I really do have posts in process about life as it continues here, the Venice Biennale and Paris Secrets ..... this will force me to flesh them out.
oxoxox Wendy & Pierre in Brittany
I really do have posts in process about life as it continues here, the Venice Biennale and Paris Secrets ..... this will force me to flesh them out.
oxoxox Wendy & Pierre in Brittany
It is Saturday afternoon, we have just had lunch at a local bistro that serves Choucroute de Mer every third Saturday. Seafood Sauerkraut is comprised of three types of fish, most often salmon (the same pink stuff we get in the States), a flaky white fish, and cooked salted Haddock, served on a bed of sauerkraut with a Beurre Blanc. This particular lunch comes with a carafe of red wine, an appetizer, cheese and dessert, all for just shy of 14 Euros. Tables are set up family style and it is part of the pleasure to overhear, then perhaps participate in adjacent conversations, if you are new in town like us. The guys sitting next to us went to grammar school together, now they are retired and they fish and sail together, all about Pierre's age now.
This got me thinking about the nature of being an expat here in the Provinces. (Too) often Expats stick together, which is a kind of life I have never wanted to be a part of, but here for us there isn't even a temptation to do this, as there are no other Americans. This has the effect of making us intriguing to the Locals, and then when they hear that we have come to Brittany from Los Angeles, their curiosity is often magnified, which makes for fun conversations. We are still thinking about what we are doing here......
Our life here is less dramatic than life in LA, there is less "happening", but on a daily basis we are happy and relaxed, which is something neither of us have tired of. Food is a big part of life here, we bought lobsters today to poach in butter later, as we learned to do last night when we watched Masterchef's latest episode on Youtube, maybe our favorite TV show ever. We watch some American and English TV and films here, just as we often were drawn to more French and European stuff at home......like that, like this.
Neither of us are very motivated to keep up with The News, apart from what Pierre gleans from facebook, and what I find out from the messages I still get from Moveon and the like, so we are not exactly Out of the Loop, but also not saturated with news of events on a daily basis (phew say I). Pierre feels a bit guilty about this, but not me! Likewise we are fairly cogniscent of what is happening here, but we hear about it all quite casually, like we did, driving in the car someplace, or a mention by a friend. When I began my News Blackout after 9/11 I soon found out that nothing too important escaped my notice, no matter how assiduously I was trying to stay away from The News, the important things seeped in, which is good, I was and am still participating in wordly activities though I am having a different experience of it here.
I bought a fantastic rose bush which seems perfectly happy, and we have planted some corn and kale, sunflowers and cucumbers, all in boxes, we'll see what happens. Snails and grasshoppers wreak havoc on tender leaves, although I have a nice natural snail killer which seems to be working. But what munched my cucumber seedlings??? We just got a telescope to look at the night sky when it is clear, which we hope will happen soon..........especially for the Supermoon next week, but it is still cool and often cloudy here, with the sun breaking through for just part of each day.
The daily changes in weather are still interesting, but we are both ready for it to get warmer and sunnier, even I, who thought Ireland had the ideal weather when I visited as a teenager, am tired of the cool damp (but my skin and hair never tires of it!). Well, I didn't move to LA for the weather, neither did I do that here ........ I particularly like change, but it gets boring when a mini group of changes becomes a kind of pattern so you can expect them. Regardless, the momentary variations of the light and sky are hard to tire of, I guess because, like snowflakes, each cloud is different. Yet I wonder if I will tire of that too? Stay tuned!
Everyone asks what I am doing here, in France, to which I know I have rather unsatisfactorily yet confoundingly gleefully responded "Nothing!" I am finally ready to elucidate, to tell my story about "nothing".
We arrived last July at the end of a five month cycle of rain to a damp house and It took us three months to get settled. We had begun our life here, in a totally new location with an empty house, getting the lay of the land as well as drying out and furnishing our place, along with unpacking 60 cartons took time!
Getting used to accomplishing daily tasks in French, finding a class and conversation Gurus took not only physical time but mental time and space that I used to fill in other ways. I admit I approached it all rather casually, after all, here, time is my ally, not something to be hoarded and parceled out, but to use and spend as if it were limitless.
My dreams were dense and profuse, I seemed to be processing my whole adult life and especially my working life in my sleep. I dreamt of people I had not seen nor thought of in many years, like the first person who hired me as a Designer cropped up over and over until those three years in the 90's got somehow digested, along with all of the delightful new food I was eating and cooking. My dreams triggered memories and thoughts about everything I had experienced and worked my way through for the 23 preceeding years, this took time too!
In fact my mornings were spent mostly THINKING, and deciding about Lunch. Lunch here in Provincial France is the two hour period from 12:00 to 2:00 when everything (except for our uber modern enormous supermarket) is closed, and everyone has the luxury of chatting and eating with cohorts. Our afternoons got quickly absorbed by a few errands, which can only be accomplished after 2:00 or 2:30, an exploratory mission or two, exploring this or that neighboring village or coast, and then there was Dinner plan for! I mastered my Beurre Blanc as well some other classic cooking techniques and dishes, with the help of Marmiton, the French cooking and recipe site, learning all of the French terms for handling ingredients and operations, many of which were completely new to me. This is my kind of fun! Every ingredient here, as well as my infuriating oven and stove, has required me to assimilate a completely different learning curve. It all behaves differently from what I expected, with lots of daily revelations.
There were likewise tons of revelations about all of the elements of daily life here, none of which have anything in common with life as we knew it before. To live in another country, rather than just visit, it is necessary to jetison almost every expectation you have of how things "should" be. After you are seated at a restaurant here, it can be ages before you get a menu, and there can be a number of steps to take (Aperitif? Water? Wine?) before your order is taken, then you are largely left alone as you move through your meal, and the check is only presented when you ask for it, so sacred is the time spent at table.
It has taken us time to become part of the flow of French life instead of unconsciously running counter to it. This is the interesting part of becoming part of another culture, and it takes time. Additionally, Pierre and I were having totally different reactions to our new circumstances! If you have been following our progress, you have read about Pierre's initial confusion about the "home" that he had returned to after so many years in the US, while for me it was all new and intriguing. I did not have an internal map I was trying to follow, I was just on the wave of my daily experience. We learned to have our separate experiences, each assimilating them on our own terms and sharing what we could without imposing our individual realities on eachother.
Happily we now find ourselves in the same place, but this took time. As I sat down to write this post, I knew that most of my time has gone to "thinking" but I couldn't really put my finger on what the heck I was thinking about. When one is busy "accomplishing" things, the mind is working in a more linear way, but when time has less structure ones thoughts are more formless, and it is hard to quantify non linear thought.
Now that I am on the other side of becoming acclimated, I can see that my thinking was partly narrative -- processing my life until now, and cooking -- and the rest has been non-narrative, kind of a call-and-response to daily living in a completely different culture and life. I always said that I just really wanted to "do nothing" but I didn't know that I only wanted to do it for 9 months.
Next up: now what do I do?
I wrote this dispatch from the steps of Beyond Baroque in Venice, CA, but it was if I was already back in France, ready to start again after a month long extended whirlwind stay in LA. We landed from the cold of Europe to the warmth of California, and then left the cold and rainy May weather of LA to return to the temperate Springtime of Bretagne. It's a mixed up illogical world.
So the most self evident observation following our LA trip is that things are rarely what they were, kind of a riff on one of my favorite sayings which goes: "you can never become what you were", and thank god for that, because if it were not true, then forward motion would no longer be something to look forward to.
The experiences of my past routines did not measure up to thememories I had of them ... the sensations surrounding those events were structured around nostalgia and in fact, after a few weeks of trying to rekindle them, merely a fantasy.
Friends and acquaintances and the warmth and memories which bind us certainly remained intact and in some cases grew stronger, while others diminished in tone ... everyone moves on, right?. Let's see what the future holds for all those relationships as each and every one continues to live the consequences of their lives to the best of their ability.
It was shocking to witness how in 9 short months, so many of our old stand-by landmarks had simply vanished ... 3 restaurants of long standing habit gone, one reassuring building now a gaping hole in the ground ... places which were bare foundations now fully realized buildings ... does nothing stay the same, must this progress continue unheeded?
Traffic which from the vantage point of our somewhat regulated life and home base of Silver Lake had seemed somewhat tolerable now had morphed into traffic mayhem, gridlock galore ... there was no escaping the air-conditioned confines of our cars, as we ran around meeting friends, scheduling appointments in transit, crossing the city for another do or die event, all with a great deal of urgency and the watching of clocks. Flexibility and change, two of the hallmarks of American Culture, which for me make this country so vital and exciting, had now become the root of my sense of loss along with my disappointement at the lack of continuity.
Words which came up repeatedly as descriptive of my LA experience: churning, grinding, onslaught, bombardment, unrelenting ... all words related to noise on the street (syrens, trucks), thumping music, the soundtrack and constant accompaniment to any store and restaurant ... the visual attack coming from all sides, billboards urging all to buy, to think about this and that, to vote for, to respond to, to daydream about what one should be missing out on, to wish for and to measure up to ... with a 9 month separation from LA, returning as we did into full immersion mode, with the bubble which we had created for ourselves no longer available (we were now tourists in our hometown after all), and living it all from the context of our present Breton reality, one diametrically at odds with the LA experience, I must say that although rewarding in many ways, the whole thing was also quite disconcerting. Stay tuned and all my best to all ... Pierre Picot
Pics above from the fabulous Matt Wedel and Chaz Garabedian openings at LA Louver our first night!
I woke up the other morning with the sun streaming into my window and felt that it was Spring all of a sudden, right on time! I swear it has been 20 or 30 years since I have had Spring Fever, since I lived in NY. In LA I don't ever remember having had this particular feeling connected with a seasonal change, have you? Have I just forgotten it because I am so fickle?
My most potent memory of the first day of Spring is from sometime in the late 70's.............my best friend Charles (now gone) called me up, excited by the seasonal shift, and we "met in the middle," he walked over from the East Village, me from the West Village, and we had lunch or coffee somewhere. Eventually we split up, each going back to our own neighborhoods, still in the daylight. I remember being somewhere near the wonderful boite 1 Fifth Avenue, the restaurant with the interior from The Normandy (now gone), when a street guy trained his eye on me from 100 feet away, reeling a bit, pointing a crooked finger at me. "You........you......." he said, I instantly felt myself do that thing I had learned to do, erecting an invisible boundary around myself to deflect his attention somehow (this figures later into why I left NY but that's another story) but he was coming right at me and there was no escape. He came right up to me, a little dirty, a little drunk, a little toothless, a little wobbly, "You.........you...........look better than a government check!"
I was ashamed of myself for expecting the worst, elated to be able to share this moment, the first sensation of Spring, with a fellow denizen of the city I still loved, the season I loved best, the month I was born, so very New York, so very communal, here we were together on the best day of the year. I laughed and thanked him for the compliment and continued on my way, thinking I would always remember this moment, and so I do.
Oddly I remember exactly what I was wearing, a red cashmere turtleneck, as it was still chilly, with a kind of what is it called, a pareo I think, from Guatemala, a kind of split poncho in light gray and black alpaca, a bit furry on the outside, you can wrap the two sides of it tighter around you in the cold, and red lipstick, to match the sweater of course.
New York has changed immeasurably, I have changed more measurabley, dear Charles is no longer with us, but I can still experience the sensation, the change of light, my imagination of what is to come, of the first day of Spring, and remember Charles.
Fast forward to Brittany, where the Springy feeling was but a moment, it is still gray and cold and I have learned to tend the fire, but that taste was all I needed to buy a couple of rose bushes and plant poppies and iris and wait impatiently for the next burst.
.........maybe we are feeling the same things at the same time, which only happens about 50% of the time here! In direct relation to daily life we have very similar reactions and takes on what is going on and how we feel about it, but about our lives here and there, the vagaries of our feelings are not as attuned to eachother!
Here I am doing exactly what I said I would do, living in an ancient culture with all of its inherent strengths and weaknesses exposing all of mine, and moving from day to day thinking experiencing, eating wondering...............I said that I wanted to see what I would think and do when I had the mental space to think and do ANYTHING, and here I am, uh-oh ~ was it Confucius who said "Be careful what you wish for" (because you might get it)? No this isn't our house! It's the Jagu Roche Museum in the Northern part of Brittany, gorgeous!
There really isn't a major down side to what we did, other than the fact that we can't just go back to our old lives and pick up just where we left off, as Pierre sometimes says "you can never be what you were," in fact it seems like it would be like moving cultures again and making a huge life change again, or would it? One can never know these things until one does them, and all I know is that having moved 6000 miles East will inform any other big changes we make in the future, but each experience will still be totally different! Sometimes I wish I had a crystal ball, but here, with the "Welcome" and "Expert" tents combined I know I will be fine!
It's funny that the French never say "C'est la vie," but often say "La vie est comme ça." You might be wondering what the difference is: the first one has that cute Doris Day che sera sera sort of upturn at the end of the sentence, and the the second one has more of a gallic shrug and downturn at the end. C'est la vie tra la la is the American take on it, and La vie est comme ça has a bit more of the quality of resignation.
Why did I get off on that tangent? Oh, I know, I got my wish now what to do with it? I guess time will tell (tra la la). Now that the learning curves have gotten shallower, and I can get around well in French most of the time -- except when I am particularly tired or have had a day of lots of listening intently to and speaking French -- and we have things to do, friends, occasional events, outings, and we know where to get everything and what to make for dinner, normal life begins.
My brain has almost lost the frequent little buzzer that goes off as a warning that something unexpected and tricky is about to happen. It used to buzz frequently, each time I had to do a little reality checkup and regain my footing, now it happens much less. This is the internal barometer that tells me that I am actually aclimated to our new life here. Naturally this is just in time for us to go back to LA for a month, which is exciting and a bit scary too. I am anticipating a bit of a culture (and weather) shock, then relaxing into the familiar, enjoying the things and friends and familiarity I have missed, then leaving again!
If you are reading this and you know me, what do you imagine me doing? What have you always thought I SHOULD do? Spill!
Happy New Year to all
... we hope that you have not fallen off the cliff ... while we here are
not in the process of being taxed 75% of our non-existent income
... politics of revenge are just campaign promises, taken seriously by actors looking for an excuse to become Russian citizens ...
Life in France has been a most interesting and revealing experience ... everything that I imagined has not really happened in the way that I thought it might and all else that has happened has been a surprise and a revelation.
What does that mean? Well what I like to say when
debating the age old questions of why, what and where ... it means: You
can never become what you were. I love the past, have reveled in it
and also often day dream about the future ... but really it
all happens right now
and that acknowledgement is a tough discipline to work within. So Here I am, unable to deny my life and time in America while trying to live up to my French ancestry ... what a pain in the butt it can be, altering the context of my life of the past 50 years.
Onto more real and dionysian pursuits ... obviously this is the place for such activities, especially if you come here as a tourist, without a care, a spending budget, looking to fulfill whatever fantasies about a place one might have ... oddly enough very few harbor any kind of fantasies about Bretagne, longing instead for the more tried and true destinations of the "south of France".
Just a few words of advice ... France, as The #1 tourist destination in the world, is overrun most of the time with people wearing baseball caps and clam diggers, you know those shorts cut off at a spot between knee and ankle, awful things and tack on those knobby plastic athletic sandals and a smug attitude and you've got the world's population flocking to all the sights associated with Picasso or Van Gogh, or closer to home ... Paul Gauguin and Pont Aven. I guess they are touching base with a "first world" set of cultural markers which makes those involved feel at one with the globalized culture ... a hybridized version of the California look ... although I must say, I have not seen any Silverlake style hipsters anywhere, very few tattoos of any kind, and very few running shoes, except on people actually running!
Happily there is very little of the "hip" pursuit here, rather more the
"stylish" one, which transcends generations ... although the "kids" look
like they've just stepped out some American High School year book.
What I also like about what I see about me is the fact that I do not
live in a "youth Ghetto". In the streets, at the movies, by the ocean, out at dinner at night, I see every generation represented ... how refreshing ...
but I guess that was a result of living in the hippest neighborhood in
the universe ... and that is so 1992 , n'est ce pas?
By comparison to LA, the weather here is cold and damp, although the skies are beautiful and dramatic, night and day ... the stars glimmer bright and the moon when full shines through the skeletal branches of the forest a few steps from here ... toss in a few owls, some bats, frogs underfoot and a fox at a distance and you've got a pretty good idea of the mood (at least at night) here ... then you rush into the house, watch Downton Abbey and life goes on as one might expect except it is really another world.
My work seems to have hit its stride ... painting and drawing and taking photos of night monsters in the forest ... normal as could be. Wendy is in a holding pattern for now -- cooking knitting learning french making necklaces reading, as she says "being an artist's wife" ... and has the luxury and time to do so ... she is off to NYC next week to see her family and I will be staying here, kind of "Heathcliff like" , lord of the manor and the moors surrounding, well not quite, but you get the fantasy.
There is so much more to talk about but that would become an endless one-sided conversation who knows how long this period might last, but for now things have turned out quite well ... just different.You can take a peek at some random images I have posted of Pierre's work in an album I have loaded there on the left side of the blog, right after the space to add your email address to be updated when we make new posts, more often in 2013 ; ) Xxx
This is the region for Crepes (and very thin crust pizza, for some reason they go together), but they are most certainly not of The Magic Pan variety like most crepes in the US. In France a Savory Crepe is ALWAYS made with buckwheat (Blé Noir) which is a totally different taste and texture from the delicate white flour (Froment in French) which is only used for Dessert Crepes. Nowadays you can even find or ask for your Dessert Crepe to be made with Buckwheat, which is fantastic with Caramelized Apples for instance, I like it with anything! The crispy lacy kind of crepe is best for me, with any Scallop preparation I am happy, and one with pears and chocolate for dessert, heavenly!
You will find me much more ambitious when I make dinner at home, quite often these days, alternating between trying different fish dishes (most of which I have no idea of the equivalent for at home) and local meats. The fish is so very fresh, really right off the boat so that is has quite a strong smell, and a texture that can't be beat, and nothing like what I am used to. The meat and fowl all have a specific pedigree! The seafood is so amazing it really almost cooks itself, you just have to make some heat available to it ; ) With a simple sauce, like a beurre blanc with anything at all, coriander seeds or lemon or vinegar, and it's fantastic.
The meats take more practice since everything is fed and grown locally, and the level of moisture is much less, so things cook totally differently. Some things much faster, others slower, it's all very odd. Side dishes of sauteed leeks or caramelized endives or Tomates Provencale or this fantastic Tomate Tarte Tatin my friend Camille introduced us to, or my go to dish of duck breast with any kind of sweet and acidic sauce, fig or black currant works beautifully. The other night we made a duck stir fry with Onions and Hoisin Sauce and fig jam (the jams here are mostly fruit and hardly sweet at all) with sauteed endives and roasted carrots with Ras al Hanout in about 40 minutes total.
I have made dinner for friends three times since we have been here I decided to make "exotic" dishes for them instead of my brand of classic French cooking, to surprise their palates a bit and also so my cooking isn't compared with what they already know, which is a French cultural tendency, which probably happens when you are making anything fairly familiar to anyone in the world.
The first dinner I made for friends who go to India, and like spicy food, I made a green curry (with Thai curry paste I brought from LA) with Monkfish and scallops, kohlrabi and carrots. I loosely follow this recipe from Bon Appetit which I have been using for the last year or so, with tons of variations. I did make a classic french dessert, a Clafoutis with Rhubarb, since I am curious about Rhubarb, and my audience was pleased even though I was bored. I promised myself only to make creamy and/or chocolatey desserts from now on, since they are really the only ones that excite me, both to make and to eat! I think I started to bake when I was a little girl, so I could eat the things I craved, and I still have exactly the same inclination! I mean, Pierre Herme is all the way in Paris, and I am here! But I will be in Paris next week!!!
The other night we were having new friends over for dinner, and I know that she cares deeply about food. In fact when she invited us to a "simple cold dinner" on a Sunday night (it's very rare to be invited over by brand new friends here ) she told me that she had a Michelin 1 star restaurant in Paris with several friends about 20 years ago, eek, what an audience. Another cultural difference here is that the host is supposed to make whatever s/he wants and the guests have to be good sports no matter what! My American habit of asking guests what their predilicitons are is met with a bit of confusion. Great!
At first I wanted to make classic French seafood dishes for our new friends, but this is when it dawned on me to make things that would be fresh and new to them, as well as well known by me ; ) So I made Scallop Ceviche with a bit of Passion Fruit in the citrus mix, with the totally amazing velvety sea scallops we have here, which was absolutel luscious and an unexpected texture even for me! Then I made a fish dish with a plain firm fish called Cabillaud so it would hold together, since it is steamed with a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar and fresh ginger on top, then drizzled with oil and crispy garlic, and this went over really well. Pierre and I started making this dish when we first met from Mark Bittman's Fish cookbook, and is still great!
I have totally screwed up some dishes too, at least I had the sense (unusual for me) to cook familiar things for friends and save the first timers for us, like a classic Potato Gratin (duh?) so I could gracefully throw it in the garbage! What happened? Well I skimmed 3 or 4 Julia Child recipes for Potato Gratins and conflated them fast and loose in my usual style. Well if I had read them through (like I did the next time) I would have learned that a gratin made with cream (so abundant and delish here I always have some on hand) cannot be cooked at too high a temperature or it boils and curdles! Cream low temp milk high temp. Since I am ever the Quick and Dirty Perfectionist, milk usually wins (also delicious, we only buy organic here, like at home there's a pesticide problem but that's another story).
I swore that I wouldn't do a cheese course every time I made a nice dinner here but it is almost impossible to pass up a lovely raw goat cheese or a nice smelly Pont L'Evec with some crusty bread and an strong green salad, the lettuce here really tastes like you are eating leaves! Then I made Robert's Brownies from David Lebovitz's Ready for Dessert and served them with Pistachio Ice Cream, a very American plate, and absolutely delightful for French pals. I added several drops of Thyme essential oil to the herbal tea after the meal which is so aromatically satisfying and great for digestion. In fact I am going to make some for myself right now!
Do ask any questions, I know there are things about food here on people's minds!!!
Everyone has been asking for details about our place, so here goes........take a look at the photo album I posted at left for more visuals.......Pierre keeps asking "what is home?" and I say "where we live!" Oddly, there is what Pierre had assumed, who knows why, was a kind of LA gang sign at the turnoff to our road from the village, I think it is the mark for a Saint or of Local interest, something Breton which also means Celtic, but the jury is still out. It sort of softens the approach when we come from this direction.
We live in a small wing of a big house, with once white walls and original stone details retained from the 1770's during the 2006 renovation of our space, which is a lovely way to blend the old and the new. I wonder, if it were up to us, how much more of the old character we would choose to keep, and how much the practical considerations would reign us in? We both love old things, Pierre especially loves rusty wormy patinated things, while I like them a bit more refined, luckily he likes these too.
The set up is a bit similar to our house in LA, with a combined living and dining room on the first floor, with the odd name of Rez de Chausée in French) but with super high ceilings. This is a welcome change for us, a bit lofty, and neither of us has lived with such height before. It makes for rather an echoey room with all the hard surfaces, but with a few area rugs and paintings arriving it will get better.
The kitchen is modern and plain and just fine for us, again, structured like ours in LA, longer than it is wide, with two windows facing south to the cows grazing. No, we don't seem to have access to their product, we have never seen the farmer who takes care of them. We can make do with the delicious stuff at the market!
Upstairs there are three bedrooms in a row, just like our house, two a bit bigger and one a bit smaller (welcome guests ;-) We are using one as a closet and studio computer area, with two nice windows facing South.
The 18th Century original almost spiral staircase connects the two floors, and is quite a climb, almost vertical for our little cat who delights in running up and down. For us it is a bit of a balancing act, best to be holding on or at least touching a side for stability.... happily the fellows delivering our goods are contracted to put everything in the proper room, and fortunately there are two lavatories, one up one down!
The property is quite spectacular, with a wide allée leading to the grand house of which ours is maybe 1/8, the only thing like it for miles around, so it is quite legendary here. Because of the large flat surfaces front and back the wind can be very strong (or maybe it is some kind of sympathetic Hurricane Isaac reaction), and there is a nice wood all around, with a small lake that has sadly turned into a swamp, but will soon be fixed, yay! Oddly there is a lovely grove of bamboo very near our house -- one sees them here and there, probably one of the garden trends of the 2000's -- and we have two very picturesque outbuildings and walls containing our private patio, which you have seen in the last post.
Everywhere in our region there are Hydrangeas in colors I have hardly ever seen before In the US, particularly the dark red velvet I saw in the winter. This summer they have been every color from white and light green (rare and my fave) to pink lavender blue violet and a sort dark rose pink (my least fave). It is common knowledge in the States that to change the colors you simply have to change the soil ingredients, but here they say that "no one knows" how they change color. Right, I thought, just more stuff of local legend and the magic that is the French Countryside. BUT. A couple of weeks ago they started to change, and I mean all of the colored ones, OVER NIGHT. We had a friend visiting from Warsaw so there was an impartial witness, Saturday they were one color (in a day we see maybe 50) bushes) and Sunday they were changing. Here is some evidence, look at all the colors on the same bush, the pinky green is the direction they are going.......I'll make an album soon.
The album at left has pics of the ever changing and hard-to-stop-taking-pictures-of sky as well as bits and pieces of the house and our stuff in an album at left, I know everyone is very curious about it, as we continue to be...........it is very interesting to start from scratch, conceptually as well as aesthetically, though we both find the empty dirty white walls rather bleak, but have welcomed the chance to be have less instead of more, for the time being anyway........
Our cartons arrive tomorrow, so we will have art, a carpet or two, beloved books, dishes, a few choice pieces of furniture and Hoisin Sauce! First dish - Peking Duck Crepes........more soon.