News from confinement

parisdiaflowers and gardens12 Comments

The first peonies in Hontanares, Spain, photo Anne Laure Gillet

The greatest event of the week has been the delivery of flowers from a friend who is happily doing her garden in Arcangues, near Biarritz and decided to share her joy of Spring with her Parisian friends. She had bouquets delivered to all of them around the city… what a brilliant gesture! The saddest news is to see that Le Figaro’s obituary page on Fridays, has grown from two to three pages… A real shock. Of course, most people were very old but it is a concrete sign of the increase of deaths in France which now amount to over 15 000.

Fresh flowers delivered by Interflora

Many thanks to all of you who sent pictures of their gardens and have tried our recipes and appreciate them. I cook every day so I can try them out before printing… I loved reading in the paper that LVMH and L’Oréal were making antibacterial gel in their factories with volunteer workers… Peugeot makes respirators for the hospitals with Air Liquide while St James, the famous striped t-shirt manufacturer from Brittany, makes washable masks. And Decathlon gives out scuba diving equipment as respirators.  It’s a nice way to keep the staff busy.

René de Saint Marceaux, Alphonse Daudet in the gardens of the Champs Elysées

My daily hour long walk in a perimeter of 1 km around my house enables me to go to the Champs Elysées. The gardens are now off limit but there is a smooth way of getting around the gates. And I noticed for the first time, and only because the cherry tree around it was so pink, a statue of Alphonse Daudet by René de Saint Marceaux, an artist born in a champagne family in Reims, who became one of the sculptors active at Ferrières, the Rothschild’s castle east of Paris and left a few sculptures of Alexandre Dumas fils whose tomb he designed at cimetière Montmartre.

Chaumet is wearing a strange costume to celebrate its 240 th anniversary on 12 place Vendôme

Notre Dame de Paris was reopened for a televised ceremony on Good Friday to celebrate the Crown of Thorns rescued from the flames. This was more like a theatrical performance by French actor, Philippe Torreton and violinist, Renaud Capuçon, than a religious moment. But it was nice to see some of the paintings and stained glass windows again.

In front of restaurant Laurent, the fountain of the Four Seasons by Jacques-Ignace Hittorff with early tulips

I went walking around place Vendôme where it felt strange not to see any activity at the Ritz, no luxury cars, no high heel ladies. Morgan bank was the only door open and Chaumet next door had disguised itself with a horrible vegetal decor… to celebrate (last February 26) the reopening of its shop and 240 years of activity…

Notre Dame is alive on television and Renaud Capuçon wears a cosmonaut type protection

Weddings are being postponed to the autumn and summer leases are canceled. A whole new economy is settling in surreptitiously. There is hardly any mail but tax forms manage their way through… My first wisteria flower is blooming on the balcony and I compete on a daily basis with my sister’s wisteria in the country.

The Tuileries gardens with their famous statues, photo Willem Mathon

In the middle of all the newsletters advertising their free programs, operas, plays, readings, one carried a relaxed and reassuring voice almost a paternal one aimed at its thousands of members : Le Bulletin des Amis du Louvre online, where Louis-Antoine Prat, its President, taped a charming message from his door step: “A museum which is not visited is a dead museum”…

A view from confinement in San Giovanni d’Asso, Tuscany, photo Alice Goldet

Please send me your news and your recipes, it looks like we still have at least a month of confinement to go until May 11 th, the new official date given by Emmanuel Macron last night. And many more weeks for  Transatlantic flights unfortunately…

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12 Comments on “News from confinement”

  1. Laure, I love how you are discovering new statues of people just by walking around your neighborhood. The same thing is happening to me here in Washington. Perhaps because their world, frozen in time, no longer feels so different from ours.

  2. Another month to go! Plenty of time to rediscover the hidden corners of our surroundings, and others thanks to you!

  3. Chere Laure,
    Thanks for your truffle-hound perspicacity in discovering
    the beauty in things we all pass by every day without seeing.
    Jon and Genevieve

  4. Thanks. Heartening… Jeanine (Keuchenius, painter) and I walk about everyday in same small area of bushes and trees. With camera: new discoveries each time. Idea: will write blog on my wordpress account…

  5. De beaux paysages et de superbes fleurs. Youpi ! Grazie mille.. J’attends le rendez vous de la semaine prochaine avec impatience.

  6. Superb flâneuse! Laure, lovely, thank you for taking us on a wee jaunt around your neighbourhood. I appreciate the tactful, yet deliberate, commentary. The peonies are heavenly. I can imagine the scent!

    At this end, southern Ontario, is very quiet too. We’ve become monks.

    Spring, however, is unfurling with characteristic aplomb. The morning chorus of birdsong by the lake is so cheerful. The daily sunrises so heartening. All is enjoyed with a new kind of gratitude …

    … Let’s hope ‘the pause’ renews & realigns our priorities with the planet’s greater health. ~ Amen.

  7. Chère Laure — Thé Sunday New York Times obits more than doubled, the weekday obits double daily. Although cause of death isn’t required by the paper, one can only assume. Nightly at 7 PM Manhattan bursts into applause — whistling, bell-ringing, woo-hoo-ing, pot-clanging— from Windows and balconies in appreciation of the doctors, nurses, all health workers, food delivery people, grocery stores — who are lifelines for us all. A super inspirational moment. Bisous, Susan

  8. Merci Laure pour les fleurs magnifiques… pendant le confinement, pour les statues aux pieds fleuries et feuillues , les reportages … un must , un plaisir chaque semaine !
    Je pleure mon jardin, les dizaines de pivoines aux couleurs multicolores et éclatantes de beauté , les premières roses, iris, agapanthes qui bourgeonnent , je ne profiterai pas cette année des premiers bourgeons, vivement l’après confinement, l’ete, le mariage , l’automne ….et le printemps prochain …

  9. Merci Laure pour ces bouquets de fleurs, tu nous éclaire notre journée !
    C’est la nature qui peut nous apaiser, particulièrement en ce moment
    Je t’envoie 1 genet en fleurs depuis les Landes
    Je t’embrasse

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