This week’s photo challenge is about embracing the extravagant. Here’s a feast for your eyes!
This week’s photo challenge asks us to post a photograph of something that brings/ brought us joy- essentially something we would consider a treat.
A few months ago, I went on my very first hot air balloon ride with my family in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. Being high up in the air, seeing the strange rock formations up so close and literally hundreds of other balloons up in the early morning sky was certainly a treat!
Serendipity: luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for (Merriam Webster Dictionary)
When I traveled to Turkey in June this year, I had 2 days in Istanbul- now that is hardly a decent amount of time to look around a city as magnificent as Istanbul but it was better than never having visited the city. In a visit like this luck and surprises play a big role in your travel experience. For example I captured a photograph of a colourful staircase when I was on a bus that was taking us from Sultanahmet to go on the Bosphorous Cruise. It looked beautiful and a fair bit like the Moraga staircase I had seen in San Francisco many years ago.
When I returned home I googled ‘colourful staircase in Istanbul’ to find that the staircase had an interesting history. Apparently the stairs were painted in 2013 by a retired man called Husseyin Cetinel. He wanted to make a project that would bring a smile on people’s faces. The stairs were an instant hit and many locals and tourists flocked to it. The local municipality however decided to repaint them a dull grey during one of the nights. People were quite upset and protested leading to the municipality repainting the stairs in rainbow hue. Fascinating isn’t it?
If that isn’t serendipity I don’t know what is!
Incidentally it was only when I was writing this blog that I found there were two cats on the staircase- can you find them? No? Well I zoomed and cropped the relevant sections.
I decided to post a picture of an intricate carving I found at the Hoysala temple at Halebid, Karnataka.
This sculpture is of a battle formation called ‘Chakravyuh’ which is described in the Mahabaratha. It’s a circular/ spiral formation that is nearly impossible to attack and win.
I was amazed at the effort the sculptor must have made to carve this correctly and carefully at the first go. Remember there was no room for mistakes as this was carved directly into the stone wall!
Some of you probably read that title and went “huh?”. Allow me to explain.
Being Freshly Pressed is a big deal on wordpress. A few years ago anybody that landed up on the wordpress.com homepage landed on a selection of blogs across genres chosen by the admin of wordpress for exceptional content- these were the freshly pressed blogs. Being freshly pressed could instantly give you immense visibility and recognition. Thousands of people visit wordpress.com and hence thousands of people would see your blog. I always dreamt of going to bed one night after posting a blog, waking up and finding hundreds of likes and follows because my blog had been freshly pressed. Alas! It never happened. I still kept praying that the wordpress admins would find me.
Today the freshly pressed blogs are no longer on the wordpress.com homepage but on a separate freshly pressed page. The helpful wordpress admins also have a helpful guide for what could get you freshly pressed. Although not as instantly accessible, it is still an immense opportunity and recognition to be listed on the Freshly Pressed List. And I still keep hoping that one day I will make it to that list. Although on deeper analysis, the results of which I will share here, I’m more and more inclined to believe that I may never make it to the stratosphere of blogging.
Here are the 5 reasons I think I will never make it to Freshly Pressed or become a blogger diva
My Blog Does Not Have One Over-Arching Theme: My blog is like my life. Confused. People have, on many occasions, given me advice to stick to one domain- to focus and concentrate my energies on one domain rather than scatter my efforts across many. That has hardly worked out for me. My blog is a snapshot of my life- of what I see and experience so it’s pretty much all over the place. I write about a lot of things- from review of Japanese Kanji flash cards to sunrise on the Grand Canyon to participating in photo challenges. At one point a few years ago, I did start 4 sub blogs that focused on travel, photography, ancient history and so on but after about a year pulled them back into my main blog because they were just fragmenting my blogging efforts. I was one person so my interests have to stay on one blog. This means people who follow my blog because they liked a particular post on a particular theme often get confused and disappointed. Someone who likes my posts on Ancient Rome may not be interested in my hotel review posts and so on.
I don’t have a regular posting schedule: This is a definite mantra for blogging success. People recommend that you post regularly (whether that’s once a week or everyday). If you don’t post anything on your blog for years together chances are high that people will lose interest. With the exception of the A to Z Blogging Challenge in April when I blog every day of the week except Sundays, my blogging schedule is very irregular. Sometimes I post everyday, sometimes I disappear for months- for no particular reason.
My visual content is irregularly mediocre They always say that one of the elements of great blogs is the visual content. Images speak a thousand words and stunning images probably ten thousand. Images in your post automatically attract more views and likes. I sometimes post good images but most of the times my images are just borderline. This means that I do not attract as many viewer/ readers as I could.
I mostly don’t write coherently: I’m mostly blogging at the end of a long work day just before falling asleep or before I have to get to doing something else. Which means I often skip the proof reading part. Which also means that sometimes people think I can’t write proper English and makes my blog look worse that it should.
I don’t always engage with the community This is also a fallout of posting at the end of the day. As much as I would love to visit more blogs and engage more with other bloggers, often enough I have to stop with visiting two or three blogs. This is a pity- not only do I lose out on finding other interesting blogs but it means other people can’t find me either.
And there you have it- the cats know why my blog won’t be freshly pressed (cats know everything anyway!). Maybe one day I will actually work on all these points and get there! Who knows!