Sunday, August 21, 2016

Bright Faces

A cool, rainy start yesterday. This morning it's cool and foggy, so these bright sunflower faces seem like a good way to bring a little sunshine into the weekend! They feel as if they're all crowding in closer anxious to have their photo taken. Sunflower selfies??

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Lot of Reflections

The Lot River at Cajarc
Reflections intrigue me. They make beautiful views doubly so.
They turn the world upside-down and
turn trees into Impressionist paintings.
Reflected sunlight through reflected leaves in a rock-lined pool. The colors of dawn linger.

And the odd duck...
stands guard over a garden of tomato plants! Really...who is he frightening away...marauding mallards??

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Colors of Dawn

Two words came to mind yesterday as Lucie and I made our early morning walk...colors and reflections. So after breakfast and a few morning chores, we made our way towards Cajarc, this time with my camera in hand. We walked the loop around the village garden plots that line the river. Colors were plentiful! Like these dusty pink wildflowers framed by a brilliant, blue sky. Rose, purple, buttercup yellow, pear green...
cheery orange 
iridescent turquoise and...
ripe tomato red!
But I found the colors of the dawn sky splashed across the old stone in the mariners' chapel. Soft golden orange, lemony yellow fading into pearlescent blue-gray and deep blue. All blessed by the holy water font on the wall.

Tomorrow: reflections and an odd duck.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

A Whirlwind Week

A mistake, but one I kind of like!
Ireland, 2014
Ever have weeks that felt like this? A whirlwind of activity, too many things on the to-do list? Last week was like that. Doctor's appointment in Figeac, my visa renewal appointment in Cahors, groceries, the pharmacy, buying my vegetables at my neighbor's house, dinner at Laury's with friends, dinner at Jean's with those same friends, laundry, yard work. Whew! How did I find time to work before I retired?

This week, though, the calendar is blessedly least for now. Time to re-group, I think.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Our Lady

Shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe
Paris June 2016
Images, statues and shrines to Our Lady are everywhere in Notre-Dame. After all, it's her cathedral! This shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe was full of color and gilt. It felt vibrant and lively.
Her candles, though, flicker with subtle beauty and subdued hues of blue.

No matter how you see vivid color or muted splendor, you feel blessed by Our Lady's presence here.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

An Outing

My writing group has been intrigued with the Chateau at Cenevieres ever since I began sharing bits of the novel I'm writing which is set at the 13th century Chateau and along the Lot River. Each time I'd offer a chapter for critique, they'd have questions about the Chateau and its history, so Anita, our fearless leader, organized a guided tour for us today. While the Chateau is in my neighborhood, the rest of the group had to drive almost an hour to get there.
Inside the gates
Our tour was conducted by Patrick de Braquilanges, son of the current owners Monsieur and Madame Guy de Braquilanges. The Braquilanges family has owned the Chateau since 1793 when it was sold for the first and only time during its long history.
On the terrace
M. Braquilanges was a wealth of historical information and charmed us with his stories and his knowledge, as well as with the glass of wine he offered at the tour's end!
A Protestant chapel
One of the owners of the Chateau, Antoine Gourdon,  converted to the Protestant faith and built this Calvinist chapel in the early 1600's.

After our tour we drove to Calvignac for a picnic lunch, then visited three of the ExoPlanet Lot art installations there. We finished our outing with the cold drink at La Terrasse Romantique restaurant which overlooks the Lot River valley. Thanks, Mandy, for using your lovely French to persuade the proprietor to seat us! And thanks, Anita, for arranging a great day out! I think we have the best writing group in the world.

Here's a drone's eye view of the Chateau. It couldn't be lovelier...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Cooler Spaces

The afternoon was hot; there wasn't a breath of air moving in the courtyard. It felt good to walk down the steps into the cool caves beneath the Chateau. One cave showcased an exhibit of wood sculptures.
Jade conferring with the sculptor
The other cave was set up for a shadow puppet performance.

We were entertained in the cool darkness by a delightful story of wild animals, a magic tortoise, a talking tree and a bumbling hero who discovers his true love atop a mountain.
Simple, timeless.