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Day 294: Smile

I love it when something extra pops up on my photos.

Walking down rue de Rennes, this series of glass windows/walls caught my attention for the reflection that it was giving off. And because of the angle of the building, it makes an interesting combination of refracted objects, which include other buildings and street lamp.

It was only when I was home, and uploaded this photo, that I noticed the smiley. Someone has sprayed one onto the wall of a block off the main road. It is simple, just two big eyes and one mouth line, but sufficient to put a smile on my face too. It’s a sign to tell me to keep faith and be happy. So I am. :)

Day 293: Foggy morning

It is such a change to wake up to a peaceful morning with a view of fog-shrouded woods, instead of hearing the city vehicles zooming by, occassionally laced with emergency siren as the police/ambulance/firemen/SAMU tried to get somewhere as quickly as possible, and all we see is just the same old buildings surrounding us. It makes me want to stay here longer, but alas I have to pack to leave later in the day.

Everyone I’ve spoken to have enjoyed the change of scene, and a handful few had even walked the woods like we did, which starts just beyond these wooden benches. When it is not foggy, you could even see a lake just beyond the trees. I guess in this condition though, it may be a tad tricky to wander around in the woods, not to mention it is a wee bit chilly, brrrr. I need a cuppa hot chocolate.

Day 292: Les champignons

Midweek getaway to the countryside – what’s not to like? I’m on a 2-day work retreat and this morning, we’ve all been whisked away to Nouan le Fuzelier in central France. A good couple of hours drive away from Paris, we settled in quickly for a bit of a work session and lunch. After that though, a wee break to enjoy the rural landscape.

My colleagues and I went for a walk in the woods. Being the clueless one about French countryside, I got a lesson about nature today. Quickly thereafter, as my eyes adjusted better to our surroundings, I started to see new plants, noticing the ecosystem, spotting random wild mushroom colonies. That was pretty fun. However, since we couldn’t recognise the type of mushrooms, we decided it would be better not to pick some back for cooking. Have you any idea what mushroom variety this may be?

Day 291: Wine superiority

After last week’s confounding collage art by Tristan des Limbes, today’s piece found at Butte aux Cailles looks rather straight forward at the first glance. Or is it? Perhaps there is also multiple explanations to it, but I’m going with the most obvious.

I see this as an allegory of submitting oneself to the superiority of French wine. As good as made by the gods. But drinkers beware! Too much of it, and you’re slaving away to an addiction that will bring you down on your knees. For a substance to have control over you is never something positive.

Day 290: Body, 2011

There are some new additions to Jardin des Tuileries, but sadly they won’t be here to stay for long. It’s all in preparation for the FIAC 2011 contemporary art fair which will be running this weekend. And what’s nice about these outdoor exhibits (as opposed to those inside various museum spaces) is they’re free for all to enjoy!

While some pieces are still currently in construction (e.g. there’s a strange artichoke-like looking sculpture nearby), Moulène’s piece called Body (apparently inspired by Renault Twizy Z.E.) is already sitting pretty. With its striking colours, it’s quite hard to miss really. I’m going to make a round and see what else will be put in place.

Day 289: Chez Angelina

We all could do with a little treat every so often. For some reason, I seem to fixate on the idea for a cuppa white hot chocolate at Angelina and even managed to convince Liting to come along with me. However, as we got there by about 5pm (prime hour for pastry and hot chocolate), the queue isn’t inconsiderable.

Patiently did we wait for our turn. In between, we people-watched and stole a few (creative) shots. I particularly like this one, which I had all but a small window of opportunity to photograph. Sure I wish this is a sharper shoot, but the slight blur and imperfection are, in my opinion, the elements that made this image works. What say you?

Day 288: Sunny at Montsouris

Perhaps the autumn weather is not as bad as I thought. I can manage grey skies during the week while I’m at work, as long as every weekend is as sunny as today. Enough for me to sit outside with a good book and read for a few hours and I’m pleased as punch. What can I say? I’m a simple girl, enjoying simple things of life.

Clealy I am not the only one taking advantage of this pleasant weather. Families are out in throng. Couples too, whispering sweet nothing (or so I am assuming) to each other. And those of us flying solo, we’re content just to have our own me-time. I, for one, needed this, since I am a little stressed out from work. Here’s to oh sunny sunny day :)

Day 287: Rugby giants

Brrrr. That’s the vibration from my mobile phone. Anne has just texted me. “You should check rue Princesse for today’s pic.” Have I told you just how wonderful my friends are? They are keeping an eye out nowadays for anything that may be of interest to me and send tips my way. She was, however, being mysterious. It means I do need to check this out myself.

As soon as I turned into rue Princesse, I couldn’t stop giggling. And silently thanking her for knowing me this well. Two French rugby jerseys in gigantic size are hung over the street, reminding everyone that France is still in the game and on path to compete for the Webb Ellis Cup. They would have to defeat Wales tomorrow to be in the final, against either Australia or New Zealand. Nailbiting stuff!

Ps: France fell at the last hurdle, losing the Rugby World Cup by 1 point to New Zealand on 23 October.

Day 286: Jazz on the street

Paris loves jazz. Or maybe it’s jazz loves Paris. Either way, they are good things, because I love both. It means while I explore the nooks and corners of the city, I could always count on coming across someone playing live jazz. It could be a bar, or it could be on the street. I’ll take whichever comes my way.

At this moment, I could sway and dance to the music, or barely tap my foot in sync with the melody. Instead, I am trying hard to keep still, from not humming the song and let it vibrates through my body. I already only have a small compact camera and it’s getting dark, so two strikes against the possibility of good pictures. In fact, I don’t think I’ll be successful in getting a single sharp photo of this quintet, but that’s ok too, because I am too happy to care.

Day 285: Mini Lion of Belfort

Another monument at public square for you today – it’s a miniature of the Lion of Belfort. It sits rather prominently at Place Denfert-Rochereau, with plenty of after office vehicles zooming around in their rush to get home, or make it for dinner appointments, or whats not. At the same time, there was a vanful of police next to me so I just made a quick job of photographing this and left.

The Lion of Belfort was sculpted in celebration of France’s resistance during the siege of Belfort, led by none others than Colonel Denfert-Rochereau. Given this square in the 14th arrondissement is already name after the colonel, why not place a miniature of the famous lion that commemorates the effort at the square, right?

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