Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Together Again!

Parisot Writing Group
Together...all 10 of us....again! While Anita's been busy working on her MA in writing at Bath Spa, our writing group has soldiered on without our leader. We've met periodically, done some critiquing in small groups, read each other's work and explored some writing topics on our own. But it just hasn't been the same without Anita! We were absolutely thrilled to gather yesterday at the Schoolhouse in Mazerolles for a lovely morning on Anita's preau discussing writing projects and topics, books, and generally catching up. A couple of us even got a little teary-eyed that we were all able to make it and welcome Anita back home to France. We're fired up and ready to write!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Memories of an Old Friend

It's funny how the Universe works.

Yesterday I posted an NPR article on Facebook about this weekend's 50 year anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival. I was there, and it was a life-changing event for me. I went with my friend, Christine. Chris and I went to nursing school together; we shared our first-ever apartment. She taught me how to cook. Actually I kind of knew how to cook, but had no idea how to put a meal together and on the table at the same time. Chris, having cooked for years for her family, showed me how to time things so everything was ready at once. She moved to San Diego after I did and worked for me in the medical intensive care unit at University Hospital. She married, moved to Texas, and when that didn't work out, came back to San Diego and lived with Skip and me until she could get her life back together. We loaned her some money, so she could buy a car. But as these things do, we drifted apart as I became more focused on marriage and my new baby, and she became more focused on her career. We lost touch.

Over the past 50 years, I've occasionally thought about her. Last week while thinking about my life right out of nursing school, she came to mind. Then yesterday as I posted about the Festival, I thought about her again. I searched FB, but had no luck finding her. This morning I tried googling her name and came up with this...

It looks like Chris never remarried and spent her 40 year nursing career in the San Diego area.
She died on May 27 of this year.

Funny how the Universe works.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Work in Progress

Last Sunday Maggie and Bill invited me come along on an 'open gardens' adventure. Our destination was Chateau de Bournazel in the Aveyron. While fascinating in its own right, we didn't visit the Chateau itself; what we wanted to see this day was the Renaissance garden. Check out this video for a brief overview in English of the Chateau. A visit will definitely be a future goal!
Last year the first phase of the garden was completed which included this large pond and nine parterres, square garden plots, planted with shrubs, flowers, and trees symbolic of the stages of a Renaissance prince's life and education.
 This square anchored by a large rock feature surrounded by water and snowy white daisies symbolizes the mountains and geography necessary to be an educated man.
I love how box hedge is used to border individual planting areas. All the plants used are those that would have been present either in the wild or cultivated during the mid-to-late 1500s.
This square depicts the solar system and heavenly bodies.
There is the beginning of a labyrinth.
This is a well dating from the time of the original garden.
There's a lot more to see, of course, and since this is only the first year of the garden, the entire site is a work in progress. A visit every year will reveal even more of its beauty as the entire plan is completed. In the meantime, have a look at this video about building the garden from the Chateau's website (in French, but with English subtitles.)