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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?

Bye Bye Botanique

Some last pictures from the Botanical Gardens before winter sets in… The next few months will be muddy, cold, windy and grey (with the occasional sparkle perhaps). Looking forward to Spring already. See you next year pretty place!

I’ll take you on a little walk through the looking glass here and tell you that right after this picture was taken (below right), Charlie went straight into a meltdown that was very vocal and lasted for a good half hour. The reason? I wouldn’t let him leave the gate ajar. He didn’t want to go in. He didn’t want to stay out. He just wanted to stand there holding the gate slightly ajar. Which is specifically prohibited because you could let rabbits in and that would be a problem. There’s a sign on the gate that says so. Helpfully, as I was trying to reason with the monster and struggling to close the gate while manhandling him away from it without allowing him to head-butt the ground, just after he had squelched the raspberry juice I was trying to bribe him with all over my clothes, a little old lady came up to us and helpfully informed us we shouldn’t leave the gate open. I swear I nearly handed her the screaming bundle and walked away. But I didn’t. I just poured the rest of the raspberry juice over her head*.

* not really.

What you have here is me playing with depth of field. I can’t decide which duo I like better: the top one with the shallow depth of field and the pleasing soft background, or the bottom one which is sharp throughout and shows the pretty, milky glass of the greenhouse. You choose.

This one is more of me trying something a little different. I’m not normally a big fan of black and white for my own pictures but I’ve been seeing lots of silvery photography recently (that’s the only way I have of describing it – the photos are quite moody, with no true whites, just lots of shades of grey) and I wanted to give the look a try. I thought it added to the moody feel of this picture too. Amélie may well have been stropping off in a bit off sulk. There are days like that, when I have all the luck.

I think these are California poppies which remind me of our trip to the US last year (and make me feel even more excited for the next one next year!). If they’re not California poppies, they’re at the very least the colour of California poppies. And that’s good enough for me.

More black and white – it seems to be the treatment that showed off the mistiness of the greenhouses the best, whilst also down-playing the very Belgian art on the walls. I’m going to tell myself that children were the artists here, but experience tells me someone in the 70s thought this was fine art.

Do you know, I took a picture of this exact same branch last time we were at the Gardens? What are the odds? It’s not even that remarkable a branch but it must have somehow caught my attention both times. Look: it’s the second picture down in this post HERE. Maybe next time, I’ll get it all in focus.

3 November 2013 - 9:01 PM Ronnie - I love the b/w's, or grey-scale if you prefer, in the greenhouse. Work really well!!! Looks like Amelie got over her strop OK.

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