Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways.

Ack – I’m late with this week’s photo challenge post but I went into town specifically last weekend to take these pictures so they are being submitted dammit! 😀

These are photos of The Bridge of Sighs in Oxford, which links the two parts of Hertford College together. It is popularly believed that The Bridge of Sighs is modelled on the Venetian bridge, but it was never intended to be a replica.  In fact, it bears a closer resemblance to Venice’s Rialto Bridge. I’ve included some pictures for a comparison. 🙂 I found this challenge a bit more difficult this week, though it did help me with perspective I suppose. My landscape and portrait photos of the bridge looked rather too similar, so I decided to zoom in on the bridge’s central carvings instead for the landscape picture. There really are some beautiful buildings in Oxford, taking the time to try and photograph them well is helping me to appreciate them more.

The Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy.

The Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy.
(Photo credit: Flickr user ptpgrad.)

The Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy. (Photo credit: Flickr user it_outsider.)

The Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy.
(Photo credit: Flickr user it_outsider.)

Wrestling with wanderlust…and depression.

I mentioned Sir Winston Churchill in my post on his birth place Blenheim Palace the other day, strangely he fits in rather well for this post too. Churchill waged a life-long battle with depression, he called it his “black dog”. You don’t think he’d be the type, he’s an icon of British fighting spirit and strength, his rousing speeches to the masses in the darkest days of the Blitz bring a tear to the eye. Steadfast and strong he embodied the British war effort: Never give up. Never surrender. How can a man with such force of personality have possibly wanted to throw himself under a train at the age of 35? But he did.

I too have battled my own “black dog”. I’ve tried to write about it many times, and I’ve eluded to it briefly in my post on emigrating to Australia, but the time has never been right. Now, for this week’s writing challenge, I think I’ll try.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreshadow

Flinders Street Station, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Flinders Street Station, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

P has kindly donated a photo for this week’s photo challenge. 🙂 When I found out the theme for the challenge this week was foreshadow I couldn’t resist posting a photo from my soon-to-be home. P took this photo along with some others on his last night in Melbourne before moving to the UK in August 2010. He tells me Flinders Street Station is a true Melbourne landmark and icon so I thought it would be appropriate to use this photo here. I remember him showing me his last night in Melbourne photo album not long after we got together – I didn’t think for a minute that I would actually end up going out to Melbourne to live long term one day. The fact I will probably be seeing this building for myself in a few very short months still hasn’t really sunk in.  😉

Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpiece

L'Opéra Garnier, Paris, France

L’Opéra Garnier, Paris, France

For this week’s photo challenge, I have chosen the Palais Garnier as my masterpiece. This is quite personal to me though I’m sure there are others out there who would agree with its masterpiece status. Having been a fan of The Phantom of the Opera since I was seven years old, it has been a long-held ambition of mine to visit this truly unique building. I visited Paris in 2006 for the first – and so far only – time. I was devastated to discover on the day of my visit the Opera Garnier was closed! P did tour the opera house in my honour five years later, but I have yet to actually set foot in the building.

Why is it a masterpiece? It took 15 years to build after being interrupted by such unimportant events as the Franco-Prussian war, the Paris Commune and the fall of France’s second empire. Upon completion in 1875 it was one of the largest theatre venues in the world encompassing 120,000 square feet. The grand staircase is 30m (98 feet) high and seven storeys of the building are actually underground. There’s a subterranean lake below the building which catfish live in and randomly, they keep bees on the roof. You can buy the honey in the gift shop. 🙂 Mainly, I just think it’s absolutely stunning. Really hope I can see inside one day.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic


Humbugs sweet shop, Lancaster, Lancashire, UK

For this week’s photo challenge, I’ve chosen a photo of Humbugs – a traditional English sweet shop based in my old university town of Lancaster (Lancashire, UK). I went back there nearly two weeks ago now for a reunion of sorts with some old uni friends of mine. It was great reminiscing about past times together, but it was also kinda jarring. Whilst still very much “mine” Lancaster has changed a heck of a lot in the six years since I left and I’m not sure I’m entirely comfortable with it…it was mine and not mine. As we strolled around town the next day, I took some photos and pointed out some sights to P. What affected me most though is that the whole town is now full of ghosts for me. Wherever we went I saw glimpses of myself, friends, and events from years ago – playing out in front of me in an endless loop. It’s only when you go back to a place you know very well and see how it’s changed that you have a real sense of the passing of time. I remember my first day. I remember numerous visits to Humbugs. What scared me most is that it’s probably the last time I’m going to see Lancaster or visit. That was painful –  it’s a place that truly helped make me into who I am.

(Plus I managed to make it look really old by doing something weird to the saturation in Windows picture viewer…move over David Bailey! :-D)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting

Fireworks over the Thames, New Year's Eve 2010.

Fireworks over the Thames, New Year’s Eve 2010.

I chose this photo for this week’s photo challenge as I felt it summed up this week’s theme perfectly in a number of ways. Firstly, fireworks by their very nature are fleeting, lighting up the sky for the briefest of moments – they are also SO difficult to try and capture…I was so happy with this picture, everything was in focus! 😀 Secondly, I also think you can call New Year’s Eve fleeting. It’s one day a year and the year you are saying goodbye to is never repeated. It’s also the one night a year that one single fleeting moment, midnight, means so much to so many.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg, Russia.

For this challenge, I thought about initially using St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, but I figured it would be more interesting to use a landmark that is perhaps a little less well-known but has all the features that make St. Basil’s unique. The turrets don’t even look real in a way, they remind me of lego and Iced Gems biscuits! The architecture was something that really struck me when I travelled to Russia in 2007, there are so many examples of this merging of East and West. The skyline screams “The Orient” yet some of the mosaics and murals that feature so prominently in Churches like this very much echo the best of the classical “old world”.