Today I had to say goodbye again to another best friend, Charcoal .

3 years ago a very special, wild and free spirit walked into my life . A beautiful big black fluffy cat, I later named Charcoal. He just turned up out of nowhere and walked into my studio. I was still feeling pretty down after losing my other best mate Rebel a few months earlier and didn’t want another cat but, he was just so determined, he wasn’t going to allow me to ignore him.

I tried for 6 weeks to find his owners but in the end I couldn’t deny the connection between us. We just clicked and then, inseparable. He was so frightened at first and looking back now, I think he may have been a feral cat, or had fled from the big bushfires we had that year.

He had never been inside a house before and freaked out so much, I made him a little bed under the studio. He stayed there the first month. Slowly I coaxed him inside the house. By 6 months he allowed me to rest my hand on him when he sat next to me. Eventually, he let me pat, then cuddle him.

Charcoal gave me so much love and was a funny cat with strange ways. He would always take the lead when I walked with him and he would sleep on my knee with his head pointing up to the sky.

He was also a free spirit, very much like me, and full of curiosity. Once my brave boy even chased away a snake that was near me. During the day he would be in the studio with me or just around outside.

Every morning, just like Rebel, he would bug me to go and open the studio. He would even brush by me several times and bite my knee,until I opened the studio for him. A little brat cat:) As soon as he heard the rattle of the keys he would come running over. He slept with me on a special leopard blanket and would take up most of the room,laying on his back like dog with all his 4 legs up in the air.

Today, I celebrate and thank you my dear friend, for the short magical time you gave me though, way too short. I’m lost today without you and you will be forever in my heart, my Bubby Charcoal
Love you so much…

Amour de Paris. Missing Paris Again.

I miss Paris today. I miss the homeliness of Paris …I woke up feeling a longing for the white snow on the rooftops outside my little studio window in the cubicle.




I miss my dark dungeon, with its odour of oldness and mold and even miss the creepy feeling that lashes me when I go there to work on my never- ending arts project.


I miss the fresh no- nonsense food, the culture, the artists and especially, the realness of Paris.

I miss not knowing the language and guessing what people are saying.

I miss seeing something new and the ordinary down the streets of Asnieres with my daughter.

I miss the walk to the park with its topiary trees, gardens and boulie men.

I miss the newness of the place plus the old familiar places I like to go to.

I miss not being able to play and sit in the gardens around the corner where Vincent sat and created.

I miss the little art/design ateliers down in Bastille with their windows full of  high design handmade, one- off  pieces of jewellery, glassware, sculpture, furniture and funky home-wares.

I miss knowing that every time I stroll through the Louvre I still, haven’t seen it all and will need to come back.


I miss not being able to visit Camille , Manet Doré, Degas, Cézanne, Rodin, Monet , Picasso, Renoir, Rousseau ,Gauguin, Lautrec,Valadon, Bernard,Matisse, Rouault,Brâncuş’, DufyPicabia, Braque, Metzinger , Delaunay, Arp , Chagall, Duchamp, Ernst ,Soutin,e and Masson for the day.

I especially miss the closeness to Modernism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Symbolism , Art Nouveau, Primitivism (art) Modernism, Cubism, Puteaux Group, and my favourite ,Dada, and Surrealism The art squats, street art and local artists with avant guard ideas. I miss my most loved Pompedou gallery.

I miss the trips to Dave’s parents. I even miss,the rattly old one person lift we squeeze into,going up to the apartment. I miss their welcome and sitting at the table eating delectable foods with the now, familiar Eiffel, out the window .

I miss Champs. Montmartre, cemeteries , beautiful old buildings and new places I haven’t seen before.



I also miss the things I haven’t done, or seen yet, in Paris.

I miss the smells ,textures and sounds when living,in Paris. Even, the nightmare trains I don’t mind anymore.

I miss the nostalgia of Paris. There are triggers in Paris, that send me back to my childhood in Australia. It’s usually only something small that will set this feeling off, like the simplicity of design in the everyday domestic object, or the rawness and feel of a well made cotton dishcloth or tea-towel.The aroma and taste of fresh foods straight from the farms and markets.

I especially get this nostalgia when Dave and Amy come home from the patisserie across the road with the morning baguette or my favorite Frasier cake. All this will send me back to my childhood  in Australia when everything was more authentic, honest and more, homely than it is today.

Paris is just like a comfortable old jumper to me now. I do miss Paris today and my beautiful daughter Amy…

My French- inspired handmade shop Atelierinparis


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