Fire in the sky

I am very spoilt in that I get treated to lots of spectacular sunrises and sunsets where I live. Some do not last for very long, the incredible colours and clouds are there for a matter of minutes before fading away. For these, all you can do is watch and marvel. Others are more obliging and will give you time to race away for the camera, then treat you to a kaleidoscope of shapes, stunning colours and a large dose of whimsy, all of which you can try to capture digitally if you wish.
FireCloudHave you ever experienced a really different sort of sunset though?

Towards the end of autumn, I looked up to see something which fascinated me. It appeared as if the clouds were on fire. Indeed, someone had lit a large fire on the ground below, and the smoke had become part of the complex and beautiful sunset image.

I really liked the colours, particularly those in the image above. The intense blue of the sky contrasts with the smoky orange and little tantalising bits of sun form a line along the edge of the clouds!

FireCloud1
Definitely a case of ‘Fire in the sky!’

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Country mail

Someone has gone to considerable trouble to construct this lovely, inviting little cottage mailbox. The detail is lovely – contrasting paint on the veranda makes it so welcoming, along with the rays of sunshine (ah….. and a cobweb or two!) streaming in from the west.

Inviting little cottage, complete with a tank!

Inviting little cottage, complete with a tank!

The owner is no stranger to country living – tanks are a common feature where there is no water supply from the mains!

Welcoming verandah!

Welcoming verandah!

The house attached to this mailbox is unfortunately not visible. I would bet that it is painted in similar colours though, and perhaps even resembles its miniature at the gate!

This is another example of the creativity which can be found at many gateways. Recently, we were made aware that mail deliveries will no longer be made every business day (email has taken over from much of what used to be delivered). It will be sad to see these lovely works of art no longer be used when one day, mail ceases to be delivered at all.

If you have contributions to add to our mailbox collection, or if you have a great mailbox yourself, please take some photos, publish a post and link it to the Amazing Mailbox Quest. The more the merrier!

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Weekend mechanic

Where has the time gone? It has been nearly two months since I put a post on this blog! I will blame the short winter days (it always puzzles me how I seem to get more done in summer, yet the actual number of hours in each day is exactly the same!)

However, I have a number of great mailboxes to add to our collection, so best be putting at least one of them up!

This interesting specimen of mailbox has had me amused for many years, but I only got a photo of it recently! A happy go lucky weekend mechanic with hefty spanner in one hand and a beer in the other. A sensible hat and dark sunnies keep the sun at bay, while shorts, a T shirt and bare feet remind one of long, balmy summer days. He’s my kind of mailman!

Time for a beer?

Time for a beer?

A lot of work has gone into his creation, and he is always immaculately dressed in new paint!

We can fix your car while we enjoy a good yarn or two.

We can fix your car while we enjoy a good yarn or two.

How is your mailbox searching going? If you have come across any, why not add them to our collection? You will find many others on the Amazing Mailbox Quest list, along with instructions on how to get your mailboxes included. The more we get, the more fun we can have!

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Strange object on wheels

When travelling, there is no doubt that if you wish to see a place ‘up close and personal’, then you should be walking or on a bicycle. Many unusual and quirky things are to be found along roadsides and off road trails, but one needs time to spot them!

We came across this very strange and intriguing item while cycling along a canal in France. I was fascinated :-)  Peering inside the grill at the end did not help me work out what it was – it appeared to be some sort of caravan, however, nothing inside seemed to verify this theory.

Mysterious item

Mysterious item

My curiosity was not satisfied until we returned the following evening to find it being well used by a single occupant! Do you know what this is? Would you like to have a guess?

Mysterious item

Closeup detail of the ‘doorway’

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Lock up your love in Paris!

Paris is one of those wonderful places with lots of surprises and interesting things to see.

lock3I had heard about the bridges with lots of lover’s padlocks, but I was unprepared for the thousands of these ‘pledges of love’ that adorn two bridges in the centre of the city. The Pont de L’Archevêché is one of these.

If the key to each padlock is tossed over into the river, there must be a lot of rusty keys at the bottom of the Seine in this area!

The beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral is visible in the background

The beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral is visible in the background

All those heavy locks must add a significant amount of weight to the overall bridge!

Thousands of locks on both sides of the bridge/road

Thousands of locks on both sides of the bridge/road

There is one thing for sure….. if a relationship came adrift and the lock needed to be removed – it would be a mammoth job to find it again!

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Travel theme: unexpected shoe post

Sydney is a typical large city in that it has some beautiful areas and some not so great. It has quiet spaces with trees and lawns and busy streets filled with traffic and noise. A recent trip along a very busy road with few aesthetic qualities, provided a very unexpected sight! A street light post  had a number of shoes attached!

A shoe pole!

A shoe pole!

I have no idea why the ‘shoe pole’ had been made. I think it was unlikely to be the work of a number of passers-by, some shoes are attached very high up. Perhaps it was a novel attention seeking tactic to advertise the shop in the background?

Whatever its purpose, there was no time to wonder, the traffic was on the move, and it was all I could do to quickly get a photo as we moved by!

This post is a reply to a post by Ailsa from Where’s my backpack, who challenged her readers to document the ‘unexpected’!

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Dance to the tune of a saw

Square in central Toulouse

Square in central Toulouse

It was warm – well, it was quite hot actually.

So much so that the lunchtime crowds in the square did not mind getting the occasional spray drift from the fountains which waxed and waned on the concrete slab before them.

I love the summer, I love the heat and I am drawn to water like a magnet, especially on days like this one. So it was inevitable that I would be attracted to the fountain – just to have a look.

What I found was delightful. A mournful, eerie sound was being created by a fellow sitting on a stool at one end of the water feature.

The saw'er :-)

The saw player :-)

He was using a violin bow to coax a tune from a flexible metal saw blade.

Two girls were ‘dancing’ in the fountain – they moved slowly in time with the music and the rising and falling water jets. They were the coolest people on the square, being dampened down by each new spray of moisture.

I enjoyed the performance, but I did feel sorry for the children who hovered uncertainly on the edge of the wet zone – not quite game to interrupt the musical entertainment.

We often saw people playing in the fountains and water features in France. As a water lover, I thought this was great! These images were taken in a square in the old part of Toulouse.

Dance to the tune of the saw!

Dance to the tune of the saw!

Have you ever danced in a water fountain? Or to the ‘yowly’ tune of a saw?

Pausing, then moving in time with the water.

Pausing, then moving in time with the water.

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