Monday, May 6, 2013

Small beautifuls

Kipling swivelled his ears forward, tracking the prickly peals of tiny laughter rolling towards us. Two young girls, perhaps three and five years old, had escaped their parents grasp and were running free, ecstatic and hiccuping with joy. But they were far, too far away as anyone who knows this busy street could tell. So did an elderly lady facing them. Her stooped back was towards me and yet I could feel her smile as she carefully bent down, arms wide. A dance step to the left, then the right to corral the two with upturned faces. Delighted. There was a pause of recognition, a bounce back and forth between the aged and ageless. Was this their Grandmother? She clearly felt so much love for them. The father came up in a lope of a jog. Merci, merci. He nodded knowing that she understood and scooping up his wriggling captives under his arms, turned and went on his way. The women straightened up for just a moment then watched them go.

Listen to this lovely song: Caminho Do Vento by Nei Zigma

*Award alert! Please feel free to tune out until tomorrow if that is not your cup o'tea*

Do you know Loree? She has a lovely blog Stories and Scribbles, where she delves into her life on the island of Malta. Isn't that exotic? I find it so. She is a wonderful writer and photographer and so I was delighted that gave me the Liebster Award--yes, especially as it means "dearest." Now, I think that this is the third or fourth time that I have been given this award by one of my peers but that doesn't make it any less special, no. As I have said here before, we all like to be appreciated. I am fortunate in having you all--a very expressive and brilliant bunch! But not that long ago, as La Contessa recently pointed out, there would maybe be five comments, maybe two. So, while not one to follow rules, I would be delighted to answer Loree's questions and pass on a few blogs to you.

Loree's Questions:
1. What is your earliest memory?
I am tiny, tiny and sitting on the linoleum floor in the kitchen of our apartment in Erlanger, Kentucky. I can make out the shadow of my Mom opening up the refrigerator door and sun is pouring in around her.

2. What character from a book do you most identify with?
Now, you have to give Loree credit for such a fine question but it is a trap! ;) Because honestly the first thing that popped into my head was "Jane Eyre" but that sounds both a little crazy and a touch pretentious.

3. What is your favourite flower?
Roses à l'ancienne.

4. If you could meet one person from the past, who would it be?
Again, immediate response--and I am sorry, Mom, it might upset you--but my Mom's Dad, my Gradfather, who died when I was too young.

5. What would you talk about?
Horses and the importance of living a clear life.

6. Have you ever won anything? If you have, what was it?
Beyond these awards? Yes. I won a poetry contest for Mother's Day when I was nine (?) that was for the local paper. "My Mom means the world to me and I love her a whole lot you see..." I also found a fifty dollar bill on the sidewalk in Central Park once when I was dirt poor and it felt like winning the lottery. I was so excited that I cried!

7. Do you prefer modern or vintage clothes, furniture etc?
By all means vintage and I have since I was fifteen years old--in a time and place where it wasn't considered in the least chic to do so. One favorite store was next to a strip joint! But the cuts, the colors, the materials gave me immediate access to glamour and to a level of self-expression that I could never have found where I was otherwise. And yes, vintage is the new green. 

8. What one event will forever remain etched in your  memory?
As everyone who knows me well can tell you, I have a terrible memory. I do. Too many years of insomnia have sneaky-thiefed my thoughts. But two that come to mind: opening my acceptance letter to the Yale School of Drama and seeing one tear fall on the spotting the lions while on safari on my 35th birthday after having successfully helped Remi produce an ad for Apple.

9. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take one book, which one would it be?
Again! Loree! Have you no shame? And I offer not even an original response--either the collected works of Shakespeare or the Bronte Sisters. The Sisters would probably win out.

10. What is your favourite musical genre?
Of all time? I would have to say that jazz has been a great constant in my life. But I am open...

11. Can you ride a bicycle?
I certainly have in the past. My first bike was pink and was called "Hearts a bustin'." I love that. 

Now, I will just pass this award on to a few folks that I KNOW that I haven't already given it to (see answer to #8). Usually the rules for this award go a little something like this: say eleven things about yourself, ask eleven questions and nominate eleven bloggers to answer them, notify them, yadda yadda.
I am just going to list a few new finds and if they want to pick up the ball I have so clearly dropped, by all means feel free!

My Liebsterites:
Naomi at Coulda Shoulda Woulda for being an inquisitive nomad, like yours truly.
Vickie at Beguiling Hollywood because I don't know how I have lived without my daily dose of Old Hollywood for so long.
George at 1904 for being a brilliant and charming cultural reference and host.
Lisa at Wishbone Soup Cures Everything for blowing me away with her gorgeous writing every single post.

There we go! Take or leave it kids...and have a grand day everyone...

Back with the "By Invitation Only" monthly post tomorrowish...


  1. Jane Eyre is nice choice for someone to identify with: resilient, self reliant, noble, intelligent and kind.

    1. I also appreciate that she lets herself dream, is a hopeless romantic but yet is very grounded. Thank you, Mr. Laoch.

    2. What a lovely exchange.

      Heather, I love that you a) mentioned 'horses' before 'living a clear life,' horse before the cart ;) and b) that you have planted flowers in what formerly contained mint chocolate chip ice cream.

    3. I was waiting for someone to notice that! But I can't take credit. And to top it off the container was sitting on top of the electricity counter for a fancy building. Love that. And that the white flowers look like fried eggs. :)

  2. I always love learning about blog writers, how nice to see some of your favorites are also mine.

    By the way, I could almost see those beautiful little girls running down the street and the older lady catching them. Thanks for sharing.


    1. It was so simple and yet so touching. And do you know Lisa at Wishbone Soup Cures Everything? I think that you would appreciate her writing...

  3. the free spirit of being young and the fullness of spirit in being old
    understanding when the meanings meet
    bursting into a song

    1. Yes, it really was that. The moment sang. It did for me at least. Merci, Edgar for your perspective.

  4. I quite enjoyed this interview!

    But now I am afraid I will be rather dull now. Those questions were tougher than Barbara Walters would have asked hehe

    But this is so exciting!
    Thank you Heather, meanwhile I will await your instructions...:)

    1. Bah, you can do what you want, sweetiepea. If you want to take up the award, you can do what you want with it--I certainly did! Hehe. Neither of us are particularly keen on rules, methinks...

  5. Thanks for playing along Heather. Your answers made me smile. It's so nice to get to know you a bit better. Jane Eyre sounds so dramatic but she was a strong woman and I can see why you identify with her. I love that first photo so, so much. Have a lovely week.
    PS I never thought of Malta as being exotic.

    1. It is Loree! So much history crammed into such a small place that is pulled between Baroque European and the blaze of Africa. I love it and you have made me want to visit sooo much.
      Wishing you a lovely week as well...

  6. Well, I agree with Heather,i too think of Malta as exotic!I will tune in for certain!
    You made my day!No, wrong my month!I feel like a super star being mentioned on your BLOG!YOu are the celebrity and I am one of your fans!I cannot THANK you enough Heather!I'm skipping around like those two little girls,with squeals of delight!Texting all my BUDS to say go look at this BLOG.So, fun to me cause I stopped at a photographers today to say lets do a new shoot in the garden I need to update that CONTESSA photo feeding the chickens!Then there you are a few hours later linking that photo to your site!How fun is that??!!MERCI MERCI..........XXXX

    1. Oh I love that photo! Are you really going to change it?! It is so you. And I am so grateful for all of the kindness and support you have shown me from the BEGINNING. I don't know how you found Lost in Arles but I am so glad that you did!!!

      PS. And you will swoon over Loree's photos of Malta--she has another blog, "snapshots of an island" which is just gorgeous...


    2. I cannot re-call how I found you but you were one of my FIRST BLOGS to follow!I think it was from FRENCH ESSENCE,cause my Australian friend would have told me about her since she had me read her book when I went to visit!So, I must have "clicked" on YOU from the comments.............and reading that you were an AMERICAN in FRANCE you would have me right THERE!Your writing and your photos grabbed me and I have NEVER left!
      I will keep that photo as I do love it but just add too it if I can come up with something to "feature".I must dive into that closet today and see what speaks to me!Perhaps, that blue velvet coat I shared with you so long ago!
      Thank you.............I really do need to come for a visit and meet you.I must make that happen!

    3. I want to go back and see how long you have been here, Contessa. I think it was from the very beginning! You have been a good friend. :)

      And you know how I love that blue velvet coat!! Yes!

  7. I loved the way you described the small children running to the elderly woman. It played out in my head like a delightful film clip and stuck with me all morning... Did you ever ask your mother what she was doing in the kitchen during your first memory? I'd sure like to know what she was up to at the time.

    1. Oh of course my first memory would be food/cooking oriented. ;) Although it was a hot day, so maybe she was just getting a cool drink...?

      And I am glad you appreciated that little moment as much as I did. It was so lovely, I had to share it. There was another moment just after--the Dad put one of the girls up on his shoulders and his friend the other, the girls were giggling all the while, the friend was out ahead a little bit and the tiny girl reached her hand back towards her Sister, calling her name...

  8. As always, your words are delicious. And that image of the shutters is amazing. It's as though they are winged windows and one has the sensation of taking flight. Stunning photograph, Heather!


    1. Oh I love that! Winged windows...lovely. The light was so gorgeous--that was taken on my way to the Fete de Gardians. :)

  9. I think I would cry too if I found €50/ $50 on the sidewalk!


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