A day in Paris

One feels very local when you take the train to Paris, and leave your camera at home. No museums on the itinerary, because you have things to do. Well, the actual reason for going in was to renew my titre de séjour, my recidence permit. So, maybe we are not really locals yet… and I couldn’t resist to just use my cellphone’s camera. : )

I’m not local, but I do have my regular places by now. Close to Montparnasse, this is Exki. You have to start a day in Paris with coffee and a croissant. Ideally you should sit somewhere on a sidewalk, in a row with everyone else, and everybody facing the road. You pay 8 euros for your café crémé et croissant, and mostly sit and think that this is not the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had. : ) That’s the truth, but I still like to sit on that sidewalk. The idea of being in Paris, maybe looking at the Notre Dame while drinking your coffee, just change the taste of that coffee to very nice. : )

Notre Dame

I went to Exki with my sister the first time. Nothing special about this place. The train from Beynes stops at Montparnasse and Exki is just around the corner from Montparnasse. It is clean and quiet. (It has clean toilets… : )  )  And you pay 3,60 for a nice coffee in a nice cup with an ok croissant.


Then you’re ready for the day. Pieter ordered something on the internet that I was going to pick up for him. Metro line 4 took me to this place. There was a market where I got off at Simplon. First I bought a 2 euro scarf, as this lovely, sunny, spring morning in Paris, had a freezing breeze. : ) Walked through the market and saw one of those we-sell-food-to-african-immigrants shops. Happy to see it, I bought white maize meal and off I went with my mieliepap.

Paris market

Next stop: Rue Hermel.

Passe-passe. A circus shop. Really. I have never been in a shop that sells unicycles, magician things, and anything you can juggle with. I didn’t know there exists shops that sells circus stuff!


I got Pieter’s parcel, and off I went with my mieliepap and 5 juggling balls. : ) Next to the circus shop I saw a church, and my tourist side took over.

Paroisse Notre Dame de Clignancourt
Notre Dame de ClignancourtPieter also needs a piece of fur for his ‘Alice in wonderland’s hare’ costume. I went to the textile area at the Sacre Coeur. Then continued my journey to the immigrant’s office with my bag: mieliepap, 5 juggling balls, and a piece of fur. Maybe I’m not yet a local… : )

Sacre Coeur

After a whole afternoon at OFII – Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration, I am now a bit closer to being a local. I am not a visitor in France anymore, but am now in France for private live and family reasons. Something like that. : )

By ButterflyHands Posted in Paris

Our garden on the first floor

…and the second, and third, and it can go on.
Our house here in Beynes is build on the bottom of a hill and on the front of the plot. Yes, right on the pavement. If I stick my arm out of my kitchen window, I could touch the cars that pass. Really : )

This photo is old. Danie has made us a beautiful wooden gate in the meantime…

The garden is behind the house and goes all the way up the hill. So you have to go upstairs to the first floor to get outside in our garden,

When we bought this house, you could not call it a garden. A wilderness would have been a better description. Anyway, we paged through old photo’s the other day, and actually felt impressed with what we have achieved by now.

People always say that we must have seen the potential in the house, that’s why we bought it. Unfortunately, no… it was big and cheap.

Ok, this is what we have bought.Beynes

We had ‘braais’ in that first weeks… but only because we didn’t have a kitchen.

We got into it and started a big clean-up. Ok, maybe not we… mainly Danie, and with some help of the boys. And I should add that this was already the second summer in Beynes. The first summer (and winter) we only worked inside the house.

Less weeds and our stuff in…

…and then it was messed up again to get ready for the paving.

one whole summer of creating a patio (not we, but Danie)… with 450 cement tiles, that weighs 13kg each… and were all carried up to our first floor garden by Jaco and Pieter.

My Album 6-001

and it grew, till we could have our first braai on the ‘almost finished’ patio…
My Album 6-001

While the patio was growing, I worked a bit on the flower beds. I don’t know what we did in 2014, but that did not involve the garden that much. Well, we had some flowers, even sunflowers.
My Album 6-001

2015 is a new and good year. Seasons in France is different from what we knew in SA. From November till March, it is so cold that we never even open the door to the garden. Then spring starts and it feels as if everything is getting alive. The tulips show. I had a few. The lilacs flower and the canola fields are the deepest yellow one can imagine. In this spring of 2015 I bought two blue chairs that now sit on our ‘third floor’ : ) garden.

My Album 6-001

and the view from my blue chairs in springtime, with the canola fields on the hills opposite us…

and this is what our patio looks like now, that made us feel quite impressed… : )
zIMG_7022 zIMG_7024 zIMG_7026

and this is the rest of the garden up the hill…


now we have started with the ‘second floor’. A bit overgrown in 2012…


The open patch will become the vegetable garden.


And with happiness and thankfulness I can look down from the second floor on my first floor. : )

and see Mandi being silly in her room on the second? : ) floor.zIMG_7033

and have tea with Danie on my blue chairs, while looking over Beynes, that’s turned to summer green in the meantime…
zIMG_7030and see my ‘grown-up’ : ) children throwing tennis balls from one garden ‘floor’ to another. With balls going over the roof and ending up in the road. : )

greetings from my garden in Beynes…zIMG_7038

By ButterflyHands Posted in Paris