After returning from the airport Wednesday, I went into Jordana's bedroom to find her much-loved childhood toys arranged on her bed (which made me even more teary, after saying goodbye earlier). From left, they are Snuggle (wearing his outfit the budding seamstress made at age three), Paddington Bear (a gift from a friend in London); Glowy (she's had since her first birthday; when you hug him tight, he glows with light) and Gund (her first stuffed bear, a gift from Heidi, my best friend in New York).
Hooray, it's Friday, right? Normally I would agree. But so far my day is best described like one of Jordana's favourite childhood books
Alexander Tara and the No Good Really Horrible Very Bad Day. Quel surprise, most of the angst is down to French bureaucracy and the infuriating snideness and pompous attitude of certain male officials, who absolutely revel in wielding power. If I'd been in America, I would have made a fuss and insisted on my rights. Here, I'd be wasting my breath. And do not get me started about a certain American president and his deluded plans for victory in Iraq unless you want to hear my screams of frustration across the Atlantic! Ok, deep breaths, d-e-e-p cleansing breaths. There, that's better.
You know what a book fiend I am. Becky Ramsey's book French by Heart: An American Family's Adventures in La Belle France is about her family's experiences in Clermont-Ferrand. I've just skimmed through a few paragraphs and it looks like a really fun read - adventures good and bad, viewed (by necessity in France) with a delightful sense of humour. Becky very kindly offered to send the book, as my blog prompted memories of her life in France.
Then there's Karen DeGroot Carter's One Sister's Song. Several months ago, Karen asked if I'd like a copy of her book. I forgot all about it, until a couple of weeks ago. Seems the package arrived months earlier, but a substitute gardien received the delivery. She put it on top of a filing cabinet in the building office. Apparently the package then fell behind the cabinet, to be rediscovered only when the cabinet was moved to vacuum! After all that drama, I'm so excited to read this story of a biracial woman returning to her hometown as guardian to her young nephew. When preparing to sell her sister's old farmhouse "a series of discoveries forces her to rethink everything she's ever assumed about love, race and respect," according to the back cover. I can't wait to curl up on the sofa and start reading! Thank you, ladies!
Yes, it's almost that time again! The 75th Foire Nationale aux Antiquites, a la Brocante et aux Jambons at Chatou. Tickets arrived yesterday from one of my favourite antique dealers, Blandine Bavoux. And my blogging friend Di of Designers' Block UK will be coming along on opening day, September 28. The brocante runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day through October 7. If traveling by train, take the RER A1 direction Saint-Germain-en-Laye to Rueil-Malmaison or Chatou-Croissy and walk to the Ile de Chatou.
Tulle and ribbon-wrapped packages from my dear friend Kristen Robinson. Her work - including this gorgeous necklace - has recently been featured in several magazines. I'm happy to say, I am now the proud owner! And the adorable bracelet was a gift from Kristen. Both items arrived nestled inside elegant black tulle.
Judie of A Little Room for Art thoughtfully sent these two postcards of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which connects St. Petersburg and Bradenton, Florida. The first card was printed in 1954 when the bridge was built. In 1980, a freighter collided with the pier support on the southbound span, causing a Greyhound bus and six cars to plunge into the water. The second card features a photo of the new bridge, completed in 1987, at a cost of $244 million. Judie said the design is inspired by a bridge a former Florida governor saw during a visit to France!
Sam, a very kind reader from New Zealand, sent some lovely photos of four churches grouped in and around Leeston, New Zealand. Merci bien, Sam!