Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Paris with my sister

A couple of weekends ago, on a fiercely sunny weekend that was sandwiched in between two weeks of rain, my sister and I escaped to Paris. There is so much to say...but perhaps photos convey it I will (try to) say little:

My sister, Laura, had written down the questions from the Proust Questionnaire and our Eurostar journey was absorbed by sharing our answers and forgetting to notice when we went through the tunnel.

This week an enormous, fuchsia-pink photo album arrived for me: a gift from my sister. She had collated our photos from Paris and interspersed them with our answers to the Proust Questionnaire, written up neatly in sparkly pen. I love that she placed this photo of the a Parisian street name reading 'Road of the Bad Boys' next to my wish to be more reckless.

We travelled lightly and I took only this bag that I'd made the week before. I had made a couple of potential Paris bags, but this was the only one that was both voluminous and that I liked well enough to accompany me.

It fits over the shoulder like a piece of clothing rather than a bag. I am in love with this fabric - it is so hard-wearing and crisp.

But enough of bags. Paris: there was of course a visit to Laduree fitted in. Their window was beautiful and choosing just one cake was painful.

These are the tired donkeys that carried small children around one of the parks in the hot sun as we watched from a distance, eating our cakes.

The boxes...the was all so lovely.

We forgot to pick up any implements to eat them with, and so the little labels on the tops of the cakes became our miniature spoons, and we ate them messily, laughing a lot: a race against the cakes melting and the 'spoons' disintegrating. This is pictured in the album below and placed next to the Proust question: What quality do you most appreciate in friends - we had both given the same answer - an appetite for fun...Laura had later added 'and chocolate'. Quite.

We did other things aside from eating cake...we wandered (this is my sister wandering):

We went to a flea market early on Sunday morning

We went to a fabric shop that my friend Jenny had told me was dreamy.

We ate the most delicious salads that I've ever tasted looking out onto this garden:

We saw this Fiat 500 that seemed to have been placed especially for being photographed next to. This, and a Nissan Figaro are my favourite cars of all time.

We tried on clothes:

And then wandered around some more:

We visited impossibly expensive boutiques full of lovely things that are laid out like part of an art installation.

We sat in parks, and beside water fountains...and sheepishly went on this merry-go-round:

But not that sheepishly...for it was too much fun

And happily soaked up all that is Paris.

This was the first time for nine years that I had left the country...or left my children to go on holiday without them. I thought I would be sad and miss them horribly...I did miss them, but not horribly and we spoke on the phone. I felt deliciously happy to be away with my sister in the warm sunshine, somewhere so completely lovely. So many memories for the memory pot...and now all sorted nicely into one place for me by my sister. I'm much happier knowing that none of them will now be allowed to trickle away through the memory net. The photo album arrived with this amazing card.

The tiny lettering reads: always having fun - real fun - the sort that bubbles up inside you because you're young and happy and a bit silly. I love this piglet and his sentiments (even though, having been recently told I'm now one third of the way to 100, I no longer feel that 'young' is something that describes me).


  1. Ahhhh a most beautiful post. I had to read it twice. I feel as if I've had a little holiday myself now, Thank you. Love, Amanda xxx

  2. What a gorgeous trip! The photos and your words are just lovely.

    And what a treat to get to spend time with your sister, just the two of you. My sisters and I are always surrounded by other family members when we're together...maybe we should plan a trip too x

  3. Lovely lovely post Florence. sigh ... :)

  4. Just lovely, Florence and it describes how I felt when I recently slipped away to Ghent with my eldest daughter. A perfect time with the worst part of the 'missing' happening in the build up to leaving! x

  5. c'est bon, n'est pas?

    oh I want to go back to Paris now.

  6. Ssshhh but this is my plan in a year or so for my sisters birthday present...
    Love Paris!

  7. What a lovely time you had - great photos. Really cheered me up on a grey wet day here!

  8. Young is a frame of mind -- and I would say you're beautifully youthful :)

  9. Oh, I adore Paris. I think I could take your trip in a heartbeat. (Although I was almost distracted away from the blog for too long reading the Proust questions - I may need to fill them out too!)

  10. I love to see pictures of Paris .i'm glad to see that you enjoyed it yet i live south of Paris and hardly don't go anymore..i used to once a week,too much traffic jam and we 've the same shops as every where lots of small shops closed ,like to find material 's become difficult.Y.S

  11. sounds like heaven! what a lovely memory

  12. What a wonderful time you 2 girls look like you had.. The post was wonderfully detailed it felt like I was walking there beside you guys..

    Thank you so much for sharing xx

  13. Ah, I feel as though I have eaten that delectible cake along with you - what a beautiful report on your time in Paris. How fortunate you are to have a sister to share it with. Thanks for bringing back the happy memories Tony and I had last September in Paris. And thanks for reminding me that I'm a little more than two-thirds on my way to 100!

  14. A lovely post Florence. I love spending time with my sister too, it is always far too hectic though, what with 3 under 6 years and one one the way (hers not mine).
    Also, thanks for pointing your sister in my direction. I'm glad you like my pinnies, have a pile of gorgeous fabric waiting to be transformed so keep your eye open x

  15. Have never been to Paris - how wonderful it looks! How nice to get away for a few days with your sister. Your photo's are lovely. I did sit up and peer at your new bag too, it looks a perfect size for lots of things. I bet the teacakes gave you a special big hug when you got home! (It doesn't hurt to be missed just a little bit).

  16. aaaaaaaaaah! lovely paris. My sis, a friend and I went to visit our other friend, who was studying french at the time. It was in October, and just absolutely lovely. beautiful town and a great time with the ladies. when I read your post, I got the feeling that we should repeat that really soon.
    thanks for sharing!

  17. oh, and forgot to mention ... laduree is sooooooooo yummie! we have a shop in Zurich now, luckily it is not on my way to work ;)

  18. That looks like the proper way to see Paris. I went there with a boyfriend, um, over a decade ago. Good grief. We spent our time looking at the famous buildings, but I think that we'd have been better off exploring.

  19. Lovely post. I too love Paris, and I love going on hols with my sister. She's such good company and we love the same kind of things. I didn't see the address of the fabric shop. Do tell!

  20. You had a wonderful time! I am heading to Paris in two weeks time (from Downunder!) It has been 30 years since I was there and I am already over half a century! I intend to make memories to last me the next 30 or 50! Suz xxxx

  21. Oh, thank you for this post! I've never been to Paris and I don't have a sister, but your lovely narrative made me long for both in a happy way! So beautiful!

  22. Dear Florence,
    as I read about your trip to Paris I remembered your love for japanese craft books. There’s an address you should keep in mind for future trips to the french capital:
    It’s a japanese library (situated in Paris, of course) that seems to stock a huge range of those lovely books. Unfortunately I have never been there in person but I really think it’s worth a visit! :)

  23. Gosh, thank you so much for all your lovely comments!

    Christine, the fabric shop is in a courtyard in the Marais and can be found here:

    Bprinz - that is a shockingly good link! And I'm now wanting to go back tomorrow especially to visit it. Have you used their mail order service?

    Thank you so much for all your lovely comments on this post. x

  24. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I think it is important for Moms to do things for themselves so that their children come to realize that Mom is a person not only a mother. I am a mother of 3 boys and step mother of 3 girls and have always found that I can be more present for the children if I take care of myself too.


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