Artnotes Italy Daily

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Artnotes: the Merry Widows

 Lady and Dog at the beach   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/linen 10.5 x 14"  27 x 36 cm
 Sunrise St Malo  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/linen  10.5 x 14" 27 x 36 cm

Rocky Coast   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/linen  10.5 x 16"  27 x 40cm

 Photo of Laurie and Harika at the beach Dinard
 Blair at the paint out

The Merry Widows

As my talented husband astonishes the North Carolina Piedmont with his painting abilities, Harika and I took to the road in France.

We abandoned our Thelma and Louise aspirations for playing the Merry Widows on the TGV train for St Malo.  Our good friends live there, and were willing to accept me and my hairy companion for a few days.  There were moments, just trying to get to the station, that made me laugh, but we pressed on.  If you have never tried to manage a heavy (art supplies and dog food) suitcase and a 30 pound dog that needs to be put into a carrying sack, I suggest you give it a try.  Every time I’d get her into the sack, the sack on top of the suitcase, and start wheeling, she’d shift position.  No one would help me in the least.

Was it because we hadn’t seen each other in so long, or was it a meeting of the minds?  My friends and I talked non-stop about the state of the world, the state of self, the now, the past, the future.  We share a lot of similar values, but enough slightly different ideas to keep me thinking for weeks.  It was like the front porch at Hemlock Lodge, and my faith in having friends and happy life reaffirmed.  I cooked vegetarian and it was pretty good (well, for everyone but Harika).

The coast of Bretagne is like no other in France.  The scale is tremendous.  Tides recede a half-mile from shore.  Immense granite walls line the sea.  It is impossible to describe.  Harika and I watched each sunrise from the beach, and both of us were awe-struck.  Harika and I swam, the water warmed by sunshine.  She ran like a puppy and had to be dragged back into the house.

When we weren’t enjoying the beach, we visited the town of Becherel, a village totally dedicated to old books.  It is called the city of books, and it boasts more than a half million volumes, spread over a dozen or so stores.  There was a restaurant, where I ate the best crepe, bar none, of my life (actually I avoid crepes in Paris, often disappointed).  Bubbly, buttery, buckwheat cooked to perfection stuffed with apples and sausage:  yum-yum.  I will never forget it.  

We visited several bookstores, and I found a book or two I liked, but I couldn’t risk having to carry a single extra page back to Paris, based on the prior escapade.  

My friends helped us onto the train.

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