October 30, 2017

Iles du Frioul

Babes in the sea. The sun has real staying power through October in Provence. We are lapping it up like dogs. We go to hard-to-get-to swimming holes and have a proper bath celebrating school break. I like swimming in anything real, despite its temperature. Want my girls to grow to do the same.

This was a ferry ride from the Vieux Port of Marseille, the Frioul Archipelago. Wild islands - bare lunar rock, turquoise water.

October 28, 2017

A Weekend in Paris

To Paris, to the mosquee de Paris with a dear friend from when we lived in Paris. The hammam, where Turkish women scour off layers of summer skin with what feel like brillo pads and bear paws. In and out of increasingly hotter rooms, sitting on slabs of stone - women of all shapes lounging about. There, heart to heart conversations come easily. It is not just bodies that are exposed, but also gut feelings, confessions without much effort. They slip out naturally. It is a raw place - a beautiful structure, full of muddy colors. There is nothing fussy or fancy about it. The Turkish women take your 30-minute massage token and cover every part of your body with fleur d’orange and almond oil. They shout conversations at each other as their hands mark grand circles over your stomach, chest, face, hair, legs. Shake you off when they are finished and dismiss you unceremoniously. You walk out feeling you've released more of yourself. A bit freer.

A Paris walk after. Through the October streets, warm yellow light along the Seine. To a little cafe on Ile Saint-Louis. Emma in beautiful October light.

Then to my sister-in-law’s Marie. She is a painter and every corner, every object of her house is studied. She naturally disposes of anything that doesn’t bring her inspiration.

We went to my old neighborhood in Paris along the Canal Saint Martin - retracing steps and paths from days in Paris when Marguerite was a little choupette like Romy and Colette. Then off to explore and ended up in a brocante in the 12th arrondissement. A funny spot - an ancient SNCF station, now abandoned and turned into food trucks (train cars actually) and antique dealers. Most of the wares were actually from film sets, oddly enough.

I immediately fell in love with this parasol from the 60s - the colors just radiating sunshine. And perfectly preserved. It had sat in a prop warehouse for years and was never exposed to rain or the elements. Just gorgeous. I couldn’t help myself and walked away with it - or rather, lugged it away - for a steal. (I was very grateful to have Marie and Fabien to help me get to the train station from there). It is long and the base is literally 50 kilos, I think. I sat and waited for my train and once the quai was announced, I took a deep breath, gathered all of my things and slowly made my way to my train car (which was, naturally, at the very end of the quai). I nearly speared someone’s foot, the whole thing was so cumbersome, but made it.

It was an Xavier move, really. I remember the ancient wooden bench he once brought back to our apartment on his scooter - by sitting on the bench itself and letting the two ends extend out like airplane wings.

I just could’t pass up the idea of the girls out in our yard, playing under this sun umbrella. Or bringing it to the beach along the Côte d’Azur. Too good.

October 23, 2017

Luberon: magical land

We live at the threshold of Luberon. To go there, we drive toward the mountain mass (the Luberon) out on the horizon. We cross the Durance, a wide and rocky river bed. Past this point, the world shifts slightly. The light is addictive. We go back again and again, craving unsatisfied.

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