Shine: Here Come The Sun

Seattle, Wa USA

Today’s challenge is “Shine”. This could be a film or just a selection of pictures. I like that picture above of a building in downtown Seattle last Summer. I spotted that plane up in the sky. It seemed everything was running parallel in that picture. The plane, the cornice, the floor separations in the building, the dots, the electric wires of the ageing Seattle trolleybus system. It’s a weird picture but I think it works quite well. It also conveys the atmosphere of that very stuffy Summer day rather well.


Next is a picture taken at Père Lachaise through the gates of a 19th century tomb.


Seattle again, I could brag that the Sunshine effect on the monorail was intended but let’s admit it: it was a great piece of luck.

More Shine from the sun in this beautiful early 20th century area in Montsouris (some sort of a village within the big City), in the South of Paris (14th district). A stone’s throw from where I live.

Home – The Paris Metro


Home is an easy subject for me when you own the anti museum in Paris. And it’s today’s challenge. I was born here but then my family went elsewhere and then I moved abroad and it’s only (relatively) recently that I made Paris my home town. To most people, being in the underground (“metro” as it’s called here) is a synonym for nightmare. But to me it’s not. OK, sometimes, one could be more comfy I guess. But it’s so convenient and fast. I spend half of my life in it. So here are a few pics from my area starting with Line 6 at Passy, a shot those who loved the last tango in Paris will easily recognise.


The entrance at Dauphine is pure Art Nouveau by Guimard. That’s the end of line 2.


Seen from below.


The metro crossing the Seine at Bercy. Like Zazie, I love the metro. Line 6 again.

Water Water Everywhere

Today’s photo challenge is “H2O”, i.e. water for those who wouldn’t know. And God knows that water is something we have plenty oh here with rain 1 day out of 3 on average. At least this helps keep the greenery healthy. I chose pictures from a visit we paid in July 2014 when we rode the tourist boat on the canal St Martin in Paris. Here we were at the crack of dawn, boarding that barge on the canal and the weather wasn’t that bad… yet.

We rode past barges on the canal, the weather was cold for the season but realatively dry but it didn’t last.

Here came the rain on the boat, so much so that I ended up being unable to take pictures of anything else but the plastic chairs on the deck, as I kept myself under the awning, safely protected from the rain (but not the cold).

So here you are, chairs and rain, rain and chairs. And no tourists. How exciting.

Try and sit on that chair!

Rain – and water is a recurring theme here. As in Normandy.

My windshield in Norman weather.


Or here in Paris, near the Eiffel tower. Don’t worry, these were old shoes.

Brassens 04032012  13

I could go on forever, even birds love H20.

Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used To Be

Grisy Les Plâtres - Vexin - France

Tonight’s Friday Photo Challenge theme is nostalgia. I like the topic, even though I tend to find that there is a little bit too much of that around us at the moment, and not enough people trying to make the world a better place in the future, I must admit that certain things I see appeal to me and make me think of things I used to be familiar with and I miss here and now. Like the country crosses. In Brittany, we call them “calvaries“. But here, around the Capital City, they are much simpler like the one above in Grisy les Plâtres, NW of Paris. Barely 28 miles from the centre of one of the largest metropoles of this world, it’s hard to imagine on can still find remnants of these olden days.

Petite Ceinture

Even here in the City, one can still find traces of the old town when people could design proper lighting. The shot is a good comparison between the old and the new.


Much further away, in the Pacific NW, a 1930s gas (petrol) pump. Even in the new world, one can find nostalgia. Nostalgia everywhere I tell you.


Here’s one of my preferred one, probably not the best shot but a nice memory of a greenhouse turned into a gallery in Gerberoy. The location of Painter Henri Le Sidaner’s beautiful house and gardens. Now, that is nostalgia for you. 7 years to the day that I haven’t touched my brushes and I’m so longing for more time to paint. This will, undoubtedly, come one day. Let’s be hopeful and ditch Nostalgia for a while.

Quest For A Haven


In June this year we went to visit friends in Le Havre, which means “Haven” in French. The weather in Paris was cold and grotty and when we reached Normandy the sun was shining and it was very hot (that in itself was pretty unusual). My wife dropped me at the other end of town and I ran for above 10 miles all the way across parks and forests and hills and town to the seaside. At the end of that path is the gateway to the channel and eventually, the Atlantic Ocean. Running – or mountain biking – is the way I embark on quests out in the open. If only I hadn’t hurt myself a little later in June this year, I’d still be doing it. Posted as a follow-up to Cheri Lucas Rowlands’ Friday challenge piece entitled “Quest.”

Tightening the Belt (one more notch)

Petite Ceinture

Here comes the nice bit of the Petite Ceinture. All in all 6O something km (40 miles) of railway tracks going all around Paris, mostly underground. The part of the track which spans across the 15th district (stretching roughly from “Convention” to “Balard”) was converted into a footpath over a stretch of 3.5km (2 miles) 3 years ago.

Petite Ceinture

The greenery is very pleasant.

Petite Ceinture

As close to the flat iron building as we can get. Looks like a 1910 brick and stone job. These guys must be happy the trains have stopped mustn’t they?

Petite Ceinture

Further in the 13th district a pathetic stretch of track has been preserved. It’s a shame they aren’t doing the junction between the 13th and the 15th districts (map per below).

Petite Ceinture

Breathe, breathe in the air
Don’t be afraid to care
Leave but don’t leave me
Look around and choose your own ground


Map of the current situation of the Petite Ceinture railway In blue, the stretch available for transport. In yellow, the stretch used by the RER C line. In red, the stretch demolished in 1960. In green, the stretch closed in 2008. Click to enlarge.

More can be found about the Petite Ceinture on the Website of the non profit organisation dedicated to it:

@ygourven More of this unique railway line :