Saturday, 10 November 2012

My trip to Paris

Yesterday I came back from a short but intense trip to Paris. The last time I'd been was a long, long time ago. I went with my husband when we were still just the two of us.  This time I went with the youngest of our children, my 15-year-old son. But Paris hardly changes. We had a great time. Would you like to see some pictures?

No trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. I love it. And it was only a 10-minute walk from our flat, so we went to see it several times. I'll never tire of looking at this Iron Lady. So elegant, like all the Parisiennes!

Here's another famous Parisian tower, the Tour Montparnasse. This one is over 200 metres high, and the lift to the 56th floor takes only 38 seconds!  The view from the top is, I find, the best view of Paris. We were there at dusk, and this is what we could see:

Isn't that view something?

This is the courtyard of the Louvre. We didn't actually visit the museum because the queues were so long, and I'd read that you really need to plan to spend a whole day there. So we'll have to go back again, won't we? In the meantime, I just wanted to have an idea of the size of the place. It is huge (210 000 m2), beautiful and very impressive.

This is, for me, the symbol of French luxury. This huge Swarovski xmas tree is in the famous store Galeries Lafayette, famous for its luxurious French goods. Most of the items for sale are too pricey for me, but looking doesn't cost anything! And quite honestly, the architecture is so gorgeous, all the fancy goods just pale into insignificance. The different galleries are built around the central part, and just look up above - each arch is beautifully sculpted and decorated. Above the sculpture there are stained glass windows, and to top it all the most beautiful glass dome.  Here's the dome in all its glory:


And yes! I did find a yarn store! And not just any old yarn store.  La Droguerie is hidden behind the church in the Halles area of Paris. It is an absolute jewel of a shop, all wooden drawers and jars of buttons and beads.  The yarn is sold by weight, so you can have 50 g or 100g or, if you prefer, 32g or 456g...  All the yarn is exclusive and only sold by La Droguerie.  I picked up some gorgeous dusty pink 4-ply wool to make a shawl for my lovely Mum. It's the one just two skeins away from this lady's hand. I could have bought the whole shop! I met two fellow Ravellers in the shop and we chatted while we were waiting to be served. Each customer's order is dealt with individually so yes, you do have to wait, but it's worth it. A highlight of my holiday.

Before I go here's another photo of my Parisian friend. This time she's wearing her glittery robe. Gorgeous.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Crocheting for charity

Hi there! Look what I've been making :) Squares, squares and squares (and a hat, but I've not got a photo of  that here).
This all started a while ago when a friend of mine sent me a link to a Norwegian charity that sends knitted blankets and baby clothes to Tanzania. Hmm, I thought, I like the sound of crocheting for charity, I wonder what I can do to help? I'll be going to South Africa for work at the end of this month and it seemed a good idea to look for a charity there, with the idea that I'll be able to bring anything I make along with me and post it from within the country, saving both time and postage costs.
So to cut a long story short, a quick look around t'Internet brought me to
Knit a square collects crocheted and knitted squares (20 cm - 8 inches square) to make into blankets for orphans in South Africa. Most of the children are AIDS orphans and they need the warmth and comfort that a hand-made blanket can bring. Knit a square also needs hats, rain capes and warm vests for the children. They also need cash donations to help with collection, delivery and other costs. 
Please consider making a donation or sending some squares or other crochet/knit items to South Africa. Knit a square also has a facebook page and an active group on Ravelry. Join in the giving!