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|Neelam Krishnamoorthy: The film tickets that destroyed a family|
Added: 29.01.2020 0:32 | 0 views | 0 comments
Neelam Krishnamoorthy got film tickets for her kids. She now calls them "tickets to death".
|From Chateaux to Battlefields: Walking the Paths My Characters Tread|
Added: 28.01.2020 23:35 | 1 views | 0 comments
Next to writing, research is my true love. When I stand in the spaces I want my characters to inhabit, I can feel them and see them and bring their lives and their stories out of my imagination and into the structure of words and sentences.
The Hotel Scribe, Paris
To research The Paris Orphan, I started in Paris at the Hotel Scribe, where Lee Miller stayed during World War II and where Jessica May, my character, also stays. The hotel was used by the U.S. Army as the press office, and the hotel’s exterior is largely unchanged from that time.
Staying in the hotel for several nights allowed me to picture more vividly the scenes in my story set there, to see where Miller’s room was, and the view from her balcony. The hotel is very proud of its association with Miller.
A Chateau in the Champagne Region
From there I had the very difficult(!) job of staying in a chateau just outside Reims in France’s Champagne region, just as D’Arcy does in The Paris Orphan. How I suffer for my art!
It was a wonderful experience because I was able to wallow in the richness and lushness of the area. The extraordinarily bright pumpkins that D’Arcy sees from her window are the pumpkins I saw from my room at the chateau, as is the canal, the maze, the plane trees, the potager—or vegetable garden—and the butterflies. From inside the chateau, the black-and-white-tiled marble floor, the salon de grisailles, the boiserie, and the turret all came from the chateau I stayed at.
Crazy Trees—Les Faux de Verzy
I had heard about Les Faux de Verzy, the dwarf twisted beech trees that feature in The Paris Orphan, before I left for France. I was determined to see them, as they captured my imagination. When I told my kids we were going to spend the afternoon walking through a forest in search of crazy trees, they looked at me as if I was the one who was crazy!
But we had the perfect day. It was a little overcast and dark, haunting, mystical, magical even. We found the trees, and they were like something from myth. We all felt as if we were walking through an enchanted forest. As we left, my kids said to me that doing weird research things with Mummy always ended up being really fun! There was no way I could leave those spectacular trees out of the book.
On to Normandy
I then traveled to Normandy, which was a sobering experience. Standing on Omaha Beach, as Jess does in the book, deeply affected me. The beach is so very wide, and I could see the difficulty that any soldier would have had, jumping out of a vessel on the water, traversing through waves to the ocean’s edge, and then having to forge a way across that vast stretch of sand to safety. Almost impossible. I could feel how Jess might feel, standing there, seventy-odd years ago, a witness to the immense and terrible destruction of human life.
I visited the American Cemetery there, and then drove to Sainte-Mère Église, where there is a museum dedicated to the paratroopers. I knew little about the intricacies of battles and battalions, so seeing a mannequin dressed in a paratrooper’s uniform, plus all of the eighty kilograms of equipment they carried, and studying the maps of their campaigns and victories was hugely helpful in allowing me to better understand Dan Hallworth and what he might have faced.
In the museums of Normandy, I saw a lot of the equipment used by the soldiers and the personal items carried by them, which helped me to recreate life as it could have been: everything from U.S. Army jeeps and tanks, to long-tom guns, packs of Lucky Strikes, ration chocolate, Scott paper, and tins of Marathon foot powder—all of which appear in the book.
I was also able to see the accreditation papers, passport, uniforms, telegrams, diary, and war correspondent badge of Virginia Irwin, one of the female correspondents, at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, England. These were all items Jess would have required, so it was wonderful to view them.
And then it was time to leave Europe and to try to write down the story that was occupying all of my thoughts. It’s my favorite of all of my books. I truly hope you enjoy reading The Paris Orphan as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you.
For photographs and more, visit my blog on natashalester.com.au.
, World War II
|Tips for Kids in National Parks|
Added: 28.01.2020 23:35 | 0 views | 0 comments
Getting kids interested in national parks can be a challenge—and so is keeping them entertained once you get there! Here are a few tips for helping your family make the most of its time in the great outdoors:
1. Can’t get your kids off their phones? Encourage them to take photos for a family album that focuses on the variety of detail on trails. Put each child in charge of a certain thing: plants, rocks, tree bark, animals, water, etc.
2. Get your younger kids involved in Junior Ranger programs! Some parks have programs for older kids, too.
3. Prepare kids for the elements with appropriate layers of clothing, footwear, mittens, and hats. Don’t forget sunscreen and bug spray, too!
4. Check your park’s specific NPS site before you leave home—you’ll find special kid-friendly programs and activities under “kids.”
5. Play trail games like “I Spy” to keep kids engaged along the way.
6. Choose shorter trails for young kids with attractions as destinations: lakes, boulders to play on, driftwood on beaches.
7. Check out the program: 4th graders can visit all national parks for free!
8. Prevent meltdowns by having snacks and water handy, even on short hikes or adventures.
For more tips for exploring the national parks with your family, pick up:
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|The Best of Community-Based Tourism in Cambodia|
Added: 28.01.2020 22:39 | 1 views | 0 comments
If you're interested in community-based tourism in Cambodia, this quick round-up of the best performances, hotels, shops and more is an excellent place to start.
“Community-based tourism” is a hot topic in Cambodia, where many worthy projects compete with more conventional—and even downright crooked—enterprises in a rapidly growing economy. The below are guaranteed ways to put your money toward a good cause.
Sights and Performances
- , located near Banteay Srei, is managed by a Canadian NGO, with proceeds going to a home for impoverished children.
- is a rewarding attraction in Siem Reap that trains underprivileged students to become circus performers.
- in Siem Reap hosts shadow puppet theater shows performed by kids from the Krousar Thmey NGO.
- is an NGO that stages excellent traditional dance performances in the garden of the National Museum in Phnom Penh.
- Tonlé Sap Lake Tours are available through the or both of which support conservation efforts.
- Khmer Architecture Tours in Phnom Penh are offered by the excellent an NGO that promotes and documents modern Khmer architecture.
Hotels and Homestays
- sponsors higher education for all its staff and some of its tuk-tuk drivers.
- , near Siem Reap’s airport, provides training to young Cambodians, and visitors are welcome to stay or eat here.
- , in Siem Reap, works closely with several social organizations to promote responsible tourism and hosts apsara dance performances organized by the NGO Sangkheum Center for Children.
- is an excellent hotel in Siem Reap that runs a foundation to support projects in education, business, and health care.
- provides income for local families and allows visitors a window into Khmer life.
- Sala Bai, in Siem Reap, trains young Cambodians in the restaurant business.
- The Haven is a Swiss-run restaurant in Siem Reap that employs disadvantaged young adults.
- Common Grounds is an American-style coffeehouse in Siem Reap whose profits go to a number of NGOs in Cambodia.
- Footprint Café, in Siem Reap, donates 100 percent of its net profits to the local community as grants for educational projects.
- Kinyei Café is an NGO affiliate that trains local youth in Battambang.
- Jai Baan Restaurant, in Battambang, is NGO-managed and offers gourmet dining.
- , in Siem Reap, sells products made by underprivileged Cambodians.
- , in Siem Reap, produces great pottery and reinvests its profits into local job creation and cultural preservation.
- trains and employs rural, in some cases disabled, tailors in its Siem Reap shop, which purchases and recycles waste from the community to make its products.
- , in Phnom Penh, offers employment to vulnerable Cambodians, who produce jewelry and toys
- , in Phnom Penh, support projects in the Cambodian and Vietnamese countryside
Related Travel Guide
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|T.I. Shares Heartfelt Apology to His Daughters After Kobe Bryant's Death|
Added: 28.01.2020 18:06 | 18 views | 0 comments
T.I. is asking for forgiveness.
The rapper has taken to social media to share a series of posts dedicated to wife and kids, following the heartbreaking deaths of Kobe Bryant and his...
|The trend for made-in-Nigeria kids clothing|
Added: 28.01.2020 16:26 | 7 views | 0 comments
High-end bespoke children's clothing is starting to take off in Nigeria.
|How Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds Are Really Adjusting to Life With 3 Kids|
Added: 28.01.2020 14:37 | 21 views | 0 comments
Blake Lively asks for a simple favor to ask: Please stop telling her how easy can be.
In the Fall of 2019, she and husband Ryan Reynolds welcomed their third daughter together and life...
|Mom of 2 missing Idaho kids found in Hawaii|
Added: 28.01.2020 12:08 | 2 views | 0 comments
Police in Kauai pulled over Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell near a beachside resort on Saturday, later searching them and their car for any evidence.
|Missing kids from Idaho: Mom found in Hawaii, ordered to show children|
Added: 28.01.2020 5:17 | 16 views | 0 comments
Joshua Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, were last seen in September.
|'Today really hurts': Families, friends remember those who died in Kobe Bryant crash|
Added: 28.01.2020 0:06 | 21 views | 0 comments
"I got three small kids and am trying to figure out how to navigate life with three kids and no mom," Matt Mauser said of the death of his wife, Christina.