Sunday, August 23, 2009

Courtyard Neighbors

The only outside patio area we can claim is to open the front door and the sidelight door and position two chairs on the foyer platform. From here I, Amanda, can feel like I am on a patio in our courtyard. Actually, by our apartment, it is more of an alley... it opens out to a larger space at the back with two fenced-in private areas.

Bill has accused me of sitting in the doorway to accost our neighbors ... you know how much I like to be outside, this is the only way!

Anyway, yesterday I stood up and spoke to one of our neighbors who kept passing by with just a bonjour. I found out her name was Antoinette and her home and workshop for restoring Louis XIV wooden decorative items (frames, thermometers and barometers) was the apartment that was the last on the right.

She was excited that between her English and my French we could communicate!! She invited me to see her workshop and there I met her sister Caterine who helps her. Her mother just passed away last year and she was still missing her very much, but she also told me that she was born in the hospital just around the corner, and she lived and worked in this apartment in our courtyard her whole life. We had a great time discussing the pieces she was working on and I told her about my dining room stencils and framing that I tried to make look as old as her items! She thought that was very funny. I am hoping to get to know her better and plan on baking another pine nut apple tart tomorrow for them.

I also met our other neighbors who just moved in. They are Italian (Carlo, Eleanor and Orlando 5), but have been living in London for 13 years, they speak good English (Italian, Spanish and French also!!). Like Bill, Eleanor said they can live anywhere as her husband's job depends on the Internet. They chose France because they think the French private schools are the best in the world. They will move to a bigger house in October and the apartment they are in now will become her workshop. She does "large installation collages using black and white photography". Do I dare show them my watercolors I plan on working on?

Anyway, I feel like we have a lot in common. Who would have thought that would happen here on the other side of the globe??? This is the kind of experience we are looking for during our stay in Paris!

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