Friday, 31 May 2013

Let's Go to Arles, Darls

Today was incredibly moving. Just on the outskirts of St-Remy, a 20-minute amble from the centre of town, lies the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum where, for 12 months in 1899, a deeply troubled Vincent Van Gogh was a voluntary patient. During his stay here, Van Gogh painted over 150 works, many of them now iconic and decorating the walls of the National Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and countless student flats around the world.

Vincent Van Gogh, Irises, 1899

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Food porn et Paul Cezanne

Another cracking couple of days chilling in Provence with LB and Le Parents. We spent the best part of this morning having indecent thoughts about cheese and prosciutto and fresh strawberries and macaroons and more cheese and more olives and warm baguettes at St-Remy’s weekly farmers market. (I just started typing an analogy about food porn and this market taking things to the next level but it started to get a bit unseemly so I deleted it. So I’ll just say this: Oh. My. God. Best farmers market. Ever.)

Monday, 27 May 2013

Provence (and my 200th post)

The surest way to my heart is through a flea market.  So St-Remy and I are sure to become very good friends.

What a seriously beautiful town. Not a lick of lavender to be had anywhere in bloody Provence (seems the shitty spring weather wasn’t just restricted to London…) but there are poppies and wildflowers everywhere and in St-Remy, even without the constant sunshine (see previous point about shitty springs) there’s a lot to love, not least the fact that I see Van Gogh paintings in every field. But I'll get to that…

Sunday, 26 May 2013

From Paris to Provence

We arrived in Provence this afternoon, in the lively, lovely town of St-Remy. Max and Lovely Boy survived their Ryanair flight to meet us in Marseilles and the collective mood, given the indecisive sunshine, is still largely positive. So bring on a week in Provence, oui?

If only we'd bought an umbrella. And not shoes...
Mum and I have had a lovely couple of days in Paris. Froze our fucking arses off completely, got rained on, got battered by the wind and ended up sacrificing a pair of sodden shoes to the Parisian rain gods but still, a lovely time.

We both had a sartorial agenda for our 48 hours in this lovely city – mine involved sorbet coloured ballet shoes, Mum’s a visit to a small boutique she’d read about on the Left Bank near the Musee d’Orsay. We'd both agreed on a visit to Printemps. The rest of our time was spent drinking wine and shivering.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Bonjour et au revoir

Off to Paris tomorrow. Bring it on.

The parents arrived safely on Saturday, overcoming an absent Piccadilly line to meet us for breakfast at the Wolseley. This posh London institution – of the “visits for a special occasion” kind – is right around the corner from where Mum and Max stay when they come to London. No, not the Ritz (sadly) but the pokey, quirky, rabbit warren that is the Royal Overseas League. Anyway, after several stays now at the Overseas League, the Wolseley has become their favourite local breakfast hangout, which, when you consider it costs 10 bucks for a punnet of strawberries in Sydney these days, is probably a doddle.

Whatever the case, I’m happy to eat anywhere that has Portuguese tarts the size of cricket balls. It will no doubt prove a prescient start to the next couple of weeks.

It feels like Christmas Eve

I’m not quite on holidays but I may as well be: the parents arrive tomorrow. Work’s been typically chaotic but with only two days left now until two weeks off I figure the stress is a small, preliminary price to pay.

I’ve been stalking them all day. It absolutely blows my mind that this blinking dot moving across my screen is in fact a Qantas A380 jet carrying 450-odd people, two of which are my Mum and step-dad, wedged up the back in rows 86 and just-call-this-hell.

They’re due to arrive at some ridiculous hour so Lovely Boy and I are going to meet them for breakfast and then tomorrow evening I’m bringing them to work, for dinner at the cafĂ© and then a performance by the Irish artist Orla Barry. I’m a little worried how this will go down to be honest. Contemporary live art is one thing (LB is going to LOATHE it…) but contemporary live art after two glasses of wine and 24 hours of jetlag? Well, it’s going to be interesting.

Monday, 13 May 2013

A slice of vintage heaven

It’s so dull to exclaim “I can’t believe it’s May already!” but the fact is I can’t believe it’s May already. Mexico, the epic January snow, the epic Easter snow, Easter – the year hasn’t been dull and it’s about to get that much more exciting when the parentals arrive on Saturday.

I haven’t really allowed myself to think much about their visit, mostly because for the last month I wasn’t sure they’d even make it, thanks to a lil’ family cancer scare that wasn’t fun for anyone. But everyone now in the cancer-clear they’re t-minus 5 days until London and I cannot wait.

They are going to freeze their Australian “24 degrees and we call this autumn” arses off, mind you. But I have to confess I don’t have much sympathy because they only have to put up with it for five days before we all head to Provence for a week. And then Nice and then Mantava and then Venice for the biennale. It’s going to be tough, I know. But after their five days of London sprinter (that would be spring, dressed up as winter) and our seven eight months of this bollocks I think we’ll all have earned a little continental respite.

I cannot say it more plainly: the weather is not improving.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


I bloody love a long weekend and I love that the month of May has two of them. It's civility and generosity rolled into two. I also love Tuesmonday. You know, that wonderful negation of Monday blues by sheer fact of it already being Tuesday and thus one day closer to Friday. It's pretty wonderful.

So I had a good long weekend.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Kate Nash and a whine about the weather

It's Friday night and I'm staring down a long weekend. I love me a long weekend, especially when the weather is meant to play ball.

I'm quietly devastated to realise that my transition to English life and living has been well and truly cemented by my now involuntary inability to have any kind of conversation without it involving talking about the goddamn weather. It might really be time to leave.

But seriously, this nearly, is it, is it, not quite, nearly, come on please, enough already spring time weather would have even the most sexually frustrated teenage boy sobbing with exhaustion by now. Something's got to give. I mean, you know you have Stockholm Syndrome when 18 degrees feels like Ibiza. See! Talking about the weather! Again!

Hopefully we'll be off on holidays in a couple of weeks but until then I'm keeping busy.