les petites marionettes

Marionettes Luxembourg
We went to see the puppet show at the Luxembourg Gardens. I think I was expecting a kind of seaside type Punch and Judy thing in one of those little striped tents, but they had an acual theatre, the Theatre du Luxembourg, complete with cast photos of the famous marionettes lining the walls. I was pretty excited; I love puppets. It’s my secret ambition to be a puppeteer. As we entered, the lady at the ticket office informed us that the first four rows are reserved for the children; grown-ups must sit further back. We were not sure if our son, shy as he is, would want to sit among all the other kids all speaking French, but he loved the idea, bounding away without a thought, chatting in English with the odd French word to any kid sat around him (“I went to the Eiffel Tower! It was grande!”). All the kids were excited about the show, which was to be the Three Little Pigs, “Les Trois Petits Cochons”.

The host puppet, guignol, introduced the show, and all the kids joined in the singing. It was very entertaining – while it’s not exactly Cirque du Soleil, it is loveable puppetry of the sort I can’t get enough of. More entertaining was my son, who was very animated in his reactions to the story (which depsite being in French he could understand well enough). When the Big Bad Wolf (“le Vilain Loup”) failed to blow down the brick house he leapt to his feet shouting and pointing, “ha-ha!” At one point he recognized a French phrase and jumped up calling out to me, “Daddy! Daddy! They said ‘ça va bien’!” During the break, all the kids had their snack with parents and juice-boxes at the ready, before resuming the second half. It was all great entertainment, and afterwards we went and got an ice cream.

après-midi in the luxembourg gardens

Palais de Luxembourg, Paris
After a morning of Parisian sightseeing (principally the Eiffel Tower), we had lunch at Quick* and visited the Luxembourg Gardens. I had never been there before, but heard they were pretty, and they are. They are also a great place for kids – in addition to the puppet theatre (which I’ll write about in the next post), there was a large pond on which little wooden boats could be sailed, plus an absolutely enormous kids playground. You had to pay to go in there, but really it is massive, so while my wife took my son there to play among the Parisian children, I took twenty-five minutes to go and sketch the impressive Palais de Luxembourg. The Sun was shining so I found a nice shaded spot and sketched away, finishing the colour later. I really like Paris, it’s a sketching paradise. I really don’t know how you could live there and not sketch everything every day.

*Quick…my favourite French (well, it’s Belgian actually) fast food place. So nice to taste their ‘Long Chicken’ again after all these years.
Sketching in the Jardins Luxembourg