Monday, December 12, 2016

Other Places, Here. . . . Travel and Home, Paris in my mind's eye. . .

We have been plunged so completely and wonderfully and satisfyingly and exhaustingly back into family life in our new home that I've scarcely had a moment to think about my ten weeks away. Yet as happy as I've been watching Toddler Grandson pulling strings of little black-and-red-and-green-and-yellow Brio trains along wooden tracks his mother once played with; as delightful as it was to lift glasses of Prosecco with my daughter after a very successful Christmas-gifting expedition; as tickled as I was that 8yo wanted more of my apple pie (Pater only picked up enough apples for one pie -- with a "Always leave them (licking their lips and) wanting more" result; as magical as it was to cuddle four-year-old in my lap as we watched the VOA production of Hansel and Gretel yesterday, her eight-year-old cousin in the seat beside us whispering reassurances about the witch; and as reassuring as it's been to continue unpacking and organising and shopping with my husband for the pieces of furniture we'll need to feather this nest. . . .
A small part of me still lingers in Paris, where scenes like this delight. . . 

As cosy and comforting and happy-making as all these events have been, there's a part of me that's waiting quietly, patiently, hunkering down until there's more time to sort out what it was about those weeks away that fulfils something in me, and what that might mean going forward. That part of myself has been enjoying the extension of my time in Paris through Une Femme's postings about her glamourous week there meeting international friends -- what a dream girlfriend trip! And, of course, as I flip through my travel photos to choose Instagram postings for my Christmas countdown series of festive store windows.
Just popping down to pick up some fruit and veggies, but oh so stylishly! Paris, Rue St. Dominique

Flipping through those photos, I realise how much we did, how much I still want to share with you, and also how many connections I can make between my life there and my life here, how many resonances those images have with what, in my academic days, we might have analysed as "diachronic" and "synchronic" -- the former being connections made across time and the latter being at the same time, so perhaps more across space. Big-word talk, in other words, for saying that many of these images from our time in Europe connect with images from our life here in Vancouver right now, but many also trigger memories for me -- many do both, weaving layers and layers of moments and places and people. One such image, that I'm hoping to develop into a post, is a horticultural one -- a favourite plant there reminding me of a planting in our island garden, which itself has layers of memories of other sightings, other plants, behind it.

But that's another post, and we're all so busy getting ready for the holidays right now, aren't we? Pater and I are off this morning, hoping to buy a dining table that will fit the limited space left for it by the greedy grand piano. We've decided on an unconventional approach, although the piece we're choosing has a long tradition. More on that later as well. . .

Meanwhile, how is your week starting? I imagine you have images you're tucking away for the moment as well, thoughts you don't quite have time to pursue as we get on with the preparations to light up this potentially dark time of the year.  Tell me, if you have a minute, but if you have cards to write, mincemeat tarts to bake, food banks to help at, carols to sing. . . . if you're all caught up getting ready right now, just wave if you can, and we'll chat more later. The images will wait, won't they . . 


  1. Travel feeds you, doesn't it, even when you're already pretty full? That man just looks like Paris to me. I plan to o back in the spring. I suppose my visual impression will change with the season.

    There is nothing like 30 cm of snow and (right now) temperatures of -28 C with windchill to make things feel is pretty though. Preparations are mostly complete, lots of cooking and some bread baking favourite parts. I like to just give in to the nesting instinct at this time of year. Most satisfying.

    What are you going to do for the dining table? I can't stand the suspense! Round pedestal with leaves?

    1. It really does, Georgia, and yes, even when I'm already full -- hence, I suppose, the time needed to digest ;-)
      Yes, festivals of colour and light are made for climates like yours -- too bad all the fetching and carrying to make them happen require going out in the cold. Hunker down!
      Table plans changed -- report to follow. . . .

  2. (stylish, till I saw the plastic bags ...)

    1. I do know what you mean, but it's real, right? They'd have been shopped out for a market bag in a magazine shoot, those plastic bags (and France is aggressively legislating them out of most shops, in phases. . . )

  3. Everything looks better from a distance :-)
    I am always happy to come home after travel,bringing memories with me....and there is always something I've omitted to do/see/taste.....
    Can't wait to hear the table saga :-)
    My shopping is almost done,it's time to cook and enjoy :-)

    1. You're doing well if you have the shopping almost done -- I've still got quite a list. . . but it feels good that we've found some furniture and unpacked almost all the boxes (my, I have a lot of books!)

  4. Really enjoying your photo's, blogging and IG. Thank you for sharing. I'm a reader, not a writer. It's a bit like letter-writing and card-sending you need to participate. So I'm sending my appreciation as you so graciously share during this busy season.

    1. You're very welcome, Susan, and thanks so much for taking the time to tell me this -- it really does make a difference!


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.

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