Saturday, 15 September 2007

Of love, beer and other things

Throughout the European Union today and tomorrow is Heritage Weekend, an exciting event where all national and local museums, castles and other heritage-listed buildings are open to all, free of charge. The brochure listing the monuments you can visit in Avignon alone is so extensive it is dizzying. I'm sure I'll have some photos of that to show next week.

But this week I was strolling through the streets of Arles, another beautiful city 30kms south of Avignon, passing a shop specialising in fine olive oils (can you see the "Huiles d'olive" sign?) when this really classy couple that caught my eye. I thought they fitted in the street perfectly!

And here's another young couple I caught yesterday evening in Avignon: these two were sitting on an old stone wall in the Jardin des Doms, the public garden overlooking the Popes' Palace. Drinking a beer and chatting, they were watching the sun set over the old town, a sea of pink roofs spreading below them. She was smoking hand-rolled cigarettes (see the very thin roll between her fingers?). I don't think these two are lovers, they are seated too far apart. Students just getting to know each other at the beginning of the year?

Drinking beer at sunset... suddenly this reminded me of this photo I took in Sydney a couple of months ago and never had a chance to post. I thought this boat at sunset would look nice but just as I pressed the shutter I noticed the people on board started moving - I first thought it would ruin the shot - quite the contrary! When I opened the photo on my computer I realised I had caught a crew member passing on a beer to the captain, which added a wonderful zilch to the shot!

I'll add a flock of birds taken on the same day over lake Tuggerah, north of Sydney. I quite enjoy the idea of occasionally crossing over from France to Australia, bridging the gap from here to there. I have a few left-over shots that I think are worth showing. But for bird and wildlife shots of Provence, you'll have to wait. I don't have a car yet so haven't had a chance to go in the country much.

So back to love and the city (not Sex and the city) I'll leave you with this wonderful letter box I found in one of Avignon's back streets. Under the engraved words 'boîte aux lettres' (box for letters, in litteral translation) someone wrote "d'amour" (of love) in red chalk. A letterbox only dedicated to love letters, isn't that delightfully French? That reconciles me with graffiti, which are a real pest in Avignon!
(This last photo is posted as an addendum, I had trouble uploading it yesterday).
Have a good week everyone and may love be all around you.

40 comments:

oldmanlincoln said...

Your photos are very beautiful and I always enjoy them and this time I also enjoyed reading about the people in the pictures as well as the birds.

Bergson said...

J'adore les amoureux devant leur bière.

Tu devrait la proposer à K..... contre un appareil neuf !!

kristi said...

love how you have mixed both your Sydney and Avignon photos .

Fénix (Bostonscapes DP) said...

What a great post, Nathalie. Your photos are gorgeous and so are the places and people they showcase. Lovely!

isabella said...

Maybe the birds just want to follow you to France. I know, I do ;-)

You are showing us how easy it is to find beauty in this world, no matter what continent...if only we open our eyes.

Olivier said...

la deuxieme photo est magnifique, ces ombres et juste la lumiere verte des bouteilles, bravo pour la gestion des lumieres. J'espere que tout ce passe bien à Avignon


the second photograph is splendid, these shades and right the green light of the bottles, cheer for the management of the lights. I hope that all this master key well in Avignon

Mme Benaut said...

You're a wonderful photographer Nathalie, the photos are superb and interesting and of course your narration is always wonderful too. So glad that you are still posting.

Hyde DP said...

A delightful set of photos -- I could say a huge lot more but I'd overfill the comment=box. Well done.

claude said...

Suberbes clichés ! J'aime beaucoup celui des Amoureux.

Cergie said...

L'amour, l'amitié, le soleil, la lumière, la mer, l'air urbain, ainsi c'est ta notion du patrimoine. Patrimoine universel en effet...

Voilà que je réalise soudainement que ton blog est à l'heure française, càdire l'heure d'une grande partie du continent européen...

Et sur ce message l'Australie et la France, entre lesquelles ton coeur balance... Avec peut-être un léger penchant pour le sud du sud, non ?

Peter said...

Lovely and so different photos from two different continents! Somehow, I have specific feeling for the first one! I took a lot of photos from Arles this summer, but I think that with this only one, you really captured what's essential in this little city!

Spica said...

I love the boat picture ! You totally nailed it (although accidentally it seems).

The couple in Avignon is great too. All those colors in the street, and the couple fitting perfectly here...

ruth said...

Well that bird in the boat shot looks like the birds in the Sydney shot; good segue.

The pictures of the couples are lovely. The one of the couple on the wall is quite special. Maybe they're brother and sister? I love how the green of the bottles stands out.

I hope your transition continues to go well.

Neva said...

Lovely photos....the colors are awesome!

M.Benaut said...

These shots are so nice, words can do them no justice, Nathalie.

I can't wait to get there in 11 months time !!!

Merci pour vos souhaits très gentils également, - au bas.

Mustafa Şenalp said...

Your blog is very nice:)

Peter said...

So, now you added the mail box! Yes, a lovely idea to have a mail box for love letters only! (Have you seen that it's closed? Too bad!!)

ruth said...

So glad I came back and saw the mailbox. So Avignon doesn't have the graffiti scrubbers Paris has, eh? Or maybe you do? Love is all around, thanks, Nathalie.

M.Benaut said...

Chère Nathalie,

Je suis si satisfait que vous avez apprécié notre petit voyage à Île de Kangourou.
Nous sommes partis samedi matin et nous sommes revenus dimanche soir.
Le voyage rapide devait inspecter la maison de notre ami et compter également, le nombre de lits et de toutes les choses qui sont nécessaires pour les vacances d'été.
J'ai tondu les pelouses et Mme. a regardé dans les placards de cuisine, etc. Il est difficile de traduire les noms de toutes les petites choses qui ont dû à compté.
Nous avons fait un voyage aux régions que je vous ai montrées, parce que Mme. n'a pas été là auparavant.
La fois suivante, nous espérons attraper un peu de poisson et boire de la bière quand le temps fait plus chaud.
Ce soir, je posterai les deux photos finales.

Il était aussi bien drôle comme triste d'entendre l'histoire de 'Monsieur Président'.

La chose suivante à être faite, doit faire des plans pour notre voyage en France. Il va être magnifique de rencontrer tant de nouveaux amis et j'espère sincèrement que nous pouvons vous voir à Avignon.
Je vous apporterai beaucoup de photographies de la "Jonction de Bondi" et de Bondi RSL !!!! Pouvez-vous penser à autre chose ?

Bien amicalement,
m.b.

Chuckeroon said...

...a stunning group of photos for this week: hard to chose any particular one.

Ben said...

Beautiful place, Nathalie.
I love the first photo.

Nikon said...

A great photo essay - excellent shots.

richard said...

The couple with the beer is certainly my favourite - the spacing and the bottles catching the light. Colours go well with the mood. (Wish you hadn't told me about the roll-up).
The letter box is curious. Somehow I don't mind a bit of grafitti if it has a sense of humour, or of absurdity, or just plain Gallic charm. As Peter noted, it's curious/ironic that it is blocked up

Maxime said...

Une belle série, qui dit juste que "love is more than a four letters word" - but could be a four letters world.

GMG said...

Great set of pictures. The colours of Arles honour Vincent; the sunsets are superb; the bird dance is absolutely stunning; and finally, the boite aux lettres d'amour is just... lovely. Great post!

Ming_the_Merciless said...

Your photos are absolutely gorgeous. They are so romantic and beautiful.

Nathalie said...

Yes Peter and Richard, I'm sorry too that the letter box for love letters is actually closed! Isn't that a shame?

I'd love to be the mailman collecting the mail from that box every day. Being the official carrier of love would be a great job. Think of all the pink scented envelopes you'd get, smooched with red lipstick marks and all!

But I may be dreaming a bit maybe? Who writes love letters these days? People write hot text messages instead, don't they?

Chuckeroon said...

Tks, Nathalie, for dropping into Richmond u T and telling me about the India photos. I'll be keen to see them. I was lucky enough to do one business trip to India, and it has turned out that I now also have a Punjabi daughter in law...so my interest grows stronger!

DS2944 said...

Salut la neo-avignonaise !
Toujours de belles rafales photgraphique : j'aime ce petit restau orange et vert avec ce couple qui sembe être d'accord avec moi, la lumière du couple sur le mur uniquement habillé de de verre vert qui tranche sur la lumière orange qui donne une ambiance comme je les aime, l'homme à la barre sur sa barque (il faudra lui dire d'installer un stick pour attraper sa bière plus rapidement), l'envol (quelle espèce d'oiseau ?) mais que penser du détail de la boîte fermée (?) aux lettres d'amour ?????
A la prochaine série !

Rauf said...

Ah! what a treat Nathalie !
yes i have heard a lot about restoration work in France after the 2nd world war in Sharp contrast to Germany, who went into demolition and new construction. Where as the French took pains to restore the damaged buildings, Churches.

The man passing beer to his captain in the boat is sheer joy.

oh i have many music titles with l'amoure, mostly romantic piano bits. Too many love letters could land the person in a real jam.

hope you are doing fine Nathalie, i see that you are enjoying every minute of your life.

Pod said...

j'adore le boite aux lettres d'amour. tres clever. je pense a toi madame!
x

Nikon said...

Thanks for stopping by Hemingway's :)
I envy your having lived on a barge!

Jazzy said...

i see you settled very well in france.
so many gorgeous photos, the colours and scenery are stunning.
big hello from
jazzy xx

Sally said...

Love your whimsical peregrinations, but I especially love that first photo in Avignon. The colours are gorgeous, and there's so much to immerse yourself in in that shot.

Happy times from Sydney! Hope all well and school is going well for your daughter.

CaBaCuRl said...

What a wonderful paint box of images, all to do with connecting...with each other and/or with nature.

richard said...

Had to drop back again and comment on your "everyone sends text messages now". I remember my early girlfriends and we exchanged many letters. If you are separated by distance, or other communication difficulties it's the only way, and it was for me deeply effective in developing relationships. Of course, I don't think you will be so intimate in an email.. Love letters aside, blogging is a positive offshoot of this technology, because if you want to do it properly you have to craft your article. This can only improve peoples skills which have been lost in the maelstrom of emails and sms's.

Sonia said...

Wonderful and romantic photos, Nathalie!

Chris & Deb said...

That top photo is my favorite from this group. Nathalie, your photos never disappoint!

Fabrizio - ikol22 said...

Letter, papier... Touched by her. To smell it and to fly to her while heart is beating so fast.

Thank you Nathalie to be so delicate and tender

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