Category Archives: summer

On The Walk of the Gods

High up, very high up in the hills overlooking the Amalfi Coast is a walk (let’s say vertiginous hike) which threads along the cliffs, past the ghosts of farmhouses and terraces overgrown with grapevines — the grapes warm and sweet if you are tempted — from Praiano to Positano. The walk can take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours, depending on your pace and fitness, or you can join the path in other mountain towns like Apergo, where you can do a loop in about 2 hours (good if you want to get back to your car without having to take a cab or the bus!). That’s the option we took. We were following famous footsteps:

“Is this the view that from on high along the Path of the Gods, opens to our sight: it is the picture of the great loop of the Amalfi coastline that looks towards the west, towards the Island of Capri, that precipitous coast, steamy, hot, with the crystalline mountains where the gods of today are forsaken and you find a lost self again, Mediterranean, before you.” D. H. Lawrence

As Lawrence intimated, it can get hot up there, so best to wear a hat and sunglasses, slather yourself with high factor sunscreen, bring lots of water (which you can refill from fresh water taps along the way), and opt to do the walk outside of the broiling months of July and August (we did it in September, which was perfect — sunny with a touch of cool breeze wafting up from the coast far, far, far, far below).

It was marvellous.

 

 

Escape to Capri

Am just back from a wonderful week down on the Amalfi Coast, with jaunts to Capri, Pompeii and Naples with my lovely Canadian friends Craig and JP. Landing in Naples, I dashed across town on the airport bus to the port (good value) where I met up with them, and we hopped straight onto the ferry to the island of Capri. The sky was blue, the sun was warm, and, it being September, the holiday crowds had thinned. They had booked us a fantastic Air BnB villa in nestled against the hills, with a fantastic view of the town. Once the day trippers caught the last ferry back to Naples at 7pm, the alleyways and town square quietened down, and we enjoyed an evening walk past the tempting shops until the delicious smells wafting from the E’Divino Restaurant beckoned us through their door.

The next day we got up early to explore the island, fortified by frequent stops for frothy cappucinos and lemon granita.

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In My Garden

A few mornings ago I awoke to a sight I hadn’t seen much of over here in Sussex, England this month — blue sky and sun. So, after some coffee and toast (with peanut butter), I grabbed by camera and headed out into the garden. Time to commune with the flowers and the bees.

 

 

 

Port Lympne Wild Animal Park

Last summer I spent a fantastic day learning about wildlife photography on Nigel Wilson’s photography course held at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent. So when the opportunity arose to join the class again, well, you didn’t have to ask me twice. Here are some of the day’s images.

http://www.aspinallfoundation.org/port-lympne

http://www.photographycourses.org.uk

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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On the Road in New Brunswick

New Brunswick was a revelation for me. I wasn’t a stranger to Canada’s east coast, what with being a Newfoundlander with many family connections in Nova Scotia, but I’d never spent much time in the only officially bilingual province in Canada. So, Cuz K (a Newfoundlander who’d grown up in New Brunswick) made sure my summer visit was going to change all that.

But first, we had a fabulous cousins’ party to attend to when our cousin Beergirl arrived from Halifax, well supplied with coolers of beer and other alcoholic delights. Oh, did I mention that Cuz K has the most amazing view from her house over the St John River in Nackawic?

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Other the the beautful countryside, Nackawic is reknowned world over (according to local signage) for being the location of the world’s biggest axe (only to be rivalled, I think by the world’s large hockey stick in Duncan, BC — I’ve got a picture of that too).

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Shaking off the vestiges of our jolly evening, it being August and holiday time, we packed up our swim gear and headed to the beach the next day.  The sun was hot and glorious, the ocean fresh and reviving, and there was lots and lots of space. And it was a Saturday in August. Am I going to tell you the name of the beach? Would you tell me? (Okay, okay — it’s the New River Beach Provincial Park).

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After the beach we headed into the pretty seaside town of St. Andrews for an early supper of fish and chips washed down with mouth-watering Bloody Caesars (and a Virgin Mary for the driver) on the outside terrace at The Gables. We finished off our day with a walk along the pier as the sun began to set.

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