Archive for November, 2010

Awaken to The Eiffel Tower View Points

Posted in French Travel, Paris with tags , , , , on November 18, 2010 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour mes amis,

Almost the week has passed and I believe I’ve actually learnt something at work. It came to me like a wack across the top of my student’s head (only kidding) and I felt an instant thwack of thought change.

Viewpoints. I learnt that different perspectives make an item of interest or necessity, less stressful and more enjoyable because we can gather new information, become more aware and our enhanced comprehension allows us an opportunity for further discovery and change.

This phenomena (can I call it that?) can be related to all sorts of things like photography, relationships and even travel. Psychologists suggest that if we can look through someones else’s perspective, we can establish a closer rapport. Sounds good to me.

What am I suggesting to you as a traveller? See things from different perspectives and vantage points.

My french awakening to the Eiffel Tower from different perspectives, made me discover that there’s not just one way of looking at this amazing icon of Paris. Yes, you can go straight up and look down from a bird’s eye view all over Paris, or picnic on the lawn below and gaze upwards (as suggested in my blog at

https://myfrenchawakening.wordpress.com/2010/01/29/awaken-to-the-eiffel-tower/

but why not consider a new and entirely different vantage point?

Where you ask? Walk to the Place du Trocadero to the area I particularly find inspiring, known as ‘The Place of Human Rights’.

Observe the Eiffel Tower directly across the Seine…

in the company of seven gilded bronze women and one single man who stand representative of Youth, Flora, Birds,  Morning (le Matin), Gardens, Spring and Fruits.

With symbols of heraldry, these beautiful statues radiate in brilliant gold under a French sun. President Mitterand¬† proclaimed that this plaza was “The place of the rights of man and human liberties” in 2005 and world war two concentration camps were liberated accordingly. What a change!

And that’s a whole different perspective and discovery don’t you think?

Au revoir,

Best wishes, Therese

copyright@2010 Therese Waddell

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Awakening to French Quilts

Posted in French fabrics, French Quilts, French Travel, South West of France, Therese Waddell's Quilts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2010 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour mes amis.

This weather is really inducive to the arts or any indoor activity don’t you think? Outside drizzling rain and inside opportunites. Staying at home now and again in this sort of inspiring weather irrevocably brings me to what I love to do-designing, writing, quilting… My list is endless. My time like yours, is not. Therefore I BLOG, offering quick blurbs of France, which are essentially a combination of the things I love, especially on a day under a rain splattered roof.

So, how are you?

I’m thinking of quilts and all things French as usual so I invite you to enter the charming world of the French bedroom (chambre) in the small village of Lautrec…

As I listen to the trickle of the rain, this room and bed is looking more inviting by the minute with its cosy warm hues and turned down cover but then I remember the quilts…

My french awakening to fabulous quilting was realised in Lautrec- a village in the south west of France. See for yourself and examine a great example of a whole cloth quilt with its elegant pattern and highly developed style. Just lovely don’t you think?

I make a lot of quilts and design in colour (check out http://www.quiltingthejourney.com/) but there is definately something to be said about a fashionably plain white French quilt which highlights detail and shadow at every turn of the needle. What do you think?

Beautiful? I’m sure you would agree. Pity no one can agree on the exact origin of quilting, but the earliest reference to a French quilt was in a ship captain’s inventory from Marseilles way back in 1297.

I rather doubt any females today could tolerate the loathsome and often bloody battles on board a medieval sailing ship of the thirteeenth century. However, this very same quilt could have belonged to the French woman of a marauding Viking or a sturdy lass being transported amongst a fleet of crusaders fighting for the cause. We shall never know. (The identification label was well and truly missing from the back!)

Perhaps its owner was the sea captain himself, but to think a ship’s captain would ever admit to not only owning a quilt but carrying it under his muscular arm on his sea faring journey, is quite another story.

French quilts were common in the seventeenth century around Provence and have since then become extremely popular across the globe. The quality of French fabrics (tissus) I can attest is second to none, regardless of what is on offer elsewhere.

If you’re interested in the beautiful Provence Indiennes fabrics, you’ll enjoy this-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y97CbtO95iU

Only the very lucky own a French quilt.

Happy sewing and happy travels all of you!

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes,Therese Waddell

copyright@2010 Therese Waddell

Awakening to the Latin Quarter of Paris

Posted in Food and Recipes, French Affair, French Travel, Paris with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2010 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour mes amis,

You know what I mean when I say that some of us choose to live by the tune of a different drum. There is always choices to be made today about our tomorrows- some bigger than others and there are those who choose to walk a different pathway, if but only temporarily.

For those of you who have contemplated alternatives and plan to slip away for an interval of time to holiday or to regain that part of you which you have not seen or felt for a long while, you could very well benefit from a healthy bout of the Latin Quarter of Paris.

My french awakening discovered that the Quartier Latin, dominating  the 5th arrondissment of the famous Left Bank of Paris and oozing into the 6th- dances to its own fabulously unique pulsating beat, both by day and night.

By day you can be wrapped up by artisans, galleries, antique dealers, publishing houses, chic boutiques and book sellers. The Left bank lives up to its reputation of being the “artistic side” of Paris and still home to the revolutionaries of art, writing and philosophy as it was in the past, with the likes of the infamous Hemingway, Picasso and Oscar Wilde who frequented literary cafes here like “Les Deaux Magots”… and maybe now even you?

Wander the cobblestone streets where a carcaphony of sounds oxygenate you and your mates with the language of intellectuals. Writers and students of academia, not only from the huge host of colleges and specialist Faculties (Geography, Archeology, Pharmacy and Languages to name a few), also sprout in sporadic streams from lecture halls of La Sorbonne University- the institution which has remained the heart of the Latin Quarter and continues to palpitate this part of Paris since the 13th century.

Tantalize your taste buds simultaneously as the Latin Quarter’s more budget friendly outlets offer delicious and often very memorable French foods ready for takeaway.You’ll be confronted with more food choices on a daily basis than back at home which can’t be all bad and there’s always Rue de Mouffetard markets which spill gourmet freshness to add to your cuisine options.

Take an arterial route and enter the era of Gallo Roman Paris history at Place du Pantheon…

or soak up long lived and imaginary circus acts and the contests of bronzed gladiators from one of the seats of the Amphitheatre of the the ancient arena (Arenes de Lutece) all in your afternoon.

Want more? Of course you do! Need more? You’ll have to answer that one.

Well, how ’bout by night? Enter the Latino world of lively bistros and brasseries with their neon lights and music which scream jazz and seduction.

Resist no longer my friends. Come to Quartier Latin- it will offer you more than you could possibly imagine. What are you waiting for?

The Latin Quarter. Bigger than a bandaid… and far less sticky!

Au revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

copyright@2010 Therese Waddell