2012 it is

Happy new year! I hope it's a good one (and that the Mayas had it wrong). Back in comfy Brussels after a really nice xmas - I may have to stop wine and food in 2012 though!A selection of shots from the Lot et Garonne and Dordogne - everyone should visit (and when they do, stay at my parents B&B!). I also managed to catch up with François & Aurélie who were xmassing nearby... we picked a half way spot on the map and ended up in La Roche Chalais where the one restaurant will stuff you to the gills for 12 euros - what more could you ask for?

September 11 2011

10 years since... etc etc. Happily ensconced in rural paradise, it didn't even occur to me until I had to pull my boarding pass out. Those 'where were you when...' events do set a bit of a timeline though - I can't believe how quickly 10 years have passed whilst at the same time, life is quite different! At the time I had just moved to Montreal and was about to begin studying photography. I hadn't met a lot of the people that are very important to me now and many of the key people in my life then have disappeared from my daily reality (not entirely thanks to facebook which, incidentally, didn't exist back then!), I've had a number of jobs, lived in three countries, seen three new continents, lived in an insane amount of flats... It would be quite interesting to take stock every decade. Back in the Trièves, the festival was over so we cruised to the site to help take down a few things and find Laurie who finally let us see her digs. She lives year round in a yurt with Max! Quite a different life and presumably hard work but under the blazing sun, looking out over their massive vegetable garden, it has an air of paradise about it. Goodbye to the crew and back to rainy Brussels.

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September 10 2011

Woke up in a teepee! Laurie's parents in law have a couple of yurts and a teepee which they let to holidaymakers in the summer and kindly let us crash in them for the weekend. Amazing - I discovered that dry toilets are really quite handy and that sleeping on camping mats works wonders for my back. Had coffee in the nearest 'big' village where we found Daniel & Sandrine who had picked up a lavish breakfast. Headed over to the festival where we lay in the shade sipping on fresh juices. Zafir needed a snore so we headed back to the yurts, made a fire in the pit, grilled some pig, potatoes and courgettes and didn't leave. It's amazing how rare the simpler pleasures are in a city - sitting round a fire, under the stars and chatting. Medecine for the soul.

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September 9 2011

It seemed like the 9th of September would be a good place to regroup and restart the daily blogging. It so happens I was saying a final goodbye to the summer in the Trièves, a rural/mountainous region of France, not too far from Grenoble. it's an incredible place - people move there from across France to make the most of the chilled out, creative, eco friendly vibe. My friend Laurie lives there and is part of an org that puts on a festival every year so we decided to check it out. Started the day with a hike up to a nice viewpoint, picked up Robin (an old school friend I hadn't seen in 15 years!) and headed over to the festival - good music, great vibes, tasty food and organic beer! Daniel & Sandrine pitched up from Provence in the evening with their little Zafir.

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June 3 2011

Wedding day... Mairie de Calvi - I was a proud witness, which, honour aside, meant I had a seat and could rest my heel-toting-feet. Drinks at Notre Dâme de la Serra, bright sunshine, champagne, pretty people... and then on to the villa, looking out on the mountains and valley below. Small storm drama - the electricity went out briefly, the dinner tent dripped, pool side cocktail was moved inside but the atmosphere didn't suffer and the weather cleared up for dinner and a long night of dancing (swapped the heels for havaians asap!). Too many shots to edit ruthlessly and it's my blog so I'll post lots if I want to!

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June 5 2011

Last piece of day in Corsica... and quite a day! Beautiful weather so we headed out to a rocky beach a half hour drive out of Calvi. Some swimming, scrambling over rocks and chilling and very suddenly a crazy mountain storm hit - lightning followed much too closely by roaring thunder. Rushed back to Calvi and onto the airport, where there were a number of conflicting reports as to whether the plane would take off at all, whether we'd be rerouted to Bastia and so on. Turned out it didn't matter so much for Angie and me as our plane had left happily at 11am...note to self: check plane dates AND times. Had to buy new tickets (I'm still debating whether those few stolen hours at the beach were worth 250 euros!) and sat on standby until we were allowed to fly around 7pm - drive back to Brussels under pouring rain and dense fog - hit bed exhausted, sad to leave Corsica but happy to see Marley again :)

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June 1 2011

Some of the cool kids went diving today - Angie, Noemi & Marie H for the first time... I was grossly jealous since I can't dive until I sort out my sinus issues (according to the dive dudes, I should stop smoking for starters...hmmm). Took a few shots of the prep and then went for a wander through Calvi with Eliot - we ended up on a small rock overlooking the exact dive spot they were at so we had a distant overview of proceedings while we blabbed. We're getting old - lots of babies nowadays, camomile tea is a must after dinner, and most shockingly, we seem to all be in bed by midnight and up and about by 9.  Bizarre...

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May 30 2011

So Corsica it is... arrived in Calvi under a blazing sun. Henri picked us up and we headed to our home for the next week which is a symbol of how posh we've become... flat screens in every room, cleaning service every morning, croissants delivered to our doorstep, swimming pool, outdoor bbq... not too shabby. Lay around the pool for a bit, catching up with some of my favorite people, watched some tennis... general chill. Petanque and Pastis in the evening if just to highlight that this is indeed the South (expect a few photos a day...lovely light here) 1969 - John Lennon marries Yoko Ono

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May 29 2011

Stayed in bed till 3pm - slept, read tintin, watched masterchef... a pretty chill sunday. I'm trying to be fighting fit for the coming week in... CORSICA, one of my favorite places in the world... that I know of. Headed off to Paris tonight with Angie as our flight is at stupid o'clock tomorrow morning and we didn't fancy waking up at 3am, so Ibis Orly airport it is. The familiarity is quite comforting, I used to stay in Ibis's quite a lot for work.

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May 2nd 2011

Woke to news of Bin Laden's killing - a little unreal and I have to question the whole operation, not my job though, Noam Chomsky does it better. Headed off to the airport and home to Brussels - where Angie picked me up and we spent the afternoon filling the fridge and checking off to-dos from the 'household operation' list. Lots of computerey stuff to catch up on in the evening. Images are some leftovers from Marseille, shot from the car.

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May 1st 2011

Second Calanque today - this time we headed out from Cassis's Port Miou towards Port Pin - amazing wander along a path overlooking a small port and an arm out to the sea, ending at a small paradise beach, with hardly anyone around. Chilled there for a while enjoying the view and the smells. Stuck in major post-football-at-the-Vélodrome traffic on the way home, which is probably part of the Marseille experience. Last night here :(

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April 30 2011

Packed in quite a lot today - My perfect hosts took me walking around a couple of really interesting (and photogenic) areas of Marseille. We ate pizza in the Arab neighbourhood, bustling with market stalls and colourful characters. Headed out to a calanque just within the city in the pm ... we picked an easy one for Paul and took it quite chill - the view from the top was great, overlooking a little port on one side and various outcrops on the other. On the way back, Francois indulged me with some pretty funky jumping...

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April 29 2011

François took most of the day off, which is cool. Headed down to a complete find of a restaurant... We were the only people sitting on a little terrace overlooking one of Marseille's beaches munching on super tasty food. Sat there for hours, enjoying the spot and burning! Took a small walk and cruised slowly back to their place. I'm quite sold on the Marseille lifestyle...

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