The Seed We Did Not Sow

The Seed We Did Not Sow

When we came back from our one week holiday in the South of France we were greeted by a surprise. Between our mint plants (we have tons of those don’t ask me why) there was a plant that we did not plant nor did we sow the seeds. A tomato plant had made its way out of the rich potting soil in our flower box. Tomatoes are easy to recognise, their distinctive smell gives them away. Continue reading “The Seed We Did Not Sow”


Chalk Lines

Last week, on the lookout for positive images from Paris, I came across something that was both beautiful and sad. Maybe sad is not the right term, maybe melancholic.

Dead leaf

I don’t stare at the ground, but keeping a vigilant eye is important as there can be some minor accidents regarding shoes, it has gotten a lot better over the last few years as the fines dog owners have to pay have risen… If you don’t clean up after your dog or carelessly cast away a cigarette bud and get caught the fine is now 68€!
So yes, I do look at the ground, but it is not where I expect to find beautiful things to take pictures of, especially if it is a sidewalk and not inside a park.

What I saw on the ground were chalk like lines that nature had traced around the corpses of dead leaves. Like a proper crime scene, the leaves were gone and the lines still remained.

Dead leaf I smiled and pulled out my phone  thinking of the beauty of dead leaves, of comical stories featuring leaf police officers. Leaves have a short life span, after a few months their death is imminent, but it does not seem as if they are mourned much. Or are they? Are those lines proof of nature mourning the dead leaves.

Do you sometimes come across unexpected things on the ground? Do things you see make you wander off into strange stories?

© Solveig Werner 2015. All rights reserved.

A Beautiful Sunday

Today was an amazing beautiful day, the sky was clear and blue, the sun was shining. I could hear birds singing. For a November day it was surprisingly warm.

In the mist of recent events I have shied away from looking at the news, my heart is still heavy, but I try to see the bright sides of life.

I would like to thank everyone for your very nice comments, I will reply to them in the days to come. I am touched by all this love and compassion. Thank you!

I am relieved to say that my friends and family are all sound and safe.

Yesterday, things were strange, the streets were too empty for a Saturday. Many businesses had shut down for the day, out of respect. I spend a lot of time with my family, I even got to see my best friend and her mother. It was good to see people, to be with those I love.

Today, I was happy to see that life was coming back, people were enjoying the sun. The laughter of children filled the air.

I tried to make the most out of today, not have my mind wander into dark zones. I kept my eyes open for beauty to share with you.

Almost every day I walk past two things. One I have never consciously seen, but it made me smile. The other, I have often remarked, but never photographed to share, but today I made sure to snap a picture of a quote that can warm hearts.

door sign, flowers
I walk past this heartwarming sign almost daily, but I never noticed it until today
quote, Paris
This quote by Robert Montgomery can be found attached to a building near the Park Monceau

© Solveig Werner 2015. All rights reserved.

Homegrown chilli peppers

Homegrown Peppers

These peppers were meant to be small. This is the 3rd year that we have grown our own peppers. Christmas 2012 we got some tiny peppers, but quite hot peppers in Germany and baptised them Piments de Iena as we did not know their name. We planted some seeds and were rewarded with many small peppers as the species (don’t know it’s real name) grows a lot of fruit. Then we planted a few seeds again.
This Spring for the 3rd time in a row we took the seeds of our cross and sowed them. This time we opened a dry pepper and put the seeds into the soil. To our surprise all of the plants that grew nice and strong started growing huge pepper crops except for one that kept the original size. Now, I know that cross pollination must have happened, especially seen the fact that we had a few bell peppers next to our tiny peppers. We even tried to grow some habaneros in the past or “habs” as the connoisseurs call them, but they do not do so well in our climate on the windowsill. What you can see in the bowl above are the peppers of one single plant. The outcome of the crossing of tiny peppers and bell peppers did not turn out too badly: we have the yield of the tiny peppers, the heat of the spicy peppers but we approach the size of some more impressive peppers.
I have already saved some seeds of this lot, but I am definitely not sure if they will grow again. The likelihood of them being sterile is there after all.

As I joined NanoPoblano for this November and am thus a Pepper, I figured that sharing my peppers is a good idea.

Have you ever undertaken a balcony gardening project?
Has a gardening project surprised you by it’s unexpected turnout?

© Solveig Werner 2015. All rights reserved.

Iles Flottantes – no I am not talking about dessert

Berges de Seine, Grand Palais, Pont Alexandre III

Voilà, voilà! It’s time for another “Discovering Paris” post. This time it’s again about a new park or garden in Paris. I want to tell you about the Promenade des Berges de la Seine, or more precisely about the Iles Flottantes (floating islands that are located there).

Berges de Seine In 2013 parts of the Parisian quays were converted into a nice Promenade. Something, that used to be a road producing tons of pollution, as cars were channeled through the city, was converted into a pedestrian paradise. In the book Trapped in Paris by Evelyne Holingue the protagonists experience some rather negative sides of the Seine’s quays, that today, have almost become unthinkable.

Even though this promenade has been around for two years now, I have only discovered it last year. And since then I have made sure to come back here and now to enjoy. I think that for many Parisians it has turned into a great place to escape from everyday life, without having to leave the city or ruining oneself financially.

Berges de Seine The promenade is 2.3km in length and is packed with activities. Often there are a lot of people, but due to the length of the quais, it is not a problem, you can always find your own space between walkers, skaters, cyclists and parents with strollers. In the warmer months of the year, giant flower pots line the river bank. Inside them you can find fig and apple trees and some quite monstrous looking plants. You can try yourself at playing Usain Bold with a 100m sprint. You, or maybe your kids can go rock-climbing, you have various equipment for exercises.

Berges de Seine On the weekend you can find a coach to give you a free coaching session, take a dance lesson. There are restaurants, you have free sparkling water, clean toilets and can reserve a container transformed into a living room. This can be good for a rainy day, a lunch break when it is cold, a small birthday party, or just relaxing away from home. Here and there you can borrow chess and checkers pieces and get to play. There can be art exhibits, or there are projects to educate the passer-by about the environment. Because this promenade is after all a green project.

Berges de Seine, Ile Flottante, Tour Eiffel, Eiffel Tower I always enjoy going down to the Berges de Seine, like I enjoyed going for walks on the quayside in Newcastle. But these quays have something special, they have the Iles Flottantes, when I heard of the project for the first time I actually had a vision of giant plastic desserts floating on the Seine. I had it all wrong. These floating islands are a brilliant way of gaining more land, giving nature some more space without having to deviate the river or doing anything completely questionable from an environmental stand point. A group of metal islands, attached to massive poles are now a nice new park. Richly populated by different types of plants and even animals.

Berges de Seine
close-up of a leaf taken by S

One can sit and relax on one of the islands, being cradled by the coming and going of the waves. There are wooden recliners on one  or giant hammocks on another to make you feel at ease. Of course, I suppose for someone who suffers from sea sickness this might not be the best place to be.

The giant hammocks or nets are there so one does not trod on the grass growing beneath them, while fully profiting from the island. On weekends it is likely that the space is rare, as many people will be there enjoying a book. On another island there are apple trees, with tiny little apples. They are not for human consumption but for the pleasure of the animals.

If you are in Paris, or will be going one day, I do recommend that you check out the Promenade des Berges de la Seine.

Berges de Seine
Berges de Seine

Berges de Seine, ile flottante

Berges de SeineBerges de Seine

Berges de Seine

Berges de Seine
what is it?
Berges de Seine
Close-up by S

Berges de Seine

All photos are hosted on flickr and either taken by S or myself
© Solveig Werner 2015. All rights reserved.

Parc Clichy-Batignolles – Martin Luther King

Parc Clichy-Batignolles – Martin Luther King

Discovering a NEW park in Paris

Parc Clichy-Batignolles - Martin Luther King

A few weeks ago, my mother discovered a new park in Paris, which she quickly shared with us. The first time I went, I went without technology, so I could not take any pictures. But then I returned, for a nice walk and for many pictures. Continue reading “Parc Clichy-Batignolles – Martin Luther King”

Schwarze Sonne | Black Sun | Soleil Noir

Sonnentürgriff - Poigné Solaire -Sun Doorknob

Hier ist meine Beteiligung an Cee’s Black & White photo challenge. Es ist mein erstes Mal und ich hoffe, dass es dir gefällt. Was ist es?

Here is my entry into Cee’s Black & White photo challengeclose ups. This is the first time that I am participating, I hope that you will like it. What is it?

Voici ma participation à Cee’s Black & White photo challenge. J’espère que ça te plaît. Qu’est-ce que c’est?

Foto von, photo by, photo par Solveig Werner

Sous la pluie | Im Regen | In the Rain 

Sous la pluie du printemps, je me promène avec ma fille. D’habitude je n’aime pas trop la pluie, mais cette fois-ci c’est different. Car il s’agit d’une pluie légère de printemps et pas d’une pluie froide.

Mes lunettes se couvrent de Pluie2-SWernergouttes, donc forcement de temps en temps je ne vois plus rien. Mais je fais attention, parce que ce qu’il y avoir est magnifique, magique, comme enchanté, très beau.

Il n’y a personne. C’est dû à la pluie, qui chasse le citadin des espaces verts. Pourtant c’est la pluie qui reveille la nature! C’est le baiser du prince charmant pour réveiller la princesse.

Petite joue dans des ruisseaux nouvellement formés. L’eau qu’elle joie pour les enfants! Pendant ce temps j’observe mon environnement. Je vois un merle sortir un enorme verre de terre de l’herbe verte et jouteuse en tirant très fort. J’écoute les oiseaux donner leur concert. La pluie leur donne la joie de vivre.

Je savoure le moment. J’écoute. Je regarde. Je respire l’air pur, en plein Paris. Je sents le printemps.

Autour de nous la nature explose. Chaque jour il y a plus de vie, plus de vert et plus de couleurs. Pluie3-SWernerCette année je vis le printemps différemment des années passées. Je savoure et vis pleinement ce printemps.

Im Frühlingsregen gehe ich mit meiner Tochter spazieren. Normalerweise mag ich Regen nicht besonders, aber dieses Mal ist es anders. Denn es handelt sich um einen leichten, nicht kalten Regen des Frühlings.

Zwischendurch kann ich nichts mehr erkennen, denn meine Brille ist bedeckt mit Wasser. Ich passe auf, denn es gibt so vieles schönes, magisches, wunderbares zu sehen!

Niemand ist da. Der Regen ist schuld, denn er verscheucht den Stadtbewohner. Aber er ist es, Pluie1-SWernerder die Natur wachküsst, wie der Kuss eines Prinzen eine Prinzessin zum Leben erweckt.

Kleinchen spielt in den frisch geformten Bächen. Wasser, eine Freude der Kinder. Währenddessen beobachte ich meine Umgebung. Ich sehe eine Amsel die einen Regenwurm aus dem grünen, saftigen Gras zieht. Ich lausche dem Vogelkonzert. Der Regen gibt ihnen die Freude am Leben.

Ich genieße den Augenblick. Ich höre. Ich schaue. Ich atme frische Luft im Herzen Paris. Ich spüre den Frühling.

Um uns herum explodiert die Natur. Jeden Tag gibt es mehr Leben, mehr Grün und mehr Farben. Dieses Jahr erlebe ich den Frühling anders als in den vergangenen Jahren. Ich genieße und erlebe das Frühjahr voll und ganz.

I am walking through the spring rain with my daughter. Most of the time I do not like rain. But this rain is different, it is a light, not cold rain of spring.

My glasses are covered by raindrops, at times I cannot see. But I am careful to not let this happen too often, because around us things are magnificent, magic, beautiful, Pluie3-SWernerunder a spell.

No one is there, because the rain keeps the city dweller inside. But it is the rain who has awaken nature. It is a prince charming giving life back to a princess through his magic kiss.

Little one plays in newly formed creeks. Water, a joy for kids! Meanwhile I observe our environment. I see a blackbird pulling a worm from the green juicy grass. I listen to the birds’ concert. The rain gives them the joy to live.

I enjoy the moment. I listen. I watch. I breath in fresh air in the heart of Paris. I feel the spring.

Around us nature is exploding. Every day there is more life, more green, and more colours. This year I live and savour spring a lot more than in the years past.

Texte et images par, Text und Bilder von, text and images by Solveig Werner

A is for my Autobiography – A to Z Challenge April 2015 | Meine Autobiographie | Mon Autobiographie

Autobiographies tend to start in the beginning of the person’s life. I am German, and was born to German parents in Germany. I spend the first 12 years of my life there. From then on things get a bit “complicated”, four days before my 12th birthday we (my parents and my younger sister) moved to the U.S. With almost 15, we moved again, to France.

Once I had passed my Baccalaureate and Abitur, I did not move back to Germany, no I decided to go to England. There I studied politics, my goal was to become a journalist, and was an active member of the student radio (I made it to “head of music”). My Bachelor’s degree was punctuated by an Erasmus exchange in Poland, where I fell in love. As my fiancé is French, we decided to live together in France. Thus I continued studying in France. Now I have a research Master Degree.

Since the end of my 17 year (no breaks) education, I have become a freelance professional, teaching languages and doing some translation work. We have moved to Paris, I taught German in a high school and founded a family. Our daughter, “little one” as I call her on this blog will soon be 14 months old. I am 26 at the moment, have lived in 5 countries so far and speak 3 languages.

Autobiographien fangen häufig am Anfang des Lebens an. Ich bin wie meine Eltern Deutsch und wurde in Deutschland geboren. Dort habe ich die ersten 12 Jahre meines Lebens verbracht. Aber dann wird es auch schon “kompliziert”, vier Tage vor meinem 12. Geburtstag sind wir (meine Eltern und meine jüngere Schwester) nach Amerika gezogen. Als ich fast 15 war, sind wir dann wieder umgezogen, nach Frankreich.

Nachdem ich mein Baccalauréat und Abitur bestanden Solveig_Wernerhatte, bin ich nicht nach Deutschland gegangen, sondern nach England. Dort habe ich Politikwissenschaften studiert, denn ich wollte Journalistin werden. Ich war sogar ein aktives Mitglied des Studentenradios. Während meines Bachelorstudiums bin ich für ein Erasmussemester nach Polen gegangen, dort habe ich mich verliebt. Da mein Verlobter aus Frankreich ist, hatten wir uns entschieden zusammen in Frankreich zu leben. Jetzt habe ich einen Forschungsmaster in Politikwissenschaften.

Seit dem Ende meiner 17 jährigen Schullaufban (keine Unterbrechungen), habe ich mich selbständig gemacht, ich unterrichte Sprachen und mache ein paar Übersetzungsarbeiten. Wir sind nach Paris gezogen, habe an einer Schule Deutsch unterrichtet und eine Familie gegründet. Unsere Tochter, ich nenne sie “Kleinchen” auf diesem Blog wird bald 14 Monate alt sein. Momentan bin ich 26 Jahre alt, habe in 5 Ländern gelebt und spreche 3 Sprachen.

Comme les autobiographies ont tendance de commencer au debut de la vie, je vais commencer au début. Je suis allemande, née de parents allemands en Allemagne. Là bas j’ai passé 12 ans de ma vie. Et c’est ici que cela commence à devenir “compliqué”, quatre jours avant mon 12ème anniversaire, nous (mes parents et ma soeur) avons déménagé aux États-Unis. Quand j’avais presque 15 ans, nous nous sommes installés en France.

Après avoir passé mon Bac et Abitur, je ne suis pas partie en Allemagne, non je suis allée en Angleterre. Où j’ai étudie la science politique, car je voulais devenir journaliste. J’étais un membre actif de la radio étudiante. Ma licence était marquée par un séjour Erasmus en Pologne, où je suis tombée amoureuse. Mon fiancé étant français nous nous étions décidés d’habiter ensemble en France. Maintenant j’ai un Master Recherche.

Depuis la fin de mon parcours scolaire de 17 ans (sans pause ou interruption), je me suis mise à mon compte, je donne des cours de langue et fais des traductions. Nous nous sommes installés à Paris, j’ai enseigné l’allemand dans un lycée et fondé une famille. Notre fille a presque 14 mois, je l’appelle “petite” sur ce blog. Momentanément j’ai 26 ans, j’ai vécu dans 5 pays et parle 3 langues.

Written by, geschrieben von, écrit par Solveig Werner

Les fleurs du printemps – Frühlingsblumen – Spring Flowers

Fleur1-SolveigWerner C’est officiel! Le printemps a commencé, en tout cas au niveau du calendrier nous avons passé le cap. L’equinox a eu lieu.

Par contre en terme de températures printanières ce n’est pas encore gagné. (Petite doit encore mettre une écharpe et la plus part du temps un bonnet. Vu qu’elle commence à marcher, et surtout à s’arrêter partout c’est surtout à ses parents de se couvrir bien.)

Tout comme moi les plantes ont envi de printemps et d’un peu plus de chaleur. Dans le Parc Monceau c’est la fête de la floraison. Tous les jours un peu plus de couleurs et un peu plusFleur2-SolveigWerner de joie pour les yeux et les narines, car il y a à certains endroits des odeurs très agréables.

Jetzt ist es so weit, es ist offiziell Frühling! Er hat angefangen, zumindest wenn man auf den Kalendar schaut. Das Äquinoktium liegt hinter uns.

Aber von den Temperaturen her ist es noch nicht ganz so weit. (Kleinchen geht immer noch mit Schal und Mütze raus. Da sie momentan anfängt zu laufen und es mehr einFleur4-SolveigWerner “Spazierenstehen” ist, müssen wir uns Eltern auch gut warm anziehen.)

Genau wie ich, sehnen sich die Pflanzen nach Frühling und Wärme. Das Blütenfest hat im Park Monceau begonnen. Jeden Tag gibt es mehr und mehr Farben, eine Freude für die Augen und die Nase, denn es gibt Plätze an denen es wunderbar riecht.

It’s official! Spring has started, at least if we have a look at the calendar. The equinox now lies behind us.

Still, Fleur3-SolveigWernertemperature wise it still is not very spring like. (Little one still wears a scarf and a hat to keep her warm. Seen that she is starting to walk and to stop a lot, we as parents do have to cover up.)

And just like me the plants are longing for spring and warmth. At least in the Parc Monceau a flower festival has started. Every day there are more and more colours to be contemplated. A true pleasure for eyes and nose, as there are many places marked by wondrous smells.

Texte et photos par, Text und Fotos von, Text and Photos by Solveig Werner