Archive: October, 2011

The Ritz Hotel … Diana and Dodi’s love nest … to get €50 million make-over …

  Make-overs do not usually cost that much, but Paris’s Ritz Hotel badly needs one (apparently) and it will cost the hotel’s owner Egyptian-born billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed €50 million. That is approximately $70 million or £44 million. It is here in the Ritz where Princess Diana and Mr Al Fayed’s son, Dodi, spent that […]

Vincent Van Gogh … firearm found … murdered or suicide … ?

The French do not quite know what to make of Van Gogh: The Life written by two Pulitzer Prize winners -Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith – and currently No. 1 on best seller lists everywhere. The Dutch nation too is sceptical. But such a controversy is what a makes a book sell! I am […]

Christmas 2011 … New Year 2012 … What will be open in Paris …

  Martin Luther King was not the only one with a dream: We all have a dream. If yours is spending Christmas in Paris, you would want to know what will be open in the City of Light, to use that old and overused cliché. Here comes: Sunday, Cmas Day – December 25: What will […]

Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris … the largest tomb … Baroness Stroganova …

If one looks further than Père Lachaise’s famous tombs – that of Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Gertrude Stein and her lover Alice B. Toklas to name but them – one finds the most extraordinary tombs. Wandering off the cobbled paths (chemins or allées) my mouth fell open when I came across the large […]

Grand Palais … Gertrude Stein … Matisse, Cezanne, Braque, Gris …

  Strange family the Steins … There was Gertrude. And Leo. And Michael and his wife Sarah. And there was Alice B.Toklas. She was the lover of Gertrude and from the 1910’s through to Gertrude’s death in Paris in 1946 the couple was the centre of the artistic life of the ‘City of Lights.’ The […]

Guillotine … and France … chopping off people’s heads …

    France abolished capital punishment in 1981. The last guillotine execution though was in 1977. This was the execution of Hamida Djandoubi who killed his girlfriend. Execution used to take place in public, but in 1939 the then French president Albert Lebrun banned public executions because of the sickening spectacle the execution in front […]

The Dewani Murder Case …

  In November 2010 the beautiful Swedish-born of Indian parents Anni Dewani was brutally slain on her honeymoon in Cape Town, South Africa. Her groom, Shrien Dewani had allegedly organized her murder by having the car in which they were rear seat passenger hijacked and for her to be shot to death. Not suspecting that […]

French food … the French say foie gras is tops …

  One eats so well in Paris! I’ve still got to come across someone who disagrees. But, the French themselves, what do they most like to eat? An Ipsos (the Paris-based global market research company) poll undertaken over September 16-17 on behalf of the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry, shows that foie gras […]


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