Its lovely where I live in the middle-of-nowhere in rural Pas-de-Calais, France. There are times though when it gets a bit lonely… we’re miles from a town or shops, there’s little chance of going to a cinema or theatre and sometimes I don’t even see a neighbour for a week. I have my animals though and since my pride and joy is totally grown up and back in the UK I suppose the animals have sort of become my children. I have three dogs, three cats, two stray cats that I feed, ten chickens who are pets and give me eggs, ten chickens who are supposed to be being bought up for the pot (we’ll see), two geese who are expecting their first child and three ducklings. I talk to them all, spoil them when I can and I’ve discovered that all of them like to play – with the exception of the geese. I’ve only had the geese for about six weeks and Flo started nesting really quickly, so I guess they’re happy but it hasn’t given me an opportunity to get to know them as they’re both very protective of the egg baby.
The OH says that sometimes I take this “the animals are like my children” malarkey a bit far… he might be right. I’ve recently come across a wonderful artist and designer called Joel Henriques and he makes the craziest and sweetest little paper cities and one of his most popular ones is Paris. I think they’re meant to be for kids but I really like them. I printed them off to test (!) so that if any kids visit they could play with them and then I couldn’t resist doing the cutting out and folding. And then I thought I wonder if the Babary ducklings Belle, Rapunzel and Dicky would like to visit Paper Paris!
They did – Belle loved trying to eat the tiny Parisian boulangerie and Dicky and Rapunzel were amazed to be standing at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and able to walk round the Arc de Triomphe without traffic problems.
Joel makes these lovely, quirky black and white drawings freely available on his website for everyone to print off and enjoy. You might want to print them for your kids, or you might, like me want to print them off for yourself – if you do – I’d love to see your photos too!