All posts by OZGUYZ - Mike Hester

An Afternoon at Kew Gradens

A special spot for us in the gardens to remember my Mum, this Wollemi Pine is located on the lawns across the Orangery.

The Wollemi Pine – Wollemi nobillis.

First discovered in 1994 in Wollemi National Park, New South Wales, Australia, this peculiar tree represents the only member of its genus. It thrives in mild temperate climates. A programme initated by the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney in 2006 has made Wollemi Pines available throughout the world.

Though truly not a pine, as its common name suggests, the Wollemi Pine is conifer belonging to the family of Araucariaeae, along with the monkey puzzle tree [Araucaria araucana] from South America and the Kauri from New Zealand [Agathis australis]. This family first evolved in the mid-Juarasic circa 160 million years ago.

The Orangery, Kew Gardens

The Dale Chihuly Exhibition – Reflections on Nature.

11. Paintbrushes – blown glass, Dale Chihuly 2016.
8 . Scarlet and Yellow Icicle Tower, blown glass and steel, Dale Chihuly 2013.

The Tree top walk within the gardens, a different tree canopy ……

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

KALEIDOSCOPE 2019 – A celebration of glorious symmetry.

The Massed Military Bands.
The Scots Guards, Irish Guards and Royal Regiment of Scotland
Finale The Massed Military Bands, Massed Pipes and Drums.

Reflections of Krakow

A one way journey for 1, 100,000 Jewish and other European people. Another 200,000 got to make the return trip.

Horse and Carriage – a trip to somewhere, tourists ride around Old Town Krakow.
Featured in the movie Schindlers List – through the arch is now a great courtyard beer garden.

Empty Chair Memorial, Podgorze Krakow –
A memorial monument for the murdered Jews of the Podgorze Ghetto in Krakow was inaugurated on 8 December 2005. The chairs represent loss and absence as the ghetto in Krakow was cleared and all the residents’ possessions were strewn across the streets.

Created by Krakow architects Piotr Lewicki and Kazimierz Łatak included 33 illuminated chairs (1.4 m high) in the square and 37 smaller chairs (1.2 m high) standing on the edge of the square and at the tram stop.

St Mary’s Basilica, Krakow Town Square
Street art of the Kazimierz District

BETWEEN THE WATER AND THE SKY – Bernatek Footbridge Acrobatic Sculptures.

Reflecting on our visit to Krakow this installation epitomises for me what some have had to endure – “a Balance for Life” and how precious it is.

The nine acrobatic figures form the exhibition entitled ‘Between the water and the sky’ (Między wodą a niebem) by Polish artist Jerzy ‘Jotki’ Kędziora.  The artist has exhibited around the world, and describes the work as ‘living forces of nature’.

The sculptures are quite unique in the way the artist uses the law of physics, to add to the impact of the large figures, suspended gracefully amongst the bridge supports. The unusual installation, which Kędziora claims to be the only sculptures in the world suspended by only one or two support points, using lines, rods, pyramids and figures balancing on top of each other, which add to the effect of balance and defiance of gravity.


A quick snapshot and highlights from Hamburg.

The Rathaus from the spire of St Nikolai, with dragon gargoyle and the Binnenalster behind.
The Elbphilarmonie concert halls, studios, hotel and gallery lookout on top of a 1960’s warehouse.

Old Town Guided Walk – Copenhagen, Denmark

The walk commences at the Copenhagen Tourist Information Office on Vester Voldgarde. Heading past the Tivoli Gardens it continues on past the City Hall, the Supreme Cout and prison.

Opening time crowd waiting for entry at 11.00 am, the garden remains open until 11.00 pm.

The walk meanders past several old building, churches, the Cathedral and the Round Tower. Ending after ninety minutes, it is a short stroll to Nyhavn Harbour and the outer harbour where you’ll be able to find some other sights of locals and others trying to blend in.

Nyhavn Harbour

The Daily Rituals

Hibiscus at Hotel Rui.

ritual – [noun]

  • a religious service or ceremony which involves a series of actions performed in a set order
  • an established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rite
  • activities happen as part of a tradition

Rituals are things that we all perform, whether conscious and planned part of our own life order, or informal and unplanned that they become the daily routine we have for ourselves. Here is a snapshot of what has become our daily rituals in Maspalomas.

Aloe Apartment Pool, Maspalomas.

Rise about 6.00am and check the emails, whilst making sure, of yet another sunny blue sky and day in Maspalomas.

Breakfast needs a trip to Bakerei Zipf underneath the apartment to pick up freshly baked croissants, escargots and Krusti Dble rolls to take to the beach as part of the picnic.

The walk to the beach on the Faro side of Dunas del Maspalomas starts right outside our door on Avenida de Tirajana, through the Hibiscus walkway at the Hotel Rui. Along the posted walkway across the hot sand to Kiosk 7 and our spot complete with sun loungers for the day. Take in the sights, picnic, a few swims and if we run out of supplies we can stock up at the kiosk or buy from the “Yum, yum, cola, cola, coronetto” beach vendor man.

The Dunas del Maspalomas from the Broadwalk on Playa del Ingles side of Maspalomas.

At the end of the day those at Kiosk 7 make the journey back across the posted walkway to their hotel to freshen up, drinks, dinner and the night the bars and clubs.

First Champagne & enroute to Maspalomas

After the first champagne and coke in Bar Pulpo, a related restaurant to Movida. Forty hours plus of travel, five planes with the seats getting smaller on the last two, we arrived in Maspalomas in the Canary Islands.

After a day of foggy heads, sleep and getting our body clocks in order, we decided to explore the route to the beach, through the exclusive Hotel Riu.

Two Aussies arrive at Dunas de Maspolomas
Dunas de Maspalomas – 5