According to Urban Dictionary

Boheme - Carefree lifestyle unbounded by convention.

Bohemian - Movement of artist and poets in late 19th century France, especially in Paris. Bohemians believed in living outside of the bourgeois (conventional, middle class) mainstream culture. Bohemians were against the Salon (the institution that controlled the literary and art market in France until the turn of the 20th century)and believed that art and literature should be radical. They often gathered in "cafes" and drank absinthe. Many Bohemians were politically radical, being either anarchists or members of the Commune de Paris during the Franco-Prussian war. The Bohemian movement died out at the turn of the century but had a large influence on later movements such as surrealism, the beat generation, and punk rock.
Toulouse - Lautrec depicted the romanticized life of many Bohemians, although the reality of the life-style was often very difficult and tragic.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Mum in Paris.

On Saturday I picked Mum up from the airport and we made the hour or so trek back to my house. After a break we got lunch from my local boulanger and then went for a wander through my area and to the Monoprix so I could do some food shopping. Then, on Sunday morning, up at the crack of dawn for me, lol 8.00 in the morning; we headed out into Paris getting off the metro at St Michel and wandering along the Rive Gauche of the Seine, stopping to look at some of the books from the booksellers and to take photos here and there. We then went to a cafe on Rue du Bac for an early lunch, before heading across the river through the Louvre Courtyard stopping to look at the Pyramid which wasn't there the last time Mum was in Paris; before catching the metro to 'Bois de Vincennes' for my Sunday soccer game. Played soccer in the blistering heat and got the red shoulders, back and chest to prove it, before heading back to my place for a shower, a quick rest, an early dinner and then out again to see a friends band "Misleadin" play. When we got to the venue it turned out to be a club on a boat moored to the Rive Gauche of the Seine. It was a very cool venue although the sound technician could have been better. After the band was finished we had a coffee in a cafe and returned home exhausted from a long day of walking. Monday morning began more slowly, with us doing things around the house before heading out to the Marais for lunch. We took the metro to Chatelet where a nice band was busking and there delightful strains were wafting through the metro trying to brighten the lives of the busy Parisians who hurried on by with their usual permanent frowns intact. After pausing for a little to enjoy the music, we headed out in to the awful crush of people on Rue de Rivoli that is the neverending saga of Chatelet. We headed up past the stone tower and past Hotel de Ville and into the Marais, where we stopped at a cafe for lunch. We both had amazing salads and some ok Rose before continuing through the Marais to witness the amazingly historical quartier that it is and walking for kilometers again on already tired feet. After which, exhausted, we headed for home to have a sit down and then some dinner, then more sitting and finally after weeks, some blogging.


Wow, it's been nearly two months since I posted. I knew it was a long time, but hadn't realised it was that long. Now I have lots of catching up to do. One of the main things I did in these two months was to go to Giverny with M one Saturday to walk in the Gardens of Inspiration, originally planted by Claude Monet, when he lived there. There are two gardens; a Japanese inspired garden with ponds and bridges and water lillies, which are prolific throughout Monet's works and a more formal neatly laid garden in front of the house (which is now a museum). Monet was very much into the orient and had many Japanese art prints which inspired his Waterlilly Garden. Many of these prints, or similar styled prints, are still in his house today and you can see them when you wander through it. At the time that he built his garden in the 19th Century, the villagers were very wary of all the strange plants he was putting into his garden and the ponds; and they worried that they would infect the town's water supply. After Monet's death, the grounds fell into disrepair, but in the 80's they were resurrected and replanted according to the way he had originally planted the garden and it was turned into the museum that is there today.
Now, finished with the history lesson; so back to the story! M and I set off early in the morning from Gare St Lazare and took a train to Vernon, the closest town to Giverny. From Vernon we then caught a shuttle to Giverny, which stops in a carpark at the side of a grassy wood that has a river running through it. We set off on the trail through the wood and followed a sign to see a bust of Monet. We then meandered back along the river, across the river, under the road, beside the road and left down a laneway and into a gate. We had already bought tickets from FNAC so therefore didn't have to queue. We were straight in the gate and through to the Waterlilly Garden where we wandered along in the morning sunlight, enjoying the flowers of all kinds and the waterlillies which were just beginning to bloom. From the Japanese garden we made our way through to the Formal Garden that is splayed out in front of the house and strolled up and down the lanes before making our way into the house. Afterwards, we had lunch in the garden of a hotel amidst more flowers and green hills and paddocks. We then made our way through the town and came across a field of poppies spread out before us on a slight incline. We walked the paths between the poppies before lying in the shade beside the poppies for an hour or so. Then we went to see Monet's grave before heading back to Paris. It was so nice to be out in the countryside for the day before returning to the pandemonium of the city.