a little walk in Paris, after five days of sitting in the showroom.

grey-sky-through-the-grey-roof.JPG

a grey view from the room, but I always love this view. the overlapping framing of the distant wedge of sky and roofs, with its rusty marks and cool grey lead, stucco, and stone, intensifies the cloudscape which was constantly changing its watery greys and creams.

p1030247.JPG

the grey outside a complete contrast to the room inside this time, which was decorated with various wallpapers of 60’s vintage, ceiling and walls full of clashing colour vibrating and reflecting against the cool external light.

p1030250.JPG

it made the low ceilinged room feel even smaller, but very special and like a jewel box.

p1030256.JPG

curving stairs and ancient hexagonal tiles make the bright and patterned room even more of a surprise on arrival.

p1030257.JPG

nearby the Tuillerie gardens have formal clipped tree plantings juxtaposed with English style border planting. those pinky purples look wonderful next to the just-beginning-to-turn colours of the trees.

p1030258.JPG

these huge 16th century slate roofs of the Palais du Louvre, with their towering chimneys and carved decorations, dominate the riverside. the typical french renaissance style is echoed in the Hotel de Ville and in the chateaux of the Loire valley. they make Paris a very distinctive city. even the stock market is housed in a beautiful early 19th century building, the domed Palais de la Bourse.

p1030259.JPG

in the tuilleries I found two examples of hat design very similar to my knitted hats. they are actually meant to be helmets tipped back so that the face mask forms a peak.

p1030260.JPG

perhaps I should think about putting a crest on a hat.

p1030262.JPG

and I had to add a very pretty and delicate Diana the huntress with her beautiful hound.

p1030263.JPG

looking for textures, the lime tree bark shows how clean the air must be in Paris, there are lichens growing here.

p1030264.JPG

and lime leaves just beginning to colour.

p1030265.JPG

and fall in the wind

p1030267.JPG

onto the grey cobble stones of the Quai Voltaire on the left bank of the Seine.

p1030268.JPG

this is a beautiful barge used as a house boat on the Port de Conti, opposite the Île de la Cité.

p1030269.JPG

Elza is enormous and must be a comfortable home

p1030270.JPG

with the most amazing views

p1030271.JPG

the river is quite low in these photos, but it has been a lot higher from time to time. I saw it racing so close under the bridges that there would have been no room for any boat in 2001.

p1030272.JPG

according to these marks that was the lowest of the river’s highs. there is one mark, not included in this photo, at the top of the quai wall, level with the Paris streets.

p1030273.JPG

next to Elza, a piratical boat.

p1030274.JPG

along the Port des Grands Augustins, the Pont Neuf has carved gargoyle heads just for fun.

p1030275.JPG

the water-worn stone of the port wall shows quite well that floods and high water are common. this limestone is full of shell fossils.

p1030276.JPG

monumental rings for tying up boats are all along this section. once it must have been a busy wharf full of boats bringing supplies to Paris.

p1030277.JPG

and we crossed onto the Île de la Cité, the centre of Paris, via the Pont Saint-Michel. more extraordinary 17th century slate roofed buildings opposite Notre Dame.

p1030278.JPG

this is the least exciting view of it, I think, I prefer the rounded east end with the enormous flying buttresses – but we didn’t walk that way.

a pause here to give our feet a rest, then across the Pont Notre Dame to the Marais, shopping and lunch.

p1030279.JPG

and finally, we found the Palais Royal and its very formal gardens, on our way back to the Avenue de l’Opera.

p1030280.JPG

these clipped rows of trees are like hedges on legs in the white sand.

p1030282.JPG