Just another week end: whales watching

Living in Africa has its drawbacks. I can’t go to the Theatre, I can’t walk for a long time in the streets, I can’t do shopping and I can’t  easily escape from the huge town where I live …No place is close enough or nice enough around here  and there are lots of traffic jams.

But there are some advantages: sun, beach and wildlife! So this week-end, the same way anybody in Europe would go to the mall or watch a movie (which I also did in the end..cf James Bond article), I went to seek for the whales who pass near the coast.

It’s amazing. The minute we arrived on the spot one whale jumped in the air before going back into the deep. Then another one…Then nothing for more than one hour. We scrutinized the sea but we could see nothing except sometimes their back quickly surfacing. It was a real hide and seek game because when we spotted one, we went into the right direction but then when we arrived, it was already elsewhere. Those monsters are fast!

So I didn’t see a lot but I enjoyed it and all the way back I wished for only one thing, I wanted so much to dive there and swim next to them. No matter how big they are, they seemed pretty playful to me 😉

James Bond: Skyfall

I just went to see the movie this week-end and I must admit that even though I am not normally a James Bond fan, this time I have been impressed.

First there is the opening credits with the beautiful song “skyfall” by Adele. This song plus the images in the background make you sink deeper and deeper in your seat. That’s it, you crave to know what it’s all about because you already know something great is coming. Other James Bond movies make a good entrance but no other had this impact on me.

I must admit that the story is not original: Evil against Good and Britain patriotism first! But Which was good about this James Bond in particular is the role played by “Mum” (Judi Dench). Her human side was highlighted and that changed the tone of the story. The different settings chosen for the movie were very good as well. Of course you get to see  exotic countries with a touch of grandeur and luxury but in this episode you go back to Britain who becomes the main place where everything important will happen. Ok, there are many “cliché” taken for granted in this film but it’s for that reason that we love the Brits, isn’t it? They have become so good at making fun of themselves that they know exactly when or where their british touch is gonna work. And it does indeed.

I also appreciated the new Q performed by Ben Wishaw that I saw in “The perfume” a few days before. Perfect guy to be the new geek in James bond movies.

What disappointed me a bit was the sensation of having sometimes more of a “Batman against The Joker” than a “James Bond” movie in front of me. The bad guy (Javier Bardem) made a great performance but occasionally I felt I was watching a superhero comics.

Nevertheless not being a familiar of action movies. I ‘d definitely watch this one with pleasure one more time.

Now enjoy the song:

How to wear a scarf?

A girly post for once!

I have many scarves but never know how to tie them. I know there are techniques but I never remember them. Today I discovered this video on youtube and must admit it really caught my attention.

The lady is graceful, funny and  has made this tutorial quite cleverly.

Enjoy ladies!

“The Malaussène saga”

I have to talk to you about a series of books I love. So keep reading and discover the Malaussène saga…

This book series is sometimes known in English as the Belleville Quartet but in fact it is composed by five full-blown novels and two shorter ones.

“La saga Mallaussène” has been written by Daniel Pennac, a french writer. But I reassure you, if I talk about him here it’s also because it has been translated in English by Ian Monk.

Daniel Pennac (real name Daniel Pennacchioni) was a teacher before he became an author. He first wrote for children but then came the saga. He also wrote a pedagogic essay Comme un roman (The rights of the reader) and received the “prix Renaudot” in 2007 with his essay Chagrin d’école (school blues). He writes in a humorous and imaginative style that can’t be compared with anyone else. And that I guess must have been difficult to translate because of the heavily idiomatic dialect he uses.

Now let’s talk about the saga itself.

The scene takes place in popular Belleville, a district in eastern Paris. The novel is set in the 1960’s but the author doesn’t give us any specific date. All the stories center around the main character and his misadventures: Benjamin Malaussène.

This character is a “scapegoat”, a man hired by different businesses to take the blame for whatever goes wrong. But in the end, it’s for him that many things turn not in the way they should do.

His family and friends play a great part in the story as well. Here are some of the name you should know:
Julius is the epilectic dog, most of the time he forecasts the disaster to come. Julie Corençon a great investigative journalist is Benjamin’s big love. Thérèse, Clara, Louna, Jérémy, Le Petit, and Verdun are the five semi-sibblings of Benjamin. They all have the same mother who keeps falling in love and ends up by being pregnant.
But this family will extend and many other characters will take part in the life of Belleville and make the story incredible. Benjamin Malaussène adopt them all as a familly and so do you because when you read the book  you can’t help but get attached to them.

Daniel Pennac has made a great job, he gets better and better with each one of his books. Once you start you don’t want to stop reading, it’s like when you were at school, in class, waiting for the break to come. Then you spent moments out of the world, out of the reality of your daily routine. It’s the same when you read the Malaussene saga. You dream, you laugh, you try to guess what will happen but never can because everything is too tricky. You’ll even believe in the most improbables situations, just because…

You don’t only read an elaborate thrillers but novels with a touch of criticism about the modern society and always in a light and funny way.

Here are the name in english and french:

– The Scapegoat, Translator Ian Monk, Harvill Press, 1998 : Au bonheur des ogres.
– The fairy gunmother, Translator Ian Monk, Harvil Press, 1997: La fée carabine.
– Write to Kill, Translator Ian Monk, Harvill, 1999 : La petite marchande de prose.
– Monsieur Malaussène, Translator Ian Monk, Harvill, 2003: Monsieur Malaussène. 

I have heard that Au bonheur des ogres will be adapted for the cinema with actress Bérenice Béjo playing in it…

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To visit Paris

Today I’m going to write a little post about a website I really love. It was actually my boyfriend who discovered it two years ago and now I have subscribed to their newsletter and I am very happy about it!

This website is called: My Little Paris. It gives you many good addresses in Paris whether you are looking for an unusual restaurant, original products,  a massage or  many other things and activities.

It’s a real guide online but you can also find their book which has been translated in english as well.

To be honest, you’ll never be disappointed by the places they promote. So go and have a look and enjoy your holidays in Paris in a different way and I promise that you only have good memories afterwards.

A beauty box in my mailbox

Cosmetics

Cosmetics (Photo credit: My Sight, as You See.)

Today I’m gonna talk about something that enhance my mood level every month.

I must admit, I have become a beauty box addict…

What is a beauty box? It’s just a little box filled with samples, products, goodies and sometimes accesorizes. The products you get are usually small but you can also have some full size . You can have nail polish, perfume, skincare, makeup, hair products and so on. Those companies tend to work with well-known luxury brands as well as with high street ones.

You have to pay from 10 £, 10 $ or 13 euros per month and can unsubscribe at any time if you choose to pay monthly.

Here are some brands I like. I’ll start with the international ones. It means that you can find them in the UK, in the United States but also in France:

Joliebox: It is filled with 4 to 5 samples and a little magazine. Recently joliebox has been acquired by Birchbox. It should mean more american brands that we are all craving for in Europe. Can’t wait to see that!
The quality of the box may vary from time to time but it’s always a pleasure to receive one as long as you keep in mind that you won’t have a box full of Dior and Chanel products every month! In my opinion, these boxes are good to try new products and at the same time, the size of them can be very useful when you travel a lot and don’t want your luggage to end too heavy!
Moreover, I like their website with lots of advice and an online shop. You also get some fidelity points every month and can use when you buy on their eshop.

Glossybox: The concept is pretty much the same but you’ll receive five beauty products. They might seem a little bit more professionnals because they are present in many countries around the world. Nevertheless, if the products are good, I have been a bit disapointed by the packaging. Inside the box, it’s a bit too much impersonnal.
You can earn glossydots by giving your thoughts on the product you have tried and can use them  afterward.

Birchbox: I haven’t tried them because I can’t be delivered were I live…But having studied their website and read comments on the internet, they seem good. I mean, the products seem good quality ones and they send you quite a lot of full size but at the same time, here again the packaging is a bit disapointing. Too plain and so impersonnal. You need to feel you receive a gift every month, not just a bunch of products. I’ll be happy if someone give me their thoughts about those ones, maybe I’m wrong.
They also have boxes for men! Time for them to get pampered!

Now let’s talk about the little frenchie one 🙂

My Littlebox! This one is my favourite because it’s more inventive. At first they did like the other ones, meaning they sent you 4 to 5 beauty products. But they have changed since september 2012. Now you only have two beauty products but they replaced the others by more goodies. Every month they make their boxes about a different theme. No wonder that September was about the fashionweek. You can find postcards, a little book with advice about beauty, fashion, good addresses in Paris etc. You can have tea, sweets and many other surprises. Plus, the illustrations made by Kanako are really beautiful. In brief, you get surprises and you feel like you have a real gift every month.
It’s the same team who makes the website MyLittleParis that I highly recommend for those who plan to spend a week-end or holidays there.

pancake morning.

It’s 6 am. I had to give my husband a ride to work. Basically, I hate it and at the same time quite like it though. There is nobody in the streets and it feels like the town is our and most importantly I can drive safely (here people drive crazy). But I don’t enjoy to get up early…My best sleeping time is in the morning between 5 and 8h30. That’s when I have my dreams… 🙂

But this morning when I got home, the pancakes I made yesterday were waiting for me. Standing here in the kitchen, all golden brown and whispering my name…Let’s do some tea (orange cinnamon) , pour some maple syrup over my delicious pancakes and enjoy!

Here is the recipe:

– 4 eggs
– 400ml of milk
– 300g floor
– 2 packets of vanilla sugar
– 1 Tablespoon of sugar
– 100 g of melted butter
– a pinch of salt
– 1 packet of backing powder (3 teaspoons)

  • Separate the egg yolk from the white.
  • Mix together the yolk, the floor, the sugar, the milk, the baking powder, the salt and the milk. Try to avoid lumps.
  • Add the melted butter.
  • Incorporate the egg whites and mix delicately.
  • Finally heat a frying pan and pour some of the batter with a ladle. When it becomes golden underneath, flip the pancake and cook for a minute.

Bon appétit!