Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

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More colour, new apartments Oslo – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell

Thought for the day….”  A fool and his money are soon elected”                     ”  Money often costs too much”

21st century.  Some companies have still not accepted this fact.  Far too many companies are not making it clear how to contact them using email.  There are so many websites where email addresses are either hidden or else are just not there.  Try contacting a customer service department directly at an airline.   Air France/KLM for example, seem to make it near impossible to get hold of their customer service department, and even when you do, they do not want to help.   Other companies hide their email addresses, making contact difficult.   Very easy when you want to pay or buy something, but when you have a query or want to get a refund, then it is a very different story.    Just been trying to contact AVIS to cancel a car reservation, but have spent a lot of time trying to find their email address.    Lesson learnt for next time !

Proving how bright colours can improve a modern building, here is a photo of some new apartments in Oslo.   The effect of the bright colours in breaking up standard concrete and glass apartments is wonderful, and the warm shades catch the attention of passers-by.  This was one of a series of shots, just waiting to get a passer by in the right position to finish off the photo, as here.

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Oslo Autumn – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell

Thought for the day….” Excuses are nails used to build the house of failure”.

” What we must decide is not how valuable we are, but how we are valuable”.

Curious story in the news about an ice-cream maker in Bristol, England who has developed jellyfish ice-cream that glows in the dark.  Due to the chemicals in the ice-cream reacting, it glows when you eat it.   It must be a very strange flavour!.   The same creator (Charlie Francis) has previously made a gin & tonic ice-cream flavoured with quinine, which is normally used to treat malaria.   And then there was the Croatian shop who made ‘Facebook’ ice-cream, a blue mixture that tasted of sweets and gum.

An autumn day in Oslo in today’s photo, and the new (and no doubt, expensive) apartments and museum at Aker Brygge.   This was the site of a shipyard until 1998.   The city of Oslo is growing at a very high rate, and currently has over 950 000 people.  It is often rated as one of the most expensive cities in the world (along with Geneva and Tokyo), and was originally known as Christiana.   Interestingly, in the Norwegian language (and also in Swedish) that there is no word for ‘please’.

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Market Colour – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Vision is the art of seeing the invisible”

“If communication is they key, then why not open the door? ”

Some unusual news on the internet at the moment, like the story that the music of Britney Spears (such as ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time) is being used onboard ships to scare off Somali pirates.   Apparently, hearing the songs remind the pirates of western culture, and the sound of her singing is enough to deter an attack !!   Also in the news on the internet are the reports of an AirNewZealand aircraft skidding off the runway at Auckland airport on a short flight to Taupo.   The only ‘injuries’ reported were to a passengers strawberries!!!   And did you know that the characters in the ‘Simpsons’ shows only have 4 digits on their hands instead of five?

Some colour from the market for the photo today, and a close up.   Sometimes it pays to fill the viewfinder with colour, and to also get in close.  As always, good light makes a difference, as do the unusual shapes in this picture.  And getting in close has helped to cut out a lot of the distractions around the outside.

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Happiness, Lake Wanaka, New Zealand – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” The right angle to approach a difficult problem is the try-angle”.

” Smile.  It improves your face value”

Wonderful news!   Venezuela has appointed its first vice minister for happiness.  Not only that, but it has also started a government section to encourage social happiness.    The UN now publishes a world happiness report, and Bhutan has its index of happiness.   But as usual, Denmark comes top of the world’s happiest countries, despite having high taxes, followed by Norway (even higher taxes) and then Switzerland.  Bottom of the happiness table (or perhaps top of the UNhappy countries) was Togo, although Rwanda and Burundi were not far behind.   Happiness is no laughing matter !!

Another view of the stunning Lake Wanaka in New Zealand here, and near Glendu Bay.  The water comes from the glaciers, and Mt. Aspiring National Park is visible in the background, with the snow-capped 3033m Mt. Aspiring on the right.

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Finals to land – Not the Quality Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Doing things right is not as important as doing the right things.”

” The past is to improve yourself, and the future is to prove yourself”.

Another photo to prove that you do not need an expensive camera to get a good photo.    Many modern ‘compact’ cameras offer great zooms (the new ones go up to an extreme 60X zoom!) , but even a 20X zoom will get you a photo like this.    Good light and also a high shutter speed will give great results.   Even though the aircraft was moving at around 260 km/h at this point, the high shutter speed of 1/2000th has given a good, sharp photo.  Once again, the Panasonic Lumix camera has done well !!

The Portuguese government is trying to sell TAP Airline, as part of its attempts to raise much needed funds.   It has already sold the airports operations to a French company, but a recent bid by a Brazilian company for the airline fell through.   The airline has huge debts and also a reputation for poor service.

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Fishing village in Madeira – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” If at first you do not succeed, then destroy all evidence that you tried”.

”  People can live 100 years without really living a minute”

Have you heard of Charles Veley?  He is said to be possibly the world’s most travelled man.  According to the website mosttravelledpeople.com   he has visited 829 countries, territories and autonomous regions out of a possible maximum of 873.  He is a millonaire (it helps !) in his thirties, and at one time, was visiting over 100 countries a year.   He estimates that he has spent over USD 1 million on airtickets and boat transport.  He says that travel is an ‘investment in life experience”.   His favourite destination is Lord Howe Island off the coast of Australia.

Some fantastic coastal scenery in the photo today, from the island of Madeira in the Atlantic.    The fishing harbour is at the village of Camara De Lobos, with some of the highest cliffs on the island visible behind.  Madeira was discovered by the Portuguese in 1419 but now receives around 1 million tourists a year, attracted by the wonderful, year-round climate and the landscape as well as food.   It is also a cruise ship destination, and a stopover for trans-Atlantic yachts.    The population is around 260 000, mainly on the southern side of the island.  Madeira is actually the top of a huge shield volcano, which accounts for the very fertile soil there.  The famous Madeira wine originated here, using wine fortified with brandy to produce a stronger and often sweeter wine.   The fishing village in the photo produces its own special drink called Nikita, made of wine, beer, ice cream, pineapple and sugar.

WORDPRESS Sept (3)

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Nicaragua Lake Sunset – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Alcohol is not the answer, it just makes you forget the question”.

” Forever can be only tomorrow”            ” Does age come with experience, or experience with age?”

Off to Central America for today’s photo, and to Nicargua.  With a population of around 6 million, Spanish-speaking Nicaragua borders both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.   Interestingly, there are no street names, and addresses are given with references to nearby landmarks.    Managua, the capital, has a population of around 1 million.   Agriculture is the main industry, although it remains a poor country, with (according to the UN) around 48% of the population below the poverty line.    Tourism is now the second major industry.  The photo was taken at Ometepe, a volcanic island on Lake Nicaragua.”

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Wood carver in Espirito Santo – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Do stairs go up or down?”      “If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?”

“If ignorance is bliss, then why aren’t more people happy?”.

Another curious story in the news this time from Venezuela.  Not toilet paper shortages this time making the news in Venezuela, but HAIR THIEVES.   The Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has now promised to take action against the gangs who are stealing hair, sometimes at gunpoint, to sell to hair salons.    Venezuela has one of the worl’ds highest murder rates, although official figures are not published, as well as frequent carjackings, armed robberies and kidnapping.

And in Saudi Arabia, a man weighing around 610kg has been airlifted to hospital for treatment.   Apparently, the man was so big that part of the apartment had to be demolished so that a fork lift truck could carry him to a military aircraft.  He was flown to a hospital for treatment.

Another photo from the archives, and again from the island of Espirito Santo in the Pacific Ocean.   Lucky to capture a photo of this woodcarver in the forest, and lucky that the light was ok for the photo too.   I wonder how much things have changed since I was last there.     As usual, I wish that I had taken a lot more photos!!

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Summer in Croatia – Not the Quality Spa Resort, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies”.

” If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them”.

There is a strange story in the news at the moment about Brent Council in London, England.  They have installed a hologram ‘receptionist’, a moving human image who ‘answers’ questions from visitors.  Brent Council says that the hologram will save GBP 17000 a year.    This is after they spent GBP 90 million on a new civic centre, which opened this year.   And perhaps they forget, that one less (real) person will now not have a job, and will presumably have to be supported by the government there.    False economy??   And in these hard economic times, should any local government be spending GBP 90 million on a new civic centre??   Surely hospitals and schools come first, well before any civic centres.   Perhaps we should ask the hologram receptionist for the answers?     Stop the world, I want to get off……………………………………

Off to Split, Croatia for the photo today, and the harbourside in the city centre.   Situated on the Adriatic Sea, Croatia was the home of the famous traveller Marco Polo..   It was formed in 1991 when it became independent from the former Yugoslavia, and it has recently become a member of the European Union.    It has more than 1000 islands along its coast.   An interesting fact is that the White House (Washington, USA) is built of Croatian stone, as is the Austrian Pariliament building in Wien, Austria.   Croatia was also the site of the world’s first hydro electric power station in 1895 (Sibenik).  The town of Hum in Istria is said to be the world’s smallest town, with just 23 citizens.

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Before The Storm – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Yesterday is history, learn from it.  Today is the present, act on it.  Tomorrow is the future, plan for it”.

“When the wind changes, pessimists will complain, optimists will hope for the wind to change, and leaders will adjust the sails”.

A photo today taken just before a storm, and just before the last bit of sunshine disappeared.  Taken in the settlement of Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen in the far north.   Originally a whaling station, it was the mining of coal that later became important.   Spitsbergen is shared between Norway and Russia, and both companies still have coal mines there.    There is even a branch of a Norwegian university there, to study Artic sciences.   Spitsbergen has a population of around 2700 people. although they are far outnumbered by the number of polar bears.   Due to the large number of polar bears, trekkers and hikers are required to carry a gun when outside of settlements.    There is also a Seed Vault here, a sort of domesday project to store seeds from every country in the world.  From Spitsbergen is is not far to the North Pole.

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