- A Canadian expatriate living and exploring first France now Germany, then BACK to FRANCE (!!!) with her family; former fashion designer, turned unexpected UNLIKELY NOMAD, raising two children, writing, photographing, painting, playing piano (who knew!!) and blogging - and now... full time student at ART SCHOOL!! (I MUST be crazy!!)
Sunday, May 25, 2008
YUP....We did got Turkey to ISTANBUL for a week which was even more fabulous...
YUP...I am taking an online course in painting like Orenta...and my two normal art classes during the week plus prepping for my course in London this summer...
YUP...I do have sooo many commitments with the kids at school and about 7 different volunteer things...
YUP...we do have a lovely visitor Eva Diva who has been the MOST SUBLIME of visitors and who the kids simply adore (as we do!!)
YUP WE did just have two super birthdays this week ...mine and the TLG (The Little Guy) who turned 8...won't mention how old I am...thank TONS for all the well wishing and cards and gifts....!!
YUP I do have tons of great pics and lots to say about it ALL...
I have not given up on blogging for any of you who are still stopping by ....but... BUT OH....oh my spinning head!!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Barb, you will always have a special place in my heart, and if there is EVER anything I can do for you, anywhere, anytime, you know...all you have to do is ask.
The coolest part about living where we are now though in northern Germany, and I JUST discovered this, is that we are an inexpensive and mere 50 minute flight away from one another...I LOVE that!
So last week, I decided to take Riel out of school for a couple of days, so we could go to London, and visit Barb and some family...Yes I DO love Barb, but did I ever mention how much I love London? I have images of Carnaby street in the 60's, cool British rock bands all mixed up with Gary Glitter and David Bowie with a fluffy underbelly of the Chelsea flower show, topped off by a stiff Bobby...You know what I mean?
Soooo..we saw a little of thisor I guess I should say allot of this or maybe a large of this or something like that...a little of this, including a performance by Midori, linked only in case you do now know who she is like I (Cultural Boob that I am) didn't, reviewers say she "IS" her violin, and ...I can concur...wow...music was incredible but connection with an instrument verging on bizarre...OK now I am exposing the real soft underbelly of my Cultural Boobness ...but hey...you guys will be nice to me right?) and on the way we saw a few of these, gotta love those red buses, and also saw some of this, performance art, a sampling of chairs taken from the Barbicon and set up like the seats on a 747...(like I need to see more of those...) I was looking for a section of 3 in a row so I could sleep...HA...cool no?
and then a few pics in front the the Victoria and Albert Museum
while gawking in absolute and complete astonishment and awe at the Prince Albert Monument in Hyde Park...some of the most exquisite statuary I have ever seen (next post)...and of course you HAVE to love English Gardens...
Oooh I LOVE London..Can't WAIT to go back
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Ten years or so ago (who is counting anyway), when I was travelling in India , I got a tummy bug so bad, it was all I could do to hobble to the bathroom for the necessary, and to wobble out to the hall to pick up my plain rice and broth, all that I could stomach. Having been on the road for 8 months, staying at the most in one place for a week at a time, I was sick and tired of travelling.
I stayed holed up in that hotel room hiding and nursing myself better for more than a week. I could describe every feature of it in detail from the mustard colored carpet, the grey-white linen on the bed to the soft cool marble floor in the bath and the wet smell and sound of the never ceasing air conditioner, which I thanked my lucky stars for as it was as hot as hell. It was then, holed up in that hotel room hiding from India that I read all-in-one-go, Mahatma Gandhi's autobiography "My Story of Experiments with the Truth ", a dog eared and undoubtedly pirated copy bought from a dubious bookseller on a dusty street corner for a rupee or two.
One of the most important books I have ever read.
Gandhi presents us, by example of his daily existence, a conscious and thoughtful lifestyle that demonstrates the value of caring for ones self, by growing ones own food, weaving ones own cloth, cleaning ones own house, doing ones own laundry. A lawyer from a wealthy family living in a time where society dictated servants, Gandhi's communal and self sufficient existence sent out a clear and powerful message of change. I still remain impressed by the courage and strength of this singular man who succeeded by successfully challenging and changing the political status-quo with a massive peoples passive resistance, indeed his message is still with me.
The time and place and the powers at work reflected differently on his ideas then, than the things at work in our culture today, and but his ideas are no less relevant.
Does it seem to some of you in our day of the National Enquirer and Hollywood and Britney and consumer debt that some of us seem to be loosing our way? Floating soulless in the face of the fast material world, motivated to look outward towards images of increased social and financial status instead of inwards to our true value and sense of self? Gandhi's message of living thoughtfully and consciously, taking the time to pause for reflection and being self sufficient are all things that have always seemed to me to be things that restore our somewhat lost sense of self.
Slow down, take time to value yourself by caring for yourself and for others. What a simple and yet profoundly truthful message. Or is it?
So what is truth, is it fixed; or fluid and ever changing?
How does this or any truth connect with the context of daily reality?
Can we really have "Experiments with the Truth"?
It seems we have been having our own set of experiments in our household, as (anyone else?) seems when you are seven years old these things come into question, and it does take some thought and energy to figure out EXACTLY what the TRUTH really is.
First....I wish you were old enough to read Gandhi.
I love you SO very much and I am watching you try to figure out how much to tell the truth and how much you can get away with 'fudge'. Even though you don't realize it you have a very odd expression in the very back of your eyes and around your mouth when you are "eating fudge'... so just like my Mom told me, and I will tell you, and you will tell your kids...here are some simple rules to help with the truth...
1)Your Mom always KNOWS when there is 'fudge' around...
2)Contrary to Gandhi the context of our family is not in flux and the TRUTH is not so very fluid.
3)The TRUTH is simply the truth, it IS ONLY ONE THING, it does not change depending on who is hearing it, and it certainly will not change no matter how much you want it to.
4)If you tell a lie you will get into double the trouble than if you tell us the truth.
5)When you ALWAYS tell the truth people feel like they can trust you, no one ever disbelieves you, you will be seen as a good honest person, someone to be relied upon... and that just feels good.
6)Telling the truth is simple, you will never get caught, and you never have to try to remember where you left the "fudge"....trust me it is much easier...
7)I will do the very best job I can to help you learn this very simple but ever so important TRUTH about life... because I love you...more than anything.
8)And because contrary to popular opinion...I REALLY don't like "fudge"...
Love you forever, Your Mom.
As soon as I found out a few weeks ago that almost all of the letters written by Vincent Van Gogh to his utterly devoted younger brother Theo had been preserved and were available to read, I could think of little else. Three volumes of intimate letters full of the detail of his life and the development of his artistic talent from nothing to the genius of his later years, a collection of letters guarded and treasured by his family and left unpublished until his fame was established and his life and work better understood, a collection of letters spanning 13 years or so and covering his travels all over Europe, what a treasure.
Can you tell I am feeling a little obsessed?
Not only is his story a good and particularly interesting one, but as social commentary of the day, it is also of particular interest to me as the chronicle of a developing artist. In the beinning Van Gogh is essentially is self taught and he speaks at length about the deveolpment of his ideas and his techniques ...so far it has been amazing and I must confess I am having difficulty putting it down... (I am sure you are all yawning by now...)
The Van Gogh Museum itself was beyond fabulous, with over 200 original works it was even better than I could have ever expected... the paintings are larger than life and there are no words to describe the beauty of the colors in their luminescence.
It was heaven, the kids, having read all of our books together, were completely aware of what we were looking at and were reverent (well almost reverent...LOL), and spent about an hour drawing while we were there...they are SO cool those two kids...
Here are some of my favorites ...
*Sigh*...Are they not just gorgeous? (Feeling SO inspired...)
*I want to paint JUST like that...*
You can check out more of his work here...
Monday, March 24, 2008
Dramatic skies over canals and windy blustery weather with blinding gaps of sunshine, and splashes of rain about every 20 minutes or so...but never enough to be a true bother...just enough for us to be always with our umbrellas...
And even more bicycles...
Canals everywhere...simply wonderful...we fell in love with her...Lady Amsterdam that is...
Walking and exploring hand in hand...
Well just to get your buds ready for more...tomorrow...
Friday, March 14, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
You were home sick with me today, and we had a very quiet day.
You had a hotspot on your cheek and a very runny nose.
It was nice even though you slept right through the afternoon and I had to miss a friends birthday lunch. More important you sleep right?
Have I told you lately how much I love you and how sweet you are even when you have a drippy nose? You are such a good and co-operative kid, and you are SO industrious. You even wore your hat inside all day today and your slippers since you are not feeling well. Today while I was working on this drawing, you left your "Petite Ours" video to check in with me, just to chat. So Sweet.
While you were with me we decided you could try my charcoals too,
....and you loved how BLACK they "colour".
...You found that fascinating.
You also found it very interesting what happened to your hands and face...
Hope you feel better soon Lily!!
Love and kisses,
Your Mom XOX
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Kicked back at the end of the day...all is quiet, the kids are fed, homework, extra french lesson and piano practice is done, lunches are made for tomorrow, breakfast organized, and the kids are all tucked in their beds with warm hearts (hot water bottles shaped like hearts... so very sweet) tucked in between their tender little feet. Now it is time for a little bit of ME time, to catch up with you all and AHHHHH.....do a little writing and posting.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
And...always look on the bright side of life... Always look on the light side of life...
For life is quite absurd, And death's the final word
So always look on the bright side of death, Just before you draw your terminal breath
Life's a piece of shit, when you look at it, Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
What we could not see on Google earth was that the villa flanked a beautiful, calm and peaceful valley, with a pristine steepled village on one side and a breathtaking slab of rocky Alp jutting up on the other, and rolling toboggan hills on the third. Although a km or so from the slope what we also couldn't see on Google earth was the sweet honey perfect length of meticulously groomed wide wide cross country ski and alpine walking trail, covered with firmly packed soft *crunchy* pristine snow, perfect for walking and even better for this...
Unbeknownst to us we could rent them with our skis, and rent them we did...too cool.
We arose everyday an hour earlier in order to make the 40 minute walk to the hill with the kids in tow. I am not sure if it was...
...the snowflakes so large and perfect they sparkled and blinded like like diamonds,
....the glorious sunshine and clear, clear blue sky EVERY DAY,
...the absolute and complete satisfaction of the children at being towed in unison by their GPA and Daddy, ...just the simple glorious mountain air,
...or being surrounded by incredibly majestic snow capped peaks of rocky Alp the entire way
...or the fact that we had GPA with us the whole time and we ALL were SO happy about that...
that seared this part of our journey indelibly in my brain, as the my UTMOST FAVORITE moment-of-the-day ....or not.
But it sure did...
More to come tomorrow...