Thursday, June 12, 2008

Images of Paris

As happy as I am to be back in my own home (we woke on Portugal time this morning, so were easily able to catch the 6:30 a.m. ferry back to Nanaimo and then hope over to our own small island by 9:30), I never love the unpacking. But I have a load in the washing machine right now and am almost done organizing things back into their places and finding room for one or two (small) acquisitions. We had a pleasant visit with our son and daughter-out-of-law who'd spent a few days here hoping for sunshine and keeping the dog and cat company -- they left before 3, I had a long nap, and now Paul's grilling some lamb chops for dinner and cooking me all the vegetables I've been craving after weeks of eating out. I've caught up most of my e-mail, altho' there's a work-oriented task or two I've put off for tomorrow, and I've begun to catch up on blog reading, with only another 200+ posts in my Google Reader (!). I've uploaded the photos to the computer and thought I'd offer you a few today while I try to figure out the best way to report back on my travels without being tedious.
So here a few of the images that caught my eye this visit, starting with Paris. Above, one of the many stunning examples of graffiti in the city. I've collected quite a few of these, altho' I could easily have devoted several days and many memory cards to this art. This work is from the 13th Arrondisement, not too far from our hotel, in one of the streets intersecting the Rue Mouffetard. Most days, we walked along Mouffetard on our way to wherever we were headed, passing these market stalls on the way. All the sights and sounds of a market -- vendors calling out their offerings, gorgeous fruit displays, fabulous spreads of every kind of swimming creature laid out on ice, chickens turning on spits in the most mouth-watering fashion, Parisiens and tourists having their morning coffee at tables being jostled by vans driving past, Parisien workers stopping for a morning glass of wine (yes, really) at the counter of the corner cafe . . . Here's Paterfamilias in front of the dazzling fruit display.

Perhaps a kilometre beyond this stand, after wending our way through the narrow-ish street, we pass by students heading into school and then through the square in front of the Pantheon, where the Parisien light and colour always seems particularly concentrated to me -- many Parisian buildings seem to have had their facades restored over the past couple of years so that their golden-biscuit tone seems fresh, clean, and bright, yet still rich and warm. I love the way this architecture emphasizes the play of light and shadow against its geometry.
As for geometry, I just love the mix of curves and lines in the discipined regularity you see at the Jardin du Luxembourg. Throw in some colour as well and . . . well, you don't have to be much of a photographer to nonetheless come up with some satisfying results, no matter where you point the lens.But not all is regularity in the Jardin. I've got quite a few photos of the surprising art that dots the park -- every May/June there's a new theme for an exhibition of the work of invited artists. Here's just one example, this stunning sculpture That's a start, then -- not sure how I'll edit down all our experiences into posts, but you'll be hearing more about Paris and then Portugal over the next few weeks, and I'll be out in the garden with my camera as well, and trying to remember where I'm at with my knitting projects and adding books to my lists . . . It was a wonderful trip, but I'm glad to be back chatting with you. More soon . . .


  1. Tedium is not an option! Your readers are too interested in your adventures - but I don't envy you the task of editing the last few weeks into posts. Looking forward to more details - did you go to the Hermès boutique? What did you eat at L'Oisive Tée? I hope you made notes!! Patricia

  2. I would be perfectly content with the next year of posts being nothing but a detailed account of your vacation. But, you do have other readers to consider.;-)
    p.s.Paterfamilias looks very Eurochic, in a good way, in front of the red fruits stand. Don't you think?

  3. What a lovely part of the world you inhabit! My best friend from years ago lives in Nanaimo and weekends on Salt Spring Island. Just gorgeous!

  4. Thanks Patricia and LBR, for the encouragement -- there will certainly be more posts about Paris and Portugal, and yes, Patricia, I have copious notes! I think I documented over half our meals ;-)
    LBR: I think so too -- in fact, some days, I thought I'd taught him too well so that Pater looked more eurochic than Mater!
    VtMartha: Great to have you stop by -- this is definitely a gorgeous part of the world, altho' it's sadly deficient in the sun and warmth department at the moment.

  5. I haven't been by to see that sculpture yet, since I was traveling. Great photo and love that graffiti!

  6. Welcome back! I look forward to the posts about your trip.

  7. Thanks Tara, Mardel. There will be many, many posts about my trip -- you'll be sick of it by the time I'm done!


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