Friday, December 31, 2010

'Tis the Season . . .

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As it is the season to be merry, just wanted to give you one last blast from Paris in 2010, and wish you all the best for 2011 !
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This past Monday la Grenouille and I and our two tadpoles went into Paris to see the Monet exhibition at the Grand Palais, which runs through the 24th of January. What a treat. They have assembled 200 paintings from collections around the world, some of his finest work from all periods of his life. A true pleasure to peruse ; music for the eyes.
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To get to the Grand Palais we parked under the Place de la Concorde, and had to walk up a stretch of the Champs Elysées, where a Christmas Village has been created, to cater to all the tourists in Paris for the end of the year festivities, who were out there strolling along despite the bitter cold weather.
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Old Saint Nick was out there too . . . supervising things, and ringing that bell, just like Johnny B. Goode.
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Frosty was there too . . .
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In case anyone might start feeling a little hungry after all that hiking in the cold, hot roasted chestnuts could be had by the bag full.
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Hot roasted salmon could be had too, it looked pretty darn good to me . . .
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Candied kumquats for those with sweet tooths . . .
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Even cramberries . . . huh . . . c-r-a-m ? What are those ??? Maybe for students with exams to cram for ?
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Paris bags for carrying all your Paris stuff around . . .
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Quite a bit of very dubious art was on sale. The Monet show was better !
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Blue lights . . .
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Lifesize sculptures for sale with interesting forms and nice grain . . .
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For those seeking a better view of the Tuilleries and the Champs, the ferris wheel was turning above the Place de la Concorde.
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Now, having got all the preliminaries out of the way, who will join me for a colorful drink to see in the New Year ??? Cheers to one and all of you !
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80 comments:

Joanna said...

What a lovely tour through the Christmas Champs Elysees! I'd love to see that Monet exhibit. Happy new year to you and yours.

pRiyA said...

I enjoyed that last blast from Paris as I munched my kumquat marmalade tart.
Happy New Year Owen. Here's to another year of virtual friendship.
:)
(hic...!)

Gary said...

Wow! Great pics!! So much to love!!!

I love the way the Ferris wheel sneaks into the top pic!! :-)

I'm always a fan of chestnuts!

Sign me up for some of that salmon!!

The kumquats are too much!!

Blue lights are the best!

The ferris wheel reminds me of the time the love of my life and I were at Oktoberfest :-)

The drinks...no other way to finish....

...louciao... said...

"well i just wanna be wanna be where you are"--at the bar! Can we take the drinks on the Ferris Wheel? How many people can be cramberried into a seat? Cheers and Happy New Year to all the little kumquats who leave chestnuts at the Magic Lantern. Thanks for the Paris goodie bags to haul home all this fine New Year's Eve party loot. And for your presence--may the lantern shine brightly through the new year until it, in turn, becomes the old. (Do you think we can set those drinks on fire? The Saj will know, or be willing to sacrifice her eyebrows to find out.) Cheers!

Alberto Oliver said...

Yeah!! What a way to end up the year Owen. Paris, oh lala, well seems not that cold for my eyes used to those winters up here, but anyway, always is a good moment for a bag with chestnuts and salmon in case we are feeling like trying to experiment in ourselves the daily life of a Grizzly bear.
I wish you a wonderful, extraordinary, fantastic, superb, (all the adjectives might come to your mind) happy 2011. Can you belive it? already 11 years, heck i can still remember all that fuss with the 2000 and the Y2K and gosh i even had a huge Discman then =)
Receive a big hug my dear friend, my best wishes for you and all your family, may your life be a life of happiness, peace and health. See you the next year Owen, and long life the Lantern Show !!
Regards and happy new year =)

K'line Bloom said...

Cheers Owen (avec modération ;)
J'ai hâte de te retrouver en 2011 ! :)
Meilleurs voeux à toute la famille Grenouille :)

Elisa said...

I liked this tour very much, thank you for it. The salmon looks delicious, I think we must also make it :) The weather is cold everywhere now.. but what can we do. Make a fire to fireplace and try to stay warm :) Like you said, spring is just around the corner..
Thank you for visiting my blog and happy new year!

Steve said...

And cheers and Happy New Year to you too, Owen, your blog has been a veritable feast for the soul throughout 2010 and I look forward to gorging myself some more in 2011!

Laurie said...

I fancied the chestnuts, Owen. Ow! Their hot!

May you and your family have a happy and prosperous New Year and for you, perhaps - if there is any justice, a book deal!

Laurie

And I'd be interested to know the accuracy of the Yahoo translator:

J'ai aimé les châtaignes, Owen. Ow ! Leur chaud ! Pouvez vous et votre famille avoir nouvelle une année heureuse et prospère et pour vous, peut-être - s'il y a n'importe quelle justice, une affaire de livre!

Laurie

Ian said...

Excellent,merci

Snowbrush said...

I enjoyed the photos--except for the wooden nude which, I thought, looked to have some rather nasty bedsores or else skin cancers.

clo said...

Howdy Cher Owen...
Merci pour ce message,tes photos sont belles, appetissantes,delicieuses, ,colorées,un regal des yeux ,de tous les sens en fait..:o)
Je trinque bien volontiers avec toi pour cette nouvelle année qui arrive..:o)
I wish you the Best ,for you and your family..
Joie ,bonheur,amour,vacances ,et tout ce qui te tient a coeur...
Bonne et Heureuse Année cher Ami...:o)
des gros bisoux..
PS:je n'ai pas encore suivi le lien que tu as laissé ..j'y vais..:o)

thomai said...

It's so nice having wlaked the same street...like bringing back memories! Now so far away! Happy New Year Owen!

Nevine said...

Oh, that ferris wheel! It makes me dizzy just to think about it, but what's better than a quick thrill to get one's brain and body charged? But, Owen, I must admit... it's the look of those drinks that's got me humming, right now. I look forward to enjoying a few cocktails later on, today... and tonight.

Wishing you all the best for the coming year, Owen. May 2011 be filled with light and laughter for you and yours!

Hugs,
Nevine

the fly in the web said...

Wow! Pousse cafe!
I'm off to get the makings for when we go to friends for the New Year.
Thank you for a wonderful year of visions.

Le Journal de Chrys said...

Merci pour ces dernières images 2010!!!!

Je te souhaite une très belle soirée et un passage vers 2011 tout en douceurs et délicatesse!!!!!

The Pliers said...

Two thumbs up on the Christmas Village spread. We walked along the same street in 3rd week of November, so it is nostalgia-inducing to see it again right here before my eyes.

What were the chances of getting those drinks backlit in all their colorful glory?

Happy New Year to your little family up there in the northern reaches!

Pastelle said...

Merci pour les images, pour les mots, et pour le fou rire que je prends à chaque fois que je mets la traduction automatique sur ce blog !
Que du plaisir !
Heureuse et belle année à toi et à ceux que tu aimes. :)

Jilly said...

What a lovely tour. Those kumquats would do me nicely!

I so agree with your comment on friendship, Owen - cyber friendships too - as you said. They can be as real as reality and who is to say which is the more important?

Wishing you and your family and wonderful 2011, healthy, happy, peaceful, creative and lots of wonderful photos, of course.

Stickup Artist said...

Oh this tour makes me yearn so! What a lovely family outing. Christmas decorations, lights, exotic food and drink, a chill in the air, kitsch and high art. A complete satisfaction of the senses!

It's been a wonderful year for me to enjoy your companionship in this virtual world of creative exchange and sharing world views. Here's to the brilliant light of the Magic Lantern! A warm Happy New Year to you!

mythopolis said...

These were great shots to view from far away. Personally, I think any berries are best when crammed! I tried once calling a girl a candied kumquat, but I don't think it went over. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire? I thought it was chipmunks, and Jack Frost ripping off your nose? But, what do I know? Happy New Year!.

Nadege said...

Cheers to you Owen and your family and a wonderful, prosperous new year too!

Gwen Buchanan said...

I would love to join in with the merriment after this tour of the town, Owen.. with my handful of chestnuts and a taste of that salmon. Yum..
What a treat the Monet exhibition must have been .. imagine having a face to face with all those paintings.. Wow!!!
I wish you and Madame Froggie an enchanting New Year!

Catherine said...

That is an exhibition I would love to see...and great shots of paris - a city I haven't visited for many years - happy new Year 2011..

English Rider said...

Happy New Year, Owen and watch out for wild cramberries.

Wind said...

What a wonderful place. I have been there last year!
Happy New Year to you from Romania!
I wish you all my best!
Regards

TechnoBabe said...

The life size sculptures look interesting, I am a sculpture lover. Nice pictures showing the people and the decorations during the holiday season. Happy New Year, Owen, to you and your la Grenouille and two tadpoles.

designslinger.com said...

happy new year !

Karine A. said...

Invitant ce dernier cocktail !
J'en prendrai bien un peu...

En transitant sur ta fiche d'identité, j'ai découvert que nous aimons les même films.
Je n'avais pas besoin de savoir pourquoi je te trouve si sympa, mais une confirmation fait toujours plaisir...

James said...

What a wonderful post! I feel like I just spent some quality time walking around the city. Very nice captures indeed! I tried but wasn't able to get into the Monet exhibit. :(

Happy New Year! I look forward to seeing many more of your creative posts.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Hmmm, those bloody 'London Eyes' are in every capital city now it seems.

I wouldn't say no to some roast chestnuts though (as rare as hen's teeth over here for some reason).

Happy New Year Owen.

ρομπερτ said...

What a joy it must be living where something alike is possible.

Please have a wonderful,only happiness filled new year you all.

daily athens

The Sagittarian said...

That Santa looks rather creepy to me, I hurried over to the salmon stand and gorged myself and then having been tantalised by the feast of photos before me was strangely thirsty. Lucky you had that sorted for me too!! You know it is very hard to layer drinks like that (in the glass at least, I gather in the stomach it's easy...)

Deborah said...

Ah! I'd forgotten about the chesnut vendors! That takes me back to the days when I lived near St. Germain-en-Laye and would go into Paris on the rare occasions when I could escape my kidlets.
You have the best knack for taking pictures of the out-of-the-ordinary, or of the ordinary but from your own unique persepctive.

Blue lights. I am seduced by them. I nearly bought a car once because the dashboard lights were all blue. Everybody looked pretty chilly there, Owen, but those drinks would be guaranteed to warm a person up right down to their toes.
Happy New Year, Mr. Toad, and all best wishes to everyone else in the pond!

Dee Newman said...

Owen, have a wonderful New Year! Keep the magic coming.

Great photos. Paris is my favorite city. You may have missed this post: http://the8thdimension.blogspot.com/2010/12/paris-few-photos-from-my-favorate-city.html

Thanks for sharing your gifts.

amatamari© said...

Ohhhhhhh!!! Magnificent!!!
:-)

Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!!!

Owen said...

Joanna, a million thank you's for your kind holiday message here !

Hope to be back up to speed soon in the new year...

Owen said...

Dear Priya,
Hic ! to you too, hope your holidays were full to overflowing with good things, and that the show went well, by whatever definition of "well" you may wish to place on it...

Happy 2011 !

Owen said...

Hey Gary ! Wow, looks like you'd like to order the full treatment !!! Alright !

Just need to get yourself down to Philadelphia and on one of those US Airways roundtrippers direct to Paris, hopefully we'll still be able to find some of that good looking roast salmon, but as they say, there is more than one way to skin a cat...
:-)

Owen said...

Lynne !
My goodness, can you imagine Sister Saj with no eyebrows ? We'll get her one of those flameproof face protectors before we try igniting the drinks maybe ??

As for the ferris wheel, best bet is probably to bring an attaché case with all the bottles and glasses in that we'd need... one of those big cases that accounting types use... that should do it, right ?
:-)

The light of the lantern was slightly dimmed momentarily, out of reverence to the new year, and out of homage to what might have been one bad oyster in a lot of delicious ones, which left me totally out of service today, with a splitting headache and aches and pains all over... or maybe just the flu ? Hope to be back up to speed soon, so we can get up there in that ferris wheel car, and let the good times roll !
:-)

Peter said...

I thought I had already been commenting here, but obviously I didn't, so now at least, I wish to express my best wishes for a Happy New Year to you and your nice family!
As already said a couple of times, we must really see to it that we can meet again soon!

Jo said...

You live in the most wonderful country ...

in...

the...

world...!

Happy New Year to you and your family!

Cheers,
Jo

Nathalie said...

Thanks Owen for the fun visit of the Champs Elysées christmas market. I heard it closed down today.

The nude wood carving was fun! Too bad about the nappy rash though :-)

Roxana said...

mmm

i can't say anything else, except MMM, with my (imaginary) mouth full of those roasted chestnuts aaaaa

you've killed me now! :-)

Owen said...

Hey Alberto,
I think you are the only one who figured out the real purpose of this post... which was to tempt some grizzly bears into moving to Paris... Wouldn't life be a lot more exciting if there were some large hungry bears roaming the streets ?

All kidding aside, for sure, it's crazy how the time flies... Y2K, what a big nothing that was. In French they call it a wet firecracker.

Hope you saw in the New Year with good company and food and drink fit for a grizzly bear, knowing they have to eat a lot to build up layers of fat to last them through the rest of the winter...

Best wishes for you in 2011 in the northern lands with plenty of northern lights to light your path...

Owen said...

Chère K'line,
Un grand merci à toi, short and sweet, que 2011 soit plein de bonnes choses pour la petite fée verte qui nous enchante tante...
:-)

Owen said...

Hei Elisa,
I hope your holidays were full of good things, maybe a little salmon too, warm fireplaces, good books, fine company, plenty of candles to light up the long nights... which are getting shorter now.

Happy 2011 !

Owen said...

Dear Steve, Happy gorging then, I'll just pop down in the cellar and bring up a few more kegs of ale, and then go turn the wild boar on the spit so you can continue gorging to your hearts content...

Cheers !!!

Owen said...

Dear Laurie,
Many thanks and many fine returns of the season to you and yours too...

And if that came from a translation program, all I can say is that the translators running that site are going to have to go back to basic French grammar school... "Leur chaud" ! Très drole !

A wonderful 2011 to you Laurie, it's been such a pleasure from the first time we met out here in the blogosphere, even if there was some confusion early on about some basic facts, which are little importance anyway !
:-)

Owen said...

Ian, un grand merci de retour ! Thanks for stopping by this obscure little blog... and best wishes for a fantastic 2011 !

Owen said...

Ah Snowbrush,
It's been a little while methinks, but great to read you, ever most observant...

Although, your hypotheses in this case seem a bit cynical or at least pessimistic, it just occurred to me that instead of skin cancer or bedsores, it might just be a little bit of rug burn from innocent holiday fun ???
:-)

Owen said...

Chère Clo,
Alors, trinquons, trinquons, même si maintenant le jour de l'an est de l'histoire ancienne déjà, pendant que le maitre Temps poursuit son fol cours vers l'avenir... Terrible compagnon, ce M. Temps...

Mais peu importe, le temps que nous trinquons reste des moments inéffacables, donc trinquons encore...
:-)

Bonne année à toi Clo, et aux tiens, que l'inspiration te rend visite tous les jours... car tu sais si bien quoi faire avec !

En espérant aussi que 2011 soit plus clément avec la région du sud où tu es que ne l'était 2010...

Owen said...

Hi Thomai,
Many thanks, glad to help bring back some memories of Paris for you, may your dreams become reality in 2011...

Owen said...

Hi Nevine,
Ah, you also like the drinks and Ferris wheel, I think the best thing to do in that case is that you jump into the cabin with us all, we brought the makings for drinks along, and we can go for a few dizzying turns around the circumference of that grand wheel, rising high up into the sky above the obelisk of the Place de la Concorde, looking down on the Seine, on the Pyramid du Louvre, on all of Paris... We can see just how many bloggers could fit into one of the Ferris Wheel cabins, I think they are far larger inside that what they look like from the outside...
:-)

Wishing you all good things Nevine in 2011, including plenty of travelling, if your husband and yourself should ever happen to be coming to Paris, do let me know well ahead of time...
:-)

Owen said...

Hi Fly !
Hope things are warmer where you are than here in Paris... I'm getting more sure with each passing year that I wasn't made for cold weather... May just have to come take a peak at Costa Rica one of these days...

Take care and all best wishes for a fabulous 2011...

Owen said...

Hello Chrys,
Merci infiniment pour tes souhaits en douceur et en délicatesse, la meilleure façon de passer par la porte d'une année à la suivante... bien que finalement, il n'y a pas grande chose qui change à cet instant là...

En espérant que toi aussi as pu passer en douceur de 2010 à 2011, et que cette nouvelle année soit riche en réalisation des rêves...
:-)

Owen said...

Hi Pliers,
So the village was already up and running in November ? Wow, I didn't know that... I'm afraid I hadn't really paid attention as we weathered one snowstorm after another to what was happening in the center of the City of Lights for the holidays, but we had reserved places for the Monet show long in advance, and ended up having to walk through the first long block of it to get to the Grand Palais... La Grenouille et les Grenouillettes were pressing ahead, due to the cold, while papa Toad dawdled, seeking out little photo ops like these, then running to catch up with the fleeing family...

Hope you and Mr Baling Wire had a good time when you strolled it in November... and also hope you had wonderful holidays from start to finish...

Owen said...

Hi Pastelle,
Mille fois merci, cela me fait plus que plaisir si cette petite entreprise de blog provoque des fous rires quelque part, même si c'est dû à un traducteur loufoque... voir commentaire de Laurie ci-dessus, qui prenais le même vilain plaisir dans les tournures absurde des traductions ineptes... Et je vois que tu as commencé la nouvelle année de la meilleure façon... en ne faisant rien... c'est très agréable parfois...

Bonne Année à toi !

Owen said...

Dear Jilly,
Ah how I envy you when I see the weather map of France, and nearly always on the south coast by Nice it's 10 or 15 degrees warmer than it is here... wish there was work to be found down that way, but for the time being the work and means of sustenance thereby provided are here in Paris... sigh...

Thanks so much for your company, the company of your canines, of the past months, always a pleasure to see what is happening in Menton...

An excellent 2011 to you, full of good cheer...

Owen said...

Dear Stick Up,
You said it for the kitsch, there was more of that than just about anything else, but it made for a very amusing stroll up the Champs Elysées... hope you'll be able to get to Paris one of these days, I suspect you'd find no end of mischief to get into exploring off the beaten path...

Your company has been a wonderful pleasure of the past months, year, years ??? Feels like it's been a long time now, since you dropped in out of the blue asking about a certain pizza place in Media...
:-)
What a tiny world !

Happy 2011 !!!

Owen said...

Ah Mythopolis, the man of a million tangents, a real talent for connections, a virtual hub with spokes running off in all directions... always a pleasure...

Sorry to hear your candied kumquat ballad didn't go over so well, maybe you should have worked it into a full love sonnet first...

Here's wishing you an excellent 2011 !!! With plenty of good blogging time for all !

Owen said...

Nadege ! A zillion thank you's, many fine returns of the season to you to... be well...

Owen said...

Dear Gwen,
Well help yourself to chestnuts here... as many as you like, they're free today.

I think you would absolutely love the Monet show, so many of his paintings were simply glowing with contained energy, even now over a hundred years later for the most part... I didn't count up all the different places that contributed paintings to the exhibition, but they came from all over the world... a visual treat which just went on and on.

Wishing you an excellent 2011 in which all your many projects come to fruition...

Owen said...

Hi Catherine,
With all the travelling you seem to manage to squeeze into your year, hopefully you'll be able to work in a trip to Paris, if such is your desire... In the meanwhile, keep those photos of sunny Mexico flowing, to warm us up over here !!!

Owen said...

Thanks ER, yeah, those cramberries can be trouble ! Just wanted to cram them all in my mouth all at once they looked so tasty... but the kumquats were serious competition, and spelled correctly to boot...

Happy 2011 !!!

Owen said...

Hi Wind,
Happy if this brought some memories to mind then, and a very happy new year to you too !!!

I never dreamed when I started this obscure little blot two years ago that the four winds would blow in visitors from all over the world... a real pleasure to be crossing borders so easily, and making connections...

Happy 2011 !

Owen said...

Hi Techno B.
A hundred thousand thank you's, it has been wonderful having your company here over the past months, here's wishing you a simply excellent 2011, and lots of fine blogging times to come !

Owen said...

Hi Designslinger,
A very happy 2011 to you to... and can one surmise that you were in Paris sometime recently ? Saw your photo from Père Lachaise, that most glorious of cemeteries...

Owen said...

Hi Karine A...
Viens, viens donc, goûtons un de ces cocktails colorés, et surtout trinquons un bon coup, ce n'est pas encore trop tard...

Ah, les films, et tout cela c'est juste une petite sélection, car il y en a tellement que j'aime... et oui, Baghdad Café, quel plaisir... et Amelie Poulain... Et je ne serais pas étonné de découvrir que tu as aimé Un Long Dimanche de Fiancailles ?

En tout cas, bonne année à toi, plein de photos, et de tableaux magnifiques qui sont en attente de sortir à travers tes mains et tes pinceaux...
:-)

Owen said...

Hi James,
Sorry to hear you weren't able to get in to see the Monet show, it was really a treat, I know there was very heavy demand for tickets, many days were already sold out when we started looking into it, we were fortunate to find a spot the Monday after Christmas still possible...

Will try to offer more quality time in the months to come, for vicarious pleasures visiting Paris and elsewhere...

Take care, I am so happy we had a chance to meet for an afternoon. All the best in 2011 to you !!!

Owen said...

Hi Laura,
Funny, I hadn't heard the expression London Eyes before to refer to a Ferris wheel... live and learn... help yourself to chestnuts though, they seem popular here for some reason !

All best wishes to you in 2011...

Owen said...

Tag Robert...

I guess joy is a state of mind, which may be linked to certain places, but not necessarily, I think we must find our joy where we are... but it is a pleasure to get into Paris from time to time, I have a lot of memories there...

Happy 2011 to you, may Athens find peace and prosperity ...

Owen said...

Dear Saj,
I guess you must be part Grizzly bear too, if you've been gorging on the salmon... now grab your drink, there are quite a few who want to go up in the Ferris wheel, or London Eye as Laura called it... As for layering the drinks in the belly, guess we'll have to get you a see-through stomach installed to see if you've been doing it properly ?!

All best best wishes to my sibling sisters of the blogosphere, now bottoms up !!! The glass, silly !

Owen said...

Hi Deborah,
Very happy indeed if some of these sparked some happy memories of days in Paris long ago... funny how those memories hang around, perhaps a little more than for some other places, Paris is such an intense experience...

And come on over to the pond anytime for some colorful drinks, us pond dwellers wish you all the very best in 2011 !

And I'm wishing for myself more time than I had at the end of 2010 for getting out and reading blogs around the blogosphere, for there is so much wonderful stuff going on out there...

Owen said...

Dee,
You are entirely right, I'd missed you post of Paris photos, but I can see you have clearly had some fun there at some point in the not too distant past...

It's been a real pleasure of late discovering your blog, a beacon of thoughtfulness and reason in a sea of chaos.

Wishing you all the best in 2011, and hopefully I won't miss much more !

Owen said...

Amatamari ! Many thanks ! And the very happiest of new years to you !!!

Owen said...

Hi Peter, totally agree, let's try to make it happen soon... hopefully it won't keep snowing through January and February... it made getting around sort of hard, and work was a nightmare...

But yes, by all means... I'm back to work again tomorrow, but we'll find a quiet moment...

Happy 2011 !

Owen said...

Hi Jo !
France is indeed a wonderful place, but then, there are many wonderful places on the planet, and here's hoping we can keep them wonderful...

Best wishes to you in 2011, your blog is always such a delight to read...

Owen said...

Hi Nathalie !
Hadn't occurred to me that it might be nappy rash... she looks a little old for nappies don't you think ? See my answer to Snowbrush above for my own theory, and Snowbrush also had some ideas... Guess any number of things could explain it... In the meanwhile, how about a colorful cocktail ? Or maybe just a glass of wine ?

Wishing you the most excellent of New Years in 2011...

Owen said...

Ah Roxana !
Well, if you'd like hot roasted chestnuts on the Champs Elysées, you are just going to have to come to Paris someday... and it would be the greatest of pleasures if ever you should be travelling to Paris one day, to be able to meet you, and discover the mind behind the floating bridge ! I shall dream for that in 2011...
:-)

Be well chère Roxana...