What a strange day I had yesterday. One minute I was enjoying exceedingly strong coffee at Workshop Coffee, the next I was doing this:

Sewing bunting. At Kensington Palace, no less.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a view of the fortified wall that protects Will and Kate’s private apartments. From the inside. Pretty grim, isn’t it. It’s crying out for the living wall treatment.

The bunting is the work of my friend Natalie Ryde, who was an artist in residence at the Palace in the run up to its reopening to the public earlier this year. She produced some beautiful, characteristically colourful work based around historic fragments of wallpaper revealed during renovation of the palace.

Doesn’t she look sweet? This is her “Stop taking pictures and get sewing bunting, punk!” smile.

Don’t know whether it was something in the coffee, but by the end of the day we’d finished two fat spindles of bias tape and worked our way through most of the giant piles of fabric triangles. I was ready for a nap on the very inviting Kensington Palace cushions, and wondered idly if I could maybe sneak one out.

The bunting, produced by local primary school children during workshops with Natalie, is destined for the “Jubilee – a view from the crowd” exhibition opening at the Palace on the 24th of May, exploring Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee of 1897.

“There’s an exhibition of neon at La Maison Rouge,” said my sister between two mouthfuls of chocolate cake.

This is how I found myself wandering through several rooms full of brightly lit sticks after a long, bracing walk along the Canal St Martin.* Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the invention of neon lighting, the exhibition features over 100 pieces from the 1940s to the present day. Here, a Camerounian hair shirt hangs limply in a halo of pink light. Turn a corner and you’ll find a broken up poem in a glass cabinet. In another room stands a chamber of red lights, receding away into nothingness.

Is it the odd layout or the (un)savoury fumes emanating from the pop-up Rose Bakery stand? For a medium that is so colourful and brash, the exhibition falls unfortunately flat, with a certain whiff of art school mixed-media brief about it. The standout piece was ‘Untitled’ by Jason Rhoades, a joyful and exuberant installation of neon words describing the female sex. Collected at the artist’s studio in LA during parties called “Black Pussy Soirée Cabaret Macramé”, the words are strung up on cables and electrical devices hanging from the ceiling.

Queef. Sushi Taco. Sagging bacon cones. Worth the price of admission alone.

If the bright lights get too much you can retreat to the comfort of the video projection area, and watch neon tubes falling one by one from the ceiling of a sordid empty room. Soothing.

*If this sounds delightfully Amélie-esque, let me redress your impression, reader. It is arguably the most shit-strewn stretch in Paris, and that is saying something. As an added bonus we were also followed by street cleaners intent on pressure hosing said doo-doos in our general direction. Non merci.

When: 17th February – 20th May 2012

Where: La Maison Rouge, 10 Boulevard de le Bastille, 75012 Paris

Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 11 am to 7pm, late-night Thursday until 9pm