Saturday, May 23, 2015

Better than bijoux



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 fleursnow 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,
Heather




34 comments:

Kerry O'Gorman said...

thats funny that you should write of les fleurs as I just brought home a bunch of roses and photographed the hell out of them for a post on my blog....maybe the mistral winds are blowing the idea of flowers across the sea. I think peonies have got to be the most luscious and romantic of blooms. Beautiful photos and that vase...so lovely!

Splendid Market said...

Heather... I'm hoping the mistrals calm for you. What is it about the wind? It makes me grumpy and fuzzy as well. Your peony shots are outstanding, what beautiful anatomy. Thank you so much for the playlist, I am always looking for French songs to add to my library, in the theory that it is easier to learn French by music, Listening to Soyons les Plus beaux as I write, it will be my soundtrack for the day. Spending the morning gardening (the soil is soft from last nights rain), then heading over to Eastern Washington for dinner tonight, where there is sun. Have a wonderful weekend.

Rainbowsandglories said...

More beautiful photos of flowers, more evidence of your instinctive capture of light & dark...

Rainbowsandglories said...
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swedecollection said...

Your white Peonies are just incredible! I raise red and pink ones but don't have a white one. So beautiful to see your photos.

La Contessa said...

Does that mean YOU SOLD his house for HIM?????I think your blog POST may have HELPED do that!I tried I really did..........but THAT ITALIAN said, "Why would I buy a house I would NEVER see?!!"He does have a point...........I could hardly answer "JUST FOR ME!!"I am feeling like ELEANOR Needing sunshine in my days......we too are having horrible MAY weather here!HUgs to YOU and your beasties.............XOXOXO

Joan McKniff said...

how did you know just what I needed, before I did ? merci, joan

Jennifer Connolly said...

Beautiful! I brought my first peonies of the season home yesterday and am finding myself dragging them from room to room with me! Happy beginning of summer!

Gretel said...

Such beautiful flowers...just love your photos!! Enjoy the blowing away of the winter cobwebs! ;-)

Unknown said...

On Mother's Day, Scott brought me three bouquets of peonies (one from Johnny, one from Emma and one from Scott), plus some calla lilies from Henry and Bob, and I have been enjoying their changing shapes and colors ever since. Now, as it is time to recycle the peonies, I will call up your superb photographs for my daily peony fix. Thank you, Leslie in Oregon. P.S. I am a redhead too (auburn, although my temples are beginning to grey)!

silkannthreades said...

Perfect music to accompany your perfect peony photos. Love them.

Heather Robinson said...

You have some really gorgeous photos on your site, Kerry! Yes, it is the time for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere to bring in the flowers!

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you, Emily and to you the same! I hope that you were able to enjoy a bit of sun. The Mistral is still blowing!!! Everyone in the village is starting to complain that it is lasting so long, not only me.

Even though I have lived here for quite some time, it is only recently that I am starting to understand the lyrics in French music enough to appreciate them - and there is so much that is fantastic! Another good song for Summer that you might want to add to your library is Julien Doré's "Paris-Seychelles".

Heather Robinson said...

Can't have one without the other ;) Thank you...

Heather Robinson said...

The whites are so gorgeous! But they have opened so quickly!! Too quickly...how much better to raise them as you do. :)

Heather Robinson said...

Ben is right beside me and Kip is at my feet! They are both sleeping so I will give the hugs when they are awake! And no, the bouquets were "just because" - but I was wondering if someone was going to ask that!
xoxo Much Love to you...

Heather Robinson said...

I wish that I could send some of them to you, Joan. The house smells so wonderful!

Heather Robinson said...

Yes! I couldn't stop hugging mine. :) Happy beginning of summer to you too Jennifer!

Heather Robinson said...

Ahhhh, beautifully put Gretel! I will...

Heather Robinson said...

What?! I should have known. :) But of course now I want a photo! And yes, time marches on us, doesn't it? I have huge white swaths amidst the red these days. They are my "highlights". ;)

Heather Robinson said...

Oh good - glad you liked that. I always enjoy the music that you include too, G.

mademoisella coquine. said...

The flowers "sighed" open...I just love that.

I totally get the redhead "Family" reference you mention. While I'm not one, my cousin is a proud redhead and she once saw Juliane Moore at a restaurant in NYC and the two of them just started chatting up as if they knew each other. It was like by magnetic force that they had to stop and chat. It was the bond of the rouqines!

And than you for sharing the playlist! I'm glad you are enjoying it! This François and the Atlas Mountains track really is so beautiful. It gets me every time I listen to it. It's just so dreamy and sweet. It sounds like spring...

Loree said...

I don't think I've ever seen a real peony. I have a feeling that they do not grow here. They are such lovely flowers. Enjoy the wind. It drives the fuzzy heat away.

Jackie Clark Mancuso said...

My favorite flowers too. Thanks for the playlist. I first listened in the afternoon, then put it on again to make dinner. Then we moved on to Brassens, singing along to Si, par hasard, Sur le pont des arts…. A happy evening.

Judith Ross said...

Hey, me too! I'm part of the club as is Leslie's handsome son. My peonies are in the gumball stage. When they open they will turn into white dust mops with pink veins.

simpleimages2 said...

"one batch white and the other soft pink,” so beautiful and enough to banish a feeling of sadness or painful hours.

Tracy Wood said...

Oh Heather, lucky you. I never seem to be able to buy white peonies here, my flower guy only ever has pink ones. All are gorgeous of course, and I love watching them unfurl into a big fluffy ball.They come and go so quickly, enjoy them while they last.
xxTracy

T said...

Love love love the peonie pics! I cannot seem to see/find the playlist? Enjoyed the clip you included.... :)

Heather Robinson said...

T, you should be able to find the playlist at the end of the article:

http://hipparis.com/2015/05/15/the-perfect-french-playlist-for-springtime-in-paris/

Glad you liked the song! I find it so lovely...

Heather Robinson said...

I am so glad that you chose that particular track as I never would have heard it otherwise and LOVE it.

And yes to the Julianne Moore story! That absolutely makes sense to me...we do have a special bond. :)

Heather Robinson said...

They are gorgeous flowers, Loree. I would send you a bunch if I could...

Heather Robinson said...

We don't listen to enough French music in our household! It is probably my fault as I am most often the dj but I need to change that...

Heather Robinson said...

A true and immediate balm to the spirit, Edgar.

Heather Robinson said...

The white ones went the quickest, Tracy! But oh the scent...