Spring has been so lazy to come this year. We experienced a lot of morning showers, grey sky, wind and some severe storms in September and October. In one hand, it was a bit depressing + there was a “major” water leaking in my house (one morning I woke up and water was coming from the ceiling, click here for the full story) but in the other hand, it is really good for mother nature because the trees and flowers look amazing right now with beautiful deep and lively colours. I guess you can’t have it all!
These past few days, spring is back on the track and it feels good to wake up with a big bright sun in the bedroom. I like to ride my green bike in the parks with this beautiful weather and explore new places whenever possible. In Australia, you have to wear an helmet (it is the law) and I must say when the weather is warm (sometimes around 40 something) I miss to feel the refreshing wind in my hair when biking! But again, I know this is for my own good so I am just going with the flow…
Maybe you will think I am a fool but one thing I was really expecting was to see the Jacarandas blooming! They are my favourite trees and their romantic purple flowers appear the first weeks of November announcing that spring is here and summer is only a month away. This year, because of the strange weather, the Jacarandas only started now to spread their vibrant colours in the whole city. Their mauve flowers petals are falling on the pavement like confettis and it brings a “je ne sais quoi” to the streets of Adelaide. Someday when I will own a house with a garden I will plant a Jacaranda tree to gaze at it!
At the moment, my friend Jessica (Mexico) is encouraging me to practise “mindfulness”. I started doing it in London with my yoga teacher and I must say it is a really calming and grounding state of mind. We are so busy with our everyday lives sometimes, worrying about the past and the future that we forget to fully live the present moment. Maybe it will seem odd to some of you but sometimes just taking the time to stop for a minute and gaze at a tree or a flower can make a big difference in the rest of your day ❤
Just try it and tell me in the comments below how it felt!
Sometimes I have crazy ideas and luckily for me I have always awesome friends to follow me in my euphoric projects. So it is no surprise that when I decided to go to Henley Beach by bike to celebrate my birthday, my friend Nasim (from Iran) was part of it! For those who have been following me and paying attention, last year, for my birthday I got a beautiful green bike that became my fav. transportation mode to go to work, school, activities, market etc… So it makes sense that this year I wanted to take it to the next level and go on a bike trip from Adelaide CBD to the beautiful Henley beach.
The river Torrens Linear trail is known to be pretty easy, flat and scenic. Imagine yourself biking along the river, in the parks, with the beautiful and majestic trees swaying in the breeze, the enchanting colourful birds singing along the way (have you ever heard a Cockatoo?! not very melodious lol) and the nature surrounding you like a comforting cup of tea on a Sunday morning. I really believe, this is worth giving it a try and we are so lucky to have many bike trails here in Adelaide. It is a good way to discover a city and its surroundings. Besides it is very easy to rent a City Bike in Adelaide for free, so no excuse!
Nasim and I met first at San Churro for breakfast. I guess we both needed a good dose of sugar to boost our bodies before hitting the road. At the beginning, everything was really nice and we really enjoyed it. Nasim was even considering buying a new bike to do that more often. I mean it is an healthy and fun way to exercice. We stopped many times to take funny pictures, to gaze at the landscapes, to relax… But what I did not consider is that even if this trail is said to be easy, it is quite long and you need at least a bit of practice. So basically I think it took us about 3 hours (maybe more) from the CBD to reach Henley Beach. When we arrived there, I think Nasim was about to collapse.
We rested a bit, walked on the beach (well deserved), took some more pictures and ended up in a restaurant with a view on the seaside. It was good to relax and chat about this little adventure. Despite the fact that we were both exhausted, there is no doubt that this bike trail is wonderful and the feeling you have when you arrive closed to the beach: awesome! All these little houses facing the beach, the white sand, the blue sky, this is the dream picture ❤
As we started to make our way back, it appeared that Nasim had no more juice. Her body hurt, she was not feeling well and soon riding her bike became a nightmare. We tried many things, we switched our bikes, I encouraged her… but when the body shuts down, there is nothing that can be really done. And sadly for Nasim, this was over. I was getting a bit worried because it was in the late afternoon and the sun was slowly vanishing on the horizon and I started to worry picturing us, walking in the dark woods next to our bikes, the gloomy shadows of the trees, the scary sounds of the nocturnal birds and the silence of the night surrounding us like a dark trap. BOO!
The power of the mind is funny sometimes, what was magic a few hours before became suddenly scary. I started to feel bad because this was my whole idea, what on earth was wrong with me, we are talking about maybe 23 km and it is not like that we are used to ride our bikes that much. Nasim suddenly quit cold turkey and called her husband to pick her up in the middle of nowhere. There was not enough room in the car for 2 bikes and I felt I had enough energy to go on and reach my home before the night comes. So it was me all alone against the clock haha!
As I was riding back to the CBD, I could not help feeling grateful to Nasim for joining me in this crazy but funny bike trip. I felt really happy about the whole day. All in all it was one of the best birthday activities I have ever had 🙂 I liked it despite of its unexpected events: Nasim thought at some point she had broken her bike, a lady advised us to be careful with the Magpie attacks, a guy asked me for the time and I thought he wanted to steal my bag, I scratched my belly climbing in a tree for a scenic picture… and all those km that obviously we were not trained enough for.
It is all those little moments that make also good memories and you know what now looking back at it, Nasim and I really enjoyed this beautiful day together because we laughed, we had fun and we experienced with delight our very own bikeway to hell. Life does not have to be perfect to be fun, it is its imperfections that make us smile and stick to our minds forever… Life goes beyond the beautiful pictures and selfies that we post daily on social medias… it is living the present moment, experiencing feelings, the good and the bad, the ugly and the beautiful, the laugh and the tears. It may not be always perfect but it is the REAL deal and it is up to you to make it count! I am sure if we had to do it all again, Nasim would jump on her bike in a matter of second to join me 😉
“Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect” ❤
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”.
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!
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… 😉 ).
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”…
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
Lately I have been obsessed with coloring books for adults. It’s the new trend and it is nearly impossible to miss them when you are in a Bookshop. Anyway I own a few of them and I really enjoy using those books whenever needed. I believe coloring has a grounding effect.
It all started when my friend Ana (my former Spanish teacher from Colombia) offered me a postcard from the artist: Johanna Basford! When it comes to coloring book, this girl is a GURU, believe me! Her work is amazing: have a look at “Secret garden” (my fav), there is so much poesy in her art, she managed to create a real enchanted universe.
So I started with her books and her postcards that I would share with some friends. Sometimes we would go together to the café, with some pencils and we would colour some beautiful magic scenes while chatting. It turned out to be very effective, especially when we were stressed or worried about something. It acted like a colour therapy session and it was a very calming and a comforting activity.
It is a combination of little things that separately are just details, but when all combined, it is like a ritual where all your senses are activated. The colours that are dancing in a farandole in front of your eyes, the paper texture under your fingers, the soft sound of the pencils pressed on the paper, the delicate smell of the drawing in progress and the taste of gratitude as the image starts to appear more and more alive.
So now I extended my selection to other colouring books such as: Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford, The mini Mandala by Susanne Fincher, the little book of Mindfulness colouring by Holly Macdonald. I really enjoy them as they are a great help to meditate , to relax and sometimes to escape .
What about you? Have you ever tried it? Tell me all about it in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear about your experiences when it comes to coloring books 🙂
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 😉 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……
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!
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 ❤
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…
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!
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!
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!
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 ❤
46 Carrick Hill Drive
Springfield SA 5062
Ph: (08) 8433 1700
(Free Admission to Gardens & Grounds except for Special Events)
I really enjoy walking in the parks around Adelaide: there is always something nice to discover! A couple of days ago as I was walking in the North Adelaide Nantu Wama park, I suddenly noticed a hut made of wood. I could not resist getting closer and visit this secret little place! I am always fascinated by children imagination and creativity. It was nicely built and there was a whole little world inside: a door, a window, a bench and even a pot with “food”!
I must say it was a pleasant surprise and it reminded me of this artist I am crazy about at the moment. Her name is Johanna Basford and she became in a short time very popular with her colouring books for adults! You have probably heard about “Secret Garden” or “Enchanted Forest”… or maybe not?! Well they have been sold out in NO time and it is very difficult to find them in stores especially abroad (the artist is based in UK).
I must confess I have never heard about this artist when I was living in London! Actually I had to come here to Australia to discover her amazing work! One day, my Spanish teacher, Ana (from Colombia) offered me a postcard with a beautiful garden scene drawn by Johanna Basford and I really felt in love with the design! I like the poesy she puts in her drawings and all the tiny details that make all the difference. It makes me dream and I wish I could create a little universe full of wonderful creatures and splendid landscapes 😉
So have a look at Johanna Basford’s lovely books and maybe next time you are walking in your garden or in the forest, you will start to see the world differently! A simple hut made of wood would become a secret and poetic hideaway in the trees ❤
“Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower” – Albert Camus
This is my first Autumn in Australia and also my very first Autumn in March when my family in France is embracing spring time 😉 The weather has changed in Adelaide and it is getting chilly. I am glad I have a fireplace in my living room: it is so cosy! I love to hear the crackling sound and the smell of the wood burning. I enjoy gazing at the joyful flames dancing on the logs, warming slowly the atmosphere. What a lovely setting to curl up comfortably on the sofa under a wool blanket with your favorite book!
It is also the perfect time of the year to enjoy nice walks in the crispy air. Put your boots and your jeans on and have a peek at all these wonderful colours where the trees enter an enchanting parade. Don’t you think the gold, brown and red leaves are just beautiful? Adelaide Hills is the place to contemplate this magical scenery… if you have the chance like me to go to Stirling, your breath will be literally taken away. This charming village only 20 minutes away from Adelaide CBD is a real gem!
It is full of cute houses, shops and gigantic trees celebrating gloriously autumn season at the moment. My Australian friend Ann took me there and it was absolutely delightful. The fresh air was so energizing, so pure… I liked the feeling on my cheeks! We enjoyed a hot beverage in a fancy place called Red Cacao chocolatier and I indulged myself with a cup of chili cocoa, one word: delicious! This is the perfect place for chocolate connoisseurs: they offer a wide range of exquisite high quality chockies (Aussie slang for chocolate, sorry guys I could not help it). Well this is the place to go to spoil yourself!
I also do believe that it is very appropriate in this season to enjoy hot and comforting drinks! You can be creative at home like my friend Nasim (from Iran) and add fruits and Haigh’s chocolates on the side: all Adelaide flavours in a cup of tea!
Chocolates, nice walks, chatting with a good friend, reading and snuggling: this is definitely what I like about Autumn season ❤
When I am passing by this house on Wright street in Adelaide CBD, I feel afraid and curious at the same time. There are mutilated dolls hanging in the trees in the garden. It is so creepy but I can’t help looking at it each time and wondering why it is here for? What does it mean? Is it the masterpiece of a lunatic? or some garden ornements that I don’t get?
I still remember the day when I tried to take a picture of it. Some grating noises started and got louder… and there was no way I could tell for sure if somebody was trying to scare me (and having good fun) or if the house was haunted or something… maybe it was just the wind and the trees were rubbed against the metallic gate… but it did not feel right and I was unable to take a good picture of it!
Another day, I went by and the garden gate was opened and there was a glass of water on a small table under the porch… so I assume somebody lives in this place. If I am correct then I am wondering why some dolls are hung in the trees, with screws in the head… Maybe the work of a twisted mind…
I had a discussion with my brother about it and he told me that it reminded him of “la isla de las munecas” (the island of the dolls) in Mexico. I have googled it and what I found is pretty scaring… Basically there is an island there full of terrifying dolls hanging all other the place: some are injured, others are decapitated or blinds… supposedly to honour the spirit of a dead little girl. If you dare you can visit the place but be prepared to be followed by soulless eyes…creepy… creepy…. http://www.isladelasmunecas.com
But back to my story or should I say my unsolved mystery… I was so intrigued that I looked on the internet if I could find a ghost story or strange events about Adelaide.. but I could not find anything related to this house facing Whitmore square on Wright street.
I had absolutely no leads, no evidences, no clue! So I decided to let it go… Afterall I am not Veronica Mars and I am here to enjoy my time in Adelaide and not try to investigate on some strange dark secrets.
I sent the picture to the City newspaper (just in case) and I moved on… both literally and figuratively. I stopped “obsessing” about it and anyway I moved from CBD to North Adelaide …so the creepy house is not on my usual path anymore.
I had actually nearly forgotten about it… but a couple of days ago it came back to my mind and it was quite unexpected! I was walking in North Adelaide charming streets, gazing at the birds and the trees when suddenly I have seen this horrible and scaring painting on the pavement leaning on a tree!
Four white little kitties standing on a shiny blue sheet: the simple idea of having a painting like that hanging in my living room is already giving me a headache. But there was even more scary to come… somebody used a black pencil to blind the cats, like they were crying blood tears or something… they looked like satanic cats… I could not help wondering if the owner of this painting made it himself?! Then you can imagine his wife complained about it so he decided to get rid of the painting in the street hoping somebody would appreciate his sense of home design… Or another scenario is that a simple passer by or a psychopath decided to ruin this kitty scene to spice up its day… You never know, can you?!
Don’t worry for me, I still sleep very well at night. And despite these 2 creepy scenes, I still think Adelaide is a charming city… like I said before, there is always something new to discover here and it is impossible to get bored!
By the way, if somebody knows anything about “el jardin de las munecas” (the garden of the dolls) on Wright street, I am definitely interested 😉