Monday, June 18, 2012

A Dash through Aix with French Sampler



This is when things start to get interesting. A smudge of the thumb and the fine line between virtual and  real is erased. Within...shall we say...two minutes of having met Dash from the amazing blog French Sampler, I sensed that she was exactly the kindred spirit that I had hoped. But to have her sitting across from me at a small café just outside of the train station in Aix! I scanned her face eagerly. Would there be signs of her panoplie of knowledge, her distinct elegance? I had long appreciated her honest writing,  been inspired as she worked hard to improve her photography and was always beautifully surprised by her subject matter. Our tastes are mind-bogglingly similar, it is true but had I misjudged her and she me? A warm smile spread out across her face. We started talking and didn't stop for the next six hours. And it passed like the blink of an eye. We were still at lunch after three and when finally we pulled ourselves out of our comfortable volley to move, we  wisely abandoned our best laid plans and let our feet and cameras lead us. How wonderful to be just two women wandering. Alright, I'll say it, deux blogueuses. Both looking, discovering with no one to hurry us in the least sense. Cameras in hand, focusing at the eye and click. Quite like a good connection. I have written about the wonderful city of Aix many times and it was lovely to watch her discover its rich diversity. We decided to make mutual posts, revealing our farandole on the same day without showing each other in advance. So I will look forward to finding where her eye landed nearly as much as I will spending time with Dash again...





















Now, as quick as you can name the name of Lartigue's favorite muse ("Renée!"), let's hop on over to Dash's wonderful blog:

And for those of you that are visiting for the first time from chez elle, a very warm welcome indeed.

Have a wonderful week everyone! 







56 comments:

  1. Hello Heather:
    Ah, les deux charmantes blogueses de France.....

    What excitement there is when virtual and real worlds collide and what joyous serendipity that two kindred spirits have found each other in this vast space that is the world wide web. we are certain that you will both have had a truly magical time together exploring the intriguing town of Aix and gossiping about all things blogwise!Oh, how we should have loved to have joined you at the café with those most delicious looking lunches.....we would have focussed on the eating and the talking rather than the photographing!!!

    And, what splendid images you delight us with here. Glimpses of the everyday life in a town which is clearly brimming with beauty and bursting with bonhomie!! Bisous xxx

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    1. Oh my friends, if you both had been with us...well, for starters we would never have left the café! We would have had even more wine, then a little coffee, then ok why not let's take dessert after all and then we should finish the wine and oh, it seems to be the apero, how lovely, hmmm, aren't we feeling peckish again? Well, we could always get that antipasta plate that looked so good before and...Do you see what I mean? You can't deny it!
      Maybe Dash and I need to make a road trip to Budapest? :)

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    2. There is the Avignon-Budapest bus....and once you are here, accommodation is no problem. Any time....!!!

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  2. Dam it, I just lost my connection, it's been on and off all day and am having to type this comment again. Wonderful post and pictures Heather and even though we saw the same things, we also saw things differently, amazing. I adore the second picture and the old advertising painting through the arch...wonderful.

    We had a fabulous day and I can't wait to do it again.

    As I said at the time I feel a richer person for having met you.

    X

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    1. OMG Heather your pictures are so stunning and has me dreaming! I can't imagine Dash having much different but I'm exccited to go see. Thank you for introducing her to me.

      Enjoy your day!
      XX
      Debra~

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    2. Dash, I hope you know how much I feel the same! And I think that the idea I suggested to the Hattatts would be amazing! If they agree of course...but really, any where you wish for our next meeting and I would be so happy! And yes, I love even more the differences than the similarities in what we photographed but love, love, love that what we wrote was both right next to each others thoughts!

      Debra, you will LOVE her blog--I am so thrilled to see that you signed up! Whew, this woman is an encyclopedia of elegance without ever being the LEAST bit pretentious. No small feat in the blog world! I loved your most recent post. How I wish I was there to go for a walk with you and Dylan dog...

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  3. Hello Heather

    I loved hearing about your day with Dash. How fortunate to have met a kindred spirit and having so much in common. I would love to have been along. Your images are spectacular and in particular the second one is so vibrant.

    To many more meetings with Dash and on that note I shall rush to her blog.

    Helen xx

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    1. Thank you so much Helen--your support and kindness always makes me smile. Oh, we would have had a wonderful time all together, I am certain! Save that it would have caused all kinds of trouble as after that you would have wanted to move here to paint it all!
      Bisous...

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  4. What a wonderful afternoon you had! Your photos are gorgeous and I feel like I was dashing around Aix with you and Dash! Off to visit her blog. If she's a kindred spirit of yours, I know I'll like her, too! XO

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    1. Oh you will Jeanne. She loves a lot of what we like and knows all of the stories behind it all too--with your background I think you will be interested in all that she has to share. XO to you too!

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  5. I have read both of your blogs re: the day together- Astonishing! I am overloaded on the beauty of both- Incredible! Loving all of the photos!

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    1. Thanks so much Linda Sue (my Mom's name so also my favorite name)! Aix is so beautiful already and add to that two ladies who have had a bit of wine and are loving being in each other's company--hooray!

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  6. Thank you for such an unexpected friendship blog x 2

    I can see differences in your personalities viewing the pictures on both blogs.
    I have favorite photos from both. But best of show is the flying pigeon picture you post here first.

    In both blogs, the locked gate chapelle des Ursulines...I feel like a little girl in those weeds. Dash's photo of the two leather chairs with bottles' surround...drunk in those chairs or from their beauty wouldn't be a difficult choice. The fountain in the square...I can feel the water on my hands. Not a bad Monday morning.

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    1. Thank you Poet Whale, as always your response is so evocative! That chapel fascinated both of us in all of its rusted beauty. And my to spend an evening in those leather chairs would be something to think about...Happy that we both eased you into your week. :)

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  7. Bonjour Heather-- Writing this message from Paris, where I arrived two days ago. Catching up on my blog reading and what do I find... this fun story! So cool that you and Dash met and hit it off immediately! "Virtual friendships" that sometimes evolve into actual friendships are the best part about blogging. So happy for your two... As a side note, I have also enjoyed those TWO trips through Aix en Provence. Really fun to see what photos you both chose to publish. Heading down to Nice at the end of the week where I am hoping to meet two fellow bloggers for the first time as well! Very excited now. A bientôt. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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    1. Hooray! You are in France!!!! I am SO excited for you and to top it off you are going to meet fellow bloggers in Nice?! I wish that I could make the trip to see you too! Have a fantastic time!!!

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  8. This post just makes me so inordinately happy. LOVE the story of the two of you meeting and running around town, cameras in hand. And, of course, the lunch looks mouth watering (I checked it out over on Dash's site).

    My friend Cheryl and I also both did posts on Sakonnet Garden. SHE is quite the photographer and it was fun to see our two different takes on the same day.

    More please! Oh, and I've added French Sampler to my list on Bloglovin.com

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    1. Yay, that is great Judith. Dash really goes for quality, I know you will love reading her. And how fun that you did the same thing with your friend Cheryl! Dash and I were like giddy kids when it came time to hit the "publish" button!

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  9. I stumbled here from Collage of Life. Your photos are gorgeous and Aix looks like a place I would love to wander around in.

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    1. Thank you for signing up Loree! Jeanne is so amazing, isn't she? Another fellow blogger that I would love to meet one day--although Vietnam is pretty far to go! ;)

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  10. This is such a delightful story to warm my heart and imagination. It is early morning here, and as I sip my coffee in bed and quickly catch up on blogworld (as John calls it) this junps out with a clarity and reality. How truly wonderful that the two of you finally got to meet - and how funny my blog list looks with your twinning titles in my side bar! Hopefully the beginning of a long friendship.

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    1. Thank you Virginia. If you had been with us that day we would have made for a fearsome triumvirate! Actually, maybe we need to make that happen when you visit France?!? Something to think about...
      xo

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  11. Just a tad jealous!!!!!!!I better skip over and see what DASH did.......love her name!

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  12. How wonderful to discover a blogger soulmate! I love these images. I last visited Aix 15 years ago and have wanted to go back ever since! x Sharon

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    1. Yes, she really is Sharon. Such a wonderful gift. And yes, Aix is just as beautiful as ever--waiting for your return!

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  13. OMG - how wonderful are these doors and door handles that you have captured Heather - I am just a breath away from hopping on a plane and heading back!!! Soooooooooo gorgeous - one has to think of who has handled them!! where are they now!! where do they lead is the big one!!

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    1. GREAT question Wyn! Where do they lead...I love it! If I were a braver soul, I would have tried to open them to find out...

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  14. Kindred spirits just love it! what a heart warming read of both your blogs to be transported with you both not only to the beautiful Aix but a little glimpse into a new friendship! thank-you for sharing girls....
    Carla x

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    1. It's the best of blogging, isn't it Carla? These friendships? Happy girl, I am!

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  15. What a gorgeous post Heather... and how fabulous that you and Dash have met... I am sure she had an equally wonderful time with you... as you are brilliant company... Love the shots of Aix... I am coming with you next time!! xv

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    1. Anytime you want, Ms. Archer. And thank you for the compliment--you are pretty fine company yourself! :)

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  16. I don't know how I got here but FABULOUS photos!
    merci carolg

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    1. Thank YOU! I think that you have stopped by before--how fun to wander in our wide world of the web...

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  17. Loved this, Sister!!! SO fun to see your different/same takes on Aix, and so obvious to see the kinship that you have and friendship that you quickly developed! And, by the way, I think I know a town I must visit when I get there in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!!!!!! : )

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  18. There's nothing better than the collision of blogosphere and real-osphere is there? One of the best parts of blogging is taking that next step into friendship. This should prompt us all to make the effort to get together when we have the opportunity and see what develops. . .in this case I've seen Aix through the eyes of two great photographers and you've introduced me to another blog that I now must follow! Thanks much.

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    1. Ooh, I don't know if you should thank me for introducing you to another blog to follow! Curse me is more like it! ;) But you won't regret Dashs', promise. And I love the "real-osphere"--that is what it feels like most of the time!

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  19. How fun to meet a fellow blogger ang blog away! I love both your photos and hope to visit Aix some day :)

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    1. And I would love to visit you on your farm! Thank you again for all of the amazing info that you have been sharing on Daily Plate of Crazy and your own blog.

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  20. Oh, I would loved to have seen pics of you girls! Do you know Vicki as well?
    I think I'm getting jealous of you being in such a splendid place, Heather...

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    1. Well, then come on over Bella! There is plenty of room for a woman with your moxy!!! Whoohoo!

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  21. How fab to have met Dash! Your photos are just incredible, now that I am home, I just want to emigrate.

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  22. Came over from Dash's blog. Thank you for a beautiful post.

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  23. Two of my favourite bloggers, together, taking beautiful photographs in France. I don't think it gets any better than that Heather! I adore your photos and look forward to popping over to Dash. I get what you mean about meeting someone, hoping that when you meet face to face that you still have the same connection. I haven't been let down yet. It one of the reasons why I keep on blogging and you know of course....I can't wait to meet you!
    Best wishes Heather...
    Jeanne xx

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    1. Hooray! Ah, I feel the same Jeanne but fear it might be awhile. Honestly, if I could afford it I would pop up for the day to meet you before your move. We will find a way. :)

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  24. Your photographs are just stunning! A treat to amble through all that eye candy!

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  25. How wonderful to meet a kindred spirit!! I just popped over & saw Dash's wonderful photos.

    ~ Clare x

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  26. What fabulous photographs!! And I am living vicariously through your lovely time together!! How truly amazing that such things are possible through the magic of the blogosphere!! I just love this little story and that you two have cemented your relationship is such a wonderful way!!

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  27. Well.....oh, Heather.....

    Having spent the past week closing down two houses and moving everything to this big, old house we've bought, I've just turned on the computer and greedily gotten my "Lost in Arles" fix.

    The first photograph in this posting is of a building that I've photographed each of the past two Summers. That courtyard is just ineffably beautiful, and I've never quite "caught" it in a single photograph. Surely you know the feeling of sitting at your computer with a friend, while you bring up photographs from a recent trip....and waving your hands about as you explain "This doesn't really CAPTURE it...."....and youhave to show the friend five or so shots of the same place before concluding with "Oh....you just have to see it for yourself. Pictures just don't do it justice....".

    That's how I've felt about that courtyard (I instantly recognized the shutters). I don't even know the name/funtion of the building. I never thought to inquire, either time I was there.

    Last Summer, part of it was covered in scaffolding, and I was instantly struck by a foreboding horror....."Please tell me that Donald Trump or Ralph Lauren or Karl Lagerfeld or Francis Coppola have NOT bought the building and are going to 'restore' it beyond recognition...."

    thanks so much for this lovely, evocative posting.

    In case you wonder?.....yes, we're settled in here....somewhat. I spent yesterday watching movers bring in the last of the thousand&one boxes. I'd vaguely indicate which rooms they were to go to....and the movers would get lost (none of the upstairs bedrooms connect with each other, since they were built for servants and have their own individual, tiny 18th century staircases). I finally just stood in the back courtyard and hollered up at the movers through various windows.

    the best news (which I'll give Herve tonight when he returns from a trip to Boston) is that I drove into the village yesterday (that's not an affected term for this tiny, old town) nd came back up the long drivewway to find a damn EAGLE perched on the rooftop of the kitchen wing. I kid you not.....a golden eagle (the Eno river is only about 1/8th of a mile from my front porch). I'd already gathered, back when I was initially scouting-out the house in March, that we had owls and hawks.

    So, it seems we've got representatives of every major raptor except condors.

    I'm so glad I don't raise puppies anymore.

    thanks again....

    david Terry
    www.davidterryart.com

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  28. Now, if THAT isn't a great omen then I don't know what is!!! The American Eagle blessing your new abode...perfect.

    And yes, I have been thinking of you both, wondering how it is all going, wanting to write but knowing it is better just to leave you alone while you rustle through it all. So today must be wonderful for you. A relief even with all that lies ahead of you. Because I don't know about you but unpacking makes all of the work worthwhile. Christmas in June! But how wise of Herve to have been absent for the actual move itself...

    As for the square in Aix, it is my favorite pretty much of anywhere in the world. Definitely in Provence. No matter what time of the year, the weather or light, I can stare it until whoever is with me gently pulls me away. It is as if I was trying to imprint myself on its facade. And as you can see, I have given up on trying to properly photograph it. I'll leave that to Remi!

    Lots of love and Welcome Home!
    H

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  29. Hey Heather....Just for the record?....Thelast two Summers when we were in Aix, we sat in that square when it was packed with a hundred or so Iranian wedding guests (Herve knows the language, so he can speak to them)....all in Iranian fancy-dress, surrounded by hordes of over-dressed and gorgeous (black hair,black eyes, golden skin) children. The grandmothers and matrons had, on each occasion, obviously draped themselves with every piece of golden jewelry they'd collected over years of marriage.

    Each time, it was.....quite strangely/wonderfully beautiful....including the prim&proper street gendarmes who, along with everyone else, gathered around the perimeter of the wedding party while the photographers did their work.

    It was (twice....and the weddings were for different members of the same extended family) the sort of spectacle you and Remi would love.

    Herv'es back home, after having been stuck in Boston for a night due to torrential downpours. I'll tell him hey for you when he wakes up from an obviously much-needed nap with the dogs....

    sincerely,



    david terry

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    1. You are absolutely right, I would have loved to see that. It is the wedding season here in Arles and I am always fascinated to see the many different styles present--different cultures, different times. Yesterday in front of the town hall a couple was posing before their nuptials. Both in their mid-50s. She was wearing a very Lacroix style poof with an ivory top hat!

      Hope that you both enjoy your first Sunday in your new home...
      xo,
      H

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