If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that living in the fashion capital of the world is wasted on me. Yes, I love looking at beautiful clothes, and every so often I will spend a morning window licking shopping – I love that the french phrase; lèche-vitrines for this translates as window licking- and I love nothing more than sitting at a pavement café, nursing a café, people watching and admiring the many and varying fashion styles of the Parisians, but I have yet to understand the obsession with Fashion Week.
Today in Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday and South African’s celebrate Mandela Day by making at least 67 minutes of their day count by dedicating them to acts of charity.
I cannot write anything else about Madiba that has not already been written. Given his current frail state of health, South Africans and the world at large are happy to see him celebrating another year.
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.
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.
So off to the circus we went again. This time around, it was pure acrobat-infused fun, sans les animaux. I didn’t realise how obtuse I had been about the use of animals in circuses until my daughter pointed out the cruelty of it all after another circus trip (shame on me!). More recently, when I mentioned to a friend that I was taking my children to the circus the very first thing out of his mouth was: Sans les animaux bien sûr (Without animals of course). Oui, bien sûr! I think I can safely say the past month has made me a lot more aware of animal cruelty issues.
I took in the Salvador Dali exhibition at the Pompidou Centre on Sunday; the first retrospective of the artist’s work to be held in Paris in thirty years. As I made my way around, taking in this surrealist painter’s bizarre and at times thought-provoking work, I wondered if it was the art, or his showmanship that had made him the darling of the art world at the height of his career.
Containing over 200 paintings, drawings, collages, assemblages, photos and film clips, the Pompidou Centre is paying hommage to what it calls ‘the most complex and prolific figure of 20th century art’.
Dali’s theatrics are also shown in short film clips around the exhibition – his eccentricity on full display.
Last night we went to the Diana Krall concert at the Palais des Congres de Paris. I am not a complete jazz aficionado, but the only music that plays in our house on Sundays when we have family and friends over is jazz. Why jazz? No idea, I have just always associated it with relaxed Sunday afternoons, winding down the weekend. Diana Krall is one of my favourite jazz singers so I jumped at the chance to see her. Even if it was to be held at the Palais des Congres. This is a conference centre with behemoth-sized auditoriums – not exactly the perfect venue for an intimate jazz evening. I had also not expected the masses of people that turned up last night. The French love Diana Krall! That was the first surprise.
We spent a day at Jardin des Tuileries last week. It was a busy day of the Fête des Tuileries, the annual summer carnival, a bit of wandering around the gardens, a photo exhibition and a music show.
The Fête is small, with carnival rides and food stalls selling the usual carnival fare – expect nothing healthy – but a great deal of fun for kids.
Wander around the gardens, and take in Ahae‘s free photo exhibition, which runs until mid August.
Today was the first day of the summer holidays for my kids. This means for the next ten weeks, yes that’s right, ten weeks I have a six and twelve year old to keep busy. Unfortunately I can’t just send them out to play, which was how I remember my school holidays growing up.