C’est l’été!

The French celebrate the summer solstice with music. In and around Paris, as well as in other parts of the country there are music festivals abound. Free music shows from early this afternoon with some carrying on until the end of the week. Coming from a country where our celebration of the longer days and…

The Japanese revolution in France

Two months ago, Jardin d’Acclimatation had a Japanese exhibit in their gardens, with workshops, shows and presentations of all things Japanese. This following on the last Paris Book Fair in March at which the guest country was Japan. The Musée Guimet is dedicated to Asian arts and culture, and had a long-running exhibition on contemporary calligraphy, which ended on May 14th.
Not forgetting the annual Japan Expo from the 5th to 8th July that is billed as possibly the biggest Japanese expo in Europe, drawing close to two hundred thousand visitors.

Books: THE FINKLER QUESTION by Howard Jacobson

Title: The Finkler Question
Author: Howard Jacobson
Published: 2010
Genre: Fiction

I am always reluctant to write about award-winning books. I always want to read them because the writer in me wants to know what it is that makes an award-winning book, but in the same breath I approach them cautiously because the hype can often lead to a disappointing experience. I did not pick up The Finkler Question for its rave reviews, so my expectations were somewhat managed.
I read this  Booker Prize winner a few months back, and have been struggling to sit and write up on it for a while now. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Would I recommend it? Yes, but a with one caveat: be very patient with the protagonist.

All that glitters at Château de Versailles

Château de Versailles was the seat of power from 1682 to 1789. With every every king that lived there, three in all, the Château was transformed and expanded – making it an enduring and beautiful part of French history. It is after all the Museum of the History of France. For a history lesson that’s concise, and far more interesting than any guide book will provide make a trip to this well-preserved castle.
You can take the guided tours or go for the self tour option. It is bustling with tourists, literally bus loads of them. The grand rooms from where war strategies were formulated, the exquisite grandeur of the hall of mirrors where statesmen were entertained, amongst other exhibits, is all breathtaking.

‘Kultures’ with Khwezi Strydom in Paris

Alliance Française is renowned for giving young and old burgeoning artists a platform on which to show their work. It’s done it again, this time with an exhibit by a young South African artist Khwezi Strydom. The ‘Kultures’ exhibition will run until 15th June at the Paris branch on Boulevard Raspail.

Khwezi is very reluctant to talk about himself. At the opening night of his exhibition he was casually and comfortably working the room, but in a one-to-one conversation he is reluctant almost to the point of evasive. I am able to glean that he was born in the US of a Tunisian mother and South African father. Raised in the US and France he began drawing at a young age, encouraged by his artist mother. This is his first exhibition.

Places in France: Jardin des Plantes

I am finding that school Holidays in France require a full itinerary. The luxury of just being outside in the garden playing is just that, a luxury. Even if the itinerary entails trips to the park, there still has to be thought put to the trip. Decided to fill my childrens’ days full of museum trips during the last school holidays – the weather was unfortunately not as cooperative, but we did manage a few trips out.