Category Archives: Holiday

The Beach

Menton, Cote d’Azur

We had been enjoying sunny blue skies and beautiful weather since we came down here in the south but alas, it’s time to leave and we are dreading the cold and damp air that will welcome us in the north. So I am taking with me these beautiful beach scenes of Menton to warm me up a bit during the cold nights that will come ahead…

Meet my travelling non-gnome, Dini

A few weekends ago, while ambling along a flea market for some treasures, I noticed this tiny dinosaur toy  being sold by a 10-year old boy for 50 centimes (65 US cents).  He probably has grown tired of the toy I thought, but in my photographic eye, it suddenly dawned on me that this would be a perfect travelling non-gnome  to take along with on my travel escapades!

As a photographer,  I am always behind my camera and making my family or friends pose for me is always a big problem as sometimes they are not too cooperative whenever I ask them to act like a clown or to stand upside down or hang on a line with one hand, etc…etc…

And so I bought the toy which I named “Dini” and from then on, my photo shoots of famous landmarks and even insignificant spots have become more exciting as never before!  Tourists next to me would probably laugh at my actions but I don’t mind.  The  important thing is, I believe I have put my photographic passion into a higher dimension, lol!

There is a history behind this.  It was started by an Australian in the 80’s when he stole a friend’s garden gnome and took it with him to his travels.  He would take a picture of the thing in each new place he went to and post the photo on the web!  This started the Travelling Gnome trend!

But I prefer a non-gnome and choosing Dini is one of the best decisions I have ever taken in my entire travelling life!

So meet my cute little Dini.  He will, no doubt, become the most-travelled dinosaur toy in the universe!


“Get me out of this rose garden! “

If King Kong can climb the Empire State building, my own little Dini can do the same with the Eiffel Tower!

“Yey, I’m going  to England for the first time!”

(Yes, this is Dini’s first travel out of the country (France) and naturally he was so excited!  This is the bus we took from Paris to London, 8 hours travelling time crossing the English channel via the Eurotunnel. )

Dini: Why are you unhappy, Mr Fountainhead?
FH:    Because I’m thirsty…. I’ve been here for several hundred years spouting water but it’s only in the 21st century that they stopped water flowing out of me

Dini stopping to see the memorial of Princess Diana at the Pont d’Alma.

The sculpture is called the Flame of Liberty, a replica of the torch carried in the hand of the Statue of Liberty.  It was offered to the people of France by donors throughout the world as a symbol of the Franco-American friendship.  The Flame has become  an unofficial memorial for Princess Diana who met her fatal accident in the tunnel below.

Holiday time by the River Soar, UK

Having just moved to the UK last June, we are experiencing our very first British summer and I am liking it so much because, after all, the English countryside – which comprises of bucolic scenery of canals, woods, matured trees, historic architecture, charming villages with their stunning medieval churches – is still my top reason why I adore this country!

It’s been a warm and rainless summer so everybody was really up and about just enjoying their time. And this, I promise you, is the best time to scout for the best shots.

Enjoy the photos!


Barrow-on-Soar, Leicestershire

The gently-winding river Soar with its rural scenery is very popular for narrow boat cruising..

Kayaking in the calm waters of the river is a great way to forget the stresses of modern life..

It was a hot Saturday with temperature soaring at 30degC!

A narrow boat waiting for the water to rise before going through the lock in Mountsorrel.

Camping is still the cheapest way to holiday!

Giant mushrooms growing everywhere.  This one we found in the campsite next to our camping spot.

At Loughborough to have some lunch.  The heat is an excuse to show your tattoos!

A lovely moment to do trainspotting over the bridge of Barrow..


August in Paris, 2012

 It’s been two years since my post “August in Paris” and since it is August again and the same empty  surroundings are pervadingly apparent that I thought  I should do a follow-up post.   About a week ago, a photo of an empty Parisian street was posted on the net where the author also talked about the “every-summer-exodus” and the resulting quietness.  So clearly everyone is noticing it.

Here are my recent photos:


Most shops, restaurants and commercial establishments close down as the personnel, like everyone else,  need to take their holiday, too!


(Train station closed)

But the catch of this phenomenon is, you get stuck on how to buy your train ticket especially if the ticket machine is out of order and the tecnician is away on holiday!


One thing I like is the almost zero traffic!  This is the normally busy rue d’Université infront of Hotel les Invalides.  Such tranquility!


Just at the foot of Pont Alexandre III on the  Grand Palais side is this long parking line of tourist buses bringing visitors not only from all over Europe but also from around the world!  Did you know that an estimated 82 million tourists visited France in 2011! That’s a record number!  That’s more than the population of France which is only 65 million!

But anyway, in July and August, they say that it’s the tourists who practically run the city of Paris – I mean, running and walking and occupying all hotels and short-term accommodations while the  locals are bronzing away by the sea or holidaying in the country or in the mountains!


This is the best time to indulge in city photography, when there are not much human or vehicular obstacles about!


The metro stations are missing the office yuppies, there’s no rushing on the tunnel walkways.  It’s just the ambling tourists feeling like promenading under moonlight, which is a bit annoying since yours truly has taken to rushing at metro tunnels herself.


No queues at the Hotel de Ville’s free exhibition, hurray!  Normally, I would line up to an hour or so as these exhibitions are well-attended!


You can jump, run, skip around the Buren columns here at the courtyard of Palais Royal without fear of colliding with a passerby!


Such quiet surroundings…now really it’s the best time to see the city!  As many Anglo-Saxons and Scandinavians say, “France would be so much better without the French!”