Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mes ami(e)s

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead.
Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.
A. Camus

Soggy St Patrick's Day walk in Seattle, a few springs ago...

Inspiration was lacking a few days ago, but it is slowly coming back.

Junior was out sailing this month, and I have been enjoying quality time at home, following my own schedule; getting projects completed; preparing for fall... Most importantly, I have been catching up with my friends, while relaxing with a bottle of rosé... or two.

Today was a special day. I drove to Seattle and met my friend M-T and her husband Dan. You may remember them from last year's most excellent adventure in New York city.

M-T and Dan: Trop mignons! (too cute)

Once again, cher blog, I owe you a heartfelt "Merci," for giving so many wonderful new friends over the last three years.

Because M-T's parents were French, but she was raised in the United States, she is the ideal cultural ambassador for both countries. She understands French quirks. She masters American idiosyncrasies. She also speaks both languages fluently. This makes her a very *cool* lady. It does not hurt that she and her husband are opera connoisseurs. They are spending a few days in Seattle and will be attending four (!) Wagnerian operas (and as M-T reminded me patiently over lunch, it is Beethoven, not Wagner, who was "the deaf guy...") M-T and Dan promised to take me to the Opera in New York city during my next visit. They feared I might not be able to fully enjoy sitting through four, five, or - I kid you not! - SIX hours of Wagner, so they suggested starting with a lighter repertoire, maybe Bizet's Carmen... I could tell I scored serious points when I immediately started humming the famous Carmen aria, Habanera. That evening in New York city, when I join my friends, I will likely feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman

Just like this French Girl, except taller and with bigger teeth!

Oui, this was a fun day: In the heart of a big city (so long, suburbia!) with great people, in a favorite [French] restaurant - bien sûr

A bientôt, M-T and Dan. Enjoy the rest of your week in the Emerald City. 

Yep, that's what Kir Royal will do to you after a couple of glasses, little ladies!

When I came home, I started thinking about my other friends. Mes ami(e)s. I have already written a story about them. Do you remember?

The most perceptive of my readers have noticed things have been a bit rocky in my life this year. Thank you for your messages of friendship and support, and for the encouragement. You have made a difference.

Near or far, old or new, in person, over the phone or in writing, they have all been here for me. That makes me a very lucky French Girl. So tonight, in the peaceful house, the old dog lying down at my feet; the black cat curled up on my desk; Junior's room awaiting his return, I have decided to pay tribute to mes ami(e)s - while sharing some favorite quotes of mine (yours, too, maybe?) about friendship. 

It's the friends you can call up at 4:00am that matter.
-- Marlene Dietrich.

Very true, Marlene. Nothing like a night owl who responds to your emails, comforts you and warms you up when you are feeling lonely, or you decide to vent after midnight!

Your friends know how crazy you are
 and still choose to be seen in public with you. (anon.) 

"There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, 
and knocking out a twelve foot mountain troll is one of them." 
-- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

... and spending an evening attempting to paint a Van Gogh inspired rendition of the Eiffel Tower (when there isn't an artistic bone in your body, and your old French art teacher used to pull his hair out, dumbfounded at your creations) definitely beats knocking out a mountain troll, right?

But good friends also urge you to push your limits, and get out of your comfort zone, and you follow them... because you know they won't let you do stupid/fun/crazy things alone!

Get up and dance, French Girl, and don't forget that paint brush!

There is nothing better than a friend, 
unless it is a friend with chocolate.
-- Charles Dickens.

I beg to differ, Monsieur Dickens. There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with... Mora's Dulce de Leche ice cream (and I don't care how much it costs to have shipped to my doorstep from a local island!)

Four pints: A day's supply???

"I don't feel very much like Pooh today," said Pooh.
"There, there," said Piglet. "I'll bring you tea and honey until you do."
-- A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

My friends know I do not care for tea and honey. Kir Royal or Cosmopolitans, on the other hand...

My friends never fail to celebrate my birthday. I do not care for big hooplas, but whatever the occasion (or the location,) they all show up, sur leur 31 (dressed to the nines,) because, you know, what would Coco say? 

... and even if I have been feeling low, I quickly rise to the occasion and start smiling again. Never a dull moment avec mes ami(e)s.

A true friend is someone who thinks you are a good egg, 
even though he knows you are slightly cracked.
-- anon.

I am cracked. And my friends generously understand - and tolerate - all my [French] quirks and obsessions: Coco Chanel, France, Dulce de Leche or caramel-flavored anything (see above,) the constant movie references, and more. 

Merci, mes ami(e)s. I appreciate each and every one of you and will survive the Year of Unpleasantness with you all by my side.

A bientôt.

Parting words: 

Friends, not all of you are featured in this story, at least not in pictures. 

My apologies.

I am thinking about you and sending big hugs your way. 

-- V.


  1. You talk about "panne d'inspiration", but you anyhow manage to make so pleasant and comlplete posts! What will ti be when you really get inspired? :-)

  2. What a wonderful post and a tribute to friends and friendship. The Camus quote is one of my favourites and your first photo just says it all - what would we do without good friends? The Winnie the Pooh quote sums up friendship too although I would prefer a Kir Royal any day! Reading between the lines in some of your posts, I suspected that you have had a challenging time and I do hope that the year ahead brings you much happiness.
    PS I think I need to try this Dulce de Leche ice cream too!

  3. What a gorgeous and moving post. You are lucky to have such fine friends but they are clearly lucky to have you too!

  4. Ma chère Véronique! Les ami(e)s sont les perles de mon collier, ma couronne de gloire. Et oui, celui qui m'envoye en email au milieu de la nuit est vraiment un frère, une soeur. C'EST BON DE TE VOIR!!!! Anita

  5. And merci to you chère amie for delighting me with your blog and countless hours of French translations.

    Now let's have a Kir and chat!

  6. As an occasional visitor...I am not sure what you are going through..but it seems you are surrounded by beautiful, fun friends, which certainly is a good thing. Fun post......Janey

  7. I must agree with all that you said about friendship- I'm not sure what I would do without it. Even though my dearest aren't the nearest, I still feel so blessed to have them~
    (and speaking of friendship, I have something for you mon amie!)

  8. French Girl, I have a brother in law who attends Wagner epic "Ring" operas world wide. It has a following! '-)
    Lovely post as usual with some of my favorite "friendship" quotes. The first one being an all time favorite. Love the photo!
    Thanks for sharing. I look forward to all your post, my friend! ~ Sarah

  9. What a lovely tribute to friends. . .each quote and observation, so true. Hang in there during this somewhat dark Year of Unpleasantness -- as you know about Seattle, the sun always returns!

  10. This is such a lovely and happy post! You are so sweet. I am very, very glad we have become friends. I think my favorite aspect about blogging is that I met so many amazing people. It's strange to think that even though I have never met most of them, I simply can't imagine what it was like without them!

    I'm sorry you're having a rough year. I wish I could offer words of comfort, but I'm going through the same thing myself. I hope things look up for us both! xo

  11. are so lucky to have such lovely friends! Sorry to hear you are having a rough year, but it sounds like you have a great support system and a wonderful attitude about life to help you through it. Hugs to you!

  12. Tout ça fait beaucoup de sourires, rires , fou-rires et bons moments à retenir.
    Petits cadeaux précieux qui rendent la vie plus belle et plus légère. un bel hommage!
    Gros bisous!

  13. How fortunate you are to have such numerous and special friends. I'm truly sorry that life is a wee bit troublesome for you at the moment Veronique. I send you good wishes.

  14. Dearest Véronique,
    How lovely for meeting with M-T!
    From the east coast to the west coast and you both do have lots in common.
    I'm tired, drove back and forth to Altanta today, first 1-½ hour in the morning and last 1-½ hour in the evening through heavy rain. Can't stand any more rain. Atlanta was so lovely; wish we could have stayed.
    Hugs to you!

  15. Kir Royal and Friends. Does it get much better than that?

  16. love it all It is so hard to find good quality people that when you do, you need to cherish them big time. looks like such a fun time, loving all the chanel books too! Hope you have a fabulous weekend!!


  17. Your friends do love you so much. Because you are a WONDERFUL friend. xo

  18. Friends are very important when one has troubles.

  19. O.K., ma chère Véro, je me demande s'il est bien possible de pleurer et rougir au même moment? I am sooo very touched by your wonderful post, that I read it with tears in my eyes while blushing (par pudeur bien sûr) at all the lovely things you said about me.

    Well, it looks as if I need to return to Seattle if only to meet are these wonderful ladies and share a Kir (or 2 or 3) w/all of you.

    Next stop, ma vieille.............the Big Apple for some Big Opera, n'est-ce pas?

  20. I do not know how I missed this almost a week late -I swear this computer.... I check every day to see if there is a new post-this one was one of the best -touching heartfelt funny and full of love-throwing my arms around you all the way from the other coast with love and heartfelt wishes that all you hold in in the most private space in your heart comes to fruition-your friend georgeanne

  21. Touching and lovely....please allow me to raise a virtual glass of kir royale (bien sur) you lovely Veronique, and to dear friends...what would we do without them??
    A votre sante!!!
    May all be well...
    - Irina :)

  22. Whatever would we do without our girlfriends Veronique. Sorry to hear that you're having a tricky year, life's 'downs' can be difficult to cope with at times..that's where the friends & le Cosmopolitans come into play oui! I'm on my way up to enjoy your Harry Potter adventure :)


Bonjour! I love hearing from you, my readers. To quote a fellow blogger, my friend Owen, "Comments are the icing on blogcake... Comments are the UFO in the twilight sky bearing news from other planets... Comments are raspberry vinegar in salad dressing... Comments are the cool balm of after-sun moisturizing lotion... Comments are the moment the band comes back out onstage to play an encore... Comments are the gleam in the eye across the room in a smoky bar... Comments are the rainbow after the rainstorm..." Merci for your comments! French Girl in Seattle