In Libreria Acqua Alta they are prepared for high water and flooding
..like no other!
In Libreria Acqua Alta they are prepared for high water and flooding
with books stacked in a gondola
and in kayaks.
You can sit and read looking onto the canal
This is also the fire escape. And there are chandeliers on the crumbling ceiling,
and several cats.
If you have been to Venice you will know that even in April it can be very crowded and we found it best to be out early, or late after the day trippers have left, and to go to some of the lesser known museums and galleries.
On our first full day Heather had us up before dawn to see the sunrise from in front of the Doge's Palace.
This is my favourite shot.
One of the many sweepers out at dawn to clean, with birch brooms, the Piazza and the surrounding areas.
There were only the sweepers and a few other photographers around and the light was beautiful.
The Bridge of Sighs Ponte del Sospiri built in the 1600's and so called because of the supposed sighs of those who passed from the courts of the Doge's Palace on the left to the prison building on the right.
It took us just 15 minutes with the help of Google to get from our apartment to Piazza San Marco, without it it took 40 fascinating minutes to get back!
There is something to astonish and delight at every turn.
Back for breakfast on the terrace in warm sunshine!
Heather and I were walking back through a quiet, almost empty Piazza San Marco to our apartment having just been to a superb performance of Madame Butterfly in La Fenice. It had rained while we were in the theatre. The cafes were almost empty and the chairs were being cleared away but the orchestra was still playing...I didn't really want anything other than Puccini in my head, but my feet were doing the listening and they could not help but move to Scott Joplin. Heather laughed and videod me (No, I am not showing it here!)
Almost exactly two years to the day since this post...
I am passionate about Venice.
A wedding today.
Venice by night is magical. Lighted windows became something of a theme....
'Our' bridge! The door to our apartment is just by the railings on the right.
..to avoid the snow! We must have been in one of the very few places in UK not to have snowstorms (my village was cut off while I was away). Ardfern was bitterly cold but dry and bright with barely a flurry of the white stuff, and we had a most relaxing time.
We were five (three good cooks - I am so lucky with my friends!). A walk around the frozen ponds in Arduaine Gardens looking at the strange hieroglyphs on the frosted paths, books, films, food and wine and lots of laughter. We watched in amazement the rest of the country on the nightly news and shared pictures and news from our stranded friends and families.
The roads had re-opened when it was time to come home.
This seemed to be the only hazard (and we didn't see it).
How did you fare?
I hope you are all safe and warm.
A nice wee Scottish town with great beaches,
and long-legged people
with interesting shoes
I wonder who designs the soles?
and if it's a fun job..
Nairn also has
this lovely old postbox
and the best flower shop in the area. (My sister's!)
So many of York's important buildings were under scaffolding on my last visit (Phoebe the cat lives in York).
St William's College.
The Mansion House.
With photograph. (To show you what you are missing.)
And many many more..
Inluding the Minster which always was and always will be partially covered in scaffolding. It's essential work and it is good that the money can be found for conservation though it must be a bit frustrating for visitors who have come especially to see the architecture.
The east end of the Minster has been covered in scaffolding for many years while the restoration and conservation of the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world was carried out. It is wonderful to see it uncovered again.
The very essence of an ideal holiday for me..being out of doors in gentle sunshine, eating out, a total media break, a good book/gallery/concert...simple requirements.
This can be city or country, abroad or at home, any season, and for a day or a week. I could add no timetable, the freedom to change my mind on a whim, and I would always want my camera.
I prefer short breaks and like to think that is because I love home and don't need to 'escape' it to have a holiday.
Are you also torn between returning to places you love and going somewhere new?
I enjoy quite frequent changes of scene and prefer the company of family and close friends to that of strangers, though I'm happy with my own company too.
Childhood holidays at the seaside, away from the city grime were very special and keenly anticipated once a year events, though when an aunt moved to rural Wigtownshire we spent Easters and some of summer there in the bracing air with wide sandy beaches to ourselves and the freedom to go and explore on our own.
I love holidays.
A special birthday with a patchwork theme.
Quilt expert Maggie (we set up Quilter's Patch in York together) hung her favourite quilts around the walls of the prettily transformed hall where the party was to be held. We took the opportunity to photograph the collection the day before.
It was such fun being part of a team again, and I also had the nice job of doing flowers and candles for the tables....
Plentiful food and drink, music, family and friends to catch up with - the party, like the birthday girl, was amazing!
Thank you Maggie and family.
Do you have a place you think of as your second home?
Regular readers will know that I feel that way about the city of York.
I love this statue by the Minster.
That hand - so expressive of power, cinfidence, arrogance even. It makes me wonder about the man and his times and want to know more. Nowhere brings history alive for me quite like this city.
I was there for a very special party.
The Bach Christmas Oratorio in the Berliner Dom was thrilling.
A dusting of snow on the hills at home today...and here is a poem for the solstice.
I was staying with my artist friend Lynne Cameron who is living and working in Berlin and has an exhibition at Under The Mango Tree Gallery in the attractive Schoneberg district - good restaurants, stylish clothes shops, great coffee shops and a Saturday market with traditional German cakes, Turkish food and Polish specialities, Christmas foliage and amaryllis and masses of mistletoe.
See Lynne's work here and read what she says about the recent tragedy here at The Empathy Blog.
I got back from a wonderful few days in Berlin yesterday afternoon and am so dismayed at how the atmosphere - so friendly, civilized, festive and delightful when we visited this beautiful market on Friday - must have changed to one of horror since the violent attack on innocent people last night.
I am full of admiration for all those Berliners who made a point of attending the Christmas markets today.
We change the clocks back an hour here in uk this weekend. Hibernation instincts revive (if that's the right word!)
I am looking forward to reading The Idea of North by Peter Davidson.
More about north tomorrow..
Real music in Betty's and on the street, real coffee, real food, real friends, history made real at every turn, real charm, real luxury in ancient buildings for the price of a cup of tea - treating the commercial world as a museum (a suggestion I think by architect Frank Gehry) I had a wonderful week in York, my favourite city....
Do you have a favourite city?
PS On this grey drizzly morning I have just ordered some deliciously coloured tulips from the Sarah Raven Sale.
..houses with my artist friend in York. City for me, country for Elizabeth.
Have you ever swapped houses?
Back in a week!
Meanwhile I think this is worth a second look, don't you? (Scroll down to Smiling Face.) And the fuchsias still look fabulous.
We stayed in Comrie in Perthshire and visited The Earthquake House above. We were lucky to be there on the one day a year when it is open to the public (at other times you can look through doors and windows) and even luckier that there had been seismic activity recorded during the early hours of that morning which I thought was quite exciting.
I also felt very lucky to stay in a house designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh - a very modest commission taken on between the first and second phase of his famous Glasgow School of Art. It is looked after by the conservation charity The Landmark Trust.
Austere, but comfortable too.
The view from the window of Comrie, a comely or couthie wee place and a good centre for touring the area.
..with attractive shops, hotel and restaurants- not fancy...but I liked it.
Plain and simple.
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)