Saturday, March 31, 2007

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Playing photo peekaboo with my friends daughter


Owning a dog in France is like obtaining an open pass to converse with any and all strangers you meet on the street. Whether you want to or have little choice in the matter. While his little cocker eyes don't fool me for a second, they seem to work wonders on all passers by that either have a dog, had a dog, want a dog or are quite simply insane. Being, as we are, in France, this figure is somewhere around the 98.3% mark.

Peacock display

Heron fishing

A lucky fluke that I was paying attention to the heron when he lunged for a fish! Lille zoo, France

Monday, March 19, 2007


Just when we thought winter was done.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Good dog, bad dog

My boyfriend, master of the poorly thought out idea, lived up to his reputation this weekend and got a puppy on the spur of the moment. Zero preparation in the apartment, shoes and cables and dvds lying about as we leave the house with no intention of getting a dog...and come back a lot poorer with an armful of canine...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Fly away home

I have to fess up to cheating for this shot. I put that ladybird on the daisy!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Northern Bricks

A very common image in Northern France

Touch the sky

Detail on the bourse building, Lille - France


A colourful façade in the Grande Place, Lille - France

Pelican trio


Lille zoo, France

Monday, March 05, 2007

It's all about the meme

Monday, March 05, 2007

During a recent game of trivial pursuit (ahem, French junior edition that is - look, some of the questions are actually a bit HARD, alright? Stop looking at me like that!)

So I learned, while I was (cough) happily losing (because being an only child does wonders for social development), that in Les Miserables (the written one), Fantine doesn't sell her pretty locks, like in the version musicale, but rips out her gnashers to sell instead. I guess a bald aria is easier than a gummy one.

So, in the spirit of cultural learning, here's a book meme from her
Except that I changed it.
A little.
Because I just can't help myself.
Italicized = books you want to read
Bold = books you've read
Strike = books you wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole or wish you hadn't
* = never heard of it
+ = on your shelf

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
(possibly +, I can’t remember)
+To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) (honest, I will one day)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
+The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
+The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
+The Lord of the Rings:
Two Towers (Tolkien)
+Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. +Perfume, Patrick Süskind

10. +
Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, (Lewis Carroll)
+Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)

+Harry Potter and the Order of the
Phoenix (Rowling)
14. * A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)

+Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
. On The Road, (Jack Kerouac)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
(I’ve been over Mr King since I was 14)
+Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (JK Rowling)
0. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)

+ The Hobbit (JRR Tolkien)
22. +The Catcher in the
Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)

24. +Winnie the Pooh, (AA Milne)
25. +Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. +The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. +The Wind in the Willows, (Kenneth Grahame)
33. *Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. +1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. *The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
39. +Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
40. *The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)

42. +Stranger in a Strange Land (Robert Heinlein)
Canterbury Tales (Geoffrey Chaucer)
44. *The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. +Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe Stupid, stupid, stupid. Blah.
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. +Gullivers Travels (Jonathan Swift)
49. +The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)

50. *Clarissa (Samuel Richardson)
51. +The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. +A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. *Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. +Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. +The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. +Farenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)
57. +Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. +The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. *The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. *The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)

65. +Far From The Madding Crowd (Thomas Hardy)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. Don Quixote (
Miguel De Cervantes))
68. +Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. +The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The
Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. +Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
77. +Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. *Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
80. The Plague (Albert Camus)
81. Moby Dick (Herman Melville)
82. +Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Middlemarch, George Eliot
85. +Emma (Jane Austen)
86. +Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. +Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. *Nightmare Abbey (Thomas Love Peacock)
89. +Animal Farm, George Orwell
90. *Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. *In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. +Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. *The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
96. +Magician, Raymond E Feist
97. *White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)

99. *The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Retracing old steps

It was my first time back in Paris since we'd left definitively about a year ago. Whereas once I was cynical enough to be rolling my eyes at the enchanted tourists, I was myself finally able to appreciate it again for the city that it can be. The edges of bad memories of being pushed and shoved about in the metro softened by observing people actually being courteous, by not riding the peak hour lines or times, by not having to be anywhere at a particular time (except for the train station Anne, except for the train station... :p)
It wasn't only the harsh memories that got a bit fuzzy, but the general layout of several areas also. Doesn't help when you lose your Paris pocket map book either and you're relying on a department store map that thought putting in names of metro stations was less important than inserting very large not to scale images of where their store was located. Still, enough tourists seemed to consider that I looked like I knew where I was going well enough to ask for direction. So the reason for the visit was nothing more than an escape from solo boredom. Ben had a training course (can we say free hotel room with breakfast?) so rather than sitting about bored and pretending to keep busy for a week, I figured I might as well dust off the camera and take a tour. And get free breakfast.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Eclipse series

I only have a 200mm lens so this isn't as good as a lot of other peoples i've seen with longer lenses. I set up my tripod and went outside every 15minutes or so during the eclipse; I started with about 1/60 shutter speed for full moon and dropped down to 3sec for eclipsed moon