be viewed here: Happy Place

Seems KG who I’m following also loves beaches: Happy Place (KG)

Did You Miss Me?

Did you miss me?

Did you even notice I was gone?

I have spent two weeks away from the Internet, as someone who wakes up and logs on, gets home and logs on and regularly sees their life frittering away on Facebook and other Internet sites, this was quite a feat.



I went to Kobuleti, a Black Sea resort in Ajara, Western Georgia. I purposely left my electronic notebook at home and avoided Internet Cafes.

"Bounce" on Nokia phone

“Bounce” on Nokia phone

At first I was a little bored, I even played the games on my very basic Nokia; no smartphone it only has three games Snake, Beach Rally and Bounce. That didn’t entertain me for long. I went to the beach and made towers of pebbles…a kind of stone age entertainment.

Pebble Tower, Kobuleti Beach

Pebble Tower, Kobuleti Beach

I took four books in English and read all four, I had to slow down on the last because I didn’t want to be deprived of reading matter. I also took three books in Georgian and managed to get through a simple biography of the Georgian painter Pirosmani, with my wife’s help.

Holiday reading. 4 books in Englsih...read. Three books in Georgian...read the biography of Pirosmani.

Holiday reading. 4 books in Englsih…read. Three books in Georgian…read the biography of Pirosmani.

Reading about Pirosmani on the beach in Gerogian

Reading about Pirosmani on the beach in Gerogian

I took a sketch pad with high hopes of doing some drawing but all I managed were a few biro sketches in a little notebook.

sketches in biro

sketches in biro

Without the Internet, I wrote no blog posts and kept a physical (pen and paper) diary….I have a few ideas for blog posts from my trip (starting with this one).

Diary, Coca Cola and a collection of Galaktion Tabidze's poems at a beachside bar.

Diary, Coca Cola and a collection of Galaktion Tabidze’s poems at a beachside bar.

Facebook informs me:

“123 friends posted on your Timeline for your birthday.”

Facebook doesn’t inform me how I can see these messages.

I also came back to 93 notifications and 9 messages, my camera had 1309 photos, which I’m still sifting through. I didn’t hear any football results and was completely oblivious to world news events. It was weird.

The days were a routine of swim in the sea, relax on the beach, lunch, siesta, swim in the sea again, evening meal then a promenade along the beachfront. There were a few breaks from this routine, a visit to the neighbouring resort of Batumi and its botanical garden and an invitation to a Georgian feast (სუფრა) in the countryside at Ozurgeti. One day it rained and then there was nothing to do, except shelter in the guest house and read or chat.

When it rains in Kobuleti options are severly limited.

When it rains in Kobuleti options are severely limited.

Will the experiment change my Internet habits? We shall see. I should reduce my Facebook activity as most of it is doing very little to develop me as a person. I didn’t miss the Internet as much as I had imagined I would, there were times reading that I wanted to Google something,  like a picture of a 1938 Panhard Dynamic when reading Alan Furst’s “Mission to Paris” and I wanted to find more out about the Dominican Republic and the dictator Trujillo when reading “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz (that was the last of my books in English and I took my time, it was worth savouring…I have four or five book reviews to write up in the coming days). Would I do it again? Maybe for a week or two, but I don’t envision quitting the Internet forever.