Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sunny Reflections in Bordeaux



After the cool-ish days we spent in London, we've been delighted to bask in very warm weatherr here in Bordeaux. So warm that I can finally wear this sweet little white eyelet dress I snapped up at The Gap many weeks ago. Its simplicity whispers "summer, hammock, popsIcles, picnic, splash pool, jasmine, sunburn, Mungo Jerry, mosquiitos, Nina Ricci's Fleur de Fleurs. . ." Let's let it keep whispering summer-evoking words while I carry on.  . . .

My sweet little summer dress and I threw on a light silk striped scarf just in case the evening turned cool (it didn't!), and we joined Pater for a stroll along the Promenade Fluviale where thousands of Bordelais were playing, a good portion of them drawn to the spectacular Miroir d'Eau. You've probably seen pictures of this iconic feature, the Reflecting Pool that highlights the architecture at Bordeaux's Place de la Bourse while making a wonderful picture of the sky, in all its moods. But the huge, shallow pool is also equipped with tiny jets that can create a variety of effects: they can spurt sudden starting splashes or creep a magical mist over the pool's surface.

On Saturday, the pool was a wonder of movement, colour, and sound, animated by children of all ages slipping and sliding and splashing and wading, running and jumping and crawling. A few adult males skated through the water in their on-line skates, perhaps trying to cool down after competing in the nearby World Slalom Event. A few much smaller males and females rode their scooters through. No one seemed perturbed by either wheeled variety.

This tolerance was reassuring, as I was finding the heat a wee bit de trop, although not wishing to complain it away. . . So I slipped off the Birkenstocks, left those and, obviously, the camera, in Pater's charge on dry land, and I went wading. Feel free to play "Where's <del>Waldo</del>Mater?"



We've cycled the Promenade, run along it, marketed there, watched crazily skilled young skateboarders there, listened to music, dodged kids on bikes and scooters, discreetly looked away from young lovers embracing . . .all ten minutes' walk from home. . . Can you tell I love it?

The weather has cooled off a bit today after a lovely hot afternoon spent in a friend's garden, a leisurely, generous lunch with her family.  Twice now, a hot day has been followed by a very stormy night of thunder, lightning, and heavy rain. . . Very dramatic, very refreshing, and such a brilliant arrangement to have this happen at night!

Today, we meet our French tutor for the first of a series of lessons. We've already been learning a few things about language from the locals, as usual, in our daily interactions in the shops. In fact, I have a few anecdotes I hope to recount in future posts. For now, I'd better open the Grammar window of my brain in readiness for Isabelle's arrival.

Let me close, if you don't mind, by copying out some notes I made in my tiny Moleskine journal, trying to record all the sounds I noticed while immersed in the Reflecting Pool scenes above: many overlapping conversations,children's higher-pitched voices chatting earnestly, fathers speaking in both bass and tenor, mothers encouraging or warning, squeals of delight or shock at a cold splash, the sound of feet paddling, gentle rhythmic ploc, ploc, ploc, clarion call of a klaxon on the street behind us, screams of children calling to each other or directing their parents to look, "Regardez-moi, maman," the bell of a bicycle warning someone out of the way, a motorcycle engine roaring noisily over the constant drone of traffic in the background, the bass throbbing loudly from the slalom skating competition nearby, the light pattering of the water giving way to sharper splashing as the water level deepens with a change of the jet pressure, the whoosh of a tram as it accelerates from the station across the way. . . 

And you, has summer arrived chez vous yet? Do you know it by its little white dresses or by its particular sounds? Do you embrace the heat or run for shade? And my apologies to all you antipodean readers who are moving into winter as I rave on about summer. . . 

20 comments:

  1. Yes it is winter here in Australia. I spent the morning washing all my winter jumpers.
    That "pool" looks lovely and I love the fact that children all over the world say "Watch me, mummy".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's true, isn't it? No matter where, no matter the language, some version of "Watch me mommy" is being called out

      Delete
  2. Ah summer! Perfect summer photos, filled with heat and joy and laughter.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Summer started here in Suffolk this week, with temperatures soaring and the summer wardrobe coming into play. Very welcome too as today was my first day out and about. I love the idea of the reflecting pool and would like to see something similar in our UK cities. You look very cool and chic in the white dress and pretty scarf. Very summer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's truly a treasure here,this reflecting pool. I'd love to see one at home as well!

      Delete
  4. Bordeaux looks sunny and fun. We've been having lovely weather at home but this morning it is raining which means no coffee on the balcony. I like your white dress with the turquoise scarf.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope the sunshine comes back to you soon!

      Delete
  5. You are the grooviest! Love these pictures. Summer-ish in Ontario with the beginnings of the crazy-making humidity one day, then cool the next. Good biking weather.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need only think of Ontario humidity and my hair reaches basketball proportions! Don't think I'd ever bike in it, so I'm going to assume you'd save the cycling for the cooler days. . . And thank you so for calling me groovy! I wish!

      Delete
  6. Hi Mater, I'm afraid I suffer dreadfully in extreme heat (probably anything over 26C for me) whilst my husband laps it up. However, I do appreciate warm days. It's nice to see you relaxing and enjoying Bordeaux - and your eyelet dress is perfect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband and I have a similar relationship with heat to yours. My tolerance is low; he loves it. I'm generally going to stay in or at least find shade if it's much over 27 or so. Still, with an evening breeze starting up along the River, and the cool of the sprinklers, I was happy to embrace a bit of the summer spirit.

      Delete
  7. Summer has arrived here with a thump - I know it by the sweat. I found you in the Reflecting Pool - in this case, to see you is to want to be you! I am so fond of your words, "summer, hammock, popsIcles, picnic, splash pool, jasmine, sunburn, Mungo Jerry, mosquiitos, Nina Ricci's Fleur de Fleurs. . ." - I will find a way to focus on these things (except the sunburn and mossies), and ignore the heat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So you're like Patricia and me (see above). We'll just have to make our lists of what we love about summer and try to ignore the heat. Drip, drip. . . Glad you enjoyed the words . . Thanks!

      Delete
  8. You look utterly charming in your white eyelet dress and bare feet. Insouciant is the word that comes to mind.
    Summer was here and appears to have taken a short nap. It's cooler today with a bit of drizzle. I'm confident summer will awaken soon.
    I'm envious of your French tutor sessions in Bordeaux.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks, Lorrie, I love hope I occasionally achieve insouciance. such a great word! I know you don't need the tutor as I do, but it really is good to get that fine-tuning.

      Delete
  9. What a lovely dress and evocative descriptions! The scarf is such a perfect accent, calling back to the blue skies. Yes, we're in our early summer weather pattern here which means...cool and overcast mornings and evenings. Otherwise known as June Gloom. The mid-day warmth is pleasant, not hot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sue. Somehow this scarf got forgotten the last couple of years, and I've been happy rediscovering it. I'd say we usually get a June Gloom way up the Coast from you as well. May and July are much better bets, generally.

      Delete
  10. Oh, Mater, what lovely photos. I hear your heart lifting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's true...it's one of my happy places.

      Delete

I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...