Thursday, November 5, 2009

Vacances de Toussaints

Well it was very bewildering.  When I landed up in Aix-en-Provence as a young woman.  In my black t- shirt and cowboy boots.  Signed up at the Beaux-Arts.  Got my keys to the room behind the dance studio.  "Haven't we just started school?"  "Why have we got vacation already?"  Not that it didn't have a certain appeal, vacation in November. Where and when before in my life had that ever happened?  Summertime yes.  Easter break of course.  But the month of November, the month before the time when we'll have two weeks off again for Christmas?  Well, NEVER!

What a concept!!!  So Elaine and I hatched a plan:  We would not tell Mme. Certainly not.  Because if we did she would spoil all our vacation adventures by asking us to stay in Aix looking after Mme. F.  That was part of the rental deal.  Room behind the dance studio, centre ville, furnished, high ceilings, two-burner cooktop with bouteille de gaz, chambre douche, wc in exchange for a nominal rent and some old-lady sitting.

But no.  The old lady would have to wait.  We were young and indifferent and agreements weren't exactly agreements and who knew when the next chance would come? Besides Dave was headed into town.

So off we went on a train to the Alps.  Hitched a ride from Briancon to Turino in a VW Camper.  Hop and skip on the "Orient Express" and presto-pazzo three Americanos in Venezia in the blue-y gold light shoo-ing pigeons across St. Mark's Square.  That kinda worked!  Practicing our Italian - lui, voi,, due, tre!  Due cappuccini per favore!

So last week, somewhere in the world, someone or two were on vacation.  Les Vacances de Toussaints. And this is where they might have landed, and this is what it might have looked like:

Una famiglia en vacances

Une petite place.

A quiet hilltop.

A cozy room.

A castle and a satellite dish.

A furry friend

   A wander.

Down winding streets.

Up winding streets

Un coin tranquille

Peut-etre deux filles.

Des murs rocheux-rouges

Des places "espace"

Des jeux

Eglise ou restaurant?

Cimetiere avec vue

En bref, des vacances

Pres de St. Paul de Vence!

With apologies to Ludwig Bemelmans and Dr. Seuss.  Photos taken in and around Haut-de-Cagnes and St. Paul de Vence.  Anyone want the hotel name in Haut-de-Cagnes email me.


  1. These are AMAZING! Spinster-sitting and cobble-street-wandering and train-to-Italy-hopping- my heavens! Ok, you must indulge a poor idiot and explain the time line here. You're in France now, studying art? But you were in India for a while? Living there or just visitating?

    Do tell!


  2. lily you are a sweetie pie. i'm cooking up a retrospective...i'm thinking of calling it "the detritus of a creative life...." if someone like francis bacon hasn't already taken that.

  3. Great stuff. I too have been suffering from not-quite-swine-flu. What if this virus leads to a viral outbreak of really great blogs? They'll say, "In 2009, a curious thing happened..."

    I think we're both inspired/compelled by "the detritus of a creative life." With your permission, I'd like to add a link to Passage Paradis to my home page.

    Best --

  4. lovely photos! thank you for sharing them and yes a beautiful coin de France. kenza.

  5. To all, I'll take this company! Thanks for stopping by! Scraps of Life: yes please do add a link from this little world to yours. OK if I put you on my blogroll? Kenza, you too? I stopped in there last week and really like BOTH your sites. Why are you in India now? Look forward to seeing everybody's future work. You are all keeping me on my toes.

  6. oh p.s. scraps of life: love the idea about the '09 virus-promulgated explosion of creativity!