Flower Delivery For Abelard & Heloise Still There

If you’ve been reading my blog, you may have read about my gift for Abelard and Heloise.  If you haven’t, you might want to go back and take a look at yesterday’s post so this one will make sense to you now. Kim, a blogging friend in Paris took a little stroll up to Père Lachaise cemetery yesterday after reading my post to see what I left behind. She sent me word in the comment section of yesterday’s post that my wedding bouquet was still there.

Today, she very kindly sent me an email with a photograph she took of my bouquet at the grave. In the picture, you can see someone else has tossed a flower tribute as well. I left mine there on February 4th and it looks suprising good for being out there slightly more than three weeks. If you consider that I made my bouquet on February 1st, I’d say those flowers were a good buy.

Big thanks to Kim for sending this picture for me to share.  She’s added a new chapter to an already sweet memory.

Wedding Bouquet - 3 Weeks Later February 26, 2009

Wedding Bouquet - 3 Weeks Later February 26, 2009

A Gift For Abelard & Heloise


Carolyn guessed correctly that I was taking my bouquet to Père Lachaise cemetery, the burial place of many people famous in their day and in their death. Many know that Jim Morrison of The Doors fame is buried there, but some may not know that Moliere, Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Isadora Duncan, Edith Piaf, Camille Pissaro, Richard Wright and Gertrude Stein and her partner Alice B. Toklas rest there as well along with too many others to name here.  While many of these grave sites would have been a good place to leave my flowers, I had a different location in mind.

As you can see from the title, I took my bouquet to the shared grave of the famous lovers, Abelard & Heloise who while separated by horrible circumstances in life, now lie together in death. I’ll leave you to read the stories that tell the tale of love, separation, and the loss that accompanies their doomed love affair. Much has been written and I’ve long been interested in the letters they left behind in The Letters of Abelard and Heloise (Penguin Classics). I’ve owned a copy for longer than I can remember and still take it off the shelf from time to time to reread parts of it.

They were secretly wed in real life and I thought it a sweet gesture to leave my wedding bouquet where modern day lovers or those who are loveless have left their own letters for years. If you know the story of Abelard & Heloise, it may seem odd to leave a happy token of our special day in a place where one might see only the sorrow of lovers separated in life, but I tossed my flowers over the iron fence that surrounds their grave for Heloise who never wished to be the bride of Abelard (because of her love for him and her fear of the consequences) or of Christ, but seemingly followed the wishes of the man she loved to the end of her days. It’s a romantic gesture of hope for lovers who wish for deep and abiding love.  

My images are not quite as I would have wished…the grave site had scaffolding around it as repairs were being made to to the aging monument and it was difficult to get a clear shot without the barriers.


Two Heads Side By Side On Pillows Of Stone




Angling For A Good Landing Spot

Angling For A Good Landing Spot

My Overhanded Toss Of The Bouquet Captured By John

My Overhanded Toss Of The Bouquet Captured By John

Perfect Landing!

Perfect Landing!


Abelard & Heloise

A Gift For Abelard & Heloise

My Very Own Version Of Planes, Trains, And Automobiles

Picking up from my last post, we did arrive at the local train station and found that we could all ride the same train together at least for a little while. First we had to wait… and some of us were less than happy with this.


The purchase of a little snack made us all feel a bit better.



Here comes the train…and we’re off!


Crossing the Tamar estuary on Brunel’s historic bridge as viewed from the window of train number one. After a short ride, we said goodbye to John’s daughter and granddaughter waving them off as their 2nd train departed. In these next three photographs, I’m in the reflection you see in the window outside of the train saying goodbye while John’s granddaughter’s little face is looking back at us through the window from inside the train.



Me with my backpack and my wedding bouquet…it looks like I’m blowing kisses. 


A Last Look Back

We boarded our next train and then dashed to our bus before arriving at the airport and our plane which fortunately was delayed by the weather.  After they deiced the plane, we were on our way to our honeymoon destination…the city of love…Paris!


I’ll be back tomorrow with more, but let me leave you with a challenge…can anyone out there guess why I took the flowers below with me to Paris…leave me a comment with your thoughts and I’ll announce who gets it right first.



Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Through The Snow We Go

The morning after the BIG snow!


Snowy Self Portrait

Okay, maybe it wasn’t really a big snow to some of you out there and I’ll admit when I lived in Oswego NY for two winters, I had a chance to see snow measured in feet not inches, but for Cornwall…this was a good bit of ground cover. If you read yesterday’s post, you saw the picture I took of John’s daughter and granddaughter walking down a snowy road as they hiked out of the village. The goal was to walk the 2+ miles from the house on the hill to the main road to meet a taxi at a pre-set time.

You may have noticed that I was standing a fair distance from where they were when I took the photograph. It wasn’t because I decided it would make a great shot and so decided to hang out and wait for it, but because I was running to try to catch up. When I came in from my big hike alone through the snow, John told me that his younger daughter and granddaughter were walking out and that we should go with them. I hadn’t even packed yet thinking that I would have time to before we left especially with our previous plan to drive to Bristol to catch our plane. John asked if I could be ready in 30 minutes or less. 

Grabbing our backpacks from the attic so we could carry our stuff out on our backs, we began to toss things in fairly quickly. I was moving so fast, I could barely think about what I needed to take.  As we were packing, they set out ahead of us because it was a long way through the snow for a 4 year old. John followed them not long after with his backpack and a small duffel bag with some of their things in it. I was the last to leave as I was running around trying to shut down my computer and be sure I had all of the camera gear I might need. I forgot my boots, but I managed to make it with everything else.

As I was running out the door to catch up with the three of them, I grabbed my bridal bouquet on the way out. I attached it to my backpack and took off running down one hill and up another in an attempt to catch up.  As I ran, slipping and sliding on the snowy street, I scooted past John to get close enough to snap this  photograph.  My bouquet dropped off my backpack as I ran past him and I actually ran on a few yards before I realized it had fallen. Running back, I scooped it up and ran on with a camera in one hand and my wedding flowers in the other. I’m sure I was a sight pounding up the hill with a pack on my back and something in each hand. 


The Long Walk Out

The Long Walk Out



We were on the other side of this bridge heading up yet one more icy hill when an angel in a four wheel drive stopped and offered us a ride to the main road where we were meeting our taxi.  After Matt, (our burly angel) moved a few things around, we all squeezed in and began to make our way through the snow.  A quick phone call gave the taxi driver notice to meet us a bit earlier and on arriving at the drop off point, we had an opportunity to pay back some karmic goodwill by pushing a stuck car out of a drift. 


I’m wearing the brown coat with the light blue jeans and John is to my right.  The taxi arrived just after his daughter snapped this photograph as we pushed the car onto the main road.  Once we were in the taxi, I caught this curious look on John’s granddaughter’s face.  I imagine she was thinking, ” What is with this woman and that camera!”



I’ll leave you here now with us all packed into a taxi hoping that we can make it to the closest train station.  Come back tomorrow if  you’d like to join us for the next leg of our journey.

Three Weeks Ago Today…

Three weeks ago today John and I were doing this….


It began to snow just as our reception was coming to a close and when John and I went on a walk later that night things were being to look a bit like this…   

Is it  just me or does anyone else see a shape in the photograph below?


 What began as a few flakes became this by morning. I grabbed my camera and headed out early for a quick walk and a few photographs before the rest of house was up and out. Remember, we had wedding guests who’d slept over as the roads had not been drivable the evening before. I was excited and worried about all the snow since we had a honeymoon flight to Paris scheduled for that day. Not wanting to miss the early morning light and the fresh snow I drank a quick cup of coffee, pulled on my wellies and headed out.






The Buttercup Field In Winter

The Buttercup Field In Winter






Our Parish Church

As I passed by the parish church again on my way back home, I saw that the roads were still icy and cars were not yet able drive out of our village due to the amount of hills where we live.  When I arrived home, John said that his younger daughter had decided to try to walk out of the village and up to a motor way where she could arrange for a cab to meet her and her 4 year old daughter. Her plan was to try make it to a train station and on to the flight they had scheduled to return to their home. John and I had tickets to fly out of Bristol to Paris later that day for our honeymoon so we knew if we were going to make it, we would need to hike out as well. I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you more of our post wedding adventures, but for now…here’s a little preview.





Walking The Saints Way – When Living Your Life Gets In The Way Of Writing About It




Three guesses as to what I’ve been doing instead of writing.  John and I like to spend a fair amount of time walking the coast path here in Cornwall. We went out for a little walk on Friday and it wasn’t until four hours later that we headed for home. Additionally, I had a few projects drop into my lap that have required my creative attention and life has just gotten in the way of my blogging. I want to take a minute to share some photographs from our walk along the south coast path toward Polkerris and The Gribbin a few days ago so you can see a bit more of my world through my eyes.

After leaving our car in the car park we set off in the direction of Pokerris and the Gribbin, with part of our walk taking us along The Saint’s Way which is clearly marked with signs like the one below.


Marker For The Saint's Way

Marker For The Saint's Way


As you can see above we hiked for most of the time with a heavy sea mist all around us. 





Danger In The Mist


Sea Loving Dog Walking The Wall

Sea Loving Dog Walking The Wall


The Saint's Way Footpath

The Saint's Way Footpath

Not all paths along the way are scenic…some pass right through farms right near the cows and through the muck.


Mind Your Step!

Mind Your Step!





The Newlyweds

The Newlyweds 2009

This last photo below is taken around the same time last year in the same location as the one above.

John & Elizabeth 2008

John & Elizabeth 2008

I’m Official… Limited Leave To Remain Approved!


Sample of Identity Card for UK

Sample of Identity Card for UK

The sample above is an example of what my coveted identity card will look like…well with a few changes like my face and details instead of Susanna Sample’s student info.

This little card is good for two years and confers more than a few benefits on the person to whom it belongs, chief of which for me is the right to stay in England with John. Additionally, with my new status I can now work in the UK. For someone like myself who tends to be a bit of a workaholic, getting this card yesterday was reason for a celebration on multiple levels.

John and I traveled about five hours north to Birmingham on Tuesday in order to meet with the UK Boarder Agency office staff on Wednesday for a 10:00 am appointment. Once there, we were interviewed and had our documents reviewed quite carefully and after a I submitted to another biometric scan of my face and fingerprints, we waited about a hour or so to receive the official word that I had been approved.  Total time spent with the appointment about 3.25 hours. Everyone was very polite and helpful, but as I told John while waiting, the spartan office environment reminded me of the calls I used to make on physicians who worked in public health clinics in America.  

It could have been the plain utilitarian furnishings in the various waiting rooms or the crying babies and small children running around, but I think it was something about the white tile floors that made me feel most like I was in a free clinic waiting to see a doctor.  The biggest difference was the on site security screening with guards and the way the chairs were chained together. Additionally, the staff was tucked safely behind the kind of protective glass one usually sees in an open all night convenience store in America and every where you looked were signs saying that you could not abuse the staff. It made me wonder if the chairs were chained so they couldn’t be thrown in a fit of anger. It’s probably more likely they just want them to stay where they’re placed instead of having large groups come in and rearrange the chairs for convenience. More signage that was very prevalent was that which spoke of  their commitment to a respectful exchange and their desire to provide good service. I’d say they accomplished all of that and not just with the two of us, but with all of the interactions I observed with others as well.