“A cat is a lion in a jungle of small bushes” – indian proverb
Have you ever noticed how cats can be all cuddly, gracious, sweet and cute sitting on your lap and the next minute flexible little hunters, all claws out, ready to scratch and jump on their prey ?! Like the Yin needs the Yang, the cat is the perfect expression of this duality. And Kitty lovers, I am sure, would agree that it is precisely why they are so attached to their (un)domesticated but fascinating little felines. Because let’s be honest, at the end of the day, you never really own a cat, he is the one who choses you and runs the show. “Cat have it all : admiration, an endless sleep and company only when they want it” – Road McKuen (poet, Stanyan Street & Other Sorrows).
Now that said, if you want to explore this microcosm of the world, there is a Cat Café here in Adelaide! What is a cat café? Well obviously not the place where you take your cat on a date and share a latte together while chit chatting about the chubby mouse you saw in the garden shed, gossiping about the noisy neighbor’s dog or complaining about the poor quality of the litter ! A cat café is actually a place where you can catch up with your friends just like in any regular coffee place while fulfilling your craving for hugs with cute little kittens running around the place, curling around cat scratching poles and rubbing against people’s legs. And if you get lucky those little furry friends will entertain you for sure because when they are not sleeping they can be quite playful or all cuddly depending on their mood!
This concept comes from Asia where the first cat cafe opened in 1998 and then it became such a trend that every big cities (Paris, London etc…) have their very own since a couple of years. And it is quite successful… I mean… who can resist a kittens’ cuddle… it is good for the mood, it is good for the stress and it is even said to regulate blood pressure… pur-fect!
So if you want to satisfy your meow needs, why don’t you try the Meow Me Cat Cafe on Glen Osmond Road. This cute little place offers delicious Asian treats and drinks while you can gaze at the cats playing around and if you get lucky they would jump on your lap while purring loudly. And cherry on the top, if you fall for one of them, you have the possibility to adopt any of those cuties for an endless flow of affection ❤
“Don’t be afraid to take an unfamiliar path. Sometimes they are the ones that take you to the best places”.
The coolest moments in life often happen unexpectedly. The most memorable stories begin often with “and all of a sudden…”. The funniest adventures were never planned as they turned out to be as the best often comes when and from you least expect it! Nothing is more exciting than meeting new people, sharing stories and having a good laugh. It is funny like sometimes the most simple things can put a smile on your face and somehow inspire you. My Friday night was the perfect expression of it from sunset to sunrise… be prepared because that was a lonnnnnnnnnnng night!
Have you ever experienced those days, when everything is well planned in advance, the restaurant, the party, the people … and no matter how much you are looking forward to it, for a reason life has other plans for you and the whole thing turn out to be completely different from what was supposed to be?! Well this is exactly what happened to me last Friday as I was originally supposed to attend to a Birthday Party which was cancelled on the very same morning.
But Friday was such a beautiful day that I could not resign to go home after work and I decided to enjoy the evening and go to the beach instead! I had nothing complicated in mind, I just wanted a nice walk, an ice cream and maybe a drink with my friend Sybilla (German) and her husband Warren (Australian) while watching the sunset. That was the plan! And this is exactly what we did.. but after sunset, that’s when the fun really began !
It was one of this warm evenings in Adelaide when it is like 28 degrees and you just want to be outside enjoying the night! So we headed to the CBD a little bit before midnight as Sybilla and I were in the mood for a bit of dancing but Sybilla had ONE request: Let’s go somewhere we don’t go often OR some place we have never been before! Let’s wander out off the beaten tracks she said! And maybe that’s why the whole night turned out to be a surprising series of funny and unexpected moments! Maybe it is my culture or my personality but generally when I go out, I go to one place and I stay there unless it is really boring, but it seems that Aussies go to plenty of different places in the same night, they party from one place to another until they have no more energy to keep going. So I guess we experienced the Aussie way on that night and it was probably one of the coolest night we experienced so far!
It literally did not stop from sunset to sunrise and my blog article won’t do justice to those memorable moments as it is something that you have to experience to really enjoy it: we met tourists from Melbourne who were eager to know which places to visit in Adelaide, where to go out etc and for a time we became like a tourists information centre which is funny when you think that Sybilla is German and I am French and Adelaide has become our city of adoption quite recently, we bumped into a Greek family (brothers and cousins) who were reunited for the weekend to party and were so loud that I became half deaf but they were quite funny, we went to a place where people were dancing like they were not self conscious of their body anymore (quite interesting to witness when you are sober), on our way back home, as we were walking on Hindley street, a fight started on the sidewalk and a homeless (looking like Hagrid from Harry Potter) stood up so we could be safe on his bench and positioned himself in front of us so we could not be hurt by the fight (the police arrived very quickly and the situation was under control rapidly), we had a little chat about working conditions with the staff working on the Tramway line construction on King William as they were working from 6pm to 6am, we walked barefoot all the way down to Rundle street (my feet have never been that dirty in my whole life) and Sybilla quite luckily found a pair of flip flop shoes which fitted right in the street (a good brand by the way), we had a little chat with backpackers who were enjoying the night (it was like 5am and still 25 degrees maybe more) and we talked about France as one worked there for a while. So the night was filled with little moments that maybe taken separately are nothing special but as it kept going on and on, that made our night out quite interesting and funny… but the fun does not stop here… now comes the hilight of this special night.
The street was desert, not a single soul around which was not really surprising at this hour of the night. Behind us it was still dark but in front of us (Adelaide Hills direction) we could see that the sun would rise in a couple of hours, I could not believe that we were up all night and I was happy to go home now. Suddenly out of nowhere two guys appeared and they seemed to go in the same direction as we were heading which made me a bit anxious on the moment… I know this is Adelaide and so far the most scary things I saw were Huntsman spiders and opossum in trees but still… As we were walking along the park, we could see bats flying in the sky, it was for us again something completely new, it is funny how this whole night amused and surprised us (maybe for Aussies it is part of your routine). And quite suprisingly somehow we started to chat with those guys as we were walking in the exact same direction. For a reason one asked me where I lived and I panicked a bit and I said “somewhere over there” and that’s when he made a joke about not being a stalker and somehow surprisingly it kinda acted like an ice breaker, and that’s how we met Glenn, James (and later their friend Steven) who happened to be really great guys as in nice, friendly, fun, relaxed and cool. In my opinion they fitted perfectly this typical image you would have of Aussie guys: only the surfing board was missing haha
So when they offered us to go and watch the sunrise altogether from the rooftop of their building, as we are almost neighbors, it was a great way to conclude this crazy night out. And I must say I regret so much I did not capture this moment with my camera. Anyway climbing on this rooftop happened to be more challenging than I thought and I would have never made it without Glenn (I also still can’t believe that I used James as a human ladder to make my way up (poor him he had all the dirt from Rundle street on his back as my feet were BLACK from dirt). The view was really nice and it was nothing like I have ever experienced so far, it was so silent as everybody was sleeping, the colours were really beautiful as the sun was rising slowly and you could hear the early birds singing… We just stayed there chatting, waiting for the sun and that’s when Steven (their friend) showed up and joined us on the roof and the fun continued as Steven happen to have a French friend who seems quite an interesting character, so more stories were shared! We talked, we laughed for a couple of hours and I must say it was quite special to be there, almost unreal when you think of the whole situation. I must say it was a bit sad to say goodbye to the boys but quite nice to know that the world is full of nice people and life is full of surprises. As Sybilla and I were walking back to my place, we almost regretted that I did not have the idea earlier to take my bike and go to the Bakery Cannelle in Norwood where they have the best French croissants in Adelaide because that would have been the perfect French cliché to have croissant on the rooftop at 7am while chatting! Anyway as we were still talking on the sidewalk at my door step, in our party outfits, bare foot… it was quite funny to look at the expression of the early bike riders passing by… like we were some kind of IBIZA GIRLS… I still wonder why 😉
Some would call it a funny coincidence, some would think that the universe is trying to tell me something… I will let you the judge of the little story that is about to follow. First I must confess something important : I don’t drive, I never had a car, it is not my thing I guess… I prefer riding my lovely green bike Zoé or walking, especially here in Adelaide. But it seems that for some reasons life has other plans for me… and keep sending me beautiful classic cars over the years in different countries where I go. So I am really wondering if that it is really just a simple coincidence or much more than that…
1. PORTSMOUTH, UK
It all started in England. At that time I was still a student doing a 6 weeks internship at a local newspaper: The Portsmouth News. My lovely british family of adoption : Sir John and Lady Sandie happened to own a superb yellow E type Jaguar so I had the pleasure to enjoy beautiful rides. Sir John (as I like to call him) bought a red E-Type jaguar soon after qualifying as a doctor! It was a left hand drive 3.8 series 1 e-type made in 1961 and was the 219th ever made. Today it would be worth a fortune! He kept it for 20 years and then eventually sold it but a couple of years later, he was missing riding a Jaguar so that’s when he bought the yellow one in which we went altogether to the Prescott Hill Climb. This is really a great car, with a vibrant colour and the noise it produces is so unique. It is totally orignal but has had some touch of paintwork. It is a series 111 E-Type Jaguar, drop head, with 5.3 litre V12 engine and has now convered only 68000 miles despite being made in 1972!!! I played also the “Portsmouth Model” next to the Jaguar: private joke with my British family as I ended up posing for an ad related to France in the Portsmouth Newspaper) so this nickname kinda stayed as somehow I often end up in the local Newspaper/Magazines or brochures abroad (so far Uk, Germany and Australia)! But back to my story, there are some beautiful pics of me sitting on the long bonnet of this Jaguar and you will have to take my word for it that there were some glamorous and glorious moments. This E type Jaguar even traveled to France and even spent a night in my family’s garden as Sir John and Lady Sandie came to visit me and get to know my parents ! As I am writing this article I regret, I don’t have the pics in my laptop to share with you, but this was a little while ago… but still a wonderful first experience with collectible cars.
2. LOS ANGELES, USA
I met John and Teresa (my californian friends) when I was living in Paris. They are both great people and we naturally became very good friends. So when they returned to California, I made the wish to pay a visit to them someday…which eventually happened and this is when I took the real measure of John’s true passion for vintage cars as he owned at that time: a 1972 Lamborghini Espada Serise II, a 1968 Maserati Ghibli S, a 1957 TR-3 and a 1952 MGTD Midget. It was winter when I visited, just after Christmas, it was freezing but I was overjoyed to enjoy a beautiful ride in Los Angeles with this superb 1952 MGTD Midget, I payed the hard price since after this, I caught a really bad sore throat that Teresa tried to cure with natural medicines but it was soooo worth it! John just likes cars, none of the cars he owns were collectible at the time he bought them, they were just old cars but he had a crush on them and they became popular as the years passed. To quote John ” You should not buy anything just because other people like it. You should buy things that you like. Popularity is fleeting but your taste will probably be more consistent and last”. I absolutely agree!
3. ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA
I met Sybilla (Germany) this year at work and we became instantly friends. She is the most “Frenchic” German girl you could think of! She is married to Warren (Australia) who is adorable and together, they are a fantastic couple! Warren has a passion: he is an enthusiastic collectable cars lover and owns a beautiful vintage Porsche called (H)ana (Warren likes to make fun on my French accent as I can’t pronounce the “H”). One weekend we went altogether for a ride with “Hana” in the Adelaide Hills and then to the beach sides. It was a wonderful day. This car is absolutely beautiful, it is impossible not to fall for it at first sight: the colours, the shapes, the noise… And to quote this song “Isn’t she lovelyyyy”… I mean how can you not possibly love a ride in this beautiful car when the weather is so beautiful (hello summer), feeling the wind in your hair, hearing the birds singing. It is impossible not to feel so lucky and grateful for experiencing such a wonderful moment with such lovely company.
Like I said above, I am not crazy about cars, or should I say fancy/modern cars… I don’t drive, I am way happier riding my bike actually! But… yes BUT when it comes to vintage cars, it is another story… I find it funny that over the years, in different countries such as UK, USA and Australia, I had the chance to become friends with wonderful people and experience riding those beautiful collectable cars. To me, they are not just cars, they are so much more! I have a sweet spot for them because they have all a story to tell. They have a soul and that makes all the difference. I like the way also these cars are treated by their owners but also by other people on the road : with love and respect! And you too, as a passenger you want to acknowledge this beauty, you even want to dress up with a beautiful dress to honour this special moment. It is not just going on a ride, it is going on an adventure ❤
When you think about Australia and more specifically when you think about Australians… what is the first thing that comes to your mind? I mean as a stereotype, as a cliché?! Before I moved to Australia, I thought that Aussies were all surfers and crazy about surfing mostly… that was THE thing! But then I moved to Adelaide and I realised that one of the most important thing for Australians is actually…. wait for it…. COFFEE!
They drink a LOT of coffee… and forget about Starbucks, because here it is not just about the coffee, but also about the cute little place where you enjoy your latte, the friendly and talented barista who knows you well and the vibes and atmosphere! For those who know me… I know what you’re thinking… V you don’t even drink coffee, what are you talking about?! Well I am a Chai Latte lover… so generally where there is good coffee, there is a good barista and de facto there is a good Chai, it is as simple as that 😉 And you know me, I like to discover new cafés and to blog about it… I have always this crazy fantasy that I am going to have my local café where I am going to be a regular… Long story short : a bit like the Girlmore GirlsTV show with “Luke’s dinner” except that Lorelai did the mistake to date Luke, big time, and then they broke up so it was very awkward she could not go there for a while and she was really missing the coffee, hugeeeeeee mistake (lol, that was a wink for the TV show fans).
I know that some of you cried a river when the very hipster Tin Cat Café closed but maybe this will cheer you up if I tell you that a new tenant has taken over : The black addition. Sounds promising for coffee lovers, isn’t it?! And this is quite an interesting story since it was formerly a mobile coffee business which was pretty successful on the road…on various private and corporate events… so busy that they were hard to catch… it is like when the fun fair arrives in town and you have all those colours, those lovely smells and you just follow the music hoping not to miss the show! Actually they were so successful that some fans even made the secret wish that someday the 2 owners would settle down so it would be easier to find them and enjoy one of their delicious coffees and this wish came true!
So at the moment, they are operating in the former Tin Cat Café in Kent Town. The two lovely owners Alison and Sean (a couple) are experts in the latte art and even host Barista classes in their lovely little café! I had a Chaï Latte and it was absolutely delicious with coconut milk and it tasted different from what I am used to and I really enjoyed it! As for the coffee, because I wanted to give a fair review, I went to this place with my coffee expert friend : the lovely Jessica from Mexico (and god this girl lovesssss coffee and can be fussy about it lol) and she really enjoyed it, she said it was sensational!
And cherry on the cake they are opened until 7pm! And believe me this is something to definitely mention! You know, as every good french, I like to complain and one of my recurrent complaining topic is that in this city everything closes at 5pm so it is like nothing is opened for people who basically work during weekdays… so this is nice to feel welcome in this cute little place after work for a comforting cup of coffee while watching life passing by. They also collaborate with other catering businesses so they can offer a nice range of yummy cakes and pastries. I have not tried them yet but I definitely intend to go back and it might even become my local ! And if you are in the mood to give this place a go, they also offer breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea so it is definitely a nice weekend plan! The two owners are absolutely lovely and will make you one of the best coffee in town ❤
What about you? Are you tea or coffee drinkers? Any nice cafés to recommend me?!!!! oh… I already know what you are about to say… OK V, but first coffee 😉
Spring time is my favourite season in Adelaide! I really enjoy riding my bike to go to work, central market or else through the parks. You would think that after all this time I got used to it and I don’t really pay attention but it is not true. I’m still amazed by my commute. For the birds lovers, you will be greeted on your way by cockatoos, magpies and colourful parrots. And forgive me if sometimes I arrive late at work, I was probably enjoying the ride a bit too much and stopping to take pictures of those cuties 😉
I believe that when you have the chance to live in a such beautiful city as Adelaide, you should enjoy the landscapes, feeling free with the wind in your hair driving along the beach in an old vintage car or a motorcycle, stopping at a terrasse for a glass of wine while gazing at the sunset on the jetty… There is something romantic about vintage transportation, la dolce vita, as they say in Italy… this is actually how I picture it. And I believe Adelaide is the perfect spot to enjoy life and take your time to seize the day. I think sometimes we are so used to the place where we live, we are so stuck in our own routine that we don’t acknowledge anymore the beauty of it, we don’t pay attention to what is beautiful and unique, we don’t feel enough grateful for what we have… and maybe this is the beauty about being a foreigner because you still have this fresh outlook on your country and culture of adoption and you keep being surprised and amazed by your everyday life.
Speaking of it, one of my crazy dreams has always been to own a red Vespa. I think they are so cute and I like their retro look, their style, their shape… To quote this song, that I’ve heard so much on the radio lately : “I’m in love with the shape of your body”… well…for sure the singer was not talking about a Vespa but I am! So when I met my friend Sybilla (Germany) and she told me her husband had a Vespa called “Gigi” , and yes that’s a SHE, I thought the universe was telling me something! So instantly my next question was to enquire about her colour and when she told me it was red… I knew instantly Gigi and I would be an item ❤
For a city like Adelaide, a Vespa can be a good option because you can park easily, which is very important. Besides, you can cruise around the city and enjoy the streets of Adelaide without speeding and it seems pretty safe to drive (even if the first time I tried it I managed to fall…but it was me being clumsy and inexperienced). I believe it can be perfect to explore Adelaide surroundings (compared to a bike where you are a bit limited). And I can’t help thinking how charming it must be to ride a vespa on a nice and sunny spring day, even if it is to go to work, it feels already like an adventure, and it is impossible not to feel happy with a great smile on your face when driving it 😀
So to Vespa or not to Vespa… this is the question… what do you think?! Shall I find Zoé (that’s how I call my bike) a new friend? So I can keep exploring and blogging even more about Adelaide and its surroundings!
When I was living in Paris, many people would talk to me about the benefits of practising yoga. Life in a big city can be stressful between your job, the commute, busy people and so little time to enjoy life. I was curious about it and I thought maybe I should try and see by myself how it feels. So I enrolled to a class and it was good but I did not connect with it and I stopped after a few sessions. Some of my friends were surprised as they really believed that it would fit with my personality but sometimes all it takes is to meet the right person.
And it happened… with patience… many years after in another country actually. Life, work and opportunities took me to London (UK) for a year and this is where I met the most amazing yoga teacher you can imagine. And have you also noticed that often the best things that happen to you in life, are very often the ones that you were not looking for. It is like sometimes, life has little gifts for you. And this is what happened to me with Mieke 🙂 at that time I was really not thinking about yoga or anything and I found a card in my letter box and I was about to throw it directly in the bin, but some words caught my attention because I could relate to them. And this is how I started yoga sessions, 5 times a week with the adorable Mieke. And you can’t imagine how much it helped me at a time I needed it the most in my life. At the beginning I remember it was challenging because it was in English and I did not know the names of the postures etc… but then I got used to (watching her mainly and associating images with words) and now I can’t imagine yoga in another language than English, funny isn’t it?
Now that I am living in Australia, I still practise sometimes yoga on my own thanks to internet and when I find the time to do so. It is a very calming and grounding activity that I highly recommend. Besides I must say that with this beautiful weather I had the opportunity to go and practise yoga at the beach and it was a great experience with all these beautiful colours, the sound of the waves rolling on the beach and this beautiful sun in this vibrant blue sky. It was like a dream and practising yoga in such a beautiful setting made me feel very grateful. Besides I had the opportunity to teach some postures to some of my friends (Jessica from Mexico and Liliana from Venezuela) and they really enjoyed it! It is a good way to feel connected with earth and feel your stress leaving you as you are embracing yoga with all of your heart, letting go, no where to go, no where to be, just in the present moment!
“Being happy does not mean everything is perfect, it means that you have decided to look beyond the imperfections” – Gerard Way
My friend Jessica (Mexico) often says that people come to your life for a specific reason. Sometimes it is to teach you something about life or yourself, sometimes it is to bring you love and kindness, sometimes to challenge you… and you have to embrace this feeling!
There will be sometimes, when living abroad, when you will feel frustrated, like nothing is working the way you want and you don’t really understand why because you are trying your best. It is a strange feeling that many foreigners experience because we are far away from our country, our culture, our family… and everything is new and different. The key is to learn to adapt as quickly as possible which is not always easy. But you can’t do this alone, you have to surround yourself with true friends. Friends who will become your second family, friends you choose because they are “like” you, friends who will show you the way when you are lost, friends who will be there for you no matter what. These people will make a big difference not just in your day but also in your life and you will do the same for them too, sometimes without even realising it!
I recall once I had a “perfect” day with my friend Liliana (Venezuela) and it felt really nice. We did not do anything “spectacular”, we were just 2 girls sharing a nice picnic together, taking pictures/selfies, enjoying a good conversation! But it was sooooo good. Sometimes you think that you need complicated things to be happy and you can feel frustrated thinking that it is going to be hard to get them but thinking of it most of the time it is the simplest things that make you really happy. Think of it, try to remember when was the last time you really felt happy and I am sure you are going to realise that it was something very simple.
It can be a smile, a compliment, a nice walk, something nice to eat, a beautiful bird passing by… you don’t need your day to be perfect to feel it is perfect, you just need to collect moments, those who make a difference in the rest of your day and will accompany you the rest of your week. And sometimes, total strangers will make a difference too without knowing it, just because they are genuinely nice and friendly when you need it the most.
So yes, all in all it does not have to be perfect and does perfection really exists anyway? The most important is not to be fooled by imperfections, not to focus on them but rather look beyond them, what really matters and enjoy 🙂