<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\0757793856\46blogName\75Orangette\46publishMode\75PUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\46navbarType\75BLACK\46layoutType\75CLASSIC\46searchRoot\75http://orangette.blogspot.com/search\46blogLocale\75en\46v\0752\46homepageUrl\75http://orangette.blogspot.com/\46vt\75-5071095333567389549', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

10.31.2011

October 22

I sat down to write this post last night at a kitchen table in Edinburgh. My friend Gemma was making barley soup, and Christophe was at the sink behind me, doing the last dishes from breakfast. If you had told me three weeks ago that I would be in their kitchen last night, I would have looked at you like you’d grown a second head. For once, I like being wrong.

We’ve been talking about a feeling that sometimes comes with plane or train travel, and maybe the best name for it is Bonus Time. You’re in the plane or the train, and you can see the world outside the window, and you’re hurtling through it, but it’s very far away, impossible to reach. Inside, your movements are limited, but time feels oddly expansive, as though you’re getting an extra minute for every three. You’ve escaped from normal time, and your reward is a chance to just sit and relax, or read, or listen to music, or sleep. Or maybe you’ll have to do some work, but it moves along with less friction than usual, because you’re in Bonus Time, and it’s roomy in there. That’s mostly what the past couple of weeks have felt like.

When I got here on Friday, Christophe handed me a copy of Alain de Botton’s The Art of Travel, and I keep coming back to this bit on page nine:

If our lives are dominated by a search for happiness, then perhaps few activities reveal as much about the dynamics of this quest - in all its ardour and paradoxes - than our travels. They express, however inarticulately, an understanding of what life might be about, outside the constraints of work and the struggle for survival.

That about nails it. I go home tomorrow.




Thank you to Anne for suggesting Négatif Plus, and to Xavier for the help and the beer! I now have photos from Paris. These were taken on October 22.






















More soon, from Seattle.

P.S. Happy Halloween.

64 Comments:

Blogger Sophie said...

Always such beautiful pictures, Molly. The light is fantastic. I think you've inspired me to move back to film.

3:55 AM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

Beautiful. I know just what you mean about bonus time.

3:57 AM, October 31, 2011  
Blogger tori said...

I know exactly what you're talking about. The thing with 'bonus time' to me, is that it's not just internal. There's something about being in transit which lets you have the conversations that you need to, but can't find the space for when you're stuck on the ground- even if it's over the rumble of a train, or the roar of an engine.

3:58 AM, October 31, 2011  
Blogger charlotte said...

two things. one: you are awesome.
and two: that song!!! cx

4:16 AM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous Bev Weidner (Bev Cooks) said...

Your photos just kill me! You. are. so. talented.

5:00 AM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous Mlle.Emma said...

I love the one of the champagne and of the glasses. Negative + is a good place to go! Although I prefer the really cheap Chinese photo labs on Bd de la Villette in Belleville, they always give me free films too! Have a great day x

5:11 AM, October 31, 2011  
Blogger Anne said...

You're more than welcome, Molly! I knew they'd give you the kind of quick service you were looking for.

You nailed what traveling feels like. I think it's one of the reasons why I like taking the train so much. That and the incredible scenery outside the window.

5:12 AM, October 31, 2011  
Blogger Marion said...

Molly, these pictures are so beautiful ! So glad you had a great time in Paris.

5:13 AM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous Rachel @ the minimalist mom said...

What a gorgeous quote (and photos!). Thank you for sharing with us.

I'm a Canadian recently moved to a tiny island in the UK. One of the many reasons we made the move was for more accessible and affordable travel in Western Europe. We're here to soak it up. That quote just inspired me in so many ways - thank you!

5:38 AM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous Steph said...

Safe travels, can't wait to read about more stories and see your beautiful photos.

6:26 AM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous Imwaytoobusy said...

Wow, such a beautiful quote. Your photos are stunning. The architecture of that building just takes your breath away. I loved your travel posts! Thanks for letting us live vicariously through you.

6:30 AM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous renee@sweetsugarbean said...

Such lovely words and photos, as always. Then you make me laugh with the whole "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah" at the end! Great start to my Monday. Safe travels home - savour the bonus time.

6:39 AM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought I couldn't love you more after that Alain de Botton excerpt. Then you linked to that clip of Werewolf Bar Mitzvah. You are awesome.

6:41 AM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous charlotte au chocolat said...

I loved the paragraph about "bonus time". it's incredible the you manage to capture a feeling and make it almost tangible.. you have such a way with words... coming home after a trip also changes your perspective/ sense of time a little- at least for the first few days, until you settle back into a routine. have a safe flight home.

6:54 AM, October 31, 2011  
Blogger hanna said...

Your pictures remind me that the thing about Paris is once you leave, you are already planning your next return.

Also, thanks for the video link. Spooky, Scary.

7:24 AM, October 31, 2011  
Blogger Rachel said...

Amazing photography (and storytelling) as always. You really do make me want to take more film photos.

8:19 AM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous susan said...

beautiful photographs!

8:24 AM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous Cecilia said...

this is such a fantastic quote. sums it up just about perfectly.

so glad your travels were invigorating!

8:25 AM, October 31, 2011  
Blogger the starving student said...

Especially in today's fast-paced society, bonus time is not something we get a lot of. But is it really benefiting us to sprint through life without taking the time to actually enjoy it? I love this post, such a great message. Gorgeous pictures too!

8:27 AM, October 31, 2011  
Blogger haanpc said...

Wonderful post. These photos are getting me excited for moving to France in the new year.

8:33 AM, October 31, 2011  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Happy Halloween to you too! That's a funny clip.
I love the photo of the people's silhouettes in the window.
Safe travels!

9:13 AM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous Sarah at Letters from the Kitchen said...

Love the quote from The Art of Travel. And you're so right about 'Bonus Time', the way we slow down even as we speed up. Stolen minutes, extra sweet.

9:20 AM, October 31, 2011  
OpenID piecurious said...

I love the concept of "bonus time" that you invoke in relation to traveling. For me, it's almost like a non-time or timelessness. For some reason, whenever I experience take-off in a plane, I am overwhelmed with a sensation that brings me near tears. It isn't fear or sadness. But this weird sensation that I am entering a timelessness where the "real" me is left behind and a new traveling me takes over. The need to cry is merely the reaction to the transition between these two realms. Or perhaps it's just the change in pressure, heh heh :)

9:27 AM, October 31, 2011  
Blogger Sasha said...

That passage sits just right and I like the idea of calling it "bonus time".

For the same reason I like the buildings that flank travel - the airports and the train stations. There is something comforting about these no-man zones that are defined only by the activities of waiting and moving. They are the easiest places to just be.

Have a good trip flight back home!

9:42 AM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous burnttoast said...

Paris! Your pictures made me homesick, and I am not from Paris.Such a magical place, composed of so many magical experiences. Your pictures and words have put a relaxed smile on my face. Thank you

9:51 AM, October 31, 2011  
OpenID girlseeksplace said...

I am all about that quote. Thank you.

9:58 AM, October 31, 2011  
OpenID lizlemonnights said...

These photos are fantastic. Thank you for sharing!

9:59 AM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous Vanessa said...

Beautiful photos. <3

9:59 AM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous Oliverde said...

Edinburgh: one of my all time fave cities. Was there last year for the big snowstorm and witnessed folk building the Lochness monster out of snow in Holyrood park....
You pictures of Paris are so romantic.

10:47 AM, October 31, 2011  
Blogger Claudia said...

The nuts and bolts of travelling have so changed over the years - and not joyfully - so it is lovely to understand one of the gifts it gives - and it is worth remembering. It can feel like a gift of time. (Unless you are 6'4" and crammed in those little seats!) It also seems the perfect backdrop - for writing.

11:25 AM, October 31, 2011  
Blogger Cucina49 said...

I feel like I have been in that place where the lawn chairs are--is that the Luxembourg Gardens? Safe travels home!

12:04 PM, October 31, 2011  
Blogger First said...

I love your pictures! You're able to capture the moment beautifully. Safe travels!

12:38 PM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous Bethany said...

How do you take such beautiful pictures? Do you use a special type of camera to give your pictures that effect? Your blog is lovely, thank you for the inspiration to cook!

1:22 PM, October 31, 2011  
Blogger Yolanda said...

werewolf bar mitzvah + amazing light filed photographs + bonus time = so much to love in this post. Thank you for it.

1:37 PM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous Louise said...

Happy Halloween Molly. All the best, from Quebec, Canada

1:39 PM, October 31, 2011  
Blogger GG said...

The photos really capture the atmosphere, they are lovely. GG

2:12 PM, October 31, 2011  
Blogger la ninja said...

spot on. alain and you :)

2:30 PM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous Ana said...

There is something about traveling and being in transit that, for a lack of a better word, distills you. It's as if the dust that settles from the day to day living gets blown away and you can observe and absorb things differently. I don't know if it's being physically in motion or being somewhere out of the ordinary but traveling, both the act of getting yourself somewhere and the art of being somewhere different, is always conducive, at least for me, to being both hyper present and deeply introspective.

3:54 PM, October 31, 2011  
Blogger Where My Heart Is said...

Love your photos - I was in Paris a few days before you and got similar scenes. Paris in October was beautiful, don't you think? I'm back home in Oz and have the post travel blues :)

6:46 PM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous Merrymom said...

Happy Halloween to you too! It sounds like you have had a great time! Safe trip home.

7:10 PM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous Kinneret said...

Le Dauphin! How was it? Great time to be in Paris.

7:47 PM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous Kristine in Santa Barbara said...

Thank you for these posts. I was kidding when I wrote in the comments early on in this adventure that you could cookie and toast your way across the UK. I think you did, though I loved the pictures of the cookies. And that bacon sandwich included some good looking toast. But the film. Thank you for buying the film, for packing the film, for shooting the film, for developing the film, for posting the film. I just loved it. It looks to me that this might have been a totally different experience than the trip planned with MAV (still looking forward to seeing what happens with that). But thanks for sharing the light and the many wonderful, intimate, denim clad moments with your friends. The posts have been wonderful.

9:03 PM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous Kristine in Santa Barbara said...

Thank you for these posts. I was kidding when I wrote in the comments early on in this adventure that you could cookie and toast your way across the UK. I think you did, though I loved the pictures of the cookies. And that bacon sandwich included some good looking toast. But the film. Thank you for buying the film, for packing the film, for shooting the film, for developing the film, for posting the film. I just loved it. It looks to me that this might have been a totally different experience than the trip planned with MAV (still looking forward to seeing what happens with that). But thanks for sharing the light and the many wonderful, intimate, denim clad moments with your friends. The posts have been wonderful.

9:04 PM, October 31, 2011  
Blogger Mia Wallace said...

I haven't travelled much, but that book is so well written I still know exactly what he is describing.

You're writing is beautiful to read. I hope your trip inspires you to do lots of blogging so we can all do lots more reading.

12:21 AM, November 01, 2011  
Anonymous Hannah said...

Thank you for sharing such gorgeous photos and this lovely quote. I'm happy you've had such a wonderful visit and could spend time with dear friends. Safe travels back to Seattle!

8:40 AM, November 01, 2011  
Anonymous Gretchen said...

I agree with you that the time spent traveling does feel like "Bonus Time"--unless you're traveling with kids. Then it's more like "struggling to survive."

9:42 AM, November 01, 2011  
Blogger RE:ROOT said...

i love the bonus time you describe along with the photos that join that description...two people sitting on the park bench (perhaps they should be heading to work or they took a "sick day" and they are rejuvenating themselves en plein air while their coworkers slave away)...

since travel is out of question as i pay off my debt....my bonus time is that occasional hour between waking up and getting out of bed...laying there daydreaming ..jumping from nostalgic thoughts to future aspirations while only hearing the cars go by outside of the bedroom window....which is where i just came from...still have bed head and morning breath ....good thing you only have to read this and not see me right now on old pjs....

have a safe trip home...stay hydrated and well fed.

p.s. i will have to check out "the art of travel". thank you for the regular inspiration.

11:22 AM, November 01, 2011  
Anonymous Ana Sofia said...

Great perspective. I have a trip planned next week and can only focus on the anxiety of everything I need to do before then. Looking forward to bonus time:)

1:19 PM, November 01, 2011  
Anonymous Kathryn O said...

Molly, you seriously leave me in awe with every post you write. Gorgeous photos, beautiful observations. You capture so clearly those everyday things we all experience but that are so hard to put into words..

1:44 PM, November 01, 2011  
Anonymous Medulla. said...

Love your blog/book/the nice warm smells that come out of my kitchen when I make a gingery recipe of yours. The photos are stunning. What camera are you using, if you don't mind my asking.

2:55 PM, November 01, 2011  
Blogger Diane said...

Your writing, photos and adventures are so inspiring! Thank you for sharing your experiences and the writings of others with us!

4:34 PM, November 01, 2011  
Anonymous Ilke said...

Want to get that book and read it. You are right about bonus time and not being busy with work or cleaning or laundering, those minutes seem never ending to me, and I get restless. I need to read a good book to put things in perspective.

Welcome back home!

6:05 PM, November 01, 2011  
Blogger jenmolin said...

I need a Paris fix.... these pix worked and now the need is almost screaming inside me.... somehow I must get back.... lovely

7:03 PM, November 01, 2011  
Blogger momma2O said...

Hi Molly, welcome back home! I just got back (to Chicago) from Seattle, and my bonus time was spent trying to keep my 7-month old happy for 4 hours. :) While in Seattle, I told my hub we HAD to stop at Delancey! We had a great meal and the hostess was very sweet!

7:51 AM, November 02, 2011  
Anonymous Victoria said...

Your pictures are beautiful. Luxembourg Gardens, Champagne (or at least something fizzy), the beautiful light of Paris!

Molly, I made your split pea soup over the weekend using Benton ham. It was OUTSTANDING!!!!!

12:14 PM, November 02, 2011  
Blogger Maria Hitt said...

So glad you ended up making the most of the trip. The photos are spectacular, I love how you captured the mist in the park. I was driving home the other morning from an early swim and passed a field with those big round bales of hay and they were damp and the sun was just hitting them so that they were putting up these lovely little wafts of steam. I so wished I had a camera and even a hope of trying to capture that moment. but alas. Hope the bonus time coming home on the plane was as wonderful as the rest

3:38 PM, November 02, 2011  
Anonymous Sophie said...

You explain travel and time so beautiful, I never really knew how to explain the feeling, or put my finger on it but the way you picture it in slow suspension is perfect!

6:15 PM, November 02, 2011  
Blogger Valeria said...

I love that book, The Art of Travel, my boyfriend gave it to me for my birthday last year and I have bits and pieces underlined, mostly things I go back to and that inspire me to look further...Beautiful pictures, glad you found a way to develop them.

7:50 AM, November 03, 2011  
Blogger Jenni said...

Oh, dreamy. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures. And also the bit about Bonus Time. I think of it that way, too, but never knew how to put it into words.

10:19 AM, November 03, 2011  
Anonymous Jen L. said...

I love your blog and always love your photos... and I am secretly (not anymore, I guess) thrilled that I was in Paris on the same day as you were. I was saddened when I read your trip was cancelled, and then I came home and found that you had gone anyway, how wonderful! Were you in the Jardin du Luxembourg on the 22nd? If you were in the Luxembourg, around 3-6pm.. well, I shall be astounded; we were there too! Glad you went, and especially glad that even though it wasn't what you had planned or imagined, that it was wonderful.

8:55 AM, November 04, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely, lovely writing; beautiful photos; and I adore the concept of bonus time.

4:03 PM, November 05, 2011  
Blogger la femme said...

Your photos are amazing- and the Art of Travel quote really does nail it...

11:10 AM, November 07, 2011  
Anonymous Lucy said...

Paris has my heart! Luckily for me it takes only a quick ride on the Eurostar to get me there.

5:51 AM, November 16, 2011  
Blogger Gala Regi said...

Always such beautiful pictures. The light is fantastic!

7:33 AM, March 03, 2013  

Post a Comment

<< Home