I was pleasantly shocked and surprised to come across a You tube video of an old friend that I knew when I was studying in Strasbourg, France (1995/1996). I never thought she would become this famous....just who am I talking about. CANAL JAGERROOS, the international Chinese artist from Macau!
We'd met one evening after attending a Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall Meeting in Strasbourg. Don't get me wrong, I am not a Jehovah's Witness though I do have a lot of respect for them. But , Canal's husband Johan was working away at the time so she invited me back to her house. It was the beginning of a great friendship (all my friendships in France were great), one which I will never forget. First she treated me as if I were her own sister. She cooked for me and I must've been the first Cantonese speaking person she had spoken to in a good while. So we had lots to talk about.
I ended up staying the whole weekend. Her house was only 10 mins walk away from my student bedsit.
I am proud that we became good friends, Canal hadn't even had her first child Filip at that time.
I would visit her frequently and she even painted a portrait of me. On leaving Strasbourg for good ,to return to England where I was based as a student she gave me one of her traditional Chinese lady paintings which I still treasure 'til this day.
When I read reviews of her art, it sort of makes me feel honoured to know Canal.
Although our friendship only lasted months, it left a very special impression on me and on my mind......WOW! The reality hits me and I realise I've never been friends with an 'artist' before & I feel like I am in awe! I feel privileged. We were two different people from totally different walks of life and our paths crossed. I certainly learnt from the friendship that we had...in June 2003 I reconnected with her and flew to Senegal, West Africa to meet up with her. I stayed at their villa for two whole weeks during which I did my travel thing...and the kids Filip and Sabine were already half grown up!