Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Here, there and almost anywhere

A potato heart

February is the longest month of the year. Well, at least for me. I don't care how many days it has, it just seems like too many. With March comes that feeling that spring might actually arrive after all, and gray skies disappear. What a difference a blue sky can make! The sun, in all its feebleness, does its level best to lure you outside and, sure enough, a walk in the woods reveals pleasant sights, smells and chirpy bird activity.

Where is the camera when I need it? Yesterday, in the middle of the forest pathway, we came upon a cat and rooster in serious conversation while 4 hens looked and clucked on. The cat, who seemed to be dreaming unreasonable dreams, scampered away when we approached. Mr. Rooster, who didn't seem the least perturbed, strutted on down the track with a shake of his handsome red comb while his lady friends scurried a few steps behind. I'm not sure his leadership would prove to be above question. He headed deeper into the forest, and further away from whatever coop they had escaped from. Perhaps he had overheard the farmer's wife discussing Sunday dinner. Maybe he was leading the great escape. Whatever it was, I intend to look for eggs on the side of the trail next time we head down there.


We have recently been trading visits with the family in Paris. First they came here, then we went there. Emily, when she is not acting/directing, cooking or entertaining her children, does a great deal of sewing. She tells me its because it's so "easy to do." Not for me! She went with her good friend Alex to a huge trade fair  in Paris and came back with lots of beautiful fabrics, mostly to make clothing for Quinn, Zinnie and their friends.

All these lovely whimsical designs were made in Japan.

While at the Maison Conti, she began several projects making children's clothing. This is her way of relaxing! Hmmm.

It was fun to see the atelier turned into a sewing room. The big table makes a wonderful cutting surface. Emily gets most of her patterns on line.

She brought her own sewing machine, which is a good thing, since my own is an ancient Singer, able to sew a straight line (sometimes) and that's about all. She has a nice new and fancy machine.

Zinnie, wearing pants her mother made several months ago, acted as helper.

I found it incredible that Emily was making pajamas for Quinn. It seemed like so much work. But I have to admit they are absolutely adorable.

Quinn, the monkey boy, was very proud of them.


Emily and Jos' show opened at the Bouffes du Nord in Paris at the end of February. This is a stunningly beautiful space. We came along to help with the childcare, as the performances ran every evening for ten days. We couldn't stay the whole time, but we did stay for several days. Rick was at the opening, and since he was a member of the team, even got to take a bow on stage at the end of the performance.

I can hardly resist going to my favorite art store when we get to town, and this time I really did have something I needed to purchase. It's an easy ride on the metro from Emily's place to the Louvre. This time of year the crowds are much smaller than in warmer months. That makes for a pleasant visit.

The metro lets out on the right bank, by the Pyramid courtyard. A short stroll through the Tuileries and the grand carved entrance that leads into the park takes you to the river and the Pont du Carrousel. From the bridge you see the Musée d'Orsay and the Grand Palais in the distance. The wintery colors are mellow and muted. The Pont Royal, built in 1685, evokes old Paris, as of course do all the buildings around the river here. I never get tired of these views.

On the left bank one finds the most extravagant antique stores with magnificent treasures in the windows. I wouldn't dare go in to one of these shops, but I do like "licking the windows," the expression the French use for window shopping.

Visiting the ever-busy Sennelier is always a sensual pleasure. It was an hour and a half round trip to purchase a single pen, but the pleasure of the errand was in the scenery along the way.


The children gave us an iPad for Christmas this year, which we have been warming up to slowly. We're both rather Luddite at heart, and anything that is called "a device" is to be looked upon with some suspicion in my eyes. We live very happily without a smart phone and we actually enjoy being out of range from time to time. This week, however, all that bravado was undermined when James introduced me to a brand new game available in the app store. It's called Year Walk, and it is positively addictive.

It's based on a Swedish practice from the Middle ages. What writing there is was authored by a celebrated Swedish scholar who is an expert on Swedish myth and folklore. The game has no stated rules or even goal. There are absolutely no directions. One just starts out swiping around the screen and from time to time things happen. You become aware that there are riddles and puzzles to solve and once you stumble into a new level, you're so delighted with yourself.

It is beautifully created and illustrated, and I highly recommend it. If you think computer games are a waste of time, you can listen to this TED talk and get an entirely different perspective:

No comments:

Post a Comment