Designer Shoes in Profile: Fantasy versus Reality

Designer Shoes: the Fantasy  I saw all these shoes in a marvellous independent shop in the  trendy Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge.  Oh, to be a Bright Young Thing and have small, pointy feet!     My Shoes: the Reality: So inspired was I by all these colourful designer shoes on my screen, I thought I’d show you what the well dressed blogger is wearing this morning on her feet. (Well, it is a cold wet, wintery day and my house clogs are so very comfortable)   Thanks to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: View from the Side for giving me the idea for this post. 

Looking Down with some Degree of Nostalgia

The Kyles of Bute in Scotland’s Cowal Peninsula is one of my favourite places in the whole world.   In Glasgow when I was a child (in the olden days) it was a tradition  to take summer day trip on “The Waverley” paddle steamer. This annual treat was called “goin’ doon the watter“, though my English mother never allowed such Glaswegian dialect to be spoken in her presence!  The steamer left from the  Broomielaw dock in the centre of Glasgow, sailed down River Clyde out to the Firth and over to the Kyles of Bute.  A kyle (in Scottish Gaelic, a “Caol” or “Caoil”) is a narrow strip of water; this one separates the northern end of the Isle of Bute from the Cowal Peninsula.  When I was teaching, we used to bring  kids here for a week’s field studies trip every year for about 10 years.  We stayed in an education centre, formerly a Victorian millionaire’s house,  in the village of Colintraive. When I look at this photograph I can pinpoint exactly where it was;  it’s tucked in behind the trees on the shore of the bay on the left, by the wee white buildings you might just make out. […]

Barcelona: La Pedrera – Where Chimney-pots have Warrior Faces

Barcelona: Casa Milà (La Pedrera): Rooftop Perhaps there are lots of traditional chimney pots that look like faces, but none as can be as spectacular as those on the roof of Casa Milà (La Pedrera) in Barcelona. This modernist building in Barcelona, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, was built between 1906 and 1912. When it was built, its avant-garde style subjected it to much ridicule. This led to it being nicknamed “La Pedrera” meaning “The Stone Quarry”. It was also referred to as “The Easter Cake”.  Nowadays, it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “The Works of Antoni Gaudi”.    As you approach it along the Passeig De Gràcia you can just about see the tops of a couple of chimney-pots:     Then after a few hours marvelling at the interior of the building, you step out onto the roof. And WOW!:     A Catalan poet described the roof space as “The Garden of Warriors” defending the skylights and the atrium:   They are everywhere. And they are HUGE.   I’ve just found the most amazing virtual tour on La Pedrera Website here, so if you can’t get to Barcelona right away, you can always […]

Flying and the Art of Levitation as Practised by Swans

Flying and the Art of Levitation have fascinated me since I was a child when I frequently made unsuccessful attempts to do either or both. I always believed that the reason I couldn’t  fly was because I wasn’t trying hard enough. Somehow I knew that this potential ability should NEVER be revealed to grown-ups, so I explained that all the thuds coming from my room upstairs were me jumping/falling off my bed. To this day, I still day-dream about it.  Perhaps I was a bird in a past life.  Perhaps I will be in a future life…….. Before my 400mm lens became too heavy to cart around and my reactions slowed down, I used to love photographing birds in flight. Here are some Whooper Swans flying:     And here is a Glaswegian stunt swan practising the art of levitation:     No more practising the art of levitation for me. If I jumped off my bed now, I’d probably break my hip!   Many thanks again to Cee for hosting her Fun Foto Challenge: Crawling or Flying  

Sagrada Familia: Colours of Light

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is to post images showing Big and Small. I’ve seldom felt as small as when I visited Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia. It is the biggest building I’ve ever been inside and what an experience it was. I was in Wonderland, The Hall of the Mountain King, The Greatest Wonder of the Modern World.  I was in the basilica that the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi designed for his city and which has been under construction since 1883. Rumour has it that it may be finished in the mid-2020’s. Whilst my tourist snapshots don’t do it justice at all, they do serve to remind me of its beauty and its grandeur. It is quite simply breath-taking. (If you want to see some professional pictures of it they are here on the Sagrada Familia Website. Or better still book yourself a trip to Barcelona and enjoy it all first hand. Travel Tip: skip breakfast, get there early and have a pre-booked timed-entry ticket. Once you’re inside you can stay as long as you like). By getting there early and being in no hurry to leave, we were able to follow the light as the sun shone at different angles, highlighting […]

Dark and Light at Jenny Brown’s Point

I took these pictures on a coastal walk last week. A forty-minute drive up the motorway takes us to the Silverdale area at the extreme North-West of Lancashire. It’s an unspoilt peninsula, mostly by-passed by the hordes of tourists who head a bit further up the road into Cumbria’s beautiful Lake District. We went for a short walk from the village of Silverdale, starting at Jack Scout and following the cliff-top path to Jenny Brown’s Point. These shots show the winter sun on Morecambe Bay at low tide and are my post for this week’s Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Dark and Light:            

A Very Musical Chair

This Very Musical Chair was, and probably still is, in the oldest surviving Music Hall IN THE WORLD.     I discovered  Glasgow’s Britannia Panopticon Music Hall a couple of years before I left Glasgow. It is being painstakingly restored by enthusiasts who also put on regular Saturday afternoon shows in true Music Hall tradition to raise funds. They provide a unique entertainment experience.   The history of the Panopticon makes fascinating reading. If you have 5 minutes to spare then I would recommend clicking on this link. But if you are very,very busy, then here’s a short extract: …..This was an audience that had for generations cut its teeth on the barbarous practice of public punishments and executions, which in Glasgow had been the only form of legitimate entertainment from the 1550s to the 1750s. Consequently the Glasgow audience evolved over the generations into a merciless mob who literally left no turn un-stoned. In Britannia Music Hall the turns (acts) could find themselves pelted with shipyard rivets, nails, rancid turnips and horse manure, whilst urine might rain down on them from the balcony. However, if the turn appealed to the Britannia’s audience, they would be rewarded with thunderous applause and […]

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