S for Sydney obviously! :D (Singapore will come around next time)

Sydney, my dream city, my favourite city in the whole wide world : its lovely wide streets, its parcs, its atmosphere, its second hand bookshops, its cafés, its beaches….Living in Sydney was like living in a city where anything seems possible. National parks less than 2 hours away, same for a vineyard, or beautiful beaches, or again lovely towns and rivers (thinking of Kangaroo river right now, where you can easily do some canoing). The winding roads where one can find a fridge full of goodies at every corner. Or where one can find the best meat pies in the world. 

Image

Sydney goes with opportunity, rythm, life…. The culture, the traditions, the museums, the operas…Ohhhh the air! How much I love Sydney. 

If you have never been, GO. If you want to go, GO. If you would like to go back, GO BACK. I plan to do so in 2016, it’s still such a long way away. 

Have you ever heard of the Hunter valley? It’s the wine region north of Sydney, very famous for its semillon…and oh is it good!! Here is a wee look at it via piccie :

Image

Yummy yummy for the tummy. You could spend days meandering through the places you can find near Sydney, years even, actually probably a whole lifetime. And cocktail bars….ah it reminds me of the Victoria tea rooms : best cocktails ever!! I’ve even got a picture from the Victoria tea rooms (it’s in darlinghurst).Image

And the high teas : Gunners Barracks, oh yea, oh and the view!! I’ll even put links at the bottom of this post so feel free to nose around these awesome places. Oh and the kangaroos, well there aren’t any roaming around the city if that’s what you thought : they are in Taronga zoo or natural reserves. And they are well worth visiting. You should see the view the girafes have at the zoo : like I WANT that view from my place. Haha lucky girafes. I bet you can’t even guess what they can see from their ‘home’. Should I post a piccie of that too? Ok ok, no need to get all excited, here it is : 

Image

And the bakeries? Yummy Yummy!! Hey Jennie!! And the fresh pasta restaurant in Darlinghurst, and all the breakfast places, Ohh how I miss Sydney, my home away from home, my corner of heaven. I can’t wait to show my boyfriend around and see it again. 

There are also so many walks to do : Coogie to Bondi, the spit to Manly and endless other walks. And they are so beautiful and breathtaking, you cannot go to Sydney without walking all around it. It’s magical and will make you come back for more. Here is a wee piccie to show what the walks can look like at times : 

Image

You will fall in love with this city : even if you come from the country and dislike big cities, she will get you : I garantee that. 

Well here are a couple of links : 

A couple of my fav vineyards in the Hunter : Tyrells winery (their semillon is to die for), Scarborough, de Bortoli, Ernest Hill (their dessert wines are AMAZING!!), Margan estate, Peterson (ohhh the pink champagne, yum yum), mount pleasant, one of them also makes a beautiful red dessert wine but I can’t remember the name of the winery. 

Gunners barracks : 

http://gunnersbarracks.com.au/?ref=ww

Victoria tea rooms : 

http://thevictoriaroom.com/site/

The kangaroo valley : 

http://thevictoriaroom.com/site/

 

Well I think that’s it for today, although I could go on about Sydney and all the places I recommend, oh wait, here is a lovely second hand bookshop : 

http://gertrudeandalice.com.au/

If you want to know many more things about this amazing place, please don’t hesitate to ask me questions. I’ll happy to help in anyway I can. 

Until tomorrow, ohh I am soooo excited about tomorrow post!!!!!! 😀 Guess what T will be for? 

Cheerio y’all 🙂 xox

Publicités

R for …. R for the colour red.

Hey everyone, I hope you have having a lovely easter weekend, full of laughs, good chocolate and lots and lots of good food and drink. We sure have done lots of all that. 

Red, the colour of blood, the colour of the sunset, and my favourite clothes. I love red because it reminds me of life, of beautiful red smiling lips. It brings sunshine to a room, life to a body and makes for a beautiful tomato sauce (may it be a yummy yummy lasagna or a beautiful bolognese). 

It makes me so happy to be surrounded by bright and redish colours. They have an energy to them, something that can add a spiciness to most things. Gosh do I love chillies too! So many red things, so many good and yummy things. Yay for anything red, except maybe your periods, I could definetely live without them. Isn’t red also the colour of a woman? A beautiful deep and meaningful colour that brings pain and happiness, both at the same time!

Another short post as I am quite late in writing this weekend. It’s been crazy busy but good busy. Might continue a story tomorrow. 

Cheerio y’all!!

If there anything red you love, do tell me about it, I look forward to seeing your comments. 

Q for Queens :)

Q for Queens :)

Well here is another dog in my family, fast asleep on the bed : her name is Queens (my sister loves NY, and that’s where the name comes from). She is my mother’s dog and she is the most loveable dog ever. She is very shy though and used to hide under the sofa anytime sometime entered the house. She would also pee on the floor as soon as she started being scared. The arrival of Poppy in the family changed all that as she taught Queens how to be more trusting. The first time I met Queens she took a week to get used to me. When she was a puppy she was very scared of teddy bears and plastic bags. Now she’s grown more accustomed to the world around her, but she shakes like a leaf anytime she has to go to the vets.
Having said that she is a wonderful companion : she loves nothing more than cuddling up to you and playing with her favourite toy, a squeeky tug and pull toy, you throw at her, she catches and brings it back. She just loves that game. She’ll happily do that with a ball too, for hours and hours. She is a beautiful little dog, so full of love and happiness, she makes you want to sing all day long.
She is soo gentle too, as opposed to Poppy anyway. Haha I love dogs so much. I am going to my mum’s this weekend so I am very happy to see all these loved ones after such a long absence. I haven’t seen them since last spring.
Anyway, this is a short post in honour of a wonderful companion. She evens pees on command, how cool is that? 🙂

Cheerio y’all, and sorry for this late post and the next one, as I away this weekend.

xox

P for Poppy, my shining light :)

P for Poppy, my shining light :)

Welcome to Poppy’s world : one of playing fetch, running super fast, walks, adventures and fooood!! She’s a cross lab and white german sheperd, she loooves anyone who plays with her but might be scared of you at first, which makes her look fierce but in her entire life she has never bitten anyone, if that’s not a proof that she’s a big softy then I don’t know what more to add. Well she does like to take the whole bed and she loves pouncing on top of you. When we are at my mum’s and my bf doesn’t wake up (boys ey!!) I send her up, she’s an excellent wake up call : she licks you and walks all over you 😀
She was born on August 28th 2009, so this summer she’ll be 5, already! Time flies, really!
Notice her sleeping with her ball : that’s how obsessed she is with her toys and playing : once you get her started, it will be hard to stop her.
I love my Poppy Casey sooo much : I wish I could live with her but as I live in Paris and have no garden, it would be too hard on her, she is so used to space. But she might come back and live with us next year hopefully. And by then we might have bought a house with a yard!
She makes you laugh soo hard. That’s a reason why I love pets so much : they add so much spice to your life and make you laugh outloud for the most random reasons.
What do you guys think about pets?

Do you have any special stories?

How do they affect your life?

Poppy and Muffin make everyday more special, they provide anyone around them with a sense of pride and love that cannot be easily denied.
Enjoy this piccie 🙂
And yup yup she did spend at least an hour sleeping with that ball!

Cheerio y’all x

Ohhhh, good Old times! Ode to our Origins

Trying to think back to where we come from is and can be a rather complicated moment for some of us. Could it be sufficient to just know that we come from somewhere, and that place could be no where in particular? Do we need to know, or can we imagine where we come from? Now that could be a fun exercise for a group of kids : put them together and get them imagining and drawing where they come from. Then they could share their ideas with the whole class. Don’t you just love being a teacher : it’s so nice to always have new things to go with your students.

Of course then we need to consider our less broad origins : our parents, our grand-parents and the list goes on. And what happens when your family is all over the place and has no set root? What happens when half your origins are from Hampshire? One word : nothingness. Should I be looking back at where I am from, rather that forward to where I am going? Should it be 50/50? One look backwards, two towards the future and one step in the present?

What if you all told me what could imagine of our origins? If you could to come from anything / anywhere / anywhere? This will be your challenge for today, if you are willing to accept it….

***

Here is mine : Well….I’d come from Mars…or no Australia… or Peru… or Italy….And our ancestors would have been well known authors and llibrarians. We’d have a house full of antique books belonging to them. And in my imagination I would have been born with the hability to fly. Our world would be without hunger, hatred, jealousy, religion, cigarettes, and a few other things.

Or should I rather mention a point 0 : a point where there was nothing but emptiness…a place of no place. What if we all closed our eyes and imagined that. What then?

That’s all for today, folks! cheerio y’all xo

 

Ode to New Zealand

New Zealand : an amazing country, a hidden gem in the midst of the southern pacific ocean.

Image

A place where you can enjoy peace and quiet, crazy moments of adrenaline, get drunk on some amazing wines and also enjoy a quiet spot at a café drinking a hot ribena.

First let’s just imagine a lovely walk in the wild country that is most of New Zealand. One where you can just feel in tune with everything surrounding you, and get drunk of the beautiful sights offered to you.

Whilst I visited this country, I had the opportunity to visit a couple of places used in the film The Lord of the Rings : and I don’t need to tell you how beautiful these places were. Nature is magical and nature in New Zealand is powerful.

Wellington is a beautiful city : it’s lovely streets, the museum Te Papa, the cafés, the pancake places, the walk along the water. It has everything to make your stay there amazing!! Plus you can easily go to the Martinborough wine region, just north of Wellington. Their wines are very famous within the country, less so in Europe, but they are truly excellent. Plus the area itself is very rich and its nature luxurious. I was able to try a few wines and I will be back. They are also very famous for their pinot noir. Here is a wee link to what you can see and do there :

http://martinborough.com/

Taking a ferry from the north island to the south island is also a very cool thing to do, the picture I’ve included in this post was taken during that boat trip, so if you like that piccie of the sounds, I do recommend it (yup yup again!). In the north of the south island you find another magical wine region, much more well known worldwide : the Malborough, of course you should already know a few things about their sauvignon blanc : there are loads and most of them are worth you trying them. My personal favourite is the Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc and if you have spare money I can also recommend the more expensive sauvignon blanc they sell called Te Koko. A lot of people would tell you they are the best sauvignon blancs in the world. And the winery itself is just as beautiful as you can imagine and tucked away in the Malborough. A pure treasure in wine making.

If you like wines, New Zealand ought to be in your wine maps. Their climat is wonderfullly suited to make beautiful wines.

Now let’s move on to another really important part of New Zealand’s culture, its litterature : we need to talk about Janet Frame. She is probably, to this day, one of the most celebrated authors in NZ. She has written over 10 books, a movie was made by Jane Campion about her autobiography. She is well worth a detour : her autobiography An Angel At My Table is an excellent read, her writing is just splendid. Her novels can be challenging and sometimes (maybe most of the time) (or maybe even all the time) very descriptive especially in regards to what happens to people left asside by society. What happens to those people? Well Janet is here to tell you all about her dealings with such characters, as she herself is part of them. Frame is also very good at making you feel what she wants you to feel. Isn’t any good author an excellent manipulator?

Should I mention sheep? Rabbits?

Of course I am not telling you everything there is to do in New Zealand, but isn’t this post already enough to go on an adventure there? There are soo many places I wish to visit and experience. It’s a place of wonder and joyful discovery. It’s also worth mentioning how welcoming the people are. All in all, another country. Another place to visit. Another place to add to your dream travel map 🙂

Don’t hesitate to ask me more questions about this amazing spot.

Cheerio y’all 🙂 x

 

 

My mother, monsters and marmite!

A dedication to the most special woman in my heart : my mummy

Well, we are about half way through the challenge and I do feel compelled to write something about my mother. She is such an example and she has had such a complicated and hard life that I wonder how anyone else would have coped. When horrible things are thrown onto your path what do you do? How do you react? Well, she banged her head against the wall at times, but she always pulled through and got my brother, sister and I to where we are today. We have all had good lives, with opportunities and lots of exposure to what can happen to you. I can’t say that my whole childhood was a disaster, but I can say that my mother was there every step of the way. She never let go, even when it seemed like everything was collapsing, she held strong and never ever stopped being there for us. She is a model to anyone out there who thinks motherhood is a piece of cake : it’s not. You just never know what hides in the dark corners of yourself or those surrounding you. I wish I could have done something to change what happened to all of us, and made us who we are today. At the end of the day I am who I am because of my past and thanks to my amazing mother. She never judges and always understands, she never puts you down but always tries to make you smile. She’s had a tough life, one where her family is constantly judging her, one where her own siblings dislike and misunderstand her, she cannot confide in her parents as they have never understood her choices. Especially after the second divorce. Now how can one woman go through so much pain and still be able to smile today : human resilience or her own personal resilience to resist whatever is thrown her way. It does make her so sad though and that is what outsiders don’t understand. As she wonders why people just won’t leave her alone, they are wondering why she is such a strong person when most of her life has been a messy chaos. Well…one thing I have learnt through that is that no matter what people say about you or may think about it, it doesn’t matter, it’s their own feelings, not yours. Might as well trust yourself to be who you want to be and not what everyone else wants you to be.

My mother is my sunshine, she makes me feel strong when I feel weak, she makes me see through tough times and helps me out when I am in trouble. She’s always there, with good advice and a love that is so powerful it makes my heart feel so special. I cannot wait to give her grandchildren, they will give her yet more love and more company : she deserve every ounce of love she can get.

 

Image

This is a piccie of my lovely mummy with our puppy : Poppy. She is an animal lover, a chocoholic, a tea enthusiast, a litterature connoisseur, a wonderful chef (ohh the cakes she makes), a travel junkie. And well the best mum  I could have ever hoped for or asked for. She is my wonder woman.

I really hope I can be such a good mother, protector and friend all in one.

Cheerio y’all xx

L for love : the things I love :D

Well I loooove tea, that must already be clear if you’ve been reading my blog, haha. There will be a few more posts about tea, don’t you worry. It’s something I cannot live without, I have tried and failed. And why would I ever want to live without it? It’s just absurd to me. It brings me comfort and happiness, relief and smiles. All in all, it’s something to be appreciated and discovered, smelt and tasted. Here is a piccie of some of my tea boxes and packs :

Image

I loove books : they are my best friends, my companion, my life, my reason and my self! They are everywhere around me, and in me. My books live happily on bookshelves, nicely arranged and always ready to be opened and adored. They provide me with a real sense of self and adventure where one never knows what to expect. Here is one of my bookshelves :

Image

I loooove pets : I have a cat, Muffin (he turned 1 on April 1st); half a dog (she lives with Mum as I don’t have a garden yet), Poppy (she is a cross lab and white german shepperd and she’ll be 5 this year). I have always believed that human life needs animals. They are such good companions, full of life, love and energy. This morning Muffin was lying in between my arms while I was writing my latest post, now what more could I want. They make moments unique and make you laugh outloud for a lot of different reasons : ie one day my grandmoter was waving around a zuchini saying she didn’t want to eat it when Poppy came up to her, pulled it out of her hands and ate in. Gulp!

Image

I loove food and anything that goes with it : I love cooking, discovering new things to make myself, baking of course is another huge passion. Going to new restaurants and trying foods from other cultures is so much fun and it makes one so happy to have a full belly, full of good and yummy food. Here is my first ever Xmas cake!

963

I looove wine, discovering new wines (that will be the subject of another post), drinking wine, and finding foods that associate well with them. Have you ever been to a cheese and wine pairing tasting? Well you should. If you live anywhere near Sydney there’s a really good one organised by the cheese mongers society on Fort Denison island. It’s brilliant. I also love visiting wine regions and tasting wine, any excuse right? On another note, if you want to come to Paris, come in the fall, there is an amazing wine event called -Le festival des vignerons indépendants- , it’s FREE and you can taste as many wines as you want : it’s basically in a huge exposition building where a lot of independant wineries from all around France will get together and let people taste and buy their wines. Who’s in? This is an amazing bottle from Spain!

Image

I looove travelling and discovering new cultures, new ways of seeing the world and new people. I am myself a rather strange case, as I am French but neither my parents were, so it makes me not really French in France and neither does it make me English in England, when I have both nationalities and can speak both languages. I have lived on 4 continents so far and I have loved every single one of them, although I secretely have one favourite…can you guess? Having itchy feet can have it’s challenges, but I hope, with all my heart, my children will get that from me. Travelling is a way of life, it’s a belief that we can walk the world and see first hand what it’s like on the other side. It’s something so special and magical that I can only say one thing : get out there and do it! This is me in Vietnam on Xmas day :

Image

I looove writing… I have been writing since being a teenager (yup, I started when I was thirteen), I have never stopped and I will never stop. My novel is taking time to become fully developped and written but that’s all part of the process of writing : it takes forever and a day! Writing is my way of creating my own world and escaping anything that upsets me. It’s a way of finding myself in another self and then creating a new self with more adventures to uncover.

****Imagine me writing*******

I loooove boardgames and my favourite one, in the whole wide world is Carcassonne, a brilliant, fun, and interactive game where you build roads, monasteries, villages and farms!! It’s soooo good I can play it every day. I kept winning so my bf has stopped playing and now that we have Muffin, and a small dining table we can’t play anymore. I am now waiting for a bigger flat, where we can start playing again. Yay!

Image

 

Well I reckon this is about just enough, although I do love lots and lots of other things, as I am sure you do. Can you find things you love in my list? What’s your list like? I do look forward to seeing what you’ll say 🙂

Cheerio y’all, and yay, I am finally up to date! Being back in France is keeping me nice and busy.

Until tomorrow x

Kimberley National Parks

Kimberley National Parks

National parks are a magical word for me : they rhyme with remote areas, dramatic views, long walks along unknown trails. I grew up surrounded by woods, and from a very young age I went walking with our family pet, Ginger. We would be gone for hours on end, discovering this and that place. Always home in time for dinner though!
My first encounter with Australia, well it’s always been in my life, but my first personal one, was looking at a book about Australian wonders. The Kimberley national parks are such an amazing feat of rock formations and trees, and more trees, oh and more old old rocks. They are a group of national parks in the northern part of Western Australia. They include Bungle Bungles and the wolf creek crater (also the name of that lovely horror movie).
This image represents a dream of mine  : I’ve always loved the country and I grew up looking at pictures of such places, now I need to make a reality of this.
The worse part of this is : I went to Western Australia on a road trip, but the Kimberleys was inaccessible because it was the wet season! I was not so happy about that. But I will hopefully go there one day. And dreams are plentiful. We need to keep some unanswered just so we can keep dreaming.

Here is a nice website full of info, if you are interested :

http://www.kimberleyaustralia.com/kimberley-national-parks.html

Cheerio y’all x

J for Jasper National Park, Jasper Fforde, Joy, Justice and celeri juice

So many Js, but we can we ever do everything we wish we could. Life is all about what choices we make and how they end up affecting us. Every moment of every day, at our every blink we make a choice. It seems mine is always more adventure, more discovery, but at what cost? It seems that if you are too adventurous, gosh do I love celeri juice, people will always ask you things like, when will you marry, doesn’t your bf mind you being away or when are you going to have children, and etc. I find adventures make the days better, brighter and more endearing. Just as I write these words, my cat Muffin is wondering around the flat, smelling and discovering every possible item at his disposal. Cats, ey! Well to get back on topic, I want to talk about Jasper Fforde today : an amazing british author, with a flair for crazy alternative worlds where people have to fight something daily to sometimes save the world of litterature as we know it. His characters are so well written and easy to identify with. One of them in particular has caught a lot of attention : Thursday Next. She features in a few of his books and one of her missions is to find the missing Jane Eyre. She lives through all sorts of other adventures. She lives in a parallel England, one where huge corporations have taken over the world, where England and Russia have fought the Crimean war for years. She has a pet dodo. And she can dive into books, litterally. Indeed she’s a litterary detective! If you have a love for litterature, these books are for you. Fforde’s knowledge of litterature is never ending, and the more you dive into his books, the more you realize how much he knows and how important the world of litterature is for him. He’s simply brilliant. He has written about 12 books, I have read them all. Can I add that I met him? I did, I did, years ago at a litterary festical in St Malo (Etonnants voyageurs) which in itself is also brilliant and if you are interested in the evolution of litterature and you understand French, you ought to go to it, it’s at the end of may,  or the beginning of june. I will probably go back next year (this year my brother is getting married on that date, grrr). Anyway he is very interesting as a person and it was mighty cool to meet him in person.

Here is a piccie from my collection :

Image

The French one is my signed copy!!! Yippee! Me? A bookaholic?? NOOOOOOoooo way!!

The Eyre Affair is his first one, and features Thursday Next in her first adventure against the mighty Goliath corporation. I first found these books in a tiny second hand bookshop in Paddington, Sydney. That was about 6 or 7 years ago. I loved them at first sight. They satisfy my desire for litterary escapism and adventure around the clock.

Jasper also has an amazing website, and here is the link :

http://www.jasperfforde.com/

Anyway I do apologize for being delayed (quite seriously in my blogging), but from today I will be up to date, I promise.

Cheerio y’all, xx