Summer Hols 2

It’s that time of the year for weddings, and where better to stage a lavish ceremony than in some of the world renown towns and cities of Sorrento, Positano and Ravello along the stunning Amalfi Coast. Here are just a few pictures of happy couples encountered in the few days I have been here.

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Dog Day Afternoon

Been out at Victoria Tower Gardens by the Houses of Parliament on this bright and chilly Sunday afternoon with Kipper in tow to join the many Stop Brexit supporters and their pets at the second Wooferendum gathering. Barking mad, you might say, but the organisers have a point. If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March without a deal, any deal, then not only the population, but dogs who frequently travel to and from the continent will have to go through more checks and red-tape, vet medicines may increase in price, and the staffing of veterinary surgeries may be impacted also. Afterall, dogs are man’s best friends and we need to take care of them.

Spring is delayed.

Photo : Bare tree, Wimbledon Common, 1st March, 2018

Cold Siberian weather, with snow, blizzards and freezing rain gripped the whole of Britain over the last few days, foiling the start of Spring in the official calendar. The UK can hardly cope with a few inches of snow, since extreme weather like this only occurs about once in a few years and only for a few days, at most, a week.

Welsh encounter

This is John Hook, 81, from the Welsh town of Deri, in the Darran Valley. I met him walking his dog, a little pincer, along a path by a stream and we chatted. The Welsh are really friendly, like that. Maybe it’s just the older generation. He had worked as a coal miner in three collieries when he was younger, and also help started steel works in England. Now, retired, he stays outdoors as much as possible, walking and enjoying the countryside.

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In the 50-70s these valleys in South Wales were major producers of coal in Europe and there were numerous collieries providing employment to the local population for generations. The beautiful countryside where we met were completely blackened with the spoils, slag heaps and soot from the mines. These were all cleared and the land replanted or regenerated into public space. The last mine which closed here was in the early 80s as the industry collapsed.

 

 

InstantLondon : South Bank

The South Bank is a bustling riverside walk dotted with restaurants, cafes and street entertainment over the weekend.  There are great views of the City of London and also Tate Modern and The Eye landmarks.

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Bataclan remembered

Sting reopened the Bataclan in Paris, last evening, with the words “We will never forget them”.  One year on, the gig venue has been completed renovated, after 90 people were massacred by terrorists on 13 November 2015, along with another 40 people, killed in three other sites that evening. Coincidentally, today also is Remembrance Sunday, when Britain pays respect to the war dead from WW1 and also subsequent world conflicts.

I wasn’t in Paris, but noticed this poster in the amazing art-deco interior of Brasserie Zedel, a lower ground French restaurant and bar constructed in the Grand Cafe style in London’s West End.

Birds of a feather

Today, we had the first frost in London, and the winter sun gives what little warmth to a flock of pigeons. The USA votes it’s 58th President today and the whole world is awaiting the results with bated breath.