All posts by Berangere Lomont

Versailles in Winter

It was holidays  for three days, and we have been very good tourists with my Uncle Claude and my Aunt Yanick who came from Périgord. Their  dream was to go to Versailles, but we didn’t foresaw the icy wind, so we missed the poetry of the garden in winter with its wrapped sculptures, its empty pools and a fatal good cold … We enjoyed the empty castle.  It seems the more I am going there and the more I am discovering the place.

(click to enlarge)

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The fair of Varaignes

For the first time of my life I went to the annual fair of cocks or turkeys in Varaignes in Périgord which is every 11th of November.

This little village of Périgord is in fact the capital of cocks. Every farmer brings  the most beautiful animals which are lead to the village with guards in traditional suits, members of the “confrérie du dindon”, who meet some others members  of the “confrérie of volailles” ( poultry) in  Licques North of France, they go though the market like stars ( a little festival of Cannes). This fair is very popular, it is true  we forget famine, here begins a giant banquet dressed for at least 700 persons.

The atmosphere was  marvelous, out of time !  I noticed they were selling original clogs, berets and charentaises, some traditional food like kilometers of boudins,  well a little bit trash for Paul.

I thought of my grand-father who was used to go to these fairs and was bringing back food, presents, cloths he could find before we invented the supermarket.

Koons at Versailles by Lomont

For the first time in Europe, Jeff Koons has a big exhibition of his sculptures; he is invited to show them in Chateau de Versailles. A big debate has started between those who find this show cool and funny and the others who shout it is a pure scandal. What do you think ?

(click twice on photos to fully enlarge)

 

The Pope in Paris

Sent today, another hot scoop and visual feast from our intrepid and inspired Parisienne:

We were waiting for the Pope for two days, no cars parked in the street, so many cops around, no shops opened around rue de Poissy …

And suddenly this morning, after canceling an appointment with a printer, and explaining to him that he could never make it to me because of traffic jams and the metro stations being closed, I decided just to live the event : “the pope’s visit”.

I paid a visit to my friends who own the hotel Familia rue des Ecoles just in front of the rue de Poissy. They feel so fine since the grand opening of the College des bernardins; the musicians playing there are staying at the hotel along with many visitors too. They invited me to come to room 53 and photograph.

(click on photos to enlarge)

In the adjoining rooms, my neighbors were also interested in the pope:

Marvelous Sylvie who, with her husband, owns the Familia and Minerva hotels:

The pope arrives but he is so far away. We feel so disappointed.

I went down to street level. If I could just find a little place along the Quai from the college des bernardins to Notre Dame, I imagined it might be my only chance to see the pope.

What a thrill!

Of course, I was new in the crowd and was surprised when everyone began screaming in rhythm “Benedetto…Benedetto!” as they call Benoit XVI. It was a very happy time anyway.

Pope to visit the Collège des Bernardins in Paris

(received yesterday from BB:)

Another great day in the 5th arrondissement. Benoit XVI is going to visit the brand new and restored Collège des Bernardins which just reopened last Thursday on the rue des Bernardins.  The Cistercian college was built in 1245, was a famous place of research, diverted during  the revolution,   became a fire station in the 19è century, and now is returned to research, lectures …

All the cars had to move off the surrounding streets and the shops will be closed. The poor Pope couldn’t bring back “little souvenirs” to his family from the dead 5th arrondissement.

Here are a few photos of the opening, many priests, sponsors and a few catholic ladies, impressive and cold.

(click to see full photos)

Cousins from Aveyron

A little hello from cousin goats from Aveyron; sweet, curious, they answer to their name and come to say hello, cut the grass, give delicious milk for cheese, and also if they are curly like the white angora one on the left, they give wool.  
Do you know the story of “La chèvre de Monsieur Seguin”? Monsieur Seguin’s goat behaves courageously and fights a wolf all night long because she wants to live free.
For this story and more, read “Les lettres de mon moulin” (“Letters from my Mill”) by Alphonse Daudet – delicious tales from Provence.

Fenêtres de ma cuisine (my kitchen window)

Le théâtre de la vie des Génovéfains a repris depuis le 1er Septembre. On s’ennuyait, les immeubles étaient tristes, et les rideaux des fenêtres étaient immobiles.

(The theatre of the inhabitants of Montagne Sainte Geneviève resumed on the 1st of September.  We had been bored; even the buildings were sad, with motionless window curtains) 

Photo du 4 Août
 

Hier soir, les fenêtres s’éclairent et j’attends le scoop, (modérément).

(Yesterday evening, the windows lit up, and I waited for the scoop (in moderation)) 

(photo du 1er Septembre)

Depuis trois jours, 4 policiers gardent discrètement l’entrée du 26 rue de la Montagne Sainte Geneviève, et tout le quartier a repéré le manège, la rumeur laisse entendre que c’est un bandit corse qui est recherché et chacun de fantasmer s’il est meurtrier, voleur, pire…

(For three days, four cops staked out the entrance to 26 rue de la Montagne Sainte Geneviève, but the entire district spotted them. It’s rumored that they’re on the trail of a Corsican villain and everyone imagines he’s a thief, a murderer, or worse.)

Moi, j’ai demandé à l’épicière de me prévenir en cas de “grabuge”, car je ne veux pas rater mon premier scoop.

(As for me, I asked the grocer to alert me if there’s any action, because I didn’t want to miss the scoop.)

La plus frondeuse des voisine s’est adressée à l’un des policiers , car elle avait peur pour ses enfants, et voulait connaître l’ampleur du danger.
La réponse du policier, bien que rassurante, nous a tous déçu : en fait ils s’agirait de deux trafiquants de cartes bleues, ” ceux qui louent au premier étage et ne payent pas leur loyer depuis 6 mois”.

(The most rebellious of my neighbors, concerned for her kids’ safety, spoke with one of the cops, demanding to know if there was real danger. The cop’s response, although comforting, disappointed us all. Evidently, it’s just two ATM card traffickers: “they rented the first floor but haven’t paid for the last six months”.)

Et personne, n’était capable de se souvenir des visages, ni de la silhouettede ces deux petits bandits.

(And no one was able to remember the faces of these two little thieves, nor their allure.)

Aujourd’hui, les policiers sont partis, et moi, j’ai une photo de ma fenêtre de plus.

(Today, the police have gone, and I’ve taken one more photo from my kitchen window.)

– see, “Welcome, Bérangère” below….also, visit BB’s site listed in our blogroll –Jean