Thursday, November 3, 2011

I love everything

I was cooling my heels on a tufted leather sofa at the Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence, patiently waiting for Remi and our friends to finish taking in the exhibition of the "Collection Planque." A guest book or livre d'or had been placed close by. A young boy, his head just large enough to peak over the table, studied it carefully. Finally, his Mother placed her hands on his shoulders and asked "Well, what did you like in the exhibition?" He carefully considered, then looked up at her pleadingly. "Tout!" he barked out. "Bon, then that is what you will write." She put her hand over his tiny one, guiding it to make the letters. He hovered over the guest book for some time even after his Mother had walked to the next room. His little body was tense with concentration. When he put down his pen and ran off with an awkward gallop, I got up to see what had been left behind on the page. 

"J'aime tout," he had written. "I love everything." 

Beneath this victorious statement, he had signed his name, Erwan and drawn what appears to be a leopard-print bus. A boy after my own heart in more ways than one.

I can't help but share Erwan's sentiment each time I stroll through Aix. And strolling is certainly what is required. It is impossible not to take one's time, looking up at hovering stone cherubs and down at potentially treacherous cobblestones. Venetian shutters clank in the breeze and everywhere, the quiet plup-plup of the fountains that have cemented Aix's reputation as the most elegant city in Provence.

So yes, I love everything, from the clock tower hovering over town hall, to shops tempting with Hermès bags or foie gras and truffle macaroons (!). The discovery of a tiny shaded square hidden behind a large hôtel particulier. A vivacious café cultured dominated by the well-heeled. So gorgeous as to be just slightly beyond everyday reality, yet bursting with the jubilant energy of over 40,000 étudiants

We lunched outside on the Place des Cardeurs, grateful for what very well may have been the last opportunity to do so until next spring. And then we continued on our adventure with me falling behind as usual to take and take and take photos. Thank goodness our wonderful friends are used to it by now! 

I'll be quiet so as to let you take your little stroll too. There are no major historical facts to keep in mind. Pas de tout. Aix is simply a feast for the eyes. I just hope that you have as good a time as Erwan and I did.

* I will follow this post with a second but for those of you in the region that have not yet seen the exhibition for the Collection Planque, RUN! GO NOW! YES RIGHT THIS INSTANT! The exhibition has been extended until November 6th, aka this Sunday.
As I am a sweetheart, I will even include a link to the museum's website to help:


  1. I love your posts, Heather, as I always seem to be taking the stroll alongside you.

    Thank you for inviting us along. I fully agree with Erwin - I love everything!

  2. All good criticism should be judged the way art is. You shouldn't read it the way you read history or science.

  3. Hello Heather:
    Yes, we have loved everything about our virtual stroll through Aix, a city we do not know. It does look to have a sense of well-being and elegance that we are sure we should find absolutely enchanting.

  4. Thank you dear Jane, Lance and Sue for taking time to enjoy a stroll in Aix! I know that you all would love it in person...

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  6. I love everything - about my sister!! Thanks for your post and the pic of the leopard-print school bus - adorable (said with French accent)!

  7. I agree j'aime tout! You may claim you don't have a lot of money but you have a ton of heart. Thank you for taking us along on your stroll I love it all!

  8. Hello Heather

    I just love Erwan's comment and drawing. So original. It is short and yet speaks volumes, just like your beautiful trip through Aix
    The golden glow from the buildings an only be achieved by history. Thank you.Helen xx

  9. Well, I am definitely visiting Aix en Provence next time I am in "Le Midi." -- So beautiful. Thank you for the guided tour, Heather. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  10. Thanks lovely ladies! There is more to come.

    Helen, I should have guessed that you would have appreciated the golden light...

    Wishing everyone an excellent weekend...

  11. Heather I love the story of the Erwan and his entry in the visitors book, I can completely relate to how he feels. I love Aix it's a lovely town. Unfortunately I will miss the exhibition but will follow the link, looking forward to the next instalment.

  12. ah Aix...not much else to say other than thanks for the reminder having lived there for two years it seems like a dream now!

  13. Dash, it is definitely worth a looksee at their website. I was blown away by the quality of the collection--so many masterworks that have never been seen before. Beautifully thought out.

    Heather, it is good to hear from you! Your blog has been quiet lately--I imagine you are busy with projects. And don't forget--your current life would be a dream for many...

  14. Just Gorgeous!I have been there once not that many years ago.Thanks for taking me back.Those buildings!Little Erwin..........your photos all so beautiful.

  15. Another delightful post, Heather, and what a charming story of that young boy's observations.

  16. love it all- thank you as always,

  17. Thank you all so much! I am just back from a jot out of town--always does the body good--and so am a bit late in replying but it is heartfelt nonetheless!


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