Saturday, October 31, 2009

Paris, France

The first thing I saw when I stepped off the train in Paris was a 60ish year old man with smooth grey hair and thick glasses. He was wearing a 3 piece, navy suit with a grand, floor length grey cape and walking a tiny dog. Oh Paris indeed!

Two days in Paris is definitely not enough time, but this is what we did.
-Ate a delicious 3 course lunch in a boutique restaurant (Cheese, fish, rhubarb), with tiny grey Frenchies drinking tiny coffees.
-Went to Notre Dame.

-Went to the Centre Pompidou (modern art gallery). It was huge and exhausting and I saw some Man Ray 1930's porn, feminist work and Picasso. It is also where I had my Carrie Bradshaw moment and got my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower.

-The metro was metro-y.

-There is an incomprehensible amount of buskers.

- I sussed out the vintage shop I wanted to visited but didn't find anything amazing, which was very good for my wallet.
- We had a ridiculously amazing meal where I tried snails, sausage, duck and raspberry dessert.
- Had wine in a squashed pub.

- Ate fromage quiche and custardy treats for breakfast.

- Hired bikes and zipped around to the Eiffel Tower and Louvre. Did not go up or in either one, but saw a complete engagement proposal in front of the Eiffel Tower which was cliche yet cute.

- Went up to Sacra Coeur, a church so beautiful that if I ever was to pray I would probably pray there. We wanted to drink beer and watch the sunset on the front steps but it was so foggy and cold that it wasn't worth it. Lots of buskers here too, but soccer ball man was awesome.

- In Montmarte, we drank wine and ate cheese under heaters and watched gorgeous trick or treaters and Parisian nutters walk by.
- We ate another ridiculous meal where I had goats cheese salad and rack of lamb and then the waiter told me I reminded him of Amelie Poulain and this has made me eternally happy.

NB: Delicious wine was had at all times.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tours, France

Stu and I were very lucky to have a French holiday with his Mum and Dad. We flew into Tours, which is in the centre of France. It is full of splendid, peaceful, picture-postcard scenery and a lot of wine.

This is our adorable gite, complete with fireplace, horse and lovely French landlords.

Our little town had a  church built in 1100 and of course the boulangerie, boucherie, passtiserie etc. etc. 

So many beautiful chateaux with beautiful gardens, we also visited Leonardo Da Vinci's house. My 7th form Art History self was very excited.

Autumn is well and truly about here, it was chilly but still nice and sunny.

The French cyclists were adorable.

Pretty much, we just ate a lot of French cheese, baguettes and meat on picnics or cooked in the wee kitchen, drove around the country side, drank a lot wine next to the fireplace. Bliss!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sophie Calle at Whitechapel

Sophie Calle is one of the artists that inspired me the most during my study at art school, so I was sooo excited to be able to see her retrospective "Talking to Strangers" at the Whitechapel gallery in East London.
My favourite part of the exhibition was the largest work "Take Care of Yourself" which took up the entire ground floor. When Calle was dumped via an email, she asked 107 different women of different ages and professions to analyse and interpret the letter. Each woman was photographed and filmed reading the letter and their response was displayed also, where it be a copy of the letter filled with gunshots (by a riflewoman) or dissected grammatically by an editor. 

Upstairs, was more of her older works - the infamous address book, the decorated telephone booth in New York etc.
As both a photographer and a writer her work can be exhausting as there is often heavy reading as well as emotional work that questions relationships, while documenting life and creating everyday happenings.

Friday, October 23, 2009

LONDON: Third time round.

- Black cabs
- Cold
- Grumpy Londoners
- Smoked Applewood Cheese
- Red wine
- Roast Lamb*
- Jet Lag
- Vegetarian Lasagne
- Flat White
- Brick Lane
- Tube
- Gig in Brixton
- Scary Londoners
- Jet Lag
- Pottering
- Shoreditch
- Blue Cheese
- Lovely Liz Haircut
- Soho
- Sophie Calle Retrospective (AMAZING)
- Double Deckers
- Goji berry and Chicken Soup*
- Early morning jet lag induced blog
* Cooked by Stu

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nami Island

If I back track one day before Hong Kong - my last day at work was a lovely trip to Nami Island (off Incheon) and I don't think my last day could of been any better! Nami Island is beautiful and definitely shows the best of autumn.

Aw hello home! I'm gonna see you soon! On the ferry to Nami...

This is my work crew - the foreign staff has turned over in the last few months, minus a few exceptions. We played team building games and the like.

We hired one of these amazing bikes, which steering and braking seemed equivalent to my old 4WD, but on the opposite side of course.

Dog in backpack - always a favourite.

Ummm what other place in the world rakes their leaves into love hearts? Sigh!

Greer and I rode swan boats which was very tiring.

There was just lovely red, orange and yellow sights all around.

And the perfect end to a perfect Autumn day? Norebang bus. Yes yes yes.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hong Kong Suprise

Because I can't read, I realised not long before my flight to Hong Kong that rather than a 6 hour stop over, I was to have a 30 hour stopover! Luckily, I had already organised a dinner with Ian and D and this was just extended into a lovely weekend.

Here is the ridiculous view from their apartment...

I bought some Korean souvenirs.

Breakfast! Tea and Dim Sum.

General wandering in the heat. I had just gotten used to the cooler weather and now it was back to 31 degrees!

This was pretty amazing. On Sundays, all of the Filipino housekeepers and nannies gather all over the streets, build cardboard forts and sit, chat, sleep and play games.