Three women on walls

Today I wanted to show you three more beautiful women from Rio, but hopefully today’s offerings will prove a little less controversial! I’ll start off with a woman I have been admiring for a the last couple of weeks. My daily journey takes me through Praça General Osório, one of the main squares in Ipanema. Each morning I have been in a rush to catch the bus and so whilst I’ve gazed longingly, I’ve never found time to take a photo. Last night I decided to go after work instead. Not what you’d call perfect lighting, but the shadows from the nearby gate add a certain je ne sais quoi don’t you think?


I haven’t looked into who “DP” is yet, but I would like to offer him/her huge congratulations. A beautiful image. **UPDATE** It isn’t “DP”, it is “Di”, the signature of Di Couto. I met her in a bar a few months back and she was very nice!

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The Art of London

Regular readers will know that I’ve got a bit of a thing for street art. Rio is covered in the stuff and some of it is really good! In fact, if you’re looking for things to do in Rio, may I suggest you check out my Gardens and Graffiti walk?

Since I’ve been back in London I’ve been keeping an eye out for some interesting graffiti – last night I found some!


Lovely isn't it? This is on a door shutter in Hoxton, east London.


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Mysterious Lights

A curious thing happened last night as I made my way home. A curious light seemed to fill the sky. Seriously, it was really odd – everything went a weird shade of yellowy-green. Now I’m fairly sure this mysterious light was a perfectly natural phenomenon – perhaps the low cloud was being caught by the setting sunlight which was being refracted by particles suspended in the upper atmosphere to produce that particularly mysterious shade of yellow. OR, maybe it was aliens!

As I sat on the bus, I gazed in wonder at this strange new version of Rio and felt the need to make blindingly obvious comments to strangers. You know, things like “Wow, look at that. It’s really yellow isn’t it?” and “Doesn’t the sky look weird?”. You know, sometimes I think my timidity with communication saves me from some pointless conversations.

As I neared my destination in Glória, the sun went down (or, if you prefer, the alien mothership flew away) and the strange light faded. I hopped off the bus and was just about to make my way up the steep hill I have to climb to get home, when I happened to glance over my shoulder. Seems aliens were in Rio after all! This is what I saw:

A clear-cut case of aliens, right? Look at them, hanging in the night sky - there is no other explanation for this. I have to say, I was surprised too. But the camera doesn't lie does it?

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There’s graffiti all over the school!

I grew up in the city of Winchester on the south coast of England. It was a great place to be a kid/teenager – by no means a village, but small enough that if you didn’t know someone directly, you probably new someone who knew them. It is just an hour from London on the train, yet it is situated in a particularly lovely part of Hampshire, characterised by gorgeous, gentle countryside (a million miles from the dramatic mountains, forests and beaches of Rio).

Thatched cottages in Wherwell, Hampshire. Putting the Shire into Hampshire.

Winchester is a fairly wealthy city with a population of just 40,000 – when I was growing up crime levels were very low. So you can imagine my shock when I arrived at school aged 11 to hear there had been an attack.

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Street Runes from São Paulo

About a year ago I spent about a week in São Paulo. I didn’t have much money (and São Paulo is expensive!) so I spent quite a lot of time wandering around and getting a feel for the city. Before going I had read this article on the BBC website, which tells of some of the strong culture of creativity in Brazil’s largest city. 

I was particularly intrigued by mention of Beco do Batman (Batman’s alley), a 100m stretch of alleyway, covered in all kinds of awesome looking street art. Somewhat typically of me, I never got round to going to this place (I’m saving it for my next visit), but while strolling around the streets I did see loads of amazing street art. 

But as well as loads of nice images, I noticed a lot of strange rune-like symbols all over the place.

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Things you find under bridges in Rio

The photo, taken in Botafogo,  shows one of my favourite pieces of street art in Rio. Technically excellent, stylistically interesting and (hopefully) it makes you think.

I’m not great with art history and arty references, but this piece by How & Nosm reminded me of Picasso and Cubism in general (I just googled this to make sure I wasn’t being utterly ridiculous. Can now confirm there is definitely a resemblance!).


It’s a beautiful piece by identical twins Davide and Raoul Perre, better known as How & Nosm. They are known as the other identical twins in the graffiti world, in reference to Brazil’s very own Os Gêmeos (the twins).

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Step Up

In case you didn’t know already, there are a lot of very steep hills in Rio. The thing about building on steep hills is people need a way of getting up and down. I suppose the default solution to this age-old problem is simply to do nothing – walk up and down the steep hill. At the other end of the scale you have trams, elevators and cable cars.

But cable cars and elevators are expensive, so for the most part the people of Rio make do with steps. Living in Santa Teresa I know all about these as I have three routes up/down the hill I live on and two of them involve long, steep steps.

7 banks of 11 steps – I think even Rocky ( would find that hard going. For some reason the little girl on the right decided she’d prefer to use the storm drain. Kids are weird sometimes aren’t they?


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