31 January 2010


She sits in the old cemetery of Menton, forever looking down over the Mediterranean.

'Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.'

~ Victor Hugo

30 January 2010

Residence du Louvre

We are in the centre of Menton today in the main street that runs up from the sea and the casino. This is where we find the Jardin Biovès and looking down a tiny side street, we see, amongst the palms and orange trees the top of the Résidence du Louvre, which is mostly used for conferences these days.

29 January 2010

The Antique Dealer

Once a week in Menton there's an antique/bric-a-brac market outside the main food market and on the Place aux Herbes.

Here's one of the dealers taking advantage of a sofa until he hopefully sells it.

(This was taken in November with my old camera - the Lumix FZ18)

28 January 2010

Place Honoré II

We are standing in Place Honoré II which is the tiny square by the entrance to the Old Town - Porte Saint-Antoine.

Is this a tiny room or more likely a walk-way from one part of the building to another?

This square is actually at the foot of the Basilique Saint Michel and is named for the Prince of Monaco (1597 - 1662) who was responsible for many of Menton's beautiful buildings, including the Basilica itself.

You can see a super photograph of the whole of this square taken by Chuckeroon of Richmond-upon-Thames DP by clicking HERE. Many of you know that Chuckeroon fell on black ice just before Christmas breaking his shoulder, hip and femur. He's now back home from hospital but confined to one room and is not able to put any weight his bones until the 4th February. Then he'll start six weeks of physiotherapy. Get well soon, Chuckeroon! We miss you.

27 January 2010

Restaurant Le Petit Port

Doesn't it look inviting? This restaurant is at the foot of the Old Town and with the old port opposite. I've never eaten here but one day must do so.

26 January 2010

The Seashore of the Mind

'Sit in reverie, and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.'

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)

25 January 2010


Socks. Children's socks.

An old window frame - layers and layers of cream paint and note the putty to keep the glass in and the weather out. Old labels leave us a few letters to wonder what they once said. A ventilator in one pane of class. Lace curtains. A mish-mash of wiring yet fairly new shutters. Ancient stone walls with the vestiges of ivy still clinging on yet no life is left. And a couple of pots of succulents.

So much to see in just one small window in the Old Town of Menton.

24 January 2010


A tiny boat, silver sea and steeples of the Old Town of Menton.

23 January 2010

'Ou Niou'

A tile outside a house in the Old Town. I believed it said Lou Niou, which is possibly Mentonnais or perhaps Provençal. Lou means The. But I've since been corrected and had it confirmed that it's Ou, not Lou, and that Ou Niou means The Nest in English and Le Nid in French. Thanks to everyone who responded to this and to Dale who confirmed it is indeed Mentonnais.

22 January 2010


Reflection in a motor-bike mirror. Perhaps a corny image? I fear it is, but I quite liked the way the tree and blue sky stood out against the background.

You see the reality of the reflection in the smaller photo - a tree near the entrance to the cemetery. Just below the tree you'll always find one or more motorbikes parked - the Mairie has even provided iron rings, fixed into the ancient walls, ready for owners to secure their bikes with a chain.

21 January 2010

Shutter Decoration

The majority of shutters in Menton are painted, often a pale turquoise. A stained shutter is less usual. This one in the Old Town, is brightened up with what is, I suppose, a Christmas decoration.

20 January 2010

It's that time of year again...

...the oranges are on the trees. It can surprise a visitor to see the streets of Menton lined with orange trees. And not just the main roads but side streets like the one you see in the smaller photograph.

19 January 2010

The Little Archway - 3

We've seen this particular scene in the Old Town of Menton before but I do like the way the sun lights up just one side of this little street. We also see the archway we saw the day before yesterday - and the day before that - but this time, photographed from the other side.

18 January 2010


Christmas decorations stay up a long time in Menton but the silver trees along the Promenade du Soleil will be removed eventually and lamps will replace them. Personally I like these trees - they are subtle which is sometimes how I think of Menton - it's not garish, not rah-rah-rah like some of the famous resorts further along the coast. Menton is quietly beautiful with its soft subtle colours.

17 January 2010

The Little Archway - 2

Here we see yesterday's archway again but this time in context. The shadow of the lamp is for Nathalie (Avignon in Photos) from whom I learned to notice and see the wonder of shadows and reflections.

16 January 2010

The Little Archway

These little archways join one side of a little street to another and are usual in medieval towns and villages. Many thanks to Dave and Graeme who explained in the comments that the archways are supports to prevent the walls of the houses falling out - like a flying buttress. I originally called this post 'The Little Bridge' but have since renamed it.

This one is in the Old Town of Menton.

15 January 2010

Theme Day: Best Photo of 2009

Today is Theme Day when we get to choose our best photo of the previous year.

When I took this photo in the Old Town of Menton, I was focusing on the bike when suddenly this child walked into the picture. I like the dark into light effect.

But the photos I love to take most are close-ups of people - this adorable child on the left was playing peek a boo with me during the Fête Créole last summer.

To see the Best Photos of 2009 from around the world - what a treat today will be! - click here to view thumbnails for all participants.

14 January 2010

The Angel

Some people find cemeteries depressing - after all, they are full of dead people but when their lives have been glorified with stone art they are forever beautiful. Even without the art, just reading a tombstone you can find yourself transported to a time long gone.

Take this angel in the Old Cemetery of Menton. The stone has weathered the hair, the wings, the clothes and the cross, yet the face remains pristine and perfect. The inscription tells us this angel guards the tomb of Monsieur Bosano and his wife who died on the 16th September 1907 at the age of 65. Who were they? And did they really die on the same day?

P.S. Since writing the above, Zephirine left a message explaining that the extra 'e' shows the reference to be feminine and is it is the wife who is buried here. Thankyou, Zephirine, I really should have noticed that.

This leaves the question - where is Monsieur Bosano buried? I believe I know the answer (amazing what you can discover on the Internet) and will take a photograph of his tomb another time. He was Lieutenant Henri Bosano and died in 1892 at the Battle of Poguessa (Dahomey) which is in Benin, West Africa. The French column was attacked October 4 by an army under the command of King Behanzin. After several charges which are countered with the bayonet, the Fons retreated. About 240 soldiers died in battle (200 Fons and 42 French). Lieutenant Bosano died on 8th October.

13 January 2010

The Orange Sailboats

Yesterday morning the sun came out - Menton was back to its normal beautiful self. It seemed the right day, after all the rain, to walk up through the Old Town to the cemetery. There's always something new to see in the Old Town, I adore the cemetery with its ancient sculptures and chapels and, an added bonus when you get there, is this view looking towards the port in Garavan, the frontier and Italy. The little boats with orange sails seemed to be on some sort of training session.

Today - rain rain rain again.

12 January 2010

The Ruelle

Narrow streets, steps, a tiny bridge joining one old house to another, and of course a mass of wiring - in other words, a ruelle in Roquebrune village. Even a couple of Père Noels get in on the act.

Ruelle - such a pretty word. It translates as alley-way.

11 January 2010

The Pink Bucket

Suspended on a piece of string, a small pink bucket catches water from the overflow pipe of this house in Roquebrune village.

Creative plumbing, wouldn't you say?

10 January 2010


One of the pleasures of exploring a hill village is the element of surprise. Turn a corner, climb some steps, traverse an alleyway - you always find something new.

I've been going to the medieval village of Roquebrune for years - indeed I lived just below it for seven of them but here's a corner I discovered just before Christmas - isn't it pretty.

09 January 2010

Drawing in the Sand

Menton and a man draws in the sand.

To see something fabulous, do take a look at this video. Kseniya Simonova is a Ukrainian artist who won Ukraine's version of 'America's Got Talent.' She uses a giant light box, dramatic music, imagination and 'sand painting' skills to interpret Germany's invasion and occupation of Ukraine during WWII.

Click on link to view. Please do - it's fabulous!

08 January 2010

Two by Two

Menton - looking towards Cap Martin.

07 January 2010


The sea is still unsettled after all that rain - rocks and pebbles have been washed up the beach. No surfers today. We're looking towards the Old Town of Menton and beyond is Italy.

06 January 2010


View from Roquebrune village.

'I venerate old age; and I love not the man who can look without emotion upon the sunset of life, when the dusk of evening begins to gather over the watery eye, and the shadows of twilight grow broader and deeper upon the understanding'

~ Henry Wadworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)

05 January 2010

The Trainer Skates

For the Christmas and New Year period, an ice rink had been installed in the Jardin Biovès. Alongside was a small children's training area - the surface wasn't ice but had a slippery surface.

Young children wear these skates - not ice skates, not roller blades but special training skates. I'd never seen these before. Have you?

04 January 2010

The Kite

The swimmers in the sea are surfers, one of whom we saw yesterday. We are looking towards the Old Town of Menton and Italy beyond.

'Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.'

~ Anais Nin

03 January 2010

The Man Who Walks on Water

Yesterday in Menton. After snow, weeks of rain, suddenly a joyous blue-skied day.

Whoever said the Mediterranean didn't have a tide didn't see yesterday's waves. Yes, I know, nothing compared to Australia's surf beaches but this guy was having the best fun.

Sadly - tragically - the high seas also brought drama to the south of France. In Marseilles two people drowned after being swept out to sea and in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, just along the coast from Monaco, a young woman died of a heart attack after being taken by a wave.

02 January 2010

Chemin des Crèches - the Barred Window and Jug

Christmas is over. In France you see decorations up for months so I'm not sure if there is a limit unlike in the UK where they stay up until 12th night - the 6th January - by which time they must be taken taken down.

I was going to continue this little series until the 6th January but today the sun is shining - it's glorious weather after snow and then endless rain - and so I've been out and taken some pics. So tomorrow, we'll see something else - thanks so much to everyone who has walked the village with me and visited these cribs. More next Christmas!

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