Sunday, 2 September 2012

From Ghent to Aix

 OK, so actually it’s Ghent to Ambleside but what the heck…

The Ghent Altarpiece

It is now possible to zoom in to the intricate, breath-taking details of one of the most important works of art in the world, thanks to a newly completed website focused on the Ghent Altarpiece.  Composed of separate oak panels, the Ghent Altarpiece was pain ted in 1432 by Hubert and Jan van Eyck.  It recently underwent emergency conservation work within the Villa Chapel in St. Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium.  The project was funded by the Getty Foundation.  The altarpiece was removed from its glass enclosure and temporarily dismantled, making it possible to comprehensively examine it and create a stunning One Billion Pixel reproduction which anyone can now access on

Zooming in from this 

to the book in St John’s hand.

The Isle of Lewis
I have still got hundreds of photos of The Isle of Lewis to sort.  A couple a day is all I seem to be able to manage.  Today the distractions from this task included the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa.  It’s one of the few that I would really consider going abroad to attend.  I can imagine what it feels like to be in the stands and watch the cars go through flat out…  Sigh.  Today’s GP was won by Britain’s Jenson Button.  Hooray!

Among the photos I sorted today were some netting in the harbour at Stornoway.

A seal waiting to see if any fishing boats would come in with a kindfisherman or two to throw it some fish.

And, of course, one of the early morning at GB’s.

 And finally, one of trees in the castle grounds.

"If you would know strength and patience, 
welcome the company of trees."
~Hal Borland~
(Thank you Norma for the quote!)

Implement of Torture?

Partner-who-loves-tea reckons this looks like an instrument of torture. 

So what is it?  It’s a French style nutcracker, something I’ve been after for a long time and which Daughter-who-takes-photos and Friend-and-Son-in-law-who-loves-otters gave me on Father’s Day.  At last I have something which will deal effectively with Brazil nuts with a minimum of effort.  And I think it looks superb as well.  It actually looks like something designed to do its job – unlike so many modern inventions which concentrate on having a pretty design and forget about their objective in life.

Ambleside by night

The Lakes Lodge, the place that Partner-w-d-t and I stayed at in Ambleside on the way home from Scotland was excellent and GB has already extolled the virtues of its breakfasts.  One of the other advantages is that one is given a front-door-key so when I couldn’t sleep I could wander out into the night and at 4 a.m. one day last week this was what Ambleside looked like…

Considering I had no tripod I was quite pleased with the results.  This was how the Stock Ghyll looked by night.

The Bridge House

Every window seemed to have a sheep or lamb in it!

Charity shop window with books.  Needless to say I stopped to read the titles.

The Doi Intanon Thai Restaurant, situated in the old Market Hall, where Partner-who-loves-tea and I had an excellent evening meal.

 Enjoy Labor Day if you are in the US.  Actually, I hope you enjoy Labor Day wherever you are...


  1. photos that are lovely and some are fun!
    You are welcome to the quote. See how far it traveled!?

    1. I suspect good quotes travel around the world many times, thanks again.

  2. I love seeing the special people in your life and in your posts. Thank you for sharing them.

  3. Love your night photos of Ambleside. It seems to be an idyllic place, seen by daylight or after dark.

    And the Ghent altarpiece is fascinating.

    PS - Did you go back to the charity shop in the morning to buy any of the books in the window? :o)

    xoxo Carol

    1. Carol, what dio yoiu think? Jo and I arrived home with four large carrier bags full of books from the holiday - mostly from charity shops.

    2. I knew I could count on you, John -- a man after my own heart! :o)

  4. Superb night shots....The Bridge House is very effective.
    Thanks for the link.

  5. Doesn't a place at night or early morning, when you are the only person out and about, feel a lot more "intimate", as if it were much more "yours"?
    Not that I am out and about in such circumstances often...
    Love the tree and the early morning sky!

    1. Yes, Meike, that sums it up perfectly. Ambleside really felt as though it was mine with no one else around to 'claim' it or disturb the peace and quiet.

  6. These photos are absolutely spectacular -- especially the one of the fishing nets and the Bridge House one.
    I think you tend to post blogs first thing in the morning which is when I go to bed over here. I seem to be the first to visit your new blog. I will have to catch up with all of your new ones when we get back as I won't have my laptop with me. Have a great week mulling through the memories by photo.

    1. Have a good time, Chris.
      As for when I post - that is in the lap of the gods. I don't think I have a regular time though if I start one in the morning it often doesn't get posted until evening as I get sidetracked so easily...

  7. Hi,
    You posted so many wonderful photos! I love them. Especially I love fishnets and the bridge house. The colors of the fishnets are quiet but elegant. The bridge house is enchanting and mysterious. I have not walked a street around time between morning and night. But I imagine I will be able to see many sceneries with very different atmosphere from daytime. I want to try it one day. But I have to ask my husband to come with me.

    1. That's one advantage men generally have over women, Even in Ambleside I suspect most women would not feel happy on their own in the middle of the night - a sad reflection on society. Unfortunately I think one really does have to be completely alone to savour the full feeling of the place being yours.

  8. What a great post. Loved those colors of the fisherman's nets, I will find that color of yarn and crochet something!
    Labor Day has been nice, thank you. Braves won today and they won last night too with a 3 run homer in the 9th inning! Go Braves!

  9. Absolutely enjoyed today (am still enjoying!) - went to the north shore of the island and rambled about in the seaside town called Port Jefferson. Ate steamed clams and crab legs with drawn butter (in pencil, if you have to ask), drank wine. Bought an artisan-made coffee cup to replace the one I had that broke. Traded tattoo compliments with other inked personages. Left a few of my new business cards around. Tasted beer at a new micro-brewery. And all with Bear, who has the whole day off with me!!! Way cool. I absolutely adore your photos, especially the one of water and the bridge house at night. AMAZING.

    1. Gee - or should that be Ghee - sounds like you had a super Labor Day - really pleased for you.

  10. I love the photos. They are gorgeous and lets me take a tour of places I will probably never see. So thankful you shared them.

  11. Excellent photos. I wonder if you have a polarising filter. I don't have the kind of camera I can use one on, but I am always taking pics of shop windows and always frustrated by the reflections. Grrr! The view from GB's is absolutely stunning, I'm imagining it in real life - all quiet.
    As for the altarpiece, I will share the link with T. as I am sure he too will be interested.

    1. No, Jenny, I don't have a polarising filter. My bridge camera doesn't have the facility to add filters, regrettably. But I do have a few tips about taking photos through glass and I'll share them in a post in the near future.

  12. Loved every single one of these photos...great shots.
    I enjoyed the website link too....very fascinating stuff. Technology at its best.
    Are you sure you are only going to use that nutcracker for Brazil nuts???


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