Tuesday, 27 March 2007

back now..

I'm back now. We had a simply wonderful time. We did so many fun things. And I came loaded up with all kinds of goodies! Here's one of them--a beautiful silver evening dress I bought to wear at my birthday party next weekend (It's going to be held at the castle, and lots of people are going to be there!) It will go really well with my silver shoes..There's a picture of it here to show you, one that shows you the full thing and a close-up so you can see the really cool detail on the top..
Things are OK for the moment though there's been some weird stuff going on. Things I don't really want to put up here.

Anyway today is normal, I've just been doing stuff at home with Grandpere. We've been trying to put together a website for him, about Napoleon, because as you know he is a specialist on Napoleon and has written lots of books about him. At least we've just been taking a look at some of the sites people have already done., to think how we might organise ours. Tell you what, there's quite a few on him already. He's a real celebrity still, that guy, though he died nearly two hundred years ago..
For example, there's a big site about him at www.napoleon.org

We can't decide quite what style we want, I think it should be something a bit intriguing and far-out but I don't know if I know enough about computers to do that!

Friday, 23 March 2007

A trip to Paris

I've been in Paris since Tuesday afternoon with my grandfather. We just decided on the spur of the moment to go. We'll be here a week. I'm so glad because I needed time out, away from the castle and all that's been happening there. So many things have happened and I don't know what to make of it all. It feels like I'm in the middle of a story written by someone else and that I'm helpless and don't know how it's all going to end. I hate feeling like that..

Anyway here in Paris though it's raining just like it was down south(and it's even colder) there are just so many things to do and see, you forget about the weather. We've visited the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, the Tour Eiffel, the Champs Elysees, Notre Dame and lots and lots of other places. I've done heaps of shopping, went to all the really fashionable streets where designers like Dior and Chanel and stuff are(not that I bought anything there!) and also went to the big department stores, like my favourite, Galeries Lafayette(where I did get quite a lot of things!) You can sort of 'window-shop' there by taking a peek at their website on www.galerieslafayette.com, if you like!

Paris is so cool. And the food is fantastic. The people are nice too, mostly, though we've met one or two really rude people. But not too many as my grandfather is pretty well-known and they sort of bend over backwards for him. The hotel where we're staying is absolutely gorgeous. That's it up there on the left (the picture's a postcard from the hotel, the weather's too yucky to take a really nice photo of it).

It's called Hotel Pavillon de la Reine (which means Hotel of the Queen's Pavilion) and it's in a really lovely old building that was used by the royal family in the past. It's set in a gorgeous square called Place des Vosges, which is very quiet and green and so, so romantic! Inside the hotel it's gorgeous too. I was a bit shy there at first, I thought I would stick out like a sore thumb and wouldn't know how to behave. But it's worked out much better than I thought. The staff are just so nice and no-one makes you feel awkward.
if you want to have an even closer look at it, here's their website: http://www.pavillon-de-la-reine.com

It's really good to feel normal, or as normal as my situation lets me be, after all my life's been turned upside down and inside out and all that. I've been given my three wishes but at least here I feel like I can really enjoy them, and not have to look over my shoulder all the time, watching for something I don't understand.. And when I go back, it might be sorted out. That's what I hope, anyway.

Monday, 19 March 2007

pictures of food

Lots of people have asked me about the food here. It's brilliant, and I'm just eating and eating! This morning we went to the local market town, Castelnau, which is only 10 kms away(and the big town, Albi, is about 22 kms away). Anyway it was market day so I had a great time looking at everything. Above is some stuff people were selling--lots of different kinds of olives and some salted sardines. I just think they make everything look so beautiful, like a painting or something..

And above are some pictures of two gorgeous shops in Castelnau. The one just above is a cheese shop, full of every sort of cheese you can imagine, and the one on top is the most stupendous wonderful cake shop I ever saw in my life! And once again it all looks so beautiful, but not too beautiful to eat! It's like, perfect: looks fantastic, tastes fantastic. The icing's not too thick and sweet, it tastes light and full of flavour. We bought one of those deep pink cakes--it turned out to be the most beautiful and light cake, filled with the yummiest raspberry cream and iced with the same thing...Wow!

the path into the woods..

I followed a blackbird into the wood the other day. It's not far from the castle, hectares and hectares of it, the last remaining bits of the vast forest that existed here in the time of the Gauls. This wood is known as Le Bois du Merle, or Blackbird Wood, so it was kinda cool it was a blackbird showed me the way!

They're deep and green and people say they're enchanted..I don't know about that, but I did meet an interesting old lady there the other day...a real character, a bit like a witch!

Anyway, above is a picture of the path as it goes into the woods..

Saturday, 17 March 2007

some photos taken in my grandfather's library

As you know, my grandfather's a writer and he also has this most amazing library, full of really old and rare books, as well as his own, of course! Here are some of them:the red books at the end are two of his books about Napoleon, published in a special Academie Francaise edition, very classic and all that--
these books above are some of the things in his collection, rare books from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Also on the bottom shelf you can see some of my father's childhood books..this book above was published before Australia was settled!
this illustration by a French artist called Gustave Dore, of Bluebeard giving his wife the keys to the castle, is in a beautiful old book of fairytales my grandfather owns.

Friday, 16 March 2007

The Chateau..

Well, I arrived at the Chateau du Merle de la Tour d'Argent, my new home for the moment, yesterday, absolutely exhausted from the huge long plane trip. Lots of things have been happening but I can't really write much about them just now, there's too much to think about!

But I thought you might like to see a picture of the Chateau--there it is above, that's the very first photo I took of it, through the bars of the gate just before we drove in!

The Chateau is really quite big and there's lots of exploring to do..there's also a really big garden, more like a park with gardens really, it looks really nice. I've met Grandpere(that's my granfather) and it's been going pretty well. I'm coping really well with all the French but then I could speak it pretty well anyway before--you just have to shift up a gear or two here because some people have such thick Southern accents that they sound like they're speaking through a mouthful of dry cake that's got stuck to the roof of their mouths! But I'm learning to cope with that too! And I've met quite a few other people..and some very interesting ones too, I might add!

More tomorrow, I'm too tired just now, I'm going to bed!

Monday, 12 March 2007

In a dream world..

It's been a week since I last wrote on this blog and boy, what a week! Everything's changed. I feel like I'm in a dream world. You all know what's happened, how last Thursday I found out about my grandfather in France...And now it's the day before I take off for France, and meet someone I didn't even know existed..what's more, someone rich and famous. I have no idea what he expects of me...no idea whether I'm going to like him or what's going to happen next..

It seems like those wishes are all coming true. I even found that special pair of silver shoes the other day in a strange little shop in the city(there they are). Or maybe they found me..I know, that sounds off the planet. But honestly everything's been so weird. I really don't know what to think about it. I really don't know..

Monday, 5 March 2007

A fairy story of mine...

This is a story I wrote a little while ago. It was inspired by that picture on the left, which is one by Edmund Dulac(who also did that one on the right of my blog), which is called Meeting the Fairy Princess.
I hope you like the story. It's a story I might add to later, I mean it's like a kind of long-running story which could have chapters or could be left as it is.

Violet and the Fairy Gift

Once upon a time, but not that long ago, there lived a little girl called Violet who believed in fairies. She believed in them even when other people laughed at her and said they didn't exist. She believed in them even when all her wishes went unanswered. She believed in them even though there was no magic in her life, only an ordinary sort of everyday. She was sure that one day they would come to her, give her three wishes, and her life would change forever.

Well, one day Violet was out walking in the woods when she met an old lady. The old lady carried a covered basket. She came up to Violet and said, 'Good morning to you, my pretty one. '

'Good morning, Godmother,' said Violet. It wasn't really Violet's godmother, of course, but as soon as she set eyes on that old lady, Violet just knew it had to be her fairy godmother, come at last. 'I am pleased to see you,' she added. 'Have you come to give me three wishes?'

The old lady looked at her with eyes as bright as blue beads. 'I'm not that kind of a fairy,' she said. 'But I do have a gift for you in my basket.' She opened the basket and there Violet, to her surprise, saw three old books. The old lady looked at her with a strange smile on her wrinkled-apple face. 'Don't be disappointed, my dear,' she crooned. 'These are magic books. Whichever one you choose will come true, and that gift will be yours. So be careful what you choose.'

Violet picked up the books one by one and looked at them. One was called Riding the Back of the Wind. One was called The Speech of Animals. One was called Meeting the Fairy Princess. The books were plain, their covers rather battered. And inside, the pages were quite blank.

'How can I choose the right one?' cried Violet. 'There's nothing to tell me what they're about.'
'Really?' said the old lady. 'The titles say it all, my dear. Think about it. And choose carefully, for you only get one chance.'

Violet looked at the books. She thought that riding the wind must mean flying through the air. It could be useful but she didn't much like the idea of flying at the best of times. Then the speech of animals must mean being able to talk with and understand animals. Well, that would be nice too, she had always wanted to know what her cat Mrs Puss really thought, but it could be horrid too. You didn't really want to know what a fly thought when you swatted it, for instance! But meeting the fairy princess--now that would be something wonderful. And maybe then too she'd be able to prove to everyone that fairies really existed.

So she said, 'I choose the third book.'

'You have chosen well, my pretty one,' said the fairy, smiling, 'because this book is a gift that never stops giving. You will not only meet the fairy princess and be made welcome at her court, but you will have lots of adventures, and all your dreams and wishes will come true.'

Then the book flew into Violet's hands. And beautiful pictures started appearing on the pages--pictures that moved and shimmered. And she heard a soft voice saying, Come into our realm, dear Violet, come in and you will see what you will see..

Now Violet felt herself becoming smaller and smaller till she was as small as an illustration. And suddenly she fell right into the book, straight into the picture of the fairy court, with the princess Celestine waiting to greet her.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Dreams and wishes..

I was thinking about dreams and wishes the other day, and what's the difference between them. I reckon that a dream is something you'd like but don't expect to happen, but a wish is something you really really want and think might happen. Or a dream is like a wish in your sleep? What do you think?