Jul 30, 2009

Sky in the mirror

The sky reflected in the 'moat' of St Catz, an Oxford College designed by the fabulous Arne Jacobsen:

And back to Skywatch Friday.

Jul 28, 2009


My nephew has learned to snorkel during last weeks' holiday:

Well done him. He thought it was fun - me too.

Happy Watery Wednesday !

Jul 24, 2009

Sky over France

The sky on my way to France at last week:

I'm still on away from my computer, so can't really visit Skywatch Friday. Have a good weekend y'all.

Jul 18, 2009

favourite river

One of the cleanest and prettiest rivers I've ever spent time on and at is the Vienne, in France:

Visit 2SweetnSaxy for a good dose of Watery Wednesday. I'm still in France and will have to visit all your water photos later.

cloudy mountain tops

Another cloud forest photo - here are some peaks sticking out of the haze:

Have fun visiting all the and Monochrome Maniacs. I'm on holiday this week and will have to visit all your entries later.

A rose is ....

Theere are so many of them in the College garden...and they're always lovely, no matter what colour and shape:

Visit Today's Flowers hosted by Luiz, Denise, Laerte and Valkyrien and enjoy blossoms from all over the world.


We're coming very close to Victoria Plum Time...another great summer favourite:

Meanwhile I'm off traveling for a week. So if you find I'm rather sluggish in returning your visits, that's why.

And for a range of summer pleasures visit Summer Stock Sunday.


Nothing more beautiful then some scenic rocks. Like these:

Visit , hosted by TNchick, for other rocky stuff.

Jul 16, 2009

Last weeks sunset....

Because there was nothing but rain all day long :(

More weather? Visit Skywatch Friday.

Put your money where your mouth is - or have your cake and eat it - or both?

Last week I stumbled over Think Green Thursday , and even though this blog is primarily meant for play I couldn't resist...
I grew up amongst a group of green advocates. I was made aware of the horrors of fossil fuel use, water wastage, recycling errors and the like at an early and impressionable age, and monitoring, say, my toilet-flushing habits or light switch usage has (at times somewhat sadly) become second nature.
It was therefore a total no-brainer that any house I would one day perhaps acquire would need to be - or become - an ecohouse. The trouble started when we fell in love with a 17th century cottage that was well beyond its sell-by date. Trying to combine the need to conserve the old building fabric with energy efficiency was a long journey, mainly because it turned out that almost nobody had done it before and that nobody could help us do it. We also found out along the way that we had every well-known problem, and then some. All we could do was to become our own experts and, to the deep regret of the DIY-hating husband, our own builders (a good work-out). I was nevertheless convinced that the outcome would be fantastic. And it was. The cottage is now green, sustainable, energy-efficient, warm, beautiful, damp-free, renovated to proper conservation standards and with all mod cons. And, no, we're not rich and it didn't cost us more then it would have cost doing a standard renovation. It did need a bit of thinking, but that doesn't seem a big investment if it means we can both look after the environment and our own comfort and happiness. When I look around the village and see how many people live in cold, uncomfortable houses and are unhappy with their oil-heating and environmental performance I dearly wish more would follow suit with just a small improvement or two.

(click photos to enlarge)

Jul 14, 2009


Some 14 days ago there was a heat wave (as in: a few days when the temperatures rose above 22 C) and so we had growth of luxurious proportions in our experimental flumes:

These filamentous algae are not the same as the smaller planctonic algae which cause the dreaded toxic algal blooms. They are just the chaps nobody wants to tread on when getting into a fresh water lake because they're dreadfully slimy. They are a food source and only take over if there are too many nutrients in the water - and too much sun :)

Visit 2SweetnSaxy for a good dose of Watery Wednesday.

Jul 12, 2009

monochrome thistle

For some reason I didn't find any black and white models for some weeks - until this thistle came along:

Happy Sunday and Monochrome Monday to everyone :)


I found these pretty Lilies in an overgrown meadow in College - a few days later the lawn was cut, and so were they :(

Visit Today's Flowers hosted by Luiz, Denise, Laerte and Valkyrien and enjoy blossoms from all over the world.

Jul 11, 2009

guilty pleasures

All my life I've loved being on boats. I'm not a good swimmer but there's nothing greater than stopping by in a little cove to hang out, enjoy the view, read a little, sleep a little and dip into crystal waters in between. These outings, even though just once year, do make me feel guilty, seeing that most motor boats are terrible fossil fuel consumers and general polluters.

Here, however, is the end of a lazy afternoon, the captain ready to start and the dog tied up so that she won't fall into the water while the boat speeds towards the harbour to take us back to dinner.

For a range of summer pleasures visit Summer Stock Sunday and Scenic Sunday.

Jul 10, 2009


If you've been to Argentina, you will be well aware that this is the land of meat.
I am not a great meat eater, but even I had to admit that the bife de lomo I tasted in Buenos Aires was the best meat I've eaten ever and undeniably tasty.

As a bonus, I also discovered that their way to dispose of all the animal remains is undeniably scenic ;)

Have a look at more garbage at this weeks , hosted by TNchick.


The moon was quite bright two days ago:

Lots more skies here: Skywatch Friday.

Jul 7, 2009

gull over water

I like black headed gulls. The one below lives at Blenheim Palace - not a bad place to be, but I didn't know they hang out so far away from the sea.

Happy Watery Wednesday to you all!

Jul 5, 2009

unknown flower...

These beautiful flowers are blossoming everywhere at the moment. I am - alas - botanically challenged (if not outright lazy) and don't know their name.

For flowers galore visit Today's Flowers hosted by Luiz, Denise, Denise, Laerte and Valkyrien.


Strawberry season is well under way. They are such summer favourites. I generally go and pick them myself - the ones from the shops are just too disappointing.

Visit Robin's Summer Stock Sunday and enjoy the summer.

Jul 4, 2009


Pink cherry blossoms glowing in the last traces of evening light:

Happy weekend to you all - and back to TNchicks .

Jul 3, 2009


A lovely evening in Siracusa, Sicily.

Siracusa is fantastically beautiful, but I saw far too little of it, because I just went dancing (one terrible side effect of the other engrossing hobby: turning into a nightowl). This sunset, however, happened just after we had breakfast - so I was still fresh and able to snap.

And back to Skywatch Friday.