Friday, 12 September 2014

White Light and Crisp Shadows

It's been a while since I did a 'morning stroll' post. Given the cloudless skies we've been having lately I thought it was about time I went and savoured the beautiful neighbourhood where we live. White autumnal light and crisp shadows.

The new Paris street bins give a lovely shadow.

The lampposts too.

I love this corner in Montmartre, rue de l'Armée d'Orient, an 'L' shaped road that cuts a corner off the higher section of rue Lepic. This art deco house with the glazed veranda to the left is beautiful but looks like it needs some renovation work.

This view at the very top of rue Lepic never fails to make me stop in my tracks. 

The lampposts were catching the sun and glowing.

An orange long legged monster reached out for the lamppost.

Once at the top of the hill Paris presented herself. Hazy shades of smoky grey. Looking east towards the 20th arrondissement. 

Walking down the stairs in front of the Sacré Cœur these flowers caught my eye.

I looked back up towards the Basilica. The haze had lifted and the sky was an intense blue.

Down at the bottom of the stairs I passed the manège and watched the small white horse gambling through the trees.

Before the final flight of stairs I paused to take this photo, I was in the perfect spot to capture the facade straight on.

Finally I headed towards le Boulevard de Rochechouart, I glanced back one more time. 

More 'morning stroll' posts can be found here.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Hatfield House

While we were on holiday in the UK we visited Hatfield House Estate. The original Old Palace was built in 1497 by the Minister of King Henry VII, John Morton. In 1509 when Henry the VIII was crowned the Palace came into the King's hands and became the primary residence for his children. Fifty or so years later Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, decided to tear most of the Old Palace down and build a new bigger and 'better' one next door, in the Jacobean style. Although most of the Old Palace was pulled down the Grand Hall is thankfully still standing. It is spectacular from both the inside ...

... and the outside. I love the rich red/brown colour of the bricks.

The stable yard has recently been refurbished. I really like the inky blue paint that was used to stain the timber. It matches the blue/grey bricks used to create patterns in the facades (see above).

When I say visiting, I should probably explain that we only saw a tiny part of the grounds, apart from the Grand Hall we saw the stable and coach yard where the shops are. Our daughter had just had a pretty aggressive tummy bug and this was our first outing in a few days. She was very wobbly on her feet and only managed to walk from the car to the café. No cream cakes for her though!

Hatfield House website cane be found here.

Another BBONTHEBRINK post that features 'Bricks bricks Bricks'. 

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Dreaming of Sunflowers

We missed out on seeing sunflowers this year, so I'm dreaming about them instead. Most of these are Loire sunflowers.

After the rain.

The bees like them too.

As far as the eye can see.

They also look wonderful from behind.

Bonne journée to you all.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Golden Oxford Stone

I was born and brought up in Oxford, but as a teenager and young adult I confess I wasn't really looking around me and admiring the beauty of the place. I was too busy coordinating my gazillion and one part time jobs with a view to leaving town as soon as possible. Now, as a 'grownup', I've started to look around me more carefully and of course this city has some rather amazing historical sites to admire. What has struck me this visit is the beauty of the stone, a rich golden coloured sandstone with toffee overtones, prone to erosion and as a result full of texture. 

Here is the view you get as you walk behind the Sheldonian Theatre in the centre of town, looking towards the Divinity School.

The detail of the stonework is amazing, and why those stone mullions don't break is beyond me.

Filigree corinthian capitals.

I love these wall ties that punctuate the facade of the north wall of the Bodleian Library.

This windowless facade on the western wall of the Bodleian Library courtyard to the is so striking. 

The Divinity School was just closing as we arrived, but I managed to take a sneak photo as the door was being closed. Look at the groin vaults on that!

And as we headed towards home, I got a a quick glimpse of the (Oxford) Bridge of Sighs, so called because of its' similarity to the Bridge of Sighs in Venice. Though no boats passing underneath here.