Friday, April 20, 2012

of soil and other amenities

20 - April - 2012

 Well dear Reader,
 it's not like it is not spring even on this side of the pond. Gloriously the sun is shining over the whole of california. So the Frog decided to become manual again and checked how plantations were doing.
Obviously, camelias were on their last run but they had been generous, loving, kind and plentiful, so the Reporter talked to them with plenty of love.

 Then she checked on the citrus,

and there were flowers galore for the little orange tree whose health and life she had been fighting for so courageously as we had had an ignominious attack of aphids and black mold.
There had been multiple showers of water spray after very gentle dish soaped water administered leaf by leaf with patience and tender loving care and lo and behold three months later, despite some still pale leaves, plenty of little delicate and heavenly scented flowers had appeared, and the Reporter cried.
And Reader, the Reporter has a very steely heart and seldoms cries.

 So that was that.

 Then the Reporter, who has no slaves but wishes of course she had a few dozens, lifted by herself the big sack of of compost

and added some compost to the rest of her plantations, beds and patches. Then, since she was in that manual mode, she decided to check in on the spare woods planks that had been amassed by the male company that sometimes inhabits that place. Now I don't know if you, Astute Reader, have noticed that too, but male species tend to get into construction work with great enthusiasm, collecting supplies and what not, all those tidbits and tools that are so fun, but then once the construction project has been done, or almost, then the collected items of supplies, tidbits and so on tend to still be apparent everywhere. You would think that once a project is done, or nearly, those supplies, tools, tidbits would disappear and be wisely stocked in their dutiful place and not become an eyesore at all. Well dear Reader, wrong.
And so in some secluded place but still quite in view you find some tidbits which look like this :

or even that
and that is when you have to take a lead role. So the Reporter decided that something constructive could come off that. And she immediately thought " Hangar a velos " which means in straightforward english, " bike porch " or " bike shelter " but it is very difficult to translate perfectly the beautiful " hangar a velo ".

 You try. 

 Because, really, you know, "velo" is really bike, that's a given, but " hangar " is, you know, a hangar. Or a warehouse, but obviously in the few hours of daylight that the Reporter had on her hands by then, she didn't have enough of those to build a hangar.

 She was more thinking of a bike shed really, but a shed is little too common and low for someone quite as refined as the Reporter. So she went back in, to consult some encyclopedia, and find some sketch of what her amass of supplies could lead to. And miraculously, she find something that could totally fit with her momentous supplies :

And so dear Reader, this is how she spent the rest of her day creating that marvelous " Hangar a Velo ".

 With all Love and Blistered Hands,
 the Frog

Sunday, April 15, 2012

where the rain is not in spain

15 - April - 2012

So dear Reader,
The Reporter is back to her usual place ready for wild adventures again, far from the advanced Parisian civilization where food is mediocre and company so rude.

As a matter of fact, it is well to be admired that, in fact, the french seem, under pressure of economic crisis, to show grace, kindness and way more compassion than they are usually given benefit. Heartwarming in one word, and it was funny to see the Reporter so enamoured with her original compatriots.

Now in Los Angeles, the weather has turned an awesome dark grey and rain at last came to the rescue.

Her usual cafe in the morning with freezing wet temperatures was deserted,

so she ate two croissants in support of her beloved eatery, then she adventured to Downtown as she had some serious business to attend there.

And here was the magnificent view that her beloved city offered that morning :

and here up close :

and once inside, during the meeting, there was some thunder, and everyone looked at each other, because Angelenos are brave people, they can face earthquakes, fires, and landslides due to the ubiquitous liquefaction , but thunder ?

Yes, that was a tough tough day in the life of an angel and even her cricket in her car stopped cricketing.

and on that disparaging note, thus ends this sumptuous billet,

with All Love,

the Frog

Sunday, April 8, 2012

where there is a garden and stairs

8 - March - 2012

Well dear Reader,

the Reporter having only a few days left now in the city of lights, she decided to take on a small pause, to read a book, in her favorite garden, close by, overlooked by the nuns' convent. So here it is, the former jardin de babylone but now called :

a charming garden with a green house used by the school children for their class of 'sciences naturelles' where third graders come once a week to plant seeds in the early spring.

it is overlooked by the convent :

there is for the moment a crane and some temporary construction at the end of the garden behind its wall.Those are only shelters for workers on the huge restoration of the former old hospital Laennec, In 1802 it was supposed to be the first pediatric hospital in the world. So here is what it looked like in 1900:

Pretty romantic if you ask me.

The chapel is surrounded by about ten different buildings end of 18th century, with some awesome brown tile roofs, originally it was the Hopsice des Incurables built in 1634. The hospital closed five years ago and it is now being renovated in apartments,

You can move in now, the Incurables left a long long time ago, poor souls.
Here is the chapel,

the Reporter'sgrandfather, whom she loved so, was a surgeon who did sometimes work at laennec.
here is the view of the chapel inside,

not quite a tiny chapel at all,
then the Reporter went to work on a painting as she had been idle a little,

Then she had to meet a friend at the bar of the Lutetia, which is that sort of very old time capsule bar in the 7th where suddenly now everyone meets,

and then today she decided to see Beaute Animale at the Grand Palais, whom the Reporter really loves [ the Grand Palais ] [ And Animal Beauty too ] but really loves so much the Grand Palais as it is of small enough dimension to fit her ego.

Now the Reporter was not allowed to take pics inside, as usual, but she find a lovely press photographer who was allowed so here are the pics by this lovely lady with reference due, on each.
Here are three lovely pointe seche by henry moore :

pic by Elodie Drouard/FTVI

a sculptured group of nice little rats,

pic by Elodie Drouard/FTVI

Someone looking out there at a lovely little Breughel, and the sad leg of a horse,

pic by Elodie Drouard/FTVI

Three wonderful Gericault :

pic by Elodie Drouard/FTVI

and then, really why the Reporter went to this Beaute Animale, her obsession, the White Bear by Francois Pompon, a plaster made in 1922, and he changed one leg in 1928,
this is the Reporter's only regret on Earth, she wished, she wished, she could have sculpted that one.
Her favorite of favorite of favorite.
If you want to see it, it resides [ outside this exhibition ] at the Museum of Dijon.

Pic by Elodie Drouard/ FTVI

The Silly Reporter couldn't , as she was exiting the exhibition, not take a few shots of her beloved Palais:

and then she got some cards for her friends of the polar bear to try to induce the same obsession in those cool friends,

and then she walked home, fast, to work a little more on her pitiful painting, the eyes full of the Pompon Bear.

and to tell you the truth, dear Reader, there is ' fort a faire' on that one.
Which means, you will have guessed, lots and lots to work about it.

With all Love
the Frog

Thursday, April 5, 2012

where there is an amazing show

5 - April - 2012

The Reporter having a family reunion, she decided to take that lovely member across the Channel.
So full of pluck and courage, those two embarked on that very cute train :

and at the end of the morning sat foot on the dock at St Pancrace.

That was awesome enough in itself.
Then the Reporter's companion, a lady of intense fashion tastes, took them to the secluded store of manolo blahnick, by the river Thames, and indeed a rather seductive place :

full of little shoes taking a breather in different locations :

And indeed, with a view of the lovely Old Church Lane :

But they didn't have what the lovely companion was looking for, so sad but richer,
they embarked on one of those delightful streets,

Then they stopped for a extra-minuscule bite at, of course, Harrods :
[ the companion and the Reporter like their food in minuscule quantity or they choke ]

before rushing out and making haste as they were about to see one of the Reporter's idols,

pic by reuters/ luke mac gregor

and there, the Companion and the Reporter fell on their little butt from the sheer magnificence and beauty and awesomeness, and cosmic size and magic spirituality of beloved Mr. Hockney's work !!!!
and then, like two cinderellas, the eyes full of the marvels they saw from mr. Hockney, they rushed on their tiny heels to the Tube, click down their way through mazes of down escalators and then re-immerged on the dock of St Pancrace, hopped on the pumpkin, to rejoin just before midnight, their beloved paris.

And that was the Escapade to the Enchanted Forests of their beloved mr. Hockney.

With all Love
the Frog

Monday, April 2, 2012

where there is a line

2 - April - 2012

Well it was high time for the Reporter to get some culture in.

So armed with her usual great courage, she walked at dawn out of the little camping place to get on time to the Musee du Jeu de Paume and see some serious stuff.

There was a bit of a line but nothing like at the Grand Palais where she had stopped before to try to get inside the Helmut Newton show. That had a line which was 2 and 1/2 hours long, and she gave up on that one.

So instead the line at the Jeu de Paume was shorter.. and it was moving !!!

So she got in along with her Tall friend and got to see three different photographers, first Jimmy Robert, which installation show was small and nice. Then she went upstairs and checked into Ai Weiwei's show.
That was a heartbreaking show.
Ai has been for the last ten years or more documenting what is taking place in China and often with the greatest courage and at great risk. He ended by posting on his blog daily what was tormenting him about what was taking place daily there.
The show covers several parts:
His life in NY from 1983 till 1993, then the Beijing photographs from 1993 till 2009, the landsapes series from 2000- till 2008, then the different series like Beijing terminal, the fairytale portraits, the study of perspective, then we come to the blog photographs from 005 till 2009 [ when his blog was stopped by the police and its entire archives seized, at the same time, his seires on the disaster earthquake in Sichuan where 15,000 schoolchildren were decimated and the list of their names deleted by the police, and then then the cell phone photos and the dectruction of his studio leading to his arrest in earlu April 2011. After 81 days of inhumane jailing in degrading condtions, he was realeased but forbidden to leave China and his whereabouts are unclear, on one knows where he is right now.
The photographs are amazing both by their beauty and sorrow, coldness and humanity. You come out of this exhibition distressed, to say the least.

Then we went downstairs to see the photos of Berenice Abbott who used to be an assistant of Man Ray in 1926. Her photos are beautiful, amazing , compelling. She will remind you a bit of Lee Miller.
Very Very amazing show too.

Then we went to the Museum of Arts Decoratifs to see the Louis Vuitton show, collections of the first old trunks, then evolution and exhibition of some of the creations by Marc Jacobs.
There was a nice little 2 Cv shown too...

Then since we were on a quest for more culture we walked to the Salon du Dessin Contemporain,
and there a Belgian gallery :

And there we found an artist who seemed to have found the right alternative solution :

And then this lovely artist had picked up the prize :

And indeed his pen and ink piece was somewhat amazing :

and then there was this piece too which was arresting :

And then we walked all the way back to the Grand Palais to try our luck to the Helmut Newton show, but no way, it was still 2 & 1/2 hours long to wait to get in. so we gave up and the next day, bright and early we were there :

and we got in and there with a peek at the roof

and then we got in, and to tell the truth, though quite different from Ai Weiwei, Helmut Newton was as moving with his beauty and intelligence and elegance and creativity, Truly an awesome show, we couldn't take any pics but we decided to order the books [ heavy ] online !!!

And then to celebrate all of these multi varied views of humanity... the Reporter took her loelvy friend for a small meal
but delicious:

And this was the end of the cultural days for the Reporter, but all those images and the self protrait of Ai Weiwei will stay
with many thoughts and wishes sent to him, wherever he is right now.

With all Love

the Frog