“All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich
heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather,
delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams
She sighed. “Blue. You’re blue.”
“I’m Éibhear the Blue.” After eighty-seven years, he never tired
of saying that.
“Of course you are.”
― G.A. Aiken, About a Dragon
* inspiration behind this work (and others that will come) is lovely mr. Charley Harper ♡
Claude Monet noticed the village of Giverny while looking out of a train window. He made up his mind to move there and
rented a house and the area surrounding it. In 1890 he had enough money to buy the house and land outright and set out
to create the magnificent gardens he wanted to paint. Some of his most famous paintings were of his garden in Giverny.
He lived in the house with its famous pink crushed brick façade from 1883 until his death in 1926. He and many members
of his family are interred in the village cemetery.
Ten years after moving to Giverny in 1883, Claude Monet envisioned turning a small pond on an adjacent parcel of land into
an Asian-influenced water garden. Monet said, "I planted my water lilies for pleasure; I cultivated them without thinking
of painting them. A landscape does not get through to you all at once. And then suddenly, I had the revelation of the magic
of my pond." The original garden extended only 20 feet) beyond the footbridge (as shown in this painting). Monet was inspired
by Japanese gardens and design, and included Japanese features such as irregular contours and natural features of the land.
For the last 30 years of his life, scenes of the water garden (Water Lilies or Nymphéas) were Monet’s favorite theme.
Monet's garden is one the most beautiful places that I saw... Especially in a spring time when you have a feeling that all
those bright flower colors are floating and dancing in the air :) I will have to visit it again, sometimes during summer, to
see those famous water lilies and a lake in all its true glory . ♡
“If I knew that today would be the last time I’d see you, I would hug you tight and pray the Lord be the keeper of your soul. If I knew
that this would be the last time you pass through this door, I’d embrace you, kiss you, and call you back for one more. If I knew
that this would be the last time I would hear your voice, I’d take hold of each word to be able to hear it over and over again. If I knew
this is the last time I see you, I’d tell you I love you, and would not just assume foolishly you know it already.”
Jacques Brel, Léo Ferré, Georges Brassens
Paris is a beautiful city and Paris is also one of the world's top tourist destinations. Everyone goes there to feel, to be and to
experience some of that Parisian lifestyle. But just like every other tourist place Paris has all kinds of "authentic lifestyles" on
offer. I admit I am that worst kind of tourist, the one that's in search for "the real stuff". Attacker on that last frontier of private
life that every tourist place tries to preserve.
This time I was lucky to meet a nice French man who works in a shop that sells vintage books and records. We were talking
about lot of stuff but the most valuable thing I got from him, except for a few vinyl records, is my now enriched knowledge of
modern French chanson. He even recommended us where to go if we wanted to hear/see something live in that kind of spirit.
And of course we did and of course we'll never forget it. :-)
* Translation (by cortom):
...I tell you about a time ...That teenagers (lit.: those less than 20 years old) cannot know about ...At that time,
Montmartre hung its lilacs (pale blue or white, early-blooming flowers) ...right up to our windows, and even if our
humble furnished room ...That served us as a (love-)nest didn't look like much ...It was there that we knew each other
...Me, crying hunger, and you, posing in the nude ...La bohème, la bohème. That meant "one is happy" ...La boème,
la bohème. We only ate once every two days. ...In the neighbouring cafes ...We were people ...that waited for glory
(fame) and although miserable ...with empty stomacs (lit.: hollow bellies)
...we never stopped believing [in it] and when some pub (of course, 'bistro' is a typically french café)
...in exchange for a warm meal ...accepted a painting (lit.: a canvas), we recited verses ...gathered around the stove,
forgetting about winter. ...La bohème, la bohème. That meant "you are pretty"
...La bohème, la bohème, and all of us were geniuses (lit.: 'had genius') ...Often [it happened to me that],
...before my easel, (i.e. the stand upon which a painter puts the canvas he is working on) ...I spent sleepless nights
...touching up (=making minor corrections to) the drawing ...of the line of a breast ...of the figure of a hip, and only
at morning ...one sat down at last ...before a café-crème (coffee with much hot milk) ...exhausted, but exhillarated
...It must have been so that we loved each other, and that we loved life (a rather stiff translation of a fluent French
sentence, but I don't know how to put it otherwise)
...La bohème, la bohème. That meant "one was twenty years old" ...La bohème, la bohème and we lived from the
'spirit of the age' (That's literally what 'air du temps' means, but I'm sure that's not the right way to put it in English.
In French it has the connotation of living from air and nothing else, especially nothing material while at the same
time referring to the typical feeling in society at that particular time)
...When, some days in a whim ...I go out and take a walk ...to my old address
...I no longer recognise ...nor the walls, nor the streets ...that witnessed (lit.: saw) my youth
...At the top of a stairway ...I search for the workshop ...of which nothing remains ...In its new décor
...Montmartre looks sad, and the lilacs have died.
...La bohème, la bohème. We were young, we were crazy ...La bohème, la bohème.
It doesn't mean anything at all anymore. ♡
Michel Delacroix - Atelier Le Soir