31 May 2008

On the prowl

Gorbio, like all the perched Medieval villages, has many cats. Here's one beauty prowling the old streets.

30 May 2008

The Rose's Plea

This beautiful rose is on a bend a couple of kilometres below the village of Gorbio, en route from Menton. The sign says:

'Friends of Flowers. Don't pull on my branches - you will injure me. Thankyou. signed...the Rose.'

29 May 2008

Chemin de la Colle Supérieure

This road ends right here and not far from the entrance to the cemetery of Trabuquet, which is to be found way above the old cemetery, which is located above the Old Town.

The blobs of concrete are typical, enabling small cars, bikes, small trucks - to get their owners home. The other end of this road is properly accessible tho and runs high and way over the hauteurs of Menton.

France Telecom paid another visit and it seems there are big-time problems - they will come back and install new cable from road to house. No matter, at the moment, I'm in Spain for a dog show and the hotel has internet access, so I've left my connection problems behind - for the moment.

28 May 2008


Do you get the feeling this window is never opened?! (A house in Gorbio)

Internet & phone still down. Thanks so much for comments. My ability to comment is limited but am using neighbour's WiFi when poss. Will catch up with everyone eventually.

27 May 2008

Trompe l'oeil

This is the same house we saw two days ago. You can just see the old boy's balcony on the front of the house - behind the tree - above the lamp.

Note the four windows - how many are real?!

Internet & phone still down. Thanks so much for comments. My ability to comment is limited but am using neighbour's WiFi when poss. Will catch up with everyone eventually.

26 May 2008


It wasn't till I saw it on the screen that I noticed the shadow of this Shar-pei puppy's owner telling the dog to 'sit' for me. He's four months old and just look at those wrinkles. As they grow and fill out their skin, the wrinkles diminish but I believe they are considered a better dog (show-wise) with more wrinkles. The folds need to be kept clean else they can get infected. The photo was taken at a Bring and Buy sale in Garavan, Menton.

You can see several more photos of this puppy by clicking on the link at Riviera Dogs.

(Still no Internet but posting from my neighbour's house now. Thankyou Agnès. Hopefully my connection will be back on by Wednesday.)

25 May 2008

A View from the Balcony

Here's the old man we met yesterday - he lives on the top floor of this house. He doesn't walk easily and it always surprised me he can get up the stairs. I don't for one moment expect he has a lift. Perhaps he tends the balcony's flowers? Perhaps his wife?

(Internet & phone still down. Hopefully up by Wednesday. Am posting from a cyber cafe - very sorry but can't comment for the moment but thank you so much for your comments. Will catch up as soon as poss).

24 May 2008

Ladies' Man?

He doesn't look too happy but in fact this old boy fancies himself a bit as a ladies' man. He can be charming. He's sitting at the base of the old Elm in Gorbio village. Written on the base - far left - words to show it was planted in 1713. Tomorrow, I'll show you where this gentleman lives. You might be suprised.

(Internet & phone still down. Hopefully up by Wednesday. Am posting from a cyber cafe - very sorry but can't comment for the moment but thank you so much for your comments. Will catch up as soon as poss).

23 May 2008

Echium - Pride of Madeira

June is garden month in Menton. Menton has many famous gardens and I hope to feature some of them in the future. However, here we are in May and probably because we've had so much rain, many gardens are looking good.

Here is a plant that does well in this climate and on the poor, free draining soil we have here. It's called Echium candicans (sometimes called Echium fastuosum) - 'Pride of Madeira.' It loves our long dry summers and needs no watering. The bees and butterflies just love it. Apparently it's a member of the borage family (remember borage in Pimm's? - a long delicious drink decorated with young leaves of borage - mint was an alternative) My mother always used to serve Pimm's No 1 Cup before lunch on Sundays - in the summer.

The green plant you see in the foreground with the sprays of tiny flowers about to bloom is a young avocado. If you click on the smaller photo to the left you can see that an echium can fill quite a space. I love how it tumbles over the walls, don't you?

Note: care is needed when cutting back an echium - or even brushing past its hairy leaves. It can set up a skin irritation. I always forget...

(I've had no telephone or internet connection for two days - France Telecom tell me it'll not be up for a few days. Some problem between my house and the road. Grrrrrrr. Am posting from a cyber cafe - very sorry but can't comment for the moment but thank you so much for your comments. Will catch up as soon as poss).

22 May 2008


An old lady admiring a baby - it's universal, isn't it? Village, town, city - anywhere in the world. It happens to be in the Medieval village of Gorbio. I did crop the village noticeboard but thought it better left in - gives a feel of the village.

If you'd like to see the three German Short-haired Pointers who live at one of the olive mills in the village, please click on the link.

21 May 2008

Bird's eye view

Gorbio village taken from above. I live two and a half kilometres below the village (by road) or a ten minute walk up the donkey track when I'm feeling energetic!

20 May 2008

Donkey above Gorbio

THE DONKEY by G.K.Chesterton
When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.
With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.
The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

19 May 2008

You've Got Mail

When houses are remote (see yesterday's post) - then mail gets delivered to a central grouping of mail boxes.

The wooden signs are for walkers - Gorbio is great walking territory. The red sign on the right says the road is a dead end and is only open to locals whose houses are reached via this road.

18 May 2008

Cloud over Gorbio

We've had rain for days - and it's forecast for several more. However, this morning, suddenly the sun appeared so my dog, Beau, took me for a walk above the village of Gorbio. The village is roughly 370 metres above sea level and is 7 .5 kilometres from Menton. It's easy to think of the French Riviera as being beach, sea and a hedonistic lifestyle, but drive 10 minutes into the hinterland and this is what you find.

Here you see one or two houses built into the hills - they overlook the perched village. Clouds hang low over the hills - it was these clouds that made me want to take the photograph.

17 May 2008

Love in the Piazza

No, it's not Menton - it's Turin - (just for one day) - but as it's Spring and love is everywhere, it could be Menton! Not sure what it is about those Italians tho - you can hardly turn a corner in Turin without young love manifesting itself.

This photo is for Fabrizio. He has been showing several 'love in the Spring' photos recently and I couldn't resist this one. It was taken in Piazza Vittorio Veneto, the largest piazza in Europe. If you click on the link you can see the whole square on Torino Daily Photo.

I spent four wonderful days in the beautiful city of Turin and on one evening Fabrizio was my guide - and what a guide! He so adores his city, his enthusiasm is infectious, his knowledge is phenomenal. A fabulous evening - thank you so much, dear Fabrizio.

16 May 2008

Cave a Vin

Rue des Marins

Pale shutters, a niche, a sign - just around the corner from Place aux Herbes.

15 May 2008

Brocante - Le Renard

.Watch out, Monsieur! There's a fox behind you...

14 May 2008

Brocante - The Scrapbook

How many of these film stars do you know?

(Thankyou so much for everyone who has visited. Apologies for not commenting over the last few days. I'm in Turin - which is fabulous! - home by the weekend)

13 May 2008

Brocante - The Stolen Lick

If you want to know why the boy on the right is looking fed up - look at the photo below which was taken one lick before...

12 May 2008

Brocante - Slot machine

Roll up, roll up - put your 1 franc piece in the slot - except there are no 1 franc pieces any more!

11 May 2008

Brocante - The Thankyou

Jetée Impératrice Eugénie

The Brocante took place on the 1st May, the day Lily of the Valley is given for good luck. Read more HERE. This young man is receiving a kiss of thanks for the flower he's just given the girl.

You can see another photo of this lovely and rather wet Bearded Collie, Bianca on Riviera Dogs.

10 May 2008

Brocante - The WC

So far as I know, Menton doesn't have any public conveniences, as such - no purpose-built toilets. You find individual cabins here and there for which you put 30 centimes in a slot, or you go into a bar and buy a coffee and then use their loo. Or find one in a public building such as the Palais de l'Europe.

If you use one of the private beaches, of course, you can use their facilities but on public beaches, like the Sablettes Beach, you'll find what you see in this photograph. You can shower here too. The friendly lady who runs the place, makes it very personal, with flowers and the birdcage outside. You'll find her two chihuahuas, one very old who sleeps under her table and this younger one. There are two very comfortable dog beds under her table. You can see both dogs, America and Banjo, on Riviera Dogs today.

09 May 2008

Brocante - Tools

This stallholder is selling wooden tools, electric plugs, bit of this and that. He's got an interesting face, hasn't he? Wonder what work he does? Presumably because of his interest in tools, he works with his hands. Maybe he works on boats?

Aren't people endlessly fascinating...

08 May 2008

Brocante - The War Magazine

'Lilli Marlene'

Underneath the lantern by the barrack gate,
Darling I remember the way you used to wait;
'Twas there that you whispered tenderly,
That you lov'd me, you'd always be,
My Lilli of the lamplight,
My own Lilli Marlene.

Time would come for roll call time for us to part
Darling I'd carress you and press you to my heart.
And there 'neath that far off lantern light
I'd hold you tight we'd kiss goodnight,
My Lillie of the lamplight,
My own Lilli Marlene.

Orders came for sailing somewhere over there,
All confined to barracks was more than I could bear;
I knew you were waiting in the street,
I heard your feet, but could not meet,
My Lillie of the lamplight,
My own Lilli Marlene.

Resting in a billet just behind the line
Even tho' we're parted your lips are close to mine,
You wait where that lantern softly gleams
Your sweet face seems to haunt my dreams,
My Lillie of the lamplight,
My own Lilli Marlene.

Hans Leip and Norbert Shultz and Tommie Connor

To hear Marlene Dietrich singing Lilli Marlene please click on the link. And if you love Lilli Marlene you'll not want to miss Chuckeroon's beautiful photo and hommage on Richmond Daily Photo last February.

07 May 2008

Brocante - Hooked

A homemade set of hooks, mounted on a frame, plus mirror = 20 euros. Expensive, I'd have thought.

But what price the view?

06 May 2008

Brocante - The Stallholder's Dog

So many of the stallholders have dogs. When I asked this lady if I could take a photograph she was delighted, but as you see, she looked down, eyes almost closed: if she couldn't see me, I couldn't see her. She wanted the concentration to be on her adored dog. The dog is old - notice the growth on his head - the lady assured me it's just a 'fatty lump' not serious. He's a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and something else - she didn't know what. Certainly he's bigger than a Cavalier. You can see another photograph of this lovely dog on Riviera Dogs.

05 May 2008

Brocante - The Photograph

She walks in beauty like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies.
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to the tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

- Lord Bryon

04 May 2008

Brocante - Sanglier!

A wild boar's head for sale. Look at the teeth in the smaller photo (click to enlarge)

Wild boar are everywhere around here. When I arrive home late at night, I always cast a wary eye before I get out of the car! They are often below the house where they find water in the creek - and of course the dogs think it's great fun to rush out and chase them away. Note: there is strong fencing between the two!

I've been told, because there is a market for wild boar meat, that they were bred with pigs and some escaped - so now instead of having just a couple of babies, they produce many. No idea if this is true or not. Menton organises wild boar hunts in the season - to keep the numbers down, of course, and I suppose for the hunters to ask their wives to make sanglier stew.

Stew is fine - long slow cooking - but one year several people ended up very seriously ill in hospital as they'd eaten sanglier steaks - cooked rare - and ingested some horrible parasites.

03 May 2008


In Menton, May 1st doesn't only mean the day we give Lily of the Valley for luck (see yesterday's post) - it's also the day of the big Brocante organised by the Lions Club of Menton. Each year it gets bigger and bigger with more and more stalls, not just here - by the Bastion - but throughout the town. By the port, in the side streets, outside the market - hundreds of stalls and thousands of visitors.

Come and spend a few days with me as we explore the wonders to be found as we search the stalls and meet some of the characters. Don't you just love flea markets?

02 May 2008

Le Muguet

May 1st means le muguet (Lily of the Valley) in France. It's given to apporte bonheur - bring good luck - and on the 1st May each year, not only do the normal florists sell it but everyone gets in on the act. Kids put up stalls selling it, pretty girls gather in groups around a table with a bucket of sprigs for sale - although really they are there to chat to the local boys.

When I lived near to Perpignan, the bus drivers used to give a spray to every female who got on the bus. Yesterday, in Menton market the butcher gave a sprig to each customer. Such a lovely tradition.

Just as I was walking back to my car yesterday, this lady was trudging across the sand holding a pot of Lily of the Valley. She'd been given it by her grandson. I asked if she'd pose for me and she did - and then she thanked me! Of course I thanked her. Look at those beautiful eyes that look at us so directly.

To see beautiful bunches of Lily of the Valley, do click on Paris Daily Photo.

01 May 2008

Theme Day - Numbers

Theme Day for the City Daily Photo family and today's theme is numbers. I wonder if the number 26 shown on these boys' T-shirts represents a famous French footballer? This Menton beach photo was taken at the end of March.

Today, being the first of the month, it's City Daily Photo Theme Day with 181 different cities throughout the world taking part. Please click here to view thumbnails for all participants where you'll find originality and beautiful photographs waiting for your viewing pleasure.

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