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 »
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
Brighton is London's Party Town so when the time come for Pride, Brighton council backs the event and calls it Brighton Community Pride. More than a quarter of a million people take part overall: in the parade, the music festival in the park or in the dance events on the beach and in Kemp Town. Community Pride means inclusive, everyone joins in, many of the events are family-friendly. Lots of bonhomie and slurred speaking plus a few hangovers on the train back on Sunday
Pretty though it is, you don’t want to see a double rainbow as the next thing is usually a downpour; today’s was accompanied by thunder echoing around the Meiji peaks and glaciers 2500 m. above the village of La Grave.
Two hours later, the road was dry, so time to roll. A photo-stop en route at a derelict garage: I like the photo of my new bike contrasting with this decay and riotous tagging. I think it’s about the impermanence of technology and also rebellion but I’m open to other suggested deconstructions of the image.
Finally, another “You know you’re in Marseille when...” the three scooters lining up next to you at the lights each do wheelies all the way to the next lights, and then again.