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Posts tagged ‘New Year’s Eve’

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.

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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.

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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.

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© 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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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.

Happy New Year from the Daily Norm!

It’s been yet another bank holiday here in the UK, and so once again the Daily Norm has shut up shop for the festive season along with much of this strangely quiet city of London. However as the city’s working residents brush off their suits and iron their shirts in readyness for the first difficult day back to work tomorrow, the Daily Norm is firing up its production line just in time to wish you all a brief Happy New Year! 2012 – who would have thought it? The Millennium celebrations only feel like a couple of years ago to me. However this year, 2012 promises big things, for London in particular, as the Olympics hit our shores.  And if the NYE fireworks in London were anything to go by, London will be a faultless and fantastic host of the big games.

I went into central London to see the fireworks live for the first time this NYE, and I have to say, while they may be stunning to watch on the TV, in person they are utterly exceptional. We had been enjoying an excellent dinner at the nearby Boyd’s Brasserie (dripping in art deco marble-clad elegance) and upon exiting found ourselves, fortuitously, in a cordoned off viewing area slap bang next to the Hungerford Bridge with a perfect view of the London Eye. This was fortuitous indeed, as the bulk of the 250,000 people crowd had arrived in the middle of the day to get a good viewing spot. But for us, only a few minutes wait were required before Big Ben started it’s notorious toll and the final countdown lead to an explosion of spectacular magnitude from both the Eye, and Big Ben itself.

What followed were 11 minutes and 15 seconds of surely unsurpassed breathtaking brilliance, a display which sent vibrations all around and quivers down my spine. What a way to start the new year! And stood amidst that crowd of similarly awed spectators, all happily revelling in the party atmosphere, I felt proud to be a Londoner, resident of a city which is not all about riots, or gang murders on Oxford Street, but which is filled with decent well-intentioned people who celebrate the good things in life. It’s a spirit which I anticipate will ride high throughout 2012, when not only the olympics come to town, but we will also celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee. Here’s for a good one! I leave you with some of my photos of the fireworks. Check back tomorrow for my look at some of the amazing art expected to come our way in 2012. Happy New Year!

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