06 December 2008

The same season, different views, familiar photos...and laughter just around the corner

There’s a letter sitting here next to me on my freshly organized desk. The envelope is loaded with international postage ((getting higher and higher every letter I send)) and lovingly addressed to Mon Bon Chien 12 rue Mademoiselle 75015 Paris France. The address rolls off my pen instinctively, as it was my address ((a different number obviously though I did at times, as did Harriet the owner, consider living in the store!!)) for so many years. And it is distant, and familiar all at once. Deciding where to picture myself becomes murkier every day. The presence of those people I know will always be there, and those I hope will somehow manage to hold on with me.

It’s funny, here my last post talks of the ocean and has a photo of the Carmel beach, then this morning I opened my computer to a comment on this blog from Carla who writes ((and more importantly, posts her photographs)) on one of my favorite blogs Carla Loves Photography I found myself reading her latest post, on what I believe to be a very chilly morning in California ((though it’s supposed to be 20C today)) and before me on the screen, photos of familiar street scenes appear, the streets of Paris glowing for the holidays where even the briskness of the winter air is captured in the photographs. And these images feel more like home to me, they seem to embody my image of the holiday season, and I’m hit suddenly with the cold breeze and a warm note of nostalgia.

Not to mention I missed Carla’s Paris Tango book release party at WH Smith in Paris on Thursday.... I’m having trouble locating the book here, as it would be the perfect Christmas gift for friends and family, and apparently she has a chapter about Mon Bon Chien ((my favorite Parisian dog bakery)) and writes of a time when she was there and my dog Poulet was ((comme d’hab)) tirelessly trying to get at the biscuit counter to steal an MBC gateau...((that’s a trademark move))

Yesterday I awoke to comments from Harriet here on my blog. Without hesitation I see her sitting in her world famous Mon Bon Chien boutique; yes, I can see her there on the couch ((where I usually sit right next to her)) along with her dogs Sophie Marie and Diablo ((and my dog Poulet, when he’s there with me...)) one big party on the couch at Mon Bon Chien as the pleasant and warm scent of dog biscuits in the oven fills the air, and the intermittent buzz of the timer or chiming song of the telephone ring pause our laughter and conversation....

This store has a special place in my heart, opening exactly one week before I impulse-purchased my over-priced, under-fed, underage puppy Poulet from a horrible animalerie ‘shop’ on the Quai..... and as I knew nothing about dogs, and was never even particularly fond of them, was desperate for the guidance that Harriet gave both Poulet and me. However, I never expected that Poulet and I would forge life-long friendships through this small dog bakery in Paris ((the first in Europe I might add)) that happened to be located down the street from us..

Sometimes I feel as though I can walk out my door, turn the corner, and walk into the store. Sometimes I feel like Poulet and I will never make it back. But every time I find myself back there and step foot in the store, I feel happy, as though I never left at all. If you have the fortune of being in Paris during this holiday season, or any season, stop by 12 rue Mademoiselle, laugh with Harriet for me, pet Soph Soph, watch the devilish Diablo and pick up some dog biscuits for all the dogs on your shopping list. And if you can’t make it to Paris, as malheureusement Poulet and I won’t make it this season, you can order some gateaux online from her website http://www.mon-bon-chien-paris.com and watch the featured Animal Planet video ((with Poulet as the smaller of the two cavaliers running in the door and peering into to the glass cabinet)).

So add to holiday list: MBC biscuits and Carla Coulson’s books Paris Tango, Italian Joy and the one she photographed for Vicki Archer, My French Life.

((the photos are from Carla’s blog, the Mon Bon Chien site, and my camera. Poulet is the dog jumping for the biscuit, Sophie is, as ever, begging gracefully by his side))


vicki archer said...

Thank you so much for stopping by French Essence and glad to have found your blog, xv.

Kwana said...

Gorgeous images and words. I've just found your lovely blog. Wonderful.