Brussels in 48 hours

I was doubtful at first whether two days was enough for a stay in Brussels. It is. Between indulging in some of the national foods – chips, waffles and chocolate – seriously courting heart disease and obesity at the same time; we found time to do the hop-on hop-off bus tour, visit Mini Europe and go up the Atomium. We skipped the Museum of Chocolate but did the comic strip Walk. I would have loved to have gone to the Hokusai exhibition which is currently on at the Museum of Japanese Art, but between the diverse family interests and a lack of time, I settled for the extensive street art to be found in this city. I started photographing all the chocolatiers’ display windows, thinking it would make for a delicious-looking photo montage- I gave up after the fifth shop window. How many chocolatiers can one small city have? Did not mind tasting the products of these artists though.

Amazing views from the Arc de Triomphe

Spring break and the weather has actually felt like spring. My children had never been up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, after almost two years in Paris. Mainly it’s been that same old reasoning; We live Paris, it’ll always be there. Yesterday though we decided that a visit to the top of the Arch was long overdue; so we made like tourists and made our way to the most photographed monument in Paris.
We climbed the two hundred and seventy odd steps to the top, up a narrow spiral staircase and views from the terrace were incredible. All of Paris lay in every which direction we looked – the famous étoile giving us splendid views of the city below.

Chinua Achebe : 1930 – 2013

I was around fifteen when I first read Things Fall Apart. It was a set book for our English class. We were, or at least I was, reading an account of Nigeria’s history – and more broadly Africa’s history – in the face of colonialism and not contextualising what it really meant.

Rethinking reinvention as a trailing spouse

imagesIt was when I created my LinkedIn page earlier last year that the reality of it all hit me. Writer and editor? That was exactly what I have been doing for four years now. Did I start out wanting to be a writer? Of course. Doesn’t everyone? I have not yet met a single person that has not harboured dreams about writing, and yet their reasons for why they are not writing are endless: when I stop working… when my kids are grown… when I can find the time…

Street Art

In high school, I used to doodle, draw and cover every surface of my school files with images and words, which whilst seemingly random or nonsensical were coded in meaning for something that was going on in my life during those adolescent years. The one recurring image was a “Kilroy was here” image, whose original source I did not know, but one which I thought was amusing enough to reproduce over and over again on files, notebook covers and every so often, school desk surfaces. Armed with a marker, I could have been an artist.

Books: ON BLACK SISTERS’ STREET by Chika Unigwe

Title: On Black Sisters’ Street
Author: Chika Unigwe
Genre: Fiction
Published: 2009

As is often the case, my reading choices are made fairly haphazardly. Chika Unigwe’s book must have come recommended by someone, somewhere because I have it on my Kindle. I read it in less than a week.
On Black Sisters’ Street is a story of four African women: Sisi, Efe, Ama and Joyce all living in Antwerp, Amsterdam working as prostitutes.

Intellectualizing Hopper

I went to the Edward Hopper exhibition at the Grand Palais yesterday. It was refreshing to walk through an exhibition and not feel the need to find some intellectual meaning behind the paintings. Let me take a step back. The last exhibition I went to see was the Dali at Centre Pompidou. Granted that I cannot compare Dali and Hopper directly; one was a Surrealist painter, the other an impressionist-inspired Modernist. I can at least make some comparisons about the the emotions evoked by both.

An artist and a baker

He is first an artist, then a baker. This is what Bruno, just Bruno,  the man who plies students and passers-by alike with his pastries and tarts from his boulangerie on rue St.Jacques in the sixth arrondissement tells me. For the first month while making my way to my French class, I would quickly slip in and buy a little something from his abundant and delightful pastries.