Speaking French is not a simple matter of flicking a switch and carrying on with life. It is inextricably related to feelings of legitimacy, falsehood, belonging and alienation. It is associated with anger and frustration, inadequacy, stupidity, and triumph. It is related to who and what I am, my place in the world around me and a constant negotiation and re-negotiation of meaning, intention and power.Read More
Meet Lynne Oakes, aka my mother.
Although she might not describe herself as such, she is a gutsy and adventurous lady, and last year she and her lovely fella rode their motorbikes over 7,500km across the middle of Australia. She generously agreed to let me wear my reporter hat and ask her all about it.Read More
Since when is Paris a place that needs to advertise? It’s one of the world’s top tourism destinations. However, 2015 was a shocker of a year for France, and understandably lots of people are have delayed or cancelled their Paris trips.
Here are my top five reasons for why you should come to Paris now.Read More
Published in לאשה Laisha Magazine, January 2016
Bing! I hop out of the way as another tram trundles through the middle of a busy street. Having long since disappeared from many cities, the tram is still very much part of Melbourne, a quirky patch on the quilt that is this complex, vibrant city. A melting pot of cultures, of interests, languages and history, Australia’s second largest city has a lot to offer visitors, and I’m eager to get to know it a little on my three day visit.Read More
Welcome to "Hey You! Yes You", a new series in which I'll introduce you to a new marvelous person that I have encountered here on Earth, each with their own interesting story.
For the first ever post of I have chosen a friend of mine here in Paris, Ellen. Ellen is a seriously talented musician and singer, who has just finished recording a to-be-named new album.
By regularly coaxes the magic of unicorns out of her voice and into our ears on the Paris music scene. By day she works in one of the most beautiful places on earth: The Eiffel Tower. As a tour guide, and has been up the Tower more than a hundred times. Like, way more.
I thought it would be fun to ask her a few questions about what that is like.Read More
I’ve been a bicycle tour guide in Paris for more than two years, and this is a topic I’ve been thinking of writing about for a while. I resisted it because I’m not a fan of bitchsticles (bitchy-list-articles) and I couldn’t really see how this would interest anybody except me and my guide friends.
Then I realised something that changed my mind:
The tour you get depends on the tourist you are.Read More
One of the hazards of being a bike guide is that lots of your friends will also be bike guides, and will invite you to go on crazy rides to strange places with very little planning.
Last month, we went to the Vaux le Vicomte estate, 41km from Paris as the crow flies.Read More
Provence has got to be one of the most adorable regions in France.
A land of lavender, vineyards, fruit trees, gently rolling hills and the occasional limestone range... Of ancient village centres, narrow cobblestone streets and carved stone fountains... The true paysage, the authentic rural heart of France which has remained unchanged throughout the centuries in its deeply significant traditions and unrelenting adorableness.
Did I mention lavender?
If I'm honest, the self-conscious provincialism can wear pretty thin, especially in the bigger towns where vendors cackle with delight at the commencement of the tourist season, and even on brand new buildings the paint is artfully weather-worn.Read More
Published in The Washington Post, June 18 2015
"You can find some incredible things in the outback of Western Australia, and after about two hours of driving we come upon one: a Benedictine monastery. This is New Norcia, founded more than a century and a half ago as a mission and now one of the state’s most unlikely tourist destinations."Read More