New Year’s Day Walk

It was good to get out for a long walk this morning after the festivities of New Year’s Eve. The sun shone and I grabbed my camera, heading out to the Bedelands in Burgess Hill, West Sussex near my home. It was early and aside from a few early bird dog walkers, I had the forest and fields pretty much to myself.

 

 

A Weekend in Puglia, Italy – Part 2

On Sunday we headed into the Southern Italian city of Lecce…well, we got there eventually. Our tour bus had a flat tire on the way, so we cooled our heels by the roadside for an hour watching the Formula 500 which is the highway in Italy.

It was another gorgeous December day. And we did what any good tourists do as soon as they get off a tour bus… we headed to a cafe for coffee!

Then in was a leisurely tour around the beautiful city — I got so caught up in photographing the chocolate stalls in the chocolate square (a chocolate square, imagine!!!), that I almost missed the bus out of town. But I was retrieved and we headed off to a fantastic farewell lunch at an olive farm before heading off to the airport in Bari…..got what ended up being a 5 hour wait. Oh well. Still, it was an unexpected treat to spend a couple of days in Italy.

 

A Weekend in Puglia, Italy – Part 1

italy 82I was lucky enough to be invited down to Puglia, Italy last weekend for a design conference held by the Italian Trade Commission. No need to ask me twice! I packed a carry-on and headed off to Stansted Airport to catch the Ryanair flight to Bari.

After a day meeting Italian suppliers, I got up early on the Sunday morning to catch the beautiful early morning light. I had a walk around the grounds of the lovely hotel Masseria San Domencio in Fasano, and managed to capture some images as the sun was rising.

It’s nice to remember there are places with blue sky in December.

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A Quick Visit to Rural Quebec

I spent a few days in rural Quebec this summer staying with my friend Rockchick and her boyfriend Rockguy, and their cats — we mustn’t forget them. We were all off to the country wedding of some great friends of ours (and what a wedding it was! But that’s another story).

Here’s a little taster of rural Quebec in August. And, yes, you do want to go there.

A jaunt to Hudson. Lots of mooching around shops and flea markets. :-)

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And lunch at the Willow Inn, with a view over the Lake of Two Mountains to Oka.

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Vintage car rally in a parking lot we stumbled upon in St. Lazare (oh, my brother Carguy would’ve given an arm and a leg to be there).

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August is corn season. You can buy it at roadside stalls in front of farms all over the countryside. There’s nothing like eating corn that’s been picked that morning. It’s enough to get me back to Quebec every August.

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A walk in the woods in St. Lazare.

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The wedding was at a fantastic sugar shack restaurant in the countryside called Le Pied de Cochon. The theme was lumberjack chic. Well, it would be wouldn’t it? Oh, and the food was AMAZING.

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Maple cream profiterole tower drizzled with maple caramel. Lit with sparklers. For the wedding cake. Oh my, oh my.

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There was a garden party the next day. The orchestra were music student buskers my friends found on the streets of Montreal and the food was catered by the good people of Le Pied de Cochon.

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Being as the venue was on a river, some of the guests arrived Canadian style.

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Oh, and I mustn’t forget the cats.

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Newfoundland Flowers

I love photographing flowers, so on my summer trip to Newfoundland I could often be found in a field with my camera, getting close to flowers, not to mention bees, ladybirds, and butterflies. We all get so caught up in the “big picture” in our busy lives, it’s good to remember the beauty of small things.

Fireweed was turning the fields mauve all along the coast.

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And blue dotted the fields everywhere, in irises, harebells, vetch, and, of course, blueberries which were just ripening.

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The heady scent of wild roses wafted over the August fields.

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And white! Labrador Tea, daisy, yarrow, roses….

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Everywhere, just everywhere, beautiful lupins coming into flower.

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Sunny yellow flowers lit up the green fields and covered rocks with summer.

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And every now and then, a touch of red.

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berries  flowersAnd random mixes.

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Nature is generous. We should take some time to notice.