AUGUST 16, 2018 AT 07:35 AM (MIZALA, SPAIN)

BY KEVIN MULLINS

We are still here.  In the magical valley of Mizala,  Andalucía, Spain.  We've been here just under three weeks and we have two weeks left to go.

The place we stay at is very remote, but we love that.  At present, the kids are still young enough to be excited by the pool several times a day and long walks (at dusk) out into the vast, wild, desert-like environment.

We've been coming here for ten years or so, and every time we walk, we find something new.  Another glimpse into the lives that once existed here, that are past, and perhaps only existed fleetingly, but the lives whose stories continue and will forever be a part of the future.

The law of the land here is important, and it protects the history.  There are many ruined houses, some that were left in a hurry during the Spanish Civil War, others that have simply been left by members of the families that sought their fortune in the lucrative North or other parts of Europe.

This entire valley was once the belly of the earth.  It was part of the neolithic ocean bed, and there are still reminders of that.  We find them daily and you can see it in the land lines across the tops of the mountains.

I feel like I'm looking at my own reflection in a mirror every year.  It's almost exactly the same, but there are things that are different.  Usually subtle things, but things none the less.

And, as the children grow, and their expectations of a family holiday change, then I'm sure I'll face a challenge in spending so much time in this place with them.

'till then, we'll enjoy it.  Spend more time in the pool, hit the beach a few more times and have a few more lazy Sangria's whilst watching the sunset.

AUGUST 15, 2018 AT 5:11 PM (Nollevaux, BELGIUM)

The 15th of August is a bank holiday in Belgium and as tradition requires, the week of the 15th is a family holiday with my parents, my sister's family and us. The 15th is also Noa's birthday. 11 year olds still wake up pretty early, so I wake up even earlier to make breakfast. When I look out of the window, my sister is making a selfie with an escaped sheep. Noa takes a royal birthday bath while my girlfriend and I hold court for the traditional help desk event in which my mother and sister furiously bomb us with all kinds of weird computer issues. Birthday portraits are not a tradition yet, but I'm trying to make it a tradition to take a portrait of everyone who celebrates a birthday in my presence. I don't have time to structure or reread my post because I'm under great pressure to light the barbecue. See you next week for a more structured post. 

14 août 2018 à 10h12 (Castelroc, France)

By Vincent Baldensperger

Ce n'est pas la plage, les cocotiers, pas non plus les grasses matinées chez les grands parents. Ces quelques ados scouts charrient des pierres, construisent ensemble des murs pour les futures terrasses du château de Castelroc. Travail à la chaine, efficace, questions des uns, conseils des autres, chacun découvre ses talents de bâtisseur, efforts physiques, réflexions intenses en attendant la pause désaltérante, la pose souvenir...

August 13, 2018 at 10:09 AM (Otterburn Park, Canada)

On Saturday we drove to Maricourt and spent a few hours catching the breeze, watching the day trickling away. Then we drove back home.

On Sunday we left early and headed for Ogden, a few miles shy of the US border. We were visiting an animal shelter, possibly deciding on a dog...and we may have found one. No, not the one pictured here—she was cute but didn't seem comfortable with cats. It’s an ongoing process.

A Milton;
who may become a Watson;
but who could still end up leaving with someone else.

August 12th, 2018 at 09:40am (Maarslet, Denmark)

By Jonas Rask

I always found it amusing that KAGE in Japanese means a shape of light or shadow, whilst in danish its meaning is a lot less poetic. It simply means "cake". - So imagine my chuckle when I exported my images for my journal entry this morning, only to see the watermark being quite explicit as to what is going on. 

Anyway. We're well into August by now, and school starts tomorrow. So we're pulling every last drop of that vacation feeling. After having a non-stop sun streak in Denmark since May 5th, weather has started to change. So indoor activities resume.
Nanna has grown so much. Both physically and mentally. I can almost feel her need for independence luring already. It's insane. She's only 9 years old. 
It always remind me to make sure I document things. So I will have the memories preserved. Luckily she still doesn't mind me photographing her.

I sincerely fear the day when she no longer wishes for her picture to be taken by her father. 

11 August 2018 at 9:24am (Toronto, Canada)

11 August 2018 at 9:24am (Toronto, Canada)

I'm home.

Well, it's one of my homes - it feels like I have three, really: in Sydney, Toronto, and Pointe au Baril. But this is where I spent the most time, growing up.

This house has been here longer than I have; my parents bought it in 1962, and have somehow stayed here all that time - while I can't even remember all my addresses in the last 20 years, theirs has remained fixed…

August 10, 2018 at 0:15 am (Motherwell, Scotland)

By Derek Clark

Our trip to Prague is over, but we went out with a bang. We took the 6:33 am train out of Prague and headed to Decin, a small Czech town on the edge of the border with Germany. From there we took a bus into The Switzerland Bohemian National Park and started the two and a half hour trek up the mountain.

I’ve been at the top of many mountains so I didn’t expect to find anything there except a view. But I was surprised to see a restaurant at the top and wondered how they got supplies up there. A quick investigation revealed a dodgy looking cable car contraption. I'm not sure if the workers travel on the same cable car though.

After a quick meal at the restaurant, we headed. Back down the mountain, shaving 30 minutes off the time. Then the previous bus and train setup in reverse and we were back in Prague by 10 pm.

August 9, 2018 at 6:50am (Mizala, Spain)

BY KEVIN MULLINS

It's the 9th August and the day unfolds exactly the same way as the previous nine days have.
I rise early, I sit and watch an amazing sunrise with a cup of coffee while the rest of the house sleeps.

Already, even at before 7am the temperature is 25 degrees Celsius and we've been experiencing highs of around 39 degrees the past week or so.

I think the super heatwave that has been engulfing Europe is over, for now, and we'll be back to the regular 34 or 35 which is common for this part of the world.

Today I thought I'd show you a few stills stollen from some drone footage I've been taken (with a couple X-E3 images thrown in for the mix).

I'm able to stretch the legs of the drone properly here.  We are in a huge valley in the Andalucian moauntains.  Very few people, and lots of countryside.

I'm aware that it looks like we are existing on Mars, but I can assure you it's beutiful, its warm and its as relaxing as hell.
 

August 8, 2018 at 11.54 AM (Zaventem, Belgium)

We have been keeping the curtains shut for weeks to keep at least some of the heat out. But to not much avail, Belgian houses are not built for long stretches of 30C plus days. In the morning it's 28.5 degrees in the living room, which is the coolest part of the house. A tarp brings some illusion of shade but the only way to cool down is take a shower and in the process I get a nose bleed from the temperature contrast. 

In the mean time, Noa woke up and after a breakfast of cereal and YouTube, she helps me make some healthy snacks. Exercising in this weather is suicide so I try to take extra care of eating healthy. Slicing and drying fruit feels like a workout in itself. 

Noa and Maya are getting bored sitting at home with a dad that's trying to get some work done and therefor is of no use to them. Every summer, I deal with this. I feel guilty that I can't do fun things with them all the time and I feel guilty that I'm behind on work. Like every year, I'm trying to come up with a solution but can't find it. So I drive them to my parents where they'll have something to do. 

The weather forecast is promising us thunderstorms and rain. And indeed by 8 AM the clouds roll in and a few drops of cool rain start to fall. Three minutes later they have evaporated again and the only way to cool down is ice cream and another shower.

It's too hot to sleep so I watch the weather app and see one thunderstorm after the other skirt past my town. But then it finally happens. The wind is slamming doors and rain starts coming down hard for ten minutes. With the bedroom window wide open, a gentle breeze caressing our bodies to sleep at 4 AM. 

I'm so tired that I never hear Griet leave for work and I wake up at 9:30. I make some more healthy snacks (Mexican Honey Chicken Jerky) and come to the conclusion that nothing has changed. 

7 août 2018 à 11h10 (Toulouse, France)

By Vincent Baldensperger

si tu sais jouer avec la lumière et les ombres,
observer les couleurs, en inventer d’autres encore,
respirer et gouter aux parfums des jours et des nuits
toucher du regard l’éphémère, l’immortaliser
si tu peux trouver dans l’oreille du renard
un ami qui prendra soin de tes secrets
si tu gardes en toi le désir de bulles toujours plus grandes
si ton souffle fait éclore des nuées d'étoiles
tu seras une rêveuse ma fille…