Conversations during Afternoon Tea

I believe the initial idea of the afternoon tea was to feed the hunger and satisfy the thirst of those who were too passionate to converse, to stop the flow of ideas….

Historic ambiance of Brown's Hotel, London
Historic ambiance of Brown’s Hotel, London

…writing and how a forgotten red scarf on a chair can tell a story…

Contemporary chic Corinthia Hotel London

… time passing and how sometimes the memories of smell and taste overwhelm those of faces…

Contemporary chic Corinthia Hotel London

… should a scone have a crusty top or be more like a brioche?

Historic ambiance of Brown’s Hotel, London

… art nouveau and how some places are like a magnet for our romantic fantasies…

The Ritz Hotel of London

… chocolate and love and how the simple thought of the separating them is hard to imagine…

The Ritz Hotel London

Digging for Dracula


Met this passionate and talented photographer recently in Dublin and I am glad to share one of his posts.

Originally posted on EdMooneyPhotography:

Digging for Dracua (limited Edition)
Digging for Dracua (limited Edition)

For my final instalment with a horror theme for this year, I find it quite poignant that my journey ends not only with the Bram Stoker Festival but also with an insight into another’s adventure, in search of the elusive character that many believe was the basis for Bram Stokers Count Dracula. It all stated some weeks ago after writing an article on Bram Stoker for this blog. I was contacted by a fellow Photographer/Blogger Columbia Hillen. To cut a long story short I was kindly invited to attend a lecture given by her Husband John in the Mansion House.  Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland John Sean Hillen is a seasoned journalist & editor with more than 30 years’ experience, working for various media organisations. During the course of his career he has covered many of the world’s hotspots, from the Troubles of Northern Ireland…

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Halloween thoughts and autumn feelings

At this time of year I always get asked the question: “Was Dracula real?”

questionGrowing up in Transylvania, in a small town in the mountains, where old traditions are still preserved and even today, people gather and play cards in the graveyards on Easter night, definition of real has so many meanings.

As a child, when my grandmother was telling me that if I don’t come back before dinner time, the ‘strigoi’ will get me. Did I ever see one? Of course, with my imagination’s eyes, I can describe it even now. Was he real? My grandmother said so even if she could not really remember if she ever saw one.

bonesAnd then, as I grew up, there was “Zburatorul,” a being that, if I was not careful enough, would come to torment me at night with the pain of longing, the torture of being away from the loved one…we all know some aspects of this kind of pain and it’s so very real when we feel it.

painBram Stoker deserves the credit for somehow putting all these (and many more) together in one man he named Dracula.

Is there any connection between the literary character and the Romanian voivode, Vlad The Impaler who managed to keep the Ottoman Empire at bay in the sixteenth century? Maybe. They are both very powerful men and Vlad is mentioned even now by people in Romania as a hero, whom we would welcome anytime to come back and put things right in the country.

red castleDuring his time, his reputation as a just and decisive leader was so strong, that public fountains had golden cups (no one would dare to steal them) and no honest person would starve or lack a roof over their head.

blue castleSome described him as “no common man;” “the bravest of sons from the land beyond the forest;” “a mighty brain and an iron resolution.”

dark castleDoes that make him a vampire? Does this make him real?

How do you know something or someone is really real?

magic castleI am looking forward to the talk this Saturday in Dublin, as part of the Bram Stoker Festival, where a variety of people will be trying to search for meanings into one of the most fascinating characters, which have inspired so many people and who, in my opinion, for that reason alone, is as real as one can be.

Note: If you find yourselves in Avignon, France, make sure to go and see the night show at the Pope’s Palace (some of the photos are taken there) … and ask yourselves what is reality?

How does it feel to be YOU?

I have left parts of myself in each corner of the world where I have travelled. The moment I stopped and fully realized I was THERE, a thin slice of my being got imprinted on that spot and in exchange, part of the energy that made that place unique, became part of me.

That’s how I became ‘me’ of today, from the multitude of vibrations I now carry, speaking to me of the places where my feet walked or my eyes admired.

If, one day, I could only photograph the images I carry in my heart of all these places, of all those faces, of my own soul smiling at the miracle of diversity that makes us all…





boat and glasses



Learning from the water how to master change

“There is no such thing as “change for the worse.” Change is the process of Life Itself, and that process could be called by the name “evolution.” And evolution moves in only one direction: forward, and toward improvement.

Therefore, when change visits your life, you can be sure things are turning for the better. It may not look that way in the very moment change arrives, but if you will wait a while and have faith in the process, you will see that this is true.” Neale Donald Walsch.

What made me think of this quotation, was my experience of getting a bad kidney infection with the probable cause being: I did not drink enough water.

Now, as I am back to normal, I realize that I could not take for granted water any more. It made me pay more attention to its simple but overwhelming power, to the way change it’s its main state of being… no better teacher than the wisdom in the glass in front me.


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