Meeting Marta in Paris

Casey and I met Marta in Paris for a one day adventure….it turned out somewhat of a “death march”. We met early morning at a cafe at the hotel de ville, had a coffee, and admired our beautiful little gifts, handmade by Marta.  Marta is as graceful and loving, vibrant and radiant as she comes across on her blog and she is never without her wide, beautiful smile! See some photos.

We then took to the streets. Dropped in at Shakespeare and Company. I cheated here…sketched them from a photo later at home…it is far too small inside and I had far too few hands and far too many books to browse.


Stopped at Sennelier art shop and stepped out just before they locked up for lunch, which put us on the hunt for dejeuner as well. Found a bistrot, took off the scarfs and the gloves, almost started ordering the wine, had a change of mind,  put the gloves and scarves back on and continued the hunt.  After what seemed an eternity, passing the same shop quite a few times, we ended up at the little resto Bergamote, next to the marché of St-Germain.  Warm and cosy, with the best traditional baked baguette, great food, friendly service and a very complicated ladies room, where washing hands rested on the per-chance discovery of a well disguised little knob…

The sunny afternoon brought us to the Jardin du Luxembourg just around the corner, and as we found a spot to do at least a sketch or two, a dark grey cloud was moving in fast. Without warning, the rain came cascading down unforgivingly and  had people stampeding for the nearest shelter, trying to keep their dignity intact. Our California girl calmly took out her umbrella and offered us two “Frenchies” generously a dry spot…

The rain stopped as suddenly as it showed up and the sun took us further on our march, into Le cimetière du Montparnasse. By now, the sun had made way for the approaching evening and it was time for a body warming chocolat chaud. For me, this is the finest hour to be in Paris on a cold, wet winter’s day; the bars are filled with atmosphere, warmth and people meeting up to warm their hands around a hot chocolat chaud, the coats and scarves wrapped around chairs, the garcons  serving up drinks in a chatty mood, the lights outside are playing on the wet streets, people are heading home from work with baguettes under the arms, pinching off a piece of crust every now and then.

The end of a long awaited day.  Crossing Paris on foot, experiencing both bright sunlight and pouring rain, enjoying wine and food and song, sharing stories, painting and writing some memories, saying warm hearted goodbyes with promises for futures that may just happen…Life is a gift.

Sketches done in moleskine with pen and WC.


An urn overflowing with autumn chrysanthemum in Jardin du Luxembourg.


La reine Clotilde, resting on a pillar – Jardin du Luxembourg


Another statue, then the rain came pouring down…