Kaleidoscope view of a week celebrating the ordinary

At the start of Marie’s challenge, I realised that I was in danger of finding far too many images which I would be unable to resist sharing.  And that turned out to be absolutely the case.  Living and working in Myanmar means that I am surrounded by everyday, ordinary extraordinary sights, and the chance to share the celebration of these was a gift of a challenge.

I knew within the first day or so that I would struggle to select images, and had in my mind to have a follow up post with the images which did not make the final cut. And this is that post.  It is a bit of a mish mash but that really says it all.  I have a kaleidoscope impression of the images which struck me, and that will be reflected in this kaleidoscope post.  All the more so, because I have deliberately kept these in the order which they were taken, they are not in groups of “like” or similar photos.

As I got up for my dawn swim in day one of the challenge, slipped on my swimsuit and clothes to head out to the pool, something caught the corner of my eye even before I left the bathroom.  At the top of the window, hiding between the outside slats, was a little gecko.  Just one side was visible, and his front and rear legs on one side peeping out from the slats.  A clear omen for the week!  A gecko, pointing the way for a week of pictures.

You can just see him, peeking out near the top of the window..

The morning after taking the picture with the brush lying beside our front door, I saw this brush seller on our lane.  He also feather dusters made of chicken feathers.

And only a few yards further down is one of my favourite sights.  There are a number of mysterious, overgrown gardens, not currently inhabited.  I love to imagine what is behind the gate, and how exciting it would be to explore these “secret gardens” and find myself transported to the world of Frances Hodgson Burnett and childhood reading memories.

Later on, my eye is caught by the traditional dishes in a local restaurant, the food bursting with flavour and freshness.

As the week progressed, I was out of town one of the days and could not resist the beautiful everyday scenes all around me.  Such as the water buffalo grazing beside the paddy fields…

The picturesque waterways and traditional wooden boats.

And the simple sight of the curtain knotted, to allow the light in.

Locally produced vegetables drying in the sun.

The houses, built from timber, with raised walkways to allow for the rising waters.

Boys playing chinlon as the day closes.

A barefoot monk, standing under his maroon umbrella.

More traditional homes

A local stall.

Standing room only at a busy junction.

The ubiquqitous umbrella pot, with its ever changing assortment of umbrellas – essential in this climate!

These stands with drinking water are also available everywhere.  Another essential in this climate.

After the great interest in the humble tiffin box, I could not resist taking this photograph of these young women heading home with their tiffin pots.

And the following pics show the regular transportation.  There are many tiffin boxes here too, as passengers use one hand to hold on and the other to carry their lunch!

And towards the end of the week, another trader stops at this gate to sell bananas through the railings.

What an extraordinary week, and how wonderful is the ordinary.

Day 7 Saturday – celebrating the ordinary, every day

It was Saturday.  Saturday marked the final day of Marie’s challenge to celebrate the ordinary.  Saturday is also the day to see to those tasks which cannot be taken care of in the busy work week.

One of those tasks is to stock up on supermarket essentials.  The rains had abated somewhat, although the sky was still heavy, so I decided to walk there.  It is a pleasant walk, through the Golden Valley area.  I made sure I had my camera in my pocket but I had little idea of what to capture for the day’s challenge. I did know, however, that I would not be short of inspiration or material.

I had only been walking for a short time, when my eye caught a magical sight at the roadside.  A dawn downpour had left its mark in the leaves in the hedgerow.  Each leaf was shaped like a little vessel and contained a miniature pool of clear monsoon water.

The perfect image for celebrating the ordinary – what can be more ordinary than leaves and water?

I did feel somewhat self conscious, bent over and photographing what must have looked like nothing in particular to the occasional passers by.  Especially when I moved closer in, attempting to capture the glint of light in the captured drop.

Simple, ordinary, vital and worthy of celebration.

Post Script:

My attempts to post Saturday’s image were sabotaged by consistent internet evaporation, hence the delay in posting this.

On Sunday, I realised that I was still walking around on the lookout for images.  Which is not so different from my usual state, but definitely heightened.  This week I have captured a wide range of images in number as well as in how they represent celebration of the ordinary.  It is my intent to post the images which did not quite “make the cut” in a few day’s time with some reflections of the challenge.  In the meantime, here is Marie’s overview of the week in its wonder, synchronicity and inspiration.

Day 2 Celebrating the ordinary – Monday’s choice

This truly is an awesome challenge!  In so many ways

It is awesome because I am enjoying it so much.  It is awesome because it is so all encompassing.  My goodness, this is going to be a less than gentle re-introduction for Marie, I do believe!  Already I am losing track of all of the wonderful images, and the beautiful stories behind them.

It is also awesome because I get to share some of the innumerable everyday gems which I treasure, living and working here in Myanmar.

So this morning, I made sure that I had the camera with me when I got up at 5.30 am to get ready for my swim.  I love my walk to the place I swim, and I knew that there would be no shortage of ordinary wonders.  Little did I know that the snapping would start even before I was fully dressed!  That image is not the one I will share today though.  As expected, there were plenty of moments and impressions that took my interest.  By the time I had left home, walked to and from the pool and eventually arrived at work, there were a silly number of images to choose from.  i soon realised that I would indeed be struggling to select just one for the day. (I have a plan in mind for those photos which will not make the daily “cut”, but I will share that later).

I did finally manage to select just one – and this is what I have chosen for my Monday picture.

This was the scene at my front door as I left for the pool this morning.  One of the first tasks of the day here is the sweeping up of leaves, dust (in the dry season) and generally tidying up.  It is kind of ritual cleansing, so that the day starts fresh and clean.  The brushes used are traditional, and give a gentle “swish, swish” sound as the sweeping is done.  The brush was resting against one of the plants, mid way through its sweeping work.

A simple, ordinary, daily sight.  And one to celebrate.

Celebrating the ordinary – Sunday’s starter

As I posted yesterday, Marie of Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer, is marking a return to blogging with the following challenge:

For one week, starting Sunday, I would love for you to join me………  it’s about celebrating the ordinary simple things we can sometimes take for granted each day.   So, will you join me in finding one thing each day to take a picture of to remind us of the simple ordinary pleasures in life? If you have a blog, then please post the picture and leave a link here.  And if you don’t have a blog, you can still join in on Facebook. Just upload your pic to the JBBC Facebook page where I will also be posting everyone’s pictures.  Looking forward to seeing your contributions!

Irresistible!  I was already in the midst of preparing a post, which would herald a new aspect to my own blog – I guess I could call it the Background Image Backstory?  So to start the week of celebration of the ordinary, I am using the image I was poised to share and describe, the image which was the first background image on my New Look Blog.

This is a photograph which I actually took during my Christmas break, in 2010 in Ngwe Saung, on the western coast of Myanmar.  I was fascinated by the patterns appearing on the sand, and ended up taking a number of photographs of the various designs and patterns.  This image is of a design left in the sand as the tide went out.  These incredible designs were everywhere, all I had to do was open my eyes and celebrate them in their extraordinary simple sophistication.

It may come as no surprise that I photographed very many of these various images, including the patterns left by burrowing tiny crabs and doodles by sand slugs.  There is a full album of these on my sister blog, where I post photographs of my life here, and another album of that Christmas break in black and white images.

As the week of this challenge progresses, I will be sharing images, new shots and some from my archive, to celebrate the ordinary.  The biggest challenge is only selecting one each day for only a week!