Tuesday, October 28, 2008

erratic blogging

Hi, I am shocked to see that it is almost 3 weeks since I last posted, I don't know where my life is rushing off to, but I feel like I am trailing behind! One thing that has been happening is the arrival of our son, his fiance and their daughter from Sudan, along with friends and family from around the world, and they are getting married on Friday. So we are having a great time getting to know the visitors and showing them around, and of course it is wonderful to see the kids again.

It is SOOO great getting to know our granddaughter, who was a pink blob the last time we saw her, and is now an amazing little person with a strong will and delightful nature.

On Saturday we went off to the much anticipated airshow, and had a great day of ooohing and aaahing over the aerial antics, while simultaneously keeping an eye on energetic grandchildren at ground level, and getting pretty sunburnt and wind buffetted into the bargain.

Last week I went out with the plein air painting group, and had a fabulous time ferretting around in a steam train graveyard, I took enough photos to fill a blog for months! So as usual, I emerge from the whirlwind, wondering where to start when it comes to posting photos.
Perhaps I should start with one or two of each of these events, and then if time permits, I will enlarge on them later.

The airshow was great fun. Even the little Miss Millie was fascinated by the helicopter display. Since she lives near a runway in a war zone, I guess this is par for the course as far as she is concerned!

There is something very bizarre about watching 3 large noisy machines, decked out in camouflage colours, dancing gracefully together through the sky, to the strains of Bolero.... really cool!
This year's airshow included a real action packed mock hijacking display, with fake baddies attacking a fake tourist bus, holding hostages, firing automatic weapons and throwing grenades at the special task teams and dog units sent in to catch them. A sniper in a police helicopter mopped up and the medical rescue helicopter airlifted the "casualties" to hospital. The crowd loved it, but as a tourist, Miss Millie's mom found it a bit un-nerving that the South African audience were watching this as if it is an everyday occurence.... which it practically is in some areas!
What none of us realised at the time was that a real life drama was going on during one of the displays, and one of the helicopters was diverted to track down some thieves who had been spotted breaking into a home, and were being pursued by the home owner, before taking cover in thick bush. One of them was arrested, while the other two got away!

Even with all this excitement going on, little boys have a short attention span, but boredom and impending nagging to go home were skillfully dealt with by grandpa, who bought a toy helicopter in the nick of time, and bought us a few extra hours of enjoyment in the process!

For me, the highlight of any airshow is always the formation flying. I adore the artistry and skill of aerobatics, but when it is combined with the precision and teamwork of flying close together at high speed, it makes for breathtaking displays.

The Apple Express is narrow gauge steam train and a very popular tourist attraction in PE. In its heyday, it was run by the railways, and had a few pristine engines to choose from. Sadly it was allowed to get into a sad state, and was eventually rescued and taken over by a private enterprise. These enthusiasts struggle along, trying to keep it viable, whilst working hard to keep the high maintenance trains going. In the old Apple Express yard, all is now ruin and decay. the buildings are falling apart..........
and several old trains are rusting away on a siding.
Whilst this is a great shame, it also gives rise to wonderful photo opportunities, and I will do a post sometime on some of the images I took while we were sketching the trains.


Jeanette said...

That old railway yard looks stunning for portraits!

Firefly said...

1. Your grandaughter is cute. I bet granny and granpa will be taking tons of photo's while she is here.

2. Some of your airshow photos look exactly like mine. How could I not have seen you guys there? Man it bugs me.

3. I've been wanting to go and take some photos at the old Humewood station for a while now but has been worried about security stopping me. I should give it a shot in the coming weeks, because your pics of the lod loco's are great. I want so too.

Kate said...

This is quite a collection of photos! Great variety. The snap of the young lad who seems to be mesmerized by his toy is wonderful!

Rose said...

You have been busy!!!

Just got to say that that grandbaby of yours is a darling...she is just precious!

david mcmahon said...

The joy of grandparents. It's a two-way thing, believe me.

suziam said...

Oh I love that last photo of the rusty train. What a terrific place to make art!

Shirley Goodwin said...

Great photos as ever!

kcblog said...

I too have a grand daughter on her way (thanksgiving day)and I can not wait for the photo opportunities that I will have with her! Great shots, I have been looking for a train yard in Oregon like the one you have shared. Nice!!
kc daily photo