Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

I am so glad that the boys who have been trapped in the cave in Thailand are finally being rescued. I do admire the courage of the rescuers and my heart aches every time I think about the navy diver who lost his life during the rescue operation. I sincerely pray for all the people – the boys, the coach and the rescuers, to come out of the cave without any injury.

If someone asked me which street I loved the most during our road trip, I would answer Rue des Trois Faucons without hesitation. Avignon was such a charming city with many pretty streets and squares. However, I would recommend it because the street was free from chain stores. All the shops lining the street were unique and original.

A vintage book shop which was specialised in art.

Librairie Paroles was another vintage book shop specialised in history and literature.

Mum and I loved this boutique, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, the most. I visited there alone first and returned with mum later because the shop was so pretty. We bought from them mainly jewelries – she bought a beautiful silver necklace and I bought five dainty bracelets which I wore them all at once.

Ahhh, how I wished if they were in my neighbourhood in London! I would shop there every week…

After loading laundry at the laundrette, I strolled up Place des Corps Saints to investigate the street. Further up, the street became Rue des Trois Faucons and I started to see more shops. ‘Shouldn’t I buy a notebook for mum?’, I thought when I walked past Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.

Why a notebook?, you may ask.

Well, mum and I had a tiny discord that morning and the tiff was about her notebook.

One of my mum’s personal traits was being a bit disorganised and it sometimes drove me crazy. Perpetually, she was looking for something which she mislaid and it caused a mini havoc. ‘Oh no! I can’t find it!!’, was the dreaded cue for her messy search which involved turning a room upside down.

Ever since I was a teenager, I had been witnessing mum going around like a mini-tornado, flipping everything in her path upside down and inside out while moaning how she could lose the sight of it – spectacles, keys, a receipt, a handkerchief, etc.

So that morning, when she started to turn our room over because she couldn’t find her notebook, I became a bit fed up and complained, ‘How can you be so disorganised all the time?’

The corners of her mouth went downward and she looked miserable. Oh dear, I did it. The room was filled with air silently screaming “AWKWARD!” so I grabbed a paper bag with our dirty laundry and left her in the room with her missing notebook.

‘You know she was always like that and shouldn’t have been annoyed.’, I talked to myself as I pottered down the street.

‘Bonjour, madam.’, I greeted a woman behind the cashier as I entered the boutique. By the till, there was a pile of small notebooks and they were very pretty, black and white stripes with gold lettering embossed on their covers. This will do, I thought and bought it for mum.

When I returned to the room with the gift, she was sitting on a bed with bags which were emptied. ‘I think the notebook was gone. I am such a silly woman.’, she shrugged her shoulders and smiled. ‘Then, use this.’, I handed her a new notebook. ‘And you are not silly but a little careless sometimes.’

Mum’s face lit up like a 100w lightbulb and all the awkwardness we had between us early on flew out of the window and gone. Phew!

‘Once the laundry is sorted, we are going out, mum. Let’s tidy up! On the double!!’ Mum and I picked up bits and pieces which were sprinkled by Mum Tornado…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

How things used to be

This lunchtime, I took Bella for a walk around Hoxton and Shoreditch before heading off to Heathrow to pick up my mum.

Let’s grab a quick bite at Friends of Ours on Pitfield Street…

On their menu, there was lemon Ricotta hotcake which would come with caramelised banana, raw cacao brittle, passion fruit purée and creme fraiche. Ohhhh, lemon! It sounds a bit like Harry & Meghan’s wedding cake, I wavered momentarily.

No, eat properly!

I opted for mushrooms on toast instead. The dish was very wholesome – consisted of oyster & portobello mushrooms, baby kale, chickpea hummus, Jerusalem artichoke on top of a slice of organic sourdough bread.

Is there anything for me?

Sorry, Bay-Bay. I have nothing to offer other than a bowl of water.

Next to the eatery was a pub, the George & Vulture, and it was very busy with lunchtime crowds who seemed to be impatient for the weekend. Who can blame them? It’s Friday!

After lunch, Bella and I strolled towards Shoreditch High Street. As we walked down Rivington Street, I reminisced about the time when there were decent fashion boutiques around Hoxton Square. There were two prominent shops such as Hoxton Boutique and Start and I used to look forward to checking what they had on their rails. Where have they all gone? I felt sad as we walked past the spots where they used to be.

On our way back, we found another new development on Bevenden Street…

I hope this is nothing to do with the Kardashians!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Yeezy Peazy?

I am very sorry to be so square but I can’t stand it!

What is this? A joke? A very sick joke?

Will this absurd denim jacket be the next “it” jacket because it is coming out from the house of Balenciaga? I don’t even want to call this rubbish as “hybrid”. Why the modem fashion nowadays churns out such craps every season? What has gone wrong with fashion, especially high-fashion?

Bloody hell…

Could you please leave this kind of eyesores in your closet…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Doggie X’mas Market @ Netil Market

Shoreditch is a fun place to live, and one of the many reasons is how dog/-friendly the area is. Especially on weekends, we see many people on the streets, enjoying their day out with their four-legged pals.

Look, even a dog is on the hand rail!

So when there was an announcement that a Christmas market for dogs was coming to London, it had to happen in Shoreditch, naturally.

Netil Market was the host of Santa Paws – A Christmas Market for Dogs and Their Owners…

It was soooo coooollldddd! The forecast was 9°C but the biting wind was so bitterly cold, it felt more like 4 or 5°C.

Bella the Social Butterfly was in her element, regardless the weather…

‘Hi! Hi! Hi!!’ Bella, they don’t know what make of you.

She just dashed towards anything four-legged and started to flirt like there would be no tomorrow…

It didn’t matter if the receiving ends of her attention appreciated her open friendliness or not, she just advanced to them with her tail wagging manically.

I call her Bella the Serial Flasher…

I don’t know why but she flashes herself to all the dogs she encounters. Yes, she is very friendly and submissive which everyone finds cute. However, she does this gesture all the time, regardless how wet, how muddy and how grubby the surface she is rolling on. No, Bella!

Stalls at the market was a pure retail heaven for doggie lovers.

This stall offered personalised soft furnishings for furry pals and their owners…

You can send an image of your four-legged friend to the designer and she will customise it to a plush cushion, etc. The end result will be a very special seasonal gift, won’t it?

How about doggie themed Christmas decorations for your tree?

Unfortunately, we can’t have them because we have decided not to have a proper tree this Christmas. Do you know why? Because I can visualise how Bella will trash the decoration, eat some bits and pieces of the tree and end up on a vet’s examination table. I will have to keep our seasonal decorations beyond her reach on the window sills so she won’t do any harm to them and to herself. *sigh*

Now, this was one thing I really loved…

A beautiful handmade dog lead by HIRO + WOLF. The main colour was turquoise blue and the effect would go very well with her neon orange harness as well as her neon pink one. I will love to use it during the summer, I thought.

The leads on display were for larger breeds and I asked the seller behind the stall if they had any option for small dogs…

She gave me a business card and suggested me to forward the details so she could customise a lead for Bella. ‘I will drop you a note as soon as I get home!’ I waved and left the market.

‘Too cold here!’ Hubbie, Bella and I hurried to Market Cafe on Broadway Market…

Despite it was after two o’clock, the place was still very busy and a manager told us that we would have to wait for about 15 minutes if we wanted a table. Still, we didn’t dither and agreed to wait because we just wanted to be indoor!

For late lunch, we ordered the same dish…

Ham hock hash with a fried egg! I had a glass of rooibos tea & apple ice tea. Hubbie had cold pressed juice of carrot, orange & ginger with his lunch.

For pudding, we shared apple & spiced plum crumble with cinnamon ice cream…

We found huge juicy plum chunks underneath the crunchy crumble top. It was very good.

At home, I measured the length of the lead…

So I can commission HIRO + WOLF to make us a new lead. Oh, I can hardly wait…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Aimez-vous Brahms

I have to interrupt the report of the Waitors’ Race at Reims for today because I have come across a wonderful gem during I was beachcombing Youtube last night.

“Goodbye Again” 1961


The film is based on a novel by Françoise Sagan’s Aimez-vous Brahms.
I call the film a gem because the cast is amazing: Ingrid Bergman, Yves Montand and Anthony Perkins, the location is glamorous: ever so beautiful Paris in the late 50’s and the costume for Ingrid Bergman: designed by Christian Dior! What not to like?

As a teenager, I read all of Sagan’s novels, imagining how it would like to be in love. Even though most of her love stories ended tragically, it didn’t put me off from reading them and I found being “ennui” impossibly grown-up and sophisticated. Oh how shallow and immature I was then.

Anyway, the film may be getting deleted from Youtube soon because of the copywright business. So watch it while it lasts!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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