Tag Archives: South Australia

Total blackout

South Australia was in the eye of a nasty storm on Wednesday 28th September 2016. Despite all the announcements on radio and social media, I believe nobody really expected what happened.

Since it was my first storm in Aussie world, I decided to play it safe. I just went jogging early in the morning as it was very sunny and I noticed it was windy (I mean more than usual) so I made my way back home and decided to stay there for the whole day, working from home, just in case. Around noon the weather dramatically changed and turned into lightenings, heavy rain and a lot of wind but nothing THAT scary. I thought “well ok, not a big deal”.

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No light, no worries! I’ve got this ūüėČ

But then around 5.00pm, things got ugly. I was chatting with my friends on “WhatsApp” and we were worried because our friend Jessica (from Mexico) was outside with¬†this terrible weather, when suddenly we experienced a major power cut. What was unusual, is that my friends and I live in different parts: some in the suburbs, some by the sea, some in the CBD and we were all left without electricity, meaning: no lights, no heating, no TV, no internet (except on our phone for those who¬†have enough battery). We joked about it and thought it was time to reach out for some candles (thank god, I had few big ones at home), very handy!

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Adelaide was plunged into darkness after wild storms disrupted power supplies across the state. (ABC News: Tony Hill)

A bit later, I called some friends¬†to enquire if everything was ok on their side and to inform them¬†about the situation. They¬†told me that it was the same issue for them¬†at work and actually that the whole South Australia state was experiencing a total blackout! In other words: no traffic lights in the streets, no lights inside and outside, businesses, shops, librairies force to close… So basically we are talking about a whole state and its 1.7 millions residents left in the dark! Jessica texted me to tell me that people were running in the streets, all shops were closing and supermarkets were full with people buying supplies such as water, milk, candles… (she also mentioned there were good deals on chicken breasts haha… ūüėČ ).

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Zinaida cooking on her camping gas stove

As the hours were passing by, my friends and I decided to limit the text messages since our phones were running low of battery and we did not know when we could recharge. It was getting darker and darker and despite all the candles, it was not very efficient to read, ¬†write, cook (thank god I have a gas stove). It was so strange to see the city and the streets that dark. According to the newsfeed, it turned out that 2 tornados destroyed some critical infrastructures causing a network shutdown. On top of that, 22 interconnectors were knocked down by the wind. Thank god no death was reported, only properties damages, broken trees, flooding etc… People tried to make the most of it, lighting candles, playing board games, reading, drawing, meditating, checking phones, getting bored, eventually sleeping… two men were also spotted in the streets walking around with banners saying “the end of the world is coming”, “Aliens are here”…

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what a “nice” way to start a shitty day!?

On a more personal note, the blackout lasted in my house from 5pm to midnight. First time, I was in bed that early, I think around 8pm! I could not really sleep since one of my neighbors’burglar alarm went on and on the whole night forcing me to sleep with ear plugs (which I hate). And cherry on the cake, when I woke up on the next morning and I opened my bedroom door, water was falling from the ceiling so I had to contain the situation with buckets and towels and call my landlord to let him know that there was a leaking due to the storm. By the way, he sent someone to fix the issue and so far so good.

Thursday was supposed to be as bad maybe worst than Wednesday. People were asked to stay home if possible. Fortunately, despite of the rain and the wind, it was manageable. I stayed home and did not experience any power cut whereas my friend Zinaida (from Russia) did. All in all, it was not that bad but I can’t help wondering about¬†the hospitals who had to use torches and what about if you are in the middle of a surgery when it happens, I assume they have energy power back up. And what about people on life support machines when there is no electricity… OMG I am thinking too much!

“Life without electricity, it is beyond our imagination”- Siddhant Chak

Tin Cat Café

“As every cat owners knows, nobody owns a cat” – Ellen Perry Berkeley

You¬†don’t choose¬†your cat but he definitely chooses you. And the Tin Cat Caf√© is no exception!¬†Last year, I was living in North Adelaide and my favorite caf√© was the lovely E for Ethel. It was maybe 2 minutes away from my home and I often went to this place to blog, enjoy a nice latte or have a little chat with my friends. When I moved to Kent Town, I was a bit sad because I knew I was going to¬†miss this charming caf√© and it would not be the same. On my moving day, I went to E for Ethel to say goodbye and enjoyed a last green smoothie and when¬†the owner learnt I was moving away, she said that she knew just the right place where I would feel welcomed, happy and comfortable to keep my old habits. She knew the perfect place and it was just near my new house and that is when I heard for the first time about the Tin Cat Caf√© ‚̧

But I was so busy with my life at that moment that I did not get the chance to visit this place. Few months passed and Elaine (an Australian friend) was in my neighborhood and wanted to have coffee with me and sadly the place she had in mind was closed so I recalled about the Tin Cat Caf√© and we decided to give it a try and I have never been disappointed since. I guess it was meant to be this way! Actually, after this episode, I went there MANY times with my friend Ann (she is Australian too) whenever she needed to practise her French and also Nassim (Iran) and Jessica (Mexico) had breakfast with me there one day and it was really nice ūüôā

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One of the numerous friendly dinning areas

This place is so cute and it has a really special vibe. It has a home feeling, probably due to the fact that it is located in an authentic terrace house (in the very typical Australian style). I also like the vintage decoration of the place and the staff is so lovely! ¬†The caf√© supports local artists so there are always paintings to be seen and interesting stuffs to discover and to talk about. It is absolutely charming and it has this “gilmore girls” feeling that I like so much!

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“Esprit guinguette” in the backyard!

It is pretty big, with several rooms and it has also a nice garden in the back which is absolutely lovely during summer time. One Sunday, my friend Ann invited me to a book launch at the Tin Cat Caf√© that took place in the garden and it was so lovely, many people, good food, lovely colours… again I felt very welcome and it was like visiting some dear relatives!

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Today Chai Panacotta and peanut butter mousse cake!

As for the food, you won’t be disappointed, there are always nice treats! The Cha√Į Latte is lovely and so is the coffee and I recommend you to indulge yourself with their sweets. They have a nice selection of desserts and the presentation is always lovely with a big smile!

Sadly, good things have an end and I guess that for the Tin Cat Caf√© ¬†it is time to explore new fields. The caf√© will be gone soon since the Terrace house has been sold and it is a real pity. I am sure a lot of people will be missing this spot. So if you are curious to know more about this cute little caf√©, please hurry (only a few weeks left from now on) and visit this little gem, you won’t regret it ‚̧

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Tin Cat Café

107 Rundle Street

Kent Town

Tel. +61 8 8362 4748

Web : http://www.tincat.com.au

When Swan Lake meets the Torrens river

“Dancing is an art. The floor is my¬†canvas and I am the brush and whatever I create comes from the heart”.

To me, ballet is like a day dream, where the music takes you to a sweet escape and for one moment you belong to the story and everything falls in its right place. There is no need to speak, to explain, you just feel it and your imagination does the rest.

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend to one of the most famous ballet : Swan Lake! Luckily a friend of mine managed to get me a ticket to the dress rehearsal at the Adelaide festival centre by the Torrens river and I really enjoyed this moment.

swan-lake-ballet-australian-ballet1I swear I could see the swans on the stage, the way they move, they were so real. The¬†main ballerina was so gracious and really into her character : sweet and fragile as a¬†white swan and her doppelg√§nger¬†charming¬†and confident as a black swan. The music was so touching, melancholic… and the end so sad… but we all already knew that, didn’t we ?!

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Swan Lake Dress Rehearsal, 25 May 2016

As it was a dress rehearsal, it was also interesting because I could see how they improve the settings, adjust the lights, how the dancers adapt and sometimes request to repeat a particular moment. When you see a ballet, the dancers make it so easy that it feels so natural that sometimes you forget all the work, commitment, dedication and hard training to complete the perfect  choreography.

What can be said about a classic like¬†Swan Lake that hasn’t already been said! Some critics would say that the storyline lacks of originality but to me, if I should say in just one sentence how I felt about it, I would say:

Sweet and Bitter as Love can be sometimes…

Celebrating christmas… in Australia!

It is not easy to get in the mood of christmas spirit here! First, my family is far away and normally this celebration is all about being with your love ones, sharing stories, eating good food, exchanging presents… Secondly it is summer here in Australia so it does not look like christmas to me. Normally when talking about christmas, I am thinking France, winter, cold, snow, christmas tree, family reunion, turkey, coat, warm socks, fireplace, wool blankets, hot cocoa. I am picturing myself looking through the window while the snow is falling and the wind is whistling and children are wondering if Santa Claus is going to make it and deliver all his presents and how he is going to fit in the chimney!

But here like I said, it is summer, it is so hoooot… Yesterday and today the temperature was around 38 during day time and 28 during night time! All I am thinking about is : air conditioning, refreshing drinks, fruits, music, swimming, bathsuits and going to Bali! It happens I am in the mood for summer holidays which makes sense ūüėČ But I don’t want to be the one complaining or refusing to adapt, afterall I am really happy to live in Adelaide so I have to make the most of it. Maybe it is up to me to turn christmas mood ON!

Yesterday, I bought some decorations because I thought it could help me to reaslise christmas is coming very soon.¬†I kept it simple but it sends a pretty clear message, you can’t go wrong with green and red combination and wooden christmas trees! Besides, the TV spot is pretty strategic because you watch TV everyday so it will be a gentle constant reminder of what is coming in a couple of weeks, it starts with a C……

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It looks so cute! I love this disco ball, so shiny!

I also thought it would be nice to decorate the garden with some red bows. Unfortunately I am too small so I could only reach the bottom of the tree but still, it is looking pretty good I think. Aussie trees deserve also to celebrate it, it is not because you are not a fir that you can’t be a christmas ambassador!

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My very own Aussie christmas tree looking proud & fancy

And for those who are wishing to send me their christmas greetings, I am all ears and actually my letter box is looking forward to receive your nice post cards and letters ‚̧

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I know there are spider webs everywhere around my letter box ūüė¶ wild country!

How cool is my bike?!

A couple of weeks ago,¬†I got an amazing bike for my birthday and I just adore it ‚̧ it is so cute and I love the colour and the little basket on the front, so girly!

In my opinion, having a bike in Adelaide is¬†a MUST! I mean it is so easy to get from one point to another, there are lot of beautiful ¬†bike lanes and the ride is so nice. You can ride¬†your bike in the parks or along the Torrens river… don’t rush! Just enjoy the beauty of things: the colourful (and noisy) birds, the flowers, the majestic trees…

Since I arrived in Adelaide, I must say I am impressed by the colours. I have never seen a sky that blue, a grass that green, a flower that deep red and yellow. It is so true: colours are deeper and brighter here! It is so joyful and it feels so good to be able to appreciate this profusion of beauty while riding my green bicycle!

In the very near future, I am planing to go to work by bike which will be a first for me but I am really looking forward to it! I had never imagined I would love that much living in a smaller city (for those who don’t know me I actually lived 10 years in Paris before). I must say I really appreciate the life quality here. I love the feeling to do whatever I want to without thinking about traffic, crowd, stress and who knows what.

Besides, we are so lucky here because for those who don’t want to spend money on a bike or don’t have enough space to store it… no worries! You can always use Adelaide free city bikes! You read well, they are free and you can find them in many locations in the CBD and North Adelaide: it is pretty straightforward, all you need is an ID!¬†http://www.bikesa.asn.au/AdelaideFreeBikes

So ¬†my lovely friends from Adelaide! What are you waiting for?! Grab an helmet and join me on this beautiful ride on the streets of Adelaide…

Chez John

“Breakfast is my speciality. I admit it is the easiest meal to cook, but I make everything with a twist!” – Hugh Jackman

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Chez John : the best American Breakfast in town

Breakfast is my favourite meal during the weekend and luckily Adelaide offers a wide range of nice places¬†where to enjoy the most important meal of the day ‚̧

I tried many places since I arrived in Adelaide but the restaurants that have, in my opinion, the best breakie in town are: East Terrace Continental, The Royal Oak, The Findi and the Original Pancake kitchen!

But as my grandmother would say, nothing beats an homemade meal and breakfast is no exception! I must say, when it comes to breakfast, my friend John (from California) masters the art and I am a huge fan of his American breakfast! You would think that as a French person, I stick to cocoa, baguette, butter, jam, croissant and pain au chocolat but I must admit that since I moved abroad I changed my breakfasts’ habits. Now I really appreciate a nourishing and salty breakie to kick the day!

John’s American breakfast is the BEST and even the restaurants can’t beat the quality of his cuisine. Generally he makes: scrambled eggs, homemade baked beans with a twist, rosemary potatoes, portobello mushrooms, grilled/garlic tomatoes, crunchy bacons and toasts! Breakfast is served with a lovely English breakfast tea with some milk and sugar. It is absolutely divine and I really adore¬†it! It smells so good and I like the colours and the texture, it is absolutely fantastic. Pictures don’t do justice to it so you will have to take my word for it!

You can always look on the internet and try to find “chez John” to taste his amazing American breakfast but I am afraid it is a very exclusive address and if you want to get invited, you will have to become friends first and move to California¬†ūüėČ

I see your true colours Carrick Hill

Winter in Australia is very different than winter in France. I really enjoy walking in the parks and I am always surprised to see so many lively colours during this “cold” season. In Europe, we say that during winter nature needs its beauty sleep before going to the spring ball¬†but it seems than in Australia the whole year is a never ending¬†party with an explosion of green, yellow and red!

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Come on, it is winter time in South Australia!

In Australia, winter starts on 21 June and I can’t recommend you enough to pay a visit to Carrick Hill to celebrate it! The park and gardens are so beautiful with a large diversity of trees and flowers. The view is fantastic and it is so poetic to walk in this romantic atmosphere¬†surrounded by the sweet music of the Aussie birds. Australian birds look so exotic to me: some are white with a yellow head, some are green and red and one is black and white but produces the most amazing sound I have ever heard!

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Typical South Australian Red hot poker: so colourful flowers

 

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Jessica and myself lying on the grass at Carrick Hill gardens

I spent a wonderful day end of June at Carrick Hill with my two lovely friends: Nasim (from Iran) and Jessica (from Mexico). We sat on the grass during hours enjoying the view, chatting, dreaming about our future, making plans… We took many pictures also and there is even a video of me dancing under an arch of trees (crazy girl). We also enjoyed an afternoon tea outdoor, we like to do that sometimes! Generally we order 3 different cakes and then share and then discuss about the flavours, texture and colours and decide which one deserve the 1st rank in our heart!

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Nasim and myself under the arch of trees

There is also a beautiful mansion to visit and interesting stories to hear about. I highly recommend to take part to the guided tour (if you are lucky, Naomi will show you around, she is an absolutely charming tour guide). It was the previous home of an eccentric couple: Sir Edward and Lady Ursula Hayward! They were important art collectors and have decorated their home with pieces from all other the world (but mostly from UK and France). They were famous for their eccentric lifestyle and used to host big parties with controversial artists, good food, wine, music, amazing conversations and dancing! Their home was always filled with laughter but above all with love because they were soul mates sharing the same passion for life and art! A true romantic love story ‚̧

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Carrick Hill

46 Carrick Hill Drive

Springfield SA 5062

Ph: (08) 8433 1700

ADMISSION PRICES:

$12.00 Adults
$8.00 Concession
$28.00 Family
(Free Admission to Gardens & Grounds except for Special Events)