Last week we went to see the very funny film Samba a French comedy but being French there is often a deeper meaning than just that. And so it was with this film. Omar plays a character who is from Senegal and who has lived in France for ten years. It shows the dark side of immigration, the lowly paid jobs and the risks run by desperate people. The film will make you laugh so go and see it but look at the other agenda and this isn’t funny. This is something that affects Europe and the US, Australia and even places like Argentina. Our burgeoning global human population especially in the mid latitudes is either moving to the north or to the south as they see the relative wealth of those regions. We don’t have a plan but we really need one. Go see the film and think about what is happening in both your country and in the world.
Paris is a small and beautiful city with its narrow streets and wonderful sites and experiences. It is especially so in the Springtime as seen here when we visited the cathedral of Notre Dame when all the blossom was on the trees. So when are you going? Copyright Paul Andrews and Caroline Schmutz, Junagarh Media, http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk
Versailles is an amazing place and must have been such a financial drain on France until the French people decided to take matters into their own hands and the rest is history as they say. And Versailles is certainly history on the grandest of scales as can be seen here in the photo of one of walks by the lake or Grand Canal as it is known. Nature has been tamed and made to grow how the designer wanted it to grow. And all this on a perfect spring day. Copyright Paul Andrews and Caroline Schmutz, http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk.
If you want to stay in a great little hotel in Paris that is a just a little different then try Hotel de Nesle. It’s a little bizarre but really wonderful and is still family owned. It’s not for those who like their magnolia walled bland boxes as you can see from the photos. Paris, what a fabulous city. We stayed in this hotel in 2014 and 2015 and will certainly go back the next time we go to Paris. It just oozes character. Book it direct though because if you do it through the internet they loose a huge 17%! Copyright Paul Andrews and Caroline Schmutz, Junagarh Media, http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk
While I love London and live and work in it there is something very tawdry about it compared with Paris. Tourists come here to see the historical sites but also to get ripped off in places like Madame Tussauds. When and why did that get so expensive? I guess they have to pay image rights to make wax models of dreary celebrities. Then of course there are the chain shops with their pile em high, sell em cheap. So London is becoming the chav shopping capital of the world.
Now take Paris, lots of independent shops, cafes and restaurants and not so many Starcoffee and Costa Bucks. At a recent concert we attended the main artist didn’t finish until 11:40 but few if any people left before the end. If that had been London it would have had to finish by about 10pm and people would be rushing to get out to get their last train. London, it really isn’t rock and roll like Paris. And after the concert, well you just go to a little bar on the corner of the street where your hotel is and that is open to 2am in the morning. No having to pay a fortune and get past a bouncer to get in for overpriced past 11pm drinks.
And then there is the architecture, Paris is beautiful and old, London has been flogged off so that the Qataris and Chinese can rip it apart and do what they want because in London money talks whereas in Paris it is French and it is known as the City of Lights. It is a beautiful city and has what London can’t have because London has been sold off so that the get rich quick merchants can buy their new Bentleys and Range Rovers.
There is much that London could learn from Paris but the authorities can’t see and won’t listen.
There is so much hype about the Internet and yet I live in hope that somehow it is going to make things better but often it doesn’t. We recently stayed in a nice little hotel in Paris, a family business that had been in existence for over forty years. It is a great little place but is quite small so we were appalled to learn that if a room was reserved via the Internet that the owners were charged 17% for the service. Daylight robbery. How do these people get away with it. Internet capitalism stinks.
Eight of us went to see this film last night at the Cine Lumiere in South Kensington and we all came out thinking what an amazing film. It was I think for all of us beautiful and stunning. The French certainly know how to tell a story. In the time of films consisting of loud bangs and flashes and where in the Cineworld we go to the sound permeates through from the screen next door this film is just a good story. The visual equivalent of a good book. It is a beautiful tale of life, love and loss. The actors and actresses don’t appear to have had fortunes spent on plastic and teeth but instead look like you and I. And of course there is the eccentricity of Parisian neighbours and what a city to have as a backdrop. Maybe more people want to come to London but Paris is a far more beautiful city and long may it remain so.
This is a photo I took on the 6th of April as a large number of runners were heading towards the Bastille in Paris. We didn’t see a lot of the event but at the various parts of the course that we did see there didn’t appear to be the public support for it that you would see in London. It was a fairly nice Spring day but despite running past many apartments with balconies the balconies were generally empty. Given the beauty of Paris it is a shame that the event isn’t better supported by the public. The organizers had done a lot of work and there was live music at places. And 50,000 runners registered for the event. Copyright Junagarh Media, http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk.
The London Marathon is a great spectator event and the large crowds make it a superb event for the dedicated runners who flog themselves round the length of the course. I saw the 2014 Paris Marathon and the support was very low key and it is basically runners, yes I know that they are all runners, but there is very little in the way of dressing up for the event. It took place in early April and there just doesn’t seem to be that much interest in it. But then again they do have the finish of the world’s greatest cycle race. And maybe the event will grow anyway. Well back to the London event of 2014 and there I was at mile 22 when this girl just beamed as I was taking a photo. She must have been extremely hot in this outfit and still had four miles to go but she was obviously still enjoying it. Copyright Junagarh Media, http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk.
A little while after we took this photo the authorities in Paris had to remove a large number of locks as they were causing damage to one of the bridges. So many people expressing their affection through the placing of a initialed lock somewhere in the city. You can see a lot more of our photography on our junagarh Flickr site or at http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk. All of our work is for sale.