Wednesday, 2 January 2008

40 years on. . . . .Part 2!

Many thanks for your good wishes on our 40th Anniversary. We had a superb week in Paris from 12th-19th December, with our family joining us for the long weekend which included our anniversary on 16th. Hugh & Maylis (son & daughter-in-law) flew in from Houston where they are currently living, and Abigail (daughter) got the Eurostar from the newly-opened terminal at St. Pancras. She (carefully!) brought with her cut glass wine goblets which were one of the gifts and suprises we were treated to. All 3 of them had planned a wonderful day for us, each taking on part of the organisation. They did us proud!

We stayed in a large apartment close to the Hotel de Ville and the Pompidou Centre. Our anniversary day began with freshly baked bread & croissants from the local boulangerie. Abigail fetched these along with a small bouquet of red tulips. We opened cards (there were lots more waiting for us at home), had breakfast, were presented with the wine goblets, and gave each other the pendants we'd had made for us by a friend's daughter who is a jeweller.

We were told to be ready, dressed warmly (it was very cold the whole time we were there) and out in the street by 11 a.m. We'd no idea why we needed to be there, and all we could find out was that our limousine would be coming for us! Eventually, two 2CV's rounded the corner and drew up alongside us. The one at the front was bright green, and the second one was pale blue. They were part of a fleet of Citroen 2CV's which give individual tours of Paris, and they were driven by 2 extremely nice young men (down, girls...!) who spoke English and were law students at the Sorbonne. We got into the green car, the other 3 got into the blue one and we were driven round to Notre Dame where we stopped and they proceeded to roll back the roof on each of the cars so we'd get an all-round view of the sights. Bear in mind that it was brilliantly sunny and bitterly cold. The wind chill was easily minus something, so the blanket they gave us to cover up with was very welcome!

We were driven around the sights of Paris for over an hour, attracting plenty of appreciative waves and toots from pedestrians and motorists along the way! There was a suprise in the trip - a stop off at a Roman amphitheatre in the heart of the Left Bank. We had no idea it was there, and it was news to our French daughter-in-law too! We were dropped off at the Eiffel Tower which provided another photo opportunity, and then another suprise....Maylis's mum, Claire, was waiting for us underneath the Tower, having come from Amiens to Paris by train to spend the afternoon with us. Hugh and Maylis then presented us with tickets and told us to join a very short queue to go up the Eiffel Tower. Like VIP's we were whisked past a very long queue, and went up in the lift to the restaurant on the first floor, where we had lunch overlooking the Seine. Claire had brought us a gift - a metal sculpture of intertwined rings and doves specially made by a outreach working monk who lives in a village just outside Amiens. He uses the metal and shrapnel which is still to be found in the battlefields of the Somme to create a wide variety of metal objects which he sells to support overseas good will projects in 3rd world countries. Included was a personalised poem for us - all especially touching as we were introduced to him a few years ago.

Entente cordiale Mums.. . . . .

. . . . and our lunch-time view.

After lunch we visited the Marmottan Museum (our favourite) which houses Monet's personal collection of Impressionist paintings, as well as many of his own, including a lot of the famous waterlily paintings he did. There was time for a quick cuppa at the flat before Claire left to catch her train and we were told to be dressed for dinner by 7 p.m. We had no idea (again) where we were going, and after a short journey on the Metro we got out at the Gare de Lyon and walked across the station forecourt. I looked at the TGV's at the platform and began to wonder if we were going to get on one and go somewhere south! But no, we walked on towards the station "caff" with tables and chairs set outside. By that time, both of us were quite bewildered and wondered where on earth we were going to eat. Was it really going to be the station caff? But no, we were whisked up a curved flight of marble steps and in through a revolving door which was the entrance to Le Train Bleu, a gloriously Belle Epoque listed building and the original grand station buffet which is a restaurant with decor and food to be relished!

It was a memorable end to a memorable day, easily as memorable as our wedding day 40 years ago which you shared with us. Thanks go to our wonderful family who planned it all and made it possible.


Jackie Hutchison said...

Wow I can't wait for our 40th, but we have 5 years 2 months to go!

It looks and sounds amazing, I shall now drink a toast to your children!! Jackie

Jackie Hutchison said...

I was just looking at the picture of the two Mums, aren't the bottom half of your faces alike? I have a theory about bottom halves of faces, look at your's and Barry's.

Jackie Hutchison said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sandyboots said...

What is your theory Jackie?

Joyce this was a wonderful occasion, you are lucky to have such great children....and each other.

Mellow Yellow said...

Jackie - your comment appeared twice so I deleted the second one. I'd not censored it, in case you wondered!! Yes, Jackie & Sandra, we were very fortunate in our celebration and appreciated what the "kids" did for us so much. Jackie - what IS your theory? I can see that the lower halves of my face & Claire's are similar, and our smiles look alike in that shot - but there has to be more to it than this! how about a new post explaining it all?!

Mellow Yellow said...

Gerry says to me, in a recent email:

"You certainly seemed to have a good time in Paris with some lovely photos to show for it."

Jackie Hutchison said...

Well my theory is not that profound just that we tend to be attracted to people who look like us and its not eyes we go for but noses and mouths. I don't necesarily think this is a deliberate decision, but I do think it holds up in enough cases to make it more than coincidence. If you look at Derek and me in our wedding photos it cetainly seems true for us. Now I will have to find and post a photo so you can see what I mean! I think that Hugh and you look alike Joyce, that is why he has gone for someone who looks like you and therefore why you look like his wife's mother. Jackie