Visiting Edward Hopper

This I did on Tuesday. I actually stood in a queue for more than an hour to see this exhibition. I have to admit that I didn’t know about this artist, but I wanted to see what it’s about, because this was probably the most advertised exhibition in Paris. The exhibition was extended also for another week, because of its popularity.

Edward Hopper, an american artist, visited Paris three times as a young man and was influenced by artists like Manet and Degas. Maybe that’s why Paris was so excited to have his works here on display.

My first treat for the day was this older man playing piano in the station at Versailles Chantier. These pianos are part of the streetpianos initiative. There are 40 pianos all around Paris, standing there for anyone to play and for the joy of the people hearing the music. The first time I saw one of these pianos was the young man playing in the shopping center at Les Halles.

two excellent musicians…


for a sweet treat, I met Danie for a café et tartelette

Hopper21Walking from the station, Invalide, I was wondering if one will ever get to a point that you can think I have now seen all of Paris. I have seen the pont Alexandre III before, but this time I had to cross it to go to the Grand Palais where the exhibition was held.

just beautiful…


seeing Paris from the bridge…


The same goes for the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais just across the road. I have walked down the Champs-Elysées many times and saw these buildings from there, but Tuesday I walked around it for the first time.

beautiful and impressive…


and now this building hosts the paintings of Edward Hopper, all the way from America…


As I came around the corner I saw the reality of the popularity of this exhibition. A nice queue with a sign where I joined the queue, saying that from that point it will take me an hour to enter. But… I was there, I opened my umbrella when the rain started falling and waited patiently for my turn. They let only a certain amount of people go inside at a certain time. The guy organizing this let the people in front of me in and then asked me if we are together, and while I’m still wondering what he meant, the young girl behind me said, oui! and in go the two of us as well. : )


It was worth the wait.   Now I know about mister Hopper and for some reason there is really something special to stand in front of a famous artwork. My plan was to see van Gogh’s exhibition as well, but that will have to wait till next time. You can’t fit two queues into one day. : )


A drive on Christmas day.

Christmas is almost long forgotten, but so much happens around Christmas that you don’t find time to share it all. Christmas day was so cold and windy that we thought its better to go for a drive. Stopping, looking quickly, hurrying the ones taking photographs so we can get in the warm car again. : )

A first stop in Cergy at the Axe Majeur… An impressive place. Urban landscaping they call it. 


Then off to Auvers sur Oise where Vincent van Gogh lived for a while (and died).

Marleen greeting Santa Claus… opposite the Auberge Ravine where van Gogh hired a room.


Then off to see his grave and the church made famous by van Gogh.


we had to warm up again… for that you need coffee and a crêpe…


Lastly the beautiful town Pontoise. Remembering the cold early mornings I dropped Jaco and Pieter off at Pontoise station.



and then back home to the fireplace and a nice Christmas dinner.

Beynes today.

We woke up this morning with clear skies, and surprised to see a thin layer of snow. Changing our town into a whole new picture. I’ve put on everything warm and walked in -2 degrees to appreciate the beauty.

the view from my backyard…

and looking to the other side…

Peggy had a quick stroll in the snow…

in the graveyard…

on the way to town…

blue, blue skies above the church’s white roof…

the road to the château…

square trees…

Even a bit of snow still gets us excited. They say the actual snow is coming on Friday. We’re waiting!

An afrikaans Christmas in Paris

We were privileged to have my family here with us for Christmas. We didn’t have a white Christmas, but we also didn’t swim like we used to in Cape Town. : )

we baked…


we cooked… (Theresa, this is really true, Danie made potjie. : )


and we ate..



played boardgames…

and just look at the adults… : ) 

of course we opened gifts… from France, Germany and South Africa…


and just like that Christmas is over and a new year has begun.