Monday, 31 December 2012

SINGAPORE PROMENADE

Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 137 kilometres north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to its south. The country is highly urbanised with very little primary rainforest remaining, although more land is being created for development through land reclamation.

In terms of purchasing power parity, Singapore has the third highest per capita income in the world. There are slightly over 5 million people in Singapore, of which 2.91 million were born locally. The population is highly diverse; the majority are Chinese, with Malays and Indians forming significant minorities. Reflecting this diversity, the country has four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. One of the five founding members of the Association of South East Asian Nations, the country is also the host of the APEC Secretariat, and a member of the East Asia Summit, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Commonwealth.

Buddhism is the most widely practised religion in Singapore, with 33% of the resident population declaring themselves adherents at the most recent census. The next most practised religion is Christianity, followed by Islam, Taoism and Hinduism. 17% of the population did not have a religious affiliation. The proportion of Christians, Taoists and non-religious people increased between 2000 and 2010 by about 3% each, whilst the proportion of Buddhists decreased. Other faiths remained largely stable in their share of the population.

This post is part of the Mellow Yellow Monday meme,
and also part of the Mandarin Orange Monday meme.













Sunday, 30 December 2012

ST JOHN'S SOUTHBANK, MELBOURNE

St John's of Southbank in Melbourne offers a quiet haven for reflection or prayer in the midst of a bustling city.

This post is part of the Psalm Sunday meme.



Psalm 86
1 Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy.
2 Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.
3 Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.
4 Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
6 Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.
7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.
9 All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.
10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.
11 Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.
12 I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.
13 For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.
14 O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them.
15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
16 O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.
17 Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, Lord, hast holpen me, and comforted me.

PERTH FROM THE AIR

Situated beside the Swan River, Perth is a living picture postcard, as this view fo the city from an airplane shows. Regular flights to Perth depart from overseas, all state capitals and many regional locations, landing you just 20 minutes from the central business district. Perth offers an eclectic mix of city culture and stunning nature, from Perth’s burgeoning bar scene and open arts festivals, to its world-class beaches and expansive parklands. Australia’s sunniest capital city, Perth embraces a relaxed outdoor lifestyle. Whether in the 400 hectares of Kings Park in the city or the inviting clear waters and spectacular sunsets at Cottesloe Beach, Perth is sure to please every visitor.

This post is part of the Scenic Sunday meme.




Saturday, 29 December 2012

RAINY DAY


...It’s raining mirror bits today,
And like drops of mercury
The raindrops fuse and coalesce
In puddle–mirrors
Reflecting the multicoloured garb
Worn by the Fool...

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Weekly TopShot meme.

Friday, 28 December 2012

ADELAIDE AIRPORT

Adelaide Airport (IATA: ADL, ICAO: YPAD) is the principal airport in the South Australian capital of Adelaide and the fifth busiest airport in Australia, servicing 7,037,673 passengers in the year ending 31 December 2011. Located adjacent to West Beach, it is approximately 6 km  west of the city-centre. It has been operated privately by Adelaide Airport Limited under a long-term lease from the Commonwealth Government since 29 May1998. First established in 1955, a new dual international/domestic terminal was opened in 2005 which has received numerous awards, including being named the world's second-best international airport (5–15 million passengers) in 2006.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.





Thursday, 27 December 2012

POISON ROPE FLOWER

Strophanthus is a genus of 35-40 species of flowering plants in the family Apocynaceae, native mainly to tropical Africa, extending to South Africa, with a few species in Asia, from southern India to the Philippines and southern China. The name (strophos anthos, "twisted cord flower") derives from the long twisted threadlike segments of the corolla, which in one species (S. preussii) attain a length of 30–35 cm.The genus includes vines, shrubs and small trees. The leaves are opposite or whorled, simple broad lanceolate, 2–20 cm long, with an entire margin.Several of the African tribes used Strophanthus as the principal ingredient in arrow poison.

Strophanthus speciosus shown here, is also known as Poison Rope. It is native to southern Africa. As the common name poison rope suggests it contains toxic compounds. These are in the form of cardiac glycosides, similar to those found in Digitalis. Native hunters in Africa used preparations made from the seeds as a virulent arrow poison.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.




Wednesday, 26 December 2012

SWAN RIVER VISTAS

The Swan River estuary flows through the city of Perth, in the south west of Western Australia. Its lower reaches are relatively wide and deep, with few constrictions, while the upper reaches are usually quite narrow and shallow.

The Swan River drains the Avon and coastal plain catchments, which have a total area of about 121,000 km2. It has three major tributaries, the Avon River, Canning River and Helena River. The latter two have dams (Canning Dam and Mundaring Weir) which provide a sizeable part of the potable water requirements for Perth and the regions surrounding. The Avon River contributes the majority of the freshwater flow. The climate of the catchment is Mediterranean, with mild wet winters, hot dry summers, and the associated highly seasonal rainfall and flow regime.

This post is part of the Water World Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme.



Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Monday, 24 December 2012

MELBOURNE'S ROYAL ARCADE

Royal Arcade in the City of Melbourne has been since 1869, the arcade that has acted as a hub between Melbourne's, Bourke St Mall, Little Collins Street and Elizabeth Street. The Royal Arcade houses some of the most well-known and beautiful shops in Melbourne. Whether you are just passing through, or interested in one of the many speciality stores, you wont regret a visit to the Royal Arcade. This is especially so around Christmas when the decorations add a special atmosphere to this Victorian architectural gem right in the heart of the city.

This post is part of the Mellow Yellow meme.










MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

LYKAVITTOS

Mount Lycabettus, also known as Lykavittos, is a Cretaceous limestone hill in Athens, Greece. At 277 meters above sea level, the hill is the highest point in the city that surrounds it. Pine trees cover its base, and at its two peaks are the 19th century Chapel of St. George, a theatre, and a restaurant.The hill is a popular tourist destination and can be ascended by the Lycabettus Funicular, a funicular railway which climbs the hill from a lower terminus at Kolonaki (The railway station can be found at Aristippou street).

Lycabettus appears in various legends. Popular stories suggest it was once the refuge of wolves, possibly the origin of its name (which means "the one (the hill) that is walked by wolves"). Mythologically, Lycabettus is credited to Athena, who created it when she dropped a mountain she had been carrying from Pallene for the construction of the Acropolis after the box holding Erichthonius was opened.The hill also has a large open-air theatre at the top, which has housed many Greek and international concerts.

This post is part of the Psalm Sunday meme,
and also part of the Spiritual Sunday meme,
and also part of the Scenic Sunday meme.







Psalm 85: Lord, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.
2 Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.
3 Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger.
4 Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

FOUR'O'CLOCK

This is the Marvel of Peru or the Four'o'clock, Mirabilis jalapa. It is the most commonly grown ornamental species of Mirabilis, and is available in a range of colours. Mirabilis in Latin means wonderful and Jalapa is a not uncommon placename in Central and North America. Mirabilis jalapa is said to have been exported from the Peruvian Andes in 1540.

This post is part of the Pink Saturday meme,
and also part of the Weekly TopShot meme.

Friday, 21 December 2012

OUTBACK SKY

The Outback is the vast, remote, arid area of Australia; the term colloquially can refer to any land outside the main urban areas. The term "the outback" is generally used to refer to locations that are comparatively more remote than those areas named "the bush". The skies tend to be blue and the soil red in these outback locations and the photo below shows a particularly lush part of "the bush" as relatively much vegetation can be seen.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

ZINNIAS

Zinnia is a genus of 20 species of annual and perennial plants of the family Asteraceae. They are native to scrub and dry grassland in an area stretching from the Southwestern United States to South America, with a centre of diversity in Mexico. Members of the genus are notable for their solitary long-stemmed flowers that come in a variety of bright colours. The name honours genus German botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn (1727–59).

They are popular garden flowers, usually grown from seed, and preferably in fertile, humus-rich, and well-drained soil, in an area with full sun. They will reseed themselves each year. Over 100 cultivars have been produced since selective breeding started in the 19th century. Zinnia elegans is the most familiar species, originally from Mexico and thus a warm–hot climate plant. Its leaves are lance-shaped and sandpapery in texture, and height ranges from 15 cm to 1 metre.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.