Cee’s Flower of the Day #104

What fun showcasing beautiful flora – flowers, shrubs, trees, bushes and leaves – throughout the year.

Cee’s challenge is all about bringing a little beauty and colour into our daily lives. Who wouldn’t be in favour of that?

Challenge rules, why not join in?

1.Feel free to post every day or whenever you you feel like it.  You can either post new flower photos or dig back into your archives.

2. Depending on the time of year, you can post any of these types of things for your FOTD.

  • Single flowers
  • Buds
  • Multiple flowers
  • Bouquet
  • Flower fields
  • Wildflowers
  • Tree or bush blossoms
  • Autumn leaves
  • Spring leaves
  • Decorative Cabbage
  • Berries
  • Still life
  • Fake or Silk Flowers

Wordless Wednesday #87

2021’s  Wordless Wednesday features photos from my various trips to Australia #adventuredownunder. Goodness knows when I’ll be able to add to these. I’m kinda hoping to visit again in 2022-23 or maybe 2023-24. I have a fully planned itinerary just waiting………..

A Few More Precious Hours

Just two weeks ago, my beloved went to Monaco to watch the MotorE racing thereby gifting me a few blessed hours of peace and quiet. Well, he’s done it again though this time he was watching the F1 Qualifying in Monaco.

My beloved’s contact in Monaco invited him to the GP and, while he’s not necessarily a fan of motor racing, I thought it too good an opportunity to pass up. He decided to watch qualifying, rather than the race itself, as there’s rather more tyre time on the race track. Once again his day out included lunch on the terrace at the recently refurbished Hotel de Paris in pretty much pole position. Needless to say he had a most enoyable day out but more importantly what did I do?

Well, it was a slightly different spin on the previous occasion. Yes, it included housework but also a spot of gardening. My plant pots all needed tidying, the geraniums dead heading, watering and, in some cases, repotting. I got this out of the way first thing as at this time of year a wind often springs up at around 11:30 am making gardening that much trickier.

Once the gardening was over I got stuck into the housework as it’s so much easier when my beloved is not around. I also made some focaccia and cookies (recipes to come) and watched the peloton ride up the mighty Zoncolan in the Giro d’Italia.

profile Stage 14 del Giro d'Italia 2021 Cittadella Monte Zoncolan

My beloved had indicated that he’d be home around 19:30. On this basis I decided to sink into my spa bath, something I use so rarely, for a relaxing soak before starting dinner. I had no sooner submerged myself beneath the bubbling waters and changing lights than the door bell rang (from downstairs). It was only 18:05 and, as I wasn’t expecting anyone, I ignored it. A few minutes later I could hear my mobile ringing.

Reluctantly I got out of the bath and answered it. It was my beloved back much earlier than anticipated as he’d gotten a lift home and had forgotten to take his keys with him. Needless to say that was the end of my relaxing spa bath. I poured him a drink and heard all about his day, which was rather more exciting than mine!

We watched the race on Sunday afternoon which started with a huge disappointment for local boy and pole sitter Leclerc who couldn’t change gear. Thereafter it was pretty much the usual procession apart from Bottas coming to grief at a tyre change. Hamilton sadly had a pretty average GP to finish 7th and now lies five points behind race-winner Verstappen in the championship standings. But he’ll be back!

Cee’s Flower of the Day #103

What fun showcasing beautiful flora – flowers, shrubs, trees, bushes and leaves – throughout the year.

Cee’s challenge is all about bringing a little beauty and colour into our daily lives. Who wouldn’t be in favour of that?

Challenge rules, why not join in?

1.Feel free to post every day or whenever you you feel like it.  You can either post new flower photos or dig back into your archives.

2. Depending on the time of year, you can post any of these types of things for your FOTD.

  • Single flowers
  • Buds
  • Multiple flowers
  • Bouquet
  • Flower fields
  • Wildflowers
  • Tree or bush blossoms
  • Autumn leaves
  • Spring leaves
  • Decorative Cabbage
  • Berries
  • Still life
  • Fake or Silk Flowers

Sunshine’s Macro Monday #91

Many apologies but I’ve been having problems uploading photos thanks to changes to WP and DropBox where I store my photos. Unfortunately, I’ve used up all my WP storage space and rather than upgrade to WP Business Plan, which has too many bells and whistles that I neither want nor need, I’ve been uploading photos from DropBox. This has worked well for the past 6 months, until now………I do hope you can see this week’s three photos.

 

 

 

Sunshine’s Macro Monday Challenge is hosted by Irene a formidable photographer who encourages us to scrutinise the smallest of details by getting up close and personal and bringing someone or something to life in a photograph. It’s a one day challenge without prompts. Feel free to join in and brighten everyone’s Monday.

 

Cee’s Flower of the Day #102

What fun showcasing beautiful flora – flowers, shrubs, trees, bushes and leaves – throughout the year.

Cee’s challenge is all about bringing a little beauty and colour into our daily lives. Who wouldn’t be in favour of that?

Challenge rules, why not join in?

1.Feel free to post every day or whenever you you feel like it.  You can either post new flower photos or dig back into your archives.

2. Depending on the time of year, you can post any of these types of things for your FOTD.

  • Single flowers
  • Buds
  • Multiple flowers
  • Bouquet
  • Flower fields
  • Wildflowers
  • Tree or bush blossoms
  • Autumn leaves
  • Spring leaves
  • Decorative Cabbage
  • Berries
  • Still life
  • Fake or Silk Flowers

French Fancies: Arkopharma

Today I’m looking at a local company founded in 1980 in Carros. Arkopharma is a pharmaceutical laboratory specialising in the field of phytotherapyphy, natural medication and dietary supplements. It’s the French and European leader in natural plant-based medications and dietary supplements. Note, Phytotherapy is commonly defined as the study of the use of extracts of natural origin as medicines or health-promoting agents.

Key figures of Arkopharma

How it all began

Doctor Max Rombi, a passionate believer in phytotherapy and co-founder of the Virbac veterinary laboratory, decided to devote himself entirely to his passion for herbal medicine and share the benefits of these natural remedies with the general public, by marketing a range of plant-based products. Rombi was convinced that most health problems are caused by a poor diet and that plants and natural substances can prevent and relieve most of our everyday health complaints.

Remember that in the early 1980s, phytotherapy was considered quite old-fashioned, and tended to be synonymous with formulations such as herbal teas and concoctions that were not easy to ingest.

In 1982 Dr. Rombi was the first to introduce plant-based supplements onto the market in capsule form, by replacing loose herbs with pre-dosed forms that are much easier to use.

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Several years later, in 1985, he was also the first to adapt the cryogenic grinding process to phytotherapy, making it possible to offer plants in powder form, which enhances their efficacy and the bioavailability of their active ingredients. During the cryogenic grinding process, plants are crushed using liquid nitrogen at very low temperatures, which preserves all of their active ingredients and results in a very fine powder that is easy to assimilate.

The French Ministry of Health officially recognised phytotherapy as an independent branch of medicine in 1986, by classifying certain plants as medicines. This decision was based not only on their traditional usages, but also on numerous scientific studies. Arkopharma developed its first authorised plant-based medications, Arkogélules.

Thereafter, Arkopharma created four subsidiaries abroad: Spain, Italy, USA, UK and in 1996 was listed on the AIM-equivalent market in Paris.

In 1997, Arkopharma also made a name for itself by offering the first 100% plant-based product range, thereby cementing its status as leader in the field of phytotherapy. That year, in the midst of the “mad cow” health scare, the gelatin traditionally used for the outer envelope of capsules was replaced with a plant-based natural substitute: a derivative of cellulose (cellulose surrounds and protects all plant cells). For the first time, consumers had access to capsules that were truly 100% plant-based.

Home | Arkopharma

In the early 2000s, the company followed  a trail of acquisitions of like-minded companies and successfully expanded its range of dietary products. This expansion came at a price and in 2007 Arkopharma de-listed and set out an action plan to improve the Group’s operating margins, by reducing its product portfolio and launching an ambitious advertising campaign to boost the Group’s flagship products.

The action plan succeeded, the Arkopharma Group returned to profitability and was acquired in July 2014 by Montagu Private Equity.

Remaining Close to its Roots

The story of Arkopharma Laboratories began in the heart of the Alpes-Maritimes region in the Var Valley, between the Mediterranean coast and the peaks of the Mercantour Park. The diversity of the company’s natural healthcare products is reflected in the biodiversity of the Alpes-Maritimes region.

Herbal Products | Arkopharma

Of the 4,900 flowering plant speciesnative to France (in other words, which have not been introduced or adapted), this département alone contains over 3,000 of those species (that’s over 60% of this incredible diversity). By comparison, the average French département is home to between 1,000 and 1,300 such species.

Thanks to its prized location at the crossroads between the Alps and the Mediterranean, this region benefits from a mixture of alpine, Provençal, Mediterranean and Ligurian influences, between sea level and the Cime du Gélas (3143 m), and constitutes the only place in Europe in which all these levels of vegetation can be found together.

The array of medicinal Arctic-alpine and subalpine species, such as rhodiola, bearberry, yellow gentian and arnica, together with others of Mediterranean origin, including thyme, lavender and olive trees, bear witness to this unique biodiversity.

This vast botanical wealth is accompanied by 200 rare species, including Ligurian gentian, Potentilla Valderia and Nigritella rose. And on top of all that, the region boasts around 40 specific species classified as endemic (species that are only found in this part of the world). For example, the “multi-flowering” saxifrage (Saxifraga florulenta) is unique in that it flowers only once at the end of its long life of between 40 and 70 years. It can be found at the heart of the Mercantour National Park.

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Many medicinal plants found in the wild or grown for consumption are incorporated into the product ranges offered by Arkopharma.

This rich natural heritage is offset by the treasure trove of ornamental and museum gardens that adorn the coast between the towns of Menton and Antibes. Four botanical gardens are particularly worthy of mention: Val Rahmeh in Menton (belonging to the Paris Natural History Museum), the gardens of the Carnolès Palace in Menton (housing Europe’s largest collection of citrus trees), Villa Les Cèdres in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat (a private garden spanning 14 hectares, boasting more than 14,000 mostly tropical plant species) and Villa Thuret in Antibes (a garden now run by the INRA research institute). The region’s vast array of ornamental gardens includes, to name just a few, Serre de la Madone garden in Menton, the gardens surrounding the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat and Parc Phœnix in Nice.

In this rich environment combining nature and man-made beauty, vegetation is omnipresent in all its splendid diversity: It was therefore entirely natural that the Arkopharma Group should set up home here, and continue developing and producing its plant-based healthcare remedies in this region of outstanding beauty.

Committed Brand

The Arkopharma Group has a comprehensive approach to corporate social responsibility which unites all its employees, suppliers and shareholders around the consideration of social, corporate, environmental and economic issues.

There is little doubt that the concept has gone from strength to strength since then, and the healing power of phytotherapy has been backed up by numerous scientific studies around the world. Thanks to its health benefits and its natural dimension, phytotherapy has become part of our daily life.

 All images courtesy of Arkopharma

Silent Sunday #68

This year all my photographs are of France.

 

Song Lyric Sunday #42

This week’s prompt is a comparison between two songs, but which two shall I choose in response to Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday Challenge? Probably, two different versions of the same song, but which one? When in doubt, my default is always to pick one by Lenny Kravitz.  It’s only recently that I learned Lenny’s version of American Woman is a cover!

American Woman was originally released by the Canadian rock band The Guess Who in March 1970, from their sixth studio album of the same name. It reached number one for three weeks commencing 9 May on both the United States’ Billboard Hot 100 and the Canadian RPM magazine singles chart. It also reached the top ten in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria, and the top twenty in the UK and New Zealand.

The song’s lyrics have been the matter of debate, often interpreted as an attack on US politics. The band’s vocalist and song composer Burton Cummings said that the lyrics had nothing to do with politics.

What was on my mind was that girls in the States seemed to get older quicker than our girls and that made them, well, dangerous. When I said ‘American woman, stay away from me,’ I really meant ‘Canadian woman, I prefer you.’ It was all a happy accident.

Jim Kale, the group’s bassist, explained his take on the lyrics:

The war [in Vietnam] was going on, and was terribly unpopular. We didn’t have a draft system in Canada, and we were grateful for that. A lot of people called it anti-American, but it wasn’t really. We weren’t anti-anything. John Lennon once said that the meanings of all songs come after they are recorded. Someone else has to interpret them.

As I mentiond above, one of the song’s most notable covers is Lenny Kravitz’s 1999 version recorded for the soundtrack of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. It was released as a single and later included in the 1999 reissue of Kravitz’s album 5. Kravitz’s version is slower and softer than the original, without the signature guitar solo; he later said to Randy Bachman that the reason he skipped the lead guitar part was:

I couldn’t get the sound. I couldn’t get the tone.

The cover reached the top 20 in Australia, Finland, Iceland, New Zealand, and Spain, as well as number 26 in Canada and number 49 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The music video (directed by Paul Hunter) featured actress Heather Graham (who starred in The Spy Who Shagged Me); the original political themes of the song were largely replaced by sex appeal.

In 1999, Kravitz and his band were joined by The Guess Who for a live performance of “American Woman” at the MuchMusic Video Awards.

Lyrics: American Woman

Huh, American woman, stay away from me
American woman, mama let me be
Don’t come hanging ’round my door
I don’t wanna see your face no more
I got more important things to do
Than spend my time growin’ old with you
Now woman, stay away
American woman, listen what I say
American woman, get away from me
American woman, mama let me be
Don’t come knocking ’round my door
I don’t wanna see your shadow no more
Colored lights can hypnotize
Sparkle someone else’s eyes
Now woman, get away
American woman, listen what I say
American woman, I said, get away
American woman, listen what I say
Don’t come hanging ’round my door
Don’t want to see your face no more
I don’t need your war machines
I don’t need your ghetto scenes
Colored lights can hypnotize
Sparkle someone else’s eyes
Now woman, get away
American woman, listen what I say
American woman, stay away from me
American woman, mama let me be
I gotta go, I gotta get away
Baby, I gotta go, I wanna fly away
I’m gonna leave you, woman
I’m gonna leave you, woman
I’m gonna leave you, woman
I’m gonna leave you, woman
A-bye, bye, a-bye, bye
Bye bye, bye bye
You’re no good for me and I’m no good for you
(American woman)
I look you right straight in the eye an’ tell you what I’m gonna do
I’m gonna leave you woman, you know I gotta go
(American woman)
I’m gonna leave you woman, I gotta go
I gotta go, I gotta go American woman, yeah

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Randy Bachman / Burton Cummings / Gary Peterson / Michael Kale

Challenge Rules

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not. If it does not fit, then please explain why you chose this song.
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
  • Ping back to Jim’s post or place your link in his comments section.
  • Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
  • Feel free to suggest future prompts.
  • Most of all, have fun and enjoy the music.

One word Sunday: Lean

This week it’s “lean” which can mean a deviation from the perpendicular; an inclination; thin, having no superfluous fat. So what have I got in my archives? Well, I have lots of photos of skinny cyclists, the odd leaning tree but no leaning towers.

I’ve decided to join in with Debbie Smyth’s One Word Sunday challenge, largely because she sets them well in advance – always an advantage in my book. In addition, she’s a fantastic and inspirational photographer.