Looking out our bedroom windows, dawn in Gerberoy, France. Deeply peaceful and utterly silent. Except for the birds. (which, of course, I recorded at 5:00 am – here they are:)
Early walk through the village before breakfast, incredible details, colors deep and saturated in the shadowy light. A mosaic of D’s and my photos, different styles but together a more complete view.
We stayed at Le Logis de Gerberoy, one of only two hotels in the village.
We both fell in love with our landlady, Cecile, for her welcoming charm, delicious homemade jams and the best freshly made croissants, bread and pain au chocolat ever
. (all photos above by D.)
Some of my favorite images.
The village sits on a small hill with views over the surrounding farmland.
Travel notes: Village of Gerberoy, Picardy, France. I believe it is still there, unless it was a figment of my imagination.
For those of you who are great fans of the early Victoria magazines, as I am, it was in the February 1994 issue that I first read about Gerberoy and have dreamed about visiting ever since. In fact, Victoria’s French issues were a vital source of inspiration for a number of our locations on this trip, which I’ll share as we go along. I am so grateful that the village is still unspoiled. May it remain so always.
Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends.
And Happy 4th of July weekend to everyone in the States! D, being English, feels the Brits should celebrate for getting rid of us pesky Colonists. :)
Whether it’s a holiday or not, winter or summer, we wish you a wonderful weekend of love and memories.
xo – g
(Hello friends, thank you so much for your kind words on the French village photos. I’m really happy that you enjoyed them as I took many of them with you in mind. More to come, including a little history and more info on the village. But first, a short break from the travel photos to bring you a special story that I’ve been waiting to share until this exact day!)
Do you believe in coincidence? Or serendipity?
Two years ago today, I wrote this post
. It’s my only blog post about designing a magazine cover photo shoot and the only time I specifically named one image as being appropriate for a cover shot. (Although I do it often, I don’t post about it.) This is the image showing David Austin roses and other flowers freshly cut from our garden that summer evening in June 2009.
The morning after I wrote the post, I sent the image off to one of our international reps along with a thousand other images, including lots more covers, and thought nothing more about it.
A year later a royalty statement listed among the sales this exact photo, sold and licensed for a magazine cover in Australia. (By this time I’d forgotten that post.)
Now, the royalty statement didn’t give the name of the magazine so I looked a bit for it online. I considered asking friends in Australia but felt that would be a lot of bother. So, I just hoped that one day I would find a copy to add to my portfolio and again forgot about it.
And then, in March of this year, almost another year later, I received a lovely message, via the contact form of our stock photo website, from an Australian artist, Lyn Donald. Lyn had seen the magazine cover and had gone to the trouble of contacting the magazine to track me down, via the photo credit. She loved David Austin roses but wasn’t able to grow them in her area and was asking permission to use my photograph as the basis for one of her paintings. And she sent me a scan of the magazine cover. Coincidence? Lyn and I don’t think so.
I was very touched that she went to the trouble of finding me, and even more touched by her warmth and her wonderful talent. Lyn paints very large scale (6 feet tall!), close-up paintings of flowers that are truly exquisite. We exchanged several emails and last month she sent me a photo of the finished painting:
Georgianna’s Bouquet by Lyn Donald
I love it! And just had to share it as I know so many of you love David Austin roses and beautiful art, and we all are so appreciative of the connections we make around the world. It was meant to be! Thank you so much Lyn.
Contact Lyn here to find out more about her amazing work.
See you all in a day or two!
xo – g
… in a tiny medieval village, of cobbled streets and ancient timbers, and houses draped in roses, a place that I’d been dreaming about, planning, researching and hoping to visit for over 10 years.
And we made it. Driving through the countryside of Picardy, only losing our way once or twice, down country lanes and up narrow roads, D and I arrived, welcomed by roses at their peak and a hostess whose charm and presence were a perfect compliment for the impossibly picturesque village, nearly untouched by time and ready for our days of exploration.
La Maison Bleue, dated 1691, is by no means the oldest house here, for the village was in existence at the time of William the Conqueror.
Roses adorn nearly every doorway, window, and fence. Buildings are still comfortingly solid and sturdy after centuries, every surface is aged and worn, but with authenticity, not artifice.
This is the real thing.
Walking the silent streets (only two of them) the dreamlike quality is palpable.
I’m rather delirious about the images we took in France. I find myself really transported by them and hope they do the same for you.
And since I’ve had some requests, I’m doing a few things I haven’t done before. I’ve begun making some of my travel photographs available as fine art prints in my shop, and I’m creating select image collections in a very affordable 4″ x 6″ size. I’d really love for as many people as possible to be able own them as they are quite special to me.
The first collection features four images of La Maison Bleue
. Honestly, could there be any place more charming? The prints are available here
The second collection is Les Fleurs du Village, six dreamy scenes of roses and flowers in a French country village. Find it here.
Some larger prints are available in the France section of my shop.
Next post I’ll share more about the village and Picardy. Still to come – Monet’s Garden, French chateau gardens and Paris!
• • • •
We had a lovely day and evening celebrating the first day of summer at Hillhaven – warm, sunny with dinner alfresco with family. Quite perfect. I hope yours was, too.
Thank you for visiting, thank you for following along and thank you for all you do each day to make the world a happier and and more beautiful place.