LIDO MAGIC

After two decades I finally got to the Lido de Paris! OMG what variety I never would have imagined … there was some Pierrot, Marcel Marceau, Les Misérables, some S&M Romeo & Juliet, some Swan Lake (only they wore the swans on their heads), some Vangelis, the Cancan of course as a big grand finale, plenty of tits and bums yes but with total Frenchy sexiness…some Laurel & Hardy too. Some Napoleonic sailors and Versailles splendour. Hundreds of Paris clichés (the lampadaire gaslights, Metro signs, Arc de Triomphe, Moulin Rouge etc). There was heaven hell, ice skating and Arcadian waterfalls flowing with booby maidens. And the costumes sets frills and music were out of this world. Fluff maybe compared to the Lido of old but top class acts all around! On top of all of this I had a seat in the lodge, thanks to friends in high (dancing) places! And I was accompanied by my nephew Jake fresh off a bus from London … and looking every bit the Wild Colonial Boy with his mega MacPack! To say he got an eyeful of Paris on his first night here is putting it mildly 😃 There were smiles all round, and eyes out on sticks! A wonderful, hilarious unforgettable night. For those not in the know – go! It really is as they say in France “Top Moumoute” – a class act! Top quality (Literally a top toupee!)

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Travel for the tastebuds

20,000 products at Lafayette Gourmet. I’m a little nostalgic for the old store, across the way. This one is so much more shiny new and theatrical. But it’s growing on me after a couple of years. Village-Lafayette – here you will find the butcher, the baker, the (candlestick) … no let’s say cappuccino maker, the cheese shop, the market gardener, the deli with smoked meats, the fishmonger (le boucher, le crémier, le maraîcher, le charcutier et le poissonnier) and all the other usual appurtenances of French daily life. Plus the restaurants and stalls whipping up a to die for foodie storm before your eyes. And finally the  crème de la crème of all the star French cooks and foodsters – from Alain Ducasse and Eric Kayser to  Pierre Hermé etc. etc.   All in all another very pleasant landing on Planet Foodie Paris – at a veritable temple for the taste-buds as well as one hell of a trip.

Au pays de parfum

Perfume definitely has an abiding presence here in France. It makes for a highly-scented life. This is one thing, thank goodness that doesn’t seem to have gone offshore (ok wine too!) … Happy smelly Sunday everyone!

(PS Apparently over 150 000 bottles of perfume are sold daily in France –  about 1.5 bottles a second – 55 million a year – which still equates to not even a bottle per person surprisingly … or not. The market is said to be suffering under an “avalanche” of new perfumes launched each year, 250 odd, but a dwindling creativity in their making … In other words, it’s the age of mass market smells, malheureusement. The commoner’s nose is not such a demanding one.  Alongside that, small traditional perfumeries are making a comeback, a phenomenon visible on the  parfumerie shelves.)

French Press review

An archaic thing, a press review? I actually love doing them occasionally (in here at Radio France International in Paris) – and no one said a press review can’t be digital. But I love getting my hands on the papers – and in this case the French weeklies – and feeling and thumbing my way through them. Unfortunately this has become increasingly rare over recent weeks. We are no longer delivered Le Monde, Le Figaro and Libération into our pigeonholes.

We do still get the ‘hedbo’s’ – the weekly magazines – thank goodness. (This is short for hebdomadaire, weekly).

I wonder if newspapers will gradually creep their way back again, as books seem to be doing. Probably not in the case of the French press because their readership numbers are simply beleaguered far more so than in the UK or Australia.

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The good ole hack at work … yes folks this is me (he he)

Today the French left-leaning weeklies not surprisingly put the spotlight on the personality clash gripping the country’s ‘gauche’ or left-wing politics, ahead of the final run-off vote for the Socialist Party’s presidential primaries.

L’Obs magazine sports a cover photo of Benoît Hamon, who emerged as a major contender in April’s presidential elections after a surprise win in the first round vote last Sunday (January 22nd). Hamon topped the poll beating previous favourite and former French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, 35 to 31%.

So this is where my audio kicks off. I also do the press review online in web version for RFI’s English language website before heading off for the day – at 7.30am! (After a 3.30 am start). Bonne lecture! Enjoyable reading.

19th century printing press … the idea of a press review does conjure up lovely images like this in my mind … perhaps we will come full circle? Fanciful thinking I know. And probably rose-coloured glasses thinking too as it would probably seem more like slave labour after the era of ZenPads and Ultrabooks

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US road trip: I left my heart in Utah

“Sitting in a forested field alone at night after I set up camp late – with just some distant voices and fire flickers to keep me company – then waking to sun blazing over pines and grasses, turning them into glistening golden hues.”

When I think to when I was last deliciously happy, it was here. And in all the US landscapes encountered on my recent road trip. I so miss them! Nostalgia? Nup. Just true love. When you’re confronted with this kind of nature it leaves a big imprint on the soul. You’re own personal road map. Of meaningful things.

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ON TOP OF THE WORLD … IN FEELING IF NOT PLACE

Reflecting on those landscapes … the wild natural ones, I’m speechless. A rare occurrence. Stilled by the enormity and scale of the beauty I saw … and by my immense longing to return.

I’m talking mostly of my adventures in Canyonland … the Grand Canyon north and south, Bryce, Zion … and hiking and camping out in the wild, just me and my trusty jeep and tent. Sitting in a forested field alone at night having set up camp late – with just some distant voices and fire flickers to keep me company – then waking to sun blazing over pines and grasses, turning them into glistening golden hues.

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MY WAKING VIEW IN THE KAIBAB NATIONAL FOREST … FREE, WILD CAMPING … ALBEIT FROM THE (BEAR) SAFETY OF MY JEEP ON THIS OCCASION

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AND MY WAKING VIEW THE FOLLOWING NIGHT ON THE CANYON’S NORTH RIM … MIND THE POTHOLES!

Or perched a meter from the Canyon’s rim, eating breakfast and coffee cooked up on my Coleman.

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A SURREAL BREAKFAST SPOT … DON’T ROLL OVER!

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BEAM ME UP BREAKFAST (ORGANIC MUSELI, YOGHURT, BREAD, FRUIT  … (THANKYOU TRADER JO’S) ON THE NORTH RIM … BLISSFUL NATURE SOLITUDE

I truly don’t believe there is a more ecstatic feeling, than setting yourself free, unleashing yourself in the natural world in such a way.

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PHALICALLY SPLENDIFEROUS BRYCE CANYON HOODOOS

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HAPPINESS PERSONIIFIED … OUTDOORS AND ACTIVE – MIXING JOGGING WITH PHOTOGRAPHING – IN A NATURAL WONDERLAND OF EXTREME PROPORTIONS

Now just couple of final notes. Yes I know the North Rim is in Arizona and I’ll be returning there soon, in writing as life. But this blog went way off rambling like me. It’s an uncontrollable urge you see.

Clearly these photos are no chefs d’ouevre. These are my Samsung snappies and selfies. Shot all the same with a 16mp camera (I still have to pinch myself to believe that my phone outstrips by far my former 10mp Nikon d80!) 

I’ll be posting some hopefully inspiring galeries soon on my photography blog/page taken with my Nikon D810. A marvel!! So do subscribe to stay in tune … and please come walk with me! There is no better vocation in life. 

TRIP LINKS

And finally some useful links for preparing that trip.

UTAH TOURISM https://www.visitutah.com/

ARIZONA TOURISM  https://www.visitarizona.com/

THE NATIONAL PARKS SERVICE https://www.nps.org/

BRYCE CANYON For Bryce Canyon specifics also naturally the NPS.

THE BRYCE NATIONAL PARK LODGE http://www.brycecanyonforever.com/ This is like something from Daniel Boon. An historic lodging full of vintage ethnic chic. And if it was any closer you’d go over the void in your PJ’s. Sleep walkers (and drunks) watch out! (I’ll be revisiting the lodge in upcoming blogs as well as the thrill of camping out in the wild in National Forest … I’m a woman of extremes. Digital nomad. Back to nature vagrant. Hard yakka solo woman traveler. Hotel fiend).

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