30 August 2010

scenes from torino, italia

Lovely, isn't it?

Turin's cobble-stone streets are easier on feet, paws, 
and small wheels than those in Lyon.

We had the most delicious view from our hotel room.

27 August had come and gone,
but this shopkeeper still wasn't back from her vacanze.

The same tower we saw from our hotel room,
just from a different angle.

A glass of vino bianco with lunch
(of course!).

An evening stroll while we wait for our waiter to bring us the bill
(it was a looooong wait).

It took me forever to walk just a few blocks, 
because I wanted to look at every one of these courtyards.

Normally I'm telling my son to get out of the streets,
but here, I actually asked him to get IN the street
just so I can take a photo like this.
I did make sure there were no trams coming!

Gelato, anyone?

26 August 2010

may I take a photo of you with that basket?

Cutest marché basket ever.  I almost stopped this gentleman and asked if I could take a photo of him holding it.

Alas, he walked away while I was composing the sentence in French in my head.

20 August 2010

fish & chips & guiness

We were told, "You don't sip Guiness, okay? Seven gulps to a pint. Three pints to a day!"

07 August 2010

grab it when you see it


Yes, you must grab it when you see it. You snooze, you lose.

I was looking for the right "font," but a lady walked over, positioned herself next to me and snatched up the letters I needed to spell our name.  Her actions were so swift, so efficient, I watched in awe. She was a flea market pro.

I learned my lesson:  Don't think and select. Grab first, and then think. You can drop what you don't want, but you can't grab something that's in someone else's hands.

These lovelies are from Le Marché aux Puces de Vanves in Paris. I've never been to the flea market at Clignancourt, but it's so famous that I suspect that it's too big, too upscale and too touristy for me. It was too far from our hotel anyway, so we opted to go to the one at Vanves.

What a fun place to be!

... although poor M must have been bored to tears.

I'm not a purist and I often buy things that are "made to look antique." But the fun of owning the real stuff is knowing that there aren't many like it, as well as being able to say "I bought this at a flea market in Paris, and I got the guy to give me a 5€ break!"

There were a few things I would have bought had I not been traveling. There was this medallion that was so, so beautiful but also incredibly heavy (I had to use both hands to lift it). There were also a pair of beat-up cafe chairs that were calling my name, but I couldn't quite picture myself (or my husband) lugging those on TGV back to Lyon.

Seeing old portraits at flea markets always makes me sad. Did the family willingly give them up, or were they lost? Could someone be frantically looking for them? These are someone's history, and is it right for a foreigner like me to buy them up and take them out of the country?

So I stay away from photos of people. Landscape, I don't feel so conflicted about.

And pottery. I love anything white and blue. The pitcher I wanted had a handle that had been broken off and repaired, so I negotiated the price down from 20€ to 15€. I can't use it as a pitcher (I'm afraid that the handle might come off), but a bunch of gerbera daisies would look very pretty in it.

And it kind of matches the plate I bought at a brocante in Aix-en-Provence.

Not that they have to match.

They only have to please my eyes, and that, they do. Very well.


02 August 2010

riddle #1


Q: When is a library not a library?

A: When it's in France.

Then it's a bookstore. If you're looking for a library, head to a bibliothèque instead.

I know, I know -- the spelling is not quite the same.
Okay, then, try this one:
Q: When is a crayon not a crayon?