Light And Reflections

As we near the end of January, I cannot quite believe that a month has already passed. It has also been 5 weeks since I enjoyed the feel of the warm sun on my back while savouring my experience on our family vacation in the Dominican Republic. It has been five weeks since I relaxed by the pool or on the beach reading my book. Time has gone by so quickly.

I loved seeing the view of the ocean from the beach. We also discovered the sea view from a newly opened pool – what a treat!

The light caused a beautiful reflection on the pool. As not many people had yet discovered the pool, its serene waters were not disturbed by the enjoyment of those soaking up the sun.

We never had a chance to immerse ourselves in these pristine waters, preferring instead to swim in the sea or the larger pools. However, while we were there sipping our cocktails, we did enjoy the view and the peaceful atmosphere.

What were you doing five weeks ago?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. In the spirit of the New Year, why not join in the challenge and share some square photos featuring light.)

New Year Lanterns

Saturday was the start of the lunar New Year and, as per tradition, my family and I celebrated its beginning. This year we decided to go to the buffet at a local restaurant instead of cooking at home. The food is not totally authentic Chinese, but the atmosphere is fantastic.

We loved seeing the red lanterns that decorated the restaurant. They really give an air of festivity to the space.

The photos I took with my phone don’t quite show the richness of colour that had invaded the space, but they do give a sense of it. I enjoyed walking under the bright colours to choose the dishes that I wanted to taste.

The restaurant was extremely busy with the normal Saturday evening clientele as well as the families that were there to celebrate the start of the new lunar year.

My family an I had a wonderful time. We enjoyed the food and the conversation flowed easily. It was definitely a good start to the New Year.

Do you celebrate the beginning of the lunar year? If so, I wish you a wonderful Year of the Rat.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. In the spirit of the New Year, why not join in the challenge and share some square photos featuring light.)

January Journaling

January has been my second month of bullet journaling and I am enjoying the process so far. I find setting up the spreads relaxing as I let my mind wander while creating. For my January spreads, I decided to use the theme of Chinese lanterns as this month sees the celebration of the Chinese New Year.

It was fun drawing all the lanterns and I was delighted to see the result. Opposite my cover page for the month, I decided to choose a bookish quote. My daughter found the perfect one for me from Harry Potter.

It did take me a while to draw all the little lanterns for all the spreads – especially as I use the A4 size journal. The time doodling and colouring, however, passed quickly while I listened to music and chatted with my daughters if they were sitting at the table with me.

I have started tracking certain habits – especially those that are linked with my annual goals. It has been interesting for me to see the trends.

My weekly spreads have definitely been a delight. I am recording any tasks and events that have been planned for the week. I am also using the page as a journal to record my thoughts and experiences.

I am enjoying the lantern lights that I have created for January. Now I need to think of the theme I should use to create pages for February.

Have you created January spreads for your journal/planner?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. In the spirit of the New Year, why not join in the challenge and share some square photos featuring light.)

Walking the Picket Line

Yesterday my colleagues and I participated in the fourth phase of our ongoing strike by withdrawing full services. The day dawned with the frigid temperatures of -18c but we were determined to stand up for what we believe is important.

Our bodies constantly moving to keep warm, we gathered together in front of the school where we teach. The school is not at full capacity, so the group was small. However, we cheered one another on as our bodies got used to being out in the extreme cold. As someone mentioned, it was a little like yard duty – but for an extended period of time.

I am proud to be working as a teacher for our school board. I know that we have an important job to do – a job that some in our society do not appreciate. However, the parents at our school are very supportive and understanding. They realise that the reason we are standing up to the government and the cuts they want to enforce is for the good of their children, our students.

A few parents brought their children over to show them that yesterday was not just a day away from school; these parents had explained to the children what it is we are fighting for. Two of our students yesterday morning walked the picket line with us to experience strike action. Definitely a learning moment.

It is not often that we were able to catch the sunlight and stand in its warmth. Our neighbourhood has been changing over the last few years as condos are sprouting up in its streets. We became sun seekers, searching for any spot in which to stand. Sunlight was rare, though, and we walked up and down a section of the street to keep ourselves warm (especially our feet!).

We are hoping that the government ministers see the light (did you see what I did there Becky 😀 ) – but we do not have any hope that they will. Today the secondary schools are going on their third walkout and, thankfully, the temperatures have risen by 15c. Hopefully the next time we walk out of our classrooms for the strike action, it won’t be so cold.

Have you walked the picket line?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge.)

A Beach Sunrise

Last Christmas we began our day a little differently to the usual. Instead of waking up, grabbing a cup of tea and gathering around the Christmas tree to open presents, we woke up early to watch the sun rise on the beach.

The morning was cloudy (it would actually rain quite a bit later that day) so the glory of the sunrise was hidden. However, the light shining from behind the clouds created a moody atmosphere.

Even though the sun was hidden, we did see the glorious colour of light erupting from behind the clouds.

When I looked in the other direction to where the sun was rising, I noticed the pink light colouring the clouds a little as well as the few visitors who had joined my family to watch the beginning of a new day.

Looking back towards the sun, the sea and the clouds seemed even more atmospheric as the sunlight hid behind the clouds.

As the sun began to rise in the sky, I realised that even though the view wasn’t what I had hoped for I was glad I had come out to the beach with my family to experience and celebrate an event that I don’t often see.

Seeing the sun rise on Christmas Day was the perfect way to think about what the day truly means. I enjoyed the change from our usual routine – a routine which we will return to on the next Christmas Day.

Where last did you watch the sun rise?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge.)

Asian Fusion Tastes

While on holiday in the Dominican Republic, we had the opportunity to try a number of restaurants and tastes. My husband wanted to try the Asian Fusion and we were lucky enough to get a booking.

As we approached the restaurant, it looked promising. I loved the entrance to the place, the night lights making it appear inviting.

I enjoyed the look and feel of the restaurant once we had entered the space. The lighting was intimate and the decorations were a delight to look at.

The food was beautifully presented.

The tastes, however, were far below what we expected. As I said to my husband, it is best we don’t go to a restaurant that offers food which we cook at home. We are disappointed every time.

Do you enjoy tasting Asian Fusion food?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge as well as Norm’s Thursday Doors challenge.)

A Birthday Delight

I was born a couple of days after Christmas and for my last birthday, my family and I were on vacation in the Dominican Republic. I had never spent a birthday on the beach and that is exactly what I wished to do. After doing some aqua Zumba in the pool and eating lunch at the beach restaurant, we headed off to the beach to spend the afternoon enjoying the views and swimming in the ocean.

I even managed to do a little reading while my husband went to confirm our flight and do our online check-in.

After spending a wonderful afternoon together on the beach, my family and I headed back to our hotel rooms to get ready for our dinner reservations. I had chosen to eat at the Italian a la carte restaurant – a far cry from the buffet that we normally dined at on my birthday. When we arrived at our room, my husband and I were surprised to see the banner placed on our door.

We were especially delighted with what we saw on the bed:

I had to call my daughters to come over quickly and see what had been done.

While leaving, my youngest happened to glance in the bathroom and called us over.

The bathroom looked so pretty and I could not contain my delight at seeing the drawn bath – I really felt spoilt!

Of course I had to take a bath – and switch on the jacuzzi jets! I still managed to be ready on time for our booking at the restaurant – though only just! On arriving at the restaurant, I was in for another surprise:

On the beautifully decorated table, I saw a birthday card written to me from the concierge and the people who had organised all of these wonderful surprises.

The day could not get any better! As you can imagine, I was grinning from happiness. After a wonderful meal, I was gifted with the last surprise of the evening: the waiters sang happy birthday to me and presented my with a delicious cake that had been made especially for me.

My 2019 birthday is not one that I will forget quickly. It has certainly been the best birthday I have ever experienced.

What has been your most memorable birthday celebration?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge.)

A Walk on the Beach

The best thing about our holiday to the Dominican Republic was walking on the beach. On our first day, we could not resist the call of the sand and water.

The stretch of beach seemed never ending and our walk was unhindered by barriers.

I loved feeling the sunlight on my skin (we had left behind cold, grey days) as well as hearing the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. The breeze did not worry me, nor the many ocean bathers.

I drank in the sight of the palm trees waving in the wind and breathed in the salt air.

We walked by many hotel loungers facing the sea. Many were empty as around 5pm many beach-goers pack up and get ready for the dinner hour. We did not turn back from our walk, though, as we had decided to eat later and wanted to make the most of our time near the water.

I was curious about the trees that were still alive but do not have much contact with the soil. Had they been transported there to add to the atmosphere of the surroundings?

As the sun sank towards the horizon and the light faded, we turned back the way we had come. The shadows were lengthening and we knew that our walk along the edge of the sea would soon be over.

In the fading light, the landscape appeared more moody. That did not deter me, however, from enjoying my surroundings.

Each day that we were in Punta Cana, we walked along this stretch of beach. I loved the feel of the salt water washing up on my legs, and the sensation of the rough sand on the bottom of my feet. I enjoy walking along the beach and look forward to the next time I visit.

Do you enjoy walking on the beach?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Jo’s Monday Walk challenge as well as Becky’s Square Challenge.)

Working By Lamplight

Since the beginning of 2020, we have been experiencing overcast, grey days (I am really missing the sun and the long walks on the beach we experienced on our vacation). When I get home, the light we do experience is already fading requiring us to put on the lights in our place.

This week I am trying to finish the setup of my bullet journal and the dim and fading light makes it difficult for me to see the dots in the journal. My daughter has loaned me her lamp and now whenever I feel the creative urge, I am able to journal no matter what the natural light.

The lamplight is perfect and enables me to journal a little every day. I do miss the natural light though and wish daily to see the sun and blue skies.

Do you work by lamplight?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. In the spirit of the New Year, why not join in the challenge and share some square photos featuring light.)

Pool Lights

At the resorts, pools are emptied by 6pm as they are cleaned of the day’s activities. At this time, dinner restaurants are opened and the nightly entertainment begins. The pool, however, still shows an attractive face.

We loved the look of the pool near our hotel and at night time it looked really magical. I loved the blue of the night lights – such an attractive way to warn people that water is approaching.

Each night we walked by the beautiful sight while meandering along to the singing and dancing performances; and then saw this sight before entering the building that housed our room.

What do you think of the pool night lights?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. In the spirit of the New Year, why not join in the challenge and share some square photos featuring light.)