Sunday, July 4, 2010

Mad Lynne - spiration ! Step Into the Magic Store . . .

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It is hard to believe sometimes what all can transpire in the course of any single day. On the 17th of June just a couple of weeks back now, I went into to Paris to spend an afternoon with Virginia and Peter, whose blogs I was familiar with, JB, whose blog I hadn't encountered previously, and Mary, a good friend of Virginia's, who doesn't have a blog at present, but who is mad about Paris, and may soon have a blog. We met at la Place de la Bastille, had lunch there, and then strolled in the area around la Place des Vosges. From there I continued on my own, at Mary's suggestion, to visit the Picpus Cemetery, subject of the post just below this one, where Lafayette is buried. I then walked from Place de la Nation back to Place de la Bastille, before heading home. The following photographs are from that walk, late in the afternoon.
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When I saw the neon sign for a Magic Store, I couldn't resist going in to get a small dose of magic. One can always use a little extra magic in life . . .
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And I guess the magic kicked in fairly quickly; as shortly after I came out of the Magic Store, I met the following figure in a window who beckoned to me to come look more closely. What a surprise, I couldn't believe my eyes, it was the spitting image of my blogging pal Lynne Louciao Ciacco in Canada, sitting there in that intricately mechanical chair, pulling levers while her incredible brainpower was being harnessed by the headpiece, sort of like the Wizard of Oz in his control room behind a curtain .
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It should be known that in fact Lynne has two blogs, plus a couple of websites where she shows and shares the fabulous art she creates. The first blog, Décolleté Glimpes is her recreation room, or should I say "Romper Room", where she hangs out and hangs loose, where all manner of playful banter and horsing around can occur, not to mention flings with rubber chickens or tater tots. Just for an all around good time with one of the wickedest wits on the web, the opposite of a wicked witch, do go stop by and say hi to Lynne. But whatever you do, don't get her started with any puns. She is no dumb cluck, that one, and is armed and dangerous when it comes to punning around.
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However, Lynne is not only a colorful clown, she is also a talented and serious artist, when she puts her mind and energy to it, and has a second blog where her art hangs out in all its splendor : Ragzedge Arts : An Edgy Mix of Media.
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Recently she started up a website on weebly.com which serves as an on-line gallery for her artwork. Do take a look through the galleries there, you may just find something which would look mighty fine on one of your currently empty walls . . .
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Archived artwork from the past can be found on her lynneciacco.net website, also well worth a visit, to see how things have evolved over time in that mind full of wonders.
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The first order the lady in the magical chair issued was for me to pass through this door in a white wall into a secret side of Paris that few people know about . . .
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As soon as I stepped around the flowers and went through the green door, I met a warrior, who told me to go speak to a bear, for further instructions on where to go and what to do . . .
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So I went to speak with the bear, sitting at a small green table while he whispered bear tales in my ear, and suggested that if it was company I was looking for, I should go see the lady in red next door.
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So I went to see the lady in red, and asked if I could come in for tea . . . but she said not a word, so I wandered on.
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I asked this lady in mustard colored leather if she'd care to walk with me a while, but she simply continued staring into the distance with her sphynx smile, until she relented and told me to go see the lady in the cage down the street . . .
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The lady in the cage had an alligator shoe for a hairdo, and refused when I asked if she could come out to play . . .
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The magic began to take on strange turns when the cage melted away and suddenly the lady was no longer a beautiful woman with promises of warmth, but a skull grinning madly at me . . .
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The skull shifted in and out of focus in a sort of fog . . .
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And suddenly the skull disolved into this leering mask in a sea of swirling green . . .
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Stranger magic was yet to come, like a bolt of lightning, the masks exploded in ethereally barbarous flames, carrying me back to primitive pagan rituals and the vibrant beating of drums . . .
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Nightmarish creatures loomed in the dreamscape !
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And then exploded in flames so bright they became transparent, almost nuclear in nature . . .
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In the height of these paroxysms of madness, it was then that a leering purple skull appeared in one of those windows of perception, grinning insanely, accompanied by all manner of odd objects, and I couldn't help but marvel at how clearly it echoed the skull icon, the violet avatar which Lynne has been using of late in her blog profile, which shows up when she leaves comments in comment boxes. A serendipitous meeting of the skull-minds !
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I have to admit to being tremendously pleased and flattered and gobsmackingly happy when Lynne took up a few challenges I posed to her and agreed to transform some of my photographs using her digital magic wand into something totally different. The following four images appeared in my mind as a I stared hypnotized into the sparkling purple eye sockets of the grinning mask, but they can also be seen on Lynne's art website here . . . and what a long strange trip it was . . .
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55 comments:

The Sagittarian said...

What on earth are you on, and do you have any left??? Typical, you and Big Sis go off to play and leave me behind doing the dishes, making the beds, chopping the wood and getting the dinner on!
Wonderful photos nonetheless, great post.

Mary Ann said...

Simply magic. Thanks for sharing your (always) fantastic photos and narratives.

Owen said...

Dearest Sister Saj,
I do believe it sounds like you are ready for a vacation. A realio, trulio, honestio vacation. You can come and stay at the very nice hotel which is a two minute walk from our place here, they've restaurants, a sheet changing staff, and central heating, so you can get away from all labor and lounge by the pool, play golf, walk in the woods, take bike rides with us, or sleep all day if you like... If you get tired of the hotel you can come stay with the grenouille and the tadpoles and I, and still no sheets to change, dinner to make or wood to chop... well, you just have to get here, that's all. However, if you come with Mr Saj and the brood, you'd best reserve the hotel, as we haven't much space here at Toad Hall-Chateau Grenouille.

Which reminds me, you who savor your wines, did you know there is a particularly good chablis, a grand cru, which is named Chateau Grenouille ? I bought a case of the stuff once, just to be able to keep the nice wood crate it comes in which says Chateau Grenouille on the sides... we'll pour you a nice chilled glass when you get here... how's that for a tempting deal ???

As for what I may or may not have been on, I cannot comment about such matters... could just be the coffee they have here, it would put anyone's brain in overdrive...
;-)

Owen said...

Hi Mary Ann,
Thank you ever so much for this kind word... it always amazes me that anyone can even find this obscure little blog of mine, and even moreso if any magic is to be found lurking in nooks and crannies here... Take care and happy travelling, I gathered from the other blog that you've been on the road a bit...
be safe...

...louciao... said...

The cheque is in the mail.
;-)

If a skull could blush, my avatar would be bright red rather than purple tonight!

I certainly enjoyed this little hit of windowpane acid you so generously and imaginatively shared here.

Judging by that photo of Mickey Mouse that you took, I suspect he either ate the same lunch as you or visited that magic shop.

I'm glad you found the glitterati skull mask that I left as a sign for you. Nothing like getting a little stardust in one's eyes to make life sparkle!

...louciao... said...

Typical, you and Little Sis go off to play and drink wine and have maid service and ride bikes and probably eat PIE in Paris and leave me behind sweeping up all this damn stardust that you've tracked in all over the floors. Be sure to send me a postcard.

Owen said...

Dear Lynne & Saj,
Ok, ok, I get it... how about if I stay home and wash the sheets and sweep the floors and chop the wood and make dinner while the two of you go off arm in arm to visit all the wine chateaux and come back half sloshed after not spitting the wine back out at the numerous tastings one can squeeze into a day here, and I'll tuck you both in so you can sleep it off, and bring you aspirin in the morning with your coffee... and once you're both feeling suitably human again, then we can have some pie with our tea in the afternoon, given that you'll probably be sleeping quite late...

And Lynne,
The only acid around here is the battery acid in the car, but if you want to clean the windowpanes with Saj, you are welcome too, just don't spill the acid, it's worse than bleach for staining clothes and curtains and rugs and even faces, if one is a Pakistani wife whose family can't afford to pay the husband enough (just saw a shocking article about that custom in Paris Match this week...)

Oh dear, what a fate, to have to be sweeping up the stardust that others have tracked in, lordy, lordy, lordy !

And yeah, Mickey was having a bad day, I told him not to drink the battery acid, but he wouldn't listen to me !!! Gonna send him back to Orlando if he keeps putting on faces like that !!! Positively frightening he is... no manners at all !

Ah, and I should have known it was you who left the skull... well, see, serendipitous minds think alike, otherwise I never would have found it... Paris is a big city to search...

Now, who'd like a little glass of chablis ? chateau grenouille of course...
:-)

...louciao... said...

I'll have some of that frog wine! And thanks for tucking us in.

English Rider said...

What did you embibe at lunch time? Some of theose Ladies didn't look like Ladies at all.

James said...

Thanks for the magical mystery tour! All very cool stuff from the reflections to the artwork. I can see your reflection next to the warrior. :)

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

My goodness, you do not lack for originality or creativity! Have a great day!

Steve said...

If Chris De B[l]urgh had danced with that lady in red I might have had more time for his miserable song...!

A 2 Z said...

Hi Owen,

Thanks for the comment on my blog. I'm your newest fan! Your blog is delightful and goes where no blog has gone before....LOL. Very entertaining!

Anne-Marie

...louciao... said...

Skull head! I just saw your new atavar. (insert grinning skull here)

TechnoBabe said...

There is almost too much in this one post to look at and ponder. I really like the painted door on the wall, flowers and note and oh everything on it. I would so like to have a house with something like that on one wall.
From then on your walking tour brought out so many other interesting sights.

lgsquirrel said...

What a great deal of magic on your short walk! The magic is clearly in your mind. Wonderful mystery magic tour.

Nevine said...

What a magical trip, Owen! I really was right inside that whirlwind... kind of like going on a magic carpet ride... if such things exist. But if not, there is always room to dream and fantasize, and I've learned that your blog is a perfect hangout for such mental fantasies and escapes. Somehow, I feel transported, here. Somehow, in the midst of the mannequins and bears and masks, I find some comfort... a sense of belonging... my reality... How absurd is that?

And I saw this morning you had a new avatar. So, that's where it came from... your magical serendipitous walk through Paris. It's nice to know how it was inspired!

The green door... with the cobblestone path... the door upon a door with steps that are real but unreal... is bending my mind at an angle... an angle that I like. So I think I will creep back to my humble place, but not before stealing that image and taking it with me. Yes, I know you can still see it on your blog... but now it's mine to enjoy when I like as well! ;-)

Have a wonderful week, Owen!

Nevine

Owen said...

Ah Lynne, I figured you'd like the sound of the frog wine...

And we've got some frog beer here too, believe it or not. You can see the frog beer with frog on label here :

http://www.st-rieul.com/

Third bottle from the left in top row of bottles by "Sept bières différentes"...

As for the skull avatar, and grinning skulls... guess this gives new meaning to that old expression : Grin and bare it...

Or was that : Grin and bear it ???
:-)

K'line Bloom said...

Owen, tu as un vrai don pour raconter des histoires extraordinaires. As-tu déjà songé à organiser des rallyes pittoresques à travers Paris ?...
Bises et bonne semaine

Amy said...

And just what did you eat at that lunch?! :)

You find the most magical and wonderful things on your walk. Okay, and odd things too. I do enjoy the skulls though. I have a glittery Dia de Los Muertos skull adorning my bookshelf.

Roxana said...

haha, i was writing a comment here when you posted one on the Bridge :-)

superb homage to a wonderful friend and artist! and i would give anything to see her blush (with you in my suitcase, she adds, grinning mysteriously :-)

waving at both of you and sharing your explosive joy!

The Sagittarian said...

Hey, best idea yet...let's leave the dusting, vacuuming, windowwashing, sheet changing, dinner making and wood chopping to the l'il Tadpoles while the Big People go forth and conquer the vineyards??

...louciao... said...

As long as it doesn't involve actually harvesting grapes. Though maybe some stomping of grapes in a big vat with bare feet and low-cut blouses and gypsy skirts would be fun. Well, that takes care of Owen, but what will we wear, Saj?

Hi Roxana! Don't forget to cut some air holes for Owen in the suitcase.

Owen said...

Hullo English R.,
Well, we did tipple a little bit of champagne with lunch... but I wouldn't say we overdid it... but then, at my advanced age ?!?
:-)

Owen said...

Hi James,
Glad you enjoyed the Magical Mystery Tour... several of the photos have reflections in them, which is why I opted to slip this in to the reflections weekend, for which I finally got around also to putting the banner in the sidebar... at last.
Hope you had a good holiday weekend...

Owen said...

Hi Elizabeth, and welcome ! Thanks for stopping in... we try to mix things up a bit here... do stop back when you can...

Owen said...

Hey Steve,
Thanks for clueing me in to Chris de Burgh. I'd honestly never heard of him. Now I understand why... Am going to switch back to the Eddy Vedder I was listening to...

Owen said...

Dear Anne-Marie,
Thank you for the delightful compliment... to say a blog is going where no blog has gone before... wow, perhaps we could add "boldly" ? Really, thank you, am smiling like the Cheshire Cat...
:-)

Owen said...

Dear TechnoB.,
Walking in Paris can often lead fairly quickly to a case of sensory overload... Easy to get a bit overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds and smells. But that may help explain why there are so many cafés, so people can frequently stop to take a break...
:-)

Owen said...

Hi LG Squirrel,
Wasn't that one of the big philosophical questions ? Is the world really real, or is it just in our minds ? Same for the magic... Hope you've made it to the beach by now ? Though I never saw a squirrel swim.... but I guess, like most rodents, then could if they had to...
:-)

Owen said...

Ah Nevine,
Where to start ? I'm sure there must be magic carpets to ride somewhere... so many stories were told about them, they must have existed somewhere, don't you think ? What a way to travel that must have been... I think I'd like to have the extra large model; so I could fly on a carpet while reclining on large pillows, with two women there to fan me and feed me dates... sort of like in your header picture !
:-)

So you liked the trompe l'oeil doorway there enough to want to take it home ? Anything for you Nevine, your wish is my command...
:-)

But most importantly, if these little flights of photographic fancy here are providing a sort of home away from home, in a virtually virtuous manner, then I am just floored and glowing... (which is better than being gored and flowing, like certain bull runners in Pamplona)
:-)

Thank you Nevine, most profoundly... I shall endeavor to continue to find a little magic here and there for the lantern show...

Owen said...

Oh What Fun...
I just now realized that Blogger just ate up several answers I'd just done here... never had that happen before ! They were visible, and the comment counter number had gone up... and then they were gone, and the counter dropped back... will wonders never cease ? Answers to everyone before LGSquirrel were here, now gone... sh** !!! I will get back here to answer, again, but for now I'm off to bed and then work.... arrrggghhhh....

Nathalie said...

oooh what a dream !
Thanks to you and the acid pouring team for the trip, it was grand!

As for the comments above, I can see that the sweeping, vacuuming and bed making chores have gone full circle ending in the lil' tadpoles' hands which is a very sensible decision - too bad the tadpoles don't even know what fate landed them yet, poor sweethearts - but they can always throw a teenage tantrum to avoid complying, or sail away to never never land where mean dads, wicked image creating ladies and hand-damaging chores won't get them...

Anyway congratulations to all involved for this gorgeous common work. I like K'line's idea of you starting "Owen's own Paris walking tours" !!!!

Love to you creative people !

babbler said...

Owen,
There has been a good bit of frolic going on of late, and I see that you have been on the same plane, er, airplane, that is, as I have recently. You will see what I am referring too if you put on your hat, coat and mask and take a stroll at Slug's Rest. I have posted a vacation episode full of slug drunken adventure. There is also an eerie, magical cosmic connection going on....Please let me explain....Over the weekend, Mr. Slug and I were in Chinatown Los Angeles, and I saw one of those Chinese dancers that changes his face masks while swooping around in his bright red cape. He would change faces - it was almost impossible to see him doing it as he danced in the bright sunlight. The dance made an impression on me, and now this....you are wearing the mask! Now I see where you have been, it was not France at all....I saw you in LA on Sunday, didn't I? Truly remarkable. Those pictures you posted have overwhelmed my optical tentacles, Mr. Slug and I thank you for the swirly tour! :)
Mrs. Slug

Lydia said...

In two years of enjoying the varied and marvelous scenes at Paris Daily Photo blog, I must say your trip along the Paris Alter Ego Tour was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. Quite grand!

Owen said...

Oh What FUN !

I had typed in and published answers to nearly all your lovely comments here, I could see the answers appearing as comments, the comment counter number was going up with each answer, and then... then... Blogger mysteriously ate those comments, and they disappeared, with a resounding belch !

So, I will have to start again. I've heard people say they'd lost comments, but it hadn't happened to me... until today...

Guess I'll have to learn to type my answers in Word, then copy them into the comment box... so if they disappear, I can try again. We'll see if this one sticks around...

Thanks to all for your bantering here, you make it all worthwhile...
See you soon...
A bientôt...
Merci !

K'line Bloom said...

Owen,
Hum... ta boîte serait-elle devenue facétieuse sous l'effet d'une magie étrange ? On ne sait jamais à quoi s'attendre avec Blogger...Tu as peut-être basculé sans t'en rendre compte dans la 4e dimension...:)
Bises

Owen said...

Chère K'line,
Tu as certainement raison ! On est dans le 4ème, 5ème, et 6ème dimensions !

Les réponses que j'avais tapées entre 03h00 et 04h00 ce matin, qui étaient visibles, et puis qui avaient toutes disparues, maintenant, elles sont revenues ! Hurrrahh ! Je n'aurais pas à les refaire... Mais je ne comprends plus rien... qqn à Blogger a dû tirer malencontreusement une chasse d'eau qui a inondé la salle des commentaires, et ils ont dû récupérer les réchappés du naufrage... bon... je ferais le point ce soir en rentrant pour voir à qui je n'ai pas encore répondu...

En tout cas, merci K'line, et oui, pourquoi pas des visites magiques de Paris ??? Tu ferais signe si jamais viens à Paris ? Et Loulou, où est Loulou ??? Pas de nouvelles depuis un moment... ah oui, c'est vrai, elle est partie au Cambodge...

A bientôt !

Owen said...

PS And I just noticed that the counter at the bottom of the post which says "29 reflections" right now, does not correspond with the counter in the comment window which says "38 Comments"... so even internally Blogger can't come to terms right now. Maybe it's the heat... Good luck Blogger, we wish you well getting your counters and comments back in working order... We really do appreciate all that your do for us...
:-)

babbler said...

Owen,
I saw that there has been a comment "Black Hole" out here in commentville, I too have had an issue! Each one of the comments to the Adventures of Mr. Slug and Friends are deeply appreciated and savored - at this time I have a total of two comments but it says that I only have one comment posted....hmmmmm...I wonder of someone has put out a bowl of beer for the comments to sip upon, and some of them fall in before they get counted. I think it is a matter for the Comment Police! There may be crime scene chalk markings where the comments were last seen laying on the sidewalk over at Slug's Rest, step around them carefully and slide with caution!
Mrs. Slug

Owen said...

Hi Amy,
Guess we'll see if the comment box is working again. I've always liked the artwork associated with themes like the day of the dead in Mexico, or the Grateful Dead in California, etc. Hope you'll share your glittering skull with us one day... As for what was on the menu at lunch, I really could say, it was billed as the mystery mushroom soup, but I saw a cat running out of the kitchen who looked suspiciously cheshirish...

:-)

Owen said...

Dear Roxana,
Ah, synchronicity and serendipity, two of my favorite words...

I'll have to go ask Alice if there is a pill I can take to make me small enough to fit in your suitcase when you head off to visit Canada...

I honestly don't know where all that explosive joy came from in bursts of radiant light, it filled the room with light, and then reversed polarities, as though the sun turned itself inside out for a moment... if you can imagine that. Yes, I think you can, for the imagination behind the floating dream is, I suspect, rather unlimited...

Smiling... grinning...
:-)

Owen said...

Dearest Saj, oh wily one... I think you've found the perfect solution. But let's not tell the tadpoles just yet, ok, wouldn't want to spoil the start of their Summer vacation... oh, it's not Summer for everyone, is it... But if you were to arrive here, it is quite hot already... good weather for wearing shorts... while touring vinyards.
:-)

Owen said...

Lynne ???

Lynne ???

So now I've been relegated to dressing in drag for stomping grapes ? Well, I here skirts, or kilts as they are called for malefolk, are quite comfortable... so if I had to wear a gypsy skirt for the grape stomping, surely there are worse fates...

And thanks for thinking of the airholes in the suitcase... you have got all the bases covered I see... So, the lobster dinner will be waiting for us ? Excellent, we'll be right there...
:-)

Owen said...

Hi Nathalie,
Perhaps if you're free you could come along for some grape stomping and wine tasting, and we could stop by Avignon to pick you up, and maybe catch a couple of theatre shows in the festival while we're at it ? And it seems to me you also have a tadpole who could be requisitioned (it used to be called "Shang Hai-ed" for the laborious tasks which will need to be done while we're all away whooping it up. And I'm very happy then if you enjoyed the magical mystery tour here, as some referred to it... it's good to change gears now and then to get the gunk and grime out...

Ah yes, and beware the Mad Lynne & Saj duo, they are double trouble. And be sure to lock your liquor cabinet and wine cellar if they are anywhere near !!!
:-)

Owen said...

Dear Mrs Slug !
This really is turning into a wonderful international and inter-species, or inter-phylum, or inter-kingdom (I'm sort of forgetting my biology, all I remember is King Philip Came Over From Spain, and that was Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Species...) But in any case, I'm delighted to see some glistening slug trails leading in and out of the comment box here, announcing your passage. The trip to Chinatown in LA sounds wonderful, especially with swirling cape and mask dancing going on. That must have been a major challenge for your ground level optical organs to follow such wild antics, or do they put out special slug ramps so you can slide up higher to a better viewing angle ? So good to hear from you slugs, I was beginning to fear a naughty neighber might have put out some beer bowls, but no, we shan't envision such possibilities... And I shall be by Slug's Rest just as soon as I'm able, but right now it is time for Toad's rest, for tomorrow is another busy day at the straightjacket factory...
Slippery hugs !
:-)

Owen said...

Hi Lydia,
Ah, once in a lifetime ? Now that is fine praise indeed, it will no doubt float about in my head sort of like sugarplums on Christmas Eve, as I doze off to sleep here... Thank you, thank you... I shall endeavor to create some other "once in a lifetime" experiences... it is not easy to find original subjects to mine, as so many have gone before, but one can always try. I wonder what Shakespeare thought of when he sat down to start writing a new play...

Owen said...

Ah, Mrs Slug, love that image of the comment cadavres out there with white chalk outlines around them on the sidewalk.

I once woke up after a drunken binge back in college, having passed out in a dormitory hallway, and someone had done a chalk outline around me on the floor... very funny...

I hope Blogger will get their house back in order soon, the counter was still not right this evening...

Very good advice that : slide with caution... and so I shall slide cautiously off to bed...
:-)

Deborah said...

Goodness gracious, Owen! You have the most ACTIVE imagination, and loopy way of looking at things. Quite entertaining, I must say. My mind is already reeling from hours on an airplane, and not entirely able to take all this in, so I had to read it all over again.
You have such a good time, don't you??

mythopolis said...

I don't know much about magic. I will say that once, while walking down the street, I saw this girl ahead of me that I knew. I caught up with her. But, not in time. She suddenly turned into a dress shop, right before my eyes. It remains an unexplained mystery, in my book.

tattytiara said...

Heeeeeeeeeee he he he that was fun! I'm so glad I stumbled across your blog today.

Owen said...

Deborah,
In fact, it was my evil twin brother who held me hostage and forced me to give him my password so he could hijack the blog and do this spacey post... but he's gone now... Or it may just be that the French government is still doing secret tests with things in the water supply, like what the US did back in the late 50's, early 60's...
:-)

In any case, I wouldn't want you kind readers out there to get bored with non-stop flower photos or something...

So you're back in France ? And off to the south ? Hope you had a fine trip... sorry to challenge your jet lagged mind with my inanities... if you'd have warned me I could have at least toned down the incandescant rat a bit...
:-)

Owen said...

Myth man...
She turned into a dress shop ? And did you go in looking for her ???
What happened next ??????

You sure know how to leave us hanging in suspense !

Owen said...

Hi tattyti,
Me too ! Welcome...
:-)

PS just be sure to wash your hands and feet before touching anything, ok ?
:-)
(enjoyed your post... we are doomed !)

Virginia said...

Well I think our blog meeting was magical as well! Thanks for gathering with us Owen. What a pleasure to meet you face to face although I felt as if we'd been friends for a long time through our blogs. Funny isn't it, that our "virtual" friends seem to be just as we thought they'd be when we meet in person. Here's to more walkabouts in Paris together.
Best,
V