Last week I visited an ancient monument in France. No, it wasnt the Eiffel Tower or Arch de Triomphe but a more ancient sttucture, the Dolmen de Bajoulière. Constructed four thousand years BCE, this powerful neolithic monument was later used in Celtic and Roman eras. I went with a group who were not your everyday… Read More The Sacred Earth of Ancient France
Fontevrault Abbey is a fabled place of spiritual, political and cultural power. Established in the 12th century as an abbey, it was the home of King Henry the second and his wife Eleanor of Acquitainr, Queen of both France and England and mother of Richard the Lionheart It’s curious that such a grand city for… Read More Fabulous Fontevrault
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