Photos from Fête des Lumières

Crowds fill the streets of Lyon during the Fête des Lumières.

Lyon’s Fête des Lumières, festival of lights, returned this week. For the last few years I have filmed the exhibits and shared the films here. This year I tried something a little different.

Heightened security had cancelled the festival last year; so 2016 saw a reduced three day schedule with more check points. I was relieved that the increased security did not diminish our experience.

This year I wanted show more of the crowds that flow through the city streets. The number of people moving around the centre is impressive.

Crowds move through the streets of Lyon.
Crowds move through the streets of Lyon.
Crowds fill the streets of Lyon during the Fête des Lumières.
Crowds fill the streets of Lyon during the Fête des Lumières.
Cafes attempt to attract passing festival traffic.
Cafes attempt to attract passing festival traffic.

Place des Terreaux

Crowds are funnelled towards Place des Terreaux.
Crowds are funnelled towards Place des Terreaux.
Large projector shines out in Place des Terreaux
Large projector shines out in Place des Terreaux
A projector shines out in Place des Terreaux
A projector shines out in Place des Terreaux
A projector shines out in Place des Terreaux
A projector shines out in Place des Terreaux
The Owl is projected onto the buildings of Place des Terreaux.
The Owl is projected onto the buildings of Place des Terreaux.

Place de la Republique

An illumination in Place de la Republique.
An illumination in Place de la Republique.
Lanterns spans rue de la Republique. in Lyon.
Lanterns spans rue de la Republique. in Lyon.

Place des Jacobins

A man photographs the illumination at Place des Jacobins in Lyon.
A man photographs the illumination at Place des Jacobins in Lyon.

Odds and Ends

Detail of a Christmas decoration in Lyon.
Detail of a Christmas decoration in Lyon.
Lights shine out over the River Rhône.
Lights shine out over the River Rhône.
Red light illuminates a street wall in Lyon.
Red light illuminates a street wall in Lyon.

Autumn Colours in Lyon’s Park

Autumn in Lyon's parc de la tête d'or

This will be our final Autumn in Lyon. With that in mind, we made sure to take our opportunity to see the autumnal display. Since taking these photos, most of the trees have lost their leaves and are braced for the coming winter months.

Autumn in Lyon's parc de la tête d'or
Autumn in Lyon’s parc de la tête d’or
Autumn in Lyon's parc de la tête d'or
Autumn in Lyon’s parc de la tête d’or
Autumn in Lyon's parc de la tête d'or
Autumn in Lyon’s parc de la tête d’or
Autumn in Lyon's parc de la tête d'or
Autumn in Lyon’s parc de la tête d’or
Autumn in Lyon's parc de la tête d'or
Autumn in Lyon’s parc de la tête d’or
Autumn in Lyon's parc de la tête d'or
Autumn in Lyon’s parc de la tête d’or

The Shingle Spit in Whitstable

Beach huts and Whitstable Street

Whitstable is home to a street that disappears and reappears with the tide. The street is called Whitstable Street. It goes no-where but out to sea.

Whitstable Street is a shingle spit that juts out from the town of Whitstable into the sea.

When we visited the tide was out and the street was exposed. We joined numerous dog walkers and tourists to walk out away from the town and towards the sea.

As we walked further along the spit, the ground became increasingly waterlogged. The level of the sand fell ever so gradually across the length of the spit and at the edges. There was no great drop off into the water. Instead stepping off the spit would have put your foot into only a centimetre or so of water.

Looking out to the sea over Whitstable Street
Looking out to the sea over Whitstable Street
Looking back at Whitstable from the end of the shingle spit
Looking back at Whitstable from the end of the shingle spit
Whitstable Street
Whitstable Street

Signs warn visitors to be careful of the tide as the spit is submerged as the water comes in.

Sign near Whitstable Street warning of the associated dangers
Sign near Whitstable Street warning of the associated dangers

I took some footage of the visit and you can see the resulting short film Whitstable Street on YouTube or below:

Beach Huts in Whitstable

Beach huts in Whitstable, United Kingdom

Whitstable is home to rows of beautifully painted beach huts. As a seaside town once famous as a holiday get away for residents of Canterbury and London, the town has seen many changes in fortune. The beach huts however have been maintained and look great.

I shudder at the value these small wooden buildings must command today.

Beach huts in Whitstable, United Kingdom
Beach huts in Whitstable, United Kingdom
Beach huts in Whitstable, United Kingdom
Beach huts in Whitstable, United Kingdom
Beach huts in Whitstable, United Kingdom
Beach huts in Whitstable, United Kingdom

In isolation the beach huts are easy to photograph and look beautiful. A wider shot suggests how Whitstable has had to adapt to a world were tourism is not a reliable source of work and wealth. A large industrial building, I think a gravel works, looms on the horizon near the still working harbour.

Industrial buildings overshadow the beach huts
Industrial buildings overshadow the beach huts

Whitstable

Fishing boat in Whitstable

It is a town name so familiar but one that I really knew nothing of. Whitstable is a seaside town in the south-east of the United Kingdom and we visited just before Christmas. Apart from the allure of the famous name, we wanted to eat fish and chips by the sea.

Whitstable turned out to be a surprisingly pretty seaside town with plenty to occupy our short day trip. We took the bus from Canterbury and stepped out somewhere in the town centre. From there we wandered around and enjoyed the sights.

The shore feels iconic with fishing boats, heaped oyster shells, and row after row of wooden sea defences running from the beach down into the water.

Spat collectors in Whitstable
Spat collectors in Whitstable
Heap of discarded oyster shells
Heap of discarded oyster shells
Boats in harbour
Boats in harbour
Fishing boat in Whitstable
Fishing boat in Whitstable
Coloured beach huts in Whitstable
Coloured beach huts in Whitstable
Shore line sea defences
Shore line sea defences
Sea gulls flocking
Sea gulls flocking
Wind farm in the sea
Wind farm in the sea

Fish and Chips

We got our fish and chips. They were all we wanted and hoped for.

Fish and chip shop in Whitstable
Fish and chip shop in Whitstable
Fish and chips in Whitstable
Fish and chips in Whitstable

Canterbury

Moss growing on an old pub in Canterbury.

We spent a few pleasant days in Canterbury before Christmas last year. An historic town in the south-east of the United Kingdom.

The daylight hours we had were short. It was deep winter and the sun was setting around three in the afternoon. Something of a surprise arriving directly from a fairly sunny central France.

Cathedral by Day and Night

The cathedral was not our main destination in the city. We have seen plenty of cathedrals and the price made it difficult to justify another.

Of course, that did not stop us walking around the grounds and taking photos by both day and night.

Looking up at Canterbury cathedral at night.
Looking up at Canterbury cathedral at night.
Looking up at Canterbury cathedral at night.
Looking up at Canterbury cathedral at night.
Entrance to Canterbury cathedral.
Entrance to Canterbury cathedral.
Canterbury cathedral at night.
Canterbury cathedral at night.
Laneway leading to Canterbury cathedral.
Laneway leading to Canterbury cathedral.
Canterbury cathedral in the daytime.
Canterbury cathedral in the daytime.
Looking up at Canterbury cathedral in the day.
Looking up at Canterbury cathedral in the day.
Grand entrance to the cathedral lined with royalty.
Grand entrance to the cathedral lined with royalty.
The reigning queen and prince of the United Kingdom.
The reigning queen and prince of the United Kingdom.

Canterbury Castle

A ruined Norman era castle sits in a park within Canterbury. Visitors are free to wander in and around. There is a flight of spiral stairs to climb to reach a small look-out.

Old castle in Canterbury.
Old castle in Canterbury.
Inside a castle within Canterbury.
Inside a castle within Canterbury.
Stairwell within a ruined castle.
Stairwell within a ruined castle.

The town itself is full of old and not so old buildings. The small details of the buildings stood out to me; moss reclaiming a roof and use of sharp dark rock to cover the buildings.

Old house in Canterbury.
Old house in Canterbury.
Detail of an old house in Canterbury.
Detail of an old house in Canterbury.
Waterway passes through Canterbury.
Waterway passes through Canterbury.
Moss growing on an old pub in Canterbury.
Moss growing on an old pub in Canterbury.
Detail of a building in Canterbury.
Detail of a building in Canterbury.
Many buildings were lined with stone.
Many buildings were lined with stone.
Morning view down a shopping street in Canterbury.
Morning view down a shopping street in Canterbury.
Train crosses the street.
Train crosses the street.
Church near a gate to the city of Canterbury.
Church near a gate to the city of Canterbury.
Christmas decorations cross the street.
Christmas decorations cross the street.
Gate at the edge of Canterbury.
Gate at the edge of Canterbury.
Waterway passing through Canterbury.
Waterway passing through Canterbury.

The medieval walls surrounding Canterbury can be walked along. A good starting point is near the bus stop and the views are enjoyable. Modern life has placed a ring road around the walls, which takes away from the external views. Life goes on and such developments keep the city alive.

Medieval city walls of Canterbury.
Medieval city walls of Canterbury.

Secured: From Postcard to Letter

Wooden medieval door.

I have switched this site over to use only secure links. This will mean the site has become inaccessible to some older computers and devices. If you are reading this, then all is well and you have nothing to do but enjoy our updates.

Everything on this site is now served via an encrypted SSL/TLS connection.

Postcards to Letters

The shift is the equivalent of changing from sending postcards and to sending letters sealed within an envelope. Anyone can intercept and read a postcard but it takes a legal order or subterfuge to read a sealed letter.

So while not critical for a personal web site such as TheWorkLife, it is a step in the right direction. The more of the web that is encrypted, the better.

Sudden Failure of Joby GorillaPod Original

Side view of the broken Joby GorillaPod Original

I was about to film a clip as we boarded the high speed train that would take us from Lyon to Lille when my GorillaPod Original tripod broke. The top segment popped off as I was adjusting the position of the camera.

Broken GorillaPod Original tripod
Broken GorillaPod Original tripod

Popping the segment back on did not fix the tripod. Once restored, the segment had lost its grip and no longer resisted the weight of the camera. The design and purpose of the tripod was undermined.

Being less than a year old and thanks to living under European Union product warrantees, a replacement is in the post as I type this – without cost or quibble – direct from Amazon. I was relieved that I had bought from directly from Amazon; their handling of problems is what makes me continue buying from them.

As an aside, I have yet to have Amazon.fr deliver on the estimated date. The support is good but shipping requires patience.

Joby then Amazon

I first contacted Joby using their info@joby.com address and got a quick reply saying to contact another company in France. I had not dealt with this company before. It was a public holiday and the middle of the French holiday season. My heart sank at the idea of dealing with an unknown local French distributor. Rather than follow this run around, I contacted the organisation who sold me the item, Amazon.fr.

It transpires I am lucky. The failure happened while I was holding my camera and nothing more than the tripod broke. My camera was left unharmed. Reading reviews from others suffering this problem, many have trusted their camera to the GorillaPod only to watch it break and for their camera to fall catastrophically to the ground.

Filming and Night Photos

During our days in Lille, I borrowed Megan’s tripod. I discovered that my camera particularly benefits from a tripod when filming and when taking photos at night. Handheld filming is awkward and the mini-tripod makes sweeps and smooth motion easier. At night the tripod helps stabilise the camera for sharper photos.

Learning this, I am pleased to have a replacement on the way. I am however unnerved and wonder what alternatives exist incase this problem recurs. Are there other trustworthy flexible tripods?

Moving Platforms

The narrow stairs and often tiny elevators in French apartments make moving a harrowing task.

Summer is here and our apartment building is in flux. Our floor has largely emptied out. It seems the academic cycle is causing a refresh of tenants in our building.

A moving platform outside the apartment front door.
A moving platform outside the apartment front door.

Moving platforms are a great solution. I have mentioned them before but continue to be enthralled each time I see them in use.

I took some footage of one moving platform and the resulting No more stairs – apartment moves made easy with a moving platform short film is available on my YouTube channel.