Bud dha Boom

Sunday was our last day in Paris.

It had to be done.

A short Metro hop to the Ile 

  

Notre Dame

Beautiful French Gothic.

And even better?

  

Yay, a bit of dead person.

Still not sure who is in here, but I have several books on relics (bien sur) so hopefully I will be able to track them down.

Then a quick wander around the old and quirky Ile

   

 

A sombre moment en route to the Metro

 

A very brief stop in possibly the most expensive tea shop in the world 

 

One look at the menu (cups of tea starting at 10€ each) and we were running out of the door like we’d just robbed the place.

I was quite impressed by how fast we could run.

Must be all that yoga strengthening the leg muscles.

And then?

A very long and very leisurely lunch at

 

The Buddha Bar.

A place full of the young, stylish and beautiful of Paris.

Chiselled cheekbones, designer labels, effortless style and sophisticated conversation. 

 

 Hello Tracey, hello Julie 🙂

The food was ok.

A buffet style set up featuring an unusual mix with pastries at one end, continental breakfast at the other and curry and noodles in the middle.

Most dishes running out very quickly and being replenished in a very leisurely manner.

I think the whole concept of buffet dining /instant food is anathema to the Parisian dining ethos.

But!

You don’t go to the Buddha Bar for the food.

You go to see and be seen.

Or in my case, just gawp at the beautiful people.

Au revoir.

  

Oh la la

So, Saturday night in Paris.

So, three child free Mums on the loose.

So, three child free Mums being sensible and cultured and grown up and sophisticated.

Ha!

Saturday night we hit  

 

Yep, The Moulin Rouge in all it’s flamboyant, kitsch glory.

We didn’t book for the meal before the show, so when we arrived the place was absolutely packed.

Expecting to be crammed on to a shared table somewhere behind a pillar we were amazed to be shown to a tiny table for three, right beside the stage.

Two bottles of champagne later and the pre-show warm-up crooner, singing American Rat Pack toons in a strong French accent, sounded uncannily like This, though fortunately he was not that shade of yellow.

Just a shade of Leo Sayer circa 1976.

Then the show.

Oh my God.

I knew the Moulin Rouge was famous for the CanCan.

I hadn’t realised it was famous for the dancers dancing, erm, topless.

But after spending an afternoon similarly exposed in the Hammam, we were hardened, in a distinctly unBritish way, to such things.

We could greet them with a Gallic shrug.

And lots of eye contact.

But.

The show is good fun.

It isn’t intellectual

Or high culture.

It’s a laugh

It’s pure entertainment

And it is distinctly and unmistakably French.

The theatre itself is slightly battered, slightly worn, but a wonderful example of fin de siècle architecture and interior design.

An architectural Grand Dame.

Afterwards?

A stroll through the, erm, colourful Pigalle area 

 

Ending up at a small bar 

Listening to a budding Edith Piaf singing in the corner and drinking absinthe.

Tres Parisienne. 

Bonjour Tristesse

Can’t quite believe we’re here.

Here being  a bijoux apartment in the Montmartre region of Paris.

You get off the plane and you are immediately hit by the sense of being in France.

It hits all the senses.

Sight 

 

Sound

Touch

Sound and taste

 

Hello Julie, hello Tracey.  Bon Appetit!

An afternoon scouting the streets around the Sacre Coeur

Early evening by the tower

   

   

An evening meal in the heart of the Pigalle.  

Couscous and red wine.

Perfect.

A bientot.

Vroom

Happy Mothering Sunday!

Yesterday oldest child finally had his first driving lesson.

At 13.

They grow up so quickly these days don’t they?  🙂

But this was a birthday present.

Yep, the chance to hurtle through woods, plunge into bogs and scare passing paintballers.

In a 4×4 automatic LandRover.

Possibly the best present a 13year old boy could receive.  Ever.

Or so he said afterwards.

Before hand?



Slightly nervous.  🙂

The cars are all less than 18months old





Because that’s their life expectancy with 11-17 years old screaming around the track in first gear.

I didn’t ask about the life expectancy of the driving instructors.

I also didn’t realise that Andrew, Rosie and myself would be shoehorned into the back of the 4×4 to experience the drive with Jacob.

Otherwise I might have looked for a knitting experience for him instead.



See how nervous he looks there?  That’s nothing compared to how nervous the three of us in the back were looking.



But it was great fun.

Really.

And Jacob was remarkably self-possessed and good at handling the car.

Not distracted at all by the screams from the back.



He’s still not driving my mini though.

Reprieve

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It feels like spring is just about here.

Without winter really having shown its face at all.

A few frosty mornings.

A sprinkling of snow.

But already bulbs are staring to push through, and curling leaf buds appearing on some of the hardier (foolhardy) trees.

A dry day on Friday and we took our chance to explore close to home.

The beautiful Warwickshire countryside

Along country lanes

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Picking up a companion for part of the way

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Stopping at Chesterton church

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And pondering a “fixer-upper”

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A good day.

Gong Xi Fa Cai 恭禧發財

The wheel is turning

The festivals are coming thick and fast.

Half term and we’ve had Valentines Day, Shrove Tuesday and now Chinese New Year

That’s in addition to Crafting Day and Grand Nerf Gun Battle Day.

I was hoping to try making chocolate noodle cakes (who could resist?) and sticky rice cakes.

But after Grand Nerf Gun Battle Day the lure of rocking in a quiet corner of the living room, twitching, was too great.

So we went with shop bought (and probably considerably more edible) goodies.

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Red bean pancakes

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Prawn crackers and wontons

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Almond cakes.

Wishing you all…..

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A happy and prosperous year of the goat/sheep/ram 🙂

A Bower

I know what it looks like.

But I am not becoming a Morris groupie.

Really, I’m not.

It is a total coincidence that just recently wherever I go, the Morris goes too.

And it has to be said

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this weekends offering was a particularly fine example of the discipline.

And it also has to be said that yes, that really is a tree participating in this particular Morris dance.

And no, you don’t see that every day 🙂

That is the Lichfield Bower. We were in town for a family wedding on Sunday, but Monday? Monday we were exploring the delights of Lichfield

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Fine architecture

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Samuel Johnson (not sure what he would have made of the fairground that had sprung up next to his house for the weekend)

And of course, The Lichfield Bower.

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The tradition traces it’s origins back to the Twelfth Century and the Courtes of Arraye. But nowadays it’s more in the way of an excuse for a jolly good knees up

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And an excuse for the Morris

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and their dancing tree

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Every town should have one 🙂

Beltane

A happy Beltane, and joyous May Day to you all:-)

To finish off an action packed few days we ended up in Glastonbury.

Wow.

To celebrate Beltane.

But really, any excuse to visit Glastonbury 🙂

After the dry start to the day at Cerne Abbas, it rained.

And rained.

And rained.

But that didn’t put the revellers off.

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We saw the arrival of the Maypole

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Heard the Glastonbury Bard and the drummers

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By which point we looked like half drowned ladies of the Lake and called it a day.

Till next time 🙂

Bring it on!