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Naomi's Notes

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Photography, philosophy, writing, blogging, musings & more

Heads Up – WE HAVE MOVED!:

June 20th, 2011

Hi Everyone It gives us great pleasure to inform you that Naomi’s Notes has A NEW HOME: www.naomisnotes.com Please click on that link so that we can welcome you there! See you shortly, Naomi & Dave P.S. We’re keeping it … Continue reading


Blogging Date to Diarise:

May 23rd, 2011

It's a red letter day: June 15, 2011 - at least for bloggers, and more specifically those who would like to grow their readership and maximize their marketing efforts. BEAUTIFUL LADY CONTEMPLATING BLOGGING Our wonderful friend Michelle Salater, who has grown her own (Copy Doodle) and other blogs to phenomenal levels of success, is hosting a free webinar on June 15, 2011 at 1pm ET / 10am PT or 7pm here in Johannesburg. With Copy Doodle recently listed #17 on Technorati’s 100 Best Small Business Blogs, Michelle is well qualified to advise. We have also witnessed the growth of the elite Hills of Africa Travel blog, which she has developed and manages for another special friend of ours, Sandy Salle, CEO. One of the powerful things, among others, that Michelle achieves is to attract media and key influencers via the blogs. Don't miss this exceptional opportunity to learn from her first hand via her free webinar, which you can sign up for here: How to Increase Profits and Exposure with a Business Blog. During the webinar, you’ll get an exclusive sneak peek of Love Your Blog, her "new step-by-step system that will show you how to create a business blog that pulls prospects into your sales funnel, saving you time, money, and headaches". Despite mine being to date a personal blog, Michelle inspires me to explore improving it, if only to share photography and ideas with a wider audience. I'll be joining her for sure to find out more, so please stay tuned for something fresh soon :-) P.S. While photographing our lovely friend Juanita in our studio, Jina hopped up and settled on the laptop - in her favourite position, right across the touch pad :-D JUANITA & JINA CHECKING OUT WORDPRESS P.P.S. Just in case you're wondering how the screen is so legible and clear of reflected light, it's with the help of a little Photoshop magic (sorry, purists ;-)). Of course, I had to select the Wordpress sign up page, being such a big fan of this fabulous platform! Continue reading


Pain:

May 17th, 2011

Pain emancipates. DAVE's Six-inch Spinal Surgery Scar

PAIN

Prisoners sometimes, of our own making

Pain frees us from the bonds of our minds

Physical or emotional, it's inseparably mental

Washed in Pain's waves we can't escape truth

And truth is the path to freedom from Pain

©Naomi Estment

Quotes to consider:

"Pain is weakness leaving the body." - US Marines as quoted (frequently :-D) by Dave, who has broken over 60 bones in his 54 years, mostly due to motorbike racing “Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.” - Robert Gary Lee

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” - Kenji Miyazawa "Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding." - Kahlil Gibran, 'The Prophet' “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” - Unknown “The pain passes, but the beauty remains.” - Pierre-Auguste Renoir On a personal note, it's almost two weeks since Dave's double spinal fusion and he's recovering really well. After a challenging weekend with intense pain down his right leg and into his foot (the one that was going numb before the operation), he had a localized cortisone injection yesterday. It's brought huge relief and the sparkle back to his eyes. Continue reading


Mother’s Day message:

May 8th, 2011

To all the Moms out there (with heart-felt thanks to mine and Dave's), may your day be fragrant and full of flowers! Yesterday Today and Tomorrow plant lining a walkway - Jhb, SA These quotes are especially for you all: "If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden." - Attributed to Claudia Ghandi "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." - Elizabeth Stone And two more to take the pressure off . . . “There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one” - Jill Churchill "Your responsibility as a parent is not as great as you might imagine. You need not supply the world with the next conqueror of disease or major motion-picture star. If your child simply grows up to be someone who does not use the word "collectible" as a noun, you can consider yourself an unqualified success." - Fran Lebowitz, "Parental Guidance," Social Studies, 1981 Although I'm not a mother in the full sense of the word, I love my stepchildren dearly - sincere thanks to them for the countless blessings they bestow on my life :-) Last but not least, because the four-legged members of our family matter too, here's a special mention for the youngest, who turns 1 today: "Happy birthday, Quest, you handsome hound!" QUEST - May 2011 Bones are on the way, boy :-D Continue reading


Stress:

May 5th, 2011

Whether you feel "I've-had-it-with-the-world-and-everything-in-it" hectic, MALE LION BARING HIS FANGS - Schotia Safaris, South Africa "get-out-of-my-face-I'm-having-a-bad-day" mad, MALE LION SNARL - Schotia Safaris, South Africa or "don't-make-your-problems-mine" ratty, LIONESS BARING HER FANGS - Schotia Safaris, South Africa it pays to remember that stress arises inside.

STRESS:

In response to a given stimulus, Stress arises inside

Allowed to rule, it wreaks havoc recognized, unresisted, it recedes

Powerful, potential teacher, Stress offers options on a silver platter

Succumb and suffer or choose to transcend, knowing that the choice arises inside

©Naomi Estment

Quotes to consider: “If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn't ask me, I'd still have to say it.” - George F. Burns "Don't let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries." - Astrid Alauda "Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one." - Hans Selye "God will never give you anything you can't handle, so don't stress." - Kelly Clarkson "Give your stress wings and let it fly away." - Terri Guillemets "Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are." - Chinese Proverb Continue reading


Just for fun:

May 1st, 2011

Confession time. Apart from my fetish for capturing cool profile pics, which I’ve admitted before, I have another – photographing perfume bottles. So I was doubly delighted when a generous friend gave me DKNY’s Delicious Candy Apples! My mouth simply … Continue reading


Marriage & Romance:

April 30th, 2011

How wonderful to watch some of the Royal Wedding yesterday, so many years after Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s. Teenagers then, we crowded into our school hall for most of that day, savouring the moment, not to mention the opportunity to skip classes. Even in South Africa, we felt strangely included, similarly to yesterday. Thanks to the massive scale world media of course, but perhaps also in part because of our British ancestry. At least, that would figure according to Malcolm Gladwell’s fascinating book, Outliers. As for the present, though, Prince William looked dashing, what a beautiful bride Catherine Middleton made . . . and what a gorgeous dress Sarah Burton (for Alexander McQueen) made. I whole-heartedly endorse the fashionistas' praise :-) On the subject of weddings, we recently attended one in Botriver, near Cape Town. I mentioned our pending trip in a previous post, promising some photo's, but to be honest I took pitifully few - feeling rather too social. Instead, I'd like to share a link to the official photographer's beautiful blog, which showcases a stunning celebration: Tasha Seccombe Photography. There are four posts altogether, if you feel like a leisurely browse. It took place on a wine farm in the wildest wind, lending a wintry, Highlands feel. Being partly Scottish, I loved the bagpipes, along with the kilt worn by Warren (the groom) - and the bride, Jen, was simply lovely. Apart from plenty of traditional delights, technology played a role too. Jen's parents were in England, unable to travel for health reasons, so they shared the experience via Skype. Isn't that cool? Our sincerest wishes go to both couples for a magic married life, filled with romance. Being a chik-lit/romance novelist, that's significant to me :-D While in Cape Town, I did take the following pic of Foresters Arms ("Forries" to the locals) because this restaurant and pub features in my first novel, Out of Air, and I wanted a photo for the book's website. We had a fabulous Friday lunch there, finding it as vibrant today as in 1994, when the story is set: FORESTERS ARMS restaurant & pub - Cape Town, South Africa So if you happen to take a trip to the Mother City - and fancy a British feel - put it on your list of places to eat . . . drink . . . and be merry! Continue reading


“Time to say goodbye”:

April 29th, 2011

As prepared as we may try to be, we never are entirely. That just seems to be the way of it. We bid farewell to Tex yesterday, shedding tears for the fourteen years of unconditional love that's so unique to dogs. Despite dealing repeatedly with death, it's still somehow inconceivable that one moment he's with us . . . TEX AT HOME - Johannesburg, South Africa . . . and the next he's not. HOME WITHOUT TEX - Johannesburg, South Africa There's comfort in the peace of his passing, which mirrors the overwhelming majority of his life - apart from the terrors of our Highveld storms. Here's a pic taken some months ago, before the rapid acceleration of old age, showing the gentle soul we'll always treasure: TEX - older For the record, here's another in younger years: TEX - younger R.I.P. beautiful boy. Our love goes with you, like in this haunting song by the brilliant Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman: Continue reading


Easter eggs and bunny slippers:

April 21st, 2011

HAPPY EASTER to all who celebrate it :-) EASTER EGGS in a basket - www.ovpstudio.com Apart from Easter messages, masses of chocolate and public holidays, this time of year tends to be marked by media warnings about road safety, lending some sobriety to the pending long weekend. With that in mind, I'd like to spare a thought for a special project which is underway at the Children's Hospital Trust. Managed by my wonderful sister-in-law, this is the fundraising arm of the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital in Cape Town. The objective is to equip four METRO Emergency Medical Services ambulances with specialist paediatric equipment, facilitating a hugely positive impact on the prognosis for small patients. A total of R2,000,000 is required for this purpose, every cent of which goes directly to the project. Looking at images of the proposed ambulances (Bugs Bunny pics and all) is really moving, prompting this mention. Should you, or someone you know, be in a position to help, please follow this link for more information or to make a donation: www.childrenshospitaltrust.org.za Either way, enjoy a delicious Easter and appreciate the bunnies because . . . "You can't get a swelled head if you wear bunny slippers." - Dean Koontz

Continue reading


Move over BFF, we’re talking MBF:

April 14th, 2011

Mind you, "Best Friends Forever" is in many ways synonymous with "Man's Best Friend”, at least as it applies to doggie years. It's just the lifespan discrepancy that causes heartache. Still, the joy supercedes, so we come back for more of the same magic. As our beloved old boy, Tex, gradually prepares for a graceful parting with this world, our whirlwind puppy, Quest, is developing his inborn flair for the successor role. While Tex's tired legs can no longer match the eagerness of his spirit, Quest's energy is boundless. Nothing delights him more than a super social, team walk. We often indulge him at a beautiful local park, which also forms part of our morning cycle route. Here are some glimpses of this favourite playground: Dam at Marks Park, Johannesburg Men with their dogs - Marks Park, Johannesburg Now for some serious opposition to the theory of dogs looking like their owners: the miniature, airborne ball of fluff (in the middle) is Max, the Pekinese who belongs to Simon, the big tattooed, tough guy! Or the other way around, depending on your perspective, as so eloquently expressed in the movie Babe - where the animals speak and their respective people belong to them :-D Already the bond between Dave and his dog is unbreakable. Quest would forego his food in favour of a car ride, to anywhere and everywhere Dave has to go. Aside from being a tough guy (and closet softie), Simon is a talented photographer as you can see on his blog, GotMilk Photography. He took this telling pic of Dave and Quest together: Dave & Quest - Marks Park, Johannesburg Although Quest excels as MBF, he still has time for his own BFF, and it seems there's some truth to the saying that "opposites attract". You guessed it: the German Shepherd and the Pekinese are best of friends. During a break from Quest tumbling Max like a dishwasher on full speed, Simon snapped this shot of them panting under a tree: Max & Quest - Marks Park, Johannesburg All told, however, I'd say Quest's priorities are pretty clear. Dave is number one. They love hanging out together, engaged in male bonding, like watching sport on TV: Dave & Quest hanging out together In case you're thinking I feel left out, not to worry. I have a personal WBF, in the form our gorgeous Norwegian Forest Cat, Jina. What could be cosier than a pre-dawn cuddle under the covers, with her gentle purr vibrating beside me? Finally, an aside, following my last post: Dave is cycling above because an old lower-back injury from his pro racing days continues to haunt him, making walking any distance extremely painful. Recent intensifying of the pain, together with loss of feeling in his foot, necessitates a spinal fusion, which is scheduled for the first week of May. This means that I won't be posting a host of enduro articles, since he'll be off his motorbike for about three months. We're still going to Cape Town for a wedding and to visit family, though, so I'll certainly share some photo's from the Mother City. Have a wonderful few days in the meantime, everyone! Continue reading



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