Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cheap Thrills

  Ok,  your drug of choice is?  Well, we all have one.  But put it this way,  what special present can you get for yourself in Nice for twenty euros?

Would it be a simple meal in an ordinary restaurant,  an inexpensive bottle of champagne,  3 perfect mangoes,  a big moleskin sketchbook,  a favorite cd or movie?  All of these would qualify.

                         For me it's a really impressive bouquet from the best flower guy in Nice .  This gentleman brings his flowers from Italy and they are always "dead" fresh  ( oxymoronic?) .  I have been buying flowers from him for over 15 years ( even before I spoke much French) and he has always been the consummate professional and best buy for unusual and boutique quality flowers.  I hate to go elsewhere if I can go to his stand on the Cours Saleya.

He is so popular now on a weekend that he always has an assistant .  Here is the current assistant putting my flower choices together with a few leaves or extras thrown in for free.  Sometimes the freebie  is foliage or sometimes a handful of sweet peas.

 The idea is that the bunches are priced pretty well to start with, but  if you buy two , the price is often lower ...especially if you are buying from the owner himself.

And like a boutique, the bunch is wrapped in "crystal" paper and tied charmingly with raffia.  Then the  stems will be cut to your specifications and you will receive directions for changing the water ( very important in summer heat).

Here's my twenty euro flower fix ...(with one of the Boldini copies I did in the background ) The bronze we found by a local artist in Ile de Re and that's a French refectory table in case you were asking.

                    I don't get excited about ordinary flowers but these majestic white, violet (and one yellow) gladioli with blue larkspur are a heavenly thing and like most awe- inspiring heavenly things are tenuous and ephemoral.

 I will have them for less than a week but I will bask....  Yes, I will bask for those few days in my twenty euro extravagance.

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