Thursday, January 16, 2014

Menton in colors, textures and patina



"It looks like it is still night out!" Remi exclaimed with unbridled surprise as he stumbled into the living room, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. He found me sitting on the couch with my laptop balanced on my knees, clutching my mug of coffee and wedged in between two furry friends. The darkness of the morning had left me feeling cold and pressed flat. Winter is in like Flynn.

Well, what finer cure could there be than to remember the vibrancy of our visit to Menton? For it had taken place on a similarly cloud-covered day, one that had miraculously let the colors glow brighter and the texture of time's patina stand out in greater relief.

I grabbed photographs quickly on that walk, furtive glances shooting off the stones. For I am realizing now that in order to see specifically, I cannot be good company. I am either with my eyes or with those around me, rarely both. And frankly, I was having too fine a time to sacrifice more than a few seconds here or there. Laughter is contagious and I love it when it peals like bells. My friends - not to mention the puppers pulling at their leashes at all the new around them - had my full attention.

But these few stolen mementos did their job and warmed my heart a little this morning. Appreciating imperfection is endlessly cheering, isn't it? So it is with these quiet months, for without them there would be no spring.
















27 comments:

  1. Heather, thanks so much for starting my day with a beautiful thought and photos. "Appreciating imperfection is endlessly cheering." How wonderful. I've always struggled with this time of year. In my Starbucks and Nordstrom years, I always had huge projects with late February deadlines and spent most of the winter stressed out and gasping for air. And then last year... well, you know. This is the first January in about 20 years where I haven't been running myself into the ground. And I find myself liking this cold, dark month. Yesterday the sun came out and I swear I could almost smell spring. But for once, I didn't wish it would get here already. The anticipation of brighter days ahead is actually enough for now.

    Thanks again for bringing beauty into our lives! XOXO

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    1. Not to mention the anticipation of...PARIS! You must be so excited. I know I am for you! And I think it is wonderful how you have adapted and continue to adapt, Jeanne. Very inspiring.

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  2. Looks like your Pacific Northwest fans are checking in, Heather. Wonderful close up look at things that make travel memorable. I too nearly danced in yesterday's sunlight, but that is the way it often goes when you are Sunless in Seattle.

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    1. We have sun today here too and I can't wait to take the puppers for a walk in the country! They need it and so do I...
      And I am lucky to have several tried and true blog friends in the Pacific Northwest--you, Jeanne and Leslie from Portland. And now Suze is there too! It is an area that I love and would move to in a heart beat if I were headed back to the States.

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  3. Heather, I think Remi's "photographer's eyes" have rubbed off on you. Like my son, these are images of little corners most of us wouldn't pay attention to, however, when you capture them on film they come alive with interest.
    Just so beautiful, so evocative.

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    1. Thank you Marsha but I think that Remi's influence is way too obvious here! Practically outright "stealing"! Ah well as Orson Wells said, "If you are going to steal, steal from the best"...

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  4. Of the colours. Oh the patina. I am hooked on this place. It looks like a fantastic destination for those, like me, who like to wander and get lost.

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    1. And we only scraped the surface Loree...I can't wait to go back...

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  5. Gorgeous photos, and a nice Irish name on the letterbox. And "in like Flynn?" A favorite phrase

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    1. I especially love the quotation marks around the name!!

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  6. Beautiful Heather - there is a story in every photo! F xx

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  7. Hi Heather,
    Plenty of mystery and patina here! Could this be your new home?
    Cheers,
    Deborah from Melbourne

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    1. Oh too far away from Arles and the Cote d'Azur is definitely out of our price bracket! But I do love that area...
      Cheers back to you!

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  8. Such gorgeous colors and textures from one of my favorite cities, I love every crumbling layer.

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    1. I think it was a good thing that I was in such good company because otherwise I would STILL be there, wandering around with my camera!!

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  9. LOVE EACH AND EVERY PHOTO!
    HOW IS THE HOUSE HUNT COMING?I HAVE BEEN GROUNDED FOR A YEAR AND A HALF AFTER THE LAST TRIP BUT IF I TELL HIM I NEED TO TEACH YOU TO DRIVE SO YOU CAN GET FOOD MAYBE I HAVE HALF A CHANCE OF COMING………I CAN TEACH YOU I KNOW I CAN…….STICK OR AUTOMATIC………WHAT I'M SAYING IS LOOK TO THE COUNTRY…………..YOU NEED THE COUNTRY….WITH THE PUPS!

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    1. Oh this made me laugh with delight!!! Just the thought of you and I together behind the wheel...And I know that you could do it too! There is no way I would be scared with La Contessa at my side!

      No new houses to visit yet though...

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  10. Beautiful photography of Menton Love the details, colours, your photographer's eye. Bravo!

    Jilly Bennett (www.mentondailyphoto.com)

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    1. As you know, Menton photographs itself! :)

      I am a new follower of your Riviera Dogs blog.
      Bon Weekend,
      H

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  11. Beautiful, beautiful but I don't wish to close the door on this wonderful place ;) Yes, Heather, our city is very chuffed that we are a must see for 2014!

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    1. Heeheehee. I loved that sign on the door! And yes, Christchurch has every reason to be proud. Talk about a comeback!!!

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  12. It's so funny that several people mention your photographer's eye (and Remi); I was thinking as I looked at these, "I wonder if Remi thinks that you have become quite the photographer as I (and your readers) do!". Thank you for brightening my (currently dark) day with these colorful shots! My favorite is the reddish-orange wall with what appear to be (to my eye, anyway) two hearts! But they are all lovely - we are glad that you went to Menton!

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    1. Two hearts!!! Oh of course you would see that beautiful Sister. :) And noone encourages me more than Remi...except for maybe you!
      I love you and thank you so much for being such a great Sister!

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  13. Quiet months indeed. I kind of like this lull as we all quietly get our year started. I do however, look forward to the sun waking up a little earlier!

    As usual, what lovely photos! I particularly like the turquoise wooden door with the gold hardware. Great shot.

    Happy new year, Heather!

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  14. Hi Heather,
    I admire your “appreciating” eyes seeing beauty behind the “imperfections”. I love the photos. Your eyes can see the unseen like the prince, from an ancient parable, hearing the unheard. The prince, returning from the forest the second time, described what he heard to his master, “when I listened most closely, I could hear the unheard—the sound of flowers opening, the sound of the sun warming the earth, and the sound of the grass drinking the morning dew.” “To hear the unheard,” said the prince’s master, “is a necessary discipline to be a good ruler.” from:Parables of Leadership by W. Chan Kim and Renée A. Mauborgne ( Harvard Business Review) (http://hbr.org/1992/07/parables-of-leadership/ar/1)
    The master explained, “For only when a ruler has learned to listen closely to the people’s hearts, hearing their feelings uncommunicated, pains unexpressed, and complaints not spoken of, can he hope to inspire confidence in his people…”
    You have the gift to see the unseen.
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend,
    Edgar

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  15. Beautiful still lifes, colours and patina. Edgar has expressed it perfectly: It is the "gift to see the unseen" you have!
    I like a lot the green window frame in the red passepartout!
    Besides, it came to my mind, that by now the city of Arles, the Côte Azur and the whole Provence should be thankful for the work and heartful advertising you do for them!

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