16 Jun Postcards from an artist
This Postcard From France introduces you to my new BFF, who lives in Cannes. Her name is Lieke Kay.
Lieke is Michael Kay’s mom. If you’ve been following along with my “Postcards” series… Michael owned the B&B where I stayed in Grasse.
I introduced him in this post.
Y’know, when you travel you meet lots ‘n lots of people. That’s half the fun! Typically, there’s a flow to all that… you meet folks, memories are made, photos are taken, moments happen… then you move on. But now and again, you meet people who land in your heart like they’ve lived there forever. Such is the case with Michael and Lieke. They were both people I wanted to share with you! You’ve met Michael… now say hello to his awesome, force-of-nature mom Lieke!
LIEKE & LA VERRIÈRE WELLNESS CENTER
Lieke owns and runs the La Verrière Wellness Center in Cannes. Professionally, she works with people privately and runs 4 day detox retreats focusing on: weight loss, colon and liver cleansing, PH balancing, heavy metal clearing, regulation of brain chemicals… using live and super foods, Theragem gemstone and magnetic field therapy, juicing and nutritional guidance. (I took that from her website, since there’s really no other way to explain what she does!)
When we first met at Michael’s place in Grasse, she said “Come visit me!” after I told her I’d be spending a night in Cannes before my retreat started. So I did.
Let me tell you, she helped me SO much! First, with my back (she found a me fabulous osteopath!), then my energy, overall well-being (hello, specially grown, medical grade Chlorella)… and finally, got me on track with food to help rebuild my energy. I snapped back from the depleted, droopy, hobbling version of me that arrived in Grasse and into my usual vibrant, energized, walk everywhere self in what seemed like no time flat!
Through it, we became fast friends. She even let me take a portrait of her, which she doesn’t normally do.. .and neither do I! But I just had to capture her amazing life and energy. Seriously, how could you NOT want to photograph this joyful radiance??
Over the course of my stay in the Cotes d’Azur (the French Riviera), Lieke and I got to spend a fair amount of time together. It was an easy train ride down the hill… and so much fun! Each visit was like a balm for the soul. We shared our thoughts & ideas, our dreams and feelings on things. We swapped stories from our crazy lives, shared what we were creating, where we’re heading next. She speaks several languages, has traveled extensively in her life… and always, always helped people.
This is from her website too: “Lieke has worked in clinics all over the world; in Nigeria, Asia, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, North America and Canada, both in rural practice and in pediatric, burn and gynecological clinics.”
I heard some of the stories from these chapters in more detail. They. Are. Incredible. Some are truly horrifying. Others, sheer inspiration. Above all, I came to know a woman who is passionate about people and helping in any way she can, who loves life and gives it everything she has… and who ignites life around her like the huge ray of light that she is!
THE HANG CENTER
Leike and I hung out at La Verriere… it’s like this peaceful oasis within the hustle-bustle of the city. The second I walked in the door, I felt calmer and could breathe better. Each time we had tea, conversation and above all, laughed our asses off!
It was originally a rundown warehouse when she and Michael first saw the joint. Just nasty, dirty and a mere shell of a building. Together, they envisioned what could be… and made it so! I love stories like that. Especially since that is SO not my gift! I completely admire those who can pull it off.
I loved this furniture too, because every last piece of it is on wheels. I resisted the urge (barely) to plop myself down and dig in for some major backwards couch surfing all around the room! hahahaha! That could still happen in the future, one never knows. 😉
The cool thing about the space is that she also rents it out for big events. For example, Versace booked it for the duration of the Cannes Film Festival this year. That means every single Versace gown, suit – every stitch of clothing you saw anyone wearing with that label was kept under top secret lock and key, right here! It was all secret and stuff, even Lieke wasn’t allowed in. I’m fascinated by that stuff.
She and I even talked about my doing a retreat there at some point. An AWESOME idea! “The Artist’s Voice Photo Retreat” in Cannes, 2017? Stranger things have happened!
This was my fave spot of all… where we spent hours relaxing, sipping tea… then wine… all the while noshing on delectable (healthy, of course) snacks. I’m telling you, I never wanted to leave!
Annnnnnd of course, THE best bottle of wine I have ever tasted, right here. So good, I took a picture of it:
THE THING ABOUT TRAVEL…
Traveling has a way of working its magic on you. Sometimes it’s tough, sometimes awe-inspiring. It changes you, hones you, opens your eyes and mind and heart in ways you never dreamed of. Sometimes it brings you together with what seem like long-lost members of your family that you just can’t believe you get to meet up with again. So it’s been with Michael and now – the lovely and utterly inspiring Lieke Kay. She may be my long-lost sister from another mother!
I‘ll be back again this year… and I can’t wait to share hugs all around and sit down for a long, relaxing visit, to catch up on all the things that have happened since I’ve been gone and remember what it’s like to take time for moments just like this.
To be continued… 😉
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