|Twisted mound of wire-rimmed glasses|
|Angelic gift wrappers in the Swarovski store window.|
We’ve had tastes of Nice urban life, and the seaside. Today, we had some blissful time to marinate in Provence which means olives, oranges, lavender and country life. We went to the Matisse museum which is a renovated country French chateau that is now very much in the heart of suburbia. So many of his sketches and paintings focus on simple subjects: the form of a common woman, a still life of fruit. I love the colors he pulls in to his paintings as they are the colors I find naturally work their way into the beige background of my life on the Mediterranean.
The spire you see in some of the photos is a Franciscan chapel on the property.
I forget how inspiring and energizing it can be to walk through beautifully designed and manicured urban parks. This 19th century structure is surrounded on one side by an olive forest and the other side by rustically designed French kitchen gardens. That means that most of what is growing on this property is edible. I want to remember to mix pansies and calendulas with chard and kale.
This enclosed herb garden is a perfect place to come and sit in the sun on a Saturday morning with preschoolers.
Next time I come to Provence, I hope to go straight to the country to soak in the sun, earth, Mediterranean plant life and the colors.
Here’s what’s different about the Mediterranean from the French side. First of all, the coastline is long and uninterrupted. When you’re out all day, you don’t just catch glimpses of it, the shoreline is protected from development and you can view it with the expanse of a wide-angle lens most of the time. Second, it looks like the ocean right after God made it. It is baby blue, and effervescent, and perfectly clean. I was trying to capture that essence and I think the heading photo got some of it.
|It’s November and this is Europe. The water is not actually warm.|
Can you imagine writing those five words? I never could either. I did not grow up thinking I would travel anywhere in my life, didn’t really even think about it. Funny reality now is that the French Riviera is a whole lot closer than going to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving, though not necessarily sweeter.