‘How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun’

Blogging challenges, England, India, Spain

At the moment, we all need the glow, the zing that a good splash of yellow can provide. Luckily, Jude has provided the perfect opportunity for us to hunt down all our yellow-rich images, in her challenge Life in Colour. Let’s have an injection of gutsy, vibrant lemon, amber and gold alongside our long awaited Covid vaccines.

I’d thought of showing those springtime flowers we all love – aconites, daffodils, primrose, tulips and kingcups. But maybe I’ll save those for another day. Here’s a complete hotch-potch of yellows to cheer up a day which, here at least is thoroughly and dismally grey.

To view any image full size. just click on it. The quotation of the post title is by Vincent Van Gogh. No wonder he liked sunflowers. And the header photo shows one word from another quotation. Wander round the St. Paul’s area of London and you’ll eventually uncover the whole sentence, from Virginia Woolf’s novel, Jacob’s Room: ‘What are you going to meet if you turn this corner?‘ What indeed? In this area of London, enough to fill an entire guide book.

Monday Window, Monday Washing

Barcelona, Blogging challenges, Catalonia, Spain

This time two years ago, we were in Barcelona. One of our ports of call was the first house Antoni Gaudí ever designed, Casa Vicens. Once a spacious site beyond the city limits, it’s now squashed into narrow city streets, some of its garden space sold off. But it’s definitely worth a visit, and you can have a virtual look round here.

What the official site won’t show you is the views from the windows, and one thing I enjoyed, as I always do, was the sight of the Monday washing drying on the balconies of nearby flats.

Monday Window

Monday Washing Lines

Zest up your day with toast and marmalade!

Blogging challenges, Food & Cooking, Spain

It’s that time of year when the house is permeated by the bitter, bright, clean and honeysweet smell of marmalade-in-the-making, as a pan of carefully cut up peels, juice and sugar bubble away enticingly in the kitchen to make this year’s supply of Seville Orange Marmalade. Is anything more guaranteed to wake you up and start your day with a zing than a couple of slices of toast and home-made marmalade?

I first wrote about it here, on this day in 2011. I wrote about it often. But our most memorable marmalade year was two years ago, when I wrote about it again, on almost this day.

Up above your head, in many a Spanish street, are oranges, glowing orbs of colour that brighten the cityscape. And two years ago we were in Valencia, home of the orange. Finding windfalls abandoned in the Turia Gardens, we gathered them and brought them home. What could be better than marmalade made, by you, from oranges you’ve harvested yourselves?

Oranges growing in Valencia

Flashback Friday

Square Up

It turns out that my first marmalade post was written on 21st January. Today is the 22nd. I hope this isn’t a hanging offence, in the world of Flashback Friday.

Cavalcada de Reis

Barcelona, Festivals, Spain

It’s 5th January. Tonight, one of the three kings (Balthazar? Melchior? Caspar? You can choose) will steal into your house and deliver you presents, as once they did to the infant Jesus. That’s if you live in the Spanish speaking world of course. Before that though, they – or their stand-ins – parade through the streets of every city and town they can find. There’s an eruption of lights, gaiety, colour, as the three kings and a cast of musicians, dancers, and hangers on of every kind process slowly through the streets. Joy and delight is uppermost, whether you attend the no-expense spared slickly presented civic offering, as we did in Barcelona in 2018 and 2019, or enjoy a more low-key event put together by your local community as we did in 2020.

These are not the best photos you’ll ever see of the Cavalcadas, But they might give you a small taste of this upbeat, family focused event. Which sadly, this year, will not be taking place. Of course.

Square Up

An Upmarket Grocer

Barcelona, Spain

This time last year, we were in Barcelona to spend Reyes – the Festival of the Three Kings, and traditionally a bigger deal than Christmas (Presents! From the kings!) – with Emily’s Catalan family. Here we are outside what’s considered the best grocer’s shop in town, all gussied up for festive shopping.

If you think I’ve muddled up my photos: well, the shop window did that, by reflecting the street scene as well as allowing us to see the goods on offer.

Square Up.

Monday Window

Organic Geometry.

Barcelona, England, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, London, North Yorkshire, Spain

I am very late in joining Jude’s Photo Challenge #51, but here I am. She invites us to make a collage of images, some of which have strong geometric shapes, others of which are organic in form. I had fun looking back though my collection. And what I soon realised was how hard it is to determine what makes a good photo when those images are so bound up with the memories they represent. I suppose that’s what makes me a snapshot-ist rather than a photographer.

I also found myself choosing photos which were primarily geometric – of buildings and so on, but which were enlivened in some way by more organic forms. So Jude, I may not have quite stuck to your brief (again!) but you’ve made me think (again!)

The featured photo shows Brimham Rocks in Yorkshire. Nobody could accuse them of being geometric.

More postcards – and from Cádiz again

Spain

I have said it before, and I expect I shall say it again, but our few days in Cádiz earlier this year – this year! – are part of another life – a life I want to remember and treasure. And Jude provides an opportunity in her Travel Challenge. She’s hoping that outline, rather than three dimensional qualities will come to the fore in our choices of photo. As I looked through my archive, I realised that Cádiz fits the bill, yet again.

It’s nearly all about the seafront. Those palm trees! Those street lights!

Or we could look beyond the old city to industry and modern life in the distance.

Or we could go indoors – first to climb the Cathedral tower and to inspect the old clock workings: before going to a traditional sherry bar, Manzanilla, to enjoy a quiet drink and a snack surrounded by those barrels of maturing sherry ¡Salud!

2020 Photo Challenge #49