Archive for February, 2017

Love’s Gamble


A Valentine Day’s Post: This is in special honour of J & A and all those who fear the courtship ritual of making the first move. It took J ten years (yes, you’ve read it correctly) before he plucked up the courage to even ask the beautiful A out.

I personally found it endearing and touching that it took J (who sang bass in the same choir as A) so long to pluck up the courage to ask her for a date.

I managed to track down JR, the daughter of J & A and sent her a copy of my poem. She recently viewed the poem and listened to Kyle’s song. This is what she said: Many thanks for your beautiful, generous letter and poem. Congratulations on your blog, and Kyle’s song is lovely. It is touching to know that other people still remember Mum & Dad fondly.


We tend to say less when we need to say more

Talk about the mundane until it starts to bore

All that is hidden, all that’s left unsaid

The latency hides heartache, the fear, the dread


The weather then becomes the discussion du jour

Or the latest travel plans where it’s safe and secure

Our hearts in the meantime beat onwards regardless

Hiding unseen heartache and unfathomable stress


Do we bite the bullet, say all that’s in the heart

How do we find the strength, when do we start

Perhaps today, maybe tomorrow, or could it be never

One has to make the first move before a line is severed.


(C) Wendy Robinson All rights reserved


I learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.

The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid but he who conquers that fear. ~ Nelson Mandela


I hope you enjoy Kyle Richard Hudson’s  ‘Lost For Words‘ which compliments this post.

Kyle: I wrote this one about the experience we’ve all had of not being able to articulate the way we feel.

Please express your appreciation of Kyle’s work, either in the comments or on his video or better yet, subscribe to or share his video.

Thank you Kyle for sharing your song with us.

Disclaimer: My thanks go to the anonymous photographer, who has generously shared his/her online photography for gratis.

The Padaung Women

Nowhere else in the world will you find women with brass and gold alloy coils around their necks!* The Padaung or long-necked women, hail from Kayah state, in the southern part of the 6b3d54225e44609d50136cfa68b68e0enortheast region of Myanmar.

Beginning from the tender age of five, when their bones are pliable and soft, the young girls wear the coils, with additional coils added every few years. The neck coils can weigh over img_791820 pounds, while the leg loops can weigh around 30 pounds. The coils near the neck are smaller and narrower before widening towards the shoulders. A cushion type of material protects the chin from the coils.

Contrary to wide-held perceptions, the neck is not stretched. The weight of the brass coils push the collar bones down instead and compress the rib cage, and this results in a shorter rib region. The coils are usually changed when a longer coil is needed.

The Padaung prefer to be referred to as Kayan and the name, ‘giraffe women’ is quite derogatory. I prefer to say, ‘swan-necked’ instead of ‘long-necked’ as they appear quite graceful when the coils are removed.

cf8013e9b809a87d3233bdef5a5dc4d8By the time a Padaung woman reaches maturity, she can end up with a full set of 25 coils. Generally, their costume consists of a head scarf that winds gracefully around the head; a short, coat over a loose, embroider-edged, white tunic, a mini, dark blue skirt and dark leggings (perhaps they were the precursor of the western leggings).

Having no historical records, theories abound as to the reasons behind the practice of coiling. They range from: protecting the neck from tiger bites; deterring slave traders from capturing the women, who may hopefully appear unattractive with their elongated necks; to preventing men from other tribes or regions from kidnapping the women.img_7974-cropped

img_7963It was a wonderful experience, seeing these lovely, gentle women but the weight of the coils they wear, were astonishingly heavy. These unique and distinct brass coils identify these Kayan or Padaung women, their culture and their ethnicity.

(C) Wendy Robinson All rights reserved

Being different is like being called ‘Limited Edition.’ Meaning you’re something people don’t see that often. Remember that! ~

All photographs are my own except for two: the little Kayan girl and the young women with the coils removed. They are from the internet and my thanks go to the photographer.

Footnote: *For those interested in facts, the Southern Ndebele women in South Africa wear rings as opposed to coils, around their neck and they do so after their marriage.

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