All posts by Graham Miln

Festival des Courges / Pumpkin Festival

The pumpkin festival is taking place in our park. Pumpkins sit in flower pots, on wooden palettes, in trays, and on the grass.

Festival des Courges / Pumpkin Festival in Lyon, France
Festival des Courges / Pumpkin Festival in Lyon, France

They are mostly left alone. I wonder why more are not taken. A few have been stolen but the bulk remain in place.

The largest pumpkin would be difficult to move by hand. A few weigh more than 130 kilograms. Signs proudly name the grower and final weight of the oversized vegetable.

Giant pumpkins in Lyon's parc de la tete d'or.
Giant pumpkins in Lyon’s parc de la tete d’or.
148.9 kilogram pumpkin
148.9 kilogram pumpkin

Over the last two weekends stalls have been set up selling pumpkin based treats and, of course, pumpkins. Given our regular wanderings we did not need to make a specific visit to see the stalls. They were waiting for us as we walked around our route.

Wide range of pumpkins for sale
Wide range of pumpkins for sale
Pumpkins for sale
Pumpkins for sale
Pumpkins on display
Pumpkins on display
Pumpkins on display
Pumpkins on display
Pumpkins on display
Pumpkins on display

A bar formed one of the temporary stalls. Two life sized wooden statues stood out as curiosities. They stood motionless behind the bar.

Wooden bar staff
Wooden bar staff
Wooden bar staff
Wooden bar staff

The pumpkins were a magnet for children. One stall had children decorating smaller pumpkins and all around the kids climbed on the largest pumpkins.

Children decorating pumpkins
Children decorating pumpkins
Children playing on a 131 kilogram pumpkin
Children playing on a 131 kilogram pumpkin

Autumn Routine

Autumn has arrived. This weekend we will be transforming our apartment into its winter configuration. With the Autumn comes the cold and the damp. A pervasive damp that leaches into our kitchen wall and into our apartment.

I am ahead of myself. My mind is focusing on Christmas and the New Year long before it should. Before then we have a handful of important events to oversee and enjoy. Not least the completion of the first stage of our planning permission paperwork and the festival of lights.

Megan‘s routine has changed, leaving me with a couple of evenings to myself. Traditionally I would continue working through until she returns, however late that may be. My work right now does not lend itself to long stretches of time; the specifics are too complex and time away helps make the time working more productive.

Instead of working, I am walking and listening to lectures and talks. A routine I associate with my weekday lunchtimes in Sydney. During those walks I mapped out most of the surrounding area around the office. I discovered and I escaped the open plan environment of the working day.

We are fortunate to live near parkland in Lyon. My camera comes with me. Photos in the dusk are tricky but not impossible.

A church lit up for the evening
A church lit up for the evening
Illuminated street in Lyon
Illuminated street in Lyon
Leaves reclaiming their energy
Leaves reclaiming their energy
Dusk across the park lake in Lyon
Dusk across the park lake in Lyon
Trees reflected in the park lake in Lyon
Trees reflected in the park lake in Lyon
A railway bridge and entrance to the park in Lyon
A railway bridge and entrance to the park in Lyon
Pumpkins on display
Pumpkins on display
Pumpkins on display
Pumpkins on display
Pumpkins on display
Pumpkins on display

Rooftop Risks

We have become familiar with the sight of workmen scrambling upon rooftops. Not common but every so often we look out to discover workmen installing a new window, running cable, or repairing chimney stacks.

Most of the time, they work in pairs and have harnesses. The drop is five or six stories and lethal.

So, the sight of three girls smoking on the ridge of an apartment block was a cause to grab the camera. The incomprehensible risks they were taking took a few moments to fully digest. Do not forget they are also smoking. One of these two activities is going to levy a high price.

Girls sitting on a rooftop smoking
Girls sitting on a rooftop smoking
Five stories up and smoking
Five stories up and smoking

I hope they do not repeat the act but fear they will.

Specialised Bikes

The city centre here is not a fun place to drive around. Touch parking is normal. Pedestrians and vehicles mingle with a casual ease that I find unnerving.

Given that, seeing specialised bikes and vehicles around the narrower streets is great. A response to needing to move through the city easily and swiftly. Today I happened upon the TNT delivery bike in the photos below.

Front of TNT delivery bike
Front of TNT delivery bike
Side of TNT delivery bike
Side of TNT delivery bike
Back of TNT delivery bike
Back of TNT delivery bike

Compare this to the effect of two garbage collection vehicles from earlier this week. The larger of the two completely blocks the street and causes long queues of traffic to form behind. Unavoidable, if rubbish is to be collected during working hours.

Two garbage trunks in Lyon
Two garbage trunks in Lyon