Sunday, April 29, 2012

Here and There

We almost always have something amazing to look at out our window, day or night and in all seasons.

I bring you a brief photo tour of our recent days here in France. There has been much busy bustling about, getting our house ready for the season, including some small repairs and major improvements and opening our little boutique. I have been preparing for several art exhibitions as well, printing, framing, packing and shipping off images. The days and nights go slipping past. Yet there is always time for the photo-moment and I include some of my results for you here:

Montmirail as seen through the safflower fields from the south-east, coming back from a visit to the nursery.

The fleeting glory of our clematis. I love these pink blooms.

A glimpse through the hall windows of wisteria which decorates the front of the house this time of year. This is a favored hangout for birds of every size and shape. We had to evict the morning dove that wanted to build its nest here. They're far too sloppy in their house-keeping. Last year their eggs tumbled one by one onto the terrace, just into our doorway.

I have a weakness for flowering pink trees. This one is probably about a century old.

The Montmirail castle is for sale, should you be in the market. After 300 years, the family has came to a point where none of the next generation wants to make their home in the ancestral château. We're hoping for it to become a Michlein-starred restaurant. One can always dream on.

Some images of Blois, one of the prettiest and noblest of the royal towns along the Loire.

The castle, on the right, is richly decorated and was designed, in part, by Leonardo da Vinci.

As you cross the Loire River and enter Amboise, you get this fine view of its milky white castle.

The weather here has not been brilliant. There are moments when the sun comes out from behind its dark clouds, but more often the whole sky turns gray and rain pours down in giant buckets full. Although I do long for sunnier days, I can take some pleasure from the joy the farmers have from this deluge. They prefer rain to almost any other kind of weather, so I am happy someone else can be content with the drear.

On a more personal note, I have spent a great deal of time in Paris taking care of grandchildren. They are delightful and entertaining companions. Here is Zinnie in the glowing dusk.

Quinn and I uncovered his sandbox for the first time this year, in between rain showers. We had lots of fun making lakes and roads and burying small dinosaurs.

He did his Charlie Chaplin imitation for me. His father has taught him a few hat tricks as well.

Our friends Renata and Jonathan were married in Alençon yesterday. It was my one and only successful matchmaking venture. I introduced them a couple of years ago. In fact they met over our dining room table at the Maison Conti. It wouldn't be hyperbole to say that it was love at first sight.

Rick and I were asked to be their witnesses.  The ceremony was held at the city hall and none of us expected it to be much more than an administrative formality. There are literally dozens of weddings here every Saturday, one right after the other. Yet the mayor was such a charming guy and he had gone to enough trouble to find out something about this couple (whom he'd never met) and delivered a little address that was so heartfelt, I was weeping like a baby.

Rick presented a beautiful talk too, all in French, and I think the whole room must have been weeping then. Here is the lovely (and very short) mayor, with his official French sash, giving Rick his whole-hearted support and encouragement. The Frenchies love the American accent as well as we love the French one. Rick got lots of compliments.

Next time I see you here, I hope to be talking of warm sunny days and relating lots of gardening news. None of that is in the forecast any time real soon.


  1. This is a very "rich" post Nancy !
    first, pictures are gorgeous, as always ! I like very much the 1st one, the colors are amazing.Also the clematis is wonderful, ours are not in blossom yet.
    Then, Renata and Jonathan's wedding seems to have been such a romantic one.They are beautiful and so is Rick, very "chic" indeed.
    Also little Zinnie is so cute and has grown up a lot. She looks like you (and Emily). I suppose Jos is very proud of his son who is on his road to be a good actor too. Yes, a very mowing post full of great and little things that make altogether happy life.

  2. What a lovely post! If I had the funds I would buy the castle!! It would be a dream even if it would be a ton of work! I adore your thoughtful stories and beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you a grand evening. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  3. Zinnie is such a beauty! I wish I was there to kiss those cheeks!