A Walk through Biarritz

We do a lot of walking around here, which is excellent for photo taking opportunities. This neighborhood cat caught my eyes, with hers.

Our rental vacation home is situated next to some locals’ homes. How do I know they are regular residents? Well, for one, they have a wash line in front of their window, and we don’t.

A glimpse into somebody’s open dining room as we were walking by. An elderly woman doing the washing up and the table set for a small dinner. How did that merry-go-round horse get in there..?

Walking by the beach is a very social event in the evening. Water surfers returning to the pier, young people sitting on the walls, seniors on benches, and a sand sculpture (including the blue plastic for our coins) for us promenaders.

Sand Art

The Hôtel du Palais (since 1893) was made famous by its celebrity patrons, such as Charlie Chaplin, Ernest Hemingway, Frank Sinatra, etc. More about the hotel and its history from Historic Hotels of the World.

Hôtel du Palais in Biarritz

… and the typical sundown photo of a camera-happy traveller.

Interwoven Wood – a Japanese Mosaic Design

When I was in Japan this past month, again I was given a lot of cultural gifts, such as kimono, kasuri fabric, hankies with sakura blossoms, etc.

As much as I appreciate these presents, it became time for me to start rearranging a few things around our home. While reorganizing my collectibles, I found this Yosegi-zaiku parquetry box. I would have just moved it aside, if I had not read an article about this special skill just a few days before.

Parquetry box from Japan

Yosegi-zaiku parquetry is a craft combining colors and grains of wood to create mosaics.

The different types of wood used are macropoda holly, zelkova, lacquer tree, or camphor tree.

The very first yosegi-zaiku is said to have been made by the artist Ishikawa Nihei of the Hakone region in Kanagawa Prefecture in the later part of the Edo period.

This traditional craft is done by Japanese with a deep understanding of the nature of wood.

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