A Photo a Week Challenge – Boats and Ships

Nancy Merrill Photography’s weekly challenge is all about craft that floats in water, boats, ships, tankers,etc.

Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast

Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast, London

Sagres (Brazil)

Tall Ship, Sagres from Brazil. Halifax harbour


Maid of the Mist

Maid of the Mist, Niagara Falls

Science Museum model ships

Boston Science museum, model ships

Venice, detail on a gondola

Gondola details, Venice


A Photo A Week – Moving Waters

From Nancy Merrill Photography, a photo challenge about moving water. Rather than go for the usual waterfall type thing, I give you…

Roiling water

Roiling water in the Niagara River below the falls.

Rainy evening in Manchester

Raining evening in Manchester UK


Coins in the fountain

Coins in a fountain

Montmorency rainbow

Heavy mist and a rainbow over the Montmorency Falls, Quebec


A Word A Week – Raindrop

Sue at A Word in Your Ear pics out a random word each week for a photo challenge. This week’s is Raindrop.

November rain in Manchester

May rain in New York City

A Word a Week – Frame

Framing a photo is one of the tricks of making a photo more interesting. It can give the photo persepective and draw the eye into it. You’ll often see photos with bits of lacy branches around the sites or top. I do that often. There are other ways to frame a photo, though. Even just a wall or hedge along the bottom works, as does a view through a window.

While looking through my photos, instead of the classic framing with trees, etc. I came across some photos from a visit to the restored and historic Fortress of Louisbourg in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Louisbourg was a French fort that passed hands back and forth with the English over a couple of centuries during various wars. The French finally ceded it to the English but it eventually fell into disrepair. In the mid 20th century, a project to restore it began and it’s a thriving concern now. They’re continuing to do work on it all the time. The fortress houses a small village and it’s set up much as it would have been in the 18th century. The people that work there all work in costume and can tell you about the historical aspects of the place and their “character”. We visited a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. There are a lot of events that are put on through the summer, as well.

Here’s a few “framed” photos from that visit.

The main gate of the fortress

A view of the harbour

Soldier at the bastion

A Word A Week

More Louisbourg photos here.


A Word a Week Challenge – Play

From a visit to Montreal a few years back.

Play nice, boys!

More from A Word A Week.

A Word a Week – Mural

While some people think graffiti is defacing a surface, and it certainly can be if it’s just random and pointless, others thing of it as a work of art and it certainly can be that as well. Graffiti is a way of expressing, usually, discontent with political slogans and warnings, territorial markings. Murals on public surfaces could be classed as graffiti but it’s also beautiful public art, street art as a rule. Some public murals are even commissioned. Some people do it to brighten up the neighbourhood, some to reflect the neighbourhood. Here’s a few I’ve seen on my travels:

First, two from London

Seen on Tottenham Court Road, London

Seen in SoHo, London

Two from Quebec City

Petit Champlain, Quebec City

The Cooperative Mural, Quebed City

Chinatown, Toronto

The next two are no longer. In the first, the building has been torn down, and in the second, renovations along the wall have removed the panel and mural.

This building was on Oldham Road, Manchester, UK

This was on a panel in the wall around and beneath the Grand Parade square in Halifax, along Barrington Street next to City Hall.

See more over at A Word in Your Ear.

A Word A Week – Companion

This week’s Word a Week challenge is Companion. What would we do without companions? We are social beings that live together in cities and towns and villages. We talk together, we hang out together. We spend time together. We may not be with someone else all the time but it’s nice to know there’s someone out there to connect with. It doesn’t even have to be another human. Animals and pets can be wonderful companions. They don’t judge, they listen, (we’re not sure they understand but I think animals can pick up on your mood regardless of their comprehension of what we’re saying).  Even animals need company. Very few animals or birds are singular, loners. That “Lone Wolf” is usually the exception to the rule. Here, then are some photos showing companionship from my archives.

A Manchester Terrior about to be put through his paces

A pair of very stern looking eagles. Nova Scotia Wildlife Park.

In the UK, Dogs are allowed in pubs. You see this commonly in smaller towns and country pubs like this one in Coniston, The Lake District

In another country pub in England, though these companions don’t seem to be enjoying each other’s company.

Kids hang out in packs.

And lastly, my own companion for life. In the Latin Quarter in Copenhagen a few years ago

A Word a Week – Create

Sue’s Word a Week challenge this week is “Create”. Here’s a couple of people in the process of creating crystal. The first is of one of the craftsmen from the Waterford Crystal factory in Waterford, Ireland. These artists memorize all the different patterns that they etch into the blown crystal and it takes years to work up to being a master craftsman.

A Waterford Crystal master craftsman

A Waterford Crystal master craftsman

This man is blowing glass to make crystal. Nova Scotia Crystal (sadly, it’s closed now) employed glass blowers and craftspeople from Waterford.

Blowing glass by hand. Nova Scotia Crystal (now closed)

Blowing glass by hand. Nova Scotia Crystal (now closed)

On a different note, my partner creates these wonderful cartoons for my birthday each year, usually focussing on one of our travels from the previous 12 months. This commemorates a misguided GPS that led us into a very tight situation.

Cornwall (St. Ives) 2011

Cornwall (St. Ives) 2011

A Word a Week Challenge – Kitsch

This week’s challenge word on A Word A Week is Kitsch, a word close to my heart. Tacky souvenirs! I don’t buy a lot of them, but I do enjoy looking at them to see what vendors try to flog to tourists. My souvenirs of choice are usually fridge magnets and tea towels, one decorative and one useful and they both can be kind of kitschy sometimes. Kitsch generally means something gaudy, not quite tasteful, sometimes outrageous, maybe charming and quaint, retro and most of the time, fun. Sometimes they’re mass produced and cheap, sometimes just brightly decorated. What they often are not is priced cheaply! Here’s some kitschy souvenirs I’ve seen in my travels:

Matryoska Dolls, the kind that have smaller and smaller ones inside each other

Viking fridge magnets in Copenhagen!

And more magnets, from Amsterdam


New York City souvenirs

Check out some fun souvenirs in Galleries Lafayette

Check out some fun souvenirs in Galleries Lafayette

Nutcrackers at the Manchester Christmas Markets

Nutcrackers at the Manchester Christmas Markets

A Word a Week Photo Challenge – Weather

A rainy night in Manchester

Sue’s photo challenge this week is “Weather”.

Everyone loves to talk about the weather and when we travel, weather can make a big impact on how much we enjoy a destination. Some of us can make the best of bad weather and try not to let it get in the way of our enjoyment. Of course we always want the sun to shine when we’re on a vacation but it doesn’t always work out that way, even when you go to sunny and warm locations like a tropical island resort.

Most of my European vacations have been to the U.K. and Ireland with a smaller number of continental visits.  I’ve also been to  various Canadian destinations at various times of year. In a vast majority of my holidays, the weather seems to be similar. It’s overcast, a smattering of rain, and the very occasional sunny day. It does get depressing sometimes. My photos tend to look dull because there is no blue sky. I’ve not been above photoshopping it in now and then but mostly I don’t because the light in the sky doesn’t match the light in the photo anyway if you do that.

This most recent vacation to Rome was an exception. The sun shone out of a nearly cloudless sky the whole week!

Roman skies over the Colosseum

I’m writing to you now from Manchester in January and right from the start, the odds are against good weather but then, I haven’t come here for the weather this time.  Weather Gods, I would appreciate a little more sun on my UK holidays, especially when we’re road tripping. Keep it in mind for the future, could you please?

Here’s a few more weather related photos from my archives.

Canadian winter

Halifax fog

Radhuis Plads before the storm, Copenhagen

Long term effect of the Cornish wind on trees, permanently bent