Monday, 20 August 2018

Monday Mural - Party time

At the entrance to the Rácskert ruin pub at 40 Dob Street in District VII/ Jewish Quarter,  there is a mural on either side - the on the left, made of mosaic tiles and called "Street Art Gallery"  by Hungarian artist Márton Hegedűs, painted in 2014 for the Colourful city Budapest Festival, and the one on the right is called "Love thy neighbour" the letter sitting behind a red heart, and was painted by UK artist Luke Embden.

If you like murals or have a mural you'd like to post, this meme is for you; just follow the Linky steps below.   Be sure to link back to this blog and visit your fellow posters.  Looking forward to your mural finds this week.  Thank you.

Indoors, there was a wall with another mural in black and white - which I just photographed from the entryway.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Monday Mural - Everybody has a town

Painted by David Tripsanszki and Dorka Jakocs for the Colourful City Budapest Festival in 2014.
This 16mt (52ft) wide mural can be found on Dob Street 36 near the Gluten Free bakery in the Jewish District. The caption on the painted says "Everybody has a city", which is also meant to imply that every city has its own character typical of its citizens.

If you like murals or have a mural you'd like to post, this meme is for you; just follow the Linky steps below.   Be sure to link back to this blog and visit your fellow posters.  Looking forward to your mural finds this week.  Thanks.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Gifts from a blogging friend

When I went to Portugal in April this year I intended to meet up with Paula and husband Rui from the blogs   (cross stitching blog) and  (movie/film reviews),
but with my niece's wedding and family time I ended up having no free time to meet with them, so I posted her a gift before leaving Portugal.
Paula later sent me a cross-stitch bookmark with my name.

I wasn't expecting anything and enjoyed the surprise.
Just a few weeks ago I arrived home and found a small parcel in my post box and it was a beautiful blue scarf Paula had bought me on a recent visit to Paris.
I love blue and also because my work uniform is navy I've been wearing this scarf quite often specially during our early winter mornings.
Thanks again Paula and Rui.
Hopefully on my next visit to Portugal we'll meet up.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Monday Mural - Kaleidoscope

Painted for the Szines Varos Festival in 2015, celebrating street art in Budapest, this 100sqm mural was painted by a young Portuguese artist Pedro Campiche AKA Akacorleone on the walls of a house next to the patio where Koleves Garden & Restaurant is at 35 Kazincsy street in the Jewish District (district VII).

I spotted one of his murals in Lisbon during my visit to Portugal in April this year and in 2016 I posted about a mural of his also in Lisbon.

If you like murals or have a mural you'd like to post, this meme is for you; just follow the Linky steps below.   Be sure to link back to this blog and visit your fellow posters.  Looking forward to your mural finds this week.  Thanks 

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

The new Stadium and Matagarup Bridge

Jose was home for 5 days and we had a relaxing time going out to dinner, a movie - Mamma Mia (sweet of him as he hates musicals!)- some gardening (mainly pulling out weeds) and a wonderful walk around the new Stadium and pedestrian bridge near the Perth Casino in the suburb of Burswood .

On Saturday 28th July, we had a wonderful sunny and balmy day so after a late lunch we drove to Burswood and parked on the street leading to the stadium where the bus stands are. No parking is available on event days as the idea is that  people should use public transport or the pedestrian bridge crossing into East Perth where they would park their car.

Officially opened on the 21st January this year Optus Stadium seats 60,000 people, the third biggest in Australia. 

The "Message stick" outside the Stadium
  The Message Stick, a 4mt high bronze and concrete statue by Barry McGuire a Noongar artist, is an invitation to all nations to come together and celebrate in the Stadium Park.

The Stadium
Running from the Station until the Bridge over the Swan River is a 400mt long arched arbour with boomerang shaped pieces of what appeared to be metal. The arbour will eventually be covered  with growing vines that will provide shade.  When there's a game they expect over 28,000 people will walk through the arbour to the station.

Arched arbour
Convergence - statue by Jon Tarry between Stadium and Station
The dedicated Stadium Station (two concourses) only had one of the lines opened, but when there are events it is fully functional with 6 platforms to evacuate the area quickly.
My husband's company together with another company (Laing O'Rourke/AECOMwere responsible for the construction of the station and the railway lines, Jose being the Project Manager for the railway project, so he was eager to see the finished product as he hadn't been to the area since he went to Sydney last October, to work on another rail project with the same company.
Ticket prices for events include public transport.  

Just outside the station there is a bus hub with 22 bus stops to be used during events, and they will be able to transport 8,000 passengers; there's a jetty for private and commercial vessels and a ferry service from the CBD, cycling paths and 600 bicycle parking spots, and the pedestrian bridge of course. On event days there are 1400 parking bays reserved for staff, premium ticket holders and disability parking.

The Stadium station

Just a short walk away from the stadium, the Matagarup pedestrian bridge was inaugurated just 2 weeks ago on the 15th of July.
It suffered big delays in constructions and massive price hikes as most of these projects do, and even though it's a striking design, looking a bit like 2 swans, when we walked across I was disappointed to find that there was a lot of work to be done still - uneven floor surfaces, rails that don't meet, unpainted surfaces, missing bolts, rust, pieces that were soldered on the spot... apparently it will take until the end of the year before the bridge is completely finished.

Matagarup pedestrian bridge

Some of the bridge defects
The surrounding area has been beautifully landscaped with native plants and succulents and there are lots of benches scattered through the area. There's a wonderful playground for the kids that was packed, and a huge pub - The Camfield.

The gardens
Named after Henry Camfield (1799-1872), the first pioneer settler of the Burswood area in 1829, this 8000 sqm space, has the longest bar counter in Western Australia at 65mt, a beer garden that seats 1500 people, a function centre, 80 bar staff, 175 beer taps, 50 chefs, giant outdoor screen, and is open 7 days a week.

The Camfield, the kids playground
On the other side of the freeway is the Crown Perth Casino (white building) and new hotel next to it, the Crown Towers Perth.
As we were leaving the area the sun was setting over the Swan River, shortly after the bridge lights came on and it was just such a magical end to the day.

We got in the car and drove the short distance to the Casino to have a buffet dinner at Carvers. The restaurant was full, but being just 2 people we were seated quickly. 
The food is reasonably good for a mass produced type of food and it's good value for money.

Burswood area with Crown Perth Hotel and Casino
The sun setting over the Swan River
After the sunset the bridge lights came on

Hope you enjoyed this new area in Perth, I certainly loved it.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Monday Mural - Heaven

On the bus on the way to my husband's granny flat in Middle Cove, on Sydney's northern shores,  I spotted this gigantic mural at the Stanton Library in 234 Miller Street, in the suburb of North Sydney
One day on the way home I got out at the nearby bus stop, photographed it and caught the next bus home.

Entitled "Heaven", it was painted in 1982 by artists Bronwen Bassett, Jenny Pitty and Kate O'Connor as part of the Women and Art Festival, it shows snippets of old Sydney with the Sydney bridge, heritage cottages, families enjoying a picnic, kids dancing...

If you like murals or have a mural you'd like to post, this meme is for you; just follow the Linky steps below.   Be sure to link back to this blog and visit your fellow posters.  Looking forward to your mural finds this week.  Thanks 

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Paris in July - memories of Paris

The Meme Paris in July brought to mind my visits to Paris.
I first visited Paris with my husband in the July of 1984 shortly after we had moved to Braunschweig in northern Germany, where my husband worked on a railway project.

About three months after our move we booked a 6 day bus tour to Paris, and were surprised  to see that we were the only youngsters and also the only non-German speaking passengers on the bus.  Anyway that was actually to our advantage as everyone was quite curious about us and very helpful during our trip.
We stayed at the 3 star Hotel Ordener at 131 Ordener st, on the 17th arrondissement, now known as Hôtel Les Jardins de Montmartre.  The decor looks so much better now...
Our days were mostly free to roam around at our pleasure and we would get together for dinner with the other passengers, as dinner was included in the ticket.

In front of the Church of Sacre Coeur and Eiffel Tower
What I mostly remember about our first visit was that we were quite impressed with the fabulous and grandiose monuments, with the space around the monuments that left plenty of space to photograph them in full and with the very large avenues.
The other highlights were a visit to a show at the Moulin Rouge, a bit naughty to our young and naive minds and a visit to the beautiful gardens and Palace of Versailles.

My husband and I at Versailles

                                                                    * * * * * * * * * * 

In November 2011, en route to Lisbon I returned to Paris, landing at Charles de Gaulle airport on a very cold  -5C  (23F) day, to meet up with my daughter Karina who was living and working in Paris at the time.
After finishing her Chemical engineering degree in Lisbon, Karina had gone to Nangis, about 80km south west of Paris to work for 6 months on a graduate program with Shell.
After those 6 months she went to Paris to do a specialty course and lived in a tiny 30sqm (322sqf) 6th floor apartment on Rue La Fayette, 10th arrondissement, not far from Gare du Nord. 

Because Karina went to college during the day I did most of the sightseeing on my own, catching the underground at either of the two stations near the apartment - Louis Blanc or Jaures - to the areas I wanted to visit.
I revisited a few of the monuments I already knew, and others that I didn't, such as the Musée Rodin  and the Musée D'Orsay.

The Musée D'Orsay, on the Seine's left bank is housed in the former Gare D'Orsay railway station that was built between 1898 and 1900.
It's an imposing building, no photos were allowed inside the museum, but I saw a lot of people taking photos of the big clock/window on one of the side towers of the building and also sneaked a photo.

The D'Orsay Museum with an elephant statue facing it
The famous window/clock also photographed from inside and other statue a

The Musée Rodin was housed in the former Hotel Biron, that was at some stage put up for sale, but several artists including Auguste Rodin took up residence there until the build was sold to the French Government in 1911.. 
Rodin negotiated to live in the building for the rest of his life and in exchange donated all his works - statues, drawings and antiquities to the State. He died in 1917 and as per his wishes the hotel was opened to the public as a Museum in 1919.
The manicured gardens with lots of rose bushes are also very special and a few of his well known works of art such as "The Thinker" are displayed in the gardens.

Les Invalides to the left and the Eiffel tower in the far end, with the Thinker in the middle of the cone bushes
The Thinker and I, The Kiss (white statue) and Rodin Museum and gardens

And here are the other monuments I visited during my 5 day stay in Paris:

The Louvre, where I was in awe of the talented artists that painted all those masterpieces, and the sizes of some of the paintings.

The Louvre and the glass Pyramid
Ceilings, paintings and sculptures at the Louvre
I visited the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, climbed over 300 steps to reach the Basilica du Sacre Coeur, stood under the Arc de Triomphe at the Place Charles de Gaulle from where 12 avenues radiate from, with mind boggling traffic flowing by...

Notre Dame Cathedral (top photos), Sacre Coeur Basilica and Arc de Triomphe
Crossing from the Louvre Museum to the other margin I walked across the pedestrian Pont des Arts and still saw the thousands of love locks that tourists would attach to its railings. Due to their weight that was unfortunately ruining the bridge structure, they were removed in 2015.

The Louvre and the Pont des Arts, love locks at the bridge, the Hôtel de Ville (Paris Municipality ofices), Arc du Triomph du Carrousel

On my first visit we didn't climb the Eiffel Tower, but this time I couldn't pass the opportunity, and my daughter and I went up and even though it was hazy, I enjoyed the experience.

A cold winter's day with the tower in the background

Located just a 30 min walk to my daughter's apartment, the Galeries Lafayette, an upmarket department store,  deserved an evening visit when we went in to buy macaroons.  I had never seen so many spices like they had at the spice bar, and the macaroon bar was a paradise for anyone with a sweet tooth, with macaroons in every colour.
The store was all set up for Christmas with a giant tree and all the levels decorated and the outside of the building was covered up in lights.

Galeries Lafayette ready for Christmas, the spice bar and the macaroon bar

And I still had time for a quick photo in front of the Moulin Rouge, no naughty visit this time .😇

The famous Moulin Rouge and my daughter's cat Cusca (a 3 legged cat who died in 2015) who used to sit inside the suitcase whenever she packed

The visit didn't end on a high note though...
On my last day in Paris, I was to meet my daughter at an underground station after her class in the late afternoon, where we would catch a bus to Orly Airport  for a flight to Lisbon.
Armed with my suitcase I caught the underground having to descend stairs with it as old stations don't have modern facilities.
Halfway there the train stops and stays there for a while and I can see everyone is wondering what is happening. A few minutes later something is announced over the speakers. At the best of times I don't even understand what they say over those loudspeakers in English, so you can imagine I didn't understand a single word that was said in French!!

The doors open and everyone starts rushing out and I'm there wondering what is going on.
I get out and stop a young man who I though might speak English and ask what is happening. He tells me someone threw themselves on the line further down and the train can't carry on, so the other alternative is the bus. I tell him I have to get to a specific station and he tells me to follow him across the road and onto the bus.
The bus is now crowded and he's inching forward and I stay at the back as my suitcase doesn't really allow me to move much. I keep on looking at him to see if he signals me where I should get off. Eventually he makes a sign I should get off the next stop.

Phew, I'm out the bus, but I can't see any station on that corner. I go inside a restaurant and ask where the station is, and they indicate that it's across the roundabout.
I reach the station, I'm late already and look all over, indoors and outdoors, but I can't find my daughter. I'm in a panic by now and I imagine she's too as we have no way of communicating.
After walking up and down for 10 minutes I approach a lady at the bus kiosk where I see buses departing to Orly. I must be in the right place I thought!!
I ask her if she could call my daughter on her French mobile, she's a bit reluctant at first, but I'm almost crying by now and I think she realizes it's important.

She rings Karina and when I speak to her she says she's at the station. I'm also at the station with the same name, so I come we haven't seen each other?
All of a sudden she figures she's at the Underground/subway station where I was supposed to come out of , while I'm at the RER (regional trains) station of the same name!!
Puzzle solved, she rushed to where I was which was just across the roundabout and we caught the bus to Orly.
Of course we arrived just a few minutes after check in ended and had to pay a penalty to fly on the next flight 2 hours later.
Karina then contacted my brother in law who was meant to pick us up from the airport in Lisbon to tell him we would be arriving 2 hours later and to tell the family not to wait for us to have dinner either as we would be arriving at 11pm!

Of course I was unimpressed that neither at the restaurant nor at the station where I had asked a couple of people if that was the correct station, no one bother to mention that there were 2 stations with the same name just 300mt from each other!!

Thanks for joining me for Paris in July. Visit Tamara from Thyme for Tea for more Paris and French-themed posts!

Hope you've enjoyed my memories of Paris and haven't had a similar misadventure like I had in Paris.
Enjoy the rest of the week.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Monday Mural - The Fisherman

A mural of a "Fisherman at the Old Port" in the suburb of Le Panier, Marseille, France, taken when we visited in September 2017. 
Painted by Brazilian artist Fabio Cerqueira aka Nhobi. Try and spot the Brazilian flag in the mural...
At the top of the hill is the Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde.

If you like murals or have a mural you'd like to post, this meme is for you; just follow the Linky steps below.  Once you start looking you find murals everywhere.  
Be sure to link back to this blog and visit your fellow posters.  Looking forward to your mural finds posted this week.  Thanks.

Also joining Paris in July. Visit Tamara for links to more Paris and French-themed posts! 

Friday, 20 July 2018

Paris in July - The 3 French Films I loved

In 1989 Alliance Francaise started the French Film Festival in Sydney. Not sure when it started in Perth, but I only became aware of it in the last 5 or 6 years...
The French Film Festival movies are presented over 3 weeks in March/April every year and films are always shown at the Palace chain of cinemas known for their small rooms and international film shows.
In March this year I managed to catch one of the French movies showing at the Luna Leederville, and apparently it was been considered this year's most popular movie.
It happens to also be my favourite of the ones I've seen this year too!

Demain tout commence - with the English title "Two is a family", with the actor Omar Sy playing a reluctant father to a little girl he didn't know he had until his English ex-girlfriend shows up and leaves him with the baby.
He was living a carefree life in the French Riviera and it all changes at that point. He then embarks on a trip to London to find the baby's mother and with the help of a French speaking man he meets at the train station takes on a job as a film stuntman.
After spending a lot of time with the little girl, he learns how to be a father and everything changes for him...
The little girl played by Gloria Colston, born in 2007 to a French mother and American father, DJ Lord Jazz, who is also a hip-hop artist known as DJ Glo, plays a fantastic role in her first movie. 
Omar Sy who I first saw in the film "The Intouchables" and who impressed me then, plays the role to perfection in this movie.

You can watch the trailer here, with English subtitles.


The Intouchables that I also saw during one of the French Festivals a few years ago, went on to win first time actor Omar Sy the "Cesar" - for best actor in 2012, the first time a black actor won that award in France.  He was previously known as a comedian.
The film's global success have also made him an international star with roles in X-Men, Days of Future Past and Jurassic World.

In this movie, based on a true story of a friendship between Philippe, a Parisian millionaire who is quadriplegic since a paragliding accident and Driss, the young street smart ex-con he hires to be his live in carer.
Although from two very different backgrounds the two men bond and form a close relationship through humour and honesty.  A very uplifting film!
            Image result for the intouchables                                      

You can watch the trailer here, with English subtitles.

Not as significant or touching as the two films above I've seen another movie with Omar Sy called Samba, a comedy-drama from 2014.
Here he plays an immigrant from Senegal, Samba Cissé who works as a dish-washer in a Paris hotel and has managed to stay under the radar for a decade. After a bureaucratic slip-up he is detained and ordered to leave France. But he finds an ally in Alice (Charlotte Gainsbourg) an emotionally fragile woman who volunteers at an immigration advocacy center, who fights for him to stay in France.

Image result for samba film

You can watch the trailer here, with English subtitles.


Thanks for joining me for Paris in July. Visit Tamara for links to more Paris and French-themed posts!   Linking with Paris in July.

(film posters and film clips from the net)