Wishing you happy holidays!

Merry Xmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah…whatever it is that brings you together with your loved ones this time of the year. Do celebrate it well and hope it’s a great one!

For us it will be a crispy one. Gave up a sunny, braai-filled, golf-playing South African summer this year for a chilly, vin chaud-fuelled, chestnut-roasting European winter. I do love the lighting and gaiety that comes with it all though.

Joyeux Noël!

Feeling culinary

Yesterday I made  gravlax, a salad with a balsamic vinaigrette, magret de canard with honey and balsamic vinegar and dark chocolate fondant with chestnut cream for lunch. It was fantastic.
Yes, with a bit (ok, a whole lot) of help of course.
Spent the morning in a cooking class with some wonderful people, working through a simple yet ultimately delicious menu. Thanks Valerie for organising!
Learnt the value of using fresh ingredients with minimum spices for great taste.

Brand watching

The strange phenomenon that is branding. Walked past Louis Vuitton on the Champs Elysees on saturday and the masses had gathered, yet again to see, buy, touch the apparel, handbags that are LV. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall – it is alway the same. A perfectly executed and managed brand LV, screams of luxury and conspicuous consumption, suggestive of celebrity and exclusivity. Or is it?

Robbed of Matisse, Cézanne & Picasso

Armed with my ticket from yesterday, I set out early for the Matisse, Cézanne, Picasso: The Steins Collect  at the Grand Palais – only to be rudely told to come back at 13h30. What!? Turns out the jumele ticket I bought restricts one’s visits to certain hours only. Now, if only that kind gentleman at the ticket counter had explained this time restriction…best I get that french up to speed sooner than later, to avoid such vital communication being lost in translation. Irony is I missed the exhibit because I had a French class.

‘Tis the season

It is grey outside. Gone are the long, balmy evenings; a far memory the Indian summer that drew itself out to the end of October. It is now grey. Even the crowds outside the famed Louis Vuitton store on Avenue Champs Elysées are no more – Ladurée looked stark and empty, I guess nothing was drawing the crowds out into the cold for their delightful macarons.

Steve Jobs – VISIONARY.

Tributes extolling the genius  of  Steve Jobs have been and will continue to be written following his death yesterday, and every one of them will not be enough. But one recent one put it more aptly than most…”he was the closest friend you’ve never met”.  I couldn’t agree more. Genius knows no bounds and this was…

What makes a neighbourhood?

In Paris most neighbourhoods are defined by firstly, whether they are on the left or right bank, which determines whether there are leanings of conservative or liberal, bourgeois or bohemian, artsy, tourist hot-spots or not; and then by the usual determinants, of race – yes, dare I say it in the country that defines itself around its liberté, égalité, fraternité even race will always be there – and religious affiliation, although to a lesser extent.

C’est la rentrée!

Today my kids went back to school- after almost two and a half months off! Am I the only person who thinks that the summer school holidays are far too long?
They have been fortunate enough to enjoy their holidays in three different countries- Ghana, South Africa and France; and I have been quite the organizer of ‘Things to do with kids between 6 and 11’…in fact that’s what my next post should be about-there’s been enough organization in these quarters. Despite all the activities across the three countries, by last week they just wanted to get back to school, or in their case, start their new school.

Bonjour à tous!

We are here! Arrived in Paris this morning – feeling excited, not to mention anxious about the new life. Staying in temporary accommodation until next week, then settling in to make this city our home. In the meantime gorging on croissants beurre, baguettes slathered in butter and creamy cheeses. Note to self: Must make plan to walk at least 30 minutes daily. Champagne is reasonable compared to what we are used to paying (both in SA and Ghana) and a bagful of groceries this morning did set us back some euros; but I can gladly live on bread and cheese for the moment.

Snow in the South

 

Allow me a moment to whinge…I am freezing and absolutely hating the weather right now! There. Now that’s out of the way…for now. Thought I’d keep doing what I do in keeping the pounds at bay, but somehow managed to make it to the gym only twice, just twice in two weeks. Oh Ghana how I miss thee…
Nothing more disheartening than the cool crisp of a winter morning, with just the right amount of bite to remind that you that you ain’t in the tropics no more.
It snowed in the Eastern Cape and Kwazulu-Natal and yes, we have not seen any snow in Gauteng, but I am sure there’s a cold front that’s crept in…IT IS FREEZING.