I tend to have a somewhat sheltered view of the world. Even though I have travelled to Oslo, Norway on business more times than I want to count, I don’t venture out to see the sights. I arrive, attend meetings, leave. So even when I am physically traveling to a place, I am not “experiencing” it.

On a recent trip to Oslo, my husband decided to join. I was forced to step up my game in regards to the sights, sounds and tastes of Oslo. One of the places he wanted to see was the Nobel Peace Center. The timing was amazing with the dried roses covering the front walkway in memory of the victims of recent bombings and shootings in Norway’s capital area.

Although the center is a sobering place, I felt a glimmer of optimism. There are many people around the world accomplishing a great deal in the area of peace. And these are just the folks being recognized by the Nobel Committee. Although great work is being done, the world community seems to have an inexhaustible capacity for violence and the weakest members are at the highest risk.

There was a large photographic display that showed all the active conflicts around world and the resulting suffering of the displaced people. But, if you looked closely at many of the faces, there was resistance, strength and a strong will. Maybe you could say a glimmer of hope. Was it a trick of the camera? Possibly. But I left feeling that I had been enlightened.

Cabin life – Relax day 1

As with anything, life is what you make it. Cabin days are no different. All the ingredients are here to have a great time, but you have to put that final ounce of effort in to truly enjoy it.

Day one was fantastic and in a way, a new experience for me. It was quiet. No hustle and bustle of multiple children’s activities, (although my daughter can talk up a storm and make herself sound like a pack of kids). No tee times to rush off to. No real agenda’s to follow other than pick up your stuff and get out of the sprinkle from the passing thunder-storm, silly.

It was a good day to read. Without so many distractions, I could pay attention to some of the heavier non-fiction I brought with me. And work on my sun-tan at the same time. I know the suns rays are harmful, but I have always loved the warm glow of bronzed skin.  Months from now, when I look at myself I will be transported back to these cabin days. No matter what kind of situation I find myself in, like pouring down with rain, dark and cloudy. (Although the weather yesterday in White Rock was 14 degrees C and rainy, maybe the fall will be beautiful and sunny).

There is a peacefulness that I feel when I can poke around with my camera and look at things in a different way. Or even look at things that I had not noticed before. It may sound strange, but this kind of day ranks very high and may be one of the best for me. Almost a re-charge which I find absolutely necessary in this rather hectic life I tend to live.

Changing the past

I have learned how to use a feature in Photoshop Elements and things are never going to be the same again!

I was always one of those photographers that kind of turned her nose to all that new fangled photo editing. As you can imagine, I was very late to switch from film as well. It always kind of irked me that other people would get such glowing compliments for photos they actually did not take! Once they fiddled around with it, the shot did look amazing, but that was not the light that we had that day, I was there! (Still a sore spot about some photos taken in Hawaii, but I digress.)

So my problem turns out to be that I just didn’t realize how easy it is to use the software and get such good results! For this shot taken in Cabo of my daughter on the beach, I always wished the boat motor was not there. Well today I suddenly thought, I know how to take it away! (My husband is going to wish he never showed me how to use that feature.)

Now if I could just figure out how to make all other kinds of unwanted stuff disappear with a few clicks of a mouse….

Some favourite things

In no particular order:

  • Strongbow – if you have not tried this, it should be on your list this summer. A dry cider that is evidently the world’s best-selling since 1962. Another reason I like this is the link between Canada and the UK. If you ask for a Strongbow in many parts of the USA, you get the same reaction as if you asked for a plane ticket to Mars. But all over Europe, even in Norway, the bars stock it.
  • Summer – can’t beat it, the heat that finally arrives after a long winter and the variable weather from Spring time. The promise of long, lazy days, and endless activities enjoyed outside.
  • Movies – comedies to lift your spirit, drama to wake your soul and even a little horror to make you remember how good you have it.
  • Reading – closely related to movies, but even more important to me. I can lose myself in a book, travel to places and times with my imagination that makes my life really fantastic.
  • Truffles – they have a smell that is subtle and strong at the same time. Exotic and captivating, the taste can transform all your senses. A little well placed truffle olive oil can make a good dish – extraordinary.
  • Babies – other people’s babies and the smell right out of the bath of their lovely little heads. I can still remember my kids, but they are into sports now and smell nothing like a baby anymore.
  • Sunsets – particularly over the water and near a beach. Somehow the most relaxing and awe-inspiring experience to behold.
  • Photographs – of all types. I should have studied this art form. It has precise, almost scientific elements mixed with whimsy and qualities that are pleasing when you see them and hard to describe what is missing, when you don’t.