Thursday, January 24, 2008

More of Margie and Paris

I promised I would publish some more pics of our wonderful day in Paris with Margie and her fabulous family, so here they are.

In the photos above and below are the rest of the fab four, with Madelaine, her super talented and gentle James and Sophie, the youngest, but looking to be the tallest of the three girls- another sweetie too.

Below, a rather nice pic of the very special Colin.

And an unusual take of 'me and ma friend Marge'.

On to the sights, this is a view of the Place de la Bastille, decorated with several bright young things making use of the open spaces for some skateboarding practice.

I'd never seen the game of Boules played before, but it seems that you can play it anywhere there's a piece of open ground and some sandy soil, as here is a thoroughly informal game being played in the middle of a Paris street.

And of course, being us, the inevitable canal. This one's name I can't recall off hand and Koos isn't here to tell me, but it looked beautiful at dusk with its still surface reflecting the evening light.

I thought Dale might like this one. It's the high speed train that both took us and brought us home from Paris. I'm publishing this, courtesy of Colin (and I hope you don't mind, Colin!), but the train has a name, the Thalys, and is a really futuristic looking beastie.

Then finally, it was time to say goodbye. Also one of Colin's pics, it captures our mood, which was definitely one of fun in the company we'd been keeping.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

To Paris and to Margie!

I've been keeping this quiet for a wee while, but today was the day we'd been waiting for and it finally came.  This morning, we, being Koos and I, made a mad dash to Paris so that we could meet the marvellous, lovely and beloved MargieCM of blog fame, together with her absolutely gorgeous family. It was a truly special, once in a lifetime meeting. We could have known them all our lives, but in fact had a bare six hours together - six hours filled with warmth, laughter, serious discussion, camraderie and genuine friendship that will last six times six hundred of those hours at least.

The pictures below are just a few of those that were taken at the apartment Margie, her truly lovely Colin and the fab four offspring are sharing close to the Marais district in Paris. I'll publish a few more of the others in another post.

Colin, the adorable Emma and Margie laughing....

Colin, Margie and Koos laughing.....

Moi, Colin and Margie...seeing sights on a long and much needed post lunch walk
Koos, M and C doing the same in the Place de vosges.......while considering Colin's indispensible map book.

We spent most of the afternoon walking, taking in the canals and boats (well, this is us after all!) and enjoying the Parisian atmosphere. We finally ended our tour back at the Gare du Nord, where Koos and I jumped on the train and headed back to Rotterdam, replete with good food, good company and warm memories of a day we wouldn't have missed for the world. Thank you Margie and Colin. Have a wonderful week in Paris and a safe journey home. We miss you already! xx

Saturday, January 05, 2008

From the Rocks to the Dunes

Last month on the 12th December, we were at this stunning beach on the eastern cape coast of South Africa. It seemed so far and so divorced from my life here in the Netherlands that coming back was somewhat confusing - from mid summer to mid winter is, in its way, as much of an adjustment as the east/ west time lag.

But, never say die is my motto, so on the 26th December, just two short weeks later when we were about as far north as we had been south earlier in the month, I persuaded Koos to take me to the beach near Breskens where he took these lovely winter photos (It's on the Zeeuws Vlaanderen coast of the Netherlands about 15 kms from the Belgian border)

Somehow, the connection with the sea and the sand made sense of the change.