31 January 2011

Circus! - The White Birds

The White Birds really were - as you can see - white birds.

These artists on their flying trapeze come from Russia and were spectacular. They were awarded a 'Silver Clown' by the Jury.

30 January 2011

Circus! - les Pompiers de Paris

The gymnasts of the Pompiers de Paris (the Paris Firemen) were brilliant. The 38 gymnasts really are Paris firemen. They were awarded a 'Special Mention' by the Jury.

29 January 2011

Circus! - the Chinese Acrobats on Bicycles

The talented Chinese girls of the Troupe Acrobatique de Dalian. They were awarded a Silver Clown by the Jury.

28 January 2011

Circus! - the Tigers of Flavio Togni

Tiger, tiger... the beautiful tigers of Flavio Togni's Amercan Circus.

The first photo was taken one morning and the second at the show on Wednesday night. I always have mixed feelings seeing wild animals perform tricks although I understand that via zoos and circuses many more of these wonderful animals are alive. These tigers are in wonderful condition, play like kittens and seem to enjoy performing.

Flavio Togni is one of the world's leading animals trainers - he owns the elephants, the camels and the horses at this show - and he was one of only two acts this year to receive the most prestigious prize, the Golden Clown, presented by Prince Albert. (The other winner was my favourite act and we'll meet him another day).

27 January 2011

Circus! - the Balancing Act

Last night a friend invited me to the 35th Festival International du Cirque in Monte Carlo - and it was fabulous!

This is Roman Kapersky, a Russian 'equilibriste' who was, as you see, pretty amazing.

The prestigious awards given at the festival are called Clowns. There is the Bronze Clown, the Silver Clown and the Gold Clown. Roman was a delighted recipient of the Bronze Clown presented to him by Pauline Ducret, the eldest daughter of Princess Stephanie of Monaco who is the President of the Festival.

More tomorrow...

26 January 2011

Circus! - A Day in the Life...

An elephant with two trunks! Feet covered in sand. In the main photo and the smaller one, the elephants are in their pen by the sea, waiting on food as per yesterday's photos.

In the photo below, they were about to go into the big tent for a rehearsal. It was fabulous to be so near to them with no barrier between us. They had been standing around waiting but at this point the trainer got them moving in a circle and then directed them into the tent.

Tonight I go to the circus!

25 January 2011

Circus! - the Elephants

The elephants have a large pen overlooking the sea. There is hay to eat or throw around - there are several small tree trunks to play with but they are really only interested in what the public bring them to eat. Despite a sign that says 'Don't feed the animals' they get a steady stream of carrots, apples and lots of baguettes!

24 January 2011

Circus! - the Performer

It's morning and rehearsal is over. The massive gates at the back of the tent have been opened to allow this performer to leave. Under her coat, she wears her costume and, as you see in the smaller shot, she probably had to get up rather too early that morning...

23 January 2011

Circus! - Shampoo and Blow-Dry

Even camels get a shampoo and blow- dry before they perform at the celebrated International Festival of Circus in Monte Carlo.

Well - alright - perhaps the blow-dry is an exaggeration...

22 January 2011

Circus! - the Camels

Camels in Monaco! One of the acts appearing in the Circus this year is this troup of camels - they have two humps. Apparently the two hump camels are less common than the one hump ones.

Take a look at the one below - you've not want him to kiss you, would you?

21 January 2011

Circus! - the Clown

The circus is back in town! Monaco's famous International Festival of Circus is in its 35th year.

Each day the clowns board the special circus car and drive around the Principality - here's one of them, make up ready but not yet in full costume.

The Monte-Carlo International Festival of Circus is an incredibly prestigious event amongst circus folk and it is Princess Stephanie who has the final say as to which acts from around the world (comedy, acrobats and animals) will be invited to perform and compete for the various awards. Her father, the late Prince Rainier, was passionate about circus and so is the Princess. You see her around the circus all day long, chatting with the performers and trainers and making sure everyone, including the animals, are happy.

20 January 2011

Black Cat for Luck

We are a couple of streets north of Monaco in Boulevard de la Republique in Beausoleil. Cats are so agile, aren't they? This one had no problem in walking along a narrow ledge and then jumping onto the railing.

19 January 2011

Right foot forward...

Right foot forward...at Larvotto. A family in step with each other.

Regrettably more fur, but you'll always see real fur in Monaco - perhaps this coat isn't?

18 January 2011

Garnier's Casino

The back of the beautiful Casino building. It was designed by Charles Garnier, architect of the Paris Opera House. Construction of this beautiful Belle Epoque building started in 1858 and finished in 1863.

17 January 2011

Fans and Feather Boas

The Lanvin windows in Monaco are 'happy' and fun too - male mannequins with fans and feather boas - all great fun.

16 January 2011


There's always something or someone to photograph in Monaco...

15 January 2011

The Faux Poivrier

As you see, the rain has gone - we had glorious sun for two days (well, a part of each day) but we are now back to overcast skies - in fact more overcast than this. We are on the terraces below the Casino - it's lovely to walk here and sit under a False Pepper Tree if we want. That's Cap Martin in the background and beyond is Menton and then Italy.

14 January 2011

Phone Call...

Sometimes a photo can be cropped and used twice! This is the right-hand half of a photo you've seen before... click HERE.

13 January 2011

What the Stars Foretell...

Seems Monte Carlo ladies read magazines on astrology.

12 January 2011


There are so many sculptures in Monaco - this one is above the entrance to the opera house in the Casino building.

11 January 2011

Brassed Off

Are some banks in Monaco a bit too grand?

10 January 2011

Spring already?

These two think it's Spring with much wooing going on...but what's he doing with his head inside her beak?

09 January 2011

View from Moods

The photo was taken from the gardens outside Moods, the nightclub at the back of the Café de Paris. On the right you see the Fairmont Hotel. In the distance, we are looking at Cap Martin.

08 January 2011

Lady in Black

She came to me one morning,
one lonely Sunday morning,
her long hair flowing in the midwinter wind...

07 January 2011

The 'Coco' Chanel Classic Suit

Don't you just love these dolls in the Chanel shop? Each one is wearing 'Coco' Chanel's classic 1950s suit.

06 January 2011

Reina Mariana

Queen Mariana in silhouette. She stands below the Casino and was sculpted in 2004 by Manolo Valdés, the well-known Spanish artist who lives in New York.

05 January 2011

Pole Vault

The roots of this magnificent tree in the Casino Gardens make a temporary home for some wooden poles - or perhaps they are a permanent support for the tree?

04 January 2011

Through the trees darkly...

Whilst waiting for the sun - when will it return? - at least the clouds make interesting patterns over the back of the Casino building.

03 January 2011

A Not So Pristine Monte Carlo...

The morning after New Year's Eve in a normally pristine Monte Carlo - broken champagne bottles on the terrace below the Casino.

In the smaller photo - neatly stacked: two empty bottles and a couple of glasses. Bet they woke with a headache...

And below - well some people were obviously reduced to paper cups! These had been stuck in an olive tree outside the Hotel de Paris.

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