The Now and the Long Ago

To all of you wishes for a New Year 2015 filled with good health, loving friends and family, joyful moments, and peace.

We lost an extremely talented artist, exceptional human being, and a dear friend the last day of 2014. Leo Hobaica encouraged me to believe in my dream and to make it happen. As I stood on the imaginary cliff ready to jump, he gave me a push. He read and edited all my blog posts. His creative suggestions and constant help were invaluable. I will continue with this blog and feel his presence with every sentence.

The first days of 2015:

Tòti Bleu’s chassis and walls are packed up, under cover, waiting for the warm spring weather when we will pull it outside and assemble the sides and roof on the chassis. We are however discussing ideas and plans every day.

There are two interior partitions that I will enjoy decorating during the winter; the one that separates the bed from the living area and the other that separates the toilet area. At the moment, I’m working on the partition that separates the bed from the living area. I drew a squiggly border and Mark cut it out with a sabre saw. He then beveled the edges with a router. The top curve that rests against the roof beam is not yet cut, only drawn. At the moment I was ready to begin, we had a week of snow and below freezing temperatures. I was able to heat up my little studio with the stove that André from Roulotte Papillotte gave us. It worked perfect, and so simple. For the decoration I’m planning to let my childlike fanciful ideas run free. I have no idea what the results will be. Since I have long admired paintings with gold leaf accents, I have ordered gold leaf. I’ve never worked with gold before so it’s a bit daunting. There are instruction videos on Youtube which make it look not too difficult. The vivid colors are already beginning to fill the wood surface. They are wild and joyful. Stay tuned for the finished wall.

Memories from long ago….

Out of the blue, I remembered a photo of a young girl dressed up in a gypsy costume. Must have been 1956, Hampton, Virginia. I could see that photo clearly in my mind’s eye. I began to search my memories and bring that time back. I wrote to my daughters hoping that they might have an old scrapbook with the photo and luckily they knew exactly where it was. Have I already said how wonderful my daughters are! Thanks to the internet, here it is. I did take the opportunity to dress it up a bit using my Brushes app.

This photo brought memories flooding back. I realized that my dreams of gypsy life were always there, just waiting in a corner. I remembered how I loved that costume, and how I adored the opera Carmen. As a teenager I was often singing and dancing on stage for school performances and local Little Theater. I begged to sing an aria from Carmen but I remember my mother telling me that it would not be proper for a young girl.

For us, the days pass slowly at this time of year. The weather keeps us inside most of the time and the nights are long. I am happy that Bella forces me outside during the day for long walks and on a cold, clear night to witness the star studded sky, the moon rising, and the spectacular nights when the world is lit by the full moon.

Here are some suggestions for long winter evenings:

Bizet’s Carmen, The Metropolitan Opera with Elina Garanca

Films directed by Tony Gatlif. Korkoro is my latest favorite. I could watch Latcho Drom a hundred times. Gadjo Dilo is also wonderful.

Mark has given me a book that is a perfect addition to my library and perhaps to yours as well. I have discovered a surprising new (to me) art form.

Gypsy Wagon Painters, compiled by John McKale



About Suzanne

American living in France. Artist and lover of nature, gardening, all living beings. Married to the love of my life, mother of two wonderful daughters and grandmother.
This entry was posted in Community, Gypsy wagon/Roulotte construction technique, Horse drawn vehicles, Lifestyle, Small living spaces, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Now and the Long Ago

  1. Thanks dear, I got quite a smile when I saw the photo of you that Chinchilla posted. So cute!

  2. Bruno says:

    I love that old picture, so cute!!!

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