Author:visionarymarketing

Clematis

Clematis – Bagatelle – Paris – May 2022 There are approximately 300 species of clematis “within the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae”. Their garden hybrids have been popular among gardeners,[3] beginning with Clematis × jackmanii, a garden standby since 1862; more hybrid cultivars are being produced constantly. They are mainly of Chinese and Japanese origin. Most species are known as clematis in English, while some are also known as traveller’s joy, a name invented for the sole British native, C. vitalba, by […]

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Bollards bollards everywhere

Our streets are teeming with bollards. Not so long ago we went to Pau in the South-West of France. As I was taking pictures I noticed that bollards had multiplied since our last visit, 7 years ago. What is a bollard anyway? I had to go to good old Wikipedia to find out. Here is the definition. A bollard is a sturdy, short, vertical post. The term originally referred to a post on a ship or quay used principally for […]

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Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossoms in Spring and Autumn

Cherry blossoms in spring don’t come as a surprise. Cherry blossoms in autumn are a very different kettle of fish, or flowers for that matter. I suppose that only a few years back, before Covid-19 struck, taking pictures of Cherry Blossoms would have sounded naf and awfully deja vu. As it happens, many people flock to Korea or Japan to see these Cherry Blossoms but Flyskam makes all this impossible. IPCC tells us a major catastrophe is just around the corner, […]

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Val-de-Grâce: a Saving Grace

The Val-de-Grâce church is much of a saving grace in a neighbourhood which suffered in the hands of ruthless brutalist architects from the 1970s. Val-de-Grâce (the valley of grace literally) is a beautiful name. Val-de-Grâce, a Saving Grace The ‘Val-de-Grâce * is the earliest military hospital in France. The magnificent church and its monastery were built by Anne of Austria, the wife of Louis XIII, to thank God for the birth of her son, crowned as Louis XIV. During the revolution, the […]

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Northern Doorways Around Boulogne

Northern Doorways aren’t grand, they often lead to modest houses in working class areas where unemployment is high and income is low. I lived in the North of France for a long long time before moving to Britain and, later on, to Paris. Whenever I go up North it feels like going home even though I left that place a long time ago now. Northern Doorways Around Boulogne I suspect one never quite forgets the place one was raised in, it […]

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Z for Zorro en route to Blois Chambord

Some time ago we took the train, a grey train with an orange Z, a Z for Zorro. Even if it wasn’t lightning fast, it took us to our destination, if I may say so, since we were going to Blois and Blois isn’t by the sea but by the Loire. And the Loire doesn’t match up with the sea, it goes without saying (Between Orleans and Blois the flow is much is lower and there are many sandbanks). Blois […]

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Le Touquet Paris Plage in Winter

Last December, the wife and I went to the seaside at Le Touquet Paris Plage. You can tell it’s “Paris Plage” because of the huge Eiffel Tower on the seafront. The polystyrene work of art was crafted by Alain Godon, a local artist who seems to be very popular. Everywhere you go around Le Touquet, you’re bound to find his works in the streets, in shops and even museum stores. I’m not sure I’m crazy about this sculpture. The way Godon distorts […]

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The last tourist in Paris

The last tourist in Paris

There’s one thing about Covid-19, if nothing else, it makes you feel like you’re the last tourist in Paris. For a while we’ve seen more visitors coming back to our museums and we could hear quite a few American voices in the cafés in St Germain des près. The 5th wave has definitely put a stop to that. Do not travel to France due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in France due to terrorism and civil unrest. Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any […]

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Port Royal Abbey in Paris

Port Royal Abbey in Paris

Port Royal is a not just an abbey, nor a mere piece of 17th century architecture, it’s a window on History. On the history of religion and philosophy. There is something weird about this cloister. It’s hard to say it’s one of the most beautiful pieces of religious architecture I’ve ever seen. In fact it’s probably one of the plainest buildings ever. It looks linear, unimaginative, very boring in fact. As it happens, I can hardly understand why I find […]

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Sketch of Port Royal Abbey in Paris

In Paris, near the RER station of Port Royal, you can find the remains of the eponymous abbey, well hidden within the Cochin hospital and the Baudeloque maternity hospital, so much so that you could almost walk past it without noticing. This abbey was the centre of jansenism, and famous writers and philosophers frequented it (Racine, Pascal, …). It was closed manu militari in 1664 (nothing to do with a famous blonde though 😉 ). The cloister is almost intact. […]

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