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Saône and Sunset

I was living in Lyon when the Charlie Hebdo offices were attacked and was sat at home as the events started unfolding.

I cannot pretend that my account will be as eloquent and insightful as the many articles and editorials written about it, but I will say it shocked and affected me deeply, and when the Je Suis Charlie manifestation happened in Lyon I felt morally obliged to attend.

The best words I have to describe what I felt, I wrote straight after the march:

Today, more than 300 000 Lyonnais and more than 3 million people throughout France united in the streets for freedom of speech, in defiance of terrorism. That people of every political, religious, cultural and social background walked side by side, in peace, for peace, is testament to the achievements of freedom of speech, and why we should continue fighting for it, for without it, we risk losing all our other hard won freedoms.

Nature also seemed to have been profoundly influenced by the shared emotion of a city and nation, and I saw the most beautiful sunset of my 5 months there.

View South towards Bellecour, along the Saone river

View South towards Bellecour, along the Saône river

Looking North towards Croix Rousse, along the Saone river.

Looking North towards Croix Rousse, along the Saône river.

Looking West onto Fourvière and the Basilica.

Last moments of light, looking West onto Fourvière and the Basilica.


Capturing Serenity

I have been living in France for the past few months, and as a consequence have had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people, see many beautiful places, and work on some very interesting projects.

One of which has been writing and editing a blog called Awkward Abroad, which I created with a very talented illustrator friend.

The other has been translating and writing for Limonadier, a great French online music magazine that’s pretty on it when it comes to new talent.

As for photography, unfortunately my one true love, my camera, was stolen from me over summer so I was fairly dependent on the pixellated and very pedestrian iPhone camera quality. However I did get to use a friend’s old camera for a few weeks before it spluttered and died, and took it to Geneva and Lyon.

Lake Geneva Swimmers

Lake Geneva

View of Old Lyon


I travelled to Lyon, France during the summer.

Such a beautiful city, with the Rhone and Saone rivers flanking the centre of town photogenically, and the perfect size for a pedestrian.

Here are 2 sunset trips from the trip!

P.S. Don’t forget I’ve now got an instagram so give me a follow on @sluttysunsets http://instagram.com/sluttysunsets



The first sunset of my stay started like this. I had been sleeping but it was impossible to ignore the swift changes of colour and light.

The first sunset of my stay started like this. I had been sleeping but it was impossible to ignore the swift changes of colour and light.

As anyone who has packed in a rush will know, you are bound to forget something. In my case, it was my camera. Fortunately, thanks to the rapid evolution of smartphone technology, I had my iPhone on hand to attempt to capture the beauty of Nice and the other nearby towns.
My first morning, I woke up to the yellow reflecting off the wall into my room.

My first morning, I woke up to the yellow reflecting off the wall into my room.

The first sunset of my stay started like this. I had been sleeping but it was impossible to ignore the swift changes of colour and light.

The first sunset of my stay started like this. I had been sleeping but it was impossible to ignore the swift changes of colour and light.

Final moments of first sunset

AS some of you may already know, I love sunsets. They can be so surprising in terms of the light and colours that transform right until the sun has disappeared. Even when you’re looking from one tall building to another with little direct view of the actual sunset, I continue to be amazed by the drama and silhouettes.


Right now I am meant to be revising. Instead I am procrastinating.
Yesterday I discovered the masterful and addictive app ‘snapseed’. So very very dangerous.
However I have enclosed a selection of my creations so far. All original photos.




My other primary form of distraction had been music making and I have finally invested in a soundcloud account onto which I have uploaded two songs. Give them a listen
Leila’s Soundcloud


Before watching ‘Un Heureux Événement’ a music video played. Irma ‘I Know’.

I was reminded of my mini-obsession a couple of years ago where I would visit her page and see what new songs she had done.

So I went there again. And discovered a wonderful selection of covers which I will now share with you.

Hope you love her music and voice as much as I do!

Visit to Sacré Coeur

My next subject: Sacré Coeur. Yes another typical tourist attraction.

Though this time felt a little less touristy, only because I ended up approaching it from the other side.

Almost no one was there. And the sky was so beautiful.



Tour Eiffel

The first proper visit I made to Paris was during the Spring this year.

The flowers were blooming, the tree’s leaves breaking through and it was a ‘heat wave’.

Now, my second time, it is autumn.

There was a thunder storm this afternoon, but otherwise bright and freezing days and nights.

Perfect for taking photos.

And I’ve taken many.

I have developed a mini obsession of taking photos of the Eiffel Tower whenever I see it: morning, afternoon, evening, midnight.

Touristy? Yes. But you can’t hold it against us. Flashing lights at night, a guiding star for the lost outsider.

Jardins du Trocadero

Pont de la Concorde

Place de la Catalogne

Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin des Tuileries 2

Missing the Sun, Missing the Sea

As England lapses into darkness and cold, I find myself nostalgically browsing through my photos of my trip to Nice at the end of last month.

Swimming in the sea, my head skimming above the surface and sun shining down through the water. And the people.

Spending days and nights on the beach.

The last night, slightly hazy now. Sitting with my friends from the language school on the beach. Someone had brought a guitar. Another, a drum. Everyone had their voices: Wonderwall by Oasis. And then the lightning struck and we sprinted to the market.

Moments I miss.

And of course I went to the Matisse and Chagall museum. And Musée des Beaux Arts, and the MAMAC. So many beautiful things to see, and to do. And I took so many photos. The light was too good not to.

Taking a walk around the port with my housemate, and came across this beauty.

Amid the fancy millionaire's yachts, the patchwork reflections of the tiny dinghies.

On my route to Place Massena every night.

Marché aux Fleurs.

Île de Ste Margeurite.

Fort Royal, Île Ste Margeurite. I loved the colour and shadow contrasts of the prison buildings with the sandn and sky.

The lonely battered boats, amidst the superyachts of Cannes.

I really do miss the sun, the sea, the colours.