Showing posts with label oiseau distrait. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oiseau distrait. Show all posts


Medium Friend Links ~ June 2024

Hi, hi!

Have a break and want something to read? Here we have the selected articles for you, you can read for free via these friend links, exclusively for readers here and those subscribe my Author website

You don't need to have an account on Medium, but you're always welcome to join, then I can buy myself a cup of coffee while you're reading, clap, leave a comment, or subscribe via email on Medium; feel free as you wish.

Enjoy :D


👉Free You Now...Smile

👉You Know Why...I Prefer To Walk



👉ISBN Paradox


Oiseau Distrait Author Website Launched !!

 Hi, Hi!

Can you discover anything differenceà!

Oiseau Distrait Author Website was launched on 3 May 2024, Chirps! Chirps! Hurray! 

This is one of my favourite photos, so I use this as my website header, I hope you'll like it, too.

In my new birdhouse, you'll know more about me through a detailed profile on my Home page. 

Follow by a BirdTalk page for my blog posts to chat with you about anything that interests me, including some of my update status. Most of all is...I'll select more of my Medium articles with friend links from time to time for you to enjoy, so stay tuned.

A summary of all published books can be found on the Books page, including their bookstore link. (Remember, local readers can only purchase from Google Books because Apple Books is not available in the Hong Kong region.)

A new short fiction in Chinese 遇見彩虹 was just released on the same day, so why not go to have a look, see if it will ignite your imagination?

There is an Archive page at the end, a hidden story of my before & after, in case you find any trace of who I am...I'll be grateful to you if you can keep this secret for me :P 

Because it'll be more fun to join me in a new world of literature.

So, that's it for tonight...Oh! one more thing, you're always welcome to subscribe to my newsletter via my website, don't worry, it's obviously will take some time to prepare as I am a forgetful bird. 

Au RevoirSee you there!


Medium Friend Links of April

Hi, Hi,

Did you try to read my Medium article from the Friend Link in the previous post? Is it working? I hope so.

How about a few more for April.


👉Tiny Flower Of The Wild

👉Hello, Anybody Here?


👉Jack Under The Moon ~ Nothing scary but romantic

👉Beautiful Calligraphy ~ Of the Islamic World

These are selected free Friend Links for readers of the Cocoa Design Life Blog you can view them freely in Medium directed vs the links; if you like it, simply clap or leave a comment as you wish, or subscribe via email, Happy April reading :D



Friend Link for my post in Medium...Testing, testing

👉I'm Robin, Your Messenger

Hi, hi,

It's been a long time away because I'm on another writing platform Medium, I've spent some time over there writing and enjoying the community, it's been almost 8 months, time flies!

But I didn't forget my friends here that you may not be a member of that platform, even if you can still find me via my profile page Oiseau Distrait, I'm trying to figure out to see if my posts can be freely read by you guys here via a Friend Link.

Usually, I will write around 5 posts per week on various topics, but there is no automatic system for me to link them here except manually, so let's try whether this one is working? If yes, I'll see if there are any possible solutions to update the list here per week or two.

You may ask what happens to my earnings if a free link is used, well, yes! I earn nothing via a non-member read, but the post can be read by you, so, it's fine. You can also share this link freely if it works, and maybe someday, if you want to join the community as a member, you're always welcome. If not, claps & comments do help...or even just read 30 sec, my pleasure.

To reduce my workload so I can concentrate on my writing, I won't prepare the picture here, but there is always one in the Medium post. And one more thing regarding the language written is still majoring in English. 

Okay! Here is the first one, let me know if it works and whether you want to read more in the future.
Bye & see you! 
Have a happy Friday.



兩個月的Medium 生涯

不知不覺間已經在Medium 寫了兩個月稿,有趣的是,原來在剛加入時,內部正在調整政策,導致作者在九至十月間的收入大幅下降,對一些在此寫了多年並賴以為生的作者影響很大。你沒有看錯,真的有人可以以此為部份生活的收入來源,不過還好的是,對於我這個初到貴境的小人物,也就沒什麼影響了。而且早些改革,也會較易適應,可以逃過被一些舊有機制或漏洞影響,滿以為隨隨便便寫幾隻字便可以賺大錢⋯(從來也是不要得的想法)。



The first thing for a writer to learn is Humble!




Medium & Blogger, why not both?

i'm grateful to write under this beautiful sky
Hi hi, 

It's been a while that I'm writing nothing here, but actually I am writing in some where else - a platform I've discovered recently call  Medium (not new); which is a bit different from blogging, because first of all, you need to open a free account by start reading articles including you can view a maximum of 3 nos. of member-only articles per month; then you can write of course, but why is it so? 

The member-only articles can generate a small amount of income to the writer in several different ways, although it may not support a full time writer, at least we can buy a cup of coffee to continue writing, that's great, right? and the most important is , the overall reading / writing atmosphere over there is different, more sincere, I would say.

You will find longer and deep dive posts, readers just willing to read more even if you don't put any images along with. I've been using half months time to go through articles and was being inspired a lot. I think it's really the culture of different platforms that could affect the overall reading or writing experience.

Being an author/writer needs to go through a deep learning curve, you may not agree because it seems there are so easy for us to publish anywhere online, but it's so true and I keep this in mind seriously. Unless you are well trained in advance, most of us are keep learning to improve ourselves while keep on writing and reading simultaneously, years after years. (except for the talented and the celebrities). 

I have to tell you, as a reader, I do feel tired to find quite a huge amount of so call "coach" blogs which teach you "how to get 1000 followers" " how to get paid within a months blogging...",etc, etc. And on the other hand, as an indie author, what I really want to learn from our online mentor, is not the "TEN things I have to do", or "TWELVES tips to help you become a successful writer"..., etc, etc. Finally, I did find some good pieces over there, which helps me to write in another perspective; again, it take times but it's worth, I'm sure.

So, you may ask, am I saying that Blogger is not as good an Medium, and I am going to leave? No, no, no! As I've mentioned they are different, I always feel relax to write here, even when I am not promoting my book...Oh! my book, that is for another story to tell, may be later :P  

Cocoa Design Life has always been a leisure & relaxing corner that we can bird talk , just like what antleeli & ricketeer's originally designed, that's why I would love to fly over here, stay for a while and keep talking to you if you don't mind; I wish you do feel the same, too! No stress, no target to reach, no expert webinar to attend but just a quiet bird talk.

See u :D


Unveil the art


Hi, hi,

There is no way for me to skip writing this post because I really want to show you what exactly I saw...introduced by Li...created by an fabulous artist...a beautiful art piece in the window shop that was mentioned in Au Revoir on my last night in Paris. 

Yes, they are real, they are for sale, they were in the arrangement of a hemisphere, the one Li said that she has to stopping by every time. I am totally agree that they are truly stunning when I saw them that night, the overall size is within one meter, hanging right above eye level of the passenger but you will never miss them. 

There are some others in different colorways, smaller but cool ! I do wish to tell you where they can be found, but sorry again...I forget, because it's not the matter of where it were, if you love it, it will always in your heart, au revoir :)


Au Revoir, Petit Paris

Au Revoir book cover
click to enlarge

It will be hard to write this post I’m sure, the last post to end my series of Petit Paris ~ the first poetic travelogues that I’ve never had & the first e-book series that I’ve ever published. Three years are neither short nor long, long enough to write a book but too short for a forgetful bird to become an author, it’s only the beginning… I hope. 

When this project was started three years ago, as I’ve mentioned in <Au Revoir>,  time flies like a spark, when it has to end the journey which seems has begun not long before,  I am a bit of emotionally un-detachable, at least, still at this moment.

Solo trip is always a valuable experience to whom you are, what you have or haven’t. You have to face everything on your own, surprisingly amazing moments or unexpected horror, imaginary or real. 

You are the master of your time, a totally stranger on earth there ; you can mute in most of the time, just see and feel, think & rethink…or, you can seek, a new friendship that might start, to be an immigrant for a week, to act like a local for an hour.

You can capture all the moments by your phone (camera) or simply to remember the unique memory…just for you, yourself on that date, at that time…happy or sad.

You can try anything new, participate in an adventure that you’ve never did before or, have an apple in hand, just enjoy under the sun & relax. 

You can follow the norm to all the hot spots or you can walk in your own way, your own destination in your own pace. 

You can…
…Yes, I can find another angle to see the world, to discover more instead of following the norm; something I might mis-understood when it was presented without the truth in depth.  I can listen the voices behind that might fainted for over a while…it’s not barely a vacation but also a chapter of my life started from October 2019 and keep on transforming in December 2022. 

The last book in this series is a wrap up of what I met during the trip, and because of it is the last one, it urge me to take the last chance of sharing of what were or might be overlooked, but really meant something in this series. 

Actually I took almost 1000 photos, for all the selected photos, they should cover what I discovered in the whole journey; I do wish you can feel travelling with me while reading. 

“A book has to be edited prior to publish.” I think this is the norm or general rule that I do agree but will leave it for this very first time. The free prose lead my thought to and fro from one moment to another, but raw and real time that I really want to attach, sorry for the free-flow' if it makes you feel lost sometimes :P 

I am a real forgetful bird, it’s hard for me to remember the name of people I’ve met, especially for those I didn’t even ask. But, seriously, I do remember their faces, their tone of expression when we communicated;  I still remember right at this moment…almost three whole years, so memorable. 

Color & aroma, are the ever lasting sense for human beings, whenever I close my eyes, fly back to Paris, they are there, still there…all the same…!

I know I have to end right now, the post and the obsession to this journey. I am moving on for a new novel,  in another language...may be; I don’t know when can this be completed? Hopefully not too long and is for sure not too soon, by that time, I wish you are still here to be my companion , Merci beaucoup et Au revoir !


Café de Flore

Watercolour of Café De Flore in the book of Dream a little Dream
Click to enlarge

Café de Flore has always been famous since 1885, even there was one located in Omotesando in Japan (not sure whether they are from the same organisation). The name came from a sculpture of the goddess of flowers - Flora (Flore in French), and the season of spring in Roman mythology.  

Delicious hot chocolate and elegant Art Deco interior design may be some reasons why people loves to visit Café de Flore, but most of all are due to the attraction by it’s history, a hub where the intelligence gathered around  in the 1920s. Even though we may not know the story of each of them, at least, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso were the well known. 

In my previous blog post introducing the book ‘Left Bank- by Agnés Poirier’ , Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Albert Camus were the names among those that frequently appeared, as what they called French intellectuals who really acted as the icons here.

 Café de Flore was a place for them to hang around, expressing their thoughts, ideas, awareness of the world issues (political & culture) , especially for France & America; or in person (Female & Male, You & I) that matters, then transformed their avant-garde thinking into plays, writings, journals, music, poem…,etc; even though they might not be acceptable in those days. It became a place that dreams could be made, no matter what the reality might be in chaos.

So I put this into the center page of my book, as a symbolic of the belief that any of us can embrace. We can have numerous dream, great or humble, global or for one’s own; provided the motivation is not evil, there is always a path to reach the success, nothing to do with the rocket sciences but keep trying and move on. 

Whether you like to stay in Café de Flore or Les Deux Magots; you are in Hong Kong, France or elsewhere; you are a teenager or old guy, male or female, rich or poor…, dream is no boundary once you act. 


Left Bank & Dream a Little Dream


Paris never fails us of her attractions, especially for those who love shopping. Whether the  prosperity impression, luxurious living or the Bohemia life style , what people used to call; are actually a very different scenario of what Paris was experienced & had been transformed after WWII.

While writing this series, I was accidentally found a book “Left Bank - Art, Passion and the Rebirth of Paris 1940-1950” by Agnés Poirier. A book that opens my eyes wide and solve some of the queries inside me during the trip. 

During the WWII, the third republic lead French into a shameful act, allow the occupied of the Nazis without defense, it might prevent major casualties as they originally thought but in fact, not to the Jews here, as mentioned in the book, over 13000 Parisian Jews (one third are children) were sent to death in Poland in 1942 & 80000 Jews were sent from France to concentration camps…this is still an ached in some of the Parisians nowadays. That explains to me why so many Jewish memorial museum were built in Paris. I feel sad, too. 

The intellectuals, how they survived to face the lost of their Jewish friends each day but couldn’t say, would there be any hope to dream for their future? To continue their philosophic expression? Publication? Playwright? Artistic life? simply to live or left?

Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Sylvia Beach, Albert Camus, Ernest Hemingway, Jacques Jaujard, Pablo Picasso, Henri cartier-bressan…some of the characters in the book, the intellectuals who were there…their dreams didn’t vanish but transformed and camouflaged in another way to preserve the seed of hope. What they had been struggling, physically, mentally & emotionally (whether succeeded or failure) left a trace in the Café de Flore, café des Deus Magots, the Louvre and many other places in Paris. 

The huge impact in the field of their specialties & their “third way” are still influencing a lot of us in the modern age.  Café de Flore may be famous of it’s hot cocoa, but in depth, there’s always been the stories behind like Hôtel La Louisiane, the Shakespeare & Co., Le Tabou…that flourished.

Dream a little Dream book cover
Click to enlarge

Dream a little Dream is the second last book of Petit Paris Series, my first draft was finished in February 2022, the moment of the 5th wave of COVID-19 in Hong Kong, should I still bring out this message to my reader? absolutely Yes, without any hesitation! the hope to end this pandemic as same as the hope to end war. If they could survive in their own ways and achieved even more in 10 years, we can, it's not only a dream!


I love Haussmann

Okay, I know this is a bit weird to have all these cross over below :P  but let me explain something:-

I am really obsess to the Haussmann architecture, especially the Attic floor. Well, you may think it's the smallest, least luxurious, most of all, it's usually for the maids... but, it has the best view overall! Don't you think it's quite difference from the concept, like us who live in Hong Kong? Lots of people are willing to pay extra to live in a penthouse of a high rise residential. What a contrary ? 

Of course the reason is quite simple indeed, even thought the highest Haussmann building is only six levels, without an elevator in the good old days, there is no way for the bourgeois to climb so high, no matter how stunning the view is.  In addition, how could they ask their VIP to climb stairs for gathering day & nights!That's why the construction concept behind is to have the best floor on level 2, which did make sense; regarding the stunning view? any where you see in Paris are "stunning" why restricted to the window views of your apartment? 

Back to the modern time, I will be 100% excited to live in a Haussmann building on the 2nd level, but as a tourist, it's also interesting to stay for a while on the Attic floor, which usually has a sloped ceiling, with a small balcony open wide to enjoy your daily sunset... you can find it in some B&B rentals, and I am sure I will go for a try next time. 

Watercolor of Haussmann architecture front elevation in the book of Exquisite
center page in the book of Exquisite

In the mean time, what I can do is to draw a nice picture of her, to share with you in my new book & hope you will like it, too. But this is not the end, see what I've discover...

Sim city game of Paris view in daylight
Ha ha! I am building a virtual Paris in Sim City! in my leisure moment, of course. A game I've found accidentally after returned from the trip, there are a lot to be developed, although it's not 100% real with so many restrictions, the Haussmann building are not bad, what do you think?

Sim city game of Paris view at night
The night scene do imitate some of the mood in reality, I don't know how long will I continue to play for the expansion until a "longer La Seine" can be made, let's see.

Finally, I would like to share with you the photo below, a real scene of my beloved architecture I took viewing from the Center Pompidou. One of my favorite view, neat & decent; not for the bourgeoisie only, but for everyone who love to stay. 

A scene of Haussmann architecture line up under blue sky in Paris


Exquisite - Book Ten Of Petit Paris

Book cover of Exquisite - Petit Paris
Click to enlarge

This is the most difficult book I’ve written in Petit Paris series, why? It seems there are so many elements that I can use to express “Beauty”, but is it the only thing that I want to say? No, I’m quite sure.

Writing book is always for the public but at the same time also personal I shall say, and this is my own feeling during these few years, that’s why you may love it or not; but beautiful things created by artists, designers, architects, craftspeople …and the final piece are always dominated by commercial, religious or even political reasons in most of the time. Take it or leave it, getting rich or broke, being famous or no one ever knows…now or in the future!

My thought was complicated while writing “Exquisite”, there are tensions between beauty ~long lasting ~preserve ~transform ~handmade ~technology…too many want to incorporate, too little can be captured, cos’ Beauty always has two faces, exterior & interior.

I was a commercial interior designer, I knew the struggle inside to convert “the beautiful thing in your eyes” to the one in “their eyes”. It’s even harder for us to produce & complete them even we may not think it is good enough or even ugly…but it has to be done, no matter how. For the truly beautiful things can be demolished/ vanishing just by a simple decision from some powerful people/unit who knows nothing about beauty at all! Weird but it’s the reality.

I think this is the reason to explain my excitement when seeing beautiful things that were preserved so well in Paris. Which also lead me to think of those behind who created and made them long long time ago. 

It seems the word Craftspeople is a bit old fashion nowadays, for everything takes time to complete may not suit in our new age, less and less youth are willing to take part in this sort of careers but not totally. Japan is a good example which did an excellent job in this field, recently in Hong Kong, there are also some young craftspeople who start to realize handmade items and to preserve rather than replace are valuable; furniture, book, glasses, cheongsam, leather goods, architecture…hopefully there will be a lot more in the future.

It’s quite simple in my theory, whenever people is willing to spend time into a certain thing, to make it nicer, to bring joy to someone, he/she has a kind heart, the beauty inside. 


Forgotten Chap - 01


The land of mine…

no one knows why

they were there

long long time ago

arrogant of a human nature

who dare 

The people of mine…

no one knows why

not from your womb

not being tied

nonsense of a human nature 

like you

Creation of God

that is the truth

the master who own

you, too



Oiseau Distrait
24 April 2022


Spring Shower - Point Zéro

Spring Shower - Point Zéro for Petit Paris by Oiseau Distrait
click to enlarge


Hi, hi! 

Spring is coming...already came? how about having a Spring Shower to read a free copy of Point Zéro , just for a limited period of time 15 to 22/4/2022. 

Simply go to my Oiseau Distrait page & grab from the book link, feel free to leave a comment or star, if you like it :D

Happy reading in Happy Easter!


Happy rainy days

Watercolor of walking in rainy day - La Rue of Petit Paris

Unexpectedly shower is the norm in Paris, locals told me “never leave home without an umbrella” and it’s absolutely true. They said the weather here may drive you nuts sometimes, the extreme cold & wet days in Winters continue for a whole week, it makes them feeling emotionally sad. That’s why whenever the sun comes out, everyone gather in the park, along the Seine & café . I did experience a few times here, a great hug by the warmth of the sun was wonderful, relaxing joy & laughter’s around the place, so enjoyable.
And if you know this norm, to explore under the rain on street is interesting, too. Unlike Hong Kong, due to the lower Haussmann building skyline here, I will always feeling there are more spacious even walking on a street or alley; if you are not in the busy office hours, the momentum is much slower, people rarely in their rush mode, except in metro station. So, I can enjoy the water color like scenery in rain…j’adore !
That’s why I choose to record this moment in my book, although the painting is not good enough as I think, I start to enjoy painting rainy day for its neon like color way , hopefully I can practice more & more to finally create my perfect rainy day.
In the meantime, wish you can walk with me with lots of imagination! :D


來來去去 / To & From...where

Book cover of La Rue - Petit Paris by Oiseau Distrait
click to enlarge

我想,今次La Rue 的網誌,應該先用中文寫,因為這本書所涉及的內容,在今天,對身處香港的我們尤其切身。

兩年前去旅行的時候,完全沒有想過香港又再次出現移民潮(上次是1997年);如果你有看第六本書Hear Me, 也許會記得當我回來的時候,心繫巴黎的其中一件事,便是繁華背後,瑟縮在街頭巷尾的一班移民;其實我所眼見的也只是冰山一角,在不遠的市外,流浪著幾十萬的非法移民~這是昔日法國為着補充勞動人口而大開中門的後果。過多的移民突然衝擊着整個社會的結構,包括文化、經濟、生活配套、民生等等;但是,為什麼即使法國處於這個局面,仍有人離開故土而遷到這裏呢?





An Asian lady on the street in Paris

A local lady on the street of Paris

I think it’s better for me to write this blog post for La Rue in bilingual, because what this book addresses is emigration, a direct impact to us in Hong Kong even under the haunting of Covid since 2019. 

There was no clue for me to imagine the emigration wave appear once again in HK (last time was in 1997 & 2014) when I was returned from Paris, I did plan to include this topic in one of my book but simply for the scenario I saw in Paris, i.e.: of those who struggle to survive there…the uncontrollable result for the government of France to bear due to the drawn in of required working power…influx as a result which crashing the vulnerable society.

Actually what I had seen as mentioned in the book of “Hear Me” was only the tip of the iceberg, millions of immigrants are still scattered outside the boundary of Paris without any support behind a “hidden barrier”. But why people keep on leaving their homeland to somewhere which might not be their real “heaven”!

A chance for future of their own & the next generation, freedom, better living standard, to survive, escape from the mess of their own countries? all these could be the reasons to emigrants around the whole world, as well as in Hong Kong today; is it barely resigned or just a basic instinct of survival !

There is for sure more & more of my friends are going to leave in 2022, a huge decision they have to  make,  especially for those who are in their middle age ~ time of their harvesting period but now has to be started all over again somewhere. It’s hard but it has to keep moving forward by all means, I am pretty sure they will make it because they are “Hong Kongers”, the toughest to survive - a genetic code that we all have.





Drawing the Magic Moment

Magic Moment watercolor drawing in the book City Of Light

Twilight time is always my favor moment wherever I am, the mysterious blue is stunning and attractive, it's the perfect time to enjoy before dark.

During the trip, I rarely took photos at night. There are some reasons behind such as Tired - after walking a whole day long, sometimes without eating enough (to save time especially during visiting museums :P); it will killing me to bring along with a tri-pot for shooting night scene. Well, I can increase the ISO of course as an alternative, but I have to confess I am stubborn, I don't like the noise resulted of high speed. How about to use my light weight titanium tri-pot? it’s a bit small for my D300…the one that fits, my Manfrotto, sooooooo….heavy! I quit :P

Temperature - it’s quite cold at night, usually in single digit or even 1-2 degree only, it takes time to explore stunning scene, not knowing for how long to discover one, because my target are definitely not the tourist spots; so, the cozy and warm hotel room always win.

Safety - I should be pretty safe at night in the tourist zone such as 1er of where I stayed, and most others zones up to 8er. But photo shooting is not “safe” sometimes, the desire of chasing a perfect scene makes me lost of my way, it happens often in Hong Kong (but it’s never a problem because H.K. is small & familiar to me). 

An exhausted normal height Asian with a camera getting lost in the dark alley of an unfamiliar city…I guess I could be… or, if I am safe by luck, return late night by metro is not a good idea either; unless by taxi or…

Drawing the Magic Moment watercolor with photo reference
Am I having too many concerns? I think so. When I was writing this book, I did regret of not taking more night scene photos, I have to assist by recap of my memories with the help of online reference – not a perfect experience, feeling there are something missing… 

The watercolor drawing as well as the book cover are really my wishes to “be there at that moment”, not only in twilight time, but also at night on the roof top; hopefully someday, I shall return to Paris … together with my proper gear for a midnight walk.



Happiness is...

early morning scene outdoor in Paris

I spent most of the day time to explore Paris on foot usually began at 0800, although sometimes I woke up earlier at 0400 or 0600, I would stay in my room for a bit longer until I saw a faint sun ray appeared above the roof top outside my window. Because early in the morning and after mid night, the temperature would drop to a few degree Celsius, it was not wise to stay outdoor without having a full breakfast or in an exhausted body after a long walk.

Hazy grey sky

As I've told you earlier in my post, the weather in 
Paris within a day was unstable but interesting, even though there was no sun light above the roof, I would begin my journey of the day, by walking on the street in a slightly freezing air, there were so many times I did experience the magic moment of the transaction from haze grey sky into transparent blue; or whenever I thought the cloud seems turning thicker and thicker, raining? May be, but suddenly the sky wide open for a golden sun ray to burst…so beautiful, I saw HOPE of a new day.

Bright sun ray shine to a balcony in Paris

I did remember on a few similar mornings when I was walking along, not many people on the street, so it was a bit quiet and “dull” overall, there were always something drawn my attention simply a balcony, a window, a café chair, or an architectural moulding at the exterior of a building…which were highlighted by the beam of sun ray, every time, yes, every time I felt  amazing, so joyful to meet “Ray”, it was a symbolic of a fresh start, I loved that feeling, the aroma of the warmth.

 Tower Eiffel in the dark

Well, of course, there would be on the contrary, a sunny day turns into cloudy suddenly when I just picked up my camera facing Tower Eiffel, so I made a choice to adjust the exposure for this shot instead, I’m sure it could be identified no matter what, right? :D

May be it’s no big deal of what I’ve seen compare to the mysterious Aurora of the Arctic, sunrise in Africa, sunset at the Grand Canyon, moonlight of…you name it. What I think is not where you are but what you want. To me, I definitely want the enlightenment of the age, the pursuit of happiness, how about you?


Behind the "City Of Light"

City Of Light book cover
click to enlarge image
When I started to write this series in the first place, monochrome book cover as well as the drawing inside was my key design preference, plus…one book in a reverse of white on black. Originally I thought I will use this theme in book Six - Hear Me; but it seems the content was not appropriate and I didn’t want all those “voices” that needed to be heard fell into the “dark”. So I pended the idea until this one, which is good fit as I think.

City of Light - another name of Paris, we usually think maybe this is related to the prosperity and prestige of the luxurious life style in this city; or at least we will link to the stunning night scene along Champs Élysée or light show at the Tower Eiffel, right? 

But it actually represents the evolution period of having gas street lamp in the first large European City, in a massive scale, that light up most of the dark rue/ alley. The original idea of King Louis XIV who appointed lieutenant Gabriel Nicolas de la Reynie to make Paris into a safe city, it was started by gas lanterns and candles then gradually gas street light, forming the “La Ville Lumière” or so call “Age of the Enlightenment” since 1829. I can imagine the excitement of Parisians when the lighting up of Rue de Rivoli, Place Vendôme, Place du Carrousel and other grand boulevards by almost 56000 gas lamps in 1860s.

Yellowish street lamp in front of a church in Paris
We can still see a lot of beautiful gas lamps located at the streets and bridges along the Seine, I think no one will forget how stunning the night scene they are. But time flies, you may discover (as what I’ve seen) some, may be most of the gas lamps had already been replaced by LED light bulb inside those antique art like lamp shade, even though the warm yellowish tone remains, I guess it’s a bit difference to those in the good old days. 
Hong Kong had a lot of gas street lamps also, long time ago, but gradually reduced and only 4 left in Central along the staircase in Duddell Street (since 1922), I did remember what it looks like when lit up, moody & wordless romantic.  No matter how, we are living in the 21th Century, nothing can last forever except memories.

In fact, there is also another meaning for “The Age of Enlightenment” which is very meaningful. From 17th to 18th Century, there was the intellectual & philosophical movement that dominated in European, people aware sovereignty of reason, the ideals of separation of church & state, of having a constitutional government, liberty, fraternity, equality…as well as the pursuit of happiness; that every mankind deserves. Hope for the future, become one of the core meaning, too.

The happening of all these new thoughts did relate to the emerged of philosophers, scientists, artists, literati who widely spread or discussed these ideas in café, salons or scientific academies…, etc; a truly flourishing moment, I shall say. 

When I have finished my research, I know this book could mean more than only the scenery or a specific period in Paris, so I’ve decided to write for someone who need a spark of light, those who deserve to pursuit of their happiness as we do.


Day to Night

Another beauty that I found in Paris at night when my new friend Li, she guided me to walk through some streets at night after dinner, not many people on the street, may be they were still in the bistro, at home or in the restaurant enjoying their meal.

We were in the 1st arrondissement, a bit quiet at around 2130, yellowish street lamps, light up artistic display in the window showcase of shops; yellowish pendants line up at the pillars next to the squares, café & restaurant covered in orange yellow sheer of light, fainted yellow lamps at the balconies/ windows of somewhere above; other color in green lit signage of the pharmacy, the lonely tri-color traffic lamp together with the “ever glow” gas lamp along the Seine…all under the deepest dark sky. 

I am obsess, I know, another page I can write for what I’ve seen in the City of Light, because at that moment, they all belongs to me, the moment of imagination, the happenings under the light…I wish I can return some day, for another night adventure, another series dedicate to the City of Light.

Back to our walk, Li asked me whether I felt unsafe on the street at night right now, as she never felt that even walking alone at late night…well, I replied “I’m fine…” and after a while, we separated in the midpoint between her apartment & my hotel, and there was still another 20mins walk by myself.

light up street view in the evening of the first arrondissement in Paris

“I’m fine…” because, I have a companion; we are in the safest arrondissement of where Banque de France (Central bank of France) is located; we are on the main streets, I have nothing in my pocket except a credit card and a old mobile phone, I know my destination not far away…a different feeling to a moment when I was alone in an alley of Le Marais on the other day, even it’s only began to turn dark.

Banque De France
So, I make a conclusion to myself, there are environmental conditions that may affect our safety concern, the peaceful mind we can have include two other critical issues - companion and a known destination, that light up on the way as well as the small dark room inside us.