Musings About A Muse

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Schumann-Darius-juin-2015-0008.jpgWhat subject am I repeatedly taking pictures of? At first, I was a little puzzled when I discovered the topic submitted last night by the good people at the Daily Post photo challenge. And then it came to my mind that as the “official” photographer of my friends from the Paris Darius Milhaud Choir (of which I used to be a member), I tend to take quite a few pictures of the musicians and choirs. To begin with, the conductor of the Paris Orsay Symphonic Orchestra, Martin Barral.


Soloists Caroline Casadesus and Katryn Werner

The choir, like a genie coming out of a tuba.

At an open air concert in Ormesson, set in a sand quarry in the middle of the forest in Fontainebleau.

A reflection of the attendance in a window (Notre de Dame du Travail, Paris 14)

The orchestra from being the stage


My friends from the Darius Milhaud choir.


Schumann’s requiem is a must-have for music lovers.


As if you were in the orchestra.



From Alex With Love

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Alexander Platz (aka “Alex”) and its unmissable TV tower (Fernsehturm auf Deutsch) was meant to be a symbol of Communist GDR when it was built in the 1960s. Little did they know at the time that the area would become the epicentre of luxury shops and trendy restaurants, some of which are hidden in the nondescript 1960s post Bauhaus buildings behind the tower. A bit ironic in a way, and the “Turm” is still a landmark (no wonder, it is 68m higher than the Eiffel tower at 368m high, you can’t miss it from anywhere in the City). Here are a few shots.




From Chausseestraße (the first street to be liberated in 1989)


Ditto, with a different angle


The pink pipes are also a landmark of Berlin. They are meant to be pumping water from the soil because Berlin was built on wetland and pumping, till today, is still needed. Sounds to me like a pretty weak explanation because I can hardly think of a city not built on wetland. The infamous “Slough” in Berkshire to start with, whose name wasn’t even changed (fancy living in a City named Swamp?)

The Palace of Versailles was, for instance, built over a swamp. The whole area had to be drained and was mostly a nasty unhealthy place before the chateau was built. 

“Starting in 1661, he [The Sun King] transformed a humble hunting lodge into a glittering palace. He drained swamps and moved whole forests to create 250 acres of formal gardens, tree-lined paths, flowerbeds, lakes, and fountains. And this filled only a small portion of the grounds — the entire estate covered 2,000 acres.

 See the rest at howstuffworks click here to read the rest of the hisstory of the Chateau of Versailles

Our Roy G Biv Friend from the Friday Photo Challenge

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Roy-g-biv is the somewhat quizzical photo challenge of today organised by our friends from dailypost at WordPress. As I gathered it meant “all colours of the rainbow” I believe that there was nothing better than showing a picture of a rainbow. That one was taken in Rueil Malmaison, as we were taking a stroll on a Sunday afternoon with friends. Suddenly a huge thunderstorm broke out and we had to take shelter. Fortunately I was in sight of this beautiful rainbow. I wasn’t quite sure what I’d do with that picture but now I know and it saved my skin for that challenge!

On My Way Home (Rue Saint Lazare)

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Last Saturday as I was walking in “rue Saint Lazare” I finally found a bit of time to roam around that place I’d found  close to the office. The kind of places you think “hmm I should go there and take a few pictures” and then it takes you almost two years to get your act together.


Well it took me a year and a half but I managed eventually. Not your average office block I believe. There are worse places to be.



Off-Season Photo Challenge

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I love Normandy. Yet, off-season over there is a bit of an all-year round thing. A wee bit like Summer in Scotland. Well, frankly, it’s hadly any better than Scotland, but it is a beautiful area too. So when we set foot in Orbec on July 14th, 2011 (Bastille Day), we weren’t really surprised that we had to walk around in our waterproofs and the temperature was just above freezing point. Well, almost. Taking pictures was risky. The old Nikon D7000 nearly got drowned but I managed. Bravely. Mind you, I’m a Kelt from Brittany and I have lived for years on end in Britain, so I can take my West country weather like a man. And so could my camera. The light and reflections on the cobblestones was truly amazing. Hence my choice for this week’s “off-season” photo challenge.


Chinese Shadow no.1

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There is something creepy about this Quadriga in Banderburger Tor in Berlin. It is not that different from similar statuary in the rest of Europe including Paris’ triumphal charriot of the Arc Du Carrousel. Yet, this one was a symbol of Nazism for more than a decade. From 1962 till 1989 it remained isolated in the no man’s land between East and West Germany. Nowadays it’s a regular tourist attraction. 

Rugby match

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As a former Rugby player,  I was pleased to be able to attend a rugby match in Paris in late March of this year. And I was right to choose to support the Paris Stade Français team (there are 2 Rugby teams in Paris, Stade Français and Racing Paris), which is going to be playing the top 14 final next Saturday. We will obviously be attending. The only embarrassing thing is that we will have to wear pink for the occasion: Go on Paris! Read the rest of this entry »