Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘New Year’

2018: My Year in Photos

It’s incredible to think that a year has gone by since I last undertook the rather enviable task of looking back on a year of incredible travel, enriching experience and fulfilling creativity. Yet here I am again, with the bells of Big Ben only hours away, and the turn into yet another inevitable year fast approaching, marking the time when, as blogger (and, may I say, general life enthusiast), I take the opportunity to look back and celebrate what I have experienced during the last 365 days. For I am a firm believer in nourishing experience and consolidating lessons learned. I rarely revel in sadder times, but instead seek to affirm my memories of happier times. Thankfully, for me, 2018 was full of them.

DSC03257DSC08024DSC00906DSC07302DSC03429IMG_7805DSC02646DSC04258

I would be lying if I said that my 2018 highlights were not travel. As is usually the case, in celebrating 2018, I am saluting a year which saw me leave the British Isles on no less than 11 occasions, enabling me to relish in old favourites such as Verona and Tuscany, while discovering new shores: Crete, Porto, Budapest and Bruges chief amongst them.

It all started back in January with a last minute weekend to Rome which saw us beat the seasons and enjoy endless wine-filled languid luncheons in the sun in the Campo de’ Fiori and the Trastevere. Then came the beast from the East, which brought with it an endless winter and a period of intense climatic instability. This made Spring weekends in Lucca, Porto and Marbella all the more welcome, and by the time we moved into our own private villa in Crete, we were truly ready to embrace the full joys of summertime – and what a setting to do it in!

DSC07505DSC07756DSC02498DSC04208DSC07324IMG_1811DSC04228IMG_0217DSC00535

Come September, and we saw out the year with a string of superb weekend getaways, to Budapest, Verona and Bruges, a truly unbeatable triptych which reaffirmed how lucky we are to have such superb European destinations on our doorstep. But it is with such a reminder that this year ends on something of a cautionary note. For 2019 is expected to bring with it the great change of Brexit – a major turning point in British history which could lead to many a complexity, and a horizon tinged with melancholia. The current climate is one of uncertainty and fear, an atmosphere in which it is sometimes hard to remain positive. Yet hoping for the best from the depths of my withering optimistic soul, I can only anticipate that 2019, for all its upheaval and change, will also bring with it new encounters with happiness, and ties with Europe forged tighter…at least for those many of us who hold our European unity so dear.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2018. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Advertisements

Seeing Out Seventeen: NYE in Zürich

Happy New Year from The Daily Norm! I know, I’m five days late in wishing you these tidings, but what are 5 mere days when you have 360 left to enjoy? Plus, it has taken me as many days to recover my stride since touching down into normal-land after a grand tour of magnificent proportions, taking festive Florence, magnificent Milan, and the stunning Swiss city of Zürich in my stride. Of course there is much to share, and while I should be methodical about it, and take you straight into the bosom of Michelangelo’s prodigious David, back in Firenze where it all began, I am throwing chronology to the wind.

DSC00109DSC09571DSC09511DSC00166DSC09504DSC00062DSC00087

I’m starting instead at the end, rewinding the clock just a few days to New Year’s Eve, to the wonderful city of Zürich. My reason for doing so is clear: Zürich is one of those places which is so idyllically Christmassy that it could appear on any Christmas card all covered in snow. Consequently, if I post my photos in three weeks time, Christmas will be as outmoded as turkey left overs, and that would do the city little favours. For as we discovered upon this first visit, Zürich is a gem of magnificent proportions. Far from being the glittering metropolitan of its banking-centre reputation, you will find a city with a true historical apotheosis at its heart: An old town emboldened with delicately gilded and modestly coppered greed spiked spires and oversized chiming clocks, characterised by twisting cobbled lanes and varnished wooden shop fronts which invite you to enter and bask in the glow of cosyness.

DSC09551DSC00169DSC09528DSC00126DSC09508DSC00065DSC00121DSC09695DSC09620DSC00165

It is a city which knows how to do Christmas, whose streets are strung with lights not just horizontally, but vertically too, so that the result is a total immersion in the magic of the season, almost like hypnotherapy into the world of the festive fairy. Meanwhile, it’s patisseries and grand cafes are an orgy of festive abundance, with light-strung, foliage-packed decor filling every last inch to create a true winter wonderland to engorge the senses.

Zürich is a place truly deserving of this voluptuous description, but for the rest, I’ll let the photos do the talking, from the pink rosy sunset over the magnificent Swiss lake on whose banks the city was born, to the light-strewn streets and picture-perfect chocolate shops. This post ends with the stunning 20 minute firework display which entranced the whole city who hung out on its bridges to see the sky aflame with colour. It was a truly spectacular way to see out 2017, and a privileged moment in which to get to know a fine European city.

DSC00359DSC00285DSC00256DSC00348DSC00335DSC00369

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2011-2018. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

2017: My Year in Photos

There is no doubt that my favourite post of every year is this one: the moment when, in looking back over a year of photos, I am able to consolidate the last 365 days and review an overarching visual picture of the year. There’s nothing quite so fulfilling as the recognition of a year well spent, and looking back over this year’s photos, I am able to confidently conclude that 2017 has been an extraordinary year.

It was extraordinary for many reasons, not least for the variety not only of our holidays, but of our lifestyle changes too. At the beginning of the year, we were living in Mallorca and I was working in Marketing. By the end, I am once again a hardened (but wiser) Londoner, but with an altogether more exciting role in commercial law. It was consequently a year of big changes, and not least in our home, where a total redecoration accompanied our return to the big smoke, and Farrow & Ball calke green became the indubitable shade of the season.

DSC02037DSC01093DSC00186DSC06871DSC03129DSC07574DSC01403

But if I was to remember 2017 for one thing, it would be for the breadth and diversity of our travels. 2017 saw us setting foot on African soil for the first time, and the cultural shift which resulted just a few hundred miles south of Spain is an experience which will stay with me forever. But similarly variable were the sun-baked lands of Sicily whose Eastern shores we explored in June. Whether it be the explosive volcanic soils surrounding Etna or the proliferation of baroque architecture peppering the ancient towns, Sicily was a true hot bed of unique creative and natural passions. Then there were the lush vineyards of Tuscany, the ochre glow of Aix, aperol spritz in Siena, the great stags of Windsor…

DSC07348DSC09245DSC00372DSC07274DSC07342DSC05224DSC03544DSC01643

So scan your eyes over the photos above and below and bask in a glorious plethora of multicoloured captures – clear evidence of a year which punched above its weight in scintillating sites and alluring appeal. It was a year of great holidays, but also of staycations too – a warm and balmy English summer provided us with the perfect excuse to explore the leafy gardens of South West London and enjoy the very visible changes of the English seasons, from floral Spring in Battersea Park to an auburn Autumn on Clapham Common.

Now the seasonal chapter is shifting once again. Christmas is over and the days of wintery cold have just begun. But just as I reflect with relish upon this last year in its final fading hours, I look forward with anticipation to the year soon to come. New sights, news sensations, and another cycle of seasonal variations has started all over again.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2017. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

2016: My Year in Photos

It’s beyond crazy that a year has passed since I last compiled a photographic review of my photos. I remember exactly where I was sitting when I last did it, the rush I felt at writing the post before jetting off the following day to Venice…I practically remember what I was drinking (gingerbread green tea surely… it comes highly recommended). Short of remembering the clothes I was wearing, it seems so ridiculously proximate in time that I feel almost in a state of dreamlike disorientation as I engage on the annual tradition of writing this post. Even filing through my many thousand of photos does not convince me that enough time can have passed for a year to be up already. And there was I thinking that leap year 2016 had one more day to its number.

dsc05688dsc03692dsc04722dsc03299dsc08302

And yet my calendar tells me that we are once again here again, coming to the end of another year, and one which for me has been very, very busy but full of light, sunshine and happiness. All of these things have mainly been the result of my location which, for another full year, was based on the paradise island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean sea, a backdrop which provided a daily life rich in sensual pleasures, and from which other fantastic locations such as Barcelona and Granada were only a short plane’s hop away.

dsc06604dsc08225dsc05754dsc01493dsc05514

Yet asides from the visual riches so inherent in Spain, 2016 was a year which provided us with the opportunity to explore old favourites such as the enduringly attractive city of Rome, and also to embrace the new: the island of Menorca, Split in Croatia and Vienna in Austria were just three of those exciting new destinations which we were lucky enough to discover in 2016. It was also a year of discovery for my young family too…One of my highlights has to be the visit to Mallorca of my sister and young nephews, and experiencing their joy as they dipped into the warm sea for the first time.

dsc06499dsc06309dsc05720dsc02676dsc00827

When I look back over 2016, I remember a year of stark contrasts. Because for all of the beautiful experiences which manifest in these photos shared today, I cannot deny a feeling of trepidation as I leave a year which presented so many new dangers. As if Brexit in June was not bad enough, the Trump election in the US just 5 months later was like rubbing salt into a still unhealed wound. And in my personal sphere, the news that I will soon be leaving to Mallorca to take up life again in London likewise will come with its share of challenges. Only time will tell how this cocktail of external and personal factors will play out, and the experiences which will result. However I am confident that in 12 months time, another year will have quickly passed. I look forward to sharing with you the photographic gallery which will surely result.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 20136and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. 

2015: My year in photos (Part 2 – Beyond Paradise)

Living in Mallorca, there can be no doubt that we are utterly spoilt, for all around us, from the city of Palma to the beaches and mountains beyond, we cannot help but discover unhampered beauty wherever we go. And yet while we could quite easily have indulged ourselves for a year’s worth of admiration of the island, the travel obligations of work, a long planned weekend to Paris, and the most life changing of events – our wedding – took us further afield, to enjoy the incredible beauty of the world beyond Mallorca.

And so, in this second of my two photographic reviews back over the year of 2015, I feature just a few of my favourite shots of the incredible surroundings beyond the Balearics. For 2015 was significant not just for its being our first year in Mallorca, but also for the opportunity it gave us to finally tie the knot after almost 6 years of engagement. The honeymoon which followed made for the most unique of holidays, with a stay in the famous Riviera paradise of La Colombe d’Or in St-Paul de Vence rivalled only by a short but sweet spell in bustling Barcelona, and an acquaintance with the chic seaside spots of Cannes and Antibes.

The ultimate Paris shot

The best day of my life

DSC00872

Leger mural at La Colombe d'Or

Big Wheel, Paris

Calder ripples

Summer sunset, Provence

But it did not end there, for months before our wedding, a trip to the world’s primary city of love enabled us a further reconnaissance with our most adored Paris, while post-marriage and still revealing in the new blushes of marital bliss, we were able to rest on the beaches of Marbella, indulge in the new cultural hotspot of Malaga, and drop into Madrid, onto Ibiza and back home again for the most magical of Mallorcan Christmases.

It’s been a magical year. Thank goodness I can relive it all in photos. Until the next… Happy New Year!!!

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2015 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.    

2015: My year in photos (Part 1 – Mallorca)

Ever since I started The Daily Norm I have ended the year with a look back at my year in photos – in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 – and here I go again. Every year I found the exercise not only intensely enjoyable, being able to relive my favourite moments of the last 12 months through some of my best shots, but also extremely rewarding. For in surveying just how much I manage to have done in each year, I consider myself extremely lucky to have seen, smelt, breathed and experienced all I have.

And this year is no exception, for 2015 has been a year of significant change for me, not only because I have been following a completely different career path, but because it is the first complete year I have spent living in a completely different place… the paradise island of Mallorca.

DSC09595

Franciscan Monastery, Palma

Alfabia pondlife

The almond blossom season

Fishermen paraphernalia, Puerto Andratx

Photos can communicate so much better than any words just quite how beautiful an experience it has been living a year on this Mediterranean island. From the consistent days of winter sunshine, when a glass of wine caught outside by the sea in January felt like I was cheating the seasons, to the incredible pink almond blossom which filled the mountainsides in the Spring. From the endless inspiration which the charming trees of the old town of Palma de Mallorca provided, to those sumptuous days of summer spent on beaches of turquoise waters and powdery white sands.

The monastery of Miramar

One of Mallorca's many windmills

Treasures of the Bellver Castle

Sunshine on New Year's Day

Autumn colours

My year in Mallorca has exposed me to some incredible sights; the rippling craggy Tramuntana, the Cap de Formentor; the Caves of Drach and the awe-inspiring mountain village of Deia, and while I have also seen some wonderful places outside of the island this year, such was the level of beauty seen in Mallorca itself that this year my photographic review had to be split in two. This first part looks back on my year in Mallorca. A true paradise which brought a glimpse of joy every day.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2015 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  

New Year 2015: Starting as I mean to carry on

I am a great believer in starting something as I mean to carry on, and if New Year’s Day 2015 is any indication of how the 364 days to come, then I cannot wait to enjoy each and every one of them. For waking up on 1st January of any year is always an experience of great hope for me – it may just be the difference of a day or the turn of a calendar, but with each new year there is a fresh benchmark by which a new list of ambitions and objectives can be measured, and other unfinished and unfulfilled projects relegated to the past. However this year’s 1st January was even more drizzled with the sweet nectar of hope – for how else can a person feel, when waking to bright blue skies, dazzling Mediterranean sunshine, and knowing that this place is not just a holiday destination, but a home.

The day that followed this happy awakening has been one of colours to cradle, flavours to savour, and sounds to nurture. For the sounds, the Vienna New Year’s Concert provided the perfect melodious backdrop to my morning’s cooking, a few hours hard labour which produced a mouthwateringly tender roast chicken with a rich cava-infused gravy and sweetly caramelised apples. So that was the flavour, and as for the colour – a sun-drenched barely-Wintery Palma de Mallorca was waiting just outside the window, and with lunch barely digested, Dominik and I rushed out into the streets to savour all of the splendid vistas which this city so unceasingly affords.

DSC03676 DSC03603 DSC03582 DSC03534 DSC03501 DSC03639DSC03465

And of course the record of all these New Year’s treats is in the photos I’m posting, or at least the sights of our day are recorded this way. For the flavour of the food, I’m afraid you’ll need to get yourself an invite… And if you weren’t listening to the New Year’s concert in Vienna, I suggest you find yourself a clip on TV catch-up while you still can. But for the sights of my day at least, I come with gifts aplenty – a post full of photos freshly uploaded from a New Year’s day full of hope for the 12 months ahead.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2015 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

2014: My year in photos

It has become something of a tradition on The Daily Norm to spend the last day of the year looking back at photos capturing the 364 days before it, reflecting on all of the splendid and captivating sights which have made up the year. And perhaps more than any other that has gone before, 2014 has been a year which the camera has loved. For when I look back at my photos of the last 12 months, I am met with an overwhelming body of diverse and beautiful shots which encapsulate a year overflowing with incredible sights and experiences.

I count myself very lucky to have seen and experienced all that has passed in a single year. From the quaint dark streets of Barcelona in February, my travels took me to the incredibly unique medieval citadel of Dubrovnik, the jaw-droppingly beautiful Amalfi Coast (including Positano, Ravello and Capri), the inspiringly-vertiginous mountain town of Ronda in Southern Spain, the vine-rich planes of coastal Tuscany, the floral festival of Pilar in Zaragoza, and the much applauded Czechoslovakian beauty that is Prague. And travels asides, it was the year when I held my first solo art exhibition in 6 years – a huge amount of work which dominated the first half of the year, but a wonderfully satisfying artistic and commercial success which will mark out this year as a creatively significant one.

The famous clock of Capri's main piazza

The ultimate ripples, Palma de Mallorca

Paradise on earth - Capri

Floral walkway, Positano

Colour profile, Marbella

Grape harvest in Castagneto Carducci

Beach umbrellas, Positano

However, appearances can be misleading, and when I look back on these photos, in particular those taken while travelling around Europe, I remember those holidays as escapes into unreality, moments of happiness snatched and nourished in between a stark reality which was becoming more and more difficult to endure. Once my exhibition was over, I found myself faced with a career which failed to inspire me, a city which made life a daily grind, and my partner feeling increasingly depressed for the same reasons. And it was this realisation, and a very unique opportunity that came from it, which triggered perhaps the most significant of all experiences that 2014 brought: our move to Mallorca. A life changer on so many levels; a bundle of new experiences which have only just begun.

And so it is sitting here in sunny Mallorca that I make this review, delightedly gathering up my memories of the year full of the positivity which has accompanied our move to a new life in Spain. Fast forward 365 days, and I look forward to telling you all about it.

Happy New Year to you all!

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2014 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

2013: My Year in Photos

What a year 2013 has been! When I look back across the year, it strikes me how lucky I have been to have enjoyed such a diverse year, full of travels, artistic appreciation, artistic creation, plenty of good food, fun with family and friends, a happily long summer (to counter the hideous long winter which brought us snow in April) and a 30th birthday like no other. That the year has been full of inspirational times is perhaps best reflected in the sheer volume of blogging upon which I have embarked during 2013: Some 200 posts, meaning that on a day-to-day basis, I was blogging more often than not, and added to that the very valuable support of some 2,400 followers and a total 120,000 views for the year – thank you.

So what better way to look back on the year than to do as I have now done for the previous two years – through photos. The sheer number of photographs I have snapped this year scares me. How my computer remains in one piece with all of the weight of that extra digital memory is astounding; more so that I have even had time in the year to produce them all! But what a collection they make. Looking through my pictures and selecting my year’s highlights for this post has been almost as joyful as the process of taking them in the first place.

DSC01508 DSC05783 DSC07261 DSC06207 IMG_5262

The innate beauty which some of those scenes reflect – the Sunflowers of Aix-en-Provence; the crystal clear waters of Pollensa Bay in Mallorca; the stunning cupolas and spires of old town Krakow – make me realise how fortunate I have been to have seen so many places and to have had the opportunity to indulge in so much beauty during 2013. But there too are the more familiar yet no less enticing shots of home – the red buses and union jacks which pepper London’s streets with the familiar colours of red, white and blue; the fruits of Autumn which fill the ground of London’s parks and gardens with new, hidden gems; and the stunning panoply of colours at Chelsea’s annual Flower Show. These photos are a tribute not only to a year of travelling, and of new experiences, but also a tribute to the annual cycle of seasonal changes which make living in a seasonal country like the United Kingdom such a constantly exciting experience.

But that’s enough words – my photos do tribute to 2013 much better. So without further ado, I give you 2013: My Year in Photos.