June 6, 2016

At breakfast on our last day in Paris, I sat trying to work out how we could go to Parc Monceau and the Musée Camondo, then Père Lachaise Cemetery, then Jardin des Plantes and the Grand Mosque, then the Pantheon, passing the Sorbonne. And a few things in between. It wo...

June 5, 2016

Back to the classroom for the last time this morning.  That made me quite sad!  The first part of the session was about making it as a travel writer, giving us a reality check on financial rewards (or not), making a living and using social media.  Then the ten key poin...

June 4, 2016


John came with me across the Pont Neuf as I walked to class.  Aren't I lucky to have a personal photographer? 


The route to Co-Work takes me through Les Halles development. Once a magnificent iron building commissioned by Emperor Napolon III in the 1850's, i...

June 3, 2016

There was no morning class today because we were to meet at the Aligre market, in the Saint-Antoine area east of the Place de la Bastille. Assignment: 300-500 word review. 


               photo of commode by André-Charles Boulle...

June 2, 2016

I woke feeling really excited on Tuesday morning, wanting to hear more about the nuts and bolts of travel writing. 


John and I walked together to the métro, crossing the Pont Neuf to the right bank, stopping to take photos at the footpath nursery on the quai. The...

June 1, 2016

I was a little nervous about starting the writing course on Monday, wondering about the teachers, the course content, my fellow students, how useful it would be to me. After all, I'd booked for it on a whim when I saw it advertised in the Secrets of Paris newsletter. I...

May 22, 2016

 It's a rainy afternoon in Paris. This really heavy shower had the Seine dancing. 


We're tucked up in our apartment, drinking coffee, eating macaroons and editing photos. We've just been to Neuilly (by Métro) to have lunch with our son-in-law's parents and son Freddy....

May 21, 2016


Paris is magic.  Simply magic. Every time I come here, I fall in love with the city all over again.  


Do you know one of the things I love about Paris? I love the way that niceties must come first.  I love that it's important to say 'Bonjour madame' or 'Bonjour m...

May 20, 2016

I was truly sad to say goodbye to Marie Hélène this morning.  She is such a darling.  She's leaving today as well, going to see her 24 year old son in Geneva.  She has a daughter too.  Her husband is going to have to look after things while she is away.  'It is good fo...

May 19, 2016

Today was a diamond. We had a wonderful stroke of luck. I can't wait to tell you!


But first let me show you our hotel.  It's called La Berbisey, and it's a private home owned by Marie Hélène Joffroy and her husband. From the street it's a double red door with a creeper...

May 18, 2016

Up until this trip, the only experience I had of Dijon was mustard. It's my go-to for sauces and salad dressings.  And now here we are!


Speaking of mustard, the Romans were supposed to have made mustard first by mixing together fresh grape juice and ground mustard...

May 17, 2016



Yes, that's French for 'we're lost'.  And yes we were. 


We were on our way to guide John's kind wine-tasting offer, at his wife's family's vineyard. Walking into Puligny along the tops of the vineyards, arriving there mid-morning. At 11.10am we were still way up...

May 16, 2016



There I was sitting at the breakfast table at L'Hotel de Beaune, taking a photo of  the embroidered napkin which I was about to put on my lap, when I looked out of the window.  Such a surprise! I pushed my chair backwards, jumped up and almost flew out the front door...

May 15, 2016



Today we decided to skip our scheduled 20km walk, make a late start and have a leisurely day exploring Beaune itself. Excellent decision!  



As soon as we walked out of the hotel this morning, I noticed a bed of lily of the valley outside the front door.




May 14, 2016



The Cote d'Or is a limestone escarpment which runs north/south through Burgundy.  Tonight we are at its main town, Beaune.



What a beautiful day. This morning, our guide John dropped us at Aloxe-Corton, and we walked south in a loop of twelve kilometres, up over Beau...

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"I never travel without my diary.  

One should always have something

sensational to read on the train."  

                                - OSCAR WILDE

shelley dark 

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