Tones on Tuesdays: The river and the city

Scattered Horizons

Guess who’s back!?! Who else but moi,the Missus! Lol.
I’ve been busy for a while having snagged another short term consultancy. Already, I rushed a proposal for a communications campaign for an international conservation organisation here in Cambodia. Not counting the face to face meetings, that document was done in a matter of two days and one night (2D1N), well, an all-nighter, more likely. But I’m glad it’s over and done with and we’re anxiously waiting for a feedback.

Now that I’m back to blogging, here’s my entry for Tones on Tuesday. This was originally a photo shot in a daytime exposure. I played with it using the fuss-free Picasa and here’s what I came up with. It shows the view of the the Tonle Sap river and the capital Phnom Penh.

tones on tuesday tonle sap and the city

If you click the photo you will see a bigger version of this. Across the river, a little to the left side in the middleground, the structure with pointed spires in yellow, is the Royal Palace.  To the right, with a darker yellow-orangeish building is the Wat Ounalom. At night, it is a different sight to see. At the foreground are residential houses. This photo was taken by my husband on top of a tall building on the Chrroy Changvar Peninsula.

I hope you’ll like the photo. As an aside, I’d like to say thank you to Emily over at Scattered Horizons for showcasing my last week’s Tones on Tuesdays entry. It was a pleasant surprise and it truly made my day!

Now I’m done with this yet I still have a crisis to attend to. An appliance crisis, that is. My oven doesn’t get hot enough and so my pies and breads have been failures lately. I have to phone the previous appliance repair guy again. He was the only one who was able to solve my “oven problem”. At first I raised an eyebrow at him because when he first came here, he was armed with a toothbrush! But that toothbrush solved the problem, lol. So I’m giving him a call again. Ta-ta.

Tones on Tuesday: Temple guardians

Scattered Horizons

This mean-looking statue is that of two dvarapala, or  temple guards. They are usually seen at the entrance of Buddhist temples in Cambodia, fierce-looking and sometimes with a weapon.

tones on tuesday dvarapalas
Instead of weapons, these two are holding the body of a naga, the mythical seven-headed serpent that is believed to inhabit the Mighty Mekong River.

I posted a story over here – Inside Cambodia – and you can also find the original photo of the above there.

Tones on Tuesday: Empty

Scattered Horizons

I took this yesterday, on the second day of the Khmer New Year.

tones on tuesday empty

This is the third time we are celebrating the new year this year. First was the International New Year, followed by the Chinese New Year, and now the Khmer New Year. With three celebrations in one year, it should be all good, right?

Sure hope so.

The Khmer New Year is one of the merriest, if not the merriest holidays in Cambodia. The celebration is three days long (officially) but the locals who reside in Phnom Penh start going to their hometowns weeks before that to be with their families and relatives. Most expats also take this opportunity to go outside the city or overseas. Which is why, the city is almost empty during the three-day holiday.  But for us who opted to stay put, we enjoy the peace and quiet. Over the years, as Phnom Penh develops, so does its traffic problem, and it’s actually a nice time, a welcome relief to be in the city during the Khmer New Year.

Tones on Tuesday: Morning mist

Scattered Horizons

This picture first appeared here.

I decided to play again with the tones for this week’s meme and achieved this:

tones on tuesday the view from wat prasith

I’m pretty much pleased with the result. I think it looks much better than the original. What do you think? Do you agree with me?

Tones on Tuesday: Buddhist shrine on a hill

Scattered Horizons

I was blog-hopping earlier today and came across the meme Tones on Tuesday which I find very interesting. For one, I like tweaking my photos to improve them. I love atmospheric images. I love the play of shadows and lights, and how it changes and work together (or against). It adds more drama and texture to the picture, invoking a whole new different emotion than it’s original form.

So yeah, count me in, please. I’ll try my best to be at par with the quality of other participants’ entries. I hope new friends will find me here 🙂 And this is my first entry:

tones on tuesday phnom oudong

This photo was taken in one of the road trips my husband and I did last month. It’s summer in Cambodia and the once green flatland is now transformed into a yellow land as far as the eye can see. Harvest season is over. And that means leaving the land to fallow and wait for the rain to prepare for the next planting season.

As the summer season here is notoriously hot, everything green turned yellow or brown. The whole Kingdom is enveloped in red dust at the slightest excuse. It is dry and arid, and no one dares go out for a trip, except for this two crazy barangs (foreigners).

The hill is called Phnom Oudong in Oudong district, some 50kms. distance from the capital Phnom Penh. It used to be the capital of ancient Cambodia and now a religions shrine where the precious Buddhist relics and remains of the mightly Khmer Kings are said to have been laid to rest there. Those pointed towers reaching out to the sky are stupas, a dome-like structure that contains the King’s remains. The grand stupa at the centre, the top-most one, is where the Buddha relics are kept.

Vamos, a campeon!

And when Rafa is taking a bath…

… the whole world is watching! Lol.

This was actually a photo Rafa posted on his Facebook account just after he won the Indian Wells Tournament.

Eres el mejor, Rafa! Photo Source: Rafa Nadal’s Facebook Page

Two thumbs up and a cheeky grin from our campeon! Vamos!

Outdoor Wednesday 008: Mosque

I’ve been away for far too long, sorry. I blame the weather for my lack of posts. The scorching heat of summer is making me lethargic. All I want is to be in an air-conditioned room and chill. No, I don’t turn my room aircon all the time. So I go to one of those air-conditioned coffee shops and do some stuff. Like exploring this  free online graphic design software which I could not finish if I just stay at home. It’s because we have powercuts daily, hahaha. Oh, the dilemma.

When the power cut occurs on weekends, that’s when my husband and I go out for a drive. Just a leisurely drive without a particular destination in mind. It’s nice to be out of the house once in a while and enjoy the sun and the breeze. And the lovely sights, too.

khmer mosque
This is one of the many mosques we saw while driving along National Road number 5.

Outdoor Wednesday 007: A shrine on top of a hill

Last week I posted a picture of our kite-flying activity just outside of Phnom Penh. Before flying kites, we were feeling a bit like Indiana Jones and Lara Croft so we drove around Wat Phnom Prasith first. Armed with nothing but our sense of adventure we drove and turned when we saw a marker. Even if we could not read the Khmer text, we followed the sign and drove up the hill of Phnom Prasith and — lo and behold – the view that greeted us was fantastic. Look at this:

 outdoor wednesday shrine on a hill

It’s such a fantastic sight, taken early in the morning. The shrine just sits there amidst the greeneries and pompom-like palm trees as far as the eyes can see.  It was such a lovely day.

Outdoor Wednesday 006: Kite-flying

Yes, we did just that over the weekend. The whole city was celebrating the Chinese New Year and my husband and I wanted to escape the city just for a day. We had nothing else to do and I, particularly, wanted to go out since I’ve been working on several images of business cards commissioned by a friend.

My husband didn’t need a lot of convincing. We picked up my younger brother and headed north-west of the city, driving through national road number 5. The main road was nice and paved but when we turned to a smaller road it became more challenging.

We were looking for a wat (temple) that sits on a hill and, not long after, we found the place. We went temple-hunting and weren’t disappointed. See pictures here.

Afterwards, we located a place that was deal for flying a kite. It was a vacant field, punctuated by palm trees and bamboo shrubs as far as the eye can see. In the background, we could hear the chants from a nearby wat. Across the lot was a huge mango orchard. It was around 11am, the sun was already high. Here my younger brother and husband were waiting for the wind to pick up to launch the kite.

outdoor wednesday
It was hot and there was not enough wind to fly the kite higher. Nevertheless, we had fun and enjoyed the change of scenery.

Sorry for the absence of updates

I’m fretting at the moment. Actually, it started a few weeks ago when I tried to update my blog theme. At the end of the year, I wanted to have a fresh, new theme and customise some more. Being a noob, I followed a tutorial I found online and was actually happy about my progress but… after I hit save in the editor, there was an error and everything in the blog was a mess!

So I frantically search and search for ways to trouble shoot this error and when I couldn’t find any, I just reverted back to this template.  I think I’ll have to shelve my plan till I find, and tested first, a theme that suits my taste.

Now I’m scouring sites to find free themes. There are actually a lot of free themes and I get overwhelmed at the choices. Good luck to me. And while I do the searching, I have this mantra in mind:

Keep Calm and Vamos
Image via Babolat FB Page

My freaking out over a theme has made me forgot about the return of Rafa to tennis. He is currently in Chile for the Vina del Mar tournament. The media was in frenzy the moment Rafa stepped out of the plane and set foot on Chilean soil. They still are and they’re following every move Rafa makes. Oh, my. How I missed this boy! For sure millions of other fans do, too. I mean, it’s not a surprise, isn’t it? Rafa is one of the most beloved tennis player on the tour. Not only because of the kind of tennis he plays, but also because of how he is as a person outside the tennis court.

Okay, enough of the drama. I will go back to finding a theme now and hopefully when you come back I already have a new blog look. Wish me luck!