Guadeloupe program

To learn French, I’m writing a phrase or three each day, about what we have done.

In Guadeloupe the program is, breakfast on the terrace overlooking the sea, driving to les plages de sable blanc avec des cocotiers (white sand beach with coconut trees) and then swimming, and reading our books on the beach, before lunch at the Red Whale!

It does sound like paradise, but in August there are an incredible amount of mosquitoes!

To finish each day, the program entailed returning to the house before the sun set over the sea with an aperitif… en fin d’après midi, nous rentrions à la maison pour prendre l’apéritif devant le coucher de soleil sur la mer, tous les jours!

Nous avons aussi vu un banc de plusieurs centaines de dauphines; ils jouaient tout autour du bateau sur lequel nous avions embarqué.

(We have also seen a pod of over a hundred dolphins a who played with the boat we took).

We also snorkeled and swam with turtles and colorful fish, and coral at the Reserve Costeau on Basse Terre, which was absolutely beautiful!

(Nous avons nagé et plongée avec des tortues, beaucoup des poisson colorés et des coraux dans la réserve costeau à Basse Terre).

It was also really lovely to enjoy the water without the fear of sharks, however I still kept my eye out, just in case….

Bonjour from Guadeloupe!


We are on a tropical island in the French West Antilles called Marie-Galante. We flew to Pointe-a-Pitre from Paris with a direct flight of about 10 hours, and then came to this smaller island by boat.

Here are some photos of the beaches in the far north west of the island which are beautiful. White sandy beaches with palm trees, just like a postcard.

The southern part of the island is quite badly affected by seaweed. This is a different kind of seaweed to the Sargasses seaweed I’ve seen elsewhere. This is apparently due to chicken farming in the Amazon… here is a photo of what should be the most beautiful beach on the island:

We are here for one week, and then go to the mainland of Guadeloupe for another week, and then to New York. The Parisians work hard, and then everyone takes the whole of August off! So a lot of shops simply close for this period, at least in our arrondissement of Paris.

Our house here in Marie Galante is perched high up on a hill with a private swimming pool overlooking the sea, and on a clear day we can see the next large island nation of Dominique which lies between the two French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. There is a history here of colonial sugar farming, and Marie Galante is called “The Island of 100 Windmills”. We are yet to visit a distillery of the famous Rhum Bielle that comes from the sugar cane.

Here is Dominique island:

The local Creole food is very tasty, and yesterday we found a restaurant called La Bailene Rouge at Saint Louis in the north west of Marie Galante. We both ordered the same Parakeet fish dish, which was absolutely delicious and cooked right in front of us!

Today our plan is to go back to our favorite beach called Plage de la Moustique…snorkel and swim and relax under a Mangrove (the Palm tree isn’t as shady) and then return to this delicious restaurant!!

À bientôt!

Paris snow, flood and finally…spring flowers

Here are some photos of one of the snow days we had in Paris. We have had three! When I woke up and saw out of the window that everything was white and was forming a proper layer on the ground, I caught to metro to Champ de Mars and was there by the time the sun was rising. It was absolutely magical. Due to the roads being closed, and people not being able to drive to work…the metro home was not so magical!

Palais Royale above, and here with some dogs:

I could post hundreds of snow photos. For me, it was wonderland every day. I did catch an awful cold, and I’ve never experienced being so cold before (being from the land down under), but it was still a real novelty to see snow falling, and settling on beautiful Paris before my eyes!

Next extreme weather event was the flooding. This was actually before the snow, but is less photogenic: here is the same promenade, during and after the flood. You can see how high the water was – the path was completely submerged:

Here is a lamp on Île Saint-Louis, during the flood, and how it looks on a regular basis.

Finally, after about 6 months of brutal and relentless coldness, rain and snow, the trees are turning green and some trees are even turning pink!

Tomorrow I am going to a picnic at a park where there are supposed to be plenty of blossom trees. Fingers crossed they are in flower.

Other than the weather, and flowers, my life consists of learning French every day, and then practicing it on my way home from school with vendors of cheese, wine, fruit and vegetables, and bread. Next, I need to join the gym!!

Au revoir!

Good morning from London!

I love the quick service between Paris and London. Just a two hour journey from city center to city center. I can’t rate it highly enough!

I’m going back to Paris this afternoon, and arrived on Wednesday. Just a quick visit for some dinners with friends!

Paris again 

I’ve been in Paris now for nearly a whole month, and have mostly been working and doing regular every day things, but today I have a day off of personal admin and work, and chores, and am enjoying a walk along the river to wherever I end up.

Usually my day begins at around 6:15am and I work until 1:30pm, then have a nap and go out and buy a baguette and crepes for breakfast, practice my french, and then go to bed!

Here are some snaps from the last month:

Rooftop + bar + castle – Belgrade has it all

Here I am looking pleased, on a rooftop which is inside the Belgrade Fortress in the Stari Grad – old city – where I am staying. The fortress is on the confluence of the River Sava, and the Danube river, in a lovely park called Kalemegdan which I like to run in!

For centuries, the whole population of the city was within the walls of this fortress, the first mention of the city was in the 3rd century BC by the Celtic tribe of Scordisci (thanks Wikipedia). Phew – so much history and fighting on this spot. However now it is a very pleasant place for sitting around with a vodka soda on the roof, bopping to house music, watching the sun set into the rivers.

Before the fortress, my friend took me to a bar on the river front which was also stunning. Belgrade has countless bars and cafes, and restaurants and clubs, and excellent prices. Yesterday when work finished, I walked to a spa near my apartment and had a massage and facial for 2 hours, and then lunch with my friend at our favorite terrace restaurant.