Gallery: staring up at the steps
There have been many times when travelling that I’ve stared up at some steps. I’m not the best at climbing stairs, but the incentives to do so are often great. A wonderful view, an interesting building, a slice of history … Any of these is likely to entice me to climb.
Gallery: the wings of the butterfly
Butterflies are delicately beautiful. Their colours brighten our gardens, our parks and our wilder spaces. They live for only a few days, yet in that time they pollinate our flowers and lift our spirits.
Beach walks on the Caribbean coast of Colombia
Some people’s idea of holiday bliss is to stretch out on a lounger on a beach, soak up some rays or enjoy the shade of an umbrella while maybe reading and sipping a cold drink. That’s great, but it’s not for me. I can’t take hot sun and although I love a good read I prefer to spend my precious holiday time exploring new places and taking photos. I’d much prefer to absorb the local culture rather than the sun’s rays, and I’ll take my cold drink in a café…
Gallery: purple blowing my mind
Purple is the colour of wealth and royalty. Its rich tones call to mind the trappings of majesty and ceremony. Its blend of red and blue means that it lies carries messages both of tranquillity and of passion. Purple is also the colour of creativity, as it fosters creativity by stimulating our senses while also promoting the calmness needed for thoughtful observation and introspection. And it just happens to be my favourite colour too!
Gallery: boxing clever in Tirana
Opinion is divided on street art / graffiti. Some consider it vandalism, others (including me) enjoy the way it brightens a city. Great street art can be beautiful; it can make you think; it can transform a district. So of course I was on the lookout for street art in Tirana, as I am everywhere I go.
The legacy of Enver Hoxha
Few people are all good or all bad. Most of us hope that in our cases the good will outweigh the bad. But there are some people for whom it is clear that the opposite is true. Such a person was Enver Hoxha.
Gallery: listening to trees
Whatever their mood, and whatever the time of year, it’s hard not to be moved when among trees. And recently it seems we humans have started to realise this more and more. Forest bathing and tree hugging have both been shown to have benefits for our mental health, reducing stress and helping us to unwind.
Gallery: dodging traffic around the world
While I would hate to drive in many of the countries we’ve visited, and have been known to grip my seat in the car from time to time, somehow I enjoy the excitement of being on these roads.
Sweet freedoms in Tirana
Under the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha many freedoms were denied to Albanians. Among them the freedom to travel abroad, the freedom to express dissent, and the freedom to worship. Hoxha declared that ‘the only religion of Albania is Albanianism’.
Gallery: in the mood
It’s not too difficult to take a photograph of an object, person, animal or scene. Choose your subject, point your camera and press the shutter. A modern camera (or phone) will do all the work for you in terms of making sure the subject is in focus and well exposed. But how do you photograph a mood?