Weekend In Paris

‘It’s six o’clock already.’ Rain drips from the points of her umbrella as Jasmine checks her watch and tries to move faster through the Friday evening crowd.

Despite the weather, her mouth turns up at the corners. She does a little skip over the next puddle, dreaming about her coming flight and Brendon’s plans for their weekend in Paris. His emails were necessarily brief and vague, sent from his computer at work to the computer at the boutique where she sells high fashion garments to wealthy women living and working in the West End.

Never mind the lack of specific directions, he’ll be at Orly Airport to meet me, she re-assures herself while jostling with the other sardine shufflers making their way through Knightsbridge Underground Station. She squeezes into the carriage and manages to claim a small section of rail to hang onto.

‘You’ll catch your death love.’ The elderly woman sitting in front of her, points to Jasmine’s soggy boots.

Jasmine looks down at the brown suede boots which she had bought to wear on the flight.

‘I’m okay. Thanks.’ She turns away, suppressing a grin. Well, I’m sure Brendon will love my underwear. She sees herself taking off her coat, jumper and skirt. A shiver ripples up her spine as she imagines Brendon slowly removing the black stockings and suspender belt, the lacy French knickers and the deliciously naughty new bra which she discovered in her lunch break.

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After Christmas, time to get back to writing at last. Chopin and Mozart are entertaining me from the lounge room and I have been searching through some old stories in the hope that I might find something for my readers to enjoy. This one is based on our years on a farm that was situated in a magnificent karri forest in Western Australia.


Grey clouds skittle up from the south, hastened by a blustery wind. From the karri forest surrounding our farm I hear branches crashing to the ground. Electricity in the air makes the hairs on my arms stand on end. A jagged slash of yellow light spears the earth, accompanied by the crack of thunder.

Cows waddle as quickly as their ungainly bodies will allow, away from the fence and tall trees.  In tones that vary from soprano shrieks to the calming pitch of more experienced mums, they summon their calves. Soon I am the only lightening rod in the top end of the paddock. I sprint towards the protection of the cattle; like them I seek safety in numbers.

Splattered by large blobs of rain, the thirsty ground releases an earthy smell that sets off primitive emotions in me. I sniff the air and welcome the downpour. Steam rises from hot hides, calves nuzzle at their mothers’ teats and big brown eyes watch for the next flash that might barbecue one of us.

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Santa Croce, Galileo (Science) Museum and Uffizi

With just a few hours left of our last day in Florence, we decided to leave the famous Uffizi until last. I knew that many hours could be wasted there, trying to get from one gallery to the next as it’s always crowded. Giotto’s frescoes and

Donatello’s crucifix

Donatello’s amazing crucifix in Santa Croce would be easy to find (I thought) and without the crowds.

On the way we stepped into the Museo Galileo, called the Science Museum on some maps, for a quick look at the ancient clocks.

Planetary clock

My sister, Susanne, had this museum on her list of ‘must sees’ so she found The Planetary Clock particularly interesting. I was lucky enough to get a photo of the information in English so I hope it is clear enough to read here. Most of the other photos in this museum were taken by Susanne. Of particular interest were Galileo’s telescopes and some of his geometrical instruments.

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