Monday, July 31, 2006

Amsterdam 30 July

Maria, Amsterdam - 30 July

Back to Amsterdam to visit Maria for a cruisy weekend. I arrive at 1am, as my flight is delayed 2 hours. In the airport lounge I manage to finally decide on the book "Why do men have nipples", finished it in 40mins, and felt quite ripped off..."What Eats Wasps?" is much better.

Maria and I spend the weekend just hanging out, eating lots of Croquettes, I love those things! She shows me some funky shopping streets in town, and we just stroll around town well into the night. Its warm and pleasant, perfect strolling weather. My decision to wear my thongs and not my sandals was not a good one!

Sunday saw us at Rembrant's House, marvelling at his mastery of etching Copper, then onto Chinatown markets. Lots to see and do.

All too soon its time to say goodbye and return to London. Maria as always the perfect host! Thanks! Doei!

Friday, July 28, 2006 is back!

The website is back up and running - changing the format of photos to be more thumbnail driven. Its taking forever...but July is up there now and descriptions of photos will be up soon too!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

London's Roasting

Big Ben, London 26 July 2006
London's summer is hot hot hot this year. The Tube is like an oven, I receive a roasting twice a day! It must be about 35C in there.
The blue skies and warm weather are great though - it makes it harder to miss home when its like this. I've been away some of the time - getting a decent tan in France, but otherwise the days are long and weekends have been lazy. A comforting evening breeze blows through my balcony windows and life is good.
Have been out twice in two weeks with work, first trip was a pub crawl along the south bank of Thames in City, learning that Beer was regarded as the safe clean drink during the plague. Tonight a classy Corporate Summer Drinks in a private courtyard at Westminster Abbey. Canapes and Pimms as well as the Strawberries and Chocolate. Best of Summer! Its hard to beat!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Dordogne, France (14-18 July 2006)

Dordogne hilltop village of Loubressac, France, 16 July 2006

I'm a sucker for France.

The Dordogne region in France has got to be one of my favourites. The beautiful quaint pretty villages and peaceful bastides (fortified towns) which dot the area are in my mind the most impressive I have visited. This is the reason I came to Europe!

The sandstone houses and buildings are seemingly uniform in architecture yet unique for the colour of the stone, from red to orange, to vanilla. Not only are they living places, they have retained their timeless charm and have a romantic seduction you normally only dream of. The lack of aussie tourists is a god-send too. Though the million Dutch caravans do try your patience on the roads.

The valleys are green both in pasture and forests, cut by the wide flowing Dordogne River. Summer Sunflowers offset the green and dazzle golden in the baking summer sun. On high hilltops are, chateaus and churches. Its a magical place to visit.

John has decided to live in this lovely pocket of France, enjoying its warmth and rural hospitality. Truely living the dream. I get to glimpse at the life here and wish it were me!

Highlights include a boat trip inside a deep water canyon/cave, surrounded by cool limestone caves, reminiscient of Jenolan back home, but so much better.
We spend Bastille night in Sarlat, and see the Lascaux Cave paintings also.

Foodwise we are also spoilt. My new favourite dessert has to be Poire Belle Helene. A scoop of vanilla ice cream, two scoops of pear sorbet, half a poached pear, chocolate sauce and cream. Apricot Sorbet comes in as a second, especially if one is wandering the cobbled streets of the villages of the Dordogne.

Duck is my favourite meat, and again spoilt for choice. I have the famous Fois Gras, and choose Breast Duck with Peaches. It doesnt get much better than that.

Must return again...its just magic.

New Camera

I have just recently taken delivery of a new Canon EOS 30D Digital SLR. This is an significant upgrade from a Hobby SLR to Semipro SLR, replaces my 300D. Is in my opinion a worthy upgrade! It lets me do nearly all the things I wanted the old camera to do. I'm hooked! 700 shots and the battery still reads full, as does my hard drive...

Happily Ebay has been busy making money from the sale of my old one and associated lenses.

Hopefully many happy shots with the new fine camera!

Lyon, France (17 July)

Spent a lovely long weekend with John touring in central France. Here is a night pic of Lyon. Unfortunately only the one rushed night in Lyon, so I must come back to explore again! I never realised its size, it is 2nd or 3rd largest city to Paris.
I had Quenelles for dinner, I had no idea either...! It was to my surprise - poached fish or meat mousse in cream sauce, with rice. Delicious.
Lyon, France. 17 Jul 2006


My second place on the web! Exciting - not sure what I will do here - hoping to get some comments and banter from you all, and keep the website for pics.
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