Category Archives: French

Umbrellas of Cherbourg

A Film I love. A play which is beautiful, awe-inspiringly, decadent, jawdroppingly, stylishly, colourfully, beautiful…

I didn’t care a jot about the plot, aside from one scene: our protagonists have gone their separate ways, she with his child, he with the child of another woman, the moment they decide not to allow him to meet his child, because they both know, that, though they were lovers ripped apart by circumstance in their prime, that it’s not worth breaking the life they have each built alone.

I didn’t take any photos, as it seemed rude, but please look at these, I promise they are a treat: http://www.umbrellasofcherbourg.com/sights-and-sounds/

It was genuinely, one of the most visually outstanding pieces of theatre I have ever seen.

With these flowers you are spoiling us…

Last Saturday, I had a gorgeous day in the Surrey Countryside, with my Cousins Rob and Hannah and my Aunt and Uncle. For Aunt Selwa I brought the blousiest bunch of Green/Pink Hydrangea and Peonies (favourites, favourites, favourites) – Hydrangea seem to be having a resurgence, thankfully, previously considered to be the domain of the grandma-garden, the beautiful, multi-headed shrub is getting a LOT of love in the Lily-Household at the moment.

Aunt Selwa cooked delicious Palestinian gourmet, and we ate in the shade of a pear tree, before treating ourselves to a small nap on a blanket on the lawn.

T’was idyllic – it is decided the only way to properly enjoy the sunshine is from under a pear tree.

This Saturday was Hampton Court Flower Show day, avec ma maman, I got the train an hour early, because I am an idiot, it was boiling hot (which meant at least we didn’t need a wee)… we saw some marvellous things – these table decorations, totally up my street, all bunting and porcelain and oddments of metal boxes containing bundles of garden-flowers:

The roses were looking a little sad for themselves on the penultimate day of the show…and there wasn’t a single Amnesia Rose.

Here’s some of my favourite stuff…

I liked the raggeldy taggledy ones the best, like they just happened to have grown there.

Maybe it’s the product of the *never-ending winter of 2009 – 2010*, but the summer this year seems extra big and bright and blousey.

Summer obsessions in the Clarke-Emery household include, though are not limited to:

1) bee keeping – specifically in pastel coloured hives (the pastel coloured bit is more Emery than Clarke)

2) creating a giant fondant fancy – like this one:

3) Medicines Sans Frontiers – if they need a a builder (probably) and a project manager (maybe)

4) Organic Farming Holidays in France

New Wave

As a confirmed Francophile, one of my biggest musical loves is Nouvelle Vague (roughly translating as New Wave)

I love their punky, shouty, sweet, bossa nova ness… simply gawgus…

I am currently a bit in love with ex collaborator Camille Dalmais, definitely part of the renouveau de la chanson française, and never more so than in her second album Le Fil which translates as ‘the thread’, and is also a homophone of ‘the girl’.


It’s a clever and conceptual album, the ‘thread’ itself is a continuous drone of note B throughout all songs (to the extent that those not in the know, returned the album thinking it was a fault in recording), Camille “uses her voice as an instrument”, but not in that irritating way that the Icelandic Pixie did in Medulla, but in a bitter-sweet-melancholic way, that only a chantreuse could. It’s sweet, and summery and entirely listenable, without being too Joe-le-taxi-whimsical, or Gainsbourg-creepy.

The song of my day, pour que l’amour me quitte?



Frilly for Friday

Paris Posters

I came across this amazing site yesterday, care of the rather gorgeous Occasional Enthusiast blog.

There are so many vintage posters here that I love.

Lovely vintage images, spanning; fashion, food, advertising, transport (lots of amazing deco ships and trains – yumski) politics (always have amazing use of typography) & film.

There are so many that I don’t know where to start….here are a couple of my favourites:

and…

I have a feeling that these will be changing regularly…

Mid Week Malaise

This is the first day in five that I have been able to type, following a truly horrid tummy bug, care-of my delightful 16-month-old pal, Anna.

It’s funny how because babies are *always* being sick, our usual warning mechanism to avoid ill people doesn’t work, so I hugged the sickie little thing, and planted auntie kisses on her red cheeks, and since then I have been puking at a rate of knots not known since my own childhood.

Bofo has also been under the kosh, though, of course, looked after me impeccably. I am a lucky duckie.

I very much wish I could go back to work today, but every time I move, it feels as if my head might explode, and my arms and legs might break off. Stillness is the only solution, but is difficult to maintain on the 08.10 train to Farringdon.

In the last 52 hours I have eaten some toast and marmite, and little else, and now my tummy seems to be waking up, and wanting *something nice*, and these are the nice things I’ve been considering, though I probably have a boiled egg and soldiers:

And a table set with Amnesia Roses.

Grimwood – Lautrec

Loving Brian Grimwood at the moment, reminds me of Toulouse Lautrec.

Monsieur Lautrec, who I LOVE: