Fifty Shades of Sydney – Chapter 11 & 12

blue_city brown

If you really want it, but only if you really want to, I can post my research paper in which I discuss how the introduction of social media has changed the face of communication today. I read sooo many papers from both sceptical and (over) optimistic scientists that I don’t know what to think anymore.

One thing is sure, I can’t stop thinking about one article in particular: “Is google making us stupid ?” written by Nicholas Carr.

*Mini quote from my research paper*

“In addition, it seems that surfing the Internet has affected our capacity of deep reading which is directly related to our capacity of thinking (Carr 2008, p.94)”

As you might guess, he thinks that we all become drongo because of internet. (If you are wondering right now what drongo is,naah, it is just some Australian slang.. let me at least try to be cool). I let you read and make your mind, or I should say I let you scan it. LOL. That was so funny. Now you have to read it for real to understand my joke!!

Anyway, you have to read and decide whether the Internet has made you smarter than you were or… not.

I, for certain, think that my general knowledge has improved like hell thanks to Wikipedia… Déjà, j’ai appris pleins de trucs rien que pour gagner des paris (j’arrivais à traduire cette phrase). Who has never bet that Naypyidaw was indeed the capital of Burma ?

For sure, my general knowledge has improved but sometimes for the worse… especially when I ended up reading something about Freemasonry at 4 on the morning… (I am kidding Papa Maman I am never awake after 9 p.m)

I am not sure that I have improved in all area though. On paper (and even on computer you might quip) the way I write is disastrous especially when it comes to spelling task. BUT it is not like I have ever been good at dictation or grammar. 😀

Right, she’ll be! as would say my dear Aussies.

There is not much to say about the Fifty Shades of the week. Expect that I am seriously thinking about changing the concept of “50 shades of Sydney” into “20 shades of Sydney”. Haha…

In one week, I will finish this INTENSE English lecture. Amen !!!


Random Access Memories

My dears,

This Sunday, my computer and I would like to unload the majority of the drawings that I made in Bali.

Most of them have been drawn “on the back of an envelope” while I was chatting in a café, or in the taxi while we were driving surrounded by mountains or even when I was walking in the busy streets of Denpasar (that is not a good idea by the way).

That’s why those ones are generally less complex and elaborate than usually. This is part of the charm of a real travel diary. nan ? 😀

Let’s start with the day zero :


Scandal at Virgin Airline: they had no TV in the plane !!! Fortunately I was well armed with my craft & art stuff.

Ahh, I really want to comment each of these drawings but I have a research paper to finish for tomorrow.

So I’ll leave you to look at the images and to imagine the trip 🙂







Super Mum in the capital



Failed Selfie at Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple





Waterfall Hike, Back of the Russian Girl


Before the Heavy Rain


Waterfall Hike



The Beautiful Owner of Our Hotel in Amed



Illegal Taxi (we were not super comfortable)





Restaurant in Ubud


GOOD GIRLS (and good grades 😉



My Delicate Handwriting (LOL)



Another Restaurant


Sunrise in Mount Batur


Room With a View




Room With a View



First Day


I think it is enough for today but I still have some drawings/pictures left.

Love From the Royal Botanic Gardens


Lower Gardens

This drawing has been made 2 months ago. I remember, I was just finishing my *hardcore* midterms. I was SO relieve but ABSOLUTELY exhausted as well.

So I went for the first time to the Royal Botanic Garden of Sydney 2 months ago. First time in 4 months, shame on meee I knowww!! But in my defence, we tried to go once before that, but they didn’t let us in because we were on rollerblades. Indeed, any roll skate, skate, bikes, drones, jetpack etc. are prohibited into the Gardens. Aussies are super relaxed in general but paradoxically, they have sometimes some really strict rules. Some of them are even stricter than in Switzerland. I never would have thought that possible (speaking among democratic countries of course) (I love you Switzerland, but I know you know it is true..). For example, if you usually smoke, in Australia, you can say bye-bye to your cigarette after lunch in terrace, or at the bus stop or even on campus (plus the fact that one packet costs 20 bucks).. Another rules is that in some parks you can’t do skateboard. Finally a legend urban says that you won’t be accepted you into a nightclub if you’re wearing Nike (but Adidas seem okay). Somebody told me that it was like a tacit rule. Not sure if my source is reliable though 😉 I have probably been naïve enough to believe rubbish. AGAIN.

Anyway, this time I went to the Royal National Garden, armed with my pair of converse, my watercolour kit and my brush.

“The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is a major botanical garden located in the heart of Sydney, Australia. Opened in 1816, the garden is the oldest scientific institution in Australia and one of the most important historic botanical institutions in the world. It is open every day of the year and access is free. Its stunning position on Sydney Harbour and immediately adjacent to the Sydney CBD, the Sydney Opera House and the large public parklands of The Domain ensure it is one of the most visited attractions in Sydney.” (Wikipedia)

To no one’s surprise, I have been delighted. That’s why I have been back to the Royal Garden several times since. Now, it has no more secrets for me.

Or maybe not any secrets at all, but let’s say fewer secrets than before.

This park is so big: more than 30 hectares into the city center! After the Australian Times Square, we have our local Central Park 😉 The vegetation is incredibly lush and diversified. So green, so living and so wild somehow. There so many things to do. As a good tourist guide (LOL) I am willing to give you some ideas (if you decide to visit me one day) (After consideration, please don’t come, I am busy) (no, I am kidding, I would love you to come but.. not 2 months) (two weeks would be perfect! )


  • You and I could take a break and observe the fish swimming in the pond. I swear that some of them are able to fly. Mariiiine tell them that is it true!!
  • Then we could walk slowly through the Palace Gardens, especially through the Rainforest Walk and the Rose Garden and smell the flowers (how romantic).
  • Or you could play guitar (if you can play) near the Oriental Garden and I would listen to it, and try to sing. Especially if you play Celine Dion. Nana come!
  • Or we could run along the ocean, into the Lower Gardens. We could run with the view on the Opera house and listen to some soundtrack of our life. (and try to imagine that our life is an American movie. or not).
  • We could take a nap under the shade of a centenary and comforting tree. And then we could give it a hug and thank it (it is the Schneider’s touch 😉
  • We could sit on a bench in front of the red tree and have chitchat. Actually, that was kind of my first meeting with a red tree, before Bali.

Or… we can lie down on the grass and draw for hours in the sun without cap and forget to hydrate ourselves because we are into the flow and finally get an insolation. \0/
That sounds great! I am sure that you are dying to visit me now! I am proud to say that it is virtually what happened to me. More than getting sunburn, I felt super dizzy until the day after. But I really like this drawing, for some reasons so don’t regret anything. (tough girl)

Ahh..hard life for un artiste du dimanche (or you could say “for a spare-time painter” but is it funnier in French).

I hope you enjoyed my professional guided tour!

Have a lovely Sunday. ♪♫


PS : Today, it is been exactly 6 months that I left my beautiful France and my beautiful Switzerland! And I am still alive! Amen!


Have you paid attention to my feet, at the bottom of the drawing?(I think I did it well haha) You can click on the picture if you want to see details. 😉

Have you paid attention to the “5arbores” label which is actually in front of 5 trees?
To the 4 trees of my life: Love from the Royal Botanic Garden

Bookshop & Big City Life & Time


Sofia & National Geographic – Ampersand Cafe & Bookstore

Today, with a great deal of pleasure (fancy, I know..), I’d like to introduce to you my second favourite district in Sydney (after the Rocks ) which is… toum toum..

Paddington !

Between the cute handicraft shops, art galleries or nice places where you can share a drink, you will undoubtedly find something to please yourself.
Paddington is an inner-district: in terms of distance it is very close from the skyscrapers and from the “Australian Times Square” (yeah man, we have our own shopping sanctuary here). However when you are walking around Paddington, you don’t feel the hustle and bustle of daily life in Sydney. There are not that many cars, building height is quite low and you won’t find giant shopping mall. In short, it is like a remote village within a global city.

What this kind of place tells me is that I could live into a big city (and it is probably going to be the case because at some point, urban sprawl won’t be a possible scenario at all. This was engaged geography minute)

…I could live in  provided that it doesn’t look like a big city. This is where green infrastructure and others ways which try to make big-city-life better, come in.

Lucy, when I come back, we will be able to sing right. I finally looked up the real lyrics, not the one we used to sing in yahourt:
Big City Life, try forget by
Pressure nah ease up no matter how hard me try
Big City Life, my heart have no base
And right now Babylon deep on me case
People in a show, all lined in a row
We just push on by, it’s funny, how hard we try
Take a moment to relax, before you do anything rash

But let’s get back to our subject. Paddington.

We went to the “Ampersand Cafe & Bookstore” located on Oxford street.
This sophisticated venue is a wine bar, cafe & bookstore all rolled in to one. It reveals a hidden library upstairs, with book lined walls. Wooden tables and Bentwood chairs give the venue the feel of a chic living room. Ardent readers can enjoy browsing the titles on the shelves as they swap notes with their friends. All, of course, whilst enjoying a glass of wine or cocktail (Elsa’s Note : Or a cup of tea chaï) in hand

Books + Tea +  Wood+ Friend + Food = I was overjoyed!

Speaking about books, I currently am reading “The Power of Slow : 101 Ways to Save Time in our 24/7 World” written by Christine Louise Hohlbaum. It is interesting. Not everything but many things. For example, she challenges the idea that “Time in money” (big up Papa) or she busters “the Myth of Multitasking”. Eventually, the way she defines the notion of Time has made me think a lot.

Have you ever tried to fight the wind? If you were a fisherman, you would know it is not possible to combat a force much larger than yourself. You have to go with it, not against it, to maintain your own equilibrium. You can certainly harness the wind’s power with turbines and windmills; you can utilize its energy to propel yourself forward with sails and fibreglass. Despite all the things you can do with wind, it remains a juggernaut you cannot really control (…)

Time, my friend, is no different.” (p. 15)

She argues that we can actually save time by slowing down. It is cool. It has worked for me so far.

Also, I’d really recommend that all chronic procrastinators read it. 🙂 (Nana)

Okay it’s time to stop, I am hungry. I just want to say that now, I will post one article per week instead of one every 5 days. I am quite sure you would have noticed if I haven’t told you but I felt like I had to tell you (what a honest person!) It is just that now that I write more (wouhou), I need more time. And 5 days it is complicated to integrate into my routine.

If I feel brave, I will post more, but for the moment let’s say that Sunday will be my publication day. ♪♫

See you in 7 days.

Red Trees & Stuff



I told you that I have been really inspired by flowers in Bali.

Actually, the flower that I am holding, it is kind of the micro view of one of this gorgeous red tree:


And the picture taken at Uluwatu Temple which has inspired the drawing above : RED TREE : MACROCOSM (?)

Even if I studied Geography (Hell yeah!) I still get confused with macro or micro view concept. The same with small scale versus large scale. Back in University of Lausanne, I used to remember that what they is called the small scale was actually the reverse of what I thought (which I guessed being as the common sense ). But remembering that the right answer is the exact opposite of what I think, is not a very pleasant way of learning. Therefore, I had to to go back to the roots of the problem.

In other words, they show large areas of land on a small space. They are called small scale because the representative fraction is relatively small. Large scale maps show smaller areas in more detail, such as county maps or town plans might.” (wiki)

Is it any clearer now ?

In a nutshell, I wanted to explain that the red flower was the foundation of the giant red tree. If you like, the red flower could be for the tree what the cell is for the body. The microcosm and macrocosm…. ANYWAY, you understand why I needed the idea of macrocosm and microcosm for. I read this article but I am not still one hundred per cent sure that I understood. Some help from sociologists/physicians would be welcome ! 😀



Changing the subject, on the first drawing, tied around my wrist you can see a red bracelet. A friend of mine told me that, according a popular belief in China, the year you are supposed to turn 24, either something very good or very bad can happen to you. She also told me that throughout this famous year, in order to protect you and to give you luck, you’re always supposed to wear something red.

I decided that the notion of wearing red for luck didn’t have to be only for my 24th spring (since it is not planned not for 2016.. a priori though 😉

What is cool with the mix of cultures is that you can inspire you from other cultures, you can pick, borrow and adapt what you like and leave the rest. Eventually, by meeting other people from other culture, you can create and embody your own home-made culture and belief and value system.

I did not intend to speak about that today but *sigh* what can I say.. life ?

(my brain hurts now)

Fifty Shades of Sydney – Chapter 10



I hope you’re having warm and peaceful Holiday season. I hope that you didn’t overeat, or at least, I hope that you didn’t overeat as much as I did.

We have a tiny little bit exaggerated with meals…..

Right now I am preparing myself mentally, physically and spiritually for new (year) good resolutions. Yay ! Notably, I want to stop eating junk food. I know what you think: every year it is the same story. BUT THIS TIME, IT IS GOING TO WORK ! I feel it ! I am reading some motivational-book-written-by-Cameron-Diaz (no comment) so from that moment, “anything is possible” (direct quote from my housemate).

All of that is to say that I wish you a happy new year !!! May the force be with you for this new year !

For this drawing, I have been inspired by an old one that I made four years ago (how old!). See below. I was very proud at that time and I have to admit that it is still one of my favourite 🙂 (big up Océane).

The big -real- fan of Walt Disney can recognize Princess Rapunzel or Tangled.

I am almost half my exchange and it is only and already the 10th drawing of the Fifty Shades series. It is going complicated to achieve the 40 skylines left in 6 months but I will do my best.