FRAMED !!

Back in the MMC Challenge after quite a break and notice that Jithin has officially added a new twist.  Oh  larks … it is now confirmed that it is no longer only about :

mundane pictures of beautiful objects  but also 

beautiful pictures of mundane objects. 

The first was easy for me as my subject was  interesting enough  (for me at least 🙂 so photo ‘credits’  did not matter.   The second – framing things and getting it right  – now that is something else   😦  But I guess I can do with some photography lessons so here goes :

MMC Challenge FRAMED !!

FRAMED BY MMC CHALLENGE !!

A tongue in cheek FRAMED self portrait!!   I was actually trying to frame this soothing little corner in a hotel corridor but could not do it without getting in the picture myself.  And could not seem to get the full mirror in either 😦    using only a phone camera!

Any ideas on how to take such a picture without getting in the mirror  ??  short of being a ghost LOL 🙂

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Nature’s parachutes

hbhatnagar‘s picture of a seed pod last week, reminding me of a similar capture of mine -the same week ! – of a pod of a Stephanotis plant on my balcony.

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The parachute-like seeds are natures strategy for dispersal.  They float in the wind, land on soft ground and take root.   Man-made parachutes and most of man’s inventions – even the air-plane, have  all their design inspiration from nature.

Hope you enjoy these pictures.  I could not get the angles I wanted because the seeds kept spilling out each time I moved the plant for a better view.

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Close up – Stephanotis pod and Nature’s parachute.

Posting in response to Jithin’s Mundane Monday challenge to find beauty in the mundane .. and  ..to make the mundane beautiful.

Posted for Mudane Monday Challenge hosted by Jithin.

Olde Ceylon

This Demolition squad caught my eye … though quite a few of them had moved away by the time I plucked up courage to click in front of them!

Walls demolition squad

The building is right next to President’s House where I was waiting to pick him up.  I don’t know why you don’t believe me? Maybe because  I wasn’t there to meet him  🙂 though I wonder if he would have let me drive him if I was.  I mean,  he has opened up the street to the common man and we can actually drive past his gate now. Not possible for many years with the security situation, but possible since he took office.

These  workmen are probably refurbishing in preparation for business moving back into the street – formerly called Prince Street but changed in a frenzy of patriotic post independence fervour to Sir Baron Jayatilleke Mawatha: quite a few mouthful when you have to give directions.

Many buildings are being restored to former glory under a programme which commenced at the end of the civil war. “Glory’ not in terms of modern day marvels of chrome and glass but rather  of historical and cultural glory for these buildings from our colonial past have a charm and character of their own.

Posted in response to Trabloggers MM challenge to find beauty around you.  His last post was on ‘interesting walls’ and this fits in quite well.

A doctor can bury his mistakes

but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines!  (Frank Lloyd Wright, Americas famous architect.)

Hamad Airport Doha 9 Jun 2015
No vines were visible at the new Hamad International Airport in Doha.  The lighting and minimal use of colour, the absence of extraneous fittings and accessories – except in the ‘activity areas’ – emphasise the architects pride in his work which needs no adornment. It certainly was very striking and is my response to Angles challenge of Photrablogger – along with the contrastingly humdrum ‘Angles of my Abode’ … and a little visitor who turns mundane into beautiful.   Angles and birds

 Maybe I’ll grow some vines when she leaves 🙂

Quiet time

Rest is not idleness,

and to lie sometimes on the grass, under trees on a summers day, 

Listening to the murmur of the water, or watching clouds float across the sky, 

is by no means a waste of time.”   John Luddoc

But is a great way to start  – or wind down  a Mundane Monday   🙂   And it gets better when you have company  ….

Attidiya Lake        Quiet time

So quiet time for two 🙂

Chantilly lace

Bricks is the theme of Photrablogger’s MM Challenge #12 and I thought these will fit in well for photos on brickwork.

Palazzo Ducale

Section of wall Old Square Mantua

The first picture is a close up of a wall on one side of the Old Square in Mantova, (Italy) which has been listed as a UNESCO heritage site.  I think the pattern of white stone on the wall of Palazzo Ducale, which dates back to the 15th Century, gives it an enchanting ‘lacey’ look … like Chantilly lace on brick !!!

Palazzo Ducale, Mantua, Lombardy

A bigger expanse – more white motifs and more enchantment. A pattern of small hollow squares (like dents) is visible but these are too ordered to be bricks that have fallen out. It may be due to restoration work- if you look closely you can see where  windows appear to have been walled up. In a way it adds to the character and charm.

The small angular buttresses on roof are duplicated on walls on the opposite side of the square – see below. The entire square may have been part of the Palace  (I need to read the guidebook).  Perhaps the different designs represent different quarters. The white insets are visible in a more frugal way on one wall.  You can see that repairs  have been carried out where the pattern is interrupted.    And note that the other wall  is pure brick – with no aesthetic extras. The chimney indicates it may have been the kitchen area … elementary my dear Watson 🙂

And now the bigger picture contrasting old with adjoining new, ochre wall with blue windows . Old and new blend so seamlessly.

Palazzo Ducale, 15th Century

A toast to buildings that stand the test of time .

Postcript :  We had travelled to Mantova  frtom Milan o meet Rev. Sr. Teresina – Professor of Christology at my faculty in Sri Lanka, who travelled from Carpi, to meet halfway in this entrancing city.  I took this whilst enjoying a delicious Italian meal with famous Italian wine in celebration of our meeting after five years.

I had initially ‘cropped’ our table from the picture to focus only on brickwork. On second thoughts however, I kept in the bottle of wine, for a building this beautiful and this enduring, surely deserves a toast.

So, a toast to buildings with workmanship and materials that endure …  and a toast likewise to enduring friendships.

Cheers 🙂

Magnifico Milan !

I’ve had an anything but mundane two weeks in Prague, Turin, Milan and environs.

With so much rich art, culture, heritage and beauty around, I was hard pressed both in time and opportunity to find anything  to meet Photrabloggers challenge.  Since I was clicking away like crazy, I was surprised that nothing seemed to fit the challenge so I decided to google Mundane.

OK .. .. here it is … ” Mundane  –  routine, ordinary, everyday, run-of-the mill, customary  …. earthy, material,  non-spiritual.

No wonder then I found it difficult.  The last two weeks was anything but run of the mill.  Definitely not my routine everyday experience, and definitely (many times over) not not-spiritual !!  I mean .. those magnificent churches, castles, architecture, works of art by Renaissance masters that transcend everyday terrestrial experiences.  New faces, new people, new cultures  .. all novel and unique. Nothing mundane for me there 🙂

But I had missed two challenges so decided that perhaps the apartments I saw daily in the last week would bring in the ‘routine’ element for mundane.  Even though I found them fascinating … wondering at the type of lifestyle the Milanese lived behind them – they could probably pass the test for mundane everyday living so here I go :

View from our bedroom window :

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Some apartments on the street in the Primaticcio District of Milan where we stayed :

I do not like to be around high rise buildings but these seemed different.  Multi-storied but not high rise! There were plenty of open spaces in between, with parks, gardens and playing fields

Basketball  and soccer court

Basketball and soccer court. The older kids played basketball whilst the small ones played soccer between their legs. Wish I had taken a photo .. so busy looking on!!!

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Church and open court yard. Buildings and shops all around. We stayed in the orange building behind the Church Steeple.

And I found that the Milanese like to have flowers and plants even in apartments –  or beautiful gardens to look down on. Their view will change with the seasons. Mundane and beautiful !!!!

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Fragrant plants are everywhere giving off a heady perfume into the atmosphere !!

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I doubt I would like to live in Milan  … it’s not what I am used to.  I need to come down to earth – literally 🙂 from high rise buildings and works of art that take you to dizzy heights.   But with its heritage and art, Da Vinci’s Last Supper,  and its Duomo amongst many others,

Milan is magnifico !!! 

And I could not just give you one mundane picture 🙂  even though I tried !!!

Shifting Street Scene

A street scene is never the same with vehicles, people and all types of traffic constantly moving through.

I captured these one morning  – of ‘walkers’ focusing on their health; trishaws ‘tuk-tuk-ing’ on way to a hire, cars whizzing past tooting exercise addicts off the road, bicycles;  bread-vans by which you can set your clock … all changing scenes of our busy street.   Made for an interesting half hour inspired by challenge of Mundane Monday.

However I could not wait for the buffaloes  (Yes … they traverse our road too  each morning on their way to the remaining piece of wetland, and return when the sun sets.

I could not also keep vigil for the 8 ft crocodile that resides in the lake (visible in the background). Mr. Croc tends to float downstream around 2.00 pm.  You  know when he is around because everyone stops to look at him. I too stop almost every time … always marvelling at how he glides through so silently and stealthily with  body partly submerged. Absolutely no ripples to warn of his presence!!

And in case you are wondering, the lake has been fenced off.  Long tale of our fundamental rights action to have fence removed when the lake and wetland was leased to a private company and environment degraded. We won the case but the government deviously moved war veterans into the ‘island’ that had been created – knowing that was one ‘fight’ we would drop: you can’t argue for the environment against those who have risked their lives for the country.

So we live with the fence .. 😦