The Mistral winds have been blowing strongly for the past three days, something that is unusual bordering on odd for this time of year. We shall see if the Provençal myth that they last three, six or nine days is right after all. And while I have shaken my head disdainfully at that theory in the past, I am secretly wishing it to be true today. I usually take the dust rustled up by them gracefully, knowing that with the wind comes clean swept skies and diamond bright stars. And yet this batch has gotten to me a bit, as they can do - mercifully not making me grumpy - but just a little fuzzy all around.
And so I was especially delighted when my friend Anthony arrived with a surprise gift of not one but two bouquets of one of my very favorite flowers, peonies or les pivoines. Oh, the parfum - so heady with a bit of pepper and smoke. I buried my face into the blooms, inhaled deeply and then passed them over to Anthony to do the same. This back and forth went on for a few minutes while our conversation darted around and in-between. It was nearly a childlike exchange that brought not little joy as did the flowers, a gift I find better than bijoux. There are many reasons that I adore Anthony - he is a fellow redhead (and so is a member of "the family" - other redheads will know what I mean by that), has incredible taste, is funny, charming and kind. But on top of all that, he always has le bon plan pour tout - really, he has the scoop on where to get the best of everything and has shared this secret address for les fleurs, now that I no longer have my flower man* to go to at the Arles market.
By the next day the peonies, one batch white and the other soft pink, had sighed open from their tight-fisted forms. The hearts of the flowers seem protected by a burlesque fan of outer petals. Such a romantic flower with just the right bit of swish. I swirled slowly up the staircase to the top floor to retrieve my camera and then, squinting and breathing low, tried to find the focus that the Mistral had chased away.
*Life is so funny. I knew that I have photographed peonies before for the blog but couldn't remember when, so did a quick search in the "archives". And yes, I had, in one of my favorite posts too - albeit a simple one - about my struggles with memory. Eh oui, the irony...and no, I cannot always blame it on the wind!
It is Memorial Day weekend in the States and I am sending out my deepest gratitude to all of those that have served for their country. As it is also the unofficial beginning of Summer (and can someone please, please tell me how we arrived at this point in the year already?), I want to share with you a very cool playlist that would make a perfect soundtrack! I actually had been thinking of doing a similar post myself but when I saw this article by one of my favorite Parisienne freelance writers, Lisa Czarina Michaud, I knew that her choices, so spot on and including artists that I had never heard of had to take precedence! Turn up the music and enjoy. To give you a taste, here is one of my favorites from the batch. This artist has gone on to achieve a lot of popularity in France right now which makes it all the more interesting that Lisa chose a track from a few years back. I can't stop singing the chorus...so come on, "Soyons les plus beaux"...let's be the most beautiful...
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend wherever you may be and as always, thank you for being here,