Sunday, 23 July 2017

Amazing Anacapri

Capri, an island in Italy’s Bay of Naples, is famed for its rugged landscape, turquoise blue waters and Caprese salads....oh, and capri trousers!  We were there earlier this month., staying in an Airbnb in the slightly less busy Anacapri towards the western end of the island. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't busy, but as is often the case with very touristy places, it's easy enough to shake off the crowds by taking a few turns away from the crowded central squares and streets. 

The island is spectacular. It is small, only 10.4km2, yet the highest point on the island, Monte Solaro, is 589m. The landscape is steep, rocky and dramatic. 

The roads are very windy and very steep, and many places are only reachable by using small pathways or lanes, and stairs, LOTS of stairs.

The secondary roads on the island would have been built for donkeys and carts. Present day cars certainly can't use them, which makes them perfect for walking along.

Nowadays if you're a local in Capri you are likely to move around on a vespa...

... or a vespa-van. There were lots of vespa-vans.

These quiet lanes were also perfect for admiring the local flora.

The fauna was okay too!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Dusky Pinks

I sometimes gather together photos which have a common colour. Lately I seem to have been taking photographs where dusky orangey pinks predominate: at sundown I find apricot coloured glowing walls and and bruised peach skies, during the day I find rose coloured flowers and pink street art. It hasn't been a deliberate search, it's just turned out that way. 

Here is my peach-pink-apricot-orange collection.

I went for a walk with my daughter the other evening, as we walked behind La Butte de Montmartre we saw the Sacré-Coeur dome, grey against a pink-peach-mauve sky. The colours are probably enhanced by the pollution, but let's not think about that!

A few years ago, more dusky pink skies, this time at sunrise. Morning blush.

Here is a rose that has a similar colour palate.

Ditto, giant poppies.

The same poppies taken two years previously at a different time of day.

A glowing wall, at sundown.

Pink and peach chalk as used by two Montmartroise after school clubs (Mont-Cenis and Houdon primary schools).

Evening sun lights up the Roman Amphitheatre in Arles.

Some original wall paper dating from the 1970s seems to favour peachy-pink for some of its flowers.

As do some Montmartroise street artists.

De l'Art, ou du cochon? That is the question. 

Friday, 28 April 2017

The Rain That Wets The Idiots

Have you ever heard the expression 'the rain that wets the idiots'? That's what we had this morning. Gentle drizzle that you may think doesn't warrant an umbrella, but without one you will quickly be left soaking wet. 

As I fished around for my umbrella this morning I realised I have a small umbrella photo-collection forming in my extensive photo archives.

Ta da!

Pont Solferino + daughter + camera = my happy place.

Here is statue on the riverside by the Le parc André-Citroën.

I think the above statue may have been modelled on our son.

Street artists like umbrellas too.

And when the rain stops, the umbrellas can be closed (Levalet and Hérard).

And we are left with puddles. Very special puddles sometimes.

Monday, 20 March 2017

When Daffodils Begin to Peer

When daffodils begin to peer, 
With heigh! the doxy, over the dale,
Why, then comes in the sweet o’ the year;
For the red blood reigns in the winter’s pale. 
The white sheet bleaching on the hedge,
With heigh! the sweet birds, O, how they sing! 
Doth set my pugging tooth on edge; 
For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.
(Shakespeare: The Winter's Tale, 4.2.1-8) 

Spring is finally with us. It is probably my favourite season of the year. A season full of hope and potential. At last the days are getting longer. When I wave the kids off to school it is no longer dark. Having hunkered down all winter in their small apartments, the first milder days of the year see the café terraces over flowing with Parisians, desperate for a vitamin D fix and some light hearted socialising. A break from the daily grind of waking in the dark, catching an overcrowded metro, work, overcrowded metro, dark, home. 

 I love the unfurling of the first fresh green leaves. 

Spring lace.

The first flowers emerge from their buds. 

The first petals fall.

And for hay fever sufferers out there, here is something for you!