Sunday, March 14, 2010

Of Blog Encounters and Souvenirs . . .

Going back right about a year ago, at the end of March 2009, one of the very first blogs I chanced upon that really thoroughly captivated me by the wonderful photography work being exposed therein was out in India, hosted by Loulou, with the catchy title of Indiaphragme. We both started our blogs in the Fall of 2008, and for both of us it took several months, well into 2009, before anyone at all in the way of visitors started coming around from time to time, and leaving comments. Her lovely blog has continued to thrive since then; almost without fail a new photo is posted every day, and the quality of her work is simply sublime. I would strongly encourage anyone who enjoys photography to go clear back to the beginning of her blog, and look at all the photos in it, there are many hidden splendors there.
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In June of 2009, I had the incredibly good fortune to meet Loulou in person, when she had flown back to Paris for the start of a few weeks of vacation back in her native France. We had agreed upon a rendez-vous in the Tuilleries Gardens near la Place de la Concorde, and spent a couple of hours just getting acquainted over some cool drinks while our kids, two of hers and one of mine, were running around, and then strolling in in the gardens. All I can say is, what a great pleasure it was to meet someone, a talented photographer and lovely and generous lady, who were it not for the networking power of the blogosphere, in all likelihood I would never have met or even known of. So here's to the universe of blogging . . . and may you all blog on !
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This first photo is one that Loulou sent me, one that she took of herself in a mirrored part of a merry-go-round in the gardens. For a long while I despaired of ever being allowed to publish a photo of her in these pages, she had requested that I not do so before we parted that day back in June. I feared that she would wish to remain hidden, as she is in this photo. But after last week's meeting with the web master of Spit & Baling Wire, documented just a couple of posts down here, I raised the question again to Loulou, beseeching her to allow me to do a bit of promotion for Indiaphragme again in these pages, with a portrait of her portrayed as well . . . and this time she very kindly relented . . .
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So, at long last, nearly nine months after our meeting in the Tuilleries in Paris, here is a small portrait of Loulou taken that warm June afternoon . . . Charm and grace personified . . .
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There was also a charming expanse of lavender planted in one corner of the Tuilleries, near the Jeu de Paume, bringing rich colors and sweet smells to further bewitch our senses . . .
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After Loulou and her children took leave of us, with la Grenouille and one of our daughters we continued our exploration of les Tuilleries, visiting the small amusement park which is an extension of one of the wings of the Louvre Museum, where a large Ferris wheel, la Grande Roue, spins in eternal circles, from the top of which one has a surprisingly good view of surrounding Paris . . .
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Quite a giant slide is part of the equipment there . . .
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Strange wildlife can also be observed if one sneaks up carefully . . .
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And colorful decorations . . .
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Loulou was not the only lovely lady visiting the Tuilleries that day, though by far the most graceful . . . As we returned to la Place de la Concorde, a fashion oriented photo shoot was in progress, which many passers by also stopped to observe. Apparently work from this shooting session appeared in Elle magazine back last Fall. There were assistants standing behind the photographer here holding large mirrors, using them to reflect sunlight onto the model's face. No wonder her eyes are shut, she must have been half blinded, but it looked like all involved in the job were having a good time. Taking photographs and getting paid for it ; good work if you can get it I guess . . .
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And so Loulou will not feel quite so all alone about appearing in public in this post, here is a photo that she took of me that day, Mr. Toad, while I was getting ready to shoot some photos of the kids playing on a jungle gym there in the park . . .
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And what a day it was ! Fine souvenirs from Paris . . . Some folks take home Eiffel Tower key chains or red Paris hearts, but I took home something far richer : memories of a blog inspired meeting . . . which I'm not likely to soon forget . . . Merci Loulou ! A bientôt j'espère ! Vive Indiaphragme !
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40 comments:

Nadege said...

It is wonderful to "meet" both of you. Blogging is pretty amazing. When I get homesick, all I have to do is read my favorite french blogs and enjoy the pictures. For few minutes, everyday, I am in France, or India, Australia...

The Sagittarian said...

Yup, the blog o'sphere has been a wonderful meeting place. I have been very lucky to meet you and a few others thru this medium. I love visiting here, and have already talked to you about the twist of fate that got me here - you are right, if you had been a Joe or a "Flying Eagle" or anything but an Owen I may not have visited and would be all the poorer for not having 'met' you. Have a lovely day, Big Bro. (Yes, I have decided to take the title of youngest)

Deidre said...

This is lovely! I have yet to meet a bloggy friend in person, but I look forward to the moment when I do.

The photos are lovely! and it sounds like a fantastic day!

Viva la blogosphere!

ρομπερτ said...

What a great joy to see these photographies, meeting finally the face behind this magical lamp, providing light across the whole globe, so it seems.

Please have you all a wonderful start into the new week.

AmyR said...

It sounds like a perfectly enchanting day. The internet brings us together in many ways, and it sounds like you had a delightful day.

I always enjoy seeing the faces behind the camera. Nice to meet both of you.

Ann said...

she is so very pretty...I'm going to go visit her blog...
love the photos...the ferris wheel is so interesting with it's seating,i've never seen one like that before. I have so enjoyed my trip via your fabulous photos!!
My favorite...seeing the man who takes us all on such awesome journeys through his eyes!

desi said...

Wow, this is awesome Owen!! :)
and Loulou is really graceful lady!

Heehee, as fun to meet Mr Toad too, eventually!! :)

Have a fantastic day!!

desi

K'line Bloom said...

Hello Owen,
This is a very nice and kind tribute to our talented Loulou. Thank you for sharing this moment with all of us. I can imagine her blushing reading this post, however she should not, as you have only portraited her right.
Cheers,
K'line

Arnaud said...

At least, I know what Mr Toad looks like, now... :-)
But really really surprised Loulou agreed to have her picture published.
What did you do to convince her ? What is your secret ?

Steve said...

Ah, you both have such je ne sais quoi...!

Titane333 said...

The photos are lovely but how do you do to have so great photo on your blog ? I have an email adress on my blog, perhaps have an idea to help me ?

French Fancy said...

Oh it's great to see a photo of you, Owen - and of course of Loulou. I hope one day during a Paris trip to be able to meet up with you as well

Loulou said...

So dear Owen,
Thank you. It is so nice to see tour portrait, should I say your... profile? ;-)
The portrait you made of me is far too much needless to say!
As you can see nobody can resist you, I finally accepted! ;-)

It is really a strong message to encourage people/bloggers to meet whenever it is possible.
You'll be surprised. You'll be disappointed. You'll be charmed. No matter. Someting TRUE will happen.

Wish you lots of happiness. I am happy the magic lantern show has so much success, it is definitely due to your generosity, which has no limit.

Take care
Bises
Loulou

louciao said...

"Time it was,
and what a time it was,
it was
A time of innocence,
a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be,
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories,
they're all that's left you"


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOR6p1o2hPI

TechnoBabe said...

This is a very nice post. Of course there are great pictures which is what we all look for on your blog. And the added bonus of the story of blog friends meeting with children at a park and getting to know each other in person. The pictures of each of you are exactly what I would expect to see. Very nice.

Rain said...

Very nice to see you and Loulou!
:)
Great photos Owen, my gosh that ferris wheel looks scary!

BLOGitse said...

Nice to see you and Loulou, merci!

Greetings from Casablanca, Morocco where we visited at the weekend.

Au revoir!
Yes, we started studying French! :)

BLOGitse

Dedene said...

That was a lovely post and so much fun to see you both. What fun to be able to meet another blogger.

K'line Bloom said...

Owen,
It was nice also to "see" you through this post.
I hope that one day, we will have the opportunity to meet each other in the "real life", certainly in Paris as I have the chance to go there sometimes to visit my family (I must confess that I was not born in L... but 12 km over Notre Dame, near the Marne river. I'll keep you posted...;-))
xxx
K'line

Nevine said...

Owen, before you bonk me over the head... I have to apologize. I've been out of the sphere the past few days. Work was overkill last week, and... well... excuses, but real ones. I hope you will forgive? You know I never like to miss any of your posts.

And now, these photos are priceless. And what a generous spirit you are! You're so kind to share what others do, and that is probably one of the reasons your "Magic" is spreading like wildfire. And your last photo brought back childhood memories, from the days when I used to visit Paris with my parents and they would buy all kinds of souvenirs to take back as gifts for friends and colleagues. I digress...

I will be coming to visit more often, Owen, I promise. I have the week off of work, and I'm reveling in that... though I'm sitting here sweating the fact that my Monday is already over, and tomorrow will be Tuesday already. I digress again...

I will be around. I will be...

Nevine

Owen said...

Hi Nadege, glad to be able to bring a little glimpse of France to your doorstep from time to time...

So, I'm curious, when is "Not Yet" going to turn into, "OK, here we go" ?

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Dear Saj,
Now how does that work ??? You've just decided to be youngest now ??? I sort of liked twin-hood... and what if I want to be younger again someday too ? And does our big Sis have anything to say about all that before it becomes a done deal ???
:-)
But yeah, these chance meetings never cease to amaze me. Now... is it time for a tipple yet ??? I'm thirsty by golly...

Owen said...

Hi Deirdre, well, there are so many bloggers out there, at least three quarters of the planet by now, one day you are bound to meet a blogger friend, even if just by chance at the post office...

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Ah Robert, you are too kind by far...

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Hi Amy, well, you've shared some portraits of yourself along the way, I figured it was about time to put a face on in public... although, in fact, way back deep in the dim dark mists of the early posts, there was already a picture of me... would be hard to find though in the hundreds of posts back there... good luck if you decide to go looking for it !

Owen said...

Hi Ann,
I hope you enjoyed her blog if you did indeed head over there... it's a trip... a trip and a half in fact...

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Hi Desi, THANKS !

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Bonjour K'line ! Well, I hope she didn't blush too much... maybe that's why here photo today was so rosy pink ?? :-)

Owen said...

Hi Arnaud !
If secrets were revealed they would no longer be secrets, eh ?
:-)

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Dear Steve, je ne sais quoi... hmmm, that could mean just about anything...
:-]

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Hi Titane,
I've sent you an e-mail to the address on your blog, I did a blog post about making blog pictures bigger back about a year ago, it can be found here :

http://magiclanternshowen.blogspot.com/2009/04/technical-interlude-bigger-blog.html

Hope you can make it work for you...

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Dear FF, that would be fun... maybe when things warm up just a bit more ? A bientôt...

Owen said...

Ah Chère Loulou;
About meeting fellow blogger friends, as you said :

"You'll be surprised. You'll be disappointed. You'll be charmed. No matter. Someting TRUE will happen."

You are so right... there's no telling what may happen, but something TRUE will indeed take place, I'm so happy we had a chance to meet, and would be equally thrilled were it to happen again, maybe with K'line and Jeff and Arnaud and some others, we'll just have to have a big blog party... I know, I'm a dreamer...
:-)
Thanks though, ever so much, for allowing a small portrait to be published here... a small portrait but a big privilege...

Namasté !

Owen said...

Ah Lynne, Funny, I was just playing some S & G songs for la Grenouille on the old guitar this evening... then saw this... synchronicity strikes again !

Indeed... preserve your memories... that's why we blog I think...

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Hi TechnoB, Glad you enjoyed... loved your story which I read today about the little girl's relief...

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Hi Rain, I guess when it comes to Ferris wheels sometimes one just has to have faith that they won't come crashing down. Haven't heard of that happening yet... touch wood...

Virginia said...

My dear Owen, what a wonderful, wonderful post you have for us this day. I have loved meeting your friend Loulou and hope to visit her blog soon. Nice that the two of you were able to meet and have your children get to know each other as well.

Lovely portraits of you both. IT's nice seeing our blog friends and especially in person. As you know I have met some very dear friends in Paris and elsewhere. It makes blogging even more fun!

Now when I read your posts, I will be able to really picture you! Merci.

On my next visit, and oh yes, I pray there will be another visit to Paris in my future,,,,near future, I hope we can also meet. Tuileries is a very special place for me in Paris . Maybe there!

V

Owen said...

Hi Blogitse ! Wow, off to Morocco ? Sounds wonderful...

If you should happen to see this, could you please send me again an e-mail with what you had proposed there a little while back ? I'm afraid I've lost the first message which came I think shortly before I was leaving on vacation, but if you could please send again ?

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Hi Dedene ! Indeed, it was wonderful fun... hope all is well with you...

======

K'line Bis,
Would be wonderful, please do drop me an e-mail if you will be coming to Paris ! I work sort of crazy hours, but if it is humanly possible... so, you were almost born a parisienne... but if born on the Marne, does that make you a Mar-sienne ? I'm thinking of those books about Venus and Mars, perhaps you've seen them ?
:-)
A bientôt j'espère...

Owen said...

Ah Nevine, there you are... absolutely no need to apologize, absolutely not... you know, I am so happy that people stop in here sometimes, with all the incredible demands there are on folks time these days, it's a wonder anyone gets out at all anymore to do anything... so anyway, I'm happy if you stop by even once a month, just the thought that you might stop by is already a pleasure... really...

Now what's this about the Magic spreading like wildfire ? ? ? Maybe you know something I don't ? Well, you help keep the hope alive that someday it may spread like wildfire... well, hmm, don't know if that would be a good thing or not, it might mean I'd have less time than I do at present to visit fabulous blogs like yours... I think things are pretty good just as they are...

So, no bonks on the head, perish the thought, and whenever you can make it, the tea kettle is on, or coffee if you like, pull up a chair, and lets chat... Have so many questions to ask you about all these incredible things you write...

A bientôt...

Lydia said...

Just a totally inspiring post from beginning to end. It's one of those that could have stood alone without the photos - but the photos, every one of them, are a gorgeous special treat.

Babzy said...

I totally agree Indiaphragme is a great blog , nive to meet you both ;)

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Such a nice meander. Thanks for the vicarious introduction, I'm heading over. -J

clo said...

howdy owen...
merci de partager avec nous les souvenirs de cette belle journée...
Loulou est charmante et son sourire ne l'est pas moins...mais ça on le savait ,on le pressentait, le devinait...comment pourrait il en être autrement..
tes photos sont lumineuses ...tres belles...:o)
nice to meet you dear Owen...
je t'embrasse..:o)

francescbb@hotmail.es said...

Magnific shots, great post!!!

http://balapertotarreu.blogspot.com

Frank

Deidre said...

There is a little something for you at my blog: http://www.decoybetty.com/2010/03/here-comes-sunand-puppies.html

Catherine said...

what a great story about blogger connections!!

Roxana said...

ah, i am so envious!!! what i missed this time :-(


but of course, despite this little dark cloud :-) i am thrilled to be there and share your meeting through this most gracious and tender and colourful post, it has moved me and amused me and filled me with gratitude - for being, such wonder...

a warm hug for Loulou...

and Owen, your portrait has totally blown me away, you are actually a boy!!!! wow!!! :-P

(thank you so much for being with me on the Bridge, your words mean so much to me...)

Phil said...

tes photos sont vraiment magnifiques !

Owen said...

Yes Roxana, a boy that day, but I often change back into a toad, it takes a kiss from a princess to bring me back for a while...
:-)

Roxana said...

:-)