Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Postcards from the Lake: The Beach, The Cherries, The Books, The Storm

There were bunnies in the sky at the lake this past week! Just another nice sunset!

But a few hours later the windows were rattling as a big storm came in. It really wasn't that late when I took this photo -- but the sky and lightning flares sure made it look that way!

The porch was a mess the next day as water blew with what I called "gale force" winds. They probably weren't, but it sure felt like it at the time!

It's been a productive week here at the lake since Rick left -- he's back for the weekend, yay! I managed to tackle cleaning the dreaded utility room and three trash bags and two Goodwill bags later it's looking much better.  Meanwhile, while I was working outside, my kind neighbor was doing this and later came back to rototill what he couldn't get with his tractor.

It's looking much better!

I had a few good swims, going longer and farther each time, and have been enjoying time to read, since there's no telly or internet at the cottage this summer. I finished the wonderful new Maisie Dobbs book (this British-set mystery series is one of my favorites.)

Then onto two very different books. The first, "The Swerve," by Stephen Greenblatt, tells the true story of how an ancient document was discovered that revealed the concept of atoms making up all matter. This was in the BC period and the manuscript was rediscovered in the 1400s.  Fascinating in many ways. This is not an easy "whip right through it" book but it delivers and is well worth the time spent.

I'm also enjoying a wonderful book about Avebury Manor in England and it's restoration, thanks to the BBC and National Trust. It's a wonderful story of saving a beautiful property and restoring it to the various periods in which people lived there. The rooms are furnished in several of the periods that people resided in the manor so one goes through the Tudor Period with the Tudor Great Hall, "Queen Anne's" bedroom, to the Neoclassic, then Victorian and finally art deco/20s-30s. The photos and text on how they accurately created reproductions down to textiles and wallpapers as well as furniture is fascinating for one who loves old houses and Brit history as much as I do!

And there are a few others on the shelf for times to come.

I've been painting as often as possible as part of World Watercolor Month. This one isn't quite done, I think. It's a scene from Paris.

And we've been eating cherries!

July is cherry season in Northern Michigan. And you grab and savor these babies while you can.

Meanwhile, we've been doing some swimming and some relaxing. (I've been doing the swimming; you can see who best relaxes.)

I leave you with another lake sunset, shortly before the storm.

They never cease to amaze me.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Paris In July: Modern and Traditional

In so many ways, Paris, the City of Lights, is one of the most traditional cities in the world. It maintains its old world charm amidst the bustle of contemporary life.

But there are contrasts if you look for them. Take the Metro signs, for example.  These are the classic art nouveau-style signs designed by or based on designs by Hector Guimard, who worked between 1900 and 1913. His work ussed glass and cast iron and lettering in the Art Nouveau style. The one below is at Abbesses.

The lettering is exquisite.

I confess, I love these and this style most of all!

Many of these are long gone but those that remain are considered protected historical monuments.

The Guimard style was used but in simpler formats at other sites.

In th 1920s, the Val d'Osne variant came into being. Named after an iron foundary, this one, located not far from Les Invalides, has the globe surrounded by an ornate cast-iron frieze.

These days, the signs are a mish mash of the classical and contemporary such as this one.

But don't stop there! There are loads of Metro signs so the best thing to do is consult your map and head to the location and look for either the letter "M" or the word "Metro."

Yes, you will see cars and scooters galore in Paris. And many are very small!

Smart cars may not provide a lot of room, but it makes parking much easier!

On the other hand, you can go the traditional way. This fellow was cycling around the Arc du Triumphe. Which, I might add, took guts!

 Architecture? It doesn't take much looking about in Paris to go traditional. There is the Opera Garnier (the Paris Opera House)...

The inside is as dazzling and traditional as one can get!

But go modern, too! The Institute Arabe Monde is a fascinating building with elements that change in front of your eyes, based on the light.

The Pompidou houses contemporary art with its mechanical workings on the outside of the building rather than the inside.

In front of the Pompidou, check out The Stravinsky Fountain. But for the more traditional, visit the classic St. Merri, which you can see here in the background.

And art? There are the traditional museums, like the Louvre.

Here you can check out all the classics...

...if you can handle the crowds!

 Or be part of the art with the installations at the Atelier des Lumieres.

These photos are from the Klimt production but the current program is Van Gogh (through December, 2019). Highly recommended. The art swirls around you, on the floor, the walls and on the faces of the visitors, all with a beautiful musical score.

I found it breathtaking.

Paris is as contemporary as today's news stories...

...and as traditional as you like it.

Fortunately, some things never change. The Seine will continue to cut through the city, dividing the left and right banks.

Children will continue to sail their boats in the ponds of the Tuileries and Jardin du Luxembourg (here).

 And at the end of a long day (or maybe even before!) a glass of wine will be waiting.

This post is part of Paris in July, a month long blogging event featuring books, film, food, travel and all things French!

Check out Tamara's site here for the most current links!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Postcards from the Lake: Turning One

We had quite an eventful Saturday on our first full weekend at the lake. Not only did we have the Fourth of July fireworks and cousin Bonnie's birthday celebration but we celebrated another birthday, too!

Our Little Little Guy turned one. Well, actually, he turned one this week but they were passing through so it was a good time to celebrate!

We had some time in the sand and some time playing!

And there were loads of smiles.

Of course, there was cake. "Happy Cake" as his brother called it.

And his brother had such fun blowing out the candle, we did it five times!

A present, of course. But the packaging was more fun.

Little Big Guy got more into the present than the birthday boy!

But there was lots of love going on!

Even if it wasn't particularly appreciated!

 We had to nab a photo or two of us with the birthday boy!

All very happy!

I think one could say that we all...

...had a ball!

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