Sunday Stills – Best of 2012

2012 was a busy year for me.  We moved to Provençe for three months at the start of the year and I then spent a month heading homewards on horseback across the French countryside.  Badly bitten by the Provençe bug, the LSH and I decided to move back at the start of 2013 for at least a year, but circumstances pushed us into bringing our plans forward and making that move at the end of September.
So there were two relocations, a life-affirming trek on horseback, a major milestone birthday, a forced de-cluttering of our lives in order to make our Irish home suitable for renting and a Christmas trip to California.  Oh yes, then there was the broken limb, far too much time in hospitals and the start of the family diaspora as one daughter emigrated to the UK and one was left behind in Cork… a Busy Year indeed!
Le Big Trek was very important to me, and the first eight photos here were taken on the hoof, so to speak.  Many of my Big Trek photos feature Flurry’s ears, but he’s only in two of these!
A medieval road that we followed for a short while
My trekking partners Anne and Gigi, crossing a field of young lavender
An awe-inspiring Provençal sky
Looking back the way we had come.  We started the day on the far side of the most distant mountain,
passed by the flat-topped mountain in the middle of the picture, crossed another mountain…
…descended onto the undulating “dragon’s back” ridge you can see here and rode all the way along the top of it,
with the mountains of the Drôme stretching away before us.  This was my favourite day of the trek.
This is my favourite “Through the Ears” shot, taken as we descended from the shoulder 
of the Dentelles de Montmirail towards Beaumes de Venise.
This beautiful reflective scene was an étang, a pond or small reservoir, in the Morvan region
This woodland waterfall was also in the Morvan
We came back to Provençe in the summer, mostly to find a rental property but also to see the lavender fields in bloom.
Lavender field on top of the Luberon mountain
Lavender field near Viens.  The little chapel in the distance is owned by Picasso’s widow
Colourful Apt market
Horses are a big part of my life.  I went to two big horse shows this year, the Salon de Cheval at Avignon and the Royal Dublin Show.  Mostly I was just playing with my camera, but I got a couple of shots I was proud of.
This was a “Wow! Look at that!” point and shoot stroke of luck.  This is SOC, not even cropped.
I love the harmony in this one
This was another “point and shoot,” not quite so good but I like the movement in it
A certain small brown dog features in my blog from time to time and the Best of 2012 would not be complete without her.  She’s very photogenic!
Cinnamon hiding behind wild lavender…
…blending in with the Ochre at Colorado Provençal…
…and just generally looking cute.
Finally, random shots I like…

Mad Hare sculpture, taken on a road trip with my best friend
(we were bringing a jeep-ful of stuff over to my newly emigrated daughter)
This photo was done especially for Sunday Stills
This one was inspired by a fellow Sunday Stills contributor
I know this is not technically great, but I like it!
Autumn colour
Autumn Sky
The first snow

Joining the Sunday Stills “gang” has made me push myself to learn a bit more about how my camera works and to look for inspiration in new ways.  Visit Sunday Stills for more “Best of 2012” photos.

I’d also like to wish all my readers a Happy New Year – thanks for following along on my travels.

Here’s to 2013…

19 thoughts on “Sunday Stills – Best of 2012

  1. Thanks Jen! you will return to Italy if you make it happen :)I'm surprised how many people like the lunch reviews, we started doing it as an excuse to eat out once a week! Look out for this week's review, it's from our wine tour in Napa valley.


  2. You Europeans, always on the move! I started reading this blog at the end of the Big Trek, and was so intrigued I went back and read the whole thing immediately. Following your blog fills both my desire to be an ex-pat someday and return to Italy, as well as my desire for beautiful photography… ;-). I also LOVE the lunch reviews on Fridays. As someone who loves hole-in-the-wall restaurants and who is married to a hobbyist chef, that's become one of my favorite things. Happy New Year!


  3. Thank you for so many wonderful, inspiring posts and pictures this year Martine. It's been a great adventure to follow and it's a shame we never got to ride together, but I'm with you in spirit; it's an eye-opener how beautiful the riding is in the Luberon area. Maybe now I've got the trailer …..?! 😀 Bonne Année 2013 to you and yours – bisoux


  4. Wow you sure did have a busy year. I think I'm the tiniest bit jealous of a month long trek across Provence:). The photos are stunning, I think my favorite though is that snail. That was a great series of photos. Happy New Year!


  5. I absolutely adore the variety of your shots and loved seeing part of your lifetime trip. The one of the girl and the horse would also be a favorite as I'm one who loves photos that show the "relationship" between the humans and their animals not just the "action". Happy 2013 to you and yours and can't wait to see more of your photos and journeys.


  6. Wonderful photos! I wonder if those are the Young Living lavender fields, I use their oils and love the lavender. Spectacular photos of your trek, it looks like a wonderful place to ride.


  7. Thanks Allison, Arlene & far side of fifty!Looking forward to catching up with all the other "best of 2012" posts in a day or two, but I'm going to be incommunicado for the next 48 hours or so while I sleep…travel…sleep…travel…sleep..


  8. Love love love the photos! The lavender fields in bloom actually took my breath away! I was not expecting such a pretty purple! What a year for you! I wish you the best in 2013 and look forward to reading all about it 🙂


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