Views of Mt Blanc over the autumn colours in the deciduous trees around the Lac de Roseland. A couple of little hikes up from the car at the Cormet de Roseland (1967 m.), this with a friend from the Ski Club of Annecy. Hiking above the tree line, we enjoyed the last of the views in the quiet and clear air before the storms set in. Probably my last opportunity this year to hike above 2000m.
I love and hate Marseille in almost equal measure. I love the camaraderie, the architecture, the relatively open society but I hate the squalor and the mindless hooliganism.... and the high taxes. I feel no less safe than in Shepherds Bush, West London. There’s been a strike for more than a week by the rubbish collectors, the tourist places are still clean enough but the residential neighbourhoods are covered in rubbish and at night you can see rats. So in this one picture you have creative Marseille with imaginative street art and its music, also the shiny motorcycles and the hundred year-old plane trees under the famous blue sky. But also the bins overflowing and the old paint on the dirty buildings.
Note the shop behind the bin, it’s selling “Home Hygiene”. Poubelles la Vie is a pun on Plus Belle la Vie, the primetime soap on French TV3 about life in Marseille; poubelles = rubbish.
Faces blurred - this is France
See also « Plus Belle la Vie »
Chalet Reynard, Mt. Ventoux, these days known mostly to cyclists, trail runners and walkers. Forty years ago and mostly annually before then, this modest cafe was one of the principal viewing points for a major motorsport event, La course de côte du Mont Ventoux (Mont Ventoux Hill Climb), the race to the summit of Ventoux, in the format of a time trial ie TT. First run in 1902, the roads were unsealed and the winning time over the 21½ km course up from the village of Bédoin (alt. 256 m.) to the summit of Mt. Ventoux (1908 m.) was 27 mins 17 sec.
Day trip to the Lake District for a raid hike up England’s sixth highest peak. Not wishing to experience the “Cumbrian Monsoon”, I chose the day for this raid only after obsessive following of the weather forecsats and decided the route at the last moment; even then, choosing the short, steep path up Skiddaw was a bit of a punt. It worked out well, dry but with very strong winds on the ridges at the summits.
The view from Skiddaw Little Man (865m.) south over Derwent Water and towards Great Gable (899 m.) was dramatic as the weather was still unsettled following yesterday’s storms; Honister (in the middle of this view) received more than 200mm of rain yesterday, more in one day than this month’s average rainfall.
Down the rocky road (Skiddaw Slates, early Ordovician metamorphosed sedimentary rock), still windy, then tea in the garden in Keswick with Mike and his sister before catching the big train back to London. The same effect as my Day hike from London to Blencathra but this time I didn’t drop my camera!
Covent Garden market, the buskers playing a Mozart Flute Quartet, who knows if the adjacent production of The Magic Flute influenced their choice of repertoire.
Inside the opera house the familiar chords at the start of the Overture, laden with symbolism and foreboding presage some of Mozart’s most magical music. Curtain up on tonight’s revival of the 2003 production designed by John Macfarlane.
Sunrise, the unique moment at the start of each day. It happens daily, should be commonplace to us all but so often we miss it in urban life, maybe seeing just a faint hint of dawn on the daily commute.
You awake in the pre-dawn grey murk; the clouds stay dark but the colour increases, you think it may not happen. Then suddenly, gloriously, the red disc appears through the gloom, night is over and a new day dawns. The animals stir as the warming rays of sunshine radiate on the world.
This view is from our balcony in Menton
The two sides of Italy, the picturesque, historic but then the traffic. Ventimiglia roundabout is notorious as the first encounter with Italian traffic after the frontier with France. Scooters, white vans and just people in cars all mingle in a chaotic urban jumble. The camera hides the lack of paint and crumbling masonry, revealing only the wildlife in the river Roya and the picturesque Ligurian town just across the border from French Menton.
Playtime on two wheels after our hiking and car trip to the Écrins. Sportsbike in the sunshine, roads clear and the sun not too hot. This time the Pas d’Ouillier, 340 m., a real play road with convenient roundabouts at each end, three runs on that, then another three on the Route des Crêtes, the 15km cliff road with some interesting twists and turns over Cap Canaille between Cassis and La Ciotat, just to the east of Marseille.
Thirty-eight photographers exhibiting in Hackney Wick, some their first public exhibition, some well-known names showing their private work, some their commercial work. Many intriguing, thoughtful images from voices that aren’t seen/heard widely enough. If the art world is to discover another Mapplethorpe to celebrate then maybe it will be one of these photographers or another from the 4000-strong Gay Photographers Network.
Saint-Julien clarets are reckoned to be amongst the finest available because of the well-drained soil and their many generations of experience since the growers were listed back in 1855. My Father first bought bottles of Château Léoville-Barton in honour of our neighbours in Cambridge, the Bartons. This bottle of 1989 vintage was one of the last bottles of Léoville-Barton he laid down for drinking much later. The same year, 1989, he also inscribed and presented to me a copy of Féret’s classic guide Bordeaux and its wines.