Tag Archives: art

Friday in Five: City of Rainbows

27 Aug

Paris in summer is all about colour, from temples of retail to temples of grace. These are a few of the fabulous rainbows I’ve loved this week.

What’s more quintessentially Paris than a mandala of macaroons?

I don’t like licorice, but I love the happy colours in these licorice blocks!

Late afternoon twilight sends rainbow shards across the pillars inside Sacre Coeur.

In glorious Sainte-Chapelle, Paris’s little jewel box, the rainbows cast their magic.

Centre Georges Pompidou’s rainbows march defiantly down the streets of Parisian white and grey.

Harry’s New York Bar in Paris splashes its rainbows all over its walls. (It’s the money shot!)

I fell in love with these cute and colourful hand-made African homewares… and am bringing one home with me as my souvenir of a brilliant Parisian summer.

How could a writer resist this alphabet rainbow?

Row upon row of rainbow tassels, in all sizes and shapes!

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Anthropologie in Galleries Lafayette takes a whole new approach to decorating with paint!

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I’m here for one more week in spectacular, welcoming, warm (hot! high 30s most days), beautiful Paris, and will be back next week with more Friday in Five from the City of Light.

Beaucoup amour,

Gracie x

 

City of Light, City of Art, City of Amitié

2 Oct

Ten years ago I was sitting beside a pool in Valencia, explaining to a woman I’d never before met that I’d laid in my hotel bed the evening before, dressed in every garment I had with me, shaking and shivering through Spain’s sweltering summer night.

“You were in shock,” she said.

Yes, I was. But right at that moment, the bigger shock was that I’d confided my vulnerability to a complete stranger. I’m not that kind of person. I don’t conduct personal poolside conversations exposing my fears and misfortunes to people I don’t know at least very, very well. And yet, there I was.

Because Amanda is that kind of person. We had a few more days in Valencia, me travelling back and forth to Madrid to try and replace the travel documents I’d lost during a mugging, her sharing her son and her kindness with my own young son who’d been equally traumatised by the fairly brutal experience and his mother’s resulting stress.

And then we never saw each other again. A rich, deep connection – it seemed too brief to call it a friendship, though that’s what it felt like and that’s what it meant to me – evaporated with time and distance. We wrote occasional messages on Facebook, and mirrored each others’ experiences as single mothers, and the years passed.

I booked this trip to Paris, knowing what I really, really needed after a challenging year was three weeks entirely on my own. Out of the blue, Amanda invited herself along – just for a few days, she was just across the pond after all. I wasn’t sure, but I said yes anyway. And then she wasn’t sure, but she said yes anyway. And it turned out that the very last thing I really, really needed was three weeks entirely on my own.

Healer, artist, friend – Amanda is again working her magic on my soul. It can’t be coincidence – can it? – that for a second time, she’s arrived to take me in hand when I’ve been fragile and fearful. We’ll have only a short time together again, and I hope she gains as much as she gives from her time in my little Paris apartment.

Yesterday we took a long walk to the Tour Eiffel. Amanda wanted to sketch it. When we finally made it home, she wanted to paint it. And this morning, she’d almost finished it. Almost, but not quite. To see the final, quirky, clever result, drop in to her website.

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But give us a few more days first, to talk…

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