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?"
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. . .