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On Being Boring

I moved from London to Brussels with my husband nearly 10 years ago. When I told people we were moving, the news was greeted with bemusement: why did we want to move to a city that was possibly the most boring place on earth? Ten years later and I can honestly say that I've had more fun here than I ever did living in London. It might not be the most exciting city in the world but it is a fantastic place to live. It is full of hidden treasures that you probably never get to see as a tourist: wonderful shops, amazing food, great museums and galleries, beautiful architecture, a forest (yes, a whole forest), and so much more... And if that doesn't convince you, well, get on a train and you could be in Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne or, yes, London in no more than a couple of hours... Which other city can you say that about?

America 2012 – Part 6 (the Grand Canyon)

Driving through a forest… Driving through a forest… Sign for the Grand Canyon… No way! We’re in a forest… Driving through a forest… Sign for the Grand Canyon Visitor Center??! But we’re in the middle of a forest!… Park the car… in a forest! Follow sign to “Grand Canyon Rim Trail”… Through a forest… Forest… Forest… HOLY MOTHER OF F…!!!OK, so no, there is no way I (or anyone else for that matter) could ever capture the mind-boggling view that greets you when those trees suddenly clear. It kind of winds you. And we arrived just as the sun was setting. Golden lights against the red rocks. I wish I’d spent more time trying to get a better picture, maybe setting up my tripod, doing a longer exposure, walking along the ridge a bit, finding the perfect spot… But Charlie had been in the car all day. It was late. And he was determined to jump over the edge. Yes really. How can I put this? I’m not afraid of heights. Really not. But even standing several feet away from the edge here, behind a barrier, my legs turned to jelly and wobbled. But then “the edge” is understating it a bit. We’re talking about a shear drop of a mile or so. So you know, when you have a very fast, very wriggly monkey with you (one who would fit UNDER the barrier), you kind of let the photos go and pretty quickly decide to carry the aforementioned monkey back to the car where you can strap them in safely. Nice and tight. Exhale.Ahh… Hotel no. 6: the Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn. Not our favorite hotel but it did have a bowling alley. And a laundrette! CLEEEEEAN CLOTHES! Woot woot! We ate, we played, we ran down hallways, we slept. Then we got up and went back to stare at some more erosion.This time, Charlie wasn’t so intent on jumping off the edge.Others, on the other hand… Do you know, an average of 20 people die every year by falling at the Grand Canyon. And nearly all of them are men from 16 to 35. Yes, because being a complete idiot is SO manly and attractive. Natural selection wins again. Amélie also stayed away from the edge and earned her first Junior Ranger badge. After she had done all the exercises, she got sworn in…And then she got her badge. She was a little bit happy.Just a little bit, mind.

26 May 2012 - 10:16 AM amanda - Love love the sworn in photos and adore your landscapes!!!

26 May 2012 - 3:18 PM erin - god i LOVE this. love all that you got to experience and see, just a teeeeeeence jealous ;) so. many. beautiful photos. i hope that you are printing them and putting them on walls... the canyons belong on canvas side by side. so unbelievable.

30 May 2012 - 8:31 PM Teresa - I guess you didn't take a walk out on the glass bridge they have there. ;) I wouldn't either! I'm scared of heights as well. I love your shots of the Grand Canyon! So vast and majestic. You captured it oh so well. <3

7 June 2012 - 9:09 PM Marie - the grand canyon looks insane and it's making me nervous, just at the thought of taking children so near to such a precipice!

7 June 2012 - 9:22 PM Cass - Before we went there, Amélie got worried and said "I don't want to go on holiday to the big hole!". I've never liked those leash things people sometimes use with children but I would have loved one when we were there: it would have made my legs a little less jelly-ish every time Charlie made a mad dash for the edge!

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