Home visit

17 October 2023

This afternoon, at the invitation of Her Excellency Caroline Bilkey, the New Zealand Ambassador to France, we visited the New Zealand Embassy in Paris.

It was a real pleasure to meet members of the embassy team. We talked about Katherine Mansfield’s time in Menton, Paris and Fontainebleau-Avon, and about our own explorations of these places since our arrival in Menton in September.

The conversation made me reflect on the extraordinary richness of our experiences in France so far, and how this is very much because of Katherine Mansfield. Her stories, journals and letters keep connecting us more deeply to the landscape and to specific places (like the Villa Isola Bella in Menton, the Latin Quarter in Paris, or the old priory at Avon), and she is the reason why so many people in France have made us so warmly welcome along the way. Whether – and how – this will play out in the work that I’m writing here remains to be seen, but these affecting connections certainly get the creaky old creative wheels turning. 

Ngā mihi nui, thank you for a lovely ‘home visit’ in Paris.

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