Ladies Camera Club

10 Oct 2006

Mange tout Madame, mange tout

Things and emotions are really hard to convey in words on here, it really is. But I laughed so hard this weekend I now need a hernia op. I have been on a high for more than my usual 48 hours on a weekend retreat. This time my fun lasted 5 whole days. The travel, the teaching, the hanging out, the company, the eating and the absorbing of the whole french experience was just ....oooooh, I dunno - FAB! Uh-huh.
Travelling to Paris was just great. The english travel system really isnt to be sniffed at. And then you get to Paris - where everyone hates you. Taxis generally cost 40Euros to our hotel from the Eurostar terminal but couple the fact you are from Angleterre you can add an extra 180Euros on top. Needles to say we got the metro for 1.40Euros ........ with sweat dripping down to your butt cheeks, smelly garlic breath aroma and pits that havent seen a can of Sure deodorant since 1983 (and that was from the passengers and not me - thank you!). Lets just say the Metro is tropical. But at £1 a pop I aint gonna complain too much longer.
Friday was pencilled in for sightseeing with Jane (my companion for the weekend who makes me crease), Jane Dean, Gill Watson and Bev S. We caught a train to central Pareeeee to jump on one of those classy open top tourist numbers. Im glad we did, we saw Paris far quicker than had we gone on foot. Paris is not a one day event. Its a city worthy of a week and then some. I adored the Eiffel tower but I took shots of the beaitiful scenerey around it - so I caught this glimpse of the tower here whilst paying attention to this fab Heron. I loved paris - i truly did but the part I loved the most was Sacre Couer. I practically wept - it was so beautiful. The scenery and the atmosphere was magic and its thanks to my freind Jane that we eneded up there. We all had just a superb day discovering little ribbon shops and boutiques plus Jane Dean managed to fine "Le Scrapbook Inspirations" ... their french mag issue!!
We all parted company so I could get back to the Teachers meeting at Celines house (the host). How the heavens opened up its bowels and spewed its watery contents on our poor souls as we exited the metro. Jane and I were soaked to the bone and no taxi driver would take us back to the hotel. Other hotels turned us away as we asked for help and my heart felt so low. Finally the Ibis hotel managed to get us help plus a free call to england to get a girl to retrieve some emails and in turn get the number for Celine! At last - a french man took pity on us! Eventually we arrived at celines to a house full of total US celeb and french talent. I stood there, still wet, looking like a complete dawk with Jane ..... I think they must have thought we were right ragamuffins.
Jane and I were bricking ourselves knowing that Donna Downey and Rhonna Farrer were looking at us. Id graciously met Elsie and Emily the previous week but OMG... DD and RF? SHIT! But you know, really, they are just like you and I. they are human and they truly are such genuine people so I won't rub it in anymore. Lets say I was humbled if not rather freaking chuffed. The french teachers knew very little english but spoke well - much better than my school french (and even then I learned german!!)
The next day was the registration and stuff. Mania, hysteria and fun. My lessons went well despite a few language barriers on techincal information being lost in translation and I did actually think that some ladies were expecting to walk out of the lesson as professional photographers. The whole point of my lesson was to impart wisdom from the technicality of using a DSLR. Not knowing how to use compensations between all the functions means your overall effect of your proofs will not have that special depth of field or quality of light etc. My lesson tried to simplify that but in the end, my personal selection of potographs seems to do the trick. So composition won the day. And you know what, at the end of the day you can go and learn about your camera but the passion for overall results lays within your soul. You really must have a keen eye and I thinks thats key. So there endeth the lessson!
Lunching with many french and US tutors was a breath of fresh air. Sharing jokes and ideas or perhaps just sitting and listening was a wonderful opportunity to soak up the atmosphere. I enjoyed my first ever Creme Brulee and where better than in France to sample it. Jane said it would be my defining tena lady moment and it soooooo was. Even the red wine was kind of potent yet nice and I normally detest french red. So my cultural palette was in fine tune. When in Rome..... etc etc! I even tried this - Pomme de Terre or in Jane Deans words "Crap with maggots". She gave it to Donna D as gift (how tired am I in this picture with Donna?). Donna referred to it all through a lesson I took with her as "poop". As she was signing autographs for the french ladies I asked her if she gets strange signing requests. She has actually signed breasts before and I asked would she therefore sign my ass. to which she replied only if I ate her poop. Yeah right! That woman rocks!
I'll sign off for now but will announce the winner. Ellenor and I thought of a number before we left and it was "27" and I have trawled through all of the replies and it is Debbie. Can Debbie contact me as I have some kits and Donna's, Elsies and Emilys good luck wishes to send to you.
There are many, many things that happened but my best moments were with the Brit girls. We laughed so hard at the most silliest things. we saw some beautiful sights, learned to tolerate and compensate, how to get along despite the language barrier (often not but we learned) and I want to thank Jane Egan-Cresswell, Jane Dean, Gill, Bev, Hebe, Sam, Karen, Mary-Anne and why, even myself, for their company, humour, wit and sarcasm. Paris 2006 was amazing with mange tout and petit pois.

Au revoir.
Mange tout
Petit Pois
De Ja Vu
and sleep xx


jane said...

how stupid does that beret look? Had a fabby weekend petit filous

Paula said...

Seems a great time was well & truly had by all!!!!
And, the French haven't altered one bit...despite "altered art" lessons!!! lol

bookit said...

OooooOOOOooooo...look at you , rubbing shoulders with all the celebs!!!!! looks like so much fun!!!

Corinnexxx said...

wow, this trip sounds marvelous! can't wait to meet you in November! Yes I guessed that you would come and well, Anita confirmed!


Ann(i)e said...

OMG, fun and confussion, and a great experience!!!
Now site back and relax for two minutes!!

Gill said...

Had a fab time with you too mon petit mange toute filou! Love that pic of Jane & I, can I get a copy please? Hope to see you again soon xx

joanna said...

Sounds like you made the most of the French experience, darling girl - what a lot of fun! I am jeal xxx

Maria said...

Lovely piccies and get you with the celebs.

Love Jane's beret tres chic!

Bonnie said...

It was so great to meet you and take your class. It was a fabulous weekend and I truely enjoyed meeting all the wonderful ladies.

Beckie said...

Great pics and wow you sound liek you had a ball!

debbie said...

ooooh looks so great - sad i missed it :( wahey at winning the prize though!!

Tracie H said...

Sounds like you had a ball.

BevS97 said...

Didn't we have a lovely time!!!

So pleased that you were there, it was brilliant.


Em said...

It looks and sounds like you had great fun - love Jane's beret and stripy jumper! That pic of Jane and Gill is fab btw

mandy said...

Love the photos, esp the Heron a la Eiffel!

Paris looks gorgeous! As for photography, I think it lives and breathes in big toes and maybe in souls! said... time you go to paris, just say you're Belgian! lol! said...

but don't go to paris! come to brussels instead next time!!! I really love what you're doing, and to me the main point, in scrapbooking too, is the quality of the pics.

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