“At the next roundabout take the third exit”, and as you eventually come over a crest, there’s Paris spread before you. Is there any greater thrill? We didn’t plan it this way, but we’re arriving on Saturday morning and the traffic is fine all the way to Gare du Nord.

I had chosen to pay the extra for a VW Golf and very glad I did. The drive from Cannes to drop off was comfortable and easy. Not so on other occasions when I had the budget car and the drop off was the highlight of the road trip!

As we all know, there is Paris and there’s the rest of France,- nothing much like each other except for the language and French people.



Well, we may as well turn this into a travel series! So, from Arles, my mate Davo and I travel up the road, taking off the super (super expensive) highway roads that take us through villages and sights that leave us spellbound. Our destination is St Maure de Touraine in the Touraine district and Loire Valley. Here we are booked into ‘La Poste – Les Hauts de Sainte Maure’.



Mother Of Pearl & Sons will soon be launching a small collection, the inspiration for which took me to the French city of Arles. A pleasant 3 hour drive from Cannes & an hour from Aix En Provence,




Classic sailing boats have their own special charm. They survive through the passion of their owners who are prepared for the challenges that go with maintaining and preserving a crafted vessel over the very convenient options with newer marine technologies. While Sydney harbour can put on a great spectacle of classic boats, nothing compares with the annual meet of classic boats in Cannes in the South of France.



We just want to clear up one point. The movie, Life of Pi, was based on a fiction that the Pondicherry Zoo animals were sold off to a Canadian Zoo. For the record, there was no Pondicherry zoo! Pondicherry has plenty of exotic attractions but a zoo is not one of them!


Charlie Goes to India

I’ve been taking Charlie to India since she was 3 years old. She has an older sister who has lived there for 15 years and it has been visits to her in Auroville – Pondicherry and stop overs in Mumbai and Kolkata.

India can be confronting for a child, – and some adults- the sheer volume of people, the smells and strangeness so very different. I explained that it was those differences that made India exciting.

Well, on her last visit to India in September 2013, she announced a desire to go to boarding school in India. Charlie went into her boarding school, Kodaikanal International School in the hill station of Kodaikanal South India for the start of her 6 month term in July. She turns 15 this month. Here is a link to her blog

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Anyone who knows me, knows that my other passion, apart from knobs that is, is my boat. I have a Sparkman and Stephens design 37 foot sail boat, classed as a classic yacht by some but an old wooden boat to the tax man.

The boat, Suraya is old fashioned next to modern racers, but for me her classic lines and sea worthiness are a source of great satisfaction. (more…)