Monday, September 29, 2014

Heartwarming Memories

When I was going through some pictures this evening I found these three photos of Kaefer and myself, taken by the Geek during our visit to the Northern German island of Spiekeroog. We were staying there for a long weekend, having a family reunion with the Geek's parents, his siblings and their families. We spent a lot of time together, but there were also times when we just wanted to be on our own. Sometimes you also need a little bit of distance if you're so close together.

Spiekeroog is a pretty cool place (and I mean this in regard of its temperature) and very very windy. However, it has a gorgeous sand beach that goes on for miles and miles. It is wonderful to walk there, look for shells (here you find mainly what they call Venus shells), watch jelly fish and even get your feet wet if you don't mind the cold. In short, a great place to walk and spend time with the people you love.

We took a long walk there later in the afternoon when the sun was closer to the horizon (but not much - this was the middle of June and the sun sets very late at night) and the light was warm and golden. Seeing these pictures of Kaefer and myself just warms my heart. Such beautiful memories.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Beach Finds

I love to go to our beaches, and recently we spent some time at a beach we had never been before. It's a good beach to go to with small children since the edge is not very deep as at many other beaches here and the waves are not quite as high. It also means that you can walk at the edge of the water without always looking for higher ground when the big waves crash onshore.

Walking along the beach I usually look for treasures - shells, driftwood, small rocks. There are many things to find.

Broken sanddollars,

empty crabs and feathers - the seagulls probably had a feast here!

There are sanddollars buried in the sand

and also tiny, perfect sanddollars.

The seagulls leave their little footprints everywhere.

And sometimes you can also find huge seastars made out of sand.

These are my Friday Finds for this week.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Climbing Montmartre

There are several ways to go up to Montmartre in Paris. If you're very adventurous you can take a car (good luck with that). The most convenient way is to take the metro to Anvers and then either take the Funiculaire up to Sacré-Cœur or walk up to the basilica. Or - and that is the most challenging option - you can walk all the way up. Or should I better say, climb?

It's a steep hill. The "price" on top of it are gorgeous views over Paris

and of course the lively scene on top of the hill. There is more than "just" Sacré-Cœur - but that will be covered in a later post.  Today I am concentrating on the stairs up the hill - and the fences that accompany these paths.

This is the very last part up to the basilica - when you're already sweaty and out of breath.

I'm linking up to Theresa's "Good Fences" again!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Everything Scottish

Now that the Scots have voted to stay within the Union - or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - we can rejoice in everything Scottish. Just for the record - we would have done the same thing if they had voted for independence.

So, what is Scottish? Or what do we see as Scottish?

Of course there is the bad weather - rain and fog...

which you can still transform into something very patriotic (I wonder whether this is a "yes" supporter?).

Of course the kilts...

and everything tartan - bagpipes, too.

The Scottish lion - or to be correct, the Royal Standard of Scotland or the Royal Arms of Scotland, also known as the Lion Rampant of Scotland. Here you see it at the entrance gate to Edinburgh Castle.

You can find it almost everywhere.

Of course we cannot forget Haggis!

But have you heard of luxury Scottish Ice Cream? Probably royal as well.

The cute Scottish Terrier - who cannot love it?

What did I forget (apart from the single malt whiskey)? Tell me in the comments. What is specific Scottish for you?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Heavenly Blue

Last year I grew "Heavenly Blue", a morning glory of such a beautiful color and rather big size, from seeds. Only a few seeds made it and the flowers emerged very late in the summer. This taught me that this plant is a bit finicky and I didn't bother to get any new seeds in the ground.

Well, it re-seeded, and to my delight I saw ONE Heavenly Blue coming up in late spring. It quickly climbed up the trellis that the Geek had built, but then it did nothing. From the look of it I didn't expect it to flower at all.

I was in for quite a surprise. Suddenly I could see little buds, and a couple days ago the first flower opened up in all its (morning) glory. In the middle of September!

You can see why it is called "Heavenly Blue".

This climbing flower always reminds me of the South of France, Provence in particular. When I see it I think of vineyards, old villages hugging a hill, baguette and Camembert, delicious red wine. Long lazy summer days. Ah, c'est la vie!

My Friday Find for this week - I hope you enjoy it a little bit, too. Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The London Eye

One modern attraction in London that was completely new to me is the London Eye on the South Bank, the currently tallest Ferris wheel in Europe. Of course I had heard about it before and seen pictures, but when I was in London the last time - I think it was in 1995 - there was no London Eye, no construction started either.

The London Eye sits kitty corner from the Houses of Parliament across the Thames. From Big Ben you just cross Westminster Bridge (from which the top photo was taken) to the other side of the river and then you're almost there.

We had heard of long lines, and since we didn't really want to queue for a long time we got our tickets online a couple days before. We just had to pick up our tickets and waited only for five to ten minutes until we could board one of the capsules.

So here we are, shall we go up now?

As you can see, the passenger capsules are attached to the external circumference of the wheel and they are rotated by electric motors. You don't feel the rotation at all. It's a very quiet and wonderful ride.

The ride takes about 30 minutes, and usually the wheel doesn't stop. It goes slow enough that people can get into the moving capsules. The wheel only stops for disabled or elderly people so that they can embark and disembark safely.

There are up to 25 people in a capsule. You can walk around and look out onto London from every side, but you can also sit on the bench that is provided in the middle of the capsule. 25 people doesn't feel crowded at all.

The views over London are fascinating. I didn't, however, take many photos, since it is not easy to get crisp and sharp photos through the windows of the capsule. The windows are convex, and that makes photographing difficult. All the pictures I took turned out pretty crappy. But looking straight down through the skillful construction of the wheel is no less fascinating!

Here we are on top of the wheel on a brilliant sunny day. To the right you can see the Houses of Parliament with Big Ben.

And here is yours truly with her family, tremendously enjoying this very special ride.

Seriously, I loved to see the capsule beneath us "floating" over the Thames! Doesn't it look marvelous?

This is how you come back down to the start of the ride... those 30 minutes were over way too fast. I could have done the ride again - immediately.

But the London Eye offers great opportunities for photos from the ground as well!


Do you want a part of London on your refrigerator?
I have magnets of photos I took in London in my Etsy shop.

Friday, September 12, 2014


This is the first time that I am joining in Kim Klassen's Friday Finds. I have often thought about it - so what's holding me back?

These pictures are from earlier this summer, but I just found them again. My neighbor from across the street has so much lavender in her garden that she doesn't know what to do with it all. I told her that I love lavender no matter in what state it is. So she brought me a huge bunch - so much that I could fill several vases and container with it. The entire house was filled with lavender scent - just beautiful. I took these pictures when I was "sorting" the lavender, and I liked how it looked when it was lying on the table. I put this beautiful light that a friend of mine made out of a wine bottle, a coaster he brought from Hawaii and a big tea light next to the lavender and it immediately got this special mood - peaceful, calm, beautiful. No question - I had to take several photos.

While arranging the lavender I lost many parts of the tiny flowers, so I scooped them up and put them in an old bowl where they still spread their irresistible fragrance.


There are new mini journals available in my Etsy shop.
I have been busy making these.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fancy Fence at Sacré-Cœur

One day in Paris we went up to Montmartre. After we had climbed the stairs to the white basilica of Sacré-Cœur and visited it, we directed our steps to the Place du Tertre. While walking along Sacré-Cœur I noticed this beautiful fence.

I liked the spiral tops - it looked quite fancy and very beautiful. The fence was pretty high and I took some "blind" shots - holding the camera high above my head and just clicking away. Not very professional, but there was no other way. Yes, sometimes it sucks not being 6ft. or taller!

After I had seen the first blind shot on my camera display I decided to take pictures "through" the fence as if you were looking through it like in a tunnel. I tried several times, but there wasn't even one photo that was really good. However, they're still interesting.

It gives you an idea what this fence looked like on the "inside". The rust is beautiful as well.

Of course this fence is a good fence and deserves to be linked to Theresa's blog.