La belle Irlande!

So I went back to Ireland recently and for the first time with the Frenchman in tow. We had a lovely time, where I drank a lot of Bulmer’s Irish cider and wore a coat I hadn’t worn for some time in France!! He went fishing and got windburn. Voilà.

Here is the coat. I’m sitting in these bizarre stone hand structures installed in my hometown of Ennis. I’m laughing rather rambunctiously because at that moment I was remembering how much fun we used to have sitting in the hands of Ennis after exiting the Queens nightclub. Back when I was a young sprig!!

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Don’t ask about the hair – Continue reading

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Lille – Capital of the North

Lille

Lille has the fourth-largest metropolitan area behind Paris, Lyon and Marseille, with an urban population over one million. It lies very close to the Franco-Belgian border, and it attracts students to it’s many universities from all over Europe. The atmosphere of Lille is the furthest I’ve encountered  from a typical French city so far and that’s no bad thing! It felt a little more like Amsterdam in it’s ambiance, it’s shops, architecture and demography; throw in a tram and a canal and you’re good to go. But of course no one wants another Amsterdam, every great city is great because there shouldn’t be another like it. It’s the same for Lille, and while I didn’t spend enough time there to really get a feel for the place I would venture to say it’s one of my favourite places that I’ve visited so far in France. What can I say I’m a sucker for a big, bustling city. It didn’t feel as safe as other places I’ve visited but that’s one of the disadvantages of a big city anywhere in the world.

The light was just stunning on La Mairie around sunset, I don’t know if it’s the colour of the stone in France or the light but it’s really spectacular at dusk (visit the Pantheon in Paris at sunset after a sunny day and you will understand). Continue reading

French Street Art

No matter where I visit I always look at the walls for some street art – that’s why I want to take a trip to Berlin so much! I always feel street art adds to the general atmosphere of a city, making it feel more alive somehow.

France is renowned for having great street art. I choose not to say grafitti because I associate that word with rubbish scribbles, et les gros mots. Most street artists choose spots that they know are unused and not somebody’s private property – often adding beauty where before there was just urban decay. And that is never a bad thing!

For the moment here’s a few I’ve gathered on a trip to Paris and just wandering around Reims, maybe you’ll see a familiar face!

One half of The Beatles hanging out in the Latin Quarter, (Paris) France.

A Michael Jackson/Mario Kart character dancing in Montmarte (Paris) France.Trés jolie wall (Reims) France. Continue reading