Pedestrians, India

Notes from a Lay Bye: Road travel in India

Yup – that’s how they spell it. “Lay Bye”.  Local interpretations of the Indian Highway Code are a source of much-needed mirth at moments of stress. When you’re on any one of the subcontinent’s zillion roads, this means pretty much all the time. Unfortunately, my auto-rickshaw was careering too fast along the wrong side of...

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Fountain, Louvre

Fountains, frozen, the Louvre Paris

And not a drop to drink… This edit was inspired by an extremely severe bout of winter flu during which I lay parched and feverish with my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth, yet strangely nauseated by the taste of water. Hydrophobic, like a rabid dog. Although no dog has ever explained to...

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Love is in the air

Love is…in the air

Moments before swooping to their roosts as the sun set on 2010, the last starling murmuration of 2010 formed a heart that beat twice before dispersing into the evening air. A number of theories attempt to explain the birds’ behaviour: the ‘safety in numbers’ principle (self explanatory); or that none of them wants to be...

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Secret Santas, Sorrento

Santas’ Secrets: caption competition

At first glance, two jolly old Santas climbing a wall above Sorrento’s night market.  Closer reading of the image poses some interesting questions: why are they wearing those tiny (and empty?) manbags – rather than the usual over-the-shoulder sacks?  Why are they working as a pair? Are they scassinatori – burglars? Is there no end...

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When the Moon Hits your Eye

When the Moon Hits Your Eye

To mark the unusual (every half-century or so) occasion of a total eclipse falling on the Winter Solstice. The chances of your reading this and seeing another are relatively slim; the next will be in 2094. See Nasa’s lunar eclipse group on Flickr for related images, including one of the Washington Monument from a curiously...

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Grace Kelly, the Monaco Years

Full of … Grace

Grace Kelly – The Monaco Years, an exhibition marking the 25th anniversary of her death, eclipsed attempts by all others to do the same, which was, of course, the point. Her dresses were later passed to London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, but Monaco’s most memorable and moving exhibits were letters that the then Princess Grace...

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Place Magenta, Nice

A little drop…of belle epoque

Although the Carré d’Or lacks the almost medieval charm of Vieux Nice, its turn of the (19th) century architecture has its own appeal. At left, the Boulangerie Multari, a chain of bakeries selling extraordinarily delicious tartes and other farinacious delights....

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Sunrise, Baie des Anges, Nice

Je crois…aux Anges

Shot at dawn, midwinter, as I walked along the Promenade des Anglais. I noticed the gulls’ wings stirring as they fed at the water’s edge, and was ready with the camera by the time they’d taken flight. Other than sharpness and white balancing, this image has undergone no colour adjustment . Images such as this...

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Interior, Dome of the Russian Church, Sanremo

From Russia with Love

The domes of La Chiesa di Cristo Salvatore, Santa Caterina Martire e San Serafino di Sarov (Church of Christ the Savior, St. Catherine the Martyr and St. Serafin de Sarov) are its most beautiful and distinctive attributes.  They featured fleetingly in the 2009 movie Io Sono L’amore (I am Love), whose heroine, Emma Recchi (Tilda...

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Olive branch, Bellissimi, Liguria

01.11.10

Palondromic primes, like today’s date, are said to be auspicious for new beginnings and also to represent the cyclic nature of existence . Here, in the olive groves of Imperia, Liguria, the fruit is famous for its sweetness, and is handpicked to prevent bruising, (the oil becomes bitter if the fruit is hurt). The olive...

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