Monday, January 28, 2013

It's déjà-vu...

...all over again, as Yogi B. would say. Did we just take a long nap, or have we really been gone six months? It feels as though we never left. On the other hand, it is January, not June and it has been f-r-e-e-z-ing cold. We missed the big snow by just a few days, when the bassin at the Luxembourg Gardens looked like this.

Even without the snow, though, the temperatures have been hovering around the zero degree centigrade mark. The normally packed, bustling rue Montorgeuil has been nearly empty, save for a great selection of long fur coats, and pretty furry hair in this instance!

Brave, hardy hyacinth bulbs look small and lonely outside the florist, waiting for the mercury to rise and push those blossoms out.

Happily, the usual indoor January traditions continue, including our neighbor's annual "galette fête"...

...where, this year, it was little Gisèle who found the treasure in the galette and was crowned "Queen for the Day".

For the most part, the freezing weather has kept us house-bound, although I did manage a quick walk to our nearby Passage du Grand Cerf, with its soaring vaulted glass roof and bright red carpeting. Here, I was glad to see the familiar boutiques...

...the ethnic art gallery with its striking displays of figurines and carved animals...

...and the Indian antique market with its bowl of brightly painted knobs.

I was surprised, though, to find that the former ladies lingerie shop has been replaced with a gentlemen's underwear shop, displaying singularly traditional, not very exciting offerings!

Happily at the far end of the Passage the Lil Weasel shop is still in business, with its floor to ceiling cubbies of beautiful wool, as well as racks of embroidery silks, fabrics and other haberdashery goods. I quickly bought some Debbie Bliss cashmerino to begin a garment for a friend's baby -- the perfect activity on these cold winter days!

In our lovely cosy flat, we've been finding places for the various new treasures we brought with us, including this jolly rooster, holding my kitchen utensils...

...and these pretty Saxony blue bowls from Dresden.

We have even taken delivery of four boxes of fine wine from our friend Alain's brother's winery!

So, as we plan some outdoor adventures -- a trip to Avignon perhaps in early March -- we will be snug and warm as we wait out the cold snap (and get over our jet lag), watched over by the ever-brooding presence of St. Eustache. It's good to be back.

À bientôt!