Sunday, September 20, 2020

In search of Elegance ... cont.

I'm continuing my investigation into what elegance means for me. During July I read books that I thought would inspire me about french style in persuit of the key ingredients for elegance.  I'm coming up with a few insights that are meaningful. 

Emotional & delicate..... disciplined and yet free...

While Audrey Hepburn is not French, or Parisian, i was inspired to read about her style because she has always been associated with a French form of elegance in my mind. In 'Being like Audrey' by Victoria Loustalot, I found some bits of wisdom.
A willingness to be emotional and delicate can make it possible to achieve what we hope to be: true to ourselves. Audrey was true in her performances, and she was true in her life. She taught us to replace ruthless ambition with the more nuanced and interesting delicacy of emotional truth. When we do, we are likely to discover that we can go even further than we ever intended. (P142)
For me, emotional & delicate, are core characteristics of elegance.  I think its about being able to listen to yourself and others with delicacy... respectfully. And then to offer a response that is kind and compassionate, but also clear and, true to self.

In the book about Audrey, the author also noted discipline is balanced with a lighter side through Audreys life choices...  
Audrey’s hard work and discipline are well documented, but that doesn’t mean she was serious all the time. She didn’t shy away from joking around behind the camera with the rest of the cast and the crew. She knew that part of working hard means knowing how to collaborate and how to make it easier for the entire cast and crew to be successful. Making the work fun is part of the job.
I am reminded that i do like being arround my team at work. They're great people. We have some fun together.. even if we're all remote working this year, we have found ways to have fun together.

I was attracted to this next book because it is about the lighter side of life.. Flaneur, the art of wandering the streets of Paris... Frederico Castigliano. I also felt like there was something very elegant in the art of being a flaneur... 
I zigzag, because the greatest pleasure does not consist in experiencing new things, but in savoring the infinite variation of what I already know. This exercise reaches its peak, for me, in the tiny streets, passages and courtyards that lie along the southern boundary between the 9th and 10th arrondissements.
What distinguishes the flâneur, the element that elevates him above ordinary people, is indeed the particular relationship that he establishes with the space surrounding him.
So, abandon your maps and your GPS, leave your traditional guidebooks at home. The aim is to get lost. You must feel free to wander and roam............. When you walk in Paris you’re not obliged to go to a particular place, you don’t necessarily have to go shopping, you don’t have to take photographs. Feel yourselves free from commitments, feel yourselves under absolutely no obligation to see a famous monument or to visit a museum. 
What appeals to me in these quotes is the invitation to leave all conventional demands at the door, and to move into the world with an intentional abandon. To simple walk in the moment and discover your surrounds anew. 

This weeks reflection has drawn me to these words.....
Emotional & delicate..... disciplined and yet free... 

 Elegance is intentional and yet also a fragile balance... 

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Je ne sais quoi

 I define je ne sais quoi as your source of feminine power. It’s the alluring, elegant, captivating, enchanting essence of who you are, demonstrated through how you live. The appealing nature of your mindset, presence, and wardrobe are physical manifestations of your je ne sais quoi.... Devoreux Walton. 

Walton further states.....On each day and for every decision you make, you have the beautiful opportunity to make a choice. You choose what you think, say, do, and wear, which creates your lifestyle.

During July, while hosting Paris in July,  I dedicated my little reading time to to the pursuit of understanding the sense of elegance so often ascribed to french women. Waltons quote above is probably closest to my way of thinking. Elegance is the choice we make to show our genuine self to others in an intentional way. Whether thats in wearing a subtle or even not so subtle flash of colour in an Italian silk scarf or speaking out on things that matter, i believe my elegance is about being intentional, and holding poise & confidence in doing so.

Its Spring here is Australia, and I am going to share quotes here at Thyme-for-tea from my readings and ponderings about elegance. Because spring calls me to action. Its the season that asks me to be intentional again. Its the awakening after winter, and time to step out of hybernation (for me thats hidding away from responsibility for self)... Spring calls for new life, energy and passion.... 

 “L’elégance is the manner in which one does a thing.” EJ Gore from French Lessons: the art of lliving and loving well.
This book was included in my Paris in July reading pile, and one i really enjoyed. Part fiction and part journey through lifes lessons, I joined these two ladies as they wandered through different Parisian parties, musees, parks and shops, as Susan absorbed the lessons Gabrielle shared.
 Allow yourself the time to pause and savor—a glass of wine, a conversation, your child’s smile—whatever is before you, in this moment. This is the ancient privilege of princes. G.
On a matter of self disclosure, I actually dont believe elengance is about standing out of the crowd because you have a tiny wasteline, or because you wear the most expensive suit, or the highest heels.... I  am not one to care for lipstick, heels, handbags or jewells.... elegance for me is about presence.. and as i read a few light hearted books on style and fashion, the quotes i captured were about the character of elegance. 

Intentionally, i hope to destill more wisdom about elegance and poise from Paris over the next few weeks. 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Paris in July - 2020 - visiting Paris Virtually


2020 will forever be etched in our memories as the year we navigated life through a global pandemic. One of the things we learnt early during the pandemic was that we would be encouraged to stay home to stay safe.... and international travel went into lockdown... anyone who had plans to travel this year saw their plans changed. That's when I knew, 2020 Paris in July would be a must... we had to celebrate together everything we love of Paris. 

Paris in July is an international blogging event which was founded by my friend Karen and I in 2010. Karen hosted a blog devoted to book reviews and I was just getting into blogging, with a focus more on reflections and gardening.. Karen and I shared a love of literature, art, theatre, romance, food, wine and all things French and Parisian. Never did we envision that the blogging event would have lived for 10 years! Over the years our event changed shape, depending on who joined in and who co-hosted. I think one of my favourite years we had a couple of co-hosts, and some guests who were interviewed. Karen since retired her blog to focus on her business and family, but has always been an encouraging force behind Paris in July, and keeping me motivated. 

My motivation for blogging has been challenged over the years ( and many would know this feeling) through career changes, family developments, personal commitments, study demands, but probably most by the changing nature of blogging as facebook became the preferred form of social media. (which I did not move to). 

This year of course, Paris in July, has celebrated 10 years! I am so grateful for long term participants, along with all others,  in this celebration of Paris.
  • Mel U - our resident serious book reviewer who brings us the history of the authors also
  • Mae - who has a diverse range of Paris and French posts - from recipes, tea salons of Paris, the Metro, Maps of Paris and so much more
  • Jeanie - brings Paris to us in her art, news of Notre Dame, her favourite views of Paris, and book reviews too. 
  • Brona - book reviews from Maigret to Katherine Mansfield, Cakes in lockdown, and other good books.
  • Lisbeth - who shares some great book reviews - from the works of Paulita Kincer, murder mystery's, works by Fred Vargas, and french movies, including Coco Channel.
  • Marg - shared a post on best sellers around the world, movies and food, bookstores in Paris, and famous meals - Cassoulet.  
  • vvb32 - posted quite a lot of great book reviews of books based in Paris and France. 
  • Karen posted some book reviews on classic french themes - Collette and Irene Nemirovsky
  • Deb posted some fun posts too - amazingly, she read 50 books during Paris in July set in Paris or with a French theme and watched 13 films. 
  • Kwarkito always share photos and memories from living in Paris.
So lockdown or not, we've had a ball sharing our love of Paris. Thank you all for being a part of it. Now here's one of my favourite Paris scenes ever.... Enjoy! 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Les Jardins au France

Theres something very appealing about the different gardens in France.  I would even call them romantic.. there's lots of different forms of gardens that fit the description for me....
  • The village garden set amongst the old stone fences and chicken runs with lavender and other herbs and bicycles against the walls... 

  • Formal gardens with strong hedging borders and feature fountains and ducks behind wraught iron gates .

  • Or window ledges filled with geraniums in full bloom and lamp posts with hanging baskets. 

French gardeners appear intentional and their gardens are purposeful. 

You could say the same for some Australian gardens, but it appears that in places I've travelled in France the gardens are more abundant and therefore more a part of daily life. I also reflect that many Australian vegi patches are out the back behind their fences while I recall seeing more vegi patches in the villages of France open to the street. 

During July, i came across a BBC series by Monty Don on Gardens in France. I enjoyed it so much i wanted to share it here for you too. This one is focused and the question "is tge gardener an artist?" 

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Paris Encore - another week of Paris in July - pourquoi pas!

French Gin - my celebration for Paris Encore!
Pierre Brevin - La Plancheliere
Loire Valley, France

Following a joyous month of blogging about Paris, with my friends who've joined me in Paris in July, I'm throwing myself in for one final week -- Paris Encore! There's a few of us who would like to post one or two more Paris in July stories, and I'd certainly like to pay my respects to all contributors with a wrap up post - next week! So, here's one last Mr Linky for those who'd like to join me....

I've got a gardens of France Post, a book review, and some thoughts on Elegance to finish off. It's going to be a big week for be but I'm keen.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Paris in July - end of the month but not the end of Paris....

Mais Je T'aime - oui, Paris, je t'aime. This is my end of Paris in July music clip... I quite like both the melody and the lyrics. 

C'est périlleux, je t'aime encoreAlors c'est vrai ça me perforeJe t'aime pesant, je t'aime bancale - I love you heavy, i Love you wobbly....Évidemment ça me dévoreJe sais tellement que je t'aime, mal

July has come to an end, and I'm in denial. It just happened so fast, all of my hopes and aspirations for Paris in July seem to have gone unfulfilled. Mais.... thank you all for your weekly contributions, your dedication to the celebration of all things Paris.... I have have really enjoyed visiting your posts and learning so much more about the Paris I love. 
Just this past week (week 5) we've caught up on
  • News of the rebuilding of Notre Dame (thanks Jeannie) 
  • tea shops and Paris's love of tea (I do love tea stories, thanks Mae)
  • films in Paris (on netflix)
  • young adult books set in Paris
  • more great books set in Paris
  • plans for parties in Paris with some very well known characters (interesting post at ReaderBuzz)
  • foodie thoughts and memories from Paris
  • ideas for dinner parties in Paris
  • crime fiction novels set in Paris
  • a really interesting review and authors history of Chava Rosenfarb by Mel U. 
Given that I am really in denial, I plan to post a Paris Encore post Sunday evening as (week 6) to allow some of us to get our last few thoughts about Paris in July up. So, come back for Paris Encore! 

Monday, July 27, 2020

Week 5 - Paris in July

In the past 4 weeks I have truly had a virtual tour of Paris through the many books reviews, a few movie reviews, reviews on Maps, music from Paris, memories of trips to Paris, recipes of French food, and just being treated to the passion of the Paris in July participants. And here it is, our final week, and there's still so much more of Parisian and French culture to celebrate.
I know I had a few other big post ideas for Paris in July, but I think I will need to post them as Paris in July Encore! maybe in August.

During the 'lockdown' globally, many of us turned to 'virtual' experiences. I thoroughly enjoyed a classical guitar concept from my back deck one sunday afternoon. I joined online market events to support my local artists, and I went to virtual events help by the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

So this week I dont have a music clip to share, but I do want to encourage you to visit this post, Solo Sophie has compiled what I was intending to do, and that is a collection of virtual tours you can do in Paris. I've done the Musee D'Osay just this morning before breakfast - what a treat!

So here's the last week of Paris in July 2020 - and I do promise to post a celebratory wrap up at the end because this has, indeed, been a year to celebrate our online community. Thank you for participating, and I cant wait to see what this week has in store!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Tour de France - off the course

2020, the wierdest year ever.... saw the Tour de France postponed to many fans greatest sadness.
But memories are still very real
In Australia, SBS is our free to air TV channel that every year brings the Tour to our lounge rooms. 
this year, SBS ran a whole week of Cadel Memories... 
and here's some of mine...

 in 2011 I had the pure joy and unforgettable experience of being in France for the Tour! 
it just happened to be the year Aussie, Cadel Evens won... which probably made it one of the best ever Tours in the past 10 years! 
 While the Tour de France is all about cycling, and team tactics, 
there's actually so much more about the Tour... 
its all about what happens around the race. 

 and each day of the Tour, when you're on the side of the race, you're treated to
the Caravan
which is the parade of the sponsors
where they throw their marketing trinkets and toys at you from their cars...
and you feel like a child again! 

 One of the treats of being on an organised tour, for the Tour, 
is that you can be booked into the same hotel as the teams. 
On this particular day, my room was just over the courtyard
where the race leader for the day was outside signing flags
this year, Thomas Voeckler, of Europcar, held the lead for 10 days out of 21! 

 Of course, we were riding our bikes for parts of the trip too. 
And I can declare, I made it to the top of 
Col de Tourmelet
Alpe d'huez
and Mt Ventoux! 
(not many people would guess that of me!) 

 especially in the mountain areas, 
these campervans are seen on every spare section of the race track where they can squeeze in. 
This one cheering for our Cadel! 

 Our tour itinerary, planned months in advance, made the ultimate decision in where to celebrate our final diner for the the Tour that Cadel won! 
We celebrated in style at 

 The experience was just exquisite. 
(sorry my photo's aren't great, but it was just beautiful!) 

 and we watched the sunset over Paris through these gorgeous windows! 

And how better to end the tour, celebrating the win of a great Australian Cyclist, 
than to enjoy some beautiful Parisian sweets. 
Happy Memories indeed. 

And it culminated with this moment (which brings me tears even tonight, 9 years later)

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Week 4 - Paris in July

This is beautiful.
For those who don't know, L'Arche is a worldwide federation of people, with and without intellectual disabilities, working together for a world where all belong.

My research on elegance this week - from LoveXStyleXLife, by Garance Dore.
Knowing her style means knowing what she loves today, she'll love forever. Knowing her style also means that once she has it down, she can stop thinking about fashion. Because fashion fades. ... But style.... it's a big yes, forever. 

Thank you for all your posts, throughout the past week - we've had posts on Coco Chanel, Music at Les Jardins du Luxembourg, Bastille Day, and many more. So many of us are really enjoying this virtual tour, and it's made fun by all the participation. Please continue to post links to your Paris in July here.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Week 3 for Paris in July 2020

 This is mid way through our Paris in July blogging event, and also my favourite week of the event - because its the week of Bastille Day or La Qartorze Julliet. Every year I learn something new about this significant date in the life and history of the French. I believe la qartorze Julliet is such a complicated day that those of us who are not French may never know what it truly means. This year, I look forward to more insights...  and if nothing else, I'll be keen to find some patisserie pour mon pleasure! How will you be marking the occasion? please share if you're reading, watching, cooking, remembering, drinking, listening or what ever....

I've been sharing some of my favourite french music each week, and this is where my true love lies.

But the real purpose of this post is to launch Week 3 Sign in post - and I'm so looking learning more, understanding you more, and loving Paris more.

Friday, July 10, 2020

My Paris in July 2020 - hopes

Three books I'm hoping to read for Paris in July 2020. I'm not an avid reader - I'm Ok with reading as long as I'm interested enough, and I'm learning things. This years selection of reading is inspired by my personal Paris in July theme "In search of Elegance".

Flaneur is one book that when I found it I couldn't let it go. An inspiring book for Flaneurs and Paris Lovers. The subtext is - the art of wandering the streets of Paris. What could be elegant that wandering the streets of Paris. Even the prologue is elegant.
This book teachers how to wander aimlessly, how to get lost in the city. it is dedicated to those who are never sated, those incessantly amazed by the beauty of the world. Reading these pages will initiate you into Flanerie: you will learn how to transform a simple walk through the streets of Paris into an exciting and memorable experience. 

Love, Style and Life by Garance Dore is apparently a fashion A-lister, beloved by top fashion editors and arpiring fashionistas alike. I was attracted to this because it is part visual diary, part style guide, and partly an intimate look into Garance Dore's lessons in Fashion. i'm sure Paris-like elegance will forever evade me, but these something intriguing in trying to obtain it....

French Lessons: the art of living and loving well is more fiction than guide, but I think I will find some inspiration in my search for elegance. Gabrielle is the French godmother we wish we all had... and she's giving life lessons to Suzanne in style and self-esteem.

I'll revisit the theme of elegance during my own Paris in July posts, and hopefully, share my insights as I progress. For now, I like this definition from Merriam-webster
dignified gracefulness or restrained beauty of style

Monday, July 6, 2020

Week 2 of Paris in July 2020 - WOW!

Merci a tous!! Our first week for Paris in July has been inspirational and mind blowing, somewhat overwhelming...... this year, celebrating our 10th anniversary, we're celebrating Paris virtually - because we just cant be there..

My job as host involves several responsibilities and right now I'm apologetic. Firstly my job is to ensure you have a place to post your links, and this week I'm late. Secondly, I would like to review the past weeks contributions, and (again) I'm late on that too.. So for week 2, I'm going to pick up my game....

One thing that I want to do each week is to feature some French music... and I just love this one... I hope it brings a smile to your week:

From the posts I've had the opportunity to read and review, I'm loving the themes...

  • coffee - what is more Parisian than Coffee and Croissants!
  • maps - who hasn't taken home a souvenir map from Paris? 
  • Claris, the chicest mouse in Paris - Claris makes regular visits to this blogging event - it's nice to have her back.. 
  • Picasso postcard - an image representative of what we love of France... 
Dont worry if you haven't started yet... you can join Paris in July when ever you can. I myself, haven't got one of my posts up yet either....I have plans to get involved too.. I'll post my plans up soon. 

Please remember, when you post your link below,  can you please share the link to your actual Paris in July Post. Also, put the name of your post in the widget, so people know what to expect. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

La Premiere Semaine - Week One

Welcome to the first week of Paris in July 2020, the 10th anniversary of sharing our love of Paris, and all things French through our blogging community. There are so many ways to celebrate Paris - literature, food, wine, theatre, language, history, holidays, and of course music. Here's my first contribution to loving Paris.

This week, I invite you to share the links here to your Paris in July posts. Dont forget to share with u you intentions for the month.. it'll imspire the rest of us :)

Sunday, June 21, 2020

In anticipation ..... Paris in July is coming

Ooh, I'm getting excited.... the anticipation is growing..... my lists are being refined..... my hopes are rising

Paris in July 2020, the 10th anniversary is looking great. Thank you to everyone who has already signed up. If you are yet to sign up, please use last weeks Mr Linky widget to join the others. \As you sign up, I'm adding your links to my front page so we can easily link back to others joining the celebrations.

Thank you also, to those who have posted the button and link on your websites - the more who join, the more fun we'll have!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Paris in July - Sign in post

Paris in July is an international blogging event that brings together lovers of Paris and all things French, for a Virtual visit to Paris through literature, film, theater, art, music, food, wine and memories. Over the past 10 years, we've had return bloggers (some who have come every year!), and visiting bloggers alike, share with us memories of holidays, dreams of going one day, and long lists of reviews of this and that about Paris and France.

This year I'm dedicating my month to the search of an Elegance that is synonymous with Paris. You can dedicate your month to what ever you want. I've archived many of my previous years in my Paris in July tab here and I think you could find inspiration from some of our past events.

Below is the Mr Linky Widget for you to sign in - once you've signed in, I'll add your name and blog to the home page of my blog so you can follow each other.
then each week I'll post another Mr Linky Widget for your weekly posts to be linked in as well.
As a host I try to review and call out different bloggers in my weekly summary posts, and sometimes I get inspired to actually send gifts (although that's getting harder and harder to do internationally).

So please join me in the search for Elegance, or anything you love about Paris, and as Coco has said....

Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress - Coco Chanel

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Coming soon...... Paris in July and all things virtually french!

Very soon I will post our mr linky sign up post, and hope you will all join me in celebrating Paris in July this year.  I may also master the art of virtual sign writing and create for us an event button.... but as normal, I would welcome participation in the button domain. If you have an idea for our 10th anniversary button, please share... Im not creative in this domain... 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Paris in July..... planning

My Paris in July  this year is being dedicated to the search of elegance.  So I've started compiling my reading & viewing list... I'd welcome other suggestions..

1. Love, Style, Life... by Garance Dore.
To assist me in my search for elegance, i think this book with either win me over or convince me otherwise. Dore states..And as I’ve come to learn, “style” is about so much more than the clothes we wear. It’s the way we walk, the way we smile, the sparkle in our eyes, the way we live our lives. Style is a universal language, and it has the power to connect us..

2. Flaneur : the art of wandering the streets of Paris by FEDERICO CASTIGLIANO.
If wandering Paris isnt elegant, what is? This is apparently half fiction and half non fiction. 

3, Coco Channel the movie.. again.. its a good movie and its elegant.

4. Sabrina... the movie. My all time favourite Audrey movie set in paris..

I think for my Paris in July movie nights, I will also try and prepare somethng in the kitchen to accompany the movie..

Any other suggestions in the theme of learning more about elegance? 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Mais Oui, Its on again!

Paris in July is an annual event that allows us to travel with friends to Paris and France virtually - so we just have to do it this year! the year of 'lockdowns', #stayathome, #besafe, and where almost everything has gone 'online'.

In my previous post I flagged my own doubt about hosting the event, not because I dont love Paris in July, but because life has been hectic, crammed with other activities I'm committed to, and my own energy was feeling low.

However, I have found my motivation in the quote above - when feeling like I'm drowning in 'so much to do', elegance is so far from my mind and definitely far from my sense of myself.

So lets go to Paris, virtually, in the desire for elegance! Who would like to come with me?

If you are unsure what Paris in July is, I've got a tab in my homepage with links to all the past years and participants here.
An I think this was where it all started - which makes this 10 years if im not mistaken..

Monday, April 6, 2020

New Seasons!

It appears I missed a whole season on my blog - summer just came and went.... and here we are in Autumn already. There's no way I can catch up on a season - especially the one we just left behind. Oh gosh, it's been a summer. My opening image, I think its called 'yesterday, today & tomorrow' bush, is my meditation for today...

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge that this past summer in Australia has been tragic. Bushfires have destroyed so much of our precious and loved bush, many millions of our loved wildlife, so much of our heritage, and many of our communities. The smoke haze that covered our land suppressed the joy of a real Australian Summer, and many of us spent our summer indoors to avoid the heavy haze and impacts of smoke. 

It is with a sad an heavy heart that I realised, we are going to be spending much of this year indoors now. While the global pandemic known as COVID-19 has surprised health officials, it has probably scared our governments and our communities even more. Here in Australia, and many parts of the world, we're learning to live with the rules aiming at keeping us safe - distancing. I dont want to call it social distancing - because I am a firm believer in the need for socialising - especially in times like this. And, there it is, the reason I am back at my computer and 'Thyme-for-Tea'.

Only just last week I've had 2 people ask me if I was going to host Paris in July this year... and to be honest, it had barely made it to the forefront of my brain in this years planning.... but the question did make me stop and think. I found myself reflecting on why I've had a break from blogging... and its essentially about emotional energy. This is a new personal insight for me, and one I want to hold to for a moment. [side note - have any of you listened to Esther Perele's podcasts? - she speaks about 'sitting with that thought'].

Traditionally I am a new years reflector - as the year turns over, I take time to consider the year in review, and play forward to new year. This year it didn't happen. So, this new insight, didn't come to me earlier....

Over the summer period, as a volunteer with the state emergency services (which I something I do ontop of my working life)... I was deployed to assist with bush fires. I dont fight fires, but I go to the 'staging area' where fire fighters and other emergency workers congregate morning, noon, and evening. There I support these people with welfare checks, debriefing, advice, and generally care for them. My role is to ensure they have enough energy to keep going - that they are safe to keep going - and if there're not - I support them to have a rest.

Guess what? Did I do this for me??

I have not been blogging because I have had some big stuff going on. for more than 18 months, I've been leading a big (like massive) project at work. Something I'm really proud to be involved in. But I wanted to make it perfect. I wanted it to be a career changing moment for me. This project with the outcomes that blows people away. However, this high expectation on myself was unsupported by my workplace. I've been running this high expectation all by myself. [note to self - ot's been going really well and people are noticing].

This pineapple flower has appeared recently in my garden (planted from the top of a shop bought fruit), and when I discovered it, I felt a new sense of joy. I helped this thing find it's flower!

Summer was difficult. Emotionally draining.

On top of that, my second hip (first hip was replaced 3 years ago) started deteriorating. Pain started coming back into my routines. I new I would be up for more surgery. Again, I set high expectations to be physically fit for the procedure. I used whatever energy I could find over summer to focus on exercise, diet, sleep, and well-being. The surgery was 3 weeks ago, and I am already feeling an improved sense of movement, and sleep. and in the next 3 weeks I will return to work, walking and (hopefully) the gym...

So, the question remains - will I be hosting Paris in July this year?
The answer is yet to reveal itself to me - but I hope that I will find new emotional energy that will allow me to pick up the things I love in life. Paris is one of those things.... Gardening... Bush walking.... and being with my friends.

The challenge I set myself now - is to sit with the new insight that work has been very demanding. My own high expectations have been demanding. The world, and the way I relate to it (by volunteer in disasters) is also demanding.... and I need to make my own Summer - find my own time to do the new years reflection.... and find new ways of being in a world with distancing rules.

Even if we cant be social, we can see beauty in the world around us. I am so lucky to live near the ocean, lakes, bushland and mountains... places where I can witness such breathless beauty thats refreshing for the soul.