Ah, Paris! You're oh so beautiful, so romantic, and also, somewhat expensive. The chic boutique hotels, the mouth-watering steak frites, un vin rouge along the Boulevard Saint-Michel - just staying, eating and drinking in the French capital can be a costly experience before you even add on the 'must-see' sights of the city.
Lancashire-born artist and sculptor, Jill McManner's obsession with this terrible beauty has manifested itself in her first solo exhibition, BASALT, at London's Mall Galleries. She exhibits some 60 watercolour works of these cliffs painted face on from sketches and photographs she made from the sea with the rock towering above her.
So whilst it might occasionally infuriate me, I couldn't ask to be part of a better team. One of the good things we can do between us is know when to call it a day, kick back and relax. Or at least we think we do. The Sagres have just been cracked open and it's never seemed like a better time to make the statement that cats are just so much better than dogs.
I arrived just after the official unveiling of the great novelist last Friday. A flutter of local dignitaries lingered around him. Sun shone on their municipal chains of office. They wore the meek smiles of people who do not know quite what to think. Dickens, the great satirist, would have loved and mocked these awkward burghers in equal measure.
Don't walk: two words that most people would never associate with fashion, let alone a fashion show. Nonetheless, it is this very name that has become prominent in the small town of St Andrews, notorious for its infamous parties, fashion shows and most importantly its tendency to raise controversy in a setting of seeming tranquillity.
It is true of life that opportunities wait for us around every corner. The unexpected is what keeps our eyes open and our hearts full of vigor, what enables us to bear through difficulties and grow stronger from them. And when these opportunities find you, you must chase them swiftly and absorb all that you can from them.
After what was one of the worst flights I have ever had (Air India with a 14 hour unscheduled delay in Mumbai) I finally got to New Delhi in time for their Art Fair Week. Much like Frieze, it is one event after the other, and very exciting it was too (and that was not just the water buffalo on the road, or tuk tuks coming at you on the wrong side of the street).
Many in the business world trivialize the arts as an optional extra. They think of the arts as 'soft' and tiptoe around artists they imagine to be fragile, weak or prima donnas. But they've got it all wrong. Successful artists are the most tough-minded people I know, able to contain and manage uncertainty, risk and experiment.
As we prepare for and look forward to this milestone, an exhibition charting our history opens in London this week. This exhibition not only takes us back to our roots, it's also a timely tribute to all we've achieved and the campaigners, writers and artists who've helped us along the way. It's quite the walk down memory lane, and fills us with inspiration and hope for the future as we prepare for the inevitable challenges and threats to our rights and freedoms ahead.