LENSCAPE

This Photo of the Week segment is my treasure box of mementos of tranquil,
busy, melancholic, nostalgic and happy moments from my travels;
testaments to an always ongoing journey, exhibits of life.

There is something magical about summer. It’s the season of holidays, open air theatres and ice cream trucks, of course… but what I really mean is how people open up. Women and men equally shed several layers of clothing, potentially causing an increase in the number of traffic accidents; we take our shoes off and walk barefoot on shores, river banks and in parks; smiles come more easily and every flat surface becomes a potential picnic table. So sitting in a beach chair on the bank of the Thames, indulging in a Snog only comes natural.

 

Street art is as fascinating as it is controversial. Some consider it vandalism, and although I may agree in some cases, I disagree with this cultural phenomenon being put in such a judgmental umbrella category, and/or being dismissed as an unavoidable form of urban decay. As a free and “obvious” platform for reaching the public, and a way of conveying potent messages, attracting attention and thereby facilitating much needed change, street art’s increasing power is indisputable. As street art gains more and more recognition, a strong sense of activism surrounds it; to the extent that some artists already have gained a massive number of followers, worldwide media attention, or even work commercially.

 

I’m in a bookish mood these days. Summer finally have found us even in rainy, sometimes dreary UK. Made me want to go on a “book tour”, the kind when you visit bookstores that are a little different; there are a few interesting ones in London, like the one located in a converted church, or another one on a boat. All that to be able to sit in the garden and read all day; to re-read my old time favourites and discover new ones.

 

When I saw the first squirrel, the little girl in me giggled and jumped up and down clapping her hands. It was a magical moment. As you walk further into the park, more and more come out of their hiding, probably in the hope of food. They are part of the backdrop. And they are so used to being around people, they would just run up to you and take snacks from you hand. I never go there without some nut bars, especially in wintertime.

 

Want cereal for lunch? Why not? How about a Marshmellow Submarine? Or would you prefer some Unicorn Poop? The choice is yours. Chose, add milk, top with goodies, simple as that. Unless you get overwhelmed by the 120 different types of cereal, the 30 different types of milk or the 20 different toppings of course. But if you crave sugary variety, the Cereal Killer Cafe in London is definitely for you! (Note: click on the image if you want to read more about the cafe.)

 

Among all, London is always going to be one of my favourite cities. It is quintessentially European, a vibrant cultural hub, a kaleidoscope of various traditions, a real heaven for a foodie with its colourful palette of international cuisine, and so on. But it has another side, more serene and dignified. London has all extremes to offer, it’s like a mirror reflecting my moods and cravings, I always find whatever I long for. Because as much as I prefer my home to be in tranquil surroundings, I sometimes desperately crave the busyness and craziness of a big city. Extremes coexist here harmoniously, just like they do in me. Maybe that’s why it attracts me so much.

 

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Tough Mudder obstacle course, Kettering, UK. A week ago I would have said that watching people voluntarily drench in mud in the spirit of justified puerility is not my idea of fun. I stand corrected. There is nothing wrong with silly behaviour, with returning to a childlike state by reminding ourselves what we liked so much as kids. That sometimes means getting muck all over our clothes, simply because it’s fun. Seeing the participants’ determination, camaraderie and smiles beaming from underneath the thick layer of mud was an uplifting experience even as a spectator. (Note: click on the image if you want to read more about the event.)

 

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Post-apocalyptic Charm. This was the very first photo I took after I arrived to the UK. It’s a milestone of a sort. I remember sitting in an deserted cafe on a bank holiday weekend, with only a suitcase at my side, waiting for the rental agent to give us the keys to the apartment that we rented over the phone and have only seen pictures of. The almost post-apocalyptic emptiness of the town makes me feel small and lost, yet my heart is bursting with a mixture of anticipation, fear and joy of having been finally reunited with my love after a month.

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