Thursday, April 8, 2010

Splendid Spring! And a Splendid New Spring in Malcolm's Step!

It started like this :

A green haze against a brown background. (Anyone having seen Episode 20 of the first season of the X files - When night falls... - might not like the look of that green haze...)

The first day of Spring - the 20th - was a rainy Saturday in March. Mom had even forgotten it was officially spring until she read about it on Ghulf Genes. Nonetheless, that day, as she was going to buy me - Malcolm that is - my umpteenth birthday present in the Latin quatrer, Mom suddenly realized that despite the drizzle and wintery, grey skies, spring must truly be on it's way! Of course, being Mom, she started snapping pictures...

Soon everywhere she went, Mom began noticing the buds...

...things became slightly more luminous on Sunday the 21st. Here's what Mom saw on her way to the voting office and back (The 21st was the second round of the regional elections - considered a big defeat for President Sarkozy - it was a glorious day.) :

There were even flowers already! Mom wondered how she had missed them before?

The 21st was also my official birthday party day, remember? That's when Mom and Papa took me and my guests - um, sorry, my guests and me - to the parc de Belleville, Monique's favorite. Here's what Mom saw on the way there :

Forsythia! (With a little wrought iron thrown in just for good mea/pleasure) and...

...more green haze in a brown tangle!

When we got to the park the glories of spring were becoming ever more evident :

Mom even managed to catch a Spring Bumble Bee...

...look closely... you see him? Remember last summer? Mom didn't manage to get a picture of a Late Summer Bee. Her guess is that Early Spring Bees are still a little sleepy so they must fly more slowly.

After tons of photos of me, Malcolm, playing foot with my friends, Mom caught this spring shot on the way home :

Spring and Grafitti!

On the 30th of March, things looked like this from our back window :

Mom zoomed in, trying to catch the play of light on the green haze...

...on the forsythia...

And, yes, this next shot really was taken from our back window in the middle of Paris...

...sure looks like some abandoned country yard though, doesn't it?

And here's what the sunset looked like that day :

Compare that with this late summer sunset taken from the same window.

Notice the difference in the thickness of the cherry tree tendrils?

Mom took this next shot on the 6th of April :

Mostly buds, just one or two leaves! Now compare it to a few days later :

The trees bloom at different rates... this photo cleary demonstrates.

And with the appreaance in Paris of buds, leaves and flowers, comes the appearance of...

...hordes of ice-cream-eating, Parisian shoppers. Mom had forgotten that Paris is actaully full of Parisians, but as she went on her way to pick up my umpteenth - 1 birthday present (which you will discover later), she was forced to bully her way through the crowds...maybe they weren't all out to shop? Maybe some had come to...

...see another Spring Bunny (no one was standing in line for this guy, although he wanted us to pay him anyway!). Or perhaps they'd come to...

...see the street artists...

...or the musicians. (You can tell the weather's nice, the girls who appreciate violin music have got on their red, summer dresses!) Or perhaps people had come to...

...get a back rub! That's this year's newest offer on the place Beaubourg (last year you could buy your name written in Chinese calligraphy... yeah, right...). Or maybe some people just came out to...

...lie about in the sun and watch...

...pigeons building nests on the facade of the Pompidou Center (Mom didn't manage to get a shot of the mother pigeon, she must be a whole lot bigger than the others to make nests that big!).

Still, Mom figures most of the people making up these hordes were out to do the same thing she was...

...SHOP! (Perhaps you can't see it but there are so many people in that store that Mom could not even get in that door you see there.) Actually, Mom was not shopping. Actually, she was just going to pick up an item she and I had ordered on the 17th of March in the very store you see above. On that day, the store was empty and we had the vendor to oursleves (We took pictures too but they were on Mom's USB key and it got zapped by a virus unfortunately. Boo hoo! All our birthday photos have disappeared...Luckily, we put a few on the blog before the virus atttack.).

Anyway, that day we discovered that Nike has a new service : create your own shoes!!! Once you've created them on the computer, you pay for them, of course. Then the efficent Nike team sends you emails to keep you up to date on how your order is progressing : "Today we received your order, today we started making your shoes, today we finished them, today we sent them to your outlet, today you can pick them up!!!" The service is called NikeiD. I bet you didn't know about it, did you? Mom and I were pretty tickled too! You all know how I love shoes, right? Especially shiny, new, tennis shoes, right? Well, just watch this :

Yep! They really are real! They've got to be the shiniest pair of sneakers on Ménilmontant, no? And their MINE! They've even got my name on them, did you notice?

First, everyone had to admire them. That's Fred holding them. He's Nil's Papa. That's Papa caressing them delicately. Then I got to put them on...

I was so pleased, so thrilled! They are so lovely I hardly dare to walk in them let alone play foot in the dust and dirt...

Luckily, I still have these ol' guys for playing foot!

Yes, it certainly is a splendid spring!

And this is what our cherry tree looked like yesterday :

Amazing what a little sun can do, no?

Probably won't look like this long though, not at the rate these fat birds gobble up the blossoms! They come every year when the trees are in bloom then they hide away to digest what they've eaten till next Spring. We never see them at any other time.They look like pigeons but they're not. They're bigger, plumper, cleaner looking birds. We call them the cherry blossom doves and this year, thanks to Lady Leica with the eagle eye, you get to admire them too!

Hope things are as shiny and blooming out your way as they are here in Paris!


  1. Magnificent!

    Spring in Paris, just beautiful. You guys are a bit ahead of us but it's rather lovely here too.

    And those shoes, Malcolm, you are lucky. Those are fabulous new shoes. They actually look bigger than the old ones. Have your feet really grown? Well, of course they have, what am I thinking. You're taller too, so, well, the feet must grow to help keep you upright!

    By the way, Henry, we're glad there was a blog with some photos of the place you spend your class trip. Thanks for the link, Michelle.

    All this talk of spring and blooming things reminds me to go and plant lavander seeds!

  2. A song was composed and has been sung to the glories of "April in Paris" for a very long time already. If you don't know it have your Mom sing it to you, Malcolm.
    I wish I could take a walk in your park or look out your hallway window at the magnificent sunsets one can see from there. That is something I cannot see from our windows. Too many trees, you remember, don't you?
    Love those new shoes too! And monogrammed yet, now that's really cool! I know that you make shoe choices very carefully and that you also know how to take care of those new shoes.
    So once more, happy birthday to you, and wear them proudly!
    Love, Omi

  3. Ah, Spring! Ah, shoes! Oh, sadness. I was the one who photographed the blue ones when they were, anciently, so new and Splendid! Plus ça change… Malcolm, you've suddenly grown so Big, feet first, I think. And tell your Mom that she is an artist with that camera. Paris comes alive!