Wednesday, October 28, 2009

On the Road

Monday, Helen, Rob and I drove to Toulouse for dinner and a Sonny Rollins concert where, coming onto the stage, the old jazz musician (79) walked jerkily as if he could crumble at any minute and bent over as if the saxophone around his neck weighed too much for his frail frame. But when he began to play oh la la, he never missed a beat, every note was crystal clear and Rob, who loves jazz, who bought the tickets as a birthday gift to himself, was carried away.

The next morning we drove to Andorra - a glorified ski resort with affinities to Whistler. The only thing this tax haven offered me, I am embarrassed to say, is really cheap cigarettes. (1/3 of the price I usually pay.) We stayed for lunch and then left for Barcelona arriving around six in the evening.

Again oh la la. What a beautiful city, a rich one, large avenues lined with huge windows of fashion, and many restaurants and tapas bars. Our hotel exceeded our expectations (found through We have adjoining rooms and Helen's has a small balcony where we sat and enjoyed the evening warmth before heading out for tapas.

Today, we will search for Gaudi structures from whom "gaudy" defined as "flashiness, garishness, tasteless showiness" is derived. I love his work, think it wonderful a city would allow an artistic architect to create his most outlandish crazy dreams (some might call them nightmares.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My House Runneth Over

Kate with Brian 7 and Mary 3 arrived Friday and Helen arrived Sunday. Our house doesn't have enough beds so Kate and her children are sleeping in two lower rooms in Susan's house.
Bren is still working ridiculous hours and so moved up to the attic room to be as far away from the noise as possible (though now he tells me that in this space without a door, he can hear everything from the bottom floor up so he's using headphones. )

The evenings are especially celebratory when the wine is uncorked and everyone but me lends a hand in preparing dinner. I do the cleanup in the morning.


Two days have passed since I began this post without finishing it. I have unanswered emails... I'm thinking of Stella Bowen, an Australian artist who saw that her art was fueled by interaction with others.

And then there are Rilke's words for his dead friend, another painter Paula Modersohn-Becker:

"For somewhere there is an ancient enmity between our daily life and the great work. Help me, in saying it, to understand it."

Kate and Helen are especially dear to my heart and our days and evenings have been full of conversation, some tears. We are all sorting ourselves out and inadvertently helping each other to see more clearly (or that is the way I feel.)

Kate and her two children left yesterday. Helen will be here another week. I am going to try to fill my new journal with my overflowing thoughts and then come back here hopefully with a clearer idea of what I need to do.

This leaving home has been quite an adventure - not the one we expected. We thought we would feel free, unencumbered from debt but often we feel the opposite. We don't know what to do although our financial people are telling us to invest...

Marlene suggested that I write an article about living our dream. We have had so many people tell us that they admire us, that we are living his or her dream. I/we need more time.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

They say it's your birthday

Well Happy Birthday to you
dear Rob
you are one of a kind & I love you so
you are still a mystery to me at 63

I watch you going on 6 hour hikes with your daughter, practicing cycling around the village, renting a bicycle and riding around Toulouse, going for hikes around Albi. In the meanwhile, you are fine tuning a novel, experimenting with a keyboard though you think you might take up a guitar, playing with penny stocks and whipping up a sweet or savory quiche in a moment’s notice. You know how to enjoy yourself. You are wonderful and I admire you.

I have so much to learn from you.
I wish you buckets of happiness and gold this coming year.

Many hugs and kisses, Yve

I love these pictures of you. I love who you are. Have a wonderful day, dear Rob.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Acting on Impulse

On Tuesday evening I decided to go to Paris to be with Gill.

When I booked my train ticket, on Wednesday morning for later that same day, I felt such pleasure and a tickle of excitement that grew as the time approached to leave. (Good to mark these moments that make one happy so one can reproduce them. Think I stole that idea from Joanna Fields.)

I was going to write a blog about rats. I've seen two lately. One in the back alley of our house in Castelnau and one just outside a door at Montparnesse train station where I went the moment I got off the train to smoke. (No smoking anywhere on French trains. Can you believe it?)

I thought there must be some significance in seeing two live ones in two days. Java, from time to time, would leave a dead one outside one of the doors at 2348 Mathers... So strange that we shall never use that address again...

But I'm rambling. The delight I felt at buying a train ticket went way beyond the anticipated delight at seeing my beloved daughter in my favourite city. It was the fact that I could do something so wonderful on whim and it won't break the bank. Perhaps this is my first taste of the freedom that selling 2348 has brought about.

I love doing things on impulse. One day, I'm in a sleepy little village. The next, I'm walking beside the Seine. Oh la la. I feel so fortunate.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag

Ein einfaches Geschenk mit vieler Liebe.
(I hope this says what I mean to say.)

Dance. Sing. Do whatever pleases you. Enjoy your day.

(It's 5 pm and I'm having a glass of Chateau de Mayragues in your honour.)