Back in June, my long-time friend Carol Tessier (originally from South Africa) and her French husband Luc had three of us for dinner in their garden. We had hors-d'oeuvres out on the lawn, surrounded by Carol's miraculous garden. We then moved into the conservatory for dinner, as it was a bit cool still. Summer was late coming to Paris this year.
Anyway, Carol was to fetch (a word she would use, but I wouldn't) the three of us - my older daughter Anne, my beloved childhood friend Linda and me - at the end of the Metro line. For some reason, Carol and I start laughing the moment we see each other. This time, I was all apologies. We had forgotten the bottle of wine we'd bought to give them. We were early, so I dispatched Anne to buy another. The catch was that we were in a very unlikely spot to find any sort of store, surrounded by high rise apartments and office buildings as we were. Anne had gone dutifully off in the direction that looked the least deserted.
Carol arrived, and we waited and waited. No Anne. It seemed like an eternity. I was worried. Had she gotten lost? These streets all looked alike. But finally Anne came running up, totally out of breath, wine bottle in hand. Amazingly, she'd found a Monoprix (sort of an abbreviated WalMart), but the line had been long.
We were laughing at our folly as Carol drove over the Seine and pointed to some flower-filled boxes on the bridge. "They always have very beautiful hanging baskets,"she explained. "Last autumn, I decided to help myself to some slips. When I was taking the cuttings, a bee stung me really hard and said, 'Good for you; one doesn't do that sort of thing!"
When we got to her house, she showed me the tiny courtyard outside her kitchen where the purloined cuttings had just been put in. Not much was going yet. However, I just recently received the above photo with Carol's observations: