31 March 2008

Rue Longue - 8

A reader, who stays in Rue Longue when she visits Menton, has asked how the renovations are coming along. Last year there were times were it was almost impossible to get from one end to the other. Please click on the link to see how it was then.

Well - there IS progress but you'd not want to be wearing high heels! More after tomorrow's Theme Day.

30 March 2008

Three's company

Life on the seawall. Maybe the small photo, where all three members of this family are looking at the same thing, is better than the main one? However, the larger photo shows the dog's profile.

29 March 2008


Yesterday, lunching with a friend (ravioli aux artichauts) at an outside table at Restaurant Le Balico, I turned my head and there was this little boy, sitting a few feet from me on the stone bench. The bench is separated from the restaurant by a row of plants - which is why he's crowned with a weeping fig.

The restaurant you see behind him - across the square - is Restaurant Le Lido.

I think he's enjoying his ice-cream, don't you?

If you'd like to 'Tiptoe through the tulips' with Tiny Tim, please click on Monte Carlo Daily Photo.

Note: Since posting this, sadly Le Balico has been sold and is now under new management.

28 March 2008

Le Café du Vieux Port

Good Friday - last Friday, in fact. 10 a.m. Breakfast looking out over the old port.

27 March 2008

Lucky Black Cat

This black cat sleeps all day on the rocks just the other side of the wall near to the Bastion. I've often seen him there and have photographed him and all I ever get is a silhouette because, as here, the light is wrong. I was watching him, looking at his world and thinking his cat-thoughts, when suddenly he got very animated when a lady and dog came along. The cat obviously loves the lady, the lady brings him food - her little bichon is quite happy about it all. And once our hero had finished his treats and been made a fuss of, he took himself off and sat a short distance away.

This was taken on my first day with the new camera, so I apologise for the shadow but it was 9 in the morning with the sun in quite the wrong place and I'd not yet mastered what this clever camera can do - still learning... That's Italy you see in the background, by the way.

Have you noticed we seem to be on a 'Wall by the Sea' series?

If you've been following the Art Series in the Casino Gardens on Monte Carlo Daily Photo - today is the final day. If you like gardens and if you like words, you'll love it! This is my absolute favourite of all the installations.

26 March 2008

The Paraphernalia of a Picnic

People love sitting on the wall near to the Bastion. And how organised this couple are: rug to sit on, mugs, flask, looks like wooden plates, cutlery.

Personally I couldn't be bothered with the hassle of lugging all the paraphernalia. Great to sit on the wall and ponder the view but then I'd want to find a table outside a bar, order a noisette and a brioche sucré - and watch the world go by. Wouldn't do for us all to be the same, tho, would it?

25 March 2008

A hodge-podge of colour

Part of the facade of the Old Town taken from the far side of this beach. I've photographed the Old Town from this position before - for instance the banner of this blog - but with the new camera I have a far stronger zoom. Still learning the camera tho but don't you love the hodge-podge of colours and shapes and levels? I was shooting pretty much against the sun and for some reason, the effect is a little washed out but I still love it. Do you?

24 March 2008


It's not only people who like to sit by the sea in Menton. This little dog - his owner tells me he's a mixture of a Westie and something else - is called Chico. I think he looks a little like a paler version of Isabella's lovely Truffles (Naples Daily Photo) - Truffles is a Bichon Havernais.

23 March 2008

Twenty seconds...

Kids are wonderful! Twenty seconds - exactly twenty seconds - separated the main photo from the smaller one. In the first, they are turned to each other - I wonder what they are giggling about. In the smaller photograph, they are ignoring each other. Click on the smaller pic to enlarge it.

Taken yesterday afternoon in Menton with my new camera: a Pansonic Lumix DMC-FZ18, which is a 'bridge' camera or an 'ultra-zoom.

I'd like to dedicate this post to Chuckeroon of Richmond upon Thames Daily Photo.

Chuckeroon has 'held my hand' over the choice of camera, he has answered endless emails and is still answering them. I have much to learn. I thank you so much for your time and expertise, Chuckeroon.

Happy Easter everyone!

22 March 2008

Fête du Citron: Corso - Finale!

Our last day at the Corso. This is not a reprise - all these floats and dancers you've not seen before. The floats represent the Island of the Pirates, the Isle of the Rising Sun and and the Kiwi bird from New Zealand. The dancer in the second row is from Columbia and below her a Maori performer from New Zealand, giving us that 'look.'

There are still more acts, more dancers you've not seen, more marching bands, a Blues Brothers group, two more local folklorique groups and of course, girls, girls, girls. But enough already! There were three Corsos and we visited the final one on March 3. The Fête du Citron is over, the lemons and oranges have been sold off for juice, jams, jellies, wines and liqueurs. Even the orange trees in the streets of Menton are now being pruned - all 1400 of them. 40 municipal gardeners are hard at work.

Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to visit the Fête du Citron and of course, thankyou so much for your welcome comments.

So back to normal life in Menton tomorrow. There's so much to show you - more hill villages, joys across the border in Italy but now - I'm off to Menton with my new camera. Come back tomorrow and see what it produces. If I can make it work, that is!

The sun is shining over the sea - it looks like it will be a beautiful day - Happy Easter everyone!

21 March 2008

Fête du Citron: Corso - Giants!

These giant creatures are motorized and whiz from one side of the street to the other at great speed, stopping just before they crash into the crowd. Scary stuff and possibly a little dangerous, hence the security man you see in the smaller photograph. There are half a dozen of these creatures - one naturally enough: a wild boar.

Tomorrow - the last day of the Corso. Do come back for the grand finale!

20 March 2008

Fête du Citron: Corso - what a mess!

Some of the floats have cannon that fires bubbles, foam, confetti - even water - at the crowd. In retaliation, everyone buys Silly String (thanks to Slim from Quincy DP who gave me the name). The mess is extraordinary and I read in Nice-Matin that the war of the mess may not happen next year. The dancers, the bands, the floats, the novelty acts: all get sprayed with this mess - a hazard they don't need when they give us all such a great parade.

A few more days and the Corso will be over - a few more pretty girls, a monster and then back to normal life in Menton.

19 March 2008

Fête du Citron: Corso - Cancun, Mexico

Amongst all the jollity, a very serious young man - part of a wonderful marching band. They followed the Cuban float - but are they Cuban? A couple of girls carried a banner - you've seen enough girls lately! The banner blew in the wind and so I can only read the first letter - 'C.' So are they Cuban, Columbian or from Chile? A postcard from Menton to anyone who knows.

Later: I just had an email from a lady, from the UK, who was at the festival this year and she remembers the banner with the letter C - and also the design of a green crocodile which represents Cancun, Mexico. She also says these same sombreros are sold in the tourist shops in Cancun. So, many thanks, Sally - a postcard will soon be on its way to you.

18 March 2008

Fête du Citron: Corso - Oooh la la! (3)

The Girls from Brazil - four beauties all at the same time. It seemed to me like a good deal until I noticed that making a collage chopped off the lower part of the legs. But then I figured you'd seen a pair of legs yesterday, so please - no complaints! If you didn't see yesterday's photograph, please click on the link to see the impossible shoes the girls have to wear.

The frames the girls are wearing are rigid - I stepped off the pavement at one point to take a photograph and got swiped in the shoulder - and it hurt. I hope you gentleman appreciate the things I do for you.

17 March 2008

Fête du Citron: Corso - Oooh la la! (2)

Remember the beautiful Brazilian girl? (Click on link) These are the shoes the girls wear to walk the 3 kilometre Corso - and perform every few yards. If you guys are really good, I'll show you the rest tomorrow...

16 March 2008

Fête du Citron: Corso - La Frustica

La Frustica is an Italian folklorique group. They've played in many places including New York. Click on this link to hear them on YouTube in New York City.

La Frustica started life with a small group of enthusiasts but has now grown to a very respectable size with a wind section and another section dedicated to typical local instruments, made out of a startling array of materials.

The Festival is extremely popular in Faleria, near Rome - their home base - a happy event with no social barriers or political content, a typical village celebration.

The orange and lemon float you see in the last photo represents Sicily.

15 March 2008

Fête du Citron: Corso - Groupe Folklorique

Not all the entertainment comes from abroad. This is one of several folk groups from Menton. See the little boy on the right...he's trying to remove the plastic spray stuff that was aimed at him. The girls and ladies are wearing costumes representing the original Mentonnais clothes.

14 March 2008

Fête du Citron: Corso - Pirates!

All the acts parade around the 3 kilometre circuit, stopping every 100 yards or so to perform. The pirates were great fun - much banging of drums, a sword fight which naturally the girl won to great applause! And a Johnny Depp (sort-of) lookalike too.

13 March 2008

Fête du Citron: Corso - Clowns!

The clowns. The car has a mechanism that lifts the body up high, slopes it backwards, slopes it forwards. All great fun as the clowns fool around. You can see how the kids have had fun spraying the car with that plasticy spray stuff.

The beautiful girls will be back...

12 March 2008

Fête du Citron: Corso - Oooh la la!

Each year, when the girls from Brazil appear, the crowd go wild. A couple of visitors were standing behind me and as the beautiful girls gyrated towards us (you'll see more photos of gyrations, guys!) the man kept saying: 'Oooh la la, Oooh...oooh la la! and more --- Oooh la la! He was beside himself. His wife and I laughed and I turned to him and said 'Calme-toi.' It didn't help.

Today is the first International Online Free Expression Day. Nathalie at the beautiful Avignon in Photos has written in detail on this. Please click on the Avignon link to read her post and how to Take Action.

11 March 2008

Fête du Citron: Corso - Corsica

A wild boar represents Corsica in the parade. You might remember Corsica was also featured in the Jardin Biovès. Click on the link to see more.

In the smaller photo, you can see a young girl wearing Corsica's national costume.

Tomorrow? Oh la la......

10 March 2008

Fête du Citron: Corso - Group in white

This group were charming - and their music. I wish I knew their name or even where they are from but I don't. Plaintive music accompanied the man rolling around on the ground but I don't know what it all meant. Wouldn't want his laundry bill.

If anyone knows of this group, do let me know.

09 March 2008

Fête du Citron: Corso - Ostriches!

These ostriches moved so fast and were quite scary. Their heads would swoop about and suddenly descend on the crowd, grabbing someone's arm.

You can see they are getting sprayed with that sticky stuff from a spray can. The kids had a ball. So did the adults, come to think of it.

08 March 2008

Fête du Citron: Corso - Confetti!

It wasn't until I read Fabrizio's Torino Daily Photo today that I realised it's International Women's Day. Takes a man...

And so, inspired by Fabrizio's beautiful photograph of a little girl (do click on the link) here you see fun and games with confetti at the Corso. May these girls grow up to achieve their full potential.

Tomorrow - meet the clowns!

07 March 2008

Fête du Citron: Corso - Madagascar

This char (float) represents Madagascar. If you missed the earlier posts, you can read about how these floats are constructed at THIS LINK.

This year's festival - the 75th - has beaten all previous records with 250,000 visitors. The last 'best year' was in 2003 when the theme was 'Pinocchio.' In a few week's time, we'll know what next year's theme will be.

06 March 2008

Fête du Citron: Corso - Polynesia

During the nearly three week long Fête du Citron, there are three daytime Corsos (parades), two night-time Corsos and of course you can visit the Jardin Biovès to see the permanent displays, many of which we've already seen.

The Corsos consist of 10 chars (floats) made in the same way as the permanent displays - ie of lemons and oranges. They are each towed around the 3 kilometre route by a 4 x 4 vehicle. In addition to the floats, we'll be seeing 2000 musicians and dancers who have come from 20 different countries to perform.

In the top photograph you see some of the dancers preparing to perform. They are standing outside the beautiful English church in Menton which you can see if you click on the link. The small photograph shows the same beautiful girl performing later.

Below you see Polynesian musicians, followed by the dancers. The guys on the left holding stools follow them around as every few yards they stop, sit down and perform with their drums.

05 March 2008

Fête du Citron - waiting for the Corso

So, here we are - waiting for it all to begin. We don't have tickets for the tiered seating so we'll be standing by the side of the road. I warn you - we need protective clothing. We are likely to be sprayed with water, bubbles, foam, tons of that stuff that comes out of spray cans and forms long dangly coloured sticky stuff on our hair - and confetti - buckets of the stuff that will be shot at us out of cannons. Are you game for it? If so, come back tomorrow - the Corso begins!

And it's not only people who are waiting for the Corso - Canelle is waiting too. Click on the link to take a look.

04 March 2008

Walk to the Corso - 2

It's around 1.30 and we are walking to the Corso. Some people are lunching in a restaurant, some on the beach, some are simply sunbathing. These four photographs were taken with 15 minutes of each other yet people have rather different ideas as to how warm it is!

03 March 2008

Walk to the Corso - 1

Let's go to the Corso. The Corso is the 'parade of floats' that is a big part of the Lemon Festival. I've never been before and didn't intend going this year but it was a lovely day and I had a feeling you might like to come along.

Parking is hopeless on Corso days so we've had to park a long way away and now we are walking by the sea to get to the Parade. This little girl threw stone after stone into the sea - quite big stones for a small child.

Did you throw stones into the sea or a river or a lake when you were a child?

Do come back tomorrow - we'll continue our walk along the seafront - until we reach the Corso and then we'll have fun.

02 March 2008

Orchidée - 2

Following on from the posting a couple of days ago, here we are inside the Palais de l'Europe which is holding the Orchid Exhibition. You can see the outside of this beautiful building on the left.

The Palais de l'Europe was built in the neo-classic style
in 1909 - the architect being inspired by the great buildings of the 1850s - 1880s. It was originally the Kursaal Casino, the fourth casino to be built in the town. In those days opera, ballet and theatre companies performed for the delight of the visitors.

The building was acquired by the town at the end of the 1950s, and after 1961 was known as the Palais de l'Europe. Here you'll find the Tourist Office, the municipal library, a theatre, a gallery and exhibition halls.

01 March 2008

Theme Day: Street Mural or Graffiti

Not Banksy, but I found no street murals in Menton. This is part of the revered French poet, Paul Valéry's famous poem 'Le Cimetière Marin' (The Graveyard by the Sea) and it's on a wall in the beautiful cemetery above the Old Town of Menton. You can read the poem in both French and in its English translation by C. Day Lewis. Just click on the link above.

"The quiet roof where dove-sails saunter by,
Between the pines, the tombs..."

There are 144 Daily Photo Bloggers participating in today's CDP Theme Day who would love you to visit them:

Adelaide, Australia by Gordon, Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, Aliso Viejo (CA), USA by Rodney, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie, Arradon, France by Alice, Ashton under Lyne, UK by Pennine, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Bandung, Indonesia by Guntur Purwanto, Baziège, France by PaB, Belgrade, Serbia by BgdPic, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Boston (MA), USA by Fenix, Boston (MA), USA by Sarah, Whit, & Leyre, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Brighton, UK by Harvey, Bucaramanga, Colombia by Fernando, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Cape Town, South Africa by Kerry-Anne, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chicago (IL), USA by U R us, Chicago (IL), USA by b.c., Christchurch, New Zealand by Michelle, Clearwater (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Clearwater Beach (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Cleveland (OH), USA by iBlowfish, Cologne, Germany by April11, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Detroit (MI), USA by Taittems, Dunedin (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Durban, South Africa by CrazyCow, Evry, France by Olivier, Forks (WA), USA by Corinne, Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Guelph, Canada by Pat, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hyde, UK by Gerald, Inverness (IL), USA by Neva, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Joplin (MO), USA by Victoria, Juneau (AK), USA by Gwyn, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Le Guilvinec, France by ds2944, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Jsaltao, Lodz, Poland by ritalounge, London, UK by Ham, London, UK by Mo, Mainz, Germany by JB, Maple Ridge, Canada by Susan, Mazatlan, Mexico by Kate, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Melbourne, Australia by John, Memphis (TN), USA by SouthernHeart, Menton, France by Jilly, Mexico, Mexico by Poly, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Montréal, Canada by Douber, Moscow, Russia by Irina, Mumbai, India by Kunalbhatia, Mumbai, India by MumbaiIteanu, Naples (FL), USA by Isabella, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK by Cassie & Chris, Niamey, Niger by Dinabee, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Nottingham, UK by Gail's Man, Ocean Township (NJ), USA by Josy, Paris, France by Eric, Pasadena (CA), USA by Petrea, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Elizabeth, South Africa by Sam, Port Vila, Vanuatu by Mblamo, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Quincy (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Radonvilliers, France by Deslilas, Riga, Latvia by Prokur, Rome, Italy by Giovanni, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation by Lark, San Antonio (TX), USA by Kramer, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Diego (CA), USA by Zentmrs, Santa Fe (NM), USA by Randem, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Seguin (TX), USA by Thien, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny, Silver Spring (MD), USA by John, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, St Francis, South Africa by Sam, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Terre Haute (IN), USA by Zann, Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, The Hague, Netherlands by Lezard, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Torun, Poland by Torun Observer, Toulouse, France by Julia, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Jazzy, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Wassenaar, Netherlands by Rich, Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Wrocław, Poland by Loompi, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn,

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