Friday and Easter Fun

We need more escapism than ever before, so here are some recent favourite houses that set me (and hopefully you) dreaming.

Little house in Aix en Provence, from TripAdvisor. I believe it is Marcel Pagnol’s?
I can never resist a patio and those lovely French shutters, from houzz.fr
Another beauty in the Provence. Do you know that shutter colours on traditional houses are monitored in France? From Maisons Travaux.
Flowers in the garden are always a bonus, of course. Also from Maison Travaux.
This is how I imagined the Secret Garden house when I was a child – wrong country, of course, but isn’t it gorgeous, from stylemepretty.com

Happy Easter to all who are celebrating this weekend. I will be celebrating Greek Orthodox Easter next weekend as well, so double the chocolate for me! And please join us this long weekend rewatching Kieslowski’s Three Colours trilogy. Hashtag on Twitter: #threecolours (British spelling).

Friday Fun: Favourite Animals

It’s not Friday yet, but many of you have tomorrow off, so it’s as good as… (We don’t!).

I’m fond of most animals and used to dream of becoming a minder in a baby elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka or Africa. Besides, it’s nearly Easter, so we are in the mood for something fluffy and cute, aren’t we? So here are irresistible pictures of my two favourite animals: elephants and lynx(es? lynxi?). Let me hear you all in chorus: awwwww!

Baby elephant racing along, from buzzfeed.com
Baby elephant racing along, from buzzfeed.com
Sometimes you just need to hold trunks with Mummy. From acuteaday.com
Sometimes you just need to hold trunks with Mummy. From acuteaday.com
I may be a baby, but I can roar! From imgur.com
I may be a baby, but I can roar! From imgur.com
Growing into a fetching toddler, from zooborn.com
Growing into a fetching toddler, from zooborn.com
Devoted lynx mother and cub, from National Geographic.
Devoted lynx mother and cub, from National Geographic.
Caracals are from the lynx family as well, from imgur.com
Caracals are from the lynx family as well, from imgur.com
Lynx kitten falls asleep in a tree. From reveal.co.uk
Lynx kitten falls asleep in a tree. From reveal.co.uk

And one more baby elephant to really tug at your heartstrings.

Hello and goodbye, from thehigherlearning.com
Hello and goodbye, from thehigherlearning.com

We have adopted an elephant, a matriarch named Grace, and we get news about her herd once a year, but we have yet to meet free-roaming elephants.

Luckily, the lynx has been successfully reintroduced into the Jura mountains of Switzerland (and have crossed the border into France, those illegal immigrants!!!), so we do see occasional traces of them. They are very shy and solitary creatures, however, so I only ever saw one from a cable car, at a safe distance. There is a rather wonderful film about Milos, a Slovakian wildlife ranger, who raises a couple of lynx cubs to reintroduce them to the wild. Well worth watching if you are fascinated by these rare creatures. There have been a few cases of attacks on sheep, but generally the coexistence has been peaceful. The greatest danger to the lynx currently are cars speeding on the mountain roads.

Happy Easter, everyone who is celebrating this weekend!

Nostalgic Moment: Happy Easter!

Easter is the biggest annual celebration in the Greek Orthodox church, so at this time of year I tend to get rather homesick. I failed to find the right kind of dye (traditionally, it should be red) for my Easter eggs this year, so I’ll have to make do with these beautiful images from home. Happy Easter to all of you who are celebrating this weekend!

welcome2romania.wordpress.com
welcome2romania.wordpress.com
360romania.com
360romania.com
info-pitesti.ro
info-pitesti.ro

 

Lyon, Lyon, here I come!

Starting today, Lyon is hosting the Quais du Polar festival, celebrating crime fiction. Last year’s visitors’ numbers were 45 000 and this year, I am delighted to say, I will be amongst them.  You can see the full programme here (in French) and my summary of the event here.  But for now, I am looking forward to spending Easter with my family and with thousands of crime fiction fanatics like myself in one of the loveliest (and gastronomically most renowned) cities in France.  Life doesn’t get much better than this.

Happy Easter and Happy Passover for all who are celebrating this now.Image