Gateways to the past and the future: Doors & Windows

Openings in walls created to enable the passage of things, many and varied things.

Openings in walls blocked to prevent the passage of things, many and varied things. 

They amaze me.

Some are for people or animals to pass through, others for light to filter through, or perhaps to catch a breeze. 

Camilliansthey’re  barriers that shun or block outsiders or hold captive insiders, openings through which to greet and welcome … or eject …. shapes to be decorated or neglected …. their role can evolve over time, or fade away.

Many have a history, a single door might one day have been castle protector, later the entrance to a cathedral and then later again a barrier to freedom for prisoners held within. The Bastille from money storage to misery creation to dust.

There are monastery gates and doors that are now a canvas for graffiti.  A farm gate becomes a garden centrepiece – from a tool to a decoration – from practical purpose to artistic application. Each has a story.  To peer through you can often get a glimpse of history of stories (glory, gory and ordinary), not just the physical that lays beyond.

Others simply rust, rot and fall apart, or stand naked amongst the rubble that was once the wall that held them fast, that adorned them, that gave them purpose, that made them a door or a window or a gate.

I invite you to notice them as you pass by, they can be a treasure trove of visual pleasure, an ironic reflection of local events or history, a sad reflection of times past/or perhaps current times, a source of wonderment, thought provoking, maybe amusing. 

Below is a selection of some photos I recently took of images that caught my eye. 

Share your doors and windows photos with me by adding them to my Flickr Album at: Flickr Album  or my Instagram the address below. Or send to me at: rod@cunich.com.au

Like people each is unique, each had a plan, a purpose and a future. Some still do. Others have passed their used by date. Remember my mantra  for estate planning: ‘Plan, plan now and review regularly.’  Don’t allow it to fall into disrepair.

Windows & Doors (60 of 85)

Windows & Doors (43 of 85)

Gateway to Bull Fighting Ring

 

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Recycling in the Galapagos

Windows & Doors (55 of 85)

Stone houses and stable in Provence

Windows & Doors (10 of 85)

Windows & Doors (80 of 85)

Musician’s home in Paris (deceased)

Windows & Doors (53 of 85)

Canal Gates

Windows & Doors (44 of 85)

No one home

Windows & Doors (70 of 85)

Still not home

Windows & Doors (79 of 85)

A potted view of life

Windows & Doors (36 of 85)

Farm Gate Ecuador

Windows & Doors (24 of 85)

Sun Dial

Windows & Doors (32 of 85)

Ochre Mines in Provence

Windows & Doors (31 of 85)

Windows & Doors (33 of 85)

Windows & Doors (63 of 85)

Windows & Doors (15 of 85)

Windows & Doors (19 of 85)

Windows & Doors (58 of 85)

Windows & Doors (2 of 85)

Gateway to Bull Fighting Ring

Windows & Doors (14 of 85)

Windows & Doors (74 of 85)

Windows & Doors (48 of 85)

Windows & Doors (7 of 85)

Windows & Doors (50 of 85)

Windows & Doors (66 of 85)

Windows & Doors (3 of 85)

Windows & Doors (73 of 85)

Windows & Doors (61 of 85)

Windows & Doors (67 of 85)

Windows & Doors (34 of 85)

Windows & Doors (40 of 85)

Windows & Doors (47 of 85)

Windows & Doors (65 of 85)

Windows & Doors (14 of 85)

Our Street in Paris (20 of 23)

Windows & Doors (6 of 85)

Windows & Doors (7 of 85)

Windows & Doors (23 of 85)

Windows & Doors (17 of 85)

Windows & Doors (52 of 85)

 

 

Windows & Doors (64 of 85)

Windows & Doors (68 of 85)

The Dolphins disembarking the Galapagos Legend – just take 2 steps backward

Windows & Doors (78 of 85)

I modeled for these

Windows & Doors (57 of 85)

Windows & Doors (46 of 85)

Windows & Doors (27 of 85)

Windows & Doors (26 of 85)

Gateway to God

Windows & Doors (5 of 85)

Windows & Doors (77 of 85)

Windows & Doors (1 of 1)

The Chez Republic playing it down

………. and the sample go on endlessly.  I look forward to seeing your photos on Flickr, Facebook or Instagram.

Who am I ?

I’m a specialist estate planning lawyer + professional traveller + keen photographer + political observer. I like to share my experiences across all four devotions – often as a mixed lot. If you like this blog please subscribe for more.

I INVITE YOUR COMMENTS

If you have any comments about this blog or tips to add to this blog please do so – your comments and tips will help all of us in our travels.

Use the ‘leave a comment’ link at the top right hand side of the blog (above my photo) to send a message to me.

Use the “Follow” link at the bottom of the column on the right to subscribe to this blog.

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Disclaimer: this blog is of a general nature for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers should seek specific help for their specific circumstances.


Dogs in Paris

No, this isn’t about the English, nor those Frenchmen who are barking mad (in fact we found the Parisians extremely friendly).

I’ll share photos of some of the fun times with the locals in future posts.

No, this is short photo collection that demonstrates the French love and tolerance of their beloved hounds.

Love Locks (2 of 3)

Brunch at Cafe Magot – one of the best in Paris

Love Locks (1 of 3)

Dinner with the family at a local restaurant

Love Locks (3 of 3)

Booties….well it is winter

Paris Dogs (4 of 13)

The very fast train is a hoot

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Inspecting fountains at the Royal Palace

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Puppy play-time in the gardens of the Louvre

Paris Dogs (7 of 13).jpg

Wasn’t this why the Louvre was made?

Beer-O’clock

Paris Dogs (10 of 13).jpg

There is an after-life for us dogs

Paris Dogs (13 of 13)

The French do irreverent well

 

Who am I ?

I’m a specialist estate planning lawyer + professional traveller + keen photographer + political observer. I like to share my experiences across all four devotions – often as a mixed lot. If you like this blog please subscribe for more.

I INVITE YOUR COMMENTS

If you have any comments about this blog or tips to add to this blog please do so – your comments and tips will help all of us in our travels.

Use the ‘leave a comment’ link at the top right hand side of the blog (above my photo) to send a message to me.

Use the “Follow” link at the bottom of the column on the right to subscribe to this blog.

PLEASE SHARE THIS BLOG WITH PEOPLE YOU BELIEVE MAY BE INTERESTED

VISIT OTHER BLOGS 

Estate Planning Tip 1

Estate Planning Tip 2

Estate Planning Tip 3

OR

MY TRAVEL TIP SERIES: Click Here

WILLS FOR PETS ?:    Wills for Pets ?

MY INSTAGRAM

Disclaimer: this blog is of a general nature for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers should seek specific help for their specific circumstances.


Our Street in Paris

Paris is a city that people live IN, they wear it like a glove, millions of them.   It seems that none of them live in the suburbs … they live in the city centre where they work, where they go to school, where they shop, where they socialise and protest (they love to protest).

Aside from the stores that tourists frequent, the streets are filled with a mix of small stores that cater for Parisians daily needs and their WANTS. They have many wants …. wants that are far from basic needs.

They do ‘WANT’ with style.  And of course, they indulge themselves.  

Fine food, fine coffee, fine clothes, fine chocolate, fine paper, fine ……. their preference for very, very stylish – EVERYTHING – means that you find an eclectic collection of stores  in every street, and no two streets alike. 

The big multi-national shopping centres that have destroyed small businesses in other cities around the world, don’t appear to have damaged the traditional Parisian infrastructure.  The big stores thrive but so do the ‘corner’ stores – and every store between corners.  Parisians simply won’t accept things being forced on them.  An Italian publisher ( unknown to me) is quoted as saying: “the first word of French that a baby learns is `Non’ and the first complete sentence is ` It is not possible’. Unless of course the French want it – in which case it’s no problem at all.

Our Street in Paris (1 of 23)I spent Christmas / New Year in an apartment in a small street located in the St Germaine district of Paris – a five-minute walk from the Louvre.  Only three blocks long and not part of the tourist hub, it is typical of many of the streets Margot and I walked during our stay. 

Our Street in Paris (2 of 23)

Our street looking southward

Our Street in Paris (3 of 23)

Our street looking north

Our Street in Paris (4 of 23)

Our front door, sandwiched between an upmarket Indian Restaurant and an Antique Store.  Our apartment has its windows open and lights on.

We visited few museums …. not just because of the long, long queues, cold and drizzle, but because we enjoyed walking the streets, meeting the locals and attempting to understand what makes Paris tick.  There is no greater joy than wandering into a cafe ( or any place – park, store or public transport) full of locals and striking up conversation. It was easy … that is once they realised we were Australian. Their pretense of not understanding a word of English simply faded into perfect English. It seems the same rules don’t apply for the English and they pick and choose which Americans they can understand.

Let me share with you a sample of our experience ….. a brief depiction of the stores in our street?  

Follow the photo captions  ….. and no …. this isn’t a special street. There were no stores that only sold vacuum cleaners or toothbrushes for left-handed people ( they exist … I’m sure) but none the less it was amazing. The street was only 3 blocks long and this election is from just our block.

Our Street in Paris (11 of 23)

Grocery Store

Our Street in Paris (22 of 23)

Shoe Designer & Maker

Our Street in Paris (21 of 23)

His Store

Our Street in Paris (20 of 23)

The Baguette Shop

Our Street in Paris (12 of 23)

The North Africa Property Developer

Our Street in Paris (5 of 23)

The Book Binder

Our Street in Paris (23 of 23)

The Cheese Shop (just cheese) – taking delivery of a wheel of cheese. You should see the large ones !!

Our Street in Paris (9 of 23)

A Porcelaine Shop

Our Street in Paris (7 of 23)

A Chocolatier – there seems to be one in every block on every street.

Our Street in Paris (18 of 23)

Deceased (modern) Musicians Residence

Our Street in Paris (14 of 23)

Art for Sale

I haven’t included any of the one-off cloths stores,  I could go on and on but I think you get the idea.

Watch the book stores in March for my new book “Understanding Wills & Estate Planning’

Who am I ?

I’m a specialist estate planning lawyer + professional traveller + keen photographer + political observer. I like to share my experiences across all four devotions – often as a mixed lot. If you like this blog please subscribe for more.

I INVITE YOUR COMMENTS

If you have any comments about this blog or tips to add to this blog please do so – your comments and tips will help all of us in our travels.

Use the ‘leave a comment’ link at the top right hand side of the blog (above my photo) to send a message to me.

Use the “Follow” link at the bottom of the column on the right to subscribe to this blog.

PLEASE SHARE THIS BLOG WITH PEOPLE YOU BELIEVE MAY BE INTERESTED

VISIT OTHER BLOGS 

Estate Planning Tip 1

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Disclaimer: this blog is of a general nature for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers should seek specific help for their specific circumstances.

 


Love and Locks in Paris

Paris has the reputation of being the City of Love. A well earned reputation from my recent observations.

If you have visited perhaps we could share notes, if you haven’t – lift Paris to the top of your To Do List.

It’s a romantic city, oozing with history, charm and splendor. Be warned – she is very seductive …. you’ll  fall in love with her.  She’s also the city to love … second only behind Sydney of course. 

Is it the romantic French, who claim to be the world’s best lovers that makes this city so appealing? The buildings, their architecture, history and tasteful grandness?

Or is it perhaps the impact of the ever-present sea of pheromones  wafting through the air from all the visiting honeymooners and young lovers. Yes, thousands of them in the middle of the European winter. 

Perhaps it’s the thought of being restricted to indoor activities due to poor weather that attracts them ??? But no, they are out and about enjoying the city’s museums, streets, and other offerings …. all the time infecting the rest of the city with their inner glow.

The bridges crossing the Seine are blessed with dedications of romance – padlocks adorn every inch of handrails from shore to shore.

Love Locks (1 of 4)
 

Lovers attach the locks and cast the keys into the Seine as a sign of their undying affection and commitment.

Or perhaps is just affection ….. perhaps commitment is optional or limited to ‘for the  time being’.  That’s one explanation for the increasing number of combination locks that are being used …. You know …. Just in case the lock needs to be removed at some future date.  An escape hatch. A back door. The equivalent of a stenciled tattoo. 

Love Locks (3 of 4)

… you know …. as I preach in all my blogs …. always plan ahead …. Estate planning isn’t just about doing a Will.

Or perhaps, like internet passwords, the lovers imagine they’ll simply forget the code – if

Love Locks (2 of 4)their relationship lasts long enough. Perhaps they’re not thinking at all … well not about the type of padlock anyway.

Regardless the reason, it would avoid having to find a bolt cutter if the need arose.

Love Locks (4 of 4)

Visit Paris and take a padlock – if you’re not in love before you go – you may just get lucky.

Keep an eye open for more blogs from about Paris. It’s a photographers paradise.

And …. watch for my new book, being printed right now ‘Understanding Wills and Estate Planning’ it will be available in bookstores, newsagents and online in March.


Italy, Denmark, Portugal and India in a day

When was the last time you experienced a day that was truly magic ….. beyond your wildest imaginings?

Biblical stories record that when Solomon sat on his silken carpet he sailed through the air so quickly that he breakfasted at IMG_0204Damascus and supped in Media.

Our transport last Sunday was a little more conventional (a small bus) but our ride was no less giddy than Solomon’s, or Aladdin’s for that matter.

An adventure gift from family for our 60th birthdays, Margot and I had our taste buds transmitted across four countries in as many hours .… dragging our bodies in close pursuit.

We departed Sydney CBD at 9am and minutes later we were being led up a narrow pathway between old buildings. It was hard to tell if they were in a state of demolition or restoration.

Our destination – a roller door set in a graffiti laden back lane between derelict cars and industrial skip bins.

Beyond the door …. a pristine Paesanella family ricotta factory which has been a local Italian institution in Marrickville for decades. Basket after basket of ricotta has been filled since 3am that morning, at 9.15 we catch the last few batches.

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The taste of freshly made ricotta still warm form the vat is a treat I recommend to all.

… and then to the Paesanella Café and store where Mumma Paesanella has prepared our breakfast: fresh meat ball lasagna with home made smoked buffalo mozzarella, cannoli to die for and her special cake made from marscatone and blue cheese – I could feel my arteries filling as my taste buds exploded in joy. There were lots (and lots) of other treats she’d prepared for us and (unfortunately) we couldn’t resist.

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I let out my belt a notch (or two) before arriving at our next destination: a plain unadorned doorway on a busy road with just two words ‘Blond Catering’ marking its existence.

Beyond the door, decorated Danish caterer Jesper Hansen and his kitchen … a perfect host.

Our treat?

A ‘colding’ demonstration. No cooking, but rather a demonstration on how to make the classic ancient recipe – Gravalax. The curing of salmon using salt, sugar, fennel and dill …. and then of course a tasting, and more tasting, and then more…. WOW

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When you finish reading my blog:-

CLICK HERE TO SEE DEMO STEP ONE

Step 2

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I guess that was morning tea ??!

Our next port of call – ‘little India’ also know as Harris Park where 20 Indian restaurants line Wigram Street separated by Indian supermarkets, spice emporiums, sweets palaces and sari shops. Candy to treat every sense, plus some.

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We lunched at the Billu Restaurant (the first in Harris Park). You go a long way (outside India) to find authentic, quality Indian food …. not so in Harris Park … a few steps in any direction will suffice.

DSC00373-2Another belt notch …. a only walk amongst the India shops and we’re back on our chariot destined to Portugal.

Sweet Belem, a Petersham pastry store serving the local Portuguese community with the best Portuguese custard tarts in the land. Crammed in Jose Silvia’s tiny kitchen he talks us through the preparation and cooking process. Hot, very hot, busy and space deficient. It’s a buzz, the out come a treats, a REAL treat.

Preparing the pastry before an audience

Preparing the pastry before an audience

Perplexed – are these treats to die for or die from??? Either way, if you get a chance go for them.DSC00390-2

All in all a decadent day of self indulgence, the discovery of cultural enclaves in Sydney I’d never dreamed of and lots of fun with our fellow travellers.

Nutella Tarts

Nutella Tarts

Not to be out done he then produces a new novelty tart – Portuguese nutella custard tart – yep – nutella.

Not to be out done Jose then produces a new novelty tart – Portuguese Nutella custard tart – yep – Nutella.

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Thanks to our host Maeve O’Meara (of SBS fame) and her Food Safari ……. and of course a big thanks to Cate, Laura, Isaac and Simon who made it all possible for us.

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Its now back to calorie counting.

Who am I ?

I’m a specialist estate planning lawyer + professional traveller + keen photographer + political observer. I like to share my experiences across all four devotions – often as a mixed lot. If you like this blog please subscribe for more.

I INVITE YOUR COMMENTS

If you have any comments about this blog or tips to add to this blog please do so – your comments and tips will help all of us in our travels.

Use the ‘leave a comment’ link at the top right hand side of the blog (above my photo) to send a message to me.

Use the “Follow” link at the bottom of the column on the right to subscribe to this blog.

PLEASE SHARE THIS BLOG WITH PEOPLE YOU BELIEVE MAY BE INTERESTED

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Disclaimer: this blog is of a general nature for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers should seek specific help for their specific circumstances.


Soulmated ? !

Unlike the chess equivalent, the last move makes all players a winner.

Have you visited Fiji?  Even the new luxury resorts are contagious.

Isolated from the locals by fences and a socio-economic divide that can only be measured in light years, the infection they spread is jaw-numbing.

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The symptoms begin to appear before you even exit the airport.  They grow unrestrained.

Two days into my three-day visit my jaws ache, and my heart has swollen.

It’s inevitable …. this Fijian plague …. a direct consequence of the ever-present goodwill that comes with every utterance of the local greeting: Bula, Bula and the warmth of the grin that follows.

That’s right – smiling, laughing and being continuously overwhelmed with generosity takes it toll.

All the self-imposed barriers we erect around ourselves to survive our busy lives are rapidly stripped away and we stand naked. Exposed to genuine courteous social interaction with no purpose beyond …. genuine courteous social interaction.

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Beyond the decadence of our delectable resort, we visit old friends, Suli and her husband Amos – locals we first met over a quarter of a century ago.

They remain in the same cottage in the same coastal village living life the same way as their ancestors have for as long as history records.

Their son, an international jet-setting environmental advisor returns to village life after each trip and sheds his first-world self like a snake sheds its skin …  and steps into another world he contently shares with his family and his community.

Our friends, their daughter-in-law and grandchildren host a kava ceremony to welcome us and then treat us to fish caught only hours before, cassava, spinach and banana from their garden garnished with that wonderful Fiji dish of fresh coconut milk and greens.

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Spoilt to the point of tears Margot and I savour every morsel to the sound of our friends sharing glimpses of Fijian history through song. We sit stunned,  the music hypnotising, the setting breathtaking in its simplicity, the physical and emotional generosity humbling.

Sitting on hand-woven flooring we talk hypnotising and international politics, families, the economy, climate change, the changing world that is Fiji.  Worldly people. Admirable.

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We left with gifts … unexpected and embarrassingly valuable. … unique handicraft created by Suli and presented to us to celebrate our 25 years of friendship. Pure and simple.

What we carried away however hypnotising a lot more …. a reminder of the power of human bonds, no matter how much time passes between touches.

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Their farewell serenade:

Life is a checkerboard of pieces, all part of the one game.

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Who am I ?

I’m a specialist estate planning lawyer + professional traveller + keen photographer + political observer. I like to share my experiences across all four devotions – often as a mixed lot. If you like this blog please subscribe for more.

I INVITE YOUR COMMENTS

If you have any comments about this blog or tips to add to this blog please do so – your comments and tips will help all of us in our travels.

Use the ‘leave a comment’ link at the top right hand side of the blog (above my photo) to send a message to me.

Use the “Follow” link at the bottom of the column on the right to subscribe to this blog.

PLEASE SHARE THIS BLOG WITH PEOPLE YOU BELIEVE MAY BE INTERESTED

VISIT OTHER BLOGS 

Estate Planning Tip 1

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WILLS FOR PETS ?:    Wills for Pets ?

MY INSTAGRAM

Disclaimer: this blog is of a general nature for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers should seek specific help for their specific circumstances.


Do you want a blog that speaks to you – what do you want? Ask me.

I’m a specialist estate planning lawyer + professional traveller + keen photographer + political observer. I like to share my experiences across all four devotions – often as a mixed lot. If you like this blog please subscribe for more.  If you have a comment or request – bring it on.

Whilst you’re here please enjoy a few of my snaps and recommend my blog to others. No prizes…just surprises.

Exploring Ningaloo Reef

Exploring Ningaloo Reef

Balloning in Egypt - Enjoying the beauty

Balloning in Egypt – Enjoying the beauty

Still in Egypt - Arable meets arid - life's contrasts

Still in Egypt – Arable meets arid – life’s contrasts

Victoria Falls - Zambia Sharing a moment with my son Mark

Victoria Falls – Zambia
Sharing a moment with my son Mark

..... and swimming with Mark in Antarctica....cold!

….. and swimming with Mark in Antarctica….cold!

Observing observations

Observing observations

Keeping the hot air where it belongs

Keeping the hot air where it belongs

Thank you to the copyright owner - home truths in a snapshot

Thank you to the copyright owner – home truths in a snapshot

Communicating serious estate planning messages whilst staying grounded.

My serious face with my lawyers uniform on.

My serious face with my lawyer’s uniform on

....and always shooting for the stars - especially when in Mongolia

….and always shooting for the stars – especially when in Mongolia

And some times just because its there

And some times just because its there

colour glorious colour

colour glorious colour

and always a word of advice...never too old or too young to listen.....or learn

and always a word of advice…never too old or too young to listen…..or learn