Happy new year!

Happy New Year!

I felt we needed a bright and breezy photograph to start the year off right and Florida can do that in bucket-loads. I am sure I could find some metaphor about clean fresh beginnings, but really, I just love

the photo. This was my laundromat experience on Key Largo while travelling with my mother and my daughter in the Florida Keys. I wish all laundrettes could be this colourful. Happy New Year to you all! You can find more Florida photographs here.

Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead

If you are not used to Day of the Dead symbolism, it can be quite startling. Throughout Mexico, and in Mexican neighbourhoods around the world, the skeletons that appear (in all guises and doing any number of antics) will not be for Halloween but for Día de Muertos. The festival lasts from the last day of October to the 2 November and is a time for family and friends to remember and celebrate their departed loved ones and help them on their spiritual journeys.

As I wandered around the Mission District of San Francisco last month, historically the Hispanic quarter, I spied many Day of the Dead preparations. I love the irreverent, playful skeletons. They seem so different from a more familiar avoidance of talking about death. You will find more cavorting bones and additional photographs of Northern California here.

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Golden California hills

Golden California hills

I returned to Northern California recently after many years away and found myself mesmerised by the light and the dramatic beauty of the area. When I lived in San Francisco in my mid-twenties and freshly out of university, I had became fascinated by the shapes of the typical California hills. There was something soothing for me in their swells and folds and wrinkles, covered in golden fur-like grass.

When I eventually moved to the South Downs of Southern England many years later, I found myself surrounded by the same curvaceous hills, only green this time instead of golden.

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