Rosa Bonheur – my favorite brasserie

Rosa Bonheur Paris In the middle of Le Parc des Buttes Chaumont, in front of where I lived for a while in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, sits a beautiful retro type Guingette (old fashioned bistro, very common to the edges of the Seine and the Marne, places where people would go to dance to local bands, to the music of accordions whilst having dinner or lunch). This place has now become an institution in Paris to all folk, young and old, winter or summer. Two large bars inside make queuing for your beer or coffee a little long but hey, what's a wait when you are in the middle of a hip crowd, listening to some great tunes and looking up at some fancy mismatched decorations filling ceilings and walls. Rosa Bonheur ParisRosa Bonheur Paris Read on...
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Try-athlons change you – the basics here in France

Triathlon France Triathlon France It started as an idea. Someone mentioned this to me and I wondered if I could. Now I know I CAN. Gratification through effort. What am I raving on about do you ask? Triathlon. I have to say it again, try try try ahtlon. I have always been a rather, very, sporty type but also needed to let that competitive panther that lies in me, out. Grrrrr. So when I signed up to join one of the area's most well known clubs (also for it's rugby, football, rowing, cycling… divisions) the Aviron Bayonnais Triathlon last April I knew I was in for a big challenge. Pourquoi? Because it's a mind blowing challenging sport combining a swim in open waters, a cycle on sometimes hilly roads and a run that you could frankly do without, right at the end. The distances are multiple, you can choose from XS for novices and first timers, SPRINT for those who want speed but shorter distance, Olympic Distance (called Courte Distance sometimes here in France), Half Ironman (ok that's starting to become inhuman), Ironman (yes, the one when you finish crawling across the finishing line) and then, the ULTIMATE HEAD and BODY BLASTER: the extreme triathlon, the ones that go up stupid terrains where near mortals wouldn't even go for a light walk without stopping under the strain, where the water is a nippy 11°C and the cycling terrain is like cycling up Mount Everest, on a bad day. Being a fit person with a real inclination for outdoor sports made me over exited to try it out. I started in the club mid season when everyone else had been training together already for months. But I wasn't playing catch up. Because in triathlon, you are in it for yourself. For you against you. Most races are mixed races, all levels, all categories together which makes it hard to compare yourself to anyone out there with you. So you race against your watch (I love my watch but that's another nerdy triathlete like story) and against yourself. My first race was a Sprint in Mimizan in the Landes and I was so nervous I could hardly breathe through my swim. Thats a long time without breathing. The views from the bike where pretty but the run was in a baking hot urban environment and I found it hard. I didn't think I would finish. I did though. The other races were also local, Sames in the Basque Country, which was another lake triahtlon, Socoa which again was another Sprint but in the beautiful Basque bay of Saint Jean de Luz and then, end of season, I treated myself to an Olympic Distance and totally totally loved it in Saint Jean. It was gorgeous. I also participated in a near 2km swim across the famous Basque bay of Saint Jean, 550 of us all plunging in on an rainy summer Sunday morning. That's what it's all about. The element and us being a little part of it. Am hooked people. Hooked. Thanks to this sport I have a new found confidence. Of mind, spirit and body. I train with my club and have met some exceptional people, every one with their own stance on the sport and therefore on life. I love that. SO much variety. So many people to learn from. Triathlon France Read on...
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AWAKENINGS

Coffee Marcots Hossegor It has been a while. The creative vibes have penetrated me again, seeping into my pours, all my senses alight with inspiration. INSPIRATION. Inspiration Isn't it wonderful when it takes over again. For whatever reason, sudden creative paralysis sporadically grips us, plunging us into pragmatism and a sometimes slightly too raw every day life. And then we WAKE UP. Like after drinking a strong coffee at your favorite cafe. I woke up around 13h47 last Thursday and decided it was time to start writing, painting, photographing, sharing the immense fascination I have for life again and this world that surrounds us all. Sundown France Read on...
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A short essay on photography and mental print

France Hossegor Photography Lake FrancePine Forest France I still cannot stop taking mini snapshots of everything I see in my head. I think, one day, my over stimulated-sometimes-childlike brain is going to simply protest and ask me to just STOP be quiet Fiona. Just let me take is EASY for a few minutes. But until then, I do not intend to slow my mental snapshot habit. When I am able Read on...
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Movember’s round the corner

France Movember Movember France Mo Fi   So it's that really super fun but also super important time of year again: MOVEMBER For those of you who think I have misspelt the 11th month of our calendar, here are some of the values and goals stated by the Movember awareness crew: Campaign Strategy & Goals: We will get men to grow moustaches and the Read on...
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FIAC time again!

Josef Albers FIAC Josef Albers - Variant Please go read about the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation for artists Tarek Al-Ghoussein FIAC Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Beautification - 2012 Bernard Frize FIAC Bernard Frize - Louma Bernard Frize FIAC Bernard Frize, Croix Read on...
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