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Ready for Takeoff

Posted by Hélène et Thomas, 2022-06-29

Left: Billie at rest. France - 29 June 2022.

Right: The Miss training in the laces not far from home. France - 29 June 2022.

The departure date for the European cycling tour we are planning (see previous posts) is now clear. On Saturday or Sunday, we will set off from our "sweet home" to cross the Pyrenees and then ride in Spain and Portugal. The return (if nothing comes up against our plans as in Bolivia in 2020 - see the report "Chile after the COP "-) is set for late autumn or early winter.

We have spent the last few days :

- finalising reports; thus, during our journey, Ami Jim will be able to feed the site with new subjects such as those of the COP 26,

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Clay Court

Posted by Hélène et Thomas, 2022-06-15

Over the last few days, we have been working hard to finalise the new reports that we would like to complete before we hit the road again. There are about ten of them, which Jim will add during the summer, little by little, to the hundred or so galleries already on the site.

In addition to the Glasgow Cop (already mentioned on this blog), there will be other subjects on the climate and social issues and 3 or 4 photo series extracted from the long-term work of the Tour de France that we are working on. Hélène proofread and translated the texts and captions of the subjects while Thomas continued to assemble the diptychs, clean the dust from the scans (for the black and white photos), and make basic adjustments such as contrast, exposure and sharpness.

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Nice Poppy!

Posted by Hélène et Thomas, 2022-06-01

Poppies in a barley field and on the asphalt not far from home. France - May 2022.

The cool thing about cycling, apart from making you fall back into childhood as soon as you get on it (for those of you who have been riding as a kid), is that you have time to think and observe the landscape. And if you're in the break-in period as we are now, you even have the leisure to contemplate all the flowers along the road (so much you have to go easy not to wake up the damn tendinitises which would rot your life again).  

There was a time when, before embarking on a journey, we could afford the luxury of not training. The first week was a bit difficult because we had to get used to being in the saddle for hours on end and sleeping outside in a tent, but there was no breakage. The Tour de France that we did changed things for Toto and now we are preparing with apprehension. From the sixty kilometres indicated in our last post, we now have more than 300 kilometres on our legs. The pains felt at the start are gradually fading so morale is good.

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Post of (almost) champions!

Posted by Hélène et Thomas, 2022-05-16

One of the two "Christmas gift" cups that will be in our bike bags when we leave. Under the gaze of our closest neighbours, the cyclist climbing the hill wears the "yellow jersey". France - May 2022.

Some time ago, we told you about some "brainstorming" in a post entitled "Big Fatigue!":

"... Soon, we should be sharing with you a brainstorming session linked to successive nervous breakdowns that led us to think about a new photographic and velocipede itinerary for the next few years. We had several options on the table and, if we don't chicken out, you'll see that we decided to spare no effort! We'll be sure to tell you more about it."

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Work in Progress #2

Posted by Hélène et Thomas, 2022-05-01

Left: During a demonstration, at the very beginning of the mandate, to protest against the policies of the new president Emmanuel Macron. Toulouse, France - 2017.

Right: Marine Le Pen's election posters in the presidential interterm. Her campaign focused a lot on "purchasing power". Brive la Gaillarde, France - 2022.

And that's it! Covid has entered our brainboxes. Luckily, the virus hit us with a slight delay, so we were able to take care of each other. It must be said that this is quite unpleasant, especially when you fear that it will lead to a raging ear infection. And then productivity at work takes a serious hit.

A Word About Free Software

Posted by Jim Latteier, 2022-04-26

This blog is concerned with photography and especially with how photography relates to environmental issues in France and around the world. But I want to draw attention in this post to what goes on behind the scenes, to the software and the labor that is necessary to present these photographs on the Internet.

The software that supports this site is produced by volunteers. Except for a small annual fee for hosting it is entirely free of charge. That is remarkable when you think about it: there are many layers of complexity in this website, the building of it requires many thousands of hour of highly specialized work by many people, all unpaid.

Big fatigue!

Posted by Hélène et Thomas, 2022-04-15

Right: Taken during the 2017 campaign, a photo from our ongoing series on the far right that we have been running for 10 years now. On these two torn posters you can see the faces of Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, both finalists of the first round in the presidential election. France - 2017.

Left: In front of the entrance to COP26 (26th annual UN Climate Change Conference). As a lady hands out cloth bags printed "Be Vegan - Make Peace", these protesters with their banner want to remind the urgency of not forgetting the commitment of the COP21 in Paris: to keep global warming below 1.5°C. Glasgow, Écosse, Royaume-Uni - Novembre 2021.

Eyes wide open! *

Posted by Hélène et Thomas, 2022-04-01

Left: Pontoon on the dry Aculeo lake. Aculeo, considered as the Riviera of Chile, was very popular as a holiday resort for the inhabitants of the country. Chile - January 2020.

Right: In West Africa. After a heavy rainfall at the start of the rainy season, a Fulani woman is bringing home some ground peanuts (which she just bought at a village 2 km from her house). She can now feed her cattle which are starved after the drought that comes before the rainy season and weakened by the cold and humidity of the past few days. Near Diandioly, Senegal - 13 July 2010.

After the long post of the last two weeks, this time we'll try to go easy on the number of characters. We suggest that you review (or immerse!) in two of our reports made by bicycle in recent years: "What future for the rural world in West Africa? and "Chile after the COP". Since the launch of this blog, we have been keeping you informed in our little press review (at the bottom of the post) of the contrasting political situations in Mali and Chile, the first country experiencing a kind of descent into hell and the second a democratic renewal.

Look Up! (and speak around) - Part 2

Posted by Hélène et Thomas, 2022-03-15

Perhaps, to illustrate the second part of the title of this post (speak around), we could mention the famous Meadows report which is 50 years old. Limits to Growth, is better known as the Meadows report, by the name of its co-author Dennis Meadows. It was commissioned from scientists at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in the United States by the Club of Rome (an international think tank created in 1968 and composed of economists, government officials and scientists). In 1972, it was the first report to warn of the destructive consequences for the planet of unlimited growth. It made a lot of noise at the time of its release but did not bring about any changes in society, much to the surprise of those who wrote it.

Look Up! (and speak around) - Part 1

Posted by Hélène et Thomas, 2022-03-15

Saturday 12 March, we are on the train to Toulouse. We are going to photograph another Climate March organized at national level ; we have been following them for a few years (see the reports on this site in the "Around the COPs" gallery). This time, we hesitated a bit between today's march and tomorrow's Die-in, which will take place in Place du Capitole, because we only want to make the trip once. Realising that in the previous post we had already put a photo of a die-in in Glasgow we opted for the demonstration. And also on the programme we read that it was called: "Look Up Big March", in tune with the buzz around Adam McKay's recent Netflix film "Don't Look Up: Cosmic Denial" which we mentioned in another post. This American comedy-drama, about a comet that is about to collide with the Earth and two scientists who try in vain to alert the population, the media, the politicians, would be a metaphor of what we are experiencing with global warming. Good choice because the next day the die-in will be cancelled due to bad weather.