On a fabulous Spring afternoon that felt more like summer, my friend who is a real nature lover, took me to a park at Maulévrier. This is not your usual French park but a singular creation; the largest Japanese park in Europe. Created between 1899 and 1910 by the visionary Alexandre Marcel, it was restored… Read More An Oriental Park in the Loire Valley
Mon pêché mineur’ I heard my french friend use this wonderful expression to explain her partiality to a particular wine. I know the feeling! I have fallen in love with the natural wines of France and in particular those dry whites of the pays de la Loire. Its not just their taste but also their… Read More In Celebration of Small Things: My Little Sin
By chance while exploring (getting lost) in Paris earlier this week, I was stopped from crossing the road by a passing military cavalcade. The golden helmets and silver swords of the soldiers on horseback shone as the weak sun broke through the clouds. How lucky was I to have this dazzling cavalcade of magnificent horses… Read More A Parisian Parade
On a recent visit to L’Orangerie, the building set in the Jardin des Tuilleries which houses Monet’s waterlilies in an oval display, I pondered this question. Art critics and ordinary people who love or loathe art all seem to if not fall in love, then certainly feel benign towards the artist’s obsession with these liquid… Read More Why is Monet So Popular ?
I was washing my hair this morning and 5hought “The next time I do this I’ll be in Paris” and instantly smiled-well actually I started to sing..a French song naturally! The transition to my life in France for the next three months has started and I feel both excited and impatient. When I tell people… Read More Au Revoir Australie…Encore!
The exhibition of “Versailles” at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra is a sumptuous taste of the spectacular treasures of the royal places of Versailles, France. As the Gallery’s summer blockbuster exhibition it is a popular success judging by the crowds of tourists and locals in attendance when I visited this week. In fact,… Read More Canberrans agree: Let Them Eat Cake!
Coming Down the Other Side of the Mountain ‘The cliche is that life is a mountain. You go up, reach the top and then go down’ Jeanne Moreau “You never climb the same mountain twice, not even in memory. Memory rebuilds the mountain, changes the weather, retells the jokes, remakes all the moves.” Lito Tejada-Flores… Read More Coming Down the Other Side of the Mountain
Baguettes in my backpack Now that I’m back in Australia reacclimatising to a different lifestyle, I’ve started reflecting on the big and small changes in my life after two months in France. I love the French way of life, in particular how they take time to savour the earthly pleasures of food and wine. ‘Après … Read More Baguettes in my backpack
In Celebration of Small Things: Frescoes in a 12th Century Chapel in France Notorious for getting lost, I outdid myself that particular morning and ended up taking right turns instead of lefts. What should have been a short ride to a nearby village, ended in a scenic tour taking well over two hours. The outcome… Read More In Celebration of Small Things: Frescoes in a 12th Century Chapel in France
Land of Pilgrims Who are those serious faced walkers with their sensible shoes and long walking canes? ‘Pèlerins ’ my neighbours reply and explain that this is the land of pilgrimage on the Camino of Saint James of Compostela. So what does it mean to be a pilgrim in the modern world? Someone who seeks… Read More Land of Pilgrims