The wind is in from Africa…

And last night I couldn’t sleep!  It’s true, and perhaps it is this that Joni wrote about in her song; The Sirocco (or Marin) arrived a few days ago- the first I’ve seen- a wind that comes from Africa and brings with it rain, warm temperatures and fine sand.  It was raining quite hard on and off  ( and 22 degrees Celsius) and when it stopped and everything dried off, there was a coating of fine brown grit covering all the leaves, cars, streets etc   The rain and wind has stopped now, but the balmy temperatures remain.  Such an fascinating phenomena!  Below is a clip from Wikipedia, and it is interesting to note that health problems can be associated with the Sirocco, since I and several people I know all came down with colds in the last few days.

Otherwise I leave for Canada in 2 days, to spend 7 weeks there liquidating my belongings so that my life on that side of the ocean can be closed and I can return to this paradise, to begin a new life.    


And thanks to Wikipedia….


A sirocco from Libya blowing dust over the Mediterranean, Malta, Italy, and Greece

A sirocco from Libya blowing dust over the Mediterranean, Malta, Italy, and Greece

Scirocco and Sirocco are Italian names from which its Greekname, “σιρόκος” (sirokos), is derived, while jugo is its name in Croatia, Montenegro and Slovenia, and ghibli in Libya. The sirocco reaching the south of France contains more moisture and is known as the marin. In the Canary Islands this oppressive, hot, dust bearing wind is called La Kalima. The name of sirocco in the southwest of Spain is leveche, or llebeig in Catalan. The leveche usually carries red Sahara dust and is associated with storms and heavy rain, the wind being very strong, lasting about 4 days. In Malta, it is known as xlokk. [1]


It arises from a warm, dry, tropical airmass that is pulled northward by low-pressure cells moving eastward across the Mediterranean Sea, with the wind originating in the Arabian or Sahara deserts.[2] The hotter, drier continental air mixes with the cooler, wetter air of the maritime cyclone, and the counter-clockwise circulation of the low propels the mixed air across the southern coasts of Europe.


The Sirocco causes dusty, dry conditions along the northern coast of Africa, storms in the Mediterranean Sea, and cold, wet weather in Europe. The Sirocco’s duration may be a half day or many days. Many people attribute health problems to the Sirocco either because of the heat and dust along the African coastal regions or the cool dampness in Europe. The dust within the Sirocco winds can degrade mechanical devices and invade domiciles.

These winds with speeds of almost 100 kilometres per hour are most common during the autumn and the spring. They reach a peak in March and in November, with a maximum speed of about 100 km/h (55 knots).

Grasse- chez moi…

roses of GrasseHello Everyone! It has been so long since I last wrote and in that time, as of last Wednesday, I finished my MANE internship and am now planning the next section of this fragrant and sunny adventure.  It is Rose season now in Grasse, with the fields full of the Rose de Mai and last weekend the streets full of people and roses for the 37th annual ExpoRose.   what fun!  I got to replace some of the stolen photos with macros of all this years gorgeous roses on display from all the Rose growers of the region:  (my favourite was from an Italian grower from Mougin with a spectacular huge highly fragrant rose simply called XXL)

Lately, instead of seeing my life as being at a cross roads, I have been using the analogy of a round-about; which to me is much more fitting of how the circumstances actually feel.  I am going round and round on the inside lane, looking carefully and with interest at each road that branches off in various directions.    I might feel a bit dizzy now and then, but this is the freedom of a round-about; it’s not nearly so black and white or abrupt as a stop light or a cross roads. I like that. And???  What road is looking the brightest and most strewn with flowers and shiny things, you ask?  The answer- Direction Grasse.   I want to stay.  Plain and simple.  This is the land of sunshine and jasmine flowers, roses and orange blossoms, mimosa and wisteria- and of course, the run down beautiful dirty old city of Grasse that you either love or hate….  Where I find myself now feeling like I belong.  And of course it’s not just the flowers; it’s also that in this land everyone speaks of perfume and the industry is ever present.  Jean Claude Ellena and Michel Roudnitska (plus many other perfumers) live just around the corner and the region is infused with the Grassois traditions and deep history of perfumery. There is a ‘knowing’ here, an understanding that is impossible to describe and that took me many monthes to even be aware of. A palpable pulse of creativity and tradition that either embraces you or spits you out.  Maybe this is true for every place. The past 15 monthes have been exceptionally brilliant, painfully so at times; but for now, I cannot imagine spending my time anywhere else; I feel embraced by this place. (with claws sometimes, but the sweetest roses have thorns…)  I am going to set up my studio here and work and create from the inspiration that is fueled by my surroundings, both good and bad, but natural.

So there, I’ve said it!  Now let’s see what happens as this story unfolds once again and the adventure continues….