Wednesday 20 August 2014

The 'Darth Vader' Bees

This morning, as I was standing on the terrace 
at 6.45, taking photos of the sunrise on my
Smartphone, two 'Darth Vader' bees whizzed past
at what seemed like breakneck speed.
They headed for the Lantana in the corner
of the front garden, so I hurried after them,
hoping to get at least a couple of usable shots
before they flew away.

I managed about half a dozen, then decided that 
it was time to get 'the big boy' out - my beloved 
EOS600D - and try some macro shots.

Breakfast time
The reason we've nicknamed them 'Darth Vader bees'
is because they are VERY black and VERY shiny and have a 
rather loud buzz as they fly around the garden;
although, on closer inspection, their wings are 
iridescent blue.....

Stained glass wings
Their proper name is the Carpenter Bee, and there are
500 species of them apparently.
Here's hoping they don't all turn up at once!

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Hello 4 am, My Old Friend

Good morning 4 am, it's been a while since
we last met up for a cuppa.
Although I was a little reluctant to
say 'Hi' at first, you won me round
with that first sip of hot black tea.
And then, of course, you
pointed out that the Moon was at its zenith
above Leila's Mountain....

And the lights of Castellabate & San Marco 
(as well as all the 'extra lights' down in the valley,
now that the holidaymakers have arrived in droves)
look so pretty against the still black skies

Maybe we should renew our acquaintance some more.....
but could we leave it a couple of days, please? 

Monday 11 August 2014

Supermoon Rising

We were just about to head into town
to, hopefully, catch a great shot
of the Supermoon hanging above 
Catellabate's castle, when I realised
that the fading sunset was worth 
capturing on my phone to post on Instagram....

Then as I turned to walk towards the driveway, 
I spotted the Moon, slowly rising above the mountain, so out
came the camera

 I zoomed in to capture that golden glow

And suddenly it didn't matter that I wasn't able to
capture the moment I hoped for above Castellabate - 
once again, the best photos were those taken 
'on the doorstep'

Saturday 9 August 2014

Rock In Roma: Storming Bastille

So this is what we were in Rome for...
I can't believe it's 2 weeks ago already,
I'm still buzzing.
Accidentally buying those 2 tickets was
one of the most awesome things I've ever done
(hubby's the one who usually arranges 'awesome').

We've decamped from the Star Metropole in central Rome
& re-located to the Locanda delle Corse, just across
the road from the concert venue, Ippodromo Capannelle.

We've had dinner at the bar next door (and discovered that
the food came from the hotel's kitchen) - polpette, washed down
with a more than palatable vino bianco, and have 'claimed our spot'
in front of the stage, laying our picnic blanket out before
hubby decides he just HAS to have some fries
as he's still hungry.

The support act is George Ezra, and he's
a very talented musician, with a 
voice that belies his young years; in fact, 
when I first heard him after hubby Googled him
I was amazed to discover he was white.

At the end of his set, a few latecomers turned up -
OK, so the tickets did say it started at 21:45, but that
was the time Bastille were due on stage - they don't know 
what a great opener they missed.

Quick set change, a few flashing lights, complete
blackout for a few moments & then.....

The whole crowd erupted as they opened with
'Bad Blood' - there may only have been around
a thousand of us there, but boy, did we make some noise!

Dan has what I consider to be one of the most
amazingly haunting voices I've ever heard
and I threw myself into singing along & 
pogoing with the best of them - 57 on the
outside, going on 19 on the inside!

And when they performed 'Pompeii' 
as their encore, I was just totally blown away...

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Roaming Roma: Sightseeing I

For me, the trip to Rome wasn't just about
seeing the historical sites, or even the famous sights
like the Spanish Steps (which aren't actually the
Spanish Steps in Italian, but 
'Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti), it was also about
looking for other photo opportunities &
capturing sights that the 'Average Tourist'
might not spot.

So here are a few of my 'sightseeing' shots
from our long weekend......

It started with this one, which perfectly 
fitted the theme of #fmsphotoaday on Instagram to
find a creative pic involving water, I couldn't have staged
it better if I'd tried....

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink

And on Saturday morning I just couldn't resist capturing these
2 nuns walking behind La Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore....

You know we're not meant to feed the pigeons

Before a brief second when there was no traffic,
affording me this shot

Lined up for a quick getaway?

Then as we headed to Il Colosseo, I spotted
this guy working on the renovations of some HUGE gates

Not sure I'll finish this today
And when we turned a corner to discover ourselves 
in Piazza San Pietro in Vincoli, 
I spotted a vacationing 'baby priest'
trying to find his bearings on a map

How close are we to the Vatican? 

Tuesday 5 August 2014

Roaming Roma: Siteseeing - Day 2

Friday 25th July

We've had breakfast, we're armed with the map again
& so we head off to do some 'siteseeing' (yes, I know
I've misspelt it again - there is a reason for doing so,
which will be obvious in my next blog post).

First stop today was a recommendation by our friend Maria,
and not far from the hotel, La Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.

Not 'the' Sistine Chapel
The Basilica became the final resting place of 
Saint Pius V, who was originally entombed in
the Vatican in 1572, but his remains were moved to this
Sistine Chapel in 1698.

Final resting place for Saint Pius V
Next port of call was the Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli, 
purely because I have a passion for religious buildings & art.
The ceiling here didn't disappoint either...

The Miracle of the Chains, by Giovanni Batista Parodi
And then we headed for the 'must see' site -
Il Colosseo, and it appeared that every other
tourist in Rome had headed there too.
But we weren't planning on joining the queue
to go inside, so we stood on the hill overlooking 
it for a while, clicking away with our cameras.
And I almost managed to make the crowds disappear.....

What happened to the hordes at Il Colosseo?

Arco di Costantino