All photographs on this Blog are copyrighted © by the photographer, whose permission is required for any usage. Contact me by E-mail

31/05/2009

Valldemossa, Majorca


This photo was taken in Valldemossa (in Catalan) or Valldemosa (in Spanish), village on the island of Majorca, Balearic Islands.
Valldemossa is famous for one landmark: the Royal Charterhouse of Jesus of Nazareth, built from the first years of the 14th century, when the mystic and philosopher
Ramon Llull lived in this area of Majorca.
In the 1830s the Spanish government confiscated monasteries, and the historic estate was sold to private owners, who have since hosted some prominent guests. These have included the Polish composer
Frédéric Chopin and the French writer and pioneering feminist George Sand (who wrote a notable account of A Winter in Majorca, describing their 1838–39 visit and praising the island's natural beauty but criticizing what she perceived as the prejudice and vices of the natives).
Later the Nicaraguan poet
Rubén Darío was host of the Sureda y Montaner families who own the Chartreuse estate. To fight his own nightmares Rubén Darío would sleep in monk habits, however his drinking habits caused a rift with his private hosts and thus his departure from the former monastery and from Majorca.
Also
Jorge Luis Borges lived in the town with his parents and his sister Norah, after the First World War let them free from their refuge in Geneva. Borges passionate friendship with the young artist Jacobo Sureda Montaner, son of the painter Pilar Montaner, was decisive for Borges writing mainly in Spanish.
Since the XIX century Valldemossa was promoted internationally as a beautiful spot thanks to the affection of a distinguished traveller and cultural writer, the Austrian Archduke
Ludwig Salvator.

30/05/2009

Traeth Benar, Morfa Dyffryn Beach, Snowdonia National Park, Wales


This photo was taken in Traeth Benar, Morfa Dyffryn Beach, on the west coast of Wales, between Barmouth and Harlech in Gwynedd and within boundaries of Snowdonia National Park
Benar beach consists of four miles of sand dunes, with much conservation interest. Inland from the beach are the rugged Rhinog mountains.

28/05/2009

School For Children Of Cambodia (SCC)


This is a photo was taken in a Cambodian village.
Schools For Children of Cambodia (SCC) is a UK registered charity that partners with local communities to improve access and quality of basic education in Cambodia. SCC believes that every child, both girls and boys, rich and poor, has the right to a free, good-quality education.

27/05/2009

The Hammer And Sickle


This photo was taken during a demonstration and is a closeup of a flag with the Hammer and Sickle. The hammer and sickle is a part of communist symbolism and its usage indicates an association with Communism, a Communist Party, or a Communist state. It features a hammer superimposed on a sickle, or vice versa. The two tools are symbols of the industrial proletariat and the peasantry; placing them together symbolises the unity between industrial and agricultural workers. This emblem was made during the Bolshevik Revolution.
It is best known from having been incorporated into the red flag of the Soviet Union, along with the Red Star. It has also been used in other flags and emblems.
In countries that were formerly within the Soviet Union's sphere of influence, the Hammer and Sickle and the Red Star are regarded by some citizens as occupation symbols. Accordingly, the Republic of Hungary, Latvia, and Lithuania banned the symbols' public usage. A similar law was considered in Republic of Estonia, but eventually failed in a parliamentary committee as too onerous for constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, most importantly, freedom of speech.

26/05/2009

Eastbourne Pier, WKD National Poster Campaign


This is a photo of an old WDK national poster campaign found on a wall of Eastbourne pier.
WDK Original Vodka is a brand of Alcopop. It is sold and heavily marketed in the United Kingdom with the slogan ‘Have you got a WKD side?’ (Have you got a wicked side?).
WKD Vodka has been heavily promoted in the UK. Promotion includes a TV advertising campaign, a national poster campaign, scoreboard sponsorship at Premiership football clubs, giving out samples in bars and clubs, sponsorship, and student tours. Their catchphrase is "Have you got a WKD side?" was launched in 2000 and hit TV screens in 2001. The TV adverts feature men pulling pranks or behaving in a strange or selfish manner for the beverage.
Along with several other alcopop or RTD producers, WKD have been accused by the UK
UK ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) of using advertising which was likely to appeal to under-18s, resulting in some of their TV adverts being banned.

25/05/2009

Wat Phra Kaew, Temple of the Emerald Buddha (วัดพระแก้ว), Bangkok


This photo was taken within Wat Phra Kaew (the Temple of the Emerald Buddha - วัดพระแก้ว), regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple (wat) in Thailand. It is located in the historic center of Bangkok (district Phra Nakhon), within the grounds of the Grand Palace.

24/05/2009

Angel Of Peace, Bronze Quadriga, Wellington Arch, London


This is a closeup photo of the the bronze quadriga of the Wellington Arch. Also known as Constitution Arch or (originally) the Green Park Arch, it is a triumphal arch located to the south of Hyde Park in central London. The arch, and Marble Arch to the north of Hyde Park, were both planned in 1825 by George IV to commemorate Britain's victories in the Napoleonic Wars. The Wellington Arch was also conceived as an outer gateway to Constitution Hill and therefore a grand entrance into central London from the west.
The Wellington Arch was built between 1826-1830. In 1846 the Arch was selected as a suitable location for a statue of Sir Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, soldier and Prime Minister. The statue by Matthew Cotes Wyatt which eventually crowned the arch was 8.5m high, the largest equestrian figure ever made. It was so enormous that it generated considerable controversy at the time.
In 1882-3, the arch was moved a short distance to its present location on Hyde Park Corner to facilitate a road widening scheme. It is today in the centre of a large traffic island.
The equestrian statue of the Duke was removed to Aldershot at the same time and was eventually replaced, in 1912, by a huge bronze quadriga. The sculpture depicts the angel of peace descending on the chariot of war. The face of the charioteer leading the quadriga is that of a small boy (actually the son of Lord Michelham, the man who funded the sculpture). The statue is the largest bronze sculpture in Europe.

23/05/2009

Nant Gwynant Valley and Llyn Gwynant Lake, Snowdonia National Park (Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri)


This is a photo of the Nant Gwynant Valley (looking west down the pass towards Llyn Gwynant lake), in Snowdonia National Park (Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri), Wales.
The English name for the area derives from Snowdon, which is the highest mountain in Wales at 1,085 metres.

21/05/2009

Carcassonne


This is a photo of Carcassonne, a fortified French town in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. It is separated into the fortified Cité de Carcassonne and the more expansive lower city, the ville basse. The folk etymology – involving a châtelaine named Carcas, a ruse ending a siege and the joyous ringing of bells ("Carcas sona"), though memorialized in a neo-Gothic sculpture of Mme. Carcas on a column near the Narbonne Gate – is of modern invention. The fortress, which was thoroughly restored in 1853 by the theorist and architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.
I recommend two stunning photos that will allow you to see a panaoramic view of the fortress by clicking on following two links here and there.

20/05/2009

The Heech, Parviz Tanavoli, Fibreglass, 2001


This is a photo of a sculpture from Parviz Tanavoli (Fibreglass, 2001), created around three letters in Persian which together make up the word heech meaning 'nothing'. The style of the script is nasta'liq traditionally associated with Iran and often used to write poetry.
Tanavoli is Iran's most foremost sculptor. He trained in Italy with the celebrated Italian sculptor Marino Marini. He has taught and inspired many Iranian artists and his work is exhibited widely. The Heech although playful, hints a sense of dissatisfaction with the present world.

19/05/2009

On The Beat, 22 Hanway Street, Bloomsbury, London


This photo was taken on 22 Hanway Street, Bloomsbury in London. On The Beat is fantastic record shop hidden down London's little Spanish hideaway Hanway Street, where you can find collectors records and memorabilia.

17/05/2009

Street Scene and Beerlao, Laos


This is a photo taken in Luang Prabang, Laos.
You can see advertisement for Beerlao, the name of a range of beers (lager, light beer and dark beer) produced by the lao Brewery Company (LBC) of Vientiane in Laos.
The beer is based on locally grown jasmine rice; the hops and yeast used are imported from Germany. Beerlao Original (5% Alc./Vol.), the original lager produced by LBC, is sold in 330 ml and 640 ml bottles and 330 ml cans. It is available throughout Laos, and in western-style restaurants in Cambodia. It is increasingly available in bars in Thailand.
Beerlao is now exported to the UK, the USA, Australia, New Zeland, Japan, Vietnam, France, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Beerlao is very popular with foreign travelers in Vientiane. Many guidebooks recommend enjoying a cold Beerlao at one of the riverside restaurants by the Mekong River as a 'must-do' experience when visiting the city. Time Magazine named Beerlao Asia's best beer in 2004.

16/05/2009

Rob and Nick Carter, "Read Colors Not Words" (2009)


These are closeup photos of a 2009 neon light installation from Rob and Nick Carter called "Read Colours Not Words".

See also below photo (courtesy the artists) showing the entire piece of art : neon, electronic components and aluminium, 3000 x 1200 x 200mm. Price 2009 at £35,000.00 + VAT.

14/05/2009

Anteros by Alfred Gilbert (1885), Shaftesbury Memorial, Piccadilly Circus, London


This is a photo (using Deep Red filter) of the statue of Anteros by Alfred Gilbert (1885) from the Shaftesbury Memorial in Picadilly Circus, London. Anteros in this memorial symbolises the selfless philanthropic love of the Earl of Shaftesbury for the poor. The memorial is sometimes given the name The Angel of Christian Charity and is popularly called Eros, both of which are incorrect.
In Greek mythology, Anteros (Αντέρως) was the god of requited love, literally "love returned" or "counter-love" and also the punisher of those who scorn love and the advances of others, or the avenger of unrequited love. Anteros was the son of Ares and Aphrodite, given to his brother Eros, who was lonely, as a playmate, the rationale being that love must be answered if it is to prosper. Physically, he is depicted as similar to Eros in every way, but with long hair and plumed butterfly wings. He has been described also as armed with either a golden club or arrows of lead.
Anteros, with Eros, was one of a host of winged love gods called Erotes, the ever-youthful winged gods of love, usually depicted as winged boys in the company of Aphrodite or her attendant goddesses.

13/05/2009

Mont Ventoux : View of the Alps


This is a photo taken from the top of Mont Ventoux, a mountain in the Provence region of southern France. It is the largest mountain in the region and has been nicknamed the "Giant of Provence", or "The Bald Mountain". It has gained notoriety through its use in the Tour de France cycling race.As the name might suggest (venteux means windy in French), it can get windy at the summit, especially with the Mistral; windspeeds as high as 320 km/h have been recorded. Mont Ventoux, although geologically part of the Alps, is often considered to be separate from them, due to the lack of mountains of a similar height nearby. Its isolated position overlooking the valley of the Rhône ensures that it dominates the entire region and can be seen from many miles away on a clear day. The view from the top is correspondingly superb. Here, it shows looking towards East and one can see the Alps and the all year round snow-capped mountains. You can see this link to another Ventoux post.

10/05/2009

Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed Memorial, Harrods, London


This is a photo of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed Memorial.
Since the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed, Mohamed Al Fayed's son, two memorials commissioned by Al Fayed have been erected inside Harrods to the couple.
  • The first (photographed above), unveiled on April 12, 1998, consists of photographs of the two behind a pyramid-shaped display that holds a wine glass still smudged with lipstick from Diana's last dinner as well as what is described as an engagement ring Dodi purchased the day before they died...
  • The second memorial, unveiled in 2005 and located by the Egyptian escalator at door three is titled "Innocent Victims", is a bronze statue of the two dancing on a beach beneath the wings of an albatross. The albatross is a bird that is said to symbolise the "Holy Spirit". The sculpture was created by 80 year old Bill Mitchell who is a close friend of Al Fayed and has been the artistic design advisor to Harrods for 40 years. Mr Al Fayed said he wanted to keep the pair's "spirit alive" through the statue

I don't have a photo of the second, but I will hunt for one (you can see one here in the meantime)... the memorial is almost as kitsch and corny as the first one...

09/05/2009

Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia


This is a photo of Four Mile Beach, the premier beach in Port Douglas, which is a town in Far North Queensland, Australia, approximately 70 km north of Cairns. Its permanent population was 948 residents in 2006. The town's population can often quadruple, however, with the influx of tourists during the peak tourism season May-September. Port Douglas developed quickly based on the mining industry. Other parts of the area were established with timber cutting occurring in the area surrounding the Daintree River and with settlement starting to occur on lots around the Mossman River by 1880.
The town is situated adjacent to two World Heritage areas, the
Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.

08/05/2009

8th May : Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day)


Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day or VE Day) was on May 8, 1945, the date when the World War II Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. On April 30th, Hitler committed suicide during the Battle of Berlin, and so the surrender of Germany was authorized by his replacement, President of Germany Karl Dönitz. The administration headed up by Dönitz was known as the Flensburg government. The act of military surrender was signed on May 7 in Reims, France, and May 8 in Berlin, Germany. 8th of May is a public holiday in the former East Germany (Tag der Befreiung - Day of liberation), in France, in Slovakia (Deň víťazstva nad fašizmom - Victory over Fascism Day) and in Czech Republic (Den vítězství or Den osvobození - Day of liberation).
This photo does not really illustrate VE day, but rather Armistice Day (11th of November, 1918) or Remembrance Day or Veterans Day or, and the poppy plant is the symbol for the dead World War I soldiers, but also Remembrance of all soldiers who died since World War I.

07/05/2009

Liffe (London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange) Trader Statue by Stephen Melton


This photo shows a modern sculpture by Stephen Melton stands in Walbrook almost opposite Cannon Street Station, just a couple of hundred yards from the main Liffe building. It shows a “Yuppie” trader conducting business on a cell phone. The plaque at his feet gives the information: “LIFFE Trader. Unveiled by Christine Mackenzie Cohen, Chairman of the trees, gardens and open spaces sub committee 1st October 1997”. It was intended as a celebration of the City's most colourful characters, but already it is taking on the air of a memorial. "Here lies the Unknown Trader - we will remember him."
The London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (LIFFE) is a futures exchange based in London. LIFFE is now part of NYSE Euronext following its takeover by Euronext in January 2002 and Euronext's merger with New york Stock Exchange in April 2007.
LIFFE accredited traders, particularly those engaged in the open outcry trading pits, could and did earn high salaries at the price of a demanding and stressful job. Floor support personnel (Runners, Midoffice and exchange staff), in contrast, usually earned a lot less. LIFFE floor staff were easily identified by their distinctive and brightly coloured blazers (yellow jackets for Runners) and badges with three-letter IDs called 'Mnemonics'.

06/05/2009

La Maison-Café, Lourmarin, Luberon, Provence, France


This photo was taken in the village of Lourmarin located in Luberon, Provence, France.
Extremely picturesque, the village is a magnet for tourists. Prominent sites are the village itself, the pretty Renaissance castle, the Catholic and Protestant churches and the view from the village of the Proches Bastides, a large fortified farmhouse dating to the Middle Ages.
Lourmarin was the birthplace of Philippe de Girard (1775-1845), an engineer and inventor of the linen spinning mill. The writers Henri Bosco (1888-1976) and Albert Camus (1913-1960) both lived there and are buried in the local cemetery.
Another famous writer, British expatriate Peter mayle today lives in Lourmarin. One of his books, A Year in Provence, giving the chronicle of a British expatriate who settled in the village of Ménerbes, was made into a TV series and a film. Another of his books was also made into the film
A Good Year (2006) directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russel Crowe, which was filmed nearby in the same region. As a result, in recent decades Luberon and its towns and villages like Lourmarin and Ménerbes, which probably were the lesser known parts of Provence, even in France, became better known in the English-speaking world.

04/05/2009

Phu Si Hill, Luang Prabang, Laos


This is a photo of a gilded chedi (stupa) at the top of the 100-metre high Phu Si hill, in Luang Prabang. You can see other photos of Laos and Luang Prabang in my Laos folder.

03/05/2009

1899 Statue of Oliver Cromwell by Hamo Thornycroft, London


This is a photo of the 1899 Statue of Cromwell by Hamo Thronycroft outside the Palace of Westminster, London.
Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) was an English military and political leader best known for his involvement in making England into a republican Commonwealth and for his later role as Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland. He was one of the commanders of the New Model Army which defeated the royalists in the English Civil War. After the execution of King Charles I in 1649, Cromwell dominated the short-lived Commonwealth of England, conquered Ireland and Scotland, and ruled as Lord Protector from 1653 until his death in 1658.
Cromwell has been a very controversial figure in the history od the British Isles – a regicidal dictator to some historians and a hero of liberty to others. His measures against Irish Catholics have been characterized by some historians as genicidal or near-genocidal, and in Ireland itself he is widely hated.

02/05/2009

Cap de Formentor, Balearic Island Majorca


This is a photo of the Cap de Formentor, which forms the eastern end of Majorca's Formentor peninsula. The Majorcans also call the cape the Meeting point of the winds.
Cap de Formentor is a spectacular bluff, located on the northernmost point of the Balearic Islands Majorca. Its highest point, Fumart, is 384m above sea level. It has many associated bays, including Cala Fiquera, Cala Murta and Cala Pi de la Posada.

01/05/2009

1st of May Labour Day : ‘The spirit of trade unionism’ by Bernard Meadows, Trades Union Congress headquarter, London


Today is Labour Day, an annual holiday celebrated all over the world that resulted from the labour union movement, to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. The majority of countries celebrate Labour Day on May 1, and it is popularly known as May Day and International Workers'Day.
To illustrate it, this is a photo of a bronze sculpture representing "the spirit of trade unionism" by Bernard Meadows (1915-2005), and placed in the front of the building of the Trades Union Congress headquarter in London.