Showing posts from February, 2019

For Saint David's Day 2


For Saint David's Day 1


Some photos of Istanbul

taken either with my phone or with my compact camera. My camera has a fixed lens, at 28mm. It's a little wide for my liking really. I prefer a 35mm lens. It means you get lots of converging verticals, but you can fix those with a natty little programme called Snapseed. When I'm in the tram or the bus I enjoy loading photos onto Instagram, always with the LoFi filter and increased light.

A quick journey to Istanbul

I left on Monday afternoon for Istanbul - firstly a fast train to Paris, then an overnight flight to Istanbul. I arrived at 4am. After a bit of messing around trying to decide which bank machine to use, then eating breakfast at - oh the shame of it - Starbucks - I spent a while trying to work out how to use the transport network, then travelled to Sultanahmet, the historic heart of the city. In legend the city was founded by King Byzas who gave it the name sometimes used for the early Greek period of the city : Byzantium. Then in 330 Constantine was attracted by the strategic position of the city and founded the new capital of his empire there: Constantinople. For over 1000 years the city would become the centre of the Greek-speaking, Eastern Roman Empire, while the Western Empire and its old capital Rome was overrun and sacked by barbarian tribes. Constantine built churches. Hagia Eirene (Aya Irini) was the seat of the archbishopric and the site of the church counciles that took

Music for Monday


Here we go again

Mrs Davey is immobolised by her back problem, so I scuttled out for a quick sortie in the sunshine.  The police were gathering for this afternoon's ... meeting.  I chatted with another tram passenger. We're all fed up of these clashes taking place in our city. It's become the battleground of a conflict that is not ours.

May you live in interesting times

First Brexit. Then Trump. Not to mention various other fascinating situations, like Venezuela, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, etc.. Now we heard yesterday that our beloved Mayor of Bordeaux, M. Juppé, is leaving. He's been asked to sit on the French constitutional committee and was given 24 hours to give his decision. He loves the city of Bordeaux and has presided over its transformation. The trams are from his mandate. The quotes were transformed from inner city wasteland to waterfront gardens. Our area is one of his projects. He's quick, funny, positive, optimistic and his watchword is moderation. He was banned from public office for 18 months in, I think, 2003, because of his implication in the Paris fictitious jobs scam that siphoned funds into someone's electoral campaign illegally, if I remember rightly. He ceded the job to his deputy, Hugues Martin, went to Canada to lecture at a university and afterwards came back and resumed his work. I'll miss him terribly.

Panoramas of the Ars

It's a beautiful day here though we had mushy peas / a pea souper again first thing. Here's some panoramas: Yesterday's glorious sunrise Our new work of art - a rock on a stick - I call it "Stick of Rock" Today you can"t see the river or anything beyond it! In the Jardin Public on the way to church on Sunday. Spring is coming!

White-out and weird dreams

Yesterday as the day dawned we became aware that we could see nothing whatsoever out of our windows. There was a complete and total whiteout. I've experienced this just a few times in my life during heavy snowfall, but it wasn't snowing. It was misty. The river is just about 100 metres away, and the mist was covering the city so thickly that the eye could see nothing whatsoever. Pat looked at her phone to see what the weather app said : 100% humidity. It took till lunch-time to clear. Meanwhile I've been having weird dreams about driving a really nice car in the UK. It was some well-made but quite ordinary make of car, perhaps a Volkswagen? and as I drove I realised with alarm that my shoe was too wide to fit between the accelerator and the clutch pedal. Of course, this made braking awkward. So I decided to buy a pair of light shoes just for driving. Some time later I became aware that while everyone else on the road was driving a right hand drive car on the l

The concert

We live not far from the conservatory now and they put on lots of free concerts. Yesterday there was a clash. Early evening a friend was playing saxophone in the spectacular Maison Cantonale on the right bank. But we were wet, tired, hungry and thirsty and had only just got in, so we ate, then thought we might slip out to the other concert, at the conservatory itself, a percussion ensemble playing a programme of music influenced by Steve Reich. It ran from 8 till 9:30. It was wonderful. I had been in a grey and damp mood, saturated by the grey and damp weather and daunted by a to do list so long that procrastination seems my only option. What better way than by listening to a roomful of immaculately clad music students playing xylophones, marimbas, vibraphones, glockenspiels, drum kits, bass drums and electronic instruments? We heard some reich, obviously, as well as some Thom Yorke (singer with Radiohead), Tangerine Dream (now I feel old) and some new compositions from the percussio

This weekend is French pancake day (Chandeleur)