NON! to school on Wednesdays

Photo: Lionel Bonaventure / AFP / Getty Images French parents and teachers have been up-in-arms again about the government’s  reforms to the education system. Not to a drastically changed school curriculum, but to the new system that means that the French scholarly weekly calendar will now be five days. That age-old system that gave primary…

Street Art at the Panthéon

The powers that be of French Institutions did something surprising a couple of months again. The hallowed floors and ceilings of the Panthéon were opened by to the French photographer JR to play with as he wished. Shock, horror! “They let him do this?” was my daughter’s incredulous response when she saw it. By this,…

Books: INDIGO by Catherine McKinley

Title: Indigo:  In search of the colour that seduced the world Author: Catherine McKinley Published: 2011 Genre: Memoir Catherine McKinley writes of her Scottish heritage, and the use of the colour indigo in the tartans of her people. She deftly links it to her African heritage and the indigo in fabrics that she’d seen, namely…

Monumenta 2014: The Strange City

This year The Grand Palais has invited Russian artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov to exhibit at the annual Monumenta exhibition. The nave of the Grand Palais is an enormous space to work with and to curate an exhibition that can effectively make use of its grand volumes. Previous artists have done it fairly well. This…

Places: Parc Zoologique de Paris

After renovations that lasted four years, the Paris Zoo finally re-opened its doors again last month. I took my son and a friend last Friday. We had pre-booked our tickets online to avoid long queues but it was a surprisingly quiet day. The zoo has undergone a €164 million overhaul which has turned it into…

Books: RED INK by Angela Makholwa

Title: Red Ink Author: Angela Makholwa Published: 2007 Genre: Fiction In a word: gripping. I love watching the TV show Criminal Minds, and reading Red Ink was like watching an extended show of it. Angela Makholwa writes boldly about the violence that is at the centre of her crime novel. She’s descriptive and does not…