This week we welcomed a new member into our family. Zinnie Lyse was born in Paris early on Tuesday morning, February 7th. She is a big girl, weighing 9.25 lbs (4.2 kilos). Rick and I put our last client of the week on the train Monday morning and drove on to Paris. We had the whole week free, which is unusual. A few hours after we arrived at Emily's house she went into labor. It was all so conveniently arranged!
Above you see a photo of the Parc de Sceaux, with Quinn riding his bike and Jos pushing his stroller (I suppose for when Quinn gets tired, which he never seems to do.) Emily and her family took a nice long walk here on Sunday afternoon. This beautiful urban park, located just south of Paris, not far from Emily's house, was the location of a long winter stroll taken by the whole family three years ago, the day before Quinn was born. No one had been back since. I suppose, then, that it has become a kind of tradition to visit just before giving birth.
All went very well with Emily and the baby. The labor was long but not difficult and when the time came for the actual birth it apparently went more quickly than the nurses at the clinic had ever seen before! Despite her large size, Zinnie simply slipped out.
Her little hands remind me very much of Quinn's when he was born. I see differences in their faces, but they certainly have that family resemblance.
Uncle James did not want to miss the fun. When Emily went into labor we called him and he immediately booked a flight from Birmingham. Despite a big Air France strike, with all other flights around the time of his being cancelled, his plane made it over the channel without a hitch. But that seemed only right, as for this birth everything seemed to fall into perfect place.
Quinn's first meeting with his sister was wonderful He was really quite amazed to see her. After talking about her for so long, I don't think he ever really expected her to exit from Emily's large belly.
He was a little nervous with her at first, but he got over that quickly and soon wanted to see what she could do. He tried to feed her some bread and was positively amazed to hear that she doesn't have any teeth! He was expecting her to crawl, because he knows that's what babies do. He was very generous in sharing his toys with her, plopping down offerings into her lap. She didn't seem interested. Here he is offering his cheek to receive a kiss from her. She did not oblige him.
Papa, mama and baby are all doing fine. Everyone is back at home now. Zinnie was born on one of the coldest days of the year. It was -14° when Rick drove Emily and Jos to the clinic. But everyone is staying cozy and warm indoors.
When we left the clinic on the first evening after meeting the baby, we saw a huge orange moon suspended halfway up the sky. It was dramatic and beautiful, and for us a moon like this will now always be referred to as a Zinnie moon. It looked a lot like the photo below, although I did not get my own photo of it. I borrowed this one from here.
Photographer Stefano De Rosa
Two days after her birthday Zinnie received these custom-made cookies from one of Jos' producers in London. He was he same one who sent Jos two gargantuan bouquets of forced narcissus for Christmas. So adorable and extravagant!
Although I could have stayed all week in Paris getting to know Zinnie and playing trains with Quinn, not to mention visiting with James and enjoying Emily and Jos's charming company, we came back home on Thursday afternoon to warm up our house. We were a little nervous that our pipes might have frozen.
We all thought that winter might have forgotten about us, but it certainly arrived with a vengeance when it finally got around to coming. Europe is suffering one of the coldest spells on record. It has remained snowy and frozen for a couple of weeks, and longer in some parts. Days, however, often dawn bright and crystal blue. It makes it much easier to bear. If you enlarge the photo below, you can see lots of birds perching and diving through the sky. They seem to gather in large groups at the beginning of the day and always sit on the tallest roof tops where they can enjoy a view of the sunrise.
Rick caught this photo of me as I was just about to settle down on the couch for morning coffee. I love the golden light on these bright winter mornings.
Another reason to come back was to let Georges into the studio. He is madly printing up images for his April show in Paris. When he is in residence, I work at my table by the window upstairs. This is the same window where I took the photo of the birds at dawn. Later on in the morning there is lots of light streaming in. It is a pleasant place to work.
What with all the excitement, I got very little art work accomplished. I made a few drawings and was dissatisfied with almost all of them. This one was the best of the group.
On Saturday evening our neighbor Anne came over for dinner and we set it up by the big fireplace downstairs. We are using this space a lot now as it is more difficult to heat up the big dining room. We positively roasted here with the big crackling fire.