Monday, 30 April 2012

back from the beach

Back to studying today after a week of sunshine in Mallorca. Steve's flight was delayed so he just left this morning and now I have a couple of days to prepare for my one and only exam on Wednesday. Really, though, I'd much rather be going through our photos from the last week.

On Friday we rented a scooter to explore some of the island and found a perfect beach to relax at for a few hours. The curvy, twisty, up-and-down roads along the northern coast were so beautiful to ride along with the turquoise sea as the backdrop. We made lots of stops to admire the views of steep cliffs, rocky islands, and friendly goats. When we spotted this secluded cove from a viewpoint we knew it was worth making the hike down. We couldn't have been more right.

Saturday, 21 April 2012


This guy is actually here. In Paris. In my little 10m space. So awesome. 

Not so awesome - how the airline managed to put someone else's luggage tag on his suitcase, so it has been sent off to some other destination in the world with absolutely no indication that it is his. At this point we can just cross our fingers that somehow the airline fates will align and send it back to us. In the meantime, an excuse for shopping in Paris. 

Awesome, again: I am finished all my essays and presentations and classes! And on Sunday we're off to Mallorca (with less luggage than intended, most likely)! So time to get off the computer and enjoy this week :)

Monday, 16 April 2012

scientific questions..

I came across this quote while procrastinating and wanted to save it, but couldn't pin it (disaster!) so I'm keeping it here. Nothing better than looking something up with Liam (my nephew) to discover something new to both of us.  I sure hope he always thinks that science is fascinating. 

Many adults are put off when youngsters pose scientific questions. Children ask why the sun is yellow, or what a dream is, or how deep you can dig a hole, or when is the world’s birthday, or why we have toes. Too many teachers and parents answer with irritation or ridicule, or quickly move on to something else. Why adults should pretend to omniscience before a five-year-old, I can’t for the life of me understand. What’s wrong with admitting that you don’t know? Children soon recognize that somehow this kind of question annoys many adults. A few more experiences like this, and another child has been lost to science. There are many better responses. If we have an idea of the answer, we could try to explain. If we don’t, we could go to the encyclopedia or the library. Or we might say to the child: “I don’t know the answer. Maybe no one knows. Maybe when you grow up, you’ll be the first to find out. Carl Sagan (Found here)

Sunday, 15 April 2012

musee de la chasse et de nature

I have been trying to work on my essays all weekend but have been entirely unproductive. Everything is due this week though so it will have to be done! 

I didn't really take many photos, or do anything very photo-worthy this week, but here are some pictures taken on a grey afternoon spent at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (Museum of Hunting and Nature), which is actually a very beautifully designed place, with tons of interesting details, plenty of taxidermy, amazing light fixtures, and a helpful staff of grey-haired men who are excited to tell you about Louis XIV's penchant for dogs or to point out the detail of a painted mouse peeking out from behind the baseboards. It is pretty small which makes it very manageable for a short afternoon. Definitely recommended. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The first thing that I noticed upon arriving in Arles was that everything seemed so much more colourful than in Paris: the buildings, the food, the clothing, the sky, even the people were more colourful than in the big city. Here is a first set of pictures from the market and streets of the town. Mainly a brief excuse to procrastinate just a little longer from the growing pile of assignments. Can't seem to cross things off my list!

Monday, 9 April 2012

home from arles

Writing this on the train on my way home from Arles. I had a great time, and I am so glad that I went, even though I was a loner and made the trip by myself. The town was beautiful and the festival was fantastic; lots and lots of people in the streets, delicious street food, plenty of free and exciting things to see, and gorgeous blue skies – makes for a good time in my book. I took approximately 1 million photos so it will take me a few days to go through and post some. Suffice to say that I have plenty of new freckles, saw many, many new things, and failed to complete any of my impending papers. Ah well. In the meantime, this video will show you the typical day in the life of a Parisian girl. The voiceover is hilarious.

Jalouse Magazine: Une Fille Comme Les Autres from Matthew Frost on Vimeo.

And Van Gogh spent some time painting in Arles so the town’s light and colour and buildings are present in much of his work. Here’s some Starry Night for you (painted from his sanatorium near Arles). 

Starry Night (interactive animation) from Petros Vrellis on Vimeo.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Photos from a stop in Rennes some weeks ago.

This has been a crazy week at Sciences Po. On Tuesday the director of the school, Richard Descoings, passed away under strange circumstances in a New York hotel room. He was the man that redefined the vision of the Sciences Po and opened up access to disadvantaged students in France as well as to foreign students, so without him, I likely wouldn't have had the opportunity to study here. You can read more about the investigation here. Then yesterday, all the presidential candidates came to the Sciences Po campus to debate women's issues in advance of the April 22nd first round of elections. All the candidates, that is, except the president himself, whose security team declared the circumstances unfavourable due to the crowds of students chanting anti-Sarkozy slogans in the entrance hall. Disappointing, to say the least. 

Today I am headed to the south of France for the Féria de Pâques in Arles. The celebration marks the beginning of the bullfighting season, and there are bullfights, parades, and the course camarguaise, which is a competition in which young men try to grab a rosette from between the bulls horns. In the course camarguaise the bulls aren't harmed, which makes for a much happier ending. I'm hoping to get some work done on the train this afternoon on my way down so I won't have as much to do over the weekend. 

Enjoy the long weekend and happy Easter!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Yesterday afternoon I finally, FINALLY, made it out for a long run (20km!). Not the 28 I was technically supposed to be doing if I was on track for the marathon, but a whole lot better than I've done so far. Luckily the Champ de Mars was full of activity to keep me distracted. There were tons of young families out with children on bikes, scooters, skateboards, playing catch and soccer and rugby. So many dogs of all varieties getting tangled on leashes and making friends and chasing sticks. I ran for an awkwardly long time alongside a Segway tour group moving at the exact same pace as me. A tourist horde overtook the sidewalks in bright red matching nylon windbreakers with the number 12 emblazoned on the back. A high school band played Don't Stop Believing and Can You Feel The Love Tonight in the central pavilion. A girl jogged by in the opposite direction in full running attire but carrying a pink clutch. Greying Italien men played a game like horseshoes but with flat metal discs and two policemen tried their hand at it. Older Frenchmen in sweaters played pétanque across the pathway and I very nearly tripped over the cochonnet. Teenagers and couples picnicked and sprawled on the grass and consumed towering ice cream cones. Lots of excellent people watching to pass the time as I did lap after lap.

The rest of this week has been busy with lots of schoolwork, eating an early dinner on Île de la Cité on the banks of the Seine, a Vivaldi concert in the magnificent Ste Chapelle, a delicious Friday evening picnic followed by wine and dancing at Chez Georges and the requisite crêpes on the way home, studying and trying not to nap in the hushed Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris with leather desks and gilded ceiling beams, a delicious pizza lunch on a grey afternoon and Sunday morning gaming and French fashion discourse with the manfriend. 

I hardly took any photos at all this week, which is a terrible thing since all of Paris is getting greener every day but here are a couple from the other day along the Seine.
(not my shoe floating down the river...)