Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Frugal Fun: Sailing Along

Photograph by Stan Williams
I love loafing around, especially if it's in Paris, one of my favorite places in the world. The French have a word for someone who likes to loaf about -- one that sounds less lazy than the term we use here in the States. Le flâneur is the term that in French refers to someone who wanders aimlessly in a daze of wonder and awe, pleasantly biding his time wherever his path may lead. That describes me in Paris.

When I'm at home, I'm usually running around with a mission. But not in the City of Light. Oh, its Métro is convenient, reliable and wonderfully clean, but you'll most likely find me, instead, on foot, taking in the winding streets of the Marais or making my way, park bench to park bench, through the gardens of the Tuileries, adjacent to the Louvre palace.

And why rush? More often than not during my visits to Paris, I'm in no hurry to reach a destination, should I even have one planned, leaving my mind open to chance discoveries that I might otherwise miss if I were racing to get from point "A" to points "B," "C" and "D."

I had just ambled over from a lounge chair (much like the one you see in this photo) across the way, admiring the spring flowers. Before that, I was parked on a long concrete bench from which  I watched a young mother and father maneuver a see-saw for their squawking tot.

Take this cart piled high with sailboats, for example. Many times I have witnessed them bobbing gleefully in this pond in the Tuileries garden, but I've never actually seen them being collected by their caretaker at days' end. Stacked carefully on a wooden cart, the boats' time-honored patina is proof of their beloved status among the children who over the years have prodded them along through the water.

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,

The Elegant Thrifter

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